Home | Home Education | Parties

Liberty Hill House has MOVED!!!
Check our our newest posts at www.LibertyHillHouse.com

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mirette on the High Wire

What a fun time we've had reading this book. I just had to share! Mirette on the High Wire is an adorable story about a little girl who coaxes a retired tightrope walker (Mr. Bellini) into training her.

For his birthday my little boy received a circus ring from his grandparents!  (Can you say perfect timing?)  We rigged up a tightrope by stretching picture wire across the top of the ring and the kids got busy trying to figure out how to balance marshmallows on it.  Here is the play by play...

Will one marshmallow balance all by itself?  

No, it is too round.  What if we attach two marshmallows together with a toothpick to make a flat area?

No, it wobbles too much.  What if we use two toothpicks and two marshmallows?

Yes, well, sorta . . . No, it isn't really balancing.  What if we make it look like a person with arms and legs?

No, too top heavy.  What if we take the head and arms off?


Of course, with this grand knowledge they took off on an amazing exploration of all the things that they could make balance on their "tightrope" . . . and mommy got a nice quiet afternoon (and quite a few toys to wash that evening).

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bob the Builder Party

For his 4th birthday my little boy requested a "Bob the Builder" party.  Construction is a theme that this family can really get into - our home is the perfect setting!!! 

Our party started a bit early when Nina and Grandpa arrived with a "project," so decked out in his Bob the Builder overalls and armed with his big-boy tools that he received for christmas, my little guy set to work assembling his new bench.  Since then this bench has become a staple in our kitchen.  It is used to sit on while pulling up socks, and stand on to reach the countertop.  It has been a balance beam, dividing wall, and table.  Who would have realized that four pieces of wood screwed together could be so much fun?

When the rest of the kids arrived we handed out smocks and let them get to work making their own wooden picture frames.  They contentedly sanded, painted, and hammered out their own little masterpieces - I think that they came out quite cute!

Our next activity was a funny timed event that we made up.  The kids were given one kind of food at a time (rice krispy treats, marshmallows, and several different sizes of pretzels), and asked to construct a "structure."  The rice krispy treats made fun bricks, but I probably should have added extra marshmallow because they would have stuck together better - toothpicks solved that problem.  

After "building" our own pizzas, we sang Happy Birthday (my funny birthday boy sang at the top of his lungs for himself) and cut into the cake.  He thought it was fun to have a cake with a tractor and mud puddle in the middle (crushed oreos mixed with pudding and whipped cream with a few gummy worms tossed in for good measure).

Happy Birthday builder boy! ~ You are an inquisitive, sensitive, generous, and thoughtful little boy and I love you very much.   Enjoy being 4 years old!  

Saturday, February 14, 2009


My sweet husband said goodbye to his "Pop" for the last time on Valentines Day five years ago.  This holiday always makes me think of the two of them and their strikingly special relationship.  There wasn't a day that would go by without the two of them spending time together.  The 60 year age gap didn't make any difference.  Whether working on the car, digging up the septic tank (again), or enjoying a nice steak, they were always together, and happy that way.  Pop wasn't one to say "I love you," or write sweet sentiments in a heart shaped card, but he was one of the gentlest and most loving tough-guys I have ever met.  

So, for those of you who remember Pop :  "You're alright . . . Not half bad"

Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Childhood Flashback

Shrinkydinks!!!  Remember these?  They are funny plastic sheets that you can color on and then bake in the oven so that they shrink and harden.  

My sisters and I used to LOVE making shrinkydinks when we were little.  We would work contentedly with our special colored pencils, faithfully cut around each and every detail of our smurf or unicorn or whatever, and then sit directly in front of the oven while Mom baked them for us.  

Such a simple little craft - but SO MUCH FUN!

My husband, who I often tease for saving every shred and scrap for sentimental reasons, saved a box of shrinkydinks for the past 25+ years, knowing that they would one day be fun for his own little kids to play with.  Well, I hate to admit it, but he was right.  Not only was it fun to do such a fun and nostalgic craft with the kids, it was fun to see their reaction to coloring in drawings created by their daddy when he was a boy.  

We still have some left if you want to come and sit in front of our oven with us!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Breathe When You Can, and Don't Stop Moving

Outside there has been a blanket of snow for well over two months, but in the gym it is a balmy 80 degrees and my children are dressed in their swimsuits. 

You would think that getting my little ones (who adore playing in the lake and their own bathtub) into the water would be the easy part . . . not always so.  
Sitting on the edge is easy. 
Climbing down a few steps, again, easy. 
BUT ask either of them to jump off the side of the pool and into your arms, and you will instantly see their natural hesitation. Some days they wail and scream, some days they try to sit back down, and some days they joyously leap into their teacher's arms. 

Once they are actually in the water, the wails almost always subside. They have learned to trust their teacher. They relax when told to float, obediently spin in little circles looking up at the ceiling, and try their best to "reach and pull" while not forgetting to kick their feet high. They are slowly learning all of the steps required to swim. Most are very basic "Breathe in when you can, then blow" "Don't stop moving your legs" but challenging for my little ones to put into practice.

The kids are learning a very important life lesson, even if they don't know it yet.  With any new endeavor, at some point you just have to jump in. Leap, flop, plunge, or be dragged. It is your attitude that will determine whether you will enjoy the rest of the experience.