Archives for October 2014

The Dot

Vashti is discouraged with her art assignment, and in a moment of anger, she makes a dot on the paper.  From this point forward, Vashti doesn’t let this “dot” define her, as she learns that artistic creativity has been within her the entire time!  Simple, sweet, and one of the most inspiring books I’ve ever read!

Stained Glass Kites On A Rainy Day

On our way home from church today, the boys disappointedly saw large dark clouds rolling in, replacing those beautiful blue skies with gray and dashing any hope that they had for grand adventures outside.  By the time lunch was over, sounds of thunder and flashes of light began as the rain started to fall.


Drastic measures would have to be taken in order to keep the peace and entertain my guys.  CRAFT TIME!  Craft time is the answer to our rainy day!

If we couldn’t be outside basking in the sunshine, we could at least pretend.  I grabbed the following and we got down to craft business.

  • Black card stock (or construction paper)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Assorted tissue paper
  • X-acto knife
  • Scissors
  • Contact paper
  • Ribbon


Using my ruler, I drew a kite shape on the piece of black card stock.  I then inset a smaller diamond shape about a half inch inside this. The X-acto blade was perfect for cutting out that center piece without damaging the delicate shape.


Once I had the kite border cut out, I used the scraps to create a cross shape on the kite.


Now, contact paper would have been absolutely perfect for this part but because it was pouring and I was not about to brave the weather to run to the craft store to get contact paper, we used strips of packing tape (sticky side up) and it worked beautifully…and I didn’t have to get wet.  Win, win!


After carefully lying our kite border pieces on the sticky tape, we got busy cutting out random little shapes of tissue paper and some leftover party streamers we found in our stash.


The scraps of tissue paper were then meticulously arranged (i.e. handfuls smashed onto their work area with some serious fist pounding) until the sticky was completely covered.


Noah worked so hard making sure every millimeter was covered at least three times with tissue paper.


Once done, we all had creations that looked like this one.


We covered the tissue paper with another layer of tape and trimmed the edges.


Levi was especially proud of his gorgeous stained glass kite.


We used some ribbon to make tails for our kites and decided that the perfect addition would be a key, since it was storming outside and all good fans of Benjamin Franklin know that you would never fly a kite in a lightning storm without a key.  So we all made our own paper versions of a key and attached them to the tails before decorating the dining room windows with our masterpieces.


The boys ran and got “Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin” by Gene Barretta and snuggled in below their kites for a rainy day read.


Even the dog came by to join the action.



I would say that this rainy day turned out to be pretty perfect.



Rachel Skvaril - Sugar artist at Fondant Flinger

Rachel Skvaril – Sugar artist at Fondant Flinger


My Bio Poem!



An American statesman,
A patriot and diplomat
A writer
A scientist


Sharing ideas freely
Using his imagination
To help others

Signed the Declaration of Independence
The Constitution of the United States

The Franklin Stove, bi-focal eyeglasses, and the lightning rod,
“Early to bed, and early to rise,
makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”


Author: Susan R. Stein


Have your child write their own biography poem using the following format:

Line 1: First Name
Line 2: Four descriptive traits
Line 3: Sibling of…
Line 4: Lover of
Line 5: Who fears…
Line 6: Who needs…
Line 7: Who gives…
Line 8: Who would like to see…
Line 9: Resident of…
Line 10: Last Name (or Nickname)

Cute Young Boy Playing with Soccer Ball Outdoors in the Park.


Curious, loving, neat, shy.
Son of a busy dad.
Lover of spiders, animals, and books.
Who feels timid, cool, and hopeful.
Who fears speedboats, bullies, and mean dogs.

Who would like to see the White House, a Tim Tebow, and a pyramid
Resident of Florida.

Soccer Boy

Now and Ben

Author and Illustrator:  Gene Barretta


What would you do if you lived in a community without a library, hospital, post office, or fire department? If you were Benjamin Franklin, you’d set up these organizations yourself. Franklin also designed the lightning rod, suggested the idea of daylight saving time, invented bifocals and the odometer—all inspired by his common sense and intelligence.

This is a fun read and an innovative introduction into the incredible life of Ben Franklin.    We chose Barretta’s book as a supplement text to our beautiful books about the lives of famous people, Papa and Me and On a Beam of Light.  Also, consider using Now & Ben as an effective  mentor text for a creative writing model.  If you enjoy this book by Gene Barretta, be sure to check out his other selections such as: Timeless Thomas (Edison) and Neo Leo!