Poem Share: Red Bird

The First Red Bird

by Evaleen Stein

I heard a song at daybreak,
So honey-sweet and clear,
The essence of all joyous things
Seemed mingling in its cheer.

The frosty world about me
I searched with eager gaze,
But all was slumber-bound and wrapped
In violet-tinted haze.

Then suddenly a sunbeam
Shot slanting o’er the hill,
And once again from out the sky
I heard that honied trill.

And there upon a poplar,
Poised at its topmost height,
I saw a little singer clad
In scarlet plumage bright.

The poplar branches quivered,
By dawn winds lightly blown,
And like a breeze-swept poppy-flower
The red-bird rocked and shone.

The blue sky, and his feathers
Flashed o’er by golden light,
Oh, all my heart with rapture thrilled,
It was so sweet a sight!

Another delightful interpretation of The First Red Bird by Sierra Valone.
“Thank you, Sierra, for reading this month’s poem for us!”

You Are My Work of Art!

From the Author, Sue DiCicco

You Are My Work of Art”,  was in development for many years. The fine art world is difficult for some to appreciate, the notion being pervasive that it is hard to understand, and beyond the average person to grasp. It frightens many away from something that has always brought me a tremendous amount of joy. As my son was growing up, our goal was to introduce him to the world of art and have him feel it was created for him and speaking to him, no matter what avocation he eventually would choose to pursue.
How does one instill a sense of belonging in children and forever cast away the sense of intimidation that has perpetuated in the world of fine art? How does one connect a young child to the iconic images of the art world, and instill an early sense of joy when encountering great art?
We actively toured museums around the world with our son, and engaged him in conversations about the images and how they related to him and his own world.

I wondered how to share the experience with other children that had limited opportunities for such field trips. The sketches developed over the years, eventually finding their way into book form. The poem followed as the images were assembled, designed to introduce any child (and perhaps even their parent) to 8 famous paintings for the very first time. I hope you enjoy it and look forward to hearing your review.

Sue DiCicco
August 2011

From Deni:

 

I found this book several years ago, a week before heading to DC to await the arrival of my third grandchild.  I immediately fell in love with it, so into the suitcase it went.   Even though it is geared towards very young children (it’s a board book), it perfectly captures what I was talking about in an early Fireflies’ post – Training your child to appreciate art. The author had the same desire that I had as a young mom; to introduce my children to art masterpieces.  Not only does DiCicco introduce major works of art in her board book, she emphasizes a theme that is dear to my mom’s heart – that our children are OUR works of art.

That night as I was working on posts for Fireflies, I received a text from my friend Julie Hagan – “You have to see this wonderful book I’ve found.”   It was You are my Work of Art, by Sue DiCicco.  She then linked the book to a song that had been very special to both of us as new moms.  If you know it, the mention of it will bring tears to your eyes.  If you don’t, then I’m excited to introduce this song to you; Masterpiece by Sandi Patty.   (Thanks for reminding me, Julie!)   I’ve posted the lyrics to Masterpiece below.  It has been remastered from when we first heard it (in the ’80s – I know…it’s ancient – as are we).

Enjoy, as we celebrate the masterpieces created by God’s hands and placed in ours!

Click here to listen to the song.

 

Before you had a name or opened up your eyes
Or anyone could recognize your face.

You were being formed so delicate in size
Secluded in God’s safe and hidden place.

With your little tiny hands and little tiny feet
And little eyes that shimmer like a pearl

He breathed in you a song and to make it all complete
He brought the masterpiece into the world.

You are a masterpiece
A new creation He has formed

And you’re as soft and fresh as a snowy winter morn.
And I’m so glad that God has given you to me

Little Lamb of God, you are a masterpiece.

And now you’re growing up your life’s a miracle
Every time I look at you I stand in awe

Because I see in you a reflection of me
And you’ll always be my little lamb from God

And as your life goes on each day
How I pray that you will see
Just how much your life has meant to me.

And I’m so proud of you
What else is there to say?
Just be the masterpiece He created you to be.

I HEART bird feeders

A Fireflies’ Family Activity – Gather the materials and together create these adorable feeders for the birds in your backyards.  They are easy to make and mold into endless possible shapes.  Consider using Jello molds, cookie cutters, or no forms at all to create these bird feeders.  Make them unique to you and yours!

The following makes 5 – 6 bird feeders depending on the thickness of each shape.

Materials Needed

  • 3 cups of bird seed
  • 1 packet of plain gelatin
  • 3 T corn syrup
  • 3/4 c of flour
  • 1/2 c water
  • Wax paper
  • Shape maker: cookie cutters, jello molds etc.
  • Cookie sheets
  • String
  • Pencil or straw for creating the “hanging hole”

Directions

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the water, flour, corn syrup, and gelatin.
Add the bird seed and mix until evenly coated.   (I wanted to buy the smallest amount of bird seed available which was parakeet bird seed.   I really loved it using it because of all the colors and shapes of seeds.)

Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper, fill your desired forms with the seed mixture – packing firmly.  If the seed is not pressed together firmly, it will fall apart.

Place a hole in the center of your shape using a straw or pencil.   Make sure the hole goes all the way through.  (Placing it closer to the middle allows for enough strength to hold the string.)  When your shapes are complete, allow to air dry for 24 – 48 hours – turning every once in awhile.

Run a string through your hole, hang your bird feeders, and enjoy!

Hang where children can observe many fine feathered visitors
coming to dine on their creations.

A Fireflies’ Gratitude & Service idea:
Why not make a heart shaped bird feeder for Grandma and deliver with an “I love you” note?  Every day is a great day to say “I love you”!

CLICK HERE for more creative and natural bird feeders ideas.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

The boys and I have been doing a mini unit study on the letter “B” which of course, includes baseball!  For a craft we opted to do the one below.

B is for Baseball
&
Baseball Bat Craft

Things you’ll need:

  • White construction paper
  • Brown construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie or other permanent marker
  • Pencil
  • Red paint
  • Red crayon

On the brown piece of construction paper, draw the outlines of a baseball bat with a sharpie and on the white paper, draw out a circle.  The kids will cut these out in the first step.

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My 6-year old doesn’t really need much practice with his scissors these day but this part was a perfect way for my 3-year old to get some additional practice cutting.

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You can see that he was quite proud of his cut out bat and ball.

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On the white construction paper circle, use a pencil to create the lines on a baseball if your little one needs some extra help.

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Then, have them trace over the lines with a red crayon.

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Have your child dip his finger into the red paint and gently add the threads on the baseball lines.

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When they are all finished you should have a baseball with red fingerprint threading.

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After the baseball has had a chance to dry, glue it to the bottom of the bat forming a “b”.  For our little 3-year old, his “B is for Baseball” craft was just the perfect way to help him remember his letter of the week.

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Baseball Popcorn Balls

All that crafting will certainly work up an appetite so in keeping to the theme of baseball, the boys and I whipped up some popcorn balls.

We followed a recipe found on Allrecipes.com
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-ever-popcorn-balls/

Basically all you’ll need is:

  • light corn syrup
  • margarine
  • water

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  • Popcorn

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  • Powdered sugar
  • Marshmallows

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Have your master chef (with a lot of adult supervision) heat all the ingredients minus the popcorn till it comes to a boil on the stovetop.

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How cute is he??

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Coat popcorn with mixture until the mixture is evenly coating all of the popcorn kernels.

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Heavily grease your hands with shortening, shape into balls and set aside on some wax paper while they set up a bit.

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Grab some Twizzlers and add the baseball lines to the popcorn balls.

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And there you have it!  A snack just perfect for the little sluggers in your household.

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Author: Rachel Skvaril
Sugar Artist

www.fondantflinger.com