Monday, August 31, 2015


So in the last few years I have to admit to letting art, as a school subject, slide a bit. I worked it in when I could and am aware it is important. However at the end of a long day care day with maybe an hour to slide in something extra I was choosing math fact games over art projects. My reasoning being if Maddie can't recognize a certain artist or technique she can learn it on her own, if she can't balance the checkbook chaos will reign in her life. Plus her interest in photography fills the art slot for me most of the time. This year I remembered a book in our collection that I think will make things easier! Its called Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn Khol and Kim Solga. The books runs through famous artists from the Renaissance to today with small biographies and a project to try.

Tonight we started with the first artist and project. His name is Giotto and he had to make his own paints. These came from minerals and berries that he mixed with egg yolk and water. So how do we try this easily? We used sidewalk chalk! Maddie loved every step. The smashing, the mixing, the painting. I'm glad I remembered this book and that we got a good first project under our belt! 

This one was my favorite! 

I'm sure it will stay a once in a while thing but at least we know we have a good resource! 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Great New York State Fair!

We got up early and trekked out to Syracuse for the New York State Fair. Its been a few years since we have gone out but we still seemed to know our way around. Maddie spent about 2 hours in the Schenectady County booth helping kids make crowns. Brian and I did some wandering about but then went back to check on Maddie. Good thing because my aunt had come to meet up with us! We all had lunch together and caught up before we headed to the midway so Maddie could get her rides in.

Brian and I watched some of the social dances put on by the Native American tribes while Maddie was working after walking by some seals and saying hello! I think the state fair is one of the few places that could make that sentence possible! 

The midway is large. Maddie did a lot of the rides! The blimp kept making turns around the fairgrounds.

Maddie is up there somewhere!!

We did not have the Defibrillator sandwich. That seemed, somehow, just a bit too much! 

We also saw a bird who decided to escape from the bird sanctuary show. Someone was climbing up the tree to get the bird who simply sat there and looked at him. We opted to leave the bird catching to others and moved on to the Home Arts building where Momma took a look while Brian and Maddie took a rest on a bench.

We are not even sure what kind of bird it was! 

Some quilts that struck my fancy....flannel shirt quilt, a quilt that had patches from the National Parks on it and bookends dressed up with books! 

Then we went to see the butterflies and the DEC buildings, 2 of Maddie's favorite spots. 

Maddie has offically earned her name of "The Butterfly Whisperer"! These 2 didn't leave her until we were ready to leave the tent and they were brushed off. The one even stayed open like she had on a butterfly barrette!  

Little too big for the picture!

On our way out we stopped for some taffy and took another swing through the 4H building to get a photo of a Mohawk Monarch project and were happy to see that he got a blue ribbon for all that origami work! 

We had a great day and so much fun!! 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Knights, Ladies, 4H Promotion and Chemistry!

This saturday the park was taken over by Knights and Ladies in Waiting. Well, maybe it was only a part of the lawn by the library but it was still a lot of fun. Maddie and I stopped to check it out. The knights were no longer "fighting" by the time we arrived but the ladies were still working. I was able to see card looming and even try it for a bit. Maddie got an up close view of a crossbow. One of the ladies played her instruments from Medieval times for us too! It was a fun visit.

On both Saturday and Sunday night we spent an hour at Freedom Park with our 4H promotion materials in tow. Maddie needed 2 hours of 4H Promotion to qualify for the level 2 achievement award for the year, a goal she had set for herself. So we sat on the path to the concert stage and had conversations with interesting people! One lady was quite funny. I was working on my knitting both nights, The second night she said "Wow! Are you still working on the same sock?". She must've thought I was some sort of speed knitter. 

Both nights were humid but there was a beautiful breeze off the river.

Last night was Chemistry experiment night. Our first major one of the year. Maddie tested the luster, magnetism, conductivity and malleability of several different objects. I think the malleability test or the "go smash it with a hammer in the driveway" test was her favorite. Brian helped her build the circuit to test conductivity. 

Tonight we are studying the periodic table some more and working on the 4H record book to hand in soon!