A Valentine’s Day for the Birds

All the way back in the 14th century, Chaucer wrote a little poems called The Parliament of Fowls (Parlement of Foules), in which he describes the day as being one where birds found love and their mates. Before his poem, there had been no connection between Valentine’s Day and romance. These little love birds of his started a whole new holiday!

Since we are bird nerds over here, we decided to do a little something to honor this idea of birds and Valentine’s Day, just for a little fun, and decided to make bird feeders in the shape of hearts, an idea I got from Wyatt’s teacher. This was a super fun and super cute little craft, with very little mess, something I am not used to. We usually tend to make messy crafts around here, with paint or glue everywhere. So this was a nice change! Lol.

It’s very simple as you can see, using only yarn, pipe cleaners, and Cheerios!

Then we simply bent the pipe cleaners in a sort of heart shape to start with, strung on the Cheerios (which was great OT for Wyatt – fine motor and bilateral use of both hands!!), closed the heart off, and added the yarn! Voila. Then we took them outside and hung them in our apple tree. I hung them on itty bitty branches, hoping that squirrels and Pippin my possum friend don’t try to eat them. I am afraid that they would try to eat the pipe cleaner too. I am also keeping a close eye on them too, just in case.

We finished up by reading In the Snow by Sharon Phillps Denslow, which was a super cute read about a little boy who leaves birdseed out for his feathered and furry friends. It’s a simple little book that talks about the backyard birds and animals that might visit your feeders in winter. And it reminded me that we actually are out of birdseed, so I need to put it on our shopping list!

If you are interested in other Valentine’s Day nature crafts, I found so many cute and creative ideas around the internet!

Heart Leaf Lanterns (I am hoping to squeeze this one before Valentine’s Day!) from Rhythms of Play

Twig Centerpiece from Crafting a Green World

Pine Cone Love Bugs from Fireflies and Mudpies

Heart Shaped Homemade Bird Seed Feeders from Jen Loves Kev

These are just a few of the many I found! My Pinterest got a serious workout this week with all of my pinning.

We have a long winter break weekend, five days off for kiddo, ahead of us, I would love to hear about any craft or activities that you might do!

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links for books, where I will make a small commission if you were to make a purchase, at no extra cost to you.

I had kind of a different week for me – I had two mornings out while Wyatt was at school, having coffee with a few mom friends. It was a nice change of pace! Then this weekend we sort of had a regroup weekend, getting caught up on some things we needed to get done at home, and then a Valentines Party at my cousin’s later today, for our kids. It should be fun! I also ordered more seeds to start for spring. I am super excited to get working on our garden this year!

Read Last Week:

Summer Secrets at Willow Tree Hall: This little series is perfect for my mood right now; I just need something light and fun and cheery. (Amazon)

Around the World in 80 Trees: I got this book in from the library last week and so far I am really enjoying it!

Reading this Week:

A Winter Wedding at Willow Tree Hall: I have to admit that I started reading this series to get to this book. Lol. I just really love this cover and the idea of a winter wedding. I have enjoyed the journey, and am loving this little story. I think if you have Kindle Unlimited they are free! (Amazon)

And I will keep reading Around the World in 80 Trees.

Posted Last Week:

Currently…February

Winter Ponds and Snowy Walks

Watching:

We finished up This Farming Life on BritBox, and I have a new favorite farmer story – well two. The pair of sisters in their twenties who took over the farm when their dad passed away suddenly, and Raymond, who has the cutest sheep! We started watching Shakespeare and Hathaway, which is always funny. I also started watching WinterWatch on Britbox myself, and also Frankie and Grace.

How about all of you? What is new in your neighborhood?

Currently…February

Taken at book club at my friend’s house. Isn’t she brilliant?

Currently..is a meme hosted by Anne in Residence. Today we are sharing what we are currently….. loving, embracing, tasting, wearing, and preparing.

Loving: My blue light protective glasses! My little guy had to get glasses so I ordered these to wear along with him, to help to get him to keep his on. I had heard of the blue light protective glasses, so I ordered these from Zenni and I really like them! I had been noticing my eyes were getting dry and I had headaches after sitting in front of my computer, and these glasses are helping with that as well! So it worked out nicely all around!

Embracing: The 1000 Hours Outside Challenge! We are trying to go all out with our outdoors experiences this year. I am not sure we will make all 1000 hours but we are going to give it our best! We have gone out in cold weather, rainy weather, and nice weather so far this year so I can say with certainty that we are doing our best.

Tasting: All sorts of comfort food recipes. It’s winter in the mitten state now, and we have hunkered down with soups and chili, and this year, after twenty some years of vegetarianism, I have started to eat some meat, about one meat dish a month for me. It’s sort of a whole new learning curve, since my entire adult life I have never eaten meat – so I have to learn how to cook it. It is fun finding new recipes and trying them out, and my always carnivorous husband is very happy about this turn in events.

Wearing: Another new for me – I’ve started to add beauty products to my life. I know this probably sounds weird, but until recently I have never done much besides occasionally a little mascara and moisturizer. But lately I have just been feeling so frumpy – I don’t work outside my home and when I do go out, it is usually for a hike or outside somewhere so I never really take much time with that sort of regime. Lately though I have added some stuff in, and it makes me feel a little nicer, which in turn makes me feel a little happier. I started small and easy, since this is new to me, and have been absolutely loving the Pacifica line of products. I chose this brand because over the summer I found the perfect hair balm for my crazy thick wavy hair – the Salty Waves Beach Balm. A little of this and my hair would dry perfectly, no frizz, nice curls. So, when I decided to add in a different moisturizer and BB cream, I looked to this line again. I bought the Sea and C Life face lotion and the Alight BB Cream, and I love them both. So much that I now have a few other products on order. I also love the fact that these products don’t have a bunch of harmful chemicals, and are cruelty free – plus when you are finished with the product, the company will send you an envelope so you can send the packaging back! All things that make my hippy heart happy!

Preparing: For my son’s fifth birthday party next month! I am so excited! We are planning a lumberjack themed party, and we are talking about a cake that looks like pancakes and a maple syrup tapping demonstration, and I have a few other ideas percolating as well.

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links for books, where I will make a small commission if you were to make a purchase, at no extra cost to you. And I only Amazon link books that I have bought not checked out..

After a few crazy weeks, we started to settle in back to normal last week. Finally. Friday we had a great family day! Wyatt and I talked about winter ponds and then “made” our own, watching to see when it would freeze. Later that evening when Billy got home, we made personal pizzas and had an indoor campout, where we hung out around the tent, put blankets on the floor, our little fake fireplace stove, and turned out the lights except for my one lantern. Then we hung out talking and reading out loud. It was a great way to unplug!

Read Last Week:

Love Begins at Willow Tree Hall: I completely adored this book! So much so that I had to go and download the next two. I was really in the mood for something lighthearted and easy, there is just so much going on in the world right now that I need a true escape when I read. And this book was perfect. I loved every bit of it. (Amazon)

Reading This Week:

Summer Secrets at Willow Tree Hall: Like I said, I enjoyed the first so much I wanted to read on! (Amazon)

Around the World in 80 Trees: I am so looking forward to starting this book! It sounds like a wonderful journey through trees.

Posted Last Week:

January Book Tallies

A Few Quick Book Reviews

What Wyatt’s Reading – January

Hello February!

Watching:

We finished up The Ranch, which had me all teary at the end of the final episode. Sam Elliot is an amazing actor! Love him. We started watching This Farming Life, Season 3 on Britbox and we are loving the new farmers this year. We can’t agree on another show right now so we are sticking with farmers for the moment. Lol.

How about you guys? What is going on in your neighborhood?

What Wyatt’s Reading – January

We have had such a great reading month together! I have started keeping a book journal, where I am tracking a few different things, including the picture books we read together every month. We always have a mix of books, the ones that Wyatt picks out for himself and then the books that I pick out, because I like to theme his reading around the things we are doing and learning together. This month they were mostly picked out by me – for some reason we just couldn’t get to the library together this month, which is a bummer because I love when Wyatt and I go to the library – which generally is every Friday! Next month we will start again. And get hot chocolate afterwards too, I think.

As usual, I just listed our favorites, his and my own. Wyatt adored Snow Sisters – I read that one to him a million times, I think partly because the brunette girl in the illustrations looks a little like his cousin! Wyatt is also a little obsessed with wolves and howling right now lol, and he loved Little Wolf’s Song, and Little Wolf’s First Howling. He definitely enjoyed all the howling. And then surprisingly, he really loved Winter Walk. I say surprisingly because it had a lot of nonfiction elements, learning about different things you can find on a winter walk, like blue spruces and blue spruce pinecones, but that was his go to, drag it from the library basket favorite ALL MONTH. I guess I need to buy that one! He also seemed to love Sugar White Snow and Evergreens, and honestly I did too. The illustrations and story were wonderful!

I loved Wolf in the Snow – it was so cute, and also heartwarming. And Winter Trees book was seriously cool, I actually learned a lot from it. Wyatt wasn’t super interested in it, but I read it a few times for me. Lol. Another one I think we will buy. I actually loved all of the books this time, quite honestly.

And then, the Scout and the Gumboot Kids books! We loved these so much. We only did the craft from one of the books, but I am going to go back to them the more seasonally appropriate they become for the other books that we have. If you are interested in learning more about them, check out my Puddles and Pinecones post. We had so much with that book and activity!

Next month we have more snow books on the horizon, although I do plan to start adding in some Valentine’s books- plus whatever Wyatt finds on the shelves. I am looking forward to going to the library with him again – and I know the librarians miss him too, as they told me!

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links for books, where I will make a small commission if you were to make a purchase, at no extra cost to you.

Last week went sideways fast. Wyatt had a million appointments, Billy had to work late every single night, and I spent countless hours on the phone with insurance and doctors. We did have “book club” last week though, which I desperately needed by the time it came. Sometimes you just need those few hours to unwind, to recharge so that you can get back to work again right? And Michigan is so ugly right now guys. All mud and gray. Yuck. I miss the snow that we usually have – and now I sound so whiny! I apologize for sounding like a gloomy Gus, I guess I am feeling a bit of the January blues! I feel encouraged though, everyday brings us closer to spring and more light and new life in our world. We are going to start a calendar of firsts in a few weeks, where we look for these signs of the earth waking up from winter (the silly winter that we have had!), the first buds we see, etc. I think it will be so hopeful! This week in our Exploring Nature with Children program, we are going to be studying winter ponds. I am pretty excited to do this one! We are going to start by slipping on our muck boots this afternoon and hiking around the pond we have chosen to observe.

My friend Kelly’s house for book club.

Read Last Week:

Good news, I broke my reading slump!

The Hand on the Wall: I was super excited to see that this was out! I downloaded it and immediately started reading it. Such a great series!!

Reading This Week:

One thing I miss about working my old job in the elementary school library is the excuse to read all those middle grade and younger books. Now I have no excuse, I just still like them at times. I really think I am going to buy a whole collection of Jean Craighead George for our house – I think Wyatt will enjoy them when he is older. Right now I am enjoying the Seasons of the Moon series.

Love Begins at Willow Tree Hall: I also was in the mood for something lighthearted as well – and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner so… romance it is. I thought this looked like such an inviting cover.

Watching:

The Ranch, WinterWatch on Britbox, some Rachel Khoo in London cooking show whose name eludes me but I love. She made a Black Forest Gateaux in one episode that looked insanely delicious! That show is also on Britbox. We might start Frankie and Grace pretty soon – I love those ladies. When I grow up I want to be Lily Tomlin.

How about you guys? What is going on in your neighborhood?

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was just a week, living the everyday life. Meetings, appointments, dinners, errands. Not bad but nothing special. It does seem like winter has arrived full force in Michigan, with freezing temperatures and snow. We did play outside in the snow for a few minutes yesterday, not too long as it was sort of sleeting outside, so not the most fun, but we still got outside for a little bit in the snow. We are going to be talking about winter trees this week with the Exploring Nature with Children homeschool curriculum (Wyatt goes to school, but I do a little supplementing) and I am looking forward to this week! We already had a little bit of discussion and play having to do with trees last week, with our book and activity, which you can see in my Puddles and Pinecones post. As for what else we are doing, that is up in the air too! I guess we are totally flexible this week and open to anything!

Read Last Week/This Week:

Things are not going well here with reading. I seem to be in a…. slump. I pick stuff up and I am just meh, not interested. And these are books I know I will probably like! So this week I am just going to give myself some freedom to read whatever, and explore my stacks and see what pulls me, hopefully, from my reading slump. I do have some contenders, from my nonfiction reading stack, that I am going to try. So this week is all up in the air!

Posted Last Week:

Puddles and Pinecones – Scout and the Gumboot Kids

1000 Hours Outside Challenge

Last Week in Photos

Watching:

We started watching The Ranch again, what a great show. I love the addition of Dax Shepherd! We finished up His Dark Materials, which was amazing, and also finished Anne with an “E”, which I loved and was so sad when the season ended! We are also watching The Elliot Homestead YouTube videos, and have a list of shows to watch, although we are not sure what is next. I kind of want to watch Troop Zero on Amazon, so that might be what we watch.

What about all of you? What is going on in your neighborhood?