Here are a few pages from our nature journals on the backyard birds of winter. We have the pleasure of seeing a wide variety of birds in our backyard all winter long. Here are two of our favorites, the Northern Cardinal and the Blue Jay. Sophie drew the cardinal. Ethan drew the first blue jay and Audrey the last. It always amazes me and makes me smile to see how our nature journals and our drawings progress as we get older and older.
Nature Study is our time to learn about God and His amazing creation. During this time, we love to really settle in and study all the beautiful things that surround us. This time is not just important for us. It is essential to what we do and who we are. I know and I see this every time Ava and Sophie jump for joy as we meet a new evergreen tree along our path. I know this and I see this every time Ethan and Audrey stop to carefully draw every detail of these very same evergreen trees.
We are learning and growing in the knowledge of God and of this beautiful world that He created. We are amazed. We wonder. We look closely. We attend to the details.
In these photographs Audrey brought her nature journal and a few pine cones and pine tree boughs inside to learn more after a nature walk. She pours over our field guides. She notices the details of how many needles are in a bundle. She measures the needles. All of this is done in order to identify exactly which type of pine tree we saw. Is it a Virginia Pine or a Pitch Pine? Audrey is determined to figure it out.
Where Would I Be in an Evergreen Tree by Jennifer Blomgren is a book that truly celebrates the beauty of the evergreen tree. This story is beautifully written in verse. It is beautifully illustrated in pastels. And it beautifully tells of the plants and animals that live in, on, and near the evergreen tree.
After reading, we mixed and used many shades of green tempera paints to paint beautiful evergreen trees.
Evergreen trees bring beauty all year long. However, in winter they are especially beautiful. We spent many days this winter celebrating, studying, and enjoying the beauty of the evergreen tree. We took many nature walks and sat down in front of many evergreen trees. We drew, painted, and crafted. One of our very first evergreen tree handicrafts was making this pretty branch from the cones and boughs of the evergreen trees around us.
Our newest favorite Valentine book is Cranberry Valentine by Wende and Harry Devlin. We already loved Cranberry Thanksgiving and Cranberry Christmas, so Cranberry Valentine was an easy one for us to love. We made cranberry chocolate chip cookies to enjoy, and we needle felted hearts to string up.
Ethan's birthday is the day after Valentine's Day. So, this year, we invited his friends over for his birthday party with a little Valentine's Day mixed in. Ethan's favorite Valentine book is The Kissed that Missed. It is super silly. This is probably why he likes it so much. It is about a king that kisses his son goodnight, but is in so much of a hurry that his kissed missed. The kiss actually flies around the room and right out the window. The king tells his knight to "Stop that kiss!" The knight eventually follows the kiss all the way to a dragon. So, we used this book as the theme for Ethan's birthday. It was such a wonderful party.
We began Ethan's 9th birthday celebration with a stack of 9 pancakes and 9 candles on top. This is a much-anticipated birthday tradition in our home. Oh, how these stacks are getting pretty big! Oh, how this boy is getting pretty big!
We love Valentine's Day! It is a special day, set apart, just to show others how much we love them. We love to bake cookies for neighbors and make valentines to give to friends. We also love to craft gifts for our family. This year we sewed felt hearts onto embroidery hoops to show our love. We also read Love, Ruby Valentine by Laurie Friedman.
To celebrate the coming of Valentine's Day, we read Snowy Valentine by David Petersen and made Stained Glass Valentine Hearts. This is one of our go-to crafts to decorate for the holidays and seasons. All you need is some tissue paper, construction paper, and contact paper.
Every year before Valentine's Day we read God Gave Us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren. This sweet story helps us remember just how much God loves us and how we should share all that love that is given to us with others.
We then painted hearts in shades of pink and red with watercolors.