Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday - Not So Black

I went out to the mad crowds for only one item. The sale item was $20 less than I was anticipating *Ü* BUT they were sold out at the local store, they nicely called four towns over and had one held for me. Since I was now $20 richer, I bought the accessories to go with the set...wait in line at the first store to buy the accessories, meet lovely lady who made time pass faster...drive 30 minutes north, and wait in line to pick up the item and wait in line again to buy item. Meanwhile dd texts me to say my favorite jeans are on sale for $12! (what a steal!) Pick up dh who was getting new tires, pick up new jeans, home for more pie...tired, but happy! See photos for the reason I went to two stores...



My dd is getting a new bedroom, and thus a bedroom makeover for her 7th birthday!

Part 1: new bedding, courtesy of Kohl's Black Friday!
Part 2: new paint...
Part 3: new curtains...

to be continued...

*Ü* Blessings,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Precious conversation between dh and ds5 tonight...

ds: "Is Thanksgiving Jesus's holiday?"
dh: "No, Christmas is Jesus's birthday. Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful for all God has done for us."
ds: "Oh! So...it's really thanksGODday!"
dh: "Yes!"

How cute is that?! I had to share.

May each and everyone of you have a blessed Thanksgiving Day!

*Ü* Blessings,

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's so quiet, what's going on?

Yeah, it has been quiet around here. We're continuing to press on and finish our Little Hearts for His Glory curriculum. We only have two weeks left, and it is SO tempting to just jump to the next book...especially since I've got it sitting on my shelf anyway! You know what? I think I will make this our last week, and then I can put that first manual up on eBay or HomeschoolClassifieds....hmmm, with Christmas around the corner, this is a great idea! I will have to get right on that.

In other news, we have really and truly started the additional reading program called Drawn Into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR or DITHR for short). Last week we started on the Folk Tales genre. We began with some short stories a couple weeks before, Rumpelstiltskin, Paul Bunyan, etc. Last week we took Pecos Bill and John Henry from the library, and enjoyed those. This week we're watching the videos of those books just for fun. The girls had a choice of either McBroom's Wonderful One Acre Farm or Jeremy, a Tale of an Honest Bunny as their read-aloud to me books. B chose McBroom, G chose Jeremy...both are enjoying those. Then my read-aloud to them is a lively book called Tales from Grandma's Attic. All the kids are enjoying that book. I've been slow starting DITHR because I wanted to wait until we had started Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory, but finally gave in...I'm glad I did! I have all the books I need to do this, thanks to Paperbackswap and all the wonderful members who are so willing to share!

Lastly, I just wanted to give an update on bowling and ballet. My little guy has really enjoyed bowling, and made some great friends...so this is good, and we've signed up for the next session. B wanted to bowl also, so we've signed her up too. Ballet continues to be her favorite thing, however. Yesterday the class was put on the spot to give a performance to the HipHop class in the next studio...I was surprised she didn't shrink from this, but she did well...no smile (of course) but she did talk about it. It is good practice for the recital in May! (She's already told me we'll have to visit the theater the week before so she can get used to that space! lol - She knows how it is!)

Happy Veteran's Day, friends!

*Ü* Blessings,

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ballerina Update!

I'm sure no one else has been on pins and needles all week wondering if dd6 would actually participate in ballet/tap class this week. (With the exception of maybe Angel! lol) Anyhoo...I thought I'd share. My little ballerina actually did join in her class this week (it only took four weeks, but hey...what's a little stress?)

We have of course been chatting about it almost daily...and last week even though she only tapped her toes, she did say she enjoyed it. This week, however, she gave herself a little pep talk outdoors on the swing. She told me about it later, in the car, on the way to class. She said "when I was outside swinging, I told myself 'today could be my day to dance'" I replied, yes, it could, and told her it was up to her. I would love for her to participate. In fact I went so far as to "almost" bribe her. Okay, I did bribe her...sort of. I said if she did decide to participate, then I would have a little surprise for her. I'm not sure if this is really the correct way to handle the situation...but I figured it couldn't hurt.

My future lawyer or politician basically asked me to define participation! lol What a hoot! She is really too much. I said she needed to obey the teacher, move her arms the way the teacher asked, move her legs the way the teacher asked...but then I added that if she didn't feel comfortable doing it in the middle of the class, with all the other kids, she could do it at the back of the room, or off to the side. She was okay with that.



When it came down to it, I was pleasantly surprised to find that only one teacher was present, and only about half the kids, and the room was empty when we got there (usually a private lesson is in session) this meant she could have time to acclimate herself to the room - God is SO good! She joined the group, a bit hesitantly at first...and stayed in the circle for attendance. When the kids all lined up for the start of class, she went back to her wall...but she was doing arm movements and pliées with all the other kids! Yay! What a proud moment for me! Then the kids moved to another area of the room, and she joined them...and that was that...she stuck with the group through the rest of the class! And on top of that, my dgd was SO very supportive of her! She was giving her little hugs and high-fives throughout the lesson. Wow! God truly has done amazing things here this week!





Oh, and in case you were wondering, her surprise was a set of Hello Kitty hair rings, necklace & bracelet, as well as a little chapter book by Janette Oke.

*Ü* Blessings,

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Our Westward Expansion

We've studied the Revolutionary time period, and now we've moved on to Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark and Sacajawea. What fun we had this past Thursday! I bet you get tired of hearing how much I love Heart of Dakota! We're still finishing up with Little Hearts for His Glory, but we are really enjoying it!

While we learned about Lewis & Clark's expedition to find a western route to the Pacific Ocean, we cut paper bags into Native American vests, and decorated them. The kids LOVED this activity...see how great the vests turned out:


G drew a tee-pee, a campfire and a buffalo (I think) on the back of her vest.


B put a tee-pee, campfire, trees and a snake on the back of her's.


And ds put mountains, a buffalo and of course bows & arrow on his! Too funny!

While they were busy decorating their vests, I read to them about Lewis & Clark's westward journey. Then while they continued drawing, I set up an obstacle course to re-enact that journey...this was so much fun!

I took a video of the kids "journey", then they had to wait at the "Pacific Ocean" like the original travelers did...no ship came so they had to turn around and follow their route back to St. Louis, the photos are actually backwards because I took the video first...here is the video:

video
Silly me, I had the camera tipped sideways! I found a program that will rotate it for viewing on the pc, but I guess it is not a permanent fix, cuz here it is, rotated back :o( Oh well!

And the return journey...


Trekking the Columbia River!


Crossing the mountains - I think this was their most favorite part!


Traveling the Missouri River (sit and scooch, scooch, scooch).

This coming week, we've got the American Girl Addy class and bowling again on Monday because of the holiday...ballet on Tuesday (in the evening for me is our TEACH meeting)...and an apple picking field trip on Wednesday (so much fun!) We will be busy little beavers, that's for sure! I can't wait to blog about the apple picking trip...we went last year, and it was great fun!

*Ü* Blessings,

Friday, October 2, 2009

New Look

After I published today's post, I realized our family photo was WAY outdated! I knew we had a newer one...so I opted to change up our look for this school year. I love this kit by Golden Girls called "Where the Heart Grows" - the colors are so me!
Hope you like the new look!
*Ü* Blessings,

One Month Done

I can't believe the first month of school has already gone by! We have had alot of fun, and met some new friends, too! In looking over some of the photos I've taken between then and now, I realized there are so many I did not share.

Here's one from the first day of school:


This one is of the school table, and cabinet; you can also see the workboxes in the corner. I did the same thing as last year, stacking new school supplies with a special welcome note on top...the kids really like this! The workboxes are set up, but we haven't implemented them yet...oops! You can also see our schedule on the door. I tried to plan an hour of work, then a 20 minute break...the kids get to run and enjoy the weather, I get a few minutes to clean or check email. This schedule has worked really well for us so far. Behind the door are three shelves, one for each kiddo...each shelf has a labeled "cubbie" where they can keep their books neatly. The two open shelves and drawers below are for my teacher supplies. The tackle box is where we keep our Math-U-See blocks...I learned this trick on another website! Fantastic idea!

One week we were studying the Revolution, and we learned about Betsy Ross...the girls thoroughly enjoyed "stitching" their own stars:









And while ballet continues to be a struggle, bowling is going quite well. Our little guy is enjoying this activity, and the kids all get to spend time with other homeschoolers. Here's a few shots of ds:





Later I will upload some pictures of the fun activites we did this week...it was great!

*Ü* Blessings,

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The "Secret" School

Funny...I think my kiddos must LOVE school...they have to...I find they do it even when I'm not prompting and prodding. They do it in secret! *gasp*

Look at this picture of ds...



in his bedroom doing school (phonics workbook) while mom and dad chat in the livingroom! It was too funny...we thought, now, hmmm...he is awful quiet, wonder what he's up to! lol He was up to school. His big sis was too, but she heard the camera and effectively hid behind the door before we could get a photo of her.



I have one more picture to share...the 3 Amigos is the name of ds5's bowling team. This photo explains it all:



(note: ds had a haircut within days of this photo being taken...it is rather long isn't it? Well...now I can see his beautiful blue eyes! lol)

*Ü* Blessings,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Recent Happenings

Recently we've done some yard-saleing, and have found some great treasures.

I found a science experiment book for ds, and he just loves the neat stuff he can do with it. Here are a couple pictures of the experiment dealing with gravity, air resistance and drag...a clay dinosaur goes for a parachute ride:





We also found an Easy Bake oven. I swore to myself I would never buy one of these since they are such a huge waste of money...but it was only a dollar. Big sister splurged for it...it was meant to be a sister bonding thing. As it happens, the one we bought had all the parts, except the pans! Ugh! A couple weeks later, another yard sale, and another dollar yielded a second Easy Bake oven, this time with said pan. So, yes, now we have 2 ovens and only one pan...but we've only shelled out $2 rather than the $27 they go for new...so not such a big waste...that is until we went to buy mixes for it. What a sham! Nearly $6 later (three times what we've paid for the oven & pan!) We have the mixings for just 4 three inch brownies! Personally, I think the brownies were the best deal...you get to make 4 of them, verses two with the cake or cookie mixes. Still...when it is all done, we'll be using an ounce of REAL brownie mix rather than buying more itty-bitty mixes! Here's dd with her oven and treat:





Lastly, I have to share the fun we had in school today! Can I just say I LOVE my Heart of Dakota curriculum! We are using Little Hearts for His Glory, and finishing up the last few units we did not get done last year. Because I am homeschooling dgd three days of the week, we are doing 5 days of Little Hearts in 3 days of school...this makes for some fun days! We sometimes have to push a couple history lessons together...sometimes a couple art activities! Yay! Right now we are learning about the American Revolution and George Washington. Today we made tri-cornered hats, and added white "wig" curls to the sides...they love these hats! And look how cute they are:



Aren't they adorable? If you haven't looked at Heart of Dakota yet, I highly recommend it!

*Ü* Blessings,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ballet Fun

As I mentioned a few days ago, we had our first ballet class this week. My batteries had died in my camera, so before reaching the studio we stopped at the Dollar Tree for new ones. Yes! Batteries for a dollar, snack and juice boxes, too! We had a lovely picnic snack on the grass outside the studio, then took a few before photos...look at the excitement:



Okay, well, G doesn't look that thrilled...but trust me, she was excited about ballet, just not about getting her photo taken! lol



B looks a bit happier...and she was. A (dd18) had done their hair all up pretty, and had even purchased a special dance bag for B...it may have all been for naught...



She pretty much just stood there like a stick the entire ballet class. Tap was slightly better (she huddled next to the wall.) I feel so bad for her, I know the only way for her to get past this shy/anxious stage is to experience the crowds, right? We try to arrive early, to let her get acclimated to the space, and that sometimes works...but not today. Hopefully next week will be better.

Here's another shot, G (in black) is to B's right, and you can see she is concentrating on all the moves.



They have been talking about it all, and the recital in May, so I am hoping B will come out of her shell soon. She LOVES everything ballet, from Angelina Ballerina to ballet books, shoes & tutus to the Nutcracker (which we're planning to see this season!) I really, truly think she just needs a bit of extra time...and NO attention, she withdraws even more when the teachers try to pull her in. If anyone else has had experience with this, and has some good advice for me...I'd love to hear it!

*Ü* Blessings,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nature Study

It's a brand new week! Yesterday our day was filled with activities outside the house. First dd6 had her American Girl doll class. They are studying Addy this session, and therefore the Civil War era. Though she didn't join in on any of the activities, she did seem to enjoy the class. I know she is looking forward to making some new friends.
After the class, we had one hour before ds5's bowling league started. We ate lunch at McDonald's, a treat for us to eat in! They love that.
We ended up being early for the bowling league, but that is okay, we got to watch as everyone arrived. We filled all the lanes, three to a lane, for just over 50 kids! Wow! There were 6 bumper lanes, and ds was paired with 2 other little boys his age. It was a fun time, and ds is looking forward to doing it again! Unfortunately, my camera batteries died right after this photo:



We are looking forward to doing both of those things again soon! Today, dgd7 joined us again. In history we read about the Boston Tea Party, reenacted it a bit. Then with crayon drew three ships in full sail, and painted over it with blue water paint and lastly sprinkled bits of tea (which for some odd reason I did have on hand) in the wet paint. When it dries we'll hang them up to help us remember that event.

We also did our Nature Study again this week. Last week the girls found pine cones that had been eaten and slightly eaten. We kept these in our science box, and watched all week as the slightly eaten one began to open. What was really cool, was that when we put this weeks things into the box, there were winged seeds on the bottom of the box! They were hiding in the pine cones. Now I always new a pine cone was a seed, but I didn't realize it was actually many, many seeds!

My dgd found something else quite interesting this week. Some mica rock. Pretty, delicate, silvery mica. It is smooth and shiny. We are really enjoying this study.

I'll close for now, as I have to get lunch on the table...we have our first ballet class this afternoon, and the girls are so very excited! Both are in a huge hurry for 3:30 to get here! My dd even thought she'd take a nap to make it come faster! lol Note to self: get batteries on the way!

*Ü* Blessings,

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Our First Week is Over

Well, we've done it. We've finished our first full week of school...okay, well, not really full, since we had a holiday last Monday...but still. Four full days.

I had created an excel schedule for us to be able to see what we would be doing each day and for how long. Because dgd only comes three days a week, I had to tweak the schedule to include her on those days and not on the other two, and then tweak our Monday's to include short-term activities we will be doing during the school day. It took some time, but I did eventually get what looked like a doable schedule. After working through it for the (almost) full week, I am happy to say, it works! Yay! We didn't get to everything, but we did the important things. We didn't do any poetry or Spanish, but we did do daily devotionals, calendar time, dictation, copywork, phonics, math, history, science and storytime! We also added in on three different days a nature study, artist study and composer study! The kids seem to really enjoy those parts of our day, and I am glad I scheduled them last so that we have something to look forward to.

I know some who read this will think I'm a little ocd when I say I even scheduled in breaks with notes to self about housework. I think it's good for me...I have a goal of what I am tackling each day (thank you FLYLady!) and I can say that at the end of the week, I still have a clean house and laundry is not out of control! lol (Is there a way to maintain this over the weekend, without cleaning??) We even pulled out The Harris Family 21 Rules of this House, and have begun work on those again. It is great to see the little ones piecing the rules together (if you obey #17, you'll automatically be obeying #18 kind of thing.)

Today, the youngest grandchild has her first birthday. I cannot believe she is one already, where did the year go? She is a sweet, happy baby, and I am looking forward to the next year! Here's a scrapbook page I did of us recently:



*Ü* Blessings,

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Our First Official Day Today!

We had a good day! I was sort of surprised that the kids didn't fuss more...but we got through all that I wanted to (though no poetry and no Spanish. We'll get to those eventually.)

Our day was like this...devotional, prayer, pledge, song, calendar time. I set the timer here to see if we could get it done in 20 minutes, but it took us a bit longer.

My ds5 had a break and dd6 did copywork page while I worked one on one with dgd7 for studied dictation. This will be the hardest part of her day for a while!

Then the girls did Explode the Code while I worked 1 on 1 with ds5 and his phonics/reading/writing. Again I set the timer for the allotted 15 minutes, but we were all done before it rang....and actually the girls did their first math journal page while I finished with ds!

We then had a 20 minute break...snack, recess, laundry, etc. Daycare kiddo arrived during this time, which worked out perfectly!

After break we did Math...dgd7 had to do 2 pages to get back on track with dd6...I think I will be sending the book home for Friday & Monday, so they will stay on the same page. (I'm homeschooling dgd Tuesday - Thursday, while mom does it Monday's and Friday's.)

We went right into History at this point...not too much complaining, though they wanted to read it outside, but I said no. (mean, mean, Mommy/Nonnie! lol)

Another 20 minute break... I was supposed to clean, but I needed to prepare for the science lesson, so no cleaning got done...plus I think I was having email withdrawl! lol It will certainly take a bit of time to get our schedule running smoothly...but I was happy to get two loads of laundry washed, dried, folded AND put away!

Science - we had read about George Washington and how he learned to write with chalk on a slate, then a quill and ink...so we wrote our names with chalk, (and every other writing implement I could find!) and finally with a quill and ink from our vacation in Colonial Williamsburg...they loved that! My dgd asked how chalk was made, so we looked it up...natural chalk is a very soft limestone rock...interesting.

We followed up with a walk to get the mail, but we were too early. Then I sent them out to find something interesting in nature. They all came back with something, and drew a picture of it, classified it and described it in their new nature journals. They loved, loved, loved this! My dgd told me at lunch that this was her favorite part of school. I told her I saved the best for last! We are going to keep the things in a box for examining all week.

Lunch. Poppie came home with the mail. He was so happy to see dgd. I asked the kids what their favorite part of the day had been. No surprise, ds5 said recess! lol He's in Kindergarten for Pete's sake! lol. Oddly enough, my dd6 said her favorite was the clock/time activity during calendar...that is, until dgd mentioned loving the nature study...dd had to agree that was great fun!

Storytime...I think they still had the wiggles...but we got through it!

A fun, productive day! I didn't take any other photos, though...just of the room last night, and these before we started our day:


My darling baby boy has started Kindergarten!


She is 1st/2nd this year...but we forgot to do her hair! Oh well!


She is getting SO big! Second grade this year!

*Ü* Blessings,

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Homeschool Meeting of the Year!

We had our first meeting for this year! It was very exciting. A wonderful husband and wife team lead us in song, another member of our group gave a stirring testimony/devotional, and our fearless leader got us all caught up on the latest happenings of the group!

I gave a small presentation on making learning fun. I didn't realize how passionate I was about this topic until I started! Normally, speaking before a large group is rather intimidating for me, and definitely not in my comfort zone! But God is good, and He took the lead!

I shared alot about our morning routine here, especially about our calendar time. I shared about how we learn through songs, games and different fun activities. There were a few ladies who approached me afterwards and asked for some of my songs and specifically the calendar notebook I use.

I can't claim that I came up with these ideas, but I did create each file that I will offer here. The ideas themselves came from various sources, including Dr. Jean Warren, Shari Sloane and Jessica Meachem.

I offer these two files to anyone who'd like them...

Found a Penny - pdf file of letter size posters, one for each often used coin:
~ download here ~

My calendar notebook pages here - excel file of my notebook pages:
~ download here ~

Enjoy, and if you look back at this post, you can see our calendar wall, and get an idea of how we use the calendar notebook pages!

I thought I should add here our schedule for calendar...you know, how we do things. The order in which we move from calendar piece to calendar piece. You can download it here.


*Ü* Blessings,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Gearing Up for Another Year

Yep, it's that time again...I'm looking forward to this year and Beyond...well, that's a play on words if I ever heard one. I meant "and beyond this year" however, I am also looking forward to using "Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory" (from Heart of Dakota) this year! Too funny!

We haven't quite finished with Little Hearts, so we'll start with that, then turn to Beyond when we are done. In addition to Beyond, we'll use the program (by the same publisher) called Drawn Into the Heart of Reading (DITHR). I was able to get my book brand new but used...so at a wonderfully reduced price! Yay! The teacher's book is so much bigger than I thought it would be! It is about the same size as the Beyond manual. In DITHR, the parent guides the child through nine different genres: biography, adventure, historical fiction, fantasy, folk tales, non-fiction, humor and realistic fiction. The manual is good for grades 2-8, so you do get alot of use from it. The student books are full of worksheets, graphic organizers and reading planners.

I gathered all the books I've collected so far, and took photos! This is the set of books that I will read aloud to my kiddos, as part of the story-time aspect of Beyond. These books do also coincide with the genres in DITHR, but if I chose not to use DITHR, I would still be reading these great books:



I've collected some books from more than one category choice. (Heart of Dakota has choices for boys, girls and classic - sometimes I just couldn't resist getting them all! lol)

I have: Helen Keller (this was my book when I was a child!) Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims, Sword in the Tree, Little House in the Big Woods, (not pictured, but on it's way is The Cabin Faced West from Paperback Swap). Also I have The Cricket in Times Square (brown book) Charlotte's Web (isn't it a great size? Goodwill for 99 cents!), Ginger Pye, The Key to the Treasure (on it's way from Paperback Swap), The Railway Children (a gift from my good friend to my daughter for her 1/2 birthday - see this post for that story.) Oh, let's see...we also have In Grandma's Attic, A Bear Called Paddington, Mr. Popper's Penguins, The House at Pooh Corner (big blue book - yard sale 50 cents!) and All-of-a-kind Family - I couldn't resist reading the first two chapters of this one! I also have Phoebe and the General, which has since been renamed to Phoebe the Spy and was removed from the book list because it is out of print...but I have it! I also have Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle...this one is not on the list at all, but I think it will be fun to read.

Then, for dd to read-aloud to me, we have these books:



Amelia Earhart: Young Air Pioneer (this was gifted to me by a lovely lady on the Heart of Dakota forum who had finished with it! So Sweet!), Stone Fox, Dolphin Adventure, Hannah, Pioneer Cat, The Littles, The Storm, Treasure of Pelican Cove (on it's way from Paperback Swap) and The Secret School. Books I still need are Capyboppy, Who's That Stepping on Plymouth Rock? (will borrow this one from my good friend) and One Small Square: Backyard (may substitute this one as it is hard to find free! lol) The two books that are recommended for the folk tale genre I decided not to use...I have a large workbook that is all folk/tall tales and I think we will just finish that, even though the stories are shorter...we could do one each day, I think.

Now here is a question for all you HOD users out there...when you have two kiddos the same age who are supposed to be doing the read-alouds...do you have them take turns? read separately? OR since my granddaughter can read at home to her parents, should I send the book home and have her read there? I'm curious what your answer would be...please leave a comment.

*Ü* Blessings,

Monday, August 3, 2009

Happy 1/2 Birthday

I know...I know...most would probably think this very silly of me! My dd's birthday is in December...right between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That is a hectic time of year for everyone. However, this past December, Maine saw a lovely ice storm come through that knocked power out in our area for three days. Well, it just so happened that one of those day was supposed to be dd's 6th birthday party.

I consoled her with the promise of a 1/2 birthday in June, when the weather would be nice and she and her friends could enjoy some outdoor games. She was pacified...I thought she would forget...(should I feel guilty for that? lol)

She did not forget...and along about the end of May, when she realized June was coming soon...began to pine away for her party.

We finally held it at the end of July...it rained almost the entire month of June. (Who feels like celebrating when it is so gloomy outside?) We decided on a princess/dress-up tea party. My oldest daughter had dd spend the night with my granddaughter the night before (her first ever sleep over!) so I was able to go shopping for goodies and come home and decorate without her seeing anything! My ds5 helped me decorate in the morning...he blew up ALOT of balloons! I hung streamers, and we prepared the games. I decided to forgo the cake and ice cream since this wasn't her actual birthday...but did the tea table very fancy, and found fancy cookies to serve along with fruit and cheese cubes.

First the girls entered the "boutique" and got all dolled up:


Then we made paper fans:

(my dd is the one trying hard NOT to smile in those last two photos...heaven forbid she show any emotion! lol)

Then we played Kiss the Frog Prince: (dd loved this game, and actually smiled for me - not a pretty smile, but a smile nonetheless.)


Then came refreshments...yum, yum! This is the only shot of our school table all fancied up and the girls actually looking at the camera, lol!


Here's a close up of the smiling 1/2 birthday princess:


Lastly, she opened her gifts, and then the girls had some time to play with them:


*Ü* Blessings,

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

On occasion, we have watched the show "Jon & Kate plus 8." While I am saddened by the recent events in this family's life, I am not really surprised... living your life under a microscope (or in front of a camera) must be very stressful.

Anyhow...the point of this post, is that on one of those episodes, while the family is vacationing, Kate and the kids made this yummy flag cake. Well, dd6 was just in awe of the cake. (She loves strawberries.) So we made a plan to make this same cake for the Fourth of July.

And we did...





I hope your family had a wonderful holiday!

*Ü* Blessings,

Friday, July 3, 2009

Daddy gets involved

Daddy loves hearing about our day, and it's really not surprising that he wanted to be more involved than his work schedule would allow. He opted to do some "manly" activites with ds5...but dd6 joined in, too!

We took a Saturday morning, and went to several stores so daddy could get all the necessary supplies for his project. Then I left them alone so daddy could have complete control of the chaos lol!

He taught them how to use a hammer and nails. This was just a "practice" session, but the kids loved it...here they are hard at work:





I can't wait to see what they really build!

*Ü* Blessings,

Monday, June 29, 2009

New World - New Faith part 3

Moving on from Europe, we next talked about the settlers who came to the New World.
We read about Jamestown, how it was springtime when the settlers arrived in Jamestown. We painted some lovely paintings of springtime in Jamestown based on a description in our book.

We learned about "Indians" who helped the settlers learn to fish and farm. We did another art project for this, too.

Then we learned about the Mayflower's journey to the New World. This activity was a HUGE hit! We had to go from "Europe" (the playroom) to "America" (the livingroom) by traveling across the "ocean" (linoleum in the schoolroom and kitchen.) The kids were each giving to pieces of paper. They had to step on one, then put the other in front of them and step on that piece. Then they had to take the piece from behind them and move it to a spot in front of them...the process was slow going at first, until they got a rhythm down. They have actually played this more than once! Too funny!





The last part of this week was the first Thanksgiving feast. Even though it is not November, we still enjoyed a small feast, and pantomiming the hard work the pilgrims had to do in order to enjoy the harvest.

*Ü* Blessings,

Friday, May 29, 2009

New World - New Faith part 2

Continuing on from the previous post, but the same week in LHFHG...

We learned about a very mean man in Peru who captured the king and promised to exchange him for a room full of gold. He was a greedy man, and didn't honor his promise.

The kids took a piece of papers, drew a line down the middle and drew a picture of the king on one half. The king was in one "room" the other "room" was empty...the kids made gold coins from playdoh to fill the other "room" for Pizarro. They enjoyed this activity, and I think they even grasped the amount of gold it took to fill the room, since it took alot longer than they anticipated to fill their "room" with playdoh gold!





The following week, (and I wish I had photos to show how much we loved this one!) we learned about Martin Luther. At one point he stopped eating, and we simulated the digestive tract as a science activity. We took a bowl, a fork for everyone, and a graham cracker. The forks were "teeth" that chewed up the cracker. The chewed up cracker was put into a baggie (the stomach) with a small amount of water (stomach acid.) The kids then squeezed the baggie, like stomach muscles! We followed looooong pieces of yarn while doing this...one piece of yarn for the small intestine, another for the large. They really, really enjoyed this activity, and have even asked to do it again!

We also read about how in Luther's day, people were instructed to put money into a box in the church, and by doing this they would earn/buy their way into heaven. Luther taught that salvation is through faith. Our art project was to make "boxes" but put "faith" into them instead of coins. The kids love doing these art projects!





We read about John Calvin, and how he believed in reform, just like Luther. We learned about Walter Raleigh, too! We're more than half way through Little Hearts now, and I have SO not regretted using this curriculum!

*Ü* Blessings,