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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter Sunday celebration.  See you soon for our Easter week updates!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday Baby "J" !

    I can't believe my little baby is 1!  My, how the time flies by way too quickly.  We had a "hoot" celebrating her first birthday party.  There are a few reasons for this post:  1) for all of our family that was sick and couldn't make it (you caught our nasty bug a week after us!)  2) because I never print my pictures (I know, I'm a bad mama) and 3) to show that I have been busy and thus, my blogging absence.

  I chose an owl theme that I had found from birthday express.  It was just too cute!  Inspired by much pinterest-ing (which leads to a lot of trouble, might I add!) and google-ing, I came up with these invitations.  The actual invite was printed on white paper and glued to the top of the belly:

   My mom made an adorable smash cake for her!  I think it turned out fabulous:

And, I made cupcakes (inspired by this one):

The party...just waiting for the guests and guest of honor!

Home-made pom-poms.  Pretty easy to make, but very time consuming.

Birthday Girl's chair!

0-12 month picture banner.

And, finally she arrives!  It was a rough day.  She didn't have a very long morning nap, which made that smile of her's disappear for awhile.

Making the rounds with big brother by her side...
She went straight for the confetti on the table.  How do they find these things so fast!

Digging into the cake, the best part!  There was no hesitation to dig right in.  She went at it with both hands:
One of my favorite frosting beard.
Major chocolate mess!

Too quick to catch for picture with her hat on!

Opening up one of her gifts (from her aunt/uncle/cousins).
I love her elbow dimple :)

Catching up with a friend, Miss "G":

All in all, a very fun party.  I'm sad to see this first year go by, but am very excited to see what the next year brings.  I love seeing how her little personality is developing.

Mama and her girl

Next week I'll be posting our Easter activities.  And then, we will be rowing The Carrot Seed!  Hope everyone has a blessed Easter weekend. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Week 20-21 The Snowy Day

   So, this post has been a long time coming.  We've been busy around here planning birthday parties (will post on this later!), getting our home ready to sell and fighting the winter crud!  So, needless to say, Mommy School has taken a back seat.  Hopefully, we will be up and running again soon.  A warning in advance, this is going to be a long post, so I apologize!
   The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a book about a little boy who awakens to freshly fallen snow.  He puts on his snowsuit and goes out for a day of fun!  We rowed this book for 2 weeks, as our first week we didn't have much snow.  Thankfully, the second week was full of snow!  All of the books that we used to go along with our study are below:

   To start our week, I thought we would do a simple science experiment.  In the story, Peter (the little boy) has a dream that the sun will melt all the snow.  So, we decided to melt some ice cubes!  I gave them four different surfaces to melt the ice cubes on and told them to predict which cube would melt first.

 Their predictions:

Our "time lapse" photo's below:

   I couldn't believe that "C" got his predictions right!  I thought for sure the ice cube on the salt would melt first.  It was a fun (but long) experiment.  It was good to have something to do in between the ice melting!  We worked on this printable activity (from Homeschool Creations).  Cutting/sorting/pasting clothing into the appropriate category:

Next, we decided to reproduce one of the pages in the story.  After reading a few of our go along books (on snow), we used puffy paint, a 50/50 mixture of white glue & shaving cream, to recreate puffy snow.  Getting their paint on and the final product with Peter:

The book talks about making tracks with your feet.  I put some flour in a container for the boys to play in and use different animals/toys to make tracks (Thor & Spiderman made some great tracks!):

   There were several pictures in the book with individual falling snowflakes.  We read a couple of our books on snowflakes and how they are formed.  Then we grew our own!  Our 2nd science experiment for the week:  growing borax crystals.  We made our snow flakes out of pipe cleaners, then mixed the borax/water solution in a mason jar, added our snowflake, and waited/watched.  Overnight, we had grown lots of crystals!

    We also made snowflakes, old school style...with paper & scissors:

"B's" snowflake
"C's" snowflake

   Then, enjoyed a snowflake lunch complete with hot chocolate to wash it down:

   For another art project, we talked about what a collage was and how the author uses a collage style to illustrate his books.  We read Peter's Chair to look at the illustration's as well.  I gave them a whole bunch of tissue paper scraps and told them that they could use the scraps to make whatever they want.
"B's" picture.  He said it was of Peter sitting in the bathtub holding a snowball.  I can see it!
"C's" picture.  He told me it was of him and me having a snowball fight.


    Our first snowy day had nice big flakes, but we never had any accumulation:

"C" catching snowflakes & "B" hitting a not so snow-covered tree.
   Thankfully, we were provided another snowy day and boy did we have snow!!
It was a great day for making snow angels, tracks going "this way and that", and a snowball fight!

Daddy and Baby "J" also got in on the fun by helping build a snowman.  Baby "J" mostly just ate the snow!
    Finally, we wrapped up our Snowy Day activities with one last science-type experiment.  We talked a little about light and how it is reflected off the snow because the snow is white (vs. a darker color).   I told them that some people who live in places with lots of snow, have to wear special glasses.  We made special snow goggles out of egg cartons (found this idea in the Winter Handbook for Kids) to see if that helped with the glare of the light on the snow:

"C" trying them on (pre-holes)
Looking through the goggles at "B" outside

Not so happy participants...they did NOT find the value of snow goggles!

   We had a really great time with this book!  Link up here with your Five In a Row Fun!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Week 19 (part 2)- The Parable of the Sower

Finally, here is part two of the last post!


The Parable of the Sower...I was afraid that maybe this story might get lost in translation.  However, I think the boys really started to understand what Jesus meant by sowing good seeds, by the end of the week.  I'm always encouraged when I hear His teachings, reflected in their prayers.  Our memory verse for the week was Psalm 119:11:

Your Word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.  Psalm 119:11

 We started off the first day by sowing some seeds on a towel to represent the dry ground:

Then, we talked about how God made seeds different.  How every single tree/flower/bush that we see has a different kind of seed.  I purchased a variety of flower seeds and some wild bird seed.  I dumped some in a pan for them to do a seed sort.  They loved this, and asked to do it again!

   Then we talked about what kind of soil would be good soil to plant a seed.  What would the seed need to grow?  I showed them a small planter box I had purchased with the dry soil disc's.  They said that would not be good soil!  So, then we added the water.  Afterward, we planted some bean and sunflower seeds:

A couple of days into the study, I allowed them to watch this video from Youtube.  We now watch it all the time.  I thought the movie was really cute and illustrates the parable well:

All week they had a page to complete called, the Good Deed Seed.  Anytime I caught them doing a good deed (without asking them too, OR without motivation just to get a seed!), they earned a seed.  The goal was to get all the seeds before the end of the week to have a grown plant:
  We made two flower crafts this week.  The first one was a handprint craft.  I traced the boys hands which were to be flower stems.  They added cupcake liners, pompoms and ground coffee to add more texture to the picture.  Their work is below:
"B"'s flower's

"C"'s flower's.  He was very proud of his pattern!

  The second craft was to plant a flower in good soil.  We started with a plastic cup, paint, tongue depresser/popsicle stick, and construction paper.  We painted the cup to look like soil and made a flower to attach to the popsicle stick.

At the end of the week, we made a heart with our verse inside:

Made a book to sequence the story.  They retold the the story and explained what happened to each of the seeds on the different soils and their parallel to people:

And, they had completed their Good Deed seed chart and we had grown some sunflowers (the beans were a flop)!


 Mommy's learning moment of the week:

   Do I need a transplant?  That's the question I found myself asking throughout the week.  Take a look at the picture above on the right.  Our sunflowers are growing well.  We planted them in good, fertile soil.  But what will happen to them if I don't transplant them to a bigger container?  Its roots can only go so deep, and the plant will only get so big.  This reminded me of my walk with Christ.  Am I happy where I am?  Have I become comfortable with my life to where I don't want to dig/root myself any further?  Do I think I've maxed out on my growing?  It was such a good reminder that I should never be "comfortable" in my walk with Christ.  I should ALWAYS be striving to anchor myself more fully in Him so that I may flourish.


   This week, they learned how to add 10's together.  This took a bit of practice and will continue into next week to make sure they understand the concept.


   It was back to magic "c" letters this week!  They learned how to properly write "a", "d", and "g".  

Virtue of the Week:

   Naturally our virtue was love.  In coincided so well with Valentine's day and spreading good deeds.