Happy Easter 2014

April 21, 2014 in Family moments, Holiday

Happy Easter Everyone! I hope that the blessings of the Lord Jesus are with you all this year and that he gives you the desires of your heart! We had a wonderful day that started early with Mass and was followed by egg hunts, yummy food, and lots of family fun! As always we spent the day with lots of family! Our holidays may be a bit busy, but they are oh so much fun. Plus we have lots of candy to keep the fun going to tomorrow! ;) Happy Easter!

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A Lenten Tea Party

April 17, 2014 in Lent

Today we got together with our homeschool class for a special Lenten tea party! Everyone loves a fancy lunch and this is of course no different! Each food we served for our tea, was picked to remind us of a part of the story of Jesus’ last days! We start at Palm Sunday and end when Jesus was placed in the tomb. The was we present it to all the kids was different this year. We had some word tags labeling each food and as we read from he bible we showed the kids the foods that went with each passage! After that, we ate buffet style! It made it easier then passing the food as we went! Here are the foods that we ate!

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Springtime Bunny Craft

April 16, 2014 in Art

Bunny Craft

Well I have been busy! So busy I haven’t had time to share what we have been up to here! Don’t worry, we are all well, just busy! I wanted to share a million things, but I will start with today. Today we had a spring surprise of 4 inches of snow! Yikes! The girls still went outside and tossed snowballs, but I really could have done without it! :) We also are getting things ready here for Easter! I have been trying to do more crafting with the girls and today I found an idea on Pintrest for a bunny painting with feet! I modified it bit for us, and the girls loved it! Plus we had my friend and her boys over to do it too! Nothing better then crafting and coffee (which she kindly provided)! We simply painted a circle on the bottom part of the paper, then we painted each kid’s foot white with a pink center and stamped it on the paper for a bunny ear! With all the paint on feet, you might imagine that there was a lot of giggling! :) After they dried, everyone added eyes, a nose, and all sorts of personalities! What a fun and super easy Easter craft. Plus that make great gifts for Easter!

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Spingtime is Here!

April 2, 2014 in Family moments, Nature Walk by Stephanie

Well it finally happened! The weather finally broke! Sunday it was in the mid fifties and it has stayed that way! Thank heaven! So we have been busy out in the sunshine and soaking up the warm. We headed out on an adventure on Sunday out to the lake. The paradox of warm sunshine and ice burgs was very interesting! The ice packed the shore and was solid around the edges! It was high, and so varied. Some was as clear as glass, and some wad like snow still. I have never seen this much ice on the lake even after the warmer weather and I think it was unusual. I was really glad that we were able to get the girls outside to see it. Plus there is always a lot of fun to be had climbing rock, running around, and being  wee bit silly! Here are some of the pictures. I took a lot of them and some of them are purely artistic! I had a great time trying out my photography hobby a bit more then I have recently! It seems like our small adventures are always the best! Thank God for the beginning of spring!

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Pup’s Winter Animal Learning

March 29, 2014 in Homeschooling, Learning with Play, Montessori Work Day, Science by Stephanie

At the beginning of the month, I decided that I would make a theme for Pup to work with since she had not been doing too much work. Since it was so cold here, I thought that we could talk about what animals do during the winter! There are a ton of great printable packs out there and I printed a few things off for her and I had planned to have trays for her. But honestly I made two and she really didn’t do them. One was an animal sort by whether they hibernate, migrate, or adapt. We did that one time. Then we had a rolling dice game with charting! She did that a lot! I also made an art tray with natural materials for her to build some habitats. One day she used our glue gun (which she loved) to build a bunny forest and then we wrote a story all about it. She also has done some reading and writing with this. Another thing that we have done with this unit is make rod pictures with out Cuisenaire rods. She really likes doing this and I keep encouraging this! After all learning is play and she loves to be creative. We often dissect the picture and practice adding the rods together! This has led to a lot of adding work and she even starting to write stuff down! All in all it has been fun, but it has shown me that for Pup learning is going to happen with a few structured things, lots of books to look through, and creative elements to make her own things! Here are some pictures of our very “Pup like” unit study!

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Saint Inspired Science~ Engineering

March 27, 2014 in Homeschooling, Learning with Play, Science, Uncategorized by Stephanie

Today we had our science get together and instead of doing our experiments at someone’s house, we decided to head to a science center nearby to do our engineering experiments there! Wow! The girls were over the moon about the trip. We started our learning off in the cafe reading a book about St. Patrick. He is the patron said of engineering because he helped teach the Irish people build churches and buildings. So after our story, we talked about what engineering is. One definition that I read that made the most sense was: Engineering is combining math, science, and experience to build something that is useful. After some quick learning, we headed into the engineering “department” to work on some of the experiments that were available. We started off working on building buildings that could withstand an earthquake. We tested them by using the shaker table. We also built bridges using sheets of paper, we build a 7 ft. arch with large blocks, played with wind and propellers, and built an arched bridge that we could walk over. There was a lot of thinking and the team work was amazing! They were able to talk through their ideas and there were no hurt feelings! They are all getting so big! The girls worked especially hard on the paper bridge and they almost gave up. But they managed to get it worked out. One thing that we discovered is that little changed make a big difference! Always try to make a small change first! After doing the experiments, hunger set it and it was time to eat. We packed lunch and we were those fun parents at the tables. It was build your own lunch! Cheese cubes, pretzels, grapes, strawberries, and crackers made for an engineer inspired lunch! For dessert we had gumdrops, Twizzlers, and toothpicks to create masterpieces to eat! There was, surprisingly, a lot more building then eating!  They loved it! When we finally got food in our bellies and the mess tidied up, it was off to explore all the other parts of the science center for fun! Lots of giggles, running, and exploring!

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A Springtime Craft!

March 21, 2014 in Family moments, projects by Stephanie

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Happy First day of Spring! We are so excited that it is finally here and I cant wait for the weather to catch up with the idea! :) With the temperature in the 40s all week so far, the snow is almost melted and that makes things feel so much better! The girls got out to play and find some of the things buried by all the snow!

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And since it was the first day of my favorite season, I thought it deserved some celebration. I found some inspiration on Pintrest and came up with a pretty spring craft for the girls and I to make together! Beads, birds, and tiny eggs….what could be better! All you need to make these sweet bird hangers is:
a twig (perfect to use one from the collection that my kids always seem to have),
some wire,
beads,
a small nest,
eggs,
and a bird.

I simply cut a length of wire, wrapped it around one end of the stick and let the girls add whatever beads they wanted. When they had filled the wire with beads, I wrapped the other end of the wire around the stick and hot glued the ends so they stayed! Then we hot glued the nest and eggs to the stick. The bird was a bit more challenging. I didn’t have any of those little birds, but they Pup decided that pompoms would make a perfect bird! She was right! So out came pompoms, feathers, googly eyes and more hot glue! Each girl easily built a bird and glued it to the hanger too! I loved that this project was not just something we could do, but also was something that they were able to be very creative with too! Plus they look adorable hanging up!

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A perfect touch of spring to an otherwise dreary looking outside! I hope you had a chance to have some springtime fun today too!

Africa Study Learning!

March 20, 2014 in Geography, Homeschooling, Learning with Play by Stephanie

Today we got together with our homeschool group and learned about Africa! It was my turn to plan and I really had a hard time narrowing down what to do! I love Africa as a continent, to be honest it just fascinates me! I really wanted to have some fun with the kids and let them play while they learn. What is a better way to learn then to immerse yourself in something and to live it for a bit? So after a review of some major African landmarks, animals, and waterways using the cards out of our continent box, we dressed all the kids in Kanga style African clothes. To be honest, I was really not sure how the kids would react, but they all loved it! Even the boys who are sometime a tough sell. Even I got in on the action and dressed up! :) After we dressed up, I talked about the importance of beads in different African tribes and we made some beaded jewelry to complete the costumes! While they were beading, my mom set up lunch. We made some African inspired pork (it was a doctored a bit and SO yummy), some Ugali (corn mush which is served at most Kenyan meals), Fried Plantains, and of course bananas! Plus we had Animal croakers (for all the animals in Africa) and some Little Debbie Zebra Cakes (for all the zebras of course)! After trying new foods and eating lots of old favorites, the kids were off to play house…..African style! I found some baskets and filled them with corn cobs, beans, sea shells, and “diamonds”! Plus there was some more fabric. The kids had a great time playing. I think that they set up a village. People who had the same colored Kangas were part of the same family! I think it went well and the kids had fun while learning. Here is what the fun looked like! What is your favorite way to learn about a continent?

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Happy St. Patty’s Day

March 18, 2014 in Family moments by Stephanie

I don’t know about you, but we don’t do a ton for St. Patty’s Day! This year however, we made some time for a family lunch! Of course we ate a great jigs dinner and there is nothing better then a family celebration! The girls were unsure of the corned beef, but they loved it! There is such fun in simple times isn’t there! :) I hope you all got to have some great fun on this very fun holiday!

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In Loving Rememberance

March 14, 2014 in Family moments by Stephanie

Two years ago, Tadpole passed away. There is not much time that goes by here that we talk, remember, and smile about this little man that made himself a part of our family. His life will always be a part of ours.  My love and prayers go out to all who miss him. He was very loved. God bless you Tadpole. I know that you are playing and laughing and causing mischief all over heaven!
In loving memory of
Tadpole
2010-2012
Tadpole passed away two weeks ago in an accident. I cant tell you how much my heart is breaking as I write this. He was such a busy, fun, and mischievous little boy. It was such a blessing to be a part of his life as he learned, grew, and played with us all here. He loved so many things~ playing in water, playing with the dog, running around, going outside, throwing a ball, and trying anything that big kids were be doing! He was super smart and learned things so fast. Most of the time I could not keep up with him! He will be so greatly missed here and everywhere. I know that without a doubt, he is in heaven filling it with all of his amazing energy! I ask that you keep everyone who is missing him in your prayers, especially his family.

What we have been up to!

March 12, 2014 in Family moments, Lego, outside ideas by Stephanie

It has been hard to get posting done again! It turns out that I seem to be in the homona haze again that just doesn’t allow good thinking. Which means that I am not thinking well enough to write! :) But we have been having fun! Today we had lego class again and my sister’s birthday, the other day we went to the park, and we got to have my baby nephew over for the day! Here are some pictures!

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Monkeying Around Together

March 10, 2014 in Family moments, Parties by Stephanie

Today we got to have a super fun, super silly birthday party for Pup! She has been asking for a monkey birthday for months and with lots of help from my mom and brother, we made it happen! There were monkeys everywhere, ears for the kids, A monkey dress for Pup, and of course a monkey cake! Everyone had a great time (I am pretty sure) and there was some silliness as well! Here are some pictures of my sweet darling’s 5th birthday!

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Happy 5th Birthday Pup!

March 6, 2014 in Family moments by Stephanie

Today is my baby’s 5th birthday! She has grown so much and so fast! I cant tell you how proud I am of the little person she is becoming! She is always full of laughter and silliness! She loves surprises and is happy for everyone about….well anything! She is a blessing in and I cant imagine our life without her! Today is Ash Wednesday, and so we started her day out with Mass. My mom met us at Church and we went out for some bagels and doughnuts afterward! Pup loved it. She got a gift while we were there from my mom (and hand knit sweater and kitty hat for her doll). Later on, we took her out for dinner at a cool pizza place. She got to have the pizza with pineapple that she wanted and a birthday cookie! We ended the night with her celebration of life and some gifts (her favorite part)! She was pretty happy! I love my girl!

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