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!
March 6, 2014 in Family moments
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!
March 3, 2014 in Blog Information
Well if you happen o follow me on Facebook, you would have seen me ask about selling some Montessori Materials. I decided to sell some of the things that we are not using. Lets face it, they take up space and we have changed a lot about how we learn here. Bunny is happy with out materials, and Pup seems to march to the beat of her own drum! I am keeping a lot still, but I am getting rid of beads and stuff like that! Here are the pictures of what is for sale right now. I have listed it all on Ebay for simplicity and safety for all! If you see something you want, be sure to head over there and bid (or buy it now)! If you have questions, you know where to find me! If you want to see my ebay listings, click here. Happy Shopping!
Well we had another great Lego class this week. Last class we learned about the North eastern states. This class was all about the north Mideastern states! The format was the same as last time. Each kid got a state (this time they worked in groups since there was such a large group of kids), a building plate, and a list of fun facts about their state! They then needed to build the outline of the state with legos and then find the capital on the map, marking it with a brick. Finally they get to the fun part of building something that represents their state using the fact cards they were given. This time Bunny and my brother N. got the state of Wisconsin. They built the Green Bay Packers helmet, a giant fish for the fish hall of fame, a burger for the burger hall of fame, a typewriter because they were made there, and of course, some cheese! My other brother M. had the state of Kansas. He made a pizza on his state because it was where pizza was first served in the US. Finally V. had the state of Michigan. He built an epic lighthouse because there are the most lighthouses there then anywhere in the world. He and his partner also built a boat. Finally all the kids had a turn to stand in front of the class to show what they built and what they learned! I have been really happy to see that Bunny has been going up there and talk in front of people. She is often so shy it is interesting to see her growing up and being able to share her ideas! While I helped clean up, the kids all got together to build a fun race track and cars! They love to build don’t they! Here are some pictures!
This month we finally got to having our monthly science day with friends! Between bad weather and sickness, it was a little hard! Our saint this month was, quite obviously, St. Valentine! My friend found a great story book all about him to read. Saint Valentine was a doctor living in Rome in the early days of Christianity when people were being martyred for their faith. He worked very hard for people and, legend has it, he sent a note to one of his young patient after he was arrested and signed it “your Valentine”. Which is where we get valentines from! Now, since Valentine was a doctor and since hearts are a huge part of the holiday fun, we thought it would be fun to study the heart! We talked about how the heart works with its pumps and valves, how the heart rate goes up and down to pump more blood when you are working harder, and we even listened to how our heart sounds! We had an amazing experiment where we made a pump systems that worked like the heart using straws, balloons, and pint jars! We cut the bottom off a balloon, and stuck the end into a straw and taped it. Then we wrapped the large part of the balloon around a jar half full of water. Then, very carefully, we stretched a balloon over it and poked two holes in the told to put the straws in. For lunch I made heart shaped pizza pockets, heart shaped carrots, strawberries, pink juice, with ice cream sundaes for dessert!
Today was our monthly homeschool continent study. Last month, we did Asia. Today we learned about Antarctica. I think that the biggest irony is that it was the warmest day we have had in 2 months! However, we still had a great time! We started off with talking about the continent itself while looking at beautiful pictures of the land. We talked about how it is the driest, coldest, and windiest continent in the world. We talked about snow and how even though there is a lot of snow on Antarctica, because it is such cold snow, if you ,melt it down it would only be a few inches a year! To see how that can work, we brought in some plies of snow to see how much water is there after it is melted. After that we started to talk about the people who are on the continent. None of them live there all the time. They are all mostly researchers and live in elaborate base camps that have all the comforts of home in their frozen environment! We also talked about how the researchers will often head out into the field to do research. While there they must take everything they need for their trip. This includes their food! Having so many Boy Scouts in my family, means that we have access to some MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) like the researchers take to eat while in the field. So we cooked some of those up so everyone could try them. Let’s just say that they are not what I would try to eat. We also watched a movie that one of the people at the base camp took. They walk through the whole base camp so you can see what it looks like! Since we had some time before lunch, we got to make a penguin craft using thumb prints and paint. They loved making different scenes and getting a wee bit messy! We ended the day with a very wintery lunch! Here are some pictures of all the fun!
So there you have it! Antarctica is ever a fascinating and frozen place, and yet there seems to be so much fun to be had learning about it! What are your favorite Antarctica learning activities?
Well I realized that I never got around to posting about the awesome Asia study we did with our homeschool group the other week! We had a lot of fun learning about the different parts of the continent. Then, since it was close to the Chinese New Year, we talked especially about China. We read a story, looked at some amazing pictures, and even got to get some money! After that the kids decorated a cut out of their Chinese zodiac animal using bits of material, ribbon, and some sparkles! We ended the fun with ordered in Chinese food that was just amazing! We of course tried to eat using chopsticks, and boy was that fun to watch! These amazing get together with our homeschool group are a really great way to get deep in touch with different countries. Tomorrow we are doing Antarctica! Should be fun! I think the irony is that the snow is melting here after some of the coldest weather and highest levels of snow we have ever seen! Happy Schooling!
Today my girls and I got invited to go ice skating with my parents! Boy were they excited! Plus they both kind of held onto the idea that it would be easy and they could skate perfectly! Let’s just say they had to rethink that a bit! Bunny was more then happy to hang onto the side and with a quick bit of instruction from a nice lady, she was gliding pretty well while she hung on. It took me a while to convince her to skate without holding on to anything, but she did for a bit and she did an amazing job! Pup however took a wee bit more help! She was SO determined to skate on her own and with a lot of falling, she managed to skate around a bit herself. It went a bit like this: step, step, glide, stop and rebalance. She was SOOOO proud of herself for being able to do that without holding on! We got to skate for an hour and a half and after that we were DONE! Poor Pup’s legs were shaking and I had blisters! The girls were so tired they could hardly keep their eyes open the rest of the evening!
Valentine’s Day. It is one of those holidays that people either do or don’t do. I love it. There is something so magical about a bunch of pink and happy hearts in the middle of cold dank February! However, this year I was a little bit off! We didn’t decorate until yeaterday. I did mange to get some things together for the girls because I think they love the holiday as much as I do! For each of the girls I made an animal valentine out of hearts and left them to find when they woke up. I also blew up a bunch of red balloons and left them all over the floor! They LOVED it! I also made sure that we had a fun breakfast. Whole wheat pink pancakes with sprinkles and strawberry smoothies were the menu for breakfast! It seems like the simple things are the ones that mean the most to the girls. It was a good reminder that acts of love are sometimes so simple. And it seems like these simple ones are the best! I hope you all got a chance to celebrate with someone you love! Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!!
So we are in the middle of one of the coldest and snowiest winters I have ever know, however we still have not made it to the sledding hill! Well this was something that needed to be remedied before the warmer weather finally hit! So we were off to the hill today! The sun made the 20 degree weather feel so warm and perfect! We all had a great time and ended with some bumps and bruises and lots of laughs! There is something magical about playing in the snow and I am starting to realize how much better it makes everyone feel! In fact it seems to drive some of those winter blues away.
Today was one of our homeschool lego days! It was the beginning of the series of the geography of the United states and they started with the northeastern part of the country. The idea was so simple, I just couldn’t believe that I didn’t think of it! Each child chose a state and built the shape of their state on a building plate. After that, they marked where the capital of the state was with a brick. Next, they read the card that had facts about the state on it (some were pretty random) and they built something that told about their state. We ended the day with each child sharing what they built and why! This idea was so great! We may have to do this at home with our continents! Today Bunny got Delaware. She learned the capital is Dover, that there is a 10ft. frying pan made for the chicken festive, and that the state insect is the Ladybug! Here is a look at the work they did!
So there you have it! what do you think? Great way to learn about geography and still play right! How do you learn geography?
Things have been quite here because we are frankly not doing anything new or fun or exciting! Bunny is working on her book work, Pup is bopping along with up working on those elusive letter sounds, and I have been taking pictures in an attempt to become a photographer of sorts. But really not much of that is fun, child related blog post material. We are all still up to our thighs (literally) in snow and we cant get out to do much right now! Plus I have been very unmotivated to do fun things. I read a blog post called Parenting from the Dark Pit and oh, did it ring true for me! The author describes barely being able to bit back the loud PG-13 rated comments that she feels like throwing at her kids as they sit in the toys she has already asked them to pick up. And Oh, have I been there! The Dark Pit is a place. It is a place that seems to pop up in my journey here and there and I hate it. In fact I feel rather guilty that I am there. I have amazing kids, a husband whose love and support should win prizes, and really nothing that I should ever complain about. The things that are troubling me are all part of the life I have chosen and the one that makes me happy. But I am coming to realize that happiness comes in many forms and sometimes happiness is the deep calm that is under the raging currant above. Happiness can be a deep layer. Just like love isn’t always warm and fuzzy, sometimes it is just plain challenging and hard. I have been married for almost 9 years and in those years I have learned that love is not a feeling. Sometimes you feel close, in love and romantic, and sometimes you feel like being alone would be the best thing. None of that changes the love. The love is there in the darkest day and the brightest ones even though the feeling ebb and flow like the waves on a beach. Parenting is like that too. No one says that but it really is. Some days your love your darling kids with all the fiber of your being. Each moment in happy and you want to play and sing with them. Someday the sound of their voice will just make you want to hide. I hate to say that but it is true. Almost every mom I have ever met has felt this before. You love them, would die for them, but sometimes you just want the little bits to go away. How mat time do you need to answer that question? Why cant you just tie your own shoe? Your patience gets thin and maybe you yell (I do). It doesn’t help much, but somehow it does. Maybe you stay in this place of chaos held together with love and bits of routine for a while or maybe it is just a day. But, as I have discovered, the lightness appears again. Maybe it is a new routine, or a good long cry, or even a best friend that says the right thing that makes that happen, but I always does. Up and down, up and down, is the name of the game. Dark and light. Each place is a part of the journey and one that you cannot control. Its so easy to say I ill never yell again or I will always use positive parenting to fix what is happening here, but there are no “always” in parenting. The only “always” is the love, short of that anything can change and change it does. The trick is to let it g. Hanging on to the guilt only makes you feel worse and makes the dark darker. This I know. It is the choice to let it go and try some more. Love…..it is the only constant here! Relationships are a two way street. Sometime parenting doesn’t feel like that. We listen to our kids problems, kiss their boos, forgive their mistakes, and help them with anything they need. We do this as automatically as breathing, but sometime they are going to be the ones forgiving, listening, and helping us. And we need to let them. I am not saying dump your problems on them and share your deepest thoughts, merely that you give them a chance to forgive you for your yelling (make sure you ask for it) and let them do those little things that kids can do to make you feel special. Maybe its a note, a gift, a hug, or a snuggle. Whatever it is kids want to be in a relationship that is real. A relationship that is a two way street. Only if we show love even though we want to scream, and only if we ask them to forgive the times we messed up are they going to learn that this is how life is. Life is not perfect. There are no parenting (or life) formulas that will give you the best result all of them time. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t, and sometime they only work for a period of time. The trick is not box yourself into one plan, or parenting style. There are no happiness guarantees, but if you have love underneath it all, you can keep going with grace and dignity….or at least with humility when you mess it up good! So here are my prayer for you all in your journey and I ask for yours for me!
So here is my next continent box post! I actually have found quite a few things to put into my Asia box. This is a fun continent because there is a lot of different cultures here to gather from. I really want to gather a few more things from Japan or from some of the Islands in the south. But here is what I have currently!