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Penguin Puppets

Today we got to join my mom and the kids for a wintery craft! They were making penguin puppets out of paper! Simple, happy, creative fun. Here is what they did! Starting with a piece of black construction paper, roll it and glue it on the short side. Then you flatten the top and glue it shut. Then you cut the glued top in an arch to create the head. After that its cut and paste on the details. The kids had a great time making them all sorts of personalities!

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Silence is Golden

Today I made the girls go out to the park with me today for a walk. They were not totally interested, but I thought it was a good idea! Fresh air makes everything seem a little bit better! I took the sled and promised (bribed them) that I would pull them around. We started at the nature center and looked at the animals there, and then we headed out on the board walk. I was pulling them through the snow, while they looked for animal tracks. We saw deer tracks, rabbit tracks, and even (what we thought were) fox tracks! While we were walked, I would stop here and there to look around. What I noticed when we stopped was that girls couldn’t seem to be still. Hmmm….so I made a point to ask them for silence. It was hard, but when they were still, we could hear the birds, the wind moving through the grasses, and our own cold breath. What a great thing to take time to do. I realized that we hadn’t done that in a long time. It has been a  long time since I took time to be silent with my girls. Especially when that time is out surrounded by the gifts God created for us to enjoy!

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Silence is Golden!  How do you cultivate and embrace silence in your family?

My Photo Discoveries

Well we have been a bit under the weather here and that has made our days less then energetic! So this afternoon, with a moments time, I thought I would practice taking pictures from different angles using my zoom and the portrait setting on my camera. With my kiddos sick and sitting (fairly) still, I tried some new techniques out on them! 🙂 I was interested to see the results. I think that I am getting some interesting shots and I look forward to doing more, but maybe when they are feeling better! Poor Babies. Here are some of the pictures I took. None of these have been retouched or fixed in anyway. And also the girls are not looking their best. I swear that hair got brushed and faces got washed even though it doesn’t look like it! Here are the pictures:

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I still have some work to do as you can see! 🙂 But I am hoping to be able to figure out the camera and all the amazing thing its supposed to do! As I took these pictures, I realized something that was just so amazing. Our eyes. We see things in crystal clear, vivid color. And when light, shadows, or objects, get in the way, all we need to do is move and everything come back into perfect focus. When we are taking pictures, we are doing nothing but trying to capture this play of light and color forever!  However, to capture the same image as the eye, a good photographer has a camera, several lens, and YEARS of experience! While our eyes just see it! Wow! What a gift and something that is something to pay attention to! How many times do we take the time to see? To see the sparkle in their eyes, the snow on a tree, or the bright colors of the flowers? What sadness to miss these things while being busy with all the random things we make so important! What do you think? Do you take the time to see?

 

Lego Simple Machines

Today was Lego class at our local building class! Today we were talking about simple machines and the kids were building catapults! After catapults are a lever with a fulcrum. Each team was give a sheet with three different lever configurations to build. Then they tested them to see which was the best. After that they used their best one to try and catapult a ball into a basket they built on another plate! Simple, and fun, and a great way talk about fulcrum points, force, and aiming! It was simple and yet complicated. Bunny had no problem building it, but getting the catapult to work and to get the same results each time was really hard for her! Here are some pictures:

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I was trying to encourage Bunny to make one at home too. We will see! She loves to build legos and she is really learning a lot as she plays. I love that we have the opportunity to go to these classes near by. Who knew there was so much science in toys! 🙂 Have you ever used Legos for learning? Share your ideas in the comments!  Happy Schooling!

 

 

 

 

 

Montessori Math is Changeing

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Montessori Math is the really one of the most iconic parts of the whole method. We all know and love the golden bead work, the rods, and the bead bars. They have taught thousands and thousands of young children to understand and love math! Here it is no different. Bunny loves math and Pup is starting to as well. However, as Bunny got older, the work of keeping up with all of the threads of the Montessori math work was too hard for me. So in order to keep up with her learning, I needed to find a curriculum. We started using Miquon math and she has been so happy! Miquon uses manipulative in their book, but the beads don’t always work. So we got the rods that the book uses, and Bunny loves them more then the beads! The beads are just like the bead bars, but with different colors. Much like the number rods, they are in metric units and get bigger with each number. So the one unit is one square centimeter. The two is 1×2 cm. You get the idea! There is no way to count the rod, but there is a ruler with a track that will show you the number of each rod. We use it to show the numbers changing with the functions too. Since Bunny loves these so much and I know Pup will start the same math as Bunny in first grade, I thought that it would be easier to show Pup her numbers with the rods instead of beads. With a slight bit of modification, the same Montessori presentations work out perfectly! We are working on the teens board and then we are going to start the golden beads (I will switch out the 10 bar for an orange 10 rod. With the other wooden 100s, and 1000s it will work out perfectly). She is very excited about both and I for one am happy to see her interested in math! I think that her ability to use the rods, like her sister, is a big motivator! Here are some pictures from her work with the rods this week!

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So there you have our new favorite math material! I really think that they can be used as an alternative to the beads. One advantage is that they can be laid next to each other easily without rolling all over. Plus they stack into all sorts of fun ways (play is learning after all). And finally, they are SOOOOO much less expensive and teach the same things as the Montessori beads. A child quickly memorizes the colors of the Montessori beads and that is a part of learning the math. They do that with the rods as well. With the track they can easily see the number and count the sections below the number to “see” it. The rods we use are Cuisenaire Rods. You can see them here! Check it out and let me know what you think! Maybe it will make your Montessori math experience easier and less expensive! Happy Counting! 😉 I linked up to Montessori Monday! Stop by to see some amazing learning ideas!

 

Eating Snow

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Everyone loves to eat snow right? Its something we all did as kids and less as we got older (once you realize how much dirt is in it). However, I came across the best way to eat it while I was on Pintrest last year! I wanted to do it then, but we didn’t have enough snow. This year, it is not the issue! Snow Ice Cream is amazing. Yes I just said amazing. When I saw this I thought that the girls would have fun with it, but that it would be a one time thing. Wrong. This is easy and yummy. So how do you make snow Ice Cream? Glad you asked! Here is what we did. I modified the recipe because I just threw it in as I went! 🙂

Snow Ice Cream
5-6 cup of fresh snow (make sure its clean and fresh)
1 1/2- 2 cups of half and half (I mixed whipping cream and milk)
1/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla (I just added a splash)

Pour everything into the bowl and mix it up! If the milk freezes and just gets clumpy, add a bit more milk and you will be fine. We served ours with sprinkles and chocolate syrup. We made this twice yesterday and I am sure we will make more today (if we don’t run out of milk)!

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I Hope you are enjoying all the snow and winter fun! With the wind chill here at below -30 for the day, we will be hanging out inside warm and cozy! Happy Snow Day!

Saint Inspired Science~ Astronomy!

Well last year, my friend and I for the kids together every month for some cooking and reading fun! This year, we have decided to experiment! Literally! This year, we are picking a science theme for each month and a saint to go with it! Saints all have something that they are the patron of. So we found a saint for each scientific theme that we chose! So this month, we chose the three wisemen! While not officially saints, they do offer an amazing example of what it means to seek the Lord. It also offers us an amazing chance to discover stars! We started off by talking about stars and what they are. I read Stargazers by Gail Gibbons. Then we talked about their light and how we can see it on earth even though the light maybe millions of years old! Then we pulled out the build your own telescope kit I had gotten. Much to our disappointment, it didn’t work very well. The plan was to take our telescope outside to see the stars, but a huge snow storm put a bit of a damper on that! We will have to go out there another night! After trying to make the telescope work out, we had a fabulous Epiphany feast! Chicken soup with stars, star shaped sandwiches, Lambs Wool Drink (warm spiced apple cider), and Kings Cake (spice cake)! There was lots of fun, lots of experimenting, and lots of playtime too!

IMG_0225 IMG_0230 IMG_0239 IMG_0243 IMG_0251 IMG_0255 IMG_0265 IMG_0271 IMG_0274 IMG_0278 IMG_0284 IMG_0287 IMG_0299 IMG_0306 IMG_0314Well there you have it! We had a lovely time! It was such a wonderful way to celebrate Kings Day. We got to think about the stars, especially the one that  brought the kings to the lord Jesus. I imagine that it really changed their lives!  I really hope that no matter what happens we always remember to imitate them in their quest! Happy Kings Day!

Jesse Tree Tea Party

If you remember, we are doing a Jesse Tree this year for Advent. The girls have been loving it. Well we desided that we would host a tea party that highlights the different parts of the Jesse Tree using food! We started with creation and moved all the way through the bible to Jesus’ birth! The kids love all the foods and preparing all of it is an amazing reflection on the season for the moms! My mom was so creative working out what the food should be! I wanted to share this with you in case you were looking for one last way to share the true meaning of the season with your kids! Here are the foods we used!

DSCN8922Creation
(Blue Jello with cool whip for water and sky)

DSCN8921Adam and Eve’s apple.
(apples and gummy worms)

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Noah’s Ark
(Rainbows and Animals Crackers)

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DSCN8925Abraham and his Descendants
(His descendants would number the stars. So we had star shaped pasta)


DSCN8927Issac and Jacob
(The the sticks repersent the sticks for the offering of Issac and also for Jacob’s Ladder)

DSCN8928Joseph and the Coat of Colors
(Bread with peanut butter and sprinkles)

DSCN8929Moses
(The Flaming Bush and the 10 commandments {Which are cookies})

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DSCN8931Root of Jesse
(Carrots)

DSCN8933Star of David
(these were filled with chicken salad)

DSCN8935Joanah and the whale
(Goldfish crackers)

DSCN8936The angle
(Chocolate cover pretzles or angle wings)

DSCN8937Mary
(York peppermint m&ms)

DSCN8938Joseph
(Potato Straw for the Stable he found for Jesus to be born in)

DSCN8939Baby Jesus
(Lil’ Smokies with crescent rolls)

DSCN8942Before we ate, we read the stories from the bible and put the symbols on the jesse tree as we went. The everyone got to eat the food we made!  DSCN8946

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This is such a great, fun, and pretty easy way to help kids understand the plan of God through out history! Christmas is after all about the birth of our savior. I hope that you all are having a fun, and blessed season of advent! Let me know if you do or have done anything like this before with your kids! I would LOVE to hear all about it!

Christmas at the Zoo

Yes….the zoo! I know, I know, we are there a lot, but this was something special! They had an event that included dinner, dessert, crafts, and story time with Mrs. Clause! The girls were so excited and so was I! 😉 When we got there, we got a Golden Ticket to get a free picture with Santa. Then we were led to our seats in the banquet hall. We got some cookies and hot cocoa to start the meal (santa style of course). Then we were introduced to Captain Joe the Opossom and Willa the Wallabey. Only Pup was brave enough to pet Captain Joe! Then we had some amazing dinner of Roast beef, green beans, mashed potatos, salad, and pasta. It was so yummy! While we were eating, Mrs. Clause and Ellie the Elf came by and talked with the girls. It turns out, according to Mrs. Cluse’s electronic list database, both girls made the nice lists (Daddy didn’t)! After that, Mrs. Cluse told stories from the north pole and even have a sing along! Bunny and Pup got to do on stage to help! They said it was lots of fun! It was really too cute! Finally, we headed out to see a few of the lights on display and to get a picture with Santa! The girls had an amazing time and I think that we may have to do this another year too! Here are some of the pictures!

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So there you have it! It was a ton of Christmas fun and the girls will be talking about it for a long time! I love this time of year with all the fun and excitement! How about you?

Christmas Traditions

Well I am alive here! lol! I have been working like crazy on Christmas gifts and fighting a wee bit of depression. With all of that, I really have had no time to pop by and say hi to all of you! I hope you are still there! So instead of trying to “catch up” on missed blog posts, I am just going to share what has been going on here! Today we finally got our tree up! The girls were so excited…..I mean REALLY excited! You see we don’t just put up the standard tree with matching ornamnets. Over the years, we have ornaments that have been collected and many of them tell a story and all of them have a memory! My grandma always bought us a new one each year, and my mom kept the tradtion going after she died. My girls and I have also made and bought ornaments each year together. This means that putting up the tree is quite a production.  Each ornament that is pulled out is met with squeals of delight like finding a long lost friend! I love picking out the ones I have been putting out each Christmas for 20 years or more! There is something so special about those moments of predicted seasonal fun! Don’t you think? Here are some pictures of the fun today!

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DSCN8534Pup’s First Ornamnet

DSCN8535This is one Bunny made for the dog last year!

DSCN8537This is just one of my favs I bought when the girls were little. It is all soft and fun!

DSCN8540This little mouse writing with lipstick is one my grandma bought me! It has always been a favorite!

DSCN8542This is an ornament my grandma bought me before my wedding. It was one of the last ones she got me.

DSCN8549I loved horses so much as a kid. So my grandma got me this one!

DSCN8551This one is new this year! Each year my mom and sisters and I buy an ornament on our annual shopping trip! This was this years!

DSCN8553This one is also from this year! My sis and I each got one! Bunny and Pup think it is them though!

DSCN8555Another shopping trip one!

DSCN8559My mom has taken to making ornaments each year! This is last years!

DSCN8561This is one of my very first ornaments.

DSCN8564This one is Pup and our dog. Seriously I think it is more her dog then anyone elses!

DSCN8568This is Bunny with her favorite elephant!

So there you have it! Some of our favorite holiday memories and fun! So now it is your turn! What is your favorite Christmas tradition that you share with your family?

kammer_lelia@mailxu.com champine@mailxu.com