Friday, November 20, 2009

Gg Week

This week we went with the theme of Gardens. While in our area our garden is coming to a close, we did grow several seeds and such. Most of it turned gross and moldy though. If I were to do this again, I would grow grass seed in the shape of a Gg. It comes up quick and any brown thumber like myself could get it to grow!

We also baked a garden cake to have for my birthday. The kid's had a ball helping to bake and decorate mommy's special cake.

Ff week

Ff week was filled with a few themes. Fire safety, Feelings, and Fairy houses. Here are a few pictures...

We completed this fire safety lapbook. It was a good way to introduce this information to little ones. Highly recommend it.

Big boy was in need of a feelings unit. He needed to have the words to express his feelings. Finding books on feeling was a bit of a challenge though. I did find two gems at the library. L is for loving is a nice alphabet book that is very age appropriate and the other book was more appropriate for Princess. It was a great book that opened discussion about feelings. I did find a feelings lapbook appropriate for Big Boy here. It is basic and perfect for a 3 year old, but on the easy end for a five year old.

Also, I can't remember if I mentioned the Fairy houses books by Tracy Kane, they are great! Princess is enjoying reading the books and coloring the fairies you can print from the website. Here's a picture of her coloring...

And what Ff week would it be without making our very own fairy house? Princess got this kit for her birthday and we saved it until this week.
My only beef about this product is that the paint provided only covers the leaves on the front of the house. I did have to mix a few paints we have on hand for Princess to finish the whole house.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's all about the Baby...

I always felt homeschooling my children was written on my heart by God. However, as we all know God's will is at times difficult to surrender to. During my pregnancy with Baby Bear, I would at times get very overwhelmed at the thought of officially homeschooling Princess. My mind couldn't grasp HOW I could manage baby care, a preschooler, and teaching princess. In my prayers, I would turn the anxiety over to God and pray for a path for me to follow concerning homeschooling. The one thing that kept coming to me after prayers was, "It's all about the Baby."

This past Sunday, Princess and her religious education class, put on a Thanksgiving performance. At the start of the performance all the kids were asked individually what they were thankful for. When it came time for Princess to answer she excitedly answered, "My Sister!" Not only was it a proud mama moment, but more so it solidified my belief that homeschooling Princess this year is the right path to be on.


This year I would like to take time to savor and enjoy the Holiday preparations. Usually it's a mad dash and I can get a little wiggy around the Holidays. Since we're homeschooling I have a bit more flexibility of what we do. Another homeschooling family I know does Christmas school during advent instead of their regular studies. I'm attracted to this idea for many reasons and it seems like a way to teach about the true meaning of Christmas.

I've been praying about what to do exactly. Two things happened to make their way into my inbox this morning. Talk about God's timing :) THIS is from Holy Heroes and is a family Jesse Tree project. Here's part of the newsletter I received...

Ever make a promise to build a "Jesse tree" with your family during Advent?
Did it work, or did you get eventually get lost in trying to figure out what to do, how to do it, what day you were on...and how many days were left? Confusing? Disheartening? So last year several thousand families joined us for the Holy Heroes Advent Adventure to help them make Advent a time of joyful preparation, not anxious project management. Are you really busy? Really rather leave the work of planning to someone else, so you can enjoy precious moments with your children anticipating Christmas? Then join us this Advent to benefit from the experience and input of other busy families like yours--and let us do all the hard work. The "Jesse Tree" is a great way to learn a little Scripture every day, to try to accomplish something lasting for their children with just a few moments each day of Advent. The Jesse Tree helps you follow the revelation to the Jews, leading up to the birth of the Messiah--through tracing Jesus' family tree. You learn so much about God's plan for our salvation when you do. And there's no better way to capture your children's imaginations and create lasting memories. We can help through this year's Advent Adventure, because we're making the Jesse tree a key focus of every day's activities. So all you have to do is open a daily email, click on a short video, and follow along as our children explain to your children how to make their own Jesse tree and fill it up every day, connecting to your children in a way they'll never forget. And you can also get other activities, blessings, prayers, coloring pages--loads of fun and FREE activities. Take your family on the fun and easy “Holy Heroes Advent Adventure!” It’s free, it costs you nothing, nada, zilch. And you'll get 22 daily fun, easy, free--and time-saving!--activities for Advent.

I don't think it can get any easier than this. We're going to give it a whirl this advent and I'll be sure to blog about it.

The second thing I came across was a literature based curriculum for advent using Tomie DePaola's books from Elizabeth Foss. My library actually has most of the books used, so again, not much of a financial cost. And I must say, for those of you who have a wide range of ages, there's plenty for all to do. HERE'S the link.

And lastly, if one has more time [HA! HA!], HERE'S a link for even more Christmas activities!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Birthday

My big boy turned the big age of three. We celebrated with family and friends. Fun was had by all. The day started out with blue Cheerios for breakfast...yes those are blue Cheerios with the help of blue sugar sprinkles! Traditionally the kids get to help with making their own cake. This year, big boy's newest obsession is Thomas the Tank Engine. He had a blast helping mommy make his cake. Not to mention taste testing the decorations.

It is big boy's birthday that I get really emotional about and I don't quite know why that is. Perhaps it's that time is flying by so fast and I still think of him being a small baby. Who knows? He certainly is quite a caring and sensitive little boy who likes to make everyone around him happy with his gigantic grin. Happy Birthday Big Boy!

Letter Ee

Make way for the Eyebright Fairy. This week we learned about Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Electricity, the Eucharist and Embroidery. Here's a picture of Princess using her lacing cards.

And using a pattern for Saint Elizabeth of Hungary I made a cute doll for Princess from THIS blog. There's a few more patterns there for other saints. They are so, so, so sweet and I've been requested by both the older kiddos for more. Thanks to Charlotte for making me look like such a creative hero in my kiddos eyes! I promise I will add pictures when we fix our camera...

Letter Dd

Here's a few things we did for Dd week. That blue blurb is actually a dolphin princess drew using I Can Draw Animals from Usborne Books.

Letter Cc

I'm a bit behind with my posts about our adventure along the alphabet path. Plus we've been taking advantage of the mild fall season and getting outside as much as we can. As you can see we also started making the little wood doll saints. Princess is enjoying helping make them and she is making sure we pay special attention to details.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Dino Baby

Dino Princess

Dino Tired

Carving Pumpkins or Not!

Our pumpkin plants were eaten by some animal this year so we had not a one. My Dad grew pumpkins this year and actually got three pumpkins out of their plants. He was so kind to give one to each kiddo. What better thing to do with a pumpkin than to carve it, right????

Princess had an absolute meltdown while we were carving the pumpkins. She picked up her pumpkin and ran into her room and refused to let a knife pass through HER pumpkin. When we inquired as to why, she replied, "My pumpkin has magical seeds and cannot be opened." She was very happy when we told her she could decorate her pumpkin and not carve it.

All around it was a fun time even for the princess who wanted to keep her magical pumpkin seeds put!

Baby Bear's Baptism

Baby bear is officially a child of God. I just love baptisms. It's such an uplifting and positive event welcoming people into God's family. At baby bear's baptism many friends and families made the trip to our parish. It was during mass and baby bear was one of three small babies being baptized. Afterwards we came back to our house for a small party. Here's a few pictures of the special day...