Saturday, January 31, 2009

January reflections

With only a few hours of January left, I thought I would write a little about my thoughts on the past month. I think I mostly feel that the month was less "balanced" than I would have liked. I started the new year all excited to do lots of enriching and fun projects with the boys at home, but now that the month is over, the truth is that we did not get many of those planned projects completed. I am so torn between home and work. I don't think many people realize how much time and energy goes into my job. I spend parts of every weekend at work, sometimes both weekend days. Obviously this takes time away from my family. While I love my job, the amount of time it takes outside of "work" hours is hard. I don't know the answer to this dilemma. Of course I wish that I could afford to stay at home and devote all my time and energy to my family and children. However, at this point in time that is not possible. February, I am going to try to focus hard on the many blessings I have and spend less time worrying about what I don't have. Because I am truly blessed in so many ways. I am going to sign off now. I am tired, not feeling well, and probably not in the most positive frame of mind to be writing this. Please know how much I enjoy writing this and my other blog and how much I appreciate you taking time to read it! Here's wishing us all a blessed February!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

All about the big boy

I have been writing a lot about my littlest boy lately. So tonight I am dedicating a post to my older son. He is 7 1/2 and attends a private Montessori elementary school. He is really an amazing child. He has an incredible mind and is always coming up with self-initiated projects to do at home. He never ceases to astound us with his thinking. Over the past few days, he has been working on setting up his own Montessori school in his bedroom. The photo below shows the sign on his door which tells the hours the school is open as well as what ages are allowed to attend. In case you can't read it well in the photo, the school is open to ages 3-adult (anyone). He put the anyone in the parentheses. I love it!

The first area of the classroom that he developed is the "language" area. He has a list posted on the wall which tells what "works" (that is what Montessori activities are referred to in the classroom) are available in the language area. Below that list are some of the activities he developed. He cut out and labelled his own pockets to contain the cards for the activity. Additionally, he has made worksheets to go with the various activities and skills. Below you can see the "Antonyms & Synonyms" pocket, the "Suffixes & Prefixes" pocket, and the "Compound Words" pocket, along with some other materials he developed. My husband and I have both been invited to have lessons and complete work in his classroom. It is so fun to see how he is reflecting on and extending the learning he is experiencing at school.

All the language material pictured in this post was completed last night (Wednesday). I wrote a whole post on my other blog about another language activity he developed after school today. If you are interested, click over there to read about it. I explain a little more about Montessori education in that post. The photo below shows him stretched out on the floor working hard on developing his materials for the "math" area of his classroom. I am so proud of him and what a creative spirit he has. I hope that I can always do my best to nuture his many talents..........he is truly a treasure!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hey, what's up?

I haven't been writing over here lately it seems like, but I guess it's only been a few days. I just wanted to check in and say that I'm here. I'm not feeling well, just getting a little run down with body aches and so on. Nothing serious. I hope you're all well and happy. Truly I do.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The PERFECT Friday night

Last night was the best Friday night I've had in a long time. And not because I went to a fabulous new restaurant, saw a great new movie, or went shopping. No, it was the perfect Friday night because I was home with my family spending time together. Our lives seem so rushed and hectic. Every morning it's a stressful rush to get everyone dressed, fed and out the door on time. Then when we get home, there's dinner to prepare, eat and clean up, spelling homework to oversee, piano lessons to practice, baths, and bedtime (and usually a load of laundry to fold and put away!). Rarely do we have an evening that doesn't feel rushed. I had the opportunity last night to go to a Moms Night Out that was hosted by our MOPS group. I do love to go to these and I'm so glad our group sponsors them. However, this week what I really needed was a relaxing night at home. And, luckily, that's exactly what I got. (I hope the moms in my MOPS group were able to have a good time without me......haha)!

Here's what we did............we had frozen pizza and salad for dinner because by the time we get home from my oldest son's Friday evening piano lesson, it's after 5:30 already. Then, my husband and I played around with our playlists from and basically jammed out to great music all night. My youngest son LOVES LOVES LOVES to dance and was very into dancing with us. He assigned my husband and I each special "air instruments" to play. For example, he would say, "Mom, you play drums" and "Dad, you play trombone" and we had to play those "air" instruments for the whole song. He was usually the air guitarist. It was very cute and fun. After quite a long jam session, he decided to find a "real" instrument to play. The photo below shows him playing his little drum. Also interesting to share is that he is shirtless because he spilled bubble solution on his shirt during the "bubble jam." As I said, it was the PERFECT Friday night.

By the way, if you usually just pop in and read my most recent post, you probably don't get to listen to my full playlist. Take time this weekend, if you have it, to click on one of the songs you may not have heard. There's some good stuff there. (NOTE: The playlist is at the very bottom of my blog, so if you scroll all the way down, you'll see all the songs listed. Just click on a title and it will switch over to that song.) And don't hesitate to comment and recommend a song you love. I'm always looking for more good music. Also, if you haven't already done so, checkout for yourself. It's FREE!!!! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Project 365 Update

There is still not a clear answer about whether or not Becky Higgins' Project 365 kit will be available for more of us to order. However, I am happy to say that I am still committed to the project, even though I don't yet know how I'll showcase my photos. I thought I would share with you a few recent photos that don't show faces. For those of you who personally know my children, try to imagine the sweet face that goes with each picture.

To document the history-making moments of this past week, I snapped a photo of the Wall Street Journal from Inauguration Day along with a VERY cool Inauguration Day necklace my friend, Amber, made me. (THANKS, AMBER!)

It was warm enough yesterday for us to play outside and even ride bikes. I love this photo of my little boy's shadow against the garage wall. He strategically stopped the bike at the same place on the sidewalk on each "loop" so he could watch his shadow.

And here's a "hind" view of him pedalling down the sidewalk.

This one cracks me up! I took it just tonight. My little boy loves to look at catalogs and was busy studying the Mindware catalog that we got in the mail today. Since he was a baby, he has been mildly obsessed with his belly button. He often pulls up his shirt and pokes it, or places his finger into it. I have thought so often that I should take a photo of this to document his little "obsession" before it disappears. And I finally got around to doing it tonight. Those of you who know him have probably seen his belly more times than you can count! Sorry!

And lest you think my older boy is forgotten, fear not. I have the sweetest photo of him sound asleep on the couch.........he has had a bad cold all week and has missed a few days of school. Each day he napped for a while on the couch and one day I caught him in mid-slumber. It has been a long time since I've had a photo of him sleeping. He looked SO amazingly sweet and also looked so much like Daddy in that photo. I won't be sharing it here because I always maintain our privacy; however, please know he hasn't been left out of the photos!

Thank you!

Many of you left me very nice and encouraging comments yesterday after I posted about my "homeschool envy". You have certainly given me a lot to think about. I appreciate so much each of you taking the time to comment on that post as well as my other posts. I don't always get around to replying to your comments. But please know that I read and appreciate each one so much!!

He makes my heart beep

I just sat down here after putting my little one to bed. I wanted to share with you the most adorable prayer that he just prayed. Our bedtime routine includes reading 1-3 stories, then turning off the light and saying a prayer. I want my children to think of prayer as a truly personal conversation with God. So instead of praying a "canned" prayer, I model a heartfelt, off-the-cuff prayer at bedtime. My little boy always wants me to pray first. And more often than not, he declines praying on his own after my prayer, which is fine with me. I don't want to put any pressure on him about it. However, I admit I was very happy tonight when he decided to say his own prayer. I'll share it with you here:

"Dear God, Tank (thank) you for our games. Tank you for the pwesents we got from Santa at Bwock's (Brock's) house. I yike (like) Bwock's house. I yike Bwock and Ammer (Amber.......Brock's mom) and even Bwock's daddy. Tank you for my brain and my howt (heart) beeping (beating). I yike my howt beeping (heart beating). We love you too, God. Amen"

Couldn't have said it better myself!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Quilt Block #5........ now complete! Here's the proof.

Homeschool/Stay-at-home Envy

I have meant to write this post for quite a while now. I am confessing here and now that I have homeschool envy. I am a homeschool wanna-be. Today, in particular, I am feeling very envious of all the moms who get to stay home and teach their children. My oldest son has a bad cold and was awake for several hours in the night. My husband and I decided to keep him home from school. I lay down with him around 5:30 AM (hubby had already been with him for at least 2 hours by that point!) and got him back to sleep around 5:45. Instead of rolling over and being able to go to sleep myself, I had to lie there and worry about how to get my classroom covered so I could stay home. At 6:45 I called two of the people I can use as subs. Neither could sub for me. So, I had to call my mom to come out and stay with the boys while I went to teach. I am very lucky to have her living close by and always willing to help. I was able to get my classroom covered in the afternoon (by my mom!) so I could come home. However, I started my work day today fighting back tears of frustration because I could not be home with my own child!! Don't get me wrong..........I love my job and enjoy being there. I even enjoyed it this morning after reassuring myself that my son was cozy in his own home with his own grandma watching him.........he was in good hands. But I desperately wanted those good hands to be MINE. I admit that on a daily basis I have homeschool was just really strong today. I know homeschooling is not easy. And I'm sure homeschooling parents have many days or at least moments when they wonder if they are doing the "right thing". They may even have moments of envy towards the parents who leave the house and go out into the work world each day. I am just saying that I would have given anything today to be able to stay home and take care of my son all day........that's the way it should be.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin's Big Words lead to LOTS of words

Today one of the students in my Montessori preschool classroom brought the book Martin's Big Words for me to read to the class. I had planned on reading a book about Martin Luther King, Jr. to the class, but didn't have this one. I didn't have time to preview it first either. I was pleased to find out that it is a really great book with beautiful illustrations. There is one page in it that briefly states that Martin was shot and died. Not surprisingly, this was a major point of interest for my students. My own little boy, who is in my class, was very taken with the story. In fact, I rushed to the computer as soon as I put him to bed so I could share with you some of what he was talking to me about at bedtime tonight.

To give you a little background, after I read the book in class my son kept saying that he wanted to talk to Martin (he calls him "that man in Kate's book"). He also kept talking about how one person shot Martin and he died and went to heaven with God. Tonight at bedtime he brought it up again on his own. I am going to try to paraphrase what he said because it is so precious. I will refer to him as LO (little one).

LO: Mommy, that man got shot by a person. He is in heaven with God. Maybe we can get some men tomorrow to build him back up again and make him live so I can talk to him.

ME: Well, he is kind of alive with God in heaven. And tonight when we say our prayer we could tell God thank you for putting Martin Luther King, Jr. on our Earth to say such good big words and do so many great things for people.

LO: Yes, but I want to talk to him. Tomorrow you can come to God's heaven with me to build him up.

ME: (trying to change the subject) Hey! Guess what tomorrow is? Tomorrow is when Barack Obama is going to become our president. (LO loves seeing "Brock Obama" on TV and makes us run and look each time he sees him.)

LO: Maybe tomorrow we can take Barack Obama in our van up to God's heaven door and he can meet that man so I can talk to him.

ME: Well, see, Barack Obama is here on Earth and Martin Luther King, Jr. is in heaven now. Maybe someday Barack Obama can meet MLK, Jr. in heaven.

LO: Mommy, maybe we can get some maps. Hey, Mommy, we can get some small maps so we know how to get to heaven.

ME: You know, it's getting kind of late. You have school tomorrow and swim lessons. You need to get some rest now and go to sleep. We can talk more about Martin Luther King, Jr. tomorrow. We can even read some more books about him that Mommy has at school.

LO: Tomorrow when I wake up I'm going to talk to you about that many berry berry (very very) much.

At one point I asked him, out of sheer curiosity, what he would say to Martin if he COULD talk to him. He said, "I would say thank you to him for talking to all the people."

I wish I could have tape-recorded his little voice speaking so seriously to me about such a serious topic. It has impacted him in a big way, more than I would have imagined it would. It will be interesting to see what he says tomorrow about "that man". Knowing my son, he won't forget about it........and come to think of it, I wouldn't want him to!

THE MITTEN project

We managed to do another of my planned January activities this weekend. First I read Jan Brett's The Mitten to the boys. They had each heard it before, but I read it again since it relates to our project. I'm sure most of you have read it before, but if not I've included a photo below.

For our activity, I printed out some large mitten patterns that I found on Preschool Express. If you go to their site, click on the "Pattern Station" link and you'll find the mitten pattern under the "winter" section. I printed them on cardstock so they would be sturdier for our project.

Then I used a square punch from my scrapbooking tool stash and punched out squares from scraps of scrapbooking paper.

Then I had the boys glue the squares onto their mittens to make a "patchwork" design. After they had finished this part, I placed two mittens together and punched holes around the outside. Then they laced the mittens together using ribbon. You could also use yarn, but I didn't have any.

My 7 1/2 year old could independently lace his mitten once I got him started. I helped my 3 1/2 year old a little more, but he could also do it with some help.

Here are their finished mittens: my little guy's on the left and big guy's on the right. I always find it so interesting how they approach the same project. My little boy only wanted to use one type of paper and wanted the whole mitten covered with very precisely laid out squares and my older son was more haphazard in his approach. The result? Two unique mittens which truly represent my two very unique boys.

The last thing I did was print out some pictures of the animals from the story on white cardstock. I found these on the Jan Brett website.........a treasure trove of information and resources.

My oldest boy colored his according to the colors each animal truly is. He has used these little pieces to act out the entire story several times. My little boy just loves putting his mitten on his hand and walking around showing everyone. I love doing activities with them that we can tie in to a book we love.

Quilt Block #4

For those of you who are interested, I finished Quilt Block #4 last night and started #5. Here's a photo.

I am actually pretty much enjoying the hand-piecing and even the slow pace of it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Word of the Year

I first learned about Word of the Year (WOTY) a year or so ago from Stacy Julian's blog. I liked the idea, but it was part way through 2008 when I read about it and I kind of forgot about it. Then I read about it again on Handmade Homeschool early this year. As soon as I read that post, I had "my" word in mind. It came to me instantly. However, I was a little hesitant to post about it. To be honest, I thought my word was kind of cliche, a little unoriginal, and perhaps even too mundane. So even though I knew I wanted it to be my WOTY, I didn't write about it here. Then I got back to school and work and forgot about it for a few weeks........until today. I was sitting in church this morning listening to the sermon and realized that it was totally about MY WORD. I took this as a sign and decided to go ahead and write this post announcing my WOTY. Before I reveal it, however, I want to share the Scripture passage from church today. I really liked it. Here it is from Romans 13:8-10:

"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," " Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."

In case you haven't guessed by now, my WOTY is.............LOVE. I am completely sure that this is a great word for me for 2009. In addition to today's sermon, earlier this week I was watching Oprah and she had a guest named Elizabeth Lesser who has written about how difficult times can make you stronger spiritually. The comment that most struck me from this show was when Elizabeth asked people to think about how we approach others. Do we do so with judgment and criticism or do we stand before them with love and acceptance? I know how easy it is to fall into the first type of mind-set, but I appreciated the reminder to follow the latter. I think one of the things I have found most ironic in life is how easy it is to be your "best self' around people you don't know well, and how hard it is to always be your "best self" around those you love the most.
Part of that is probably human nature and results from our comfort level around those we know and love the most. And I realize that God wants us to treat EVERYONE, not just our friends and family, with the utmost of compassion and love. Still..........I sometimes find it hardest to be my best loving self at home. I find myself being impatient and grouchy far more than I want to be. So............I am happy to have settled on my word, LOVE. I think having that as my focus this year will cause me to be more vigilant and reflective about my thoughts and actions. And hopefully, I can honestly say at the year's end, that I have been more LOVING this year. I will have more to write about this in future posts. I am even thinking about making some kind of artwork which will represent my word. If and when that happens, you can expect to see and read about it here. Until then...........take care and have a great week!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I am turning to Webster's again for a definition. Mercy is defined as: compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender (i.e. as God shows mercy to a sinner). That definition best fit what I wanted to write about today. However, it led me to look up the definition of forbearance. That is defined as: 1. a refraining from the enforcement of something that is due 2. the act of forbearing: PATIENCE 3. the quality of being forbearing: LENIENCY.

Now I am going to explain why I'm writing this post. Last night our family was dealing with some unpleasant child behaviors (as I'm sure many families may have been, if not last night, sometime within the past week). I will not go into details or tell which child was the offender in this case. However, I will fully admit that I was not feeling MERCIFUL or FORBEARING last night when dealing with the behaviors, nor was I feeling either of those things even this morning as I woke up and thought about it all again. Actually, I was still hanging onto my anger. I know I should have let it go by the morning, but I am sinful and human, and I hadn't. At some point within the first hour or so after I had awoken in a bad mood, it hit me hard that my feelings of disappointment and anger may, in fact, be very similar to what God feels when we, his human children, fail to live up to his teachings and expectations. I would fall into that category pretty much on any given day at any hour on the clock (well, maybe not when I'm asleep!). And I was humbled, again, by HIS MERCY and love. And I was reminded that God provides the ultimate parenting example for all of us struggling to raise our children to be kind, respectful, compassionate people. We must first remember that we ourselves on a DAILY BASIS are the recipients of His love and mercy even though we probably don't deserve it. And we must remember, in turn, to show that compassion, love and mercy to those around us, even when we feel that they don't deserve it. Today I am thanking God for His mercy, and asking for His help in becoming a more merciful and compassionate parent, especially in the thick of it.

Nuff said.

Wait, no, not enough. I want to say one more thing (DH claims I always have to say one more thing and I guess that's true. However, he may appreciate THIS last thing.) I've written before about what a great guy my husband is. And I want you all to know that HE is naturally much more merciful and forbearing than I am. Sometimes this causes "clashes" between us as we try to process how to best handle our children's behavior. However, I am very grateful for these special qualities in him. And I know our boys will benefit greatly from being raised by such a loving and compassionate father.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Snowman Faces---that you can eat!

Tonight after everyone was home from school/work, we FINALLY managed to do one of my planned winter activities. We made edible snowman faces for a snack. We used rice cakes, whipped cream cheese, along with black olives, baby carrots, and yellow pepper slices (I wanted red but the store was out of red!!) to decorate the faces. My oldest son said he probably wouldn't want to eat it, but he would still make one. He ate LOTS of olives, and then ended up eating most of the rice cake and cream cheese. My youngest son liked his too. So it was a fun, healthy, and successful little project.

Here is my oldest son's snowman face.

My littlest boy was able to get his carrot to stick out so it was 3-dimensional which was pretty cool.

For the decorating, I put baby carrots, pepper strips, olives and craisins in a muffin tin. The craisins didn't get used.

Here is my littlest boy's finished snowman face. Pretty cute, huh?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Quilt update--Block #3

Last night I finished hand-piecing Block #3 of my quilt. So..........9 more blocks to piece and then add borders, then hand-quilt the whole thing. It will still probably take me this whole year. And I'm still okay with that. But I do have moments where I am tempted to just haul the whole thing into the craft room and run it through the sewing machine. So far, I've resisted. I think I'll still stick to doing it all by hand. However, I am pretty sure my next quilt(s) will be machine-pieced and probably hand-quilted. We'll see.

Not much other news to report here. Just busy with life. We haven't been doing any of the winter activities I'd planned for January yet. And I'm telling myself it's okay. My oldest son has reminded me several times that we haven't done any. So.....I'll probably get organized to do a few with the boys this weekend. That's all for now. I am heading downstairs to work on Block #4 which I started last night.

Block #3, completed

Monday, January 12, 2009

Project 365 Update

I don't know yet whether or not I'll be able to get my hands on one of Becky Higgins' Project 365 kits. However, I am still committed to the project. I love the idea and the simplicity of documenting a year in our lives by taking a photo every day. I thought I would share a few of our photos in this post. Keep in mind that for this post I'm only using the ones without my childrens' faces. However, our Project 365 scrapbook will (obviously) contain full photos of them since it will be for our family's viewing.

My oldest son practicing the piano

My littlest boy playing with his "snow dough"

Little boy again, coloring a "race car", his current fascination

Little boy using GeoTrax tain tracks to play "air guitar"

Biggest boy setting up obstacles at the end of the race car track

Besides taking photos of our everyday play, I would like to take more photos of "things" in our lives such as favorite foods, meals, beverages, etc. Additionally, I am going to collect receipts from the gas station, Target, etc. It should be a really nice overview of life in our family in 2009 once it's finished. If you are doing the project, let me know how you're coming along. I'd love to hear about it.


Webster's defines the word "wistful" as follows: 1. full of unfulfilled longing or desire; YEARNING 2. musingly sad: PENSIVE. The first definition pretty accurately describes something I felt this evening. I was downstairs walking on the treadmill when my littlest boy came downstairs to talk to me. While I was very mildly irritated by the disruption to my workout, I was still glad to see him. He was being very sweet and was concerned that our cat was too close to the treadmill. He chattered to me for a few minutes before heading back upstairs where Daddy and big brother were. As he paused by the door before going up the steps, it struck me how very little he still is. His head only comes up to about the height of the doorknob. And then it immediately hit me how quickly time is passing. I briefly tried (unsuccessfully) to imagine him as a teenager in the exact same spot, towering above the doorknob where only the top of him reaches today. The adjective that popped into my head at that moment was wistful. I know that when he is a big (teenage) boy, I will have many moments of wistfulness, thinking about how small and needy he used to be. Perhaps there will come a time where he won't have a pressing desire to talk to me in the middle of my workout, but I would gladly take the disruptions if only I could keep him small a little longer.

Tracks in the Snow

Here is another activity on the home learning shelf. I printed this one from Kidssoup. I have gotten way more than my money's worth from that subscription. I highly recommend it!

Here is how I have the work set up on the shelf. I just used one of our little "snack" cups to hold the matching cards.

Here is the work laid out on our little work rug.

Here is a closer-up view. One thing these photos don't show that I like about this particular set of cards is that one shows a tire track and one a shoe footprint. These would be much more within the realm of most children's actual experience than some of the animal tracks.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rhyming mittens

Another activity on our home learning shelf this month is rhyming pictures. I printed this from Kidssoup. To display it on the shelf, I used a divided wooden box from one of our Melissa & Doug toys. I think it originally had sewing cards in it. I hate to thrown these boxes out; however, I usually don't end up storing the activity in them unless they have a lid. This one was perfect for this activity.

I placed the mitten cards on one side with mini clothespins on the other.

To do this activity, lay out all the mittens for one "hand", if that makes sense. Then have your child name all the pictures on those mittens. Next, take a mitten from your "other hand" stack and match it to the mitten with its rhyming picture.

You can use the mini clothespins to clip the matching mittens together.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Meet Scoop

Isn't he cute? The boys made him today with their Daddy in our front yard. We got some fresh snow last night and they were excited to try out their new skis with Daddy. Although I don't like to be cold, I would really miss snow if we lived somewhere that didn't get it.

Snowflake counting cards

Here is another activity on our home learning shelf this month. I printed out the snowflake counting cards from Activity Village (for free!).

I placed them in a wooden bowl along with number tiles I "borrowed" from another activity we had. You could easily make your own number cards to match the snowflake cards.

To do this activity, first have your child lay out the number cards/tiles in order. Only use the ones s/he can recognize easily. Then have them count the snowflakes and match them to the correct number.

Here's a close-up view.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Snowman Alphabet activity

This post will show one of the activities I've put together for our home learning shelf this month. To be honest, since getting back to school this week, the boys haven't done anything on their shelf. However, I did take the time tonight to show this work to my 3 1/2 year old, and he enjoyed doing it with me. I'm not sure he'll choose to do it more on his own at home. So I may move it into my classroom. That way he'll still be able to do it, but more children will have access to it as well.

This is how I have it set up on our home learning shelf. The basket has 26 wooden uppercase alphabet letters. My dad made these for the boys when my oldest son was little. They are AWESOME and we are SOOOOO lucky to have them. There are also two felt pouches; one contains some snowman alphabet cards I printed from Kidssoup. The other holds initial sound picture cards that I printed from Making Learning Fun. I used some felt and rick-rack to make the little pouches. Let me know if you are interested in doing some, and I'll try to post a tutorial. They were VERY easy.

This photo shows the pouch with the snowman alphabet cards.

The basket of wooden letters.

First, I had my son lay out all the snowman letter cards in order on the rug. He had to make three rows. Then he matched the wooden letters to the ones on the cards as shown here.

This pouch holds the initial sound picture cards.

Here you can see the initial sound cards matched with the corresponding letters.

Here you can see the activity "in action" as my little boy worked on it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Checking in..........

I like to do a post every day, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. This has been a hectic and busy week with everyone back to school. I have been tired and kind of depleted this week. I'm fine.........just getting back into the swing of things. I have lots of thoughts and ideas to share, but right now I'm just too tired to do much more than this little bit. I'll be back very soon with more!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Note to self: the future, do NOT stay up until 12:30 AM sewing quilt blocks the night before you have to go back and teach preschoolers ALL DAY after a 17 vacation. It makes you VERY tired the next day.

Last night this is what the clock looked like when I STARTED sewing my quilt block.

Here was my cozy little craft room set-up. Picture me curled up on the red couch covered in a vintage quilt sewn by one of my relatives (not sure which one.......have to ask Mom) with the TV on, piano bench serving as coaster for Diet Pepsi and resting place for quilting supplies, ironing board (with scuzzy cover.......sorry!) lowered to fit right over piano bench so I DON'T have to get off my #$%@& to press my seams. was awesome!!

Once the clock showed this time (that would be AM now in case you are wondering) I had completed what is shown in the photo below.

With all good intentions of going to bed early tonight to compensate for the lack of sleep last night, my friend, Julie, gave me a copy of the book Twilight today. She took me to see the movie over break. While I am not usually interested in reading about or watching anything having to do with vampires, it was a very compelling movie and love story. SO...........I'm pretty sure I'll be burning the midnight oil tonight digging into the book. ARGHHHH!!

Yeah..........I'm nuts. At least I'm aware of it, however!! :0)

The Snowy Day lapbook

Over the weekend, my youngest son and I enjoyed some cuddle time in the rocking chair. I introduced the book The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats to him. We read the book through twice. Afterwards, I asked him if he wanted to do some activities from the book. Since he was willing, we did several of the activities from the Homeschoolshare website.

First he glued the title picture onto the cover of his lapbook. He noticed immediately that there was a dog in the picture and no dog in the story. Very observant!

This photo shows him carefully putting glue on the back of the picture to glue it down.

The first activity we did was make a little snowman. He cut out the circles and glued them down all by himself. He also drew the eyes, mouth and buttons. We glued the snowman into the little snowman book from the Homeschoolshare website.

Another activity we did was "S is for SNOW." On the inside of the little booklet is a paper with lots of letters. He circled all the "S" letters.

Then we did the "What is White?" booklet. He glued a picture of each white thing onto the correct page. Since he is beginning to understand letter-sound correspondence, this was a nice way to point out how words begin and which words matched the pictures.

The sequence cards activity wasn't really something for him to make. However, inside the pocket are cards that show the various events from the story. He used these to retell the story to his big brother and his daddy.