Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Crafts and Huge Trees

Of course- we've found even more uses for those craft sticks! To decorate my Grandmother's tree this year- each of the kids, grandkids (and great grandkids) were to make an ornament with a picture of them on it to decorate her tree. It reminds me of a great picture book we love to read at Christmas Time- It's called Great Granny Rose and the Family Christmas Tree. In the story a boy is helping his Great Granny decorate their tree. As the boy's dad places the tree in the stand, she comments how the tree isn't "alive" to which the dad replies- yes- it's a real tree, it's alive. Later the boy helps decorate, as they do, she has a short story or memory to go with each ornament, and finally when all those memories are placed on the tree, it's "alive" at last.

Here's Doodle's ornament- gotta LOVE glitter!
Ben's and My ornaments- paint the craft sticks green, decorate with assorted "ornaments" glue a stick on the back for the trunk, and glue on a ribbon to hang it with.

Next comes Bug's ornament- he didn't feel like getting out the paint- so he used crayons to color his sticks, glued them together and used a pipe cleaner to hang the ornament.
Then there is Roo's snowflake. Glue 3 sticks in a snowflake shape, Paint the sticks white, sprinkle with glitter, then glue on a picture.

On Saturday we went to cut down our Christmas tree. We went with Ben's sister Amber and her husband and their 2 little boys. We had a blast! The tree we found is HUGE!- sorry- you'll have to wait til it's all decorated to see it in it's fullness ;) But it's 20 feet tall! Yes- really and truly!

Bug and Doodle sawing down the tree

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Big box fun

Now the bonus to getting a new water heater is according to some boys....THE BOX! So far the box has been:

The Mayflower
a pirate ship
a space ship
a rocket
an airplane
a house
a monkey cage
a clubhouse
a refrigerator
a coffin
a racecar
a great place to read a book
It reminds me of the picture book Christina Katerina and the Box where the girl gets so excited to get a new refrigerator, and she is thrilled with the box. Her mom isn't so glad to have the ugly box sitting under the apple tree, but Christina finds all sorts of uses for the box, a castle, a clubhouse, a racecar, a floor for a ballroom etc. When the box finally falls apart, the mother is relieved to get rid of it- only to find Christina's friend coming down the street with boxes from their washer and dryer for the kids to use as boats.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bad things come in 3's-- where's the last one....

Ok- so 2 weeks ago- my oven went out- the element burned up, and it fried the control panel in the process. After 5 days without an oven the part finally came on Tuesday- and Ben got it fixed (my WONDERFUL husband!--- the kids always tell me= "Dad can fix anything!") Last night we looked and the water heater is leaking everywhere. Unfortunately- I think that comes under the things that dad can't fix. So I guess we're getting a new one today. So....what's Next?!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Way to go!

Saturday Bug and Doodle had their Karate belt tests. They take Karate classes from White Dragons of Bushido. They have a dojo in Ogden, and also hold some classes in Brigham City. Both boys enjoy Karate (well- most of the time Doodle does- but it's sure good for him to pay attention to someone else, to concentrate on the steps, to memorize forms etc) They both did awesome.

Doodle was certain after the test on Saturday that he had passed the test- he was testing for the Little Dragon's Orange Belt (white belt with orange stripe). He really knew his stuff. He was right. At class tonight they had the belt ceremony- and he got his orange belt. He was quite proud.Bug wasn't so sure- he was testing for Purple belt in the youth/adult class, and there were some complicated forms he had to do. I wasn't sure he was even ready to test- but the Sensei said he could give it a try. He did great! Tonight at class- he received his Purple belt. The belt ranking goes Yellow, Orange, Blue, Purple, Green, Brown, Red then Black. So Purple is moving up the ranking quite a bit!

Monday, November 17, 2008

How to get a good picture of 3 boys

Set them all down on a bench and say "Say Cheese" Take Picture---
Oh no! Roo- you weren't looking at the camera. Scoot together- act like you like sitting by each other! Ok- Try again. Line up 3 boys on the bench again (of course- they ran off while you were checking to see how the first one turned out) "Say Cheese"Bug! Doodle! Look at the camera with a nice smile on your face please! Roo- yeah at least You were smiling and looking at the camera that time.
Okay- Try again- 3rd time's a charm- right? Line up 3 boys on the bench again, come on- sit nicely, I'll be done as soon as I get a good picture. Come on- just one good picture- please!
Doodle! SIT on the bench! I can't see you when you lay like that! Come on- please! Just one good picture!
Finally- give up! Well, they are all sorta looking at the camera....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Field Trip Friday

We have a wonderful group of homeschoolers in our area. There are always SO many great activities going on. We have a field trip group that meets once a month to do field trips. Friday was our field trip. We went to visit the Standard Examiner newspaper. We got to see all sorts of cool things, and learned about how they print the newspaper. 3 silly boys in front of the Printing presses. We were disappointed that the presses weren't running- but I guess we'd have to visit at midnight to see that. After our visit to the newspaper, we went to a park, and met Ben for lunch. The kids played on the playground while we waited for Ben to get there.The park was right along the Ogden River- so some kids were excited to do a little exploring. They explored the river for a while.Then we went for a walk along the Ogden River Parkway. It was a beautiful fall day, and a great trail to explore. We didn't walk the whole trail- but maybe 1 mile or so. Bug found this cool mushroom along the trail.Doodle was looking for tracks- I told him he'd only be able to find Dog tracks- from people who walk their dogs along the trail. He proved me wrong- He found some Deer tracks going up a hill near the trail.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hollow Legs

I can SOOO relate to this blog post . I definately have some Hollow Legged boys around here. I don't know what I'll do when they are teenagers- they already eat a ton! It never ceases to amaze me, I'll make a HUGE pot of spaghetti- thinking we'll have leftovers the next night....and they devour the whole thing!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm so thankful!

As Thanksgiving approaches I think about all the things the Lord has blessed me with. I am so thankful every day for my many blessings. I'm thankful for a wonderful husband who works so hard to support our family. He is such a great husband and father. I'm thankful that I'm able to homeschool our children. I love having them home with me, and being the one to teach them to read and I love exploring new topics with them. I am thankful for my boys. For the opportunity the Lord has given me to be a Mother in Zion. I'm grateful for Bug and his imagination, for Doodle and his sense of humor and yes- I'm even grateful for his energy. I'm thankful for Roo and the happiness and joy he brings to our family. I am thankful for the Gospel in my life. For the knowledge I have that Jesus is the Christ. That he lived, that he atoned for my sins, and that he was crucified and resurrected on the third day. I'm thankful for the Prophet Joseph Smith who restored the gospel to the earth. I am thankful for temples, and the blessing it is to be a family forever. I am thankful to have a living prophet today- President Thomas S. Monson, who receives revelation from the Lord for us in these latter days. I am thankful for the scriptures and the many things that I learn from them every day.
Sunday night for family home evening (we had a lesson Sunday night- and play games and other fun family activites on Monday night's Family Night) We had a lesson from the November Friend on being Grateful. We talked about all the things we are Thankful for, and make a thankful Turkey. (oh look! Use number 11 for craft sticks!- I think we are half-way through 1 of the 8 boxes!)
Each of us colored a craft stick with crayons and wrote what we were thankful for on it. Bug did a great job of drawing the turkey's body for us.
Bug showing off his sticks.
Roo's sticks, he thought I needed a picture of them.
And Doodle working on his sticks- YAH- what's with that silly face?! See what I mean about not being able to get good pictures of him!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Make Way for Ducklings field trip

For school last week- Doodle did the FIAR book Make Way for Ducklings. It's such a fun story. On Monday we talked about Boston, Masachusetts where the story takes place. We found pictures of the Boston Public Garden and the Swan boats on the internet. Tuesday we talked about Alphabetical order- and did a simple worksheet from Homeschool Share. (I LOVE Homeschool Share! There are so many great fiar helps, and other unit studies- I've even written a few studies for them). Wednesday we did art, and practiced shading, using the resource page in the back of the FIAR manual. Thursday we did a little applied math and read Double the Ducks. We also read a few other Robert McCloskey favorites- Blueberries for Sal and Lentil. Friday we talked about a Duck's life cycle, and recalled back to last spring when we hatched chicken eggs. We did a little craft that showed the duck's life cycle. Then on our way to the Library- we stopped in a the Bird Refuge visitor's center. We didn't see many ducks, but saw lots of frogs- I'll have to remember to go there again when we row Andy and the Circus and learn about frogs.
Here's a few pics from our field trip- 3 silly kids by the welcome sign.
Pointing ou the frogs out the window.
Bug, Mom and Roo sitting on a bench along the refuge trail.
HAAAA!!! Doodle was in the mood to have his picture taken! So I got one and quick! :D I think it turned out great!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Congrats Ben!

Last night was Ben's beading ceremony for his Wood Badge course. Last summer we all went to Family Camp that our Scout District held. Ben went to Wood Badge, while the kids and I attended Family camp. It was SO awesome. Tons of fun- a week of camping where I didn't have to cook ;) The boys each went to their "classes" they did crafts, played games etc. Bug got to shoot bow and arrows and bb guns, earned tons of cub scout things. Doodle played on the slide they had in their campground, went on nature walks, and had a great time. Even Roo enjoyed his class- even the day it Rained and rained and rained...."the rains came down, and the floods came up- and the Big green tent washed away" They went on nature walks, played with toys, and had a great time. I even had a class- we made family flags, went horseback riding, went to a museum, did some crafts, and just had much needed adult conversation.
All the while Ben was in Wood Badge training. With his training he had to set certain goals- and He accomplised his goals- so last night was the Ceremony where he received his beads. I didn't get a very good picture- but here it is anyway. I'm so proud of him and all the hard work he puts into the Boy Scout Troop in our ward. He is such an awesome Boy Scout Leader. Planning campouts every month, working on merit badges, advancements, and having fun! If only he can still be in Boy Scouts when Bug gets in there- though that's still a few years away.

Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Grey Bridge

Last week we had a fun time with our FIAR story of the week- The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Grey Bridge It's a neat story about a Lighthouse in New York City, and how the George Washington Bridge was built above it. On Monday we talked about New York- Read the Book Fireboat- the adventures of the John J. Harvey- a book about a fireboat that was retired, and some people bought it and fixed it up. On 9-11 they used the boat to help fight the fires after the terrorist attacks. Warning- it's a real tear-jerker- Doodle couldn't quite understand why I couldn't read the book without crying. I explained to him that it's a true story- that people really did crash airplanes into the buildings, and many people died, though we've talked about it before- I'm not sure he grasps the impact of it all. Tuesday we talked about personification- this book is an excellent example of personification. Wednesday we looked at the pictures in the book, talked about the colors used in it. Thursday we read The Bridge Book by Polly Carter and talked about different kinds of bridges. Then of course- we build some bridges- first out of craft sticks- (use number 10!) and then out of duplo lego blocks.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall nature lessons, and leading into Spring!

We have been enjoying Fall. I'd just as soon skip winter ;) and go straight to spring. I guess I live in the wrong part of the country to be able to do that. But for School we've been preparing our garden for spring. Doodle LOVES to rake leaves- so he played around in the leaves for a while.
My dad sent me an email with a cool link to some seasons lessons. The site is called Journey North on the site- it's a global study of the seasons. They track monarch migrations, whooping crane migrations, whales, plants and soo much more. We are participating in the Tulips experiment this year. What you do- plant Red Emperor Tulips, by their specifications on the map you can mark when you plant yours. Then when spring comes, you report back when your tulips first emerge, and when they bloom. They have animated maps that show you when spring "arrives".

So on Friday we did a few experiments. First we had to decide where the best spot was to plant our tulips. Using this page. Then we examined the bulbs closely, cut one open and drew pictures of what the tulip bulbs looked like. We made some predictions- using a few different variables. First- Bug wondered what would happen if he planted them 12 inches or 3 inches instead of the 7 inches that the website says. He predicted that the one that is planted 3 inches deep will bloom before the others, and the one that is 12 inches deep will bloom after the others. Then we wondered after looking closely at the insides of the tulip bulb, if it matters how fat around the bulb is, if fat ones grow better than skinny ones. So we measured our bulbs, numbered them, and we'll see in the Spring whether the fat ones grow better or not. Bug's prediction is that size doesn't matter. Doodle predicts that the fat ones will grow better.
AT LAST it was time to plant them! OOOH! LOOK! Another use for craft sticks! (use number 9)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Just some quick Halloween pics

We had a great time at the Halloween Party! Thanks Trish! Some pics of the kiddos in their costumes. All three Yeahoos-
Bug as Indiana Jones
Doodle as an Army guy. (he changed his mind SO many times this year- as of Thursday he was going to be a cowboy. Friday morning he was a Hunter, and by Friday night he's changed his mind again!) Btw- does anyone else have a kid who is HARD to get a good photo of?! He hardly ever will look at the camera when I'm trying to take a picture, and he's off and running before I can push the button.
Roo as "Dash Incredible"