Friday, January 30, 2009

Giveaway winners- and Roo's ABC Bunny Week

Roo drew the winners this morning- The winner of The Red Carpet is CarrieJoy and the winner of Caps for Sale is Diana. Congrats to the two winners!

We had a great week with ABC Bunny this week. Someday I've got to learn how the song in the back of the book goes- cuz it would be fun to SING it- but it'd take a while for me to figure it out on the piano. We did a lot with the alphabet this week- puzzles, cards, matching games, fridge phonics, fishing for letters, Cariboo (FUN simple preschool game!) and hopping like a bunny to pick up the correct letter or sound-
Since ABC Bunny is of course- about a Bunny- We went on a "field trip" to Doodle's room in the basement- so he could teach us about Bunnies- Roo thought it was great to go on a field trip to the basement- lol- and Doodle was thinking he was just the coolest ever- to get to be the one to teach Roo about Rabbits.

We also talked about Rhyming words- and played a Rhyming file folder game. Though I'm not sure that he quite "gets" what words rhyme yet. Guess we'll continue on with that another day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

School with Doodle- World War II

Drawing for the Preschool Book Giveaway will be Tomorrow! So enter now!

Doodle and I have been reading a bit about World War II lately. He's suddenly into all things war- he bought a army hat for dress-ups with his "tokens" (our token system is a post for another day) He's been playing with the little green army men, and tanks, and thinking I'd better hit him with the lessons while he's interested - we "rowed" A New Coat for Anna this past week. We learned about Post World War II Germany- and read Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot- about the Candy Bomber dropping candy into Germany to the children there. Also we read Don't you know there's a War on? We put World War II into our timeline book -and talked briefly about some key points of the war. (How do you explain such horrors as war, atomic bombs, and concentration camps to a first grader? I guess you just keep it simple!)

Doodle practing some measuring- we talked about how the tailor measured Anna to make a pattern for her coat- so Doodle practiced measuring some things, and reading 2-digit numbers.Doodle learned about weaving- and waved this placemat. It was blue and lellow" so Roo loved it.We also learned about Sheep and Wool-we read Farmer Brown Shears his Sheep and the process it takes to turn the fleece from the sheep into blankets and shirts. This is a cool resource we got from Pendleton Wool.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Preschool Book Give-away

I'm doing a book giveaway on my blog this week. I will be giving away 2 books- both are used but in good condition- (when I find books I love I can't pass them up- even if I already have them!) Both are books used in Before Five in a Row- the cirriculum I use with Roo- and have used with all myboys when there were preschool age.
Book 1- Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina- The classic story of a pedler and the monkeys who steal his caps.

And Book 2- The Red Carpet by Rex Parkin- The exciting story of the runaway carpet. With policemen on motorcycles- this is one of our favorite Before FIAR titles. It's Out of Print- and sometimes a little hard to find.

How to enter- it's simple- Blog about something fun and educational you have done with your preschooler lately. (An Example- Katy No-Pocket with Roo)In my comments- leave a link to your blog post. I will have Roo randomly pick the 2 winners on January 30- next Friday.

Roo's fun with Katy No-Pocket

Katy No Pocket is one of our favorite stories (I know....I know....I say that about every book we do for school!) On Monday we read the story and talked about the different animals in the story. We used these cards from Homeschool Share (A wonderful resource) We started by identifying all the animals (opposum was a new one for Roo) then sorted the animals by mammals and non-mammal, then sorted them by where they live.

On Tuesday we read other books about animal mothers- and talked about moms and how much they love their babies. Wednesday we colored a picture of a Kangaroo, and talked about being grateful for the blessings we have and telling people who help us thank you.

Today was a fun day- we acted out part of the story- Here's Roo as the Man with all the pockets. We put toy tools in the pockets, then he took off the apron and dumped out the tools. Then Roo put his "Itty Cat" in the pocket (since he doesn't have a baby Kangaroo) and hopped around. Then we played the Tool Matching game (again from Homeschool Share) "Roo and I LOVE doing school time together!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A mother's purpose....

Yesterday at church I was taught a powerful lesson. It's amazing how the plain and simple truths sometimes hit you over the head. I serve in the Primary- (like Sunday school for children ages 3-11) The children were learning a new song, called The Family is of God click to listen to it- it's a BEAUTIFUL song. Doodle and his friend K were singing at the top of their lungs- as loud as can be- so that the sing-o-meter (chart with an arrow that moves from "dead" to super singers" depending on how well the children sing) could read "super singers"

But the words had a powerful impact- as my 6 yr old sang "God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be—This is how He shares His love, for the fam’ly is of God." Yes indeed we do have families to help us become what he wants us to be. Not just for children to become what he wants them to be- but for us parents as well. My children teach me lessons all the time- and today I was humbled enough to listen to the lesson they were teaching through music.

They were working on the 3rd verse- and it's about mothers- "A mother’s purpose is to care, prepare,To nurture and to strengthen all her children.She teaches children to obey, to pray,To love and serve in the fam’ly."

As the music leader had the key words on strips on the board to help the kids learn the words- the Lord whispered to me- yes- this is indeed your calling- I want you to care for your children, I want you to prepare them- prepare them to serve missions, prepare them to be husbands and fathers and future leaders in the church. I want you to nurture your children- love them, play with them, spend time with them. Often I get stuck in the rut of "let's get the school work done- then Go off to play by yourself. I forget that the Lord wants me to homeschool so that I can spend time with my kids, and nurture them. He wants me to strengthen my children so they can withstand the many temptations of the world. He wants me to teach them to obey and do what's right. To Pray to our Father in Heaven. And to teach them about Love and Service- not just serving strangers or neighbors- but most importantly about serving IN the family.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy Birthday BUG!!!

Boy- I can't believe how time has flown! Bug is 10 years old today. It doesn't seem possible that it was really 10 years ago that I was begging (ok- not quite- but almost) my doctor to let me have this baby already! Bug has ALWAYS loved to EAT- Bug is such a great kid! He loves to learn, and is a great student. He is a great friend to all he knows. He loves to Hike (Read about his Yellowstone backpacking adventure Here) and he is a Purple belt in Karate. But his all-time favorite thing in the world is Harry Potter- (ok- he's a little obsessed! When asked what he wanted to do on his birthday he replied- "Watch all the Harry Potter Movies" And that's what he's doing right now!)
He was Harry Potter for Halloween when he was 4.
And he got Harry Potter Robes and a wand for Christmas this year too. He LOVES to stump his Harry Potter 20 questions game.

Bug is a great kid- and I'm SO glad he's my boy. He's always willing to help out, and he's a great example to his little brothers. WE LOVE YOU BUG!!

Puppet Museum Field Trip

We had our Monthly Homeschool group Field trip yesterday. We went to the World of Puppetry Museum at the Fine Arts Center Who knew such a small town could have such a neat treasure! We learned about shadow puppets, rod puppets, marionettes, and many other types of puppets. This Dragon puppet was a huge hit with my boys.We watched a Punch and Judy Puppet show- which my boys thought was hilarious- (until an alligator came out- and Roo was scared to death- lol)
My 3 kiddos- by the HUGE Punch puppet- notice the strangle hold on Roo---- what's with that?!

Friday, January 9, 2009

AHHH Routines!

As much as I enjoyed taking December off from School- I was THRILLED to start back up. Breaks are nice- but ahhhh- routines are SO much easier! We started school back up on Monday with a few changes. After finishing up his Skylark notebook in the fall, and Bug learned about Maine. Well, he said he really wanted to learn more about the 50 states. So Ben told me to get it figured out. After trying to plan a unit on the 50 states- I gave up- I told him- I'd rather just keep going with Beyond FIAR- since it's all written out for me. But Ben said he'd take over Bug's school assignments. Tee-hee- I've also delegated math- and he now goes to Ben's Aunt Pam's house for Math class once a week, so all I have left to work with Bug on is spelling and grammar.

So Ben came up with an AWESOME spreadsheet worksheet for Bug. He will do one for each state, and do 1 state a week- so this is going to be a l-o-n-g project. In his studies Bug does the research he needs, draws his own map, complete with county lines and important cities. He studies the Native American Tribes that lived there, the first settlers, 10 interesting people (and does a report on one) 10 plants and animals native to that state (and draws pictures of them) Finds 10 interesting places in the state, and does a report on one of them. I think it's going to work GREAT! The best thing is- it's independent! I don't have to plan out each week, or do much of anything other than sit by him while he researches on the internet (We need to find a good cheap internet filter- any suggestions?!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Road Trip part 2

Friday morning we left Page and took a side trip through Zion National Park. It was absolutely AMAZING! I've lived in Utah my whole life, and never been there before. The sheer cliffs, and the beautiful Red Rock contrasted with the brilliant white snow.
The Zion-Mt Carmel Tunnel was quite the sight to drive through- 1 mile long- (this isn't the mile long- one- but a shorter one we went through first) We took the bikes off the rack- and did
some biking- on the Pa'rus trail
There were about 6 deer not too far off the trail- Roo was so funny- we hopped off the bikes to walk up a trail, and he was in front. A minute later he starts running back to us almost crying- What? "I saw a bear!" ROFL- ok- so it wasn't a bear- but 3 deer. Good eyes kiddo! How many adults would walk right by and never see them- they are quite camoflauged. He has of course heard Bug (many many times) tell about hiking in Yellowstone and there was a Grizzly Bear on their trail. (Read about that Here!)Many of the trails were slick and icy- so we didn't hike on too many trails- but we did take this one at the end of the canyon-
Roo- "flying" down the trailMy STRONG MEN- holding up the rock so I could walk under it.
And Some Indian Petroglyphs- Pretty cool!

We spent the night in Cedar City- and stopped at Cove Fort. It was a neat Pioneer site- I of course forgot to pull out my camera. oops! But it was a GREAT road trip. I love spending time in Nature with my boys. Last summer- the kids and I went to Colorado for a family reunion- while we were there- my dad and uncles and aunts were talking about how when they were little my Grandma would always tell them to "look out the window- Look at the Beautiful rocks....etc" I found myself telling my own children this very same thing "Wow- look at those beautiful Rocks" What a Legacy!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Road Trip!

On New Year's Eve- Ben and the kids and I went on a road trip- we picked up Ben from work at noon and headed out. We went down to Page, Arizona to visit Ben's brother Bill and his family. We decided that since Gas was so cheap- it was time to make a trip down there. We had a BLAST!! We got down there just in time to sing Happy Birthday to Ben's little Brother Nick- and have cake.Then it was time to party! We played games and the kids watched movies...err slept. (Tell them they can stay awake, and they'll fall asleep every time. But if you tell them to go to sleep....they'll be up all night!)

New Years Day we made a donut run while everyone else was sleeping (the only problem with the kids falling asleep early-- is they are up early!) Then we hopped on our bikes and went for a bike ride around town, with our niece K leading the way. I got a bike rack for my birthday last year from Doodle- so I was excited to get to use it- as we threw on 4 bikes (Roo rode on a baby seat behind me- uggg! he's too big for it- he's got to learn to ride his own bike this year! ;))The highlight of Roo's whole trip- was watching a little airplane take off from the small airport. He is absolutely obsessed with airplanes. Every time we get in the car Roo always has to say "Let's pretend we're in an airplane and I'm flying" (Thanks Tim! - over a year later- and he's still obsessed with airplanes! He needs to go for another ride!)

We went out for lunch and decided to go see a few "touristy" spots- a lookout of the Glen Canyon Dam- and Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River.
We had a great time hiking around, the scenery was just beautiful! The kids all had fun hiking with their cousins-
K, is such a great big sister! Half the crew at Horseshoe bend overlook- notice the tight grip on Roo- What a view- and what a dropoff!
Isn't she a cutie! Our niece C.Doodle, Bug, and cousin K- climbing on some rocks.Raellen, Alexandria, Bill and Ben's mom- the "just to the top of the hill" crew.
K, C, Bug and Doodle posing for a shot.

Our little family!

More on our trip to come-