Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Up a creek (with a paddle)

On Saturday, Ben and Bug decided they needed to practice their canoeing skills- This summer they are going on another "adventure"- they are going on a canoe trip- they will canoe from Lewis Lake in Yellowstone- to Shoshone lake (the same lake they hiked to last year)- So we dropped them off in the river at the boat launch- and they paddled downriver- and we picked them up a few hours later- about 6 miles downriver. They had a fun time.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Blogiversary!

Wow- 1 year ago I started this blog. Amazing the things that have happened in one year. I'm enjoying going back over the posts and reading about our year-- Some of the highlights-

Bug the Guest blogger- telling about seeing a Grizzly in Yellowstone
And while we're on the subject of Bears- Can't miss the awesome video clips of the Grizzly we saw just outside of Yellowstone on Roo's birthday!

Don't forget all the fun B4FIAR and FIAR stories we've rowed this year- Mr. Gumpy , Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Grey Bridge, I am an artist And SO many more.

Many great Christmas Traditions Field Trips and Uses for Craft Sticks (watch out- I have a few more ideas coming soon!)

It's been a great year- and I really enjoy blogging, and having a place to put all my rambling thoughts, and cute pictures of my yeahoos.

Here's to many more years of Blogging! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

2 Pictures- 1 word

ok- maybe more than one word- What happened to SPRING?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More Math their way fun and games

We are still enjoying the Math their Way games. I like the hands-on element- it is especially important for Doodle who is ADHD to have a way to learn by DOING- I can talk my ear off- but if actually moves and figured it out on his own, he is much more likey to learn and remember it.

We are doing lots of graphing- I love all the ideas to graph everyday things- We graph the temperature each morning- (ok- so it's not scientific- as we don't necessarily do it at the same time each day- rofl- but rather whenever we get around to math) But rather than read the numbers- he measures how high on the thermometer the red line is- and cuts a piece of paper to match it. We tape it in our folder, and evaluate- "Last tuesday was the warmest day so far" etc.He also graphs the weather- you can't see it well in the picture- but the top line is "Sunny" the 2nd one says "Cloudy", then windy, rainy, snowy, then the bottom 2 are less than 50 degrees and greater than 50 degrees. He just places a paper square in the correct weather boxes each day- then we evaluate- "wow- there's been 3 more sunny days than cloudy days so far" or "there's the same number of days warmer than 50 as there are colder than 50"
For his Math "class" with Pam last week- he was given the assignment to graph how many birthdays there are in each month. So we got out the calendar- and he hooked chains on to the month cards- Then they compared the different months to see which month had the most birthdays, and added them all together to see how many total birthdays were on our calendar.

We are counting the days we've "done math" Doodle makes sure we have the same of craft sticks- 1 stick for each day we've done Math. (LOOK!! Another use for Craft sticks!) Then count out that SAME number of cubes, and determine whether it's an odd or even numberEach day we also add a number to our number line- counting the math days- odd numbers are yellow- even numbers are green. Multiples of 5 are circled in purple, and multiples of 10 have a orange square around them.Then we count out that same number (this day was 25) in change- Doodle found some different ways to make 25.Oh- and one more fun game from Math Their Way (This one is in their Newsletter- page 8- called Zurkle) We added our twist- and since Doodle had practiced counting by 10's he had a bunch of cubes already arranged in groups of 10. I would ring the bell, when I ring it- he adds a cube to the 1's side. When he gets 10- he connects them, and moves them to the 10's side. When I knock on the table, he adds a group of 10. Then he reads how many 10's and how many 1's he has on his chart. "5 tens and 6 ones- 56"

I left the camera sitting on the table- and found these pictures on it:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bug's "Tornado" science project

Bug was looking for a science project with Tornados to go along with the state he was studying- Ben told him that the "tornado in a bottle" (where you fill a jar with water, put in a marble and twirl it around, and it makes a tornado) wasn't enough of a project. So he found this project instead. While Doodle and I were at the Zoo- Ben and Bug were preparing a tornado! The modified the experiment and made it easier and cheaper- using glass from picture frames that were around the house and a vacuum (as opposed to the plexiglass and a bathroom exhaust fan)- the top and bottom are scrap pieces of wood with lines cut in them for the glass to rest in.
Here is the tornado! Looks pretty amazing!
There's a bowl of hot water in the bottom with some dry ice dropped in. The
kids were amazed at the properties for Dry Ice- So Ben made them some "Sprite" my making lemonade- and dropping some dry ice in it- they were all fascinated as it bubbled and steamed everywhere.

Date to the Zoo

One fun thing we do in our family is that each week someone gets a date- the kids take turns- one week it's Roo and Mom, the next week it's Doodle and mom, then Bug and Mom- Then Ben and I get a date- then the boys each take a turn with Ben. It's a fun way to spend 1-on-1 time with each of the boys, and it ensures that Ben and I get a date- because at least once a month it's our turn- and the boys tell us "You need to go on a date this week"

Well it was Doodle and Mom's turn for a date this week- and since Doodle has been interested in studying animals, I decided it would be fun to go to Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City on a date. (Usually the kids get to pick what we do on a date- but I told Doodle I had something planned instead) So on Saturday- Doodle and I went to the Zoo. We had a fun time just the 2 of us. We saw the animals, rode the zoo train, walked all around and explored. We went at his pace- if he wanted to spend 10 minutes watching the giraffes, we could do that, and if he didn't care about the kangaroos- we could say "yup- there's the Kangaroo, let's go see something else."
We enjoyed watching the giraffes- after "rowing" The Giraffe that Walked to Paris for school this week.And the Tortoise was great! Doodle studied Turtles and Tortoises a few weeks ago.I'm sure Tigers will make it into the "I want to study lineup" before too much longer- this one was pacing back and forth along the fence.It was great fun watching the Black Bears play.

Here's Doodle and Mom on the train ride at the zoo.Thanks Doodle for a fun date! I love you! I'm so glad you are my boy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

His First Missing Tooth

Doodle has had a loose tooth for a long time now- but he would NOT let anyone touch it or wiggle it or anything. Finally yesterday I went grocery shopping, and when I came home- he told me he couldn't eat dinner, because his tooth was too loose, and Dad would have to pull it out. So before dinner Ben pulled it out for him. He was pretty proud he'd finally lost a tooth. The Hole in his mouth-

Doodle holding the little Tooth.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nature Notebooks

AAAAHHH! Maybe just Maybe spring could be on it's way! Finally most of the snow is melted- there's still a huge pile on the North side of the house and shed, and a small pile in the back yard where it slid off the roof. I am anxious for spring weather. We spent yesterday afternoon out in the yard working in the flower beds. Yesterday when the mail came- I got this book in the mail- I'd ordered it used on amazon, and I am excited to begin using it!
Sunday afternoon we went for a Sunday Drive out to the Bird Refuge. We enjoy going to the Bird Refuge- they have a great visitor center (which is closed on Sundays- so we didn't go in this time) Here and here are pics from a couple other times we've been there. (Sidenote- I love Sunday Drives! We put the kids in the car- listen to a book on cd and just drive!- Never know where we'll end up- sometimes we have a plan sometimes we just GO. A few weeks ago we ended up way out by the Great Salt Lake in Promontory.) Sunday afternoon we headed out towards the Bird Refuge- as we had heard that the Tundra Swans were here during their migration. There were THOUSANDS of Tundra Swans. We rolled down the windows and listened to them. It was amazing! We tried to get a picture of a few that were closeby. Not a great picture, but oh well.
We also saw some deer, tons of ducks, lots of Canadian Geese, and even a skunk- I've seen plenty of "Dead skunks in the middle of the road" (thanks Dad- for teaching my boys such a wonderful song) But this one was alive and walking around just off the side- Ben told Doodle to get out and chase it- to which he replied "No- then you wouldn't let me back in!" Smart kid!
So yesterday the kids and I started our Nature Notebooks. Warning- I am NOT an artist- I truly can't draw. But I'm willing to give it a shot I guess! Here's my first entry.Here's Roo's first entry- a Killdeer

And Doodle's picture of a Robin. I think he did great!

Bug took off outside with his notebook- and I haven't seen it- I'm sure it's half-ful already. We're going to try and do at least 2-3 entries a week in our notebooks.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lessons in Pie

First off you have to know that Ben makes a great pie crust! I've attempted pie crusts before (when we did How to make an Apple Pie and See the World for School) and the poor pies just looked pathetic. The other day, Bug was looking for something to cook. He's really becoming a huge help in the kitchen. He makes cookies all by himself, and can make a few dinners as well. Well, he found a can of pumpkin. And of course- Pumpkin Pie is his favorite- so he said he was going to make some pumpkin pie. I told him I was no help- and got out of the kitchen quick! lol- But Ben came in and gave a lesson in Pie Making.
Here's Ben teaching Bug how to tell if it's the right consistency for rolling out.
Bug rolling out the dough
The filled pies ready to bake
Pulling them out of the oven
All done- Delicious

Only Problem- they were too hot to eat before Bedtime....Ssshhh! Don't tell Eric and Natalie I gave their kids Pumpkin Pie for BREAKFAST! (it's kinda healthy right? There's a vegetable in there)

Micah's Pumpkin Pie Recipe
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 t. salt
3 1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
4 eggs
1 large can pumpkin
2 cans evaporated milk

1 cup flour
some sugar
some butter or shortening
1 t. salt
(See here's why I can't make it- there's no measurements! But according to Ben you just mix it together until it looks and feels right)

Mix dry ing. cut in butter, add water to gather together, roll out and put in pie tins.
Mix sugar, salt and spices. Beat in eggs. Mix in pumpkin, Slowly mix in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shells. Bake 425 for 15 minutes, Place a piece of Tin foil on the empty rack abovet he pies, and turn heat down to 350 bake 40-50 minutes or until done.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Math games

The more I homeschool, the more I realize that it truly doesn't have to be "school at home" While I'm certainly not going to jump off the dock into unschooling- (Sorry Miranda!)- I've found a wonderful Math program- Math Their Way What's even better- I actually found it on Paperback Swap for FREE! Ben's Aunt Pam recommended Math their Way to me- she used to teach math and science in public schools, and said if I ever came across it to use it. Well, I looked a bit when Bug was little- but didn't see it, and just went with something more traditional. Since Bug has been going to "math class" at her house- she offered to teach Doodle math as well. Anyhow- Math Their Way is SO fun! We simply play games- Doodle spent over an hour yesterday playing math games, and then he said "oh, now I have to do math" and I said "NO! You already did math!"

Here's Doodle's Favorite Game- it's a variation of a couple Math their way games- He calls it In the Cave. We have a number we are working on that day- today was 7. So we each have 7 counting items- (he loves the transportation counters- a thrift store find.)
Then we hide a certain number of them in our cave (a bowl or cup- we used the counting Bears cups- Roo was playing with the bears- so we borrowed their cups.) Then you say how many you have inside the cave, and how many are outside the cave. (For example with 7 bears, I put 2 inside and 5 outside- then I say out loud- 2 and 5)

It's so simple- yet he realized quite quickly as we were playing with 7 today- if he has 4 inside he has to have 3 outside- every single time. If he has 6 inside there has to be 1 outside. With 7's 6 and 1 go together, 5 and 2 go together, 3 and 4 etc.. Then we played a variation on this- where I'd put some under the cave, and he'd have to guess how many are under there- but knowing I have 7 total- he was pleasantly surprized when he knew the answers. (Of course with Doodle- anytime I plan a game- he has to throw his little "twists" into the game- so we played with a dice to tell us how many to put under the cave- I'm okay with that- rofl- but I think his favorite part was zooming the dice across the floor to me!)

Another fun game was with the geoboards and rubber bands. I have a pattern of a geoboard in a plastic page protecter- and use a dry erase marker to make a pattern on it. Then he tries to copy the pattern onto the geoboard with rubber bands. This was surprizingly tricky for him.

Overall I'm pleased, we are having fun, and will be starting lots more fun Math Their Way games in the coming months.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

March field trip

We had a wonderful time at our field trip this month- we went to the University Flight school, and airport- and learned all about Airplanes- If you know my Roo- you'll know he LOVES airplanes- and is going to be a pilot when he grows up- (Thanks Tim- he is STILL talking about his ride in Alpha Alpha almost 2 years later!) Roo was in Heaven. They let him climb up and look in the cockpit- and see all the instruments. As he moved the stick back and forth the parts of the wing and tail moved, and he was SO excited! After the trip to the Airport- we make a quick stop at the small park/zoo- Doodle was hoping to see the turtles- but unfortunately there are "off display" until the weather is nicer (along with Roo's favorite, the monkeys) But the coyotes, foxes, and bobcats were awake and wandering. Usually they are fast asleep when we stop in there. All three kiddos watching the ducks. It might be a small zoo- but it's cheap and a ton of fun.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Learning notes for the week-

I LOVE how Miranda over at The Outer Edge of Normal posts learning notes about what her kids are doing for "school" (loosely said) So in an attempt to show myself that yes they are indeed learning something and I'm not just Throwing Marshmallows Here's a post about our week-
Roo- for school this week we read If Jesus Came to My HouseIt is a sweet rhyming story about a boy who imagines what he would do if Jesus came to his house. It talks SO perfectly about the Golden Rule- and about how when we are serving others we are serving God. So we hit on quite a bit in the way of scripture stories.
In the Story- the boy says he would build a palace- so here's Roo building his palace and throne with blocks.

The story mentions that he imagines Jesus would be "about the age that I am, and about the height of me" So Roo used links to measure how tall he is, and made chains to show how old he is, and how old everyone in the family is. Here's how old Doodle is."Mom- you can't be this old- cuz it's as big as I am"
In the story- the boy talks about how sometimes at night he's scared of the shadows. So Roo and I did an experiment with shadows- You have to look close- there are 5 outlines of shadows on the sidewalk. Roo went outside about every hour- and stood in the same spot- and we outlined where his shadow fell.

He had a FUN time with his experiment- and he'd set the timer to know when to go back out. He was thrilled to show his experiment to Dad.

Since the story has pictures drawn in black with just a bit of red for accents- Roo painted a picture with Red and black paint.

Here's Doodle's Week- He really really really wanted to learn about Turtles. Ok- whatever- But there's no FIAR stories about Turtles- so I was scrambing (I can put together units- but I really prefer to stick to what's been done) But we learned about Turtles, and he is making an animal notebook. Here's the first pages in it- All the lapbook compontents are from Homeschool Share The next pages are his copywork sentences- I just LOVE Startwrite for handwriting- I pick a sentence from the books we are reading- type it in to the startwrite program and select the font- I use HWT (Handwriting without tears font) it's simple, no frills, and what we used when first learning how to write all the letters. Then I print the page, and it's ready for Doodle- he copies the sentence (we're working on using capital letters and periods where they belong- throwing in a little grammar as well). The funnest part is when we are reading the story- he LOVES to listen for his sentence.

Overall I think the Turtles week went well. Next week Doodle wants to learn about Alligators and Crocodiles- again- no FIAR title- so I'm winging it again. And the week after that Giraffes....I feel a zoo trip coming on!