Wednesday, February 17, 2010

100th Day Party

We've been counting the days of school this year. (For fun- we don't have to keep track and turn in any paperwork or anything) And yesterday was our 100th day of school- so we had a party. Pam came and brought each of the boys a pair of 100 glasses
Then we had 100 things to eat for lunch. We had 10 different things- and they had to count out 10 of each thing. Here's our lunch plate- 10 things- grapes, apple pieces, carrot sticks, raisins, pepperoni, pretzels, fish crackers, skittles, fruit snacks, and sunflower seeds.
And a 100 cookie for dessertPam and Doodle playing a 100's game- roll the dice and add up the numbers and see who can get to 100 first.
Roo seeing how many beads he can put on a necklace in 100 seconds.
Bug- finding places 100 miles away.
Then we popped 100 kernals of popcorn (which sorta didn't work all that well- as they kept flying out before they were popped. Then at the kids request- they watched 100 minutes of a movie. (ok- so I let them watch more than 100 minutes)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Snow" much fun

We had a wonderful time at the Cabin for President's Day. Ben was able to take Thur and Fri off work, so he and the boys and Pam's granddaughter M headed up E-a-r-l-y Thursday morning, (Pam and I came up later on Thursday) Then Ben's friend Keith and his 2 boys N and B came up Saturday morning.
The kids put on a "play" for us in the balcony Thursday night.
Picnic on the snowmobile
Pam and Roo out for a ski.
Roo with his new "lellow" helmet
We worked hard laying some laminate flooring in the kitchen area of the cabin. We spent most of Friday getting the work done!
Any chance he got Doodle was out driving the snowmobile around and around and around the cabin- there's RUTS all around the cabin where he went. Doodle is a great driver too. He's so cautious, and aware of what's all around him. Pam pulled the kids on a sled behind the snowmobile- they thought that was pretty fun.Game time! As Pam says, "Let's play a rousing game of Apples to Apples." I think M, Doodle and Bug all look about asleep!Roo, Doodle and B playing a marble game.Roo's job was to smash all the boxes that the flooring came in.More snowmobiling- Bug driving around the cabin.
We went for a ski down to the railroad bridge.Because the boys love to JUMP off the bridge into the powder below-Ben and Roo dug a snow cave- Roo thought it was pretty cool- and "maybe a coyote would sleep in his cave at night."

And yup- the obligatory picture of me- to prove that I was there ;) Since I'm always the one behind the camera.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oregon Trail Study

We are doing a fun Oregon Trail study this month. We will be following along with the wagon train on Westward Ho. We started yesterday with an introduction to the trail- and started playing a computer game of Oregon Trail I remember that I loved playing the Oregon trail computer game when I was little- and this version is a lot cooler than that one! You can start your journey in a few different cities- Independence- like the original trail, OR Nauvoo, IL, like the Mormon pioneers. And there's a few different destinations as well, Oregon City, or Salt Lake City. We did just the normal start in Indpendence and end in Oregon City, but I'm looking forward to playing this game lots this month with the boys and trying some of the other versions.

Here are a few books we're using for the first leg of our journey. Apples to Oregon (a tall tale- and Roo loves it!) The My America book is one I'm assigning Doodle to read this month. And the Seven Alone I found at DI- then I found a movie based on the book on Netfix that we'll be watching.I also have this neat Oregon Trail map that we'll be tracking our journey on.

Yesterday the boys each made a covered wagon out of craft sticks- (look- I found another use for the 1000's I have. ;)) I found the idea on this website and each of the boys made their own. Here's Doodle with his wagon.Roo and Mom's wagonBug had to make one too- even if he's not joining us in the Oregon trail studies (he's on a Jules Vern kick lately)We are looking forward to some fun things with this unit!

OH!! And Tuesday will be our 100th day of school party- so watch for some 100's fun.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Really cool Math website

I've been to this site before- but was just reminded of it- There are TONS of math manipulative type games- Tangrams, pattern blocks, lots of activities to do with adding, patterns, ones, tens and hunderds, and even algebra tile activities that my oldest is using to help with his algebra problems.

Monday, February 1, 2010

What makes our house run smoother?

I'm always looking for ways to make the home run more smoothly. Here's three of them that are working now.
#1- Freezer meals -- Oh I LOVE our freezer meals group. Once a month we make a bunch of a meal and have an exchange. And I always have some meals ready to pull out and make on those busy days. My boys think that the ladies in the group are the best cooks ever. "Who made this dinner?" me "Sister N." "Oh, she's the best cook ever" is heard quite often around here. :D Unfortunately- our group has dwindled, and we're looking for a few more people (hint hint- all you who are close by!)

#2- Morning routine- We have a pretty good routine going in the mornings. First kids make beds then we meet in the living room for morning prayers and devotional. We read a story from The Friend magazine, and sing a Primary Song and read 1 page from the Book of Mormon. One thing I've learned about scripture time- KEEP IT SHORT. It may take us 2 years to get through the Book of Mormon at a page a day- but I can have their full attention (most mornings) for a page. If we tried to read more, I'd lose them.
After Devotional the kids get going on their chores. We have a rotating schedule- it's posted on the fridge so everyone knows what jobs they have. The orage cards need to be done before breakfast, and the older boys need to take care of the animals before breakfast (Bug feeds and waters the dogs, pheasants and chickens, Doodle takes care of the Cockatiels)
The Purple jobs at the bottom are the room each boy is in charge of keeping clean for the week. It's usually done in the afternoons after quiet time.

The boy in charge of the Kitchen is responsible for helping with ALL dishes during the week, emptying the dishwasher, setting the table, helping to rinse or load dishes after meals. Here's Bug on Kitchen DutyThe boy in charge of the Laundry Room is responsible for getting everyone's clothes washed.(with mom's help as needed) Mondays are mom and dad's clothes, Tuesdays are Bug and Roo's clothes, Wednesdays are Doodle's clothes and a batch of kids whites, and Thursdays and Fridays are for towels, and sheets as needed. Yes- even 4 yr old Roo can help with Laundry.The Bathroom Boy is responsible for Cleaning the outside of the Toilet each day, cleaning the sink each day, then Monday is Mirrors, Tue- Inside of toilet, Wed- walls, lightswitches doorknobs, etc. Thur- Trash and Tub, Fri is Floors. Here's Doodle taking care of the birds.

#3- Workbox Drawers. I can't say enough for how well the drawers are working for schoolwork. The drawers 1,2,4,6,8,&9 pretty much stay the same each day-(with math, grammar, phonics, copywork, our Unit Study and all the other daily stuff) and 3,5&7 are rotated through with games, science and other fun stuff. On the chart- you'll notice that one boy in in charge of the "school room" Their responsibility is to fill drawers 3,5 and 7. :D This frees me up, I can give them ideas what I want in the drawers.So that's what's helping our house run more smoothly. What helps your house run smoothly?!