Friday, April 28, 2006

The best birthday present

It's an official school holiday today!! Mommy's birthday.

One of the best presents a mom can get on her birthday are two sweet little kids running up to her with great excitment, holding the very first dandilions of the year in their little hands wanting you to put them in a vase. Nothing better than that.

The flowers are cheerfully resting on my kitchen table in an adorable egg cup that seemed the perfect size for the tiny blossoms. Posted by Picasa

Our little ribbon cutter

Remember that painting E did in the winter, and her teacher wanted to enter it for their artshow?

They phoned me yesterday with really good news!! They had some artists judge the pieces, and they chose E's to be the one that they print up on the invitation card they are sending out to everyone!

And... they want her to come a little early for the opening night so that they can show her what to do when she cuts the ribbon to offically open the show. Isn't that cute?

It's on June 22nd in the evening if anyone wants to come check out our little artist in her very first art show :-)

Oh, and she chose a name for her paining: 'Love'.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My little helper

Today we had a busy day: we did a reading and spelling lesson, math (counting by tens, adding tens), and read another story about the pond people.. this time about a snapping turtle. Did you know they can eat baby alligators?? Yikes! not the kind of turtle I'd like to meet in a pond.

This was all before 9am, when we drove off to the swimming pool for another lesson. They both did great again :-) After naptime, we all got up and started dinner preparations and then made cookies together.

E was my great little helper when I was getting ready for dinner: she peeled the potatoes all by herself! She was so proud to be such a good helper.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

podcasts anyone?

While we don't have a television, and while I don't let my children spend more than 30 min every few weeks or so playing on the computer, I do appreciate technology and how it can enrich our educational experience and our every day lives.

For one, blogging is so much fun, and such a great way to keep a record of our homeschooling adventures... and I love connecting with other moms and seeing what other people are experiencing.

And this week I have especially enjoyed learning about the new world of podcasts. These are free internet 'radio' shows that anyone and everyone can produce with the help of a microphone and a computer. They are saved as MP3 files, and can be listened to on an iPod... which I have no need for (imagine the craziness that would erupt in my house if I put earphones on for more than 30 seconds). You can also listen to them on your computer... and since our computer is in the living room and functions as our stereo (being hooked up to our speakers), I can listen to them during the day.

There are podcasts on just about anything.. but we have especially been enjoying a few good ones for kids. This morning the kids are listening to 'StoryNory'. It's a weekly podcast with old fairytales and stories read by this woman with a wonderful english accent. We've listened to Alibababa, the princess and the pea, the real cinderella, goldilocks, etc...

You can find other podcasts by looking through some of the directories out there.. or you can just google what you're looking for (i.e. podcast cooking).

We've also enjoyed Classics for kids (a real radio show, not a podcast, but they are archived online)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Back to school

We had a nice long easter break, (and believe me, it was needed... mostly by mom LOL). Today we decided to get back into the swing of things for another month or so until we wrap up our Kindergarten year for good. I think we'll have to have a special celebration when we are done. Any ideas out there?

Since it was our first day back, we took it pretty slow. First we had swimming lessons (the kids are getting so brave in the water.. this was a great thing to do for them!! Z even dipped half of his face into the water today. big boy!!). When we got home, we toured around the yard looking at signs of spring and new growth in our plants. Then we came in and read The dragon-fly Children and the Snapping Turtle, and then looked up in our books about dragonflies. We learned that they are born in the water, they eat bugs and even tadpoles, and they have 6 legs and 4 wings. E decided she wanted to paint some dragonflies so we got out our water colors and set to work:

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

It's Spring (for now)

What a beautiful day up here!! It's so sunny and warm... my crocuses are blooming, my tulips are close, my raspberries and rhubarb are starting to grow, and even the peony I gave up for lost is sprouting new growth. What a nice day to be alive. I don't even have to make dinner because I'm heating up leftovers from a yummy dinner a dear friend brought over for me last night.

This morning the kids got up nice and early with big smiles on their faces asking for breakfast. After a morning of playing very nicely, we went to their swimming lessons where they did such a good job and were both very brave.

After swimming lessons, we treated ourselves to a nice lunch at the lazy loaf, and then a quick walk around the nice quilting store (I don't actually have time to quilt, but it's fun to browse and imagine all the pretty things I could make if I really wanted to LOL).

After that, we were off to the doctors office for a checkup (all of them are very healthy, but surprisingly quite short... must be from my mom's genes), and then they convinced me that it was a good day to take a walk along the river path. So we wandered along the river, looking at the rocks, the branches, the canada geese (and their poop), and ended up at a playground where E quickly adopted a little girl as her new friend and they played and played for 45 min.

The little girl was so cute: she was telling E how to spell her name

little girl: "M....e....n....a...."

E: "ohhh!!!" (as in, oh that's such a nice way to spell Mena)

Little Girl: "no no no, O is not in my name".

E just smiled at her kind of like she smiles at Z when he is being illogical but cute.

Now we are home and they are playing picnic on my coffe table (eating ponies and trains because apparently they are too lazy to go upstairs and get their play food). Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 17, 2006

Swimming Lessons

Well E decided that after her art lessons, she'd like to do some swimming lessons, and so Z joined her in the 3-5 year old class. The first class was a little touch and go, as they initially seperated the 3 and 5 yr olds into different classes, and Z was scared without his sister. He spent the whole class crying and sat out beside me for the last half.

He decided to be very brave the next time, and held tightly onto E's hand the whole time. He also clutched a little toy boat through his whole class like a security blanket. Although he didn't do much of what the teacher tried to get them to do, he stayed in the water the whole time and didn't cry once, so we were so proud of our big boy.

E really enjoyed her lessons. She looked like such a mommy, holding on to her brother's hand the whole time... and she was so brave getting her face wet, floating on her back, and splashing around. Other than swimming, we haven't done a lot of school this past week. I've been so tired, and have been trying to rest as much as I can. Now that I'm getting out of the first trimester, I'm starting to feel much better, so we'll finish up our Kindergarten year in the next month or so. I want to get to counting by fives, telling time, and an intro to subtraction in math, and in phonics, I'd like to introduce long vowels. Other than that, we are pretty much done for the year.

I'm going to start a scrapbook and finish it over the summer of E's Kindergarten year that documents all of her projects and things she learned with picutres etc. I'm sure that will be a fun thing to do together... and then I'd like to finish poor Z's baby book, and H's while i'm at it.

Happy Easter everyone!! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My big Boy

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Happy Birthday!!

Hard to believe it but my baby just turned one!!! Even harder to believe... my other baby just turned three!! We had a lovely party for them on the weekend and I just can't believe how grown up they all look now.

H is walking like a pro now. She even attempted running the other day, and is also trying to climb up on anything she can reach. She loves her new skills and is quite happy these days. We're also enjoying a short reprive from teething around here, and she is sleeping really good at nighttime again. yay!!
Z is in heaven playing with all of his new 'boy' toys. Living with two sisters has given him lots of fun playing princess and bad guys, and playing house, playdough and coloring.. but he has yet to experience the fun of playing with tonka trucks, fire trucks, castles, knights, lego etc... He loves every single one of his presents and is just so happy.
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Monday, April 03, 2006

spelling rules

Today mommy learned something new!! Since I was never given the benefit of phonics instruction, my spelling has never been the best. I am trying to help E have good spelling, from the beginning.

I learned there are actually rules that govern most words! Today, we learned that in a single syllable word, you usually write "k" if it comes before an "i", and you write "c" if it comes before an "a". She figured it out right away and had fun writing her answers on the slate. Later on, the kids spent the morning playing with some playdough we made together. They had so much fun making snakes and animals. I even got to sneak in a small nap. After lunch, they enjoyed the warm spring weather and played in the dirt for a few hours. I had to stop their fun when I went in search of them and found them playing some bad guy/good guy game with Z being chained to the house with daddy's big rusted iron chain he uses to lock up his long ladder. LOL
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