November 24, 2007

Eight years!!!

Thank you Lord for my husband. Thank you for our marriage and the eight years of blessed unity that we celebrate TODAY! We've tasted and seen your goodness in our lives through it all and my heart is overflown with thanksgiving. You are a GREAT and AWESOME GOD. Not to us, but to You be the glory.
Psalm 127:1 "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it"

November 22, 2007


Give THANKS always and for everything, to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20 (ESV)

November 21, 2007

We finished our first lapbook!

Here's some pictures from our Turkey Time! lapbook. The resource pack is from Hands of A Child and we added the pictures, stickers, coloring page & writing. Noah decorated the cover with stickers and pasted clip art.

The left column has a turkey colored by Caleb, a rhyme we learned & pictures from our costumes and cranberry turkeys. The center has some of the turkeys from our counting feathers activity. The right column has the cards for popcorn counting & food/color matching games and a mini book with foods that start with "T".
This is the inside of the center flap. We glued images of our thanksgiving meal (from sales paper) to a plate. We also added our memory verse (Ephesians 5:20) and Caleb's list of thanksgiving.
Here's the back of the center extension. This was our popcorn painting art project.
On the back of the folder we added a coloring page of Squanto & Samoset (from FamilyLife).

November 20, 2007

Day 5- Gratitude

Our theme for today was gratitude. The Pilgrims are a great example of thankful hearts. They demonstrated their gratitude towards the Wampanoag and above all to the Lord of all providence.

We read together Luke 1:12-19 (the story of Jesus where Jesus heals 10 lepers but only comes back to say THANK YOU).

We prayed together that we would have thankful hearts like the pilgrims and this man in the bible story.

My challenge for Caleb is for him to practice saying thank you to 10 people this week. We will track it by putting a smiley face sticker by our memory verse every time he thanks someone.

Caleb's List of Thanksgiving

  • For my food
  • For Jesus dying on the cross
  • For washing away my sins
  • for mami and for everyone
  • for Lolo Ben's garden

November 19, 2007

Day 4-Thanksgiving Meal

Our yummy cranberry turkeys
Today we talked about the first thanksgiving meal and our meal this week.
Most of the activities we did were from the Hands of a Child lapbook which included
  • a book of food that starts with "T"
  • thanksgiving food-color matching game cards
  • A dinner plate to paste pictures of our menu

New vocabulary words= feast, cornucopia, stuffing

For the cranberry turkeys I used a can of jellied cranberry sauce, thinly sliced and used our turkey cookie cutter. This was our snack after lunch today.

November 17, 2007

Day 3-Wampanoag!

Today we learned a little bit about the Wampanoag community. We talked about the kindness they showed to the Pilgrims.
Our read aloud today was...
The boys LOVED this book!!! We pointed out differences between the Indians and the Pilgrims children; their chores, how they played, how they dressed, where they lived, etc.
Then we colored a picture of Squanto & Samoset to add to our lapbook.
I had purchased for the boys some very inexpensive Indian/Pilgrims costumes and today they got the Indian ones.
And here's some pictures of my little Wampanoag!

November 16, 2007

Day 2-Popcorn!

Today we talked about giving and helping like the pilgrims and the indians and how we can do the same to others. Tomorrow we are going to drop off our Operation Christmas child shoebox, so I tied in this with our lesson in giving.
Our theme was POPCORN! And we read this cute book that tells the story of thanksgiving using the alphabet.
We did popcorn art picture by dipping popcorn on fingerpaint and creating a picture with it.

We also played a popcorn numbers match game. We used the cards provided on the Hands of a Child lapbook and we took corn putting the correct number of kernels into each basket. Mommy came the check their work and if they got the correct count for each card they could eat that number of popcorns!!!

NOTE: this green table is the "express yourself" place of the house. The boys are allowed to use markers, stickers, stamps or whatever they want here....which explains the way it looks!! :-)
We also played some music and the kids pretending to "pop" by squatting down and then jumping high. When the music stopped, they would freeze.

November 15, 2007

Turkey Time! Day One-Turkeys

Today we started our study about Thanksgiving and our Turkey Time lapbook from Hands of A Child. Everyday till next Thursday, we are going to read together Psalm 100 and memorize Ephesians 5:20 "Give thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ".
This is the book we read today. Beautiful illustrations. The story is in rhyme. It starts and ends with the first thanksgiving feast and narrates all the events in the story in between.

Since our theme today was TURKEYS I told the boys that while I read the story when they spotted a turkey to shout "gobble, gobble, gobble"! They had a lot fun doing this.

We talked a little bit about where the pilgrims came from and who they found in the new land. I am planning to build more into the story in the next days. I pointed out how we still eat many of the things they ate on the first thanksgiving day.

FUNNY NOTE: When we got to the page where the Indians where illustrated both boys said at the same time "they have no clothes!" (meaning the men had no tops). ;-)
Turkey Activities
We talked about the different ways we eat turkeys (ground turkey, deli for our sandwich, etc.)

We colored a turkey picture to add to our lapbook. Then we played a simple counting game where each turkey had a number written on their tummy and I cut little scraps of paper (feathers) and the boys glued the right amount of feathers to each turkey.
We learned 2 simple rhymes today and acted them out. The boys loved them.
A turkey is a funny bird, his head goes wobble, wobble.
And he only says one word...Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!

Turkeys in the barnyard, what do they say?
Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, all day.
Turkey on the dinner table, what do we say?
Yummy, yummy, yummy, yummy, yummy all day.
Turkey in our tummies, what do we say?
Yaaaaaaawn, we ate too much on Thanksgiving Day!

I also showed them this picture of them following a turkey when we visited abuelo's farm last February.

Tomorrow we will read a new book and our theme is POPCORN!

November 14, 2007

Leaf Hunt

Yesterday we had a very mild November day (60 degrees!) so we decided
to take a walk outside and go on a leaf hunt. I gave the boys a Ziploc bag each
for them to collect leaves or different colors and shapes.

Then we used a leaves field guide that was on our Sunday newspaper to try
to identify some of them. And we trace some of them unto paper.

And here's some of the neighborhood animals we spotted during our leaf hunt.

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November 13, 2007


Noah reciting John 3:16. He's holding and pointing to his memory verse sheet from church that has the hand motions to learn the verse.

Our Window View- FALL

Here's our orange-yellow FALL view!
Every morning when the kids wake up, they go to this window and look at the trees outside. They enjoy spotting the many 'visitors' that stop by. I think I am going to take a picture of them here with every station to add to our seasons album.
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November 12, 2007

Wholesome Socialization

One of the things I love about home education is that it allows more time to pursue positive social time for our kids.

Here's some great ideas for "wholesome socialization" recommended by Melissa Morgan & Judith Waitee Allee on their book Homeschooling on a Shoestring.
  • Learn about other cultures by attending arts and international festivals in your area.
  • Participate in educational activities (spelling bees, science fair, etc.)
  • Sponsor a child in another country.
  • Host international students in your home.
  • Celebrate and study national holidays involved in the community
  • Join clubs (Awana, Library Reading, 4-H, etc.)
  • Get involved in Park district programs and events
  • Do short mission trips with the whole family.
  • Develop annual service projects (like delivering books to children in hospital, visiting the elderly or family in need, meals for shelters, toys for poor families, etc.)

With so many options available...when do you find time to do actual "school" work?? ;-)

November 10, 2007

Ancient Wisdom

Here's a quote from Pastor James' book Ancient Wisdom that spoke to me a lot this week.

While you can't ever make yourself joyful, you can do a lot of things to reduce your joy. You can plug it, but you can't flow it. Only God can give joy. It's His supernatural gift when you connect with His purposes. Don't wait for joy to come find you on the sidelines. Get on the field, participate in His purposes, and you'll nurture a glad heart in God. -James MacDonald

"All the days of the afflicted are evil, but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast" Proverbs 15:15

This is so true. I am going to memorize this verse and post it where I can see it often. There is so much to be thankful for, there is so much to be glad and celebrate. Very often I choose to let the things of this earth reduce my joy. The Lord is so good to us! So much more than we deserve. And with thanksgiving day approaching I just want to turn my hurt towards gratitude once again and dwell in His perfect joy.

November 06, 2007

Goodnight, Groovy Gorilla!

One of those books that we read over and over again in our house is Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
So I've decided to "row" the book with the boys since we mostly just read the story

Here's what I got so far....

  • Make an animals book and add information of each of the animals in the story (Gorilla, Elephant, Giraffe, Lion, Hyena, Armadillo, Mouse). Include simple questions like where does it live? what does it eat? etc.

  • Use site like Enchanted Learning to find printouts of the animals to color and labe

The Zoo

  • Zookeeper: What is a zookeeper? What is his job?

  • Visit the Zoo to point out the animals and the zookeepers

  • Why are the animals in cages? (It sounds like a simple question but it's a great thing for preschoolers to think about).


  • Notice how the zookeeper's keys are different colors and each key matched the color of the animal cages. Does the Gorilla uses the correct key for each cage? Yes, he's a really smart Gorilla! ;-)

  • Notice also how all the animals have a stuffed baby animal inside the cages. What else do they have? (balls, toys, pacifier) Why?? Because they are all baby animals! I'm thinking of teaching them what is the name of for the baby of each of the animals.

Armadillo=pup Elephant=calf Gorilla=infant Lion=cub Giraffe=calf Hyena=cub

  • Find the mouse. The mouse in the story is always doing something funny. Find him in all the pages. What is he doing?
  • Point to the word "Zoo" in the story. And point to the name of the Zookeeper ("Joe").

  • Why is the Zookeeper walking in "tip toes"?
  • Spot the purple balloon throughout the book.

  • Who do you think ate the banana at the end of the story?


  • Counting: Count the lamposts and houses on the double-page spread pages. How many people are awake at night? Spot and count the silouette's in the houses next to the zookeeper's house (it changes on the different pages).

  • Left and Right: To practice directions. The Zookeeper's house is to the left and the Zoo is to the Right. The boys will follow with their fingers which way the animals, zookeeper and wife are going on each double-page spread pages.
  • Acting Out: We will act out the story. Pretend walking around the house with a flashlight on tiptoes. We will take turns being the Zookeeper.

Other Books to read

Feed the Animals It's a fun book about the zoo animals.
Curious George Takes a Job shows George the monkey taking a key from the Zookeeper to get out of his cage.
Both stories by H.A. Rey

For other ideas on the web go here.

The Audio version of this book is excellent. Check for it at your local library.

November 01, 2007


Just 21 days till Thanksgiving Day and in two weeks we will be doing our very first lapbook!!! We are going to use the "Turkey Time" lapbook from Hands of a Child and I will be adding a few other things to it. We are going to read some thanksgiving day books and watch a short movie about William Bradford. And of course we are going to play games and memorize some scripture together.

I can't wait to post here our pictures of the lapbook and our fun Thanksgiving week!

This week I am reading Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember by Barbara Rainey. A wonderful book with lots of insight into the lives of the pilgrims, their dangerous voyage and their first years in the new world.