April 28, 2009

A Snowy Day-Inspired Art

"The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats, provides a wonderful opportunity to teach about watercolors. We tried to make our own pictures using little pieces of tissue paper (different colors) glued together, then a layer of different watercolors brushed on top and another layer on top of drops of water (using a dropper).
The one on the picture was Caleb's favorite work. He titled it "The Colorful Moon". :-) This simple activity kept them very busy for a very long time....which is always a good thing....and we will also try this again...perfect for a rainy or snowy day. :-)

The Little Rabbit

Continuing with some highlights on the BFIAR titles we enjoyed the last few months...

Last month we learned with "The Little Rabbit" by Judy Dunn

A simple activity that the boys enjoyed (as suggested in the manual) was so take out our big crayola box and match some of the crayons with pictures in the story. This gave me an opportunity to teach new colors and how to get them by mixing other colors.

Here's some of the colors the boys "matched"...

  • Eggs on Sarah's Easter basket: chartreuse and lavender
  • Little Buttercups ears: peach (creamy color)
  • Sarah's back pack: fuchsia
  • Sarah's dress: periwinkle
  • Sarah's dad's shirt: maroon
  • Jeff's shirt: dandelion

We will definitely try this activity using other picture books!

April 25, 2009

Goodnight Moon

Noah still loves to read this classic, so here are some of the activities we did along with the reading of the book.

  • Memorize the rhyme "Hey diddle-diddle"
  • Find the "young mouse". He is hiding somewhere in all the double pages.
  • Read "Goldilocks and the 3 little bears" (this was the very first time I read this story to him. We used Jan Brett's version...LOVE her illustrations!)
  • Read the Little Golden Book "The Three Little Kittens" (this is a good add-on with the rhyme "2 little kittens and a pair of mittens)
  • Read "Hush, A Thai Lullaby" and "Hush, little one"
  • Ate cream of wheat for breakfast (my version of a "bowl of mush")
  • Find shapes throughout the book (this is another suggestion from the manual)
  • Memorize the poem (entire story)
  • Talked about the moon phases (used google image for this one)
  • Played the Goodnight Moon boardgame.

The Runaway Bunny

I wanted to share a fun activity I did with the boys using The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown.

I asked the boys to imagine they were the little bunny...what others things would they want to become? And then think about what the mother bunny would have become to stay near her little bunny.

Here's what they each came up with...

Caleb's List

If you become a bee, then I will become a beehive., then...cowgirl.

If...prince, then...princess.

If little boy...then....mommy. (He told me he knew this one was in the story but he liked it the best of all!).

Noah's List

If...syrup...then...peanut butter (he said:"so they get sticky". LOL!)


After these 2, Noah's answers became very silly like "tissue and runny nose", etc. so although I still find them very creative...I think I'll skip writing them here. ;-)

We are now working on putting together their own little storybooks with these ideas. I'll make sure to post some pictures of their finished work.

April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Caleb!

Happy birthday to my sweet, fun, chess player, soccer player, creative, theologian-in-training, silly, active, inquirer, observant, talkative, book lover, animal lover, big brother, actor, singer, builder and big boy!!!

You are 6 years old today! Mami and Dad love you very, very much and we are so blessed to have you in our family. We pray the Lord will give you long days full of his joy and peace. That you will conform your life to his will. And he will use you with power to be a light in the midts of your generation.
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April 21, 2009

Red Carpet-Inspired Playtime

Some FIAR bloggers have shared this idea of creating your own red carpet scene by using red ribbon and matchbox cards. The boys built their own hotel Bellevue with their wooden blocks set. This provided a very long fun playtime activity for them. We "rolled" the red carpet from our living room all the way to the front door. :-)

The Red Carpet by Rex Parkin is one of our favorite BFIAR (Before Five in a Row) titles. I think it's an out of print title right now but if you find it in your library, this is a must read!
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April 20, 2009

Loving Spring in Texas

Now, this is going to be very difficult to "read" for our loved ones in Chicago (who are anxiously waiting for the day we are going to get over Houston and return home! hehe) but we are loving springtime here in southeast Texas.

The weather is just mornings and warm-sunny afternoons.

Sarah Linda (not really her middle name but this is how we call her now) is now 3 months old! She has begun to play with her hands, reach for objects and roll to the side. I'm encouraging her to do more tummy time because she can't hold up her head too well yet. So far she is not a fan of tummy time but we bought her this toy to distract her a little. ;-)

As for the boys...they are enjoying lots of time in their front yard...

...and the back yard. What a blessing this home is for our family. Thank you Lord for your provision.

Caleb is now learning to run his bike without training wheels (picture to follow). He also resumed soccer and loving every minute of it.

Noah is enjoying lots of time shooting basketball with his new net (picture to follow also) and continues to be a very loyal companion to his big brother. ;-)
As an early birthday gift, Brad surprised the boys last week with our very own family tent!! And of course, we just couldn't wait until going camping so...yes... we did put it in our yard..

... and enjoyed 2 nights of grilling, bunfires and marshmallow roasting. And yes, believe it or not...even Sarah and I joined one night! We are two brave gals...don't you know?

April 18, 2009

Nature Walk at Brazos Bend State Park

We had the opportunity to visit the Brazos Bend State Park in Needville, TX. This was our first time in this beautiful park and will definitely not be the last!

We spotted so many animals!! It was such a precious gift from the Lord for me and the boys. The boys and I spotted alligators (very near our path!!), many types of birds (ducks, geese, cardinals, little blue heron, great heron, an owl!, gray squirels, monarch butteflies (lots flying all around us!) and some others I can't remember right now.

Here are some of my favorite shots...

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Some more pictures from our walk. What a wonderful creator is our God! All He has made is good and beautiful! Praise the King of Creation!

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April 16, 2009

Blast! 2009

The time has come for the 2009 Homeschoolshare Blast! Time to have your creative work rewarded and shared with other homeschooling families.

Follow the link below to read all about the contest, deadline, categories and wonderful prizes!!


April 14, 2009

Nature walks by the pond

Now that I am able to WALK (thank you Jesus!!), one of the things I want to start doing again with the kids is nature walks. We enjoyed doing these in the past and since we have a pond just minutes from our home, I've decided we will visit it regularly to observe and point out differences in nature.

I asked the boys to look around and tell mom when they spot something that interest them. Caleb pointed out this tree. Isn't so beautiful how it is completely surrounded by water? It's just standing there tall, strong and green in the pond. Caleb will continue to observe this tree on each visit. If only I can find out that name of it!! Still working on it. Anyone knows??
Caleb also noticed the geese. It looked like they are mating. In fact, one of them chased Noah and I (very scary!) when we tried to get a bit closer to them. We think he was probably protecting the eggs (we didn't see the nest but it could have been somewhere near us).
Noah had a lot of fun picking up all different types of wild flowers. They are so beautiful this time of year. We all joined and here's some of our findings.
What a great way to spend a morning! There was rain in the forecast (hence the coats) but we were blessed to enjoy about 1 hour walking and watching. I LOVE days like these. ;-)
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April 13, 2009

Nature Learning: Butterfly Haven

Last month we ordered a caterpillars kit from Insect Lore. How easy and fun was to do this!! And the boys spent so much time observing the little creatures turn into beautiful butterflies.

If you've never done this at home, you should give it a try. It's very inexpensive and practically effortless. The kit came with a net home and a coupon to order your caterpillars. Our order came in about 2 weeks and had 5 Painted Lady caterpillars inside. The jar comes with food and everything so you just watch them grow.

This is how small they were (hope I had a closer shot...but you can click on the images to see a larger size).
It took just a few days for all the caterpillar to hand upside down from the jar and form their chrysalides. They stayed like this for 8 days. We transferred them to the net-home at this point.
And here's a shot of one of the pretty painted lady. All 5 of them turned into butterflies!!
After 3 days of watching them and feeding them flowers and orange slices, it was time to release them. If you click on this picture you will see one of the butterflies taking off. ;-)
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April 12, 2009

Reason # 49

Christ Suffered and that he would be crowned with glory and honor!
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom
and might and honor and blessing!
Revelation 5:12
THANK YOU JESUS FOR THE CROSS! Thank you that you have conquered death for me. All glory and honor belong to you! Hallelujah!

April 11, 2009

Reason # 30

Christ suffered and died...that we might die to sin and live to righteousness
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.
1 Peter 2:
"We look back on his death and know that, in the mind of God, we were there. Our sins were on him. When I embrace Jesus as my Savior, I embrace my own death as a sinner. My sin brought Jesus to the grace and brought me there with him. Therefore becoming a Christian means death to sin. My new life is now swayed by righteousness." (Piper)