May 31, 2011

Glass Window Welcome Signs

When I blogged about Noah's birthday party, I forgot to show the welcome sign I made for his friends. Using the window chalk available at Walgreens, we had done the Lego man face for Caleb's party. Noah asked if we could do the Transformers symbol for his party. I wasn't sure if I could do it, but it turned out pretty cool.

What do you think? :)

Both "signs" got lots of comments from the kids and their parents. I'm thinking we will make this a regular activity at our house. The boys and I are brainstorming what to put in our glass door for different holidays and fmaily events throughout the year. I'll make sure to blog about them.
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Houston Swim Club

Today was the boys' last day of swimming lessons with Houston Swim Club. We started in February but now that our community pool is open they can practice there.

This is our second year with HSC and we are pleased w the confidence and skills they have learned there.

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May 30, 2011

Noah's party pt. 2

The last game, was the search for the missing Autobots. The kids ran around the front and back yard looking for the robots. Forgot to mention that my super fun husband tied all the games to the Transformers theme. They were all simple games but super fun.

We then moved the party indoor for pizza and cake.

Then it was time to open the presents. Caleb was the best big brother that day, helping Noah read all the cards and telling him what the toys did, etc. :)

Noah decided to open some of the presents and play with his friends. The kids took home a goody bag with candy and Transformers loot from Party City.

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Noah's Transformers Birthday Party

A week after Caleb's party it was Noah's turn! We wanted Transformers for his birthday. This was a whole different crowd of kids and a larger age range so we moved the games outdoor. The kids played relay races with grownup clothes, stomping balloons and raced each other to draw fortresses and "destroy" them (with water).

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May 29, 2011

Lego Birthday Party

Our oldest son Caleb turned 8 in late April and two weeks ago we were able to celebrate with his friends in a Lego birthday party. I searched online for a couple of months for ideas and was amazed at how much it is that out there!

The party was a lot of fun and we managed to keep 11 boys and two little girls busy and happy for 3 hours with all indoor activities.

If you search for "lego party ideas" you will get tons of starters for your party, but I want to highlight 3 places I liked the best.....

  • Melanie at Ewehoo had some creative ideas for crafts and food. I borrowed some of her ideas.

  • This site had the best games and activities ideas from all the sites I visited.

  • One thing the kids thought it was cool in our party was that I used lego clip art from this site and made little signs to label all the activity centers.

We had 4 "challenge centers": #1 build your own cowboy lego and guess how many lego candies are in the jar. #2 Pirate Code (lego board game), #3 speed lego building challenge, #4 Blokus (not lego but one of Caleb's favorite games).

We also had a table with a large lego bin for free play.

After the kids played for about an hour. We sang happy birthday and ate the "lego food" and "lego cake" (see below).

Then we played hot potato with a jar full of lego men. When the music stopped the kid holding the jar was eliminated but also picked a lego man to take home. The last kid took all the leftovers!

After this we revealed the winner of the lego candy and the speed building challenges. We opened gifts and that was the end of the party!

The boys took home a bag with lego candy, their lego men and super cute lego soaps that my friend Brandi made.

And here are the pictures.....

May 27, 2011

Read for the Heart (TOS Review)

Today I'm posting my last review with The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew!

If you know anything about me you know I LOVE books, all kinds of books but especially children's books. And Read For The Heart by Sarah Clarkson is about whole books that every child should read.

Sarah, daughter of Sally Clarkson and who was homeschooled, first shares her story. Books were one of the most important aspects of her home education.

From the first chapter, Sarah speaks from her heart as she presents a case for wholesome books to be at the center of a child's life. I found this to be very valuable because the author, now an adult has seen the value of these books. She explains how a good book can be an "agent of awakening" that can prompt a hunger for things like beauty, adventure, courage, moral, etc.

Sarah talks about the state of America's literacy. Statistics show our generations are reading less and less and how its affecting even the workplaces across the country.

She gives ideas on how to begin implementing daily reading times for you and your family. Then the book transitions into an EXTENSIVE library of whole book titles. Each consecutive chapter focuses on a genre or subject and list hundreds of books. But these are not just lists of titles. She gives us a short review, age category and additional information for EACH title.

The books categories include:

*Picture books
*Fairy Tales and Fantasy
*History and Biography
*Spiritual Reading

I highly recommend this book! It is a practical addition to your home library. The book is available for purchase through Apologia Education Ministries. There you can view sample pages as well.

To read what other families thought of "Read for the Heart", visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog Tour.

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge for the purpose of reading at home and writing an honest review. No other compensation was received.

May 23, 2011

Caleb's WAM Spring Musical

Our super cute kids! Caleb is in the front wearing his shinny "leather" vest. The video is not that great but the kids really did a great job and I was proud of Caleb. He sang all the songs and did all the motions. He stayed focused throughout the entire musical....a huge progress from previous years. :)

May 20, 2011

Quilt Fundraiser and Giveaway!

Please, please take a minute tonight and go to a dear homeschool mom's blog to read about a fundraiser and giveaway she has going on right now to help bring a baby home through adoption.

Her website is Let's Fill The Van

Thank You!!!

Wordy Qwerty (TOS Review)

Wordy Qwerty, by Talking Fingers, is an computer based program to help students ages 7-10 develop fluency in their reading and writing.

There are 20 lessons that include fun games and challenges in which the students are introduced to spelling rules and conventions of the English language.

Having basic typing skills is helpful but not required. I am so thankful we had the opportunity to review this program and use it with my son Caleb. He has struggled with spelling this year and this came just at the right time for him!

The lessons are the right amount of information for him, focusing on one spelling rule at a time, followed by some review from previously lessons. It has already improved his spelling skills and his confidence about what he is writing.

In the program, "Qwerty" and "Midi" (see picture above) are the main character that guide the students through the rules and games. As they move through the lessons they are helping Midi build his music machine. This is a motivation as the students want to see what the machine will look like in the end.

There is also a song for each of the spelling rules to help students remember them.

For the parents the program has a teacher log in section where you can see a detailed progress chart of your students.

There is a free demo for Wordy Qwerty on their website Talking Fingers. And lots of information about their methodology and assessment strategies.

Wordy Qwerty is available on CD Home Edition formart for $35. It is also available as online yearly subscription at different rates. For one student, one year subscription the price is $25

To learn more about Wordy Qwerty, visit their website Talking Fingers.

To read what to other families in the Crew thought of Wordy Qwerty visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog Tour.

May 11, 2011

Their sweet little faces...

...are a daily reminder of....

His undeserving grace....

....His blessings beyond measure...

....His call to us to live for others...

....and that we bear His image!

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She loves her daddy

Sarah just LOVES her daddy so much and he always gets the best shots from her. She will pose and smile and do anything he says. Here are some cute shots he recently took of her.

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Boys at Play

Enjoying the beautiful spring weather here in Texas.
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