Saturday, November 17, 2012

I know, I know.  I'm so behind in always.  We are actually wrapping up our "K" week in preschool, and I have some posts in the draft stage that need to be published.

Before this slipped my mind, I wanted to record a few sweet things from my Stevie and Lydia.  Last night, I went grocery shopping on my own.  This is a pretty rare occurence, and though it is "easier," I don't really enjoy going for groceries by myself.  The rest of the family has noses like fountains right now (yes, we've been through some nasty sickness around here), and due to a change in therapy schedules, we now have therapies every morning of the week.  His speech therapist had a baby this week, so we are adjusting to a new therapist for that.  Anyway, with our mornings full, it leaves little time to get the groceries done during the day...which is my preference, but oh well.  I walked in the door last night, and both kids ran to me, "Mommy! Mommy!"  That definitely brightened my evening.  Even though neither of them hugged me, was a yell and run thing, I was missed and loved.  Stevie then wanted to help me put groceries away!  He's never done this before...he's usually just interested in what I brought home and checking the food out.  It was so special to see his excitement helping me.  We lived it up!  Of course, all Lydia wanted to do was pull everything out of the refrigerator.  She'll come around. 

The kids in general have been much more clingy lately.  We've been sick, and we've been going through some rough prayerful times here, and the kids just seem to follow me everywhere...even more than usual.  They are wanting to be with me, and I cherish that.  I was working on a project for the kids' room at the table, and Stevie wanted to work with me.  I gave him some of the paper I wasn't using (the sizing wasn't right), and he pulled out a pencil.  I thought he was "writing" letters, as he was saying, "T", "S", "A", "Grandpa, ...."  I was smiling at him and working on my stuff until he started repeating, "O", "O", "O."  Mommy, O!"  Sure enough, Stevie was finding all of the "O's" (he only missed 2?), and tracing them and coloring them in.  I think he thought the round part of "P" was an "O," but I'll take it.  We haven't done the letter "O" yet, and with so many letters and words on the page, I was just so impressed.  I am so very proud of my boy!  He just seems to be hitting another growth spurt in his development, and we are so thankful. 

(He used pencil and didn't always mark heavily, so it's hard to see.  I think he only missed the "o" in "love" and the second to last "you."  This was the song our kids were dedicated to.  I'm putting it up in a large frame with scrapbook paper in their room.  If you have not heard it and have kids, check it out!  "A Mother's Prayer" by Rachel Aldous.  It's on my Acorns to Oaks post as well...listed under the header.)

Wednesday, we dropped off our church's boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  When we had our own boxes on our table...for weeks and weeks, Stevie and Lydia were so interested in them.  Stevie watched a lot of the promotional videos with me, and he just took off with excitement.  So, for weeks, he's been saying, "Shoe boxes for the kids!"  Over and over.  Whenever we see a wrapped Christmas present in the box shape in a movie or at the store or on advertisements, he repeats his line.  He's also been very interested in the contents of our boxes.  We included some of these cute tiny wind-up trains and tracks we found for our boy boxes.  If you didn't know, Stevie is in love with trains!  They are his thing!  This little boy wanted these trains so much.  (He was also ready to try on some headbands for a girl box....)  We explained, several times, that we're giving these toys to other children that don't have any toys.  We could look at the gifts, but we can't play with them (open them up) because they are for other children.  I really expected this to be difficult for him.  I'm sure it was, but he seemed to accept it.  He never cried or whined.  He always wanted to talk about the trains in the boxes, and the football, and some other things that received his stamp of approval.  I guess it stuck with him that we weren't going to play with the toys because at Family Night at Church, he told Megan (the leader and my cousin's wife), "Shoe boxes for the kids.....trains.....Don't touch!" Ha!  (Those were the words and sentences I understood from his long announcement.)  He had some authoritative hand movements to go with the whole presentation.  When we dropped the boxes off, I do think he was confused.  They were left in piles on some tables, and not in the hands of smiling, laughing children.  When we left, "Oh, no.  Shoe boxes.  Shoe boxes for the kids." 

Oh, I wish I took a picture of a few of the things in one box.  Among the items, there was a stuffed brown and orange dog, a little tiny beanie baby snowman with a santa hat, and a little nerf-like football....these 3 items really interested Lydia.  She opened the box.  I ran over to make sure gifts didn't wander off, and she was labelling her favorites.  She's at the stage where what she says she thinks is right, and changing her mind is easier said then done.  So, the dog, "Bear."  "Lydia, that's a doggie."  "See, Bear?"  She held up the little snowman with the red santa hat and carrot pointy nose, and said, "Chicken."  I lost it, laughing hysterically, because it did indeed look sort of like a chicken.  "Snowman, Lydia."  "See, chicken?"  And then she got to the football, "Football."  1 for 3 I guess.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Preschool, Letter E Week

Our verse for the week was "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord." Psalm 150:6  Our Bible story focused on Noah and all of the animals in the Noah and his family were faithful and even the animals created by God have their way of praising the Lord.

We made our elephant letter E.

We also read, "Eyes, Nose, Fingers, and Toes: A First Book All About You" by Judy Hindley.  I don't always like the books found at the library...another post right there...but this one was really cute.  To fit with our E theme, we reinforced the eyes, ears, and elbows. :)  After reading the book, Stevie helped color and add eyes to this boy and girl.  Googley eyes are so much fun!  Again, look past the awesome artistry.  (Now that we have a working computer again, I can print out pictures instead of having to draw them.  You're welcome.)  I'm not sure why the boy has black eyes, haha.

Later in the week, we read "Elephant in the Bathtub" by Kristina Andres. It's a silly book about an elephant taking a bath and there was still more room in the all of these other animals and bath toys join him.

So, we made an elephant (and a whale...Stevie wanted to include that...he liked the whale in the tub in the book) in a bathtub for our activity.  Please ignore the sketchy bathtub, haha...and some of the whale was attacked by little sister.  Oops.

Sprinkle Activities:
*We played Elefun, a $3 find at a garage sale last summer.
*We ate eggs.
*We used Mr. Potato Head to put his eyes, ears, and elbow (arm) on...with some other parts. :)
*We didn't get to an egg hunt, but that's a good one!
*Play in elbow macaroni!  I didn't have any on hand, but you can hide Mr. Potato Head parts or puzzle pieces in a bowl of macaroni...or just play, scooping and dumping.

Here's an extra:  Stevie working on his verse with me one day.  This is such a huge thing!!  He is super shy of the camera and just repeating our words was once a huge difficulty with his apraxia.  I couldn't believe we got a whole verse repeated recorded!  One year ago, he only had 15 consistent words and overall, was in such a difficult place.  I longed and longed to work on verses with him...and once in awhile, we would, mostly I sang the songs of verses, but we really couldn't do much when we needed to get basic words down.  It's still a stretch for his understanding and verbal vocabulary, but we  are making it a good habit and rooting God's Word in our hearts..."it will not return void."  (Isaiah 55:11) So, here we are.  We've come so far by the grace of God, so of course it's fitting that while these incredible developments are happening in our boy, we give thanks to the One who is doing this work in him (and us)!

Preschool, D Week

Here's what we did for D week in preschool...obviously a little less with all the yellow jacket business.  E week was even shorter...E for Exterminators.

Our verse for the week was, "My mouth will declare your praises oh Lord." Psalm 51:15  Were still using the same book for this week ("The Memory Bible" by Stephen Elkins) that gave us our lesson base and verse.

We made our D dinosaurs from here.  We should've made the necks a bit longer though...because Stevie thought they were turtles. ;)

The 2nd school day we read,."My Dad" by Anthony Browne.  It was cute about the great things this boy's dad is able to do. Stevie seemed to like it.  We made a special picture for Daddy after reading.  I made a circle capital D to use our dot markers in and wrote the rest of the letters leaving the other two d's with dashed lines to be traced.  This is brand new for Stevie, so I guided his hand. He used stickers and colored a bit.  He wanted a fish on it because the book showed a fish, talking about the Dad swimming like a fish.  Hopefully next year, Stevie can write (dictate) his own, "My Dad" story to share special things about his Daddy! 

Some items in our D box: picture of a dog and a deer, a dollhouse dresser/desk, a dump truck, a picture of Daddy, some dishes, and a duck.

Just a picture of my boy...just because I love him SO!

Some Sprinkle Activities:
*We had dinosaur dessert (brownies cut out with a dinosaur cookie cutter)
*Stevie dug in the dirt with his construction trucks
*We made our Daddy pictures spelling "Daddy"....successful or not, haha
*Danced to music....we're still working on this one with Stevie...he struggles with this when it's not "natural" due to motor planning difficulties.
*You could also decorate something, cookies, a project, a room....didn't get there this time.
*Drew pictures.
*Stevie has a movie on dump trucks and 'dozers....we love Mighty Machines around here!
*We did a lot of declaring around here...Stevie now shouts, "Praise the Lord!" throughout the day!  (I still love the songs for our verses included with the book....they help so much in memorizing them, and Stevie is starting to sing a word here and there...SO exciting!)

*Side note*  I am so glad we're doing the letter of the week...for so many reasons, I'm so glad we're doing preschool at home, but I really think it's helping some of his letter sounds.  Of course, that's part of the idea, but really harping on one letter a week and it's sound/s...repeating it all week, I've noticed some improvements.  Cows are no longer "chows"....even though I sort of miss those chows. ;)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Back to Normal

So, I suppose we are somewhat back to normal the last couple of weeks.  For one, I'm typing on a laptop again!  Wahoo!  It was getting really old really fast typing on a tablet...or maybe punching would be more appropriate than typing.  I barely remember how to type anymore!  Lydia seemed to have done a little number on our laptop leaving it unusable for several months...till Matt was able to order stuff and get it running again.   I am thankful...and, he's pretty amazing!

In other news, we're back to more of a normal because the yellow jackets are gone!!  It was one super long month ordeal of the invasion of the yellow jackets in our home.  It was awful.  I think I would've been less stressed and worried about them if I hadn't been stung ...attacked, you remember, haha, that first day.  All I could think about was them getting to my kids.  We went through SO much to get rid of them.  Matt rigged a shop vac to one level of our roof and sucked up hundreds and hundreds.  We were still having a problem, so we had exterminators come.  Note to self, get exterminator first...if we're going that route!  They were completely ineffective because Matt had gotten so many with the vacuum, so we blew the money, argh... and us being unsure about whether we wanted the inside sprayed due to the chemicals (now we know, spray inside!! lesson learned), they didn't even bring the supplies to do the yellow jackets made their way inside the house....inside the kids' bedroom!!!  We spent a week at my parents' after we found a slew on the windows in our kids' room, interrupting my precious girl's nap.  I am so grateful that she appeared to be just fine, but we were home alone, and I called Matt frantically to come pick us up.  It was awful.  I really wish I had reacted better to the situation, but there is something about bees that makes me nuts.  Probably because ever since I was little, they are just attracted to me, and just seeing one would mean I would get stung.  Well, pretty much. ;)  That whole month was pretty awful on multiple levels though.  We just felt attacked on all sides.  I'm so glad we were able to stay at my parents' for a week.  My brother's family moved out just in time for us to move in, haha!  The kids had a blast (and decided not to sleep, haha), and I needed it too, even if we slept on the floor...trying to convince Stevie to go to sleep.  Bless his heart.  He was SO excited to sleep at Grandma and Grandpa's that our first night there he only slept 2 hours we think.  The next day...and the coming days, he was exhausted.  He just loves it there and has only stayed overnight when Lydia was born.  I always think it's fun to sleep in the same room with our kids.  And when we came home and were still battling a few yellow jackets...contained in their room...we still went back and forth to my parents' house for a week for naps, and then the kids slept in our room at home too.  I loved it.  Once I was comfortable, and we hadn't seen any in a couple of days, back they went to their room.  Bittersweet.  It was fun while it lasted, but Matt and I needed our room back.

Speaking of that man, he was the one who really did all the work.  He sprayed the interior himself with organic spray.  It was really strong though...and our house smelled for a month!  At least being natural oils and stuff it didn't smell horribly, haha.  His vacation days kicked in at the right time to take a day the first day he was eligible, he took rip off an exterior wall and find these things.  I made the mistake of looking at it before he put it back together.  YIKES, haha!  But, he's the best and put it back together wonderfully.  He eventually found the nest under/in the soffit.  Check this out!  We knew it was going to be big, bad, and ugly because of the horrible time we had with them.  I know it's kinda hard to see in the first picture, but the whole area is the nest!

It was over 4 feet long and filled the entire soffit area. It crumbled when Matt took it out. The reason we were still having some stragglers after the exterminator came was because babies were hatching and were unable to get out, so they came inside the house through the kids' room windows.  Yuck, yuck.  I am so thankful Matt found the nest and destroyed it!  They seemed to be especially bad this year.  Several people we know and some neighbors had nests in their walls as well.  We were told to keep our gutters clean (otherwise, they are attracted to it) ...yeah, needed to do that, and spray the outside of the gutter lines, windows, soffits at the beginning of the spring season.  We'll have to do that next year!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Library

Extremely interesting title, I know....and the post is even more exciting.  I also know how far behind I am in posts.  School posts are coming.  Yellow Jacket Wrap-Up post is coming.  Let's just say life is finally getting back to more of a normal state.

I'm glad I didn't give up on going to the library after our first....and second and third...trip to the library. My kids were not used to it, so it's a learning process.  We'd gone a few times before...and Lydia pulled the books off the shelves from her stroller.  The aisles were not spaced with strollers in mind.  So, our first official week at the library was pretty terrible....2 kids running wild in opposite directions, screams, tears, and I still had to find our books for the school week ahead.  I thought I'd share our plan of attack...or routine...if others are unprepared like I was.  It's true, I'm not always prepared.  Sometimes we wing it...even out of necessity at times.

It was important for me to realize my kids were going to need time and frequent trips to the library to get used to the expectations.  Just like in church...but that's another post.  So, we had to grin and bear it for awhile.  Every Friday we make an effort to go.  We also go early!  Get there before everyone else....that helps!  And just like shopping (or you know me, garage sale shopping), I need to go early when my kids are the most fresh.  If I wait till they are tired and hungry, watch out!  Did y'all hear us at Walmart last night?  Not pretty.

As we drive to the library and walk up to it, I go over how we need to be quiet, we need to be nice, and  we need to share at the train table.  Stevie loves that train table and wants to go just for that.  This library is fantastic with puzzles, stuffed animals, a fish tank, and other things, of course books....oh, and a chalk table.  Chalk in a clean, quiet library...with tiny children.  My one and a half year old is in love with the chalk...and at times the table...she's gotten better about running through the library, chalk in hand and chalk all over.  Sigh of relief....knock on wood.  Again, it's a process.

I have Stevie help me push the books through the return slot as soon as we get's fun!  Then we try our best to walk to the train table.  I still keep Lydia in an umbrella stroller with my list of books in hand.  I was so ridiculous thinking I could just look for books at the beginning.  Nope, I need to look for my books online ahead of time and bring my list and a bag for our books.  We grab them as quickly as possible while Lydia asks to get down the whole search and while I toss reminders to Stevie to be quiet or share.  After all the books have been pulled...or most of them, I let Lydia free to play.  I then can watch her better and help her with puzzles.  That's also when I look through the kids' movies because they are right in that section.

I have to give time warnings to help Stevie.  "5 more minutes..."  When our time is up, we head over to the fish....both kids like them, it's calming, and we just need something enjoyable and consistent before we leave the wonderful library.  This is where we put on coats and get our library card out.  Then we check out our books and Stevie gets to push the handicap buttons to help us out the door.  Always practicing being a gentleman and a little independence while having fun.

Then of course, I remind the kids.....I'm a mom, so there are lots of reminders....that we'll have a snack in the van on the way home.  Call it bribery, but keeping our next activities exciting helps with those transitions.  (My kids would live at the library)  And snacks help curb the low blood sugar meltdowns....for me too.

By the time we get home, I'm usually ready for a nap.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Picture Perfect

Sometimes....I feel like our daily life is the blooper reel.  You've all seen the cute pictures of cute kids holding up the letters to spell "Daddy" in pictures.  Well, 2 things: 1.  I am not a photographer....not just not a professional one...I'm just plain not A photographer.  2. My children...well, I'll let the evidence speak for itself.

This week is our D week in school, and I wanted to do the Daddy pictures and email them to his work as a special surprise...because boy could he use it.  That's another post for another day.  Anyway, I will have to pick from these somehow.  Here are the pictures from our photo shoot.  I'll spare the total meltdown ones of both children.

And yes, my daughter needs her bangs cut or she needs to keep a clip or pony tail in...pretty much a losing battle these days.  I don't know what to do with it...maybe that's another boring post, but I don't know if I really want to go the bangs route.  Mothers with daughters, help a girl out!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Table Time Activities

...or sprinkle activities ...or floor activities (because the days we did these we were on the floor).

My kids do better when there's some structure.  They certainly have their fair share of free play time, but there are times they need some intervention before the house comes crashing down.  Or, does that only happen in my house?

Here's an old stand-by: Hide puzzle pieces in a bin of dry beans.  Here is an ABC puzzle the kids found the letters to.  (Sorry about the picture quality.  I don't think to take pictures till after I set them up, and they're usually in a bad spot.  Oh well.)

Today, I got out our counting blocks from the Dollar Tree and cut matching colored circles to put in the bottom of a muffin pan.  Sort the blocks according to color!

 Stevie must build towers when blocks come out.

 Rearrange the colored circles in the bottom or make patterns on the floor with the circles and or blocks.
 We must also always include trucks...these are perfect being light weight to lift with his skid steer and put in his wagon.  He can also dump the blocks into the muffin tin. Way more fun than fingers!  If you don't have a skid steer like Stevie, you can use plastic tongs for more fine motor work.  I need to pick up a pair at the dollar store.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Preschool, Letter C Week

Our verse was, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."  We used "The Memory Bible" by Stephen Elkins for our verse, lesson reference, and verse song on Day 1, and the cd was used through the week.

We made our letter C crab.
We read "The Cow Loves Cookies" by Karma Wilson (2 of Stevie's favorite C things).  We ripped and glued the cow's spots, and he helped me draw and color cookies!
 We read books about cars.  I especially liked "Cars: Rushing! Honking! Zooming!" by Patrcia Hubbell.  He drove his cars on the laminated C...we pretended there was a bridge at the end of the C and lifted the car up to start back over at the top of the C.

Stevie is in love with "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle, so we made a fuzzy caterpillar with a clothespin, pom poms, and google eyes.  I made a simple leaf, laminated it, and punched holes for the caterpillar to follow either on top or chomping with the clothespin.  I tried to make the holes in a C shape...always reinforcing our letter.
 You could also give your child some leaves to punch on their own. This is a great fine motor task, but Stevie isn't quite ready for it's too frustrating still to use the puncher.
We also have colored circles of construction paper.  Make long caterpillars and count the circles, or make patterns.

Of course, we had to do more with cookies!  This was a cute book, actually a big book I snatched from a garage sale for 50 cents!  These children make goes through the process and ingredients.  It ties in with the C theme and also "creating"...our C word "created" from our verse.  After reading, we made our own chocolate chip cookies and enjoyed them!

Here are most of the items in our C box that were explored throughout the week.  This is still one of Stevie's favorite parts of our school routine.

 This was our pocket chart for the week that included our verse stick and pocket flashcard...I took our C families out of the picture for privacy. :). The sticks are now in our Abc verse and prayer pail!

Sprinkle C Activities:
*Cutting play food/veggies.  We have some plastic veggies with velcro to cut, another win from a garage sale.
*Play-doh to create and cut. Also use cookie cutters.
*Snack on animal crackers and crackers. (...or cookies, cupcakes, cake...)
*Have a celebration
*Cook pretend or real meals together
*Look for real caterpillars
*Notice all different colors of cars
*Practice being caring and compassionate
*Make cards for C friends we prayed for
*Brown construction paper circles with numbers beside or below them.  Stevie puts 1,2,3,...chocolate chips on the "cookie."  At the end, he got to eat the chocolate chips!
The idea isn't to sit down and check all of these off my list one by one.  I have these ideas that are easy to sprinkle in our day when we need an extra activity, or they just happen spontaneously, and we make the C connection.  That's what it's all about. Finding and practicing what we're learning through everyday life-living and through things...and using some other inexpensive ways to have fun learning our letter and God's Word.  This is one aspect I'm loving about homeschooling.  I know exactly what he's learning, and it just flows through our whole day.  It's awesome!

You are probably noticing how there are a lot more activities this week.  Stevie is just loving school.  I still focus on 2 organized school days, but he asks for school every day.  Since he does, we keep it short and simple, and I have to have a lot of ideas on stand-by.  I didn't mention it earlier, but we're still including prayer, the calendar, and the weather chart with songs.  Stevie loves using a pointer!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Preschool, Letter B Week

This week focused on the letter B.

We started each time with prayer, weather song and chart, the calendar, and our B pockets with the flash card and B sticks...our verse and B friends to pray for.  Our verse this week (always shortened), "On my bed, I remember you." Psalm 63:6

Our letter box is always Stevie's favorite!  Here are some of the things that were in it this week in addition to the pictures in our pocket chart:

Then we read together.  The first school day, we use a Bible lesson for our verse, so we read about David the shepherd boy who wrote and sang praises of thanks to God out in the fields...and at night to bring him peace.  We used His Jesus Storybook Bible for the lesson.  Another resource I use and will be using quite a bit is The Memory Bible book and cd's by Stephen Elkins.  This book goes through the alphabet twice, Old Testament first and then New Testament, with verses.  The book gives the verse for the letter, a little preview devotional, and the Bible story reference and paraphrase to study when learning the verse.  Then there is a song to learn the verse at the end.  The cd's read the text for each day by Kirk Cameron... and then sing the song for you to learn it.  I will be using this book quite a bit, but for last week's week A, I chose a different verse and story, so I didn't use it.  That may happen sometimes.  But, the songs sure get stuck in my head and are a great way to memorize.  I had gotten it for a couple of bucks on Amazon last year when I was looking for verses put to music.  We play the story and song on repeat while we do our craft/project/prewriting practice.  So, we used the book for our first day's story/lesson this week and used the song on cd all week during table time.

Stevie wanted his foot in the picture, and why it's sideways, I have no idea.  I neeed my laptop running again.

Then we made our letter craft...a bumble bee you all heard about.  We close in prayer, including our B friends.

Our 2nd school day, we read this book and did this project, bear and blanket.

And our 3rd day (because he asked for it) we read this book and made a bear with a basket book (different b things in it's basket) from a teaching book I had.  Does the bear look familiar? Ha.  Then we made him a little boat...because he had to have a boat after the book.

Here are some sprinkle B activity ideas I had on-hand (We were able to do most of these at some point through the week, and Lydia is easily included and entertained by them as well):
*Play with mega blocks (these blocks are only brought out once in awhile)
*Read more books about bears, backhoes, buses, bridges, etc. While snuggling in his blue bean bag chair
*Play with backhoes and trucks in dry beans
*Blow bubbles
*Make and eat banana bread
*Look at bugs
*Watch Bob the Builder
*I have a Take it to Your Seat game to make patterns out of a Bears buttons.  It's cute, but the pattern concept is still ahead of Stevie, so I showed him some patterns and mostly he played with the buttons making train tracks and roads.
*Basketball is a must!
*Bouncing on a big exercise ball
*Bike rides
Just trying to reinforce that words are all around us, and they use the letters we are learning!

Friday, September 7, 2012

3 Year Old Stevie Memories

This is a big milestone for both of us.  I get to record some of the funny, memorable things Stevie says (and does).  I longed for the day I would hear sweet words we could understand.  Here are some lately:

"Mommy, I want apple."  This is him saying he wants to do school....the first week was a lot about apples, so I guess that's what he thinks about.  Hopefully, it will make more sense to him as we go on.

Calling bees "beans" ...still cracks me up.

"Up-up truck" is pick-up truck.

During A week of school, we learned about ants.  I quiz him a bit with pictures of things that start with our letter.  Every time I showed him an ant and asked him what it was he said, "Umm, a bug."  "Well, yes, but it's called an ant. Ant, Stevie."  He'd repeat.  "Now what is this?" "Umm, a bug."  I think I may need to start posts including school bloopers.

He all of a sudden has a fear of thunder.  I think it was those fireworks that did him in a few weeks ago.  So now, when I tuck him into bed for naps or the night, he says,"What's that noise?"  "What noise, Stevie?"  "Noise in the sky."  I reassure him there is no thunder tonight, and we are all ok.

Yesterday, he was busy jumping on our bed (that may or may not have been a sprinkle B activity), and he was singing some of his verse song with me.  "On my bed, I remember you..."  Just this week, he has been singing a word here or there almost everyday, and one day he was singing several words!  Well, I had also gotten out the mega blocks that day in the kids' room as an occupier (and another B activity).  Lydia was busy with the blocks, Stevie was enjoying our bed yelling, "Goo Stevie!" before each cannon ball, and I was trying to put laundry away.  I kept asking Stevie if he was going to play with the blocks.  He'd tell me no, but a few minutes later, I just barely caught this mumbled jumbled sentence come out of his mouth, "2 more minutes and go play with blocks, ok, Stevie? Ok."  Ha!  I had to ask him if that was what he just said, and he said yes, smiling.  We have to give him a lot of warnings to help with his transitions, and here he was doing it for himself.

Yesterday, we had to go to the bank.  There once was a time for Stevie when going anywhere was a bit of a thrill.  Now, he'd rather play with his toys...unless it's going to someone's house!  He will often bring a toy with him when we go.  We usually encourage a small toy.  One day a couple of weeks ago, he wanted to bring his Cars folding chair, haha.  Oh my sweet boy.  He's never tried that before, and I didn't have the heart to try to change his mind when he carried the thing out, down the steps, opened the front passenger door of the van, put it on the floor, and said, "There." with a heavy sigh after all that hard work.  So, the chair rode with us.  Well, Stevie was playing with matchbox trucks, and I said he could bring them to the bank.  I went upstairs to grab something, came back down to see Stevie ready to go at the door with a different truck in his hand.  Whatever.  I pick up my purse, and I see his matchbox trucks inside, haha.  "Stevie, what's in Mommy's purse?"  "Sire trucks!"  (working on the f sound)  I guess so!  His fire trucks went to the bank in my purse, and he never asked for them.  I guess they were just along for the ride.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Brought to You by the Letter B

I'm a fan of learning in a natural environment.  Well, I used to be.

I promised I would put a post up that wasn't about homeschooling.  And, this isn't really about homeschooling.

We are learning about the letter B this week and made the letter into a cute little bumble bee (more on that in another post).  Well, lately Stevie hasn't been a big fan of bugs.  It all started when we tried to make use of our picnic table outside one night, and the little fruit flies were everywhere, so we had to move back inside.  Stevie said, "Mommy, bugs out of control!"  He had just heard Matt say that and was repeating, but it was funny nonetheless...and I'm still in awe of his speech progress.  Matt had been very annoyed by the bugs.  Stevie picked that up.  So, everytime we went outside after that, he was telling me about bugs.  "Oh no, a bug!"  He now won't step foot in a swimming pool if he sees something floating on the water (not too bad of logic to live by in some cases).

Anyway, I don't think I've helped with the bug deal today.  Every year, we get yellow jackets on our front porch around this time.  They just started appearing, so we were going to get the bee killer spray later today.  We had to leave for a well visit for Lydia at the Dr.'s this morning (which we never ended up seeing the Dr. because of insurance junk I just don't even want to get into...story of our life the past 2 years).  I ran the kids out, literally.  We made it safe.  Beforehand, I explained a bit to Stevie, hoping he wouldn't dilly dally, that we needed to go quickly to the van because of the bees.  Stevie kept talking about the bugs and the beans...bees are beans.  Well, I forgot the wipes, so I had to run back in the house.....should read, "I had to run through the bee tornado" because that was my reality.  I know, I know.  Ignore them and they won't bother you.  I've tried it all people and been stung way more times, mostly in my youth, by following such ridiculous rules.  I also could've just said nuts to the wipes and left without them, but you all know, Lydia would've pooped at the Dr's, and we'd all be sorry and in a bind.  On my way out, wipes in hand, running to the van, I hear the terrifying buzz.  I start screaming.  I hear the buzz near the back of my head, way too close for comfort.  I run to the van, doors open, hoping the bee has flown off.  My hair was still down, slightly damp from my shower this morning.  It's there!  I hear it!  I fling my head down to shake out my hair, and the thing ...things, how many were there??...nails me several times on my neck and finger.  I'm screaming, "Get out!  Get off!!" with other horrified screams because the thing is not gone and clearly it's going to eat me alive while my children watch from their car seats.  I finally shake it out of my SHIRT!  I jump in the van, trying to figure out if it's really gone.  Stevie starts asking, "What happened?" and mumbles on about a "bug"...and the "beans."  He doesn't seem to scarred from the incident, but time will tell.

So far I'm doing ok.  It bled...never had blood from stings before, not like this anyway, and we'll see how it swells.  Mine usually get large and itchy.  A big red bump should work to top off B week.  But really, I'm so thankful the kids are safe, and the bees better not come near them!!  Matt should have them toasted when he gets home.  We'll be watching Bob the Builder safely inside.

Next year, let's make a cute craft of a backhoe instead because a letter B shape made into a can of bee killer spray would probably be seen as inappropriate by some.  And if we made a cute little B bear...I'd probably be attacked by a bear (although we're doing more on bears later in the week.  Fantastic!).  A backhoe seems a pretty safe choice.  It's just going to take a little creativity that's all.

C week should be much involves cookies.

Friday, August 31, 2012

More Sprinkle Activities

Ok, this is my last homeschool post until I post something else.  (I have some drafts, but...)

Anyway, Stevie wanted to do school today, bless his little heart.  He asked me.  He wanted to read the apple book again...had to be on the floor and on the blanket.  Then he wanted to do an apple...I think he meant he wanted to color or do a project.  So, we did.  It turned into crazy school because Lydia was not going to miss this (it wasn't naptime yet), and though Stevie wanted to do school, as I suspected, his interest didn't last super long because he just got a little wild with the markers.  The apple and caterpillar were blue of course.  We'll work on the color coordination as time goes on. ;)

At the end, I pulled out our Aquadoodle mat.  I believe I got the thing for 10 cents at a garage sale.  (I got a travel one for 25 cents at another one....good for church and   I really think I should have my own tv show on extreme garage saling...or something because I have scored awesome and amazing deals.  (I mean for real, I got an entire bin of girl's clothes for$10...and that included the Rubbermaid bin!). I'm cheap, and the kids and I went to sales all summer long.  Does such a show exist?  The show following would probably be Hoarders.  Anyway, I love the Aquadoodle more than the kids probably do.  In case you are unfamiliar, it uses water in markers and on paintbrushes to make your pictures or writing practice or whatever.  Completely mess free...just wet!

I had gotten these sponges from...the Dollar Tree (I really should get paid for my advertising), and I was pretty excited.  They were exactly what I wanted for the Aquadoodle and for painting, for sensory bins...whatever!  I snatched the fruit ones too for our unit on the Fruit of the Spirit in the Spring.  These were in their craft section.  So, we used the airplane today on our mat for the letter A.

I forgot to mention, there is a super cute youtube video for kids called Andy's Airplanes, a cartoon boy who flies planes.  He even gets to fly in the Blue Angels.  It's about a half hour and is actually a kids cartoon I can easily tolerate and even enjoy.  Cute music, educational, good story line.  Fits great with the A theme.  I really hope they are able to make more!

I just wanted to make a note of remember myself...because if there's a time I have two in homeschool, which is likely, I will need these extras!  Lydia keeps me hopping!