June 27, 2008

Gardening Update

Remember when CG and her daddy were breaking ground on our garden? And remember when the girls and I planted all the seeds and began watering the area with high hopes of a delicious feast sometime this summer?

Well, three months later, here it is:

I told y'all I don't have any green thumbs! As you can see in the midst of dry ground, we do have one plant in the bottom left corner. I'm not sure what it is because I can't remember what we planted there. I'm really thinking gardening isn't ever going to be my thing.

As a matter of fact, last summer CG planted some cucumber seeds in front of our porch. Actually she threw a packet of seeds on the ground--didn't even cover them with soil--and after three full days of rain, rain, rain, we had cucumbers! Well, we briefly had some tiny cucumbers and would have probably had bigger ones if BB hadn't gotten to them first. But, hey, she was just a puppy at the time, so all if forgiven.

This year however we thought we would have some cukes again. The green vine began growing and green bud-like "things" started popping out. These "things" didn't resemble cucumbers, but what this garden illiterate know? After a few days, the "things" bloomed into beautiful yellow sunflowers!

Not sure how this happened...but we're liking it. Besides, it seems that we have more luck (since we haven't a clue as to what we are doing) with flowers than veggies! :)

June 21, 2008

A Happy Camper

This was the long awaited weekend for CG. Finally, after all the months of waiting and counting down days, we arrived at Camp LaVida for a mother/daughter camping experience with other GAs (Girls in Action) from around the state. We had wanted to go last year, but a baby decided to join our family, so we eagerly participated this summer.
Here she is, all settled in her bunk:
On our way to the activities shelter, we stopped to "pet" a wandering snake recently rescued by the maintenance man. CG had never held a snake before. She didn't hold this one either. But she did get close enough to feel its gross slithery-ness. You'd think that she'd seen plenty of snakes living in the country, but we've been snake-free (thank God!!!!) for the past few years.
No camp experience is complete without a mandatory scrapbook and here's CG working on hers--by flashlight. The lights to the activities building were knocked out by a recent storm. But any child loves an excuse to use a flashlight and CG was able to do all the coloring, cutting and writing by hers.
We also did our fair share of swimming and canoeing, the highlights of our adventure, hands down!
Our only complaint was that the camp weekend was too short. CG and I could have stayed much longer and loved every minute. Next year I'll take twins for a weekend and let CG go for a week. Or maybe I'll get a job out there so I can play all summer and let the kids visit me occasionally. :)

June 18, 2008

Not sure what I was thinking...

I gave my ever-hungry boy a bowl of pureed peaches and a nubby spoon. He knew what to do and attacked that bowl of yummy fruit. He had great control of the spoon and never missed his mouth the first 5-6 times he tried. He was very happy and proud of himself!

Then he started rubbing his hair with it. Then he used the spoon to sling peaches across the kitchen. Then he tried to feed the dog.

I'll let you imagine what the highchair seat, cabinets and floor looked like when he was done.

June 11, 2008

Reading together

(These are the moments I'll cherish forever!)

June 9, 2008

It's too hot to do anything else...

so we started a unit on biology. First things first, we had to learn about the two different views of how the earth came to be. We started with the evolutionist's theory of a chanced, and explosive big bang. Fifty-two Disney princess colliding in mid-air demonstrated this idea:

Then we moved on the an orderly view, creationism. I cut an 8 in. cardstock circle and divided it into 8 pizza cuts: one each for each of the day of the first week of creation and another to write Genesis 1:1. While the girls were decorating their pieces, we took turns reading the first chapter of Genesis. This was the very first time ever, that all girls participated in reading together!
Then I added another circle, with one pizza piece cut out, and attached to the other circle with a brad. Thus a creation wheel:
Learning about scientists, theories and what the Bible says has inspired my kids to record their own observations. Here's M with a microscope trying to figure how to see a cell of a flower:
This first unit has been an eye-opener for my girls. They've always readily accepted everything we have taught them. Now we are slowly introducing them to other ideas, so that they will be able to make their own intellectual decisions regarding the process of life and be prepared to defend their own conclusions.

June 7, 2008

CG's new friend

Meet CG, Kit Kitridge and Ruthie Smithens. Ruthie is the newest American Girl doll and best friends with Kit--and CG. A year ago we discovered that American Girl would be unveiling Ruthie to accompany the new Kit movie this summer. CG has been playing with Kit since she was almost 6-years-old, so adding Ruthie was the perfect idea. CG saved all the money herself and read all the Kit books during the wait--Ruthie arrived yesterday ready for adventure in our house!

June 6, 2008

I don't think we're in Kansas anymore...

Five years ago, when CG had her 3rd fabulously fun Wizard of Oz birthday party, a friend gave her a kit with masks of the scarecrow, tin man and lion. Over the years, this set has followed us through various moves. Occasionally I'd let the girls take out the masks and touch them, but told them we'd use them when they were older.

Last night, they were finally "older." Delighted, they put on a play, while daddy read the shortened story to them.

Even the baby had the part of most precious munchkin!

June 3, 2008

You know you're homeschooling family when...

...you catch the baby doing math!

While exploring the school room today, this baby genius finagled K's school drawer open and whipped out her math book. It fell on the floor, so he grabbed a pencil, plopped right down and started double digit addition.

Oh, if schooling was this easy every day! :)
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June 2, 2008

Summer, Kids and Spiders...Oh, My!

Ahhh, summer. I love this time of year! I love the brights colors, warm sights and the fun time with friends. I am ready for a break from the routine; besides, my kids are going cRaZy!
With 90+ degree weather this week, I pulled out the cool-mom machine: our ice shaver. If you don't have one, drop what you are doing and go right now to Walmart. Your kids will love you forever and you'll even enjoy a refreshing bit of snow on these hot days.

I shave the ice and then the kids pour whatever they want we have available on top. Today one kid douced her ice with Dr. Pepper, another with strawberry syrup; for the other child, I shaved the canteloupe pieces she froze the other day. (Who knows why she froze canteloupe. She said it was an "experiment.")

I'm not doing a whole lot of formal schooling this summer. But one thing the kids will do every day is read silently for at least 30 minutes (more if I can trick them into believing the clock isn't really working.) I have a house of mixed readers: one child reads everything, another child doens't like to read, and the third child would rather comment on every.single.picture. But for half an hour each day an enjoyable book will be in their pretty little hands and my house will be quiet. :)

I took the kids to the library for their reading materials. I told them they could have whatever they wanted. So M picked out 5 books on spiders. Eek! Now she's a walking arachnid encylopedia!

Another thing we're doing this summer is playing educational games. Our current favorite is Bananagrams. I had seen it in a school catalog a few years ago, but recently found it at our local AC Moore. Each person gets to make their own crossword puzzle. Any word goes. But sometimes I challenge myself to stick to a theme. I did an entire puzzle of animal names last week, including jaguar, antelope and leopard.

This game is great for word-lovers and beginning spellers, though the silly twins need a little help or they start throwing tiles at each other.

We will also do a unit study on Biology this summer. The kids have lots of questions about people, plants and animals. So now's a good time to start studying this subject matter in a bit more detail so we started today going through the book, Christian Kids Explore Biology. To keep things normal, the plan is for them to learn and me to take pictures. Here's one of the hydrangeas in my mother's front yard:

Instead of doing math workbook pages, the girls will be mastering addition and multiplication math facts. If you know of any great games to encourage them, post a comment or email me. I don't want this time to be drugery for the girls. But I need a break as much as my kids need some structure. So we're setting basic goals and trying the play games to keep the learning alive (and keep their hands busy!).

And no blog post would be complete without a picture of the baby for the grandparents. So this summer he will be downing his Ritz with peanut butter. :)