Monday, December 31, 2007

Unplugged Project #

Mom Unplugged has issued the New Year's Unplugged Project:


Perhaps a collage of fun things remembered from the past year?

Or things that would be fun for the coming year?

Or, for children old enough to understand the concept of "New Year's Resolutions," a collage of pictures relating to their resolutions.

Or...a white collage for little ones...white like the winter snow of January.

Or...anything you want to do!

Due to Princess being sick all weekend, we have not done ours as yet, but if you are really wanting to see some cute ideas, my good friend Amber was totally on the ball and she made some great
collages with her little ones!Be sure to stop by and wish her a Happy Birthday while you're there.
I guarantee you will see some of her ideas showing up here soon...especially the "flip books".
I will post pics if we get our accomplished..I promise!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

In the Sick House...

Yes, Princess is still sick.
She is feeling better, but she still has a
terrible cough and is running a low fever.
Yesterday she spent most of the day sleeping
on and off on the couch, the big ugly chair and our bed.
She even slept in her bed.She has been sticking with the soft foods, like mashed potatoes,
chicken noodle soup,sherbet,vanilla ice cream,tea with honey and lemon.
Today she had cantaloupe and a turkey and cheese sandwich.
No onions or lettuce though...they would hurt.
She is still able to talk and sing and dance around, so she's not that sick, but any
laying around is a serious thing around just doesn't happen.
She has also had many warm baths and plenty of vicks vapor rub. Hopefully she'll feel well enough to go visit Nana before Farmer Dad goes back to work.....

Friday, December 28, 2007

Free Friday

Last night Princess was not feeling great..catching her cousins cold , I think.
She woke up at 4 am and went back to sleep about 6:30 until I woke her up
for our breakfast play date with our play group friends at McDonalds.
It was so nice to sit and chat with other Moms while our kids played together.
It was incredibly peaceful too! No injuries..really nice.
I was set to head home in time for Little Man, when Farmer Dad called to let me know
he wasn't coming.Spending his Dad's day off with him.
This meant we could slow down a bit and not feel rushed on the drive home.
I even got to head over to the library to drop off some books and pick up some that I had on hold.
I have been busy planning the next two months, and have many books to check out and hopefully use
in my "lessons".My heads all a buzz!!
After running another errand, I made a pizza for lunch and we hung out for a bit before
Farmer Dad dropped her off at my sis's and he went to jam for a bit with the guys.
I had the house to myself and did not do one productive thing.OK, it was only about an hour that she was
gone, but I just sat and relaxed and flipped through some books and had a cup of tea.
No laundry,and no cleaning.
I will regret it tomorrow, but right now it feels good to have quiet "non-working" time.
Speaking of books, we picked up a huge stack from a fellow freecycler last night,
and there are some nice ones in there. I will re-freecycle any we aren't interested in.
I'll try to get a picture up later, but blogger is not letting me right now.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

We wish you a Merry Christmas...

Christmas Eve had moments of quiet contemplation and
sheer panic.We finally got a plumber to come tend to
our clogged drain, so I can do laundry and dishes again.
The weather was lovely, so Princess and Farmer Dad
went outside to run around, her hands were cold, so she came running into the kitchen,
caught her foot on a cabinet (we think) and toppled over screaming in pain.
Her foot swelled up and had a bleeding cut. She was freaking at the suggestion that
we head over to the emergency room, so we called our friend Miss Nurse and she dropped
her Christmas Eve craziness and drove over to check Princess's foot out.By the time she arrived with her son,
Princess had ice on her no longer swollen foot and was happily watching a holiday program on tv.
She checked her out, told me what to watch for and left her son happily playing with Princess while she ran a quick errand nearby. Another friend stopped in with her daughter for a long awaited visit.
The kids all played, the adults chatted. They left, and my sister stopped by with a couple of presents for Princess one of which was her favorite game from childhood, Perfection.
They played and Princess was delighted to also receive a "cake decorating " kit she has been asking for
since they started advertising it on TV as well as a whole case full of matchbox cars!!
Even the cats got a present..the cutest cat nip mat. One or the other has been on it ever since!
We ate dinner just the three of us, and then played with her new toys some more before starting some bread dough and baking a cake to bring with us to my Aunt's house the next day and watching Polar Express together.
Princess insisted on writing a note to Santa to go with his milk and cookies and then getting into bed early, but could not settle down to sleep..she was cold, she was hot,
she was tired, she was not...she was so excited for Santa to arrive.
Christmas morning, I got up and started the coffee, set the table, lit the candles and tree.
Put the cinnamon rolls into the oven and fed the cats. I also did some more laundry, before I realized
Princess was still sleeping. I had to wake her up! She was tired, but excited to see if Santa left her presents.
We all watched her open, watched the cats play with the toys left in their stockings, and had breakfast while A Christmas Story played in the background.Princess was most excited about getting a copy of David Shannon's Bad Case of Stripes. I went a bit overboard this year and she got 3 books from me, 3 games from her Dad,
Curious George on DVD from the cats and a Polly Pocket set and barbie doll (still in it's box, but "inherited"from my niece's collection) and a set of "mega blocks" that I picked up from a Freecycler that were still in the original packaging from Santa. Her stocking had a new toothbrush,chocolates and band aids and the
the new mr. ray CD. Special kudos to my girlfriend who not only picked it up for me, but waiting in line
to have him sign it for her!Normally we only do 1 from me,1 from Dad,1 from the cats and one from Santa and her stocking.
But since they were "little" things,no "big" her guitar and wagon or Barbie house, I figured it was OK.
Truthfully , some of the things were purchased for her birthday,but Farmer Dad ordered her guitar, and she gets so many gifts from other people at her party, that I packed them up instead.The barbie thing was last minute,
because as she fell asleep she mumbled that she hoped he'd remember the barbie doll she asked him for.
I couldn't let her be disappointed.....:-)
We played,and did laundry and got pretty and drove over to my Aunt's house for Christmas Dinner.
We got to meet her new Great Grandson and even had a visit from Santa (my cousin's son home from college)who personally delivered some
presents and Princess was so excited to see him and ask if he liked his note and cookies. He did.:-)
She loved her gifts and we all enjoyed the food and company and playing games (this pic is Cousin Jen...Mom to darling baby J. above)
until we were too tired and full to do it anymore.
What a nice holiday! I hope all of my readers,regardless of what holiday
you celebrate, took the time this week to create some special memories to fill all your hearts
for years to come! ((BIG HUGS))

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve 2007

We have been making great strides around here this week...
no, no homeschooling breakthroughs,and no, the plumbing is still not
working properly, but look at this....
There is Peace on Earth!
Well, at least in this little corner of the Garden State, oh yeah and only in this room..
the others are filled with this....
This little fairy keeps running through my house singing Christmas songs at the top of her
(rather powerful) lungs!
We did get a peaceful few poses in front of our tree Yesterday before leaving for my nieces
house for dinner.Naturally they all came too late for the Christmas cards, but here they are...

My sister found these adorable matching dresses for her and her Bitty Baby.
Naturally, she had to sing to her too. :-)
Think Santa will be fooled by this angelic expression?
My sister offered to drive us all up in her van to her daughter's house.
Princess sat in the back with her cousin and her boyfriend to watch movies.
My poor niece was feeling really terrible with a cold, but this was her big sister's first
"family dinner" and she didn't want to disappoint her
by staying home.

Naturally, where Princess goes there is dancing...
Farmer Dad (on the left)and my "little brother" Mike look on as Princess and her Aunt Adi (Mike's fiance)
dance around the living room. It was nice to have them take time out of grad school
and drive up from Virginia to attend.Princess snuggling up with her "big sister" Amanda, who did a wonderful job cooking
two hams, a turkey and many side dishes to keep us all fed and happy!
Opening presents in front of the tree... I didn't get a picture of the whole group, which is a shame.It was the first time Amanda
and Eddie had both families together for a "holiday dinner" and we all had a lovely time.
Naturally, the heavens opened up on the drive home and the roads were even flooded out
in a couple of spots.We all made it home safely, this time the three of us in the way back, watching a movie.
I do like being chauffeured.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Weekly re-cap and I can't believe it's Sunday

For some reason I have been caught without a blog post for
the last 3 days....I had blogs begun with the good intention to add photos of what we did that day and post
them, I just didn't do it. Truth is, I forgot I didn't do it, I assumed it was done.
My blog fairy let me down.I barely had enough time to read all my friends and see what they were doing
and do something with Princess and Little Man every day...posting an actual post on my own blog just
didn't happen.

I will post some pictures of what we've been up to.
Learning about the Wright Brothers,Writing a note to a friend

School work has pretty much come to a stop.
This coming week will be all play,read,sing,dance,play with some new toys....

Today we head off to my nieces house to have Christmas Eve dinner. My father will not be there,
because he cannot go that long without his oxygen and it is a long drive.His small tank does not hold enough to last him the trip and visit and trip home. He will have to have more catheterization soon..they are going to have to do what is called "staging". He is not feeling very well. Tomorrow we are hoping to get to visit with our good friends,
we have not seen them in a while. Tuesday will be our annual trek to my Mom's sister's.
She just became a "Great Grandma", and we cannot wait to meet my cousin's daughter's little boy!
Normally we would trek down to see Nana (if we don't spend Christmas with her) on Boxing Day, but it's a "work" day for me, so unless Farmer Dad drives Princess down on his own, we'll have to wait for the weekend.
:-( Princess has really been missing her Nana.
We have most everything together for the holidays here, laundry is still piled everywhere drain is still not functioning, but my plumber is out of town, and his "helper" has gone undercover. He gave me a name of a guy...but that guy never called back. Farmer Dad almost got it done, but he threw his back out, then he didn't have a tool he needed..we thought we located which friend borrowed it, but that fell threw...
I guess I just won't do any more laundry this year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Weekly Plans and how I come up with this stuff...

I have received more than one e-mail asking how I find these crazy holidays and
where I come up with these crazy things we do around our little Garden State Homeschool.
First I head over to this site
and pick out which holidays,anniversaries or birthdays
will work for me. I write them out on a calender I keep just for this.
If there is more than one per day, I will "borrow" one for a day without a celebration
or just combine if need be.This week I have
  • Monday- Wright Brothers 1st Flight 1903
  • Tuesday-Play Bingo Day
  • Wednesday-Oatmeal Muffin Day
  • Thursday- Sacagawea Day
  • Friday-National Flashlight Day and The Day the Pilgrims Landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620
  • Saturday is the First Day of Winter
Then I do a search online to find printables for my subjects and on our libraries database
to find books to order for each day.I do that online too.
If I cannot find what I need, I may look for a different celebration.
Princess is in Kindergarten, so we do a lot of "play" in our day.
We read,sing,dance,color and craft, every day.Some "lessons" will
be heavier in "academics" than others, but our goal is to instill a love of learning,
not stuff a lot of facts down her throat to be regurgitated for the "pop quizzes" of relatives
at family gatherings.I do try to keep it fun, and if she is not interested in a subject, we move on
to something else from my "busy box" under my desk or just read more.
Monday I have several books about the Wright Brothers sitting next to me and a
picture of an airplane to be colored with a song/poem on the bottom of it that we will sing.
Princess has asked to learn about how planes land, so we will look this up and talk about it.
I am hoping Farmer Dad will show her how to make a paper airplane (since he will be home)
and they can play with that.I have a "Backyardigans" paper airplane craft I had saved for such an occasion.
I know the books I have are a bit "over her age", but I will float them on the river as bait, and see what happens.
If she is not interested in hearing more, we will look at the pictures and talk a bit about them and move on.
I write it all down in a small "baby's first year calender" that I have been using as my "planner".
I list the books or other things I will use in my "lesson" and I often mark if she liked the subject or not.
I do this for myself, we do not have to keep these records for the state at this time here.
I print everything I think I will use and put the printables along with the books (if they fit) into a gallon size
ziploc bag which goes into a small tote with handles I keep also under my desk. The bags are numbered,
and kept in date order (one bag for every school day in the month) All I have to do in the morning is pull out my bag for the day and set up. If we do not get to a lesson, I put the sheets and book list in a binder in month/seasonal order within a plastic sleeve. Hopefully I will have time to post pictures of these for the people who have asked.
We also do worksheets and other projects for reading,math,science and social studies
following the Making the Grade Everything Your Kindergartner Needs to Know

Baking Cookies

Princess picked a cookie recipe out of her recipe file box
today, and we made cookies with Little Man in the
afternoon. We had fun and the kids enjoyed having
a "milk and cookie" snack after Little Man's nap.
It was supposed to be Oatmeal Muffin Day, but
she said "let's just make it cookie day instead",
so we did.

Oops...I don't think I got a picture of the finished cookies before they were finished.....

Monday, December 17, 2007

Did someone ask about books???

Oh yes, we've got 'em.
Lots of them...all over the house.
Here are some of the choices from our local
library this week....

For Little Man..Princess is trying to get him to build with blocks.
Block City by Robert Louis Stevenson
Illustrator David Kirk lends his illustrations to the classic poem.
We have been enjoying this.

Goldfish and Chrysanthemums by Andrea Cheng and illustrated by Michelle Chang (Thanks Nina!)
Princess loves this book about a little girl trying to recreate a piece of her NiNi's (Grandmother)
happy childhood memories.

No Dragons for Tea fire safety for kids Jean Pendziwol and Martine Gourbault
We all know what happens when Dragons say

Chicken in the Kitchen by Tony Johnston and Eleanor Taylor
Funny book about a chicken in a kitchen...she's a pokin' like the dickens.
The drawings are colorful and fun as is the story.

Special Gifts by Cynthia Rylant and Wendy Anderson Halperin is a sweet book
about three cousins who have three weeks off of school for winter vacation.
They request sewing lessons to make all the pillows,dolls and vests they want.
We got this book out to talk about the winter solstice.

Hilary Knight's The Twelve Days of Christmas
Princess is in love with Eloise, and has been singing this song over and over,
so when we saw this book in a library display, we had to bring it home.

Unplug Your Kids Group Project

Mom Unplugged has set forth another something
with yarn or string. Be sure to link back to her here,
if you decide to give it a try. I hope you do.
I did not know what to do, so...
Princess was given access to some materials, a bit of yarn and her usual glue,crayons,
etc in the cabinet. I told her that her mission,should she choose to accept it,
was to make something using that yarn.
She snorted, yes snorted as if my challenge was weak !
Then ,she started rooting around in the cabinet, pulling out paper,glue,sparkles.
She told me that she had decided to make a version of birdfeeder that we do with oranges.
Unfortunately, we were out of oranges, so she got a couple of plastic cups out from our science stuff
(we use them for seed starting) and asked me to put holes on each side like we do the oranges. I don't allow her to use the hole punch.
She cut the yarn and strung them through the holes.I had to knot them for her.

She asked me to give her seed to fill them with, and I told her I would do that in the morning.
It is very cold out in the garage now.
Then she decided to draw some birds
and glue on feathers, the feathers were in with the hole punch for some reason....then she told me this was all related to the Wright Brothers, because
they made a plane to fly like the birds.
Hey, the t.v. was off and my kid still learned stuff!! Who would have thunk it? ;-)

We filled them with birdseed and hung them from a tree in the backyard.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Gingerbread Houses and other stuff we've been doing..

Here are some pictures from our week

Tea parties...

Reading to Little Man

Doing worksheets

Rolling out the gingerbread dough

Decorating gingerbread men cookies

Our friend's waiting in their pj s for the power to come back on at their house after the ice storm.

Drawing on the chalkboard

Playing an alphabet game with bean bags

Opening our package from Jenny
Princess was so excited!!
Putting the gingerbread house together

Decorating it.....

It only took us three days

It was hard to not "control" the final product, but ultimately, it was Princess's house.
Our icing should have been thicker..we were dripping all over the place as you can see.

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My homeschool buddies and I are all posting pics of our "home schools" as part of our idea sharing.

Plato said...

Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be a sort of amusement; you will then be better able to discover the child's natural bent .