Monday, April 30, 2007

Another Monday, another post about books...

Here are a few books we have been enjoying by author
Eve Bunting:

This is a cute story about 3 little mice who go searching for "the best present of all"
for their Mother's Day gifts.It has illustrations by Jan Brett.

This story with illustrations by David Diaz is about a family returning home to Mexico
from California to visit family for Christmas.The parents talk of returning "home",
but the children don't think of Mexico as home and do not understand why their parents do.

This is a delightful story about a little girl and her Dad buying flowers to plant in a window box for her Mom's birthday surprise. It has colorful illustrations by Kathryn Hewitt and is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

Illustrated by Susan Meddaugh, this is a funny story about a Dad trying almost anything to get his daughter to nap before her Mom gets home. You can guess who actually falls asleep.;-)

Lovely watercolor illustrations by Ted Rand bring to life this story about a "secret place" in the city where a river flows and wild animals live or gather that "hardly anyone knows about".

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Community day at the Zimmerly

One of the local art museums near us had a "Community Day" for our town on Sunday.
We had a lot of fun making butterflies and flowers out of coffee filters and sketching
in the wing that houses the "Original Illustrations for Children's Books"(I was thinking of Nina).
We saw some Hispanic Dancers and even learned a few steps.
We missed the storyteller, because Princess was tired of sitting and being quiet.
She wanted to wander around more and make more art. Her favorite pieces were the really large paintings by Natvar Bhavsar. They have a scavenger hunt
to encourage the kids to really look at the art, but this time she did not want to do it.
She did spot a box filled with kites in with the "prizes" the kids can pick from if they finish the hunt,
so maybe that will be enough to entice her next time.We'll be back there next week for the annual "Family Day".
We dropped Princess off at my sister's for their weekly dinner together which also includes going for ice cream and I got to go
to the library to pick up some new books.

Cook Organic Garden Club Community Garden

On our way to Ag Day, we had to stop off at Farmer Dad's plot in the Community Garden to
drop off some compost and plant some beans,sunflowers and other plants that he grew, that would not fit in our little garden at home.Princess was not very happy as she wanted to get to the Ag Fest, not "do chores". It made sense to do so however,because the Community Garden is at the same location as Ag Day.This is the first year Farmer Dad has worked a plot here, and he only has one row dug up so far.The weather just hasn't been cooperating on the days he has available to work on the plot. Here are a couple of pictures of this "work in progress"....

Photos from Ag Day

We had a wonderful time at Ag Day,
and Princess enjoyed walking around
and listening to the music.We were fortunate enough to run into several good friends
and even got invited home for dinner!
The weather was lovely, the food was good and the kids had a great time "meeting" all the animals.


Today we are going to the 89th Annual Field Day at the New Jersey Museum of Agriculture.
We will pet the animals,talk to the farmers and other vendors and just have fun walking around
the grounds of Cook College.
Farmer Dad's buddies in the Cook Organic Gardening Club will have a table set up to try to get
more interest in the community garden and to encourage everyone to garden organically of course.
It's too much fun to miss. I hope wherever you live, you have a chance to visit a farm with your children.
If you are lucky enough to live on one...possibly you are too tired from all your hard work to feel lucky,
but I think you are lucky.We have just a small yard here, but we do our best to keep the garden in the
Garden State. Princess has been asking for some "farm animals", I keep telling her we are probably
not zoned for that here.She usually starts by requesting a horse, then a pony, then a goat, then a chicken,
then a rabbit. She cracks me up. Farmer Dad told her she could have a rabbit when she is 6 and can join
4-H to learn to take care of it.Just a year and a half to go...oh my.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Rainy Friday

Princess and I are taking advantage of the rainy day to stay in our jammies
and just play and read. We were going to play a game with our sight words,
but we decided to play another game of Hi Ho Cherry-O instead.
I was trying to upload a video clip or two of a craft she made last night
(a musical shaker) but it appears that I am
experiencing what can only be called technical difficulties. I'll keep trying and
hopefully I will succeed eventually.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Happy Arbor Day!

Today we are learning about Trees in honor of Arbor Day.
We watched It's Arbor Day Charlie Brown
this morning, and we have been looking at our "tree" books that are listed in Monday's post.Thankfully, the rain from last night has stopped, so we will go out this afternoon and identify the trees in our yard and try to measure them. We will also try to make our own "tree book" and a couple of "tree" crafts have been planned. I'm hoping this will be fun for Princess and encourage her love
of nature as well. I'll post pics later this afternoon.So now I encourage you to turn off your computers and Go Hug a Tree!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Why not read a book?

I asked Princess what she wanted to do today. Her answer was "why not read a book".
I love this kid! She brought me a stack, yes, a stack of books and then went back to her library basket and brought me some more. "Let's start with these.." she said.
and Up and Up
and Giving
Out and About
all by Shirley Hughes
North-Country-Spring-by Reeve-Lindbergh
by Carmela LaVigna Coyle
The Painters Cat by Sharon Wooding

I'm not going to list all the books, but you get the drift.
It was a cozy day. We are waiting for the rain to come
some time this afternoon.
One of Princess's friends just stopped in to have her sign his new cast.
He broke his arm playing t-ball this past weekend.
Hopefully the rain will end before Saturday morning so we can all
go to the Ag Fest at our local college. We look forward to bringing
Princess all year. Farmer Dad's Organic Gardening Club usually has a table
there to promote the club and sell t-shirts.There will be music and food and
just a great vibe all day. I can't wait!

Monday, April 23, 2007

International Invention Week

Today we will be checking out BY KIDS FOR KIDS
to learn about children who have invented actual products
on the market. They have lesson plans to
teach kids how to be inventive as well.
We will also check out some biographys of other inventors
at Inventors & Inventions for K-12
We will also be reading some of the books mentioned
in my last post.
My goal today is to try to open Princess up to "inventing"
something of her own. I'll keep you posted!
Here is another site we will be checking
out to learn more about Leonardo da Vinci,

Leonardo Home Page

Books on Monday is Back!!

This week is International Invention Week, so we will be reading a couple of books
about inventions and inventors.
These are really aimed at older children, Leonardo da Vinci for Kids
(His Life and Ideas 21 activities) by Janis Herbert

Because we share a birthday, he has always been a favorite of mine.
The second is GIZMOS & GADGETS
(Creating Science Contraptions that work & knowing why)
by Jill Frankel Hauser
is part of the KIDS CAN! series and has won many
awards, such as the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award
I'm only using these books to "wet our feet", so I don't see it as a problem.
On Thursday, we will be celebrating ARBOR DAY by reading the following:
TREES by Allen J. Coombesthis is a visual guide to more than 500 species of trees.(this is a fall back in case the children's books don't have info she asks me, or trees we have in our yard)
Our plan is to identify the trees in our yard.
Be A Friend to Trees by Patricia Lauber and illustrated by Holly Keller
this is a Let's-Read-and -Find-Out Science book.
(All about trees for kids) by Gail Gibbons
This is a great "tree guide" for kids with an explanation of photosynthesis
and a special section on how to make a tree identification book of your own.

Open House

If I were a tree
I'd want to see
a bird with a song
on a branch of me.

I'd want a quick
little squirrel to run
up and down
and around,for fun.

I'd want the cub
of a bear to call,
a porcupine,big,
and a tree-toad,small.

I'd want a katydid
out of sight
on one of my leaves
to sing at night.

And down by my roots
I'd want a mouse
with six little mouselings
in her house.

Aileen Fisher

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Earth Day!!

The past three days have been just lovely here in the Garden State
and Princess and I have been out enjoying it! Friday found us
playing with friends at a birthday party for one of her very good
friends (and mine).It was so nice to go to a child's party that was
so down to earth and truly family friendly. So often today they are
3 ring circuses that even the children can't really enjoy for all the stress!
(Now picture me jumping off my soap box)
Saturday was just about perfect here.Farmer Dad planted the seedlings
that were ready for our little garden plot, mostly the chards,chois,mustard greens and lettuces.
Princess and I read and played on her swing set and watched him start seeds for tomatoes.
32 varieties so far.For those of you who don't know us personally, Heirloom Tomatoes are
a family passion around here! Princess and I spent a great deal of time discussing which outside
play things we will sell to help finance and make room for her Butterfly Garden.She has outgrown many
of them.Today we planted a few annuals and some strawberries in our strawberry pots and did just a bit
of weeding. In honor of Earth Day we cleaned out the birdbaths and feeders and refilled them.
Our cherry and plum trees are finally blooming, our pear is at it's peak already! It really feels like spring here.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Too busy to blog?

I have not been able to get a blog posted in a couple of days.
I have been experiencing technical difficulties, as well
as a little Princess who has wanted to go on play dates and
have many books read to her instead of letting her Momma
blog about the books we are reading while she plays Barbies or does puzzles.
;-) There is still the basement to put back in order and so much housekeeping that needs
seeing to.....It is supposed to warm up this weekend and I can't wait to get the windows opened
and air this house out! I promise to be back on track next week..maybe by the weekend.
I must say I have been feeling out of sorts not getting time to "read" all my online friends and
check out every link they pass on while sipping tea or coffee. :-(
Today we have a birthday party for one of Princess's favorite friends and Farmer Dad is taking a half day
to get some garden work done. Off to my work, I'll talk to you all soon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

So tired....

I am so tired of being in my basement! Princess and I took off today.
The lesson I had planned was are going to just love this...RAIN.
Yup, rain. We were going to learn about the water cycle, make a rain gauge,
talk about what happens when it rains. I could not do it. I am so tired of dealing
with the rain. ;-) So we had a play date instead.
We will learn about the rain another day.Don't think learning was left out entirely this week,
Princess did learn how to work the wet vac.
Don't worry, she wore ear protection.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Very wet in the Garden State!

We stopped counting the water at about 250 gallons.
Farmer Dad started using the wet vac at 8am on Sunday
and we were at it pretty constantly until 1 am. I borrowed
one from my Grandmother so we could get more up quicker.
It just kept raining. They said if it had been snow it would have been
55 inches plus. Hopefully life will return to normal here tomorrow.
I will post updated pictures of Princess's seed development and
a book post. Hopefully we will not get too much more rain,
too quickly and it will stay out of our basement!

Saturday, April 14, 2007



Each birthday wish

I've ever made

Really does come true.

Each year I wish

I'll grow some more

And every year



Ann Friday

I need not tell you that at 41, I've grown out and not up this year.....;-)

Getting Ready

Today we have spent getting ready. We are getting ready for the storm
they say is headed our way...we are getting ready for my birthday tomorrow
and the family who will come to have cake and coffee...we are getting ready
for the week ahead by cooking up some Princess size frittatas and zucchini bread
and banana muffins and on and on we go.I will post a photo of our heart shaped banana
muffins and leave you with a poem .

Rain is good
for washing leaves
and stones and bricks and
even eyes,
and if you hold
your head just so
you can almost see
the tops of skies.

Lucille Clifton

Friday, April 13, 2007

When you leave your children with your husband...

do you come home to an enormous mess? I went to the library
last night after dinner and then stopped in at my Aunt's house
to pick up Princess's shoes which we left there on Easter.
As I was leaving they called requesting that I stop off to pick up a snack
on my way home. I was so happy I wasn't getting a teary "where are you?"
call, that I said I would and when I got home a little while later, I walked into
a disaster area! Farmer Dad had unlocked the arts and crafts
supply cabinet and there was stuff all over the kitchen and the living room
was filled with almost every toy we own. They were happily ensconced
on the couch watching The Living Planet when I walked in and I almost walked
back out. Does this happen to anyone else? I should have taken a picture, but
I never would have posted it.Too embarrassing!They ate, watched some more of the program.,
and he went to bed. Just like that...he went to bed.So much for all the stress relief I got enjoying
my quiet time at the library!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Instructions for today's experiment:

clear plastic jar(s)
paper towels
presoaked bean or corn seeds

What to do:
  1. Stuff a clear plastic jar with paper towels.
  2. Add enough water to dampen all of the paper towels.
  3. Have the child "plant" the seeds in between the clear jar wall and the paper towels so they are visible from the outside.
  4. Watch the jar for the next week,look for root development and keep the paper towels damp.
  5. After some root growth,turn the jar upside down and watch for several more days , the roots will change direction to continue growing down.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I almost let the technical stuff get me down...
but I finally figured it out. I was able to post a video clip of Princess
planting her sunflower seeds.So scroll down and take a gander,
but don't get up to get a fresh coffee, because it's only about
15 seconds long.LOL That's how much video I can record with
my camera.Remember to get your things together to join us in our
bean jar experiment on Thursday.The list is posted below.

Princess starts sunflowers

Princess describes how to start sunflower seeds

Monday, April 9, 2007

National Gardening Week

Here in the Garden State we will be learning more about Gardening to celebrate
National Gardening Week.I have listed some books on Yesterday's post that we
will be using today.We will be starting some seeds and planning our garden pots.
Here are some links I like for gardening with kids:




I am posting some pictures of Princess counting out her sunflower seeds,
she then divided them equally into the (3) containers she had and then she
decided how many seeds she needed to plant in each pot(1) and how many
she would be planting total(3).We put the others back into the packet, she planted
them and then made plant markers for her pots. We also started soaking some beans for
Thursday and we put two bean seeds in paper towels like in the book
One Bean by Anne Rockwell. I will put those pics on the side bar.
We also read a couple of "garden themed" poems and colored pics to go with them.
We will be doing an experiment on Thursday as well.
If you want to do it with us, you will need
the following:
clear plastic jar(s)
paper towels
presoaked bean or corn seeds
I will post the directions Thursday with pictures.

Here is one of the poems:

Little Seeds

Little seeds we sow in spring,
growing while the robins sing,
give us carrots,peas and beans,
tomatoes,pumpkins,squash and greens.

And we pick them,
one and all,
through the summer,
through the fall.

Winter comes,then the spring, and then
little seeds we sow again.

Else Holmelund Minarik

from Read Aloud Rhymes For The Very Young
selected by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Marc Brown

It's Monday, so this post must be about books....

These are the books we will be using this week to cover "National Garden Week".
ONE BEAN by Anne Rockwell and Megan Halsey
This is a cute book for children to learn about plant life and observation.We will be planting our own bean after we read it.
JACK'S GARDEN by Henry Cole
Princess enjoys this book which shows you
the seeds,seedlings,buds and leaves, as Jack's
garden blooms.
This is a great book to show kids how to choose the location of their garden and cultivate a variety of organically grown vegetables.From sowing the seeds to harvesting the crops.
KIDS GARDENING by Kevin Raftery and Kim Gilbert Raftery with illustrations by Jim M'Guinness
This Parents' Choice Gold Award winner is an indoor/outdoor all year activity guide for kids.
It was a gift from Princess's Uncle Paul, and she loves just looking at the pictures and dreaming about the next thing we'll do! A book with a similar intent, is
GARDENING WIZARDRY FOR KIDS by L.Patricia Kite with illustrations by Yvette Santiago Banek this book has plenty of safe projects for indoors and promises fascinating folklore to surprise any kid.
GREAT GARDENS FOR KIDS by Clare Matthews with photos by Clive Nichols
promises to help you create a stimulating landscape for fun and fantasy with safe play for children of all ages.I have been trying to get Farmer Dad to incorporate more of their ideas every year.
I do not think a Gardening with children unit would be complete without some input from
This is the book that keeps me going over the winter. Princess and I pore over it's pages
filled with fun ideas we just can't wait to include in our garden year after year!
Finally we will be reading WHAT'S ALIVE by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott and WONDERFUL WORMS by Linda Glaser with pictures Loretta Krupinski
Thanks again to Nina over at Painted Rainbows and Chamomile Tea for suggesting them.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Happy Easter

Some Things That Easter Brings
by Elaine Parrish

Easter duck and Easter chick,
Easter eggs with chocolate thick.

Easter hats for one and all,
Easter Bunny makes a call!

Happy Easter always brings
Such a lot of pleasant things.

Happy Easter!
We are lucky enough to have been invited to
Princess's Great Aunt Grace's for dinner tomorrow.
There will be plenty of family,food and fun for everyone.
There always is. I hope you all have a lovely day wherever you are.
I'm going to post some pictures from our yard last Easter,
because it does not look all that springy in our yard right now.
It has just been too cold.
I will post some pictures of this Easter Sunday night or Monday morning as well
as what we're reading right now for my Monday's book post.

Fun Filled Friday!

We did something this Friday we have never done before...we
had 3 different events and we attended them all! Friday morning
we went to see Sesame Street Live at one of our local theaters
with some friends..we go every year and Princess loves it!
OK, to be do I. ;-) I was a Sesame Street kid and
it reminds me of the happier parts of my childhood.
We were lucky enough to have my niece drop us off and pick us
up, so I had none of the usual parking hassle to contend with.
We came home, changed and drove over to the home of one
of our play group friends for an Easter Egg Hunt...also a great time.
Then we came home for a couple of hours,Princess played piano
with Farmer Dad and we told him how our day went and then back out
the door to attend a free concert by one of our favorites..Mr Ray.
We met up with a group of friends and had pizza and sang and danced.
Princess got his autograph, but she would not stand next to him for a picture.
She also told him she has cousins in England and would pass on the info that he was
going to be in London for a couple of shows soon.He is such a nice guy and so warm with all the kids who approach him- he really deserves all his success.If you are in the London area be sure to
check out his web site for information on his shows there!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

I can see clearly now...

the rain is gone.The sun is shining, but it is still very chilly here.
Our poem of the day comes from Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young by Jack Prelutsky


went away.
Sun came out
with a pipe of clay,
blew a bubble
stuck a rainbow
on one side.

Norma Farber

Princess and I will be doing a bit of school today. She asked me last night why we had no school
"all week". She misses school just awfully (her words..not mine).I had planned to have a very
simple week with no real plan other than books to read,because we had so many activities planned with friends off from school. I will have a craft for her today to go with her books.
I think next year I will ask her Bubbe to come over and show her how to make matzo balls.
I could do it, but she was asking to have her Bubbe come like in the book Matzo Ball Moon by Leslea Newman and Elaine Greenstein.The closest we have is my Dad's wife, so I will ask her to do it.
Princess does not call her Bubbe, but maybe she will now.I say the "closest", because she is not a
"little gray haired Grandma" like in the book. She is early fifties and blond.But we can make it work.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Rainy Day

Rainy Day

I do not like a rainy day.
The road is wet,the sky is gray.
They dress me up,from head to toes,
In lots and lots of rubber clothes.
I wish the sun would come and stay.
I do not like a rainy day.

by William Wise

Princess and I went to our friend's house Yesterday to make Easter eggs
and play with their new puppy.The weather was too beautiful to stay inside.
This week our schooling has been relaxed and containing more
reading books and free art than anything else.I'm allowing us our own
"Spring Break".Today it is gray and raining so we will stay inside and
read and play while catching up on our laundry.

Monday, April 2, 2007

It's National Children's Book Day!

We will be visited today by our good friends,
who are on Spring Break.They read quite well,so Princess has a
big pile of books picked out for them to read to her.
Some of them are pictured on the left, but there are many more to be enjoyed.
I urge you to pick up a stack of children's books today and read to
or with your children.

Another poem for Poetry Month:

By Marchette Chute


Squelch and squirt and squiggle,
Drizzle and drip and drain-
Such a lot of water
Comes down with the rain!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

April Planning

April is National Poetry Month and National Kite Month
In honor of this I give you the following poem

Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young
selected by Jack Prelutsky and
illustrated by Marc Brown


I often sit and wish that I
Could be a kite up in the sky,
And ride upon the breeze and go
Whichever way I chanced to blow.


4/1 begins National Week of the Ocean
4/1 April Fool's Day
4/2 International Children's Book Day and begins Passover
4/8 begins National Garden Week and is Easter Sunday
4/15 begins National Library Week and is my Birthday!
4/22 begins International Invention Week
4/22 Earth Day
4/26 Arbor Day

We will be learning about Passover,Easter and the ocean during the week of 4/1,
Gardening during the week of 4/8, Rain and recycling during the week of 4/15,
Inventions and trees during the week of 4/22.
We will be reading poetry all month and learning about our library.
Our library is having a lot of special happenings this month because it is
the 40th Anniversary of it's opening.

The Seedlings!

Princess is very proud of the little seedlings she helped Farmer Dad grow. I was supposed to post these Yesterday, but then Princess fell
and the pictures were forgotten.Before she fell, she gave me a "tour"of the "green house".....

Subscribe Now: poweredby

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 .