Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stuck at home on a Thursday,

Go ahead laugh! Those of you who know me
will, I know. I hate leaving my house.
But today we are stuck here, because my truck is in the shop.
Not because it's broken down, because I brought it in for an
oil change etc, and to be inspected Yesterday, and the inspection
machine was not working correctly, so it's still there.
My fault...wait until the last minute and all that.
So we are missing a fun play date with people we like and
had to post pone picking something up from freecycle
(don't tell Farmer Dad..I'm only supposed to get rid of
I also have a bunch of stuff to return to Target and we are out of
yogurt. The Princess is not happy about this last one at all.
We are not "doing school" this week, just reading and drawing and playing
and tending our garden. OK, maybe we are learning, but it is much more
"unschooling" than normal.The four day weekend just took it's toll on both of us,
and we "need a vacation" as Princess likes to say.
She woke up at 5:30 am today and is now napping on our couch...very unusual.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Has Science Girl Found a Soul Mate?

Friend's of ours kindly invited us to picnic on Monday
and Princess happily played with their little boy
and the two little boys who live next door to them.
Princess enjoys seeing all these children, but has found a bit of
a "science soul mate" in one of the children from next door.They played in the pool
and on the swing set and ate together and then Princess serenaded us with her song about corn, to which this little boy said,"you should go on
American Idol, you sing really pretty!"
They also share a great love of nature.
Last time we were there, he brought over a fossil from his collection to show her,
this time he told her all about his new "fly trapper" plant (a Venus Fly Trap).
Princess was very excited when he came back over (after leaving for his bath),
with the plant in tow. Of course she wants one now.
The day which had been a very long one, ended badly with Princess
throwing a fit of epic proportions! I was so embarrassed! I kept thinking,
"I've seen this happen on T.V." It was entirely my fault, of course, because I
decided we could join them for a lovely evening on a day that already saw
Princess wake up sick with a tummy ache at 3 am from too much food and hot sun
and a lunch and movie date with my niece and her boyfriend to see Shrek 3 after
breakfast with out of town relatives.
Clearly, I should have said "we'll have to take a rain check." instead of allowing
our "grumpiness" rain on their picnic!

Books we're reading this week

Princess has been in "Science Girl" mode lately, so our library selections
have reflected that.
I found a wonderful book called A DROP OF WATER by Walter Wick
on Cher Mere's blog.
I thought I would get some ideas to use down the road, but Princess
has asked me to read it several times to her. Go figure.
Why is the Sky Blue? and other outdoor questions by Catherine Ripley and illustrated by Scot Ritchie
has been sitting on our coffee table for a couple of weeks. Princess likes the drawings and "getting her right answers".I like the way they answer the questions.
The next two were chosen by Princess from the backs of other books we had out.
She often turns books over to see if they "recommend" another book she should read. ;-)
They are both, "Read and Find Out Science Books".
Evolution by Joanna Cole illustrated by Aliki which she found fascinating and
My Visit To The Dinosaurs by Aliki
which describes a family going to the museum
to see the dinosaur skeletons, made us want to drive right to The American Museum of Natural History
and check it all out!
thunderboom! Poems for Everyone by Charlotte Pomerantz with pictures byRob Shepperson
The cover was more well received then the poetry in our house, but the poems were perhaps a little too long for Princess.
All in Just one Cookie by Susan E. Goodman and illustrated by Timothy Bush was a lot of fun for me,
Princess just wanted to make cookies! It has been too hot to turn our oven on here, so perhaps we'll take this back out when it is cool out. I really enjoyed this book with it's explanations of where everything in a cookie comes from.Example "butter starts with a hungry Vermont cow...." we also enjoyed the pictures.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

Our town celebrated Memorial Day on Sunday, at our Veterans Monument.
This was the first year my Grandfather was not there to lay the wreath for
his Amvets Post #34 (which has been named after him since
his passing). His good friend Jack, is the new Commander and
he placed the wreath this year. As always there was spirited patriotic music
and somber thoughts of our fallen veterans. This year Mayor Bill Neary
also issued a Proclamation honoring my Grandfather. It was very moving.
Between the heat and the high emotion, my Grandmother had an episode requiring
the paramedics to treat her with oxygen.
She was fine and after the ceremony our family declined the free hot dogs and ice cream
in the gazebo and headed over to our house for a picnic my Aunt and I had prepared.
We had a good time being together and talking about Grandpa.
The town's Art Commission will stage a showing of his paintings in remembrance
and celebration of his work in the Autumn at our local library.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

I am not sure where I left off, but we have had family in from out of state
all weekend and luckily the rain held off until the picnic was over on Sunday.
There was much drama...I'll post more on many pictures
to download and a drive down the shore to see Nana.
Books will be discussed....come back to see me.:-)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Here comes the weekend....

We had a wonderful day here on Thursday...we finally put all the washed winter clothes
away and brought most of the "summer" clothes up. I seem to be missing a few bins, but things got shifted around
with "the great flood of April 2007", so I know they are there somewhere.
Princess helped me by playing while I put away and carried piles of clothes and curtains up from the basement
almost all day.We finally hung her "summer" curtains in her room and ours are sitting on my hope chest waiting.
I cleared the floor of doll "stuff" long enough to vaccum the living room and then our FREE mulch was delivered.
I was so excited! True, it's not the pretty kind for the flower beds, but it will do just fine to cover any areas prone to weeds around the edges of the garden and play areas so I don't have to do that every other day.
Princess was happy to see our friends stop over at the end of our day, and we Moms watched the kids play with bubbles and sand while the Dads hauled load after load of mulch around.
We let them stop for pizza and beer on the patio under the shade of the cedar trees.
Lovely end to a day full of hard work. There is still mulch to haul, so I'm off to get some done while
Princess sleeps in a bit. We have relatives coming in this weekend for the Memorial Day ceremony
here. My Grandmother will be accepting an posthumous award for my Grandfather and then the family will all head over here for a picnic. It's supposed to rain, so we'll probably be crowded inside.
Here are some pics from Yesterday, I will get to the crafts we did with turtles in the next couple of days.
I keep forgetting to photograph them.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Princess and Farmer Dad

Here area couple of pictures of Princess
and Farmer Dad working in our tiny little backyard garden. This is the first year she has been more help than , well not, and it
has made gardening fun again. Yesterday we went with our friend to a garden center to pick up some annuals for our hanging baskets, and Princess picked out several
plants for in her "butterfly garden".
She really looked at each label and picked out plants with a butterfly picture on them.
Without being told what to look for!
I was very impressed at her selection.
We will finish planting them today and I'll
post some pictures of our results. We still do not have all the dreaded plastic toys out of the yard, so it's nowhere near completed,
but we are making progress.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

World Turtle Day!

Wednesday is World Turtle Day, so we will be reading
about and coloring some pictures of Turtles.
This ties in beautifully with our recent trip to
Ocean Fun Days, where they had a female turtle
with eggs and a male turtle to touch
and a bunch of baby turtles to touch and hold.
Princess really enjoyed that so off we go to learn more about turtles.

If you care to join us, here are a couple of links you might find useful:

I'll try to post pics of our fun later.

Update: We read Ocean Commotion (see Monday post for info on this book)
and we talked about where they lived and what they eat and how big they get
(things that interested her the most) then we colored pictures of the habitat and of turtles
and did a Franklin puzzle. We also used a tape measure to plot out how big the turtle was in the story.
We also worked on her Birds and Reptiles action sticker book and did a turtle maze that we printed out
from (see above for link).This I put inside a plastic sleeve so it can be done again without re-printing it.

Leftover books from Monday...

I almost forgot to come back to this, but here are the other books
in Monday's pictures that I didn't write about.
If You Were An Adjective by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Sara Gray
Princess loved this book filled with words as colorful as the pictures!
I really liked the style of it all and can't wait to take out the rest of the series.
My Visit to the Aquarium by Aliki
Princess loves going to Aquariums! We decided to take this book out to
talk about our next planned trip to an aquarium near us and it has us really
impatient to get there!
As always the illustrations are terrific.
I would say go to your library and take out anything they have by Aliki
and you will not be disappointed.
Squids will be Squids (fresh morals beastly fables) by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
This book will not be suitable for everyone, but it is quite funny.I'm not sure I would want
Princess to read all of these stories on her own, but I will read a couple to her.
It is funny and we enjoyed the offbeat artwork.

Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble by Judy Schachner
was picked out by Princess along with Mummies Made in Egypt by Aliki
simply to feed her "mummy" addiction. This kid is fascinated by Mummies!
I'd like to give you some highbrow reason for this, but truth be told,
her Dad turned her on to Scooby Doo and that is where it all started!
We enjoyed the Skippyjon Jones story where this little Siamese kitty (who thinks he is a Chihuahua)
imagines himself in Egypt, but she has been pouring over the Aliki book for days!!
She cannot get it read to her enough and pays attention to all of it..even the mundane facts I tried to skip over
(I know, Bad Momma!).
Wings of Light by Stephen R. Swinburne Illustrated by Bruce Kiscock follows the migration of the Yellow Butterfly.The book jacket claims " lyrical prose and stunning illustrations",
and I simply cannot say it better.
This book is probably worth owning for the illustrations alone.
Princess has me on the lookout for a good "book on butterflies" any recommendations
are appreciated. She tells me she has a need to "learn about them,like if they have brains and stuff..."
because and I quote again,"I'm a Science Girl ".
We've been hearing it so much, we're thinking of having t-shirts printed. ;-)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Picture Books

Today I have a few new books from our library:
Days Like This by Simon James is a great books of poems about being outdoors.
Different Like Coco by Elizabeth Matthews is a picture book about the life of Coco Chanel.
Princess loves all things French right now, and the pictures are great.
Having worked at Chanel before becoming a SAHM (although in the financial end), I was intrigued
enough to bring it home and Princess has been sitting looking at the pictures over and over, so I have to say for
us, it is a hit!
Looking For A Moose by Phyllis Root and illustrated by Randy Cecil reminded us of
We're Going on a Bear Hunt, and it was enjoyable.
ART DOG by Thacher Hurd, is a story about Arthur, the guard at the Dogopolis Museum of Art
who becomes a "superhero artist" when the moon is full.It was fun to read and after looking at the pictures
we just had to make some art of our own.
Tomorrow's Alphabet by George Shannon with pictures by Donald Crews was a fun take on an
alphabet book for us.B is for Eggs...tomorrow's Birds.
Tumble Bunnies by Kathryn Lasky illustrated by Marilyn Hafner was a nice read, but Princess was not into it.
She did enjoy the pictures of the bunnies and I enjoyed this tale of Clyde finding out he doesn't have to join
a "team" sport to participate in the Sports Spectacular. We'll take this out again when she is older.
Ocean Commotion SEA TURTLES written and illustrated by Janeen Mason is a beautifully illustrated
introduction to the Loggerhead Sea Turtle. It has a very nice glossary in the back for terms that may be new to the reader, and lists some web resources for further information about this endangered turtle.
Princess really enjoys this type of book right now, so we'll be taking this out again if we don't buy it.
A Million DOTS by Andrew Clements and illustrated by Mike Reed captured Princess's
attention. She keeps trying to count the dots and we all thought the pictures were really cool.
We have many more to cover, but I will get them up Tomorrow.We have to clean our shells from Yesterday.

Ocean Fun Days

Sunday morning we drove down to our friends house so we could all go to the NJ Marine Sciences Consortium
in Sandy Hook,New Jersey
for Ocean Fun Days ! We all had a blast! We enjoyed all the games and informative
vendors, and then had a picnic lunch.
Princess and her friend made t-shirts,bookmarks,shell sculptures,fish prints, and decorated shells.
They learned how to cast a line,take care of a turtle, and went on a Beach Walk tour where they found a live
starfish and horseshoe crab and helped return them to safety.
Princess impressed us with her ability to name several shells for the tour guide.
After our tour we flew kites on another beach and then headed out for some pizza.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Happy Graduation Mike!!

Friday dawned cool and damp..we had to leave very early in the morning
to go to my little brother's graduation from college.
We were lucky to make it on time and Princess had a blast sitting with her Grandparents and her Uncle Jeremy.
First we had the whole school ceremony on the football field (luckily it did not rain) then just the Physics Department. In between we waited in line to use the ladies room before realizing we would not make it and having Princess use the men's room (which was empty).
She loved that! We proudly watched Mike graduate Summa Cum Laude and get the "Fink-Moses-Pregger Phyisics Award" (see photo)for the highest grade in the program(3.98).He already made us swell with pride when he got elected into
the Phi Beta Kappa Society .
After the ceremony and photographs we had a lovely luncheon provided by the Physics department
and Princess had a blast hanging out with her Uncle Mike and his fiance Aunt Adi and all Mike's friends in the program. (P and Adi left)
She was the only child there, and made us quite proud with her behavior.
After driving home she decided to stay with her Aunt Shell, so I had a couple of hours to visit the library
and even catch up with one of my dear friends.
(Adi and Jer holding P left)

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Yesterday was spent working in the garden with Farmer Dad .He decided
while getting coffee to take a day off from work!
We planted corn,tomatoes,more lettuce,tomatoes,peppers,built a trellis for the peas,
planted more tomatoes...we did take "swing" breaks with Princess every once
in a while. Princess and I weeded flower beds and under the fig tree
and she picked rocks from the garden .These are pictures she took,
including a picture of me weeding and of
the doves that wake us up every morning.I took the picture of her
resting after weeding.
We all got done just in time for the thunderstorm.
We had dinner and then played
"doll house" together while the storm raged outside.
All in all it was a lovely day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Happy Birthday L. Frank Baum !

Today we will read The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Our copy was Farmer Dad's as a young boy.
We have a few print outs to color and maybe Princess will watch the movie
with her Grandpa when he visits. They often watch it together and sing along.
It is a lovely day here, so maybe we'll have lunch outside and do more reading and playing when Grandpa leaves.
I'll update later with some pics, but for now,
"We're off to see the Wizard..."
Unfortunately, Grandpa had to cancel
today, but he will try again tomorrow.
Here is our "movie snack" of cupcake
and smoothie.

Monday, May 14, 2007


I am sitting here looking at and through the stack of books we have out of the library
right now and I have about 13 that I haven't written something about yet.
Some were recommended by Nina
like Beatrix Potter by Alexandra Wallner
and The Listening Walk by Paul Showers and illustrated by Aliki.
or Lucia and the Light by Phyllis Root
Princess enjoyed The Listening Walk a great deal , and she liked the Beatrix Potter book, but was not enthralled with it and had no interest in the Lucia book, although we will have it out for
a while longer and try again. We will take it back out when winter rolls around again.
We will also take out a Very Brave Witch by Alison McGhee and Harry Bliss in October.
Princess really enjoys Halloween.We both enjoyed the illustrations.
Behold the Umbrellaphant by Jack Prelutsky and Carin Berger
was a lot of fun for me to read, but Princess didn't really get it.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day !

Bagels and coffee...can a gal ask for more?
The weather is beautiful and Farmer Dad is hard at work on the
house again. Princess and I will set up a blanket outside to enjoy the day.
Hope all my "Mommy" friends enjoy their day as much as I am!


Farmer Dad worked on the house today with the help of one of his brothers,
while Princess and I had a lunch out and some shopping with my sister and
one of her daughters. It was a nice day.
Once home, we cooked dinner and she ran around in the sprinkler to "try out"
her new water shoes.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Getting ready for the weekend

I am trying to get all the winter clothes and curtains washed and put away
and all the spring/summer clothes and curtains washed and put away and hopefully
it will all get done before the seasons change back.
Princess has been very busy as well.
Playing,learning, are a couple of pictures of what she's been up to while
I try to get the house clean.

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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 .