Friday, June 29, 2007

Summer Moon Illusion

Saturday night, June 30th, there will be a moon illusion.
Click here for further details
Princess is really fascinated by the moon, so we will be out
checking the night skies for sure. It has been something of a ritual
to go outside and look for the moon when it gets dark around here.
Princess has been asking for the moon since she could talk and
it was always a great way to settle her down for the night.
She doesn't even mind when we can't see it due to weather,
as long as we try.
As Dino sang "That's Amore"

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Paul Bunyan Day

Whip up a stack of pancakes for breakfast (lunch or dinner would work too)
to celebrate Paul Bunyan Day.
Find some cool games and coloring pages here.
We'll be reading Paul Bunyan a tall tale retold and illustrated by Steven Kellogg.
We love his illustrations and his way of giving the facts along with the tall tale.
It is supposed to rain here with some sever thunderstorms, so we will be living the"unplugged"
version of our life. This means Princess will need plenty of games and crafts to keep her occupied.
When the weather clears, I will post pictures. The thunder is starting off in the distance, so I'll be shutting
down my machine now.I love the rain, but could do without the thunder and lightning.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Eric Carl!

Today is Eric Carle's Birthday. Check out his site here.
Princess especially likes this section,
because it shows you some techniques.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is still our favorite around here.
Do you have a favorite? Why not read it to your child today.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sitting around the "Camp Fire"

We did our version of National Camp Out
last night. We toasted marshmallows and
talked around the campfire.
Princess loved it!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The First Weekend of Summer!!

The weather has been beautiful today, sunny,breezy, just warm enough.
The three of us weeded the garden and flower beds. Princess played
with her doll house under the shade of the plum trees while Farmer Dad and
I hung more fascia boards. We ate our lunch and dinner outside and read and rested
and played on the swing set. Farmer Dad has the fire pit ready to go when it's dark.
We are going to toast marshmallows and look for fireflies.
We wanted to camp out, but the tent we could find is no good and we can't find the new one
we never used that Farmer Dad got from work for an anniversary gift, so we will "camp in"
in our living room.I will post pictures later. I think I have my camera software problem solved.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Photo trouble....

I am having trouble with my photo software...argh!
I will try to figure out why and post pictures when I can.

Meanwhile, Farmer Dad took off today to spend quality time with the
house, I mean us. LOL
Hopefully we'll get to do something fun after he gets some work done.
The weekend is supposed to be lovely and not too hot and we have
my "little" brother's Graduation Party this weekend. Mike
graduated last month from college, and Jeremy just graduated this week
from high school.The party will celebrate both accomplishments.
Princess is really looking forward to seeing all her Uncles-
Adam is even driving in , we have not seen him since Poppa's funeral.
She is also looking forward to the two fiances and one girlfriend who
will join them. She adores them all as well.
Now, we're off to enjoy the first full day of Summer!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summer begins today!

We are very excited around here. Princess's cousin , who is 19 will be
driving about 2 hours to spend the day with us. She is working full time while going to college,
so we do not see her as often as we would like. Our plan is to do some "summer crafts" and have
some "summer fun" and maybe we'll make some ice cream!
It will not matter what we do, as long as we spend time together.
I do have some books on Summer to share, but Princess is up so I have limited time
to blog.I'll try to post later when she is busy with her cousin.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Thunderstorms and The Deadliest Catch.....

The bad news is the thunderstorms that rolled in last night woke Princess
up at 2am, the good news is we got to see the episode of The Deadliest Catch
that we missed. We love that show..not sure why.
Seeing what they were dealing with weather wise did make us feel like we were
pretty high and dry.We slept in a bit this morning to make up for it.
Still raining this morning, ruined our plans for a swim in our friends pool,
but made for a cozy morning at home with a pile of books and our play food.
Princess has been on a "cooking" spree lately, she really loves to pull all her play food out and
tell me what everything is and how it grows, and how she is going to prepare it.
Maybe we'll make a pizza for dinner today since it is a bit cooler than it has been lately,
although for some reason I could really go for some Alaskan King Crab.....

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What will you remember about today?

Today, as I was surfing the blogosphere, waiting for Princess
to wake up and having my coffee, I came across a nice post
that made me think over at Poohsticks.
Cathy writes about how the stories we tell about our lives
help define the lives we lead, and that we can choose to concentrate
on the good things that happened over the course of a day
instead of the negative. This really resonated with me, because
I want to be better at doing that. Not pretending life is perfect,
but choosing to concentrate on the positive instead of the negative.
So for today, I will concentrate on how much fun we have doing
whatever it is we end up doing, and not on what didn't get done
because my four year old was not cooperative.
I will choose to let go of the traffic on the way to our play date,
and remember instead how much fun we had visiting with friends.
Or at least I will try.
What will you remember about today?

Monday, June 18, 2007

International Picnic Day!

Today is International Picnic Day, so we will be reading
about picnics and hopefully doing a craft or two about
picnics, and for dinner, we will go on a picnic!
If you would like another great site for ideas just click here.
It wouldn't be Monday if I didn't post about a few books we're reading
right now.

Here are some great "picnic" themed books:

We're going on a Picnic by Pat Hutchins
very cute story about Hen,Duck and Goose looking for a good picnic spot
because ,"It's such a lovely day!"

Picnic at Mudsock Meadow by Patricia Polacco
This book is about the kids of Mudsock Meadow and their annual Halloween picnic.
Princess enjoys Halloween, so the seasonal difference was fine with her.

The Rattlebang P I C N I C by Margaret Mahy with pictures by Steven Kellogg
a really fun story filled with great illustrations..made us want to get into our old rattlebang
and find a good picnic spot!

The BEST Picnic Ever by Clare Jarrett
has wonderful illustrations done in colored pencil and a lively story about what happens when a little boy goes to the park with his Mom for a picnic and says" I wish I had someone to play with"....
Now I need to go pack up our picnic basket ....

Sunday, June 17, 2007

And a Happy Father's Day to you too!

Farmer Dad had a very grumpy day today. Nothing seemed to go his way.
The fascia board material is difficult to cut, difficult to hang alone..
the Groundhog exists...Princess was very demanding of him and constantly underfoot
at the wrong times. A good friend called in the evening to say "Happy Fathers Day" and see
how his day had been, and Princess answered the phone and we heard,"no, he ruined my
perfectly good day". LOL
Here is a favorite recent picture of them together.
Here too, a couple of books we have been
reading, my favorite of the three
is My Father's Hands by Joanne Ryder with beautiful illustrations by Mark Graham
a lovely story about a father teaching his daughter about gardening.
Princess really likes A Perfect Fathers Day by Eve Bunting and Illustrated by Susan Meddaugh
which is a funny story about a little girl
"taking" her Dad out for the "perfect Father's Day", doing all the things she thinks are fun
of course.
We both liked the funny illustrations by Frank Remkiewicz in Jonathan London's Froggy's Day with Dad.
Thanks to Farmer Dad who supports my "book habit" (that is only slightly controlled with frequent trips to our local library and picking up boxes of children's books from Freecycle) and my decision to homeschool our Princess. Without your support I couldn't do what I do.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The weekend

Friday found us reading a few new library books that I picked up before I met some Moms from our playgroup
for a "Mom's Night Out",and having a relaxing morning of changing
the bed linens and making a food shopping list while Princess played with her felt board.
Our friends called as we were painting in the bathtub,and asked us to meet them at a
relatively local McDonalds to play in the very large play area there.We did.
Princess had fun playing with her friend and some other kids that were there.
She also got "punched" in the eye coming down the slide. It was an accident, she is fine,
but it was alarming to hear her crying from inside the playground- that just doesn't happen often.
A few minutes and a trip to the ladies room later and she was back playing.Very resilient our little Princess.
I promise to post about the new books on Monday morning after getting a good idea of our likes and dislikes.
Today we have a lot of house related chores to take care of and I must figure out a way to combat the
BEAST FROM HELL, groundhog that is getting into our garden and eating all my cucumbers and peas!!
We like to have our yard feel more natural and let the little beasts feel at home, but he's crossed a line now
and is hitting my green beans!!Have a lovely day and if you know how to prevent this little beast..please comment!
I'll post some pictures from our day including how I found her when I returned home after my MNO.The harmonica is pretty much a constant most days, she loves to play it!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Flag Day!

We were not in the mood to do anything I had planned for Flag Day today,
so we amused ourselves with a bit of this and that and tomato soup for lunch.
It is cool and rainy here. Princess made up games which sometimes required my
attention, but mostly did not. She did ask me to read Harold and the Purple Crayon
over and over again, and then she colored for a bit. I have been trying to find where I stashed
her wooden blocks, she has been building things with the pieces from Jenga.
(She loves playing that too.)I took the wood ones away and replaced them with foam
when she was into her "throwing" stage.
Now 2 years later....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sorting Shells

Princess was up at the crack of dawn today. I am not sure why, she sure did not go to bed early.
We had just missed Farmer Dad leaving for work, so we called him a bit later so she could tell him all about her
"not very nice dream". It had something to do with chipmunks and putting out food for the bunnies and playing with
friends in our backyard. The chipmunks were biting or stealing the food or both.
We had some breakfast and she watched Sesame Street and I tried to catch up on blog reading.
Then we started washing towels and such from Yesterday.
It has been a very laundry kind of day here, cool, grey, sleepy (or is that because I did not get enough sleep?)
We soaked our shells and stones over night and today we sorted them.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Down the Shore...

Today found us "down the shore"...Sandy Hook to be exact.
Princess and my two nieces and I drove down and had a lovely
day playing in the surf and sand. The weather was perfect.
Here are some pictures....

Monday, June 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Jacques Cousteau !

Today we have been talking about Jacques Cousteau.
We will be going down the shore tomorrow with
Princess's cousin and will discuss the ocean some more,
I am sure. We have a couple of books out from the library
to learn a little more about him.
Jacques Cousteau Man of the Oceans by Carol Greene
(a Rookie Biography)

Jacques-Yves Cousteau Exploring the Wonders of the Deep by Lois Markham
(Innovative Minds)

THE WORLD'S GREAT EXPLORERS Jacques-Yves Cousteau by Susan Sinnott

We have some coloring pages of the oceans, but as Princess has very little interest in
this today and tomorrow we will have a long car ride down the shore, we will bring them
on a clipboard for the ride. She has a box of books from Freecycle that she is going through
right now and that is her only interest.

If you have an interest to learn more about him please click here Jacques Cousteau.


Frankie over at Kitchen-Table Learners ,
tagged me for a game of SCATTERGORIES…it’s harder than it looks!
Here are the rules: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They MUST be real places, names, things…NOTHING made up! If you can’t think of anything, skip it. Try to use different answers if the person before you had the same 1st initial. You CAN’T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

Your Name: Kate

1. Famous Singer/Band: the KINKS

2. 4 letter word: kill

3. Street: Kennedy Blvd

4. Color: "KELLY" green

5. Gifts/Presents: kiss

6. Vehicle: "K" car

7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: kites

8. Boy Name: Karl

9. Girl Name: Kim

10. Movie Title: Kiss Me Kate

11. Drink: kamikaze

12. Occupation: King

13. Celebrity: Keira Knightley

14. Magazine: Kiplinger'sPersonal Finance

15. U.S. City: Kansas City

16. Pro Sports Teams: Knicks

18. Reason for Being Late for Work:Kissing husband goodbye

19. Something You Throw Away: Knightrider episode on vhs tape

20. Things You Shout: Let's go KNICKS !!

21. Cartoon Character: Mr. Krabs

I'm going to tag:
If anyone else plays sure to let me know!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Princess goes to the Theatre....

After a day spent shopping (at a local flea market)
and "doing lunch with the girls" (her Aunt,cousin and Great Grandmother),
Princess came home in time for a little R n R in the backyard before heading
out to her very first play. One of the local Theaters (at a community college near us)
was putting on "Alexander and the Terrible,Horrible,No Good,Very Bad Day"
based on the book of the same name written by Judith Viorst (as is the play).
The tickets were given to us by good friends who could not make it due to a scheduling conflict.
It lasted an hour, which was just about as long as her attention span lasted.
She was getting annoyed because I told her she could not eat (signs were posted everywhere),
and people near us were eating and I had told her not to talk, and people near us were talking.
We did have one potty break, because she just didn't have to go when we arrived, but she made quick
time of it and waited for an appropriate time to get back to our seats (while they were moving some
sets around). On the way home we stopped off for some ice cream and to look for a good
booster seat for in the car as she is maxed out in her car seat. Any suggestions out there?

What goes better with Friday night then pizza?

Good friends to share it with! After such a busy day in the hot sun,
you would think we would have chosen to have an early night.
Not us, we headed over to share pizza and some good times
with good friends of ours. I fully expected a full scale meltdown, but
both kids were very well behaved! Every once in a while they surprise us!
The kids played in the pool while the Dads played guitar in the basement
and the Moms relaxed on the deck with a cool drink.
Then we all ate dinner and the kids and Moms watched "Night at the Museum"
while the Dads played some more.
Tired, but happy we drove home and slept well.

I'm including a couple of pics from the
playground earlier in the day.

Fun in the Sun on Friday

Princess and I had a blast on Friday playing
with friends at a local "sprayground".
It was crowded because of the heat, but a lot of fun!We hit the sprayground first,
then the playground next to it,then we
found a picnic table in the shade and ate our lunch. Then we hit the sprayground and playground again before driving home
for a snack and Spongebob episode with our friends. What a great day!
Here are some pictures:

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Have you seen any good movies lately?

I was over reading Wicked Pickles
and she had a link over to 5 Minutes for Mom
where they are giving away 5-6 month Netflix memberships.
All you need to do is comment on their site, tell what a couple of your favorite movies are
and link it back to your blog.

Give it a try!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Yo Yo Day!

Can you yo-yo?
I sadly, cannot.
We have many..Princess
loves them.
Here are some teacher plans for using yo yos
to teach kids from Duncan Yo Yos
I believe they are aimed at children in grade 6,
but I thought some of you with older children
might find them useful.
I'm going to print them out for the future
since Princess and Farmer Dad both enjoy them.
If your children are still in the preschool set
(like mine), maybe this
picture to color or this would be more fun.
We are going to read Richard Egielski's Slim and Jim today.
For those of you who don't like yo yos, maybe
you will enjoy this link Yo Yo Ma.
Princess and I are especially fond of the Silk Road Project
I can only hope that if your yo yo unravels today
you can get it back under control while having some fun
along the way!

Hot Air Balloon Day!

Today we celebrated the anniversary of the First Hot Air Balloon flight!
We read Fire and Silk by Neil Johnson
and then went to:
to print out some pictures for Princess to color,
which she decided not to do.We did find many other things
on that site to add to our craft bags!
Princess decided she would rather we drew our own hot air balloons
and color them, so we did.
I let her color mine after I drew it.
We decided to go with magic markers, so our balloons would
look as vibrant as those in the book.
We were going to make a craft with paper mache
(that I thought was very clever of myself to come up with)
later in the afternoon,
but Princess got a call from her cousin to join her at a local
Chinese restaurant for dinner and ran to get changed before
I could object. Why did I think she would choose me
and my wet newspaper? lol
If anyone wants to know what we were going to do..and still might one day:
Kate's Crazy Paper Mache Hot Air Balloon Craft
I was going to paper mache over a balloon and after it was dry,
paint it and let dry again and then run ribbon
down from the top of the balloon to a dixie cup
(you could use a yogurt cup or something else but would need a drill
for the holes) that we would decorate
with paints or markers and punch 2 or 4 holes in near the top to run the
ribbon through and tie. I thought we could tie fishing line to the top bit of ribbon and
hang from the ceiling in her room.
I have a very rough sketch that I was using.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Schools are for fish!

Many Books on Monday!!

I have too many books to read and write about and not enough time to do it all in.
I picked up a couple of Nina's suggestions, like Lentil and Elena's Serenade and Raising Dragons.
I have been working on my "loose plan" for the month and found tons of books to go with my plans!
This week we will be covering : Monday:Birthday of Socrates and Aesops
for which we will read Wise Guy the Life and Philosophy of Socrates by M.D. Usher and Pictures by William Bramhall
A Sip of Aesop by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Karen Barbour
I love what Jane Yolen says about this book:
Aesop was an ancient Greek
And spoke no language I can speak.
So I have put his tales in verse
With hope I haven't made them worse.

In Prose or rhyme
There is a moral:
Aesops Aeppeals
In print-or oral.
Princess thought the art work very cool!

Tuesday:Hot Air Ballon Day
Fire and Silk flying in a hot air balloon by Neil Johnson
I think this will be a little bit dry for Princess, but it does give a lot of great information about hot air balloons.
We will be making a few crafts to make this topic more "fun".
Wednesday: Yo Yo Day Slim and Jim by Richard Egielski is a book about a homeless rat and a kind young mouse who learn to rely upon their faith in one another and their yo-yos.Princess really likes yo-yos,
but I am not sure this book will hold her interest. She prefers more rhyming if a book is this wordy.
Thursday is Chocolate Ice Cream Day and Daniel Boone Day so we will read
Daniel Boone by Laurie Lawlor
I do not think this is a great book for us, but I will use the info in it to explain about who he was
to her.
Friday: Jelly filled Donut Day...I could not find any books about jelly donuts or with jelly donuts in them,
so we will just try to make some jelly donuts. If that doesn't work, we'll be hitting the drive thru at our local Dunkin Donuts! Maybe we'll write our own "jelly donut" book.

We also picked up a couple more just for fun:
In Our Backyard Garden poems by Eileen Spinelli and pictures by Marcy Ramsey
I can only quote from the bookjacket

In this backyard garden,
each memory is harvested
like a giant orange pumpkin,
each hardship is weathered
like a sudden winter snowfall,
each relative is nurtured
like a fresh,fragile sapling,
and love blossoms like flowers
all year round.

How to Bake an Apple Pieand see the world by Marjorie Priceman
I had to pick this book up,based on the cover art alone. It even has a recipe for apple pie in the back.
The art is fabulous and who could resist turning the page on.."Making an apple pie is really very easy.
First you get all the ingredients at the market. Mix them well,bake and serve.
Unless, of course, the market is closed."
The Three Questions based on a story by Leo Toltsoy which is written and illustrated by Jon J Muth
came up next to another search, and I had to pick it up as well.
Princess and I have been discussing her behavior and trying to learn the right way to act quite a lot lately.
Who knows where this book will lead us.The watercolors alone are worth checking this out.
This leads us to Zen Shorts by Jon J Muth
which is the book I was looking for after reading a review in a parenting magazine.
This book is described by the author as "short meditations-ideas to puzzle over-tools which hone our ability to act with intuition.They have no goal,but often challenge us to reexamine our habits,desires,concepts, and fears."
And as Socrates once said,"the unexamined life isn't worth living".

Sunday, June 3, 2007

I've been tagged for a MEME!

Would you all think I'm a geek if I say I'm so excited to be tagged by Angela
for a Meme?

The rules are simple…Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

  1. My Mother had a stroke when I was 18 and the tumor that caused it killed her when I was 21.
  2. We moved to Texas when I was in high school,but I couldn't wait to get back to New Jersey.Although I met two of my closest friends (we call each other our chosen siblings) there.
  3. I read several books at one time..fiction, nonfiction including some favorites that I read every year.including several cookbooks at a time which I read from cover to cover.
  4. I am not good at any arts or crafts,but I want to be,same goes for music.
  5. I do not like to travel if I can't sleep at home.
  6. I grew up with one sister, but have 3 brothers from my fathers 2nd marriage.There is slightly more age difference between the oldest son and me than me and my father.
  7. Before I had my daughter,I had my sister's 2 daughters live with me for a couple of years when they were young teenagers.
  8. I am slightly obsessed with the Revolutionary War period and anything to do with the "Founding Fathers".
Now I'm going to tag the following eight people,
Cher Mere

Now I can only hope I've done this correctly! ;-)

First Strawberries!

Princess was very excited this weekend to find her first red strawberry
in her strawberry pot. Here are some pictures of her enjoying it..we all had
a bite, as you can see she climbed into the garden to give Farmer Dad a bite too!
She is very good about sharing.

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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 .