Thursday, April 30, 2009

May Plans

I get a lot of e-mails asking how I decide
which "holidays" I choose to "celebrate"
every month.It is not that complicated, I
like to have something "fun" planned for every
"school" day. In the winter I will use some weekend
ideas as well, because it is more likely that we will be
stuck inside due to inclement weather.In the spring,summer,
and autumn, we are much more likely to be busy outside
with some type of gardening work on the weekends, and have
less of a need to be "entertained", so I stick to making plans
for Monday through Friday.We love to cook (and eat)and bake,
so we will always "choose" a food related "holiday".
I use a bunch of different sites, I promise to try to get them listed on my side bar soon.I will make a lesson for any subjects we need to cover based on the "theme" of the day.I draw on ideas (stolen) from all of you and from magazines and the many books I have lying around the house. Here are some fun things to celebrate and learn about this month..

All Month:
National Barbecue Month (Is your grill in good working condition?)
National Bike Month (same goes for your bike)
National Blood Pressure Month (had it checked lately?)
National Hamburger Month (have a good recipe to share?)
National Photograph Month (I'm planning something special for this one)
National Salad Month (what is your favorite salad?)
Older Americans Month (Princess is planning something nice for some older people we know)
Some Weekly Celebrations:
Nurse's Week - first week of month
Wildflower Week - week two (plant some)
National Bike Week - third week (go ride)
National Police Week - third week of month
Emergency Medical Services Week - fourth week of month
Each Day:
1 Astronomy Day - date varies
May Day
Loyalty Day
Mother Goose Day
Save the Rhino Day
Baby Day
Brothers and Sisters Day
Lumpy Rug Day
World Press Freedom Day
Bird Day
National Candied Orange Peel Day *
Renewal Day

We will "celebrate" some of the above, but certainly not all.We will however,learn a little, play a little, *cook some, *eat some, sing and dance some, dress up if the mood strikes, do maths, science,read many,many books, and we will scrap any and all plans for a good day down the shore or for a walk to the park.We will have Birthday parties, Communion parties, picnics,parades,field trips, see movies,and watch the garden grow.What will you be doing? I hope you will visit us here to see what we are doing, and share what you are celebrating in your own lives as well. ~

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Santa Fe Trail Day

Today is Santa Fe Trail Day!
The Santa Fe Trail was a historic 19th century transportation route across southwestern North America connecting Missouri with Santa Fe, and New Mexico.
We'll be doing some of these activities.We will also be celebrating
Great Poetry Reading Day,
perhaps by reading this
Santa Fe Trail
by Barbara Guest
I go separately
The sweet knees of oxen have pressed a path for me
ghosts with ingots have burned their bare hands
it is the dungaree darkness with China stitched
where the westerly winds
and the traveler’s checks
the evensong of salesmen
the glistening paraphernalia of twin suitcases
where no one speaks English.
I go separately
It is the wind, the rubber wind
when we brush our teeth in the way station
a climate to beard. What forks these roads?
Who clammers o’er the twain?
What murmurs and rustles in the distance
in the white branches where the light is whipped
piercing at the crossing as into the dunes we simmer
and toss ourselves awhile the motor pants like a forest
where owls from their bandaged eyes send messages
to the Indian couple. Peaks have you heard?
I go separately
We have reached the arithmetics, are partially quenched
while it growls and hints in the lost trapper’s voice
She is coming toward us like a session of pines
in the wild wooden air where rabbits are frozen,
O mother of lakes and glaciers, save us gamblers
whose wagon is perilously rapt.
Take Your Daughter To Work Day,
and Blueberry Pie Day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rutgers Day 2009

Saturday was "Rutgers Day" here in the Garden State.
It was too much for me. Too many things going on a one time, not enough energy to do it all, or see it all.
We concentrated on "Ag Day". Missing the Zimmerli all together.:-(
Princess was disappointed to not see the baby animals, but we loved our visit to the
Marine and Coastal Science Department.They had many fun activities for the"candy sand" bottles,
face painting, Princess got a soccer ball on her hand Mad ScienceWe didn't find some friends who were supposed to be there, but we met up with other friends.

We also got a HUGE stack of workbooks from the EPA booth, and some nice posters too.It was way too hot for me this early in the year, but Princess had fun.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Contest Widget

Contest Widget

You may have noticed, play is a very important part of our lives
here in our little corner of the Garden State. How important is it to you?
Do you make play a priority? Are you too busy to play?
Do you have wonderful areas to play near where you live?
Please join me in helping to ensure all children have a nice place to play.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Books for your children to enjoy

Another Tuesday came and book post from
our little corner of the Garden State. What is with that???
I am really trying to get a handle on things here. Truly.
Life is getting back to normal, but it is garden season.
Princess and I got our own plot in our local Community Garden
this year. It is a brand new endeavor for our town, and one I
support, so we are in! Our plot is ten feet by ten feet.
I attended the first meeting last night..very exciting.
We missed the fence raising last Saturday, as we had Grandma's funeral,
but they are doing more this Sunday, so we'll be there.Our local Lowes
donated the fence posts, our mayor donated the chicken wire for the top.
The water line has been put in and the land roto-tilled by our works department.
A local garden center/farm in town is donating the lime and offering a 10% discount
for supplies we buy for the garden, as well as being willing to answer all of our questions.
I'm feeling the "Community" already.What does this have to do with books?
Hmm,'s how we have been spending our time instead of blogging. lol
Here are a couple of books we have enjoyed lately..we hope you all will too.

One of my favorite reads this month was Rocks in His Head

The author tells the story of her father's passion for rock collecting in this sweet and funny picture book. "People said he had rocks in his pockets and rocks in his head. He didn't mind. It was usually true." He started collecting rocks as a young boy. When he grew up, he carefully labeled his rock collection and displayed them on the back wall of his filling station. However, once the Depression hit and the filling station closed, he had to look for work. Taking odd jobs where and when he could,spending his time when there was no work to be found, at the local science museum, where he eventually attracted the attention of the director. She offered him a job as the nighttime janitor, which combined with his unquenchable love for rocks, eventually led to his being named Curator of Mineralogy, despite his lack of a college degree. This is a story worth reading for us all,about a man who quietly pursues his passion, no matter what others think. We really enjoy the artist's watercolor-and-ink illustrations as well.
Princess loves to collect rocks too, so she enjoyed seeing where that might lead.
Another book about a man with a passion for his job, is
Princess really enjoyed this book about a postal worker who LOVES
his job. The illustrations are charming, the story is very sweet, we often talk
about the importance of doing your "job" well, so this fit in well.Mr Griggs likes his
job so much , he thinks about it all the time. Even on a sick day.
The other reason I think she liked it, is one of her favorite "Dad's" in
our group, is a postal worker. I'm not sure if he is a favorite because he makes
rice crispy treats for the kids, or if it's because he's the guitar player in her "band",lol.
But this book reminded her of him a bit.
I had a bigger pile, but someone keeps "stealing" them as I type. ;-)

I will try to get more up soon..we have some real good ones out right now.
Speaking of which, I must go finish the book I am reading right now. ;-)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day

Here are a couple of things we will be doing to celebrate Earth Day.
We will eat these
and make another batch with Peanut when she arrives.
This is a sugar cookie with royal icing. I made a batch of green and a batch of blue.
We did the blue first, and added green as we wanted. We think they look like the
earth from space.
We will eat a home made pizza for dinner, shaped like our Earth,
and quick and easy (I have a Community Garden meeting at night).
If it doesn't rain, we will plant these..

If it does, we will just stay inside and make more crafts like this:Princess made this "Earth Bag" all by herself. She did ask me to cut out the round

blue paper, but she cut out the "constinants" (her words) and asked me to spell

New Brunswick (a city near us), the rest she copied from things in the room.

She was very proud to show off her work. She is hoping to re-create the fun with Peanut.

No, I did not tell her her map was "off"..I was too impressed that she spelled Hawaii

on her own. We live pretty green here, and Peanut is only 4, so we will

just have fun tomorrow and enjoy our little corner of this blue and green marble

as much as we can.I like to think of every day as Earth Day around here, as I often say,

we work our 3 R's every day!

If you would like more ideas of things to do for Earth Day, try this link

Family. Com

or here

Happy Earth Day!! I will be back with a book post Thursday..I just couldn't get my links to work


Monday, April 20, 2009

Keep on keepin on

That is all we can do sometimes. Here is an update of what we have been up to
since Good Friday. We made cookies that morning to bring to our play group's
annual Easter Egg Hunt.

The Easter Bunny showed up "in person" to deliver a small gift to each child.Princess and her "Sweet Prince" joined in the egg decorating with the other children.Saturday started the fishing season here, so Farmer Dad and one of our oldest friends

brought the kids fishing.Princess was so distraught by the monsoon (or was it wearing the "garbage bag"?),

that we almost cancelled our trip down to the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank

to see Happy Feet. We try not to miss the free family movies they show.

Princess was so well behaved, we stopped off at a McDonald's on the ride home for hot coffee

and play gym time. She was the only child, unless you count Farmer Dad.

This play area was good for adults as well.That night we decorated our own eggs...Princess wanted to try some new hair dos..

Easter Morning dawned bright and clear here in the Garden State.
We found a note from the Easter Bunny leading her on an Easter Egg hunt of her own

in the backyard.She found all the eggs that were hidden, so she was awarded the basket of goodies

left behind for her. A new watering can, some gloves, a pink star fish and some bath paints.

We all sat down to pancakes for breakfast.Tuesday was my birthday (as I already let you all know..and thank you for the well wishes!)

Princess insisted on making me a chocolate cake with coconut.

I had a "Mommy Blogger" event I was invited to by Stop and Shop which I will talk more about this week.Princess stayed with my niece and her baby, and then we came home and she baked.She does all but the oven on her own!Farmer Dad came home with candy and flowers and took us to dinner.

We came home for desert.

I will be back with books to share, and Earth Day ideas, and more of what we've been doing later today or tomorrow. This post is already so long.It looks like a rainy week here, after a lovely weekend working in the yard and visiting with friends and family who came on for Great Grandma's funeral.Thank you all again for your kind words, and your friendship.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Oh yes, it's that time of year Birthday!
Readers who know me "in real life", already know
I consider this an International Holiday. It's already catching on Nationally,
many United States Post Offices will be open late tonight and there will
be balloons and coffee and donuts.* Please don't get annoyed with me if your
local branch doesn't fully participate in KateinNJDay this year..just start bugging them
now to participate next year! Today I will be going off for a little bit of "ME" time.
I'll be here to tell you all about it tomorrow.I promise.
I was planning on having a wonderful Children's Book/something for the lady who reads it
to them, Giveaway to celebrate.However, I will have to hold that after things settle down
around here. Thank you all for all the e-mails and comments about my Grandmother.
Most of you have no idea how very much your support means to me!!
I leave you now with this photo of Princess's first Fishing Trip with Farmer Dad,
click here to read all about it.
And yes, it is raining again today (my peas are sooo happy!)
Have a lovely day my dear friends..I will be back. ((BIG HUGS))

*Reminder US Postage rates go up May11Th, Costco sells stamps for $.02 less than going rate.
Or at least the one near us did last time I was there. ;-)

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Passing

Early Friday morning, my Grandmother passed away.
She had been suffering from dementia for a few years,
slowly losing her grip on reality, most recently losing
her ability to do most anything, but sleep.
That is how she died, in her sleep.
Her life, was not easy, but she made the most of it.
She was not easy, she was stubborn and down right mean at times,
but she could also be a a lot of fun, and kind and generous when she
wanted to be. The last decade or two were not her best, as dementia
took over a good portion of her brain. There was a lot more "crazy" behavior.
A lot of paranoia. Many turned away before we realized, it was dementia.
She went from a social butterfly to near recluse.
As a family we were lucky to have my sister who was willing to move in
with her (at the request of my Grandfather before he died) and keep an
eye out for her, and then manage her care as the disease progressed.
It was not easy, as you can imagine. One of her biggest fears was being put in "a home".
Thanks to Shell, we never had to do that.
We will have services this coming Saturday, April 18th.
Giving some far flung relatives a chance to get here.
Until then, Bon Voyage Gram, and I hope the buffet is better
on this cruise than the last one. ;-)

PS I wanted to scan in some old photos, but I cannot get it to work.This

photo was from Christmas..Princess holding baby C..also known as "X-man",

and Great Grandma (that's Great-Great Grandma for X-man)

Friday, April 10, 2009

The week in all it's glory...

We had rainy days inside, sunny days out.

A friend to play with and only ourselves to amuse.We made a new batch of laundry detergent,
and washed some laundry. We prepared cookies
and dinners and baked our bread.
We sat watching the birds, and listening to their songs.
We cleaned out and moved around the learning room.
Picking up a bulletin board from a freecycler along the way.
I was the best Mom in the whole world and the Absolute Worst Mom Ever!
All direct quotes, and from the same kid. ;-)
Tomorrow is Good Friday, and we will go to our annual
get together with our original play group to hunt Easter Eggs,
and have fun. Saturday will be full of activity as we try to fit
in all the activities which ended up planned for one day.
Sunday is Easter...I'm hoping to see the cardinal babies...

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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 .