Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pick Up Sticks

We had some fun and simple nature study this last week. We made our own game of pick up sticks. I got this idea from Shannon at, Mommies Little Artist.

First we gathered the supplies. Our stick walk was right up Caleb's alley. We did have to have a discussion about finding smaller sticks. =)

Next we painted each stick. Some were solid colors and some multi colored.

Then we played. Caleb loves this game!

Caroline is still grasping the concept of one stick at a time without moving any others. =)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving and Tracks and Scat Unit Study Books

Here are the books we used during our past two unit studies. They were great books too! You can click on them to learn more.

Old Memories Mixed With New

This is definitely the season for making memories in our household. When I was a little girl I had a very special stuffed bear. This bear received lots of lovin and he looks like it too. His little nose is missing, his ear is torn and his fur is not as soft as it once was. But when it comes to memory making or memory reminiscing none of that matters.

I recently pulled that little bear out of storage and Caroline decided she loved him right away. Honestly, my daughter loves many stuffed animals and this precious little bear of mine was no exception.

He is once again the recipient of little girl hugs and little girl kisses.

His ears get to once again listen to little girl secrets and declarations of love. And for awhile it seems that all is right and good in the world.

At least the world of my little girl and our precious little bear.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Am Thankful For

I am still on bloggy vacation, but I really felt the need to post this. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I've been thinking about how blessed I am lately. I do not mean this to sound like I'm bragging. I really want to remember this, so I do not take any of my blessings for granted. Although, I know at some point I will. So I'm making this list. =)

- God. Jesus. The Holy Spirit.
- Prayer
- My Husband, the best husband in the world, The most loving, most patient, most supportive man ever!
- Caleb, curious, lover of nature, my first born, but always my baby
- Caroline, full of spirit and spunk and lots of snuggles
- The ability to be a stay at home mom, thanks Honey!
- Time to read my Bible
- Starbucks, yum, I'd like one right now
- Lucille's Beignets
- Hot Tea
- Good Books To Read
- Quiet Time To Read Those Books
- Church, the Sermons, the people, the music, oh just all of it
- Smiles
- Hugs from my kiddos
- Bones, Love that show!
- Back Rubs from my husband
- Amazon's Free Super Shipping Saving
- The choice/freedom to homeschool my children
- Hiking
- Rocky Mountains
- The smell of the forest
- My very cool REI Daypack
- Our very cool REI Children's Carrier
- The fact that all of my children love the outdoors
- Birds at my bird feeders
- Forgiveness
- God's Grace
- Praise Songs
- Immunizations for my children
- Health Insurance, even if it's expensive, at least we have it
- Sunshine
- Reading to my kids
- God's Promises, always kept, never broken
- The sound of rain on the roof at night
- Hearing my son say his Bible Memory verse
- My bread machine
- The seasons, love them all, well winter can be a little long, but I still like having it
- Walks
- Wildflowers
- Vacations
- The way it feels to lie in bed at night after a long day, all snugly and cozy and tired
- Marshalls
- Ross
- Eating out with my husband, just the two of us
- Family Prayer Night
- Family Movie Night
- Babies, all of them, their smell, they way they feel in your arms, their innocence, the hope they represent, you just gotta love babies
- The Bible Study I'm currently doing, thanks Beth Moore, I am really learning and growing with this one
- My Family, I know I already said this, but I am REALLY, REALLY thankful for them!

I could go on and on. Isn't God so amazing! He gives and He takes away, but He is always there. Thank you Lord for everyone and everything on this list. Amen.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Blog Vacation

So sorry it has been awhile since I have posted. I have recently been feeling the need for a blog vacation. I love blogging and when it starts to feel like a job, well I know I need a little break. So that's what I've been taking. At first I was worried I'd loose all my readers, other than family of course. But then I thought to myself, that's just silly. It's a blog Virginia, why are you worried about that. So I am going to take another week off or so and then I'll be back among the bloggy world and reading what all of my bloggy friends have been up to. See ya in a bit!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tot School: Week 11

Tot School

My little Caroline is always such an entertaining girlo. She has quite the personality and it really comes out in Tot School. Who am I kidding, it's apparent all of the time. This is wonderful in so many ways, but also challenges Daddy and Mama in the discipline department. One thing is for certain, she will be a leader in life. Now we just have to help her learn to do that for the Lord and in an appropriate manner. Good thing God promises to give us wisdom if we ask for it!

TOT TOYS: We played with a Leap Frog Fishy Colors puzzle. It has a cute cat at the top trying to get the fish from the bowl. Caroline is just so so into puzzles right now. She really likes to take all of the pieces off and then bang them together. She tries to put some where they go, but this is not as interesting to her right now.

She also played with her Leap Frog table. This was Caleb's when he was little. Both kiddos have really loved this toy. Caroline likes to play with the textured clothes hanging below the table. Caleb always loved the part where you could put different color balls into a hole and they would slide down a tube. Funny how each one of them loves the table, but likes different parts. They do not make the table we have anymore, but this one is similar.

TOT TOOLS: I made a sensory bin for the kids. It is filled with corn kernels, sunflower seeds, indian corn, gourds and an assortment of funnels, measuring cups and bowls. Both of the kids really like it. Caroline played with this quite a few times this last week.
I also made a treasure chest for Caroline. It is a little box filled with multi colored beaded necklaces. This was by far her favorite activity of the week. She put the necklaces on and off. Took them in and out of the treasure chest. And laid them all over the ground and then rolled in them. She was all smiles when we played with this.

We have some Pocket Pals from Melissa and Doug. I put them in a bowl for Caroline and she put each one into a muffin tin. We are working on 1:1 correspondence with this activity. We also named the animals and Caroline made some of their sounds.

OUTDOOR/NATURE: We took a nature walk at a park near our home. You can read about that in detail here. Caroline found some cool nature treasures!

And of course Caroline hung out with her best bud, Bubba. Here he is giving her some love.
That was our week of Tot School fun. Head over to Carissa's blog to check out some more Tot School posts.

Preschool Corner and Learning Through Love: Thanksgiving Unit


This week we started our Thanksgiving Unit Study. We are focusing on what we are thankful for and just the basics of what Thanksgiving is and how it began. When Caleb is older we will go more in depth historically.

We have been learning what a doxology is as well as having family praise time in the evenings. I was under a total misconception about what a doxology was. We have all loved this time together. I posted in detail about it here. Please click and read it, it's my favorite part about our studies so far.

I found this great Indian Corn craft on Growing Up Our Style. Caleb rolled an ear of corn in red paint. Then he painted with it on yellow construction paper. Daddy cut the painting into a corn shape for us and we added construction paper husks.

Here is our Indian Corn. Caleb felt it needed to hang on the wall in the living room.
Caleb also colored a wooden turkey I found at the Hobby Lobby. He made really decorative feathers. Some had dots, some had squiggle lines and some were multi colored. This is impressive for Caleb, normally he colors everything brown or black. And I mean everything, half the time you cannot tell what it was he was coloring in the first place.
I called out numbers and Caleb wrote them on his dry erase board. He is actually smiling about math in this picture. Probably because I kept this lesson very short. Only 5 numbers to write.
I found this great write on/wipe off book at Marshalls. It's by Priddy and Caleb enjoys it. This is good because math is a challenge for us. He does not dislike it like he does handwriting, it's just hard for him.
We also did our number puzzles again this week. Scholastic makes the set we have.
Phonics is always such a joy to do. Thank goodness. Caleb excels at it and I love teaching it. Even Caroline wanted to join in. We made new sight word cards to put on our doors. He worked on these all week long. I even find myself reading the cards before I go into a room. =)
We took all the sight words Caleb has learned so far and played a memory game with them. I wrote the words on index cards and Caleb had to find the pairs. This was a great way to work on sight words. He had to read the words quite a few times while trying to find a match.
Nature study was on the light side for us this week. I missed not doing more of it. We took a nice nature walk at the park near our home. The kids found some great nature treasures and we enjoyed just being outside. I posted about this here if you'd like to read more.

That was pretty much our week. Head on over to Learning Through Love and Preschool Corner to see what other families were up to. There are some great ideas to be found on those posts.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Singing a Doxology to the Lord!

One of the things we have been doing during our Thanksgiving Unit Study is learning about doxologies. I have to admit I was under the wrong impression about what a doxology was. I thought it was a song Catholics sang during their mass services. I feel the need to apologize for this. Really I should have become educated about this sooner.

A Doxology is a hymn or formula of praise to the Lord. There are quite a few doxologies in the Bible:

Romans 16:27 All glory to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, forever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20 - 21 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

But the doxology familiar to most is known simply as, The Doxology. See why I was confused.

The Doxology

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye Heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Well, we felt there was no better time of year to learn this and sing it to the Lord with all of our hearts. The kids have really enjoyed our time of worship together as a family. The pictures below are not the greatest, but it's sort of hard to get pictures of dancing kiddos.

Here's Caroline singing Amen.

Caleb added some percussion to his praise time. Tada, playing the blocks for Jesus!

We have been doing this a few evenings a week after dinner. It's a great way to end the evening and we will continue this throughout the whole Thanksgiving season. It should be hidden deep in our hearts by then.

Wishing you a Thanksgiving season filled with blessings from the Lord and praises on your lips!

Nature Walk, Glenmere Park, Fall 2009

I had some whiney kiddos this past Wednesday. So we headed outside for an impromptu nature walk. We live within walking distance of a very pretty park, so we headed down that way.

Caleb found quite a few interesting nature items. Pretty much a nature walk for him includes finding and collecting nature treasure. I have tried to convince him we can just be outside and enjoy, but then I realized collecting nature treasure is how he does that.

Here he is with a cattail he found. He really wanted to see the seeds, so he opened the cattail up and had fun.

The seeds are so pretty and fluffy.

Caroline enjoyed trying to catch them as they blew through the air.

"I want a turn." Or really she said, "ahh, uhh, aaa," so Caleb gave it to her. We really need to get some signing videos going on with this girlo.

Boy did those seeds fly!

"Where'd the cattail go?"

Down by the biggest pond at the park is an old Walnut Tree. Most of the Walnuts have been eaten by the squirrels. The ones that are left are all yucky and rotten. This did not stop the kids from collecting though.

Here they are counting their nature loot.

Here's Caroline not getting her way. She wanted to throw the Walnuts into the pond. Caleb wanted to bring them home and look at them further.

We compromised, some in the pond and some in the bag for home. Then mom was done with the refereeing, so we headed home.

Some of our nature walks are ideal, and some are, well, nature walks with a toddler. This one was a little bit of both. But we got the whininess dealt with and we got to spend time outside. Not a bad way to end the day.