Friday, December 17, 2010

Fun Christmas Snacks

We are having our homeschool group's Christmas party today!!  I made these little cuties to take!!

These are very easy to make. Just take a piece of bread and cut the crusts off (or don't, it really doesn't matter).  Spread some peanut butter on your bread square and then add a cherry for the nose, raisins for the eyes, and broken twist pretzels for the antlers.  (I also used a small piece of pretzel to "anchor" the nose to the bread so it doesn't roll off).

These would be fun for any Christmas party!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gingerbread Men

We had fun making our gingerbread men today!!

The boys had fun helping mix the dough (which I didn't get a picture of - we were too busy mixing).

They then helped cut out the gingerbread men.

And then they of course helped decorate them.  I was lazy and didn't get out my icing piping supplies...just used a ziploc bag with a hole cut in it.  But that's ok...they covered the icing in m&m's anyways!

(And Aaron kept making sure his finger would touch the icing so he had to lick his finger!  He's so funny!)

 Don't they just look so yummy!!!!  We are going to enjoy eating them after dinner tonight!

Oh - and I made two small gingerbread men.  During our reading lesson Seth got to enjoy one as he was learning the words, make, eat and ate.  He liked that alot!!  (Aaron got to enjoy the other small one when he awoke from his nap.  Alyssa got the round cookie made from the left over dough.)

Our Nativity Pictures

This morning was one of those very special moments for a mom!  A moment when a new milestone is reached!  :-)  Now this milestone this morning might not have been an "official" milestone but in this momma's heart it is still a special milestone!

Aaron had his first intentional drawing!!  A drawing where he was specifically drawing something...not just scribbles.  Of course it is still scribbling but it is INTENTIONAL scribbling and I am so very proud!!  (I know you may not see as much need for hoopla and hooray in this as I do, but just indulge me for a moment if you would!)

I had the kids draw nativity pictures this morning.  Aaron did his picture with such excitement and then brought it to me and explained what everything was!!  I labeled the picture for him!  This is the prettiest nativity picture I have ever seen!!

And of course I can't forget Seth!  I am very proud of his drawing as well!  He really took his time to do the best he could!  He also wanted me to label his picture as well.  :-)  This is also the prettiest nativity picture I have ever seen!

As I write this I am smelling our gingerbread men cookies baking - YUM!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Our Christmas Lessons

I have decided, since this is our last week of lessons before our Christmas break, to pause from our normal curriculum and do a week of Christmas lessons!  It has taken me all morning to prepare them (that's what I get for last minute planning - ha!)  But I am really excited with what I have come up with!

For the most part we will be very relaxed this week but I still want to make sure we get in some good reading and writing lessons for Seth :-).  So I changed around our sight word schedule a bit so that this week we could focus on words that go with our Christmas theme! So here is what I have come up with.

Today our focus was 'The Polar Express'.  I had the boys watch the movie this morning (so that I could get some planning done!).  We then did a couple of coloring activity sheets that went with the movie.  This afternoon during our reading/writing lessons (while the little ones sleep) we are going to work on learning the words 'boy', 'girl' and 'friend'.  I have also found quite a few Christmas printables dealing with handwriting practice, counting, patterning, etc... we will be going through these through the week.

We are also planning on reading The Polar Express this afternoon as well and talk about how it is alike and different than the movie.

Tomorrow we are going to have a gingerbread day!  We are going to make gingerbread cookies in the morning and then I have some fun Christmas cutting practice pages that I found that the boys can work on (they both LOVE practicing cutting with scissors).

During our afternoon reading/writing lessons we are going to learn the words 'eat', 'ate' and 'make' and continue to work on our other Christmas worksheets!

Wednesday we are going grocery shopping so we will only be doing afternoon school.  We are going to learn the words 'mother' and 'father' on Wednesday and again continue to work on our worksheets!  We will also probably watch a Christmas video Wednesday afternoon as well.

On Thursday we are going to work on finishing making the Christmas gifts from the kids to family members (and of course if we still don't get finished we have next week to finish since we won't be doing school).  In our afternoon reading/writing lessons we are going to learn the words 'give', 'gave', 'get' and 'got' and finish our Christmas worksheets!

Friday morning we have our Christmas party with one of our homeschool groups!  The boys are really excited about that!!  :-)

It is going to be a fun, relaxed week of school - and then we get two weeks of a break from no school! WHOO HOO!!  :-)

I will try to post what pictures I can get during the week.  I realized this morning that we went through our entire insect lessons last week with no pictures!  (but that is not important part, right?!?!)

Here are some of the links where I found printables at:  (I also made a few of my own)

Polar Express Printables
1+1+1=1 blog
Confessions of a Homeschooler Blog

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Having Fun With Water

Things are super busy right now.  I have to admit with all of our Christmas decorations up and all of the upcoming events that we are planning for it is hard for ALL OF US to keep focused on school.  But we are doing the best we can :-)  We are not getting as in-depth on some of the science portions of our curriculum right now..but we are making sure that we are giving our reading, writing and math lessons the focus they need :-)

In the curriculum for the water lesson they mentioned a book entitled "Splash! All About Baths".  I actually found this book for very cheap on Amazon (a used library copy) so decided to go ahead and purchase it.  I am glad I did.  We were able to get most of the water experiments that were mentioned in the curriculum done while we were reading this book - in one school session!!  And we had a blast with it!  Here are some picture highlights from that session.

The book talked about water having no shape so we poured water into different shaped containers to see how it became the shape of a container.  We then took small blocks and put them in the same containers and noticed how their shape did not change.

The book talked about the water taking up space.  We made a bathtub for our little Tad leapfrog and noticed how when we placed him in his tub the water level rose.

 The book talked about how some things float and some things sink.  So we experimented to see what would float and what would sink.

The book also talked about water vapors and gave an idea of an experiment of putting a mirror in a refrigerator and then taking it out and breathing on it to see the water vapor.  It was cold enough this day that we just had to place the mirror outside for a few minutes (and as you can see from Seth's  sweatshirt it was pretty cold in the schoolroom as well...we are still trying to figure out how to get that room warm! I think we need a bigger heater!)

At the firs of last week we put water in two jars and marked the levels.  We then put a lid on only one jars.  We then observed a few days later the water levels (and due to the cooler temps not much had evaporated from the open jar...but at least some did :-) )

We then took those jars of water and added salt to one and oil to other and observed how the salt dissolved but that the the water and oil did not mix.

Look at Seth's face.  He really wanted that oil and water to mix!  He tried really hard...but of course to no avail :-)

We are doing insects this week (I HATE BUGS!)  It is going to be an interesting week :-)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Seeking Jesus this CHRISTmas Season

I recently purchased 'My Faith Box' for each of my children!  If you have not heard of this click here to find out more!  This is an AWESOME notebook put together for you to journal your children's spiritual journey!

This notebook has a section on wonderful ideas to do at the different holidays during the year.  I fell in love with one of the ideas in the Christmas section and we started a new tradition this year!

One of the ideas was an idea to help keep the true focus of Christmas - seeking the Christ child.  The idea is to, at the beginning of the Christmas season, put your nativity scene up.  Make this a family event.

Focus on the Baby Jesus and why his birth is so important.  Emphasize that he is the reason for the season.

And then every day during the Christmas season hide the baby Jesus and have your kids go find him.  It is an every day reminder that we are to continually seek Christ during this season.

(our first hiding spot)

As soon as I read this idea in that book I knew this was a tradition that we were definitely going to start!  What an awesome object lesson!!

And I wanted to go ahead and blog about it today in case you would like to start this tradition this year as well!  :-)

God bless!

Our Start to the Christmas Season

From the time my kids were born I have had a desire to make sure that they know the true meaning of Christmas, that they realize that Christmas is a whole lot more about giving than it is getting.

So, to get us off on the "right track" this Christmas season we did a project yesterday.  I gave the boys a big black bag and told them that since they were going to be getting a bunch of new toys for Christmas it was time to clean out their current toys.  I told them that there are boys and girls that don't have any toys and they needed to go through their toys and figure out what they would be willing to give up and give to children that were not as fortunate as them.

I have to say I am very proud of my boys!  They did an awesome job with this and we ended up with a full black trash bag of toys to give to kids less fortunate!

Way to go boys!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Our Literary Exercises for Octopuses

We did three of the books suggested for literary exercises for the octopus lesson.  I think it's funny how none of the books were about octopuses.  Seth noticed that as well.  I think he was looking forward to more octopus books (we did find quite a few octopus storybooks at the library that we have enjoyed reading!)

But here were the books we did.  Once again we spread them out over several days.

On one day we read the two books about hermit Crabs - A House for Hermit Crabs by Leo Lionni and Is This A House For Hermit Crab by Megan McDonald.

Both books were the same theme - in one the hermit crab outgrew his shell and was finding another shell.  In the other that hermit crab also outgrew his shell but he explored other items to see if they were good homes because he could not find a bigger shell.

The boys wanted to watercolor this day (they LOVE using their watercolor paints) so I told them to paint a picture of a hermit crab.

Seth decided to paint many different color shells (he said the hermit crabs were sleeping inside of them so you could not see them...he can be so clever sometimes - HA!)  You can see the finished picture in the first picture above with the two books!

On another day we read Swimmy by Leo Lionni.  One of the activities it suggested was to have your child retell the story to you by looking at the illustrations!  I LOVE this activity - especially when it is a book that Seth has really enjoyed!  It's so neat to hear the story from his point of view!  And Seth really really liked this book and had a lot of fun retelling the story (mentioning some details that were not "written" in the book :-) )

Another activity it suggested was cutting out a bunch of little bitty red fish and and one little bitty black fish (swimmy) and have your child glue them to a blue piece of paper to look like one of the illustrations in the book.  Here was their pictures (I have the book open to the page of the illustration they wanted you to copy)

(Seth's was the big fish...I helped Aaron with his (-: )

We had a lot of fun with octopus/ocean animal lessons!!!

And I want to say that I am very thankful for the flexibility of homeschooling!  We missed a few days of school due to the kids being sick.  We were originally going to take all of this week off but decided not to so we could play catch up but I made a point to make it fun for the kids since this is a holiday week!  AND WE ARE CAUGHT UP!!  (whoo sigh of relief from this momma)...even though I don't know why I was so I said - there is flexibility in homeschooling!  We don't have to follow a "schedule" but my mind and the way it is wired keeps diverting to thinking that we have to follow a schedule!

ANYWAYS - I love homeschooling!  I am learning so much this year as well...learning how to relax and realize these kids are young and we need to make sure we have fun!  I am learning the beauty of taking our time and learning that I CAN'T compare my kids to other kids...I just have to be confident that I am teaching them to the best of my ability.  I am seeking God's will even in our homeschooling and if always lean on Him for wisdom and understanding then we cannot fail!!

Have a wonderful thanksgiving friends!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Rare moment happened yesterday

So far Aaron has not been too interested in school. He does like to do the crafts, especially if they involve painting, cutting and/or gluing.  But he is not always wanting to be still long enough to listen to the stories.  I have preschool workbooks for him but when it comes time to work on worksheets he has no desire, he would rather go play!

I don't push the issue.  For the most part he does play quietly and keeps to himself (even though there are some days that he does get a little loud).  I would rather him to quietly play then get up set and complain and whine doing worksheets.  He is still so young so I don't want to push!

But then there are rare moments, like the one we had yesterday.  It was during Seth's reading lessons (which we do during Aaron and Alyssa's nap time...Sometimes Aaron sleeps the whole time and sometimes he wakes before we are done...this was one of those days)

When he woke up he came to the kitchen and said he wanted to do school. As part of our lesson I had planned to do the letter sound bingo game with Seth (that came with the My Father's World curriculum).

I thought this would be something fun for Aaron to join in on.  I gave them each their game card and their dry pasta shells (for bingo markers).  How we did the game was I gave the letter sound to Seth.  He identified the sound and found that letter on that card.  He then told Aaron the letter name and Aaron tried to find the letter on his card!  I WAS SO HAPPY THAT HE GOT MOST OF THEM RIGHT!!  We have not done must concentration on letter names (remember he doesn't like school) but somehow he is still learning his letters!

(Aaron was wearing his favorite outfit - t-shirt and underwear (-: )

Of course after that game he was done and ready to go play again!  But that's ok! He did real well in his school work that day!  :-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

We are loving octopuses!

We are ALL enjoying learning about octopuses!  They are such fascinating creatures! I am even learning quite a bit :-)  I did not know that they spend 5 months in a cave hidden from the world guarding their eggs.  They do not eat or sleep during this time...they watch over their babies the entire time!  When the babies hatch they leave the cave but the momma octopus never leaves the cave again...she is so weak from the 5 months of not eating that she just stays in the cave until she dies!  That just fascinated me - her purpose in life is to prepare for the next generation.

Anyways...the boys are loving hearing how they can move so fast through the water and how they can grab items with their little 'suction cups' and how they spit out ink to protect themselves!

We made hand octopuses!  The boys had fun with this!

Here's Seth's finished picture!  I LOVE IT!!  It is in a prized spot on the fridge now!  :-)

Oh and the curriculum gave plans for you to go on an 'ocean outing' - either to actually visit an ocean or an aquarium.  Of course as much as I love the beach we don't live close enough :-(  When I was originally planning my lessons I wanted us to use this as a chance to check out the new Children's Aquarium of Dallas, but with everything that has been going on lately, it just didn't seem feasible.  But I do hope that we will be able to go in the pretty near future :-)  I gave the idea to our co-op, so maybe we will able to go as a co-op field trip soon!

But, since we weren't going to be able to do a field trip we did the next best thing - we watched Finding Nemo :-)  I had the boys try to point out all the different types of ocean creatures in the movie (and there are a bunch!)

Seth noted that the baby octopus was just like our book had said!  When octopuses are babies their tentacles are not very long at all and the little octopus on the movie had little legs...therefore he really was a baby octopus!  (I was glad to get affirmation that Seth does listen sometimes!)

Tomorrow is our last day of co-op classes for the fall semester and then we will pick back up on octopuses on Monday!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fun Octopus Lunch

Here is a picture of the fun octopus lunch I made for the kids today!  They loved it :-)

We are loving our octopus lesson!!!

I am so sorry for not posting like I usually do! We have gotten a little bit behind on school due to the kids being sick (we had cases of strep throat and fever spread out over a 2 week period).  So we have been focused on getting caught up on the important stuff (like our reading and handwriting lessons)...which are not so much the fun stuff to blog about :-)  We finally finished our dinosaur lesson and we are now into our octopus lessons!

I have to share this video (from with yall (if you are receiving this post through your email the video probably is not showing in the will have to go to the blog (click on the title on the body of the email) to view the video!

My boys LOVED this video.  They are absolutely in love with octopuses after viewing this video!  They are wanting to learn more and more about them!

We have also made yarn octopuses.  This project was from the Familyfun site and you can click here to get instructions.

Since my kids are young there wasn't much they could do by themselves with this project but I did my best to get them to help where I could!  And even though it was a lot of work for me the LOVED the end result and that's all that matters, right?  And we had fun doing it and talked about octopuses while we were doing it so I think the project was a success!  (and hopefully the tacky glue holds up and I am not constantly gluing eyes back on!)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Even More Dinosaurs

We are starting to finish up our dinosaur lessons!  (and we really need to before we get really behind...but we have just had a lot of fun with them!)  We have enjoyed so many fun picture books and have had some really good conversations about dinosaurs (and emphasized how, unlike most scientists believe, dinosaurs were created by God at the same time as man and what it must have been like with them in early bible days, especially living with them on the ark!)

Here are our puppets we made yesterday.  These were from that Dinosaur Craft book from the library.  Basically you take a glove and glue on felt leaves to the four fingers (I didn't have any green felt so we have fall colored leaves) and glue on pom poms for the berries of the tree...and then glue a felt dino body on the palm and the head on thumb.  The kids can move their thumb to make it look like the dino is reaching for yummy leaves to eat!

Monday, November 8, 2010

More Dinosaurs!!

We are having an awesome time taking our time going through our Dinosaur lessons!!  Of course I have Aaron's attention right now because he loves dinosaurs!!

Here are a couple of more things we have done!

I found this really cool dinosaur craft book at the library!  It has some really neat crafts in it!

 Today we made the paper cup dinosaurs.  Now I didn't have actual paper cups (and it would have probably worked a lot better with paper cups) so we did the best we could with our little plastic disposable cups.

Here are boys working on painting their dinosaurs.

Here are the boys dinosaurs.

We also followed the activity in the curriculum book where we read a picture book about dinosaurs and then the boys chose two they really liked and drew them.  Seth wanted the book open so that he could refer to the picture to know how to draw his.

Since we had green paint left over from painting our cup dinosaurs Seth decided he wanted to paint a dinosaur on a piece of paper.

Here is his made up dinosaur - he said it was a stegasaurus with lots of legs and lots of spikes.

Tomorrow we are planning on making a fun dinosaur puppet!!  And our clay dinosaurs are almost dry and ready to be painted!!  (I will post about them when we get them all finished!! (-: )

On another note, if you have a minute click here to check out my family blog and read about an AWESOME resource for journaling your child's spiritual journey that I won from Good Morning Girls.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Oh wow!  I just looked at the blog and realized that I didn't get a single post up on our week about us.  In looking in the camera I didn't get any pictures either!  It's not that we didn't enjoy our lessons - we did. It was just kind of an off week with Halloween and family coming up for the the weekend and everything.

Also, we have done a lot of concentration over the past couple of years about how God made us and our ears, eyes, I just really didn't get too much into this lesson.  We did do our reading lessons and our math lessons (the parts that I usually don't take pictures of or blog about anyways).

But after two sick days due to Seth having strep throat - we have started our dinosaur lesson!  Now this lesson may take a bit more time to get through because of my sons love of dinosaurs and the many different things I have found for us to do!  So we are just going to take our time and have fun with it!

Today we read the book that came with the curriculum on what really happened to the dinosaurs! I LOVE THIS BOOK!  (and by this post and I am admitting that no I didn't read it before this lesson).  I about fell out when I discovered that it is from the Institute of Creation Research!  I ran in and told Daniel and asked him if this was the same place in Glen Rose that we love to go to.  He said yes and who was the author? I said Jim Morris!  He said "don't you realize that is the same person that wrote the commentary on your bible that you love?!"  It just had not clicked with me!!

If you haven't seen or heard of this book you really need to check it out!  I think it does a very good job giving a biblical explanation of dinosaurs!  We will be reading this book for years to come!

Watch out for a few posts from this lessons!!  We are also using this lesson as a chance to get some Christmas presents made (my nephew loves dinosaurs as well!!)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Aaron's Co-Op Craft

I am so very happy with Aaron's Co-op preschool storytime and  craft class!  He has an awesome teacher that has come up with the neatest crafts!

Today they read the book 'Are You My Mother?' and then made this cute nest and eggs craft!  I want to put this somewhere in my house!  I might have to buy a little fake bird to finish it off!  Isn't it just darling?!?!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Literary Exercises for Turtle

We only did one book for the turtle lesson!  We had so much fun with this book that we just didn't do the other book.  We may try to catch the other book at a later date.

The Hare and the Tortoise - Aesop's Fable

Seth loved this story!!  He thought it was so funny that the turtle won the race being as slow as he was. 

After reading the story I had the boys watch a couple of short videos of the story on the computer while I got everything together to make our turtle puppets.  (Note: the boys already had rabbit puppets...I made them for them at Easter)

I found a pair of green women's mittens at Target.  I was going to try to find a pair of green trouser socks but when I saw these I thought they were perfect!

I sewed two green fabric circles together and then flipped them and tacked the middle of one side to the middle of the top of the mitten. I had the boys stuff their shells themselves and then I sewed the opening closed. I then cut out pieces of a patterned green fabric and had the boys glue them to the top of the shell using tacky glue.  I then cut out pieces from white and black fleece to glue on for eyes and a piece of pink fleece to glue to the bottom side of the mitten for the inside of the mouth.

 (That is Alyssa grabbing the scissors as I was snapping the picture - YIKES!)

I then had Seth act out the story using his puppets!!  It was quite funny!

Our Turtle Exercises

I love turtles!!  I think they are so darn cute - especially sea turtles!!  So of course I was excited to do turtle lessons!!

Here are some picture highlights of some of the activities we did during our turtle lesson.  Unfortunately we were so busy having fun on activities this week that I didn't get pictures of everything. :-(  But here is what I got pictures of.

We made pet rock turtles.  I had the boys go out on our driveway and pick a good sized rock to use for the shell.  We then painted our rocks green and let them dry.  We then placed them on a sheet of felt and drew out the arms, legs and tail around the rock.  We cut them out and put a bunch of tacky glue on the middle of the piece of felt and glued the rock on.  We then glued on wiggly eyes on the head.  I thought they turned out really cute!

Instead of using paper plates to make turtles as suggested in the curriculum, we decided to use styrofoam bowls.  I laid out a big sheet of manilla paper for each kid and put the bowl on top.  I then let them paint the bowl green.  I told them to purposely get paint on the paper as they were painting their bowl.  When they got done with the bowl we cut out the paint streaks to make the head, legs and tail and stapled them to the bowl.

Here are the boys painting their bowls.

Here are the finished turtles drying on our drying line.

Seth has really started liking pattern blocks. I had two different turtle patterns that we used this week.

We had fun talking and acting out how other animals move.  I had Seth tell me how he thought several animals moved around and then we watched internet videos of actual animals in action to see how close he was to being right. I think the one that surprised him the most was the whale.  He told me he thought the whales moved fast through the water.  But when we watched a video of a humpback whale he said "he don't move fast at all!  He is very slow!"

Here's my swift moving tiger!  (don't you love the outfit!  He didn't want to put shorts on that morning...he wanted to go to the school house in his shirt and underwear...I didn't see a problem with it...I mean we are at home!  LOL!)

My slow moving turtle!  (in his t-shirt and undies as well...and the goggles that he was attached to that day!)

The boys loved talking and learning about turtles!  They are such fascinating creatures!