Wednesday, June 25, 2008

sandbox letter find

I finally got a free minute to read a bit of email (I have a ton still to sort out). I read a request for Letter/Number teaching ideas on the yahoo homeschool group. This question made me realize that I haven't posted anything about our "school time" in a very long time. I have a hard time keeping my blogging even or well rounded. I want to keep my blogging multi purpose between sharing crafts, games, preschool ideas, grade school, struggles, joys, play time, pictures for family, family news, baby's milestones, and so on but I have a hard time doing this. I am going to try harder at this!

Yesterday Demi played a letter find game in one of our sandboxes. All I do to make this activity is take a set of letters and hide them in the sand. We used magnetic letters. The letters we have in our sandbox right now are not even a matching set. We have upper and lower case letters, jumbo size down to tiny. Travis and Demi picked out one magnet of each letter of the alphabet and I just tossed them in the sandbox and covered them over for her to find. She uses a shovel to dig out the letters and sometimes she sifts the sand to find the letters this time she didn't do that this time. It is just a find, name, and make sound of the letter kind of game. When we first started playing games like this I would take a turn and often "make mistakes" on letters she knew so she could help me remember names or sounds. She loves to "teach" her mommy.

I hope this clip will play for you. I have dialup and can't get it to all play for me so I am not sure I even got it all uploaded.

My daughter is 3. She mixes up letter sounds or names sometimes. If you have an older child who mixes up letters or doesn't know them PLEASE don't feel your child is behind!!! My daughter is NOT able to do MANY things your child can do!!!! When my children take an interest in something we go with it and by doing it this way she is able to jump ahead with somethings but at the same time she isn't learning others. OH! A good example is HOT and COLD. She ALWAYS mixes them up. Stop by my house anytime and I promise you she will say she is cold when she is out in the hot sun. Then she will shiver and say she is hot when she gets out of the pool. That is just one of MANY things she hasn't figured out yet. I feel that all children are always learning something so if my child doesn't know something other children know it is OK (and even expected in our house). My children are homeschooled and in NO race with anyone! I am in no hurry to rush them into adulthood. I don't feel a child who reads as a toddler is any better than a child who learns to read at 7. I feel comfortable letting my children move fast with things they are good at and taking time getting the things they struggle with. I am sharing this to show some of the HOW we do things NOT to show WHAT she knows. KWIM? Well I guess for family members out of state you can see our daughter is learning but that isn't the reason I am sharing this.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Super princess Demi cleans up dirty boy (I hope).


A PLANE.....



The dirty part of the story....
Travis didn't get to keep his super hero cape. His was bright yellow and better cape material than Demi's. He wrote potty words on his and had to toss it out. OK his potty word was "poop" (not a true curse word) but I figure if I took a stand with him writing the word poop it might keep him from writing worse as he gets older. He is very sad that he doesn't have a cape like his sister.

Rob and I did talk about some of the things we have wrote, said, and did years ago..... Ummm after thinking about that..... we don't think he did something "bad" but it wasn't nice either. I do plan to let them make capes again in a week or two and he will then be able to design one at that time. I am sure he will make a better superhero than Mr. Poop. I do feel a bit bad for Travis because we have a baby in diapers and a toddler who tells everyone about going potty (and still needs a bit of help in the bathroom) so the word poo is spoke daily in our house. That said I think my 8 year old would be more thankful for the money, time, and effort I spend in making up fun activities we do more than to write Poop on it! We have told our children to try and keep "potty talk" in the bathroom many times before so this wasn't his first warning.

Life with children is always eventful! I love them all even when they aren't clean, kind, and proper. I am happy to say they also love me when I am not clean, kind, or proper.

Demi enjoys being a superhero much more than I thought she would! Sorry the pix aren't very nice. Pictures in the evening don't always show up well with my camera. I hope to have pix of superhero Travis in the next couple weeks.


Our good friends (Vicky and her children) came over to visit.

We painted some pictures using both brushes and feet. LOL!

Travis' friends painted his back (painted him to look like a skeleton).They played in the pool (until the water got very dirty and gross).

We made superhero costumes.

Colored some pictures.
And had another fun day outside.
Travis got all covered in mud (he is how the pool got all yucky). I bet nobody would believe a few years ago several doctors worried about him bing such a neat freak. I guess he outgrew his sensory issues.

I am sorry I didn't take more pictures of the fun. Zee has been a bit fussy lately (needs to be held at all times) and I was doing a lot of running around grabbing supplies. I wasn't prepared as I should have been. I also think maybe I had a bit too many projects going on at one time for a calm afternoon. I would have loved to get a picture of all the children being superheros (except for Travis that is a story for a later post) but we ran out of time.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

June 21

My little Zee is trying to give me a heart condition! For the last couple weeks she has thought she could walk when the truth is she can't! She will be standing along the furniture and then let go, get her balance and try to walk. It goes something like this, wobble, wobble, step, wobble, step, thu-dud-dud, cry and yell mum mum mom! I am convinced she is going to bang her head on something sharp and I will be rushing her to the ER! I am going crazy trying to keep her safe. She is going out of her way to get hurt! I will not be getting any pix or videos of this because I am too busy trying to catch her when she falls (this takes up a large part of our days). Maybe Rob will get a video clip of it on his next day off. It is kind of scary to watch. Even someone not related to her would be very worried about her getting hurt. She really is that off balanced. I wish she would listen to me and learn to balance better before trying to take 3 steps across the room!

Can someone tell me when did my baby grow up from tiny baby into a child trying to toddle into toddler-hood? I know she is still just a baby but she doesn't seem to understand that. LOL! I love it that she seems to be a child that is determined to do things and is willing to keep trying to succeed even when everyone tells her she can't. I just wish she would understand that I am not a young mom, I am a very old mom (late 30's), and I don't know if my heart can hold up to all of her trying. She has had my heart racing non stop and I am feeling a little stressed out!

Demi and Travis are big into creating stylish "ROCKER" clothes. LOL!

Rob, Travis, and Demi all play Rock Band on the Xbox. I try to keep them from playing video games except for when Daddy is home or on rainy days. I have kept them busy decorating shirts to wear when they are Rock'n with Daddy. They have already decorated/designed a stack of T shirts. If they keep this up Daddy is going to notice all his undershirts missing. Rob has several drawers of undershirts but when all the drawers are empty I am sure he will notice.

My cute little Rocker. She is the lead singer of the band. I only have 2 more t shirts for her to decorate then I will need to buy more shirts, sew some shirts for her, or start letting her color Daddy's undershirts with Travis.
Here is Demi making baby Zee some Rock'n clothes. LOL! I found a few onsies in the baby's dresser and put them in the pile for the children to decorate.
Once Travis and Demi went to play in the yard again Zehira decided to check things out.
She loves playing under the table.
The marker box was empty so instead of making Rock Band clothes she tried chewing the box.
Here is Travis out in the yard after a bad storm we had later in the day.
He is holding a bunch of hailstones. Yup thats my boy..... Some might call him a "mad scientist". He is so crazy about science (weather being part of it)...I can prove it! LOOK at his FEET!!!!!
ROTFLOL!!!!! He is wearing a sneaker on one foot a flipflop on the other! Anyone who knows Travis knows he is NOT the kind of kid to ever wear 2 different shoes! He is a neat and tidy child who wants things to be just so.... I guess the exception to that rule is when he is in a rush to experience things like checking out hail in our yard before it melts. LOL! He took one shoe from inside the house (sneaker) and slipped on the flipflop on his way off the porch (we keep our flipflops on the porch. When I asked him about it he said "Well mom, you know hail doesn't fall everyday. What did you want me to do, take my time and miss it?" I love my little scientist! I am such a lucky mom to have a child with such a passion for learning! His love for gaining knowledge is never ending. He wants to learn about things from the second he gets up in the morning until he falls asleep at night. I wish I could say he gets it from his mom but we all know that isn't true.

Friday, June 20, 2008

This week.

Here it is Friday and I just finish posting last week. I will try to do a quick recap of our week. This week was hard because Rob worked 3rd shift. That kind of work schedule got us all off track. We didn't do as much as we do in a normal week but we still had lots of fun.

Travis had soccer camp this week. I want to say I am soooooo PROUD of my son! Last year we signed him up for soccer camp. It was a last minute decision. We did it because we had him signed up for the fall soccer season and wanted to get him a bit of training. He was only 7 last year and seemed to do more laughing and playing than listening and learning how to play soccer. After that week Rob and I questioned if we should have signed him up for soccer for the fall season. We left that week of soccer camp knowing that homeschool was the right choice for our son because he did do what we always thought he would do in a group. That is act like the silly children and goof around. I know as his mom that he would act up even more in a classroom than he did on the soccer field. He was with several other boys that acted in a similar way so he wasn't alone (I assume that this is common behavior in 7 year old boys). I was happy to see and hear he didn't start the silliness but non the less he was quick to follow along. He is a bit ahead in school (compared to public school grades) and even being ahead and me adding more challenging stuff than what is in his books he still gets silly if I don't keep him challenged. If we put him back 2 years in school and stuck him in a classroom I know he would find some way to keep from being bored (act silly).

OH! sorry I got off track! Last year after soccer camp we had the fall soccer season and he loved it! He wasn't the best player but he wasn't the worst. He did learn a lot and he liked it so much we put him in indoor soccer in the winter. BUT I made a mistake on his paper for indoor soccer and put him in the wrong age group. He ended up playing with older children. Now he wasn't the best player but even being the youngest in the group he held his own and was not the worst player. He was in the middle of the pack once again. I still thought he was a bit immature so I worried come soccer camp this year he might still be silly if he wasn't running the ball.

Fast forward to this year soccer camp. One full week of soccer camp and he watched the instructors. He tried hard. He was running non stop when on the field. He didn't goof off. He focused on the drills. He once again was not the best player but he was not the worst. He still holds his own in the middle of the pack. He took some hard hits and kept right on playing. Not a tear or even a look of pain after getting tripped or hit with the ball. He flinched and kept running with the ball. Today was the only day he didn't run non stop. He was very tired and worn out from a long week of running/playing hard so I did see him moving slow on the field today. I also noticed that a lot of the children around him played the same way. I have always wondered how long it would take to wear out my son. I have always known he is a bit more active than many boys his age. I now know 1 week of soccer camp in the morning with afternoons of running in our yard with and without the soccer ball, combined with a bit of dancing around the living room playing Rock Band at night and by day 5 he is tired out and ready to sit still. I saw him sit and watch TV for the first time ever today. All of his life when we watch TV he doesn't sit still. Most of the time he runs off to play before a show is over.

Anyway all that to say my boy is maturing much faster than I ever thought he would. The year from 7 to 8 made a HUGE difference in my sons behavior. I am so proud of him.

This week most of our crafts we did a "clothing theme".
One day at soccer camp was crazy clothes day so Travis designed an outfit (I did the sewing). The camp was Top 5 soccer so that is why he has top 5 all over him. We used a regular T shirt and made iron ons out of some fabric in my sewing bin with wonder under. Travis had a lot of fun working on this. He has plans to make many more original outfits in the near future.
Yes that is a couple strings hanging from the shorts. I was asking him to try them on to make sure I got the fit right.Here is the back side. The S in soccer isn't showing because I stood too far to the right when I took the picture.
One day was crazy hair day but I didn't take any pictures. We painted his hair with washable paints. Today was red, white, and blue day and he once again designed his own outfit. He took one of Rob's undershirts and we made some DIY iron ons with wonder under once again. He also used some of our fabric markers. The shirt turned out cool. He made a face on the back. I took a picture of him designing the front of the shirt but I didn't take any of the back. I will try to remember to snap pix next time he wears it. Demi wanted to make a shirt like brother's so I got her out one of Travis' old under shirts and she got to make hers with Daddy. This was a PERFECT Daddy project. He also colored a bit (the diamonds) on Travis' shirt. I hope my children think about this fun Daddy time every time they wear the shirts. I didn't take a picture of Demi wearing her shirt. I did remember to take one when she was making hers with Daddy.

Demi had so much fun making her shirt I grabbed a few under shirts and our old fabric markers and took them with us to soccer camp today. I was thinking that making a shirt would keep her busy for a bit. I took a few shirts thinking about sharing with other little children. I am so glad I took extras. I met a mom who lives near me, has children close to my children's age, and is teaching her children at home this year. Her daughter and Demi sat and made shirts with the fabric pens. They had a lot of fun! That kept them busy for a long time. I plan to make sure to take shirts and markers with me to soccer practice this fall. I know that will keep Demi off the soccer field during pratice. You see, Demi doesn't know she isn't big enough to play soccer. She is very good with a soccer ball (I will try to take a video of her with her soccer ball so you can all see) but she is just turning 3 years old (need to be 5 for soccer). I have a hard time keeping her on the outside of the field lines.

Demi also did a lot of coloring. Daddy got her a new princess coloring book that she LOVES !We spent some time walking the track each day.

Demi and Zee liked going around the track a few laps every hour or so but once they lost interest we had to leave the track to find something else for them to do. I was kind of wishing this week my children were a bit more like a friends children who went happily lap after lap for hours at a time. I was being a bit selfish because I wanted to walk. My little 2 are too young (immature) to keep quiet going in circles for long periods of time without protesting. All week long when they started to fuss I gave up the nice walk so the other walkers could enjoy exercise in peace. I know the day will come that I will be able to walk as long as I want without a toddler saying NO NO! I don't want to walk anymore! Carry me mommy! It will just take a lot longer (perhaps years) than some other children. Maybe it was God's way of getting me back to the bleachers to see how mature my son was behaving?

Over all it was a good week but we are all looking forward to having our old routine back for next week. I didn't take many pix this week. It was hard taking pictures with 2 little ones under foot.
Here is Travis tossing in the ball.

Running the ball. Look at his smile!

I cut off his heat on this one. I wasn't expecting him to jump at the ball!

I will try to do a better job at posting next week. I am once again looking into getting high speed internet. I am having a hard time getting blogs and web pages to load so I have fallen behind in blog reading. If it rains one day this week I will try my old hit the reload button over and over to get the blogs to load game. I think it might be time for me to take the jump to high speed so I can visit with my online friends more. I will also get to my comments. Sorry everyone. I know how rude I must look to everyone. I am behind on housework, yard work, blogging, trips to post office, and many other things. I am not trying to be rude I am just very tired. Zee was up all night for 2 nights this week. I hope in my tired rambles you all can figure out what I am writing. I promise to try better next week. Good night all!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Daddy looking at the sign the children made for him.

Reading his cards.
Checking out his new garden hose.
Wearing his new shirt we made for him (the reason I wanted a picture of the children).
and opening a ton of I love you daddy pictures and letters.
Some squirt gun fights.
And taught Travis how to drive.


Decorating the gifts

Here is Demi making her Daddy a card.
Purple outside

and pink inside.
Painting the wrapping paper.

Zee decorated her present for Daddy with her hand.

Demi likes to use LOTS of paint to make gifts look nice. LOL!
Here is Travis' gift to Daddy. I didn't get a picture of him painting it. I think I was putting the little ones to bed when he was working on this.
Here is a picture of the Happy Father's Day art hanging from the front porch.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ice-cream cake

Last week I took the children out to the store to by some Father's Day gifts BUT I forgot to take my check card. I had enough cash in my purse to buy the small gifts the children picked out but I didn't have enough cash to buy an ice-cream cake. My children think ALL holidays require an ice-cream cake. I only had $8 and the cakes ran $15-20. I didn't want to drive all the way home to get my card. I asked the children if they would like to make an ice-cream cake themselves. They liked the idea. So being a think on the go and never plan things out kind of person I figured out a way to make an ice-cream cake. I picked up a chocolate pie crust, store brand ice-cream, and a store brand tub of cool whip. Cost was under $5!!!

The ice-cream softened up on the way home. Once home the children opened the container with the pie crust and started scooping ice-cream to fill it. They took turns with the scooper.

Demi had no problem scooping out the soft ice-cream.
Travis was able to scoop very large scoops.
They licked fingers many times.
Once they filled most of the crust up with ice-cream they took turns smoothing it out a bit.
It was still very lumpy but it looked good to us.
Next they added large lumps of cool whip and spread it all over the top. They added almost 1/2 inch thickness.
Here it is our ice-cream cake! We flipped over the plastic top to the pie crust and put it back on and set the cake in freezer for the night.

We did drizzle a little chocolate syrup on the top of the cake slices before serving. The cake was a lot cheaper than the ones in the store but it was smaller. It was large enough for everyone in our family to have 2 slices. If I was planning to make a ice-cream cake I would have looked up a recipe online and most likely even made the ice cream in our ice-cream maker. This was a very fun, quick, easy, cheap solution to my cake problem. My children loved making and eating it. I think we will be making many more ice-cream cakes this summer.