Wednesday, December 29, 2010

January Week 1

I've been getting planning done in our "off time." And, now have the preschool month of January planned out. I'm going to share these plans with the blog world. Some of you can follow along, or just pick and choose an activity that looks good to you! Also, there is no telling if we will actually get to all of these is hit or miss with Three. Some day's he is SO into it, and will sit and do EVERYTHING I suggest. Other day's I'm lucky if he's interested for 5 minutes. The plan is a working draft of sorts. This is what I'd *LIKE* to do this week. I'll post a post-week picture entry and let you know how much we ACTUALLY get done. I throw that out there so you don't look at this plan and feel intimidated, and not give it a try. Just do what your kid is interested in, and what you think will be fun, and forget the rest!

This week's theme will revolve around the book "The Snowy Day"

Read “The Snowy Day”

Make a prediction about why the snowball did not last.

Since we had Christmas snow (and lots of it) I'm going to put away different sized snowballs (freezer) to take out and compare melt times based on size during this unit. If you don't have could freeze varying amounts of water in paper cups, and then see how long it takes different amounts of water to melt.

Sensory ideas: Instant potato flakes, vanilla pudding, ice cubes, white pom-poms, cotton balls

I love this idea, but I'm afraid I didn't prepare early enough for this. I will start now though, and since my week 2 plans also have to do with cold weather, I can use it then. Collect empty clean milk cartons paint them white and use them as ice blocks to build an ice fort. I can see Three and Four totally loving playing in an indoor ice fort. I can also see my big girls really enjoying building different forts for them to play in.

Make some paper snowflakes. Discuss how every snowflake is different. Look at snowflakes through a microscope on this site:

Use snowflake stampers to make a snowflake scene.

Use doll sized shoes to make “drag marks” in shaving cream snow.

For snack:

Snowman pancakes: different sized pancakes, raisin eyes, fruit buttons, orange slice for a mouth, sprinkle with powdered sugar "snow"

Make marshmallow snowmen! (if you get them damp they stick together!)

Powdered sugar doughnut holes--edible snowballs!

Have an indoor “snow ball” fight. Either with cotton balls, or balled up newspaper.

Sequencing: Building a snowman cards.

Make snowflake from pipe cleaners and beads…use it as a patterning exercise.

Rhyming words (or whatever skill you are working on: item/numeral match, upper/lower case letter match, etc.) snowmen: a different rhyming word on each part of the snowman, make self correcting with a different color on the back of each.

Talk about all the types of clothes we wear in the snow.

Glue together this snowman:

Snowflake stickers counting book. Make a book and put the numerals that you are working on (1-10, or skip counting, whatever!) at the bottom of each page. Have the child peel and stick the right number of snowflake stickers to each sheet. (I have yet to get snowflake stickers, but I do have snowflake stampers, and I may just use that. I do have to make a trip to the I may get snowflake stickers if I can find them.)

Song: (sung to tune of "Are You Sleeping"
"It is snowing, it is snowing,
On my head, on my head
I need a hat, I need a hat,
On my head, on my head"

Vocabulary: As you sing name the body part in the above song, let the children pick out the correct article of clothing to finish the verse. For example, if you say feet...they would pick boots.

Glittering Snowballs (I'm going to be honest...I like this idea in theory...but I'm honestly not sure I'm going to make these. But I share in case you in the blog world are braver than I.)

What You Need:

What You Do:
Blow up a small balloon for each child.
Have them dip yarn pieces into a mixture of glue and water.
Then have them put the yarn over the balloon. Have them do this until the balloon is mostly covered. Finally,pour glitter over the balloon and let dry. When it is dry you can pop the balloon and remove it. These are fabulous snowballs for a winter theme.

We'll be talking about letter S, as well. We will have a scavenger hunt around the house for S items and add them to our alphabet book. We'll learn about snakes, and where snakes are in the winter. We'll make a S-snake craft, and visit the museum to look at some snake skin.

Practice finger writing letter S in shaving cream, instant potatoes, or other sensory medium.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Another Christmas Craft and Random Cuteness

This craft is one I modified from this link:

Instead of doing it on tile, I used green construction paper. Green card stock would have worked better, but all I had was red and white.

Step 1: Paint child's hand white (or have them paint it themselves...Three painted his own, I painted Four's for him.)

Step 2: Press hand onto paper/cardstock/tile. Sorry the pic is blurry, I was trying to press his hand AND take the shot...and he was probably moving to boot!

Step 3: We used the red cardstock instead of red sticky backed felt. Cut out a santa hat shape, and glue it on.

Step 4/5: We used beans for eyes because I couldn't find our googly eyes...I'm not sure if we used them all or I just misplaced them. Either way...the beans worked ok. They were hard to stick though because they were small. Larger beans would have rocked. Then we added cotton "fur" trim to the hat, and a ball on the end.

Three's finished project:

Random cuteness abounds!
Three's first experience with hot chocolate, after the first snow fall of the season (which was only about an inch, and didn't stick but was still SO exciting!) Luck of the draw managed to capture this priceless face!

We had snow last year, but Four was only 6 months old, so it was still a whole new experience for him. I <3 snowflakes on eyelashes (yes, these are a few of my favorite things.)

The same day as the snow, was the day of our town's Christmas parade. One danced in the parade with her dance company. Here are Two, Three and Four waiting on the curb for the parade to begin.
And, here is One in the parade!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmastime Crafts AND Baby "School"

Santa craft. One did this project with Three while I was at a doctor visit with Four. It's a piece of white printer paper, a piece of red construction paper and cotton balls. :)

I picked up this reindeer mask for Three at the craft store (for $1,) they had reindeer and snowmen, he picked the reindeer and was SO excited to paint it.

Baby "school":
Four has begun really wanted to do things when Three and I are doing school. So, I've had to break out his own school things.
This is poker chips (picked up from Dollar Tree) and an empty wipe container with the slot in the top. Four takes the chips and slides them through the slot that you pull the wipes through.
Three wanted to play with this too when I broke it out this week (it's been awhile since he's done this activity,) so when he was done with his own stuff he sorted the chips by color and then put them in the container.

Transferring with a spoon: Two bowls, a large spoon and whatever medium you would like to transfer. We chose pom poms. Put the poms in one bowl and demonstrate how to move them to the other with the spoon. In this picture the spoon was in use, and blurry, my apologies. But you get the gist!

For this activity, he has a crunchies container that I cut a square hole in the lid of, and a bowl of poms. He takes the poms from the bowl and pushes them through the hole in the lid.

This is a great activity. This is the first time he's done this one, and he really liked it. You need an empty spice container (the kind with the "sprinkle" holes in the lid,) and toothpicks. I had to lay the toothpicks out one by one, because he doesn't have the motor skills yet to pick up just one from the pile. But, working on this type of thing will help build those. He took one toothpick and pushed it through one of the wholes in the lid of the spice container. He tried it two different ways, in his lap and flat on the table. In his lap was much easier.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Oh What Fun...

I made this first item because Three asks EVERY DAY how many more "night nights" until Christmas??? This will be something he can do every day, and see how much longer he has. I picked up some Xmas stickers at A.C. Moore (a craft store) for .75. I got out a piece of red construction paper, and used one of the stickers as my guide. I then traced the sticker 24 times, and added a Merry Christmas for Christmas day.

Countdown chart:

December 1 kicks off the season of giving! The first gifts are always new ornaments for the tree.

Three helps Daddy put up the tree!

Seriously, if Four were any cuter, his life would be in constant danger because I could just eat him! This is the first time he's helped me in the kitchen, and he was "sneaking" a taste!

Our elf, Rudolph, arrived the day after Thanksgiving!

3rd location where Rudolph was found!

A pinecone craft, Four wanted in on the action.

Painting the pinecone with white paint, to give it a snow affect:

Adding glitter:

One sparkly pine cone!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Recipes we love!

I love to cook. My girls both love to be in the kitchen. Three is also very into "helping." :)

So in this blog post I'm going to share some of the recipes we love!

Rice Pudding--this is an EXCELLENT way to use up leftover rice!

1 cup rice
2 cups milk (soymilk works well too)
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
Optional: Raisins/Craisins/Dried banana's

Add rice to milk, heat to scalding. Beat egg yolks, add the hot rice/milk mixture. Place mixture back into saucepan, cook until thickened. Fold in dried fruit. Three loves this on cold mornings (he likes it better than oatmeal!)

Bacon Cheeseburger Chicken--from

I'll summarize here though, you should check out Kevin and Amanda though, it's a cute blog!

Make bacon bits--just fry the bacon, let it cool for a minute and then chop. Trust me it's worth the few extra minutes!
Brown the chicken tenderloins. Place in a casserole dish.
Add Teriyaki sauce (to be honest, I've never made it with the teriyaki sauce...because I just didn't have it. I've mixed soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce and used that), just enough to cover the chicken.
Put on a coating of ranch dressing (get the ranch with bacon if makes it extra yummy, although it's good with regular ranch as well.)
Top that with cheese, and then bacon bits.
Bake @350 for about a 1/2 hour.

YUM-O! This is One's favorite meal. Fav.Or.Ite.

This next recipe is from and is a recent find. It was such a big hit, that the fam has requested I make a double batch next time, as they all wanted more!

2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 -2 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar (I didn't have this, and left it out.)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce

Cook your chicken. Remove it from the pan. Add ALL the other ingredients to the pan, heat over medium heat until well mixed and dissolved. Add chicken back to the sauce, bring to a hard boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. The website recommends serving with rice, but *I* prefer it with mashed potatoes (when I eat it at a restaurant) so that's what I made at home. It was delish, I kid you not, and done in 30 minutes!

I hope you'll try some of these, and ENJOY!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fall crafts

Three is 100% obsessed with all things Toy Story 3, and really, who can blame him? Here he is dressed as Woody:

This craft is one I ordered from Oriental Trading Company. It has the feathers, turkey body, beak, eyes, hats and boots (which Three thought was so silly!) and the child just sticks them together. Easy, and cute.

Finished turkey:

He was proud and wanted to hold it up for the picture...but you couldn't really see it that way so I took the other shot (above) but wanted to show his "proud" picture as well.

This is a simple craft, I cut the tree trunk from a brown paper grocery bag. Three glued it on the blue paper (it's the sky dontchaknow) and added leaf stickers. In the bottom left hand corner you see a "big pile of leaves because the leaves are falling off the trees now that it's faaaaaaaaaaallllllllllll." Three always says fall with this huge drawl. It's sort of adorable, but I could be partial. There are no pictures of the process as he did this craft with One while I was at a dr. appt earlier in the week.

Another OTC craft (and I'm pretty sure those leaf stickers are from there too), in this one you take the yellow tissue paper squares and ball them up and add them to a leaf cutout. The leaf cut out comes with a peel-off cover, revealing a sticky side. No glue involved. My kind of crafting!

Three's finished leaf:

Four is a ham, and was YELLING at me while I was snapping pictures of Three doing his work the other day, because he wanted HIS picture taken TOO! So, here you have it. He's "cheesing" so hard you can't even see his eyes! Stinker.

An OTC tip: Everything comes in quantity of 12. What we do is get a group of us, everyone picks a couple crafts (depending on how many you want to order total,) then we divide the lot up. So, each family might get 2 or 3 of the craft. That turkey craft you see, Three did that last year as well...because I had 2 of them. So, get some friends together and order from OTC, their crafts are usually pretty good.
Upcoming blog: One and Two's school projects! Recipes that our family loves! And, New Holiday Traditions.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fall Fun!

Making some jack-o-lanterns for the window.

Two and One helping carve our AWESOME pumpkin!

And, here is the pumpkin....


Thursday, October 28, 2010


So, we've been doing school, but not things that are really "picture worthy." Anyway, pictures of real school stuff coming soon, I promise. To hold you over (because I know you've been waiting for a new post from me) here are some pics of my kids from this week--Monday we went to the park, and then there was a rainstorm.

Four loves a slide.

Three LOVES the new rainboots mommy and daddy brought him from Vegas (I swear, it's the only place he thinks we went! LOL)

Three peeking at me!

Isn't this a FANTASTIC picture. Loooook at it! The leaves behind them, some of which are changing from our great fall weather, they are all LOOKING AT ME AND was a freakish moment in time I tell ya.

L to R: One, Four, Two, Three. :D My loves.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

First Day of School--October 18, 2010

We started our new school year yesterday. It was a good start, even though it had a rocky beginning. I was in a horrible, no good, bad mood. There really was no one to blame for my bad mood...I was just feeling bitchy. Once we got in our groove though, I began to settle. Which makes me think maybe my bitchy-ness was from lack of routine (we've been having our break, then we were on vacation, then I was trying to readjust to east coast time....) and maybe it will be better now. The day went well. The girls seemed excited for their new books. We finished relatively quickly, and then we had bowling league. This week we have lots of activities going on. Bowling league yesterday, seeing grandma today, 4H tomorrow, and the state fair on Thursday!

Our final activity of the school day occurred after we got home from bowling. The kids put on the pumpkin faces! We will carve the big one next week, but for now we'll change his "Mr. Pumpkin Head" features daily.

Here is One, all ready for the first day. She is 12. This is her 7th grade year, how did that happen I ask you??? She looks so grown. She is very excited about dance this year as she moved up to a more competitive class. This means more opportunities to perform, and a real dance competition in the spring. She is the only girl in her class who hasn't had tap before (although, she did take tap 3 years ago, it was just that one time, and most of the other girls have taken much more tap) but she is keeping up pretty well.

Here is Two. She is 10 (11 in December) and this is her 6th grade year. Technically, she would be in 5th grade because of her late birthday, but since we homeschool we didn't have to wait for her to start Kindy. She is really enjoying her competitive soccer team, and has scored 3 goals this season!

Here is Three. Three is 3. :) He is currently very into Cars and Toy Story. He is still working on learning the alphabet. He really likes the crafts, and he actually really enjoys workbook pages as well.

Here is Four. When the other kids were all standing there, he was pretty sure he needed to have his turn. :D Four is almost 1 and 1/2. You can see where he recently fell off the steps and scraped his nose. :( He is FINALLY using some words, purposefully. Before the last 2 weeks he could say enough things that I wasn't worried, BUT he didn't really use them regularly. Now, he's using words in context. His receptive language though, is through the roof! I swear, he understands 98% of what is said to him, and I know his receptive language skills are way ahead of where any of his siblings were at this age. On top of all that, he's so stinking cute.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Week in Review

Here is Three working on his firetruck craft. He LOVES it.

This is Three working on an activity I made. There are numbers and stamps on each plate, and he has to match them.

One painting a "buffalo hide" for a project to go along with her Native American studies.

Three cutting out the first of his wish list items for Christmas.

Four putting poker chips in a slot. :)

We didn't quite get everything done, BUT I lost all of Monday, and most of Tuesday due to some personal issues. Then today DH took the day off for us to have a family fun day, so we didn't do school today either. That's OK.
One is ALMOST finished with her final unit in History, and we are only doing History/Math/Reading right now, so we should be done by mid-week next week, which is PERFECT since my SIL is coming in late next week.
Three started his "class" again this week, through our local parks and rec. He was SUPER excited to be there, and really participated (which he didn't do at all the last time we were there.) When he was telling Daddy about the class, he kept calling "Mrs. Michelle" "that girl teacher," for some reason I thought this was hilarious. LOL
So, the plan for this week is to finish up school for One prior to family visit. Have a lot of fun with family. Then we are on a break until Mid-October. Yahoooooooooo.
I'm going away for 10 days at the beginning of October, just DH and I. For. Ten. Whole. Days.
Posts between now and October will be sparse, and mostly fluff. :)