Saturday, July 31, 2010

Toddlers and Teens

I've been thinking about this post for a few days. I had a dinner this week with a friend, and I mentioned-briefly-some of these thoughts. I live in a crazy world. A world of both Toddlers and Teens. For those of you who may not know the specifics, my children are 12, 10 1/2, 3 1/2 and 1. Yeah. See, it's a little nuts. :-)

This world though offers me some interesting perspectives. First and foremost, it has shown me just how fast the time really does fly. It has given me the opportunity to really cherish my boys, as I know far to well how quicly they'll be my pre-teens, and by then, my girls will be women.

Just recently, I've been thinking about my big girls. They are old enough now that every so often I catch a glimpse of the people they are becoming. This is a new phenomenon for me. It's a beautiful thing though. I have come to find that I really like the people they are becoming! I guess I did a few things right.

A very dear friend of mine once told me that her wise father told her that you are done raising your kids by the time they are 12. After that, all you can do is guide. I think this is true, and now having seen some glimpses of the people my children are becoming, I am pleased. There is still work. There are some lessons I need to impart to One, and I'm hopeful her judgment will improve with maturity (she's way on the immature side, and I'm thankful for that--most of the time.) But, overall, I didn't totally screw up. :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Big Kid Stuff!

A lot of my posts lately have been about what I'm doing with my preschooler, and I'm leaving out the big kid stuff. I think this is mostly because I like posts with pictures, and well, I'm not so sure those of you who read this blog are interested in seeing pictures of my big kids sitting there with their books, or with the computer, and working. Basically, middle school projects are much less exciting than crafts. :) (My girls would agree.)

So, I thought I would write a "boring" picture-less post about what the big kids are doing.

They are studying the Civil War and the making of a constitutional government. One is studying the civil war, and Two is studying the constitution and how it came to be. They recently watched Glory (they watched together even though it really wasn't what Two was studying.) And, both were quite moved. I did preface the film with it being about WAR, and how war is hell and they needed to be prepared for all the violence and the misery that they were going to see. They handled in stride, and I think got a lot out of it, or at least as much as they can at 5th and 6th grade levels. I look forward to watching it again a few years from now, when they can take even more from it. It feels wrong to say it is one of my favorite movies, so I will say it is one of the most moving films I've ever watched. It moved me to tears again this time, and I've seen it several times.

As I am planning this week, One will be beginning a Civil War lapbook. I am printing and cutting and prepping today and tomorrow (we have 2 Monday's a month where we don't school, this will be one of them.) We won't be doing ALL of the booklets shown there, I am picking and choosing the ones that go with what is in the books we have. One loves a word search, so I found this. We live in NC, and have a major battlefield near us, so we plan to visit there during this unit as well (pictures to come!!)

Two will be doing a Constitution Webquest as a wrap up of the constitution unit, before we move on to the next part of our study.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

More from our week!

Three did a worksheet about letter C words from

Then, he made a C is for Cookie (Monster) craft:

I LOVE this shot. Who knew it was so hard to get the paper to stick to the TP tube! LOL

And, here is Four reading at my feet while I work with Three. Sweet baby.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Our Week in Review

For fine motor skills, we worked on beading. I put some beads on a pipe cleaner, put a knot in both ends, and then gave Three and handful of beads (making sure all the colors were represented) and a pipe cleaner piece with only one knot. He then had to duplicate the first pipe cleaner. Later we will work on patterns with this activity.

This is the original one I gave him.

We have been working on letter C this week, and we used Coconut Candies (M&M's) for this activity. I dumped out the package, and put out the bowls, then Three had to sort them by color. There were only 2 green ones in this package, which presented a great opportunity to discuss which had the least, and which had the most (since the difference was easy to spot.) After sorting, and our discussion, I laid out 6 on the table in a line and he counted them, and then his FAVORITE part, he got to eat them. :) As soon as I said "Let's do school." today, he said "Let's do the M&A's!!!!" (you know what he meant!) I had a 2nd package, so we did. :)

C is also for Colors! We did a mixing colors experiment as well this week. I put a glob of blue, yellow and red paint on a paper plate. Then I asked Three to put some of the red in between the red and the yellow, then asked what he thought would happen if he added some yellow. After his guess (which I think was purple,) he mixed some yellow to the red to make orange. We then repeated with red/blue, and yellow/blue. He was still talking about this yesterday, when I gave him some green paint for a candle craft and he remembered mixing yellow and blue together to make green. He also very proudly showed it to a neighbor when they came over to play.

After all the mixing, he painted a very colorful picture, which when finished he titled "Red moon, Blue star." I somehow didn't get a picture of the finished product (but here you can see the beginnings of the red moon) but it is on my fridge, I'll try to snap a shot of it before it goes to Grandma (because EVERYTHING goes to Grandma....*eye roll*)
This is a Candle Craft (see the C theme?)
Finished product, served as our centerpiece...for an "mock" candle light dinner.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Will it ever end?

Ohhh, will it ever end!! We've been TRYING to finish up this school year. We missed a lot at the beginning of the year, and therefore, we are behind. I was HOPING we'd be done by August but, we're no where near close to being finished. UGH.

Now, I'm trying to change my plans. I'm hoping now that we'll be done by the end of August and can take 6 weeks off. We are going on a vacation (without kids!) and we'll begin our new school year after that.

What's on tap??

Well, we'll be doing the next level of "What Your ___ grader Needs to Know." We are going to do Spanish (WE you hear me??) We'll be doing 4H, which focuses on life skills. The girls will be doing bowling league, Two joined a competitive soccer team, and One will take dance and is interested in drama classes. I'm hoping to find a class for Three and Four as well. We'll see. We will be doing library story time when it starts back up in August, and I'm hoping to start MOPS too.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Camp and File Folder Games

Two went to "Zoo Camp" this week. It is a farm that has lots of interesting animals. Two's current aspiration is to be a vetranarian for a zoo, and this is her 3rd summer attending this camp. She also volunteer's with them throughout the year.

Two and Three checking out the lemurs.

Tree porcupine. (I love this shot!)
A close up of one of the lemurs. Isn't he sitting AWESOME??

Two and Three.

File Folder games....I had forgotten all about them! How??? LOL I was blog surfing and found this site: I printed some new stuff, and am about to cut them out tonight. These shots are games that I've had since One and Two were preschoolers, and I dug them out for Three. He really enjoyed them.

And this has nothing to do with anything, except the pure joy of a lollipop. :) I found some organic lolli's that actually don't have anything that Four is allergic to in them! Woot. Here he is having his first licks of a lolli.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I've been MIA because we've been in the throws of softball tournament! Two made the All-Star team for our local parks and rec, and had practice 4 days a week. They ended up taking 2nd in the division, which isn't bad, but I totally think they could have won. It was a hard loss for all the girls (and their parents lol.) Our coaches were awesome (2 of them were our reg season coaches, for the last 2 years) and there are few things in life that I enjoy more than watching a ball game. :)

One and Two had a special afternoon with grandma, the 3 of them went to see Eclipse.

I've started taking some vitamins, which are helping with my energy--which I need!

I've also been wrapping up the preparations for the big consignment sale here. It happens twice a year, and this time of year it is Fall/Winter stuff. I've been tagging One and Two's outgrown winter clothes. I've discovered One and Two have NO pants for this that is what I'll hopefully find a ton of in their size at the sale. I've also been tagging all our baby things (bouncy seat, play mat, etc.) I have to admit this makes me a LITTLE sad. Consigning things allows me to shop a day early, and then I'll go on the last day as well, because it is 1/2 off day. :)

A moment on being done with babies....this makes me a LITTLE sad. Only a little, because while I will never hold an infant of my own again, I know all the fun that NOT having a baby in the house offers too. All the freedom that comes with not having to live around a sleep schedule. So, I look forward to the fun, freedom in the future, and a take a pause to feel the sorrow of having had my very last baby.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Three's First Bike

Three got his first real bike! He has had a trike for a year, but recently started riding the neighbor's "big girl" bike. We had been kicking around the idea of getting him a ride on power wheel type of thing for the summer, but with his new interest (and skill) at riding the bike we decided that we should get a bike instead.

Apparently, riding ability increases with the sticking out of one's tongue.

He was "fixing" it.
To Infinity and Beyond!

More Baby Birds

These are ONE day old baby Mockingbirds. You can see there are still 2 eggs to hatch. This was 2 days ago, and one more egg has hatched since then.

Here are the baby Barn Swallows. You can see all 5 little heads in this one! They were very ominous looking perched up there above us looking down, but cute at the same time. This picture was taken on the 17th, which is exactly 2 weeks after their hatch date.

This was taken on the 20th, and they were capable of flying. They hopped around in our front bushes for a few hours, but then we could see them flying in and out.

This is a shot of 4 of the babies, the 5th one was over in the corner and I couldn't get it in the shot!

I *think* House Sparrows may be laying a 3rd set of eggs in our bluebird box as well! It's been a great year for birds here!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Fun

My hope is to turn dinner over to One and Two one night a week in the fall, giving me 2 nights that I don't have to cook, plus, until it gets COLD Hubby cooks on the grill usually once a week. So, I've been doing "cooking camp" and teaching the girls how to cook some things that we have pretty often.

Two mixing meatloaf.

After my rainy day fun post yesterday, I set up some bowls for Four. He was very excited!

This week we tye-dyed some towels for the kids to use after they swim (or shower, etc). This first one belongs to Two.

This one belongs to Three, he wanted it to look like "fireworks."

I'm not posting One's towel because she chose to tie-dye her first name across the towel (which turned out super cute) but I don't call them by thier real names here, so I won't post it.
Here is Three, very excited about his discovery box yesterday afternoon!

Pool fun. :) Seriously this is the best I could do of all 4.