Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Painting

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gifts for Friends and Family

Abbi @ Proverbs 31 Living is hosting a Handmade Christmas for the next few weeks. You can link up w/your own ideas or go to view others. She also shares her own thoughts and ideas. I think it's awesome! She is on week 2. Here is my link from week 1.

I think "handmade" puts a little something special in Christmas season. Especially when there are families you want to bless because they have meant so much to you. We just started this last year. I really liked the idea but had lots of conflicts when it came to making for family. Friends were easy to think for - bake! However, we have big families and though whom we actually buy for is a small list I wanted to make sure that what we made meant something, looked good, stayed in our budget, and wouldn't be tossed somewhere. So here is what we did last year:

Ornaments: The actual glass ornaments were only $1/each at A.C. Moore! Then we bought the ribbon and charms for about $5/all. The biggest expense was the special paper we needed. Which was this. If you decide to make these and buy that paper - make sure it is exactly that paper or it will not work. It needs to say print, apply, and transfer. For a total of $32 for 8 people ($4/person) plus tons of that paper left over for future projects or gifts!

Once we had all of our supplies together we picked out meaningful pictures for each person. Here are a few I found-
Left: Mother n Law -her deceased mother - a copy of one of her two pics. she has of her.
Right: Brother n Law - a pic. of him and my husband when they were little ( my husband is the cute blond btw ;)
Left: my Grandma - a pic. of her with all her children in their younger years, the young man on the right has passed away a few years ago. this meant a lot to her as she didn't have any ornaments w/her children on them!
Right: my husband's Grandma - a pic. of her and her husband - not only are there not many pics. of them but she had the scare several times last year of almost losing her husband! She was very grateful as well.
I was so happy that our first year of homemaking gifts was a success. Truthfully I was worried people wouldn't like it or think whatever about us.
Baking: Last year we chose to bake a variety of cookies for a few special families. We baked:
Salted Peanut Cookies
Soft Baked Ginger Cookies
Popsicle Chocolate Chip Cookies (a little fun for the kids in the family ... because cookies aren't already fun! LoL)
Decorated Sugar Cookies
Sprinkled Butter Cookies
We baked these on 3 different days and put them in the freezer until time to wrap & give. So we decided to wrap each type of cookie in a separate plastic wrap tied with ribbon. Then, we decorated paper bags to put them all in with their Christmas card. We decorated the bag buy cutting out Christmas song sheets from our newspaper and gluing it to card stock as a background. Then gluing a ribbon at the top for extra decoration. Our cookie gift total came to about $15 including everything! We gave to 7 families so this came to about $2.14/family! Some pictures I found of them -
Well those are my ideas from last year ... working on this year's! We all really enjoyed it!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

It is our family tradition to go to Snead's Asparagus Farm every fall. We have so much fun there. It's just a great way to slow down, enjoy each other, and have cheap family fun! This farm is free to explore on the weekdays (unlike other farms around here that can cost between $10/family - $15/person!). This works great for us since my husband's days off are weekdays.

You can climb haystacks plus play other farm games...

Feed their animals - which are llamas, goats, cows, horses, and chickens...
Nathanael enjoying his first farm trip...
In the pumpkin patch...Sunflower Maze...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Picture Frames

Another art project this past month was picture frames. These also were only $2 total. The frames were $1 each and the beans, paint, and glue were all on hand.

Painting Backgrounds: Gluing on the Beans:

Finished Projects: Chris'
This was a fun project that also is a good start for toddlers learning two - three step projects. We painted one day, then glued the next, and had to wait for them to dry.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

September Trays

I wasn't able to make October Trays and didn't get to post on September Trays so now I am. I'm working and deciding on what will be our November Trays and excited about it! So many choices. :)
Scents: (Chris) I had frankincense, lavender, lemon, and peppermint. The little cards have a picture of the herb or whatever on it along with the name. We covered up the labels later and also did it blindfolded.
Foundational Value: Olfactory Discrimination; Development of Concentration,
Quick Identification

Tongs: (both)

Foundational Value: Eye-Hand Coordination;Development of Concentration; Gross Motor Coordination

Stacking Cubes: (Zack)

Foundational Value: Cognitive and Fine Motor Skills

Matching & Sorting Cards: (Zack)

Foundational Value: Visual Discrimination; Development of Concentration
Stickers: (Zack)

Foundational Value: Eye-Hand Coordination; Pincer Grasp

Workbook: (Chris) I wouldn't usually put a workbook on a tray but since we were not doing the curriculum for the month I gave Chris two workbooks that he did a page a day. He loves workbooks and even though he did have to complete them he did.

Transferring: (Zack)

Foundational Value: Practical Living Skills; Eye-Hand Coordination

Eyedropper: (both)

Foundational Value: Practical Living Skills; Eye-Hand Coordination; Development of Concentration; Fine Motor Control

Workbook: (Chris)


I needed the tray break in order to get back on track after everything. I love making trays though and am considering some new ideas from some Montessori books I'm looking at! It feels good to feel back! :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lesson 9 - Octopus

We had a fun week learning about the ocean and some of the creatures living there!

Movie: I seen this movie in Redbox and checked it out to watch since one of the days suggest going to an aquarium and our closest one is 3 hours away. It was pretty good and something different since we don't watch TV or movies often. FYI: It did mention evolution quite a few times.
Books: We started out the week reading Exploring the Deep, Dark Sea by Gail Gibbons. It was a great introduction to the ocean and some of the creatures living there. The pic. is linked.
Other books we read this week were: The Amazing Octopus A Bobbie Kalman Book, Sharks by Gail Gibbons, and Whales by Gail Gibbons. They were all great books.

Map: Chris' first map. We talked about how the Earth is mainly water and the names of the main bodies of water.
Ocean Collage: Chris' first collage. He had fun with this!

In addition, we found some ocean color books and play sea creatures in the dollar section of Target.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Plaster Kits

I found these plaster kits on clearance at Michael's for $1.10/piece and each! Each kit contained six plaster designs and came with paint and a brush. The boys had so much fun painting these and could not wait for them to dry. We did this about 3 weeks ago and they are still playing with them! I thought I took "finished" pics. but I'm guessing I had good intentions because I can't find any.

$2.20 well spent :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lesson 8 - Dinosaurs

I'm a little late on posting this lesson. There wasn't much involved with this one. The curriculum package I bought came with a book for this lesson titled "What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs?". This is a great book with basic information that we believe. It tells what the Bible says about when dinosaurs were created, when they lived, how big they were, how sin changed our relationship with all animals but especially dinosaurs, how Noah got them on the ark, and what happened to them afterwards.

I found another awesome book titled "Dinosaurs of Eden" at our Family Christian Store. I liked it so much I bought it for the dinosaur week. Coincidentally they are by the same author Ken Ham, whom happened to be a key note speaker at the homeschool convention we went to earlier this year!
This book goes into much detail about all the basics in the What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs book. It includes lots of Bible verses about dinosaurs and dragons, pictures and details on what dinosaurs lived with what groups of people, and lots more! I found it all very intriguing and so did Chris.

Ken Ham also has a Creation Museum that I would love for us all to go to. However, it's eight hours one way which once we get over 3 hours one way we have found it best to stay over night and that changes how much the trip would cost. Maybe one day. :)

BTW both of the links for the books take you to them on Amazon where you can view inside them.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lesson 7 - Us

This week was a busy at our house. I had lots of follow up appointments this week and was just more tired as well. I was only able to teach 3 days and only took pics. one of the days. It worked out nicely because this week the science topic was the human body. The human body is something that interested Chris at the age of 3. He's read tons and tons of books about this and what he doesn't understand he asks our chiropractor or pediatrician. His interest has not died down since so for 2 1/2 years he's been studying the human body on his own. I would say he probably has a fourth or fifth grade level of understanding and has even stumped his teenage aunts & uncles a time or two. :P All that to say I'm not concerned w/the fact that we had to skimp on this week. :)

After all that here's what we did in our three days:

Calender, Number Chart, Worksheets, and Tactile Letter Activities

MFW wants the main concentration of the human body to be on the five senses. So here are some five senses games we played:

Sight Game: After he "looked" at what was there he turned around and I took one object then he had to "look"back and tell me what I took based on his memory of what he "saw".

Touch Game: Blind-folded so he could concentrate more on his "touch" he had to "feel" the objects inside the sock and guess what they were.
File Folder: The Five Senses

Sleep is for Everyone by Paul Showers ~ Chris has been complaining about having to go to sleep lately. So I thought this was the perfect opportunity to talk about our body needing sleep. This book is ok.
The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses by Joanna Cole & Bruce Degen ~ Chris enjoyed it. I honestly don't care for The Magic School Bus ( i know someone slap me right? lol) but this was the only "Senses" book our library had.
Well that's it for us this week! My mom and two baby brothers are coming to stay with us for the week tonight!! Exciting!! I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lesson 6 - Turtle

Sorry no pics.

I had a friend come over to help with the my two youngest while I did school with Chris. It's temporary while I'm still healing. I have an awesome link that ties in with this lesson I want to share. Plus I didn't want to miss a post on a lesson. :)

We did the regular calendar, number chart, and worksheets.

Turtle Extras:

Book: Amazing Animals Turtles by Christina Wilsdon. This book has 5 chapters which worked out well. We read a chapter a day and reviewed everything we learned at the end. It's a great turtle book.

Trip to Petsmart: There was only one turtle there but we used that turtle to name and talk about all the turtle facts we read so far. The boys had fun and it was a non stressful way for me to finally get out.

Measuring: We read that sea turtles are the largest turtles growing to as long as 8 feet! I marked 8 feet on our carpet and had Chris lay at one end like a turtle looking towards the other end. This gave him a better idea on how big these amazing creatures are! I was trying to explain to him how big 8 feet is and couldn't when this idea came to mind.

Lapbook: And here is my awesome link! :) A wonderful blog I follow, Practical Pages, posted a link for Aaesop's Fables lapbooks a while back and I saved it. They had one for The Hare and the Tortoise, which is recommend in MFW for additional reading. Chris enjoyed making his first lapbook and told me that was his favorite activity of the week!

That's it. It felt nice to start school back up. I'm so grateful for wonderful friends willing to help me.