Thursday, April 26, 2012

Babysitting a Baby


A neighbor was in need of some childcare today so we helped out. I haven't taken care of a baby in over 3 years so I felt a bit rusty. But I had help from Elisabeth, and baby Emma was pretty easy.

AMNH Video: Jonah the Astronaut

We made this video back in November during our visit to the American Museum of Natural History.  Apparently there was a glitch in the system as we are just now getting it.  Jonah loved it.  Elisabeth made a dinosaur one later in the day.  I had that one sent directly to the blog.  I wish I would have downloaded and saved it, but I didn't and now I can't access it.  Oh well! 

video

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bargain Find: Matching Robes

Last night Elisabeth and I went to the mall for some girl time while Jonah and Daddy had some guy time. After dinner and a couple of rides on the carousel, we did a little shopping.

Sears was having final clearance on their winter clothes so I found a robe for Elisabeth with a matching one for her baby doll. They had a few different styles in her size - she picked the one with the butterflies.

Bargain find of the week for sure - originally $46.99, I paid $3.99.
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Monday, April 16, 2012

An Eventful Weekend

This past weekend, we took the RV out to nearby Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. It's in the same county, so it made for a good weekend destination. We were close enough to home that we could still attend a birthday party and invite friends out in the evening for a cookout and s'mores.

We did have a little hiccup though. Kelly was cutting wood into smaller pieces when the knife he was using slipped and cut his finger quite deep. After I doctored him up with a band-aid, he decided he should go to urgent care for stitches - he ended up with five (5). So he missed most of our social time.

On Sunday, we enjoyed an hour at the beach area before heading home. Afterwards, I decided it was time for me to drive - pulling the 33ft travel trailer. Up to this point, I had never pulled a tow vehicle of any kind that I can recall. There was no better time for me to give it a go since it was highway all the way home, not exceptionally windy and only a 45 minute drive. After Kelly's injury over the weekend, it reminded me that I needed to do this in case, God forbid, he should ever be truly incapacitated, in which case I would be forced drive it. And we are hoping to take an extended trip out west later in the year and me being a confident driver will be helpful.

Knowing how distracting the kids can be when I drive normally. I gave them snacks and juice to keep them occupied and then off we went. I almost changed my mind, but I pushed through, got in, adjusted the mirrors and started driving. I have to say it was a bigger deal in my head than it actually turned out to be. Once I got going, I was pretty relaxed except during the half a dozen lane-changes I had to make along the way.

We made it to the storage area where we keep the RV and I backed the RV into our narrow spot lickety-split - no back and forth, no raised voices nor other marital altercations. Everything went surprisingly smooth. Needless to say, I was pretty proud of myself for overcoming my anxiety and pulling off such a smooth parking job.

In the words of Helen Reddy [and my mom] "I am woman hear me roar....[with God, all things are possible, therefore] I can do anything."


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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Five in a Row (FIAR) Takes Us to Japan

A few weeks ago, I shared about a curriculum I heard about at a homeschool conference called Five in a Row. Well, I ended up purchasing a used, older version of Volume 1 from Thriftbooks.com as well as a few of the books in the reading list. We have been using this curriculum on and off for a few weeks now. My goal is to read through each book with them at least five different days and we don't necessarily do it every day.

The things I really like about the Five in a Row concept is that it's easy to include multiple children, it doesn't require a lot of preparation, and I find the books and recommended lessons interesting. The only negative I have found is that Jonah get's bored with the story by the 3rd and 4th reading (so far, none of the books have been about squids or pirates or submarines.)  And due to Jonah's struggles with handwriting, I have been loathe to have him do any exercises involving drawing or writing until we have overcome some of his issues. (We are working on handwriting with the help of another curriculum - I'll share more on that another time.) This has forced me to brainstorm and get creative to make the readings more interesting for him and focus on activities that are more appropriate for my kids' skill levels.

Of late, we have been reading a Red Pair of Clogs. Using this book and other resources, I've introduced the kids to the culture and country of Japan. We looked at where Japan is on a map and we watched some traditional dances on youtube. Elisabeth liked seeing the costumes and the dance - all this made Jonah bored. I asked him to recall where the island of Japan was on a map after I had showed him the day before. When he acted petulant and didn't want to participate I threw out the bate - "Did you know Giant Squids have washed up on the shore there and the oceans around it are teeming with squid." (I was pretty sure all this was true given all the squid related books I've read to him and shows I've watched with him.) "Yeah?" he said. Then he trotted on over to look at the map where I showed him again where the island county was located. I also found a Japanese Flying Squid on the internet to show him. We also talked about Tsunami's, what they are and their consequences. We wrapped up that discussion by watching some of the more benign video of the latest Tsunami which also showed a whirlpool.

At the end of that days lesson/discussion I asked, "Would you guys like to eat Japanese food this week and eat with chopsticks?"  "Yeah!!!" was the enthusiastic response.

So, we did. And can I tell you there is nothing so cute and amusing as watching a three and five-year old eating noodles with chopsticks. If you don't believe me watch these:


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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Go Fly a Kite

As is typical in March, we've had a few good kite flying days lately. Elisabeth has been doing great and was very happy with herself today.

Friday, April 06, 2012

New Girl Friends

We made some new friends this week. I particularly enjoyed seeing
Elisabeth playing with a group of girls. Makes my heart melt.....