Sunday, January 31, 2010

First Snow of The New Year

It all started on Thursday night with rain and icy conditions. We woke up to snow on Friday morning and it didn't stop snowing until well into the evening. The kids were so excited about the winterwonderland. They didn't waste any time getting dress to play in the snow.
The kids made snowangles, snow fort, snow man, and help shovel the driveway.
Even Daddy got busy playing in the snow.
Everyone help build this awesome snow fort. Leroy help dig a tunnel thru the snow igloo. The kids had a blast crawling thru the tunnel. Afterwards...Leroy decided it was best to destory the igloo in fear someone could get trapped inside the igloo. The kids had a blast jumping up and down on top of the igloo. All three boys ended up getting stuck in the igloo. Landon and Logan feets were just dangling.
This reminded me of a time...when I was younger. We made an igloo. We spent all day making it with my father and my sister Jenny. It was awesome. A real igloo. Well, someone came by and destory it. Oh!!!!! that wasn't a nice thing to do.
A wonderful weekend.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Building Letters

Just had a moment of creativity...using a peg board to form letters. Also, we used the game boards from A B Sea's game to help Logan to build his ABC's letters.

Letter's "B" and "V"!

Reading and ABC's

Logan just read another word...ZOO! I'm so proud of him.

We also started him on Click'n Learn. I'm going to have him do two lessons a day and he can play for 30 minutes on the computer afterwards for his reward.

The little is growing up fast.

Making lots of progress this week.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Counting and more

Taken charge of his own education. Logan announced he was going to make his own counting activity. He cut up small pieces of paper and wrote down the numbers from 1-5. He decided to use some small conversion hearts would make for some good counters. The little guy line up the numbers in order from left to right. The little guy did a good and counted out the correct amount of hearts with each number. I decided to write out the rest of the numbers to 10. Logan redid the whole activity.

Trampoline therapy is working out great. While jumping on the trampoline Logan learned his phone number. I was repeating it over and over to him while we were jumping together on the tramp. I was surprised when he told me to stop telling him the numbers because he knew it. Sure enough, he repeated his whole phone number. The little guy is so proud of himself. Talk about his confidence level is thru the roof right now. Logan called daddy and told him the big news. Daddy will be bring him home a treat.

Ten on Tuesday

1. Last week, I took the kids and a friend to Hobbs State Park. The weather decided to warm up and it was a prefect day for an outdoor adventure. The weather is able to turn cold again:) I really can't wait for spring to get here.

2. If you want more information on the trip to Hobbs State Park...just scroll down the page. The kids had a complete blast hiking, learning about the Civil War, and exploring the grounds of the War Eagle mill which had it's dam blown up during the Civil War. Very interesting stuff.

3. I discovered a program at the State Park to become a Master Naturalist. This seem to be the prefect fit for me. I love being outside and decided it would be a good direction to take my life. The kids are getting older and I have a little bit more freedom. I decided it would be nice to be able to tell the kids more stuff about the great outdoors. The kids are natural curious.

4. I already attended my first session. It's like being back in College but no final exams. I have nine more sessions to attend, plus I have to do 40 hours of Volunteer work and 8 hours of advance training to get my Certified Arkansas Naturalist.

5. My main to get a children's program up and running for children in the Bella Vista area. Two other woman in the group want to set up the same thing...I'm not sure how this is going to all come about but I'm sure The Lord will guide me.

6. I'm also thinking about joining the Stream Team which involves going down to Tanyard Creek and running samples and test on the quality of the water. I will be learning more about this in the up coming weeks.

7. Logan has finally learned his more step towards getting ready for "K".

8. Landon just received his report and the little guy received all straight "A"s" but I'm not surprised. His teacher is starting to give him Second Grade work.

9. Leah is adjusting to Sunbeams. She still wants to go back to Nursery because she still wants to play with toys. This week, she didn't throw a fit about going to primary. She went right into Primary and sat down with her class. She's growing up way too fast. My baby is growing up to my big girl.

10. I'm teaching a class at Enrichment this week. We're expecting bad weather on Thursday. I'm going ahead and preparing for the class anyways. I'm going to be teaching how to make fun and easy Valentine's treat. I planned on making Hersey kisses on pretzels. I managed to get a bad batch of Hersey's kisses. The kisses wouldn't get soft they only would get dried out. Chocolate isn't cheap. I called the consumer hotline and placed my complaint. The lady said that sometimes it just happens. The kisses appeared to be old but the expiration date was Aug 2010. At first she didn't believe me but I just bought them at the store. Hersey's is mailing me a coupon. So, if you ever run into this problem...Don't be a afraid to call. They will compensate you.

11. Also, I'm going to be flying up to Chicago during the last week of March. It will be fun to have some time by myself and I can't wait to see my sister's baby.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Author Challenge: Joy Cowley

Big Moon Tortilla
Joy Cowley and Illustrated by Dyanne Strongbow
About The Book:
From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-A picture book set on a Tohono O'odham (Papago) reservation in southern Arizona. When the aroma of Grandmother's fresh tortillas fills her room, Marta Enos begins to daydream about them. Her toes twitch and her legs just can't wait to run to the cookhouse. She hurries off for a sample, but knocks over a table on the way. The wind picks up her homework papers and scatters them. The dogs outside think it's a game, and they eat her assignment. As Marta tries to regroup, her glasses fall off, she steps on them, and they break. Grandmother is sympathetic and offers the child a tortilla as "big and pale as a rising full moon" as well as wise words of advice from a Native American proverb about dealing with adverse situations. Watercolor illustrations in muted tones enhance this sweet tale.

Book Review:
We enjoy reading this book but I felt it was a little bit over my kids head. I would recommend this book for children over the age of 6 and up. The illustrations are all done in beautiful watercolors. The kids loved the pictures but had a hard time grasping the concept of the book. I will be reading this book tonight to my oldest. I'm sure he will greatly enjoy the book and the message at the end of the book about not throwing tempter tantrums and how to respond to problems we face in everyday life. The story is beautiful and so is the book.
Learning Activity:
1st activity is to make homemade tortillas. My kids love to use their hands so this activity was a huge hit. Sorry, no pictures...I'm out of memory space.
Homemade Tortilla

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons lard
1 1/2 cups water

Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Mix in the lard with your fingers until the flour resembles cornmeal. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together; place on a lightly floured surface and knead a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Use a well-floured rolling pin to roll a dough ball into a thin, round tortilla. Place into the hot skillet, and cook until bubbly and golden; flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side. Place the cooked tortilla in a tortilla warmer; continue rolling and cooking the remaining dough.
The second activity is watercolors. I gave each child their own set of watercolors and brushes to paint their own pictures from the book. The following two pictures are mine not the kids. Like I stated early...I'm out of memory space. I thought my painting turned out very well. Maybe I should take up a watercolor painting class.
Joy Cowley is a wonderful author...her books are geared towards children with such powerful messages. Parents and children will both enjoy this book together and the tortillas are yummy!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A little confused...


I have one child that can memorize anything in a matter of minutes. He learned his birthday, address, and phone number without really putting any effort into it. Logan on the other hand, seems to have a really hard time with this concept of memorizing stuff. We're slowly working on learning his ABC's and 123's. It's amazing how different two kids can be. One of the things that his preschool wants the kids to know before entering "K" is there personal information. They kinda work on it at school. Here's how the preschool teaches the kids to learn their stuff. They go around in a circle and the teacher ask the kids what's your phone number. Now, if the child knows his or her number she says it outloud if the child doesn't know the number. The teacher will read their number to them. I think this method worked great for Landon because I don't recall ever working with him to learn all of his personal information. Does this work for Logan..."NO!" Every time they ask him a question he just says he doesn't know. Well, over Christmas break they wanted us to work with our kids to help them memorize their information. I tired a couple of times over xmas break but Logan had no interest at all. So, I decided not to push it.

Well, "K" readiness screening is starting up again. Of course, Logan doesn't know any of his information. I started to panick. Well, Leroy managed to set up the trampoline for the kids to bounce on. I came up with a great idea. I read somewhere that kids with ADHD do really well if they can jump or move around while learning things. Now, I'm not saying my son has ADHD. I do know that his very active and has a short attention span. So, we both went out to the trampoline and I had him repeat his birthday over and over again. Now, I have tried in the past to work with him sitting down but he hated it. Too boring but he loved repeating his birthday while jumping on the trampoline.

Slowly but surely he started to get his birthday but he kept saying his birthday was on August 25! I'm not sure where he got this date from but that's not his birthday. So, the past three days we have been working on getting his birthday memorized. I had my first training meeting on Saturday. I told him to work on learning his birthday. I told him if he could tell me his correct birthday...I would bring him home a special treat a sucker.

Well, I made it home and he was able to tell me his correct birthday. If you check out the videos...Logan today gave me the incorrect birthday but on the second try he got it right. I'm going to keep working with him. Jumping and being active helps him to focus. I'm not sure if that's the correct connection but I'm going to do some more research on the subject!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Winter Jump'n Fun!

I always wanted to get the kids a trampoline but Leroy always said they were to dangerous. A couple of weeks ago my neighbors were moving. They weren't able to fit their trampoline in their moving van and gave it to us. Yes, we recieved the whole trampoline and safety for FREE. Gotta love, great neighbors...really wish they were still around.

Color Purple

This week we have been learning all about the letter "P" and Color Purple. I decided it would be fun to read a couple of different books about the color purple.

The Purple Coat By Amy Hest

Book Review:
We started off by reading this Reading Rainbow Book called The Purple Coat by Amy Hest. As a parent I really appreciate the lessons that this book has to offer ... teaching children and their parents that trying something NEW can be rewarding. Going against tradition and discovering new things is an adventure for Gabrielle in this beautifully illustrated tale. This is a long and wordie book so it would be best for five and up.

Activity: Logan painted his very own purple coat to along with the story.

Sally and The Purple Socks by Lisze Bechtold

Book Review:

We enjoyed reading this super cute book about a duck name Sally that ordered a special pair of purple socks. The socks arrive but are much to small for Sally's feet but she notices on the side of the box that the socks will fit to the size order. The socks keep on growing but they grow to an outrageous size. Eventually, the socks strink back to the prefect size for Sally's feet. The illustration's are great and the story is very simple. This book is prefect for preschoolers.


Logan cut out several different sizes of socks from Small, Large and Small again just like in the book. Logan cut out the socks and Leah pasted them onto paper. Logan came up with a great idea of putting the socks in the correct order like in the book.

Logan busy cutting out socks!

Leah glued the socks onto the paper. As you can tell she did an interesting job. The socks kinda look like letter "J's".

Painting Activity:

I really wanted the kids to paint with grapes but we didn't have any in the fridge. So, we used cotton balls. The kids dip their cotton balls into the purple paint to make grapes on construction paper. We painted a stem and part of a vine on each painting for the finishing touch. Remember...grapes would make this activity really messy and fun.

The Final Project:
I decided to tie this activity with the letter and color of the week. Logan painted a Letter "P" with Purple paint to pull it together. Logan knows the name of the color, the sound and name the letter "P" make and I'm happy to report a successfully week.

Next weeks Lesson:
We will be learning all about the letter "U" and the color blue! We will be reading Jane Brett's book called the "Umbrella".

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Joy Cowley: Author Challenge

Mrs. Wishy-Washy's Farm and several fun learning activities

Joy Cowley and illustrated by Elizabeth Fuller

This story is about a farmer's wife who loves to scrub and wash all of the farm animals. The cow, pig, and duck decided they don't want to be washed ever again so they take off to live in the city. The animals have some interesting experiences in the big city and decide to return back home on the farm. The animals in the end don't mind Mrs. Wishy-Washy giving them baths anymore.

Our Review: We enjoyed reading this book as a family. Elizabeth Fuller did an excellent job with all of the illustrations in the book. The animals really appear to come alive in the book with a lot of great facial expressions. If you're looking for a great book about animals on a farm this is the book for your family. I have read this book several times to the kids and they never get tired of it.

After reading this book, I made a sensory tub with dried pinto beans and small plastic farm animals for the kids to play with. The animals are playing around in the mud. The beans make it look like mud. The only bad thing about senseroy tubs is my kids always seem to make a huge mess with the beans.

Music time, My mom bought this John Deere Flannel set at a garage sale for the kids last year. We pulled it out to sing a couple of songs to go with the theme of the book. Old McDonald Had A Farm and The Farmer and The Dell. The kids took turns putting on or off the animals depending on which song we were singing. Also, I took the time to have the kids make all of the animal sounds for each felt piece animal.

Scissor time, I found this cute scissor cutting activity at Make Learning Fun which also has several different printouts if your looking for something different. The kids managed to cut, paste, and color her face. For the printout, click here.

Sciene Time, Before doing the next activity...I took the time to have the kids tell me the names of all the momma animals and what you call their babies. For example: A horse and it's baby is called Foal. Get the idea...The kids did a really good job on this activity.
Hands on Project, Farm animals getting dirty on the Farm and Wash tub station!
Just like in the book...the farm animals get dirty and will need to be wash. I noticed this book really comes to life when you have the kids dressed up with head rags and aprons just like in the book. Make sure to have the pudding already mixed up to be able to make this activity fun for the kids. No to much fun having to seat around waiting for the pudding to set up.
* butterscoth or chocolate pudding instant mix
* two plastic containers-one for washing and one for the dirt mix
* Two aprons and head rags
* Small plastic farm animals
I had two stations set up next to each other. One station had pudding for the animals to get dirty in and the other station was for washing. The kids took turns having fun either with getting their farm animals dirty or cleaning them up like Mrs. Wishy-Washy!

Overall, the kids had a blast on the farm. All of my ideas will work great for any under the age of five. Just look at the kids in the pictures. Fun, Fun, and lots of fun!
ABC-123 teaching blog is currently hosting a book giveaway for Joy Cowley books. Make sure to stop over at their blog and sign up for the drawing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Letter P

I decided to recommit myself to teach Logan's his ABC's. I have tried in the past but he had zero interest. I decided it wasn't worth pushing him into something he wasn't interested in. I made the big decision to get him on track for "k" in the fall. I decided to not sure in the beginning but we are going to change up the whole order. We started today with the letter "P"!

Logan loves to use his hands...So, playdoh starts with the letter "P" which mean a playdoh learning activity. Logan and Leah cut out letter "p's" with my cookie cutter letters.

I asked Logan several different questions about the letter "P" what sound does it make? What different things start with the letter "p". I'm happy to report he knows the sound the letter "P" makes! Yes!!!!!!!!!!!! Way to go, Logan!

After cutting out all the letter "P's" we went on alphabet hunt. We search all over the house for objects that start with the letter "P". Logan and Leah came up with Pineapple, pumpkin, pussy cat, pony, purple color candy, pig, and popcorn.

Look at all those P's...The kids did an awesome job. The next activity was learning how to write the letter P. I made a salt tray for Logan to learn how to write the letter P. He needed help with his activity. I wrote down the big P and little p for him to trace in salt using a paint brush.

Logan did get at this activity. The little guy is really growing up fast. Keeping it fun is the key for Logan to be successful!

The best part of the lesson was reading this book called "This Little Pig". I felt confident that Logan might be able to read the word PIG. I sat him down and we slowly worked on sounding out the word PIG. We slowly read the word like this PPPPPPPPPPPPPP IIIIIIIIIIIII GGGGGGGG, we started off sounding it sound seperate and slowly. Than, I told him to say it faster and faster. Sure enough he read the word all by himself.
Mom...doing the happy dance.
That's right...Logan read his very first word!!!!!!!!!!
Way to go!!!!!!!!!!!