Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Amidst the picnics and barbecues, let us not forget that today is the day to remember the brave men and women who have given their lives for our freedom.  From the American Revolution to Afghanistan, so many have made that ultimate sacrifice.  Take the time today to honor those who currently serve our country and make sacrifices daily.
Thank you!

Happy Birthday Bug! and An Uncle Visits

Today is The Bug's second birthday.  I cannot believe my little baby is two years old already!  Since we did his birthday party last weekend, we are just having a quiet day today.  He woke up to his special birthday balloon - a Mickey Mouse.  Later, we will have gluten-free strawberry shortcake to celebrate, since we did cake and candles last week.

One of Daddy's brothers is visiting for the weekend on his way to some training for work.  The kids have had a great time playing with Uncle Jason.  They have convinced him to draw on the chalkboard,

blow bubbles,

and play baseball.

The Boyscout has finals this coming week, so he has had to spend some time studying, but has managed to enjoy some free time as well.  Overall, it's been a nice family weekend.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Nature Study at the Lake

We live about 15 minutes from a large recreational lake, so on Wednesday we joined our friends from over at Raising the Cameron Clan on a nature trip.  Since it was going to be HOT, we got there early.

 The kids climbed rocks,
 played near the water, and saw fish, dragonflies, butterflies, and spiders. 
They got to see trees growing out of the water with exposed roots, ferns growing on rocks near the water's edge and wildflowers.  We even had an impromptu lesson on how burrs act as a method of seed dispersal. 
 It was a wonderful morning, and this is definitely a spot we will be returning to again.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

School Plans for Summer Quarter

I have mentioned before that we like to school year-round here.  Usually we take it a bit lighter in the summer and follow rabbit-trails and do extra work on any areas that need brushing up.  (For us, summer quarter beings June 1.)

The Boyscout is our resident history buff, and his summer units always revolve around history in some way.  This year is no exception, as he will be studying Marco Polo and the Silk Road.  I have some ideas pinned on my related Pinterest board, the A&E biography ready to watch, and a pile of book ideas in my Amazon list ready to go.

Since I know Miss M always wants to join her brother, I have planned for her to study the life-cycle of a silkworm, and the legend of the Empress who discovered silk as her go-along to his unit.  If I am feeling really brave, we may tackle dyeing our own playsilks as well.

Miss M will be continuing on with her phonics lessons.  She is making great progress in reading and I don't want her to lose momentum.  Otherwise, she will be doing a unit study on the Olympics this summer.  We will be using tally marks to keep a medal count for math, looking up the locations of participating countries on the globe, studying famous past athletes and of course the origins of the first Olympics.  We might add in some study of England as well.  The Boyscout will probably join us for the history portions, and I expect The Bug will want in on the crafts.

The Bug will continue to work on his speech therapy, particularly on increasing his vocabulary of words he can say.

I am sure that with these unit studies, our bucket list, and the various enrichment camps the kids are signed up for, our summer is going to be busy.  Which, since it's usually too hot to be outside from June through August, is not a bad thing!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Bug Turns Two

Okay, his birthday is really not for another week, but we celebrated this weekend because grandma was in town.  We had a small celebration with just family.

His Godmother got him a battery-powered ride on he loves!

Blowing out his candles.

He really enjoyed the Gluten-Free cupcakes my Mom and I baked.

He was very into opening his presents this year.

He had a great time at his party.  I cannot believe my baby is two-year-old already! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dance Recital 2012

It was a busy, busy weekend for us with Miss M's final soccer game and team party, and her dance recital.  My mother flew down just for the weekend (they live 1500 miles away) and so we also celebrated The Bug's second birthday this weekend (I will post on that tomorrow). 

Miss M had two dances to perform in the recital this year - one tap and one ballet.  The overall theme was the circus, and her first piece was an adorable tap piece where the girls were a marching band.  Miss M's instrument was the cymbals.

 The second dance was her ballet piece, and they were the "dancing horses". 
Flowers from her brothers and Daddy for a job well done.
Miss M, my Mother and me.
 She did a good job of remembering her steps and not being afraid on stage.  We were very proud of her.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Spring is always a season of change, and our lives are no exception.  J will be making a major schooling change next year.  He has been accepted to a new classical academy opening in our neighboring town for his 7th grade year.  It is a K-12 school, and our plan right now is that he will remain there through his high school years.  We had been anxiously waiting to hear whether he had been accepted, and the word came last week that he has a spot.  We expect it to be quite an adjustment, but think this will be much more in line with his interests and the style of education we desire for our children.

On a much lighter note, I am also going to be changing nicknames for the boys on the blog.  Now that Baby B is turning 2, Daddy and his big brother are insisting I cannot continue to call him by the moniker "Baby".  After much family discussion, we are going to change his nickname to The Bug, since that is one of the many names we call him at home.  J has decided that he is tired of being referred to as just "J" and he has requested a new nickname as well.  I have decided to call him The Boyscout since that is one of the major passions of his right now.  Miss M's blog name will not be changing.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all my readers. I hope you all have a wonderful day with the ones you love. 

Mom, thank you for always being there and for being such an inspiration.  I love you.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Week In Review (May 6-12)

The rest of May is going to be a very busy time for us with the end of this school term for both M and J, a ballet recital, Baby B's second birthday, and a much anticipated visit from Grandma.  While we school year round, we officially switch school years at the end of May.  All that to say we did not do much official school this week.

J had his Ordeal weekend for Order of the Arrow (the national honor society for Boy Scouts).  He passed and earned his sash to be an official OA member.  This was a personal goal of his, and we are very happy to see him accomplish it in just 14 months after becoming an official boy scout.

 Miss M is still working on reading and math (we switched both in January) but is done with all her other subjects for this year.  She is enjoying the end of the soccer season, preparing for a big ballet recital in which she has two dances, and generally just being adorable.

Baby B did do some school work with week.  We have mainly been focusing on doing the PROMPT work the speech therapist has assigned him, but he did find some time for dot-stamping, stickers and cup stacking (his own selections).

 I have several posts coming soon about our school plans over the summer, and our curriculum for this next school year.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Summer Bucket List 2012

Little Wonders' Days
Since there are only four weeks left until the school year ends, and we are already having summer weather, it is time to start thinking about our summer plans.  Miss M and J have several local camps they will be attending throughout the summer, but there are also lots of lazy, hot summer days to enjoy. The last few years we have made a summer bucket list and it has led to a lot of fun summertime memories.  So, in no particular order, here is this year's list:
  1. Pick berries at a U-Pick Farm
  2. Make freezer jam (Mom)
  3. Make fizzing sidewalk paint
  4. Make giant bubbles
  5. Splat Painting
  6. Create a giant sidewalk chalk mural
  7. Make and fly a kite
  8. Learn how to hand sew (Miss M)
  9. Do a loom weaving project
  10. Finish Chess and Communications merit badges (J)
  11. Hunt for fossils
  12. Make homemade ice cream
  13. Make root beer floats
  14. Have a family Iron Chef night
  15. Go on a photo scavenger hunt
  16. Watch a movie outside
  17. Pirate Day
  18. Make homemade popsicles
  19. Have a watermelon seed spitting contest
  20. Go geocaching
  21. Play miniature golf
  22. Watch for shooting stars
  23. Make sun tea
  24. Make homemade lemonade
  25. Ride the train into the city for a special lunch with Daddy
  26. Play flashlight tag
  27. Sign up for the Library Summer Reading Program
  28. Make clothespin fairies (Miss M)
  29. Make a backyard obstacle course
  30. Do a fence weaving project
  31. Make shorts for Little Dresses for Africa (J and Mom)
  32. Go to the Grossology exhibit at the science museum
  33. Do a one-day road trip somewhere we've never been
  34. Have a breakfast picnic at the park
  35. Plant a fairy garden
We may not get to all of these things this summer, but we will be having fun and trying some new things along the way!  You can see more summer bucket list ideas here.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Musical Theater - Aesop's Fables

Miss M has been taking a musical theater class this spring.  They have been working on a choral version of Aesop's Fables, and had their final performance this week.

She was the dog who lost his bone when he got greedy,

the hare from The Tortoise and the Hare,

and the giant toad who wanted to be as big as an ox.

She sang five songs in all and remembered the words to all of them, along with her moves. 

She sang loudly and clearly and sounded so sweet.  This was her first stage experience, and we are very proud at how well she did!

Friday, May 4, 2012

stART: The Puddle

This week we hosted some friends for our preschool book club.  We read The Puddle by David McPhail.  It is a sweet story about a little boy who floats his toy boat in the rain puddle.  He and his boat have many adventures with the different animals that visit the puddle.  Both Miss M and Baby B enjoyed this fun story, and the watercolor illustrations are adorable.

To go along with the book, we made our own toy boats using plastic cups, straws and paper.  I cut the paper into a triangle and punched two holes to thread the straw mast through. A  bit of playdough helped hold the mast upright.

After the kids had decorated their boats, we took them outside and sailed them in the water table.  The boats were top heavy and did tip over pretty quickly.  Miss M removed her sail so it wouldn't get ruined, but Baby B didn't care.

For more story + art ideas, visit the stART page over at A Mommy's Adventures.