Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thoughts on Tragedy

This morning Jeff and I attended the funeral of an eight year old who had an accident on her bicycle.  Our hearts are wrenched knowing that this daughter of a family we know is no longer here on earth.  We are rejoicing with her family that she had a personal relationship with Jesus and is now in heaven.  We are praying for God's peace, comfort and strength to surround this family as their faith is sure to be tested.

Last night I read a story to Felicity, just because she asked me to read her The Gingerbread Man.  It didn't matter that I was trying to make supper and supper was already late.  I sat down and snuggled her and read her the story and another one and cried.  Kent heard me crying and asked me if I was crying because I missed the seashore.  I was reading a book about the seashore.  I had to smile and laugh through my tears at his question.  Then all the kids got hugs and found out why I was sad.  Finally, after seven pm I served the kids cereal and put away the dinner I had been fixing.  Jeff arrived home after a dinner meeting and sent me to grab a burger for my dinner.

So today and everyday be sure to enjoy your family.  Make memories together doing things that you all like to do.  Take pictures because they will help preserve memories of the blessings God has given you for years to come.  Sing their favorite songs with them, even if you don't like them.  Play with them and give them hugs and kisses, even if they think they are too old for them.  And most importantly teach them about Jesus and show them love and help them learn about God, so that hopefully they too will have a personal relationship with the one who gives life.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Toddler and Preschool Boxes Day 3

On Tuesday's Clark and Felicity have been enjoying their toddler and preschool boxes with themes of Beach/Ocean Life, Emergency Vehicles, and Magnetic Dolls.

 The Emergency Vehicles Set is mainly for Clark, but all the kids enjoyed playing with it.

Melissa & Doug Stacking Emergency Vehicles (Mardel's on Clearance for 50% off)
Rescue Vehicles Stickers (Mardel's)
Fred the Firefighter and The Fire Engine books (our book collection)
Calling 911 book (our fire department's presentation at the library this summer)

 Beach/Ocean Life Box
Sea Life plastic animals (from Kent)
Starfish blinking necklaces (a gift)
The Beach and Sea Animals books (printable books)
Sea life and lighthouse stickers
Red Reef Lobster fact card (Little Kids National Geographic Magazine)
Plastic boat (we've had a long time)
2 pairs of sunglasses (Mardel's, 12 pack)
handtowel (I've had for a while)
rubber ducks (the kids got these from the 4th of July parade)

They had fun exploring the different items in this box.  Then I put a little water in a basin, set it on a towel and let them play with the boat, plastic animals, and rubber ducks in the water.  Kaomi joined them.  Then Felicity figured out by accident that the ducks were squirt toys.  The wall was all wet.  They were quickly informed that they weren't allowed to squirt them.  Clark fell in the basin and got his shirt all wet and they had plenty of fun.  I used some waterproof glue to seal the ducks mouths after they had dried.  We will see how well that works.  If it doesn't the water aspect may need to be taken outside, where I suppose I could add some squirt guns, too.

The  Magnetic Dolls set is mostly for Felicity.  She got these for Christmas.  They are Melissa & Doug Magnetic Dolls.  I'd like to add the boy doll to our set, but I don't think Clark will ever have much interest in them.  He's into cars and trucks and other vehicles of all kinds.

Currently the magnetic dolls are where Felicity can access them whenever she wants too.  If I find that she doesn't have as much interest in playing with these as a Preschool box activity I will either take them and only let them be available on Tuesdays or I will replace it with a different activity that I know she will be interested in playing with during school.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Toddler and Preschool Boxes Day 2

To see all of the posts in this series click the picture above.
Today I will be showing you the boxes we are currently using on Monday's. 

This is our Noah's Ark Set.  On our first day of school Felicity spent quite a while playing with this set.  Clark enjoyed the wooden ark set for a little while and then went to play in his room.

Noah's Ark Felt Book (this was a gift to Kent several years ago)
Wooden Noah's Ark (this was a gift to one of the girls)
Noah's Ark Book (from our book collection)
Not Pictured:  Noah's Ark Stickers (Mardel's)

Our next box is a Train Set.   Clark enjoyed playing with this until he messed the track up.  I will need to work with him to help him learn how to fit the pieces together.

Track pieces to make an oval (from Pa and Mimi)
Train Stickers (from Grammy)
2 Train Books (from our collection)
2 Train engines/2 train cars (from Kent's box of train stuff)

Our last Monday box is a Baker's Set.  Felicity and Clark both enjoyed playing with this set.  I tried to make sure there were enough pieces for them to share and to play their own ways.

2 Aprons/chef's hats (our dress up box)
oven mitt/pot holder (from Dad-Dad and Grammy)
2 cups
2 bowls
2 plates
wooden spoon
frying pan
several items of play food
2 small containers w/lids
The Baker Book (free printable)

*all of the containers and food items came from the girls kitchen stuff, most of them were gifts

If there are stickers in a box I will either take them out or provide paper for them to be used.  Every part of the box doesn't need to be used every time we get it out.  For example:  This time Clark was playing with the train box on the floor so I gave him everything except the stickers, but the next time he might be sitting at the table and I'll just give him a few stickers and a paper and crayon, or one of the trains and a book.

Linked With:

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Our School Week - Unit 1

Monday:  We began with Bible all together.  Then we read storytime while Clark and Felicity played with one activity that they chose from their everyday boxes.  After storytime, Kaomi had a short break while I discussed the research project with Kent and Katy.  They needed to research coat of arms and be able to answer some questions to help Kaomi know what a coat of arms was.  Then Clark and Lissie picked up their activity and we got out the Noah's Ark Activity Box for them to play with.  Then we read our history lesson from Grandpa's Box.  After discussion about the reading we cleaned up the activity box and got ready to go to the library.  Kent and Katy did their research as soon as we got there.  After lunch, Clark and Lissie got to play with the Train Set activity box while Kent and Katy answered their research questions.  They didn't have all the answers, so we used on online encyclopedia to help find the rest of the information we wanted.  Then we talked about what a coat of arms is composed of and they began designing their own coat of arms for their shield of faith.  I got Lissie and Clark down for their naps and we finished up our afternoon with Kent and Katy drawing pictures of a plant and a tree and Kaomi coloring a picture of a plant and a tree.  Then it was quiet time for everyone and I did a reading lesson with Kaomi.

Tuesday:  We began with Bible.  We are working on Memorizing Psalm 1:1-2.  Then we began studying a poem.  Clark and Lissie sat with us playing with a quiet activity.  I assigned individual work to Katy and Kaomi while I worked on math with Kent.  Then I got out an activity box for Clark and Lissie.  Kaomi and I worked on Math and then I worked on Math with Katy.  Kaomi practiced her spelling words, which she thought was fun and Kent and Katy studied dictation.  Katy played with Lissie and Clark while I did Storytime with Kaomi.  Kent got out the next activity box and worked with Clark helping him understand how it worked.  After lunch I put Clark down for an early nap and then Lissie joined us as we began science.  We are learning about the arctic tundra.  Then Felicity made up her own "school activity" while the older kids were working on their notebooking.  Felicity "read" a book about butterflies that she picked out of the library.  Then she asked me for butterfly stickers and a butterfly coloring page.  She colored it with markers and put the stickers on it all by herself.  When the older kids finished their notebooking page the worked more on their coat of arms, coloring it with one or two main colors.  Kent got to go and visit at a friends home this afternoon, too.  He had fun.

Wednesday:  We worked at church in the morning and completed almost all of or school work for the day in the afternoon.

Thursday:  Each of the older kids had Bible Quiet time.  They had an idea of a plan to follow while they continued studying Psalm 1:1-2.  I did Lissie and Clark's Bible time with them about God creating water, clouds and land.  They have been learning Genesis 2:4.  We worked on individual work for most of the morning and in the afternoon we worked on our shared lessons.  Kent, Katy, and Kaomi finished designing their coat of arms.  Clark and Lissie have really been enjoying the preschool and toddler boxes this week.  They've enjoyed having something new each day and they have really help me to be able to focus better on some of the together work with the three oldest.

Friday:  We started our morning with a quick walk around the block.  Then we joined together at the table and practiced our verses and assigned copywork to each of the children.  Then I did Bible time with Lissie and Clark.  They learned about God creating plants.  I worked with Kaomi and she completed most all of her work with me by 11:15.  Kent and Katy worked on their individual work throughout the morning.  After lunch, we did the lessons we needed to work on together.  We tried drawing a person, we began a timeline along the wall upstairs, and we read history and science.  Katy was having a slow day, so when everyone else was finished for the day, she still had work to do.  She did get it finished before supper, which I am happy for.  I wasn't looking forward to her having homework this weekend. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Toddler and Preschool Boxes Day 1

Today's focus is on our everyday boxes.  These boxes are available to be used everyday during school.  I update the boxes as things get used up or seem to not interest the child who is using the box.  Clark and Lissie can do most of the items by themselves or with a little bit of prompting.

Toddler Box - July 2013
 Clark's everyday Toddler Box currently contains the following items:
1 sheet of colored paper and stickers
new coloring book (from $ section at store)
dry erase workbook about colors (from our librarian)
board book about colors (from our book collection)
cardboard boy and girl (from Mimi)
cars and trucks (most were from Kent)
pom-pom and egg carton activity
colors & shapes flash cards ($ section at Target)
small doodle-pro (we've had this for a while)
3 board books (from our book collection)
small notebook (Clark picked it out at Office Max)
 sunglasses (from a package of 12 at Mardel's)

Preschool Box
Felicity's Preschool Box contains the following items:
1 sheet of colored paper and stickers
workbooks about shapes and mazes ($ section at Target)
new coloring book ($ section at store)
cardboard boy and girl (from Mimi)
dry erase workbooks about colors and shapes (from our librarian)
medium size doodle pro (we've had this for a while)
pom-pom activity
3 books (from our book collection)
2 kinds of animal flash cards ($ section at Target, these were in last year's box)
Guess What I Do? cards ($ section at Target)
small notebook ($ section at Target)
small doll (used to belong to Kaomi)
plastic horses (we've had for a while)
sunglasses (12 pack from Mardel's)
small tote bag w/ yarn, feathers, flowers, and popsicle sticks in it

*I'm always checking $ sections at various stores for items to work in our boxes.  When I find something that I think would work well I pick it up and save it until I am ready to use it.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Back to School

This morning we are starting back to school.  We are kicking today off with Learning Through History and Bible and tomorrow we will start Learning the Basics in our curriculum. 

We are continuing to use the same curriculum provider.  This year Kent, Katy and Kaomi will be working together through History, Science, Bible and Poetry.  Kent and Katy will be going through Preparing Hearts for His Glory and Kaomi with be going through Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory with the basics.  Felicity and Clark will be working their way through a toddler Bible Program composed of old Sunday School Material that my mom gave us.  They will be using their activity boxes and joining us for various parts of our history and science lessons, too.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Toddler and Preschool Box Series

I've used toddler and preschool boxes for the last couple years.  I used one box for each child who needed one and put several activities in it.  This year because Clark is so busy, I'm changing up what we are doing.

I will still have an everyday box for both Felicity and Clark, but we will also have other boxes to use each day of the week.  Each day we have a generic box and then a box that is geared toward Clark and a box that is geared toward Lissie.  They are definitely welcome to share each others boxes, too.  I'm going to share over the next six weeks what each box contains and how we use it to help keep our toddler and preschooler engaged while we are trying to keep the older kids focused on their own lessons.

Join me on Tuesdays for our Toddler and Preschool Box Ideas.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

This Week's Summer Activities

Sunday:  We went to church as usual and then we had a quiet afternoon.  Jeff and I played Qwirkle.  In the evening we went swimming.

Monday:  The first day of Vacation Bible School.  I volunteered to help today in the nursery, which turned into helping for the rest of the week.  I took the kids shopping to pick out new pencils and binders for school and to buy food for the food drive that they are having at Vacation Bible School.

Wednesday (Kaomi):  I think I surprised everyone when I said "yes" after quiet time to painting a picture.  Kent didn't want to paint, but he did want to color, so he joined the girls at the table.  They had several discussions about the colors they were making with their watercolors.  (Note to self, buy more watercolors.)  After they painted Kaomi chose an activity from the jar.  She chose, "Pick one chore for Mommy to do for you."  The chores they chose for me are:  fold laundry (Kaomi), sort, wash, and dry colored laundry (Katy), sweep kitchen (Kent), and put toys on shelf (Felicity).  I guess I'll be busy this evening and tomorrow.  We went swimming after supper.

Thursday: Jeff found out he needed to work late, so I ordered pizza for supper and we watched "Leave it to Beaver."  I finished up the chores that were chosen for me yesterday.  Felicity and Clark wanted to stay up late with Daddy.  They were still awake at 10 pm, even though they hadn't even had a long nap in the afternoon.

Friday:  After VBS we went to Mardel's to get a couple things for school.  In the evening I took all the kids to the evening VBS presentation for parents.  We got to hear a sample of the songs they learned and see a slide show presentation from the week.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Vacation Bible School

The kids have been attending Vacation Bible School this week.  The theme is Kingdom Rock: Standing Firm for God.  Kent was excited on Monday evening when he told Jeff, "I participated."  Kaomi's been enjoying the fun snacks and crafts that are about the armor of God.  Katy has enjoyed haivng Mrs. Pam as her group leader.  Felicity talks about the snacks and crafts and play time she has been enjoying in the tree year olds class.  If I see her she smiles at me a little or waves.  Clark just is happy.  His teachers say he is always smiling.  I know he loves the playground time.  If he sees me he always comes and gives me a big hug and returns to his group without any difficulty.  Quinn loves the holding he has been getting in the nursery.  I'm hoping he won't melt down next week when things hopefully return to normal around here.  I've been helping in the nursery with the babies who are walking up to 23 months.  We've had fun playing, taking wagon rides, reading, snuggling and chasing bubbles.  There is a program tonight so we can see and hear about what the older kids have been learning.  I am hoping to take all the kids and go to that as Kent and Katy seem very excited about it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Around the World in 60 Days - Week 4

We are visiting the middle east.

Day 2:  We invited a friend to join us for lunch the next day.

Day 3:  We practiced praising God throughout the day.

Day 4:  We played a game called hold the rope.  It was good for practicing working together.

Day 5:  We talked about family traditions and special events that have happened and hopefully will happen.

Day 7:  Jeff hid papers with parts of a verse around the room.  The kids had to find the papers and put them in order to read the verse.

We visited the countries of Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt.

View other weeks by clicking the link below.

Week one
Week two
Week three

Sunday, July 7, 2013

This Week's Summer Activities...

Saturday and Sunday we didn't choose an activity from our jar.

Monday (Clark):  Bowling.  We set up out bowling set in our bowling alley (hallway).  Kent, Kaomi, Felicity and Clark had fun bowling.  Katy hadn't finished her before breakfast chores and didn't get to join us.

Tuesday (Felicity):  Leapfrog/i-pod.  It was a beautiful day, so we all went outside before this activity.  I came back in with Clark and Quinn, when Clark was done and I played Legos with him until everyone was done playing outside.  Then, they began their screen time.

Wednesday:  We were supposed to work at church, but grumpy, slow children this morning made that not happen, so we didn't pick an activity either. 

Thursday:  It's the 4th of July.  We went to a parade,  made a quick stop at Walmart, and went swimming.   Then we had a family 4th of July party in the late afternoon and evening which included water play for the kids, conversation for the adults and fireworks to end the evening with a bang.

Friday:  We are on "vacation".  We went swimming, worked around the house and watched a movie.

Saturday:  We finally had a chance to get Jeff his Father's Day gift.  We all went to Adam's Furniture in Justin, Texas to look for a throne for Jeff.  It was time for him to get his own special chair.  He chose a rocker recliner with a brown microfiber fabric.  We also found an end table that we liked that was on clearance, which is a nice sized table to sit next to Jeff's new chair.

Next week is Vacation Bible School, so I don't know how many activities we will get to choose from our jar.  We start back to school on the 15th of July and there are still plenty of activities in our jar to continue having fun through the summer, even after we go back to school.

Friday, July 5, 2013

4th of July Quotes

This morning before breakfast I convinced Jeff to go swimming with me.  We left the older Kids inside working on their chores.  Katy opened the door and called out to us, "You guys are acting like little kids."

Jeff to me:  "If you squirt me I'm going to dunk you."

We were driving by a water tower that had the Texas flag painted in it and Felicity saw it and said, "There's the star of America!"

We went to the 4th of July parade.  There was a large group of loud motorcycles.  Katy told us later, "They made my heart beat so fast that I thought I was gonna die."

We were waiting for the fireworks to start and Kent saw one somewhere behind us.  He yelled, "Awesome!!"

When I asked Kaomi about the 4th of July.  She said she liked the parade and fireworks the best.  While talking about the fireworks she said, "I was a little scared at first, but then I wasn't."

Clark didn't actually say much, but he thought Uncle Eric's brisket was good enough to have more, Grammy's cupcake was completely eaten, and he enjoyed playing with Uncle Anthony and sitting with Aunt Heidi outside.  He's full of lively antics and pretty much goes all in to whatever he is doing.

Quinn just wanted his morning nap.  So he fussed a little and then covered up his face and was gone.