Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What do you do all day?

To be honest, some days more than others.  I thought the few readers of my blog  might appreciate an inside glimpse of what we do to fill our days.  We happily started “preschool at home” on September 1st and I must say, having a routine is a welcome change from the lazy days of summer.

Here are some things we focused on for the first week.

-identifying and writing our names
-the letter A
-the colors red and green
-apples

And now in no particular order…

1. Our day usually starts with doing calendar. We talk about the month we’re in, count the numbers to figure out what day it is, talk about any special days coming up, sing the days of the week song, put up “today”, “tomorrow” and “yesterday” cards, talk about what season it is, sing the weather song and put up the appropriate card, graph how many days we’ve had of that kind of weather, review our address, phone number and 911.

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2. For name practice, I bought 2 of those swimming noodles at the dollar tree and cut them into approx. 1-2 inch slices. I wrote a letter of their name on each piece and then had them string their names together using nylon rope.

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3. For letter A practice, Garrett practiced his A’s several times with different colored crayons on this “bubble” paper.

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4. For science, we talked about what would happen to an apple if we left it out, versus brushing lemon juice on it. Here they are brushing the lemon juice on. 

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5.  I got this bag of glittery, foam letters at Michael’s and dumped them into a container.  We threw a blanket out on the lawn and they had to find as many A’s as they could. It kind of morphed into a game as Garrett wanted to hide the letters and make me find them.  The cool part about this is that I will keep the letters and repeat for every letter!

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6. Coloring things that are red

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7. Making a mosaic apple. Basically, the just tore pieces of red construction paper and glued them to an apple cutout. Good gluing practice for Colin.

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8.We read the book Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss and made these headbands.

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9. We played with unifix cubes. Normally I would throw some counting and pattering in with these, but this time I just let them play.  Austin was happy to be in on the action :-)

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10. This is an apple grid game.  It’s hard to see, but it’s just a piece of paper with 20 apples on it.  Each player would spin the spinner and then put that many cubes on the apples. Teaches 1:1 correspondence and counting  in a fun way.

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11.  Finger painting. They learned that blue + yellow = green!

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12. Apple prints.  Cut an apple in 1/2, stick a fork in it and have them stamp apple prints. When they dry, we will draw stems on them.  If I were organized, I would’ve had them glue real apple seeds on them too. Oh well, maybe next time…

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13. Here is a random depiction of the work they do in their “workboxes”. It’s meant to be independent work, but at their young ages, it rarely is!

Garrett is doing pre-writing practice with a dry/erase marker and Colin is sorting objects into cups according to color.

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Garrett happily finished an alligator puzzle while Colin worked on his cutting skills.

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Garrett doing a rhyming matching game and Colin doing a hot/cold sort.

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Garrett doing an apple counting game. Count the apples on the tree and find the correct number.

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And what is Austin doing during all of this? Well, either this…

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or this!

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So there you have it-some, a random spattering of our first week. I must say, the days are not going at all how I envisioned them, and that’s okay. With the nice weather we’ve had lately, I’m fine with taking a break and enjoying the outdoors. Or if somebody invites us to play at the park, we go. I have a general plan on what I hope we’ll accomplish in a day (and by day, I mean a few hours), but I think almost every day, that plan changes. In October, that plan will really change :-) But we’ll go with it and hopefully learn a few things along the way.

Thanks for checking in on us!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Pics!

Today, I braved it and ventured out to Sears with all 3 of the boys to get their pictures taken.  Specifically, Colin’s 3 year pics and Austin’s 9 month. Thank God for my mom, who saved the day by taking the kids to the play area and getting them a snack after the shoot.  Overall, I’m pleased.  Not the most creative pictures I’ve ever seen, but I think we got a few good ones. Let me know what you think! If the grandparents are viewing this, feel free to let me know exactly what you’d like because I still have to place the order and I’ll get you the pose you like in the size you want.

My Handsome boys:

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Colin:

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Austin:

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Done for another…oh 2 1/2 months until Austin turns 1 and the new one needs newborn pics!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

I’ve always wanted to make homemade ice cream with my kiddos, but have always been scared that it just plain wouldn’t work. So I was thrilled when our PAT educator came today with a tried and true recipe and all of the ingredients to make it! I thought I’d share this one because it is SO easy and you probably have most of the ingredients anyway.

What you’ll need:

* 1 tbsp. sugar
* 1/2 c. half and half
*1/4 tsp. vanilla or cocoa (see note below)
* 6 tbsp. rock salt
* 1 pint size plastic bag
* 1 gallon size plastic bag
* ice cubes

How to make it:

1. Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt.  Seal the bag. (the pic on the right is Katie teaching Garrett to figure out how many tbsp. is half)

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2. Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.

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3. Place the small bag inside the large one, and seal it again carefully.

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4. Wrap a kitchen towel around bags. Shake until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5 minutes.

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5. Wipe off the top of the small bag, then open it carefully. Enjoy!

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NOTE: We skipped the vanilla in the original recipe and used a tsp. or so of cocoa instead. The result was kind of like a chocolate Frosty.

Also, don’t go cheap on the plastic baggies. You do not want any leaks for this one!

This recipe makes about 3 Dixie cups full of ice cream.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hamburger Cookies

I can’t take credit for this idea (see below) but I CAN say that I made these.  This post is especially for my dear friend, Tara, because I just know you will want to make these for your next get-together in Delaware! They were literally the hit of my housewarming party.  I actually didn’t even get one but from what I’ve heard, they not only looked great, but tasted great also.

I credit my success to the tutorial video below. You will learn everything you need to know to make these little yummies by going to http://family.go.com/video/hamburger-cookies-612093-v/

Here are my creations:
Don’t they look like real hamburgers? Enjoy!

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th of July Fun!

Wow! This 4th of July exceeded ALL of my expectations. It was a sparklin’ great time, definitely the most fun we’ve had yet! It started with a grand display of fireworks, along with a fantastic air show that the boys adored.  We were lucky enough to get a great spot right along the river where we enjoyed good company, food, and music.  Thanks to the friends’ that squeezed us in their spot!

Here are some pics of that afternoon/evening.

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On July 4th, we had a neighborhood party. I’m quite sure this MUST become a tradition as it was tons of fun for the adults and kids. Thanks to my fabulous neighbor, Tracy, for hosting. We had rootbeer floats and smores…yum! Have I mentioned how much I LOVE our new neighborhood?

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And now for the best part of it all? Here are all of the little cuties!IMG_4735