Sunday, 18 May 2014

Dairy Farm trip and more

This has been another busy week here for us.  There was lots of rain, so lake Jackson came back ( the huge puddle at the end of the driveway).  The boys were out on their bikes, playing in puddles and having a great time! 

 We also talked a lot about plants.  Our stories, songs and verses centred around plants all week.  The boys have been growing and caring for our seedlings.  They showed me the parts of a plant, we used plasticine to model a plant as it grows from seed to flower.  TJ did a great job during our drawing lesson to draw our story and add some colour to the background.  I think MJ made a robot???
Another day we had an impromptu science lesson.  TJ drew and labelled the parts of  a flower, then taught his younger brother.  We measured all our seedlings and recorded this on a chart.  Next TJ created a bar graph to show the different heights of our plants.  HE realized that the graph was easier to show information clearly.

 At the end of the week we joined a local homeschool group on a tour of a small family run dairy farm. First we got to visit the milking barn and learn all about how the cows are cared for and milked.  Next the children got to explore the equipment and tractors!  Finally they played a game to guess what different farm tools were used for.  We ended with a snack of milk and cheese.  My boys had a wonderful time.

On the weekend we went to a pirate and princess party for their cousin.  Ariel and Pirate Pete both came to the party to tell stories and do some activities with the kids.  It was a lot of fun.  The boys were really cute and loved dressing up.

Next week we will be doing a very short unit on Curious George because we signed TJ up to participate in a literature fair.  It will be our first homeschool event of this sort and he is so into it.  We have already learned about where Africa is on the map, and done a comparison of our forest to a rain forest.... well you'll have to hear about the rest next time.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Dog Birthday Party

Oh Pintrest I had way to much fun planing this party!! For TJ's 6th birthday party he decided on a dog theme.  Here are lots of pictures of the decorations and activities.  But first I'd like to thank all our family and friends who came to share in this special day to make it lots of fun.  Your gifts were so generous and thoughtful.  We will always treasure the memories made together today.

First up was the adoption centre.  Each child selected their very own puppy to adopt and make a birth certificate.  I made the cute little felt dogs myself.  The puppy adoption papers are free from Chickabug

Next up was the pet care vet centre to make sure the little puppies were well taken care of.  For this we pulled out our doctor kits.  A Dog agility obstacle course was made from our balance beams, logs and hula hoops.
In lue of gifts we asked guests to bring donations for the local animal shelter.  Of course grandparents and some family brought gifts for the birthday boy, but friends we happy to bring a toy for puppies in need.  (okay I know I spelled donations wrong on the sign but I didn't want to reprint it, and I knew that only my dad would notice.  He did).  All our balls were gathered together to play fetch.  And Pin the bone on the dog was great fun for everyone!

I knew that crafts would be well received by this group.  Pipe cleaners and beads quickly turned into a collar and leash.  Recycled boxes decorated with paper and stickers made perfect doggy beds, complete with scrap fabric blankets.  Not show in our trampoline.  It was popular obviously =)

Fun signs and decoration make all the difference.  My aunt had found adorable napkins that I forgot to photograph.  They had paw prints on them and say "wipe your paws".  You could also make a sign to put next to your napkins and cuttlery.  I also forgot to get a sign that hung above to food table which reads "Kibbles and Bits".  Dog looking balloons were all over the house.  We found a fun centre piece from the local craft store, and made our own doggy tic-tac-toe boards for the tables (even adults can play games too).

Snacks are so fun to do.  The top left shows soft tortillas, brushed with butter and sprinkled with cinamon-sugar, then baked to be a crispy treat.  top right are bone and dog sugar cookies.  Bottom left are Scooby snacks that my aunt found in the US.  We served those in dog bowls with a stuffed puppy trying to eat some.  The cake was made from one round and two oval shapes.  One oval was cut in half to make the ears.  TJ helped with the decorating and both boys happily licked all the extra icing!  I used an interesting healthy recipe that is gluten, sugar and dairy free.  Usually the cake comes out great.  Not sure what happened, I think my blender is slowly dying but is was slightly crumbly today...
Although the party was mostly for TJ, we certainly can't forget about Daddy whose birthday is only a few days later.  So we sang for both of these wonderful guy and wished them a very Happy Birthday!!

Here is a link to my Pintrest board if you want more Puppy Party ideas.

Happy 6th Birthday TJ

I can not believe how time flies.  Could it really have been 6 years ago that my wonderful son entered the world and changed my whole life?  Wow!!  We are so blessed to have a creative, active, loving fabulous boy so share each day with.  I am so proud of my TJ.
This morning my little man woke to a fun table setting with his birthday crown and a felt cake.  We celebrated the day with waffles and "ice cream".  Of course being dairy free our ice cream is made by blending frozen bananas and some berries in the food processor.  It comes out like soft serve and tastes great!
 TJ and I spent some special cuddly time together before MJ woke for his delicious treat of a breakfast too.  TJ was also in for another amazing surprise.  When I asked him to check on the weather he opened the door to find a new bicycle!!
MJ loved his waffles and banana berry "ice cream"
 So we spent the morning at a playground.  I knew of one that had a small quiet skate board area.  TJ rode and rode like the wind.  He met a new friend and they played for over an hour!  MJ took his trike and also watched some construction trucks.

Our afternoon was spent setting up for a family party the next day (okay mommy did the work while the boys played outside and watched neighbours do yard work).  The boys watched Finding Nemo while I did a lot of baking.  For dinner TJ insisted on Turtle Jacks.  The wait was rather long and it was very late by the time we ate.  TJ was a bit overwhelmed by everything so we left quickly.  We came home and the boys wanted to ride again.  Finally convinced them into bed...

Sleep well my big boy.  Tomorrow is another celebration day....

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Puddles, Gardens and such

This week has rained off and on a bit.  The boys enjoyed splashing in the puddles and riding their bikes.  They have been watching Daddy on his motor cycle and have been pretending to ride theirs.  MJ's trike is sometimes a motorcycle, snowblower, snowmobile... He also has a larger bike but still loves his small trike.  We also went to the playground (and got sun burnt!).

We tweaked our schedule a little and try to solidify our rhythm.  So far things are going well.  I'm hoping to start planing for next year.  I pan to add more into our formal school time.  This week during drawing time we focused on filling in the whole page.  We first drew the sky, grass and dirt making sure to fill in the whole page.  Next we layered on some plants with lots of detail.  MJ drew his first flower!  and TJ added lots of details and colours.

As much as possible we have been working on the gardens.  We cleaned up from the winter ice storm, cleared out the gardens and prepared our garden plot at home.  My boys are incredibly hard workers.  Okay TJ is while MJ enjoys riding on the tractor and playing lego as he watches us work.  It is refreshing to see the spring flowers finally blossom.  There are tiny sprouts at our garden plot up the street, and we have a lot of plants anxiously waiting for warmer weather so they can get into the ground.

Finally a sneak peek at handiwork...  TJ has been working on finger knitting some garlands to decorate for his birthday.  He is also making me a Mother's Day gift (we need to get that done).  I am almost finished a lovely quilt for my niece made of her old receiving blankets.  I also decided to treat myself to some new books.  I can't wait to make some new clothes for the family.

Well that has been our week.  Next time I'll be sharing all about my incredible son and his 6th birthday!!!  We are both totally excited.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Spotting Gnomes and other things we did today

Today we jumped right into our new rhythm for the spring.  I'll share it here to remind myself of what is working so far....

Mommy wake early to do office work or have quiet time
Children wake
Clean kitchen
Get dressed
Morning Meeting - pray, memory verses, songs, poem, story, ending verse.
Activity of the day - modelling, baking, crayons, handiwork, painting, yoga
Outside / play
Story - fairy tales or seasonal book
Quiet time (also mommy practices penny whistle and does crafts)
Focused play where mommy joins in to work on social skills
House hold chores
Dinner prep
Evening routine - short show, snack, teeth & pj's, story, bed
Mommy does more office work, cleaning, etc...
Paper kites we made the other day
This week has been raining all week.  Our stories early in the week were several Winnie the Pooh grow & learn books that had to do with weather, rain and wind.

Our crayon lesson was to use a variety of blues and only short lines to make a rain storm.  TJ drew a full rainy scene.  MJ drew a snow blower in a rain storm.  On the other side they both drew rainbows.
Crayon drawings
Later in the morning we worked together to solve some arguments and stress over Lego.  There were lots of negotiations, sharing and problem solving to make Lego cars together.  MJ made a snow blower, TJ and I made flying cars.  We played with them for a bit then made ramps to race the cars.  MJ made a big involved track to play with.
The other day: we traced the kids' bodies and they coloured them in, Our Lego creations

Outside we decided to look for mud like in our story.  We headed into the forest and had a great time exploring a watery place.  TJ was very brave and went out to go all around the big puddle and onto an island.  My adorable little guys looked like cute gnomes in the hats I made.
Cleaning was a huge chore today as it was a few days worth of mess to clear up.  Then we watched Open Season while I got some work done and dinner made.

Tonight the boys had their final AWANAS award night.  This is a mid-week program at the church involving games, lesson and memory verses.  I was so proud or my hard workers.  TJ received the second highest points for the Sparks boys and completed book 1.  He loves going and often memorizes several verses each week.  MJ was in his first years of Cubbies.  He loves going and is working hard on his verses.  He received the highest points for Cubbie Boys.  The award night was lots of fun with a circus act too.

TJ and MJ with their awards, Circus dogs with all the children

Now it's bed time and another great day tomorrow...