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Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters

29 Apr

The kids and I are sitting around waiting on some horrible weather to reach us, so we decided to get out our big bags of letters.  I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to snap some pictures for this week’s photo challenge: Letters.

We have a lot of letters to play around with, thanks to my cousin who is a kindergarten teacher!

We have a lot of letters to play around with, thanks to my cousin who is a kindergarten teacher!

 

Maddie loves digging through the letters with her feet, kind of like sand.

Maddie loves digging through the letters with her feet, kind of like sand.

 

The Madster!

The Madster!

 

And Charlie, contemplating.....

And Charlie, contemplating…..

 

....doing this to his name!

….doing this to his name!

 

Charlie got a big kick out of this word...

Charlie got a big kick out of this word…

 

...but he really like this one!

…but he really cracked up over this one!

 

It's Letter Face!

It’s Letter Face!

 

Maddie's O's.

Maddie’s O’s.

 

Nothing like a mountain of letters to pass the time!

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/letters/

Happy International Children’s Book Day!

2 Apr

International Children's Book Day

In case you didn’t know, today is International Children’s Book Day.  In celebration of this totally random day, I have a couple of book recommendations for you.  These are books that my kids love, and I actually love reading these books to them, which is a good thing since I have to read them over and over and over…….

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Maddie got Part-Time Princess by Deborah Underwood for her birthday this year, and it is one of my favorite books of all-time.  It is about a little girl who becomes a princess in her dreams, but not an ordinary princess-a princess who fights fires started by fire-breathing dragons then takes the dragons to tea to see why they are upset.  She saves her kingdom from many disasters throughout the book, while also enjoying bubble baths and pink cake.  Her mother also appears in her dreams as a queen from a faraway land, which I think is really cool.

I also love all of the Buzz Boy and Fly Guy books, written by Tedd Arnold.

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These were Charlie’s first series of books, which he started collecting last year.  He doesn’t have all of them yet, but he’s not far off!  The Buzz Boy books are about a boy and his pet fly and their crazy adventures.  They are really short and fun and have taught Charlie a lot of sounds, especially ZZZZZZZZZZ….

So how are you going to celebrate International Children’s Book day? I would love to hear about your favorite children’s books!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Three (Planting Seeds)

21 Feb

The kids and I are LOVING this break from the snowy, wintery weather.  It has been 70 degrees or close to it for a few days now, and we have been outside a lot.  I know it’s only February, but I am ready for winter to be over!  I don’t know how you northerners do it…

Charlie, Maddie, and I started some broccoli seeds today so the plants will be ready to transplant in the spring.  We talked a little bit about Jesus’ parable of the sower and the seeds (here are some great ideas) then planted our seeds in a little greenhouse.

A little brother/sister love!  Maddie lost interest in planting seeds pretty quickly, but Charlie was really into it.

A little brother/sister love! Maddie lost interest in planting pretty quickly, but Charlie was really into it.

 

Charlie planting some seeds.  He was adamant, however, that he would not be eating the broccoli when it came up!

Charlie the farmer. He was adamant, however, that he would not be eating the broccoli when it is harvested!

 

Charlie's precious little hand is the perfect size for planting tiny seeds.

Charlie’s precious little hand is the perfect size for planting tiny seeds.

I am looking forward to showing the kids when the sprouts come up, and hopefully we’ll have some fresh broccoli this summer!

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/weekly-photo-challenge-threes/

Practice Preschool with a Field Trip to Millstone Creek Orchards

6 Sep

We are having a beautiful day here in NC, and I hope that it is a great day wherever you are, too!

I told Charlie that we were going to start him in preschool on Monday (at home) and he asked me if we could have a practice day, so we took the morning to have “practice preschool”.  He is such a trip.

Apples are in season here, so it was the perfect opportunity for us to go ahead and begin our study of the letter A.  Charlie traced some A’s and he and Maddie colored some apples, the Charlie watched the old Disney cartoon about Johnny Appleseed on YouTube.  The link is http://youtube.com/watch?v=cm4xsHXrSGs if you want to relive some childhood memories! I love YouTube.

Then off we went to the apple orchard!  We are fortunate to live close to a really great orchard.  If you live close by, you should check out their website at http://www.millstonecreekorchards.com and choose a day to go.  They have all sorts of fruits to pick all summer and fall long, and tons of kids activities.

Here are some pics from our day:

Madster loved the tire swings.  I have a feeling we are going to have one hanging up in our yard soon!

Madster loved the tire swings. I have a feeling we are going to have one hanging up in our yard soon!

Double Trouble!

Double Trouble!

Charlie on top of Hay Hill. He thought he was something climbing on top of that.

Charlie on top of Hay Hill. He thought he was something climbing on top of that.

Hop Scotch!

Hop Scotch!

Picking some apples-it got HOT in the orchard.

Picking some apples-it got HOT in the orchard.

Aunt Jill feeling like a kid again!

Aunt Jill feeling like a kid again!

Addison likes watching her cousins.

Addison likes watching her cousins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Weekend and Calendars for Preschoolers (and a little adventure in Candy Land)

19 Aug

What a nice, rainy day we are having here!  Even though I would love to be able to start a fire in our fire pit this afternoon and roast the HUGE marshmallows and hotdogs we bought today, I know there will be plenty of time for that this fall.

We had a great weekend as well.  The kids and I got to spend Friday night in Mt. Airy and went to VBS at my dad’s church, which was a lot of fun.  While we were gone, Jason was busy assembling the kids new (to us) swing set so they could be surprised by it when we got home.  They haven’t been able to enjoy it too much yet because of all of the rain we have been getting, but they have loved it the few minutes they have been able to play on it.

I just love this peaceful picture of Maddie that I took Saturday afternoon.  She was worn out after our traveling and playing a little in the rain on the swing set!

Maddie fell asleep in the chair while she was watching Silly Songs-too precious!

Maddie fell asleep in the chair while she was watching Silly Songs-too precious!

Charlie and I just finished up an exciting game of Candy Land.

A cozy rainy day game on the couch.

A cozy rainy day game on the couch.

You will notice that we are not sitting on the couch.  That is because Charlie refuses to play a normal game of Candy Land.  He turns all of the pieces into superheroes (I always have to play with the yellow man, called “Cheese Guy.”). He plays with the red and blue men (Batman and Superman).  We hold them on the game cards and fly them all over the house.  Every so often we return to the game board to fight with Lord Licorice, the evil bad guy.

Here is Charlie playing Candy Land.  The heroes are in the Bat Cave.

Charlie playing Candy Land.

Charlie playing Candy Land.

 

I am starting to do some preschool stuff with Charlie.  This morning we made our calendars for the week.

Charlie's calendar-he's a busy boy!

Charlie’s calendar-he’s a busy boy!

Maddie made a calendar, too!

Maddie made a calendar, too!

 

I added a spot for a weekly Bible verse for the kids to memorize and also added a place to put their chores.  They are really excited about doing chores right now.  I wonder how long that will last?

Click here for a template of the calendar: Weekly Calendar Template

These websites have great suggestions of Bible verses for children to memorize: http://www.ministry-to-children.com/easy-bible-verses/, http://www.tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2011/01/50-most-important-bible-verses-to/.

And here is a great list of suggested chores for your kids according to their age: http://www.parentingsquad.com/43-chores-young-children-can-do.

I am hoping that this helps Charlie learn his days of the week, memorize some scripture, start doing some chores, and just shows him about planning, and Maddie might pick up a little, too.

Enjoy!

The daycare diaries: Biting

5 Aug

Today another child at daycare bit Emma. This is the first time that Emma has been bitten. I have gotten notes sent home warning me of infectious diarrhea, vomiting, green snot, bumps, bruises, scrapes and scratches but I have never gotten a note warning me about the human teeth marks on my kid. I’m sure most moms would be mad and I do hate that some gross little kid was gnawing on Emma’s arm but the note sent home was the funniest note ever. I find it amusing that the people at daycare spend so much time with children that they tend to speak to everyone as if they were a child. That is the only explanation I can find to explain this poem that was handed to me today when I picked Emma up.

Biting
My teeth are here…HIP! HIP! HOORAY!!!
(I wonder who I can bite today?)
I’ve got to try them out, you see.
I must find out if they’ll work for me!!

My teachers say “Now you must not bite,”
“It hurts your friends and fills them with fright.”
So I’m trying to keep my teeth to myself
And be nice to my friends like a good little elf.

But please be patient as I go through this phase.
It is necessary to my development in varying ways.
And I will continue to do my best,
To use my words when my emotions they test.

Wow. Emma obviously can’t read, so this little poem was meant for me. I feel like I should respond with a poem for the daycare teachers.

Hey I just turned thirty-two.
This may be a surprise to you.
When you tell me how Emma did,
Don’t talk to me like I’m a kid.
I can read and I can write
And teach my kid not to bite.
But if some child invades her space
I hope she’ll slap them in the face.

Planting with the Crazy Peoples

1 Mar

Am I the only one who is  SO ready for spring?  I decided today to do a little early planting with Charlie and Maddie and enjoy checking out the fruits of our labor for the remainder of this dreary winter.

All we did was take a glass container (I bought this one at Pottery Barn years ago and use it year-round for different decorations), fill it with glass beads, stick some calla lily bulbs down into the beads, and add a little water.  This would be really cute in mason jars or any type of glass vase or pitcher.

Charlie was being silly for the camera so I had to include some pics of his hilarious self.

Eating cookies and playing with the beads a bit

Eating cookies and playing with the beads a bit

Charlie was cracking me up

Charlie was cracking me up

Adding the beads

Adding the beads

A few more...

A few more…

This is what it looks like after the bulbs and some water were added.  It isn't too pretty now, but when they begin growing they will be gorgeous!  I hope they're ready in time for Easter...

This is what it looks like after the bulbs and some water were added. It isn’t too pretty now, but when they begin growing they will be gorgeous! I hope they’re ready in time for Easter…

This was really fun to do with the kids and I know they’ll be so excited when the flowers start growing.  We’re definitely going to have to talk about planting seeds in people by talking about Jesus (Matt 28:19) and also how seeds grow into big, beautiful things (Matt 13: 30-32).  Springtime is such a wonderful opportunity to teach about God’s love for us and how his love is expressed in nature.

I’ll post some pics of our flowers when they bloom!

 

 

 

 

 

A, B, C

27 Aug

I am going to write about this stuff so I don’t forget about it for Maddie, so if you aren’t interested in preschool ideas, read no further!

I have decided to go through the alphabet and teach Charlie a letter a week along with scripture to go with that letter.  We have had great success so far.  It has been really amazing to me what a 3 year old can remember!  This had also been a huge learning experience for me because teaching a 3 year old is so much different than teaching the high schoolers that I taught in my past life.

I think Charlie has squirted out 3 bottles of Elmer’s Glue at this point!  Good thing glue is pretty cheap!

A

We started, of course, with the letter A.  I found this great video of Elmo celebrating the letter, which Charlie absolutely loved: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BR-Zs_2518

This website has coloring pages for every letter of the alphabet: http://www.dltk-teach.com/alphabuddies/maposter.html

Charlie particularly liked coloring the amublance page, since he is really into anything with loud sirens and flashing lights right now!

letter a alphabet coloring pages

We also did the Ape and Apple pages.  I can’t remember what else we did with the letter A.  I know that I was getting ready for VBS at the time we did this unit so we made some airplanes.  He spent an entire afternoon flying a simple paper airplane around the house.  Then Jason came home and spent the rest of the evening making and flying paper airplanes!

We didn’t memorize a Bible verse that week because Charlie was in Vacation Bible School at my mom’s church every night that week and then at VBS at our church all day that Saturday.  It just so happened that the themes at both churces was “Amazing Aviation: Awesome God, Awesome Power.”  I figured that was enough A’s for one week!

B

For the letter B, Charlie memorized Acts 16:31, “Believe in Jesus, and you will be saved.”  So far, I have gotten verse suggestions from http://impressyourkids.org/alphabet-scripture-verses-a-to-z/.  This is an AWESOME cite!

We also studied bees (of course).  We used paint, a paper plate, and yarn to make a bee from the letter B:

Education.com has great printables for each letter.  I particularly liked this one because it had pictures of lots of things that Charlie likes that begin with the letter B.  He liked scribbling all over this page!

The direct link to this page is http://www.education.com/slideshow/letters-of-the-alphabet/coloring-learn-letter-b/.

Charlie and Maddie (okay, me, too) loved “The Butterfly Ballad.”  I found it at http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/pz-butterfly-ballad.html.

http://www.dltk-teach.com/alphabuddies/simple-b.htm has letter B templates that you can print out and color.  They actually have templates for every letter of the alphabet.

It was really simple to incorporate lessons about God’s creativity and power into these lessons.  I mean, isn’t the life of a bee and butterfly really amazing, especially when looked at through the eyes of a 3 year old?  God is so awesome.

C

We had lots of fun with the letter C, since Charlie’s name begins with C!  Our scripture for this week was “Children, obey your parents” Eph. 6:1.  What an important thing for both my children and for me to remember!!!

The first thing we did with this lesson was to make a caterpillar.  I simply drew circles in the shape of a C, added antennae and feet, and that was it!  Charlie used his dot markers to make a dot in each circle.  I got this idea from Pinterest bit it wouldn’t go back to the original site, so this is just the picture from Pinterest:

We made a big piece of artwork for the letter C to hang in Charlie’s room.  This idea came from http://attackofthetwins.blogspot.com/2011_08_01_archive.html.  I just outlined the letter C with masking tape on a piece of canvas, then let Charlie go to town!  When he had covered the entire canvas I pulled off the tape and we had an original work of art!

Charlie and Maddie both made smaller versions of this craft which I hung in the laundry room.  I added hooks under each one so they would have a place to hang their stuff.

One morning when Charlie was begging to glue something, I realized that Cheerios starts with C!  Charlie spent the morning with a box of cereal and a bottle of glue.  This is our second attempt.  The first ended up as a Cheerio and glue volcano!

After looking at this picture, I realize that we need to switch to a lower-sugar cereal!