Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Shopping Day

I know there is some debate about allowance....should they work for it, should they just get it because they are part of the family....and I don't know the answer.

I'm too unorganized to keep track of what I owe someone so we have chores and allowance, but they are completely seperate things.

$1 goes to savings, $1 to church, the rest on whatever...

decisions, decisions, decisions.  We've learned a lot from this.

Finding something that you can afford, liking what you buy, math, change, taxes, regret, joy.

One of the girls dropped another's water bottle in the pond at the park today, so her allowance went to replacing the water bottle....(and I stand corrected, they were $13, the smaller ones were $8.)

One magic wand ($5), one pink princess Bible($9.99), and one set of magnets you paint(4.99).....priceless???? We shall see.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Your Turn!

Soooo, I'm not sure whom to give credit for this idea. It started in one of Mr. Sextro's classes in high school. Someone would start a story by writing a sentence in a notebook and pass it on to the next person. Then it would go on until class was over, or the story was over, or until someone got caught.....oh, I don't think anyone ever got caught.

Well, on the car ride home from Grandma and Grandpa's we started a story, one sentence at a time.

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful butterfly......

.....who flew into a spider web and the spider wrapped her up and sucked her blood out of her.....

....but there was another butterfly that was kind to all the ladybugs....

....this butterfly was magic and sparkly....

......(I was distracted at this point so I missed some of it)......

....the magic butterfly would put one sparkle on leaves so she would not lose her way.....

....(again, distracted).....

.....they were looking for a new home on a different planet but no planet was just right for them so they came back home to earth and lived happily ever after!  The End!

Imagination, cooperation, characters, plots, problem solving....

I'm glad I got something out of Mr. Sextro's class! (It certainly was not calculus.)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Spider Day

It's Thursday....the day I usually *crash*. sigh. So Thursdays I like to do more fun like crafts and outings...and gymnastics will start soon. That's a chore in itself so Thursday is kinda like a day off...but then not really.

So, we have been learning about spiders. We have a few books, encyclopedias, web searches, and there is a great resource here.

Yesterday, Summer made these cookies she had found in a High Five magazine....

"Cute, but not really I spider", I thought.

Only one body segment....so we made our own spiders today

Complete with jeweled eyes, spinners, jaws, and lots of knees.

Spiders have 48 knees. We didn't count, but there are a lot of knees here.

I gave them limited instructions and they all turned out different, which is good since there are thousands of species of spiders, and they are very different.

And then, yesterday I had remembered that Jelly Telly had an excellent piece on spiders, but was very disappointed to find that it was not available in the archives. BUT GUESS WHAT!!!! It was on the show TODAY!!! perfect.

Savannah loves to tie things, so she decided to make webs.

In the afternoon, a spider hunt at Ernie Miller

The girls declared it "spider day". After supper, Summer said, "We didn't have school today!"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Grid Art

Last year for Christmas we got a page-a-day calender.   I realized that I had not torn off the pages since February, so I had quite a few! These have a grid on the back- I'm not so sure why but the tiny grids make me want to start coloring.

Today we did grid art. I told them they could do anything they wanted, they just had to fill in the squares- no curved lines.

This makes you think a little harder....

use fine motor skills,

some math skills,


problem solving.

Well, it was fun anyway!

oh, and by the way- check out the page-a-day origami calender! definitely on my list for next year!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Place Value Folder

Here is a hands on way to teach place value:

You need a folder, 30-40 index cards, glue or stapler

1. Cut 4 index cards small enough so that you can place them across an open folder, 2 on each side but long enough to be able to stick a card in the pocket.

2. Glue or staple the sides to make pockets.

3. On each of the 4 cards, write the place value in a word and numeral, e.g. thousands (1000's), hundreds (100's) etc.

4. Write a single digit on each of the remaining cards so that you can read them vertically. 3-4 of each number, including 0.

5. The child can either use this when learning with worksheets, or you can practice with them by asking them to show you a number. For example, show me 3,460. Then they put the cards in the correct pockets. You can then ask, "which number is in the ten's place?", etc.

6. When you are done, just fold up your folder

and put it in a file until later!

Monday, August 23, 2010

You May Be Eating Too Much Fast Food If......

....your 2 year old sees a brown paper bag and says, "chicken".
"BAG", you say.
"Chicken". She replies.

.....your car-ful of children chorus "I'm huuuuungry" every time you pass McDonald's.

.....you are eating at Mimi's Cafe and your 5 year old randomly asks, "Does this place have a drive-thru?"

....when you ask your children what they would like to eat for supper, they start naming off fast food chains.

But that never happens here!;)

I'm trying to stay away from fast-food.......

......except Subway.......

.....and for McDonald's coffee......

.....and Sonic happy hour......

.....and any time I am by myself and starving.......

but I'm trying.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Little Bit of Culture

We went to third Friday over in Independence, MO last Friday. Sheri has some of her artwork in the West End Gallery.

On the way, the radio was playing some blues and Summer commented on how she liked the music.

"this sounds like country music", was her comment. I explained the type of music and then scanned the radio for different genres of music. Each time I asked them if they liked it, they said, "yes!".

That'll change, I'm sure.

When the girls got dressed to go earlier in the evening, they were trying some interesting styles. I didn't say anything, though, in the spirit of artistic expression.

Savannah had put a stretchy headband around her neck that looked like a choker, and a purple hair tie around her wrist to look like a bracelet. Hmmmmm..... She didn't sport the accessories in this pic. Summer's outfit was interesting too. See for yourself.

Her mismatched pants were also a tad high water....

..and then there was Max, who didn't get to choose his outfit.

We all had so much fun! Visiting with artists, talking about different artwork, eating snacks, and playing with Lily, the dog.

We drove home in an incredible thunderstorm, and arrived right at sunset to see a huge cumulonimbus cloud breaking apart with a pink outline....lightening flashing like firecrackers from every direction, and cool air.

Conversation topics were endless...what does minimum speed limit mean? Can we go to the carnival in a thunderstorm? Mom, are you driving the speed limit? Do you see that cloud? Where are the stars?....Are you driving 65 miles per hour?....Are you going slower than 40 miles per hour? Gotta love my 7 year old backseat driver.

It was a great night, with a little bit of culture.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Once and a while the girls will get on a hangman kick.

Sometimes they like to guess the word, but other times they like to have me guess.

I had only a few minutes to play a quick game with Savannah this morning, and she wanted me to guess.

The word was tornadoes.  First, she said there was not an "s", but then she said there was. Then, she put the "r" in the wrong place. Finally, she realized that she didn't have enough spaces. She wanted to start over, but I didn't have time for another game.

We have been keeping a word chart, writing some words we talk about in order to learn spelling and alphabetical order. So, I thought we could add potential hangman words to this in order to minimize spelling errors, and therefore being a little more efficient (for me!)

Our word chart looks like this:

They played hangman all day.

Hangman on the chalkboard, hangman on printer paper,
hangman in the garage........

And the "largest hangman game EVER"...all the way up the sidewalk beyond our property line.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I am trying to get rid of anything I don't need in my house. Sook and I have quite a collection of Cd's that we collected back in the day that we don't use anymore....what to do?

Anyway, it got me thinking about college. I was very depressed back then....lost weight (without trying)....didn't want to do anything.

So I listened to music like Jewel....I loved her....back when I was depressed.

And who couldn't love Travis Tritt?

Once and a while I would find a happy song I liked...

It was bad for about 3 or 4 years....sometimes it comes back.....

But I learned so much from that time in my life! I misunderstood God and prayed all wrong but at least I was talking to my best friend and he is very patient with me! I'm glad it's over, but I'm glad I went through it.

This has got to be the best song I've ever heard.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Moving Water

Science With Water (Science Activities)

This experiment had 2 parts

1. Testing materials that soak up "all the water", "some of the water" or "none of the water. We tested a sponge, newspaper, a magazine cover, diaper, plastic bag, and a paper towel.

We looked at the materials with the magnifying glass to see the little holes in the material that soaks up the water. Then we walked around the house and talked about why certain materials were used for certain functions.

For example: Max's crib mattress is plastic instead of cloth.....why?
Toilet paper, mop, umbrella, and fish tank were some examples.

2) We saw ways we can make water move. First, I filled up one glass with water and put a strip of material's end in the water and the other end in an empty glass. We are observing how the water is moving from one glass to another.

We siphoned dish water from one sink to the other

Finally, we talked about how plants are watered by water traveling up from the roots to the plants.

I was so excited to find a 4 pack of white Gerber daisies at the store.
Each girl picked their own color. We started with them looking like this.....

I put one celery stalk in the colored water as well. The water had completed it's route up the celery overnight,

But the daisies were looking pretty sad and not yet colored. So, I cup the stems much shorter and observed that the colored water had only made it half way up the stem.

However, after cutting the stems, the color was showing within an hour!

I can't wait to see them tomorrow!

Saturday, August 14, 2010


In our little house we all need our own place to just hang out.

Peek-a Boo!!



Shelf liner in back, sandpaper letters, foam balls with Velcro

 Just the right size.

Can you tell I'm in love?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bags For Stuff

I hate games and toys with a million pieces that get scattered all over my house- but yet I love the games when they are played with. You can't play with them if the pieces are all scattered over the house. But I will not throw them away if I find them valuable!

So when my Mom bought Max a cute little wooden train with about 20 pieces, she made him a bag to put them all in as well. I liked it so much I thought we could have more bags.

Bags for Barbies and their clothes
Bags for floor puzzles whose boxes have been broken.
Bags for games with several pieces.
Bags for balls.
Bags for learning blocks and rods.

She made them with material from the Et Cetra shop and I got some from the Hobby Lobby clearance rack....I didn't really care what it looked like because we were going to add our artwork anyway. I just wanted a nice thick material.

They are sewn to put a drawstring in but I may just use Velcro for some, depending on what is in them. To decorate, we just went to the Hobby Lobby fabric paint isle and found fabric markers, glitter, paint, and glue for jewels.

MAYBE, just maybe we will be a little more inspired to put things away with our super cool bags that everyone helped make.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

You Pick

I'm back from an impromptu trip to Mom and Dad's due to air conditioning failure (thank God it's working!) I tried to do my best to keep up with some learning even though I didn't plan this. A few weeks ago Dad broke his thumb in a 4 wheeler accident and is left to rest. My parents don't rest very well. Mom got some kind of infection or rash after pulling weeds in her garden- completely miserable. No rain, until last night when some crops were hailed out. Then I find she is dealing with a career decision. Who woulda thought I would be helping my mom decide on a job! Mind you, my mom only worked after I left the house, so she is still a homemaker to me. And now I'm probably talking way too much about my private parents.

To "work" or not to "work", that is the question. "Work" in quotations since we work hard- just not paid to work. To be a professional or spend most days sweaty and dirty and giving your all just to keep things moving along. I know the feeling. I love my go-to-work job.

Both options looked good, and honorable, the pros and cons were about equal. What was God's will? We spent hours looking through devotions and Bible verses, seeking a green light one way or the other. Finally, in a book I pulled off her bookshelf that she hadn' t read yet, I found the answer. It went something like this....
{If you have honored God with your decisions} and you still are not getting a clear answer, God is saying "you pick".
Do we (Christians) over-analyze things to the point that we expect God to map out every decision? I do. Do we over-spiritualize and complicate our lives so that we worry (which is NOT what God wants).....I do.

How do I say this??? We search so hard when the answer is right under our nose. When we ask, "What do I have to do to get what I want?" and we (mostly) know Psalm 23- only one chapter of many which points in the right direction.

The LORD is my shepherd,
I have everything I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows,
He leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to His name.

Even when I walk
through the dark valley of death,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and staff
protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You welcome me as a guest,
anointing my head with oil.
Your cup overflows with blessing.
Surely your goodness and unfailing
love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23

I truly believe we make life harder than it has to be!!
Or at least I do, and I am thinking there are others like me!:)

And what I've found in my own life that the key to peace is humility. Humility to accept I will never be the person I think I should, so I have to rely on God's power. I am not smart enough, strong enough, quick enough, beautiful enough, talented enough, do not have enough time, and am not sane enough to accomplish.....really anything worthy of honor.

If there is only one path for me to take to become someone or to be used by God, I've lost my way looooong ago. But wait! It's not about the choices I make! It's about what God can do with me despite how unqualified I am!

The only one thing I need to be sure of is that I am following the one that can do this for me- Jesus-. What a relief.

And if that is the case, if I "Delight myself also in the Lord, and He will give me my heart's desire". Look out, because my heart's desire is not merely to keep things moving along. Paid job or not.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Today Is Very Boring

Today Is Very Boring
Today is very boring,
it's a very boring day,
there is nothing much to look at,
there is nothing much to say,
there's a peacock on my sneakers,
there's a penguin on my head,
there's a dormouse on my doorstep,
I am going back to bed.

Today is very boring,
it is boring through and through,
there is absolutely nothing
that I think I want to do,
I see giants riding rhinos,
and an ogre with a sword,
there's a dragon blowing smoke rings,
I am positively bored.

Today is very boring,
 I can hardly help but yawn,
there's a flying saucer landing
in the middle of my lawn,
a volcano just erupted
less than half a mile away,
and I think I felt an earthquake,
it's a very boring day.

-Jack Prelutskey, The New Kid on the Block

The air conditioning busted and I couldn't stand it so we went to Mom and Dad's....what would we do without them?

It's fun at Grandma's house but not quite as fun when it is so HOT and we can't be outside.

I felt like we were a little bored. I read the girls this poem and then we added a few lines of our own.

"Today is very boring,
there is a unicorn in the bathtub."

"Today is very boring,
there is a dinosaur on the trampoline."

"Today is very boring,
my hair just turned rainbow colors."

"Today is very boring,
I saw a spider as big as a tractor."

We had a good laugh. We weren't so bored anymore.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Boat Making

Our experiment today included boat making.

First we talked about cargo ships and submarines.
The girls liked this experiment:

Fill a can up with water to show how a submarine sinks

Then blow air in it with a straw to make it come up again.

Then I asked them to make their own boats and fill out a page that has a picture of their boat, and answer the questions:

1. Does it float?
2. Does it move?
3. If it moves, how?
4. Does it carry cargo?

The picture that Ellie drew looked NOTHING like this! It did look like a ship, though! She told me that she had a horn and a telescope. It didn't float. I don't think it even stayed together, but she did use a TON of creativity! I love to see what is going on in their minds.....

None of them worked. Not even mine. I put a motor on it but we couldn't get the wires to stay on the battery to get it to move.

It's okay, though because there was a lot of problem solving going on.
And we got to play in water some more!

Then we saw pictures of this ship from a Yahoo story. It is nice to have an Internet story that goes along with your experiments!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Water Trips

I've resolved to quit complaining about how I never get to go on a long vacation since my husband is self-employed, so I'm going to start planning mini-vacations and drives for family time.

Since we are studying water, we are going around and looking at different types of water- rivers, ponds, creeks.

On Saturday we went to Parkville park to look at the Missouri river.

Savannah played some Solitaire

Brookie lips.

"It's too hot to move."

And here we are at the river. They were unimpressed...probably because it was soooooo hot!
Now off to Sonic for ice cream!

So then for school we looked at the map to find different rivers and lakes we had been to. We cross the Kansas river each time we go to the YMCA. Marion Lake is by Grandma and Grandpa's... and so on.

We won't be having long vacations, but we will be getting to know Kansas/Missouri better!