Sunday, March 30, 2008

Little Rabbit and ABC Bunny

We managed to get only a little Before Five in a Row work done during the month of March. Besides, it was Easter and we had so many bunny books to read.

We did many art project from the KUMON Method and A Becka craft books, but our favorite project was from Little Rabbit. We talked about how the pictures in the story were taken from different angles. Stephen recalled each angle without prompts and took the following pictures. His only problem was trying to figure out how to take a picture "from below". I had to help him process through that one and then Rhea insisted on taking a picture of her brother all by herself so not to feel left out of the project.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Happy Easter

I hope everyone had a great Easter. We sure did!! Easter egg dying night is always an experience and we (and the kitchen) survived another year. I played my usual Easter gig while Tom braved getting the kids ready for Easter Sunday. Now, before I get "hate mail", I had dressed them up the day before to take their pictures, compliments of a white sheet over my bathroom window, followed by putting all clothing and hair items in order for the next morning. Tom even had picture of what Rhea's hair was to look like and did a great job - at least I think he did since she was asleep by the time I made it home from my gig. I do have to be honest by saying that one of the best parts of the day was that the kids were happy and asleep by the time I got home, but I think the fact that Tom and I were able to hide the eggs AND take a nap before the kids woke up was priceless. The kids were told that the Easter Bunny only comes if they go to sleep and it worked. They woke up very excited, but the egg hunt almost ended with the first egg. Both kids were so excited with their first egg that they sat and didn't budge even with beautiful Easter baskets sitting in front of them. We told them that the Easter Bunny worked REALLY hard hiding all of the eggs and we should go find them. Stephen got into it, but Rhea would have been just as happy stuffing jelly beans and sugar coated bunny marshmallows in her mouth all afternoon.

It was the beginning of March when I realized that I might have done too much thus far this semester. I was moving all of Stephen's lapbooks to a cabinet under his bed when I noticed that we had finished 10 units in 8 weeks with some of those units meant for 2 weeks. In my defense, we had a really bad winter that even the bunnies were protesting by eating the bark on the trees since the ground was completely covered with snow for nearly two months. I still went through too much material, and we did have fun, but I thought I would give everyone a break. We also decided that it was time to take care of a few things that required us to slow down and regroup our family and life priorities.

Our days during the month of March were not homeschool free, but I didn't grind the curriculum as much. We stepped away from Before Five in a Row and took it easy with some fun Bible workbooks while reading the accompanying stories.

Rhea decided that this would be a good time to start mastering the pottie. Her first "sitting" was when she was 20 months old, but she just recently started to exhibit more control and has been more consistent every time she asked to go. I decided to be brave this week and gave let her wear underwear for the first time. I would rule that this week was a success with only 2 accidents. I might even get brave enough to take her out of the house next week with training pants. We shall see....

Work together on a stamp project. I have pleanty of stamps and ink to go around, so they do great together as they work on their stamp books.

Riley kept getting into the Easter stuffed animal stash. I got tired of his sad, big brown eyes every time I took it away, so I broke down and gave it to him. It had become pretty crusty anyway with as many times as he bunny napped it.

Don't be fooled by the sweetness!

I think these pictures were taken the first week of March or the last week of February. I can't remember, but is was during our last big snow storm. Our neighbors were moving and we inherited their play gym. I recall that they inherited it from the people that lived in our house prior to our occupancy, so I guess you could say it merely found it's way back over the fence. As you can see, Stephen insisted on trying it out regardless of the 6 inches of snow that were on the slide. It was so cold that I took the pictures from inside the door!

Stephen had been letting us know that he needed a "boy" activity last summer through exhibiting some new aggressive-like behavior. We found a soccer club 1 1/2 miles from the house that offers excellent teaching. I hate the bathrooms and the roof leaks, but I guess this one isn't about me. Rhea has been great as long as she has a snack to keep her occupied. She lasted almost 10 weeks before she started to get squirmy, but she can walk the length of the complex in my full sight while feeling very independent (not that she needed any help in that area). Stephen has graduated from his "Hoppers" class to "Jackrabbits". This next level class is more intensive on skills and game concepts. Stephen has noticed that he was the biggest in the "Hoppers" class and it seemed like he was getting frustrated with the lack of concentration from the 3 year olds. The "Jackrabbit" class is only 4 year olds and they are a little more focused. I was worried that I moved him up too soon, but he did amazing in his new class this week. He pretty much took anything or anyone out that wasn't a ball. That's my boy!

Besides the big Easter event, but took a trip to see Uncle David and his new home and job. My darling little brother has graduated from college and landed his first job with a company called Site and Sound. I hope I get this right (I am sure he will tell me), but he is the Lead Lighting Deck Electrician for the production of Noah. The show has not opened yet since the building was just recently finished and the sets are still being built. As a result, we were able to get a special back stage tour including seeing all of the animals that were being used in the production. We will never again be able to be that close to animals like this. My mother and I had a really hard time not touching the animals since they would all stick their heads out for a kiss. We asked if they were spoiled, but it was obvious that they were. We saw zebras, camels, different types of donkeys, highlanders, sheep and goats that had been to a high end beauty salon, adorable pigs, the biggest cow we have ever seen, tons of horses, turkeys and chickens. I am sure I left out a few and the other animals in the ark were amazing too, but were designed with animatronics. The facility was huge, the sets were huge and the sound system was amazing. The lighting was good too for fear of offending little bro! We unfortunately could only take pictures on the outside of the facility. It was clear that David was very proud of his new job as I tried to keep up with all of the technology he was showing us. His new bachelor pad wasn't actually the image of "roughing it" since he rents a condo on the lake at a resort, complete with free use of amenities. We wish he wasn't so far away, but I can't say that I feel too sorry for him either! We did manage to see the Dolly Parton Dixie Stampede. The kids were mostly stunned the entire time and forgot to eat most of the dinner that was served. Stephen still talks about both the show and Uncle David's place.

Jumping on Grandma's and Grandpa's bed WITH Grandpa's permission. We were never allowed to do that!!

Site and Sound
New Digs
Double sinks in a first place??
Being Silly with Grandpa The playground at Uncle David's place

Mommy and Stephen on a 3 level wooden Go Cart track

Rhea and Grandma watching all the Go Cart action

Boat dock at Uncle David's

Family Pilates - need I say more....