Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May Family Fun

The month of May was chilly, but that didn't stop us from having fun. The weather has been really crazy with 80 degrees one day and 40/50 the next. We actually went swimming outside yesterday and then pulled the coats back out today. Crazy...

We managed to take two trips to the Zoo; once as a family and another trip to finish a school unit. I listed our unit trip in another post, so make sure you check it out. Tom also took the camera with him on one of his baseball game trips with Stephen and the final pictures are of the box that my bike rack came in. The kids have always played with boxes in the past, but they had extra fun with these.

The Zoo


Just add leaves

Microscope discoveries in the animal hospital


Who's hungry?

I'm a Fish

Feed Me!

Water Conservation Exibit

House of Primates

Cougar's baseball game with Daddy.

Junk Food

More Junk Food

Fun With Boxes

Why do we buy toys?

My Blue Boat

Our main book this week was My Blue Boat by Chris Demarest. This was definitely a favorite this week, but it was followed by about 20 other ocean and boat books. You could say that this was a hot topic among preschoolers. I am starting a new format for our lapbooks this summer and decided to take it for a test drive. Instead of almost $1 for each folder, we spent a mere penny each on a huge box of folders from Sam's. We have eliminated worksheets from the folders since our focus will be mainly on the book or topic. I think it turned out well and I included pictures at the bottom of this post.
Meanwhile, once again, we thought that it would be nice to conclude this unit with a trip to the zoo. Stephen requested to see the Dolphins, and Rhea wanted to see the Penguins. Tom just had sinus surgery, so I took this solo trip as an experiment for the coming months. Besides a mishap with the automatic flushing toilet that scared the kids, we did pretty well.
Sting Ray Bay is the new exhibit that allows you to actually touch the Sting Rays. It was pretty crowded, so the kids didn't really care for the noise and were not at all interested in touching slimy creatures. Myself, on the other took advantage of touching my first Sting Ray. They were really amazing. The Zoo website said they were friendly and they were right. It was almost like the Rays were playing with you since they acted like they wanted to be touched. I thought it was really amazing while the kids just wanted to get away from the noise of the other kids. Oh well, I still got to touch one!
Sea Lions
Dolphin Show
It was snack time, so I took advantage of the situation and arrived at the show 20 minutes early to get good seats. We sat in the "splash zone" and had a great time!
Dolphins from underwater
The Living Coast
The mouth of a Parana
Our lapbook

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ask Mr. Bear

Our week with Ask Mr. Bear by Marjorie Flack was filled with love and snuggles. This wonderful book was a sweet story about a little boy looking for the perfect gift for his mother. He could not think of what to get his mother, so his animal friends helped with suggestions. Mr. Bear's suggestion of a bear hug was the best, and I would have to agree!

I received an even better gift from Stephen on Mother's Day. The kids went to church with Tom that morning since it was Pentecost and I had to perform at a different church. I dress up a little more when I'm working, so the kids knew that I wasn't going with them when I came downstairs in my suit. I promised them that I would be home before nap time. Rhea sweetly asked me to stay, while Stephen said "That's OK, you will still be in my heart". I honestly can't think of a better Mother's Day gift than those words!

The kids made wonderful Mother's Day crafts at church and we topped it off with a tea party and shortbread cookies after their nap. I admit, this was my favorite part of the week! We drank our tea from the play china that my mother saved from when I was a little girl, paired with their Great-Great Grandmother's china. Actually, I think it might even be Great-Great-Great Grandmother.

More Please
You're All My Favorites by Anita Jeran was given to us by Stephen's Godparents and came with three matching bears. The bears were such a big hit, that they made the trip to the zoo with us.

We went to the Zoo and Stephen took pictures of all the animals that helped the little boy. We found all of them except the sheep. They might have been there, but unfortunately, it was too cold to find out.
We had an unexpected ending to our Ask Mr. Bear week. Tom and I planned on going rock climbing at our indoor climbing facility, but they had closed the main fitness center down for maintenance leaving us with no child care. The climbing portion was still running since it is an outside company, but we decided not to take our chances trying to keep the kids off the wall (mainly Rhea since she is still 3 years too young to be on the wall). Our off-the-cuff plan B was to go to the forest preserve not too far away and take a hike through the woods. I wish I would have had the camera with me since we had such a great time. We also found the perfect spot for our first away from home camping trip when the time comes. Meanwhile, while we were driving into the forest preserve Rhea exclaims "FOREST" from the back seat followed by "Ask Mr. Bear?" Now, you have to realize that although I have a picture of her sitting in Tom's lap reading a book, she typically participates while twirling or rolling around the room. I asked Tom if she ever stopped to read this book with him, and he said that she was only ever within ear shot. Apparently, she was listening. We proceeded to find a grassy trail around the lake and managed to run, walk and laugh along the way. Our trip ended with throwing rocks into the lake and ultimately a distance competition between Tom and I. He won, but had to work at it ;-)
All of these go-along books were great.
In the Rain with Baby Ducks by Jill Barton
I'll Always Love You by Paeony Lewis
Tell Me One Thing, Dad by Tom Pow
I Love You, Dad by Iris Hiskey Arno
I Love You As Much... by Laura Krauss Melmed
Franklin Says I Love You by Paulette Bourgeois
Franklin's Birthday Party by Paulette Bourgeois