Monday, March 30, 2009
Master Plan Monday
We're in serious need of Spring decorations around here. All of a sudden it's in the upper seventies and we have nothing bright and sunny. This week we're going to focus on crafts for Spring, Passover and Easter and we'll take the learning opportunities as they come.
posted by Lori @ 8:45 PM   0 comments
Friday, March 27, 2009
Silly Goose

We love our Mac, and this is why
Mac does all the work when the kiddos sigh...
posted by Lori @ 11:25 AM   0 comments
Fruitful Friday

We planted quite a few seeds this week. In the egg carton are spinach seeds, which Monkey got to initially and helped us un-plant (FYI, half a teaspoon of potting soil is not poisonous says poison control). We also planted spinach seeds along the edge of a clear cup so that Goose could see the roots growing down into the soil as the sprouts come up. After I make breakfast for lunch, we'll be making eggshell heads and watching them grow hair. Which I'll post about later...

We've been planting so many seeds and plants this week that I decided to have Goose keep track of it in a calendar. Not only does she get to practice writing numbers (which isn't really the focus at school) she also is getting the days of the week reinforced as well as getting familiar with the calendar--even if this one advertises the wall to wall trampoline place nearby with pictures...

After we planted strawberries out in the yard we came inside and of course had some from the store. I decided to make them more interesting and we made them into letters. These are the letters we've been talking about this week:
posted by Lori @ 11:13 AM   0 comments
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Thoughtful Thursday
Science week hasn't felt like much of a difference. We're doing so many things we normally do--observing nature, volcano talk, etc. I feel like a one trick pony. I've been looking for new sources of wowee science projects.

We haven't had too much time at home to do projects, but tonight at a family dinner, we did this science experiment:

Take a wrapped straw and push the paper down so that it scrunches up as you expose the straw. remove the straw and place scrunched up wrapper on the table add a drop of liquid to one end and watch the wrapper straighten out.

We did that and shot paper wrappers to talk about pressure...well we talked about pressure for a second before it just became a hitting contest.

Don't worry, we clean up well and we're good tippers!
posted by Lori @ 8:02 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Wordful Wednesday

I think that from now on this meme is going to focus on Children's Books for the topics we're covering--I'm crazy like that...

So it's our usual trip to the library today and these are the books I'm going to pick out:

The Ben Franklin book of easy and incredible experiments

I need more science experiment ideas, so hopefully Goose and I can look through this Ben Franklin book and get some fun ideas. I have a feeling this book might make us delve into history, which isn't such a bad thing, as long as those "why?"s don't trip me up too much!

The Magic Schoolbus Blows its Top

We've got a few Magic Schoolbus books already, and I have to say that my Ms. Frizzle and Arnold voice cannot be topped. Hopefully this book satisfies Goose's thirst for Volcano facts, because I've recently discovered that I can recite some fact pages from her volcano book by heart that's how often we read it (go ahead ask me anything about a caldera!)

Every Autumn Comes the Bear

This looks like a great story for talking about seasons and plants changing with the seasons. It sounds like it follows the story of a bear looking to hibernate and learning from the forest animals on the way.

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush dePaola

After I made my dad a photo book a few weeks ago, Goose has been asking about Indians from some of our family pictures. This puts nature and plant growth together with family heritage--double dipping, woohoo!

For things Monkey's speed, which may require a chair and a length of rope as well, we're going with board books.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

It presents the concepts of nature and growth, plus, because of it's anniversary last week I scored it for like $5 at Barnes and Noble.

Our library sort of sucks for looking up board books online, so I'll let you know what else we get, and how the kids liked them!

How about you? Any books you recommend?

Update: Board books for Monkey consisted of animals and character books, most of which we have, so we got an Impressionist board book for talking about nature. Our local schools are gearing up for Open Houses coming in April and May so of course there's a crunch for cool projects going on--translation, due to last minute science experiments being forced on kids for classroom eye candy at the end of the school year, the Ben Franklin book was gone. Schoolbus was good, though a bit dumbed down for Goose and they actually had to include letters saying don't go into lava at the end of the book, which made me laugh.
posted by Lori @ 5:56 AM   1 comments
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Tear it Up Tuesday
Since Goose went with Daddy to play disc golf today and we had company and school, we didn't get to do anything wildly messy.

So while they're "tear"ing up the course (hey, that's the best tie in to this meme I've got!) I thought I'd share this bit of info.

Goose is going to be on tv! On Friday on Fox 40 News' morning show and again at 10 (Fox 40 is a local Sacramento station). They interviewed her about having fun at the mall. And while she came off charming and adorable, I was kicking myself for letting her get herself dressed--pants from two years ago that showed her heiny when her shirt was pulled up from going down slides, and I didn't fight her on combing her hair. Now everyone will know that I let Goose do pretty much whatever she wants!
posted by Lori @ 8:52 PM   0 comments
Monday, March 23, 2009
Master Plan Monday
Master Plan Monday
What subject matter are we covering?

After the success of last week’s color experiments, I think we’ll focus on science this week.
What do I want Goose to take out of it?
I’d like for her to better understand how plants grow, since she keeps asking about it. I also want her to have a bit of fun, so given her love for volcanoes and last week’s eruption, I think we’ll focus on volcanoes, too.
What crafts, projects, games, outings, stories, or shows will get me there?
We will harvest seeds, harvest them, collect plants for dinner, head for Effie Yeaw Nature Center, science journal, read her Eyewitness books, get new ones from the library, and of course make a volcano.
What supplies do I have?
Sand, baking soda, Kool Aid (volcano), empty jars and cups (planting seeds)
What supplies do I need?
Vinegar (volcano), Potting Soil (planting seeds), oh and I need to stock up on paint and glue--we're dangerously low!
posted by Lori @ 9:57 AM   1 comments
I forgot!
So, last Master Plan Monday, I mentioned that I would share the color bottle craft from when I was in kindergarten.

I had the coolest teacher, and she would make bottles with all of the secondary colors, but since we're having Pad Thai for dinner tonight, and I need to get more oil tomorrow, I only did green.

What you'll need

1 Empty Bottle
McCormick Food Coloring
Oil Based food coloring (we got ours at Michaels with the candy making supplies)

Fill the bottle halfway with water. Add five to seven drops of food coloring. In a separate container mix oil (we used a water bottle, so I knew that the amount of oil we'd need was half of 17 oz.) and oil based food coloring. Add your colored oil to the bottle. Twist cap on bottle tightly and seal with tape.

Because Oil and water don't mix, the colors will always separate, but when shaken they are transparent enough where your eye sees the color they make. It's a good way to always remind Goose what colors mix to make the secondary colors, but still be physical (and not messy!). A sad, teething, Monkey even liked it!
posted by Lori @ 9:36 AM   2 comments
House Sitting

My in laws have an amazing house. They went away for the weekend and asked us to house sit. With the temperature Friday being in the 80s and their house slightly cooler we jumped at the chance! It rained in the morning on Saturday, then in the afternoon we went twenty minutes up the road from their house and had a little fun with snow and colors.

It was actually Goose's idea, that morning she asked if we could play with food coloring, and I said we'd figure something out. Her favorite color in purple, so she loved making purple tracks with her shoes.
posted by Lori @ 9:24 AM   0 comments
Friday, March 20, 2009
Spring Reading Thing
I'm taking a bit of a break from talking about Goose and Monkey, although I am extremely happy to report that Monkey sat and read two whole stories with me in my lap yesterday! That's like finding something at a Hof Brau that I could actually eat!

I have a big list of books to read and some that I've started and never got around to. Calladipper Days is hosting a Spring Reading Thing, as you can see by the button. I can't wait! Hopefully this will keep me accountable!

So, without further adieu, here's my list:

1. Austen - Mansfield Park
2. Hosseini - The Kite Runner
3. Gregory - The Other Queen
4. Morrisson - Song of Solomon
5. Ginsberg - Howl

It's a pretty pithy amount, but I don't know if this counts, but I have not read a New Yorker since last November. I love them. I read them cover to cover, but I have about twenty that I need to get through, in additon to polishing off my new ones, my Rolling Stone, and various Parenting magazines (I get five a month). Time to get down to it!
posted by Lori @ 2:04 PM   4 comments
Fruitful Friday

Well, maybe it's technology's fault because everything is so instantaneous, or perhaps my impatience, but as I sit here sipping my coffee that takes me 1 minute and thirty seconds to make from cup out of the cupboard to first sip, I'm wishing the flowers would hurry up and get to their transpiration (that's what it's called, btw, when they circulate nutrients). Goose doesn't really care though, she happy to write her observations in her notebook.

Since the food coloring was still out and our house is lacking in any spring decor, we made easter eggs by dropping food coloring onto oval-cut coffee filters then slowly adding drops of water. Voila--Easter eggs! (And we're getting ready for some Passover crafts, too. There are some great ideas at Kaboose) I'll be sure to post some of those as well.
posted by Lori @ 9:17 AM   1 comments
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Thoughtful Thursday

We're doing some good color reviews. Goose is throwing out words like "secondary" and "tertiary" around at school--which I heard her repeat several times before the teacher understood, at which point Goose switched, "Do you know Gallimimus means chicken mimic?"

She has her scientific observation journal and is "writing" (squiggly lines focused from left to right with her name written a few times) observations she sees in our projects we're working on.

First up we have colorful carnations. We put 10 drops of McCormick food coloring in water and then added carnations. First we did the primary colors, then we got really crazy and mixed them for the secondary colors. I'd ask her, "what color do you think red and blue will make?" Of course she knew that one since it's her favorite color, but the rest was a learning process. Oh, and if you're going to do this. Make sure you have newspaper down and also, that you cut the stems prior to adding them to the solution. I'll post pics of what they turned out like tomorrow.

We also grabbed a bunch of different primary and secondary colors and took them with us for nature crayon rubbings. We did bark, rocks and plants, while getting Monkey and the puppy out of the house, which is always a plus...
posted by Lori @ 2:15 PM   2 comments
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tear it up Tuesday AND Wordless Wednesday
So I was bad...we had company, errands, helping out a friend, preschool and playdates. I didn't post anything here, but I'll make up for it tomorrow! So I hope everyone had a great St. Patty's Day, and since Wordful Wednesday is a bit time consuming and I'm still cleaning up from the past few days, here's Wordless Wednesday...

Not totally wordless. I just want to say that the dog can't fit in there anymore but both kids can!
posted by Lori @ 10:59 PM   0 comments
Monday, March 16, 2009
Carnivals or Parades?

Over the weekend we took the kids to a St. Patrick's Day Carnival. They had so much fun (even though the prices were outrageous and they didn't get to do much. I'm also certain that a parade would have been more informative or at least more cultural, but Goose's face on the "O'Mally-Gator" was priceless!)

Any fun stuff in your area?
posted by Lori @ 1:12 AM   0 comments
Master Plan Monday

This week is a little bit different than last week because we'll be continuing our Ireland fun through Tuesday (obviously!)

What subject matter are we covering?
Colors. Stuff bright and cheery to go with our blooming flowers! I think that it will especially be good for Monkey, but Goose will like the water bottle color mix craft I have in store. And we can work on it Wednesday through Sunday.
What do I want Goose (and Monkey) to take out of it?
I want Goose to get a concept of secondary colors and how they're made, as well as working on our Spanish and German colors. I would love to increase Monkey's vocabulary by having very tactile things for him to see, chew, smell, or touch.
What crafts, projects, games, outings, stories, or shows will get me there?
For Goose, PreSchoolMama has some pretty cool ideas AND I tracked down my kindergarten teacher and found out how she did the aforementioned color mix in a bottle...
What supplies do I have?
I will need our basic papers, paints and dyes. For Monkey I will scour the house for things that are safe, but aren't things that he usually gets to play with. I'm going to focus on one color a day with him, just so he really gets a firm concept.
What supplies do I need?
I need to go to the store and get colorful food. Red, orange and green bell peppers, strawberries, bananas, etc. that I know they eat, but we can make edible collages or arrangements with them to make the colors and mealtime a bit more interesting!
posted by Lori @ 12:45 AM   0 comments
One Last One
I just found A Kindred Spirit's Thoughts, who is also featuring See Kai Run shoes, and those would be awesome for Monkey in the summer.
posted by Lori @ 12:39 AM   0 comments
Sunday, March 15, 2009
More Giveaways
Simple has some amazing giveaways going on right now, the big one being a Bumbleride stroller (this would be so fantastic for getting in shape with Goose and Monkey!)

Simple also has a giveaway going on for the Leapfrog Tag Reader.

Thinking Some More has the Tag giveaway going on, too! Woohoo!

So does So Much More Than a Mom (can you tell we really want one of these in our house?)

And of course, Goddess in Progress has the giveaway, too

Actually, because of Leapfrogs pledge drive for reading Parenting by Trial and Error, Miss Britt, Callapidder Days, Stop Drop and Blog and My Sweet Babboo, they all had the chance to try them out...and loved them. I hope that we can pull this out, because Goose sees me reading and gets super frustrated because she really wants to do it on her own!
posted by Lori @ 11:04 PM   2 comments
Giveaway Sunday
I'm using our weekend to post some of the super cool giveaways I've seen. First up:

Then Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls has a kids' swimwear giveaway going on. Goose or Monkey would be so adorable in this Tuga stuff!

The Funky Monkey has a giveaway for baby sandals here.

Mamas Money Savers has a giveaway going on for a pair of See Kai Run shoes

Feisty, Frugal and Fabulous is giving away a T-shirt Monster design.
posted by Lori @ 9:31 PM   0 comments
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I NEED to share
So for anyone doing a bit of Irish culture along with your St. Pat's Day crafts, Goose went nuts for these!



I haven't figured out how to put it in this post, but we're learning new things every day!
posted by Lori @ 10:40 AM   0 comments
Fruitful Friday Continued...

So yesterday we made our pot of gold using the extra green yarn and balloon I had. It was pretty simple.

We combined white glue with some water and mixed well. Then we suspended a balloon and took yarn that Goose cut in 6-12 inch increments, doused them with the glue wash and draped them over the balloon. We did it outside so it could drip and not cause problems.

While Goose and I worked on this, I gave Monkey a green kit to explore so he played with it a bit, putting green items in the box and taking them out.

After it was dry I hit it with a coat of spray shellac and then after that was dry Goose popped it.

Voila--our pot of gold!


This was from a few days ago, but we had gone on a scavenger walk and picked things that were green and put it in our special green bag. We then came home and glued the green things onto green paper. After it was dry we cut out shamrocks and hung them up. Pretty cute!

posted by Lori @ 10:19 AM   1 comments
Friday, March 13, 2009
Fruitful Friday
Here's the fruits of our labor.

I think it's obvious what Goose's favorite part was...

First project was our shamrock dirt cups. I love doing cooking crafts with Goose because we can use math for our measurements, science to talk about boiling/freezing points, and household economics when we're out shopping (yep, she's a coupon cutie, too)!
posted by Lori @ 11:09 AM   1 comments
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Thoughtful Thursday
Ok, I've been reviewing some of the subjects I wanted to go over when I made my master plan, and evaluating how well we've covered them based on Goose's grasp.

Goose can point to it on her globe, or the mega globe at the library. She now loves to look at the book we have with maps and pictures of Ireland in it because it mentions the Giant's Causeway, which is made of basalt (a volcanic rock, and she loves her volcanoes). She liked trying Riverdance moves after we watched some dancing on YouTube, and she can choose the correct colors and draw the Irish flag (abstract, because what kid wants to color in the lines?) We've been talking a bit about people settling there and used a plastic bin as a boat and a rug as Ireland and different tribes of stuffed animals came to settle and conquer.

We still haven't made our blarney stone soup, and while we have yet to start the subject of leprechauns, we have been doing historical folklore from some of the fairy tales we've been reading. Some of the stories were a bit upsetting to her, due to death, and even though I'm not a fan of censoring her, I am reading the book tonight to determine which stories don't have it so that she won't be crying while I read.

The book is Tales from Old Ireland retold by Malachy Doyle from Barefoot Books, and it's one that Goose chose on her own. It is pretty handy by having a pronunciation guide in the front, and the illustrations are cute, I just wish that she wasn't so sensitive to subject matter. In one story the King dies next to his children (who are helpless swans) and Goose began crying saying, with her quivering lips drawn into a perfect frown the way only kids can, "it's really sad that their Dad is DEAAAAAAAAADD..." and while I convinced her to keep with the story because something good ha to happen to the children, I don't know that it was the best ending for her that the kids were transformed back from swans after 900 years and died of old age and were reunited with their parents in the afterlife.

Not very Disney-ish...
posted by Lori @ 2:11 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Wordy Wednesday

On Wordy Wednesday we celebrate WORDS! We have our weekly trip to the library and we spell out words with our meals and snacks.

In an effort to up the word intake around here, I labeled various things and stuck them to the headrests in the car. While Monkey's sheet has his name and shapes, Goose has Irish themes, with the words "flag", "shamrock", "Ireland" and the phrase "Erin go braugh".

(Goose's favorite game currently goes like this:

Goose: What's Erin go braugh?
Mommy: It means Ireland forever.
Goose: Why?
Mommy: Because that's the way it's said in the Gaelic language.
Goose: What's the Gaelic language?
Mommy: It's the language that was traditionally spoke in Ireland.
Goose: Why?

And eventually, we've gone back, explaining the dawn of time. At which point she may be so overloaded with information that she is stunned to silence, or figuring out when it will drive me the most insane to speak again. When she does it is always,

Goose: What's Erin Go Braugh?

And Mommy turns up the stereo...)
posted by Lori @ 12:01 AM   0 comments
Monday, March 9, 2009
Tear it Up Tuesday
On Tear it up Tuesday, we do just that--we tear up the house! We get pretty messy, either with the orderliness of the house or with our crafts.

For our introduction to Ireland we are having a oatmeal breakfast in a castle in the morning.

In the afternoon, we'll go for a walk and pick up things that are green and go home to make a collage (I'm thinking then we'll be off for a bath with glue in the hair...)
posted by Lori @ 10:23 PM   0 comments
Biggy Ziggy Begins

So to kick me in to gear with helping the kids get ready for school, but really to help them have a sense of the world, I'm starting to blog a lesson plan for a week an I'll post the plan, how it goes, and what comes out of it. I hope that blogging it will keep me on track, and I know it will make for a great chronology of work!

Ding Ding! School's in session!
posted by Lori @ 2:48 AM   0 comments
Master Plan Monday

Today is a bit of prep. I’m figuring out these things:
What subject matter are we covering?
What do I want Goose (and Monkey) to take out of it?
What crafts, projects, games, outings, stories, or shows will get me there?
What supplies do I have?
What supplies do I need?

Ok, so since this is the first time I’ve posted this and had so much accountability for our lesson plans, here goes step by step:
What subject matter are we covering?
Ireland, the Emerald Isle, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day

What do I want Goose (and Monkey) to take out of it?
I’d like her to have a good understanding of where Ireland is in the world; some phrases; some history (potatoes, famine and fighting, especially in light of Saturday's attacks). I'd like for him to experience things tactile-wise, appreciate the music and be happy...

In addition we will focus on fine motor skills (scissor cutting, drawing shapes), gross motor (jumping, catching, walking), expand our music repertoire and understand Riverdance...

What crafts, projects, games, outings, stories, or shows will get me there?

We'll be using the globe for location. Everytime she gets the question right she'll get a Blarney stone. We'll use the stones she gets for a St. Patrick's Day centerpiece for the table. We will read the newspaper for stories about the attacks and go to the library on Wednesday to check out:

Leprechaun Luck: A Wee Book of Irish Wisdom
Look What came from Ireland
Fair, Brown & Trembling: An Irish Cinderella Story

We'll definitely be hitting up YouTube for some Riverdance video. I saw a great idea for a Shamrock Shuffle, where jig music is played and shamrocks are on the ground that are taken away when the music stops. For art, we can make shamrocks with green paint and balloons; we will work on Monkey's wall art with green tissue paper decopage; and we can make On our daily walks we can collect shamrocks and more blarney stones for blarney stone soup. I'll wrap all our bubble in green electrical tape so they're Irish (bubbles are Monkey's favorite--they help with tracking and will get him ready for catching). I'll print off some handouts with "Erin Go Braugh" and reviews of the letter "I" for Goose when she's bored. (While I'm not a huge fan of handouts, this is one of the ways she'll be evaluated in school moving forward, so we do a little bit)

What supplies do I have/need?
I have everything we need thusfar, except some extra green paint and green paper, but I will need a lot of blankets for Tear it up Tuesday...
posted by Lori @ 1:53 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Wordless Wednesday: One Monkey

posted by Lori @ 3:04 PM   1 comments
About Me

Name: Lori
Home: Sacramento-ish, California, United States
About Me: I want to make things better.
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