Monday, October 29, 2012

Our Halloween Party

A couple of weeks ago my oldest daughter came up to me and said "Mommy, can we go back to preschool?"  My heart sank just about as low as it could go.  I then asked her why she thought she wanted to do that.  Her response was so she could have a Halloween party and get candy.  I asked if that was the only reason and she said "yep."  Whew, what a relief!  I then suggested we have our own Halloween party, she got all excited and went about her day. 

I'm sure you're thinking what I was thinking.  I better have 1 heck of a Halloween party for the kids.  Well, today was the day and I'm feeling pretty good about it!  

I decided to put all school work aside for the day and just have fun!  We started the day with a craft.  I got the idea from Family Fun Magazine October issue page 13. 

Granted, ours didn't turn out quite like the picture (they never do!) but the kids had fun.  We got to glue, tape, cut and color all in one project. 

Next we moved on to making ghost cookies.  Now, this was fun!  Simplest recipe.  We melted some white chocolate and spread it on Nutter Butter cookies, then topped them off with mini chocolate chips for the eyes.  I don't know about you, but my kids love to spread things.  Anytime they can "help" in the kitchen, they are all for it.  Making PB J's, butter on toast, peanut butter on crackers.  Whatever it is, if they can spread, they are happy!  I would like to say that I don't think Max actually finished making a whole cookie, but I do think his tummy is full of sugar =)


Once we finished the cookies, we decided it would be a good idea to share with some of our neighbor friends, so we wrapped them up to deliver them.

To keep the day rolling, I decided we should make mini pizza's for lunch.  Again, spreading the sauce was a hit.  Remember, this day is all about the kids having a good time.  Did I mention this was the worst day possible for our dogs to be at the groomers?!?  There was a lot of extra clean up involved on my part!


So after lunch, the kids got their goody bags.  Inside they had spider webs, Halloween stickers, pumpkin bubbles, expanding capsules, slap bracelets (these were new for them, so they were occupied for quite some time) and of course, candy!!  I couldn't believe I said yes when they asked to eat it, but hey, what's a Halloween party without candy?



Whew!  Nap time!  Yes, it is only 12:30.  The 3 big kids went to rest while I played with Ella a bit longer.  Got her down and got a quick shower in and it was 2 o'clock and the girls were up.  Time for another craft before Max wakes up.  Another owl it is.  Super easy and something they could do without much help, or clean up.

When Max woke up, we were able to soak our capsules and they turned into a ghost, a pumpkin, a bat and an owl. 

To end the afternoon on a high note, we got to go outside and blow bubbles, then play in the backyard for a while.  Plus, we got a video in there while I was making dinner. 

Once Daddy came home and we ate, we went right to work and started delivering cookies to our neighbors.  I just want to say what a wonderful experience this was for our entire family.  At first the kids were a little timid to walk up to strange houses, but by the end they were fighting to see who got to ring the doorbell.  We saw lots of friendly faces and even met a few new ones.  It was a great joy to see the smiles on every ones faces.

All in all, a successful day.  Did I mention I am EXHAUSTED?!?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

1 down, 3 to go!

Today was a big day for me.  Today, we finished our first quarter of school!  For those of you who don't know, a school year in the state of Kansas is considered 180 days or by my curriculum 36 weeks.  Today, we finished week 9 and I cannot express the joy it has brought.  I probably would not have noticed, however, some of the books we have been using, we finished today.  My first reaction was a little sad.  We are done with these books already??  Then I got totally pumped because I realized we are a quarter of the way through the year and I am still feeling energized and have no complaints on the homeschooling front. 

Laney finished her first book cover to cover and she has been telling everyone that has come through the door.  She is so excited to move onto her next book.  I have kept it put up in hopes to still have the same enthusiasm come Monday morning.

I truly can't believe how fast the time has gone.  In my mind, the best part is that it doesn't even seem like we have been doing official school.  To me, we have basically just been living life, having fun, and doing a little learning along the way.

Wish me luck for the next 3!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Little did I know!

For those of you who know me well, know that I like to be in control.  I am sure some of you think that is an understatement when it comes to my kids.  It is actually something I have been working on for a while now, but I am not sure how much progress I am making.  I guess I will have to ask my husband to chime in on that one.  A very general example would be when my husband is making a snack and I would say something like "maybe (he hates when I phrase things like this by the way) they would like such and such to eat."  I am sure whatever he was going to give them would be just fine, it's just not what I would have done and that's what I am trying to work on. 

Back to the point.  When I first started teaching the girls I thought for sure I had their learning styles down to a tee.  Addison really likes structure and would rather sit down and do her work at the same time every day.  She likes to know what's coming.  Laney on the other hand would rather jump around while doing flashcards than sit at a desk.  Little did I know!

So, me and my controlling ways thought I knew what I was doing.  Then one day, everything I thought I knew, changed.  I asked Addison a couple of times to work on writing her letters and she wasn't really into it.  I randomly handed her her paper and asked her to go sit down and write her letters.  Then and there she dropped to the floor and started writing.  I know it isn't the best way to learn to write, but she sure did her best and loved every second of it with no complaints.

At this point I knew I needed to let her lead the way.  While doing math flash cards, she likes to lay on the coffee table and just listen to what I am asking, and yes, that is her counting her fingers.  I was certain she liked to look at the numbers and digest the information that way, little did I know!

As far as her reading, she will read anywhere and everywhere.  So, it wasn't a big surprise to me she was standing up reading a couple of days ago.  We went to the bookstore today and she even tried to read while walking through the mall, but I had to put a stop to that one =)

As for Laney, she is still my ball of energy.  I thought for sure she would be the one who didn't sit still for school, little did I know!  When she is reading, she loves to sit nice and close on the couch and cuddle up while she reads.  Very structured.  She sits down, reads her story, answers comprehension questions and moves on with her day.

I am also amazed at how long Laney will sit still while doing crafts, coloring, play dough, anything like that.  She will sit up at the counter all day if I let her.  Look at her focus while doing a collage.

And just because I don't get to talk about Max very much, I am going to predict that he will like having his own space.  I am sure there will be a future blog in about a year letting you know how wrong I am, but I thought I would go ahead and give it a shot.