Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chasing Picture Perfection: Worms-Eye View

It's time for another photo lesson/contest from Chasing Picture Perfection.

Our assignment was to take a picture from a worm's-eye view. Meaning get low and shoot up. This would have been easier if we hadn't had so many rainy days lately. Wet ground does not make getting low much fun. LOL

But here are my efforts from our muddy trip to the corn maze. It was no easy task. Not only was the ground muddy, my toddler is apparently deathly afraid of corn mazes. It was all I could to get her off me to take any photos. LOL

This last one is of the Tokyo Tower. I didn't even have to lay on the ground. Just walk underneath it. Did you know the Tokyo Tower is actually 15 feet taller then the Eiffel Tower? Now you do! LOL

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tot School

Kayleigh is currently 20 months
Tot School

Tot School this week was pretty much, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants. (What does that mean anyway? LOL) At anyrate, I really did no planning.

Kayleigh's favorite thing to do this week was read books. She generally likes them but this week she couldn't get enough.

One of her favorites this week was sissy's science book, The Usbourne Book of Everything. She liked the pages about monkeys. I'm going to have to submit this one to the Sonlight catalog.

This book on signing from the library was also a favorite. There were even some signs she didn't know yet.

Our only fall theme related project was reciting "5 little pumpkins" and then putting pumpkin stickers on a printed gate. She did a surprisingly good job of getting the stickers where I pointed. She colored for about 60 seconds too. However her main attraction was balancing her crayons on their ends and lining them up. That wasn't surprising because she rarely wants do an activity they way I have imagined it. LOL Her ideas are always better. Or so she tells me.

Another day, I thought that she would LOVE throwing bean bags into a halloween bowl. She does enjoy throwing things any other time.

First of all, she was not standing at all. She insisted on sitting. Right next to the bowl. She spent about 10 seconds dropping a few in.

So Big sis took time from her own school work to demonstrate how fun it is to throw bean bags into a bowl. Kayleigh then demonstrated how she only enjoys throwing things if it's against the "rules." LOL That was the end of bowls and bean bags.

She then moved on too...correcting sissy's work.

Kayleigh thought that Mackenzie did a good job.

Thursday was a busy day for field trips. We were going to a corn maze in the morning and then to see the Declaration of Independence that was visiting our library.

I thought she would LOVE the maze. For starters, I wasn't going to keep her in the stroller or the the sling. I was going to give her some limited freedom. I thought she'd happily race through the maze because she was so thrilled to be on her feet. I figured she'd be bored out of her mind while we went to the library.

As usual, I know nothing. LOL

I knew that Kayleigh did not like corn as a food source. But what she really HATES is dead corn standing in rows. I mean loathes it. Finds it terrifyingly "ske-ee."

I knew we were in trouble the minute we stepped in. Firstly because it was muddy. Secondly, because Kayleigh was not happy walking with the "big kids." She'd normally scream and fuss to make her way to the big kids.

Here she is walking and crying with sissy.

That my dear readers, is as good as it got. By the time my friends and I realized it was going to get UGLY, it was too late. We were lost in the mess of mud and dead corn. It was the longest hour of our lives.

First the crying turned to screaming. But at least she was still walking. Cuz none of us wanted to pick up the muddy baby.

Of course, the walking didn't last much longer. So I picked up the baby with muddy shoes. So now the screaming was in my hear and the mud was all over my clothes. Awesome!

Thankfully, I have some great friends who took turns lugging the 27 pound baby. Otherwise the poor dear would've had to walk some more because I can only hold her for so long.

And just to be sure that you know just how much Kayleigh hates dead corn...

She does like treats baked with pumpkin, however. We decided to reward ourselves for making it out of there.

She also enjoyed ignoring the Declaration of Independence from her stroller.

And she had a blast in the children's section. She loves to run wild in the library. She can get really out of hand there. I haven't even tried to check out a book for myself since she's been born.

Ironically, this day was the best she's ever behaved at the library. It probably helped that she had my friends' sons doting on her. LOL

A big treat for Kayleigh was playing on the computer while we were there. It's the first time I've let her on it. She sat there for a good 15 minutes, proud as a peacock.

Be sure to check out the other tots at 1+1+1=1 and Learning with Love.

Weekly Wrap-Up: Declaration of Independence Edition

It's time for our weekly wrap-up hosted by Kris over at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. And look, I'm late getting it up again. LOL

It was a good week but a busy one. We didn't accomplish all that I'd hope because Thursday got even busier then originally planned. I'll tell you more about that later.

Here's what we've been working on...


Our lesson for the week was John baptizing Jesus and a bit on how John's life played out. Not all that pleasant for him in the end but his eternal rewards were great.


Mackenzie worked on multiplying by nines this week. Again, Mr. Demme had fabulous tricks for it. She got them down in a snap. I love, love, love Math-U-See. And for the record, I'm faster with my nines too. LOL


For the life of me I can't remember exactly we covered. How sad is that? LOL I could get up and look for you but I'm in a bit of a hurry. I should mention that we're behind in it. Whatever we're doing, I hope to get caught up tomorrow.

Language Arts:

Mackenzie did a lot of diagramming this week. She likes it. She probably wouldn't if FLL didn't set it up so nicely and take out any unnecessary writing. Nothing can get Kenzie grumbling more than "too much writing." Of course, the botttom of her paper was covered so she couldn't see the answers. LOL

Social Studies:

This our favorite subject, as always. We're still studying the beginnings of England's colonization of America. We made through the first and, reportedly, most difficult chapter of Landmark with no problems. And we're done with Chapter 2 as well. We like it and we're not even to the "good parts" yet. LOL

Mackenzie read The Courage of Sarah Noble and The Bears on Hemlock Mountain this week. She loved them, especially because both of the main characters were her age.

I started reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond to her. I'm excited because I loved this book when I was young.

She was also excited to connect things from these books to her more "formal" history readings and her history pockets.

Our History Pocket topic was "Building a Village" this week. There was some good stuff in there this week. I was going to take pictures for you. But I haven't. Yet! Part of the problem is we've still got one activity to do. This one requires extra supplies that we don't have and are going to require more legwork to find then I'm willing to give right now. So I'm going to adapt it so I can use things like, you know, pipe cleaners. LOL We'll be doing it this weekend.

The other reason I haven't taken history pocket pictures is because of Thursday. Yep, another teaser. =o)


I'm sad to say that, for the second week in a row, Spanish got tossed under the bus. We've been making it to soccer though. I don't want to talk about art, which has been under the bus since last year.


Okay, I'm ready for Thursday. We had a planned activity to go to a corn maze in the morning. A lovely fall activity that wouldn't take much time. Just a leisurely walk through the corn, some fun photo ops, some pumpkin treats afterward. Then back to the grind with school work.

I'm not going to give you all the details about the corn maze, except to say that it wasn't what I'd envisioned AT ALL. It was muddy, grrrr, and then there was Kayleigh. Apparently she doesn't like dead corn. AT ALL. I'm posting some pics in this post but the rest, which best show how the trip really was, will be in Kayleigh's post.

This last one's my favorite. I did a little halloweeny editing and stuck something fun in the background. Then I posted it on my Facebook page. It became my favorite when my mom called me and asked me to look closely at picture #9 cuz there was something I should see. I about peed my pants from laughing. Yes, I told her that I put it there after I was done laughing.

So we escaped the maze with our sanity in tact, but just barely. We went in the bakery and got the kids some pumpkiny treats and fed them their lunches that we packed. And yes we gave them the treats first. LOL

My friend then mentioned a great opportunity over at the library. One of the original 200 printed copies of the Declaration of Independence was going to be there this afternoon. Way cool! We were in.

We had time to kill so we took the kids to Chick Filet so they could play while we grown-ups ate. Then we headed to the library to get in line. We were sure there was going to be a huge line. Who wouldn't want to go see?

No line, no wait, barely anybody there. I was happy for us because that allowed for ample time to take whatever pictures, sans flash, that we wanted. I was a bit disheartened because I was shocked that so few people were interested in seeing it.

Obviously, this isn't the signed copy. This was one a Dunlap Broadside printed copy. There were 200 copies printed hours after Jefferson finished the final draft. There are only 25 left in existance. This particular one was discovered in 1989, in the back of a picture frame purchased a flea market in for $4. I wish I could get a deal like that at a flea market. LOL

The Dunlap Broadside copies actually pre-date the parchment/calligraphy copy that we think of when we picture the Declaration of Independence. That one wasn't finished until around August 1776 and then signed over a course of a few months. One day we'll had up to the National Archives to see that one.

It was a really neat experience.

Then we the kids asked to go into the library so we hung out there for a couple of hours, hence no work done. But lots of pictures. LOL

And if that weren't enough, we only had an hour at home before we had to head out to soccer practice. I'm exhausted!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Weekly Wrap-Up: Photoless Edition

It's time for another Weekly Wrap-Up hosted by Kris over at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

I'm a bad momma, I didn't take any school pictures this week. So you'll have to make do with my rambling only. LOL


Our topic this week was Jesus at the temple. I, as a mommy, always enjoy this reading as it stresses obedience to one's parents. =o)


This week, in preparation for multiplying but nines, we worked on skip counting by nines. Once again, Mr. Demme and Math-U-See amaze me with their tricks and tips. I'm forever learning something I never knew or noticed. Have you ever noticed the pattern that you get when skip counting by nines?


How neat is that?

Social Studies

We are continuing on with the Pilgrims and the New World this week. We learned about that first winter, the Mayflower Compact and lots of other interesting stuff. I think Mackenzie's favorite new fact was that the first Thanksgiving was actually 3 days long. We also had some fun hands-on stuff with our Life in Plymouth Colony History Pocket.

We finished reading Squanto: A Friend to the Pilgrims and The Sign of the Beaver. We just bawled through the last 2 chapters of "beaver." Mackenzie is already rereading it on her own.

We also started our first chapter in The Landmark History of the American People. Sonlight is very upfront about the "issues" with this book. First and foremost, it starts off rather dry as it's more text bookish. Sonlight freely admits that the first 10 chapters are can be rather difficult, with the first chapter being the worst. Secondly, the author tends to write in a more "mature fashion" then other books used by Sonlight. So it's going to take some getting used to.

A lot of people have given up on the book but we are not giving up. At least until we get past the chapters that are "labeled" as difficult. I've seen countless raves about this book for the remainder of the book. Even in the Sonlight IG, they put in a blurb about "if you've previously set this book aside please consider starting reading it from here on out. It's going to get really good!" Or something like that. LOL Sonlight has never let me down yet.

So we will plow through those first few "boring" chapters, armed with our beloved IG notes. and hope for the best. The one section we've read so far, wasn't too bad so I'm not really worried.


We talked more about our body, specifically the skeletal system.

We also went back to The Virginia Living Museum to see their exhibit about megalodons. We're weren't too impressed with it though. Usually their special exhibits are fabulous so it was a bit of a disappointment. We salvaged the day by getting a Zoo Book magazine about sharks from the gift shop and reading up on those while we watched them swim around the tank.

Language Arts

We studied verbs again this week, focusing on helping verbs. First Language Lessons makes grammar so painless. We love it!

This week our Writing With Ease lesson used portions of the book Nurse Matilda. While we were reading it, Mackenzie commented on how it reminded her of the movie, Nanny McPhee. She was very surprised to learn that the movie was based on that book so she had to go to the library to check it out. She's already declared the book better than the movie and she's only a few chapters into it. They always are my dear child. LOL

I hope that everyone is having a great week!

Tot School

Tot School

Kayleigh is currently 20 months

This week our big "lesson" was trying to keep Kayleigh quiet while we did our Bible lesson with Big Sis.

The first thing I tried, post-it notes and a fancy pen, worked pretty well. At least until Big Sis took the pen. She remained upset even after the pen was given back.

We also got out the playdough this week. This worked great. And not only was the play dough fun, so was the container. Kayleigh was totally engrossed. Unfortunately so was Mackenzie so it distracted her from her lesson. LOL It's always something.

I finally got into gear and got a tub to use as a sensory tub. I decided to use some fake fall leaves in the tub for our first go as fall is our theme for the month. I had such visions of her digging around in the leaves trying to find the animals I had put in there. Mackenzie was excited too and wanted to demonstrate how to use the tub. So I let her. BIG MISTAKE!

What does that child of mine do? She opens the tub grabs a handful of leaves and starts throwing them up. This is the 8 year old I'm talking about. So what does Kayleigh do? The same. Because she always mimics big sis. What does she do everytime we get out the tub? Throws the leaves all over the house. Who's the most sorry that this "skill" was taught? Not me...that would be Mackenzie, who was given the job of cleaning the leaves everytime we use the tub. Now I'm really afraid to put rice or noodles in there. LOL

I did get her interested in finding the animals once...for about 60 seconds.

Along with the sensory box, we did two other activities with our theme.
First we read Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins and Kayleigh stamped orange triangles on a pumpkin printout.

We also read Ten Apples Up on Top and made the apple counting book that I found here.

Our book only included zero through ten, as Kayleigh can only count to 3. And only if you say the one. She apparently has something against one and refuses to say it. LOL

She was supposed to attach the felt apple stickers that I found in the Target dollar section. However this project was not without difficulty. First, she had trouble getting the stickers off her fingers and onto the paper. Secondly, once she got the stickers on the paper, she wanted to take them back off and try again. Nevermind that I had more stickers for her.

Kayleigh also added in her own, impromptu, project. For ease of viewing I have highlighted the artwork in the second picture. LOL

Be sure to check out the other tot's handiwork over at 1+1+1=1.


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