Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Preschool - Letters M and N!

We're back!!!  We have been having school, but I haven't had a chance to post much about what we've been up to!  I usually put up pictures of our activities on Facebook, but I do like to take time to write out and remember what we've done. :) 

Well, January started out for us with a trip to Iowa to see our families.  We really enjoyed it, and of course the kids learn a lot, even if we're not doing formal 'school'.  The kids read books when they got bored on the 14 hour drive!

Natalie learned to drink from a big girl cup, and now she does it at home, too!

Zachary tried bumper bowling at the Incredible Pizza Company!

And then we came home and buckled down, learning about the letter M!

Here's Zachary counting his gumballs for the day...

And here's our new Melissa & Doug magnetic calendar!!!  A present from my sister, which we love!!

This was our last week of our Bible curriculum about the Ten Commandments, based on the CD featured on this website.  I think this CD is SO educational, and I really hope that Sovereign Grace decides to make it available for purchase.  Especially this last song was a wonderful teaching tool about how Jesus fulfilled the law because we aren't able to keep it perfectly.  Our verse was Titus 3:5, and Z did a great job learning it.

We made a Map M for our craft - we used an aerial map of the camp where my husband works, and where we live.  We spent a few minutes looking at the map, discussing how to use a map, and what everything was.  Then Z cut out his own M (this is his first time cutting out his own craft - can you tell I can be a little overbearing and perfectionist with crafts on occasion?)  He did a GREAT job!!!

I cut out Nat's Map M, but she wanted to practice cutting, too, so she cut some fringes around the edges. :)

Our finished Map M!

Natalie has decided that when Z does his worksheets (which I put in a plastic page protector & have him use a wipe-off marker so we can reuse them later), she must also do a worksheet.  So here she is, writing. :)

And here's Z showing off his finished M handwriting page - his tracing has improved SO much since we started in September!!

We made an M with our Alphabet Builders!

I've been trying to fit in more activities geared specifically to Natalie since she turned 2 in December, and she's very interested in doing school now! :)  So we played with pom-poms & Parmesan cheese containers one day, and had a lot of fun. :)

Zachary used his bottle caps to spell his own name!

And then he put pom-poms on each one. :)  

Since our focus was maps & geography, we played GeoBingo one day, and we also did our giant floor puzzle of the United States!

Do your kids get any magazines they love?  We got Big Backyard last year, and Animal Baby, and we also get High Five - all of which the kids love!  Anyhow, the High Five magazine (a Highlights for preschoolers), has a little recipe in it each month.  This month was pocket pizza turnovers - so one night when Daddy was at a meeting, the kids & I used the recipe to make dinner!  Z read the recipe, step by step, very seriously, and was concerned that we only had Ragu instead of pizza sauce! It was so cute how specific he was with it. :)

They look weird because of the kids over-handling the dough, but they tasted fine. :)

Zachary is doing an uppercase/lowercase M sort, which Natalie also attempted but didn't yet understand. :)  She is getting pretty good with her colors & some shapes, but not letters and numbers yet. :)  

We dot painted with our new dot markers

And Davey watched!  His nap schedule has not been great since he's been sick & also transitioning from his swing to his bed for naps, so occasionally we don't get done with school before he wakes up from his nap. :) 

Another new thing I added this semester is a twice weekly 'gym class' with the kids.  Zachary LOVES it, and asks everyday if we can have gym!  Sometimes we run around, or talk about throwing overhand & underhand, or whatever.  This day we were playing 'target ball'. :)  I also added a once-weekly music class - sometimes it's so easy to forget to just sing together! So I pick out a few songs & we take time to make sure we're singing together - it's really fun. :)  

Natalie loves to use starfall.com but can't use the mouse yet, so I had Z play with her & ask her what she wanted to do next - he did a great job and it was so cute! :)

Then we studied the letter N!

We started our new Bible curriculum, based on the CD To Be Like Jesus from Sovereign Grace Music.  This is an amazing CD all about the fruit of the Spirit, and how each fruit helps us to be more like Jesus.  I think it is really educational, even eye-opening for me to see how each fruit of the spirit really ties in to our every day life.  I am really looking forward to studying this with the kids this semester!  Our verse was Galatians 5:22-23, about the fruit of the Spirit, and Z did a great job even memorizing the order of the fruits, which I sometimes still have trouble with! :)  

We did Nest Graphing - Z did his graphs in the boxes...

And Nat didn't get that part, but she did do some 1:1 counting, putting one Cheerio on each egg!  By the way, she counts to three now, and it is sooooo cute. :)  But every time I try to count farther than 3 with her, she holds her little hand out and order me to "Dop!" (which means stop). :)

We made Nest N's for our craft!  I thought this was so cute! :)  (idea here)

We did some lacing with our new Melissa & Doug lacing cards!  Nat is soooo serious! :)

Z is pretty serious about his lacing, too!  This is the best attempt he's ever made at lacing!

We did a 'free paint' one day - they used brushes, sponges & stamps, and about four pieces of paper each, it was a great time. :)

We started a new activity this week - a cut and paste page (idea here) - mostly for Natalie, but I knew Z would want to do it, too, and it's great cutting practice for him!  I cut Natalie's pieces mostly apart, just leaving a little piece together between each item that begins with N so she could make one cut and feel like she was cutting them apart herself. :)

A new activity that I am loving with our Bible curriculum is our verse puzzle!  This is SO easy, and it really helps teach the verse!  All you have to do is print out an extra copy of your verse printable, and cut it apart!  Z likes puzzles, so he really enjoyed this. :)  Instead of choosing a Bible story for each week this semester, I chose a Bible passage to read together out of Z's new Bible, and we talk about what it means with the fruit of the Spirit we're discussing.  This week's passage was Galatians 5:16-26 - the works of the flesh vs. the works of the Spirit.  We had a good discussion about who we please with our actions! :)

We dot painted!  I think Z is singing? :)

We used our new BIG Picture Hunt book - so fun!  Each page has little cartoons on it & all kinds of stuff to find, we had a lot of fun with this. :)

We made edible nests with chow mein noodles and chocolate bark - they were messy but delicious! :)  (idea here)

We had some Play-Doh time with a new PlayDoh set we got for Christmas! It is a pizza oven where you make the crust, you can mold all kinds of toppings..

and then there's a cheese grater that you even grate the cheese with - so fun! :)

We also made tortilla pizza together one night - this is such an easy dinner for the kids - you just use a tortilla instead of pizza crust & cook it till it's crispy & all the cheese is melted & browned! :)

And Davey's big accomplishment this month?  He can now roll both ways!  Though he doesn't like to be on the floor too much, so he doesn't practice it much, but I have found him sleeping up on his side - so cute. :)  We're working on sitting up now, and I think he'll enjoy that much more!!!

Well, I hope to get back into the routine of posting more often about our schooling adventures!  To see what everyone else is doing, check out Tot School & Preschool Corner! :)  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kidlet Hilarity

The kids have been hilarious over the last month, but I haven't had any time to write!  Thankfully, I have a new app on my phone that is like a sticky note, and I can record all the funny things they say there! :)  So here's all the hilarity I've been privy to the last few weeks! :)

I put a pair of socks in Zachary's stocking that had the little non-slip bumps on the bottom, and I told him that they would help him not to fall down (especially on the wood flooring in our upstairs, if you wear socks, it can be very slippery).  So the next day, he wore them, and proceeded to stand in the living room and fall down on purpose.  It was hilarious.  He was throwing himself down on the ground, and then said to me, "I thought you said these socks would keep me from falling down!"

One day at supper time, the kids switched places and sat in each other's seats.  I said I didn't mind, and Z said, "That's good, because Natalie didn't finish her cookie at snack time!" :)

At supper, when we prayed, Natalie said she wanted to pray, but then didn't say anything else, just closed her eyes and sat quietly.  Z said, "I think she's talking to her head." :)

Natalie is saying all kinds of new words - it is SO fun!! She comes up with something new every day - today she brought out her monkey & her purse and said, "Ah-ah, purse." Ah-ah means monkey, because that's the sound a monkey makes.  She brought her monkey to nap with her, and a few hours later, when Daddy came home and asked her how her nap was, she said, "Ah-ah. Nigh-nigh."  She is such a cutie.  Zachary uses these certain hand motions when he talks - he's very serious, always shaking his head and gesturing with his hands, and Natalie often uses the exact same motions. :)

When we were on vacation, Davey slept in our room while Z & Nat slept in Grandma & Grandpa's room - one night, Nat woke up in the middle of the night, and Z came to find us, saying, "Mommy, Natalie needs you!"  I thought it was so sweet...the first time...not so much the second or third time that night... :)

While we were on vacation, we met my sister's boyfriend, and the kids especially loved him.  Nat often pretends to talk on the phone to him and whenever I say anything about Auntie Beth, she adds, "And Don!" :)  Anyhow, while we were together, Zachary was practicing his counting, and Auntie Beth asked him if he could count to Don's age.  "No", replied Zachary, "I can only count to 60." :)

On the second leg of our trip, we spent time with the kids first cousin, baby Reed!  He is about a month older than Davey (but Davey is quite the linebacker, he has him beat in height and weight). :)  They do look a LOT alike, though - many people commented that Davey and Reed could be brothers instead of cousins!  Every so often, Zachary would look at one of the babies and ask, "Which baby is that?"

There was a treat table set up at Grandma's house, and the kids knew they had to ask if they wanted a treat throughout the day.  One day, Zachary asked his uncle Jason, "Can I have a treat?"  "Hmmm, I think that's a Mommy decision." Jason replied.  "No, I think it's your decision", Zachary responded.  "Well, then my decision is no," said Jason.  Zachary thought for a second, and responded, "No, it's a Mommy decision." :)

One day when I asked Zachary to throw something in the garbage for me, he instead responded, "Let's have Natalie be the volunteer."

At the doctor, Zachary was asking all kinds of questions, so the doctor asked him, "Do you want to be a doctor when you grow up?"  "No," he responded emphatically.  "I want to be a daddy!"  I LOVED this one! :) I seriously almost cried, it was so precious! :)  All of our kids adore their daddy, he is so good with them. :)

One night when I put Natalie to bed, I forgot to pray, so she asked to pray by saying, "Amen! Amen!"  Then I started praying and thanking God for Natalie, and Davey, and she interrupted, "and Bubba!" which is what she still calls Zachary. :)  She certainly adores her Bubba, and does everything he does.

At Joel's parents church in Iowa, they have pagers in the nursery to let you know if your little one needs you, which is a GREAT peace of mind, especially when you have a fussy baby or a tiny one!  Anyhow, halfway through the service, sure enough, the pager went off, and I went to collect my fussy, exhausted Davey.  Their sanctuary has windows at the back and you can sit in the entryway and still hear the sermon without disturbing anyone, so Davey and I sat back there.  During the closing song and prayer, a little boy, about 4 years old, came out and was running around being silly.  Davey was a little tired & slap-happy, and he got the giggles about the boy running around.  He was laughing so loud that everyone in the vestibule was looking at him, and I couldn't help but laugh along with him! :)

Z: "Natalie, can you say mess?"  Nat: "Yes."  Z: "Well, go ahead and say it, then."  Nat: "Mess."

Z: "Natalie, take your thumb out of your mouth and say this with me."  (Can you tell he's the oldest child?)

The most common phrase we hear in our house is "Me, too!"  (from Natalie, of course, constantly)  I feel like I live in a Little Critter book! :)

One day when Z was sitting on the potty, Natalie was playing in the play kitchen, and Z called out to her, "Natalie! I need some tea!"  Nat responded so seriously, "Okay! Here come me!" and kept running in, bringing him things while he was sitting there. I found it hilarious. :)

I told Natalie it was time to get in the bath.  She leaned over, peering into the empty bathtub, turned around, looked at me, and said, "Water?" :)

As we were playing GeoBingo the other day, Zachary had trouble pronouncing some of the state names, and I was commenting on how hard they were.  He picked another one up, and said, "Oh, this is a hard one, too, but I handle it pretty well." :)

Well, if you made it all the way through, you get a prize!  Unless you're a grandparent, and then you're supposed to think all these things are just as hilarious as I think they are. :)  I just love the hilariously unexpected nature of what my kids will say & I hope you all enjoyed them, too! :)

Also, we are back to school, nearly finished with the letter N, and I hope to get a post up about M and N sometime soon...not going to be more specific than that...since coming back from vacation, I've found the need to really unplug from a lot of what I used to do online.  I've missed my friends' blogs & the time on Facebook, but honestly, my family needs me the most, and my days go a lot more smoothly when I'm not as distracted by online interactions.  When I do have the time, I'll be online, but it may be a little bit sporadic.  I'd love to hear how other moms of little ones balance their online time with LIFE, if you have any tips or suggestions! :)