Thursday, June 30, 2016

Ducky Days at Watters Creek

Pictures of Olivia's birthday are coming, but I wanted to catch up on a few other posts (that will take less time! ha!)

Our local outside mall has a kids event every month.  It always conflicted with preschool, so we had never been.  But we checked out this month's event.

They had this children's entertainer.  I'm not sure if it's the same guy every time, or someone different.

They played a parachute game

and a tickle tunnel with some of the moms

One of the reasons it's called Ducky Days is because there is a lawn with all of these duck statues.  What a cutie! :)

Olivia was first in the tickle tunnel, so then they got bored waiting and headed over to the play area for a bit.

Olivia taught him how to yell "echo" in tunnels. ;)

It was 8 bajillion degrees outside, so we only lasted about 25 minutes.  But they always give away a craft (I think it cooler temps, you actually do the craft there) and a goodie bag.  My goodie bag had some coupons for the mall and some brochures and a FULL SIZE Bath and Body Works lotion.  Totally worth melting for!  And the kiddo bags had all sorts of goodies--sunglasses, slinkies, necklaces, paddle ball... All sorts of fun!

We left there and headed to Target for Icees and Father's Day cards.  Logan loved his new sunglasses!  He's such a cool dude!

We're checking the items off of our bucket list!

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Birthday Interview

I've done a birthday interview with Olivia for the past few years.  I thought this year it would be fun to do a video for those people who may not get to see her very often.

1. Excuse the annoying door to door salesman ringing my door bell and knocking. Ugh!
2. Don't mind her underwear.  She usually wears shorts under her dresses for this very reason!
3. Michael--yes, I did take a vertical video. Ha! :)
4. She can be so stinking loud sometimes, but for whatever reason she was talking kind of quiet so you may need to turn your volume up (sorry, that will make me super loud probably!)


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Happy Birthday, Olivia!

This sweet girl is FIVE years old today! That's a whole hand!  How did she get to be so big?

She is so excited to be 5, and can't wait to have her first big(ish) birthday party with friends this weekend!

She is sweet, kind, compassionate, mellow, quirky, and thoughtful.  
She is her own person, and walks to the beat of her own drum!

But she can have a crazy side too.  She likes to be silly and get a laugh out of people--especially her Boppa.  
She is sassy (like her mama), opinionated (like her mama), and bossy (like her mama). Ha ha! :)

She loves being creative, learning new things, having things done "the right way", keeping order, and using her imagination!

She can be reserved in new situations, but can also just walk up to a stranger and compliment them on their shirt.  

She knows what she likes and what she doesn't, how she wants things done, and won't settle until it is just the way she wants it to be.

She is smart, analytical, a problem solver, and a quick thinker.  She will challenge what you say and find the one teeny tiny loop hole that may exist. It's both amazing and annoying at the same time. :)

She is beauty, and grace, and all of the best of me.  I am so proud to be her mom, and I can't wait to see her flourish this year as she embarks on Kindergarten!

Happy Birthday, baby girl!  
I love you to the moon and back!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Homeschool FAQ

Don't you all worry!  This isn't going to become a homeschool blog.  I may post about some of the fun things we do, just like other mom's may post about what their kids did in school, but I'm not really interested in documenting every single little lesson of every single day.  But.... I keep getting asked a lot of questions about us homeschooling.  So I figured I would just go ahead and write a post to answer those questions.

"Did you always want to home school?"
NO!  Actually, a direct quote from my 21 year old self to my sister in law who was homeschooling her children was, "I know never to say never, but the ONE THING I can say I will NEVER do is homeschool my children."  Yep. I said it. Never.  That's what my college roommate and I use to call "the God tricked you game".  You know...when you make a plan, and then he laughs and says "now I will make you do the exact opposite".  Michael has been talking about me homeschooling since before we even got married.  I wasn't as much on board, because there were some weird homeschool kids on my floor at college.  Plus, I just assumed that I would always have the opportunity to send my kids to a Christian school, so I wasn't really interested in homeschooling.  But here we are.  15 years after that quote, and I have definitely had a change of heart.  Honestly, I'm quite looking forward to it now!

"Are you going to homeschool through high school?"
I don't know.  If there's anything I've learned, it's to not make plans that far in advance.  I have no idea how long I will homeschool.  It could end up being just one year for all I know.  Things change.  Life happens.  Opportunities and circumstances change.  So my answer is that we are taking it one year at a time.  What I will say is that it would take a major overhauling of our hearts to want to send our children to public school.  And I don't forsee us having $10,000+ a year (PER KID!) to send our kids to private school.  No one is lining up to pay that for us, either.  So I wouldn't be surprised if we are in this for the long haul.  I just don't know.

"What curriculum are you using?"
Opening our box and unpacking all of the pieces!
First, let me say that because of my background, choosing a curriculum was actually fun for me!  I researched the heck out of the topic. There were things I knew I wanted, things I knew I definitely did not want, some curriculum I was very familiar with, and some I had never heard of before.  After much research, I decided on My Father's World.  It is a multi sensory curriculum, and it ties in the theme for each week across all subjects.  My Father's World is obviously a Christian curriculum.  It was started by missionaries who were teaching their own children, and raising money to fund other missional work/translate Bibles.  Some of the money from my purchase still goes toward this today! From their website: (MFW) Combines the best of Charlotte Mason's ideas and classical education with a Biblical worldview, an international focus, and our own observations of how children learn.

I don't know if we will always use MFW, or if in the future I will piece together different curriculum.  But I really liked the way the Kindergarten year was laid out, so that is what we are going with for this year.

"What will you do with Logan?"
Everything I have read says that the little sibling often wants to just join in and be in the mix.

Here is my plan of attack:
1. Have supplies for him (paper/crayons) if he wants to sit at the table with us.
2. Let him join in with calendar time/science experiments, etc if he wants to
3. Have 2 to 3 of our out of reach educational toys/manipulatives available to him in the learning space (a la tot school) per week  These can only be used during learning times, and will be self led items.
4. He doesn't have to be in the space with us.  If he'd rather go play elsewhere, then that is fine.
5. If all else fails, he will have to play in his room by himself for some quiet time reinforcement.

He actually really enjoys learning, and he wants to do everything Olivia does, so I'm not anticipating him being a problem.  But if he is, we will set boundaries, rules, and consequences quickly on.
"Are you joining a co-op?"
This is probably my most asked question.  My answer for now is no.  I know how it can be beneficial, and I realize people have concerns for socialization (not a concern for me).  I likely will join a co-op down the road if we stick with homeschooling for the long haul.  But right now, I'm already committed to being at MOPS and a MOPS type meeting every Wednesday morning from roughly 9 to noon.  So first of all, I don't want to give up another day for a co-op.  Secondly, if I did do a co-op, Logan would basically be put in a childcare type setting.  That sort of defeats the purpose for me.  If we do join, it will likely be when both kids are school age and could benefit from it.

So that's where we are at.  We are going to use a corner of a room for our homeschool spot.  We have a few more items to purchase, some organizing to do, and then we will get this party started. We will likely be starting in early to mid August.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Color Week, part 2

Day 3 of color week started off badly. ;)  I bought two cans of silly string from the dollar spot.  First of all, it was too hard for either of the kids to use.  So I had to use it.  I started spraying them and Logan started crying.  He hated it. LOL!  (And if you haven't noticed, we were potty training which is why he isn't wearing shorts in most of the weeks pictures.)

Olivia didn't know what to think, so she just sat down in the grass.  Ha ha!  They eventually started taking it and decorating the tree with the string.

To regain the fun, we ate colorful popsicles and played outside for a little while longer before someone started flinging wet sand (cough, Logan, cough).

We took some glow sticks to the baseball game for all of the kids and our two just loved them.  They even loved them the next day when the glow went away.  And it reminded me of the glow bath we did for Olivia's second birthday!  We hadn't done that again in the last 3 years, so I knew this would be a special treat.  Of course they had a BLAST!

Also in the dollar spot were these glow balloons.  After the bath we dried off the glow sticks, got dressed, and went into Logan's room where I surprised them with the balloons.  They played in the dark for quite some time.

Day 3 we spent about 3 hours on the activities and spent $8.

Day 4 started with some color mixing.  I filled some bowls of water and turned them into primary colors using food die.  I did buy a pack of ice cube trays at the dollar store, but instead of buying eye droppers, we just used medicine syringes. :)

If sissy takes a picture, then so does he... Cutie!

And they started mixing colors.  Olivia decided to make a pattern and Logan just did whatever.

She was in her element.

and he was pretty fascinated too

They filled their trays once, we dumped them, and then we did it again!


Activity number 2 was making fruit loop necklaces

Posing with her necklace on and holding the bag... for Boppa, of course.

what one does... the other does :)

We read The Rainbow Fish and then painted some rainbow fish.

After the fish paintings, there was more paint and they were itching to use it, so they did some finger painting as well.

Day 4's activities wound up taking about 2 hours and we spent $2 ($1 ice cube trays, $1 fruit loops bag)

Day 5 didn't go quite as planned. We needed to go grocery shopping and it ended up taking forever to even get out of the house (Logan is in the "I do it myself" phase) and then the whole shopping, unloading, etc.  So we moved the activity to Saturday.  I ordered a pack of water beads from Amazon for $6.  They played with them multiple times over the entire weekend.  The other thing I bought was a box of rainbow cookies, but we haven't gotten around to make them yet.

All in all the kids had a ton of fun.  It kept them busy for a few hours each day, it gave them something to look forward to, and we made memories.  The best thing about it is I spent $18 for the entire week for BOTH of my kids to have a week of fun. That's beats $150 for a camp that my kid may or may not participate in. ;)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Color Week, part 1

When I looked into summer camps for Olivia, I was finding that things were $150ish for a week of 2 to 3 hour days.  I realize that we are in an affluent area, and I do think that camps have their place, but to pay that much for a 4 year old seemed crazy to me!  So I just decided we'd try to do something fun every day.  I started collecting ideas on Pinterest.  A lot of the ideas seemed to have similar themes to them, so then I got the idea to just do our own little camp.  You can take the mommy out of the classroom, but you can't take the teacher out of the mommy. :)

I told Olivia last Sunday night that the next week was Color Week.  She didn't even know what that meant, but she was instantly excited!  I just called it color week because I found a few fun things in the dollar spot and everything was bright colored, so the theme took place...
We started out by playing with play doh.  We hadn't played with it in months, so both of the kids thought it was fun and exciting!

Olivia kept wanting me to take pictures of her creations and send them to Boppa.  This is a pizza. :)

So then Logan had to show off his creations. :)

Michael's mom had bought all sorts of art supplies for our visit.  She sent us home with what we didn't use.  So activity number 2 for the day was to color these masks.

She told me to send this to Michael.  She said, "I wonder if he'll know it's a talking hippo?" LOL!


Activity three was a colorful sensory bin... made up of all things I had on hand!

For day 1 they spent 2 hours of playing between the 3 activities! The best news is it was all FREE!

Day 2 started with a "magic milk" experiment.  You put milk in a dish, add drops of food coloring (which was good until Logan got a hold of it), and then put a q-tip in some dish soap.  Put the q-tip in the milk and the colors just move around on their own.

Fun for everyone!

We did it once, they started mixing a little too much and it ended up turning dark blue, so we dumped it and did it again.

Next up was dollar spot slime!  This is her laughing hysterically when it splattered on the table. :)

We had two packs.  One pink one for Olivia and one blue one for Logan.

The last activity of the day was some water painting. This also came from Grandma's art supplies.  Each kid painted two pictures.

Day two was a little shorter, because we had to get ready and head to the library for the kick off party.  All in all they spent about an hour or so for day 2's activities and I spent $2!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Library Summer Reading Kick Off

Each year the public library has a summer kick off party to encourage people to sign up for the summer reading program.  The library closest to us has the city workers and emergency responders there with their vehicles to do a "truck rodeo". Then the kids to get climb in the vehicles and see them all up close.  We went to the kick off party last week.
Olivia wanted to head to the mounted police first, because HORSES!
(The picture wasn't great, because I was trying to keep Logan from doing anything crazy.  But they both did pet one of the 3 horses.)

From there we snagged a picture in a front loader.

The front loader was one of the highest off the ground, making it the most desired truck.  Of course, Olivia insisted we stand in the big line to check it out.  It was hot, I didn't have a stroller, and Logan was unsure of what was going on and wanted to be held... so standing and waiting wasn't necessarily ideal, but we did it.

Thankfully that was really the only one she wanted to go in, so I got away with just pictures and no lines for the other vehicles!

15 minutes in the Texas sun, and we were ready to be one.  We headed inside for balloons, stickers, pictures with a mascot, and our summer reading logs.  We're all set.  Time to get reading!