Sunday, September 14, 2014

Some of the crazy stuff we've been doing

The kids have really been wanting to go to an apple orchard to pick apples like Fancy Nancy does in Apples Galore so we found an orchard a couple of towns over and got 9 pounds of apples.  We made baked apples and apple cinnamon oatmeal and will have lots of apple slices.  Our expectations were a little high so I think they were disappointed that there wasn't Apple cider to drink or homemade applesauce to taste, but they had a good time and the apples are delicious!
For our fun Friday activity this week I made a map of our downtown and we walked around identifying 6 places on the map. I made them tell me if we were going N,S,E, orW.  They did a pretty good job and were able to figure out each spot on the map ending at the candy store. I gave them their allowance and was proud of them for just spending a little and bringing back some change for their banks!
And, I just had to share this picture of Ruby.  It's rare that I get a picture of her not posing and especially rare that I catch her being so calm and focused by herself.  She has always loved to sit and look at books, though, and I love that!  She looked up at me while "reading" this version of Jack and the Beanstalk and said, "Mama, they didn't throw the seeds out on the ground in this story!"  Talk about paying attention to details!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Life is crazy and this post is random

 Rachel started ballet today.  She loved it!  She had her usual nervous stomach but really enjoyed being with her friends and learning "real" ballet :). She definitely has the body of a real ballerina!
Ruby was so excited for Rachel to be a dancer, too!

 Saw this at the candy store...Allen is the only person I know who might even try it!!

Rachel and Ford had check ups this morning.  Everybody is super healthy and Rachel is still taller and weighs more than day he'll pass her!!

Ford started soccer tonight.  He's on a team that will have games this will be interesting to see how he does in a game!  Hope the coach lets him play defense, I think he's allergic to running toward the goal!

Allen met with the builder this evening.  We are so ready to get started and are so close.  Come on, bank!!!

Oh, yeah, we did some school work, too.  Compasses, mammals, food chain, hemispheres, counting by fives, number sequences, comparing pictures, Bob books, letter D, action sentences...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tiny Dancer

Ladies and Gentlemen, the newest ballerina in town, RUBY MARION INGRAM!!  This sweet little girl couldn't stop bouncing off the walls after rest time today because she was so excited about putting those cute little ballet shoes on!!!  She walked right into Studio 2 withou looking back and had a great time!  Her first comment afterwards was, "Mama, we didn't do any REAL ballet."  Sorry, Ruby, the 4 and 5 year-olds in town weren't ready for plies and grand jetes on their first ever day of ballet!!  Leave it to the 3 year-old to recognize the real stuff!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Last Day Off for Awhile!

Yesterday was a holiday and it was really hard to get back to "normal" today.  Everyone has been a little grouchy and a little sensitive and not exactly thrilled about sitting still for anything.  Oh, and did I mention that we do our schoolwork in a basement?  Not exactly a happy place all the time.  Some days I don't even notice that we're in the basement, but on a day like today, it was a little confining!  I tried to get everyone through their basic work (math, handwriting, etc) one at a time while giving everyone else time to just play and have fun.  That went fine as long as Baxter wasn't trying to climb the stairs.  However, when it came time to focus on Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies...not-so-much.  Baxter screamed through all of Ford's Bob books, so I fed him and got him down for a nap.  I thought that meant we'd have a pleasant little time reading stories and filling out charts with characters, setting, etc.  Let's just say it's really hard to sit still for three stories.  I've been thinking that next week I will try to alternate days of stories and after today, I see that it is absolutely necessary.  I want to read a story one day and do an activity with it the next, so next week we'll try something like Rachel's stories on M/W and Ford's on T/TH and let them do their activities the other days.  It was like pulling teeth today to get Rachel to think of three reasons why a horse is her favorite animal (Ruby gave her 15 things she could write down, but she didn't like any of them.)  I think when Rachel's grumpy that's when we have our hardest days.  Ford can get out of a funk by playing trains for a little while.  Ruby can change into happiness if she can change outfits or draw pictures in her "Pre-K" book.  Nothing makes Rachel happy.  She just needs to be left alone and that's hard to do in a basement!  So once we zoomed through everything to a place where I felt like we could leave the baement for a little while, we went for a walk.  It was great until Rachel didn't like the game Ford and Ruby were playing (seriously, they were just naming the colors on everyone's clothes and Rachel had a meltdown when they said the colors whe was wearing!!).  So, she and I had to have a little heart to heart about arguing (her new favorite past time) and then things were better.  We had lunch, they played outside, we read two chapters in Magic Bone and now everyone is resting.  We tried all weekend to go without any sort of nap in the hopes of making bed time better, which it did, but after the morning we had, I felt that everyone needed to grab some books and lay down before we all lost our minds!!  They will be up shortly and we'll try to get in the last bit of Science (underground habitats) before heading out to violin this afternoon.  Thank goodness dinner is in the crock pot already!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Homemade Strawberry Jam

We have been reading Little House in the Big Woods together at nap time and bedtime and the kids are enjoying it.  They loved the chapter on how they store up food for the winter and are amazed at what they have to do since there's no grocery store (enter Ford's need to carry a fun around in case of bears or panthers...pretty good to make it this far in life without weapons!).  We checked out the Little House recipe book and decided to make strawberry jam together.  I figured it couldn't be too bad since there are only 4 ingredients and if we messed up, sugar and strawberries would still be good enough to eat :)
Here Ruby is mashing up fresh strawberries.
Rachel stirred in the sugar and then we let it sit for 20 minutes.
We took a little juice and mixed it with cornstarch before boiling the berries.  Then we had to let it cool and put it in the fridge.  We added a little lemon juice and:
Ta-Da!!!  Homemade strawberry jam!!!  I guess next we need to figure out how to make peanut butter!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Already changing it up

Three days into this chaos and I already feel the need to change some things.  I've got two school age children (Rachel and Ford) who I have certain topics and units that I'd like to follow for the year.  Then there's Ruby, the preschooler, who is doing great to get some letters, numbers, tactile activities and read-alouds daily.  Plus, we throw in a dose of crazy, just for fun, with Baxter, the seven month old.  I'm not going to lie, it's hard to accomplish everything every day.  For my own sanity, I've been trying to come up with ways to get to Science and Social Studies for the big kids at a time when Ruby and Baxter don't need a lot from me, like nap time.  Unfortunately, that means I lose my "planning" time so I have to do more work at night (on top of dishes and laundry!).  Well, using nap time is great for Rachel who will rest and read for about 30 minutes and then re-focus.  However , it's not going so well for Ford...he can't seem to handle just resting and then re-focusing.  If he takes a nap, he's up all night.  If I can get him to finish all of his work before nap time, he can just rest and then get up and play.  It's a mess.  Lately, Ruby's been having trouble going to sleep at night and I think it's because she's napping too long.  So, next week I'm going to try just getting through with all school work (except maybe Rachel's) before nap time.  Then, letting Ruby and Ford rest for just a little while so that I can get Baxter to sleep.  If everybody can handle that, then we can just start bed time a little earlier and try to play harder to keep everyone from getting too cranky!  Of course this could all change again after soccer and ballet start up next week but one day we'll get our groove... Oh, yeah, and I've decided to alternate units of Science and Social Studies instead of keeping them both going all year long...Now if I can just convince Baxter to sleep through the night...