The Color Run

All I want for Christmas is some time to write my blog, some time to write my blog, some time to write my blog….sing it with me.

Before it rained color!

Before it rained color!

We all want more time to do the things we love, and I want more time to preserve my memories since my brain seems to have limited space to remember details of events. It’s important to me that my boys have these memories of their childhood, yet I can’t seem to ever sit long enough to get it done. It could be the perfectionist in me never wanting to post a blog without it being exactly how I want it, which it never is since I’m barely getting by in the computer savvy category of this puzzle. OR it could be I feel the need to have everything written in chronological order which is overwhelming since I’ve missed months of our exciting adventure and will never actually “catch up” unless we just sit in a cave for months doing nothing fun or exciting. OR it could be that in the 2 minutes it took me type these words I heard the dryer stop, the boys have asked for more to eat, and I have three other things that HAVE to be done before 4:00 pm today. So usually at this point, I would just give up and have yet another “draft” in my folder (there are over 40 in there in now)..but today I will make it simple and GET IT DONE! Maybe I’ll even do TWO…now that’s just crazy! Enjoy the post with out critiquing the grammar please, this is my scrapbook and I can go back and correct it when my kids are in college and I’m looking for things to do.

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There faces tell the story. Can you tell which one likes adventure and which one wants all the details before committing?

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Isaiah, “I finally get to run in one of Daddy’s marathons! Well, am I to young to run in my own yet?”

THE COLOR RUN!! As you know, Samuel gave himself the Super Hero name Captain Color years ago. Captain Color’s hero powers have changed and expanded over the years, but Samuel’s favorite color steadily remains, “all of them!”

Goggles were a must for this Captain!

Goggles were a must for this Captain!

Captain Color reporting for duty!

Captain Color reporting for duty!

Soooo, when I heard about the color run I knew Captain Color just HAD to participate in this event! While I wasn’t sure how he’d deal with people throwing colored corn starch in his face, I had high hopes that he would be able to “just roll with it” as we have been diligently working on this concept the past few months. He was nervous at first, but then couldn’t get enough of it. It started with loud music and dance party. I had never heard most of the songs, but I’m happy to report I learned a new line dance and felt very hip.

Isaiah had a BLAST dancing and won the hearts of all around him.

 

 

Isaiah, is he not just the cutest thing ever? The spirit and love fulfilling this little monkey is amazing. He is smart, compassionate and energetic. He’s a little fire cracker when he wants to be, but he’s able to reign in it and win over hearts with his super cute, innocent smile.

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He was smiling to the very end!

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The little blue glasses certainly help his cause! He had a blast at the beginning dancing and throwing color at everyone. When else is it approved behavior to take a handful of colored “dirt” and throw it at people and they cheer for it begging for more. This is a child’s happy place! I love these real life opportunities to let my kids ‘break the rules’ and enjoy themselves. Reckless abandonment is a very important part of life.

 

 

 

 

 

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Putting our handprints on Daddy!

Putting our handprints on Daddy!

While it took us just under and hour to complete a 5K, I consider it a win because the boys made it meltdown and complaint free through a cold, muddy, crowded Saturday run power walk. Samuel would walk for a minute and then yell, “JET PACK!!” and take off with a burst, then the jet packs would have to refuel. The run really isn’t camera friendly for obvious reasons, but we did still get some great shots.

 

 

 

 

 

While I rolled over wondering what in the world I was thinking getting the kids up early to go on a cold, rainy morning to play in mud and corn starch, I was glad we did. This was a great time and I know the boys will remember the time they got to make it rain color for it a while.

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Covered in color, Captain Colors happy place!

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At least for the next few days as we continue to have colored snot and ear wax :) Somehow the color made it through both shirts into my belly button. It is now temporarily green to match my toes! It makes sense as that is wear Samuel kept slapping his hand print on me! I was disappointed in the after party, or lack of it. I guess we’re spoiled because we’re used to Noah’s marathons on a much bigger scale, but beyond the finish flags, you didn’t even know the race ended.

The worst part, the boys used all the hot water in their baths and I had to take a FREEZING cold shower to get to work on time. I’m still shivering.

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I’m thinking about this look permanently!

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“Mommy I can’t see!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From moths of babe: What was your favorite part of the Color Run?

Samuel, “The color stations because I like getting really colorful!”

Isaiah, “Dancing in the color!”

 

 

My Pity Party

I was lying in bed tonight having a silent little pity party while Noah slept comfortably beside me. It’s been one of those nights when I couldn’t get comfortable. I was hot, but can’t sleep without blankets. My chest hurt, but, well, I have to breath, and then it’s starts…the coughing followed by a sigh from the man trying to get one night of sleep without my hacking waking him up….several times. Then I thought, MY BLOG!!! and quietly moved to the silence of the couch.  My blog doesn’t judge me, stays up all hours and I feel it just “get’s me” so to my friend I come. My house is pretty peaceful at night, and cozy I might add. I would start a fire, but that’s just silly. As I watched “welcome” pop up on the screen it was like a big hug. As the little blue circle spun around I wondered if this would just be another post in my “drafts” folder. I have a lot of those and they make me feel behind, so I do what any normal closet writer would do. I avoid them.

The last week has been one of those weeks where I’ve had to work hard to make lemonade out of the lemons it seems to be raining. I pride myself on being an optimist and seeing the silver lining in every situation. I don’t know where I picked up this quality and I KNOW it can get annoying to all you Eeyores out there, but I chose to be Tigger…most of the time. Tonight, Eeyore tried his hardest to have an extended visit in my little Tigger world and I had to fight him off. It wasn’t easy friends, but here’s my story. Here I am putting him in a headlock, I mean embracing my other personality.

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Sickness snuck up on me! It all started about 40 years ago, about 4 weeks ago when Noah and I volunteered as Chaperones at Samuel’s first camp. I’d like to explain to you why we did that, but I’m not ready to talk about that right now. The last day of camp, I started getting the “funk” and I just blew it off as a souvenir from camp. Three weeks went by and the “souvenir” is looking like a bad investment. Now there is a lot of back story here including 9 stiches and other crazy news, but we’ll get to that another day. Okay, it didn’t sneak up on me, I just don’t love people in long white coats. But camp was AWESOME and people were sick of me coughing on them.

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So, week four of the “funk” starts actually slowing me down in my pretty fast paced life of daytime soaps and bon bons on the couch, (that made me laugh and cough) and I decide I must go to “The machine”. You know the place where they prescribe drugs that may or may not work because they may or may not have guessed correctly what is wrong with you. I HAVE to be almost dying to go to the white coats anymore, just need to point that out. To many allergies going on this body to risk taking anything, and I always feel like they’re looking at me wondering if I have spaghetti for brains. Some might say I spend a little to much time on medical websites.

I knew it was bad, I just didn’t know how bad. It’s pneumonia…yupp fun stuff. The white coat actually was really good and thorough and I was impressed. I left with the least amount of drugs despite her predications and got worse over the weekend and had to go back to get what she recommended in the first place. Darn it. White coats – 1 / me – 0.

During this last week before I walked into the light,  I happened to have 3 play date scheduled  and I had to cancel all of them. It’s very rare I schedule time for myself with tall people and I actually wanted to spend time with these ladies, but I was crashing. I was sad. Did I mention Isaiah had 2 kinds of rashes going on also…then a stomach virus. Oh yeah folks, it’s nothing but fun times here. Tigger was slowly losing the spring in her tail. But I kept it happy & positive because that’s become more important around here, except for when I didn’t. Which only made Eeyore breed like gremlins. Why have you read this far? You must really love me.

Then the weekend came. Doc said to rest and to be honest, I was ready. I had planned two days packed with family fun stuff pre-crashing. Noah agreed to maintain my crazy list of fun and somehow it made me a little more irritated than usual that the boys chose to pick at each other all day with Daddy, rather than sit back reflecting on what awesome parents they have. I hate when he walks in the door like he just finished a marathon after a few hours out with them.  My heart starts beating fast and OUCH, did I mention breathing hurts and I want to yell, “what is wrong with you two!” but have no voice. Have you ever had one those nightmares? I of course got on my mommyhorse and just knew that would have NEVER happened if I was there. (This happens most days in my house so that reasoning I blame on the foggy head caused by drugs and lack of sleep.) After two days of a head to foggy to even read, I was ready to be well again, but I wasn’t even close. I headed back to the doc today and just as suspected I got worse over the weekend. I gave in to the new drugs and guess what…steroids give me ENNNEEERRRGGYYY in my brain….WEEEEEEEEEE.. and hence the time for this pity party post at midnight. At least I think it’s the steroids. Who knows at this point. How can we have this many channels and NOTHING on television?

So really? Why am I sad?  I could deal with missing the entire weekend of events with really cool tall people I like, but having to cancel my trip to Dallas where I had Gran-Gran to watch the boys while I flew  away to Tucson to visit Beads of Courage this week (followed by another week playing in Dallas) is making me want to crawl into an Eeyore costume and cry. Have you ANY idea how much planning it takes to pull this off?  I was SOOO looking forward to this time away learning all there is to know about this organization. I had planned the perfect, meaningful Mommy trip with my bestie and I CAN’T GO!! Go ahead, shed a tear for me, you know you want to. You can send flowers too…

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I laid in bed for no less than hour tonight recounting how unfair this was to God. I just KNEW He would perform His miraculous healing on me because…OK I have no good reason for why, I just wanted it to happen. But instead, like most times I try to have a perfectly sensible pity party, I was handed all the tools for a nice, refreshing, tall glass of lemonade. It only took one second to realize WHY I want to go to Beads of Courage so badly making my pity party much less productive. Darn Tigger.

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These beads belong to our sponsor child this year, Grayson.

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Can you believe each one of these beads tells a story of all that sweet Grayson and his family have endured in his short, little life? If you stop to think about, it’s pretty amazing. Go ahead..take a minute and just take it all in. Each color represents a different procedure, poke, hospital visit and more. That’s a lot of beads friends.

Grayson's BeadsSomehow sitting in the comfort of my home, with my family, knowing I’m going to get better and reschedule my trip, does not seem so bad. I had to blow out the candles on my Paleo pity cake and focus on the big picture. Speaking of the Paleo thing, my four year old brought to my attention, “You eat so healthy mommy you shouldn’t get sick”. Thank you for joining my pity party son, I love you! You get have some cake.

I encourage you to come to our Beads of Courage Event this year. I promise you won’t be disappointed! We’ll even have cupcakes.

Beads of Courage invite 2013

So in summary…is there a proper way to finish a post like this?

Did I mention I almost completed this semesters lesson plans I’ve been avoiding? (yes Donnal! I did it!) Take THAT Eeyore! Booyah! 5 more days of steroids…midnight scrapbooking anyone? Yeah, I really can’t get off the couch for long.  I am NOT good at doing nothing…NOT. AT. ALL!!! I’m a fidgety, grumpy mess. I actually get excited that the boys want to play a 10th round of Monopoly. The END.

Sidenote: Christy…this is not about homeschool and there are no pictures of my half naked kids! Yeah me!

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs! Ants

This blog post was started exactly a month ago today. Do I need to say anything more about how the last month has been? What I can say FOR SURE is that I am glad I can now call it LAST month even though it’s not a new calendar month yet. I also find comfort in knowing  God is always ahead of me saying, “Don’t stay in that sad place! Follow me!” So here is where I was a few short weeks ago…trust me you’re glad I waited to post this…it has undergone quite a bit of editing today!

Right now I am pretending there aren’t two balloons with their tails tightly wrapped in the ceiling fan above me, there’s not a minimum of 8 loads of laundry that used to be folded, but now are entangled with the boys costumes strewn over almost every inch of carpet in this room, and you can’t see any sign that I have counters under all the stuff on them. There is still one tiny corner to set my bowl of fruit topped with ice cream on the coffee table, so….I’m good. It is time to take 30 minutes to myself and watch The Good Wife, with a bowl of Good Food and refresh my no-so-Good Attitude. I am officially in TIME OUT! So besides crying because I can’t figure out why my kid is having such a rough time with life, what else have been doing?

We have ANTS! Really cool ants, not the ones that shouldn’t be in your pantry – although we have those on occasion also.

“Go to the ant, you slacker! Observe his ways and become wise. Without leader, administrator, or ruler, it prepares its own provisions in summer; it gathers its food during harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8

We’ve been very impressed watching our ants tunnel through layers of colored dirt. They really are hard workers and they don’t even have the Kingdom of God to look forward to! There’s an abundant lesson to be taught here so we spent a few days talking about it and comparing ourselves to the ants. The resounding theme of the week; God does not want us to be lazy! This lesson COULD NOT have fallen on a better week! This week had brief moments of normalcy, but I am convinced clones came and took the place of my boys and they were NOT nice!

I tried to put a pretty twist on things for the ladybug post, mostly because I was trying to talk myself out of how horrible the behavior was getting…but I had to call Noah home from work one day because I was just that DONE! I have NEVER, EVER, EEEEVVVVEEERRRR had to have Noah step in….that is how DONE I was. I was unable to not snap and all rational was far far out of reach. I am usually very quick-witted and have no trouble responding to the daily challenges of my life. But for whatever reason their constant nagging, fighting and complete and udder disobedience in EVERY form really weighed me down. Am I the ONLY one that has even been that furious? I was thankful that I’m not a spanker…they were too! I love my boys…but THIS will NEVER happen AGAIN! Why do I believe this went down so hard? Once again, I was forgetting to take care of ME! Skipping breakfast because I’d rather sleep in after going to bed way to late, allowing others to hurt my feelings instead of standing my ground…you know the normal stuff. Now back to ants….

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Poor Isaiah had a 104 fever the night we had to transfer the ants, but he did not want to miss out!

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Captain Color was very insistent on which order the sand had to go in.

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What do you mean the ants bite and it stings????

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I’ll just stay back here Daddy!

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One crazy ant escaped! Perhaps I should have been ready to put the cover on and not have been taking pictures…oops!

There was one ant that escaped when Noah was putting them in their new home! We were just going to squash the biting little thing, but the boys got all upset at that plan of action. We managed to get him back in the tube without injury. We then had to put the entire habitat in the fridge to make the other ants huddle so we could add this one little ant into the mix. We finally did it and made two boys very happy. What a perfect example to enforce that truth that God sacrificed himself for every one of us. Even the rebellious one who just wants to run away from Him.

I accidentally knocked their habitat over when I was cleaning the other day and it didn’t even slow them down! I really did everything wrong with this experiment. I didn’t read the directions before I ordered the ants and never prepared the soil with water…oops. dejavoo! So, we had to do it the day we were putting the ants in and now a few weeks into it, they are finally able to tunnel. They are however still alive and feisty unlike the first ladybugs.

There are some printable posters here: http://www.instantdisplay.co.uk/springpage.htm I didn’t waste the ink, but they’re good if you don’t have two computers in your schoolroom.

We’ve been singing The Ants Go Marching for DAYS! It’s fun to make up different rhymes. I kept seeing this book come up when I researching ants. The library only had it Spanish so I almost didn’t order it, then I decided the last minute to add it to my Amazon order. I’m so glad I did! It’s the cutest book that can be used to talk about tolerance, respect and diversity. It is fitting right into our Bible lesson. Each page goes back and forth between the boy who wants to squish the ant and the ant who wants to live. In the end, the reader is left to make up their mind on whether then shoe squashes the ant or not. Isaiah yelled, “Squish it!” while Samuel yelled, “Don’t squish it!” What a wonderful way to lead into respecting others opinions!

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I am so glad I bought this book!

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I found these at the Dollar Store.

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The boys love a good experiment.

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Which grew into this!

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We made a fun maze for the boys to let their HexBugs so explore. The bugs were stronger than they thought and broke through the walls! We need lots more HexBugs!! They are pretty fun!

Another Epic fail for me missing the McDonald’s HexBugs in their Happy Meal promotion. The boys were not at all happy to have earned a trip to McDonald’s with good behavior and then have it announced the bugs were gone….oops.

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We watched a little bit of this movie on YouTube, But the boys just weren’t into it. Even with popcorn!

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Jammies, popcorn & snuggly blankets in the schoolroom = a really fun day!

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We used this book again, but it just had a short part on ants.

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This is the same series as the ladybug book and it’s just as good! It really made the boys think about being an ant. They decided they like being humans

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We use this Childcraft series a lot. I’d love to get my hands on a version newer than 1970!

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This book has a really cute poem about what it would be like if we could walk on walls and the ceiling and if we had to crawl with our heads down all the time.

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The boys loved this book where the little boy gets a bunch of “aunts” for his birthday. Very cute!

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Only a tiny bit about ants in here, but boys love gross things anyway.

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This was a great book to show how hard all insects work.

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Lots of fun ideas for snacks, crafts and projects. I still like Pinterest better :)

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Great books.

Cute video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xozQnsGkHJ4 the boys likes pointing out all the things not true about ants.

This is more scientific: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Er-OnJCn1gg I had a hard time finding ones that weren’t creepy.

I wish I could do this experiment at home for the boys.

How cool is this!! You can check it out here: http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/rainbow-colored-ants

We did a few crafts:

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Ants made out of spoons and pipe cleaners.

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Samuel’s ant hill.

We did a few activities:

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Fingerprint ant hills.

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We grew these from capsules.

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Making bug impressions in playdough.

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Bug fossil fun.

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Feeling the impressions in the dough.

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Such a fun, tactile activity.

Wait, WHAT? You made fun food to go with the lesson??

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Any hill breakfast.

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marshmallow ants. What makes this so funny is the bag of marshmallows was under attack by real sugar ants. I can’t seem to get rid of them!

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You saw these on ladybug day.

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And this.

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I made an anthill cake for Noah’s birthday. It was Paleo banana chip cake.

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When you cut it open…you guessed it..chocolate ants…YUM!

We finished up by putting all our class work and observations in a new ant lapbook.

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We took several trips outside to find ants in different places. I’m sure I forgot other things we did…but you get the idea.

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs! Ladybugs

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I did NOT plan for Isaiah to get sick the week we had all this excitement going on! (This is a few weeks ago!)

We decided not to take this week off with the rest of the spring breakers so we could enjoy our activities another week with a lot less traffic. The boys started the week rough….rough is actually being kind. I’ll admit that I forgot the golden rule, “when your kids throw a tantrum don’t have one of your own!” I completely and totally broke that rule. I lost it. I yelled and I may have even slammed a door. I hit martyr role in a really huge way! I have to back up a little bit to last week when this downward spiral started. It was one of those days where the boys lost all self-control and the words, “you’re the worst mom ever” were yelled from tear filled red faces.

I of course practiced self-control and didn’t list all the reasons I don’t desrve the title “worst mom ever.” Wait, no I didn’t….There comes a point when even the most seasoned moms have had enough, and I was at that point. The horrible part was it was Samuel’s birthday week which I always make a HUGE deal of and his behavior prevented me from doing that. Because of this repetitive behavior I didn’t feel like I could take them to do a bunch of fun spring break things. That and the fact that ‘green car’ met its final death meant we were destined to be stuck in the house all week to work through this rough patch.

What I know for sure is that I yell so rarely that it made an impact and there was not ONE SINGLE ounce of negativity at Worley Academy today. Monday and Tuesday were tough, but by today we were smooth sailing and we all remembered what it was going to take to live in harmony again. These days are much more productive and now the boys are outside playing basketball, golf, tee ball and squirting each other with water blasters…and me…well I am sipping some refreshing tea with the back door open, radio speakers in the window enjoying a little “ME time.” I want to bottle up these moments and pull them out when we hit another rough patch! I no sooner typed that and they started fighting. What in the world…I’m choosing to ignore it. Maybe the neighbors will deal with it. It does take a village. But on to more fun topics….

We have LADYBUGS!

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The first batch didn’t go so well! This may be my fault (a little bit) for again not being prepared. I read the instructions wrong and thought we were supposed to leave them in the tube until pupa stage like the butterflies, nope. They are predators and in the end we ended up with only two lady bugs. ooops! Being a good mom I admitted this to the boys…wait..no I didn’t. I totally blamed Insect Lore. We finally let those two fighters go:DSCN6546

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Insect Lore saved the day and sent us a new batch for free so I can try it again, and I’m happy to report so far they are thriving and there are lots of them! At least I remembered to check the mail everyday so they didn’t sit in there for weeks.

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Ladybugs take TWO!

All three of the bug kits arrived the week Isaiah was very sick. My entire week was thrown off and we were all so tired. Thankfully, the boys have no idea their teacher messed up. Now they want to get fish…..they obviously were not permanently damaged by the great fish massacre of 2010 where I single handedly killed two tanks of fish in a week. I thought goldfish were supposed to be tough.

For this reason, I made sure we talked about why some pets are temporary. Then we caught a spider for our bug box…in the house. We didn’t do as much as I had hoped with ladybugs as we were all spending a good amount of time in our rooms last week…but here is what we DID accomplish!

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Creating our own ladybugs.

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Ladybug math with counters. I would give him equations to solve with his counters.

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He really enjoyed this so I’ll have to find more ways to use it.

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Labeling the parts of the ladybug.

 

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Insect word search. Whenever I post a blog I realize all the things I forgot to add. I didn’t mention the butterfly frame I got when I was in Singapore you can see in this picture or the ancient animal cards in the green box Samuel LOVES.

We did a few art projects:

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Ladybug hats and hand print ladybugs. Aunt Val and Uncle Mike gave Isaiah this conductor hat when we visited them in October. It is worn EVERY day!

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Rolled paper ladybugs.

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Samuel’s creations. Samuel does not like following a pattern so this was a true lesson in following directions for him!

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Samuel painted this guy with one of his Big Bend rocks during Worley Science Camp last year and we all wanted to take off to BB all over again! That was the best family trip yet!

Played a game:

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This is a super fun game created by a kinderkid. It has a cute story with it and the boys love to play it.

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It’s getting to easy for Samuel, but it’s great for him to teach Isaiah which a huge task in patience for him!

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We used some stamps to make art that I never took pictures of, nor can find now. Did we ever actually do it…hmmmm

Ladybug Footprint – Just painting the boys feet makes this craft worth it! There contagious giggles on their ticklish little feet cracks me up! Then them trying to hold their foot up while I lift them to the sink. It’s always a fun time.

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This is my favorite activity for this unit.

Here are a few more craft ideas we didn’t get to: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/themes/ladybug.shtml

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The boys made a maze out of blocks and wound this guys up to go through the maze. That was super fun!!

Here are the books we used:

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This was the one I used the most. It’s so cute and I love the happy ladybug didn’t let the grouch rub off on her. I needed this lesson lately!

The Grouchy Ladybug book read here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUtCr5YPgK4

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This was a fun sequencing activity they did while I read the book to them. Isaiah put the pictures in order while Samuel made the clocks and added them. We then made it all into a book.

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We made Isaiah his own clock to learn how to tell time.

We watched this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jwTEQFjIIp8

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This series of books is really cute and the boys had a fun pretending they were ladybugs.

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Isaiah loved this counting book.

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There is a good Life Cycle video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zrDGh2DIRU&feature=player_embedded and a good life cycle diagram: http://everything-ladybug.com/ladybug-life-cycle.htm

SURPRISE! I also made some fun food. My boys actually sigh (loudly) if I put “boring” food in front of them now. What have I done????

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I made strawberry ladybugs with the french toast butterfly and marching ants when we kicked off this unit.

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Ladybug Yum-bun with ham ladybug crackers and apple ladybugs.

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Ladybug english muffin with ants on a log.

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Ladybug tortillas.

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Ladybug cookies and pretzels flying to eat the aphid pizza.

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Ladybug cheese muffins, ladybug apples and ladybug ham crackers.

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Ladybug muffins with ants on a hill.

We ended the unit by making a Ladybug Lapbook:

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Front cover.

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I think I like making these so much because it’s like I’m actually scrapbooking!

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Back cover.

As always you can find all the original links to these ideas on my “Completed Projects” Pinterest board. Enjoy!

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs! Butterflies

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A precious, curious hand holds the delicate butterfly.

We always have something brewing at Worley Academy. We just watched the transformation of 5 caterpillars into beautiful butterflies. I decided to plan an entire week around metamorphosis and it has been so fun!

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Our five chrysalis.

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We kept them in the school room for several weeks.

The boys picked out flowers and mixed up sugar water to feed their butterflies. They also gave them orange slices. We learned really quickly that taking a care of a dog is nowhere in our future. We did this last year also. I can’t believe how much the boys have grown in ONE year!

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I have no memory of what Samuel painted himself as!

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Isaiah seems SO MUCH bigger now!

 We chose a beautiful sunny day to let them explore nature. It was sad to let them go, but it was time.

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Isaiah could not wait to get his hand in the butterfly habitat!

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Curious little boy.

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They stayed on his hand until he forced them onto a flower.

We let them go in the flowers in the front yard.

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It’s funny to think my sister had 10 inches of snow, and my dad 20 inches as we let our butterflies go outside on our blooming roses.

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And our robust Lantana.

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It really was amazing to think about God’s intricate details in creating the butterfly.

Samuel found a lone butterfly the next day trapped in a bucket of water and was able to rescue him, dry his wings and send him on his way again. He had flown all the way to the backyard.

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We brought him back to the mums in the front yard.

I decided to spend more than one day on this lesson as the boys really were intrigued by the process. Here are some of the things we did in the classroom:

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Butterfly Puzzles

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Beaded Butterflies

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Isaiah’s completed butterfly. We added a clothespins to the back to use it on the art line.

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The LeapFrog Caterpillar. Isaiah decided he needs to pass this on to his baby cousin.

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Making sock caterpillars.

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Our new pets. No maintainance required!

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Playing Cootie Bugs. Samuel made paper wings on his so it could turn into a butterfly.

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Isaiah was REALLY happy with his creation.

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I read The Very Hungry Caterpillar as the boys took turns sequencing the foods he ate. And…

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I read it again while they fed the caterpillar. This simple activity was a huge hit!

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Samuel working on the life cycle.

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His art is getting much better.

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He created a life cycle wheel for the lapbook.

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Sequencing the life cycle.

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Samuel illustrating the poem. I just love his creativity!

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Pattern block butterfly.

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The Hungry Caterpillar board game.

Here are a few things we did in the kitchen:

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Chips in the butterfly muffin holder with a butterfly tortilla and grape caterpillar.

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Apple caterpillar.

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CANDY caterpillar life cycle. A definite favorite of this unit study!

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Mini marshmallows for the eggs, gummy worms for the caterpillars, Tootsie rolls for the chrysalis and gummy butterflies.

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Butterfly and banana french toast with ladybug strawberries and marching ants.

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Isaiah was pretty excited to kick off the unit with this breakfast!

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I made these for their sports snacks to keep the lesson going even when we were out of the house.

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These may be labeled “bowtie” but we think they’re “butterflies!”

We also did a little art.

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From this….

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And this…

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To these precious masterpieces.

I typed in “butterfly” on Pandora and actually found some music we liked. Then we gave each other butterfly kisses. When we were done cuddling, I wrapped them up in their own chrysalis and let them break free!

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Wrapped safe in his chrysalis.

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Busting into a beautiful butterfly!

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Samuel wanted to know why I wouldn’t use ace bandages to wrap him up….

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Another butterfly!

Isaiah woke me up this morning telling me my sweet butterfly was here to snuggle. I was amazed at how much he absorbed this week since he never really seems to be engaged when I’m talking about details. He was so sweet talking about his tube tongue and how his wings were still to wet to fly because his abdomen wasn’t empty yet. Then he pretended daddy was a butterfly hunter and was going to hang him on the wall. I love his imagination.

We are so fortunate to have the Cockrell Butterfly Center in Houston. We didn’t get to go this week like we planned as Samuel was feeling a bit under the weather, but we went not long ago and had a great time.

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Riding in the caterpillar.

It was fun having our own pictures to use to identify the butterflies. DSCN8907 DSCN8909 DSCN8910

Here are some of the books I used:

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These are great double sided books that Gran-Gran got for Samuel. The opposite side of the coyote book is the Monarch Butterfly.

When Nana Gail bought them this book for Christmas,

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it came with this sweet guy:

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Isaiah claimed him immediately!

We watched The Magic School Bus and The Very Hungry Caterpillar videos also. I found some really neat butterfly hatching videos on YouTube. Here’s one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AUeM8MbaIk&feature=player_embedded

We finished up the unit by making this lapbook:

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The boys put glitter glue on one side of the butterfly and folded it to learn about symmetry. We learned butterflies wings are exactly the same on both sides.

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While we reviewed all we learned this week, we added the facts to our lapbook.

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These are all little books loaded with our fun facts.

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I added a plastic sleeve to the back cover to hold all their other work.

This is my favorite lapbook yet! I still want to add a copy of this blog post and some pictures, but it’s a pretty great reference already! Stay tuned for ladybugs and ants coming up!

Planning My Lessons

I’m often asked HOW I plan all my lessons since I haven’t found a curriculum that will fit the needs of Worley Academy yet. I can never really tell if people are asking, “HOW do you plan your own curriculum?” or nicely saying “Your completely insane and making this way harder than it needs to be!” Either way, here it goes:

First, I decide on WHAT I’m going to add to our usual school. We have very little purchased curriculum so I’m currently “writing” my lessons each week. We use Saxon Math 3 (which we don’t love) but we do some kind Math everyday so I do write in other activities like BINGO and cooking. We also do Science everyday, but only use Apologia (which we LOVE) one of those days, and the rest are mixed with other science activities. We do Geography as the Flat Boys check in from their travels, and History when I think about it. I know History is important, but I’m weak in that area. Samuel is currently reading Pages of History by Veritas Press and LOVES it. I hope they come out with the second book soon. Eventually I’ll write that into the lessons…eventually. I also have to add in time each week for Piano practice and theory lessons, Tae Kwon Do practice and lessons, AWANA verses and extra credit work, Tennis lessons and practice, swim lessons, basketball practice (which is about to switch to T-ball) and field trips. Despite popular belief my children are socialized and we are not hermits.

Once I transfer all of those times into the new week I start to hunt and gather.

Remember that big, clear part on my new desk…it’s about to fill up very quickly!

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After I decide a theme (or topics) we want to study, I go to the boy’s book shelves and see what we have. For example, this week we’re studying butterflies, ants and ladybugs to coincide with the habitats we currently have in the school room. We have a lot of books and I’m always amazed at all that I can pull from our own library. The boys both have a basket in their rooms where the “books of the week” are placed after we use them in the schoolroom. We usually chose from that basket each night for their bedtime reading reinforcing what they’ve learned in a fun, relaxing way. It’s also a great way for Daddy for spark up conversation with them about what we’re doing.

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After I’ve compiled my books, I go to the game closet and see what games will fit in our lessons. A lot of times I use these for brain breaks and for the boys to play while I make lunch, switch laundry, clean a toilet…you get the idea. The house still has to be maintained.

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Next, I head to the resource closet and pull from all the magazines, puzzles and other random things I’ve picked up in various places and can’t seem to get rid of. That card is front is one the Papa sent Samuel about butterflies before he died. What a treasure to have his writing and knowledge to add to our lesson this week! It gives us a great opportunity to remember Papa and all the wonderful memories we have of him.

DSCN6501Last, it’s off to the craft bins to see what might work for our masterpieces. I promise I’m not a pack rat…or maybe I am. No, really I’m just really organized because it’s nice to almost always what we need on hand.

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Once I’ve gathered all my own resources, I get on Pinterest and let the madness begin! I start by setting up a board for the week and then get pinning. I always plan WAY more than we have time to finish, but whatever is left I move to another board for review time in the future. When we finish I move each project to my “completed projects” board so you can easily find the original post if you want to use any of my plans. The space on my desk is filling up quickly and this is before I pick up the library books and items needed for crafts. Of course this does not include all the fun themed food items!

The next step is to get on the library site and request the books I didn’t have in my own library. It’s not the easiest way to do things on a time schedule, but if there’s something I really must have and I can’t find on You Tube, I’ll splurge on Amazon. (I pin all the YouTube videos to my Pinterest board also.)

After I have all that together, I start looking at fun snacks and drinks we can make to incorporate the theme, Math and Science.  I add in some fun brain breaks that fit the theme, but the boys are involved in so much right now PE usually takes care of itself! While I’m making lunch we play simple games like, Red Light – Green Light, Mother May I and the favorite, Freeze Dance. I also have a few dinner games ready for the nights we’re actually all together AND not in a rush.

Once I have EVERYTHING in one place I start planning each day. This week I started to plan my days in blocks of time. I haven’t been doing this and we need a bit more structure to keep Samuel on track. He has gotten in the habit of taking his time to day dream when I’m not hovering over him to get his work done. Now a timer is set for his regular work and whatever he doesn’t finish is his homework to be done after dinner. It’s really quite amazing how efficiently he can work when the timer is set. Before I came up with this idea, I was taking away the fun additional activities I worked do hard planning. That didn’t seem fair to Isaiah or ME, so we’re trying something new.

I know you’re wondering how long this all takes me and I can’t even really answer that question. I TRY to get it all done in a few hours, but I honestly spend a lot more time than that planning right now. If I can get the bulk of it done on the weekend I can usually pull the rest together each night.

Finally, I start arranging all my activities on my (homemade) calendar (because I couldn’t find one that worked for what I needed.) As I do this I start moving all the supplies from my desk, into my days of the week boxes to easily grab each day. When I started doing this my life was so much easier!

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The weekly cubbies. This is before I have my library books and Amazon order.

When I come in tired on Monday morning, I’m much happier that I spent the time doing this, and the preparation each night is so much nicer! It does take a a lot of time right now, and there are days I feel discouraged because things just aren’t flowing after all my hard work. But this is what is working for now, and I have the freedom to change and adjust as needed. I know there are families that do all their school at the kitchen table and it works for them. It didn’t work for us at all! We do a lot of arts & crafts there, and most Science experiments happen in the kitchen, but we feel very fortunate to have an extra room to use for school. It helps the boys have ownership having their own work space, and I love being able to close the door and get away! Life is good at Worley Academy!

Not a Blanket!

The boys are absolutely loving these books by Antoinette Portis and I love that I have kids that have an imagination beyond Super Hero’s and Mario games. Not that either of those mentioned don’t play a large role in our house, we’ve just been able to take a slight turn in a new direction thanks to these fun books. I highly recommend them if you haven’t already read them.

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As I’ve mentioned before, Samuel LOVES to write the blog with me and he has such a  good memory that I welcome his help most of the time. He wanted to have his own blog post about his favorite blanket titled, “It’s Not a Blanket” so here it is.

Samuel, why are you hiding under that blanket?

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It’s NOT a blanket! It’s a magical invisible device.

Samuel, what are you still doing wrapped in your blanket?

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It’s not a blanket! It’s Isaiah’s pet puppy.

Samuel, why are you tying a blanket around your neck?

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It’s NOT a blanket! It’s my super hero cape.

Samuel, why are you wrapped in the blanket?

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It’s NOT a blanket! I’m a caterpillar building my chrysalis.

Samuel, why did you tie your blanket to your head?

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It’s NOT a blanket! It’s my new butterfly wings.

Samuel, why are you holding that blanket behind Isaiah?

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It’s NOT a blanket! It’s a pretty photo spot.

Samuel, What are you doing with that blanket?

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It’s NOT a blanket! It’s a trap for bad guys.

Samuel, why are you wearing your blanket like that?

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It’s NOT a blanket! It’s my Shepard outfit.

Samuel, is your blanket keeping your ears warm?

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It’s NOT a blanket! It’s magic hat that can take me anywhere I want to go.

Samuel, why is your blanket on the floor?

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It’s NOT NOT NOT a blanket! It’s the perfect picnic play spot.

Samuel, why are you wrapped in your blanket?

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It’s NOT a blanket! It’s a sleeping bag.

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HEY GUYS!!! I have a sleeping bag too!

Samuel, your blanket is falling off your bed.

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It’s NOT NOT a blanket! It’s a super hero cave.

Samuel, why is your blanket tacked to the wall?

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It’s NOT a blanket! It’s a Pokemon trainer refueling station.

You should see all the uses he’s come up with for his plunger….

Homeschool Ideas For Fun

I am often asked the question, “What do you do with Isaiah while you’re working with Samuel?” I’m very fortunate that Isaiah LOVES school. He is the one that is always asking for more work and he loves to learn new things. It doesn’t always stick as quickly for him as it does with Samuel so he doesn’t get bored as quickly, which is nice. He has also grown fond of worksheets which makes things much easier AND he enjoys writing which is Samuel’s LEAST favorite thing to do. I also work hard to adapt my lesson plans to meet both kids learning levels and styles. They do the same things for History, Science and Geography, Samuel just does more in those areas through reading and computer activities.

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It’s hard to not just snuggle this little cutie all day!

With that said there are still times when I have to work individually with Samuel on an activity and Isaiah flies through his work. To solve this problem I spent a night at the Dollar Store and another night preparing a basket full of activities. I got most of the ideas from this blog post: http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2012/05/100-things-you-can-purchase-from-dollar.html which is one of the best things I ever came across on Pinterest!

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I mean he’s seriously cute, isn’t he?

You’ve seen some of these in other blog posts, but I wanted to include everything in our “Waiting For Mommy” basket. This has ended the, “mommy, mommy, mommy MOMMY!” when I’m busy working with the other child.

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This one is pretty handsome too!

A few things I didn’t take pictures of:

The random craft box – We made them at MOPS and they are wonderful. It has all kinds of craft products in it, but they love the tape and pipe cleaners the most.

Muffin Tins – They use them for all sorts of creative things.

Puzzles – We have 2 bins full and they use them a lot! Gran-Gran often send them ones she’s made out of pictures and those are extra special.

Nuts & Bolts – Matching and putting them together.

Lacing Wooden Lacing Beads – Great for patterning and lacing.

Playdough – They have lots of playdough toys, but even pipe cleaners and googly eyes are fun to make monsters!

Toys that don’t live in the schoolroom, but often end up there – Puzzibits, Magformers, Geomags, Magnatiles and various LeapFrog magnet games. Do you see a theme here? My boys LOVE magnet things.

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Flashcards of all kinds. Isaiah loves sequencing.

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Lacing cards.

Larryboy Saves The Day and defeats the sock puppets from planet crazy! Isaiah didn't quite get that he was supposed to hide.

Puppet Shows are always fun!

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We have two boxes of dress up clothes and they get used a lot!

Both the boys loves pattern blocks.

Both the boys loves pattern blocks.

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Mini books and magazines. These are perfect when they are about to have a meltdown. They can take a little book to the carpet and calmly reset their buttons.

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Pipe cleaners and magnets. We take both of these in the car and to restaurants also. They love taking magnets when we get oil changes and the tires rotated.

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Magnet board activities. I try to make these for each theme.

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Buckets are so fun to fill and empty and fill again. They love trick-or-treating year round!

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How fun are these bug swatters?

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Letter tiles to sort and spell. These are paper, but Scrabble pieces are great also. I put them in a bag with sight words and let him build words.

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Dry erase boards are awesome! I keep dry erase markers in his box and he has several different boards to choose from.

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Fun shaped, folded paper that is blank for them to create on. I have a clear shoe organizer on the closet door jam-packed with all the craft supplies.

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The shape game. I cut these out of foam and have a song that goes with them. Then they get to build things out of the shapes.

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I have cards with different words in a bag. They have to draw their answer to each word based on this question, “If happiness was a picture, what would it look like?” I add different words occasionally.

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Writing and illustrating their own book. This is Isaiah’s version of Good Night Moon.

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I wrote letters on construction paper squares and put them on upside down foam plates. The boys use a toothpick to poke holes through and leave the letter in dots on the plate.

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Samuel likes more intricate patterns.

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After they have their dots, they take a needle and yarn and sew it.

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Which is also lots of fun! especially when it’s wacky Wednesday and you can come dressed as a super hero!

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Isaiah had to learn patience for this one!

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I cut several squares of each color paper. He has to sort them in piles and then put a paper clip on. This is harder than you think for those cute little fingers!

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Marbles, beans & colored pasta are all good for learning volume and estimation.

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Scooping rocks into different sized containers.

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Of course the temptation is to pick it up and pour it, but this is great for teaching patience and being careful.

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They make their own calendar pieces now.

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Using tweezers to pick up pom poms and sort in an ice tray.

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Isaiah felt great satisfaction in this activity.

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Making kookey hats out of colander and pipe cleaners and then running after each other yelling, “BUGS!” with an over sized fly swatter.

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The only thing that makes connecting blocks ever better…

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Is being able to add gears and make a bead run. (like a marble run)

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How many pom poms can you fit in a spice jar using tweezers?

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Role playing. My boys LOVE this! They set up a trauma center for their “guys” the day after Isaiah had to go to the emergency room. I put a bag together with bandages and things I had already. I used some old dress shirts to make them Dr. coats and same plastic name tag holders for their official nametags.

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I even found some little syringes and a cheap doctor kit at the Dollar Store.

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Poor Brown Bear hurt his leg. Not to worry! Doc McSamuel is on the case!

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Teaching following direction by letting them make their own lunch. This is actually a good lesson for me too.

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Isaiah’s letter notebook. I have a big envelope of random items he can pick through and put on the correct page of his alphabet book.

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Stamps!! Easy, inexpensive and fun!

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Stampers to make cool pictures.

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Beads and sorting container. My boys LOVE to sort things.

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Samuel loves to play with money. He likes to sort it, count it and memorize what’s on it.

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Pipe cleaners in a jar. Use different powered magnets on the outside to see how many you can lift.

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Then compare the power through plastic and glass.

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Flannel board, always a favorite.

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I love when I can coordinate them with books.

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This is an awesome book! It has magnetic letter and picture tiles, and the pages are dry erase. Wonderful multi-use book!

That is what is currently in our “Waiting for Mommy” basket. There’s really so little time that we need these extra activities anymore because I’ve balanced their lessons a little better. Isaiah doesn’t make it quite as long as Samuel in the afternoon so I do more one on one instruction with Samuel then. Of course it does mean there is no break for me during the day right now, but this too shall pass…

A Worley Valentine

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Poor Isaiah…

Today started with Isaiah waking up throwing up, and NO rain for rain catching. How could the weather people be THAT wrong? I could have a pity party because I LOVE parties, but in stead I’ll rub Isaiah’s back and continually clean the vomit that can’t seem to make it in the trash barrel (that ones for you Kayla) directly below him. Every once in while when he drifts off I’ll have brief breaks to write about our week-long Valentine’s Day party that brought smiles all around. Focus on happy thoughts, that’s what I always say.

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Roses from my sweetheart. When he brought them in Isaiah said, “Mommy! Look what Daddy got you at work!” What does Isaiah think his Daddy does all day?

I love holidays. There I admitted it and that is the first step in the process…right? I have always loved decorating and planning parties and kids are the perfect recipients of my addiction! I know a lot of people have a strange relationship with Valentine’s Day and I just think they’re missing an opportunity to have fun. It only makes it better that some of my favorite people share their birthday with this day filled with hearts, roses and chocolates. Did I mention my strong affection for all three of those things also? We’ve done a lot of things in the Worley house for Valentine’s Day. I posted here: http://ourstoryoursong.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/the-love-bugs-are-back/ about the Love Bugs visiting and past Valentine’s Day activities we’ve done.

But this year we had a Valentine’s week of epic proportions. (It would appear “epic” is the cool word these days so I’ll record that fact here.) Once again I pinned WAAAYYY more than we had any chance of getting done, but it was fun. Step one: decorate everything you can!

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The Valentine lights make the transition from all the Christmas decorations to NONE a little easier to handle.

Don’t you LOVE my Valentine wreath?

DSCN6511My friend Geneva made it for me out of paper. You can check out all her super crafty ideas here: http://genevachapin.typepad.com/genevas_stamping_designs/page/2/

Even the schoolroom!

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Samuel heart punched and wrote all the numbers on the calendar pieces for me.

It is very easy to use heart cookie cutters for EVERYTHING, and so I did!

You had to really think about them being heart shaped, but they tasted Yumtastic.

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Pumpkin Waffles with Heart Bacon.

The bacon turned out more like X’s and O’s but that worked also!

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Apple Switcheroos with butterkaise cheese hearts.

The boys had a lot of fun making these.

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I found the heart skewers at the Dollar Tree. Perfect!

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Valentine Tortilla Pizza and strawberry hearts.

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Heart stamped toast with heart strawberries.

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Heart cheese sandwiches with heart pepperoni.

Isaiah loved putting the “puzzle” together and then taking bites and trying to match the bite on the other piece.

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Heart turkey sandwich dogs and fruit & cheese arrows.

It took me no less than six times to figure out how to cut these properly to make this work.

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Heart hot dogs with love cheese, heart ketchup and heart watermelon.

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This one was ALL Daddy! Cupid’s arrow tortillas.

We had to add a little Science in the kitchen.

We made homemade heart gum drops:

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Taking turns measuring and mixing.

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Stir, stir, stir.

The boys (and their friends) really enjoyed these. You can find the recipe here: http://www.momontimeout.com/2013/01/valentines-day-homemade-gumdrops/

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ENJOY! And then call the dentist!

I always try to balance the sweet treats with healthy alternatives so we made homemade frozen yogurt pops. These were so yummy! I used the same strawberry greek yogurt I dip blueberries and raspberries in and freeze for a sweet treat.

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Healthy frozen yogurt pops.

These are simple to make. Trace hearts on wax paper, flip it over, put a dollop of yogurt in the middle and let the kiddos spread it within the lines with the popsicle stick. Set the stick in and cover it with a little more yogurt and freeze.

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A snack you can feel good about!

We also did some FUN crafts:

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Cookie cutters are good for SO many things!

Samuel gets so upset that Isaiah’s “rushes” through his crafts. He asked Noah when he got home, “Daddy, do you like my pictures? Well, do you think Isaiah’s looks a little….rushed?” Poor Noah.

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Samuel made his Valentine to take to Daddy’s office.

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Making tye dye hearts.

I had forgotten how much fun simple spray bottles are for little ones! I’ll  have to add them in more plans.

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What we think the Love Bugs might look like.

OK…the Love Bug cash….Those little Love Bugs had Isaiah in quite a tizzy one morning. He made it a habit of getting up at the crack of dawn every morning and running to the fireplace to see what the Love Bugs brought. On one particular morning there wasn’t anything in the box and Isaiah had asked the Love Bugs for a very specific type of glow sticks two nights in a row. When I came into the kitchen Noah informed me that it appeared the Love Bugs did not come the night before. Wide eyed and mouth half-open I ran to the school room to “think” about why that may be. Then I realized that Samuel had moved the Love Bug hotel into his room and SURELY they thought they were supposed to leave the gifts in there that night. Sure enough, the Love Bugs left them each $5 to use at the Dollar Store. Whew…that was a close one.

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Glitter glue!

I kept telling Isaiah to be careful with the glue. One of the bottles was clogged and I tried to squeeze it apparently a little too hard because the entire top popped out and glitter glue is STILL being found in places. There was a MUCH bigger blob above this one that I cleaned before it dawned on me to start taking pictures of our failures so  you can see it’s rare things run as smooth as I blog them!

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Glittery handprints.

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Samuel’s focused craft face.

When we finished them all, my entry looked like this:

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It’s no secret I love hand/foot print art. I’ve learned to make it right on the 12×12 paper to stick it in an album right away.

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Our sweet little Love Bugs.

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We used washable markers for Isaiah’s tye dye heart which blended much better than the sharpie’s we used for Samuel’s (top)

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The boys also made new T-shirts with stamps and puffy paints.

How I used Valentine’s Fun in school:

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Five Little Valentine’s math song.

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Sorting and counting Valentine candy.

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Sorting and graphing Valentine Skittles.

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Using Valentine candy to answer story problems.

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Finally a math worksheet that Samuel had to think through.

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Samuel is learning adjectives and adverbs and did a three step process with a love theme. I was wishing I had a Valentine’s Madlibs!

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Once I figured out Samuel liked the math with steps, I found a few more worksheets for him.

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Making a Valentine book to learn my colors and writing.

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We played Valentine lotto with our sight words.

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We played Valentine BINGO with candy markers.

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Isaiah spent a long time sorting, counting and mixing Valentine colored beads.

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He also made a perfect Valentine for Daddy’s office.

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I had this box of chocolates and gave the boys pink and brown play dough and heart molds and they made me a Valentine gift. It was so nice!

As always we read LOTS of books! Our favorite for sure was this one:

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We also read these (and many, many more!)

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And we watched:

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and a few other Disney Valentine themed shows, but there just wasn’t a lot of TV time left in the day.

I added in some fun dinner activities this time because this seems to be becoming a stressful part of our day. One was to make up a family song which always ended in lots of laughter. In school we sang (to Jingle Bells)

Valentine

Valentine

You’re my Valentine.

‘Cause I love you , oh, so much,

Sweet (Samuel, Isaiah) of mine!

Noah sang his song like Buddy in the movie Elf and had us all cracking up.

I made these two activities to encourage positive attitudes as the night winds down:

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Acts of Kindness Vase. The boys have to work hard to earn a heart by doing a random act of kindness AND not expecting praise for it!!

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Each person at the table picks a heart and based on the color had to perform a task. It may be to sing a song, say something nice about each person at the table or hug the person on your left. This one will stick around a while longer.

We played Valentine “I Spy” and “Red Light Green Light” as we shuttled from each of our daily activities. We finished the week with a trip to have lunch with Daddy at his office. I don’t know why we don’t do this more often because the boys always LOVE it! We had an extra surprise for them and took them to get frozen yogurt. I could eat TCBY EVERY day if it wasn’t so expensive!

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Wearing our Valentine’s best!

By the time I finished this post today Isaiah is eating, playing Legos and the sun is out! He never had a fever or anything. Positive thoughts are working in our favor today. Thank Jesus for another day of YOUR blessings!

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Loving the Rain!

We cancelled all our plans for tomorrow when I heard it was going to rain all day. Not because we are scared of the rain or anything, it’s actually quite the opposite. Most people are sad when it rains. My boys REJOICE! This started when Samuel was little and declared (warm) rainy days as “rain catching days.” We’d get our sand buckets and i’d dress him in this cute outfit (which I’d have pictures of if I could just figure out that little black box!)

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When did he get so big?

that now fits Isaiah

My LIttle Fire Fighter.

He has a serious case of cuteness.

and go splash in puddles and catch the rain. We had so much fun! Samuel introduced this tradition to Isaiah and now at the first mention of rain they both say, “YEAH! We can go rain catching!” and they do! I’m sure our neighbors wonder about our sanity when my kids have buckets they are filling as the water flows down the street, but they are happy and that’s all that is important to me.

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See I am in some pictures.

DSCN7642We may not be able to catch snowflakes on our tongues in Texas, but light rain feels amazing on your face when you stop long enough to just enjoy it.  On a hot sunny day, it’s quite refreshing. DSCN7643Isaiah’s taking in the beauty of the rainbow.

They also like when it rains really hard and the water is flowing quick past our driveway to the storm drain in front of the next house. They get leaves and sticks and pretend they’re boats and count how long it takes them to get capsized down the storm drain.

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Rainy days = happy days!

If there’s a rainbow, that’s an extra special time. I’m sure our neighbors have questioned our parenting abilities at times also.

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Samuel comparing the colors of the rainbow with and without sunglasses.

Playing in the rain is a really simple thing. Of course I don’t let them run around with metal umbrellas in lightning, or play in the rain on the one day a year it’s cold. I am responsible…just fun also!

We HAD to introduce Cousin Lucy to the fun when she was with us this summer. The look on her face was priceless as she asked, “You’re going to let them do what?”

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Running to the street to fill their buckets.

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Running back up to count how many little buckets to fill the big bucket. Our version of a rain barrell!

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How fun does that look, seriously!

I believe some great memories among cousins were made this dreary, rainy day.

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It is SOOO MUCH FUN!

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Until it ends.