Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Mini-Lesson; Statue of Liberty

Watch this video at HowStuffWorks. (New York Up Close: The Statue of Liberty)

And these at (various video clips about Ellis Island)

And maybe this one too for fun. (Statue of Liberty laser show)

Choose a crayola coloring page for little ones - here, here, or here.

And have bigger kids do some Time for Kids worksheets here, here, here, here, and here.

Follow the instructions in Draw Write Now Book 5 to draw the Statue of Liberty.

Read The Copper Lady and "The New Colossus".

"Thanks for the free clip-art to the Just A Touch Art Studio of Jonesboro, Georgia;"

Pics for Father's Day gifts

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Mini-Lesson: Pollinators

It started with my e-mail from the NWF. While, I strongly disagree with their position on global warming, I appreciate their children's magazines (Ranger Rick, Your Big Backyard, and Animal Baby), love the Green Hour website and blog, and enjoy all of the information on local wildlife and children's and family activities to help them.

So this e-mail informed me that this week is National Pollinators Week and listed five ways to help pollinators in my neighborhood:
  1. Use Native Plants

  2. Hang Hummingbird Feeders

  3. Build a Bee House

  4. Plant a Butterfly Garden

  5. Certify Your Yard With National Wildlife Federation

We'd just read books about bumble bees and honeybees last week. So today we read "Bad News for Bees" at Time for Kids. Brian's bringing home "A Honeybees Job" worksheet (our printer isn't working). The corresponding teacher guide has an additional worksheet as well.

Then we went to CBS and watched the video "Mystery of Disappearing Bees". We also checked out Haagan Daz's Help the Honeybees website. We then discussed the ways we could help, including the e-mail that started it all. We're planning to hang two hummingbird feeders tonight and soon buy some native plants to add to the butterfly garden.

We ended our mini-lesson with a fingerprint bumblebee craft. We stamped our bees on card stock, drew flower stems along the bottom, and added foam sticker flowers. Another option would be this cute Egg Carton Bumble Bee.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Five Things To Do This Weekend - Welcoming Summer Edition

  1. Ice down a watermelon
  2. Make fresh-squeezed lemonade
  3. Break out the popsicle molds and freeze a treat
  4. Try some new wading pool games
  5. Teach your kids "In the Good Old Summertime"

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Pet Peeve

Okay, this is not a normal pet peeve like slow drivers in the fast lane or people that yell at their whining kids that they have at the store at 10 PM. This is a new one and I'm wondering if it is unique to me.

Does it drive anyone else crazy that it is all the rage to put the care tags for clothes at the bottom of the inside side seam? It makes me nuts! I am always checking care tags when I do the laundry to remember if I can tumble dry or need to hang to dry, wash on delicate, or hand wash cycle. And now I have to go fishing around the inside of skirts and dresses to find the answer to a simple question! Is it really that impossible to just put that on the tag that's already on the top of the dress??

I'm done ranting now.

So am I the only one?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Flavored Milk

Rose sent a small cookie that she'd made home from Gran's on Tuesday. She had a note with it that said that it was for Bella and that I was supposed to eat it so that she could have it in her milk. :^)

The "Almost" Perfect Weekend

You'd think I'd have pictures - but I keep forgetting the camera in the nearly-forgotten mass of baby things that must be packed when going places.

Friday night we went to a carnival. I like this one because it is a good size. It's a school carnival, and it has a few rides and a bunch of inflatables, and carnival games, and the best part - $6 wristbands for the kids to do everything. They even have free cake and ice cream. So it was a fun family night. Rosie loves to swing, so the amusement park-style swing ride is a favorite of hers, she rode it twice. She loved the circus train too. Ethan's favorite was an inflatable ring that housed a king of the mountain type game. Two kids. Two air filled platforms. Two body pillow sized sacks that they wacked each other with.

On Saturday afternoon we went to Communtiy Appreciation Day at our local library - free hot dogs, and we ran into a family from church that we'd not visited with in a long while and got to catch up. From there we decided to head to the park, and I got the bright idea (I hoped) to head to the nearest, and relatively new, elementary school to try out their playground. It was huge and the kids loved it. After they'd played, we finished off our delicious summer day with milkshakes from Burger King. And let me tell you, their Oreo sundae shakes are amazing.

Then came Sunday. The day I woke up with what I thought were really bad gas pains and turned out to be a stomach virus. By Sunday night I'd shipped my kids off to Gran's. Monday Brian stayed home with Bella and I and I felt mostly better (as long as I didn't do too much). Monday night I felt over it and the kids came home. Tuesday morning it returned with a vengeance. The kids went back to Gran's and Brian came back home after lunch to babysit Bella. I finally managed to eat some saltines and drink some water that night.

The upside? I am officially back to my pre-pregnancy weight. So I only have to lose the same 20 lbs I've needed to lose since Rose was born.

And can I tell you that I have the sweetest kids. Anna Kate made me a rainbow beaded bracelet on Sunday that I'm still wearing. All of the kids spent their own money to buy me get well gifts that they brought home Monday. Ethan brought candles, Anna Kate some solk flowers with butterflies, and Rose a flower wind twirler that she posted in the front yard inder the magnolia. Tuesday evening, Pa brought me a note from Anna Kate along with a bottle of Mountain Dew that she was sure would make me feel better. :^)

I think it worked.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Five Things To Do This Weekend

  1. Enjoy a festival or carnival.
  2. Cut a magnolia blossom and float it in a bowl of water.
  3. Catch lightning bugs.
  4. Cook lunch on the grill and eat outside together.
  5. Order Father's Day gifts before it's too late to get them shipped and you have to shop at WalMart. Again. Make plans for a magical day, while your at it.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Silly Questions

I did this by e-mail for a friend and thought I'd share here. Play along, if you like. :^)

1. What is your occupation right now? Wife, Mother, Home educator, Piano teacher

2.What color are your socks right now? barefoot

3. What are you listening to right now? my husband kissing my baby

4. What was the last thing that you ate? grilled key west chicken, cantaloupe, spinach artichoke dip, and tortilla chips

5. Can you drive a stick shift? no

6. Last person you talked on phone with? my mother-in-law

7.Do you like the person who sent this to you? of course! I've liked her forever

8. How old are you today? 33

9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? pro football, unless ice skating is on

10. What is your favorite drink? really chocolaty hot chocolate

11. Have you ever dyed your hair? yep, and it's about that time

12. Favorite food? cake?

13. What is the last movie you watched? 13 Going on 30

14. Favorite day of the year? a day at the beach, or maybe Thanksgiving Sunday (our church's anniversary service) or Easter or Christmas Eve

15. How do you vent anger? well, I try not to yell or bite someone's head off and call a friend instead

16. What was your favorite toy as a child? barbies

17. What is your favorite season? fall

18. Cherries or Blueberries? blueberries

19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? N/A, but let me know if you post this

20. Who is the most likely to respond? don't know - Hannah?

21. Who is least likely to respond? no idea

22. Living arrangements? ranch house

23. When was the last time you cried? no idea - last time I watched the end of Emma?

24. What is on the floor of your closet? boxes of scrap booking supplies, boxes of candles, my sewing box

25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending? My cousin Jess if she's reading, or Terri and Lisa if she's not

26. What did you do last night? hung out with my husband and Bella, had a Six Dollar Burger, watched a movie, and finished the ice cream pie

27. What are you most afraid of? of my kids growing up in a country that is hostile to people of faith - things can change so quickly

28. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? cheese

29. Favorite dog breed? my mom's Jack Russell is pretty cute, but his breath stinks

30. Favorite day of the week? Thursday (date night)

31. How many states have you lived in? 2

32. Diamonds or pearls? pearls - not a big fan of diamonds

33. What is your favorite flower? Roses!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Free Summer Movies

If you have a Regal Cinemas near you, you should check out their Free Family Film Festival. It's air-conditioned fun and a rainy day life-saver,not to mention a really fun way to catch the family movies you missed. I often avoid renting kids movies in hopes that they will play them during the summer movies and we can see it for the first time on the big screen.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Love Stories

Okay, girls. Are you still out there? I want to start blogging more - sometimes it seems like almost everyone that reads my blog is on Facebook, so it gets hard to be motivated...

I need some good romance novels - nothing trashy, but it doesn't have to be Christian fiction either. I spent last summer loving the Twilight books, but I'm sick of rereading them - there's got to be other great love stories that I haven't already read. What are your favorites? I usually get my books at the library, but I'm almost desperate enough for a fantastic (note I didn't just say "good") love story that I could be persuaded to pay good money for it. :^)

Some favorites of mine:

The Savannah Quartet by Euguenia Price

The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

The English Garden Series and The Princess by Lori Wick

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson

The Wedding Dress and With This Ring by Marian Wells

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

The Stonewycke Trilogy my Michael Phillipis and Judith Pella

I'm looking for the kind of book that you can't put down, have to cry over, can't stop thinking about when you've finished it, and are inclined to reread it frequently. Help!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Bella Grace

less than 24 hours old

Bella Grace was born on May 11 after bein strongly persuaded by my doctor :^). I had a very smooth and easy delivery despite her reluctance to make an appearance. When she did get here, though, she was so alert and wanted to take everything in. The kids are thrilled with her.
My parents, grandma, and some of my siblings arrived on the 16th for a couple of weeks and they overhauled my house and yard. Everything is very clean - it's so nice.
We were planning on choosing between Maria Grace and Grace Isabel (which I was leaning toward and had even started calling her "Gracie" a little to try it out - that and Brian stunned me with a fantastic performance of "Miss Grace", and you know that I'm a sucker for names that have songs), but told people to not be surprised by a curveball name.
It turns out that my best friend delivered her fourth baby four weeks early the Saturday before Bella was born on Monday, so she was at the hospital with us. Dara, Brian, and I talked baby names Sunday night and she kept telling me that I should name her whatever I really loved. I have a big complusion to avoid overly popular names, especially any name in the top ten baby names list. I've had Isabella on name lists for years, but had pretty much just deleted it from serious consideration because it is around #1 on some name lists and because the popularity of the Twilight books (which it's no secret that I love) would probably keep it there for a while. But I really liked the name Bella, so did Dara, and Brian did too - and we haven't agreed on much. We like a lot of the same names, but weren't loving the same ones this time around. So Bella was suddenly in the running, and we decided that if we went with it it would be just Bella, not Isabella.
When she was born, everyone in the delivery room just kept saying that she was so beautiful, and that seemed to be the sign I'd been asking for. So Bella, which means "beautiful", became her name after all.