Wednesday, November 19, 2014

homeschool preschool a thru g


I forgot to mention something else we do while Jimmy is at school.  
We have been doing homeschool preschool every Thursday.
We rotate houses with a friend of mine who has a little girl  Gus' age.
They have been loving it. 
We have been keeping it really simple.  We just do a letter every day and learn about a Saint that starts with that letter.  
We think of words, practice writing, eat food, read books, and usually do a craft.
Here is an example of how fancy we get:  Almonds, apples, and applesauce.  
I didn't even spring for avocados.
Also, aprons can be worn as capes...
...
 We were so lazy on Letter B day that we didn't take any pictures.
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We stepped up our game a bit on C Day and let them make Chocolate Chip Cookies.
 They colored their St. Claires and made a Cross Craft.
And have I mentioned how much they love each other?...
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D was for Doves and, of course, Donuts...
 
 They were obviously a hit...
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 E was for St. Elizabeth of Hungary and Eggs...
 We tried our first field trip to a storytime at Changing Hands Bookstore.
(but I would not recommend it)
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 F was for St. Faustina and French Toast.
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 G was St. Gregory and Grottos.
And lots of other things...
We had a little picnic of grapes, granola, goldfish, and graham crackers and read some good books.
 More letters to come....

Monday, November 17, 2014

when jimmy goes to school

Well, Jimmy was off to the first grade this year.  
We are always sad about how much we miss him, but he was ready to go start another year.
In order to not miss him too much, we find ways to entertain ourselves.
Mostly, this means playing lots of dress up.
 
Yes, as you might have guessed that was Young Hercules, Prince Edward from Enchanted, Iron Man, and Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates (Not, in fact, The Karate Kid).  But let's not forget these other random characters little peasant mother, the Iron Lady,  Queen Amidala or possible Elsa (you would have to ask Gus), and Cubby the lovable chubby kid with a map from Jake and the Neverland Pirates...
 
And there is no dress-up in this one, but I just love this picture of Nora despite the dirt and snot on her face.
Then we occasionally go to the park and that sort of thing, too.
 And like any good mother, I make sure my children have very scheduled naps...
When Jimmy does come home, Gus and Nora are so happy to have him home and have their playmate back (especially Gus).  
But like the good student he is, he spends lots of time doing his homework and reading as much as he can.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

the rest of our summer


We did a few other things this summer besides galavanting on tropical beaches.
We mostly spent lots of time playing and making messes...
We built lots of forts that would stay up for days on end and slowly transform into something else.  One day they built a barricade between the living room and TV room.  If my kids were more familiar with Les Miserables they probably would have been re-enacting it.   I know I wanted to.  Nora just wanted to scale it and then scare us all as she tried jumping off the other side.
The boys decided Wild Kratts was there new favorite show.  One morning they snuck off all by themselves for awhile and were being secretive about what they were up to.  When they came out they had made paper costumes and were dressed like Martin and Chris from the show.  I was pretty impressed by their creativity and total cuteness.  
Lots more costumes were worn this summer. Pretty much at any given time, Gus is not Gus so make sure you know the correct name to call him or you will have to hear about it.  He begged me to make him an Owl Creature Power Suit (also from Wild Kratts) and the boys pulled out their old Halloween costumes a few times.  Gus insists his Ewok costume still fits him.
Gus dubbed himself "Mr. Fat Pushy Pants" by pulling up his pants really high like this...   
Then one day as we were taking out our recycling he saw a circular piece of cardboard leftover from a frozen pizza.  He said, "Don't throw that away! That is Captain America's shield!"  I let him keep it and color it and then I added duct tape to the back as a handle.  It is a prized possession now and he says he is "going to keep it forever."
Nora is turning into quite a little character these days, too.  She has decided that she has opinions about things and doesn't like when she doesn't get what she wants.  She is walking everywhere, climbing on the dining room table, teasing her brothers that she is about to kiss them, and generally making us all happy.  She is also just really fun to dress up.  Girl clothes are so much more fun.  She would probably agree if she could communicate better, but we do know she loves her shoes.  She constantly brings them to us and says, "Shoosh" and insists we put them on her.  I try to capture my favorite get-ups for posterity...
And sometimes we like to dress her up like Daddy...
Way back at the beginning of summer we did our annual two weeks of swim lessons through Phoenix Parks and Rec.  As usual, it was a hit and got us ready for a summer of swimming.
We don't have our own real pool, but we put our blow-up one to good use quite often.
We had a great time playing in it when Aunt Nat came to visit.
We also got to go bowling when she was here and we got a surprise visit from Nano and Aunt Cathy on an unexpected road trip.
 
We always so the library summer reading program which gets the kids really excited about reading at the beginning of the summer.  They love having a huge stack of new books.  But honestly, I was super disappointed in the program.  I could elaborate, but basically it all being online makes a lot of work for mom and very little incentive for my kids.  I should call and complain, but I probably won't.  Good thing my kids already love reading because there was no way this program was going to foster a love of it in them.
 Alright enough complaining and onto happier adventures.
We celebrated Free Donut Day at Krispy Kreme...
We got Mexican Hot Dogs on the side of the road...
We made a trip to IKEA to climb on and into all of their display furniture...
The boys decided to make themselves cozy on the adult diapers in Target...
I turned 32...
Baabee turned something really old so we celebrated with a train day at his house...
It rained a lot more than usual.  We got real Monsoons this year which was awesome.  
When it rains in Phoenix, it is a real event. Aunt Erin and Lucy were with us one day to enjoy it.
Everyone comes out to play.
The rain cooled things down enough that we could actually ride bikes and go to the farm up the street.
We also got to just play outside in August which is normally just doesn't happen unless you are in water.
I read the Harry Potter and the Sorcercer's Stone to Jimmy and, of course, he loved it.  I also loved getting to read it to him. After finishing it, I let him sign-up for Pottermore.  He was very pleased to be placed in Gryffindor.  Zach and I are Ravenclaws and even though Gus hasn't done it, he insists that he is also in Griffindor since they are "the brave ones" or so he has been told.
With the Burches also in Full-On-Harry-Potter-Summer-Reading-Hysteria we had a Playmobil castle building day to make our own Hogwarts.
Here is the finished project...
Maybe if I can get my act together I will share more detailed pictures for Hogwarts.  The kids wanted to recreate the entire story in pictures, but that hasn't happened yet.  We are trying to focus on Halloween now so that is a big undertaking as usual.  We had a wonderful summer, but we are glad to have the nice weather finally upon us and lots of fun events to come.