Friday

our week...


  • Today I woke up and realized we were just about out of a whole lot of stuff. I had to scrounge around for lunch- the boys who will eat thawed fruit did, one ate a banana past the point where I would eat it and another scraped the applesauce jar clean. Being out of fruit in our house is BIG. So I resigned myself to going to Walmart after the littlest's nap. It was a wonderful thing to walk outside during his nap; the boys collected peas, carrots, our first zuchinni, lettuce and strawberries.....that, with some pasta, was dinner....and I didn't have to drag them out on too late Friday afternoon.


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  • Rylan FINALLY lost his loose tooth. The thing has been hanging in his mouth, with the new tooth already in behind it for a week or more. He hates losing teeth. He has 3 more sort of loose...including the 2 front top. The other bottom one's new tooth is already in half way....this child is blessed with my mouth and the future need for braces.

  • Cohen- 2 yr old- finally learned how to use a mouse. He loves to play on the computer like his big brothers but didn't often get the chance since I had to sit with him and move his hand. Then one day...he could do it....so he is very much enjoying his allotted 30 min perday on the computer.

  • Our flowers in the front are blooming nicely. I started these from seed last year. They didn't bloom. But now I can't for the life of me remember what they are. I love the flowers with tall spikes- lupine, foxgloves, delphinium....so it is of that species....just need to find out which one! And the mini-hollyhocks must have seeded EVERYWHERE last fall because those are all over the place, including in the middle of the yard.


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  • The chickens are 16 weeks today. And in the past week or so a few have turned...well....into hens!! They are looking so much more mature. Of course there are still some with no red: waddles or combs



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We had a fairly uneventful week. We are done with bookwork for the year so we are spending most of our time outside in the garden. We've been searching milkweed for monarch eggs or larvae. So far we only found a tiny green caterpillar- which spun up the day we brought it in. I am assuming it is a moth though. But we'll keep looking for more exciting caterpillars to bring in...

Thursday

Clothes Pins....

I was over on Jamin's blog a few weeks ago and I saw an idea I really liked. As soon as I saw it I started thinking about how we could use this in our school, especially to aid in independant work.


So here is what I came up with from my $3.00 investment....Months/Days, skip counting by 5s,10s and 2s, letter and number order, and alphabetical order. The alphabetical order was what came to me first when I saw this idea. My oldest doesn't like to write much, and I know if I told him to WRITE the words in order he would be a little whiny about the whole thing. So I thought this would be perfect, I can interchange whatever words I want from beginning to mastery.


Letters with numbers 1-26 on back:

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Counting by 5's (also 10s if I take out some) with 2's on the back

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Months, with days on the back:

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Alphabetical order (some of the words at least):

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I figure my almost 5 and almost 3 year old can use these when I need to work with my oldest, and the littlest can just drop them in a bucket or something....

Tuesday

Chickens: 15 weeks

Our chickens are now 15 weeks old.....23 of them. We have red stars, black stars, white rocks, turkens, silver-laced wyandottes, and one black rock. They are getting big and we could be getting eggs within the next 5 weeks...the boys are waiting anxiously!!


Here is Cale and Pigeon, one of our Red Stars (We also have Clover, Brownie, Brown Cow and Dandelion)


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Next is Bruto, one of the Wyandottes (We also have Eunice). I think they are so pretty.


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Then- well I am not entirely sure which- but either Turk or Turkey Lurkey....my older 2 kids can tell them apart I haven't memorized which is which yet.


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And finally, poor Hopper, one of the White Rocks...I am not sure what to do about her. The boys love her. Take special treats just for her. But I can't imagine her quality of life is very good. She's been in this condition since 3 weeks- a slipped tendon I believe. We tried to brace it at first but it didn't help and now it is awful!!! I don't have it in me to "fix" the problem and I know the boys would be in tears if we did anyway....so I guess we'll just see what happens in time.


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Sunday

Native American Unit

We finished up our unit on Native American's this past Friday. We did some fun crafts, read lots of books....but I have to say my heart wasn't in it as much...not nearly as much as our Human Body Unit. I guess I am just ready for break and so are the kids. But here is a little of what we did...


For the intro we read a couple story books; color coded a map with the different regions where the tribes lived. And started a picture dictionary (we wrote about 3 definitions per region in this book) About half the activities came from Evan-Moor History Pockets...mostly the Native American, but also the Colonial America and Plymouth Pockets.


The next 2 days we spent on the Tribes of the Great Plains. We made a book about the uses of buffalo, made a pop-up Tepee book and wrote words/phrases using the word Great Plains vertically. We got out our play tepee and role played the rules for coming in and eating in another's tepee. We made a headdress with feathers and beads and discussed what the feathers and other decorations symbolized.


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The following 2 days were spent on the tribes of the Pacific North West....mostly the Tlingit. I found a nice website with a lot of info. I only used the totem pole resources, but of course saved the rest for later. We read the story of the Wellness Pole, and then colored and made one. We made a totem pole layer book and my oldest wrote who in our family would represent the various animals in the totem. We made a Potlatch mask. Oneof their favorite books came from this section too...we've read it many times in the past week.


Photobucket Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest


That was the end of the first week. The second week I realized we had to speed up a little, so we moved on to the Southwest- mostly the Navajo. This is the day I posted about taking 30 minutes to write 3 sentences and 10 minutes to read the word hogan. So we didn't have a very productive day. We started a little "weaving" (my boys don't like weaving, but they don't mind sewing...so we did that instead) And we read the book Eagle Boy. Read some of the New True Book: Navajo. That's about it.


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Then we moved on to the Tribes of the South East. We read about the Trail of Tears and drew the trail on a map. He had a lot of questions about the Trail of Tears, and next time we are out visiting my mom we need to head over to the Cherokee Nation since she is in Tahelquah. We made made a Seminole headdress and talked about hominy. Then we took a trip down the road to the Sequoyah museum. They weren't too impressed- the little ones at least- but they did like listening to the mythology stories and my oldest stood awhile listening to the syllabary sounds. And another of their favorite stories: How the Turtle's Back was Cracked....they love these...we've gotten a few like it by Joseph Bruchac and James Bruchac in the past.


PhotobucketHow Turtle's Back Was Cracked: A Traditional Cherokee Tale


Next was the Great Lakes and Northeast Woodlands. This was our last stop....I didn't do the arctic. Here we read the story of the 3 Sisters and made a little corn book for that. We made a little dictionary for Native American words, and we re-wrote the peace treaty bewteen the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag. We never got to make the dream catcher...but we may do that still since I think they'd like it.


And that's about it.....here's the spread...luckily it all fits in the pocket book so I don't have to keep up with all the pieces.


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I am not sure whay my verdict is on the Evan Moor History Pockets. One thing I didn't like was the amount of coloring. To me it is more busy work....but most of the coloring was done while listening to me read the informational readings so I guess it was okay. I think I like lapbooks better, but I may use some of the templates from the history pockets in future lapbooks.

Thursday

More Misc. Happenings

I am taking a sick day today....just don't feel up to dealing with schoolish stuff....but here are some more random things from our world...


1. Yesterday we went to the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, which is located just a few minutes away from us. It is a small museum, but we also enjoyed the outdoors- down the hill is a burial mound and memorial. It's along the Trail of Tears too. My oldest is very interested in the Trail of Tears- probably because he finds it cool that it starts near us and ends in Tahlequah, OK - which happens to be where Grandma lives....


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2. In the afternoon, while we were out back working in the garden, I decided we needed to thin the carrots a little....so this is what they found (in addition to a 4 that were too small and went to the chickens). They ate them up very quick...


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3. This little one has finally discovered the strawberries. He didn't notice quite as much when they were all green, but now he is always trying to pick...ones that aren't quite ready.


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4. Even with the above....we managed to pick these this morning. We weighed them on the boy's little scale.....2lbs....which is great and saves us $4-$5 at the store.


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5. The baby got his (some) 1 yr old shots yesterday. He is currently screaming in his bed. He's been up since 7 but won't nap. So I off to calm him down.

Friday

Number 10: The purple clematis climbing all over my front deck


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Number 9: The yellow irises popping out all over the front walk



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Number 8: The mini rose buds just starting to open


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Number 7: The tiny pea flowers and pods peppering the plants


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Number 6: After 4 years, the plum tree finally showing signs of fruit.


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Number 5: Again, after 4 years, the nectarine tree REALLY showing signs of fruit.


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Number 4: The fact that the blueberry bushes have more berries than ever before


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Number 3: The berries we picked today and the ones we will pick tomorrow


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Number 2: The amazement of my kids when they saw this stretching clear across the sky


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Number 1: My favorite plant (sage) in my spring garden is in full bloom.


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Okay, really I love my whole yard. I am so thankful that we can spend time out here. That my kids can learn about plants through experience and not in a school building. They experience planting the seeds, watching them sprout and picking the flowers or eating the produce. I see thier excitement when they find the first tomato flower or pea pod emerge or when they find something they can pick and eat.


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Thursday

Mother's Day Picnic

Today I hosted a Mother's Day Picnic at the park. I am very thankful the strong storms that are on the way held off until after we ate and played. It was a beautiful day with good company. It's been awhile since I have gotten together with some of the ladies/moms and I was in serious need of some adult conversation.

And since I wanted the practice, my contribution to the potluck was this:

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I think it turned out nicely, although there were 1 or 2 spots I wasn't happy with. The kids (and moms) liked all the chocolate though. They thought the chocolate fondant tasted like a tootsie roll.

Tuesday

Yummy!!

We live across the street from a place called Maple Lane Farms. In the fall it is a huge pumpkin patch and corn maze and a few years back they began offering strawberries in the Spring. Our berries are just starting to come in...our back patch is still recovering from the drought last year and something is eating them. We have lost all but one from back there....the boys go in for the night thinking they will be ready 'tomorrow' and when tomorrow comes they are gone or half eaten. The front patch seems to be doing wonderful, and we should have a lot with in a week or 2. A couple years back we were getting a pound or more a day from the back. But back to today....we decided to head over to the farm and get some fresh berries. The boys had a blast. It was so hard to stop picking! They had migrated down to the bottom of the patch and the whole walk back to the car they kept seeing "one last one" that HAD to be picked. I think we managed to keep it under 7 lbs though. It was fun. I would love to get our patch growing so well.



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Lakin was suprisingly good. He is in a collecting stage right now so he had a handful berries he carried around. He was a mess though, considering his berries were the smushy ones he found on the ground!But now I have berries for the freezer, to eat and maybe make ice cream.

Friday

Flashback Friday: May Day 1985

Now that it's May and finally (hopefully) going to stay warm and spring-like....I got to thinking about the picture that has hung on my wall since I was little. May Day Nymphs.....3 little girls all dressed up, ready to dance around the May Pole.


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I am 4 in these pictures. My mom ran/worked the daycare/preschool, which is where these pictures were taken. I don't remember a whole lot about this time. But I love the picture. I reminds me of the great times I had in Maryland before we moved down here to Tennessee.


For more Flashback Friday head over to Kellieann!