Our Gang

Our Gang
Jason, Deacon, Kennedy, & Me ~ March 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

It was a C for Critter Kinda Week

We just wrapped another week of learning here.  The crazies focused on "C" this week with critters being our theme.  We had alot of fun crafts to incorporate as well as some great ideas to help them learn.  We attracted ants by leaving 3 different kids of food out across the street at the park, we did some fun critter movements (roll like a roly-poly, etc.), & we made a caterpillar turn into a butterfly with the cocoon & all (that is a different post).  They had fun, D knows how to write Cs, & they are loving learning, which is the overall goal.  Below are some of our ideas!

C is for Critters!!!

We made ants out of toilet paper rolls.

K practiced some fine motor skills with stickers.

D did some critter subtraction.

 We learned more about patterns using bug pictures.

We made a bumblebee from a paper plate.

 For cooking day, we made lady bug pretzels.  They were super yummy!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Caterpillar to Butterfly Transformation

While learning about critters, bugs, & insects this week I came across a fun activity to teach kids about the caterpillar to butterfly transformation.  It was super easy & a fun way to explain how they change so I had to do it.  On day #1, the crazies made caterpillars using a clothespin & pom-pom balls.  On day #2, their caterpillars went into a quiet place (a toilet paper roll) & built a cocoon.  We wrapped the toilet paper roll with brown tissue paper & they sealed it together by painting the paper with some watered-down glue.  On day #3, the crazies colored coffee filters with markers & then wet them to spread the colors out.  These created their wings.  They cut open the cocoons (with supervision, of course!) & the caterpillars turned into butterflies as they clasped the wings into the clothespin.  They thought it was fun & walked away understanding the process a little bit better.  

Building caterpillars

Sealing the cocoons

Coloring our wings

Cutting open the cocoons -- look out everyone, they have a KNIFE!!

Really mom, another picture?!?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall Has Arrived

Living in the middle of the Mojave, there are little to no trees making it close to impossible for it to look like "fall" around here.  The temperatures are dropping & the days are more enjoyable, but I doubt that it really is ever fall in the desert.  There are no pumpkin farms, no scarecrows in fields, & apple farms are a thing not to be found.  Despite it all, I transformed our house to be fall this weekend to at least get the feel of it. After all, it is my most favorite time of the year so I'm not going to ignore it.  I love the colors, the apples, the scents, the pumpkins, & everything that comes with fall.  So, I will make it fall here if that is what I have to do!  And once the Bath & Body Works "Leaves" is burning in my oil dispenser, there is no arguing that fall has arrived, not once you step into our home.  Now, if I could just get a trick-load of fall leaves to spread over my rocks, we would be complete!

Our front porch & entry

Still lovin' my monogrammed greeter

Mums -- a must & a favorite of mine

A little sign I love                              Our porch table

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Pool Rite of Passage

Upon moving to Fort Irwin, we put Deacon in swim lessons as we thought it would be something he could excel in & it was a sport offered year-round here.  In lessons, they were able to jump off of the diving board in the deep end & swim to the side or to the coach.  Well, D was super disappointed when we went to the pool over the summer & learned that he could not be in the deep end (or on the diving board) without passing a swim test.  At 3, he had a hard time understanding why he could do it in lessons but could not when we went just to swim for fun.  The swim test included him swimming the length of the pool alone & treading water for 20 seconds to earn a "deep end swim bracelet".  This has been something that D has worked on through the summer & this week he finally said he was ready to take the test -- I think he just got tired watching all of the diving board fun!  D did his lap & treading & earned his bracelet & he was SO STOKED!!  I did not realize that this meant I couldn't even be in the deep end with him (gasp! it's 10 ft folks!!) but he still took off fearless & ready for the rite of passage that sort of separates the little boys from the big dogs in the pool. 

The much-anticipated bracelet!!!

D so happy to be going solo in the deep end

And he's off!!                                   He can walk on water!!

 K laying out with Minnie -- this deep-end stuff is overrated!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tiny Tumbler

Gymnastics started again this week for the fall & K couldn't be more excited.  The post recruited a new coach as the previous person moved away, but K cared less about the coach replacement & more about just seeing the equipment out in the gym.  It is fabulous way for her to burn off her energy & she loves going & running her laps around the various stations.   And following directions is something she is learning to do well all for the princess sticker at the end of class. Our tiny tumbler is back in business!

K on the platform

Doing her jumps off the platform

And the balance beam -- her personal favorite

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Last Days of Summer

Even in the desert the summer comes to an end.  Shocking, I know, but it happens.  I can tell most when we visit our neighborhood pool.  We have been going almost every other day to get lots of pool time in before it is incredibly cold, but I think our outdoor pool has seen the last of us for this season.  The shivers coming from the crazies as they dry off sort of confirmed it for me today.  It has been fun & the crazies have become little fish, but adios until next year.  
Here are some pics of our last round at the pool.

K jumping in... so fearless.

K swimming to Dad

D taking the plunge

And D  making his way to Dad

K, our pet fish.

The ladybugs came out to join us -- we even had to take this one home.

 My water babies

What fun is drying off without some wrestling action?

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Good Mail Day... Finally!!

So today was the best mail day ever.  Ever.  EVER.  My Canon was waiting for me when I unlocked my mailbox & I am complete again!  While traveling back from vacation this summer, the screen cracked.  In 2 places.  It was a mere nightmare, but I quickly filed a repair claim with Canon & sent my camera to the hospital.  But, without it life on the blog has been a little boring.  So, today, it is back.  All intact & looking good & ready to be used again.
Also in the mail was our Disney Movie Club Starter box.  I read about the Disney Movie Club online & we decided to join as the rewards seemed pretty good.  With your initial registration you get 5 movies for $17 shipped as long as you agree to purchase 4 more movies over 24 months at $19.95.  We used to not be much of a movie family, but living in the desert & having little around, it has become our Friday night routine.  Plus, soldier man is working 2 out of 4 Friday nights because of the rotational schedule here & it makes my Friday night a little easier.  We make pizzas, pick out a special candy from the store, & pop in a movie around 6:30 which takes us straight to bedtime.  The kids have gotten used to it & we are all watching & loving movies we haven't seen.  Plus, with the surprise Disney trip fast approaching for the crazies, we figured this is a good way to get them familiar with all of the Disney characters.  
So, a camera & abunch of movies made my day.  It looks like blogging world is back to normal again.

The much-anticipated box!!

All of this for $17 shipped!!

The crazies on a Friday night movie night -- something exciting was going down on Dumbo!

B says "Buh"

So it was another week of learning around here with the crazies -- the letter was "B" with a theme centered around balls.  The crazies had fun with it!  We did our writing practice & D has his "B" down so I also introduced money, just the coins.  We played with balls, made ball patterns, did some math with balls, discussed ball textures, & even made ball cookies (I totally failed to bring out the camera with that one, uh!).  They are loving it & I'm enjoying making the most of D's last year at home.  Here are some of our ideas below.

Our letter for the week

Paper plate soccer balls

Football lacing & decorating

We painted with rubber bouncy balls

Our coin sheets... we found a cute money rhyme to use too!  I will try to find the link.