Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy 2008! My friend Kimberly takes a picture like this (well, except it's her kids in the picture and not Jack) each New Year's Eve, and I meant to do it last year, but the printer wasn't hooked up or something like that and so I didn't do it. This year the printer was out of ink and the ink store was closed, so I dug out some stickers (would you have guessed that I have a stash of extra stickers?) and made our sign. No, that's not a Christmas tree still up in the background. And that's not an Advent calendar, either.

At dinner we discussed our resolutions. Jack wants to learn to do a cartwheel, I would like to get more organized, and Jay would like to retain some sanity. We shoot high here. Hope you all have a wonderful New Year!


Santa brought Nana a new puppy this year, a little ball of fur called Popcorn. When Nana and Papa came for a visit yesterday, Popcorn came along, much to Jack's delight and Bobey's confusion.

Jack's Museum Pictures

Last Thursday morning Jack rolled over in bed and asked if we could PLEEEEASE go see the buffalo at the museum, so guess what we did? When we were there HE wanted to be in charge of the camera, so here are some of his pictures with his commentary.

I found this snake in the tray.

This turtle was in the cage.

I like the grass next to the birds because it looks so pretty and the birds, too, of course.

I like the buffalo because it has a baby one and a rabbit and a snake by it and that's why I like it.

I like the mosquito fish because they swim in the water and because they can go on the rock.

I like the pots because they are pretty and nice and colorful. That's why I like them.

Roserocks are pretty and colorful. That's why I like them.

By Jack

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Snowy Day, Part 2

We finally finished our lapbook for The Snowy Day! We had actually finished it a while ago, but in the rush of Christmas we never decorated the cover. Yesterday I found foam snowflake stickers for half-price at WalMart (and who doesn't need a tub of foam snowflake stickers?), so we finished our cover this afternoon.
The inside view. These are all activities and printouts from HomeschoolShare. One thing I did wrong was to place the poem booklet on the top flap--all the cards fall out when you flip the flap up.

Jack's snowman. I think this is really cute!

He knows the letter S!

Under the flap we did a little weather chart that I got from The Mailbox. I think you were just supposed to put a check in the box next to the kind of weather you were having that day, but I found the neatest weather stickers at Mardel (and who doesn't need a pack of neat weather stickers?), so we used those.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Snow Ice Cream

Finally! We got enough snow to make snow ice cream this morning, and we were quite excited. The last two times the weatherman has predicted snow, I got the recipes ready and put a bowl out to hopefully catch enough, but all we got was a half cup of slush. This time we got enough for a test batch and for tonight's dessert!
He likes it!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas!

"I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses." --Taylor Caldwell

Our Christmas Morning

Since we go home for Christmas we usually end up doing our Christmas morning at home a couple of days early. Here is our morning!

Leaving cookies for Santa

Christmas morning (This doesn't look right without Boris here!)

Jack asked Santa for a yellow pencil this year. When he got to the fireplace, the first things he saw were these new animal families. Ever the polite child, he said, "I like these better than a yellow pencil." When we told him to look up at his stocking, though, he was pretty excited. He pointed out that Santa had brought him two pencils, but he really just needed one.
After we got the yellow pencil off the stocking he ran to the kitchen to find his other colored pencils. He then informed us he was going to ask for a red pencil for his birthday. Can you tell he likes sets of things?
Jack had a little plastic cash register that we got in a Burger King meal when he was very little. For about a month, he has been asking almost daily for me to find it, but I couldn't. Much to our surprise, the cash register turned up in his stocking!

After all the presents were opened it was time to have our Christmas breakfast. Now Jay is watching football, Jack is playing with his new train set, and I am headed for the couch to look at my new book. Merry Christmas!

White Christmas

One advantage to celebrating Christmas early this year was our white Christmas! We came out of the store and were very surprised to see it snowing so hard. The wind picked up and on the drive home we couldn't see much at all. When we got home we had to get the snow boots out and head outside! Jack enjoyed tasting the snow and he even tried a few snow angels!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Santa's Little Helper

Actually, he gets mad if you call him that, but Jack was quite the Christmas elf this week. Each month we visit a local retirement home and bring crafts and goodies for them. Since it's Christmas, we wanted to to make sure there was something for everyone, so Jack worked hard making 27 sparkly snowflakes. He had the best time making them and actually did a really good job handling the glue by himself.
While he worked on the snowflakes, I was frantically trying to finish 27 squash book photo albums. I used the last of the scrapbooking tape on the last book, but I finally got them done. Then it was on to the dipped pretzels and chocolate peanut gooey stuff. Jack taste-tested the pretzels, but he told me I was not to tell the residents about this. I think he thought they would be mad at him for eating their snacks.
Sunday night we got everything ready to go!
Jack had a great time handing out his gifts. Then he entertained them with some spinning and singing--mostly "Itsy Bitsy Spider," though he has informed me that his favorite Christmas song is "that crib one where Baby Jesus has to sleep in the hay."
As always, we have to stop by the park when we're done. It was a balmy 45 degrees and I didn't have a jacket, so we didn't stay too long!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful!

Above you can see our back roof line this morning, looking much better since the melting started. The trees are all still covered in ice and the park by us looks like it has been hit by a tornado. It looks like we have lost most of our shade tree but we are hoping the new little ones we planted this spring make it. It is amazing how far a tree can bend without breaking! We lost power around 11:00 yesterday morning and didn't get it back until about 9:45 last night. It was a long day, but Jack did pretty well with it. He would try to turn on one thing after another and was amazed every time something else didn't come on. I guess when you're 3 electricity is a pretty strange thing.
I had a big floor puzzle stashed away for a snowy day, so we got that out and worked it about 25 times--so many times that I could even work it in the (almost) dark! After a while, Jack gave up on cartoons coming on and took a nap on the couch for about an hour and a half--a real rarity around here. And even more amazingly, he was in bed at 9:00!
For dinner, we had McDonald's by candlelight, courtesy of Jay. Hope everyone gets their power back soon!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Snowy Day

Jack's (latest) favorite book is The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats. It is the story of a little boy, Peter, who has a wonderful day playing in the snow. It is also the book we are rowing this week, so we jumped right in today in the hopes that we would get some snow, too. Around 9:30 we noticed that the icy rain had turned into snow, so we scrambled to get dressed and go outside. By the time we got out, though, the flakes were tiny again and it was mostly sleet. Jack tried to catch some on his tongue, but he complained that the snow was getting too hard. Eventually, and as always, the action turned to running in circles around the yard. I have no clue why he enjoys this so much, but he finds it extremely entertaining. I am pretty sure he would just run in circles in the yard all day if we would let him.
Do you like those snow boots? I was thrilled to find them at Children's Place Friday. No, I am not exaggerating. If you have ever tried to find reasonably priced snow boots in size 12 toddler, you know that "thrilled" is just the right word to use here.
This afternoon we made some snowball cookies. Well, they were really Mexican Wedding Cookies, but Jack can't read yet, so I could pass them off as snowball cookies.
Here he is "cleaning" the powdered sugar away for me. He stressed several times that he was cleaning, not snacking. It is still icy here and most of the schools have already closed for tomorrow. We are going to stay in where it is cozy and warm--but those snow boots are waiting by the back door just in case!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's National Cookie Day!

Did you know that December 4th is National Cookie Day? Neither did I, until I read a post about it this morning! This afternoon we got down to baking. Well, to slicing, since I am not very good with sugar cookie dough, and to shaking. As you can tell by a couple of the cookies below, Jack loves to shake out the sprinkles. He had been playing store with the sprinkles for several days and begging to use them for something, so he went to town.
And of course cookies are always better if you have someone to share them with, so we took some to the park when we went to play with friends.
Happy Cookie Day! If you missed it, don't worry; I ate one for you!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Caps for Sale

We finally finished our lapbook for Caps for Sale. This was our third lapbook and it was the simplest one we have done yet, mostly because I made it up by myself as we went along.
Here is the cover:
Open view:
On the left is a petal book of different types of hats, caps, etc. I found pictures online and glued them to address labels so Jack could stick them on. Below that is a picture of a howler money from Enchanted Learning.

In the middle there are two pictures of Jack acting out the story. He enjoyed being the monkey (the pattern is linked on Homeschool Share), but he really preferred that I wear the peddler's felt mustache. Below the pictures is a flip flap book showing how many hats we could wear at one time. (For the record, the final score was Daddy:4, Mama: 9, Jack:10, the peddler: 17.)

On the right is a place for him to put the caps from the story on himself. In the pocket are 17 little caps colored like the ones in the story.
Inside the flip flap book
The open petal book. Jack was excited to see the OU helmet.
Putting the caps on his picture. He wanted to make sure he had them arranged like the peddler's caps, so he went and got the book.
The final product. We learned that while contact paper helps keep caps from getting bent up, it also makes caps slide around the table.
Having a good time!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

A Morning at the Museum

Jay had the day off yesterday, so we headed to the museum. As you can see above, they already have out their Christmas decorations.
As usual, we spent most of our time in the kids' room. Jack loves to dig in the dinosaur pit, and he enjoyed helping out by brushing off the bones.
He also showed Jay how to work the shell puzzle: "You're getting the hang of it, Dad!"