Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!





Jay and Jack just set out for trick or treating--pictures to follow soon!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

This morning we went to the pumpkin patch. The boys had a hard time waiting to go in.

This year...

...compared to last year.

They have lots of animals there!


You'll notice that there is a slide over to the side. There are several others all around the pile. But what does Jack do? Flings himself off. Repeatedly. Since he broke his leg before stepping down less than a foot, it takes every ounce of restraint I have to let him do this. So far, so good.

Inside the hay maze we found some cool horse swings.

Ready for the hayride!

This is the pumpkin Jack picked. Tomorrow night is carving night!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Fun

Last night we went with some friends to their church's Trunk or Treat. Jack had a blast. I was exhausted by the time we got home--of course, he wasn't.

Jack would live in an inflatable if we would let him.

Getting candy--We already have a whole carrier full and we aren't even to Halloween!

They had big and little animals to pet.

Trying to get the kids together for a group shot was hard, even with just three of them!

Tomorrow we are headed to the pumpkin patch!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jeepers Keepers

This month's zoo class was all about being a zookeeper. One of the zookeepers built a special play cage for Tinkerbell the ferret, so the kids got to see her try it out.

She was more interested in the kids than the cage.

They also practiced picking up snakes with a hook.

Later they had to design homes for animals. Yes, that's an aquarium with bars he's drawing right there.

After class we found that they do, indeed, sell snocones still, even though it's not summer. And we found out that snocones last a lot longer when it's not summer. This one took over an hour to finish, and there was still half a glass of snocone juice left!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Halloween Party

This morning we went to a Halloween party. Jack had a great time.

He played games...

...did a craft...

...and won a plastic pumpkin!

This is the best group shot I got. You know how it's hard to get a group of preschoolers to line up? Turns out it's even harder when they're in costume. Who knew?

This Morning

I want to be my cat.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Staying Home

For quite a while I've been thinking that we need to be staying home more. It seems like we are always going somewhere for something--sometimes every day of the week.

When Jay was getting ready for deployment I hatched a plan that we would stay home almost all the time. And then reality hit. There were still all of the errands and obligations (plus some extras) as well as the need to lay eyes on other adults from time to time. So for over four months we went somewhere almost every single day.

Then came summer with all of its accompanying birthdays, holidays, classes, and trips. We were definitely not staying home.

When September rolled around (about a year since I first had the thought to stay home more), I decided I would make every effort for us to be home at least two out of five days a week--and we were successful all the way up until last week! Fall break meant that Jack went to Grandma and Grandpa's overnight (without us) for the first time. I wasn't going to be too upset about breaking our streak for that.

Sometimes it's hard to squeeze everything into three days a week without making an out day seem like some kind of death march. We have library, speech, music, and grocery shopping that have to be done each week. Then there are the extras--playdates, field trips, just because things. The four necessary things take us all over town, so combining them can make for a long day. I have noticed how much more we are getting done when we go out, though, since I am determined to have our two days at home.

We get so much more done at home, too. We have actually stuck with our schooling plans, loose as they are, without much trouble. We get in plenty of playtime. We don't eat out all the time. It's nice.

Tomorrow starts a streak where we have something every day for almost two weeks. It's going to be a long two weeks!


Somehow I've gotten horribly behind on blogging, so hopefully I will catch up over the next few days!

A couple of weeks ago we started a unit on pumpkins. I'm trying to set out the books and things we'll be using before I go to bed Sunday nights--some weeks I'm more successful than others.

One day we made some playdoh in fall colors. I experimented with putting some pumpkin pie spice in the orange and it didn't turn out smelling too gross.

We talked about how plants get water and food through tubes, so we did the celery and colored water demonstration. We could see the tubes pretty well and we left it in the water long enough that the leaves even started to get blue spots.

Checking out the insides of the pumpkin. Jack didn't care for the feel of the "pumpkin guts" on his hands, so he was done with this pretty quickly.

I found this pumpkin collage idea on Candace's blog. He glued seeds down with yarn to simulate all the gooey stringy stuff. He really enjoyed this.

His finished collage!

We read the book Pumpkin Circle and made a pumpkin circle of our own (this idea came from Mailbox Magazine). We also used the pumpkin life cycle cards from Montessori for Everyone with this book.

Jack completed a little pumpkin report (also from Mailbox).

He measured how tall his pumpkin was...

...and how big around...

...and we used our balance to compare the weight. Our pumpkin weighed the same as four soup cans.

We practiced sequencing with these cards, too. I can't find where I got them from, so if you know, please let me know!

We didn't put the things we did in a lapbook this time. I am thinking about using a big notebook for some of our units instead of lapbooking everything. We'll see how that goes. I am thinking it's okay to still be looking for what suits us best since we're just in preschool now! ; )

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Little Humor

After Jack's speech session today, his speech therapist commented about his sense of humor. She thought it was a little unusual for a four year old to be so witty. Clearly she hasn't met his father yet. For those of you who don't know Jay, he has a comment for everything, and it usually goes over my head until half an hour later.

Anyway...I think Jack is at his funniest when he is trying to be serious. A couple of examples:

The other day he had made a Halloween picture on the computer and wanted to show me. "It's really scary, Mom!" he said. "It'll scare your pants off!" "Oh, my!" I said. "That sounds pretty scary!" He gave me a sympathetic look and said, "Don't worry, Mom. It's just an expression."

And then today he started in on his usual "Can we have a dog?" routine...

Jack: Can we have a dog when we move?
Me: I don't know. Definitely not right when we move, because we won't have a fence right away and we would have to have a fence to keep the dog safe. And you know what you'll have to do if we have a dog.
Jack: What?
Me: Pick up the dog poop.
Jack: You won't do it?
Me: No way. That's gross. You would have to do it.
Jack: (After thinking for a minute) Could I at least have a shovel and pail?

Monday, Monday

Mondays are a bit crazy around here. Well, I guess that around here at home, they're actually quite calm, because we're gone. All. Day. Long.

The mornings start with storytime at the library--about 20 minutes in one direction from our house. Less than two hours later is speech--about 30 minutes the other direction from our house. After speech, we're close to the grocery store, so we do the shopping. So we get in the car around 9:30 and we get home around 3:30. That's a long day for us.

To break it up a little, we have been trying to get in some play time after lunch. There is a nice playground that Jack loves by Jay's office, but since Jay didn't have to work today, we tried out a new (to us) park just down the street from the speech therapist's office.

Jack loved the knights and castles stuff they had.

Captain Jack

Flying the airplane

We also saw some beautiful trees!

The temperature finally began to drop this afternoon, so hopefully we'll be seeing more fall colors soon!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Couple By Request

There have been some requests for me to recount my spider adventure from the other night, so here you go!

The other night I was taking the trash out and noticed an extremely large spider on the front porch. I don't like spiders. At all. I know that most of them aren't harmful and that, yes, in fact, most are helpful, but I still don't care. If you do care, you should stop reading now.

I walked past and put the trash in the bin and came back to the porch to assess the situation. This spider was big. And kind of bulbous. (We finished up Charlotte's Web a few weeks ago, so maybe I should have had a clue, but I didn't.) Our storm door hangs kind of funny (read: crooked), so there was plenty of room for this thing to crawl into the house. Something had to be done.

If I used a shoe, there were two problems: 1) I would have to get fairly close, and 2) it would make a big mess. I decided to take the humane approach and try to scare it off with a stick. I grabbed a little stick Jack had left on the porch and tried to roll it at the spider to encourage it to go elsewhere. Big mistake.

As the stick collided with the spider, there was suddenly this black cloud spreading over the porch all around the spider. Eleventy bajillion little baby spiders. I had hit the mother lode. Literally.

I started screaming, which made Jay come out and tell me to calm down. He had not just witnessed this freak happening on our very own porch. I ran in and grabbed a bottle of 409 (PSA: 409 is not an effective weapon against spiders) and sprayed the ever expanding cloud. Nothing. At least my porch had been sanitized, I guess. In the end, the big spider ran off and I ended up smashing all of the little ones with my sandal. I just couldn't take the risk that they would end up in bed with me.

Now you know my secret: Nature is all good to look at and enjoy, but the circle of life ends on my doorstep.

And since you had to sit through that story, here is the other request fulfilled: A picture of the boys at bedtime.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Day Out With Thomas

For the second year we took Jack to A Day Out With Thomas, and he had a blast. This year we rode on the train right behind Thomas.

Jay and Jack ready to ride!

Getting a tattoo of Harold

Balloon doggie


Jay asked the kid monitoring the bouncer exactly what kind of spray was prohibited, but he didn't know.

Jack and Sir Topham Hatt

Jack has already been thinking about what train he wants to ride next year!