Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A little froggy on our stoop!

So, one morning last week we received a knock on our door that turned out to be my in-laws. You know that sudden panic that ensues when you realize you have visitors but are sporting nothing more than a nursing bra, boxer shorts and a bathrobe? Well, I had it!

Luckily, my husband was there to greet them at the door and all they did was drop off an old ice-cream container with a little inhabitant inside- a frog! They must have found it on their property and thought that R-Man would enjoy watching it. We toyed with the idea of keeping it, but knew it would take more of an investment of time and money than we really wanted to give it. So, instead, we decided to go release it at a small river near our house later that evening. As soon as my husband opened the lid it bounded out to freedom! This little froggy was no fool!

We were able to watch him splash in the water for about a minute before he bounded into the weeds and was gone.

R-Man was a bit bewildered by the loss of his frog, but quickly got over it when he spotted the nearby playground!

Oh the adventures that a little unexpected visitor can bring to your day!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Open-ended Art: Yellow Paint


Shannon over at Teaching My Little BookWorm started a new meme/activity post this week that I just absolutely love! It is called Open-Ended Art, and basically each week she gives a color and a medium and you are supposed to let your kids run wild with it- no direction, no restrictions, just free to create!

As you can see, R-Man took that freedom very seriously!
We did a structured project first with the paint and then he got to go wild!

Now, I realize that at first glance there may not appear to be much yellow in this masterpiece- but I assure you, there is!

See... riiiiiiight there! Lower right corner!

He loved doing this and we plan to keep it up as part of our curriculum all through the year! As Shannon suggested in her post today, we are going to do all of our projects on the same size paper and I am going to have them spiral bound into a book at the end of the year. I plan to date and put the specifics of each week on the back of all his projects (I may even glue some pictures on the back of him completing them) so that we have a lovely little scrapbook of his art and progress next June! Thanks so much Shannon! Keep the great ideas coming!

Big Brother- takin' care of Lion Cub!

He may be 3, but R-Man really does amaze me sometimes by how caring he can be for his little brother!

Here he is just making sure that the sun isn't in Lion Cub's eyes!

And he loves giving kisses to his little bro! Lately he has really been wanting to pick him up and hold him, and although the picking Lion Cub up is out of the question, we have been trying to give him a chance to hold him more (which is difficult since Lion Cub screams most of the time!).

Here is a picture that R-Man took of me and Lion Cub- I didn't think it was half bad!

R-Man also had a chance to get away for a weekend with his Grammy & Pappy and his cousins a couple of weeks ago! They went to a local indoor water park attached to a hotel where they got to stay for the night, and they went to see Ice Age 3 (which he had been wanting to see since he saw a preview last summer!). To top it off, his cousin that was up from Texas got to stay with us for a night after they got back- he adores her and they had a lot of fun together!

Although R-Man has been acting up a little bit more in recent weeks than he did when Lion Cub first arrived, he is still doing pretty well considering that his whole world has been turned upside down, and much of it I can't attribute to anything more than him just being 3! He has also been craving a little more cuddle time with mom, which is hard to come by with a VERY fussy 6 week old (just like his brother!) but he has been having lots of wrestling time with dad and I have been trying to squeeze in the snuggles when I can (which is usually when I am not bouncing on the exercise ball with his brother!).

We love you R-Man and think you are a wonderful big brother! We look forward to the days when Lion Cub is more of a playmate for you, but for now just hang in there buddy! The time will come! And by the way- I LOVE your big blue eyes! You are beautiful!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We have found our curriculum for the year!

Lately I have been searching for and praying about the preschool curriculum that would be best to start with R-Man this fall. I have really felt that our whole tot-school/homeschool experience would be going much better if I had something a little bit more concrete to follow than a bunch of random projects.

Well, after considering a few different curriculums I finally found my answer today! I recently started following Teaching My Little BookWorm and today she posted her curriculum choices for fall- ABC Jesus Loves Me and Hubbards Cupboard. I checked both of them out and they are wonderful, Bible-based curriculums- exactly what I was looking for! I have decided to use the Hubbards Cupboard, Bible & Rhyme for 3-year-olds as our main curriculum (it features a 3-day-a-week schedule which is just what I want!). I will supplement that curriculum with ABC Jesus Loves Me and a book I picked up this week called the Pray & Play Bible For Young Children.

In addition we will be completing a Letter Book with many of the activities from Totally Tots and will be using themes throughout the year to correspond with the books we will be reading and additional learning projects (listed in this blog post by Teaching My Little BookWorm). We will also be intergrating Open-ended Art Projects into our learning time, so stay tuned for those upcoming posts!

To top it all off we will be trying to focus as a family on making family discipleship more of a staple in our everyday lives- we have done this off and on but haven't been as consistent as we would like to be. We plan to have regular family devotions during our dinner time that will incorporate family worship, scripture memory, devotions and prayer (from the Pray and Play Bible for Young Children), and The Catchism for Young Children.

Oh, wait! I almost forgot! We will also be putting R-Man into Awana in September so that he can get out and socialize more, and will be looking into putting him into a local soccer program too. We may be continuing in a co-op with some friends as well, if the mama who heads it up decides to keep going with it! I may think about creating a small co-op of other mamas using the same curriculum that would meet just one day a week to do group projects and field trips.

There is lots in store and we can't wait to get started! It should be a great year!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tot School- Making Progress!

Well, this last week we were able to get at least a little bit of learning in almost every day- a major accomplishment for us! This coming week I hope to do even better (I bought a new book that we will be working from that I will share about next week!)!

We continued working on the letters A and B from the Totally Tots site, which R-Man really enjoyed! We also did some work out of his pre-school workbooks. He didn't always want to write in them (circle the answers) so we a lot of the work verbally on pages about size, opposites and things that do and don't belong.Scissor side-note: R-Man didn't do all the cutting by himself- he started and I finished. Although he is making progress with his cutting, he still needs help!

He also had a lot of fun following recipes with me and learning how to make blueberry muffins and banana bread from scratch! We also made breakfast for dinner one night and he had a ball kneading and rolling out the biscuits!

He made shapes out of stray pieces of dough- this one was purely by chance, I'm sure, but none-the-less adorable!

Despite the lack of pictures, it really was a pretty good week and I am anticipating this next week being even better!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

4th of July- a little life-school!

R-Man had so much fun over the 4th of July weekend! We spent our time out at Grammy & Pappy's cabin at the lake and it was full of adventure for our wild 3-year-old!

When we first got there, Grammy broke out the water guns she had bought for him, which of course he LOVED! Pappy and Daddy quickly got soaked- but they retaliated soon after and all three of them were drenched!

R-Man had lots of quality-time with Grammy over the weekend!

They even read this book:

After reading "Who Pooped in the Park" they went on a hike and R-Man got to see lots of real-life examples of the subject matter!

They also explored a cave-
And had a rattle snake slither right by them- a little too close for Grammy's (or mom's!) comfort! (You can see the snake coiled up in the center of the picture under the branches.)

We spent lots of time just chillin'...
Playin' with Lion Cub...
And playing in the (very cold!) wading pool Grammy and Pappy got for R-Man!

We went down to a local campground to play in the water and sand!
Uh-oh! Got a little crazy!
R-Man also had fun spraying us all down with his water mister- it actually felt nice in the heat of the day!

And finally, we went to a local resort to watch the fireworks show! Luckily there was another 3-year-old little boy at the same look-out spot, so the two of them kept very busy while we were waiting for the fireworks to start!

Once they started, we sat in the back of our Jeep to watch the show. However, right before the big finale R-Man announced that he needed to use the bathroom (#2!) so we quickly packed him and his brother up and raced back to our cabin (about 15-20 minutes away)! Of course, when I rushed him into the bathroom as soon as we got back he did nothing more than fart! Yes- we missed the finale for a toddler fart! Haha! We got a pretty good laugh out of that one!

We topped off the night with some sparklers! It was R-Man's first experience with them and like any true toddler, he constantly changed his mind over whether he actually liked holding them or not! It was fun though and I am sure will be memorable for him!

It was a great 4th! A fun time to get away, relax a bit and, of course, experience lots of new things!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tot School- Getting back into the groove!

Tot School

This week we attempted getting back into Tot School a bit- we still aren't in full swing but at least it's some progress!

We started working on the ABC pages from the Totally Tots blog. Here is R-Man blowing bubbles to make bubble paper for his letter "B" page.

We also started counting our hours of reading to go towards our local library's summer reading program. If R-Man gets 15 hours of reading in by the first week in September he will get a prize (last year it was a ticket to a local children's museum!).

Life School
R-Man has had a lot of good quality time with Dad lately- including lots of adventures outside! While Jer was mowing the lawn R-Man got to "wash" his truck. He had lots of fun to say the least!

Of course, R-Man has also been getting lots of life school with his new little brother, Lion Cub! The other night we let R-Man fall asleep in our bed. I headed to bed with Lion Cub before Jer, so I decided we could just snuggle with R-Man until Jer came down and moved him. R-Man woke up a little bit and was chatting with me while I changed Lion Cub's diaper. I had to run upstairs for a minute and when I came back down I found R-Man telling Lion Cub all about how they are the same because they are brothers- same two eyes, same two ears, same toes, and so on- Lion Cub was just staring at R-man the whole time! It was the most adorable thing! I then got to have my two boys cuddled up to me- it was just precious! Moments I will never forget!