Deuteronomy 16:15

Deuteronomy 16:15
For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Instead of Blogging.....

Well I know I promised a regular post, with pictures, and the whole nine yards, but life got in the way. I did manage to get all the pictures off the camera, and get them sorted/organized, but that was as far as I got. Instead of the post I was planning, I thought I'd tell you all the things I did this past weekend INSTEAD of blogging.

Instead of blogging I....

sat on the deck drinking ice tea and visited with my husband.

played outside with my kids.

played in the basement with my kids.

went for walks around the neighborhood.

went to yard sales with a friend (and both of our kids). I could do a whole post on all the treasures I got, but needless to say, we had a blast!

organized Naomi's new dress-up clothes. I love organizing things. lol

helped Naomi host a dress-up, tea party. Naomi poured tea (pink lemonade) and served cookies. It was the cutest thing ever and she didn't spill a drop!

went to a neighbor's with Jim and the kids, and made s'mores over their campfire. So fun!

went with Jim and the kiddos to Touch-a-Truck. It was a fundraiser for cancer where they had tons of trucks, buses, cars, etc and the kids could crawl right up in the trucks, steer the wheel and honk the horn. Both kids, especially Nathan, LOVED it.

hosted an impromptu backyard BBQ party to celebrate the nice weather. A quick stop at Sam's, a few phone calls and texts, and we threw together a super fun party that over 20 people came to! The kids played on our swing set and little pools, and had a total blast. It worked out so well that many of our friends happened to be free that evening.

slept in.

cleaned and played with our new garage sale treasures.

played outside more, and drank more ice tea.

made ice tea (American style!).

watched Army Wives on Netflix.

learned how to make sushi with friends. It was yummy!

had the most fun weekend!

So no, I didn't get a fancy blog post done, but I DID enjoy the time this weekend with my family and friends to the fullest. And isn't that really what life is all about?

Karla  :-)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lazy Post

I haven't gotten it together enough to do my regular post with pictures and all that good stuff. We did school last week, and I've got the pictures to prove it, but they are still on my camera! I have limited time that I can get on the computer, without ignoring my children that is, and I have been using all my "computer time" to work on Nathan's photo book. I use to make a book of pictures and memories from the kid's first years. I think the first year book is the hardest to do. They change so much that first year, and I take SO MANY pictures, that it's hard to choose. It it is a lot of work, but definitely worth it in the end. I so enjoy going through Naomi's books from her first years, that I didn't want to slack and not make one for Nathan. The good news is that it's almost done!! I wish everyone could see it! I'm extremely happy with how it turned out. I will have to look into seeing if there is a way I can share it online. I've decided that I will make a book for each of the first three years of our children's lives. Starting this year, I am also going to make a family one for each year. I like scrapbooking, but it's too messy for my neat freak self, and takes too much time. By making my books online I can compile our memories faster, and mess free! :-) Anyways! All that to say why I haven't done my normal post.

I also have a confession.

That isn't the ONLY reason I didn't do my regular post......

We subscribe to the online streaming Netflix, and I found a new show I like. Army Wives. I just started watching it and I'll admit that I'm a little addicted. Don't judge me! I almost didn't share what show I've been watching, but thought, what the heck. I'm not exactly a history channel kind of girl, and I'm ok with that!

My goal is to sort through my pictures, and do a nice school post at the end of this week, or over the weekend. Our unit this month has been gardening and we are having a lot of fun with it! I'm impressed how much information Naomi retains, and how well she understands the steps of seed to plant. It has been the perfect unit to go along with the warmer weather we've been having.

We had so much fun outside last week! The weather was amazing, and we did water play at least 5 or 6 days. Nathan loves the little pools as much as Naomi does, and it was so cute watching them play together. Being outside is so nice, but a lot of work for me right now! We have a large playset and Nathan LOVES climbing to the top, and sliding down. Of course he is way too little to do this on his own, so Mommy gets to climb up and down with him a million times a day. And I was wondering why my knees have been hurting so much....

Other than that we have just been enjoying staying at home, going for walks, and playing with our amazing friends in the development. I will try and do better next time!


Friday, May 6, 2011

Raising Rockstars Preschool: Unit L

I have started a new preschool program with Naomi! It is called Rasing Rock Stars Preschool, and was developed by Carisa over at 1+1+1=1.  We haven't been doing it very long, but are so far thrilled with it. As much as I love planning for all the school things I do with Naomi, I wanted a program that I could use as a guide to cut down on SOME of my planning time. However, I needed something that still allowed us the time and flexibility to do our thematic units. This program is perfect for that! It is broken into weekly units that has a focus letter, sight word, number, shape, color, Bible verse, life application and song. It's simple to use, and doesn't take us much time. Naomi knows all her letters and sounds, but this is a fun way to keep up on them, tie in our Bible time, and promote consistency in our day. I'm not planning on sharing what we're doing with this program regularly on my blog, but I thought it would be fun for everyone to get a peek at some of the things we're doing every day. I have more fun sharing the activities we are doing from our thematic units, which are in addition to this program! This week the unit focused on the letter L, number 1, sight word "see", and Matthew 5:16 was our verse. The song for the week was "This Little Light of Mine", which went along perfectly.

This is our main learning board for the RRSP program. On the top left is all the printouts I need for the week. On the bottom left is our memory verse for the week. In the middle is life application for the memory verse. After going over the life application one time, Naomi likes to "teach" me the life application portion. :-) On the top, to the far right is our song. The bottom pockets are, from left to right, a prop for our song/memory verse, and then key cards to review for our number, letter and sight word. Once we are done with a unit we put the key cards in the pockets for easy access for review. The items on the board get switched out each week to go along with the new units, but stay in the same format, so it's very easy to use. Making this bulletin board took me back to my teaching days!!  I was going to mount (well have Jim mount!) the board on the wall, but couldn't decide on the perfect location. What we've ended up doing is not mounting it, and this has been perfect for us! I keep it in the office, but it's easy to move our whole program around the house with us, if we need to change locations for our school some mornings. Variety is the spice of life right!? 

Part of this program includes a PowerPoint show to go along with each unit. Naomi and Nathan both really like these! Here is a shot of the kids watching the show one morning as they were eating their breakfast. We had a busy schedule that particular day, so it was a good way to squeeze two things in at one time! Hooray for laptops!

Doing some practice lines in order to get ready to write L.

Finding L in our verse, and then tracing a large L.

Writing the L on our L vocabulary words.

Cutting out the vocabulary cards all by herself! I like that this program requires some type of cutting every day. It's great practice for Naomi and she's getting quite good at it!

Naomi reading the "see" sight word book. We read this together every day.

Writing her L's. She got very good at these!

Cutting out "L is for....." discussion cards. Naomi wrote the L on all of them, we talked about them, and then she cut them out.

Each week there is an activity where you cut out your memory verse, tape the stirps together, and then measure to see how long it is. Naomi was very impressed that it was taller than Nathan and her!!

Coloring her Bible verse. I don't think we'll do this next week as she's not really into coloring.

Color by number words! She didn't mind doing this, but again, I think we'll do play-doh, or something else so practice the sight word, other than coloring. I am proud of how good she's getting at it though! I have to say, I always hated coloring too so I can't blame her. lol There is also a craft that goes with the memory verse that we enjoy, but I didn't manage to get a picture of us doing it.

Depending on the week, and Naomi's interest level, we do some additional letter activities. I normally find these at Confessions of a Homeschooler's printables, or Homeschool Creation's printables.

L is for Ladybug! Naomi really enjoys these dot paints.

Cutting out pictures that begin with L and making a collage.

Each weekly unit has a focus color. Since Naomi has known her colors forever, I was just going to skip over this part of the program, until I had a brainwave! Naomi may know all her colors, but a certain boy who just turned one doesn't, and what a fun way to include him in our school time! The color for this unit was yellow, so all three of us went on a yellow hunt. This is what we came up with: a whole basket FULL of yellow things! Our hunt was so much fun and all of us had a blast! What I couldn't have predicted was how much the kids would actually play with this basket of mismatched yellow junk.... errr.... treasures. ;-) I am the queen of organization, so our toys are all nicely sorted by type and category. The kids play with all our toys a ton, but have never had a basket full of yellow stuffed animals, play food, balls from the ball house, Easter eggs, blocks, bath toys, baby toys, etc, etc. I couldn't believe what creative, out of the box, play this lead to! Is there such a thing as too organized!?!? Naaahhhh...... ;-) 

 Nathan really dug these color cards I printed off from Homeschool Creations, and laminated for him. I used a scrapbooking tool to round all the corners so he didn't poke himself. As you can see in the previous picture, we had fun matching the real objects to the pictures. It was fun because everything was yellow, but it opened the door to some great vocabulary development too.

Nathan's favorite items by far were the many ducks. This boy LOVES ducks! He can say duck and will quack on command!

This hat provided lots of fun too. Not only was it super cute when he would try and wear it, but it lent itself to several games. The favorite hat game was taking some of the smaller items in the basket, such as the eggs and blocks, and tossing them into the hat. Nathan though this was HILARIOUS!

Another favorite game (that I didn't get a picture of) was with a yellow stacking ring. I would hold the ring, and he had fun experimenting to see what yellow objects would fit through it, and drop to the ground. He thought it was funny when things would fall through the hole, and also when they just sat on top of the ring. By the end of the week he was holding the ring himself and dropping objects through it. What great fine motor development! I could go on and on, but needless to say, we had lot of fun with our yellow basket!

Nathan even did some yellow dot painting! He loves to color, draw, and paint. I have a feeling he might be very artistic!

So there you have it! An inside look at some of the things we do every week! As the weather warms up, and we spend more and more time outside, we will be doing less "paper" school, and more "life" school. I love all the activities we do, and so does Naomi, but we are also looking forward to warm days, playing in the yard, and splashing in our little pools. Check out what others are doing at 1+1+1=1 and Preschool Corner. Until next week!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Nathan's First Birthday!

We celebrated our baby boy's first birthday this weekend!  I can't believe that he is already 1!!  Where has the past year gone?  I feel like it was just last month that I was pregnant, and not so patiently, awaiting his arrival. It's cliche to say, but very true: time goes by so fast when you have kids.  What an amazing year it has been.  It's so busy having young children, but I can honestly look back at this year and say that I thoroughly enjoyed Nathan's time being a baby to the fullest.  Knowing how quickly it would go by, I only had one commitment outside the house, and that was simply playgroup that met every other week.  It's so easy to get bogged down in commitments, and to spread ourselves thin.  Not that we didn't do other things, but that was the only thing I committed us to on a regular basis.  I'm so proud of myself for keeping my priorities in order and spending this past year immersed in Nathan's "baby era".  This first year of his will be a time I will look back upon and treasure.  Anyways, enough babbling and on to the party details!!

Initially I planned on inviting our usual group of friends we have to such events.  However, after a bit of thought, I realized that this wasn't a party for Naomi and her friends, or for Jim and I, but a party for our son who is just turning one.  By inviting a large group of people, I knew he would be overwhelmed, and the party wouldn't really be about him.  Therefore, we kept the party simple and small, and it was ALL about Nathan.  The theme for the party was construction and it was beyond adorable.  Nathan loves all the big trucks and machinery that are always around our development (new development where lots of new houses are going up).  When I found this online I knew it would be perfect!

What did I say?? TOO CUTE!!

What a fun centerpiece!

The cake was perfect for the theme and yummy too!

Testing out his new wagon the morning before the party.

Pre-party playing.  Grandma and Grandpa gave Nathan some of his presents that morning so he could play with them all day.  The parking garage was a hit!

So VERY handsome. I love you my big one year old boy!

Opening his present from Mommy and Daddy.

The dump truck we got him was a HUGE hit.  It has three modes and you can ride it, push it, and use it as a dump truck. 

He LOVES it and has hardly gotten off it since the party!

Party hat!! It didn't last long.... ;)

Naomi however LOVED the party hats and wore one the whole party!

He had is own little smash cake!

He wasn't so sure about the taste but thought playing with the icing was fun.

He ate up all the attention.  I'm so glad he had such a special day that was just for him.  Here he was clapping, and hamming it up for the crowd.

Nathan and his future wife, Lyla.  I could eat them they are so cute!!  They really have fun together too.

Mommy and the birthday boy at the end of the party.  He was so, so tired, and slept in until 10:00 am the next day!

We had such a special time celebrating Nathan's first year of life.  I have the fondest memories of Naomi's first birthday, and I'm so happy that I will have equally great memories of Nathan's.  I am so blessed to have such an amazing son.  Nathan is the happiest boy ever.  He always has a smile on his face, and is so funny.  I know he is going to have a great sense of humor.  He is extremely brave, and is always exploring or climbing on something.  This would terrify me more if he wasn't so athletic!  He has amazing balance and can generally get himself out of what he gets on/into.  He is ALL boy, but also extremely sweet and cuddly.  He gives me the best kisses, and is super cuddly with both me and Daddy.  We love you Nathan!  I will always treasure the memories of your first year, and am excited for the new memories we will make together as you grow.

Love, Mommy