Monday, September 28, 2009

Unplugged Project: "J"

I love that the Unplugged Projects are so flexible!! This week's "assignment" was the Letter J. We painted this week "J"ust because I wanted to!

My inspiration came from Heart of the Matter Online: Paint It Like Pollock.

Basically, I gave the boys a small wooden ball, some paint, and a piece of paper inside a box. They dipped the ball in paint, dropped it on the paper, and rolled the ball around inside the box.

Forgive the dim pictures; it was a bright and windy day. We were under the carport and the shadows were not very forgiving... :)

Step 1: Pose for mommy while you are all clean. Start with colors red, yellow, blue, and white.

Step 2: Dip the little ball in as many colors as possible. :)

Step 3: Shake the box to roll the ball around.

Step 4: Show off pretty picture.

Step 5: Continue to mix paint until mommy says it's time to stop.

The boys really enjoyed this. It was a beautiful day and we needed to do something outside!

Visit Unplug Your Kids for more on the Letter J!

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Go Flip a Rock: Results

So, we're a little late on the Rock Flip Day. We've had rainy day after rainy day after rainy day... However, it was beautiful today so we went out to find a rock to flip in our yard.

Would you believe there wasn't a single rock to flip?! My FIL mows our yard while my hubs is away on business and keeps the yard pretty immaculate. I had to find something to flip with the boys, though!

There is a small rose garden in the back yard with some sort of wooden siding that had fallen over. I thought that after all that rain there would be something exciting under it. When we flipped it over, the first thing I saw was some worms. Then Will screams, "ANTS!" Fire ants, to be specific. That was the end of the rock flipping and the end of playing in that part of the yard.

I doubt you can really see the ants or the worms in the picture, but we flipped it and had an experience doing it none-the-less.

Maybe next year we'll go out to the in-laws farm and see what we can flip. (No cow tippin', I promise!) :)

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Unplugged Project: Feathers

Well, we were not completely tv/screen free today, but I am happy that we were able to keep everything off until after afternoon naps. Last week, while we were sick, the boys went on tv overload so the Turnoff Week came at a good time to at least help us get back into our routine of not watching so much tv.

I wanted to keep the boys busy and knew we still needed to do this week's Unplugged Project so I asked Will what he thought we could do with feathers. He said, "Well, we could always put a feather in a hat." So I went with the idea, grabbed some colored legal sized paper, a stapler, glue sticks and feathers.

We went from this:

to this:

This was a really fun project that we all enjoyed. Cleanup really was just the sweep of a broom and the boys enjoyed their feathered hats for the day!

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Sunday, September 20, 2009


Today is the first day of Turnoff Week. I'm also going to limit my screen time this week to after the boys are in bed at night.

Today is also Go Flip a Rock Day. We'll be flipping our rock(s) tomorrow. It was absolutely too rainy to go outside today except when necessary. Surely there will be some good "stuff" under the rocks after all this rain!

Have a great week! Are you turning off your tv or limiting screen time?

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Homeschooling Days 24 - 27: Sickness

We took Monday off in celebration of Will's 7th birthday, Sept 12. It's a good thing I already had that day scheduled as an off day because Nathan got strep throat and Witt had croup over the weekend and the first part of the week. Then I got worn down, too. Luckily, Will never got terribly sick.

Math almost came to a hault this week; luckily we were discussing the (easy to Will) topic of evens & odds and counting by 2s. Most of our math so far has been review as far as concepts go, but I'm really taking the time to go over them completely as well as give a firm foundation for using the abacus. (He already knew how to count by 2s before kindergarten.)

Will was able to do some of his phonics, spelling words and handwriting. Will also wrote a letter to "Aunt" Deborah in Georgia and we did the Feathers Unplugged Project.

Later in the week we read the book The Little House and discussed how communities and seasons change over time.

Will also took his first karate lesson this week! (Pictures to come...)

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pay It Forward Giveaway!!

A few weeks ago, a Pay It Forward giveaway popped up in my Reader from UnplugYourKids. Basically, she won a giveaway from another blogger and then paid it forward by offering a giveaway on her blog. Not only did I get to have fun going to the mailbox waiting on my surprise, but my surprise was coming from FRANCE! MomUnplugged was getting ready to go on a trip with her family and promised a little token from France! How exciting!

At the time we still hadn't moved and didn't know we would be moving so quickly, so I gave her my old address. Talk about anticipation! :) I finally received my package from France that also made it's way across north Alabama. I enjoyed just looking at all the stamps on the package! (I live a sheltered life! LOL!)

I wish I had been of sound mind to take a picture, but in the midst of the move I just wasn't. She sent me a lovely postcard and bookmark. The special surprise was a stone that you spritz with cologne/perfume/other scented item and place in your drawer. It is engraved with the word Amitie' which means Friendship. That engraving is very special to me, coming from her, because she was one of the first bloggers I really got in contact with. I've always enjoyed her blog and she's always been such an encouragement to me to spend more quality time with my kiddos! Thank you, MomUnplugged!

So, now it's my turn!! Or rather, your turn!

The first three bloggers that comment on this post will receive a surprise from me in the mail. You must be a blogger that is willing to Pay It Forward on your blog. It doesn't have to be anything big or expensive, just a little something to spread some happiness.

I haven't decided what I will be sending as my surprise...I guess it will just have to be a surprise!

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Bed

Here's Witt asleep in the Queen bed that's in his room. He had croup at the time and must have just climbed up in bed and passed out.

A few days after this was taken, as I was putting him to bed in his crib, he pointed and said, "No. Bed!" I asked if he wanted to sleep in the big bed; he said yes, and so that's where he's been ever since.

The crib is out of his room and the littlest boy has the biggest bed. :)

He's growing up fast.

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We're still here... just a little under the weather. Nathan is on antibiotics for strep and Witt has been croup-like since Friday. Both seem to be improving. Will said this morning that his throat is all plugged up, but other than that he feels fine. I woke this morning with a headache, plugged nose, and itchy eyes. Jeff? I sent him to work out of town a day early so he doesn't get sick; I hope it works. We should no longer be contagious by his return.

As for school, well, we're taking a little sick break. My head hurts too much to sit and read for an extended period of time, so the DVD player is getting lots of use right now... as is Netflix!

Have you tried Netflix yet? We're still in our two week free trial period, but I think we're going to keep it. Will has enjoyed watching the movie after we read the book (ie Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island (the cartoon version)). We're also enjoying the "View Now" option of having a video immediately streamlined to the computer. The boys are enjoying some of my old favorites like Inspector Gadget! Plus there are documentaries and other educational films (the boys are especially liking the ones about bulldozers, cranes, trains, etc.)

Anyway... didn't mean to sound like a Netflix commercial. I'm certainly not being paid to say all these nice things! It's just been helpful during this time of sickness.

And, I'm SO glad this isn't Turn Your TV Off Week... that starts Sunday. :)

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Homeschooling Days 19-23

This wasn't really an exciting week beyond the swimming day. Basic Bible, math, reading, and handwriting lessons.

We talked about a few different holidays in the US, Canada, China, and Mexico. We found those countries on the globe as well.

We looked further into Mexico as that is where Will wanted to dive a little deeper. We compared clothes, food, and toys as well. We talked about The Day of the Dead and calaveras. We even watched a tutorial on how to make an easy pinata. (We haven't done this yet, but need to!) We also looked up a few words in Spanish.

This week was also a campus week for us where our homeschooling group meets for art, history, and PE classes on a university campus. As always it was lots of fun!

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just Keep Swimming

Labor Day weekend we went out to my in-laws lake house. Will, Jeff, and a few others went down to the dock to fish. Later, Jeff's aunt came back up to the house and relayed a message:

Will wanted to swim.
(He was told it was too cold, muddy, and murky .)

He wondered out loud about how deep it was. (He was told about 40 feet... and explained to that that meant almost 7 times his daddy's height.)

He assured everyone that he knew how to swim. (Which he can't. He's always worn floats.)

Some time later I hear that Will needs a dry set of clothes. (Which I had, luckily.)

As I understand the story, Jeff was baiting a hook on the dock. Will was walking around him and decided to walk around with his eyes closed (which to me is just a good excuse to fall in) . Sure enough, Will goes straight underwater... with rain boots on! (Yes, my boys where their boots everywhere!) Luckily, Jeff was able to grab him before he sunk out of sight.

We explained again to him that he doesn't know how to swim without floats. We explained that if he ever finds himself underwater again with boots on to kick them off and not worry about them. We also explained that walking around water with your eyes closed is not a good idea. Ever.

Will was fine with all that explaining, except that he still thought he could swim.

SO... two days later, we went to a friend's pool to swim. I wanted Will to understand that he really can't swim yet. I also wanted us to have a fun family day while Jeff was in town. Both were happily accomplished. :)

Here are the boys all suited up. Nathan and Witt have float suits on; Will doesn't. :)

The water was COLD at first, but once we got in and moved around it was great!

Here's Will going down the slide and Witt ready to follow his big brother!

Witt had so much fun kicking!

Wondering where Nathan has been all this time???

He finally ventured off into the water and had a ball! "Me simming! Me simming!" LOL!

Will finally admitted that he couldn't swim and asked if he could put his float suit on. Swimming sure is a lot less work with floats and it sure does take a lot of pressure off the adults in the pool, too! :)

Jeff took over 400 pictures that day! Here are a few...

I got to take a few, too... :)

We all had a really great time! Next year, I'm looking into swimming lessons, though. :)

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Go Flip a Rock

Saw this over on Unplug Your Kids... who got it from Wanderin' Weeta.

On September 20th take your kids outside, choose a rock to flip, then:

1) Record what you find. “Any and all forms of documentation are welcome: still photos, video, sketches, prose, or poetry.”

2) Replace the rock as you found it; it’s someone’s home. But if there are critters underneath, move them to the side before you replace the rock and let them scurry back. You don’t want to squash anyone.

3) Post on your blog, or load your photos to the International Rock Flipping Day Flickr group.

4) Send a link to Susannah at Wanderin’ Weeta. Her e-mail address is in her profile.

5) Susannah will collect the links, e-mail participants the list, and post it for any and all to copy to their own blogs.

6) She also says: “Maybe we can Tweet it, too, this year. Use the hashtag #rockflip.”

(All instructions are from Wanderin’ Weeta’s blog – edited slightly by UnplugYourKids and then copied by me... 'cause I'm lazy today.)

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