Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Fun Activities


I'm so excited that summer is finally here! We finished up our school year earlier in May, but I've spent the last few weeks just trying to regroup. So today, with Memorial Day, I am officially kicking off our summer.

The small people have some summer camps they're going to attend - The Boy has boy scout camp and church youth camp; Soccer Girl, Ballerina, and Little Red are going to camps at our local museum and Bible school at our church; and Sassy Pants is going to soccer camp.

When they're not participating in camps, I don't want the small people to spend their summer just sitting around (although that's not always a bad thing). So I've come up with a plan to be purposeful about doing a variety of activities this summer.

I came up with 50 different activities to do with the small people this summer and separated them into categories: trips, indoor activities, outdoor activities, and in the kitchen. I gave each category a color and spray painted craft sticks to match. Then I wrote the activities on the correct color sticks and put them in a pot. Now, all we have to do is choose a stick of the appropriate color each day. (Obviously, if it's raining or too hot, we need to do indoor activities. Traveling isn't always an option. Etc.)

Here's our activity list:
Travel: 
Go to the zoo
Go to the park
Go to the splash pad
Go to the pool
Go on a picnic
Go bowling
Go to Swan Lake
Go get slushes/milkshakes

Indoor Activities:
Make ice boats
Play board games
Make paper airplanes
Do splatter painting
Decorate flower pots
Decorate t-shirts
Make suncatchers
Paint a portrait
Make bird feeders
Bubble painting
Make friendship bracelets
Paint coffee filters
Make recycled crayons
Paint with marbles
Build with marshmallows and toothpicks
Reading day
Make paper bag puppets
Make a mosaic
Puzzle day
Ice painting
Movie day

Outside Activities:
Play hopscotch
Play tag
Read books outside
Play with sidewalk chalk
Play with sidewalk paint
Have a water balloon fight
Have a sponge ball fight
Play flashlight tag
Water gun wars
Make an obstacle course
Play with playdough
Go for a bike ride
Play Frisbee
Play in the sprinkler
Play Frisbee tic-tac-toe
In the Kitchen:
Make cookies
Make a cake
Make a new recipe
Make s'mores
Make campfire cones

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Curriculum Choices for 2012-13

This spring I have struggled with motivation for planning for next year. I've finally made myself sit down and plan what I want to teach each of my children next year, and the curriculum I plan to use.

The Boy will be 7th grade:
Bible - Bible Study Guide for All Ages
History - MFW Exploration to 1850
Science - Apologia Physical Science
Math - Saxon Algebra 1/2
Language Arts:
     Grammar - Rod and Staff Grade 7
     Spelling - Spelling Power
     Writing - IEW US History-Based Writing Lessons, Volume 1
     Reading - The Witch of Blackbird Pond Progeny Press Guide
                       Johnny Tremain Progeny Press Guide
Foreign Language - Rosetta Stone Spanish

Soccer Girl and Ballerina will be 4th grade:
Bible - Bible Study Guide for All Ages
History -  MFW Exploration to 1850
Science - Apologia Swimming Creatures
Math - Saxon 5/4
Language Arts:
     Grammar - Rod and Staff Grade 4 
     Spelling - Spelling Power
     Writing - IEW US History-Based Writing Lessons, Volume 1
     Reading - The Whipping Boy Progeny Press Guide
                      Stone Fox Progeny Press Guide
                      Little House in the Big Woods Progeny Press Guide
 Foreign Language - Rosetta Stone Spanish

Little Red will be in 2nd grade:
Bible - Bible Study Guide for All Ages
History -  MFW Exploration to 1850
Science - Apologia Swimming Creatures
Math - Saxon Grade 3
Language Arts:
     Grammar - First Language Lessons Year 2
     Spelling - Spelling Power
     Reading - Sonlight Readers

Sassy Pants will be in 5K:
Bible - Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Kindergarten - MFW Kindergarten
Math - Saxon K

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happy Birthday to my twins!

Nine years ago today, two beautiful baby girls were born at 1:35 and 1:37 am. I had developed HELLP Syndrome (a severe form of toxemia); my blood pressure had risen to dangerous levels and my liver had begun to shut down. I was taken in for an emergency c-section and had to be completely anesthetized because they feared my body wouldn't handle it.

I remember waking from the anesthetic and asking Robb about how the babies were doing. He told me that Soccer Girl weighed 4lbs 1oz and that he had gotten to see her for a minute before she was taken downstairs to the NICU. Then he told me that Ballerina weighed 3lbs and had been taken straight to the NICU in an oxygen tent. I immediately feared I would never get to raise Ballerina, that she wasn't going to make it - that she was just too tiny.

I waited anxiously all day to see the girls while Robb's mom and stepdad and my mom all came and got to go with Robb to the NICU. They each would come back to my room with news of how well the girls seemed to be doing, especially Ballerina. It still didn't ease my fears for her future.

Finally at 10pm, the nurse came to get me and take me down to the NICU. They got my protective gown on me in my wheelchair and wheeled me in. First we went to Ballerina. She was already in an isolette. She was SO TINY! I couldn't imagine holding her; she just looked so frail. The nurse explained to me that she had already graduated off the c-pap and was able to breathe on her own in the isolette, which made me extremely happy.

 Then we went to Soccer Girl. She was a little bigger but was still hooked up to the c-pap and with all the tubes and wires attached to her, she looked even more frail than Ballerina did. I was able to reach up to touch her little leg which was only as big around as my index finger. I still tear up when I think of how fragile my little girls were.


Fast forward to today. I have 2 gorgeous 9 year olds who run around, play sports, dance, and do all the things 9 year old girls do. Soccer Girl loves soccer and is a little mama to Sassy Pants.
Ballerina is my ballerina and will read anything she can get her hands on.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sidewalk Paint Fun

One of the favorite activities from last summer was painting the driveway with homemade sidewalk paint. When I asked the small people what they wanted to do this summer, Caelin's first response was "Sidewalk paint!" So today, we painted with sidewalk paint.

It's simple, easy, CHEAP fun. All you need is a box of corn starch, water, and food coloring.

Mix equal parts of water and corn starch in small containers. I used 1/2 cup of each today. You need to mix it really well because it will get gloppy on the bottom. Then add the food coloring to get the colors you want.

Like I said, easy!











Soccer Girl decided to do some abstract paint drips by slinging the paint brush.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Mother's Day Wish

I'm sure most of you are aware that Mother's Day is Sunday. Robb and the kids asked me the other day what I want for Mother's Day. I gave them a few ideas of things I could use for around the house.

Unfortunately, the one thing I would really like, none of them can give me. What I really want is the ability to go back in time. I miss my mom. Had I known in the weeks and months before that she was dying, there are so many things I would do differently. I would have made a point of spending more time with her. I would have taken more pictures of her with the twins.

Mother's Day is difficult for me. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being a mother to the 5 small people who call me mom. I couldn't imagine my life without them. But that doesn't change my sadness over the loss of my mom.

Since I can't go back and change my past, all I can do is change how I choose to live in the present. In the past few weeks, I've been reminded of how unpredictable this life is. One homeschooling family I know lost their 6 year old to leukemia, and another family just had their 3 year old diagnosed with leukemia. I want to enjoy the people God has placed in my life - Robb, my children, my friends. I'm planning to spend this summer having fun with them. Of course, being the type A person that I am, I can't just be completely spontaneous; that would make me crazy. So I'm going to be making a summer bucket list of things I want to do with my family. I'm sure that will be a blog post in the next couple of days.

Here's how you can help:
I already have some fun ideas rattling around in my brain, but I need more. What are some of your suggestions for fun activities for the summer?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my oldest. My only boy. My favorite red-headed male. Today he turns 12. Where in the world has the time gone? I remember when he was a baby and now he's almost a teenager.






Tuesday, May 1, 2012

T-Ball

It's finally Sassy Pants's turn to have an activity. The Boy and Soccer Girl have soccer, Ballerina and Little Red have ballet; now Sassy is playing t-ball.

She had her first practice 2 weeks ago. She was SO excited! This is something all for her; she doesn't have to share the spotlight with any of the other small people in our family. Being the youngest of 5, Sassy has had many opportunities to watch the older ones play sports. She's learned how to take turns and follow coaching. So I wasn't really surprised when she did so well at her practice. She caught right on to how to put her glove in front of the ball and had a great arm throwing it back.



Batting was a little more difficult. She's never tried to hit a ball off a tee before, and I think the tee was too low for her because she kept swinging over the ball. We went home and practiced with our tee, and she did much better.

I think her favorite thing from practice, though, was running to first base after she hit the ball.


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