Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Reading directions scavenger hunt!

If you are a member of Pinterest, you probably know there are a gazillion ideas out there for things that you can do with your kids to help them with reading.  I came across a company advertisement that sold an Early Reader Treasure Hunt.  Me being a cheapo that I am, thought that this was a good idea, but there was no way I was going to pay somebody for flashcards when I could make them in less than a few minutes.  So I wrote down 10 different directions for each of the girls. 
Jocelyn's cards were a bit harder than Katelyn's.  I put their initial on the top of each card to show who the reader was.

They ran around the house (having fun!) and reading at the same time. 
Katelyn reading her first card...don't you just love their attire and hair?:)
I caught Kate's excitement when she found one of the cards.

Jocelyn reading the next direction.
 Fun how I can just sneak those little things in without them even noticing we are still doing school. 
Any fun ideas that you would like to share?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kids say the funniest things!

I have read a few blog posts on the funny things that kids say and do.  Some write everything down…some write them on facebook.   I started writing a few things down that my kids have said…that I thought were kind of funny! (disclaimer…you may not think they are funny…)  Oh and I noticed as they get older they just don’t say very many funny things anymore…so I have no quotes from Jocelyn…most are from Easton.


Easton (will be 3 next month!!)
"I can’t pull my pants down (to go to the bathroom) because they are locked."

On Monday, Easton had me zipper up his bag that he packed full of cars for church.  I asked him if he thought we were going to church today and he said “yes.”  I said we were not and asked him why he thought we were going…he said “because we got dressed this morning.”  Yikes!

Easton asked me for another snack, right after he just had one.  I told him he could not because he just had one.  He pleaded with me, saying he forgot.  Apparently he has a REALLY bad short term memory. 
He also asked me for another drink of milk…and I said…”wow where did that first glass of milk go…you drank it so fast.”  He held up his arm and told me it went down his arm to his fingers.  

And that the last thing that pops into my head for this little guy…

I asked him to come back to the table because he forgot to take care of things…he told me he was too busy.  Apparently he has a lot going on in his little life.

Katelyn (4 1/2 years old)
 “Thank you mom for letting me empty your bathroom trash!  Can I empty the laundry room one now!
  “ My response—but of course and while your at it…do your bathroom.:)

"Mom I am going to marry Justin Beiber."  My response..."um no you are not."  Ok...not very funny.

"I found 2 pennies mom, I am going to save these so I can someday go to Disney World."  She has a lot of saving to do if that is all she has!

Weston (15 months)

He can’t really say much, but his actions are cute….

When Sean was out of town, I asked Weston if he could tell his daddy night night over the phone and give him a kiss.  He made some kissing noises and then walked away smacking his bottom with his hand….I translated that into “Kiss my butt.”  Ok…so not appropriate…but was kind of funny.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Just a little dreaming going on!

We have lived in our house for 6 years now!  Time flies when you are having fun!  We have had 3 kids in this house.  Bought a dog.  Created quiet a few memories...and my hubby has done A LOT of work to make things the way that we like them.  A LOT of work. 
Our house when we first moved in...and our old X-terra!
 We fell in love with our house when we started our house hunting process 6 years ago.  We loved the large yard and wooded area behind our house.  We loved the space.  Not to small, not to large.   We loved the extra storage areas.  We loved the quiet little town.  We loved the price and the fact that our taxes are extremely low compared to other counties.  There was a lot to love...but there was a lot left to be desired. 

So each year my husband has been working hard on making it our home.  As I was dreaming this weekend about all the projects I would like for him to complete, I had to take a step back and think about how hard he has worked on things already.  His work has become busier and busier...and he is traveling a lot more time is I must have patience with my dreams. 

I wish I could do home improvement projects by myself since I am home during the day.  I have some handy friends who can do these things...but I frankly am no good at repairs. 

So this is his first project.  He is probably going to recruit a friend to this will be a major reno that really can't be messed up.  We had termites this fall!  Yuck!  We noticed little holes all over our entrance foyer walls...then we traced them all the way up and into the kids toyroom.  Sure enough...those little buggers are quiet common in our town...and state.  So we had to pay bucko bucks to kill them and now we are left with the repairs.  So drywall is going to have to be torn out and we will have to repaint our walls. 

That leads to the next possible project....walls.  Our wall color is REALLY boring. (according to my husband). 
can you see it?  It isn't that is really light.
I am ok with the boring-ness...but he would like to darken things up a bit.  So if we are having to repaint because of the termites...we might as well paint the whole main floor of our house...right?  We have these tall vaulted that will be quiet a project.  As we are painting our walls...our ceilings need to be painted as well.  Fun stuff!  We had to have our roof replaced due to a storm and they didn't seal up the shingles like they were supposed we have water lines on our ceiling.  I just try not to look up:) 

Here is a possibility for the husband picked out the yellowy one...I picked out the lighter brown.  Thoughts?
The one of the right is a light brown...looks grey in the picture.
Then there is lighting in our living room and dining room..  The builder put in the absolute cheapest things in our house.  Our lighting is discoloring in a lovely yellowish shade...and 3 of the lights no longer work...might be electrical...might be the bulbs...who knows...they are too high for a quick change.
My dream lighting is two sets of these....we want to change things to a rubbed bronzed looked.
Then there is our ugly ceiling fan...that attracts a lot of dust.  It is nice to have a ceiling fan and extra lights...

Here is one of the options for replacement.  Still trying to decide on this one.  So many cool fans out there.
We would also like to replace our lighting in our dining area and over our bar.  Here is what is over our table right now...
 and this is my dream.
 We have this over our bar...we might paint it a bronze color or look for something else.  Can't find anything yet.
Then there is our lovely kitchen.  We did things backwards with this room.  We replaced our black laminate counters that were peeling with a nice quartz counter top, but left them on white pealing cabinets. 

 What on earth where we one of these days (I told my hubby by the end of the year on this one) we need to get new cabinets.  Here is what we were thinking.  Thoughts?
and then there is the kids bathroom.  Yikes....I have repainted it two times already.  I still don't like the color. 
 We found a really pretty midnight blue color with sparkles of some sort in it. 
 Bought it (a few years ago) and I ordered a really cool flower tree Uppercase Living expression to climb one of the walls, but before we paint, we need to replace the countertops, fix the vanity, and replace the lighting since one of the sockets no longer work.  We are stuck with the vanity...the measurements of the room are off...(that is the story of our house), so my hubby will have to mend the we won't have this extra space anymore.

Apparently they didn't have a measuring tape handy when building our house...they even had to cut down two baths just to fit in the given space.
This is the sink that my hubby really likes.  Faucets...still TBD.
 and here is what I was thinking for the replacement for the countertop...a little darker color.
 Here is the current lighting.  Yuck.
Here is a possible replacement.  We are pretty limited due to what might be behind the current lighting.  Looking for a quick easy replacement, without a lot of patching. 
and then last but not least...well last for now I our downstairs bedroom.  We are hoping to convert it into a school room next year.  Right now we do school in our toyroom, but next year we are hoping to move downstairs.  I want space to set up Jocelyn's laptop...and leave it...I want to be able to put school books on shelves...and leave them...but since the kids play unattended in the toyroom...they get into everything.  It will be nice to be able to shut the door when school is not in session next year and not have to worry.  So here is the wall that I intend to paint. 

I have a fun pattern that I am going to attempt...with these colors.
So that is all for now...overwhelming just thinking about everything...but patience...nothing HAS to be done right this minute...they are just dreams for now that are bookmarked away.

Any thoughts?  I am not an expert when it comes to home decorating ideas!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Old games with new twists: part 2!

Yesterday I wrote a post about how we took two games and put an educational twist on them:  Twister & Minute to Win It!

There are lots of games that we in our game cupboard that I am finding that can also be changed into being more challenging: Chutes and Ladders & Candyland.

Before we started the game, I used my old Uppercase Living business cards-- (I have about 1000 left or so) and put the girls current spelling and reading words on them.  I separated them into piles by color/child.  Jocelyn's were written in blue and Katelyn's were black.
 Before they were allowed to move, they had to read their word.  The girls loved this variation...except when they got a word wrong and their turned was skipped...or if they lost...I have a bunch of sore losers on my hands.  Tons of fun...give it a try!

Katelyn reading her word for Chutes & Ladders
Can you tell who is the sore loser...apparently Jocelyn doesn't like to lose to her little sis!
Jocelyn cheating...well to Katelyn's advantage I guess...she is whispering the word in Kate's ear.  I told her she would lose a turn if she did it again. 
Jocelyn reading her word

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Old games with new twists!

I have been trying to think of fun things to do with the kids to help them learn their spelling words, instead of just reading in their Hooked on Phonics books.  Here are a few ideas that have made the girls just a wee bit excited:) 

Reading words Twister:
I made up flashcards with mostly Katelyn's words and put them on each circle.  Then I spinned at they had to select a word that was closest to whatever limb they were about to move.  If they could read it, they were allowed to move.  The girls had never played Twister before...but enjoyed the Twist!

And there is my little boy...bull dozing words away from the game board:)  Gotta love him!
Minute to Win It Reading!:

We played quiet a few Minute to Win It related games last year...but haven't so much this I thought we would bring the game back.  I wrote out reading words on flashcards, formed  a circle with them. I called out one word at a time and they had one minute to grab as many words as they could. 

Yes they are still in their jammies..we usually get dressed at around 2pm ish if we have no where to go...:)

Katelyn got overwhelmed with spinning in a circle to find the words, so after a few rounds we just put them on the ottoman and it seemed to work a little better for her.

Stay tuned!  Two more games coming tomorrow!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Volcanoes Erupt!

Jocelyn was studying volcanoes in Geography this past week and we did a little experiment in the kitchen. 

We mixed:
2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of salt, and 1/2 of oil (measurements are approximate)...

(the actually recipe called for 6 cups of flour and 2 cups of salt...I didn't want to "waste" all of that for a we just covered the top of the water bottle, instead of the entire thing.) 

Mix until a dough forms and then form it into a volcano-like structure.

After our structure was complete we filled our water bottle up with warm water (left about 1 inch at the top).  We then put 6 drops of liquid dish washing detergent,  2 TBSP of baking soda, and red food coloring.  Then Jocelyn added vinegar and we watched our volcano erupt.  It made for a nice discussion about how different elements combine and react with each other.  This stuff is all new to me...well I am sure I learned it in school at some point...but did not retain the information...AT ALL. 

How did I end up married to a mechanical engineer?  I guess opposites do attract?

Here is a little video of our volcano erupting:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

50 States Postcard Exchange!

The girls received the following postcard in the mail: 
They some how recognized what state this postcard came from "Hawaii" and were thrilled beyond belief that Bethany Hamilton, you know the gal that the movie Soul Surfer was based on...the one who lost her arm to a shark while surfing.  It actually is a good movie, despite the shark attack...she is a believer...a homeschooler...and a world class surfer girls are obsessed with her...and can't wait to meet her someday...there is no "if" they will meet her...they say "when" they will meet her.

Anyways, back to the postcard...we received this in the mail and they assumed it was from her.  Apparently she knows us??  Hmmm.  I had to break their little hearts and say, no it is from another homeschooling family just like ours.  They reminded me, that Bethany was in fact a homeschooler just like them, and since no one signed the postcard, we can just pretend it was from we are going with that right now (even though I have a list of names and I confirmed this was not from the Hamilton family).

So why did we receive this postcard from Hawaii you might ask, when we live a million miles (or minutes) away from Hawaii?  We are taking part in a postcard exchange with 49 other families in conjunction with the blog:  Confessions of a Homeschooler.

Each family received a list of addresses and then were responsible for sending out postcards from their home state.  We had to research some fun facts about our home state and put them on the postcard.  I have all of our postcards ready to send out in a few weeks and so far we have received a few in the mail.  Some families are sending out of order and some haven't sent them at all, so hopefully by the end of the school semester we will have collected all 50 states!  I am really excited...and the kids are too...but I think I am a little more!:)

So stay tuned...hopefully when May rolls around I will write a post featuring all 50 postcards!!

Here is what we have so far...and as we receive them the girls find the state on their map and color it in.

So far we have postcards from Kansas, California, New Hampshire, Indiana, Colorado, Maine & Hawaii