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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Some New Books that are becoming dear friends

About two years ago I posted a list of some of our favorite toddler books and most of them still get read often, but we are growing up and reading some new ones and then reading them again and again till they have been added into our favorite book piles :) Here are some:

1. "Everybody Cooks Rice" by Norah Dooley-- this is my 3 year old's favorite!! It is just such a nice way of showing how we all take something thats the same and make it our own in a different way

2. "A Picture Book of George Washington" by David Adler -- I like this because it is a nice introductory book with pictures that engage small ones, plus, my five year old loves George, so it's a definite favorite. There are more bios also written by the author

3. "From Caterpillar to Butterfly" by Deborah Heiligman-- both of my kids love it and we have read it so many times that they will bring up parts of the metamorphosis process throughout the day and my daughter who is 3 loves to draw a chrysalis. There are more in this "series", but this is our favorite

4. "Come Look With Me: Exploring Art With Children" By Gladys S. Blizzard-- We have only been reading this for about two months and now when my son paints he'll go into more detail and then name his painting-- there are more like this and they are all great1

5. "Frog and Toad" These were some of my favorites as a child and now when I pull it out everyone cleans up whatever they were doing and snuggles in close to listen to these two adorable friends.

6. We have loved all our Usbourne books (we always buy them used), but "Things People Do" is their favorite-- great pictures and it is neat for them to see in depth what community helpers do

That's all for now, I am sure later today I'll think of something else, but these ones really stand out right now :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

First year of "school"

So..... phew, this is the first official year of me not sending the kids to school. I keep wondering if I'll even notice the first day of school for our neighbors and feel like a big, hmmmmm... bucker of the system? Not sure... but we do have 14 days of school done ahead of our public school neighbors and it is a big part of our routine so that after breakfast the kids will start pulling school books off the shelves and getting cozy on the couch. I love doing school on the couch-- we all pile on and snuggle close and then dive in; of course, we do go to the dining room table to practice writing and math. Once our official school time is done, we still keep doing learning things throughout the day and it blends in so nicely that the kids can find so much joy and freedom in learning-- it's so beautiful. I always thought I would be so structured doing this, but as I begin, I love the flexibility and the never knowing what all we may learn or do-- we just GO!

Monday, August 16, 2010

My son's Toy Story Party

This past saturday we threw my son's fifth birthday party and we went with a toy story theme. I have just begun to dabble and get into all these party planning and dessert table blogs and they really inspired me to begin taking it to the next level. Of course, I still do things my way and thats with a budget and always with my birthday child at the forefront! I spent about 120 dollars on all the food and decorations-- I just did it all homemade. I made homemade pizza (since Andy goes to Pizza Planet), hot dogs, chicken ka-bobs, salads, and dips for the main meal. Since it was summer I was able to get 90% of all the veggies right from our garden, so that was a huge money saver! I made a cute banner for outside and decorated with curled ribbons everywhere-- I have to be honest, I am not a big balloon person since they pop and make obnoxious noises and are a choking hazard for young guests, so this cut down on cost too. I didn't get any pictures of the outside stuff, but here is the dessert table.

The cupcake ideas came from http://hubpages.com/hub/Toy-Story-Birthday-Cakes. I already had the cake platter and got the two candy holders at the dollar store. I made the brownie toppers with pictures I had found online- so free :) These aren't pictured since I couldn't put them out due to the heat, but I made chocolate covered marshmallows by freezing them and then dipping them in the chocolate and they were a big hit with the kids and adults. The party was so much fun! The weather was great and we are so blessed to begin another year with our special little guy :)