Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Blog Recap

Wow!  You get 2 posts from me in ONE day!  Lucky you! ;)

For several years now, I've done a year end blog recap on New Years Eve and this year is no different.  I've come to enjoy these recaps as they are a nice way to wrap up the year and look back to see what I thought was important enough or silly enough to blog about.  Let's see what 2012 looked like...

January...I blogged the most in January (26 posts) and it was filled with Christmas crafts & organization.  January was also when I started "school" with Mackenzie and had my first few recap posts for Raising Rock Stars Preschool here, here and here.  I'd say my favorite post that I just came across is this one.  It's those posts that I'm thankful for because had I not blogged about it, I wouldn't have completely forgotten it!

February...My biggest project in February was reorganizing the Playroom and based on what it looks like right now, I might be doing the same thing again this February! Ha! I did quite a few flashback posts here, here and here, had a low key Valentine's day and made a new best friend! ;)

March...I think my one of my favorite posts was when I posted pictures of Mackenzie jumping!  We went strawberry picking, attempted to make cake pops and visited Mamaw for the first time.  I also learned that getting two kids to smile at the same time is hard!

April...Such a busy month - Meredith started crawling, we went to the zoo, we went "camping" and "swimming"!  I also finished my 2010 blog book and we had a great Easter.

May...3 of us got our hair cut, Mackenzie had her first dance recital, Brandon had a birthday and we went to Georgetown to visit Brandon's mom.  I also made some finger puppets.

June...Meredith learned some new tricks, Mackenzie learned how to "play" with Meredith, we went to the playground, I made pretty neat Father's Day cards/posters, and went swimming.  It was a great start to the summer!

July...Busy, Busy, Busy!  Mackenzie took swim lessons in June, but I posted about them in July, we had a great Fourth of July holiday, we went to the circus, the "beach" and to see the Lion King.  The last 3 were all firsts for Mackenzie!  I made a sensory bin and Meredith turned 11 months old.

August...I attempted some Pinterest pins, prepared and prepared for the girls birthday party, enjoyed our last day of "summer", had our first day of school and Meredith turned 1 year old!

September...Mackenzie turned 4 and we had a big birthday party for the girls!  We went to the Children's Museum, Meredith started walking and I recapped our first two weeks of school for the year here and here.

October...We continued school and Mackenzie made some pretty cute faces with our feeling unit, we visited Granny & Papa's house (this is actually a monthly occurence.) and we attempted to make Gak!  Oh and we also learned that Meredith has favorite dolls when taking pictures!

November...Although it was November, I posted about Halloween and the crafts we did.  I also blogged about my Thanksgiving baking fiasco, some of my favorite videos and all of my quilts.  On average I blogged about every other day, so it was a drastic change from January.  I must be getting busier! ;)

December...The holiday season kept me pretty busy and I didn't blog too many times this December.  The biggest thing that happened was Tiny coming for a visit (1, 2, 3, 4)!  I also recapped our trip to Fredericksburg in November and we did some Christmas crafts just before Christmas.

About half way through the year I started adding a monthly "Photo Love" blog post where I show my favorite photos from the month.  I love that post because it allows me to sit down and look through my photos from the month.  I am able to reflect on everything we've done and sometimes see photos that I had completely forgotten about.

So that's 2012!  It's been a great year and I am looking forward to 2013!  Happy New Year!

December Photo Love

It's the end of the month, so that means it's time for my December photo favorites.  Surprisingly, even with Christmas I didn't take too many pictures this month.  I think I stayed so busy that I didn't take too many photos.

There's nothing like sandles and short sleeve shirts when sitting in Santa's lap.  Only in South Texas!
Meredith fell asleep one afternoon on the couch.
When I tried to move her, she just rolled over and went back to sleep!

Mackenzie had a dance recital this month that I'll eventually blog about! ;)
The girls showed some sisterly love laying in Mackenzie's bed.
This picture is so funny!  We were acting out the 10 plagues in school a couple of weeks ago and Mackenzie was Pharaoh.  Her faces are so funny to me. 
We played dress up with Meredith the other day and had her wear the ballerina costume Mackenzie wore when she was 2!  It was only a little big for her! :/
Another dress up outfit and very cute smile!
I told Mackenzie to smile and she sort of posed for the picture.
The hands are blurry in the picture below, but this is basically Meredith's reaction when she does something we tell her to do something (one of her "tricks").
Brandon's mom took some pictures of us before church yesterday which makes me happy since I'm rarely in pictures with the girls.
And we even included Brandon! ;)
December is almost gone and I'm ready for the new year!  How about you?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Craft & Experiment

The Thursday before Christmas Mackenzie had a lot of dental work done, so on Friday we just had a pajama day.  I randomly decided we should do a couple of Christmas crafts or activities, so I pulled up my handy dandy pinterest board and picked something to do.  The first one was pretty fun for me and Mackenzie both.  The idea comes from Growing a Jeweled Rose.

First we filled a pie plate with milk and sprinkled some glitter on top.  Red and Green for Christmas, of course. ;)
We also added a food coloring to the quarters of the circle (although it didn't do what it was supposed to do). 
Next, we dipped a popsicle stick in some dish soap and then put it in the milk.  The glitter instantly spread apart and made this star!  So cool! ;)
It was supposed to swirl around and cause the food coloring to get all "swirly", but as I said before, it didn't do that.  So, instead, Mackenzie swirled around herself!
 She played with it a LONG time!
Even adding more glitter!  She was pretending she was cooking something and those were the spices.

After that was cleaned up, I made a popsicle stick tree for her to paint.
Once the tree was dry, I told her she could decorate the tree with jewels and pom poms. 
At first, she only decorated the ends of the tree, but when I told her she could put the jewels anywhere...
She got excited and filled the tree up! 

We did other Christmas activities with school, but sadly, these were are only crafts this year.  We didn't even make cookies this year. :(  Maybe next year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Adventures with Tiny 2012 (vol. 4)

Wow, it's already been an entire week since my last post.  I'm so on top of blogging this month! ;)  Anyways, since I missed this past Tuesday's installment of Tuesday with Tiny, I've renamed it "Adventures with Tiny"!  Let's see what he did the last few days he was with us.

On Wednesday he was found drinking out of Mackenzie's water bottle.
Thursday he played around on the computer and typed Mackenzie's name several times.  For this one I had planned on typing a letter to Santa, but that seemed redundant since he is supposed to fly back to Santa each night and report his "findings". 
For Friday, he made himself a little house to sit it...
 And then on Saturday, he was packed and ready to accompany us to Dallas!
While in Dallas, he did appear in different places, but I was lazy and didn't take pictures of his locations.  Oops.

Anyways, Tiny is now officially back at the North Pole and most of our decorations have been taken down.  The trees are still up and technically the decorations haven't been packed up, but the living room does look "normal" again.  The day after Christmas we did NOTHING!  After what seemed like such a busy holiday season, it was nice to have a pajama day the day after Christmas and play and look at all of our new goodies! ;)

I'm trying to get back into a bloggy groove, so hopefully, I'll do a Christmas recap soon.  Here's hoping I can break my previous years records and actually blog about it before New Years!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tuesday with Tiny (vol 3)

It's time for Tuesday with Tiny...except that it's Friday.  Whatever. :/

I made a list of things Tiny would be doing during December, but in the last week, Tiny hasn't really followed those ideas. ;)

On Wednesday we found him playing a little game of Chutes and Ladders with Elmo and a Lala Loopsy doll.

Thursday morning we found Tiny in this niche thing in the hallway.  (I'm an Architect and I have no idea what this is.  It's not deep enough to hold any sort of sculpture/art and it's only 3 feet off the ground.  For lack of a better word, it's just stupid.)  However, it was the perfect place for Tiny.

He/She got a little silly one night and drew silly faces on some marshmallows.

This reindeer apparently reminded him of the North Pole, so he decided to ride it around the house.

On this particular day, I guess Tiny wanted to be cozy in a cup.

You can never read "The Night Before Christmas" too many times!

And finally on Tuesday morning she was hanging on to the living room clock.

I'm still going to stop with Tuesday so that next week we can wrap up Tiny's final week with us.  He's only here for 3 more mornings!  Yay for Christmas! ;)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I'm still here...

I think I'm still here. ;)  It's been a crazy week since I last posted. 

I signed up to head up our church's young families Christmas Party last Saturday, so I worked on that last week and then obviously on Saturday too.  We did Minute to Win It games and had a blast!  There were about 15 families - 26 adults & 35 kids (8 months to 12 years).  The kids of course loved all of the games, but I think even the adults enjoyed playing games too!  I think this may have to be a new tradition and my mom has already given me a few new games that she did this year with her company.  I will do my best not to plan 360 days in advance! :)  

Sunday morning, I taught the 2's bible class.  I've been a helper for a couple of different quarters, but this was my first time to actually teach the class at our current church.  We only have 6 kids and they are adorable.  We were "feeding" baby Moses with the toy bottles and at the end one of the little girls said he needed to be burped (can you tell she has a baby brother?), so I held him up to my shoulder and made a small noise kind of like a burp.  They all laughed, of course.  I told them their current teacher probably wouldn't do that, but really, she just might. ;)  Before class, Meredith enjoyed sitting in the chairs and doing puzzles.  I think she's going to be very excited when she gets to move to the "big kid" classroom in a couple of months.

Monday I was daring and took the girls shopping at the mall!  Last year, I shopped online for Christmas because I knew I wouldn't be getting out in public with a newborn, but this year I guess I thought shopping would be easy to do.  By the time I realized it wasn't going to be that easy, it was too late to order online and I was forced to go the hard route and take the girls to the mall. :/  They actually didn't do that bad considering we were there for 3 hours. 5 stores, lunch and 1 more store later, we left with Meredith in a half meltdown.  Do you know how hard it is to carry a crying, squirming child while pushing a sit n' stand stroller filled with shopping bags and a 4 year old?  It's pretty difficult, but I survived.

Tuesday was a boring day, just grocery shopping and a little more Christmas shopping at Target.  We made in and out of there in 1 hour.  Woo Hoo! ;)

Wednesday I finally finished all 70 of my Christmas cards.  I'm pretty proud of myself since this is the second year in a row that I've designed and made my own cards without my mom's help.  I'm all grown up at the ripe old age of 32! ;) 

Thursday, today, the longest day ever!  Mackenzie went to the dentist to have a cavity filled.  Since she goes bananas at the dentist we opted for the IV sedation route while they did x rays, cleaned teeth and filled the cavity.  As it turns out, there was more than one cavity and they needed more than just a filling.  :(  When Brandon brought her home 4 hours later, her lips were puffy and she was still kind of groggy.  We sat on the couch together and watched her favorite shows until the numbness wore off.  She is eating just fine with the exception of one little area that she says still hurts.  We'll see how it's doing tomorrow.  My lesson learned with this whole experience - brush your kids teeth twice a day no matter if they fight it.  This is not one of those battles that you should give into and say that you'll deal with later.   I promise you, you won't like and won't want to deal with the effects later.

So, if you are still reading this, that was my long week!  If I don't blog again before Christmas...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 14, 2012

New Books

We had the first of many Christmas celebrations last Friday and the girls came home with quite a loot.  My mom bought quite a few books for the two of them and I thought I'd share my favorites.

The first book that I absolutely love is this Pride and Prejudice board book.

You're never too young to start Pride and Prejudice!  Mackenzie's already seen some of the Colin Firth version when I've watched it, so all that's left is the real Jane Austen book! ;)  Until then, this book is great for both girls.  It's a counting book, but the numbers relate to parts of the book.  For example, there are "2 rich men" - Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy; "3 houses" - Longbourn, Netherfield and Pemberley; and the last number is 10 as in "10,000 pounds a year!"  I love it!  Along with this they got Alice in Wonderland and Jane Eyre.  After I got home, I instantly looked up the author and believe we "need" Wuthering Heights, Romeo & Juliet, Sense & Sensibility and A Christmas Carol! ;)

Another favorite is this Pop up book...
If you like pop up books, you'll love this book!  It's full of TONS of information on the planets, continents, rivers, mountains, natural disasters and anything relating to geography.  Every piece of information is hidden under some sort of pop up or tab thingy.  It's great!

If you want a cute and funny book - The Seven Silly Eaters is a good one.
It's a funny story about 7 children who only eat specific things.  I'm not going to spoil the story - just go buy the book! ;)

Tallulah's Tutu is Mackenzie's favorite and I'm pretty sure it's because it's about ballet! ;)
It is a cute book and I see many nights in our future reading this book!

And of course, you can't go wrong with the Llama Llama books!

Such fun rhyming and cute stories.

These are only a few of our new books.  I love them all and so do the girls!  I actually brought the big stack into my room the night we got home and read them by myself and the next morning, Mackenzie and I read all but 2 of them! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Preschool K3 - Unit 7

So, I tried to write this post Monday night and was blocked uploading pictures because I had reached my 1 gig limit on the Picasa Web albums (used by blogger).  Anyways, to make a long story short, I'm slowly replacing my larger pictures previously uploaded with smaller photos.  I currently have 5 percent free space and was able to upload these school photos.

Unit 7 took place during the week of Thanksgiving, so I added some Thanksgiving activities to go along with it.  The downside to blogging so many weeks after the unit, is that I don't always remember the funny things that Mackenzie says while we have school.  I try to remember everything, but she says so many cute things that I just can't remember it all.  Anyways, here is the breakdown of what we studied in Unit 7:


Bible:
Our story was Joseph and his coat of many colors.  She loved making a puppet and drawing the stripes on his "coat".
We also water colored Joseph's coat...
Of course, she couldn't just paint one picture...so we brought out the princess water color book.  There were princesses in the bible! ;)

Thanksgiving:
Of course, we couldn't pass up the turkey coloring sheet from Over the Big Moon.
Another fun activity we did was to roll and stamp turkeys.  Very simple, but she liked using the dot markers to count the turkeys as we took turns rolling the die.  This game and sheet came from a Thanksgiving pack from Creative Learning Fun.
This Thanksgiving Measurement sheet is from Our Little Monkeys.
This was a little more difficult for Mackenzie.  I asked her to cross out the numbers at the height of each object.  We looked at each number and I asked her, "is the corn taller than the number 1?", "...number 2?" and so on.  Each time she would say, "no".  I guess we have worked on the word "bigger", but we might not have fully discussed the concept of "taller".  We got through the sheet, but it took longer than I thought it would.  At least now I know another concept we should work on.

One of the many turkey's we made this week was a number turkey from 2Teaching Mommies.

We had to make the handprint turkey, of course.  I set up the high chair and taped the paper to the tray in an attempt to make a turkey with Meredith.  She took one look at the paint brush in my hand and clamped her hand shut.  I tried a little to open it, but gave up.  I guess we'll have Meredith's hand prints another time!
On a day where the high was probably 68, we wore ski caps inside! ;)  Did you know that hats and nutter butters are very helpful in completing an activity?  This particular one is a people and food sort from 1+1+1=1's Thanksgiving pack.
Another day, another hat, another turkey!  This time, the turkey had a song that I sang and I chose a color for her to match the feather.  This was super easy for her, but she enjoyed the song and the gluing of the feathers.  This was also from 1+1+1=1.

Science:
Our "science" unit was discussing emergencies vs. non-emergencies.  She sorted pictures of emergencies and non-emergencies from Hubbard's Cupboard Bible and Rhyme curriculum.  This was pretty interesting and I'm really glad we talked about it.  Apparently to Mackenzie, burned toast IS and emergency! ;)  After talking about it, she is now clear about what is and is not an emergency.  Although, the drama that comes with stubbing a toe or hitting a finger on the wall, might prove otherwise. ;)

Since we were talking about emergencies and how the police and fire department help you in an emergency, I thought it would be fun to do this fingerprint activity from Lawteedah.  Her thumb was super green by the end! ;)
We also did some prewriting sheets from Homeschool Creation's Fireman preschool pack.
Part of the "Emergency" theme was learning about road signs too.  We looked at the signs and discussed the shapes they made.  We also tried to find the signs we were out driving around.
We also made a stop light with a paper towel tube and played "red light green light" with yellow light mixed in! ;)

Misc:
The counting bears are always a hit with her.  We do all kinds of things with them, but it always ends in some sort of pretend food play.   
Alphabet bingo was fun to play.  It went much better than 6 or 7 months ago when we played.  She "gets" the idea of the game as well as the letter sounds, so it was much easier to play with her.  Fortunately, I chose two boards for us that had the exact same letter, so we tied!  yay! ;)

And finally, one of our activities was the number clothespin match from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I think I told this story in another post, but when we got down to these last two numbers, she said, "only 4 and 5 are left."  When I asked her how she knew that she said, "the 4 makes a square and the 5 is a square with a dot in the middle."  It looks like she's learning from all of the dice games/activities we've been playing.

Coming up...Unit 8 - Moses (baby through the burning bush).
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