Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Photo Love

I don't have a lot of favorite photos to share with you this month.  It's not that I didn't take a lot of photos, I just didn't have a lot of great photos.  I really need to focus a little more on taking nice pictures as opposed to just a lot of photos.  I seem to have quite a bit of photos that are either blurry because of the wrong shutter speed or photos of the backs or the tops of the girls.  I need to work on getting more at their level so I can see their face and expressions better.  Anyways, here are my favorites from January.

Silly face...
Sweet face...
Sister play time...
The "look"...
I bought a light scoop and am in love with my indoor photos now!
I see you!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Meredith is 17 months!

How is it the end of January already?  Just like last year, 2013 is already moving fast.  I'm already marking my calendar for events in March, April & May!  With every end of a month means Meredith is that much older.  Today she is 17 months!  The blow picture is a typical look of Meredith's.  Most strangers get this look, but she looks at us this way too, so don't be sad if she ever looks at you like this! ;)

At 17 months, Meredith...
- climbs into our kitchen chair every chance she gets.  Since that's where the laptop stays, she also tries to reach and play with the mouse.
- takes one long nap a day, right after lunch
- says momma, dadda, eee (eat); pees (please), eef (teeth), su (shoe), yes (es), night night (ni-ni), bye-bye, no, off, yay, all done (ahh nun).  She also tries to repeat what I say, but doesn't say it consistently for me to note it.
- has 12 teeth (6 top, 6 bottom)
- can throw a pretty good tantrum when she doesn't get her way.  She immediately falls to the floor and cries while laying on her belly.  Recently this has resulted in time out in her crib.
- wears 18-24 month to 2T clothing and size 6 shoe.
- loves looking at books.
- loves bath time and having her teeth brushed.
- loves to sing or hear music.  She sings along and does some of the song motions depending on the song.
- smacks her lips if you ask for a kiss, and sometimes actually kisses you.

- can be quite the ham when people come over to our house.
- has started to show interest in actually playing with certain apps on the ipad and not just pushing the button over and over again.
- copies almost everything Mackenzie does.

Oh and she loves to eat marshmallows! ;)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Preschool K3 - Unit 10

I finally edited a bunch of our school pictures last night, so be ready for the next few days to be a catch up on our preschool posts.  Unit 10 covered Moses and the Red Sea, 10 Commandments, the letter X, a camping theme and miscellaneous activities.

I think I said this in Unit 9, but I'm going to repeat it...When I introduced the topic of Moses to Mackenzie she asked when we were going to stop talking about Moses.  I told her that Moses was a very important part of the Bible and deserved several lessons (we are #3), but that this was our last lesson for him.  Although she didn't appear to want to study Moses again, I think she thoroughly enjoyed talking about the parting of the Red Sea and the 10 commandments.

When I taught a 2 year old Bible Class in 2005, I made these cloud and pillar of fire sticks that the class used when pretending to be Israelites.  I kept them because I wasn't sure if I would ever use them again, but sure enough, 8 years later they came in handy! ;)

"And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way," Exodus 13:21a
"and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night." Exodus 13:21b
The girls actually rested at night while the pillar of fire was in the sky.  Meredith really enjoyed playing and out of this activity came one of my favorite quotes from Mackenzie.  She wanted to Meredith to hold the pillar of fire, so she simply asked, "Meredith, do you want to be God?"  So simple and funny.  At least she understood the story that God was the fire and cloud! ;)

We also made a simple craft by cutting and curling construction paper.  We don't have a little people Moses, so Noah filled in for us! ;)  What's not really seen in the picture below are all the figurines she retrieved to be Israelites.  There were Easter little people in bunny suits, happy meal toys and I think even a princess or two! She had them go through the parted red sea several times before we moved onto something else.
We also talked about the 10 commandments and the I asked her some recap questions to see if she remembered what were commandments and what were not.  These questions came from a lesson plan from the South Florida Church website.  I think number 2 & 8 were Mackenzie's favorite examples of what the Bible does NOT say..."you shall not read books" and "you shall not play games."

Letter X:
Using the Animal ABC curriculum from 1+1+1=1 provides a lot of extra emphasis on the letters, which I love.  Although she knows all of her letters, she still needs the extra lessons on a specific letter.

"X is for x-ray fish"
The x-ray fish was the focus animal and we also added our own craft to go along with the unit.
Tracing numbers...
Coloring x-ray fish...
I blogged about the x-ray fish craft in the tot school post a couple of weeks ago.  Meredith made one, but Mackenzie made two fish.

x is also for xenops

I also finally followed through with something I've been meaning to do for a while...add magnets to pom poms.  Right now we only used the sticky magnetic tape, but I plan to hot glue the magnets to the pom poms so that they will last longer.  Mackenzie loves to use the magnets and cookie sheets.
And finally for the letter X we worked on the letter x sound.

Since the Israelites were in the wilderness, I thought a camping themed unit might be fun.  We've never been camping as a family, so most of this was new to her.  In an effort to reduce the number of picture in the post I only included a few from the camping preschool pack we did.  However, we did quite a bit of the activities in this package, counting, rhyming, mazes, finding shapes, start letters, what's different and probably more. 

Sight Words:
We finished up the You Can Read Unit 1 and Mackenzie officially recognizes the words, "a", "and", "the" and "see".  Plus yesterday, 3 weeks later, she wrote the word "see" with out any help for the spelling.  To be fair, "see" was the first word she learned last year when we started school, so she's much more familiar with the word, but I'm still glad she can do more with it than just recognize it.

Coloring the words...
Tracing and writing the words.  She was so proud of this sheet and since Brandon happened to be home when she did it, she quickly got up to show him how she had written all of her words.

She still loves the roll and graph activities, no matter what the theme is!
I also incorporated the word searches from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

We did quite a few miscellaneous things, all of which Mackenzie enjoyed.  One of my favorites was this first activity.  I had pinned a drawing activity on Pinterest and had to try it with Mackenzie.  I took a wooden block Brandon had made for us and drew different line types on each side.  Then we took turns rolling the dice and drawing the indicated line.  It made for a fun and cute art project that we'll definitely be doing again!
We also played with a new Christmas gift...
Mackenzie's been asking to do the "computer school stuff" so I pulled up a simple ABC powerpoint from 1+1+1=1.  (This might be from the members only sight.)  We went through the entire alphabet and she loved pointing to the correct lowercase letter.
I also had Mackenzie stamp numbers onto a sheet.  This was only a couple weeks after I made my Christmas cards, so she was super excited to use the stamps in ink like I had.

And lastly just for some indoor activity we did the yoga poses that I blogged about 3 weeks ago!  It was a great unit FULL of fun, learning stuff!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Daily Drawings

At the beginning of the school year, I planned for Mackenzie to do a "Daily Drawing".  It's an idea (and printable) I downloaded from 1+1+1=1.  I really intended to do it every time we had school, but it would seem that we forgot quite a bit in the fall.  We are doing better this spring, but it still doesn't happen every day. 

Mackenzie is allowed to draw whatever she likes.  I don't prompt her or give her guidelines.  All I do is ask what color marker or crayon she would like to use and tell her what square to draw in.  With every picture Mackenzie draws, I write what she says it is.  I quote her and she even makes sure I say exactly what she says.  She can't read, but she ALWAYS asks, "did you write....?" ;)  Some of her drawings are so cute and funny, I just had to share!

Here's the first page we filled.  This is late August, so Mackenzie is not quite 4 years old at the time.

Top left: Happy face with ears, arms, legs & hair
Top right: Crown hat with metals
Bottom left: ______?  She says it was grass, but I just don't remember
Bottom right: person on a surf board

Early September, up to two weeks before she turned 4.
Top Left: Smiley face with cheeks next to the eyes
Top Right: person waiting to pay at the grocery store
Bottom Left: silly hat with decorations (looking at it from above)
Bottom Right: person sitting down, eating with a thing that helps you breath (not sure what the "thing" is)

This is about the time we slowed down with the drawing - September through early November.  Mackenzie is 4 years old.
Top Left: a state, Colorado (see the "c")
Top Right: a silly hat with silly stuff on it
Bottom Left: waterfall with an F and a dot (???)
Bottom Right: rocket ship with people going to the moon.  With some people driving and some people sitting in the back.

These last two have dates that are overlapping because we accidentally skipped some squares, but either way, they were drawn in the last 2 months.

Top Left: a baby giraffe
Top Right: a momma giraffe
Bottom Left: Chilly from Doc McStuffins (a snowman from a Disney TV show)
Bottom Right: a silly hat with jewels and string to hold the jewels (can you tell she likes to draw silly hats?)

And the most recent drawings are on this sheet.
Top Left: Idaho (it's a little light, but I was quite impressed with her remembering what Idaho looks like)
Top Right: a winter hat and a cowboy hat
Bottom Left: Meredith when she is part growned up (exactly what she said)
Bottom Right: Grass that is zig zag

So those are her daily drawings.  We'll do more this week and I'm looking forward to seeing what's on her mind!  Maybe another "silly hat"? ;)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tot School: Sensory Bin, Paint & Purple

I'm loosening up a bit as a parent.  It's either because of age, experience or being at home all the time, but I'm relaxing a little more with the "messy" activities for the girls.  It's probably a little of three.  Either way, I let Meredith do two different activities that were fairly messy and I didn't freak out! Yay! ;)

Tot School
Meredith is 16 1/2 months old

After playing with playdough, I randomly decided to pull out the sensory bin.  I tried to add some valentines stuff to it, but I don't have a lot of little valentine's items, so you can't really tell that there's a theme.
I tried to keep her hands and cups over the bin, but I finally gave up and realized a broom and vacuum could pick it all up in no time!  However, I do think I will try to find some white bean to use rather than rice.  Below is what happened to the paper heart I put in the box. 

It never stood a chance with Meredith around! ;)

The next day I decided we would talk about the color purple.  Mackenzie and I went around the house to gather any purple objects we could find.
We actually found even more purple stuff after this first day and now the box is pretty full.  We pulled each item out and she played or threw it on the floor.  She especially liked bouncing the balls.

She especially liked bouncing the balls.  Here she's trying to sit on the ball and it didn't quite work out for her!
She's such a copy cat and when she saw Mackenzie running around with a foam butterfly on her forehead saying "I'm a butterfly", Meredith had to put the other foam piece on her face also! ;)
I've been trying to get her to say purple all week, but so far she just stares at me when I say it.  Maybe when we add a new color this week, she'll learn to differentiate between the two colors even if she can't say the word.  That's what I'm hoping for anyway.  We'll see what happens.

The messiest thing we did was PAINT!!!  I know we painted a few weeks ago, but it was only for a few minutes.  This time I just let her do whatever she wanted...with purple paint, of course. ;)  I only had to tell her not to eat it once.  Although you can see that she still managed to get the paint on her lip.
Mackenzie and I were working on other painting crafts, so when she saw us painting Mackenzie's hands, she decided she would paint her hands too!

She LOVED painting and really saturated the paper in the corner.  When Mackenzie and I were done, I stripped the girls and they had a bath.  It was only 3:30 in the afternoon, but I knew there was no way to wash only Meredith's hands, plus Mackenzie did a footprint art thing, so she really needed a bath.  Surprisingly, it was very stress free and besides the high chair, we didn't get paint anywhere else in the house! yay!

Here's Meredith's purple masterpiece! 
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