Thursday, September 23, 2010

1 month

My sweet baby Dean is a month old today.
I have that strange feeling where it seems like just yesterday that I lay on that operating table, and yet it seems like we've had Dean around forever.
I'm holding him right now, listening to the beautiful sound of his breathing while typing with one hand. His face is fuller and older-looking already. Time is already speeding past, and I'm not ready yet. But I can't slow it down. All I can do is kiss his squishy cheeks, smell his hair, and try to burn his littleness in my memory.
Here's to hoping the next month goes a little slower.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Letter L

I forgot to write last week what we do for circle time at the beginning of every preschool day. We don't sit in a circle, but I suppose I can still call it that. :) We start with a prayer, then say the Pledge of Allegiance, then the memory scripture of the week. Then I have a bunch of Wee Sing songs that we do - Good Morning, What Are You Wearing, My Name and Address, Right Hand Left Hand, ABC song, Ten Little Fingers, and Days of the Week. (After 2 full weeks we are still struggling a little with right hand left hand but they know everything else. Even our full address!)

Scripture: 1 Nephi 3:7 - this one was a little too long for them to memorize, so I mostly focused on the chorus from the primary children's song about it. This is the longest scripture I have planned so I wasn't expecting it to go as well as last week. Eva still did pretty well, considering.

Reading: Leaf Man (Lois Ehlert); Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf (Lois Ehlert); Leaves (David Ezra Stein); Fletcher and the Falling Leaves (Julia Rawlinson)

Art: made beautiful fall leaves from crayons and wax paper, tutorial here
Math/FMS: Kumon cut #2
Letters: Trace letter L card; walked around the house finding things that started with L (lid, ladle, lime, lego, lacing card)

Music: It's Autumntime (Primary Children's Songbook)


Art: Eva drew a llama and a shopping cart and wrote Leighton's name; I drew a lime and wrote all the words we found around the house; Leighton drew circles and threw things around the room.

Math/FMS: Kumon Sticker Paste #3-4

Reading: Ladybug Girl (Jacky Davis); The Grouchy Ladybug (Eric Carle); Are You a Ladybug? (Judy Allen)

Letters: Kumon Uppercase #3-4

Math/FMS: Ladybug Numbers Practice; Ladybug pattern sort; Unifix cube patterns - Eva really seemed to get the hang of patterns today. I wasn't sure how to teach it and was feeling frustrated, but it seemed to click and she just took off with the cubes. Well worth the money for that math manipulative; I'm sure we'll use those in many ways for years to come.

Art: Ladybug cut and paste - Eva cut out the wings by herself and then glued all the pieces together. She wrote "ladybug" at the top of the page (I tell her the letters and she writes them herself) and was quite pleased with herself. We hung it on the clothesline art display in the play room.

Reading: Library Lion (Michelle Knudsen); The Happy Lion and The Happy Lion Roars (Louise Fatio) (those two were a little too wordy/advanced for the kids - they didn't like them as well and I should have found more age-appropriate ones); If I Were a Lion (Sarah Weeks) although I don't know if we should count that one. Someone tore the last several pages out of the library book, so we didn't get to finish it.

Art: Glued down a yellow letter L (cut with my Cricut) and drew with markers to make something that looked like this. Just a little easier to execute with a preschooler. :) Eva also wrote the word "lion" at the top of her page.

Math/SMS: Kumon workbook (I got 3 more from Costco so we have those in case we run out of planned stuff. I really love those workbooks and so does Eva! If you have a Costco, run grab the 3-pack, it was a great deal.). We did lots of extra workbook because she was enjoying it so much.

Letters: Big Alphabet Workbook

Play/LMS: Lion hunt in the backyard! The previous owner of our home left this hideous plastic lion in the bushes - the equivalent of a tacky lawn gnome, but a big green lion. Andrew hid the lion in different spots and the kids ran around finding him. I knew that ugly thing would come in handy someday. I guess we'll keep him around for more lion hunts - as long as he stays hidden in the bushes.

Reading: we were kind of out of books by today. I'm still working out the kinks in my planning - like how I planned to spend a whole day on ABC Bunny. NOT happening. So we just reread a few of their favorites. Library Lion, though lengthy, was one they liked a lot.

Art: played playdough

Math: workbook p. 11-14
Next up: the letter H

Sunday, September 19, 2010


{My last pregnancy picture - 36 weeks. Can you believe I got bigger than that? I can't.}
Two posts in one night - how do you like that?
Tonight Eva said our family prayer. "Thankful that baby Dean came out of Mommy's tummy."
Amen, sister. Amen.

Posted by Picasa


This afternoon Leighton pulled the drawers out of one of my plastic organizer things. They were empty, so I didn't care. In one drawer, he found a live spider. He called Eva over and she said, "Don't kill it, Mom. I want to look at it." So they sat there close (but not too close) to the spider and watched it, squealing occasionally when it crawled around.

The day went on and I still didn't kill the spider. The drawer sat here next to the computer and I checked several times to make sure it was still there, but didn't bother it. (I don't know why. Maybe extreme laziness.)

Just now, I got the baby to sleep and came to eat Wheat Thins and look at baby pictures of all 3 kids. (Andrew is gone.) I saw that the spider had started weaving a web in the bin, and I said, "No way. No webs in my house." Even though we are the Webbs. Only room for one kind around here.

I didn't want to smoosh him, and I didn't want to open the front door to set him free. Besides, he might make it back in my house before Andrew gets around to spraying for bugs. Spidercide. The next idea that popped into my head was to dump the offending spider down the kitchen sink. I carried the bin there and saw that the sink was full of dishes. This spider's death sentence was getting complicated. I filled up the corner he was in with water and tipped it a little to keep him submerged. I stood there for a bit watching him swim, wondering if spiders have lungs and if I could drown him. I realized that I was watching a spider suffer to its death and felt really bizarre and kind of sick. I could have just smashed him, but instead I was torturing him. I walked to the bathroom so he could go the way of all the earth the same way we've sent 4 goldfish, and suddenly the song "All Creatures of Our God and King" popped in my head. Talk about weird guilt. It took two attempts to get him to get out of the bin, but finally he fell in the toilet and I flushed him.

As I walked back to the computer to write down this odd story, I made a decision: spiders are not included in that hymn. All feelings of guilt: gone.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Letter B

{Our first day of school picture, taken Aug. 23rd.}
Although Dean's unexpectedly early arrival threw off my preschool plans a bit, this past week I felt ready to get back into it. I had spent countless hours preparing and planning, and both older kids seemed ready for more structure after 2 weeks of none at all. Eventually I will get around to making a blog just for our preschool/homeschool stuff, but for now I'll just put it here. I can't even keep up with one blog right now, so starting another one is just asking for more pressure on myself.

I divided our "curriculum" into one focus letter per week. I did NOT go in alphabetical order. Also for each week I have a BFIAR book that we are semi-delving into, depending on my/the kids' interest. We have a meory scripture for each week, and I have to say I am shocked at how quickly Eva memorized it. By Thursday, she knew the whole thing perfectly, and her Dad is still struggling in a few spots. :) Our "subjects" are reading, arts/crafts, math/fine motor skills, letters, play/large motor skills, and music. Since this week we were still adjusting and I'm still trying to figure out how to have older kid time worked in around Dean's feedings, I'm hoping it will get even better. But for our first week of school, it was pretty good.

Scripture: Joshua 1:9

The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells
Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner (the kids liked this one)
Buzz Buzz Buzz by Byron Barton
Birds by Kevin Henkes (I LOVED this book - it was my favorite of the week. Kevin Henkes is one of our top 5 favorite authors around here.)
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard
Boo Hoo Bird by Jeremy Tankard (these were the kids' favorites, they are adorable books)
Boats by Byron Barton
Row Row Row Your Boat by Penny Dann

-Cotton ball bunny (glued cotton balls on a print-out bunny)
-Colored a big letter B blue and glued blue buttons on it (Our crafts were a little lacking this week due to my lack of motivation. We had planned to do this and this adorable B crafts for our alphabet book we'll be making, but we'll have to save those for a rainy day. If it ever rains here.)

-Kumon Cutting workbook - Eva's scissor skills were far more advanced than I thought. She did what I told her to (6 little straight lines on the dog's whiskers) and then cut out the full dog, curved ears and all. Leighton, on the other hand, ended up cutting lots of snips NOT on the lines and then just started tearing. :)
-Kumon Sticker and Paste workbook - they were so excited about stickers; I think this will be one of their favorite activities of the week.
-Math workbook - p. 7-10
-Butterfly clip cards - Confessions of a Homeschooler is an incredible resource for preschool printables. She even has a whole ABC curriculum for download for free! Amazing. I printed off and laminated the number cards and the kids clipped clothespins onto them. Leighton had a hard time with the clothespins, but Eva did really well. She knew her numbers better than she did 2 months ago, so I was glad to see her recognizing them all.
-Playing with beads - this is Leighton's favorite activity. He pours the beads from cup to cup and digs his hands in them...and eventually threw them all over the place when I was distracted. But Eva is good at helping him clean up, and I think it's worth the mess.

-Big Alphabet workbook - we got this from Costco just for fun a long time ago, along with another one we have, but she did the Letter B pages in there. She really loves and does well with workbooks. We need to get Leighton one because he keeps asking to do his workbook when she does hers.
-Letter practice - I made some big alphabet "flashcards" where Eva can trace the dotted letters for practice. I saw some Kumon cards for $10 and decided I could make my own much cheaper. I printed them on cardstock, 2 letters to a page, and laminated them with my new Scotch laminator. If you want the file, just leave a comment with your email and I'll be happy to send it.
-Butterfly writing practice - this was really easy for Eva but I think it will be a good challenge for Leighton soon. If he can stop throwing markers long enough to focus on something.

Music: (I found 4 Wee Sing CDs on clearance at Borders a while back and have really enjoyed them. Good selection of basic songs.)
-Little Bunny Foo Foo - they fell in love with this song and we listened to it at least 30 times in a row. This was a song I had fond childhood memories with as well, so it was fun to see them hopping around and acting it out.
-The Bear Went Over the Mountain - again, we listened to this several times before they got tired of it. They got their teddy bears and pretended to climb mountains - the stairs and the toy chest.
-Baby Bumblebee
-Two Little Blackbirds

Things I planned to do but didn't (just for the record): Make paper birds; cut out and glue shapes to make a boat, beanbag toss, backwards obstacle course, and play sailboat with a laundry basket

Fun extras: made banana ice cream (actually Andrew made it) - YUM! Especially with Nutella and strawberries; found a bumblebee costume at a consignment sale and watched the kids buzz around.

Eva mastered writing both uppercase and lowercase B, and I think it's starting to sink in that words start with letters and it's not just a guessing game. Both kids love preschool and are already begging to read next week's books. Coming up: the letter L.