Thursday, September 30, 2010

Preschool Activities Swap

I have had the Preschool Activities Bags books for a few years. I have made some of the bags for Miss K. This year at co-op I decided to organize a swap. We had 10 ladies sign up to do it.

I decided to make bean bag toss but filled the bags with rice as that was cheaper. I made 55 bean bags each with between 4 and 5 oz of rice.

Here they are ready for the swap this afternoon.

I will say that the Preschool Activity Bags book has all the instructions for how to do a swap. I didn't have the party to kick off the swap or even to end the swap. It seems live is too busy.

I am looking forward to the activities that we will get.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Seven Years ago - we said "I do".

It is hard to believe it has been seven years that we have been married. Happy anniversary to the one I love.

I think normally I post a nice posed wedding picture of us but this year with the help of the scanner I have another picture to post.

That is probably the first picture that we have of the two of us together.

Since it has been seven years I decided to see how well you know us with seven questions.

1. Where did we meet?

a. Seattle, Washington

b. Hong Kong

c.Taipei, Taiwan

2. The first meal I cooked for Stuart included one of the following ingredients (we are not sure which meal I cooked but both contain one of the same ingredients.

a. broccoli

b. steak

c. chicken

3. Where did we go on our honeymoon?

a. Flordia

b. Jamacia

c. New England

4. Where did we get married?

a. The church I grew up in.

b. St. Thomas Church

c. Ephrata Cloisters

5. Which city did we not date in?

a. Chicago

b. Shanghai

c. Singapore

6. One of our dating projects included which of the following?

a. Putting together a scrapbook

b. hiking

c. DH making a shirt

7. Where did he propose?

a. Sears Tower

b. Taipei 101

c. Space Needle

Bonus question - when was the above picture taken -- year is fine.

Post your answers or guesses. I will come back later this week and give the answers. Maybe I will give a prize to the person that gets the most correct.

Happy Day - Master J

Two years ago today, after inches of documents, fees, waiting, and redoing all the paperwork and traveling we met Master J. We had arrived in the town where he lived after a overnight train ride. We were able to get permission to visit him. Then we went to the orphanage where he was at the time. He was called to the director's office.

He was quiet. I think that might have been the last time that I thought he was quiet. He says that he didn't know what was happening. We talked a bit with a translator and I do remember giving him a matchbox car.

Miss K has been in love with him from the beginning.

I know I have not written much on here about the fact that J was adopted. There is much more to the story and it involves more people and lots of pain. I will say that through all this I know God is sovereign and that he has a plan. Our plans were not his plans. God used us. What happened is not something that most people can understand.

Happy Day - J. We love you and pray that Ephesians 1:16-23 will be seen in your life.

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Birthday Gift

Miss K was invited to a birthday party for a little girl at school. I decided I would just make something. I decided on a bag of breakfast food. Don't worry it won't go bad before the party.

Three pancakes with syrup and of course a bit of butter and two fried eggs. Usually I had sew it but to save time I did it on the machine. I do like the hand sewn food better. I then made a little bag to put it in and use as the gift bag. I don't like buying wrapping paper.

Fall has arrived.

The weather outside doesn't feel much like fall but the leaves are falling. The other day the kids raked all the leaves that had fallen and were jumping in them. Miss K would jump to the pile and then run. I tried to get a picture of her in the pile and that just didn't happen.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ahoy, Mateys

Today is talk like a pirate day. My husband and son were excited as they have been reading Treasure Island. I didn't really plan far enough in advance to have a good pirate breakfast then again I am not sure that enough time would have helped me have a good pirate breakfast. We had piratecakes aka pancakes.

Here is the happy pirate.

We did listen to Patch the Pirate this morning. We also have a pirate self photo.

So I guess now would be a good time to look ahead and plan what special activities happen in the next few weeks.

September 22 - First day of fall. Since I took the kids to Rita's on the first day of spring maybe I should take them on the last day of summer.

September 26 - Johnny Appleseed's birthday -- also our anniversary and the day we met J

1st full week in October is Get Organized week - I think the problem is they only give a week for that.

Wednesday of the 1st full week - Walk to School day - hmm we walk to school everyday

Week of October 9 Fire Prevention Week - that will be the week we fulfill the requirement to talk about fire safety

October 2 - National Peanuts Day as in the comic strip

October 10 - Stamp collecting month and also Double Ten

October 12 - Columbus Day

October 22 - Pretzel Day

October 28 - My birthday

The ideas for celebrations come from the book Every Day a Holiday by Silvana Clark except for my birthday which comes courtesy of my parents.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Legos at the Zoo

Currently the zoo has some Lego sculptures and we enjoy looking at the various animals.

There were a couple of Lego portraits where the kids could put their heads through. 

There were a number set up throughout the zoo and at various places you could get cards. Yesterday, the kids managed to collect all the cards but we did miss a few animals.

This even shows a bit of action. 

The largest sculpture was the polar bear and I don't have a picture of him. He was made with 95,000 bricks. The artist for these is Sean Kenney. His work is interesting and inspiring. I think we might need to get a few more Lego bricks.

The Zoo

We took a field trip yesterday to the Zoo. This is not just any zoo but America's First Zoo. It is also the zoo I remember going to as a child of course that was back when . . .

The gorilla was out in the yard.

We enjoyed the Lego displays. I didn't get that many pictures but it was a fun day.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Me, Jane, watch me swing

We have a piece of rope hanging from the tree in the front yard. It was the best tree we have for that type of thing and now we have a path where the kids swing. I have kids. They like that swing someday I can have a nice beautiful front lawn. J has been teaching Miss K to swing on the rope. Here she is getting ready.

Her feet are off the ground. We decided this is good for her upper body strength.

And just because she is cute.

That was a jumper that I made this spring and thought was too long. I don't think it is that long. I think she is growing. I hope a few of the others that I made still fit. I might need to find a pair of leggings to go with one or two of the jumpres.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Columbus Wrap up

We finished Columbus this week. When I started Winter Promise this year, I was planning that we would be working our way through this slowly. I viewed Winter Promise as a foundation and I would add more to it. Part of that is the area where we live, our excellent library, and just digging in and learning.

We made a lapbook to show all we learned. At first J just glued things in and then said he was done.

I tried something different this time. Why should he have all the fun? I made one as well. I also thought that might be an inspiration for him.

I tried a different fold and for a book that you are orientating this way I don't like it as well.

Some of the extra books that we added were.

If you were there in 1492. It gave a great overview and understanding of what life was like in Spain in 1492.

Diego Columbus Adventures on the High Seas This was interesting but I will say had quite a story line.

The Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria which we got from the library.

We did also remember of visit to the Nina and Pinta earlier this summer. A reproduction was docked at the waterfront and so we went there one Sunday afternoon. That was a time when Miss K did not like boats after riding on them all over China I think she is enjoying them a bit more. Anyway, Daddy and J enjoyed a short tour.

I was surprised as just how small they are. I am used to the cargo ships that sail today which carry hundreds of containers.

Next week we continue with a bit more exploration here in America.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The bag is packed

We just need to get a snack and our water bottles. Today begins a new year at Homeschool Co-op. Last fall as I was beginning my official homeschool journey (official because I was reporting and so I felt pressure to make sure that we were learning) I wanted to make sure we were getting the things done we needed to do before joining something else. In the spring we decided to join a group and were thrilled to find one that fits our family. This group is parent run which I like because I am there getting to know the moms and kids. Yes, it does mean that I have some responsibility but I can handle that. Our group meets Thursday afternoons. We have 4 periods and art and PE are always included in those periods. This year J will have a writing class (I am excited because I think he will do a better job for her than he will for me perfection gets in his way sometimes) and a science class. Miss K will join in the 3/4 year old class. I think that will be a good fit for her developmentally and she will enjoy that class.

I am teaching a Classical Composer course for 5/6 graders. I am not a musician nor a historian but I thought this would be something that I could teach and something that most likely if the other moms are like me wish they had time to fit into the schedule but often gets pushed aside. I am excited and ready at least for the first few weeks because those are the weeks that I have planned and know what we will be doing. I will be attempting a lapbook with the students and so I have been working on my own lapbook.

I will also be assisting in the 3/4 year old class for a period which will be fun to be with Miss K and help teach the kids there. I am sure we will have fun. That reminds me I need to put some paper in my bag for their number activity.

There is my bag. I love bags and have plenty but I couldn't turn this away when I found it at a rummage sale for $5. It is a LL Bean and has a zippered top.


Yesterday we took the children to see Joseph. I have seen Noah and Ruth but this was the first time for both the children and my husband to see something here. Okay, I also remember going there when I was a child and seeing Disney movies. We used to call it the Christian movie theater. The kids did great. When it started and again after the intermission, Miss K got a bit restless and wanted to go to the "big van" but she settled on my lap and watched. She had the brochure and told us it was Joseph. When we asked her what she saw she said "stars, camels". The animals add some fun for the kids (one of the animals even did his business in the aisle and the ushers had to clean it up). J loved it and at intermission said that he knew what was coming because he knew the story. It really does make the Bible come alive.

I alway love the story of Joseph the theme of forgiveness and also that God had a plan. It looked like that plan might have died in the pit or in Egypt or maybe after being stuck in prison for so many years forgotten by the one he helped but God had a plan and was working. What a great reminder for me. I have had plans and how I thought things should work out but God has changed those plans. I need to continue to submit to God and trust that in all he is working out his plan which is even more than I can imagine.

Thank you Grandpa and Grandma B for giving us this opportunity. We enjoyed our afternoon.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Broccoli Pizza

Years ago when I was working and went out to lunch everyday or so it seemed, our favorite place to go was a local pizza shop and my favorite pizza to get was broccoli or some days to mix it up I would get spinach. Then my job moved me far from the pizza shop and to a land where pizza toppings included tuna, corn, squid, and a few other things that I didn't even think you could put on pizza but for all the toppings they had they did not have a broccoli or spinach pizza. So it was time to create my own broccoli pizza and this was back in the days before the internet when you would just look up a recipe online because someone has probably posted a recipe.

Thus the beginning of my movie star broccoli pizza. This evening my son wondered if the broccoli pizza was a movie star because I was taking so many pictures of it.

First you saute broccoli with onion (I used red onion today because that is what I had and I had not yet gone to the grocery store) and garlic until it is nice and tender.

Then put a bit of parmesan cheese down, add the broccoli mixture on top.

Add cheese and to quote a friend "mozzarella cheese is the glue that holds love on pizza".

Bake for about 15 minutes at 425 or 450.


I managed to create a pizza that reminded me of that local pizza shop.

So tell me what is the most strange thing that you have had on pizza or maybe saw on a menu but were not brave enough to try it.

Brag Moment - Miss K

The top part is what we did together - hand-over-hand and the bottom is what she did on her own.

I need to take a picture of the shopping list she wrote the other day -- Mac 'n cheese, apple juice, chicken, and a few other things. She was writing and telling me what she was putting on the list.

Three Wheels

The other day she started pedaling and riding the tricycle. She is beginning to steer. She wasn't really wanting to pose for a picture so this was the best I could do.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Teaching Miss K to read

One of Miss K's goals for the year is to read 22 high frequency survival words such as girls, boys, men, women, restroom, and words like information which she can't even really say. We have been working on these for the past few weeks and she has been started to read about 15 of those words. She is a visual learner which is typical of Down Syndrome children.

I started teaching her to read when she was about 10 months old. I was inspired by the book Teach Your Baby to Read. I followed the instructions and made the cards and used a red marker. We did those on a regular basis. I don't know that she was reading but it did give her mental stimulation.

I also had the DVD series Your Baby can read. She watched them but honestly I didn't feel that it really helped her. I sold them on ebay.

When she was 18 months she got the Leap Frog refrigerator magnets. My sister-in-law gave it to her maybe that is why is the her favorite now. I had asked for no noisy toys that year but she said it was educational. It really was educational it taught her the letter names and sounds. I know that she knows the sounds because I can hear her saying the first letter sound with some words. We also have the word builder but because she is not at the point of making words it annoys me.

When she turned 3, I decided it was time for a bit more structured learning. Just structured on my part. I worked in teaching her colors and other words. I used 4x6 cards and wrote the words on there and then she matched beads.

At times you could tell she was thinking. The book that was the most helpful at this time was Teaching Reading to Children with Down Syndrome published be Woodbine Publishing. There were games and activities and encouraging stories. I started working with some of those ideas. Miss K was reading words that about the time she learned to say them. One of the things that we often do is put about 10 cards on the table and I will either say "hand me ____" or will give her a color bead and have her match color or put food on the words. This has been one way to test if she is reading the word.

One day when she was about 3 she did this letter mat -- sorting all the letters.

So now she is 6. She does a good job reading the words on cards and we are working on reading them in other places. The other day we saw a sign that said "Danger Playground Closed". Two of those three words were words that we are learning to read. It was good to reinforce her learning. I decided it is time to read Teaching Reading to Children with Down Syndrome again. I also want to add some phonics type program into the mix. She knows a number of her letter sounds and I can hear her starting to sound out words.

Her official goal for the year is to be able to read 22 high frequency words. I would also like to get some books that she can read either find some or make some for her.

Learning was so much fun that she lined up her babies and taught them.

Learning is fun and it is also fun to watch her learn new things. Here she is working on shapes. I love those shapes. She is probably the only child to have maple shapes thanks to grandpa.

We continue working on this and are excited to she want she can do.

Rabbit Trail - Michelangelo

One of the fun things about homeschooling are the rabbit trails you can go down. I wasn't planning to talk about Michelangelo. We were reading about Christopher Columbus and it mentioned Michelangelo. Since we had the M encyclopedia already at the table because we had looked up what a mandolin was we looked at Michelangelo and then I decided to give J the opportunity to "paint the ceiling" or rather draw on paper taped under the table. It was a fun experience. It was hard getting to the right height. He didn't really draw much but I am sure he will remember something about Michelangelo.


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