The Grandmother Load!

So Grandma Becky kindly offered to pick up a few things for our upcoming school year.  You can imagine my surprise then, when the mailman delivered 5 packages yesterday.   The kids were very patient waiting for me to take a picture of them with all of their unopened goodies, you can see they're thrilled to be waiting.  :)
 After everything was opened, I went to lay Lettie down for her nap, and when I came back this is what I saw.
At first all I saw was the mess, and then, I realized here are my two little loves sitting and "reading" together.  It was a beautiful sight.  We made box opening even more educational by sorting all of our treasures into piles of like items, as you will see below.

Now, in case you're wondering what we got, and how we're going to use it all, here are some up close shots.  First up are our cookie cutters and rollers for play dough.  We make our own, and if anyone's interested in the recipe I'm happy to share.  This year we're going to be having a play dough to match our monthly school theme, and I'm very excited for that!
 Next we have animals for our letter boxes, and also for our science lessons.  We're going to be talking about penguins, turtles, otters, and pandas before we go to Sea World and the Zoo next week with Grandma and Grandpa.
 Here we have cute little wooden cutouts, that we will be using to talk about animals, and we'll also be using them to help us with our Five in a Row work this year.
 Finally we got books, currency, some flags, and a few souvenirs for our Continent Bags.  I am really excited to show you how they turn out.  I'm so happy so many of you are so excited to share things you have with my kiddos to help with their learning, thank you!!!
Finally, I just had to include this cute picture of Lettie, trying to open a package that I got from my sweet friend Heidi.
Inside, I was so excited to find books for doll patterns, and doll clothes that I can start making...  After I finish one other project that I'll show you soon.  In case you don't know, Heidi was one of my midwives for Lettie's birth, and she is so amazing!!!  I can't even put into words how wonderful she was with me.  Every appointment she would let Bitsie measure my tummy, and use the doppler to get Lettie's heartbeat.  She is a truly amazing lady!  If you are back in the Virginia and looking for a doula, you can look Heidi up here.  I highly recommend her. 

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Science

So a few weeks ago we went to visit my amazing friend Denice and her family, and while we were there she gave us "The Magic School Bus" volcano book, and after we read it the first time, things seemed to spiral wildly down the "volcano hole".  

First, we made volcanoes out of baking soda and vinegar in the kitchen sink.  Then, I decided to make a wave bottle, like this, but I didn't read the directions very well, and I thought I need a two liter bottle.  Since we don't ever drink soda, I wasn't sure I could justify wasting money on a 2 liter of soda in the name of a few wave.  (I know, I'm cheap.)  Luckily that's when my husband suggested we try this:

 Yup, the old Mentos in a soda explosion.  In case you're wondering, orange soda is not nearly as impressive as Coke, but again, I'm cheap, and it was the least expensive.  Had I known, I would have spent the extra few cents.
 For safety reason, Lettie stayed back with me during all explosive occurrences.  :)  So, with that eruption over, we went on to make our wave bottles, which the kids really enjoyed.









The kids love rolling it around, and if you're looking for inexpensive entertainment this summer, I highly recommend it.

And, lest you think that after all of that we were done learning about the expansion of gas, you're wrong, because we then decided to try this, and microwave a bar of soap.  The results were fascinating to the entire family!



And, just so we wouldn't be wasteful, and because, let's face it, it was fun, we followed the directions here, and made it into bath paint the next night.

The kids had a blast, and so did we, so thanks Denice, for giving our family a summer full of memories!  I hope some of you can use some of our ideas to make memories of your own.  :) 

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MEET...



Wally!!!  He is the newest resident in our home, and according to Bitsy he is actually part of the family.  We found out he was part of the family when she left part way through family prayer, and came back with him.  He didn't want to be left out. 

Wally is a cute little Beta fish, and Bitsy's first pet.  Steve and I aren't big pet people, and moving every few years, doesn't particularly lend itself to being pet people, but Bitsy loves fish, so we figured we'd give it a try.  It's really not that simple, you see, I've been reading the writings of Maria Montessori, and she advocates giving children a small animal to care for, as well as a little garden.  Now gardening, I'm okay with that, in fact I've seen Bitsy tenderly care for the plants in our garden, and I know she loves to plant things and dig in the earth.  So we got her and Manly some plants to take care of, no big deal, but an animal...  That's a horse of a different color.  (Pardon the pun.)  I wasn't sold on the pet business though.  After some discussion Steve and I decided that a fish doesn't cost much to care for, probably won't live long enough for us to have to worry about moving him, and generally wouldn't cause to much trouble.  So now, we're pet people.  :)

Wally has a lovely little purple bowl that is aerating, and based on our first day with him, I would say Dr. Montessori was right, children like to have something to take care of, and they like to be responsible.  Tomorrow Wally will be introduced to his new purple home, but for now he's sleeping soundly in his cup on the bookshelf next to her bed...so he doesn't get lonely.

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My Husband

Ok, so I wasn't planning on posting again so soon, but I just couldn't wait to brag, I mean share, my latest school room addition.  But first, a story.  This weekend my sweet husband took me to Ikea, because I've been on an organizational kick, and really, who doesn't love Ikea?  While we were there I saw this cute magnetic board, and thought it would be really great if it was a chalkboard too, so I could write notes, and store papers.  My sweet husband says to me, "Well, why don't I just make you one?  I can have it done tonight."  Now, I know what you're thinking, it's Wednesday, he obviously didn't have it done that night, but you're wrong...  He did in fact have my magnet board made that night, and after our acquisition of chalkboard paint last night he completed my board this morning.  Are you ready??  Here it is!

Isn't it beautiful?  Can you believe he made it out of broken chair legs, and a piece of sheet metal he had in the garage?  How lucky am I to have such a handy man around?  

Since this post is all about my sweet husband, I'll share some more pictures of him with the little ones during school this week.
 
Bitsy decided she wanted to build a raft, and would not be deterred until daddy helped her.  Of course, Manly couldn't see someone using tools, and not get in on the fun, so it became a family building project.  The raft became a surf board in the pool today, but she stopped riding the waves before I could get the camera out.


 This summer the base library summer reading program is called "Joust Read" so we have been reading about knights, and princesses, and of course castles. My sweet children came in and said that daddy was going to help them build a castle.  Of course I thought of some lovely little wood block construction, so you can imagine my surprise when they told me to come outside to see this. 
(Apparently Bitsy was concerned I was going to siege the castle.)  :)
                                

Here is the completed beauty, with mote, secret passageway, two sleeping wings, and a standard.  (The raft also made an excellent drawbridge.)  Unfortunately the castle was sieged by its' own owners today, and is no longer with us, but those picture will have to wait for another day.

And, because I received complaints that little Lettie was not included in the last post, here she is helping Manly explore this month's sensory bin.

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The Beginning!

This is the beginning of my adventure in sharing about homeschooling my Bitsy (4), Manly (2), and Lettie (6mo). I am hoping the grandparents and other friends and family will also enjoy seeing and hearing about our little family's adventures as we follow were ever the military sends our Daddy.  Here's hoping we're off to the beginning of an exciting journey.

And, just so the grandparents feel that we're off to a good start, here are some pictures from our recent trip to Disneyland.  The kiddos were excited to see Minnie Mouse as soon as we got through the gate.

We had a day of adventure and fun, and Bitsy just wanted to take a minute to reflect before we headed home.  :)

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