Wednesday, July 22, 2009

One of those days! And poop.

I had "one of those days" yesterday. I'm sure you know the kind. Nothing goes right, your house is a disaster, your kids throw temper tantrums at home, in the library, and everywhere else in between.

But today is the feast of St. Mary Magdalen! Praise God! Because there is no better reminder that God can pick us up when we fall down than this wonderful Saint. I have a personal devotion to her as I had a "reversion" to the faith about six years ago.

On the education front, we got some books from the library on the human body because John Paul has been obsessed with poop and where it comes from. So we'll do two weeks on the body, informally of course, and with lots of circle time. We've also been working on the short a and the short e sounds. Lately, John Paul has been a sponge, so I'm trying to really work with that without overwhelming him!

So for all of you who are also having "one of those days" try to remember St. Mary Magdalen today...God will always make up where we lack, and no matter how many times we turn away, He will always take us back!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sun, Planet & Stars Circle Time (among other things)

SO....the boys have been MAJORLY into planets and stars and the like since they started catching Zula Patrol (qubo) a few times a week. It's a pretty scientific show, but disguised with lots of fun. (I know, I know, science IS fun, right?) So I went to the library and checked out all the books on planets and stars that I could find, and we have been having LOTS of fun with it.

Circle time is a totally fun idea that I LOVE, but have only been able to do a few times. I didn't have a plan for today, but it just came together, which was probably a working of the Holy Spirit. Here's how it went:

Hello Song (from our Music class)

You Are My Sunshine (working on beat, clapping, fast and slow)
Twinkle Twinkle (same as above)

Learning about the Sun
-Is the sun hot or cold?
-Is the sun big or small? (You get the idea)

Talking about the planets
-Naming the planets (keep in mind, we've been doing this for two weeks! John Paul knows them in order and with the asteroid belt included)

-Counting stars (to 20)
-Counting backwards for take off...they really liked this one!

Language Arts/Imagination:
-I told a story about three astronauts named John Paul, Joseph, and Maria and how they went to the moon. It was quite involved and we did a lot of jumping around and talking about what it's like to have less gravity. This was really fun for all of us.

-We drew some planets, constellations, etc. Well, circles and dots, but that's what they look like, right?? :)

And then we trailed off for something else...probably a snack or a fight or the baby woke up!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cork people

We had a beer tasting gathering at our house and were left with some really great corks! Here is what we did with them! The kids each have one and some of their friends are here too! It probably would have been better with multi colored markers, but I wanted them to be permanent, and didn't have any colors that weren't washable. It was fun, and it really did seem to inspire some creative play with the boys. So far, the cork people have been on a school bus, in a car transporter, and on a trip to Chicago. Random, but fun. Just like the kids. :)

Making fireworks!

I saw the idea for this project on several blogs, and unfortunately cannot remember which ones, so I'll start with the confession that I am shamelessly copying this from others! The fourth of July was super for us...we stayed here in town and went to a great local parade and saw some fireworks in the park. Before we went, we made some fireworks of our own.

Okay, so my pictures are out of order, and I don't feel like moving them around. First, we took a dropper (from the drugstore--let's just say we collect a lot of these during cold season) and dipped it in some red and blue Crayola paint mixed with water. I made the dots on the boys sheets and they took straws and blew air directly over the dots, which caused the dots to splatter like fireworks.
Joey was a bit young for this activity, and I was happy to see that the paint was non toxic after he sucked some up instead of blowing air on to it. John Paul really got a kick out of this, and wanted more and more paint--he LOVES projects. Joey just kept yelling to our neighbor, "Gavin, I'm doing a pro-dect!" It was really fun.

Then we practiced water transfer with our leftover paint and water, just to work on finger strength and because it was fun.
Happy Belated Fourth everyone! God bless America!

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Grateful Day

Most of my posts focus on the kids' projects, but I'm straying a bit this week. Please bear with me! :)

This week has been a hard week, but a great week. I held my best friend's hand in the waiting room of a hospital as she waited to hear if her husband had pulled through his risky surgery. It was such a blessing to get to share that day with her, and try to even slightly ease the burden of the huge cross she was carrying. Praise God that the surgery went SO WELL, even better than expected. Thank you to EVERYONE (there were hundreds of you) who prayed for his surgery and his recovery.

It also helped me to count the blessings in my own life. I hugged my husband a little tighter this week and tried to love him a little better and thank him for being the amazing man that he is. Because there is nothing like a trauma or a tragedy to help you realize how blessed you are and how much you really have to lose. Our lives are suspended by total grace and at any moment the things we have could be gone. So I thank Holly and Joseph and their situation for reminding me of that.

Another reflection I had this week was about suffering. Sometimes life is just too sad for words. No one tells you when you're little to prepare for that--that your heart WILL break, maybe a hundred times, or a thousand. It's unfathomable to me how anyone deals with these heartbreaks without a strong faith in a Savior, and in a place where all suffering will cease; without faith in a God that KNOWS your pain, Who has FELT your pain, and Who will REDEEM your pain...Who will unite your pain with His to save the world.

Praise God for that.