Tuesday, June 26, 2012

K is for Krazy Rocks

 We got to together with some of our favorite people and made 'krazy' rocks. I've been wanting to do them with the boys for a while so I kind of stretched what I was doing to fit with the k theme, but they don't know the difference.

We did monster rocks so we went outside to find some good ones and came in and painted it. While the rocks were drying, we watched Wild Kratts (a favorite of theirs) and had hotdogs and ketchup. They loved it. 
 Once they were all dry we painted on faces and glued on google eyes. They were quite proud of them. We even did an extra one for dad for fathers day.
 My genius moment was making these 'aprons' from garbage sacks. We needed a way to keep the kids semi clean but still let them create. It's just a garbage bag with a hole at the top, two on the sides for the arms and then you use a cloths pin or something to hold it back because it's a little baggy. Genius, don't know how I didn't come up with that before. I'm definitely doing it again.

K words for the day:
keep, king, kiss, kind, kids, kept, key, knit, know, kin, kelp, kite, kewi, kick, kitten, kit, Kendra (me!) and knight.

Some other K activities I thought might be fun was flying a kite, going to Krispy Kreams, or dressing up like Kings and doing some sort of play or something.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

B is for Books, Berries, and Blocks

 For 'B' day we kept it pretty laid back and it fit perfectly into our day. We went to our regular library story time and got a ton of books (which we later read, marathon style) some were even books about the letter b and some for the letter d which was later that week. They were totally digging it and have been loving going to the library time and find new books.

 And of course we played with blocks, had some pbj's and watched a little Bernstein Bears. What a rough life. 
 We picked and ate a few berries from out in the yard but I had some leftover ones I needed to take care of from when we went berry picking the first time. 

 B words of the day?
Bat, boat, bear, bow, ban, book, beg, bag, back, bath, big, baby, bee, bed, bean.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Letter Games

V is for Volcano

Our first day of our ABC summer we started with the letter V just because I felt like it. All the letters are out of order to allow us to pick and choose making things more flexible and fun, also you never know what to expect as far as weather goes around here.

For the letter V we decided to start with volcanoes because they're pretty awesome.
We started off talking about volcanoes, I had a poster with a volcano and other fun info then I showed them a couple science power points which were made by kids that I found here to show how volcanoes are made, they both seemed way into it.

 We made some Vanilla Vehicle cookies and then took them to some friends.
 We made and played with some lego Vehicles. Levi was quite proud of his.

V Words
vote, vehicle, volcano, vest, van, vision, vegetable, vine, very, view, voice, vanilla, violin, vase, video

Other V activities I thought of:
Make a volcano out of clay then use baking soda and viniger to make it erupt
Play around with their voice (high, low, soft, loud, making funny voices)
Have them listen/watch someone play the violin like on youtube or something 

ABC Summer

This summer I wanted to make sure we got plenty of learning in, especially since Levi's going into kindergarten and Max is going into preschool so I thought of doing an 'ABC Summer' where we'll cover all the letters of the alphabet (for Mr. Preschool to learn his letters) and doing beginning reading words (for Mr. Kindergarten).

I found some die cut letters at the dollar store and traced them onto a poster board so letters could be added on each letter day. Each boy has their own poster because I knew they'd fight over it. For my budding reader I found these lined strips of paper perfect for words and laminated them so the words could be changed each day and then I used dry erase markers for it. Easy peasy.

 So far it's gone great and the boys look forward to each new letter day. The night before I write the new words and then have them go through the alphabet until we find what is the letter of the day. Then we go to our pile of letters and they have to find the letter and put it up. It's been a fun routine.
 We haven't done it every day but the goal is to get them all done by the end of the summer, so it averages to about 2-3 letters a week. I try to do 1-3 fun, quick activities for each and make sure to point out words from things we see going about our day, letters on signs and having them think up things that start with the letter. Most of the times it goes along with what we're already doing for the day, just focusing on a certain letter/words.
 So far so good and we've been loving it!

Activities I do along the way to help them learn the letter (and words) is to:
Point out letters on signs and billboards when doing errands
Have them practice writing letters in their homework books
Play the eye spy game with something that begins with the letter of the day
Pointing out packaging on food or books throughout the day
Trace the letters on their poster with their fingers
Doing other fun ways of writing letters (write it in finger paint, write it in shaving cream whatever you can think of)
Before going to bed doing a little quiz of the words of the day and review all the letters we've done

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Best in the Northwest

 This last week we went berry picking with some friends of ours, it was one of Levi's favorite friends in his sunbeam class before we went to our new ward. He happens to be one of five boys. What a mom she is with a house full of boys. They had a blast while we picked. A few of her older boys even helped for a bit.

I must say these berries were about a thousand times better than any berry I've found in a store. They might not be as big or as pretty but they are tasty.
 Max sure thought so. He started picking with me but ended up eating what was in his basket and got started on mine then went off to play with the boys.
And they played hard, a whole gaggle of boys throwing hay at each other and climbing over everything. We just pretended they weren't ours.
 Yeah, that's him and Benno. They like to play fight.
 Me, not a pretty picture but it is what it is.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Stuff and Nonsense

I just feel like writing, so here goes.

Today was day 4 of potty training for Max. It's definitely been a different experience than with  Levi, who took a little prompting and did most of it himself. With him there wasn't really a time when I said 'ok, time to start potty training', it just sort of happened. But Max needs to start especially if he wants to go to preschool in the fall and I didn't want to do it in the end when the weather is nice. Right now it is all overcast and rainy so I don't feel so bad about staying indoors.

Day one, was naked day and he was amazing. A tiny accident at the beginning but he did a great job the rest of the day, and for the most part on his own (in typical Max fashion he didn't go when I asked him to sit but when he decided it was time). Day two, not so awesome. Underwear day which I thought he was ready for but we went through all his spiderman underwear (the only kind he'll wear), before 2. So I was thinking I was never going to get out of the house this summer. But day three (underwear again) proved to be better. We even had a friend over for a few hours cause they were going bonkers and he again, did amazing with only a little accident. Today I'm not sure because it was not our normal day. We had to go to the doctors and run a few errands. He didn't have any accidents but I think he was thrown off a bit. Ah well, we'll see what tomorrow and the rest of this week brings. We're having fun hanging out though with nowhere we really have to be.

Speaking of doctors both boys had to get shots today. Why I scheduled it then I do not know but it was set. Max also had to get his ears flushed out (nas-tay) then poked a couple time and boy howdy that kid was angry the rest of the day. He got shots on the leg so refused to pull them up or down saying "I ave' owie!" then refused to just go pantess all of this resulting in lots of accidents. He had to be distracted pretty much the rest of the night because anytime he sat long enough to think about it he got screechy mad and couldn't be calmed, so we played with legos and watched a number of shows till it was time for bed. I'm hoping he'll forget about the whole thing by tomorrow. Levi was quite the little trooper. After Max went first he hopped up and said "I'm not scared of anything!!" cried on shots 3 & 4 and on the way out said "I don't like shots very much mom." But as we talked about what the shots did he got really excited because there were now antibodies inside him protecting him. He loves that sort of stuff. I'm always amazed about how much he understands about things like that.

Tomorrow Jason and I are doing the starlight run again and I am not as excited as I was about it last year. Last year I had been training for a 10k so a 5k was not that hard, now? Yeah I might die on this one. But the good thing is it won't be so hot (it was one of the hottest days last year) and I'll just be pacing myself (I was running with someone last time who was faster than me, but lets be honest, that's pretty much everyone) and I'm going to go slow. My only, ONLY goal, is to finish and not to walk. Oh, and also they want me to dress up which I'm not digging. First of all running is not my favorite thing to do, I love the feeling after running but during is definitely not on my top 10 lists of things I'd like to be doing so the thought of having to do a hard, not so fun thing for me, in an uncomfortable costume is not very appealing to me and because of it I've thought of nothing cool to do. Our group's theme is rock and roll and we have been chosen to be Sonny and Cher but I will be Sonny and Jason Cher. No idea what to do, ah well, I'm just pleased that I'm making myself go.

One of the things I'm always trying to do is figure out this parenting thing. I never feel like I'm doing a good enough job or the right thing in the right way. I continually second guess myself, compare, and worry about what I'm doing as far as taking care of my boys goes. Are they getting enough of the right foods? Are they watching too much TV and the 'right' kind of show? Are they getting enough outdoor play time? Do we spend enough time reading? Should I sign them up for summer classes or sports? How should I discipline them when one scratches the other in the eye (happened the other day)? What kind of chores should they be doing and is it too much/not enough? How can I improve reading/handwriting/letter/basic learning? Do I play with them enough? Do I allow them to be independent enough? How should I explain male/female anatomy to them when they ask? SO MANY THINGS are all running though my head every day. I try to shut my brain off with those things but it's difficult. I try to stay informed because I have no idea what I'm doing but at the same time I try not do things because everyone else is doing them or that's what all 'the experts' are telling me to do, it's a hard thing to balance. One day I'll figure it out right? Yeah, doubt it. Till then I'll fake it till I make it. That's all that can be done I suppose. I'm just grateful for Jason who keeps me grounded and from completely freaking out all the time.