Cultivating Knowledge in Mommy's Garden

Following the adventures of two little girls and their mommy, as they learn and create together!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Grandma Judy's House

The girls spent a TON of time at Grandma Judy's house this weekend.  Thanks Grandma for helping watch them so I could study! 
The girls love Grandma's house, because she always has a fun activity to do.  This time, Selena practiced writing her numbers.  She was so excited to show me her work when she got home, and even skipped naptime to write out her numbers on a hundreds chart.  We practiced counting by 10s, and the 9s (9, 19, 29, 39, 49...) she really liked practicing numbers!

Lowe's Build and Grow

I've been passing the buck this week (and will be the next week) with doing extras with the girls.  Today for Lowe's, I didn't go along, I stayed home and studied for my impending awful State Boards.  They got to build little pull-car race cars, and they love them.  Thanks again Lowe's for providing a fun FREE activity for the kids to enjoy!


Friday we started out our day happily enough, with circle time and follow the leader.  We sang Good Morning to a variety of stuffed friends, and then sang about the weather (Cold and Snowy!).  Once we sat down on our rugs for work time, I knew we were going to have a problem.  Selena's first box were the Biscuit books that we've been reading all week.  She refused to read them, telling me she didn't know how.  I tried to talk her into reading them with me, but no luck.  So I told her that was fine, if she didn't want to participate she could sit in the chair and watch Abby do her work.  So while Abby did ALL of her schoolwork for the day, Selena sat and watched while huddled under a blanket.
Abby did a 1-10 Dot-to-Dot and colored it, then played rhyming dominos with me.  Next we played a folder game about beginning sounds, put together a puzzle, and read "The Bunny Hop."  Finally we did another 1-10 DTD.  Then it was lunch and naptime.
Both girls refused to nap!  It was a battle from 1230 till 3, telling them to go have quiet time or read a book, or just rest their eyes.  Finally, the threat of not getting to go to Grandma Judy's school movie night or stay the night worked to get them to settle down.  Then I told Selena that she wouldn't get to go if her schoolwork wasn't done.  So while I cooked dinner and studied for my State Boards exam, she worked her way through her school work, and showed Daddy how she does her activities.  She read her two Biscuit books, read and wrote rhyming words for Cat, played Sneaky Snake folder game (ending sounds), listened and helped read "Buzz Said the Bee," read and wrote her new sight words, and did a 1-10 DTD.  When she got to her last box (reading the book, "My Cap") she again claimed that she couldn't do it.  I said it would be too bad if she missed out on the movie if she didn't read her book.  When I went back to the kitchen to check on dinner, I could hear her reading the book to Abby.  So.. it was our first day where one of the two of them didn't want to do their assignments, but it worked out in the end.
And they both got to go to Grandma's school for movie night, and it was their favorite movie too, How to Train Your Dragon!

Tuesday School Time, Storytime, and Snowman

We ended up doing the remaining boxes from Monday's day today, because time ran short, and Grandma Judy came out to play :).
While Selena worked on her sight words, read and wrote 10 new ones, Abby put together a puzzle.
Next both girls did Dot-to-Dots, which they love doing.
Then I had Abby organize the memory cards, while Selena read our new Biscuit phonics books, she read the introduction and short a.  She is really excited to be able to read the books.
Next we read "Zinnia's Flower Garden," and "Harold's Fairy Tale," then watched Harold on the DVD.
It was a short day, but fun.

Tuesday evening, I had to work out of town, so Daddy took the girls to Storytime without me, and they read stories about the zoo.  The got to learn about all kinds of animals that you would find in the zoo, and colored pictures of zebras.

Presidents Day, School Day

We started the day with a little singing.  The standard Good Morning, and then Baa Baa Black Sheep at Abby's request, then Selena made up a song about cupcakes.
Our first boxes were about George Washington.  We used the Lesson Pathways lesson for the story of "George Washington and the Cherry Tree,"  We read the story and talked about honesty, and then colored pictures of cherry trees.

Then Abby used the rhyming folder game to practice her rhymes, and Selena read Cap rhyming words, and wrote a list of them, cap, flap, gap, map, lap, nap, rap, sap, tap, zap, clap, slap, strap, trap, snap.

 Our next activity was to make Lincoln's cabins, (Selena had already done this at school on Thursday, so just Abby had to make one today).  Then we read all about Lincoln's early life, and looked at a picture of his cabin on Knob Creek.  There is great information on the National Park Service webpage,
Then we played rhyming dominos, fast becoming a favorite.  Then read "Harold's Fairy Tale,"  the girls love the Harold series.  After reading the story, we watched the Scholastic DVD of "Harold and the Purple Crayon, "and "Harold's Fairy Tale."
During breakfast (a late one obviously) we did the last day of the Great Backyard Bird Count.  We only saw 8 Pine Sisken.  We were disappointed, we usually see doves, and a flicker, and geese flying by.  It has been a bad weekend for counting birds.
Abby wanted to do a little more work, so she worked with her tactile A and B cards, and filled in a page in her printing workbook.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Great Backyard Bird Count

We learned about The Great Backyard Bird Count this week, and are eagerly participating!  Today we counted birds at our feeders while we were eating breakfast, and saw 13 Pine Siskin at the feeder.  Then we went for a walk down the Centennial Tail, and saw 15 Pine Siskin on a neighbors feeders, 3 Crows, and 2 Mallard Ducks.  We heard geese, but didn't see them.  We will keep counting birds as we see them, the count goes on through Monday!
So far around North America, there have been 12,655 checklists submitted, 478 species of birds observed, and 1,188,897 individual birds counted!

Postcrossing and Geocaching

Today was a busy day for both postcrossing and geocaching.  We wrote out three postcards, talked about the two we received this week, and then when we went to the mail box, we took a walk and did some geocaching. 
Brrrr!! It was cold and windy, but we still found the two we were looking for!
X marks the spot :)
 This one was pretty easy, we could see the tell-tale rock pile :).

Friday Fun

We bought little picture books from the Dollar Tree and used them to make books of the Valentine's the girls exchanged at school this week.  They really enjoyed putting the cards all together, and getting to flip through them when they want to.

Also, we took Grandma Judy ice skating, and had a fun time.  :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Storytime this week was all about monkeys.  We got to read a new "Five Little Monkeys" story, we have ... Bake a Cake, ... Jumping on the Bed, ...With Nothing to Do.  The new one was, "Five Little Monkeys Wash the Car."  It was pretty cute, especially when Greg whispers to Abby "don't you EVER paint the car!"  and Abby whispers back, "okay."
After stories, the girls colored some monkeys and played with the parachute.  What a nice night at the library!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Workboxes/Homeschooling Day 1

Today, Tuesday, is a normal "Home" day in our hectic part-time Montessori/part-time stay at home family.  For the past 5 weeks, we've been doing the homeschool family ice skating lessons at Riverfront Park.  The girls have been begging to do a homeschool day, and I've been wanting to do the same.  So this morning, after the last few days doing reading about workboxes, we did it.  We did a morning of homeschooling using workboxes.
We found this shelf at Costco, it cost more than I wanted to spend, but it isn't made out of pressed particle board, it's semi-adjustable, matches the other furniture, and I like it.  I was hoping to get by with one, but I'll explain in a bit why we'll be needing another one. The boxes need a little work, as they still need labels, but for a trial run it worked okay to explain to go in order.
Box 1 was rhyming dominos, this was the first time we've played this game (just got it at the Dollar Spot at Target).  The girls liked playing it, I thought is was a bit frustrating as it just goes in a long line and we ended up having to draw almost the whole deck before having enough matches to play all the way around.

 Box 2 was the book "Planting a Rainbow,"  I played this one a little spontaneously, I threw some d'nelian paper in there, with purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red crayons.  On the first page of the book, rainbow is written out in a rainbow of colors, so we copied it.  Then when we got to the planting page, we read the different flower names and Selena chose one of each color and wrote out the names in their colors.

Box 3 was make cards for Great Grandma Pat (she came and babysat them this afternoon while I took Grandpa Don to the doctor).

Box 4 was rhyming pictures folder game that I made.

Box 5 was reading and writing 10 sight words; find, away, a, and, big, blue, can, funny, for, down, come.  Selena wanted to do little, since we did big.  So we threw that one in at the end.  

Box 6 was a puzzle.

Box 7 was Memory

The boxes worked great.  The drawback was that Selena was able to stay more on task, while Abby wasn't able to do the same things for nearly as long.  For the games, Abby was able to play along with us just fine, but for the writing exercises, she either drew pictures or wanted to have her own task to do.  We sorted and matched the memory cards while Selena wrote out her sight words.  She wanted to move on to the next box... So, we need to do different boxes for each of the girls.  We got a second shelf, and we may need a few more empty boxes.  It was a lot of fun, and we can't wait to do this everyday!

Monday, February 14, 2011

I can spell piano!

This morning I was sorting and folding the four loads of laundry I washed this weekend, and Selena walks in and says, "Mommy, I can spell piano."
So I reply, "Really?  Wow, how do you spell piano?"
And she says, "p.. i...a n o, piano!"
WOW!!! How in the world did she come up with piano?  She is truly amazing!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mommy and Me Geography: 1st Card Received!! From Finland

Today we received our first Postcrossing post card. It is from Finland. We were very excited to get this in the mail today!
mommy and me geography

Just Like Mommy

Lowe's Build and Grow

Today we made music boxes at Lowe's.  We had to drive all way to the Coeur d'Alene store.  The girls really had fun, and except for one small mishap, with Mommy not paying attention, and installing the music player backwards (oops!), the music boxes are a big hit!

Ice Skating for Fun

Friday night we took the girls ice skating for fun.  We got there at 430, and it closes for hockey practice from 5-7, so we only had a half an hour.  But that was fine, as that is about as long as we last on the ice.  We got all dressed up with our elbow pads, knee pads, helmets and skates.  We even brought Grandpa Don along to watch us!  The first thing we noticed was that it wasn't cold.  It was actually a reasonable temperature.  We had to skate around the ice instead of across the ice, and that was a bit of a concern since it is much further around.  We went around once with me holding Abby, and Greg with Selena.  The second time around we switched, and Selena wasn't too happy.  She took a break and Abby kept on skating.  Then they both took a break and Greg and I got to skate two times around with no kids (Greg's first time actually skating).  Then Abby wanted back out, "My toes aren't cold, keep skating!"
We skated the entire 30 minutes, with Abby wanting more, and Selena wanting less... It was fun, and we have 4 more times that we can go with no ice fees. 

Spring Bag

Our library is awesome, I may have mentioned that before... :)
There are bags prepared with resources, so all you have to do is pick a bag (the topic is on the card) and check it out.  We checked out the "Spring" bag this week.  We didn't open it till Friday, because we were  busy earlier in the week.  We were so excited to find a large variety of books, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.  There was also an activity book, and a book of reproducible pages.  We really enjoyed reading about flowers and gardens, bunnies and mice, weather and seasons.    Today we followed the lead of the book, "Planting a Rainbow," that we bought seeds from the store, so we can plant our very own rainbow in the garden.  Now we just have to wait till sometime in April to get the seeds started.  Yay for Spring!

Waffles and Spring???

We had our regular waffles for breakfast, and I had LOTS of help too!

It was so warm in the afternoon, that the girls got to play outside in the playhouse.  They really wanted in the sandbox, but I didn't want the mess.  They liked getting out the kitchen toys, and playing with their flowers.  It was nice to have a day that was sunny enough, without wind, to play outside!

Hugs and Kisses Story Time

Library was fun this week, we read stories all about hugs and kisses and LOVE!
The activity was making a bear bookmark, and the girls sure loved making them!

Ice Skating Final Lesson

It was sad to have our final lesson this week, since the girls are getting to enjoy lessons.  Today they got to try hockey, which I was a bit concerned about, but in the end turned out to be great!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Groundhog Day and Chinese New Year

The last two days have been fun for the kids.  Yesterday they made groundhogs that pop out of their burrow!  We are so very glad that the groundhog did NOT see his shadow (even if our local one here did).  Today in celebration of the Chinese New Year, they made dragon masks!  Very exciting.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ice Skating Week 4

This was the 4th of our ice skating lessons.  The girls are getting to be pretty comfortable on their skates and the ice.  This week, Selena was able to do most of her skating without holding hands, and Abby was able to stand to the side and skate a bit without being held up!  Great job girls. 

Mommy and Me Geography: First Postcard Delivered

Today we woke up to an email saying that our first postcard we mailed has arrived in The Netherlands!! Hurray!


Story time this week was all about frogs.  The little green hopping guys!
For activities, the girls chose the lacing beads and straws.  There are some pretty neat things they can make out of the straws, I think Selena's building looks like a windmill/watermill building.