Monday, December 31, 2007

Ok I hope that we have not been missed to much. It has been awhile since I updated about the boys and everything that has been going on. This has just been over the last week. Oh so crazy busy around here. So I have a long entry to share. Lots of Photos yeah!!!!!!

Well over the holidays my mother came down from Maine to stay with us, So we were very busy getting ready. I got these pictures that I thought were so cute. Sam my ever helpful son helped Daddy clean out the car. He has been scared of the vaccum but he actually used it here abd vaccumed out the trunk. His little brother though insisted that he be outside to watch. As you can see though he did not stay watching, But his dinosaurs did though. He is just to cute.

Believe it or not we did manage to get some school work in for Sam. He made his first lapbook. He did Christmas around the world. We found some really interesting things, like in Russia they have not even celebrated yet. They celebrate on the 7th of January. They follow a different calendar then we do. The type of it is slipping my mind right now though. Interesting stuff though we plan on having him expand on it for next year.
We let boys open up one gift on christmas eve. This year we did it a little earlier in the day because we wanted them to have a chance to play with it before bed. It was a good thing that we did though becuase this is what Sam opened. It was a gift from Gabe, A K'nex ferris wheel. He loved and had to put it together right away. He did do most of it but daddy helped a little.

Here is a shot on Christmas morning opening their stockings. As you can see Santa went a little educational on Sam. He got a hand held hangman game to practice his spelling. Gabe of course was very attracted to the gummy savers.

Time to open Santa gifts. Santa gives one big gift to the each of the boys each year. This year Sam asked for an educational globe and Santa got him one. He was very pleased. Gabe loved it so we went out and got him the junior version. That made him even happier. His Santa Gift though was a building center and he loved it.

Gabe loved his new building center but the box was really special to. As you can see he was very comfy in it. Sam was still very much in love with the globe but that was not een his favorite gift. His grandma and grandpa got him this and he was through the roof for it.

This was what Gabe got from Sam. Gabe is always stacking things and calling it the Leaning Tower of Pisa. So Sam decided to get him these building blocks which are amazing.

Our big family gift (thanks to my parents) was a new treadmill. The boys love it. They are on it all of the time. They even gave me an i-pod shuffle so I can enjoy music while I am excersing. What sweet boys I have.
I have to say next to the treadmill the most popular thing was the new Kapla blocks. They have been so busy building with them this week here is just a few of what they built.
"The Robot"
"The Tower"
"The Duck"

Well if you are still reading this thank you. I know I can be a bit long winded. Now that the holidays are winding down things can start to get back to normal around here. That means more posting. YEAH!!!! I hopefully will have a new book post tomorrow. Happy Holidays and best wishes for a new year to your family from ours.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Book List #17----
To start off with I hope that everyone has been having a wonderful holiday season. Ours has been really good, just really busy. So since I missed last week putting up a book list I have a nice large one to make up for that this week. Lots of the christmas books that we read are on here.

261.) Backbeard--Pirate For Hire by Matthew McElligott
262.) How Underwear Got Underthere--A Brief History by Kathy Shaskan
263.) Elf Help-- http:// www . falala. com by Margie Palatini
264.) The Mixed up Chameleon By Eric Carle
265.) Alphathoughts --Alphabet Poems by Lee Bennett Hopkins
266.) Martin McGregor's Snowman by Lisa Broadie cook
267.) Days to Celebrate by Lee Bennett Hopkins
268.) The Wizard by Jack Prelutsky
269.) Mrs Claus Takes a Vacation by Linas Alsenas
270.) Santa Claus Around the World by Lisl Weil
271.) Block City by Robert Louis Stevenson
272.) Scooby-Doo! Storybook Collection by Jesse McCann
273.) The Magical, Mystical, Marvelous Coat by Catherine Ann Cullen
274.) "Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," said the Sloth by Eric Carle
275.) If I were President by Catherine Stier
276.) The Journey Of The One And Only Decleration of Independence by Judith St. George
277.) The Story of Jamestown by Eric Braun
278.) Lives of the Presidents by Kathleen Krull
279.) The Fright before Christmas by Judy Sierra
280.) The Skeleton in the Smithsonian by Ron Roy
281.) The Story of the Statue of Liberty by Xavier Niz
282.) The Battle of Gettysburg by Michael Burgan
283.) A China Alphabet- D is for Dancing Dragon by Carol Crane
284.) Orson Blasts Off! by Raul Colon
285.) Here Comes Santa Claus by Gene Autry and Oakley Halderman
286.) 17 things i'm not allowed to do anymore by Jenny Offill and Nancy Carpenter
287.) John Sutter and the California Gold Rush by Matt Doeden

This was our list for now. I will have another one in a couple of days. We have enjoyed off from this list is "Orson Blasts Off!" . It is about a little boy that has his computer break down on him and he has to find another way to occupy himself. I really liked "Mrs. Claus takes a Vacation". It was really cute. She is tired of always being left at the North Pole so she decides to take a vaction. Numbers 277, 281, 282, and 287 are some of Sams favorite ones. They are hard cover Comic books that tell some of the greatest stories in our history. Hope you enjoy the list and I will be back in a couple of days with another one.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Little Robots---
My little boys decided be Robots the other day. Sam made this costume for Gabe to use. He loved it until Sam made the controler for the Robot. Gabe did not like that because he does not like being told what to do. His big brother made it up to him and switched so that he could tell him what to do.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Unplug your Kids #8--
This week at unplug your kids she suggested doing something with yarn. So I pulled out my craft book to see what we could come up with. I found one on making a frame for a mirror. Well I did not have a mirror that I could us in the project so I tried to make our own using tin foil and card boar. It ended up not reflecting to well but the boys got the point. You take a paper plate and cut out the center. After doing that we glued our frame into place. Then yu take yarn a glue it all around to create the design you want.

This first one is the one that I did. I had no clue as to what to do for a design so I just put things down. It came out ok I think.
This one was Sam's. He is actually planning on giving it away to his Mimi for christmas. His design around the outer side is world monuments. I thought that it came out great.
Well this last one is of Gabe's. He could not make up his mind on wether he wanted to do it or not. Finally he decided he wanted to create something. So I gave him scissors, glue stick, yarn and paper plate. Gabe decided at the end that he wanted to put a mirror in. So I suggested that He draw a smiley face in the center. He did but it very hard to see because he used a yellow crayon. It was a very cute project though.

Make sure to check out everyone else's projects on Unplug your kids.

Some of my online buddies have been sharing pictures of their Christmas trees and special ornaments that they hang on it. So we finally got our tree this weekend and I gt some photos for you.

This of course is the tree all complete. We have a really pretty angel on top of the tree (sorry i cut her off some) Funny story about the angel though. Every year we have some sort of trouble with the angel and end up buying a new one. Usually it will not stay up on the tree. This year though we completly lost it. Not sure were it went since we live in a small apartment. Oh well the way it goes with us this one probably will not be there next year.

The ornaments that I am sharing are all homemade. This first one was of Sam when he took an enrichment program. (fancy way to say preschool mixed with gymnastics) The teacher that year had us all donate pictures and she turned our little ones into angels.
On Gabe's first christmas I had each of the boys make the reindeer using their hands and feet. This one is of Gabe's, he had such cute little feet.
I have also tried to make a homemade ornament each year for the kids. Here is the Gingerbread man that I made a couple of years ago.
This one is probaly my favorite that I made. I made this snowmant last year. It is just popsicle sticks painted up. I added on the googly eyes for the fun of it. This year I just cut out simple stars from salt dough and painted it up, then put their names on it.
This final on was made by Gabe last year when he went to preschool. He glued all of the buttons to the frame. I think that it so cute.

I hope that everyone has enjoyed my little tour. My family wishes all of yours a happy holidays!!

O.k. This week I did not get a chance to get over to the library. I did get a chance to stop into the bookstore though. I got all of these wonderful goodies for only 20 dollars.

First up is "Annie's Solo Mission". Gabe loves this show, rocket is his favorite character. Well in the story Annie has to save all of of her friends and the kids reading the book get to help. They have to know what letters certian words start with and then so some counting. A really great book.

Next is "Our Presidents Sticker Fun". Sam absolutly loved this book. He sat down and did it with in a couple of hours. It is filled with facts about presidents and a bunch of stickers to match up to it. Overall a pretty cool book.

Then we had a couple of "SCHOOL" (hehehe I love being able to say that. Homeschooling is great.) books. First there was " The Seven Continents of the World Jigsaw book". This is really neat because each page had a different puzzle plus facts about the continent. Next was a spelling book. It has 24 different cards to spell out words. It also comes with foam letters for him to put into the cards holes. This was called "Little Speller!" very cute. Then the final one is "Counting Jigsaw book and Floor Puzzle" It is a nice book for kids that are still working on early counting.

I think that the best part of the day there was that the kids were so excited to be there. The book store for them is like a candy store. Hope you all enjoyed and I will have new library post next week.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

We have been really busy around here lately getting ready for the holidays. So I unfortunetly have been slacking on the blog. I did want to try and get some of the crafts up over the next few days. Todays entry is from one of our old craft books that we had kind of forgotten about.
We will be using it alot over the next couple of weeks though. This is some of Sam's projects today.

This is a bunny that he made for Gabe.

This is the fish that he made for Gabe.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Unplug your kids #7---
This weeks project at Unplug Your Kids was NATURE. The kids could do some project about nature and what it means to them. My oldest loves the diversity of nature. Since we are studying the rain forest he decided to do a project on that. This is a picture of his Rain Forest in a Jar that he made. the other side of the jar has labels marking off what each level of the Rain forest is called.

When I asked my youngest what nature means to him. His reply was Dinosaurs. He is a very funny kid. So he got out some of his favorite Dinosaur toys to represnt that. If you notice that all of the Dinosaurs are plant eaters.
I hope that you enjoyed our projects. Please check out the others on Unplug Your Kids.

A couple of weeks ago we bought Sam a build your own Robot kit. See here. We have been so busy around here that we have not had a chance to get to it. So dh decided that would be a good project for them to do together today. DH said that it was a really nice set because the directions tried to explain how all of the different parts of the robot would work.

A shot of Dad and Sam working on the Robot.

Sam demonstrating how the robot works.

A close up of the robot for you to see.

Book List 16--
It is time for the new list. It has been a really interesting time doing the list. To watch the boys grow with the list has been a really rewarding experience. They are so into getting the books it is great. This week for example Gabe did not "allow" dh and myself to get books on our card, he got them all on his card. Sam is learning how to us the Dewey Decmial System on tracking down the books that he wants which is really cool.

245.) Old MacDonald Drives a Tractor by Don Carter
246.) F is for Firefighting by Dori Hillestad Butler
247.) Harry at the Garage by Derek Radford
248.) Hello World! Greetings in 42 Languages Around the Globe! by Manya Stojic
249.) Amazon ABC by Kathy Darling
250.) Paper Parade by Sarah Weeks
251.) My Grandson is a Genius! by Giles Andreae
252.) This Rocket by Paul Collicutt
253.) The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
254.) The Barefoot Book of Tropical Tales by Raouf Mama
255.) Get to Work Trucks! by Don Carter
256.) Captian Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs by Giles Andreae
257.) This Truck by Paul Collicutt
258.) Edward in the Jungle by David McPhail
259.) Papa Please Get the Moon For Me by Eric Carle
260.) The Biggest Bed in the World by Lindsay Camp

So that is the list. It is hard to believe that we have gotten 260 books in already. The boys have nt had much chance to get some of these books read. They did get a couple in though and some of the favorites are "The Biggest Bed in the World". The boys found it to be really cute. Also Gabe really enjoys "Harry at the Garage". It is a nice book that takes kids through a garage and shows them all of the different jobs at a garage.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Rain Forest Cookies

Lately on the online group that I am a part of the ladies having been sharing alot of cookie recipes. Well because of that I thought that I would share this recipe from our lessons on the Rain Forest. I got this recipe originally from The Rain Forest Grew All Around. A really great book. The cookies came out really well. My dh said that the consistency was like that of a spice cookie, kind of a cake texture.


2 to 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) softened

1 medium ripe banana

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract.

2 eggs

1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes

4 cups of chocolate chips

1 cup chopped cashews

Preheat the oven to 375f.

combine 2 cups flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and set aside. Beat butter, bananas, sugars and vanilla until creamy. Beat in eggs then add the coconut flakes. Gradually add flour mixture using extra flour if needed. Stir in the chocolate chips and cashews. Drop by Roounded Tablespoon ont a ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutesuntil golden brown.

In the ingredient list they bolded the items from the rainforest so I did to. Hope you enjoy, they are really yummy.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tonight the boys did a new craft from our favorite craft book. They did a Spider monkey mobile. They each made a monkey to hang off from it.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Book List 15---
I am a couple days late posting this, sorry. Where does the time go. Oh well. The books are coming along great, the boys are having so much fun. As you can see from the photo, books are important to them. Gabe decided after the library the other day that he needed someplace soft and cozy to sit, so he sat in our box of stuffing. LOL. Sam is also having a great time. He is noticing things around him and costantly saying "that was like in the book we read" or "that is the author of the book I read". (He is also reading classics on his own right now. Mark Twain is his favorite) So overall it is wonderful to see that they are learning so much from all of the books that we have been reading. I also have a link to share with you guys that a lady was kind enough to share with me after the last list that I posted. Please check it out, there is some really cool ideas on the site. here. Ok enough with the rambling and off to the list. It is just a good feeling to see that this challenge is paying off, that the boys are loving and learning from it. So here is the list:

226.) If You Give A Moose A Muffin by Laura Numeroff
227.) The Princess and the Pea by Janet Stevens
228.) The Clever Boy and the Terrible, Dangerous Animal by Idries Shah
229.) The Good-bye, House by Robin Ballard
230.) The Magic School Bus -- Out of this world by Jackie Posner
231.) The Snow Globe Family by Jane O'Connor
232.) Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
233.) The Magic Crystal by Brigitte Weninger
234.) C is for Caboose by Traci Todd
235.) My Daddy is a Giant by Carl Norac
236.) Pascual and the Kitchen Angels by Tomie DePaola
237.) Cook-A-Doodle-Doo! by Janet Stevens
238.) Moishe's Miracle by Laura Krauss Melmed
239.) Jake Greenthumb by Loki
240.) The Forest by Claire Nivola
241.) When I am Eight by Joan Lowery Nixon
242.) Yankee Doodle Riddles - American History Fun by Joan Holub
243.) If The Walls Could Talk -- Family Life at the White House by Jane O'Connor
244.) AlphaBetter by Dan Bar-el and Graham Ross

So this is our list. We are making it to our goal slowly but getting to it. Some of our Favorites on the List so far are "The Snow Globe Family". It is about a little family that lives inside a snowglobe that want to have a blizzard really badly. It is really well done. Also Sam really loves "If These Walls Could Talk". He is always up for learning more about the presidents. I also found that "The Magic Crystal" was really sweet. It was a book about finding the inner beauty in yourself. I hope that everyone is enjoying our list. Have a great day.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Unplug your kids #6---
This weeks project for unplug your kids was paper. We are studying about the rain forest right now, so I decided to tie that in. In the craft book I found a WINDOW TOUCAN project.

This is a close up of one of the boys. To start with we glued a sheet of black construction paper for the head. Then the boys glued on the googly eye. Then we cut out the beak so that the boys could glue on the tissue paper. When finished we hung them in their bedroom window so that it can be seen each morning.
This is Sammy and his bird. He was very proud of it.
Gabe decided that his could talk so he was having it talk to everyone after it was finished.

Please check out everyone else's great project listed on Unplug your kids. Make sure to join us next week for the theme of Nature.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Our day yesterday....
Well we had an ok day yesterday, there was only one casualty. LOL. The Little guy brought this to me. I asked him what happened and his reply was only that "he wanted him to stand". I guess we better not mess with him or this might happen to us. LOL

In our around the world adventure we have made it down to Central and South America. Since the largest Rain Forest is located there, The boys wanted to do a unit on the Rain Forest. So this is a picture of the first art project...The Foot and Hand Macaw. We got the project idea from this book. I am really proud of Sams because he did it all by himself. Which he felt great about because he kept noticing his improvment on tracing and cutting out his hands. Gabe did great to, I helped him out on his but he designed the way the bird looked..
For the sensory lesson we did a taffy pull. The boys had a really good time with this but it took a while to do. It will be a long time before we do this again, but in the mean time we have some really yummy taffy to enjoy.

Incase some one would like to make it I will include the directions on how to do it. I got it from this book. The lady that wrote the recipe recommeded that you do the first to steps then bring the kids into it for the pulling portion of it. So with that said here is the recipe...


You will need:

2 cups of sugar

1 cup light-colored corn syrup

1 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

2 tablespoons of butter

2 teaspoons of vanilla

candy thermometer

wax paper

Mix all of the ingredients except the vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. When it boils, reduce the heat to medium and add the vanilla, and insert a candy thermometer. Continue to let the candy boil at a moderate rate stirring occasionally. Try to keep the candy at about 250 degrees. After about 40 minutes, pour the candy onto a buttered cookie sheet and let cool for about 20 minutes.

Have the child butter their hands. (author used cooking spray on the kids hands) Twist and pull the candy until it turns a creamy color and feels very stiff, usually about 15 minutes (mine took longer but I had delays). With buttered scissors, snip pulled strands of taffy into bite size pieces. Wrap the pices in the wax paper.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sensory Time--
Well I was woken up early this morning so I thought that I would get a post made up. I have been trying to add in a different Sensory activity each day for Gabe. Sam usually ends up joining in because Gabe is having so much fun. Well yesterdays project was a homemade punching bag. I took a shopping bag and stuffed it with newspaper. I then tied it up so they could hit it. As you can see from the pictures they enjoyed laying down and kicking it. Lots of fun and cheap to make, it works for me. Todays sensory project is ..... TAFFY. YUMMY.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Book List #14---
O.k. So we have become a crazed family getting these books. Well not so much the DH. Oh well we are having so much fun getting them. We went to the library last night and Sam struggled to carry his pile out. Not to mention that Gabe had his own pile and so did I, so this list is just a small portion of what we took out. The rest are books that we use as reference for school work. The boys are really interested in the Rain Forest right now. We got a bunch of different ones on that topic. To many books....nah not enough. LOL. So here is our list.

207.) Bye-Bye, Big Bad Bully Bug! by Ed Emberley
208.) Library Lil by Suzanne Williams
209.) Francis Scott Key and "The Star Spangled Banner" by Lynea Bowdish
210.) Greetings From Sandy Beach by Bob Graham
211.) The Ugly Truckling by David Gordon
212.) The Umbrella by Jan Brett
213.) Over In The Jungle--A Rain Forest Rhyme by Marianne Berkes
214.) The Parrot Tico Tango by Anne Witte
215.) The Boy Who Was Raised By Librarians by Carla Morris
216.) I. Q. Goes To the Library by Mary Ann Fraser
217.) The Rain Forest Grew All Around by Susan Mitchell
218.) Look Who Lives in The Rainforest by Alan Baker
219.) The Rain Forest Counts! by Lisa McCourt
220.) The Lion and The Little Red Bird by Elisa Kleven
221.) One Big Building --A Counting Book About Construction by Michael Dahl
222.) Jungle Drum by Deanna Wundrow
223.) Animal Babies In The Rain Forest by Jennifer Schofield
224.) Deep in a Rain Forest by Gwen Pascoe
225.) Squanto's Journey- The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac

So these are the new books. The boys really liked the one "The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians" (I think that Kate actually recommended that one on her list). We have not had much chance to get into many yet since we got them last night. We did get to look through a few today though, so here are ones we have liked. Gabe has loved "The Ugly Truckling" (Shocker on that one) and Sam has really liked "I. Q. Goes to the Library". I thought that "Animal Babies in the Rain Forest" was so sweet. I hope that you find some on the list you can enjoy to.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Our School Day---
With the Holidays here the schooling is hard to get done, but we are managing. Today was our first day back to a regular schedule in a week, and it was interesting. Sam started out doing his multiplication worksheets, which took a while but he did good. While he did that Gabe worked on his sensory lesson. He made a crinkle bag, which he loved. It was a very simple thing to make. You take a pillow case and fill it up with bunched up newspaper. Then tie off the top. The kids can jump on it, Hug it, pretty much do anything they want to it to make some sound.

For English Sam read some poetry. Then he picked his favorite one and described it. He picked "Travel" by Robert Louis Stevenson. My child has a huge travel bug so I am not surprised that is the one he choose. Gabe did "Bowling For Scholars". I got the idea from a great book, that I highly recommend. It is called 365 phonics activities. The point of the Game was to set up bowling pins with letters on it. He would knock them down, then have to tell me what the letters were. I asked him to also give me an item that started with that letter. If he could do that and then they would stay down. Once he knocked them all down, he would win the game. You can change the game for older kids by putting parts of speech on it. Just an idea.
After I finished my shower today I found this in the hall. Gabe decided that His little brother (elmo) needed the biggest bed ever. So he decided to make it in the hall. Funny kid.
Then he decided that he was going to make a car. He sat on their scooter and tried to "drive" down the hall. Well at least he decided to be safe and wear his helmet. LOL.
Well that was a portion of the day that we had. It was pretty good. We also did some science and art to. Then we finished the day off with a trip to the library. So with that make sure to check back for our list. I will try to post that tomorrow.