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.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Unplug your kids #5---
This week for the unplug your kids project, the theme was --"Thankful". So unsure of what to do, we started by asking the boys what they were thankful for. Gabe was thankful for a bunch of different things. We decided for him it would be best to go and gather up his things that he felt represented what he was thankful for. When he finished he came to me and said that was done and very creative. LOL. So we took a picture of his Toys, brother, and himself (because he is thankful to have himself. Very cute).

When we asked our seven year old Sam what he was thankful for he said books, water, maps, communication. We asked him how he could show people that and this is what he came up with.
It is a little Island with a family on it. The lizard is drinking the water. Their is a little boy reading a book. Parents looking at a map. Then the SOS represents the communication. Make sure to check out the other postings on Unplug your kids.
Happy Thanksgiving!!!
I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know that this post is a few days late, sorry. I was away for a couple of days visiting my grandmother. It was a great weekend. The boys got to spend time with their great-grandmother and their uncles. I thought that I would share some of my pictures with everyone. This first one is of my boys working on one of the craft packs that made for them. Thanks for the inspiration Amber. They were using the homemade paint sets. I only made a couple to bring along, I learned though that I need to make more for here.

"painting fun"

One of the reasons that the boys love going to Gram's house is that she has one of the most beautiful collie dogs. I got a picture of Gabe pretending to be Sparky. I thought it was cute. The other dog is a new friend for them, It is their uncle's dog, Gypsy. They loved this one because it was small enough for them to handle. So they had alot of fun taking care of the two dogs.

Well this was probably the boys favorite part of the whole weekend. Uncle Alan let them drive his Jeep. Gram lives in a little community so he took them around. He let them sit on his lap and steer. They had so much fun.

After they finished driving, it was time for the mud puddles. Sam walked around in it for a little bit but did not care for it to much so he went inside. Gabe on the other hand, well you can see how he felt about it. He was actually very funny. He looked at me and said "Am I dirty enough for a bath now?" I told him yes. His response was, "Yes, that is what I always wanted!" a very silly kid.

As Gabe was getting cleaned up Sam started playing with his Kepla blocks with uncle Anthony. Then Uncle Alan he needed to show them how it was done. When Gabe finished with his bath all of the guys had joined in. It was ery funny to see them all out there.

Here is a picture of the boys trying to help get the air mattress deflated. I Have never heard so much laughter. It was really a great noise to hear.

Our last night there the boys went up to play a game of pool. Gabe was just a little to small to see over the table and use the stick. So he sat back and Watched. I did get a shot of Sam tacking his turn. Gabe wanted to show what he found . Always curious.
I hope that everyones holiday was wonderful. Now it is time to get ready for the next one. Yikes it is coming up way to soon.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Unplug Your Kids #4---
This weeks project for unplug your kids was "Boxes" . The boys had fun with this project. Gabe took a little bit to get going. Once he got going though he had fun, using his love for music, he made a shoe box guitar. Very cute.
My sweet Sam. Always trying to do something sweet for his brother he designed a wonderfull rocket for his little brother.
This was a lot of fun. Make sure to check back for the next project. To see others check out this site. Unplug Your Kids

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Book List 13---
So we have reached list 13. This is the big one we topped out at just over 200 books read now. I think we can make it to our final goal. With out further ado here is our new list.....
194.) A Splendid Friend Indeed by Suzanne Bloom
195.) Naughty Parents by Joy Gosney
196.) Don't Let the Pigeon Stay up Late! by Mo Willems
197.) Once Upon a Time, The End (Asleep in 60 seconds) by Geoffrey Kloske
198.) Tractor Day by Candice F. Ransom
199.) The Top Secret Files of Mother Goose by Gabby Gosling
200.) Racer Dogs by Bob Kolar
201.) Ker-Splash by George O'Connor
202.) We're Sailing to the Galapagos --A week in the Pacific by Laurie Krebs
203.) Rabbit Wishes by Linda Shute
204.) Bouki Dances the Kokioko: a comical tale from Haiti by Diane Wolkstein
205.) Hansel and Diesel by David Gordon
206.) One Cow Moo Moo by David Bennett

We just got these books today but a few are already standing out to us. Gabe really loves Hansel and Diesel. It is Hansel and Gretal but as trucks. Very cute for little boys who think that fairy tales are to girlie. LOL. Sam liked Ker-Splash because it had a super hero that was the american eagle, his favorite animal of course. I also like the mother goose one, The pictures in it are really cool. My next list will not be posted until the Tuesday after Thanksgiving because I will be out of town. I hope that everyone has a great Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Our week all wrapped up.
As I mentioned in a previous entry Gabe is now home with us full time and it has been hectic but good. I have been having a harder time getting online to update though because of him being home. So sorry it is a long entry but this is what we have been up to over the past week. The boys had some art classes with us and here are the pictures of their finished products.

This one is done by Gabe. It was his own creation, not an assignment. He called it Mr. Windmister. I thought it was very cute. He mounded up the modeling clay and stuck a pencil in the top. Then he took his number stones and stuck them all around it.
I had the boys make some Thanksiving puppets as one of their projects. They are Pilgrims and Turkeys. Can you guess which boy colored which? LOL:)

These are the Thankful turkeys that the boys made. I had cut out a bunch of feathers and a body of the turkey. Then the boys glued on the feathers. They finished it off by writing the things that they were thankful for on the bellies.

We did some cooking with the boys this week. They made supper on Monday. Since we are studying Mexico they made a yummy meal of mexican food. Gabe made a Taco Salad from his cook book and Sam made some Salsa rollups that we had found. It was all really delicious and the boys were really proud of themselves. All in all it was a great night. If any one wants the recipe let me know, I will be happy to share them.

We have done a lot of science projects over the week, unfortunetly I did not get pictures of them all. This one though was called submersible. It is kind of hard to see in the picture but there is a paper clip folded the a straw over it. On the bottom of it there is some clay added for weight. When the bottle was squeezed the kids could make it rise and dive like a submarine.

One of the things we did for Gym class this week was to g for a bike ride. Gabe is still a little scared riding. Sam tried to make him feel better by putting some knee pads on him. It made him feel better except that they hurt being on. A little to small, oh well still sweet.

I thought this was cute. Gabe really wanted to learn how to play checkers with his Dad. Rob took time during his lunch break the other day to help him learn. He loved it because he won, with daddy's help of course. LOL

This was one of Gabe's Sensory classes. It was called Spirited Shepards. The obect was for the boys to blow the sheep (cotton balls) into the corral. I put the shower curtain down because I did not want any friction for them when the cotton ball to move. They had a lot of fun with this project.

This is the cover to the families first attempt at Lapbooking. This one was made by Daddy for Sam. Sam liked it so much that he is working on one about Squanto and the Pilgrims. I took some shots of the inside, they are shown below.

Lapbooks are alot of fun. We already have plans to make a whole lot more. For anyone that has to put a portfolio together for evaluation. This is a great way to show off what the kids have learned.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Unplug your kids 3---

The color red...
We have been having a lot of fun doing these projects from Unplug your Kids. This week the project was to something with the color red. I wanted to let the boys choose what they wanted for the art project. They thought that our tye-dyed t-shirts were really fun to make, so they wanted to do that again. They wanted to try and add some more colors in than just red though, so I said that it was fine. Below is pictures of their creations.

This beauty was done by Gabe,

and this one is Sams.

We plan on taking the t-shirts, along with others that we have, and stuffing them a little. Then allow the boys to use them as jump pads. Maybe the couch cushions will last longer :) !!

Not many people know this about Gabe but he has been attending the public school system in the special ed pre-K program. That is until recently, we pulled him out. We have no problems with some of the teachers in PS but do have issues with things in the school. Gabe had been in school for one purpose only, it covered some of the therapy that he needed. This school year though seemed to go downhill for him. He was no longer happy and wanting to learn. So we took him out of the program. Even though I have been homeschooling him all along I kinda of left the brunt of it up to the school. Our days had been going good here because Gabe would go to school for a few hours and that was the time that I could work with Sam on things without anybody bothering us. Needless to say I was a little worried at how that would work when Gabe came home. From the picture above you can see that I had nothing to worry about. He has been so sweet being home. It has been working really well and he is learning more than ever. I did have a few things to over come. He had only been at school for 2 1/2 hours, but his teacher gave him movie time. Gabe kept asking on the first day if was going to get movie time here. Ah no.... We do school work here. This week has been a little crazy with Gabe being home and trying to figure out things so I did not get many pictures of their work. I did get some of the art work though, they are below.
This is a suncatcher. I took an overhead projector sheet and traced on it, in black puffy paint, the turkey. When it dried I let the boys paint them in.
This one is Gabes! He really likes the color red!
This one is Sam's! Right now he is in the "proud to be different" phase.
This picture I added in because I thought it was sweet. Gabe played Tinker toys with his dad. So that is a little look into our life right now.

Book List #12----
So here is my newest list for everyone. We are getting so close to 200 books already. At the rate that the boys have been going through them it would be higher, but we only go to the library once a week. They read almost all of them the day we bring them home. We will be at our 1000 books goal soon. I actually asked Sam yesterday where his favorite place to go was. He said of course the Library was. My silly boy.

181.) The Three Little Rigs by David Gordon
182.) An Outlaw Thanksgiving by Emily Arnold McCully
183.) I.Q., It's Time by Mary Ann Fraser
184.) Owen & Mzee--The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff
185.) Owen & Mzee -- The Language of Friendship by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff
186.) The Elephant's Pillow by Diane Reynolds Roome
187.) The Three Billy Goats Gruff Retold By Janet Stevens
188.) Brothers of the Knight by Debbie Allen
189.) Donkey Trouble by Ed Young
190.) T is for Touchdown--A Football Alphabet by Brad Herzog
191.) The Tale of the Firebird by Gennady Spirin
192.) Count on Us-American Women in the Military by Amy Nathan
193.) A. Lincoln and Me by Louise Borden

So far on this list I really like the Owen & Mzee books. It is a really sweet story with wonderful photos. i highly recommend it for anyone with kids that love animals. Gabe really enjoyed the Three Little Rigs, it is done to a Three Little Pigs theme. I also felt that the Elephant's Pillow was really sweet. The story was a really well done and the pictures were beautiful. Next week we will top the 200 hundred mark, So make sure to check back and see what there is.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Random Shots and even a little school--

This first picture Sam took of his little brother. He thought that he was being cute riding on the truck.
This one Gabe building with legos. He told me that it was his city. He was so proud!
My little strong man. He is so funny Sam was trying to get into his bed to do some reading. When he goes into his bed to read he usually brings up the ladder so that his little brother will not bother him. His brother decided to be helpful and put the ladder up for him today. He just did not wait for Sam to get off from it.
They have even enjoyed some painting this week. Sam has really gotten into his painting so we actually got him some canvas to paint on. Gabe just loves watching his big brother work.
Here is a shot of Gabe doing his math work. I put a target down for him and he had to stand behind the line. Then he would throw bean bags at the target. He had to count up which ones made it into the target then the ones that did not make it into the target. He had a good time with that. We have done a lot more that I will try to post about this weekend.