Saturday, February 19, 2011


We love our "school time." It's a chance for me to use my teaching skills, a chance for Ollie to use his fine motor skills and his cognitive development and a chance for us to bond. It seems that we have
less and less one-on-one time as Dawson grows. This poses new
challenges as we continue to redefine our day and our schedule. Right now, three activities a week is about what we can fit in!

This week, I started by having Ollie create a K. I used chalk to draw a
white K on black paper. I then gave him strips of green paper and asked him to create a K by gluing them on to my lines. He did fantastic. After we did this, I a
sked him to go get that letter off the fridge and he did! Such a smart boy!

We are library lurkers and I try to get books that will go along with our letter of the week. Last week, I checked out a book about kangaroos. I then cut out a body, head, pouch, arms and a joey. I had ollie put it together. I love
the way he always puts arms on in a funny way. I think his favorite part was putting the pouch on and sticking the joey inside. I thought that was pretty cool too!

Finally, I made Ollie a kite lunch. One kite was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into triangles and placed diagonally on a plate. I also took a stack of wheat crackers and a slice of
cheese. I used green pepper strips to make the kite on the cheese. I took red grapes and cut them in half and used them to create a string for each of the kites. I thought it turned out pretty darn cute!

Happy Valentine's Day!

On Wednesday, Ollie, Dawson and I hosted a Valentine's Day party. Six moms, ten kids and 4 babies came to celebrate love. Our theme was straight from the Bible 1 John 4:19 "We love because he first loved us."

We started the party with a heart craft from Family fun magazine. I LOVE LOVE LOVE family fun. I find more recipes, crafts and
games from there than anywhere. The craft was a bit messy but the kids (more like the moms) really enjoyed it. While doing that, some of the other kids played a bean bag toss game. I simply cut 3 hearts of different sizes from red tag board and used got out two bean bags from the kids to

toss on them. At two, learning to take turn was the hardest part.

We then sat in a circle and sang a song from Wee Worship:
We love (clap clap) because he first loved us.
We love (clap clap) because he first loved us.
We love (clap clap) We love (clap clap) We love (clap clap)
because he first (clap) loved (clap) us (clap clap)

Thankfully a few of the other moms (one of which is a former band teacher) were there to help me with the tune! After that we did an old high school cheer. I had the kids in two groups. We took turns shouting :
We love Jesus yes we do, we love Jesus how about you!

The whole taking turns thing didn't work out so well so we just shouted it together. After our loud time, we decided it was time to pass out our Valentines. I love valentines. I think they are so much fun! Ollie had 3-d hologram dinosaur ones. These proved to be a big hit. He, however, chose to keep the t-rexes for himself. (sigh)

We then let the kids run around like mad while we got stuff set up for lunch. I have the best group of friends. They all pitched in and we had a great spread. We had heart shaped PB&Js, a veggie tray with dip, fruit salad, lettuce salad, chips and sandwich fixings for the ladies.

Before we ate, we prayed and thanked God for loving us first and for displaying that love through his wonderful son Jesus Christ who came to the world to take each of our places on the cross. Thank you Jesus for loving me and for always being my valentine.

I am very sorry for the few pictures. I had it in my head I was going to do better this time. It makes be sad blogging when I could have posted great pictures! Oops

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spring in February

Nothing like sunshine and fresh air to reset the system. Yesterday, we had record highs here in Iowa. It hit 68! We packed a feast of applesauce, baby carrots and pb&js and headed to a park near Grandpa Jim and Grandma Mel's house. We frequented the park during the time we lived there. It is a fantastic park. There are three different playgrounds-- a small one for 2-5 year olds and two that are bigger for 5-12 year olds. Ollie of course uses all three and doesn't care one bit that it is for "big" kids. I'm not allowed to called him baby or babycakes anymore. He is a big boy!

I made the mistake of telling Ollie that I packed a special treat. (Fruit snacks) So the first thing he wanted to do was sit at the table and eat. Well, he ate the fruit snacks and ran off! We spent
time playing on all three playgrounds until Ollie needed to use the bathroom and we wandered to the shelter house only to see that it is closed for the season! Oh yeah, it's February! I tried to get him to pee on a tree but no luck. I packed the kids up and we drove a few blocks to Grandpa Jim's house. Lucky for us, he just happened to be home for lunch. After the potty, Ollie spent some time "working" with his tool set while I feed and changed Dawson. We then headed back to the park for another 2 hours. Ollie played and played and played while Dawson watched and napped. Finally after 3 glorious hours, we packed the car and headed home.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Learning about J

J was a fun letter. Of course, I generally think all of the letters are fun. To start the week, I had ollie paint on some wax paper. Then, he smashed the paint with another sheet of wax paper. When it dried, Bob cut it into a J.
Next, Ollie and I created a jellyfish. We used a clear plastic cup, red saran wrap, white yarn and some orange ribbon. He decided that we simply must create our masterpiece inside his
tent. although it makes me slightly claustrophobic, I complied. He is learning to use scissors so he
cut all of the ribbon and yarn pieces. I cut the saran wrap. Next, I used a hole punch to make several holes around the rim of the glass. I took 1 piece of ribbon, 1 piece of yarn and 1 piece of
saran and threaded through each hole. Ollie stapled them down. He applied sticker eyes and then when put a piece of yarn through the top so we could hang it. Afterwards, Ollie and I watched some youtube videos about Jelly Fish. They are so pretty and intriguing.

Our final project was about JESUS! We first read the Bible story about
Jesus feeding 5000 with 2 fish and five loaves of bread. Ollie used our slider cutter deal to make 6 strips of brown paper. I
helped him weave
them into a basket. We put a plain sheet of construction paper on the back and glued only the edges so we could open the basket. We then added a handle. I cut out 2 fish and 3 loaves of bread. We talked about how Jesus did a miracle by using so little food to feed so many. We counted our items and placed them into the basket.

Winter Fun!

This is our first year back in the frozen tundra and I tell ya, it is taking a bit of getting used to. In North Carolina, we played at the park all year. Now there were days or maybe weeks without the park but certainly not months! So, I thought I'd share with you just what we do to keep ourselves busy. One big plus to our new house is our heated attached garage. I love being able to get the kids in the car without going outside and without the scrapping and warming up of the car.

So on Tuesday morning, we head over to our fabulous library for story time. We have a phenomenal library. Not only is story time excellent but
there are toys, including dinosaurs for the kids to play with. They also have a huge number of
Fiction and Nonfiction books, CDs, DVDs and audio books for kids. They are often have special
programs. We went out to something called jump bunch which was physical activity. Ollie had a great time.

Two Wednesday's a month, we attend a program at our church called mom's circle. It is very similar to MOPs. The kids have activities while we learn something new. I have learned a lot
from the Word of God about my role as a mother and wife!led jump bunch which was physical activity. Ollie had a great time.

Thursday morning, we go to another church for a FREE music class called Wee Worship. We
learn a Bible verse and story. We also sing songs and use scarves, shakers and sticks. It is a great

On weeks when we are just bored out of our gourds, we head out to one of the local malls. We
live only 5 blocks from one. These malls have an indoor play area. I love it becau
Now we do stay home some! While we are at home, we do our school time. We also do things like make obstacle courses, pretend to be dinosaurs, sing songs, read books, play with toys and play hide and seek. The best thing about hide and seek is that I hold Dawson so we all play I don't have to go buy my kid crappy food (no offensive) to use a playland
somewhere. Plus, if I need to get something at the mall we are there! Occasionally, we may go grab lunch while out but not usually.

Dinosaurs is too rough so we have to wait till Dawson naps. We also play with bubbles (like o
ut of the sink), scoop dried beans and play with colored rice.

And, of course, we occasionally play in the snow. It is hard to get outside to play too much because of little Dawson. But we do still get out a few times a week. Sometimes that is Saturday and Sunday with Daddy.

I love staying home with my kiddos. It is fantastic. If you have more fun ideas for winter fun,
please comment here so we can all use them!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I like I

So I am a bit behind as always. A couple of weeks ago we did the letter I. We did fun activities with this last time. You can see the old ones here and here. As for this go round, we started by simply coloring a big I. Nothing real exciting but he saw the letter, we talked about it and it was exposure.

The next activity is super cool. I wish I could take credit for it, but I read it in a Toddler Busy Book a while back. I have been dying to try it. I made ice in the primary colors- red, blue and yellow. Then, Ollie and I put two colors into different bags and watched them melt! We saw red and blue make purple, yellow and blue make green and red and yellow make orange. I recommend putting two of the lighter color in with one of the darker. Otherwise the color is really dark!

Finally, we learned about Iowa. It was funny really. I was thinking and thinking "What could we do more with the letter I?" Duh. I live in Iowa! Haha. We colored a US map and an Iowa map. We discussed where we live--our country, state and city. I hope to be teaching him our address soon but I need him to be old enough to understand when that is ok information to share and when it is not. I am a bit paranoid.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I think they are trying to kill me

No. I am not talking about the crazy guy down the street. I am talking about the two little people who I love most in this world (notice I said little). Now when you look at this face,
or this one...

I am sure you think I am lying. Well, I am not. Just how are they trying to kill me. It depends which little monster you are talking about.
This one,

well he refuses to sleep. I don't mean like he got up an extra time or two at night or he skips a nap. I mean HE GETS UP EVERY. STINKING. HOUR. and he refuses naps. I'm so tired, I can hardly see straight and because of this he

is very difficult to deal with. Now he is a good kid, a REALLY good kid but he is 2 and with that comes some challenges- mostly for his parents. But day by day, he is improving. Now I do have 2 weeks of lessons to put up but I think I will pass out from the week of next to no sleep. My mother-in-law is here and I may actually sleep longer than 1 1/2 hours at a time! Yay me!