26 October 2011

Preparing the Garden!

We had to give up a little early on our raised beds this year. Partly thanks to a little stinker called the Squash Beetle and partly thanks to a nasty little thing called Powdery Mildew.

We still had decent yields from our Garden this summer- quite a few squash and cucumbers, only a handful of green peppers and enough tomatoes to make sauce for 10 families! (not really- but we had a lot!) We also grew spinach- but I didn't plant enough to be worthwhile. We tried to grow melons, broccoli and potatoes, but had zero success there. Im not sure what went wrong, but we will try again next year.

Because our biggest failures were in our raised beds we decided to start the garden prep now so that next spring it will be good and nutrient-y!

Gabriel had a blast digging and Bastian loved looking for bugs!

Each time we found a worm Bastian would grab it and dig a hole for it... and then help him get cozy in his new home by burying him again!

Gman just likes to dig and throw dirt! He had fun just being outside!

Here's to a better garden next year!


20 October 2011

Grandma Beth and Janey Poo come to visit!- The Sequel

Grandma Beth was apparently going through Bastian and Gman withdrawals and decided to come for a visit!

The boys love it when we have company! Especially when the company comes to play with them!

Both boys were napping when Grandma and Jane arrived, but on the way down the stairs after waking their faces lit up at the sight of them! It was really funny!

This was a relatively short trip so we had to fit as much excitement in as possible! But still attend Bible Study on Wednesday- so that kind of cut into our visit a bit.

We went to Maymont- one of my moms favorite places and Jane hadn't seen the farm yet so that was an easy choice for us.

Checking out the Donkey- Normally he gets a little worked up by Echo, but this time he ignored them completely.

Gabriel still loves to chase birds.

Luckily, they are fast than him!

The goats were not sure what to think about Echo this time! Every goat in the pen came to check him out... and finally the smallest one started head butting the bars to try to scare them away!  

Hanging out with Grandma and Echo- checking out the Hawk.

One of the only pictures with Jane!

Gabriel has a way with Goats! He was the only one who could get them to come to the fence with out food!

As it was time to leave we realized that Jane had locked her keys in the car! This is her speaking with the locksmith! 

The next day we decided to wear the boys out at The Inflatable Palace!

I am pretty sure that Bastian won this game!

Of course- in a room full of inflated awesome-ness Gman plays basketball!

We also had to take them to Sweet Frog (once you bring an out-of-towner there, it becomes an important part of every trip!)
And we had some fun just staying home and wrestling on the floor!

I'm not sure if it is seeing someone that we haven't seen in a while, or the jam packed days or the frozen yogurt... but we really seem to like company!


16 October 2011

National Zoo

This was probably our last trip of the year to the National Zoo.   Although it rained and was freeeeezing, we still had a blast!

One of Gabriel's favorite things to do right now is sit and look at our Encyclopedia of Mammals, we were pretty sure that this would be his first super exciting trip to the zoo. We were totally right! He loved every minute of it! The hardest part was to convince him to leave one animal, but he soon realized that this meant getting to see another cool animal... then our transitions went much more smoothly!

Because we bought this hat at the zoo (last year) Bastian insisted on wearing it. He had it crammed on his head as far as it could go! It was really funny and super cute!

Bastian has mixed feelings about the snakes apparently...

We went on Big Cat day, which was pretty neat! We got to see them toss a bunny to the tiger and although we couldn't see it once the tiger took the bunny to it's den we did hear someone say "Oh yeah! It ripped off the head!" It was really cool to see what we did get to see and I don't know that I would have liked explaining anymore than that to Bastian!
The lions didn't get to eat anything cool, but they were more playful than we have ever seen them. Gabriel loved watching them! He kept  saying "Lion, ROAR!, Lion ROAR!"

This was also the first time that we've ever seen the Ring Tailed Lemurs on Lemur Island (This was our 5th time at the zoo this summer, so we had pretty much given up!)

The main purpose of our trip to the zoo was to catch up with friends who had recently moved to the area! It was really cool to see them and now we are looking forward to our next visit with them!

It was a fun day and 3/4 of our car celebrated by sleeping the whole way home! (Poor Tone Tone!)


11 October 2011

Check out these Muscles!!

Check out the muscles on this dude!

He is so intense that a vein pops out on his forehead!


06 October 2011

Comunity Bible Study 2011-2012

Since CBS is pretty much the closest thing that we get to the first day of school- we take the day pretty seriously!

Here are the boys getting ready for the first day!

Bastian was more than excited and Gabriel had a rough time being left in his classroom. He is going through some serious attached to momma issues right now... so I have missed a few opening messages trying to get him to play so that I can attend my core group! Once he settles in he is good and each week is getting easier!

I love to see how much they learn from such an awesome program!  Bastian could talk your ear off about Moses right now!


03 October 2011

Preschool Extravanganza!

Only not really an extravaganza... more like I haven't posted anything in a while so I am going to cram it all into this post!

We started our Preschool Homeschool the last week of August and it has been going really really well! Although,  I am not certain how people homeschooled before the internet... if I had to rely on myself to come up with project ideas and fun things to keep the little minds stimulated we would all be toast!

Here's a rundown of what we ar doing this year...

Five In a Row- This is an awesome little curriculum! We "row" a book for five days and explore different parts of it. The possibilities are endless! So far we have read; The Story about Ping, Lentil, Madeline and the Rag Coat. We are enjoying Madeline so we are going to spend another week on it! There are way to many cool projects to do in one week! The best part is that Gabriel can take part in just about everything that we do!

We are making a Passport for all of the Countries/States that we visit when we read books. Bastian and Gman are coloring the flag from China- which we visited when we read The Story about Ping. We have also visited Ohio,The Appalachian Mountians(no state was mentioned) and France!

Here Bastian and Gabriel are making a rag coat out of paper scraps for our book "The Rag Coat"

Bible Study/ Scripture Memorization- We are using My ABC Bible Verses for this as well as Big Truths for Little Kids. We use these scriptures often and it really helps. I can't tell you how many times I have had to remind Bastian about the being a peacemaker or having a joyful heart... the best part is that we can always bring it back to Jesus through these books!

Gospel Lights Kindegarten Puzzles- These are more of a post circle time fill in the spare time activity. But he loves them and we get to review scripture with each and every page! Instead of using th whole book and buying a new one later, I took all the pages out and put them in sleeves in a binder. we use dry erase markers to work through the books and then wipe it off for the next time/child! This was not my idea, I read it from a blog... but I am so excited! It is cheaper and cuts down on so much waste!!

Nature Study- We have pretty much decided to follow a Charlotte Mason style of learning/instruction. She recommends lots of outdoor play as well as journaling your experiences. Each day after our outdoor time we ask Bastian about his favorite thing and then I write a sentence in his journal, which he rewrites and then he gets to draw a picture! He still loves to draw so this works well for us right now!

Math- We have a few math workbooks, and we use them twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays) but we are trying to focus our math time more on manipulatives and actual work... rather than a work book. We have been doing puzzles, tangrams and then lots of counting, sorting and measuring around the house. Next year we might dig a little deeper into math...

Devotions- Each day we begin our Circle Time with a prayer and a devotion. The devotional that we use right now is a Precious Moments one.. I cant remember the exact name.. but It works well for us.

Circle Time- We do our bible study, devotions and book reading during circle time each morning. We sit on the floor in the play room and we read and play.  After all of our "school work" is done we read more. I think our biggest goal this year is to help cultivate a love for reading in the boys!

Project Days- Twice a week we do a project related to our book from Five In a Row. (This is where the internet has saved my buns!!)  This is where I see the information stick the most with Bastian... it is also the most work but the most fun!  I would like to try to do a few more projects in the future that are more seasonal and not related to our books.. but that really depends on time.

During our first few days of Madeline we explore popular architecture in Paris. Afterwards we constructed an Eiffel Tower out of wafer cookies! The boys had a blast and then devoured it when Tony got home from work! Tony made fun of me when the boys went to bed about my pathetic 2D Tower! It was pretty pathetic, but Bastian can tell you all about the Eiffel Tower now! I am more than happy with that!

We try to squeeze in other fun projects too.. like painting!

We also froze some fruit in layers( with food coloring) and then we worked on excavating the ice to remove the fruit without damaging it. This was really fun.. although next time we will do more fruit and less ice!

Pretty much all of this flows like a normal non-school day. It is barely like we are doing school, except that I feel guilty if we forget to do something! I think this is a great first step toward school for all of us.