Monday, March 31, 2014

Pod Activities

I had a post request!  Isn't that crazy?  For ideas of things to do in the pod.  WE LOVE THE POD!  We use it all the time.

  • Playing in the sink.  With duckies, or cups, or bowls, or washing plastic dishes, or washing the tea set or playing in bubbles, or with warm water or cold water or with ice.  

  • Playing with play dough.  We really like this recipe-I made it a month ago in three colors, I just give the kids a hunk out of the fridge of whatever colors they ask for, and then they play with it and mix it all up and I don't feel bad throwing it away when we're done.  We still have lots left.  

jello playdough - Best homemade playdough recipe ever!  We really do like this recipe.
  • With the play dough, we use knives, or scissors to cut it, or cookie cutters and rollers, or beads to poke into it, or toothpicks and beads, or raw spaghetti and beads--whatever random thing I can come up with to make it a little bit new.  
  • Ice and cups and bowls and water and spoons.  Katie and Jimmy both love measuring out ice and water and spooning it around and mixing it up.  
  • Putting away the silverware from the dishwasher.  Great sorting activity and fun first chore.
  • Katie's been really into cutting and gluing lately, so there have been lots of projects with paper to cut and clue to cardboard.  All sorts of paper are fun to cut-newspaper, ads, construction paper, coupons, catalogs, and all sorts of ribbons.  I've been thinking we need to try cutting straws (bonus-beads to string when she's done!) and Styrofoam trays (run them through the dishwasher first).  We've been using a lot of glue.  I've contemplated mixing up some flour and water paste and putting into a glue bottle, but surely glue's not expensive and we're not quite out yet.  
  • Little animals in the play dough too- and we played with little animals in the snow that we brought inside, and with the snow dough that we made.  We did this one which was corn starch and oil and glitter but it didn't hold together that well and wasn't super fun.  
2 cups corn starch 1/3 cup vegetable oil 6 T clear/white/silver glitter

  We also made this one of corn starch and shaving cream and it was really really fun but
2 ingredient indoor snow  Way messy.

OH MY GOODNESS the mess was amazing and incredible.  I was so thankful MJL was home to bathe the kiddos while I cleaned up the mess.  

  • We also like to paint with water and paint with watercolors.  Those wooden trays that Melissa and Doug toys come in are great for watercolors, they soak up the paint nicely and go right back to being used.  Acrylic painting is best done with better supervision than I provided on this day.  Rocks are great things to paint.  

  • I keep trying to interest Katie into sorting beads into a muffin tray but that is a big no. 
  • I want to get them both into helping more with dinner, but so far scrubbing potatoes is the only thing they've done.  

How's that for a list?  Got some more ideas for me?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Chapter Books: The A's

I'm reading Chapter Books this semester and it's going SO SLOWLY.  I just cannot fly through these like picture books.  The kids are a little disappointed in me and I think I've learned that I have to have a concrete goal.  I can't just "See how many I can read in a semester".  I need the push of keeping up with something.  

But the point of it all is for me to read the books, and for kids to see me reading, and the kids are definitely checking out books off of the "What Mrs. L. is reading..." shelf so I'll call it a win, if a slow one.  

I thought this one was hilarious and had a nice, "be yourself and be nice to others and give people the benefit of the doubt" kind of message.  A little talk of boys and girls but not much.  I got the rest of the books in the series and the kids are eating them up.  WIN!  (And-checking out origami books too, which warms my little crafty heart).

This won the Newbery award last year, and I've heard and heard about it, so I was eager to read it.  It was good.  I'm not a huge animal fan in the first place, but for those kids who are, it'll be great.  I'll keep recommending it.  

This one was my absolute favorite.  It suffers from a TERRIBLE cover.  I can't sell it to anyone, even when I tell them it was my favorite of all the A's.  I finally talked a 4th grader into it and she said she liked it, but that she found it hard to follow.  I made MJL read it and he loved it too.  You should all check it out.  I don't think Anna's read it yet, I'll try to get her review.  It's about a refugee from Africa who's adapting to life in Minnesota.  

Only one book from the A's which I think I'm going to weed out- just poorly written and doesn't contribute anything new to the giant genre of pioneer stories and it's a paperback and no one's checked it out in years.  

On to the B's!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Math Games

I like to play word games, like Bananagrams and Snatch-It (though I'm a little too competitive with Snatch-It) and Scrabble, and MJL often says that if we could find a fast math game, it would be a little more fair.  

I found this one called "24" and he and Anna and I played it one snowy day during naps.  

You can add, subtract, multiply, and divide and you want to get to 24.  Everyone looks at the card and races to find the solution.  There's more than one way to solve each one.  For the card above, you can just add all four numbers:  6 + 7 + 6 + 5 = 24 

This one is 8-5 is 3, plus 1 is 4, x 6 = 24


This one none of us has figured out!  We've had it hanging on the fridge for 3 weeks now.  Any help?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring List!

Winter 2014:

1.  LIBR 859--My practicum.  I could get it done by March, if I hustle, and then I'd have a nice long break again.  I would love to do that.  Not at all done.  But 1/2 done?  It's not bad, just annoying.
2.  Potty Train Katie.  She mostly did this herself.  I feel bad taking credit.  But it's done anyway!  (or kind of-she wants to wear diapers at the moment, but I'm telling myself it's just a strange phase and not to even think about it.  
3.  Make something with Anna.  Snuggle her and talk to her and try not to hurry her so much. Just thinking about this has really helped.  
4.  Get back to my weekly routine.  Yes!  With some sliding here and there, but who cares?  :)
5.  Make those things for MJL.  Done and given and happy all around.
6.  Mending Basket.  (it's toppling full-mending is not my favorite but it should go fast)   I did some mending, but not all of it.  :/
7.  Use nap time to do things that make me happy (or work on my class).  I think mostly yes.  
8.  Valentines Boxes to College Kids.  Hooray!  
9.  Make another postage stamp block.   It's a bit smaller though.  I can't figure out if I just went too fast or if I cut the squares too small.  we'll see what happens with the next one, I guess!
10.  Work on Jairus' skunk.   Poor skunk.  

Spring 2014

1.  LIBR 859--Done! One more, Praxis test, all over!!!
2.  Easter!  Have a super fun party hopefully with some friends.  Find the line between making things fun and being ridiculous and making myself crazy.   Lovely and perfect.
3.  Anna's Birthday!  Have a party.  See above.
4.  Clean up (out) my craft room.  Yes, but then Katie came down on her own and torpedoed the place again.  With red glitter.  I'll cross this out too if I clean it up AGAIN.
5.  Make Cover Ups for all three kiddos. This was so much fun that I also made matching outfits.  
6.  Finals Boxes to College Kids.  
7.  Finish Bible Project.
8.  Alleluia Banner I just put the Anna mantle up right after Easter.  Maybe next year.  
9.  Mending Basket  I dread this so much!  But it wasn't bad.  
10.  Mail pile of things to be mailed.    10 things!  Poor postman thought we'd never finish. 
11.  Plant garden.  Be ambitious, but not crazy.  See #2.  

I wanted to limit myself to 10 things a season, but I can't think of what to eliminate.  So I'm not going to worry about that.  

Happy Spring!  Soon I'll go to school in the light, and won't that be glorious?!?!

Friday, March 07, 2014

The scariest part

I really love my new job as a librarian, but there's one part of the job that makes my hands shake and my heart pound.  

It's when I put the new books into the computer.  What if no one reads them?  

I feel all excited when I'm ordering, but then they come, and it's $1700 worth of books.  Doesn't it seem like a small pile for that much money?  

It's terrifying, but next week the books go out on the shelves.  Here's hoping I chose well!  

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Ash Wednesday 2014

It's been a couple of years since I posted this one-it's still the best thing I can find.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Lent 2014

I always want to plan a million things to do for Lent, but this year my word is "less" so I'm trying to remember that.

I'm going to get up a little early each day to make time for morning prayers.

The nights when we're home for dinner we'll light one purple candle and read this Peeking Through the Palms booklet that Grandma Joan gave us last year and we'll sing this song together with Daddy playing guitar.

Anna's going to try to be nicer to Katie.  :)

What are your plans for Lent?