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Archive for the ‘Little Man’ Category

Again and again, I say it to myself, “I just love this stage of my children’s lives.”  Four kids, ages (almost) six to ten.  Crazy, silly, messy, and FUNNY!  They are.

Recently, Little Man checked out a book about Star Wars droids.  That night he was devouring it!  Apparently he was filling his sisters in on all the details when he shared that one of them shoots slugs from his chest.  Not knowing that slugs are also bullets, he was imagining the slug shooter shooting little slimy, snail-like creatures out of his chest.  Think about it; this is reasonable coming from a movie that includes the likes of Jabba the Hut, right?  He and his sisters had a great laugh.

The next day they were discussing the anomaly when Bubba offered a suggestion:  They should also have a droid that shoots salt.  The slug shooter and the salt shooter could duel and see who wins.

I’m so glad I overheard that!

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The Art Book

When Bubba was in kindergarten her teacher was awesome.  And by “awesome” I do mean that God gave her the best teacher ever . . . for her!  Mrs. S was all kinds of cool, but for my child’s needs one of the coolest bits was that the year before Mrs. S had been the school’s art teacher.  Budget cuts got rid of the art program at Bubba’s public school, but Mrs. S was able to slide into an open kindergarten room . . . yay for us!

That year Mrs. S had all of her students make an art book.  Bubba’s art book has a laminated cover and is ultra cool!

The year that I homeschooled Little Man and Dimples for kindergarten we put together an art book too.  There’s no laminated cover, but the kids learned a ton . . . and we had lots of fun!

So without further ado, here’s our art book:

The cover – simple straw painting (put your paper in a box and your student in a paint shirt, allow child to dip end of straw into paint, put opposite end into mouth, then blow – don’t inhale – paint onto paper) This was just a random project that we did, but it made a colorful cover.

“The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue.”  We talked a lot about the primary colors for a while.  For this painting I gave the kids red, yellow, and blue fingerpaint and told them they could paint whatever they wanted.

“The secondary colors are orange, green, and purple.”  We did a lot of little experiments turning primary colors into secondary colors; we used food colors in water, homemade play-dough, and cookie icing.  Each time we started with the primary colors and ended up with a whole rainbow.  Then we made these “blotter bugs!”  This is one of the projects that Mrs. S did with Bubba’s class.  You start with half-sheets of typing paper.  Fold the paper in half then open the paper.  Allow children to dribble a few dots of the primary colors near the fold.  Then have the children re-fold the paper and use their fingers or the sides of their hands to smoosh the paint all around.  Open the paper and allow it to dry.  When it is dry, students can cut around the painted area and glue on googly-eyes.  We also colored the little chart that is on the left; Little Man got his upside down when he glued it on the paper, but it still works.

After learning about primary and secondary colors, we ventured into warm and cool colors.  After that we talked about neutral colors.  This page was simply a matter of coloring pictures to help us remember which colors are warm/hot colors and which colors are cool colors.

We actually did two different projects to make this page about monochromatic colors.  First we got out some orange acrylic paint.  We squirted a rather large blob of it onto a paper plate.  I had already used a ruler to draw a long rectangle that was divided into half inch sections for the kids to paint.  We painted the very center space orange.  Then we added a bit of white to the orange and painted the space to the left of the middle.  We added more white and painted another space and on and on until we ran out of spaces.  I would have liked it if we had actually gone a little lighter, so the kids could see how light orange can be . . . but not everything works out like I want it too.  Then we got out a second plate (because our first “palette” was rather full.), squirted a rather large blog of orange and added a tiny hint of black.  We painted the first space to the right of the middle.  We added more black and painted a space . . . until the whole thing was full.

The second project we did was simpler, though it was still fairly difficult for kindergarteners.  I told the kids to draw circles or ovals (I think we were studying circles and ovals in our curriculum too) all over their papers.  I was expecting some big, giant, overlapping circles.  As you can see what I go was a lot of small, non-touching ovals.  Then I had the children go through our crayon bin and pic out every shade that was even the slightest bit orange (orange, orange-red, red-orange, yellow-orange, peach, etc.) .  We had a pretty big pile!  Then we started coloring.  I told them to try to avoid coloring touching spaces the same color.  They did a pretty good job at that.  When the whole page was full (a week later), the project was finished.

This page was part following directions, part practice in patterns, and part learning about line and shapes.  I gave directions and the kids were able to iterpret them as they wished.  The first line I probably said something like, “Make a pattern with diagonal lines and curvy lines.”  For the second line I told the kids, “Make a pattern using horizontal and vertical straight lines.”  This was one of our least fun and most structured art pages, but it was good practice for everyone.

Texture bugs.  These were simple and fun!  Simply look around the house and find anything that is any fun texture that can be glued down.  Here I used brown rice, split peas, sandpaper, and some fabric scraps.  Have the kids cut out circle or semi-circle shapes and glue everything down.  (For the rice and split peas, we just made circles and semi-circles of glue then sprinkled the rice/peas over it like glitter.)   A few googly-eyes and some drawn on feet and antennae later, and you’ve got some really great texture bugs that remind your students that texture means that things feel different!

This was our last project, a watercolor tutorial.  Really, go check out this tutorial; it is well done and includes lots of great techniques that are handy for kids to know/be able to use!  I wasn’t smart and didn’t trim the paper before we did it, so part of our tutorial is missing – oops!

I also intended to have the children do a self-portrait, but I never got around to it that kindergarten year.  We did finally do them when they were in first grade, but we used oil pastels to color them, and they smear a bit when touched.  For that reason I have not included them in the book.

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Opening an Audubon book about rocks – to go with the rocks that were especially cool!

Little Man’s birthday is often on Labor Day weekend.  He was born the day before my grandpa.  I have a cousin who was born a few days later.

A whole big bunch of us got together to celebrate this weekend.

Everyone came a bit early.  I wasn’t ready.  I never am.  So I handed out jobs and made everyone do my work.  So pretty much I asked everyone to come to my house, to bring food, then to help me prepare my food – great hostessing, huh?

In the end though, I think it all worked out nicely.  Jobs make people feel important and welcome, right?

So we ate, then watched the unwrapping of the gifts, then sang and ate some more.  Then we sat around and talked, and the kids played with all the new toys.

At the end of the evening, when I stood by the sink, rinsing dishes, I was so thankful:

21. for family who was willing to travel to come to my house

22.  that though we didn’t know just how big this house would be when we built it, that we have room to put together our two tables and have 15 for dinner at one long table.

23.  for Mom, who always remembers to make the coffee. . .

24.  and Dad, who makes the homemade ice cream, just like his dad did.

25.  for the guest that came with grandpa

25.  and the smile that my grandpa wears when I mention her.

26.  that she is taking him out for his birthday.  (Don’t we all love to have someone to share our day with!)

27.  for buffet meals.

28.  for strawberry lemonade.  (That was my cousin’s job; he did great!)

29.  for that dip my aunt brought; I couldn’t get enough.  (a layer of cream cheese mixed with garlic powder, a layer of drained Ro-tel tomatoes, cheese, green onions, and other “Mexican” toppings)

30. for rocks as a birthday gift and a boy who will spend hours looking at them!

31.  for the amazing weather that allowed us to have our windows open and a breeze to accompany our good conversation.

32.  for pictures of a great summer vacation shared

33.   and hopes of someday traveling there (to see Mt. St. Helens and to ride cool bike trails with my four children and handsome husband).

34.  for good-bye hugs,

35.  fresh tomatoes and cantaloupe,

36.  and chocolate chip cookie bars.

37.  that my son chose those chocolate chip cookie bars instead of the original plan to go with a Lego cake (that would have taken a lot longer to make, though I would have happily done it!)

38.  for cool sheets that felt great as I happily slid between them.

39.  that Handsome thought to play cool birthday music for the birthday boy’s awakening.

40.  for family members who couldn’t be here but called to sing/say “Happy Birthday” to our special boy!
holy experience

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Dimples, after a face plant at the play ground.  I felt so bad for him, but this picture totally cracks me up! (and grosses me out too!)

Dimples-isms:

The “big” kids are in the kitchen teaching Dimples to say “Ethiopia.”  I wish they wouldn’t.  I rather like it that he says, “Epiopia.”

He also says “squirrels” instead of “swirls” lately, as in, “I want the cup with green squirrels on it.”

“I have a smagitto bite!” – Dimples, referring to the itchy bump on his leg

On Little Man:

“I have a little caterpillar.  He has a horn, and I’m going to call him Horny!” – Little Man, referring to the creeping thing on his hand.

(I think I said something like, “Oh, let’s call him something else, like nasty-rotten-tomato-eater.”)

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We received this letter from a friend this week:

Dear [Gus] and [Little Man],

I am sorry for boxing you.  And I am sorry you got hurt.  please come play again soon.

from, [our friend]

That is definitely one for the scrapbook!  Oh, my lands!  I can’t tell you the laughter this whole situation has prompted.  Our children decided to box with a friend on a playdate.  Their was only one pair of boxing gloves involved, and my children weren’t smart enough to request to be the ones to wear them.  No one was really hurt, but there was one big, giant lump on one girl’s eyebrow.  Same eye that she clobbered a couple of weeks ago; that time she had a huge shiner!  I should pray for her safety more.  (And just to be sure to sound like a conscientious parent, yes, we were checking on the kids.  Yes, they were sneaky and only boxed when we parent-types weren’t looking.  And yes, they knew they shouldn’t have been doing it . . . but they did anyway.)

——-

A friend wrote me the following sentence in reference to our “last day of summer-let’s have lots of fun-day to celebrate and go swimming and eat chocolate chip cookie bars” event:

“I think jumping into a new school year calls for a pan of sugar.”

I couldn’t agree more!

——-

{wrote this yesterday but was just too tired to actually hit the post button}

While it is still hot, hot, hot outside, the temperature inside has cooled considerably; we spent our day having our first day of school.

The kids woke up to find at the bottom of the steps a pile for each of them – new school supplies, a few treats, and a mom-made All About Me Poster.  A little side note:  one of the things that I enjoyed this year was that when we went school shopping, the kids opted to save some money and not buy everything new.  We did buy a few new things – either things we didn’t have before or things that needed to be replaced – but over and over they said, “I don’t need a new one of those; I’d rather spend the money on something fun!”  I didn’t prompt this, but they are learning that smart decisions get rewarded!

We did a devotion this morning from 1 Corinthians, talking about how we should honor the Lord with everything that we do.

Then we dove into a checklist of back-to-school kinds of activities.

Here is list of things to do this week:

  • Draw and color a page for the front of your binder.
  • Organize bins and binders (each child has a bin where his/her school books live and a binder that is his/her main work binder)
  • Sharpen pencils and have erasers ready
  • Art Lesson (Yay!)
  • “Why Study History?” lesson from Tapestry of Grace
  • Calendar (one child decorated around the calendar, one child wrote family birthdays and holidays, and one child crossed off all the days until the 20th)
  • Reading
  • “All About Me” Poster (The kids were supposed to work on this any time they didn’t have something else to do)
  • Put together a time capsule

And that, my friends, sums up the official end of our summer break.

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Tis The Season

I can hear them from my post inside – working.

The laughing and screaming.

My middle two children are in the front yard with their dad, wearing their soccer jerseys from years past.  There’s a soccer ball out there among them, bouncing around at the command of bare feet.  They are dripping with sweat and red-faced.

Kids against Dad.

I’m not getting much done for all this watching out the window.

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Dimples wakes up very easily in the mornings, so by the time Handsome has gotten up, shaved, and showered, Dimples is usually awake.  He lays in his bed, just waiting for Handsome to come get him and tickle him, and he is delighted every morning when Handsome does exactly that!  (Morning people – how do they do it?)

The other day, as I was trying really hard to get my head in the game and wake-up already, yet laying in bed with my eyes glued shut, Handsome walked into the boys’ room and said, “Are you awake . . . or are you sleeping?”

Dimples’ response was to yell, loud enough for the neighbors to hear, “I’m sleeping!”

I just love a little irony!

——

The other night at dinner, Dimples was just drumming away (with imaginary drumsticks on imaginary drums); this is a constant for him.  He is always moving to the beat, if there is any kind of music on.

I looked at him and said, “You’re going to be a drummer when you grow up.”

He thought about that for a bit, looked seriously at me, then blurted out, “No! I’m going to be Mickey Mouse!”

——-

Today in the car:

Gus: “Me and Little Man . . .”

Little Man:  ” . . . Little Man saw a green car and we . . . “

He talks in third person about himself and finishes her sentences for her.  I think they really might be twins, separated at birth . . . except I was there, and that didn’t happen.  Well, and they look really, really different.

Adopting out of birth order has been such a huge blessing for our family!

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