Friday, January 29, 2010

Word Game

I decided to put Spell to Write and Read aside for a while with Caleigh and go back to The Ordinary Parents' Guide to Reading. I've used SWR for 4 years with Colin and I like many things about it. Colin struggled to learn to read until we started it. Every kid is different though so I have to make decisions based on each one. SWR throws a lot of information at you at once. Caleigh already reads well, but I didn't feel that her reading was advancing as quickly as it could because we were spending so much time concentrating on the spelling. We will go back to SWR later though. 

To review all the things that say the long a sound, we played a game suggested in OPGTR. Caleigh really likes when we have these. I wrote words on index cards. Then I would read a sentence telling her to do something, but leave out the word on the index card for her to read. Then she would have to take the index card and stick it on the correct things. One of them was "put this card on something that shakes." So Caleigh took the shakes card to search for something. I heard Molly ask her what she was doing. When she told her, Molly said, "My booty shakes."  They returned like this.

At the end of the game, Caleigh looked like this with cards for her brain, waist, and veins.

We had to think of one for Colin too since the game was already distracting him from his math.

Yes, my girls are wearing pajamas in the middle of the day while doing school. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Disney World Trip (part 1)

Since we've been to Disney World a few times (okay some people would say a lot), we decided to make sure we tried some new things this trip. WDW is very large and it would take a long time to do everything. There are things at all four parks that we've missed on previous trips and we still missed some of them this time.

Caleigh and I sit out of some rides because she is scared of some things (I guess I should say that I'm scared of some things too so it works out well). She was much braver this trip though and did some new things. I hope she doesn't get too brave because I need her as an excuse to not ride some stuff. She and I rode Haunted Mansion for the first time. We tried last year, but she changed her mind in the room right before you get on. We got past there without a problem this year. Unfortunately, at exactly that time the ride stopped working. It was very dark and crowded so she started to get scared. They fixed it pretty quickly. Just as we started to get on, she wanted to skip it. I never make her get on anything she doesn't want to, but we were already right there and Chad had assured me there wasn't anything on the ride that would scare her so I kept going. After it was over, she said it wasn't scary, but she doesn't want to do it again. Caleigh also rode Soarin' for the first time. Everyone else rode it last year. She loved this ride and we had to do it 3 times.

We saw Illuminations for the first time. We usually spend 2 days at Epcot each trip so I'm not sure how we've managed to miss it so many times.

We did the Kim Possible missions. Last January, they were still testing it so this is the first chance we've had to do it. The kids loved it. They give you a phone that gives directions and clues. You go to the country it tells you and then find things. Pushing a button on the phone makes some of the things talk, play music, spin around, appear, etc. I think they did 4 or 5 different ones. I'm sure the kids will want to do that again next time.

In Magic Kingdom, we did the Swiss Family Treehouse and took a raft over to Tom Sawyer's Island. We thought the treehouse seemed more like a line without the payoff at the end than an attraction. The kids liked exploring the island.  In Animal Kingdom, we saw Flights of Wonder for the first time.

We were able to meet some new characters too. It seems like we can never get all the kids to want to meet characters at the same time. Last year, Colin wasn't interested. This year it was Caleigh who decided not to meet with many. Molly was very excited about it this year and wanted to meet everyone she saw.

The kids all really liked the characters from Up.

We've seen the Fairy Godmother around, but never met her.

I don't think Molly knew who Marie is, but she wanted to meet the kitty as soon as she saw her. We had never seen her out before so I was hoping to run into her.

Brer Bear

Brer Fox

Thumper and Miss Bunny- we had never even seen them out before.

Princess Tiana and Naveen from The Princess and the Frog

We were the last people they saw before taking their break. We went over to where Chad and Caleigh were waiting. As Tiana walked by, she noticed that she hadn't met Caleigh so she came over to give her a hug.

While researching previous trips, I had found out about a restaurant that serves an ice cream called the kitchen sink. We've thought of trying it before because we knew the kids would think it was fun, but never made it over there. We decided to walk over while visiting Epcot one day and have it for lunch. Yes, lunch! It was vacation after all. It's really huge. 8 scoops of ice cream and every topping they have plus a whole can of whipped cream. The bowl it's served in actually looks like a sink.

Here's Molly grabbing a cherry. We didn't notice how many she had eaten for a while because the stems were behind the bowl. Later, we counted them and found out she had eaten 30 cherries. She just loves them. Luckily, her brother and sister don't like them so they always give them to her.

Colin getting the melted ice cream.

We usually rent a house or condo. This time we spent 4 nights at Buena Vista Palace and 3 night at Port Orleans Resort instead. BVP is right across from Downtown Disney. From our balcony, we had a view of the fireworks at Magic Kingdom and Epcot. That would have been much better if it had been warmer. Here's a picture of the Epcot ball from the balcony.

It was only our second time staying on Disney property. Port Orleans was really nice. It has trails, lots of trees, nice pools, a playground, a nice food court, and a boat to Downtown Disney. Here they are on the boat:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

SC Aquarium

On Caleigh's birthday, we went to the SC Aquarium for the first time. It's been a while since we've been to one so the kids were excited to see all the fish. It seemed smaller than other aquariums we've been to, but the kids really enjoyed it.

Of course, they all loved sticking their hands in the water at the touch tank.

I do wonder if everyone else's kids refer to fish based on the movie, Nemo. My kids will say there's a Nemo (or Dory or whoever) fish or describe what the type of fish they're seeing did in the movie.

We got a membership to the aquarium so I'm sure we'll be visiting again soon.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Can you miss someone you've never met?

It's very hard in the beginning, but then life goes on and you have to go on with it. Things seem to get easier. Then you may see something or hear something to remind you and the hurt hits you like a ton of bricks again. Today is a day when my grief hits me all over again.

I had a miscarriage in June. The week I spent waiting to know for sure was very difficult.  Hearing my children, who knew nothing about what was going on, talk about the baby. Seeing a newborn baby in a restaurant.  A waiting room filled with pregnant women. An ultrasound showing a baby that was too small. After all that, I just wanted to have someone officially say it so it could be over because then I could get on with my life. Once I got the phone call to confirm it, the depth of my sadness over this baby I had only know about for a few weeks was shocking to me. I had never seen this baby and didn't even know if it was a boy or a girl. I thought once we knew for sure, things would just go back to normal. That's not what happened though because I am not the same. I can't just forget it. I always feel as if something is missing. It doesn't matter that I never met him/her. I had already thought of what the baby would be like, how he/she would fit into our family, the changes we would all have to make, and what it would be like to have a little one again. There was already so much excitement and planning.

After a while, the hurt isn't so close to the surface anymore and things are easier. For months, I had to avoid the baby department in stores and even now, I can't linger there.  I sometimes now make it weeks without any tears over our loss, but the sorrow is always there waiting for some trigger to bring it back to the surface.

Today is a day I've dreaded since the moment I got that phone call. I've tried to tell myself it's just a date on the calendar and ignore it, but I haven't been able to do that. Today would have been my baby's due date. Today I should be holding a newborn or preparing for the arrival of one. Today should be a happy day. January 19 will never be just another day on the calendar for me. It will always be a reminder of the child that we lost. It will always be a reminder that you can miss someone you've never met.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Caleigh's 7th Birthday

I can't believe my little girl is 7. The time really does pass so quickly.

They decided to dress to match the theme.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Very Last First Time

 I wrote a little last week about Very Last First Time by Jan Andrews and Ian Wallace. We filled a bowl with water and put it in the freezer until the top was frozen over. Then we cut a hole in the ice to allow the Lego girl to go in. This helped the kids understand how the girl in the story could go in to collect mussels.

Notebook pages- all of them came from Homeschool Share

Here they are with some books open:

On the left side:

Under the picture of one person, they wrote Inuk for the singular and under the picture of three people, they wrote Inuit for the plural.   

Canadian flag

Do people live in igloos?

They had to put the steps for building an igloo in order and glue into the book.

On the right side:

Temperature book comparing our temps to those in this area of Canada.

Map showing where Canada is located.

Type of clothes the Inuit wear.

Book with questions about Inuit people.

They also drew a picture of an igloo using Draw Write Now.

Colin often makes something with Legos to go along with what we're studying. This time he decided to make an igloo and a sled. I liked that he included a clear Lego piece for a window. In the book we read about building an igloo, they used a large piece of ice from the ocean for the windowpane.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Caught a rare moment

I walked into the living room to find these two sitting like this on the couch. I'm glad my camera was right there because it's a rare thing to see them this close without fighting.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Igloo Salad

To go along with our study of Very Last First Time, we learned about igloos today by reading a book and watching a video of one being built. We also made igloo salad.     


1 (15.25 oz) can fruit cocktail, drained

1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained

1/2 cup flaked coconut  (we left this out)

1 3/4 cups whipped topping, divided

2 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows, divided

In a bowl, combine the fruit cocktail, oranges, coconut, 1 cup whipped topping and 1/2 cup marshmallows. Spoon into two balls, one 5-1/2 in. and one 3-1/2 in., on a serving plate, with smaller ball in front of larger ball. Spoon out some salad from small ball to make a doorway. Cover with remaining whipped topping and marshmallows.

I should have made the front part a little smaller.

The kids liked sticking the marshmallows on. They ate some of it and said it was good.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Getting back on track

Since the move, it's been hard to get school back on track. There just hasn't been enough time between that and holiday breaks. We have been doing math, spelling, grammar, phonics, and handwriting regularly. I had hoped to start some other stuff this past Monday. Well I was sick for a week so that didn't happen. Finally, today we started a study of the Five in a Row book, Very Last First Time.

It's about an Inuit girl who walks on the bottom of the ocean to collect mussels. It's the first time she's ever done it alone.

Colin and Caleigh were really interested in the story and I hope they'll enjoy the activities I have planned to go along with it. Today we read about Canada and found it on the globe. They also made a Canadian flag.

We'll work on it some more tomorrow and Monday - Thursday next week. We'll be taking Friday off for Caleigh's birthday and then be on vacation the next week. So in 2 1/2 weeks, I'll be trying to get us all started back again.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year

On New Year's Eve, we had pizza, fruit, punch, and cupcakes for dinner.

Everyone had party hats, necklaces,

and noise makers.

There was also dancing

and sparklers.

Colin made his own ball drop from Legos.

The kids were determined to stay up until midnight. At 11:00, it didn't seem like the girls would make it.

They did make it to midnight and got to see the ball drop. I should have a picture to put here, but I was tired and forgot to take one. Then we watched fireworks for a little while out our windows.