Sunday, September 21, 2014

Something New and Fun...

This model had so much detail in it, it was amazing!

Today we had a chance to go to the Central Texas Area Model Railroaders annual show and boy, did it go over well with the kids.  This group puts on a big exhibit at our local children's museum every December and LittleBear talks about it all year long, so we were glad to be able to go today to their annual bigger show.  

LittleBear enjoyed looking at all the different cars and identifying the parts he knew...

He also really liked pushing the buttons and seeing what changed in this setup...

LadyBear enjoyed watching from my carrier...

LittleBear found some signs...

and lots and lots of train cars...

LadyBear liked the working models the best.

We met lots of nice people and saw some really neat model train exhibits in all different sizes.  LadyBear was just as into it as LittleBear was.  It was great!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Five In A Row: The Rag Coat

This week we read another "new-to-us" book called The Rag Coat.  It's about a little girl who lives in the Appalachian mountains and doesn't go to school because she doesn't have a coat.  Her Daddy (A coal miner) dies and the "Quilting Mothers" come together to make her a coat.  LadyBear didn't like this one quite as much as the others we've ready, but it was a bit longer and LittleBear did!

Our calendar board for the week...

This week we watched more movies than I usually go for, but they fit with our theme and I felt like they really made a difference in making things real to LittleBear.   We learned a lot about coal mining and listened to some great music.  On the bright side, I've also become a big fan of the mountain dulcimer!  
LittleBear gets excited about videos...especially ones with huge dump trucks and trains!

 We continued to do our math, grammar/spelling and handwriting every day and I am really proud of how LittleBear is improving, particularly in his handwriting.  It's still his least favorite thing, but most of the time he is doing it with less fuss and writing better, so I keep trying to point out that the practice is paying off.

 Working hard at spelling...

 Handwriting practice...
We also made "Chunk of Coal" cookies, which were super tasty and something LittleBear was particularly excited about doing.  

 Pouring the "oreo dust" into the marshmallow/butter mixture...

 Chunk of Coal cookies!!!

They are in the frig cooling as I type and we'll have those for dessert tonight!  YUM!

Next week we are taking a break from Five In A Row to talk about airplanes and airports in preparation for a future trip.  We're hoping to teach LadyBear what it means to use her quiet voice...we'll see how that goes (prayers are greatly appreciated).

We didn't get to read all of our go-along books this week, which I regret, so you won't see as many *s on this list. 

Resources and printables I used for The Rag Coat can be found at:
My Five In A Row Pinterest Board
Appalachian Dulcimer- Amy Fabbri on Youtube
Shady Grove on the Mountain Dulcimer on Youtube
I'll Fly Away on the Mountain Dulcimer on Youtube
Take A Ride Into A Mine video on Youtube
Where Does Our Coal Come From? video on Youtube

Go Along Books we used for The Rag Coat (* indicate ones we especially liked):

* Appalachian ABCs by Francie Hall
* A is for Appalachia by Linda Hager Pack
* Coal (A True Book) by Christin Ditchfield

* Appalachian Toys and Games from A to Z by Linda Hager Pack
Appalachia by Cynthia Rylant
Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton
Growing Up In Coal Country by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
The Pioneer Children of Appalachia by Joan Anderson
The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau
Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt by Barbara Smucker
Log Cabin Quilt by Ellen Howard
The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco
The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy

 Putting this week's story disk on our map...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Guess Who's Two Years Old? LadyBear!

That's right, LadyBear is two years old!!  Our strong, determined, joy-filled lover-of-life who enjoys trying new things and loves her people in a really big way, is now two years old.  Wow, time is flying...

We wanted to wait to post this to get her official numbers, so here they are.  She currently weighs 26 lbs and is 33.25 inches tall, which is a wee-bit shorter and heavier than LittleBear was at this age.  She also is currently getting the last tooth I knew her to be missing and seems to be outgrowing her shoes and clothes like there is no tomorrow.

LadyBear loves animals and the outdoors, LOVES books (yay!), enjoys chocolate, really loves to jump and play with her brother.  Swinging on the swingset is a favorite activity and "hide-and-go-seek" is another favorite game.  

LadyBear is also enjoying the alphabet and numbers and enjoys "doing school" alongside us at home.  Anything he is doing, she also really wants to do.

We are so thankful to have you, LadyBear!!!!!  Here she is at 1 years old...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Five In A Row: A Pair of Red Clogs

The missing pair of smaller feet are in the background playing with her new birthday toys...

This week we read, "A Pair of Red Clogs" which is about a little girl in Japan who gets a new pair of shoes and then cracks them playing a game with her friends.  She plans to lie to her mother to get a new pair, but then realizes that would be wrong and remains honest.  We had not read this one before, but enjoyed it!  I think it might be LadyBear's newest favorite book :)

Finding Japan on our map and placing the story disk there...

We greeted Daddy with a hearty "Konnichiwa!" when he arrived home from work and learned about what life in Japan looks like for kids like LittleBear.  LittleBear happily realized this morning that he can now say hello in English, Spanish, French and Japanese!

LittleBear changing the date on our calendar board...

We also ate a Japanese meal with chopsticks that included shrimp & crab sushi (no worries mom and dad, it was cooked), ramen, Pocky and green tea, while sitting on pillows on the floor.  LittleBear loved the sushi, LadyBear loved the Pocky, I enjoyed the tea and everyone liked the ramen. 

 About as authentic as it gets here :)

 We all decided that we preferred sitting at our regular table, but enjoyed trying something different!

We also tried our hand at the Japanese arts of origami (paper folding) and writing haiku (a certain kind of poetry).  We folded an elephant, a frog head and a rabbit head.  LittleBear really enjoyed the origami!  I wish I had found some origami paper (cut and colored already), but as it was, I didn't know if he would be into it at all and so we just used computer paper. 

Folding the trunk of the elephant...

Pretty close!

We also took time every day to pray for our friends, Mr. C and Ms. K who are moving to Japan very soon and LittleBear said this afternoon at lunch that he hopes someday he will live there too.  He also really liked talking about the bullet train and watching a video about how the train works...that could have something to do with it. 

 Working on our math...

There were so many more things I wanted to do this week, but with starting BSF on Wednesday mornings and our Co-Op already going on Tuesday mornings, I have to figure out how to schedule school on those days and this week I didn't do that well (we did the basics each day, but didn't get to do any extras on Tuesday or Wednesday).  Momma's learning too, for sure!

Fun adventures with chopsticks!!!!

Resources and printables I used for A Pair of Red Clogs can be found at:
My Five In A Row Pinterest Board

Go Along Books we used for A Pair of Red Clogs (* indicate ones we especially liked for this unit):*A True Book: Japan by Ann Heinrichs
*Count Your Way Through Japan by Jim Haskins
*Colors of Japan by Holly Littlefield
*We're From Japan by Victoria Parker
*We Live in Japan by Alexandre Messager
*Look What Came From Japan by Miles Harvey
*The Value of Honesty: The Story of Confucius by Spencer Johnson
*Super Quick Origami Animals by Nick Robinson
*Children Just Like Me by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley
This Place is Crowded: Japan by Vicki Cobb
K is for Kabuki: A Japan Alphabet by Gloria Whelan
Absolute Beginner's Origami by Nick Robinson
Japan by David F. Marx
Hill of Fire by Thomas P. Lewis (we talked about volcanoes too)
Hachiko Waits by Leslea Newman
Ninjas: Masters of Stealth and Secrecy by Joanne Mattern

 Our pile of books for the week...