Monday, May 31, 2010

A Beautiful Memorial Day

Amy and Luke waiting for the parade to start.
It was a beautiful, sunny, HOT day today.
The temperature reached about 85 degrees---a little too hot to comfortably enjoy the day, but we enjoyed our holiday none the less.....
We began the day in the traditonal way---with a real small town, Americana, parade.
Grandma and Grandpa H, in their usual position for parade watching--in front of our church on Main Street.
Dan, Laura, Dad and Luke.
Luke was very nervous about the parade. He doesn't like loud noises, and he knew the majority of a small town parade is fire trucks---fire trucks that are happy to honk their very loud horns, and scream their sirens, when encouraged to do so by the young fans along the road.
Auntie Kim and Kimmy.
Wave that flag, Kim!
Another important part of small town parades is the fact that all the little league ball players get to march. Above is Auntie Kim's son Aaron.
Luke was ok as long as he stayed WAY back from the road and someone was holding him.

Like I said, fire trucks are very important out here in the country.
You can see Gracie holding a bag in the center of the picture. This bag is to collect all the candy that is thrown from the fire trucks. I believe my kids had more piece of candy than there were marchers in the parade.
Daniel is now my designated driver----I want him to have his drivers license before he heads off to the seminary in the fall.
Because I am now a rider I get to watch out the window and yell for him to stop when I see something photo worthy.
This is another thing that may not be known to those outside of rural America---if your Mom yells STOP---it generally means she wants to take a picture of "something" interesting---you may have to climb out of the car and through ditches, try to catch a snake or turtle, or you just have to wait for Mom to get a picture out the window---which 99 percent of the time is perfectly fine, safe thing to do, because no other cars are in sight anyways....
The rest of the day was spent in the backyard of Grandma and Grandpa H.
Of course, we had to take a stroll around the yard to see all that had blossomed in the last couple days.

pinecone collecting--this kept them busy for a few glorious minutes...
Of course, now Kimberly wants to know when we are making a "pinecone project"
Grandma and Grandpa have taught us to love the birds...everyone keeps a lookout for a new feathered friend.

A truck racetrack was made in the driveway.
Luckily the one crash resulted in only a scraped knee.
This photo doesn't do justice as to how grimy this beautiful child was at the end of the day.
We were very pleased that Becky could join us after work.
I love how even though they saw Becky yesterday, the little kids are always sooooo excited to see her---this Momma loves it ......and I think Becky does too....
5 adults sat in the backyard, blissfully unaware of the fact that the four youngest kids were continually "trucking" sandbox sand into the driveway race course.
It was a surprise and a mess.
Poor Kimmy was not lucky enough to find a real broom to aid in the clean-up, but Becky had her snowbrush in the car, and that work great.
(Make sure you keep that in the car, never know when you may need it ;-)
Here's wishing everyone a wonderful we kick it off today....and my your driveways always stay clean.....

Happy Memorial Day!!

A photo from last Memorial Day---but still perfect for today!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day--Makes My Monday

You can make these cute flags---just check out the bottom of this post.
What can you share for Makes My Monday?

Preschool days..Letter F--Week 1

The time has come....the time for structured preschool/kindergarten.
I have always done a lot with Kim and Luke, but nothing was ever "set in stone" so to say. For instance, I don't think either of them know all their letters, and Luke's fine motor skills leave something to be desired, so I am starting them with daily work.

I am using the Getting Ready for the Code workbook A to start them out. Since this book starts with the letter f....that was our first letter of the week. Kimberly happily made her own letter f out of craft sticks.
This is our wall in the dining room/hallway. We turned into a chalkboard years ago, and it is in constant use. For preschool/kindergarten, I will teach about a different letter every two weeks, adding information and pictures to our chalkboard, which will be turned into our "letter wall"
Our author for this two week block is Robert McCloskey. (He deserves his own post, which he will get later next week)
I have incorporated the McCloskey book, Blueberries for Sal, into our math work of the week.
I found a wonderful activity and printable math mat from HomeschoolShare for the book Blueberries for Sal.
First we practiced putting our numbers in proper order.
Then we drew a number card, placed it into the box on our "bucket" printable and then "picked" the correct number of blueberries into our bucket.
Both Luke and Kim have enjoyed this activity, and we repeated it, using the cards 1-12, everyday. We will use it also next week, and then put it away for a while, bringing it out occasionally for extra practice.
Homemade playdough was the perfect thing to make the letter "f". This was good practice, especially at the beginning of the week, when both kids are learning the new letter. It is also great for Luke, who has a hard time with the fine motor skills that are needed to write. Great work!!
An Alphabet of Catholic Saints is the book we are using to practice letter recognition and to learn about many of the Catholic Church's great saints.
The saint for the letter F is Saint Francis.
A link for our coloring page of Saint Francis.
There are three workbooks in this set. Each letter has about 10 pages of activity---perfect for two weeks of work, espectially for my busy little boy, who would rather not do a worksheet.
He seems to enjoy "doing school" papers, but a worksheet such as shown above, is about all he can handle in a day. This required coloring in the parts of the fish with the letter f. Luke did accomplish this, but he had to come and go a few times before he got it finished.
Kimberly was able to finish this page with ease, and then wanted more work.
Both kids enjoy using the Tag Reader, so I am saving this to be used just during school time.
Above, Kimberly is matching the alphabet puzzle pieces to the letters in the Tag Reader book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.

Our letter F books of the week.
You can click on the book cover and be taken to the Amazon link.

We are concentrating on matching the uppercase and lowercase letters a-f.
And if anyone wants to buy us a preschool present, we want these Lauri puzzles.
Kimberly is quite proud of herself.
She can match her letters everytime, now that she has practiced a few times a day, each day, for the past week.
I found the most awesome website for printables at
The whole site is great, and they have wonderful printables for every grade level. You will want to bookmark this site!
Luke is doing the Letter F Maze from
F is for FLAG and since Memorial Day is upon us, we made a fun craft stick flag.
First we painted craft sticks red and white.
Luke would love to paint all day--if I would let him!!

We then practiced our patterning skills to make our flag base.
As you can see above, glue three craft sticks onto the back of the flag to hold it together.
Then cut out a blue rectangle and glue that onto the flag.
Then place sticky stars onto the blue paper.
We are all ready to enjoy tomorrow's parade!!!
Happy learning, everyone!!