Friday, May 24, 2013

reading and playing around

I haven't updated the books we've been reading in awhile.

This spring we've read:

Adventures of Mohan and Mohan in the Jungle both by Ella Grove.  They were lent to us by a homeschooling friend and are by the folks at Rod and Staff.  Both were good reads. 

 Also from Rod and Staff, we read Bread for the Winter by Harvey Yoder.  All three books have strong Christian messages and were books we enjoyed.  I may read Bread for the Winter as a read-aloud next year to my 3rd graders. 

Just this last week we read Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner.  It's one of the novels we will read in 3rd grade.  I hated to ruin it for Bee, but I need to read all our novels this summer so I'm ready.  WOW,  surprise ending to that book!  It was so good that we read it in two days.  The kids couldn't wait for me to read more.  They even asked me to read during dinner, which I did one day.  Major surprise at the end.  I'm glad that I pre-read it though.  If I was reading it with the kids at school, I would have been caught off guard for sure!

I'll add these to our longer list of read-alouds.

unrelated photos:

Both kids hit 38 inches over the winter and can now go on the big rides at the amusement park! 

I won't go on either of these rides!  Thankfully hubby is brave and will take the kids.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

We're all graduating

My little friends graduated last week.  The school year is over for us.

It was a great year with them.  They were a delightful group and man oh man, did they learn and grow this year.  It was one of the most years of growth I'd say I've seen from a class o'mine.  Probably for me too as a teacher.

They graduated and left... and I'm doing the same. 

I'm leaving preschool too. I found a job teaching third grade. I'll miss my little bitty friends, but I'm ready to get back to the big kids.  I've taught third grade before, but it's been awhile... I'm excited. 

That's me in the firefighter gear at preschool waving bye. 

I spent some time after preschool was out observing different teachers and spending time in the new building.   I get my curriculum in a few days and have all summer to get into it.  I'm learning all about common core but was pleasantly surprised to find the science and social studies standards are the same ones I taught with years ago.  I am thankful for pinterst.  I told my sister (also a teacher) back when I started teaching, we really didn't even use the internet as a resource- you had to use magazines and books.  It's different now!  My summer reading list is already filling up with books about daily 5 an the CAFE strategies.  There are a lot of great things about this new opportunity, but one of the best parts is that many of the families and friends I've made at preschool will go to my school and I'll see them again! 

I still have a few preschool related things from this spring to share here, but there won't be anymore sensory bins and table activities and preschool finger plays around here after the next few weeks.  In the summer, my blog turns to garden and travel and things about my own kids anyway.  In the fall though, I guess I'll start sharing big kid school stuff. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

derby car

The kid's school had a grand prix race which Lou decided to participate in.  Big move for Lou!  Bee had no interest.  This was our first time working up a car but loved it.  The rules are so specific and the 'tips and tricks' out there are endless.  (He's the red with lightening in the front- his design)

He did most of the work, like the directions said. It looked like some others followed that, maybe some not so much....  just saying.

Turns out that we're pretty good car builders!  That's his red one on the track, closest to us.

He raced in several heats, took a couple firsts and the rest were second places.

(He's the cameo tush)

I think we ended up with an overall 4th for kindergarten.  We've already been talking about plans for next year!

Monday, May 13, 2013

just a few days old

We host a little gringo Cinco de Mayo shindig every year.  There's lots of yummy food, costumes, music and a piƱata for the kiddos.  Basically we're just looking for a reason to dress up and party after a long grey winter.  Bee was supposed to teach us the Mexican Hat Dance, which she learned at school, but she got nervous. 

 We invite just one family each year because our little dining room can only seat that many.  My friend Melissa from Emmie and Olive joined us this year with her family. Aren't they cute?  Our house was full of kids!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Day

Happy Day to you!  My little people are taking me to the theme park after church, so it's pretty much a happy day here!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

new tooth activity

My post about my dental health activities at preschool is my most popular post.  I even see my photos every once in awhile on pinterest from people I follow who pinned it from someone else.  It's kinda cool like that.  So this year for dentist day, I used my old lessons and pretty much did the same thing.  The craft was new though so I thought I share that.

My little friends were given a colored copy of this mouth.  They could have colored the lips, but ours were already colored.  They used real toothpaste to brush the teeth.  Some were sloppy and glopped it around, others were so carefully to brush each bit.   It smelled minty fresh in the craft room!

Again, here's my previous post on dentist day.

Monday, May 6, 2013

new silhouette projects

Silhouette and I have been busy.  I just love using it.  Lou and I used up almost the last of the black heat transfer vinyl.  Gotta get more!  I ordered it from Pick Your Plum.  This dog image is one I found on google image and traced with the silhouette software.  Lou says it's Tippy

I used the regular vinyl from Joann's to make this M for Lou's Michigan baseball team.  If the boys have their own helmet, they don't have to share at baseball.  Our helmet looked just like the 'share' ones.  Not anymore.

We added his number.  Easy to tell when my little man is up at bat.  That, and I'm keeping the team's stats.  It's a fun job and I totally have follow the game.

While I had the yellow vinyl out... I wanted to add a little sunshine on a dreary weekend.   I couldn't find an image to trace for this so I just wrote the text out myself in the silhouette software with four different fonts and sort of arranged them in a fun way.  I wasn't sure how the vinyl would go onto a round object, but I used the transfer tape and only had to smooth out one little part of one letter. 

We picked up this bench a few summers ago for 3 dollars at a yard sale.  It holds the gloves and hats and scarves.  I've been wanting to add a little something to it for awhile.  I made stencils with some weird color vinyl I had on hand. I used some random old paint from my stash to roughly paint over the letters.  I love how the letters look.  You can't tell from this picture, but it turned out a little off center.  Every time I look at it I see how it's a tad crooked.  I tried to fix it by adding a little scroll-like doo-dad at the end, but it's not any better.  I'll have to scrape it off and start over.  Another day.

Back at Easter, this pretty flower was the weekly free shape from silhouette.  I cut one and added it to our front door wreath.   Then I kept thinking about how pretty it would look with a whole wreath of them. 

And I couldn't do anything else until I did just that.  I ran that machine all afternoon while doing laundry and school plans and feeding children and then I declared family movie night and I assembled them.  I ended up buying two other 3d flowers through the silhouette online store and mixed those in too.  I used whatever random springish colored scrapbook paper I had on hand.   I wish it hadn't taken all day and run me through the better part of new sharp blade because I want to make one for my classroom and one for the kids teachers. 

This wasn't cut with my delightful machine, but it's getting in this post anyway.  It does feature some washi tape though.  It's a new to me craft item and I am loving it.  I also ordered it from Pick You Plum.  Have I mentioned I may have a slight problem with my level of admiration for that site?  Washi tape is making it's way into a lot of projects at this house these days!  Even Bee is in love with it.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spring fruit

Spring has to be my favorite time of year!  Maybe it's just the relief of the dreary gray end of winter months. Maybe it's the signs of new life in the yard.  Maybe its the promise of deliciousness starting to grow when I didn't have to do much work!

The fruits in the yard are starting all on their own.  Of course there was work in the fall to prune and clean up, but that's been a long time ago.  My last year's Mother's Day peach tree flowered.  Does that mean we will have little peaches this year? 

The rhubarb (that probably isn't a fruit... but I don't know) is up and a it.  Last year was the first year and the directions clearly said not to pick and eat the first year.  It was a long summer watching it look ready and delicious but leaving it.  I'm thinking about my high school best friend and college roommate's grandma who used to make us this delicious rhubarb and strawberry dessert.  And lamb, she made us lamb.  I'm drooling.

The logan berries are looking pert this year. My arms are finally healed up from the spring cleanup.  My forearms looked like I'd been in fight with a dozen kittens.  

Strawberries. Oh sweet strawberries.  I spread the strawberries out some last fall and enlarged their bed then too.  It looks like I have less, but that shouldn't be the case.  We'll just have to see how they produce this year having a little more room. 

Now it's time to get working on the vegetables!