Thursday, October 31, 2013

Throw Back Thursday - Happy Halloween 2008

A few things about this picture:
- Reagan (butterfly) was only two, look at how long her hair was!  She has always had amazing hair.

- Collin (vampire/Dracula) got so many compliments on that costume; it came from Walmart and cost $5.

- Tyler (scary guy) - YIKES, that's a creepy mask!

- Papa was the joker, and I'm surprised that Reagan was okay with that!  Maybe she wasn't, but she looks fine in this picture!  Maybe I should also be surprised that Tyler did not frighten her here.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Letter E Activities Part Two - Elephants and Eggs

I put together a basket for the letter E.  With the last basket, I ended up finding more items over the course of the week, so some days Kate would find different things in the basket.  That will probably happen with every letter.

I was surprised that Kate enjoyed Elmer.  I thought the book might be too long for her attention span, but we have read it several times.  

I cut out a contact paper elephant, and gave Kate some tissue paper and googly eyes to make her own Elmer.

I love the autumn leaves in the background of this picture.  This time of year is just so pretty.

I have a little elephant vegetable cutter that I used to cut out cucumber elephants.  Collin, Reagan, and Kate ate almost an entire cucumber.  Reagan dipped hers in sweet pepper hummus.

I also plated Kate's scrambled eggs in the shape of an uppercase E.

Kate LOVES Elephant and Piggie.  We have read more than just these two, but the others are in her room and she is napping!  I also thought she would like to see some pictures of real elephants, so I picked up Elephant by Caroline Arnold from the library.  We haven't read any of it, but we have spent some time looking at the pictures (and that's all I intend to do with Kate).

I printed letter E Do a Dot pages, but Kate wasn't interested in them.  I think I'll wait a while before reintroducing any printables.  She has plenty of time for that later on.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Milk Rainbow Science

Reagan read Leprechaun in Late Winter over the summer.  At the end of the book, there is a rainbow science experiment that we finally got around to doing today.  We have actually done this experiment before, and I'm sure it's on the blog somewhere.

To do the experiment, we put a thin layer of whole milk in a shallow bowl.  Then looking at the bowl as a face of a clock, we put two drops of red food coloring at 12, two drops of yellow food coloring at 4, and two drops of blue food coloring at 8.  Then we dipped toothpicks in dish soap and Collin and Reagan poked the toothpicks into the areas with food coloring.  This breaks the surface tension and causes the food coloring to move and swirl.  I always expect it to work better than it does, but it's still fun.  Also, the actual experiment in the book says to put a squirt of dish soap in the center of the bowl, but I think our bowl is too big because this did nothing.  I went online (what did we do before the internet?) and found the idea to dip the toothpicks in the dish soap and penetrate the food coloring areas.  It worked.

Collin's Art Portfolio Third Grade

I meant to post this at the end of the last school year, but I forgot about it.  In third, fourth, and fifth grade, students keep all of their art work in portfolios that they bring home at the end of the school year.  This is the art that Collin created in third grade:

The cover of Collin's portfolio:

The following pieces were inside his portfolio:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Gymnastics Meet

Reagan had her first gymnastics meet yesterday.  I typically drop Reagan off twice a week for 90 minutes of gymnastics, and Tom usually picks her up, so, I don't see what she does at gymnastics!  I was impressed with her skills in the meet; she has learned a lot in one year.

The meet was non-sanctioned (I can't tell you what this means, but I'm guessing that there weren't as many rules as there are in a sanctioned meet???), and there were about twenty gymnasts all from Strive there to compete for two judges.

Courtney, Reagan, and Lexie before the meet started.

Reagan competed on vault, bars, beam, and floor.  

Here is a video of her vault; she did two vaults, but I only recorded the second one.  She scored a 6.2:

This is her on bars; her score was 7.2:

Reagan's beam routine earned her a fourth place ribbon.  She scored 7.6.

On floor, she scored 6.3:

This picture is VERY BLURRY, but that is Reagan on the 4th place podium after receiving her ribbon for beam.

Reagan placed 6th overall in the rookie team category.  

As a member of the Rookie team for Strive, she is required to compete in three meets this year.  I think she did a great job in her first meet, and I also think she learned a lot about what to expect.  I'm looking forward to the next one!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

E is for Elmo

We started letter E activities today.

 This is the same red play dough we have been using since our letter A activities.  I used our Elmo sandwich cutter, an orange bottle cap, and some cotton balls to help Kate make Elmo.

 I let her use paint with a cookie cutter and sponge to make Es on paper.

If you ask Kate what sound E makes, she says, "buh" (as in the sound that B makes).  So, as I have said before, this is an introduction to the alphabet for her!

In addition to the letter E activities today, I put some shaving cream and washable paint in a bin for Kate to play with.  She would NOT touch it, so I put my hands in and let her see how much fun I was having.  She still wouldn't touch it.  As a matter of fact, at one point she fell forward and her hand landed in the shaving cream, and she cried for me to wash it off!

So I gave her some paper straws and let her play with it that way.

I couldn't resist taking advantage of this marbling opportunity, so I put a piece of thick white paper on top of the swirly shaving cream and let it sit for a while before I scraped off the shaving cream and let it continue to dry.  Once it dried, I cut out the letter E.

I also made Kate a squish bag with a little shaving cream and some red sparkly paint.  I thought she might like this better since she didn't have to get dirty.

She played with it for a little while, but Collin played with it on and off throughout the afternoon and evening!!!  He is a huge fan of any and all sensory activities.

A Few More Things About Our Disney Vacation

These magic bands are in a testing phase right now.  We each had our own band and by placing the Mickey on the band to another Mickey sensor, we were able to gain entry to the parks, enter our hotel room, pay for anything, and use the Fast Pass system.  We experienced a few glitches with the bands, but overall I thought they worked well.

She may be cuter than a cupcake, but yikes, she was a challenge on this vacation.  Kate is very strong willed, and while that may be a great trait later in life, it certainly is hard on everyone during the toddler stage.  She insisted that only I carry her the entire five days we were in Disney World.  If Dad  or Grandma tried to carry her, she would scream!  We tried to buckle her into strollers, but that only lasted a short time.  She enjoyed the parks though, so at least she had a good time.  I just don't plan on traveling with her again any time soon.

It was nice to have Grandma with us for another Disney adventure.  She adds a lot to the experience, and she is always so helpful.  Thanks for coming with us Grandma!

As a junior in high school, it wasn't practical for Tyler to come on this trip.  He had school, football, work, and PSATs while we were gone.  One of the challenges of parenting children of a wide age range is that it is difficult to please all of them at the same time, and sometimes that means we do things for one or a few of our children, but not all of them.  We missed Tyler while we were gone!

Papa and Grandma were a huge help while we were gone!  They stayed at our house with Tyler and Kelly the whole time; therefore, they made this trip possible!  They drove Tyler all over the place and spent some great quality time with him too!  Kelly was also thrilled to have them here!  Thank you Papa and Grandma!

I still have a mountain of laundry, so I better get to it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Disney World 2013 - Day Five

Sunday, October 20 was our final day at Disney World for this trip.  We began by heading to the Grand Floridian hotel to find a place for breakfast.  Kate spotted Tigger and Winnie the Pooh in a restaurant, and luckily they had availability, so we were able to enjoy a character breakfast.  It was a great way to end our vacation!

After breakfast, we went back to the pool for a while and then Tom and the kids enjoyed some Dole Whip (I almost left that out, but they all enjoyed it so much!) before we left for the airport.

Disney World 2013 - Day Four

EPCOT was our first stop on the fourth day (October 19) of our Disney vacation.  We didn't spend much time there, but we did enjoy a few rides including Test Track, Mission to Mars, Soarin, and Nemo.

This picture cracks me up because you can see in all of our faces how HOT it was during this trip!  We are true New Englanders, not cut out for temperatures in the nineties in October!

The above picture was taken at the end of the Nemo ride.  I think that shark's name is Bruce, but I'm not sure.

We left EPCOT, and went to Downtown Disney for the first time ever.  We went there to eat lunch, and it worked out great because we found a dinosaur themed restaurant that is very similar to Rainforest Cafe.

 Collin and Reagan ordered these huge slushy drinks, and Kate was drinking so much of theirs that we had to order one for her.
 As I mentioned, this restaurant is similar to Rainforest Cafe.  Every fifteen minutes there is a very loud "show" of sorts.  Well, Kate was exhausted, and she fell asleep in this crazy position on her chair before her food came.

Magic Kingdom was open late that night, so Kate stayed in the hotel with Grandma, and the rest of us went to the park to go on some rides.  It was crowded, but we still had a lot of fun and went on a good number of rides.