Saturday, March 31, 2012

The 2012 Fishing Derby

Today was Allison's Fishing Derby. It was held at a local park with 2 little lakes. It was cold, but we were prepared so that made it fun. I much prefer cold to hot! (You know, that's why we live in Southern California! ;)
Allison used her very own pole for the first time.

Not sure what the face was for, but I'm guessing she wanted to give me a kiss.

Seeser Beeser Boo...

As we all know, the only exercise you get from fishing is an exercise in patience! Of course, being an avid reader is helpful. But, in case she got tired of reading, I created a little fishing activity book for Allison. I actually sewed a ziplock baggy to the inside of the paper cover and added Swedish fish and nerds to make it look like a fish bowl.

Sweet girl... after I took a picture of her, she said, "Let me take a picture of you and Malachi!"

Indeed, the day required a lot of patience. We were there for 5 hours! Luckily there was a really fun playground with a real merry-go-round. I haven't seen one of those since I was a kid! Allison only visited the playground once. She was very determined to catch a fish.

Sweet, sweet baby boy He was SO good!

We visited the playground multiple times... ate snacks... watched birds... chased ducks... But alas, we didn't catch a single fish. What made it a little harder, I think was that the people next to us caught six! Once we tried their bait, we got some nibbles, but weren't able to reel anything in.

At 1:00 the bell rang and the derby was over. Allison was crushed -- devastated. We're talking major tears and a desire to throw her fishing pole away and never see it again. And guess what... you're going to think I am awful, but I was glad. Life is full of disappointments. I really don't want my kids to grow-up feeling entitled. Part of our reason for homeschooling was to have the flexibility to do missions and things where our kids can learn it's not all about them. This is a start, and I'm ok with it.

Overall, I thought it was a fantastic day. And, a lesson-learning one, as well! I must say, I was quite proud of Allison's patience and endurance. Not sure I would have been so determined at her age! Good job, Allison.

Plant Day

Thursday we finally had the opportunity to join some of our homeschooling friends for "plant day." As always, I think I learned as much as the girls! Despite holding Malachi the whole time, I couldn't resist taking pictures of all the fun my friend planned. (The pictures may not be the best, but at least I didn't drop him!)

We learned the parts of the flower, then cut out each part and made one ourselves...

We were each given a flower to dissect.

... And a flower "lab" worksheet to go along with our dissected flowers!

And, of course, we planted some seeds. I hope we don't neglect them - I love me some sugar snap peas!

The kids waited patiently for their snack. Miss Kerri is so clever; we ate every part of a plant! Can you guess what each part is? (i.e. carrots are roots!) OF course, we had some fun worms in mud, as well!

We got home, and Natalie went right outside with a bunch of books.
Me: "Natalie, what are you doing?"
Natalie: "I need to read to my plants."
Me: Book it to the car to grab the camera!

And, look who followed suit:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Red Robin Tour

My homeschooling friends have so many fun ideas... it never would have occurred to me to ask Red Robin for a tour! But, that is exactly what they did, and we tagged along for fun!

They did such a great job; a fun tour of the facility, coloring, balloons, meeting "Red," and embellishing our own burgers. I can't believe I ate a hamburger at 9:00am with my coffee, but it sure tasted good!

As always, Sierra was a little afraid of the mascot. Ok, very afraid! She and I did a lot of coloring and visiting the carousel horses.

Burgers... yum, yum! They served kids fries and drinks, as well. Plus, each kid went home with a pin and a certificate for a free kids meal. What a deal!

We had a lovely time, and finished our morning at the park with our friends.

At home we had even more fun painting our thank-you cards. If you get a chance, book a tour!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Easy Easter Treats

I just love afternoons with dear friends where time escapes you and the kids play happily upstairs so you can actually enjoy each other! We were blessed with one of those days where it felt like we barely ate lunch, and the next thing you know it was time to prepare dinner! Such a precious family -- wish they were closer!

I found the easiest recipe in the world to make for a little treat for the kids. These birds nests have 3 ingredients: shredded wheat, coconut, and melted chocolate chips. (They're made with shredded wheat, so they have to be healthy, right?)

Once you mix the ingredients to your liking, just put them in a buttered muffin tin for about 15 minutes -- they pop right out!

Adding little chickies makes them even more adorable....

... And adding friends makes them even more fun!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's Not Too Late...

So, I must know... am I the only one who feels like Easter just sneaks-up on them? Is it because it's on a different day each year? In the fall I literally count-down the days until I feel like it's "ok" to start decorating for fall. The day after Halloween, Thanksgiving goes up. The day after Thanksgiving, Christmas goes up. But somehow poor Easter gets a bit neglected.

This makes me sad for a few different reasons. Of course, we don't get to enjoy the decorations as long. But, we also don't have as much of a chance to prepare our hearts for the greatest holiday any person could ever possibly celebrate -- our Savior lives!

Somehow, we are ahead of the game in school this year. So, I decided to just do Easter devotions from now until Easter. It's sort of a 2-week Easter Break, but at least we're doing something "educational" each day. We also have at least 3 field trips planned. So, let the fun begin!

Thankfully, since this is suppose to be my break as well as the kids, I let another mom do all the prep work for me. I got all the devotionals from HERE. It is a 12 day countdown, so if you hurry you still have time to join us before Easter! Today marks day 3 for us. Here's a little taste of what we're up to:

Day 1: We learned about Jesus Immanuel, talked about the names of Jesus, the meaning of our own names, and dotted our names on a sheet of paper. (They recommended you use playdough -- so many different ideas can be used here!)

Day 2: We learned about Jesus breaking the bread and the fish. We tried to break bread and fish into as many pieces as we could!

Day 3: We learned about Jesus calming the storm. We tried to do a hurricane in a bottle, but our tape wasn't good enough. (You really need duct tape for that experiment!) So, we did the other activity which is blowing a boat on the water.

A sponge, a straw, and a piece of paper for a sail is all you need! As you can see, we still have bubbles in our fountain! Even so, the boat lasted through a good chunk of the "storm" the girls blew at it!

I pray you have a blessed and meaningful Easter season!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What's Important

Some days I can find joy in almost every aspect of being a mom... even bathtub splashes that soak the floor and diaper changes. Other days, I need reminders of why this job is so important. The funny thing is, those reminders often come from my little subjects, themselves.
Exhibit A:

I found this note folded up on my desk, the other day. I often wonder, do they know what's important... are they getting the lessons I'm trying to teach... and most importantly, am I a living example of what I am trying to teach? I was totally moved by this note, because it shows where my daughter's heart is... she gets that it's important to spend time with our precious Savior. Does she always live it? no. Do I always live it? NO. I have to remind myself of that, often. But I've planted seeds. And, they are growing. And, they will continue to grow. And, I need to continue to water and nourish them! But I also need to be patient as the Master Gardener does His work.

Lately I've been amazed watching my oldest two help out with our younger two. Today after lunch, Allison was on the floor with Malachi, while Natalie was entertaining Sierra. Daniel looked at me and said, "We have 2 babysitters!" I smiled. How blessed we are!

And, we have moments like this... times when I'm not sure what to do so I have them write sentences telling what I would like them NOT to do! Sometimes I wish someone would make me write sentences because I need to remember to not whine, as well! Of course, my whining is a little more subtle. It takes place in my heart... Do I really have to do dishes, again? The cure: gratitude. And, that is what we're working on. This week have felt it so strongly. At this very moment I am grateful for a quiet house! :) And, that means it's time for me to do dishes.. and for that, I am grateful!

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