09 10

31 August 2007

BSPP: Lesson 10

Week 1: How Does a Dinosaur Get Well Soon by Jane Yolen
Week 2: But Not the Hippopotamus y Sandra Boynton

Week 1: Dinosaurs Galore! by Giles Andreae
Week 2: It's a Hummingbird's Life by Irene Kelly

Read Aloud:
Quest for the Tree Kangaroo by Sy Montgomery, chapter 1-3

Week 1: Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25-27)
Week 2: Jacob's Ladder/Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 28)

Book of Mormon:
2 Nephi 24-25

Classical Music:

Kick the Ball (go outside for this one, or substitute another game if it's winter)

finger painting

Baby Steps Preschool

29 August 2007

Candid Candidate

According to the Alienated Wannabe, this video was taken without Mr. Romney's permission or knowledge. I wish we could see as much of the real, unguarded, personal self of all the candidates. The Wannabe also has some interesting commentary.

27 August 2007

I Did This To My Mom

Well, except that there's 8 in our family she still always caught the stuff that we tried to slip into the cart. And Dad never encouraged us to do cart races. Sounds like she and my Mom read the same parenting books though: there's No. Way. Ever. we woulda kept the cards either.

Most entertaining Story.

Feelin' Poorly

My poor Monkey. He's got a nasty cold. Snot that's gotten mighty close to his belly button a couple of times. No church for him yesterday. And we skipped the trip to Grandpa & Grandma's house on Saturday. We had to cancel the diaper study we were supposed to go to, and I've been trying to cancel the piano lessons this afternoon, but I can't seem to get ahold of the family. I am, however, sure that they don't want the grems I currently have at my house.

At least it's not an ear infection. And he does seem to be getting better: he's just not there yet.

24 August 2007

Fooling Around

Not a Jealous Bone in Your Body

You're secure, trusting, and giving with friends and lovers
And while you may have been hurt before, you've bounced back
You're generally happy with your life - and no one's grass is greener than yours
One word of caution: some may see your lack of jealousy as indifference!

Your Celebrity Baby Name Is...

Fifi Avalon

You May Be Pregnant

Yup, you could be preggars! See a doctor to confirm, okay?

(Naaw... still nursing. But I'd like to be!)

Your Stress Level is: 35%

You are slightly prone to stress, but generally you keep it under control.
You know how to relax and take things as they come, even when your worlds seems to be falling apart.
Occasionally, you do let yourself get stressed out, but you snap out of it pretty quickly.

You Are: 60% Dog, 40% Cat

You are a nice blend of cat and dog.
You're playful but not too needy. And you're friendly but careful.
And while you have your moody moments, you're too happy to stay upset for long.

You Are a Cranberry and Popcorn Strung Tree

Christmas is all about showcasing your creative talents.
From cookies to nicely wrapped presents, your unique creations impress everyone.

You Are

A Robo Pumpkin Face

You would make a good pumpkin cyborg.

You Are More Yin


You Are a Fruitcake!

You taste like nothing else in this world.
And get ready, you're about to get tossed!

Your Vote Score: 79% Republican, 21% Democrat

While you don't always agree with the Republican party, it's a pretty good match for you.
Do be sure to research each candidate. A conservative Democrat or independent candidate might fit you better at times.

Your Biblical Name Is...

Mahala Yaffa

You will live to see the end of times.

You're a Pack Rat in Training

You know those crazy old people with a ton of video tapes and cats?
Well, you're training to be one. Time to do some spring cleaning. Even if it isn't spring!

(My husband says "No you're not. You can pack it away with the best of them!")

You Are 75% Grown Up, 25% Kid

Congratulations, you are definitely quite emotionally mature.
Although you have your moments of moodiness, you're usually stable and level headed.

You Are a Brownie

Decadent and intense, you aren't for the weakhearted.
Those who can deal with your strong flavor find out how sweet you really are.

22 August 2007

Camping Canciled

Bummer. It's supposed to rain here on Friday. Again. No camping for us. No glorious dirt. No s'mores. We're going to a nature preserve near my parents' house instead (which looks like it may FINALLY sell after more than a year and a half). But we will get a lovely nature walk and maybe some new birds for my eBird.org collection. So far I have 29 birds on my Life List. Did I mention that I had 35-40 house sparrows in the backyard yesterday? I have no idea what that was all about. They tell me that the sentences in a paragraph are supposed to be somewhat related, but I'm too tired to worry about that right now. I'm going to bed.

21 August 2007

Oh My.

Glamorous Camping. A butler to light the fire?? Oh my. Why bother? Didn't anyone tell them that fooling around in the fire is the best part of camping? I just can't imagine. But then, I'm going to take the Monkey good old fashioned tent camping (with little letters) this weekend. I expect that there will be lots of dirt. And lots of pictures. I'm really looking forward to it.

A butler?

20 August 2007

Little Bit o Nature

We went on a short walk - just down to the corner and back. I actually carried Monkey part of the way back, because his legs are still little.

In my neighbor's driveway was the cool leaf with water droplets on it. So I gave the Boy to his Daddy and went back out with my camera.

I love what I got this time! Today, I added several leaves to my new Nature Journal. I decided that crayola colored pencils just can't do justice to the intricate veins on the leaves. I've been reading (and really liking) Keeping a Nature Journal, but I have to say that one thing that I disagree with them on. They said, under the caption "Better Than a Photo:"

These examples from Steen Lindell's trips to Monument Valley (left) and Anne Gamble's trip to the Galapagos Islands (below) are great examples of how you can use sketches to remember your experiences. Often sketches let you capture things that photos cannot. They bring a different kind of authenticity to your observations.

I'll give them different, and I'll admit that there is a certain visceral authenticity to drawing it yourself, but it's going to take me a LOT of practice to be able to capture the water droplets' magnification of those veins in these leaves. (Click on the last picture - the small size doesn't do it justice.) That being said, I'm really enjoying the book and have made several nature journal entries in my sketchbook the past couple of days. I love the pictures in this book - they're so encouraging!

19 August 2007

Photo Hunt: Two

OK, technically it's only 1, but I thought that the reflection in the playground's mirror made some really cute pictures. Here's a little wider angle.

15 August 2007

Collected Coloring Page Links

Activity Village Coloring Pages
American Patriotic Coloring Sheets

Bible Color Pages

Crayon House

Dutch Bible Coloring Sheets

Fourth of July Coloring Pages

Free Coloring Pages

National Geographic Printables

Papa Jan's Coloring Pages

People of the Bible

Printable Coloring Pages

Three R's Coloring Pages

Phonics Books - Help Please?

Been having a look at "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading." It's pretty straight forward. Extremely scripted & step-by-step. But I have very little to compare it with. It's the only one our local library has.

Monkey's too little still, but although some of the techniques they use to teach sounds are familiar from my Mother telling me "sound it out" I think that I learned to read with a primarily whole-language style with a good bit of incidental phonics. I'm planning to teach with phonics, but feeling more than a little intimidated & wanted to preview some methods. Only I'm having a hard time finding any other than Jessie Wise's book.

Any suggestions? Our interlibrary loan is pretty good, but you have to know what you're looking for.


I'm loving this song, For Me Alone. They did it a week or two ago at church on Sunday as a special musical number, and I'm just loving it. Kudos to Sally Deford for making such beautiful music not only available, but free. She's got both sheet music & MP3 on her site, along with gobs and gobs of other beautiful music. Some of my favorite versions of the Christmas carols are from her site. "Bring a Torch" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" are particular favorites in the Christmas section.

14 August 2007


So, if you ever needed (1)proof that very young children can memorize a whole Psalm or (2)proof that it's a great idea, here it is. This little girl is Super-Cute! AND she does a mighty fine job on the 23rd Psalm.

Home and Education

Knowledge of truth, combined with proper regard for it, and its faithful observance, constitutes true education. The mere stuffing of the mind with a knowledge of facts is not education. The mind must not only possess a knowledge of truth, but the soul must revere it, cherish it, love it as a priceless gem.
-Joseph F. Smith

The home is the laboratory of our lives, and what we learn there largely determines what we do when we leave there.
—President Thomas S. Monson Ensign, Nov. 1988, 69

And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.
-Mosiah 23:14

The Lord organized the family unit in the beginning. He intended that the home be the center of learning—that the father and mother be teachers... The Lord fixed families to give parents more influence on children than all other agencies combined. There is safety in this arrangement.
-A. Theodore Tuttle, Ensign, Nov. 1979 pg 28

Some people wonder, why be a stay-at-home mother? Some people question, aren't we wasting our time, our potential? Absolutely not. I know my potential has not gone unfulfilled. ... Is the world okay without another city planner? I think so. But, oh how much I've learned about child development and education, and we're changing the WORLD! ... He's going to grow into an exceptionally empathetic and attentive dad. Our goal of course is preparing him for the world of work, yes, but so much more. We devote ourselves to fostering his natural love for learning, developing strong character, and yes, we pray and teach him about God.
-Shawn, on Abecedarian Academy

"Home should be the center of one's earthly experience, where love and mutual respect are appropriately blended."
-L. Tom Perry, Ensign Nov 2002, page 9

Adam spent much effort being the school teacher for his children. He and Eve taught their sons and daughters. He taught them the gospel in their home evenings, and he taught them reading and writing and arithmetic. And they kept their books of remembrance.
- Spencer W. Kimball

What has happened to our schools? There are still many that are excellent, but there are very many that are failing. What has become of the teaching of values? We are told that educators must be neutral in these matters. Neutrality in the teaching of values can only lead to an absence of values. Is it less important to learn something of honesty than to learn something of computer science? . . . Where today are the heroes from whose lives we learned honesty and integrity and the meaning of work? The debunkers of Washington and Lincoln have done their job and we all are the poorer for it.
President Gordon B. Hinckley
Speech given at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 25, 1998

I am opposed to free education as much as I am opposed to taking property from one man and giving it to another who knows not how to take care of it... I do not believe in allowing my charities to go through the hands of robbers who pocket nine-tenths themselves and give one tenth to the poor... Would I encourage free schools by taxation? No! (Journal of Discourses Vol. 18, p. 357)

What's Cooking?

This content has moved.

Thinking in the Mind and Various Orginizational Thoughts

Found that there's a meme going around where people post different ideas on organizing your homeschool. I don't think that I've got a whole 7 things to contribute to it, but I am really enjoying looking at the things that the other have to say about it.

Headmistress, Zookeeper says a number of cool things. This one is my favorite - it's #7 on her list:
Do not try to do school at home. You're not a school. You're a family. ... You may not have pen and paper work to show for it, but the work of the mind happens in the mind, and it is what happens in the mind and heart that constitutes education.

Dawn has a number of great ideas too - I think that #2 & #3 are my favorites from her list:
Research the resources. I try to start this as early as I can because the more time I have, the better decisions I make. Once I determine what subjects we'll be studying I start looking around for the best possible resources. ...

Meet and mingle. Every summer I have at least one if not two or three coffee nights with my best homeschooling girlfriends.

Karen did hers haiku-style. Most entertaining. She's mentions their family's tradition of going to Mass & then out to breakfast. Traditions around the first of the school year are so much more flexible in a homeschool; we have all sorts of choices when it's time to formalize ours a little more!

Willa did hers in terms of habits. Habit 5 made me think:
5. Habit of fostering motivation and the responsible use of the will by balancing freedom and discipline.

I'm Dreaming of a Gated Household!

(sung to "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas")

I'm dreaming of a gated household!
Where I can sit down for a while.
Where the baby's safe and
The cat can hide and
I can move the laundry o'er!

I'm dreaming of a gated household!
With every tipped o'er garbage can
I can feel my hair turning gray!
He's offic'ly a toddler now.

Yesterday, he discovered the bathroom. Which we keep open so the cat can eat her food, which is on the counter in there so that the baby can't. Toilet paper spins so invitingly! Fortunately I found the camera & got the picture before he got too much spun off. Getting distracted by the drawers didn't hurt.

Today, I went downstairs to put in the laundry and while I was down there he climbed up the stairs real quick to the upstairs. Just about gave me a heart attack when I realized what he'd done: he still sometimes tries to sit on the stairs, only lands with his butt out in space & has to be rescued from falling back down the steps. That would not have been good! Not to mention that his respect for "edges" is still developing, and his little look-what-I-did grin at the top was NOT reassuring that he wasn't going to get excited and try to crawl to me! I don't know what I was thinking, buying a house with all these stairs in it!

13 August 2007

Playing in the Dirt

This afternoon I was working on getting my edging stuff put around the flower bed. Keep the grass out of my flowers. Give it a nice crisp edge. That sort of thing. I had some help. It was pretty cute!

11 August 2007

Photo Hunt: Rows

Theme: Rows

There were a couple of rows my sister and I found when we were at the Chicago Botanic Garden last May. One was this fountain with the water all in a row.

You couldn't actually see this row until you got down eyeball-to-petal: the tulips had been planted in horizontal rows, so there was a group that were shorter than the others. It turned out really cool.

And more "rows" of water - this time arranged into a waterfall.

10 August 2007

BSPP: Lesson 9

We were out of town for part of last week, so I officially took the week off again, but unofficially we did some fun things. We started reading Quest for the Tree Kanagroo, which is great. I think it's going to be our new read-aloud. I started reading Wind in the Willows, but it's got some bad language in it, and I just didn't want to deal with that while I'm reading to my infant, so it's off the list. And Tree Kangaroos are way cooler than talking animals anyway.

Also, Grandma, Aunt A & Uncle S came up and we had a great time. We went to a petting zoo (those pictures are posted here). Then, before they had to go home we did some toe painting. We used finger paints, with our feet. Did it on the driveway & cleaned up with a hose. Next time I try this I'm going to strip the monkey to his diaper so he can sit down & really get into it.

Toe-painting with Mom and Aunt A.

Messy Feet - what fun!

Clean-up's not so bad when you do it with a hose!

So, all that is fun, but now it's time to think about working up a plan for the next two weeks. We're moving on from the Brightly Beaming Babies program. It's been a great beginning, but I find that I'm modifying it more and more every week, so we're going to strike out on our own. I'm posting some of my ideas as the Baby Steps Preschool Program, so that I'll have them for future kids & so that anyone else that wants to can play along with us. If you decide to play, I'd love any feedback you've got. Book suggestions, that sort of thing. It's still very much a work in progress right now, but I'm working on it. So. Here's the plan for this lesson:

Week 1: Over in the Meadow by Child's Play
Week 2: TykeOsaurs by Tom Arma

Week 1: The Journey of a Sea Turtle by Carolyn Scrace
Week 2: Police Officeres by Dee Ready

Read Aloud:
Quest for the Tree Kangaroo by Sy Montgomery, chapter 1-3

Week 1: Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac
Week 2: Isaac marries Rebekah

Book of Mormon:
2 Nephi 21-24

Classical Music:
Brahms Rhapsodies

(Play by tracing X's and O's on your baby's back. As you trace repeat this rhyme: "X's and O's, X's and O's, where I stop, nobody knows." Just after you say nobody knows, choose a spot and tickle!)

Coloring with crayons

01 August 2007

Cool Birthday

One of my piano students, who happens to attend a classic charter school, is having a birthday. With a birthday comes a party, and they're gonna have a cool one: Ancient Greece and Rome. His eyes lit up as he told me all about it: gladiators and colluseums, and other cool stuff like that. His Mom was at a loss for a party favor, so we set and brainstormed for a few, and they've got those cardboard rivets, so they're going to construct shields for the gladiator fights, which the boys can then take home with them. He's turning 9, I think. He and his friends should have a blast! Gonna have to remember this idea for when the Monkey gets big enough to do themed parties like that.


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