LOVE Rocks!

My daughter has been getting in the giving spirit and making pictures and books and shells and stuff for us.

Last night she made these.

P1010002

P1010003

Of course all of us were all gushy and appreciative, even if we did mock J. a little for getting the bumpy rock. Only later did I notice (and only because my daughter pointed it out) that she spelled “love” correctly. She said she had noticed it and decided to spell it “like everyone else” now.

She spelled it that way today too. Here is today’s book.

(The Girl’s Day Love Emma To Mom)
P1010004

(It’s Day.)
P1010005

(Humming while she plays)
P1010006

(Oh No! It’s Late!)
P1010007

I have had many discussions with other homeschoolers about invented spellings vs. making sure they only spell correctly each time “so it sticks”. I have to say, I would do it this way all over again! She is not afraid to write. She doesn’t call me into the room to ask how to spell stuff. She just does it. And it doesn’t bother her that it isn’t perfect.

LOVE

Putting Up The Tree

I like the tradition of putting up the tree the day after Thanksgiving. This year is no different. But, I somehow forget that it isn’t just “putting up the tree” day, it is also “must clean the garage” and “must rearrange the house” day! It even morphed into “must find things to give to the Salvation Army to make space in our house” day.

In the end, the tree is together and the cats seem a bit less interested this year. of course, we haven’t put all the ornaments on yet so that may change…

P1010004

While we were getting the tree set up, my daughter drew more ornaments and cut them out. I love her invented spellings.

P1010005

P1010006

P1010008

P1010011

After being laminated and having strings added, onto the tree they go.

P1010012

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hosted Thanksgiving at our place this year and had J.’s family over. Everyone brought food and made it easy on us 🙂

We had a nice, relaxing time and wound up playing “Lego Rock Band” after dinner. My son monopolized the microphone again, but I think everyone was ok with it.

P1010001

While the rest continued playing, my MIL, daughter, and I went out to try a Thanksgiving Scaventure Hunt. It was getting a bit dark, but we managed 🙂

P1010002

P1010003

P1010002

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving too!

COSI

On Wednesday, we went to explore COSI, the science center. The last time I went with the kids was 4 years ago and things haven’t changed much.

Unfortunately, the kids are too old now for an entire section of the museum. I hadn’t realized that they wouldn’t be allowed in the kid zone where the water tables and building and dress up stuff is located. That kind of stinks!

Anyway, we got to check out some of the other exhibits and caught a movie about coral reefs.

Running toward the doors.

P1010112

Checking out a really old tree section (950 to 1100 years old).

P1010113

Heartbeat drum that matches the rhythm of your heart beat. My son checked it out before and after running around the room 🙂

P1010114

Both kids jumped at the chance to go on the stage. My daughter got to have her hair go up with the electrostatic generator. My son got to be the receiver of a shock from another volunteer.

P1010116

P1010119

After an intense time in the lunch room, we bailed to go outside for a bit. We weren’t the only ones 🙂

P1010120

Then, on to the “Ocean” section. The kids checked out the model submarine, played with water jets, and built dams.

P1010124

P1010126

P1010128

P1010130

P1010131

P1010133

It got wet!

Outside, the kids tried with varying degrees of success to lift a car.

P1010135

The boys worked it out.

P1010136

My daughter flew up into the air, LOL.

P1010138

P1010139

The kids listened to volunteers in the hallways and tried out some experiments.

P1010141

We played in the gift shop for a bit and then headed out to get home in time to get ready for Thanksgiving.

P1010142

P1010143

Columbus Zoo

On Monday, we went to the Columbus Zoo. I hadn’t ever been there with the kids and was really looking forward to it. We showed up around noon and learned that the zoo would be open late due to their holiday light festival. We decided to pace ourselves and stay for the whole day 🙂

The kids loved the sculptures.

P1010032

P1010035

The reptile house had cool decorations on the ceiling.

P1010036

We saw lots of reptiles and I liked that the displays were set up with easy to understand labels! They showed the ranges on maps as well as what the animals liked to eat and how endangered they were. We definitely noticed the ones from Ohio!

P1010037

P1010038

P1010039

P1010040

Who could resist more sculptures?

P1010043

P1010044

On to the aquarium where we saw sharks, rays, a humphead wrasse, manatees and more…

P1010047

P1010054

P1010058

Outside, my son tried to get a flamingo to eat his fingers (or at least that seemed to be the plan). I tried to convince him it was a bad plan!

P1010060

We weren’t sure why the lions were blocked off until I took a few shots of this mom and her babies. Then a zookeeper asked us not to linger as it would disturb the new mom. Oops! They were so cute, though. I am glad we got to see and hear them.

P1010068

P1010070

On to the tigers.

P1010074

P1010075

Red panda.

P1010076

Elephants. The one with the broken tusks is 38 years old and weighs almost 12,000 pounds.

P1010077

There were places to warm up scattered throughout the zoo.

P1010078

Penguins and more sculpture.

P1010083

P1010086

There is a carousel in the middle of the zoo. The kids took it for a spin.

P1010091

Then, we had hot chocolate and some of the worst tasting colored popcorn ever made.

P1010094

Finally, it got dark enough to really enjoy the lights. We were surprised by a light show timed to the music as we were leaving. It was spectacular! I knew as I took the pictures that they would do it no justice, but ah well… I took them anyway.

P1010099

P1010100

P1010101

P1010102

P1010107

P1010109

I am so glad we went. And that we stayed.

Vacation

The kids and I headed down to Columbus for a few days this week. We shared a hotel suite with some friends and hit the zoo and COSI while we there. The weather worked out perfectly, considering we managed to not get frozen or too badly rained on during any of it.

We got a fantastic deal on the hotel room through a booking error and wound up with a full kitchen, a bedroom with a queen size bed, a pull out couch, and a loft with another queen size bed. We had 2 full bathrooms and 3 TV’s….all for $55 a night.

Here are some pics:

P1010024

P1010026

P1010027

P1010029

Another Scratch Story

This time, it was my daughter making up the backgrounds and characters and moving them about.

It started off as a story about a girl and her sister, who incessantly talks on the phone. The girl jumps out of the tree and goes toward the house.

P1010011

P1010012

On the way to the house, she sees her mom in the yard and talks to her.

P1010013

Inside, she sees her babysitter.

P1010014

She goes into her room to change her clothes and jump on the bed.

P1010015

P1010016

P1010017

Then she takes a nap.

P1010018

She talks to the babysitter again…

P1010019

And heads back outside.

P1010020

After that, the story broke down with her repeatedly jumping out of the tree onto the sister’s head, pulling the babysitter’s hair, and then a trip to a mall. (????)

Froguts

I did wind up ordering Froguts for my son. It came this week and he dove right in! There was a wee bit of sadness at seeing it, however, as his birthday frogs had just died (we think a flea bomb did them in).

He opted for the squid dissection first.

P1010007

P1010008

I would definitely recommend this program to any other budding science lovers. It is very detailed and easy to follow.

Lego Rock Band

We played Lego Rock Band for a little bit at a birthday party on Saturday. It seemed worth getting. Unlike “Guitar Hero” and earlier versions of “Rock Band”, this version has a “Super Easy” level. As far as singing is concerned, this means that you can get 100% pretty easily just by making noise at approximately the right times…no pitch or perfect timing necessary. For drums and guitar, the timing counts, but not what color you hit.

The result? Both kids love it and can play. There is no getting boo’d off the stage.
And… ummmm… it’s Lego 🙂

My son is pretty much monopolizing the microphone…

P1010004

P1010006

G-Ro

After making a change purse out of corduroy for a friend’s birthday, I found myself really liking working with that fabric. I had been promising my son a similar one and started doodling some new designs. I had seen wallets with zipper mouths before and thought I would try for a monster. My son decided on all of the features and their colors and my daughter generously donated her old purple pants for the fabric.

Meet G-Ro!
He is big enough to hold a Pokemon deck and has a pocket in the back to hold damage counters and coins. He has rings in his hands to add a handle or a strap.

P1010011

P1010010

Toys and Games

Having people over on Fridays has been good for my housekeeping skills 😉
It has also reminded me to start rotating our toys a bit more to bring out stuff for the kids to play with.

Gears.
My daughter made a tall box first and then took it apart to build a music player with different songs located on the tips of each gear. That, of course, led to her singing and dancing 🙂 My son built a multi-level gear contraption. The lower level gears all connected and turned.

P1010001

P1010003

Tinker Toys came back.

P1010011

2 Magnetic Playsets.
One has an outerspace theme and the other is just random bits of metal to build with.

P1010010

Legos got to stay!

P1010007

On the computer, my son played Crayon Physics Deluxe.

P1010012

P1010014

The Pool is Open!

What does that mean for us?

It means that our homeschool swim is back on! And the kids’ swim lessons! And I am taking water aerobics 🙂 Yay for our community center!

On Friday, 3 other families joined us for the homeschool swim and playing before and after at our house.

P1010006

P1010007

On Saturday, swim lessons:

P1010017

P1010018

P1010020

P1010021

P1010022

Mondays and Wednesdays are water aerobics. I have gone twice now and love it. The kids came the last time and swam with J. while I was in class.

Ollie’s and Bookmarks

My daughter went with me to Sam’s Club the other night because we are now the proud owners of a full size freezer in the garage (and that of course means- we can buy in bulk!). On the way to Sam’s Club, however, I was tempted by the Ollie’s next door. I have only been in there once before on the advice of my MIL and SIL. It is fantastic for books!

My daughter and I found a bunch of new books and a neat paper doll set for her. For my son, we found a new Garfield book.

He loves it! He loves books in general now. He has been reading like crazy and reading longer books which allow him to use a bookmark when he stops to save his place. He has been using one his cousins made for him at Christmas.

P1010005

P1010006

My daughter has taken notice of how much he likes it and decided she would make bookmarks for some of our friends. For some reason she has decided she must make Christmas present this week and is all over coming up with ideas.

She started off with three bookmarks and gave them to me to laminate. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that I had left magnetic backing in the machine, so we now have three magnetic bookmarks, LOL!

P1010030

She went on to make many more including a giant squid for her brother who wanted his magnetic as well and a bunch of others which got plain plastic coatings…

P1010022

A special one for me:

P1010023

Some for a friend who loves weapons:

P1010024

Here is the paper doll set she got. Instead of tabs for the clothing, they are actually made of vinyl clings (like Colorforms). Hers is a Holly Hobby set.

P1010005

P1010006

P1010007

Blocks and More Blocks and Marble Runs

We have been getting out the unit blocks more often lately as we have had younger kids over and it is one of the things I think are pretty child-proof in our house full of marbles and Legos, LOL.

This week, we added our “Sac Noir” blocks to them to build even more fun stuff.

Here is a house my daughter built.

P1010012

P1010013

My son built with them and his Lego creations:

P1010013

P1010014

P1010015

We have also had out the marble runs this week. My son has enjoyed building really tall structures as have some of his friends.

P1010001

P1010004

Another Spikey Ball

The first spikey ball I made has been a kid toy in our house since I finished it about a month ago. When friends come over, they have been enjoying it too. Off-hand, one off my friends mentioned she would like it if I could make one for her son who happens to be having a birthday in 2 weeks. I like it when I know what to make. It is so much easier than searching patterns and trying to pick colors! So I jumped on it and decided to make one for him with a variegated yarn from my stash.

This time, I followed the directions for connecting the spikes as I worked (instead of the insane method I made up last time of stitching them together after). I also made the spikes a bit smaller by taking out three rounds of the pattern. I worked the spikes in spirals to avoid the seam line from joining as well.

Here is my new spikey ball:

P1010027

Birthday Party at our Place

We had family over for my son’s birthday party today. He had a fantastic time and really enjoyed seeing everyone 🙂 It was especially nice to have his cousins over again. It has been too long!

P1010001

P1010004

P1010005

P1010011

P1010015

P1010017

P1010018

P1010019

P1010020

I think everyone loved the cake my MIL made- a triple layer cake with whipped chocolate frosting.

P1010021

P1010024

P1010025

My MIL brought my daughter some bat feely-boppers, which were super cool because they matched her bat costume (black and purple).

P1010028