Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Recent Catch

Hey, look!
We caught a cutie!
She's a keeper!
(even with her cranky face...)

Don't you wish you had a butterfly net to match your dress?
Enjoying them,
because of Him-

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Google Doodle History & Telescopes

**Edited 8/27/09 to add lesson plan links at bottom of post!

Every now and then one of the Google Doodles will catch my eye- today's doodle was Google entirely out of telescopes, and I was delighted see it was commemorating something truly historical.

"Exactly 400 years ago today, on 25 August 1609, the Italian astronomer and
philosopher Galilei Galileo showed Venetian merchants his new creation, a
– the instrument that was to bring him both scientific immortality
and, more immediately, a whole lot of trouble."
Being the almost unschoolers that we are, we went with it. I printed out the article from the Guardian (a, no, the major UK newspaper) and it, along with some discussion, made for a history & science lesson. If we can scrounge up some time in the next couple days, and if the interest is still there, we'll pull out a book or two, maybe color or draw, and maybe even manage a 'report' or two about Galileo and his telescope- and more importantly, what impact his invention has had on the rest of history, as in, what it actually means to us, or, how it applies to our lives today.

That is where so much of the essence of real learning lies, and I love having the opportunity to learn in such a way right alongside my kids!

Enjoying them,
because of Him,

**Here's a link with some info and even a free comprehensive reading worksheet/quiz for anyone interested! Enjoy! Galileo Galilei at LessonSnips (click the red "get lesson" button for a nice pdf that you can print and even save to your hard drive for printing later, or when you need another copy for a toddler to color on...)
**Here's a link to a fabulous article about building your own telescope! We can't wait to try this!
I'm still looking for more goodies to add on...

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Sweet Books for Kids #2

I don't remember when or where I first saw this book or I would say a big thank you for steering me in such an adorable direction.

So many Bunnies is such a sweet book to read before bed, before naps, or just about anytime your little ones would love to see so many bunnies, with so many cute names, getting cozy in so many places.
There is a bunny for every letter of the alphabet, and each one is numbered-
"20 was named Toni,
she slept with her pony."
With 1, 2, or 3 bunnies for each two-page spread, there are plenty of adorable illustrations to delight children and moms alike.
I hope you enjoy this one as much as we do!
Enjoying them,
because of Him,


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another Trip to the Zoo

We had so much fun a couple weeks back...

that we decided to go again.

It was hot and sunny, which always gets to me despite the many water bottles and Tylenol, and it was crowded- I really do think that this time everybody AND their neighbor decided to go to the zoo on the very same day. The parking lotS were full, the nearby on-street parking was full, we ended up parking a very log walk away, uphill, both ways, ok, maybe not both ways, but have you ever tried to push (more like pull back on) a heavy stroller while going down a fairly steep hill on a path through an urban park? We got our exercise, I'm calling it phys ed for the day, maybe enough for several days.
A leopard gecko, I think she said it was. The zoo has this summer program with all of these teen volunteers with education stations scattered all around the premises. They told the kids about how these little lizards can 'release' their tail if they need to escape from danger, but they weren't willing to show us how that little trick worked... oh well, maybe there's a video out there somewhere I can let the kids see... Hey, here's an interesting video- Robert Full: Learning from the gecko's tail... okay, that's fascinating, not a tail falling off, and a brief mention of 'evolving', oh, and some hommage paid to 'our new president', as if he has anything to do with the advancement of science... I do believe there are a great many secrets locked in nature, and I believe in the Creator who put them there, all in all, a fascinating 10 minutes.
Miss G, enjoying the giraffes, her current favorite animal.
In the end, just after enjoying the final "Sparky the Sea Lion Show" for the day, I was none-too-sad to leave. We always have fun there, but the sun, heat, & crowds were doing a number on my head and there were several rounds of the quiet game played in the van for the next hour...

My older boys, a handsome couple of guys, if you ask me, or even if you don't.

Enjoying them,
because of Him,


Sunday, August 16, 2009

When Pollen Counts Merge

This past week our local grass pollen count was still in the 'high' range, as the weed pollen count shot up to join it up there in the spotlight. Combine that with the heat wave and accompanying humidity (it's not the heat, it's the humidity, I'm from Minnesota, I have to say that) and throw in a couple allergic & asthmatic little girls and you get lots of coughing and an increasingly uncomfortable amount of wheezing, oh and don't forget the snot- out the nose, out the eyes, sometimes even out the ears, stuff running everywhere. We should've invested in Benedryl, that and Albuterol, ugh.

I'm home from church today with the younger 5, as too many girls have been coughing too much. My husband brought the 2 oldest down with him for the day. I hope (and pray, always pray, it's more effective than simply hoping) that they will get something good, from the Lord, from today's messages, and that they will bring some of it back home to share with the rest of us!

In the meantime, in between time, it's time for another round of meds.
Enjoying them,
because of Him,


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Girls and Kittens

Want cute? Mix little girls with little kittens, something like this-

Yep, the 'pack-pack' is right- adorable!
Enjoying them,
because of Him-


Thursday, August 6, 2009

School Planning Crunch Time

Son #2 is at camp this week, and son #1 goes next week, then it's time to hit the ground running. Son #1's soccer practice actually starts the week he'll be gone, so camp will, quite literally, be the end of his leisurely summer, which means it will also be the end of mine. With 7 kids 'under foot', there is precious little leisure time around here, but things will really pick up once my 3 months of running starts the same week we return to our semi-formal schooling.

My immediate goal is to use these camp weeks to plan out the first several weeks of lesson plans for our 10th, 5th, 3rd, and 1st, graders, as well as something for our K4 and preschooler. We'll be using My Father's World for the 10th grader- this is the kind of curriculum that I really could put together, if I had the time, but this year I was just so excited, even relieved, to find something that fit our family's style, already planned and written out for me, with checklists and all! The youngers will be working alongside, to a degree, with a variety of materials off our overstuffed shelves- those are the lesson plans I need to pull together in the very near future... all the while trying to squeeze every last bit of fun out of what's left of this summer!

Enjoying them,
because of Him,

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Trip to the Zoo

We love the Minnesota Zoo. (Have you been to It's a really, really, great zoo. It's also a really, really, long drive for us to get there. It's also not cheap. When there were three of us, it was not really a big deal, but now that there are nine of us, well, we could pretty much buy a season pass for what one visit would cost, and that's more than I wanted to shell out last week.
Fortunately for us, there is a **free** zoo in the Twin Cities, and it happens to be not too far away from one of the clinics we happened to visit recently for asthma check-ups for two of our girls.
I love the water in this picture. It reminds me of some lovely impressionist paintings...

Como Zoo & Conservatory will always hold a special place in my heart- we were married in the Conservatory! It's a lovely place.
We hadn't been to a zoo in quite a while; I think Little M, now 2 1/2, was a wee nursling in a sling the last time we managed that kind of animal kingdom fun. The kids were so excited when I mentioned where we'd be going that morning before the dreaded doctor visits. Really?! Really Mom?! Oh, boy!
It is always so precious to me to see the looks of awe and wonder on the youngest ones as they see their first live flamingo, giraffe, gorilla, or zebra. Toddlers and preschoolers could stand and watch ducks and flamingos swim and splash around for what seems like hours before they even remember you have snacks in your bag... You do have snacks in your bag, don't you?

We've had cats for years, and the little ones LOVE to watch them play and pounce around, but that can never compare to Three-Toed Sloths, or Tamarins, or these...
Or Butterflies!! This is the first time we've made it to a butterfly exhibit, and, oh, my, it was one of the most fascinating things I've ever seen. We could've spent all day in that special tent-like structure, which happened to look like a giant Monarch caterpillar (scroll down on the link). So cool.
Baby J, letting a butterfly touch him, so sweet...
I loved the signs! This one was on the way out...
Something I always love to see, the way a big brother looks after and helps a little sister- so sweet. I love my kids!

'Twas a good time.
Enjoying them,
because of Him,

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