Spring into History

The last few weeks have been so busy for us as we began to approach Mister M’s leave and prepare for our friends to come spend their Spring Break with us. It has been a wonderful way to take our minds off of our fast approaching deployment.

Last weekend, we drove up and met our friends in D.C. That night, Little Miss M and I hung out in the hotel while Mister O took Mister M and our friends to watch an NBA basketball game.

Then Sunday morning we woke up early and spent the entire day exploring the historical sites of our nation’s capital.

We were especially excited to take Mister M now that he is old enough to really take in some of the sites. We were able to see so much and walked for over 6 hours. We did not get to see the Smithsonian museums like we had planned but still had an incredible day.

We will definitely be making another trip before Mister M leaves so that we can see and explore more. There is just something so special about getting to see these important pieces of our past and walking in a place full of  our nation’s historical monuments and documents.

In Christ’s Love,

Kristy ❤️

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Desperate Measures Call for Serious Creativity

With Little Miss M added to our mix, we are finding it harder and harder to be able to keep up with our homeschool schedule and work. It seems we are always playing catch up or trying to make up stuff we had to miss. At the rate we have been going, we will be lucky to finish our school work by the end of June and that just makes me cringe. I know. I know. We are not on a time frame but I love my summer breaks. If I don’t get one, I will be soooo crabby. I am fairly certain I won’t be the only one.

So, I decided that enough is enough and took to Pinterest. I needed options, I needed major help. Thank goodness I did because I came across these nifty little activities for babies and toddlers called sensory bags. They are so easy to make and consist of simple things like water, baby oil gel or aloe vera gel and items such as buttons, wiggly eyes, sparkle rhinestones and other little flat trinkets that won’t bust the bags.

Once you feel the bag with the liquid of your choice and add the items then you seal the bag and you can use tape and tape it to a table, a high chair or in my case, a plastic plate so we can use it in multiple places. Here is our first sensory bag:

 

I used some cheap green aloe vera gel from the Dollar Tree and different sized wiggly eyes and buttons I had in my craft supplies in our classroom. So far Little Miss M has loved this. As you can see, I taped it using some packing tape so it would be much harder for her to pick at or pull off. She loves the squishy, soft feel of the gel as she moves around trying to get to the objects inside and she also loves to lay her cheek on it sometimes because it always stays cool to the touch.

While we will need to have other options for her so they continue to spark her interest, this has given us some great help for now and I am hoping that we will find other awesome ways to keep her engaged and entertained so that we can make our homeschool days a bit easier. I guess you could say that we are officially launching our very own baby school. Desperate times and all.

What ways do you keep your babies entertained so you can school your other children? I would love to hear your suggestions and ideas or things that have worked for your family too.

Until next time!

In Christ’s Love,

Kristy ❤

Hip Hooray, President’s Day Stations

I apologize for being a bit quiet the last week! We had a crazy week after Valentine’s Day and I have been working hard to organize and purge my classroom and to get lessons planned and see where we will be in May.

So, today was our homeschool group meeting and I planned all our activity stations. I was excited to have found such amazing ideas on Pinterest and could not wait to set them up. The most loved station was the Macaroni Monument station where the kids were all instructed to build their own “Washington Monument” out of pasta shells. We had Penne and Rotini shells. Using clay, glue and the pasta, those littles spent almost the entire time at that one station! The second favorite station was definitely the “Quill” station where they turned an ordinary #2 pencil into an old fashioned writing quill. It was so simple and easy but the kids went nuts over it!

It was a really successful meeting even though I was so exhausted I could have slept standing. That’s seems to be my norm these days.

Below is a snapshot of each of the stations. I highly recommend each of these activities for your next President’s Day.

Until next time!

In Christ’s Love,

Kristy ❤️

 

 

 

 

Busy Days, Sleepless Nights

Yesterday was a busy but wonderful day. We had a meeting with our military homeschool support group and learned all about snowflakes. I have recently started volunteering to help with the planning of the group’s meetings and I had fun helping come up with some fun activities for us to do.

We started our meeting with an informative and fun YouTube video telling us how snowflakes form and what they are made of, then we read a book called, Curious Snowflakes, and finally we let the kiddos loose to explore and learn and create using some really fun activities.

Here are some snapshots from the group:

After our meeting, we had some of our friends over to play while us Moms did some planning and ate lunch and then we had Mister M’s first swim lesson. He LOVED swim and is counting down until our next lesson.

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Even though it was a wonderful day, it was also exhausting so I was very ready to call it a night around 8pm. I was able to get little Miss M to sleep but she woke up just an hour later and it took several hours to get her good and asleep and then she was back up again at 1am this morning. It was a long, sleepless night and this morning I am just sooo exhausted. I could sleep for days.

I would love nothing more than to stay in bed, sleep and be lazy but…life. Today we have another homeschool group and then it’s home for our schoolwork and maybe if I am lucky, a nap. Oh how I would love a nap.

Busy days and sleepless nights = one exhausted Momma.

In Christ’s Love,

Kristy ❤️

Some Days

Some days you scramble to get anything done. Some days you fight all day long to just get through one moment to the next. Some days you feel overwhelmed. Some days you feel alone. So very very alone.

Then, some days you are reminded of how blessed you are with wonderful people and you don’t feel so sad. Some day you are surrounded by good people and good laughs and the grief eases a bit. Some days you manage to get a lot done and you think to yourself, “Maybe this one won’t  be so bad.”

Today is over. We survived. And that’s enough. It has to be enough.

Today I am so thankful for precious friends who came to just do life with us today, homeschool and all, and helped make this day not seem so hard. For loving us right where are. For knowing that underways and deployments can feel so big and scary and we shouldn’t battle it alone.

Today, I am just so thankful for these people.

And for napping babies. Today, I was very thankful for a napping baby.

Kristy ❤️

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Sweet Kae and Little Miss M. This Momma sure needed this break.

Backyard Parade

Well, our feeders have become a HUGE hit! Today, our backyard was a parade of colors, species and personalities that we have been hoping we might somehow be lucky enough to lure in. We have never seen SO many amazing and beautiful birds in our backyard since we moved in!

Today, when we returned from our homeschool P.E. class, we had about five Starlings  hovering around our suet feeder and they kept coming back for more. Within the hour, word had spread and we had Starlings, Morning Doves, House Wrens, Robins, and a Cardinal making regular rounds through our yard snatching up some bird feed and taking a few minutes to take in the views.

We were so excited! I couldn’t snap pictures fast enough and the best part is that we got to put our bird skills to use and try to determine which birds we were seeing. It was perfect timing for our Science lesson today. Today, we will be creating our own Bird Field Guide. This will be a book we make from construction paper and lined paper that we will staple together and label. We will be using this book to glue pictures of the birds we have been seeing inside and making important field notes about each bird. Some things we will notate are the bird’s field markings, that is any markings they may have on their body, their bird calls (sounds or songs they sing) and personality traits we might see like flying in pairs or groups, hopping around the yard, etc. We are so excited to have our photos printed so we can put them in the book.

We will also be starting our Life List today. This is a list of the birds that Mister M has identified in his lifetime, or in the case of this course, the birds that he has identified during the “life” of the course. However, he is so excited about this project that we are going to actually create a Notebook Life List for him to track all that he sees. He will record the date, where he was, the birds that he identified and he can also add photos too if he desires. This notebook will be long term and we will keep it with us whenever we travel or go to places such as the botanical gardens or the zoo or parks and use it until it is filled up and we can start a new one. It will be amazing to see all the birds that he is able to identify throughout the years.

This project has been such a wonderful bonding experience for our family and it has given us a new love of birds. How often have we just watched a bird fly by and paid not attention to it’s beautify and wonder? When you really begin to take the time to study these beautiful creatures, you begin to see a whole world of excitement and wonder begin to unfold. There are so many birds and it can become so much fun trying to see how many you can find in one day or in one place.

If you have never thought of bird watching with your children before, I encourage you to give this a try. I promise you that you will NOT be disappointed.

In Christ’s Love,

Kristy ❤

Chickadees to the Rescue!

As I shared in earlier posts, Mister M and I are conducting a Bird Feed experiment for his Science curriculum. We made our own bird feeder and suet feed for a suet feeder and hung both of them in the back yard. Our experiment is to determine which feeder and feed the birds like best.

We have waited anxiously and every day checked to see if we have any winged guests frequenting our feeder but sadly, for the last three weeks, they have sat vacant and waiting.

And then today, it happened!!! Our bird feeder became the number one restaurant on the block! We had THE cutest Black-Capped Chickadee come flying into our little porch and onto our feeder. He/She seemed to REALLY love both of the feeders. It kept flying from one to the other and then it flew away only to return a few moments later with another Black-Capped Chickadee friend. I personally think it might have been his girlfriend.

Our restaurant had it’s first couple dining with us! How exciting!!! Love is in the air folks and it’s right in my own backyard! It’s glorious!!

We used one of our Bird Field Guides we purchased to go along with our Science Curriculum this year to help us determine identify our new little winged friend: Peterson Field Guides For Young Naturalists Backyard Birds. It was so helpful. We also looked through our Field Guide to the Birds of North America from National Graphic just for extra information and to double check our resources.

We made sure to log this monumental occasion in our Junior Notebooking Journal on our page used to list birds that we see in our backyard and made note of the particular bird that we saw, it’s identification markings and the activity we saw the bird display. All of these pieces of information are valuable because they are all used in helping you currently identify a bird you are seeing.

It’s funny how something so small and often overlooked as a sweet little Chickadee can brighten an entire day. They sure brightened ours. That is for sure.

I hope you enjoy some of the images I captured as our little guests ate and played in our backyard. Have a wonderful weekend!

In Christ’s Love,

Kristy ❤