Sunday, May 25, 2014

Phone Purge

So, yeah. I'm a little behind. Ooops! Here are the pics from this past week.

First off... last Saturday was THINKING DAY!!!

All ready for thinking day. Each of the girlscout groups had a state. The Daisies in Ryanne's troop had Georgia so she's wearing "red" (okay, it's more burgundy) and black and we write "Bull Dogs" on her little cheeks. hehe!

She walked around and visited the different tables. They got to put a souvenir from each state into their paper bags.

The Daisies who went from Ryanne's troop.

The Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors who went from Ryanne's troop. The other groups in the troop had Hawaii and Alaska.

Collin got a new microscope. It was free -- a hand-me-down -- but he absolutely LOVES it!!! :)

I just thought this was funny. He had to write an equivalent fraction (not simplified but equivalent) so he decided to have fun with it. 10,000/20,000 = 2/4. hehe!

I'm already planning for 2014-2015 school year. Like my new planner look?

Picture day!!! Ryanne did a few poses for the camera. This is her Jazz number costume. Ignore the shoes. She doesn't wear her ballet or jazz shoes outside.

Their cousin spent the day with us. She's in the same virtual school as them and a kindergartner with Ryanne so when school was over, they had a water bottle fight. hehe!

They came back in completely soaked -- dripping with water. It was so crazy how wet they could get with a spray bottle. ;)

 Ryanne and I singing and cooking in the kitchen. I had show tunes going on through the headphones and Ryanne decided to join in the fun. :) Yes, this is how I cook. Sometimes it's show tunes and sometimes it's an audio book. ;)

Ryanne was given a dollhouse by a friend who was moving. This is the "before" picture. We're putting it together though so we'll post the "after" picture in a few months once it's finally finished. So many little details to it. I'm excited. Paul is putting together the windows and doors (and the walls and stuff) and I'm doing the shingles and the painting. Yay!

So, the kids only have school Tues, Wed, and Thurs and then they're all done. However, we have tons going on next weekend so we had an end of the year party on Friday. We ordered pizza, watched Hook and then went to sleep in the tent at 10pm. The kids loved getting to stay up late and sleeping in the tent. They decided they wanted to do it a second night. So, Saturday night they both went out there. I told them I couldn't sleep out there again. I wanted a real bed. At 10:20 Ryanne wanted to sleep in her bed. She claims her brother was too loud but I really think she was just scared. So, Collin slept the whole night in the tent all by himself. He loved it. The tent is now down though so the kids are back in regular beds tonight. :)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

School Room Makeover Part I: The Credenza

My school room sort of looks like it exploded. Before we started up this school year we got rid of the dining room table and and built a bar in our kitchen to eat at so we could have room for school. It was taking over. It has continued to take over. This is our third year of virtual school and first year with two children. We also live in a 1000 sq ft home (yes, we all share one bathroom -- I am always asked that). There isn't a lot of space to share it with a bunch of school stuff so it's gradually been taking over more and more.

This coffee table and book case is how I organized it. There also was a little plastic tower of drawers that went between them. It had all the craft stuff on it. The book case had all the text books, lit books, and story books along with letter tiles and science experiment stuff. The table had papers, notebooks, pencils...etc. on top with math manipulatives, writing prompts...etc. stored underneath it, along with the safety goggles and maps and any extras like that. It was a bit chaotic. I wanted all of this stuff to take up less room but wasn't sure how. I saw a post about a woman who got it all into a armoire and thought that would be really cool. However, looking at our stuff and at our room, there was only one place it could go (where the bookshelf is) and it would still be smashed up into our pantry just like it is now. Also, most of the ones we saw were sort of short and expensive so we decided to go a different route. My husband came up with the idea of a credenza. Again, we searched and found some cute ones but the ones that looked good and would hold all of our stuff were sooooo expensive. So, my brilliant hubby came up with an idea.

Why don't we build out own out of two of those cheapo bookshelves from Walmart and the extra wood under the carport? So, that's what we did.

 My job was to clear out all the stuff. Above is the stuff that was under the coffee table. Below was the stuff one the coffee table and the book shelf. It's a lot of stuff. I was feeling doubtful it would all fit on our soon-to-be creation along with the craft stuff in the drawer tower thingy.
 Paul arrived home with incredibly heavy boxes. I may have had to stop twice to breathe while carrying in one and Paul still took his box all the way in and then came out and got the box I had before I even made it to the carport door. Yeah, I'm working on developing upper body muscles, okay?

 We sort of followed the directions. We didn't connect the two halves quite like we were supposed to. We also screwed these shelves in (which we weren't supposed to do). Not only did we screw them in but we screwed them in at a different location. Not to mention that the thing is lying down on it's side.
 The two shelves in the middle section were done with spared wood we have. Those were also screwed in so I cannot move them. However, in the pic below you can see them, the side shelves were done with the original shelves (we just had to adjust their size a bit) and Paul made them adjustable. He added holes so I can arrange them how I want to. The picture below is with my 8 year old standing next to it so you can get an idea of it's size. It's really big! :) LOVE IT!!! Paul also used metal plate things to connect them together. We added sliders to the bottom also so nothing would scratch up out hardwood floors more than they already are. ;)
I couldn't leave those middle shelves wood. They needed color and I've already picked out my theme for next year (I'm not telling yet in case I change my mind or it doesn't work out) so I painted it to go with my theme.

 RED!!! :) Yeap... Then, I went to the Dollar Store and picked up some baskets. Below are the results.
I staggered the shelves on the sides so I could fit big things in the back of the bottom. :) LOVE IT!! We are still planning on doing more to it and to this room but we done for this weekend. YAY!!! :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Phone Purge Friday

This is just the easiest way for me to update people on my life so... here we go. :)

Happy Mother's Day to me!! :) Paul and I decided to invest in a laser printer. I print a lot. Especially with all the school stuff going on around here. Ink is so expensive that I had already given up on buying colored ink so that isn't a big sacrifice for us. I LOVE THIS THING!!! It prints so quickly and the toner is supposed to last forever!!! WOOT!!! So excited about it. (I love Paul's facial expression in this. He is looking at me like, "seriously? You're taking a picture?" LOL!

We also got a punching bag for Collin and Paul.

My Mother's Day treasures. ;)

The kids made me pizza for dinner... left is a heart and right is a smiley face.

So, on Mother's Day I am always fussed any time I try to clean. However, if I don't clean then I have to clean double on Monday. So, I stayed up until midnight so I could clean after everyone else was in bed. LOL! It makes for a better Monday morning that way. ;)

I have recommitted to the 21 Day Fix. I did three rounds of it then quit for 3 weeks and was informed I am a happier person when on it so I'm back on it. LOL!

This was a math dot game. She had to color in the dots depending on the number and make her own shape.

Monday was the kids last day of Homeschool Monday. They were so sad but they'll do it again next year. Ryanne loved that she was finally able to participate in it. :)

Water fight with Nana!!!

The teacher I am working with uses "blue tickets". She says to use anything like this and give it to the kids when they are listening well or something. At the end of the week they do a drawing with their blue tickets. The winner gets a homework pass or pencil or whatever. So... I made these. This way the kids don't beg me for more GoNoodle videos or fight over who gets to choose them. haha! They know exactly how many they can choose. They can even save them for another day if they'd like to. They love these things! :)

I have been getting weed bouquets on a daily basis. I'm enjoying them now because tomorrow the lawn is getting mowed!

Collin is learning fractions. Look! It's another activity I created.

I didn't create this compound word activity but I did get it for free from teachers pay teachers. LOVE!!!

Crazy creations with the kiddy puzzles at the library by Collin. It was a rainy day so this is what they did after getting their books instead of playing in the park. ;)

Domino math.

I am very proud of this. To increase reading fluency, I have recorded myself reading books. The camera is facing the words and my finger follows along. I also get the pictures in there between pages. The kids are then supposed to watch the video and read it with me, following along with their finger or marker (if on a touchscreen). Then, I made a book where the kids can flip through and see the book covers, a brief description of the story, and the reading level of the book in both AR and Lexile. There is also a qr code the kids can scan and it takes them right to the book recording. I am loving this. It's great when I need to work with the other child. It would work for a center or all kinds of things. LOVE!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Where Butterflies Grow

Where Butterflies Grow by Joanne Ryder

I actually got this book from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. If you have a child under 5 then I absolutely recommend joining that... a free book every month. Woot! I love free books.

The last science unit of second grade is on life cycles. We read this while learning about insect life cycles. While it doesn't give the correct terms the students learn in the unit it brings the whole process to life with very descriptive words and beautiful illustrations. The reader is told to imagine they are an egg under a leaf. Throughout the book the reader is told to imagine what it's like as they go through the life of a caterpillar and then into a butterfly. It's very beautiful and detailed. My children love it. I absolutely recommend this book for all classrooms. Like I said, it doesn't use the vocabulary terms the students use so review those as you read but it's just too beautiful not to use when studying a butterfly life cycle.

Making Words Activity

This was my last lesson I did. YAY!!! If you'd like to see more about it then click HERE. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day is not easy

Mother's Day is hard for many women. Some who desire to be a mother, some who have lost a mother, some who have lost a child, some who feel they are not what they should be and many other reasons. Mother's Day is not my favorite day of the year... not even close. I think it's great that moms are honored. They should be. We work really hard. However, often mothers are made to look unrealistic as people talk about them. They discuss how "perfect" their mothers were, making those of us struggling through being a mother feel very, very small.
For me, the hardest Mother's Day was 2004. It was the first Mother's Day after my son died.
I remember at Church they announced for all the mothers to stand so they could pass flowers around to them. I didn't stand because I felt awkward. I knew I was a mother but I had failed in that job. I didn't want others to think I was unworthy of that title because my child had died. I had failed in nurturing and protecting him. He was born to early because my womb failed. I was sitting there and suddenly those around me urged me stand up so I could accept that flower. That was uncomfortable for me too. I loved that I was being recognized as a mother but did I really deserve that title?

Today is a day when women are praised and put on a pedestal. It's horrible. It's uncomfortable. Everyone had the perfect mom... everyone makes all their children's clothing, never yells, reads books to their children every night, lets them participate in all the extra curricular activities they want, sing them songs, teach them to play instruments, are beautiful, do crafts and activities all the time...etc. Meanwhile, I'm thinking of all the things I have failed at. I was exhausted so I didn't read to my children, I keep trying to teach my children to play the piano but then we forget to do the lessons and I fail at making them practice. I yell --- yet another fail. It just goes on and on.

Last year I gave a talk on Motherhood. It's a lot of my thoughts. We work hard. We accomplish a lot. We don't accomplish everything and we make plenty of mistakes along the way but we grow. The important thing is that we love our children. In that talk I said this, "Ezra Taft Benson made this profound statement that puts great amounts of pressure on me. 'Mothers in Zion, your God-given roles are so vital to our own exaltation and to the salvation and exaltation of your family. A child needs a mother more than all the things money can buy. Spending time with your children is the greatest gift of all.'" 

The full talk can be found HERE.

I loved this talk because even if I don't get all the crafts done with my kids over the summer that I want, or have a perfectly spotless home or occasionally yell at my kids, I know that I have spent time with them and that they know I love that. I live the gospel and set an example for them and for that, I will be pleased with myself. I hope that through my children's eyes I have earned that sacred title of "mother" and will be with them for the eternities. I love being a mom and I love spending my days with them and watching them grow and learn. Happy Mother's Day.

Sorry so much school stuff....

I am sorry there has been so much school stuff. I decided to start my education blog again so I'm not annoying people getting on here to read stuff about my family. I may post some of them here as well. So, I am sorry if I annoyed people with teaching/school/education posts. If you'd like to check out my education blog, it's HERE.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Phone Purge Friday

I got one of these for K-1 grade and one for 2-3 grade. Basically, it's supposed to help prevent the "Summer Slide". I'm also working on a program to help with it as well. This book will happen two days/week. They're just worksheets and flash cards to help students remember things they learned. We have 11 weeks for summer vacation! YAY!!

This is a very popular book series in the classroom I'm working in so I ordered one of the books so I could read it. Perhaps Collin or Ryanne will as well but, yes, I ordered this and I'm currently reading it. LOL! ;)

Ryanne's ballet costume. Isn't she cute? They will be dancing to We Are The Champions by Queen.

You can tell Ryanne's tights have been through a lot this year. She has new ones for the recital but she can't wear them until AFTER the recital. ;) This is her jazz costume. They're dancing to Vogue by Madonna. Below is her routine but you have to come to the recital to see it from the front. I think Ryanne is pretty good but I'm her mom so I don't know much my opinion counts. 

The other day, this app was on sale -- FREE!!! It's Hooked on Phonics Classroom Edition and it's normally $49.99. I was so stoked I got it for free. YAY!! I barely made it. I didn't hear about it until about an hour before the sale was over but I got it and that's all that matters. ;)

 Ryanne is showing off a new kit I made her. Counting up to 30! She can count it but she gets the numbers mixed up so this has her actually writing them. I laminated the strips so she just writes in dry erase marker so I can wipe them off and she can reuse them.

 Horse shoes!! The Wolves played horseshoes after they passed off a few things in their meeting. ;)

Today I had 6 kids doing school in my house. Lots of computers and students scattered on all the flat surfaces available throughout my home. :) It was tons of fun though! Then we watched Frozen and the older ones (2nd grade +) played a game of Scrabble before heading out to the library.

One of our favorite days at the library is the Lego Club. This was the creation my kids came up with. We (meaning the grown ups) made it into the room in time for "sharing time" before picking up the kids. This is when the kids explain what they created. It was so interesting watching my son just jump right in willingly and explain what was going on. haha! Apparently public speaking is not a problem for him. ;)

 Library park -- so how many kids can you fit on this thing? haha!!!