Friday, May 31, 2013

our homeschool room {aka our old dining room}

So about halfway through the year I decided that I wanted to have one room where most
of our learning materials could be stored and displayed... a room that felt happy and inviting.
Our dining room was rarely ever used as a place to eat- we eat in the huge kitchen- so I shoved the dining room table against the wall and made John carry all the chairs out to the garage.  And then I slowly began transforming the space.  We love it now and the kids and I hang out in there a lot.  It is cheerful and cozy- full of so many wonderful, enriching books, games, and learning materials.
It may look a bit busy but we like that- and since the room is so small it is difficult to have all the things we want out without it getting full.  For awhile we had a teepee in there but it took up too much space so we adjusted and redecorated again.  Much better now... the teepee can go up in the backyard for the summer.  I know that as time goes by there will be more revisions but this is what it looks like right now and it works perfectly for us!

This is our BIRD BASKET.   We have bird books, flashcards, stuffed bird friends, and binoculars in it.
We use this stuff A LOT.  We LOVE birds!

This is a chair that my friend Amber gave me to sell at our yard sale this summer.  I put it in the house for now- I may keep it in here, I may sell it and put a different chair here... haven't decided yet!
One thing is for sure- reading chairs get a lot of use in this room!

This little table holds all things related to nature.  In fact, since I took this picture, the bottom shelf now holds specimens from nature- a nest, robins' eggs, shells, ect.  We find things all the time and my mom is also THE BEST collector- she shared a bunch of her loot with us a while back and we've saved it all.

This is the butterfly section.

And this is the pond/general nature section(with the butterfly flip book thrown in. :) 

Here is our other reading chair- I found it on the curb one day and left the cushions(they were gross).  I bought what I believe is a dog bed at TJ Max last year to fit on it perfectly and just threw the pretend sheepskin on the back, as well as a homemade pillow and Mickey's ugly doll.  I got the chevron ottoman/floor cushion at TJ Max last year too.
The basket on the floor next to the chair is currently holding all of our spring related books.

Above the chair on the wall is more bird-related stuff- posters and a good pair of binoculars(that were my Uncle Tony's- happily we use them all the time) and a bird call one of the boys got from Santa this past Christmas.

This white dresser was also found on the curb a few years ago.  It still needs knobs and pulls and it's kind of smushed up in the corner of the room(probably should come out) but it holds quite a bit of stuff so it's easier to leave it there right now.

Jeffrey's keyboard lives in this room too(there's nowhere else for it right now) and besides we like listening to him practice! :)

Here is our poetry bin- I want to do a whole separate post on this another time...
we've discovered many great poetry books and Mickey in particular spends a lot of time reading, writing and illustrating poems.

This hutch was one of the first(if not THE first) pieces of furniture John and I bought as a married couple.  It works well to hold art supplies and is also the perfect height for the
kids to look through the microscope.
Sometimes I think about selling it or painting it but haven't done either yet. 

This wall displays some of Mary Beth's artwork from last year. 

This basket is full of Egypt-related books and supplies.  My parents put it together for the kids as one of their Christmas presents and we LOVE it.  The kids look through it all the time and works on activities.  And in the fall Mickey has a big lesson about Ancient Egypt and we will dive in even more.

I love organizing our books by category as much as possible.  It just makes it so much easier to find what we are looking for and I find that the books get looked at way more this way.

Well, the tour isn't done yet so stay tuned for more pictures tomorrow! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jeffrey's Spring Piano Recital

Tonight was Jeffrey's piano recital and he did SO good!

Here is his duet with his teacher... My Heart Will Go On.

Jeffrey and his teacher- he has really enjoyed taking lessons from her this year.

Emma has the same piano teacher and performed on the same night so that was fortunate for all of us!

Of course we had to celebrate with Dairy Queen afterwards!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mickey was in a {one act} play!


Mickey took an acting class at Fargo Moorhead Community Theater- it was a One Act Play class and they did The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  He was Edmond.  It was really short but he was SO good and I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom either.  :)  All of his friends from the neighborhood came to watch- it was so sweet.  It meant so much to him.  I got teary-eyed...
He is the only one that dressed the part(which we were quite surprised about that!) and he remembered all of his lines... as well as all of the other 2 characters' lines!  He had to help them quite a few times.
Most importantly Mickey had fun and really enjoyed the class.  Maybe he found a new talent??
We were so proud of him!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Planet Comparisons & a Picnic


Today Mickey was studying the planets in Science and one of the suggested activities was to do a planet comparison with objects around the house.  Happily, it was a warm day outside so we all decided to head to the backyard and the 3 kids worked on the activity together(this happens often).  We had to make a couple of substitutions(we couldn't find an acorn) but we made it work and it was very interesting and educational.  The kids had the order of the planets memorized in no time and we noticed how small the planets closest to the Sun were... then they get large in the middle... and get smaller again further out.  I never realized that before!  One of the things I love about homeschooling(among MANY) is all the things I am learning along with the kids!  So cool...

We decided eating lunch outside from a real picnic basket was in order and the weather couldn't have been more beautiful!  After the winter we had we are soaking up every drop of sun we can get!

I read to them from The Five Little Peppers after lunch(outside of course!) and then they played the rest of the afternoon.  I love these days with my kiddos!
Oh, and I had to include this.  We believe this is a Red-Breasted Grouse Beak.  I love it's coloring and they've been hanging out a lot lately.  I finally got a picture(even if it is fuzzy)!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

look who won the bookmark contest!!

We found out on April 9th, just as we were walking into Target
so I told him he could get a celebratory icee. :)
He was soooo excited and happy that he won.  I said wow, you won a quite a few things now in your life already and he said "Yeah, but I've never won anything that was going to make me famous like this!"
The library will be turning his bookmark illustration into a real, professional bookmark and they will be distributed at all of the Fargo Public Library branches in town.  So yes, I guess he is famous!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

We love Cinco de Mayo around here!  I really wanted to have another big party this year but tomorrow is our home visit by our social worker for our home study and the day was spent cleaning.  Also- parties are expensive!  So hopefully we can bring it back next year- I know everyone had a great time last year and the kids love it so I really want to try and make it an annual event if possible.
We still celebrated today though- bean tacos, margaritas, homemade spanish rice by Mary Beth and John(it was delicious!) and homemade tortillas from our local authentic Mexican store La Unica.  Sooooo good!  It was a fun night and a very busy cleaning day but we are all ready for our final home study meeting and excited to move along in our adoption process!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Kite Day!

Today we took the kids to Kite Day at Ed Clapp Park in Fargo.  It was sponsored by the Fargo Parks and Rec and there was free hot dogs, pop, and kites!  Thank goodness we got there early because I guess they run out of all of that fairly quickly since it is such a popular event.  We brought our neighbor, Norah, with us- poor Emma was home sick with the flu. :(  We snagged her a kite though!
As you can see from the pictures, it was FA-REEZING out and very windy.  We were determined to make the best of it though and we did!

A couple of the kites flew REALLY well so the kids took turns with those.
The free kites were actually a very decent quality and made of nylon so that was a nice surprise!

There were so many really cool kites there- I know this picture didn't capture that very well...

After about 1/2 hour or so of flying, the kids began migrating over to the playground and that's when the stunts began!

I had 2 jackets on(one of which was my winter coat), a scarf, mittens, and a hat... I was still cold.
The kids did this jumping thing for about an hour.  They would jump and then run to me to view it on my phone, laugh & remark about how it "was a good one" and then make their plans to do it again.  I wish I had brought my big camera but they still turned out pretty cool.
After this we went to the library(which was right by the park) to warm up and get some books-
it turned out to be a pretty fun kite day after all despite the cold.