Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Artist Study: Van Gogh

Our artist for January was Vincent Van Gogh!

Jack recognized several of his paintings, and even Alice recognized this one, since it's in our bedroom.

Jack really enjoyed the book on the right and also the Getting to Know... DVD.

A few other books we have on Van Gogh. Alice really enjoys the Touch the Art books.

I picked both of these up at our museum gift shop.

I picked this book up at a Scholastic sale a while back and we have used it quite a bit!

I will confess that I thought about getting some oil paints for the kids to try out, but things have been so hectic lately that I couldn't bring myself to add that into the mix. We always like oil pastels, though!

Our original purpose in going to the museum last week was to see a Van Gogh. After a while, I couldn't find it and asked someone, only to find out that it had been on loan and had been returned. There is a Van Gogh at the museum we used to go to in Norman, though, so he has seen a Van Gogh, even if he doesn't remember it! We did find this painting that had a lot of similar qualities to Van Gogh's paintings!

A few other resources:

"I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart." ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fun Friday: Time to Live

Today we went to the museum. There was a specific purpose for the trip that didn't quite work out as I'd planned (more on that next week), but we had a good time anyway.

We spent lots of time playing in the gardens.

We found raccoon tracks!

We even found one of the museum cats!

We took our lunch to the arboretum and ran some more.

Alice even managed to get herself in a tree.

And the boys had a great time playing some kind of game--I never quite now what they're playing, but it involves sticks and sneaking.

I'm so thankful today for some time just to live!


{Find planning ideas here!}

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

President of the Week

A few months ago, Jack started memorizing the presidents. He was learning them using the Mouthwash Method--the same way he learned his multiplication tables. While he swishes his mouthwash, Jay says the list of presidents. After he spits, he repeats them back. Obviously they had not gotten through all of the presidents since I'm pretty sure Jack couldn't swish that long.

Jay had taught Jack a few important facts about the ones they had learned and had mentioned maybe doing some reading with him about them. I went so far as to dig out my stash of president books, but then we kind of fizzled. Around December, though, I came up with the idea of learning about one president each week and was excited to find that there was just enough time to cover them all before the election in November--really with a week to spare since I was giving Grover Cleveland two separate weeks in my calculations.

So what are we doing? For starters, we have the nifty display you see above. This doesn't do a whole lot, but it is important because it keeps me from fizzling out. Some people I know in real life read this blog, and if it were April and they came over and say, Martin Van Buren was still up, I would be embarrassed. If it's right in front of me, I'll keep up with it. (I got the pictures from a book we got on a vacation to Washington DC when I was 8. I tore them all out and laminated them while watching The Help, which was good, but not nearly as good as the book.) We're reading a book or two about the president, watching a DVD if we can find one, and filling out a flap book from Homeschool Share to put in his notebook.

There's no way I'm going to be able to keep up with listing the books each week, but I will let you know when I find some gems. I have several books telling about all of the presidents so I almost passed this one up when I saw it at the bookstore, but I went ahead and got it. Jack has really enjoyed reading through it and was especially excited to find a mistake--Lyndon Johnson is between Kennedy and Nixon, but for some reason it says he is the 43rd president.

The Declaration of Independence came up last week since we were learning about Thomas Jefferson, so I pulled out this great book I used to use with my fifth graders. It is the actual text taken phrase by phrase and illustrated to make it easier to understand. Much of it was still over Jack's head, but he got the gist of it.

We're also trying to have one of the president of the week's favorite foods! Some are pretty easy, like pancakes (Jefferson) or ice cream (Washington, Jefferson, Madison). I'm not sure what we'll do when we get to William Henry Harrison, who liked squirrel stew and hard cider.

If I come across a craft, we'll do that, too. I found these cute George Washington faces on Pinterest. There's not a whole lot of Rutherford B. Hayes craft blogs out there, though, so we'll see how that goes.

Other stuff:

Here's my Pinterest Board of things I've found on the presidents.

Already sick of hearing negative political ads? Check out these awesome attack ads from the early 1800s.

Jack has really enjoyed the Getting to Know books and DVDs by Mike Venezia. We've also used some of these in our artist studies.

And finally, my latest review at Homeschool Share is on So You Want to Be President!

If you know of any great picture books on any of the lesser-known presidents (in other words, not Washington or Lincoln!), I would love to hear about them!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The 100th Day of School!

Today was our 100th day of school!

I let the kids play on the playground after speech briefly. Sorry to any teachers whose kids were watching out the window!

My mom called and asked if we wanted to meet her for lunch.

After PE, we wrapped up our celebrations with Cherry Berry!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fun Friday: Penguin Day

Just in case you weren't already aware of it, January 20 is Penguin Day, and since we are currently in the middle of the Mr. Popper's Penguins unit, I thought it would be a good day to head to the zoo.

At the beginning of the week, the meteorologists were saying it would be 64 and sunny. Instead it was in the upper 30s with clouds and drizzle. The penguins even seemed to be chilly! On the bright side, we had the zoo pretty much to ourselves.

Alice wanted to be as tall as the Emperor Penguin and didn't believe me when I told her she would be one day.

Alice found a zookeeper in one of the cages!

He was nice enough to bring a snake out for all the kids to feel.

I'm pretty sure Jack is going to see mad monkey faces in his dreams tonight. These guys were going bonkers right up at the glass.

One more, just because it made me laugh!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fun Friday: Warm Up

Today we met friends at Gilcrease. We hadn't been since May and Jack wanted to play in the gardens again. Thankfully it has warmed up a bit since yesterday.

Alice was happy to find a little bit of snow left over.

We went to lunch and Jack was disappointed to see they weren't giving out Chipmunk toys anymore, so he took the superhero toy to the counter and told them he had the offer of their lives for them--his toy for one of the Chipmunk toys in the display case. They actually took him up on it, much to his delight. They've set a pretty high standard in his mind for McDonald's workers!

Happy Friday!

(Check out thoughts on being social here.)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Less Than a Week Later...

Remember last week? Last night we got a dusting of snow. When Alice got up a little after 5:00 this morning, she was dying to go out in it. I finally let her out around 7:15 and she was giddy, even if the wind chill was 9. Seems she doesn't remember this or this or this. Thankfully it's supposed to be back to 60 by Sunday!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Little Things

Hello, there.

It's only the second week of the year and I already feel behind on things. There are several things I want to write about, but for now I will make it quick and tell you five little things I did last year that vastly improved my life.

1. Parking in the garage The only time I've consistently parked in a garage was when we lived in Omaha, but somehow walking five minutes through snow to get to the garage took the fun out of it. I imagine that in heaven we can all park in a garage. It's that good.

2. Sock basket We don't wear socks in the house. My kids don't like to go upstairs by themselves. These two things make it hard to get out of the house in good time because someone (and sometimes it's me) has always forgotten to bring socks down and then no one wants to go up and get them. Finally I put a basket by the washer and every time socks come out of the dryer, they go in the basket. We always go out the door by the laundry room, so the socks are always right there. It's awesome.

3. Lamps in dining room Our old house was small and very open. You could have two lamps on and light the whole living and dining area. Not the case in this house. I spent $20 on two lamps at WalMart and it was like taking a whole bottle of Prozac. I love lights! Someday we will get around to putting things on the walls, but now that these lamps are there, I really don't care when.

4. Extra beaters I don't like a heavy hand mixer. I always buy the $6 mixers at WalMart. The problem is, they don't last very long, so I usually buy a couple at a time so I don't get stuck in the middle of making something with no mixer. The last time I had to toss one I forgot to throw out the beaters. Later I was making two things that had to be mixed and I realized that I didn't have to wash the beaters in between; I could just put in the other set of beaters. I know that makes me sound like the laziest person in the world, but it's really fabulous.

5. Saying no The older I get, the more introverted I become, but I still suffer from this condition that causes me to sign up for things without really thinking it through. This year, though, I tried to slow down and I even said no to some things. I'm even thinking of things to say no to next fall. It's nice.

I hope you're having a terrific 2012. I hope to have my Word of the Yer post done sometime soon, but in the mean time, you should check out Amber's Mind*Body*Soul Challenge!

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago today we brought home two cats, Biscuit and Boris.

Boris was our baby long before we had babies.

Happy, happy tenth Bobey Day, Boris! We love you!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fun Friday: Beautiful Weather

It was 72 degrees today. 72. On January 6. You just can't stay inside on a day like that.

We headed to the park.

We took my grandma and my aunt with us.

Alice finally really took up with my aunt, who is also an Alice, though no one ever calls her that.

Even though the weather is like spring, there's still plenty of winter static around.

I'm so glad we can take long recesses like this!

We've been reviewing this week, but we start back in full force Monday. Check out my post on starting back at Metro Family and this cute penguin mini-unit we'll be using from the teacher wife!

Happy Friday!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Break

I'm sad to say that our break comes to an end tomorrow. There's been lots of hot chocolate.

Lots of Legos.

And lots of bike riding. I can't tell you how much she loves that bell.

We spent a day at the science museum with friends.

Alice loved the new house exhibit.

The painting was her favorite!

I hope you had a great break, too!