Friday, April 27, 2012

A monarch chrysalis!
In Homeschool This Week: Spring time here in Central Texas doesn't last very long. It goes from spring to summer quickly so we have really made time to enjoy nature this spring. It has been an amazing year so far. We have more butterflies and bugs than ever before......or maybe we are just noticing more. We spend some time observing and then Bodie writes in his journal about the things we have discovered. It's so much more fun to see these things in real life then just as a picture in a book. Here are some great things we've been able to observe. This year there have been tons of monach chrysalis everywhere in our pasture. When we found this one we made a point to try to watch it every day so we could see it when it came out. I'm mad at myself because I got a great picture of it the day it hatched, while still completely encased and I deleeted it by accident. So here is the blurry version, but you can at least see the color change. It went from bright green to clear with the colors of the wings showing through.

I wish now that we had stayed and watched the butterfly actually emerge, but I wasn't sure how long it would be. About an hour later I went back outside to look and it was already out and on the ground. It's wings were still really wet though so we were able to watch it for a while.

how cool is this?
 After a while Brylee got her hair close to the butterfly and it climbed right on . She was so excited. She thought it was going to be able to live there forever!

On to the next thing. Every spring we have dew berries that grow on our fence line. There are never too many, but the kids get excited every year. Between three kids we never make it back to the house with any left. They aren't quite as sweet as blackberries or as big but good just the same. I could make a pretty mean cobbler with them if we ever had any left over. 

Picking berries requires team work. This was Brooke's first year to eat dew berries. Every time her little mouth got empty she would squak and Brylee would fill her up again.

There is just so much to learn from observing nature and so much to talk about. It is a great way to teach them how all things work together and how everything has a function and purpose.

 Lady bugs are everywhere this year! Brylee loves it. She catches them and puts them in the garden. Need to think about getting a ladybug house.

another monarch chrysalis

Ladybug pupa

 Here are some other great things we have 
 been able to observe.

We get down in the dirt to observe somethings. We look over and under and in things......

some serious observing.

And sometimes........

we have to even get a bird's eye view!

learning to observe things just like brother and sister.

Bodie's journal entry about butterflies.

The Homeschool Mother's Journal
The Homeschool Mother

Creepy Critters and More

In Our Lives This Week: Let's just say I had more excitement than I need or want to have for a long long time. While reading to my kids I heard a scratching sound coming from under my sink. When I opened my cabinet my son yelled" It's a rat!" When I bent down on his level I saw two beady eyes looking at me. After slamming the door and jumping back my brain registered the fact that that was no rat!!! I had a baby oppossum under my sink. I can't describe the amount of horror I felt on realizing what was under the sink. A rat certainly would have been bad but this seemed a lot worse. Thankfully I have great neighbors that are always up for gross things. They came over with a cat carrier and gloves. I could not believe she was just going to grab that thing with her hands! She did!

learned about the pull of magnets
In Homeschool This Week:  Not a terribly exciting week this week as we are getting closer to finishing up. My creativity has been a little stale because we are trying to buckle down so we can get finished on time. But here are a few fun things we did:

Sensory play

a little paint fun.

Places We Went: I haven't been anywhere without my kids in a super long long time. Decided to fly up to Washington and visist my friend, Chris, who just had a baby a few weeks ago. I enjoyed it so much. I flew into Portland and drove the rest of the way. It was beautiful......and quiet! 
Mt. Hood

how beautiful is she?

The mountains reminded me of Colorado. I love Texas, but miss the mountains.

Such a sweet baby, it's hard to believe mine were that small not so long ago.


This guy was such a sweetie, never hardly made a fuss. I guess after recovering from Ecoli life looks pretty good to him.

Charlese and Sienna

I enjoyed their sweet spirits. Charlese enjoyed trying to gross me out.......she succeeded a few times. Sienna reminds me of Chris.
last but not least, one super tired but beatiful mom!

poor guy
Other Fun Things: Spring time means there are a lot of things going on around our place. We are raising Boer goats as a way to bring in some extra income and let the land benefit us somehow. It was time to give annual shots, trim hooves, and band the boys.

they knew somethng was up

takin down the big guy.

All in all a pretty good week here!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

You can't tell in this picture, but these were Pelicans. (tons of them)
In Our Lives This Week: Spring is here. We have had some really great rains that have made our garden explode. If it keeps up maybe we will actually get some crops this year. We sprayed our weeds and our grass in the pasture is taking off and growing good. The weather can't be more beautiful right now. We are trying to get out in it as much as we can knowing the heat wave is right around the corner. Here are a few pictures depicting spring time.

Out tomatoes, peppers, and beans(background) are really taking off.

In School This Week: In my last blog I had bought butterfly nets for the kids, not knowing that our letter of the week was going to tie in so well.
We put butterfly stickers on all the N letters. It turned out cute!
It ended up being a very fun week for Brylee. She loves butterflies and bugs.

shadow matching

Brylee has learned most of her colors and knows the Abc song now. She can indentify most of her letters. We are still working on the sounds they make and her counting. So we decided to make a counting chart with bugs and butterflies. 
 Here we are putting the numbers on her chart. She is still learning that they actually have an order to go in. I called out a number and she would have to pick it out of the pile. Then I would see if she knew what came next. After we got all the numbers glued down, then came the fun part!

 Of course her favorite part was picking out which stickers to put on her chart. Mom's favorite part was having her show me the ones that matched and counting the bugs together!

 Since we were doing Math you would think I would have counted the stickers ahead of time.  Let me tell you I was sweating as we got to the end, afraid I wasn't going to have enough stickers.
Cheshire cat!

Here are a few more things we did:

color chart

Other things we did: Bodie had his President's challenge again this year. What a difference a year makes. Although he did not make the times in all five challenges, he tried harder and had more focus this year. 
 For someone who likes to lecture his three year old sister on the proper way to do a pushup, I am amused to get this picture. Get that butt down, Bodie!

The shuttle run   

 Here they are lining up for the stretch. Each age has to reach a certain distance with their hands and hold it to the count of three.

 Here they are lined up for the quarter mile. Bodie made this in 2 mins 19 seconds, passing this event. Last year he walked the last half, talking to a girl. 

The pushups and situps: He got no where close to the needed amount. He will not get a president's challenge award, but will get a participaters award like he did last year. He had fun and worked hard at it. 

I haven't gotten any picture's of Bodie's work lately so I'll try to focus on that for my next blog. He is doing really well. This year I have more freedom to work with Brylee because his focusing power is better. I can explain something and he is able to work on it independently some. This is going to prove invaluable in the coming years with Brylee taking on more work and Brooke coming up behind as well. I love that Bodie will sit down and read to both of his sisters. Today I was showing Brooke a tree and we were touching the bark. He started right in explaining to her that the bark protects the tree and telling her what kind of tree it is. It is sweet and those are moments I cherish.

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