The Little Rabbit {BFIAR}


This week we 'rowed' The Little Rabbit by Judy Dunn.
This one was extra special to me because I remember it well from when I was a child!
I always loved the real life pictures it contained and the fact that it was about a little girl who had a pet of her own.
Oh, how I wanted my very own pet!
(Which I eventually got.)
So I knew Piper and Taitum would love it too.
Especially Piper.
The day that girl gets her first *real* pet will be an exciting day!


We did some color matching with this story.
This was a suggested activity from the Before Five In A Row manual.
I would point out various colors in the book and Pipe would dig through the crayon box and find the corresponding color.
This ended up being way more fun than it sounds.
It took several tries each time to find the perfect match.
And Piper was very exact about finding just the right color match!




In the story, the rabbit has babies.
This was the girls' favorite part of the whole story!
I figured this was a good time to use some mother and baby match cards I'd seen at 1+1+1=1!
I printed them off and grouped them on the floor into mothers, babies, and names.
The girls took turns picking a mother animal and finding her baby.
Piper would find the animal name by figuring out the beginning sound.
This also was a good chance to teach what the babies of various animals are called.






The Little Rabbit is unique in that all the illustrations are photographs!
Piper made up her own story this week and used her camera to take photos of the story.
She loved doing this!
I'll share her story on my next post!


We visited the seniors' home where my grandfather lives and my mom works.
This provided an opportunity for the girls to see a real rabbit - Peter, one of the pets who lives at the home.
They especially liked seeing how his nose wiggled just like the rabbit in the story!



One of our AAR lessons this week was the phonetic sound for V.
As a result, we happened upon volcanos!
The girls had no idea what a volcano was so we took some time to learn about them!
I showed them youtube videos of ones in Hawaii erupting since their grandparents are headed there next month.
Piper got a little upset thinking Nana and Boppa were going to get hurt by volcanos while away.
Poor girl!
It took some explaining to convince her that they will be just fine and she did end up calling them to warn them just in case they didn't know about volcanos!

She ended up changing her mind about volcanos once we made our own!
The girls were in awe of the little eruption they made and repeated it over and over and over!




After numerous eruptions, they spent some time messing around with baking soda, vinegar and pipets while I got supper ready!
This is seriously a great way to keep kids occupied for a LONG time!



Finally, on Saturday night I made lava cakes since we were having company over.
It was a delicioius finale to our foray into the world of volcanos!






That was most of our week!
Taitum also focused on the color yellow.
My plan is to spend a week on each color by doing simple activities with her.
She's is doing well with her colors but I want her to really get them down pat!

Next week is a busy week for us so instead of moving onto another BFIAR book we are going to continue to look at rabbits using the book Rabbits and Raindrops by Jim Arnosky.
It was recommended in the manual as a complimentary book to The Little Rabbit and was available at the library.
Also, we will be finishing up our All About Reading Pre-1 program!

The Star!






She sure is!

(1 of 3 - the other 2 refused to wear a bib! Haha!)

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First Pet(s)

Do you remember your first pet?
And just how excited you were about it?
There is something special about being given the responsibility of looking after a creature and having it live in your house!
My girls love animals and pretty much every other creature you can think of (except for maybe giant snails...hehehe...).
So when I informed them they were going to get their very own pet pets this last Saturday, they were ecstatic.

Especially Pipey who probably has more maternal instincts than I do!
So what woud their very first pets be?


Praying mantids!



I know.
Not exactly conventional.
Nonetheless, the girls were over the moon!
They have yet to hatch and have taken up residence in our bathroom awaiting their birth day.
Oh the anticipation.
The things I do in the name of education.
I can't even watch the youtube video of them hatching without wanting to throw up.
True story.
But they are exceptionally cool.
(And I hear they eat spiders so they can't be all bad, right?)

We've already had some issues though.
I'm preparing Piper beforehand by warning her that they will likely eat each other when they hatch.
It's how they're made, what they do.
But this girl cries when I kill the ants that invade my kitchen every spring.
She's sweetly sensitive about these things.
She's quite adamant about the fact that brothers and sisters should not each other.
Even if they are carnivorous insects.
Sigh.
This could end in disaster.
At least Tait, I'm sure, will find it absolutely rivetting!

Well, I'm off to see if a plethora of bugs have hatched in my bathroom yet!

But a word to the wise -
if your kid is as sensitive as my Piper, don't show them the praying mantis and goldfish video...

Moments to Remember: Little Sister and Snail Mail

Moments to Remember was developed as a simple way to look back on our week as homeschoolers and find photos that encompass the memories we want to remember.
 
The week may have been tough, there may have been more bumps than smiles, but in the end these are the moments that keep us going, the ones we need to remember.







This past week involved two memorable moments.
First, Renly as the new in house observer!
Once upon a time this was Taitum's favorite past time - sitting in the high chair, watching her big sister work away on school things.
Now Renly is utterly enjoying these moments, watching her big sisters' every move!
Look out for more and more such appearances!



Second is the excitement of new curriculum arriving in the mail!
Pipe was so excited when the FedEx guy came to the door.
She is beginning to understand that his arrival usually means new school stuff for her which excites her to no end!
She doesn't look overly thrilled in the pic but this is due to the fact that she was investigating her new workbooks and didn't want to be pulled away from what she was doing to smile at the camera! Haha!
I'm so glad she shares my enthusiasm about such things!

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Soap Nuts and Dryer Balls

It's Earth Day.
I like the earth.
But to be honest, I'm not the best at being earth friendly.
I am trying really, really hard to change that though.

Want another confession?
I have an easier time doing the things that don't just benefit the earth but also save me money.
Am I a terrible person?
Oh well.
I 'm trying and if a little ulterior motivation is what it takes, than so be it!

Quite the intro to my save the earth/save some money post, huh?!

This one is all about laundry.
And has a whole background story to boot!

It all began when I began using cloth diapers (a story for another day).
The thing with cloth diapers is that you can't wash them with just any ol' detergent.
Thus began my search for the detergent that worked best for us.

To make a long story short, I came across EcoNuts on Baby Half Off and loved how well they worked for washing cloth diapers.
Fast forward to this winter as I was preparing for the arrival of a new baby.
I am generally a little majorly paranoid about chemicals being on my baby's skin.
I figured usng EcoNuts was the best option for washing the new baby's clothes.
But why stop there?
I began washing all our laundry with the EcoNuts.
Clean clothes, no headache inducing scents, no paranoia!



Here's how they work:




And in terms of cost effectiveness, check out this chart!
Yes, yes - they're eco-friendly, too!
You can simply throw those used EcoNuts into your compost...if you do that kinda thing...

In the meantime, I'd been looking into a cost effective way to control all the static.
I have to buy the hypoallergenic, scent-free ones since the smelly ones give me awful headaches.
Of course, they are the most expensive ones!

My search lead me to dyer balls.
But dryer balls are usually about $10 apiece and to work effectively you need 6 or so.
Granted, they last forever but I just couldn't bring myself to fork out $60 for the things!

Enter my good friend Andrea.
She was there with loads of info when I entered the world of cloth diapering and shares many of my domestic interests.
Anyhow, without me even mentioning that I'd been looking into dryer balls she had gone and made me a few!
That's right - she made them!
Here are some pics she took of the process:

Materials: an old wool sweater, wool yarn, pantyhose


Cut sweater into scrap pieces.
Twist into ball.
Wrap the ball tightly with yarn.
Tie tightly and separately into leg of pantyhose.
Wash on hot.
Dry completely.




And voila!

Goodbye dryer sheets, hello dryer balls!



You can read more about the process here and here!

They work wonderfully and are about as earth friendly as you can get!
Give them a try!
They are well worth the effort!

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

The ABC Bunny {BFIAR}


This week we 'rowed' The ABC Bunny by Wanda Gag.
The girls loved this book and it provided lots of different things to learn about and discover together!



"F for Frog - he's fat and funny.
"Looks like rain," says he to Bunny.""


Quite simple but delightfully fun!
Fill a jar half full with water.
Add shaving cream to the top.
Provide a pipet and colored water.
Instruct them to add the water to the top of the 'cloud' using the pipet.



It made for a very pretty rainfall!



And ended with some beautiful designs on the paper towel!
(Piper spent so much time with this! First, the Cloud in the Jar. Then adding the water to the paper towel. Finally, mixing the cups of water to see what colors they would make when mixed together!)



"P for prickly Porcupine. Pins and needles on his spine."

Playdough and toothpicks = oodles of porcupine fun!




"I for insects here and there.
J for Jay with jaunty air."

I filled a tub with birdseed (a treat for the jays!), toy insects and a foam alphabet.
The girls went right to town searching for letters ad insects, scooping and pouring the seeds.
The best part?
We got to do it outside in the beautiful sunshine!



Piper figured out the beginnning sounds for each of the animals in the book and added a clothespin to the corresponding letter in record time!
Seriously, this kid knows her letter sounds!
(Printables from Homeschool Creations)


"H for Hail!"

This little game from Homeschool Creations kept these two busy for a LONG time!
They would roll the dice and then add the correct number of 'hailstones' to a print out of the little bunny and a cloud!




"O for Owl with bookish look."

We painted and assembled the cutest little toilet paper roll owls!
This also lead to a discussion about nocturnal animals.
Piper was blown away by the thought that there are creatures that sleep during the day but are awake all night! 



"L for Lizard - look how lazy."

A field trip to the pet store to observe some lizards....



"K for Kitten, catnip-crazy"

And to buy some catnip for a beloved kitty!







"M for Mealtime - munch, munch, munch!
Mmm! these greens are good for lunch."

We made some kale chips so we could munch on greens, too!

The girls tore the kale into pieces and placed them on the baknig sheet.


Then they sprayed them with oil.


Sprinkled, er, dumped salt on them.



And taste tested them....
They weren't so fond of their 'greens'!
But I was proud of them for trying!
If anything, they found the process of making them enjoyable!


We also listened to the song that accompanies the book.
They had fun dancing around and doing their twirly girly thing while listening to it!






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Mommy's Little Multitasker

Taitum got the lovely job of scrubbing it clean.
(Much to her delight. Really.)


 
She figured she'd kill two birds with one stone.



Clean pot, clean curls!
This girl knows how to multitask!

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Banana Coconut Oatmeal {Slow Cooker}

My kids love breakfast.
They wake up with the hugest of appetites.
They shovel all their food in and more often than not, ask for more.
It's nice since it kinda balances the other meals out.
You know - the ones with the "I don't like that"s.
The thing is, I get bored with the same ol' thing every morning.
So I try to change it up each day.
Toast, eggs, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal.
We do it all.
But let's face it - with a 3 month old in tow sometimes anything more elaborate than Cheerios doesn't get doled out to my hungry little monsters!
Then I saw this on Pinterest:





Eureka!
An oatmeal that cooks as you sleep and is ready when you wake up!
And the banana coconut flavour intrigued me.
Saturday night I hauled out the necessary ingredients...



Threw them into my slow cooker...



And would you believe it?
Yummy oatmeal waiting for me when I stumbled into the kitchen that morning!



Now, before you get too excited, there was a bit of negative feedback.

1 - my husband was expecting a sweet, dessert-like breakfast. This is not it. In fact, you have to add some brown sugar to the top of it just like any other oatmeal.
2 - The recipe calls for sliced bananas. Piper had issues with the chunks of cooked banana. I wasn't a fan either. Next time, they will be mashed!
3 - The bottom of it burned because, well, around here we sleep for more than 7 hours. (Please don't hate me!) If this isn't a problem for you, the bottom of your pot should be just fine!

Overall, I found it to be quite the early morning treat!
 Next, we are going to give the Apple Cinnamon flavour a try!

For a more dessert-like oatmeal try the irresistible Baked Oatmeal Recipe!

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I love motherhood.

We're a smiling family.

I'm a covenant keeper.

I love my husband.

I am above self pity.

I am a nation builder.

Motherhood=Adventure

Worth more than rubies.


“I am more convinced than ever that even in the midst of the mundane, burdensome, and oftentimes frustrating tasks of life allotted to me as a mother, God wants me to find his joy. He wants every single day of my life to be a celebration of his blessings, whether large or small. He wants me to celebrate life ~ the life He has given me.”

~ Sally Clarkson







My Hubby

My Hubby
He's my bestest.

Piper

Piper
She is my compassionate, dramatic, fun to be around 6 year old. She loves to shop, get dressed up fancy and anything else that screams girly!

Taitum

Taitum
She is my goofy, snuggly 4 year old who loves to sing and dance and smile all day long!

Renly

Renly
She is our one year old smarty pants! She does all she can to keep up with her older sisters and to keep them in line!

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