Very Last First Time {FIAR}

Considering that we were in the midst of a cold snap, the book couldn't have been introduced at a better time!
Although when I explained to the girls that Ungava Bay has temperatures even colder than our own part of Canada they refused to believe me! Haha!

Very Last First Time is about a young Inuit girl named Eva who goes under the sea ice when the tide is out to collect mussels.
This time though she goes for the very first time all by herself on this dangerous mission.

Social Studies:

First of all we watched a video of this mussel seeking tradition in real life.
I had never heard of this before reading this book.
It's rather incredible!

Piper colored in Canada and we found Ungava Bay on our big wall map.

We talked about doing things for the first time and how that makes us feel.
I told them stories about driving a car by myself for the first time and becoming a mom for the first time.
I asked Piper what she looked forward to doing on her own for the first time.
Her answer: Going to the mall by myself.
Of course!

Language Arts:

There are many action words in this story so I had the girls dramatize each one.
We've done this before and it always proves to be a blast.
Also, it is a wonderful way of explaining words that may be new to them.


Both girls did a polar bear painting that was a lot of fun since it included different steps.
You can get full instructions at That Artist Woman (my FAVORITE children's art blog!!).

Piper also made this paper Inuit girl to display on the front of her lapbook.

We took some time to watch some videos on Inuit life.
We decided to try our hand at it with some soap and a few tool recommendations I found here.
This proved to be a very enjoyable and relaxing activity!


I taught Piper about ordinal numbers.
We practiced them using a polar animal game I found.
I lined the animals up under numbers I'd written out on Piper's file folder.
Then I read a clue for an animal.
Once she figured out which animal it was I would ask her what place that animal was in.
This ended up being a lot of fun and we played it several times!
Piper also played a math computer game at that focused on ordinal numbers.


I'm a little squeamish around sea food so I asked my Mom to help me out since I felt it was necessary for the girls to get their hands on some mussels and really understand what they were.
She happily obliged and we had a fun afternoon with the girls' Nana and Boppa exploring and taste testing mussels!
(Thanks for the new experience, Nana and Boppa!)

Final verdict: 
Piper spit hers back out in disgust.
Taitum gobbled hers right up and claims she likes them.
Mama admitted they were not quite as bad as she thought they were going to be but she'd NEVER risk her life to get some from under the ice!

We took some time the next day to learn some facts about mussels.

Piper also cut out some pictures of the creatures Eva finds in the tide pool while exploring under the ice.
(Both of these printables are from Homeschool Share.)

In our Elemental Science curriculum we were learning about crystals and our experiment was to grow some Borax crystals.
We decided to make ours a snowflake shape which tied in well with our 'winter' focus.
This was a fun experiment and we were all pretty impressed with the results of our crystal growing!

As a go along book we also read I is for Inuksuk which provided many interesting facts about Inuit life.

There are many inuksuks to be seen in Very Last First Time and the girls were quick to point them all out.
We learned about their purpose and for fun did this inuksuk shadow match.

This was such a fun row!
As you can see there was a lot of art and science for this one but like I said earlier - we were in the midst of some awfully cold temperatures!
Keeping busy with all these activities kept the cabin fever at bay for a time!

Delightful Learning

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Friday Favorite Things {9}

One little favorite thing at a time
They all begin to pile up 
And I am overwhelmed by the goodness of it all...

This was a week of recovery
Which meant finding scenes like this one 
Tait climbed up on her sister's bed and fell soundly to sleep

This day was one where I was tired
And nothing seemed to be going the way I'd wanted it too
Which is hard for me to deal with when I'm lacking sleep
So I was cranky about the whole day
Then I was given this normal, everyday moment
I was reminded to look at it differently
My perspective changed and I felt such an overwhelming sense of gratitude
For the little girl peeling carrots
The baby sitting in her car, chattering away
Another sitting on the counter finding letters she knew on the things stuck to our fridge

This is how our mornings often begin.
I count it as school (fine motor skills right??).

This one - my messiest child.
Yet she cannot stand stuff sticking to her fingers.

Babe's first time actually IN the snow.
Usually she is tucked into her sled.
She was so delighted about digging in the snow and watching Mama whip snowballs at her sisters.
Her laughter is a gift in and of itself.

 Watching her crazy Ma climb the tree to hang bird feeders.
She is forever observing my every move.
(Usually with that little half smile on her face!)

Family obsession.

Heart day breakfast.
The little things create the fondest memories.

friday favorite things | finding joy

Sing A Song of Sixpence {Letter K}

Initially, it probably doesn't make sense that I would choose to use "Sing a Song of Sixpence" for introducing the letter K. 
But the rhyme ends with a king so we went with it!
This was a fun rhyme to learn since Tait wasn't familiar with it and as a result, very interested in learning it.
She kept asking me to sing 'that bird song' to her over and over until she knew it.
This rhyme ended up taking us two weeks because we were interrupted by sickness and we never did get around to making a real pie.
I decided we'd save that little activity for another rhyme (and more sane week!) and call it good with four related activities!

Day 1:  

Taitum made a shape collage black bird by gluing together a rectangle, circle and three triangles.
This provided a good opportunity to talk about shapes.

Day 2:

I made Tait a playdough pie and told her to find what was baked in her pie!
She was unsure at first (perhaps she thought a blackbird would pop out??).

But when she found her first letter bead she was pretty excited!

Then she dug right in and told me what the letter was on each bead she pulled out!

Finally, we simply played with the playdough and I showed her how to roll the dough out in order to form letters.

Day 3:

Tait counted out 'sixpence' from some plastic play money we have.
I then got her to count out six containers and she practiced one to one correspondence by placing one coin in each container.
She really enjoyed this and played with the coins and containers for quite some time.

Day 4:

Tait made a letter K king for our letter wall!
(Doesn't she look so amused by my request for a picture?!)

Now we are moving on to the letter L with Little Miss Muffett!

Friday Favorite Things {8}

After a desperately difficult week, I'm so thankful for the habit of gratitude.
Sick children are mentally, emotionally and physically draining.
When it all began to feel like too much I would begin sifting through all the things I had to be thankful for in the midst of all this...

A hubby's frequent and concerned calls throughout the day.
A meal cooked for us (with dessert!).
Easily accessible meds to rein in out of control fevers.
The security of knowing medical help is readily available if we need it.
(My doctor's office rocks - they happily take my calls and provide advice that keeps me cool, calm and collected. They don't even make me feel bad for interrupting their day.)
Knowing my kids have healthy bodies that can fight the illness that assails them.
Soft lotion tissue for sore noses.
Library movie rentals and mountains of books.

Anticipating Daddy's arrival at the end of each long, hard day.

 Imaginations still intact.
(She watched Tangled for the first time while sick. Now she bounces around the house with blankets on her head yelling "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your HAIR!")

Pom pom flowers to fill my empty dandelion vases.
They might be a little cheesy but they make me smile.
Sometimes you have to just let the littlest things bring you some cheer.

My dainty little yogurt eater.
She didn't eat much once she got sick.
It broke my heart to see her so miserable.
There is nothing more pitiful than the first time your baby gets sick.
I am so thankful that I can just be home to hold her and comfort her non stop.

I'm grateful that we are nearly through this.
And we're all O.K.
We can do hard things.

friday favorite things | finding joy

My Little Oreo

Have you ever heard this saying?

On a regular basis I'm reminded how true this is.
For example, yesterday I was so very proud of myself for getting around to cleaning the kitchen window.
It had sorely needed a good polishing and today as I walked though the kitchen I couldn't help but admire the fact that not a smudge was to be found on that window!
I felt like I had accomplished something great, clearing the way so the sun could stream freely in and I could look out unhindered at our snow christened birch .
Things were looking up in the midst of the deluge of my domestic duties...

Tonight supper was nearly over but Tait and I were not quite done yet.
I was pretty intent on finishing my meal up so I didn't notice that Tait had stopped eating.
"Mama, look!", she says.
I paused to look up and couldn't really decide what it was she seemed so proud about as she stood there on her chair, facing the window.
"I made a snowman with my tongue!", she declared proudly.
Sure enough - a tongue snowman now decorates my kitchen window thanks to my little oreo.

Katy and the Big Snow {FIAR}

For two weeks before last, we rowed Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton.
This is the tale of a snow plow named Katy who is called upon to plow the city of Geopolis after a blizzard strikes.
She works diligently to plow a path through the snow so that essential elements of the city can return to their own duties.
This was quite fitting for this time of year - we see a lot of snow plows around!
Once again, I was surprised by how enamored the girls were with this story about a machine!
They were also very intrigued by the illustrations and the various 'extras' found around the border of each page.

Social Studies:

I taught Piper about the compass and pointed them out on various maps that we own.
She also learned the points of a compass and we took some time to figure out in what direction various windows in our home faced.
She also made this compass to include in her lapbook.

We also discussed maps.
Piper attempted to make a map of her room but this was very difficult for her.
In the end, we made one together where I would draw one item and ask what was behind it, beside it, etc.
Next, I hid their snack in their room, marked it on the map and they had to go find it.

This was pretty easy but they loved it!

We also took some time to discuss diligence.
Piper was the one to first point out that Katy worked really hard.
This led to a conversation about how important it is to work hard, complete a job and do it well.
We reviewed all the people who were impacted by Katy's diligence in the story.
We then took it a bit further and thought of how these people would have been negatively affected had Katy given up or not done her job well.


We talked about characteristics of Katy.
I wrote our answers on the whiteboard and Piper later grabbed some paper and wrote a few down herself so I included them in her lapbook.

We reviewed personification by discussing the ways the author and illustrator personified Katy.
We also happened upon repetition.
Katy repeats the line "Follow me!" to the different people she plows out and Piper loved saying this part each day as we read the story.
It gave a perfect opportunity to point out a new literary device!


The snow drifts were 5 feet high!
We measured out 5 feet of yarn so we could see just how high that was exactly!

I introduced counting by fives by making a number line and letting Piper practice.

Katy had 55 horse power so we found all the horses and ponies the girls owned to see how many horse power they had!
They divided them in groups of five and together we counted by fives to forty!


The girls cut out paper snowflakes.
This was a first for Tait and she was so in awe of the big reveal!
Piper is an old pro now and can maneuver her scissors quite well.
We use them to decorate for Renly's birthday party.


One day it was snowing so we caught some snowflakes to observe.

We also kept track of the weather for the week.
(Find the printable weather chart here.)

Just for Fun:

Piper and Tait helped me make sparkling snowflake cookies to serve at Renly's party!

Another successful row!
This one spilled into two weeks though because we are still waiting on "Who Owns the Sun?" to come available at the library.
(I believe it is out of print so I'm going to have to wait patiently...)
This ended up working out well for us since the first week was so busy with preparations for Renly's birthday party, doctor appointments, etc.

As a result of reading this book the girls now notice all the snowplows when we are out!
They often excitedly point and yell "There's Katy!!!" 

Delightful Learning

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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.


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.


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!


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


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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