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Saturday, February 27, 2016

L is for Lollipop (year 2, week 25)

I don't know what happened to our week!  It's Saturday evening, and I'm just now thinking about this blog and our homeschooling.  This was supposed to be "L is for Lollipop week," with a focus on candy experiments and tooth brushing.  We did a bit of candy counting, but that was it.  Here are the things I've found on Pinterest for the week.

Printables
- candy patterns
- lollipop roll and cover
- candy shop math/spelling activity
- bubblegum bump game
- money counting printable
- m&m preschool pack
- buying candy money counting cards


Ideas
- chocolate play dough
- water displacement experiment
- weighing candy
- crushing candy
- gummy bear experiment
- tooth brushing practice
- lollipop flavor mixing
- make rock candy

{Update on the Kids}

Dragonfly
She is four and a half and starting to look and behave more and more like a kindergartner every day.  Since we've moved to our new house, she's started helping me a lot.  She's able to sort her own laundry and put it away.  She loves to help wash the dishes (and plays for a long time in the bubbly water) and is good at cleaning things with a wet cloth (kitchen benches, floor, etc).  Recently, she's gotten very good at cleaning her room and straightening things in the kids' bathroom.  Daddy has been teaching her to shop, while I've been teaching her grocery shopping (with her own cart!).  She is still a "science girl" but has started getting interested in math concepts lately.  She's looking forward to starting more formal school next year (kindergarten).

Skimmer
He is three and a half and still loves trucks, wheels, airplanes, and trains.  He recently inherited an extra large lego figurine, which he calls his "man" and carries around everywhere.  He spends a lot of his day running around with his arm flinging around in a circle, pretending to be an airplane or running as fast as he can pushing his truck around the house.  He prefers firm and somewhat aggressive forms of affection- noogies, hard hugs, wrestling, tickling, head-butting, punching, ramming....  We're working on teaching him how to be gentle, but mainly we find ways to join him in his loving forms of aggression.  He will also give kisses and is quick to say "I love you."

Tadpole
He is two and a half (all the kid are 13 months apart) and has recently come into his toddlerhood.  It seems like overnight, we went from cautious and gentle to daring and rough.  He climbs and jumps and runs around the yard with his siblings, as if he had been doing it his whole life.  He has a decent vocabulary, but gets very frustrated when his plans and ideas don't work out the way that he thinks they should in his head.  He's experimenting with dressing himself and putting on his brother's shoes.  He refuses to have anything "babyish" about himself and refuses help on almost everything.  It's an interesting time.


Monday, February 22, 2016

Saturday, February 20, 2016

T is for T-Rex (year 2, week 24)

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We're back!  And just in time for our most anticipated unit for the year!  "T is for T-Rex" is all about teeth, giants, and science.  Dragonfly (a self-proclaimed "science girl") has been asking so many questions about dinosaurs, bones, and paleontology lately that I'm very happy to indulge her with this fun, hands-on unit.

We read our first novel this week as a group- Dinosaurs Before Dark (a Magic Tree House book).  The kids loved it!  We started out reading at breakfast, and they wouldn't let me stop.  We read at breakfast and lunch on one day and breakfast and lunch on another day, and we finished the book.  In two days!  Even the two year old kept saying, "More!  More!" when we got to the end of a chapter.  I was very impressed with their attention span.  And, they couldn't wait to start our next book, which we did the very next day.

Monday
My fabulous sister came over yesterday to babysit for Valentine's Day and stayed the night.  Then, she stayed on through the day to do lots of neat things with the kids.  She brought a pile of dinosaurs that were her own toys from her childhood and taught the kids all the dinosaur names.  She also helped them make some free art with dinosaur footprints and paint.

Tuesday
My husband was home sick, so we didn't do any school.  Instead, I worked on the house.  We're slowly making things like normal again.

Wednesday
We spent the morning at Bible study (our weekly socialization time).  My husband was home sick again, so I left him with the kids and went thrift store shopping in our new town.


Thursday
Our day that we finally did some dinosaur stuff.  It wasn't very awesome.  Mostly we talked about dinosaurs, played with dinosaurs, and then ate dinosaurs for lunch.  We also talked about carnivores and herbivores a bit.

Friday
The kids were in an anxious, destructive mode, so I spent a lot of time cleaning up after them.  We didn't get any school done except two chapter in our read-aloud chapter book.

Things We Learned This Week
- the names of dinosaurs: pteranodon, tyrannosaurus rex, and stegosaurus
- that the kids (ages 4, 3, and 2) can listen to chapter books
- how scientist make inferences about the dinosaurs by what they find


Printables:
- Safari dinosaur skull 3-part cards
- paleontologist anchor chart
- measuring dino bones
- lots of amazing dinosaur printables
- dino facts printables
- dinosaur word wall printables
- dino pre-k pack
- dinosaur tile spelling cards
- dinosaur preschool pack
- egg puzzles

Ideas:
- dinosaur world felt play mat
- dinosaur measuring
- giant dinosaur sand skeleton
- counting dinosaur bones
- dinosaur eggs discovery bin
- 4 types of fossils
- mini real dig site
- DIY fossils
- dinosaur skulls toob
- dinosaur toob
- feathered dinosaur toob
- carnivorous dinosaur toob
- dino babies
- Sue and her friends toob
Videos:
- Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
dinosaurs for kids video
- Dinosaur Train (free seasons on Amazon prime)

Follow In Our Pond's board "T is for T-Rex" on Pinterest.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Finding Nemo Bathroom

We're slowing starting to unpack the boxes and make this new space into our home.  One of the most anticipated rooms in our new home was the kids' bathroom.  They love the movie Finding Nemo, so it was an easy decision to make that the theme.  Here's what the bathroom looks like now.  As you can see, it's very basic.  Mainly I used cheap printed pictures to make the space their own.  If they do well with these decorations, I might add a few more later.  I anticipate that the new Pixar movie, Finding Dory, will probably bring some new bathroom accessories in the stores.

- mine sign is from Modern Geek Media and is a free download
- quote signs are my own creation and are also a free download
- bathroom sign hangs on the door at child height and can be found at Design, Dining, and Diapers

Eventually, I'd love to add a shark shower curtain.  None of the kids shower, so that has been an easy purchase to pass on for now.  Dragonfly loves the shark in Finding Nemo, and Skimmer got very excited when he saw the signs I put up in his bathroom.

The kids each have their own assigned color that we use around the house.  Dragonfly is pink, Skimmer is blue, and Tadpole is green.  The kids have toothbrushes and towels in their colors.  I added some big 3-M command hook on the walls for the kids towels.  They can all hang them up by themselves.  Eventually, I'd like to remove the current towel bar and add permanent robe hooks.  I don't think the 3M hooks will last very long with three crazy preschoolers using the bathroom all the time.  I've also added a hand towel and a few guest towels in bright orange as a nod to the famous fish.

Someday, perhaps we'll be able to paint their bathroom.  I found a scheme on Pinterest that I really like.  I found many other wonderful ideas, so stay tuned for updates.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Boy Bible Verse Printable 2

This 8x10 sign is Skimer's special Bible verse that I picked for him after his adoption.  My prayer is that the kids will be comforted and challenged by these verses as they grow.

To download, click here.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Girl Bible Verse Printable

When Dragonfly was adopted, I chose a special Bible verse for her.  Since she'll be getting her own room at our new house, I decided to turn her Bible verse into a sign.  This 8x10 sign can be downloaded here.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

y is for yarn (year 2, week 23)

We're finally moved into our new home!  This week's theme is "y is for yarn," focusing on all thing woolly, stringy, and knitterly.


Printables:
- yarn worksheets
- sorting yarn by color
- parts of a sheep
- letter "y" pack

Ideas:
- books about yarn
- how sheep are sheered video
- yarn lapbook
- yarn sheep
- yarn transfer
- how yarn is made video
- measure with yarn
- working sheepdog video
- yarn letters
- yarn sensory bin
- yarn painting
- how cotton yarn is made video

Follow In Our Pond's board "y is for yarn" on Pinterest.

Here's a picture from our moving adventures.  The kids washed their outside toys so they could play with them inside.

Friday, February 12, 2016

New House- New Kitchen

The first thing I organized in our new house was the kitchen.  It's the heart of the home (and the center of the floor plan), and I needed it to be cute and efficient as quickly as possible.  Many of the areas aren't done yet, some of them have changed since we took these pictures, but I wanted to get these on the blog anyways.  As you can see, I went a little mason jar crazy.  I plan on getting the labels on the blog as a printable soon.

Can you guess the era of the house?  I'm sure we'll try to remodel it at some point, but, for now I'm very happy with my new kitchen.  It has a large island in the middle of the large space, which I have turned into my baking center.  These are quart and pint-sized mason jars that I'm using for storage.  The upper counter doesn't really have a purpose yet, except that it's just high enough to be out of the reach of the kids.  Since taking this picture, I've added a child lock to the cupboard, in hopes that it will prevent an unauthorized sensory mess.

More mason jars!  I know this doesn't look complete and some of the jars don't match the others, but I'm very pleased with the way it looks so far.  The boards (which I still need to finish somehow) are 4x4's from the hardware store.  I like how the addition of the risers allows all the jar labels to be seen at once.  The plant is currently sitting on a pot, so I need to get a riser for it (and I'd like it a bit higher).  Overall, I'm really liking the look of this area.

I was most excited about having counter space for a coffee station.  I used yet more Mason jars to store all the fun possibilities.  I'm not sure if it's done yet or what it needs.

So, that's my kitchen for now.  Not quite Pinterst-perfect, but it's feeling very homey.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Boy Bible Verse Printable

My three children were adopted through foster care.  At the time of each of their adoptions, I chose a Bible verse for them that I felt had special meaning.  Now that we're getting a new house, I've decided to make signs for their new rooms that summarize their verses.  This 8x10 sign is Tadpole's promise: "The beloved of the Lord dwells in safety.  The High God surrounds him all day long."

To download, click here.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Worthy is the Lamb Free Printable

We're still buried in snow, but I'm dreaming about Easter and springtime.  This free printable is an 8x10 sign and can be downloaded here.

This verse reminds me of the song "Worthy is the Lamb" by Hillsong.

"Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious!

You are high and lifted up
Jesus, Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb!"

Saturday, February 6, 2016

p is for penguins (year 2, week 22)


We bought our house last week and are starting to move into it.  This penguin them looks like so much fun that I'm sad we'll be missing it.  I think this is another one that we'll have to come back to later.  For now, enjoy this special installment of "look what I pinned."

Printables:
- Antarctic food chain
- penguin measuring activity
- transportation in Antarctica
- penguin lapbook
- orca fact cards
- counting penguins
- penguin life cycle cards
- parts of an orca cards
- map of Antarctica
- subtraction slide game
- polar opposites
- 50 animals of Antarctica
- penguin 3-part cards
- temperature reading cards

Ideas:
- how do penguins stay dry experiment
- ice melting experiment
- penguin small world
- penguin counters
- ice building
- ice sensory bin
- icicle counting by 10
- will it slide experiment

Follow In Our Pond's board "p is for penguins" on Pinterest.


I thought you might enjoy seeing some picture of our real life.  Here's one from our move.  Most of our things were already stored in totes, so they're very quick to pack.  It's the stuff we use everyday that is going to be a pain to move.

The day we closed on our house, we drove a bit through our new town.  We found a really nice playground with a picnic pavillion and a very small skate park.



Friday, February 5, 2016

Lady and the Tramp Chalkboard Signs

I had wanted to do a Lady and the Tramp Valentine's date for my family this year but I don't think it's going to happen with the move.  I don't even think I'll get a chance to put these chalkboard signs up our new house before the big day.  They're all quotes from the famous love song from the movie, "Bella Notte."  I've been singing it ever since I first started planning the date.

"Oh, this is the night.

It's a beautiful night.
And we call it Bella Notte.
Look at the skies
They have stars in their eyes
On this lovely Bella Notte.
Side by side with your loved one,
You'll find enchantment here.
The night we weave its magic spell.
When the one you love is near.
Oh this is the night
And the heavens are right
On this lovely bella notte!

To download this pack of 3 signs, click here.











Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Make Your Cupboard Doors Work for You

We just bought our first house, which means lots of new organizing projects.  The kitchen in this house is bigger than my last kitchen, but we lost our "apple room" for homeschool stuff.  There are two tall cupboard "pantries" in the new kitchen, so I'm going to try using one for food and one for school supplies.  I want to be smart about my cupboard space, and one often ignored part of the kitchen is the backs of the cupboard doors.

I really like this idea from Jenna Burger Design of tacking decorative metal sheets on the doors to create a magnetic surface.  It's perfect for the grocery list.  She also uses corkboard on one door to create a different type of message center.  I also like her hanging utensils.  The blog inspires me to think about what other types of surfaces I could add to the cupboards.  Maybe chalkboard vinyl?  Or whiteboard contact paper?  Or decorative contact paper?  I'm sure there are many more ideas that would be worth exploring.
source is the Jenna Burger Design blog
Here is even clearer instructions about how to do the magnetic cupboard doors- from On the V Side.

I hate when the flavor packets and other little things won't stay put in the cupboard.  You open the door and the gravy packet falls out.  You move something and the koolade envelope drops into the cake batter.  That's why I love this idea from Make Bake Celebrate.  She had the idea of adding soap caddies to the cupboard door to hold all her packets.  Absolutely genius.  Even more awesome if you can buy them at back-to-college time and save some money.
source is the Make Bake Celebrate blog

I need to make a new "Command Center" in our new house.  I'm really liking this one from Organizing Home Life.  Since the kitchen is the heart of the home, I love the idea of having everything at my fingertips as I direct the house.
source is the Organizing Home Life blog

It seems to be pretty common to see organizers for aluminum foil, plastic wrap, etc, but this is the only one I've found that wouldn't require me to buy anything extra.  This organizer from Samantha Kamilos is made from a cereal box.  She wraps hers in box in contact paper, but it could be done with duct tape or even painted.
source is Samantha Kamilos blog

Another great thing to put in your kitchen is posters and cards with information that you might need to access in a moment.  Back in the pre-cell-phone days, I used to hang a sheet with our most commonly used phone numbers.  It's also a great place for a big 9-1-1 sign or the poison control number.  When I was getting ready for our move, I found these great printables:

Pin it for Later!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Elf Diet Printable

I know Christmas is long past, but I wanted to share this Elf Printable that I made.  We love the movie Elf (it's about adoption) and watch it throughout the year.  Fortunately, it has so many great lines in it.  One of our favorites is "Elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup."  You can download this free printable here.