It's been awhile since I have posted one of my lesson plans. I have now stopped at the letter P with the kids and I will pick it back up in the Fall with Caleb and Simon. Josh will be starting Kindergarten! I'm not sure if I am ready for that. Any how, there has just been too many extra things going on for me to write out a week of lesson plans. Oh well, we all need a break.
So here is what we did for the letter H and the number 8.
I introduced them to the nursery rhyme "Humpty Dumpty" and they colored a coloring page I found HERE.
We did the tracer pages for the letter H and the number 8. The letter H can be found HERE and the number 8 can be found HERE. We sang the songs "Head and Shoulders" and "If You're Happy and You Know It". We talked about homes and the different places that people live. We also looked at the different kinds of houses that animals make for themselves. You can find some activities on homes HERE and HERE. We made the mini booklet and then an activity where you matched the animal to their home. And of course our last name starts with an H and so we practiced writing that.
I didn't take any pictures during the H-week except for some of Simon in his apron that Grandi made for him. Isn't he cute?!
We are back home in Texas today! Yay! I missed my boys ALOT. We are finally all home together and I have started working on the mountains of laundry that truthfully, was already here awaiting my return. It kind of reminds me of the mountains we drove up on Wednesday...
We had some time to kill before our flight back to Texas, so we drove up a mountain (4,000 ft) to Mountain Lake Conservancy and Hotel. This was one of the locations where the movie Dirty Dancing was filmed. It was about a 40 minute drive from Blacksburg, but it was a beautiful drive. We drove straight toward the mountains and I was astonished at how they kept getting bigger and bigger! Also amazing was seeing the homes and communities that had been settled on these sloping rocks.
Here are some of the sights we saw along the way and some shots of different places at Mountain Lake where different scenes from Dirty Dancing were shot. And I hate to say it, but there was no dancing involved with this trip. Just some hiking, talking, and occasional hand holding.
Driving toward the mountains.
This bridge was on private propery...it reminded me of Beetlejuice.
At Mountain Lake...the lake is way back there, it is really low.
Memorial for Patrick Swayze.
This is where the night dance scene was shot. Where Baby went to get Johnny after finding Penny crying in the kitchen.
The boathouse which is empty because the water is way down.
The end of the pier on the boathouse. See how far away the water is. The lifts in water by Baby and Johnny were done on this side of the lake.
The hotel from out "on the lake".
From the hotel porch.
Momma and baby birds on the porch.
This is where various dining room scenes were shot.
Coming back down the mountain I just had to get a shot of the path of the powerlines. Amazing to think that man cut a way through that wildness.
I am breathing a sigh of relief as I write this post. We have found a place to live for 10 months, starting in July. After that we will either renew or find another place to rent or buy. God really had a hand in this, it is amazing to me. So thank you to friends and family who have been praying for us! I was so anxious about being able to find a home during this short trip but everything has fallen into place so far, and we are looking forward to getting here with the boys and settling in.
So this was the first house that we looked at yesterday. I knew when we left that we liked it. I mean it is not our dream house or anything but I knew we could live there and it looked like a good fit. I told Troy before we went and looked at the second one that I just had a feeling we would end up with the first one. The second one was gutted and they were redoing and reconstructing everything. They said it could be finished by the 23rd of July but we knew there would be no way. So that one we scratched off our list. That evening Troy's new boss took us out to eat. Who did we see there? The family whose house we looked at first thing that morning! I told Troy, "See. It's a sign!".
Today we had an appointment to meet with a leasing agent. We had expected to be with her all morning. We ended up seeing one house with her and it was $300 over our budgeted price. It was nice but not worth the extra money and kind of further out then we wanted. That was all she had to show us! The next two houses we were supposed to look at were with a different leasing agent. As we are sitting in Chick-Fil-A eating chicken minis, Troy gets a call from her to say that the two she thought would be good for us were actually not going to be ready to move into until August! We told her thanks for looking but that wouldn't work. Troy has to start on the 26th of July. So then we had one more to look at that we had found on Craigslist. It was furthur out and it was nice also but it just didn't have what we were looking for. Plus it was zoned for a really old elementary school. Just not a good fit. So we knew we had our house...the very first one! We signed the lease this afternoon and put in our deposit. It's amazing but I had just been praying before we came up here and while we were here that we would be led right where we needed to be. I am so thankful for a God who answers prayers!
So here are a few pics of the house! The family is still living there now so that is all of their stuff in the house.
This is the front of the house from the street.
There's Troy going up to the front door.
Dining area in Kitchen
One half of the finished basement.
Other half of the finished basement.
Deck in the backyard.
It feels so great to know where we are going to live. I hope that we will have visitors!
On Sunday, the hubby and I left Austin on an early flight to Atlanta, GA and then on to Roanoke, VA. We had a pretty good flight, although the plane that we flew on from Atlanta to Roanoke was the smallest plane I had ever been on (two seats on each side). I got a little dizzy and yucky feeling on that flight. Thankfully it was only about an hour. From Roanoke we drove to Blacksburg which was about a 45 minute drive but a really beautiful one. The mountains are just gorgeous.
So here I sit on a king-sized bed, in a quiet hotel room. **sigh of contentment** We've been able to see some of the town and have driven the Virginia Tech campus. It' really very cute. Very hilly and I have seen more rabbits and chipmunks than I have ever seen in my life. The town is about half the size of the town I live in now. The university seems to be the big draw to this area. It's a nice campus. We are staying at The Inn at Virginia Tech. They have a spa and a nice restraunt. I don't think I'll be getting to try out either of those services though. They are a little pricey.
Our mission on this trip is to find a place to live. We move here officially around the 23rd of July. We are driving up here with the boys and a few other family members. I am really not looking forward to that trip! However, we should leave Texas on the 20th and get to Virginia by the 23rd at the latest. I've got new games for the boys VSmile and Leapster and it's just possible we will have a DVD player. I also got a dry erase board for them to write on and then there are always coloring books. Hopefully we will be able to stop at roadside parks and let them get out and run. I guess this will be a test of how well they do on car trips and help us decide how often we will be coming back to TX for a visit!
So today we only looked at two places and one I really liked and the other is not even an option. **shiver** It was really that bad! We are scheduled to look at a lot more tomorrow. I can totally imagine us living in the house I saw today though. The monthly rent is less than what we were planning on and the area is nice. The school Josh would be going to is nice (we visited there for a moment). It's not too far from campus and the Kroger. I could live there. In the house, not Kroger.
We had breakfast at Panera Bread this morning. It was the first time for us to eat at one. I enjoyed it but I got a little emotional when we went to find a table to sit at. There was a table of men doing a bible study and I just got sad thinking of my biblereadthrough girls and my Sunday School class and how much I will miss Tuesday nights. I am really praying that God will bring me to more good friends like you guys! Troy is getting used to me breaking down anywhere and at any time. He just made sure I was still going to eat my breakfast sandwhich and patted my hand. I love the guy for putting up with me!
Anyway we walked around campus a little last night and then we wogged the same trail this morning. I had to do something since I am missing boot camp this week. Last night we saw some sweet baby ducks with their Momma. Here is a couple of pictures to "Awwww!" at.
Monday was a challenge. We did 15 reps each of these exercises: squat press, bicycle kickouts, squat jumps, burpees, pushups, back extensions, and ab thrusts. Then we ran/jogged/walked 1/2 a lap and then started over again. The burpees slowed me down. I always feel like I am going to pass out or throw-up when I'm doing those. In all, I was able to do three rounds and then she awarded prizes to the people who did the most rounds in 4 different age categories. The person that won in my age category did 4. The prizes were giftcards to Spoons frozen yogurt.
Wednesday I did not want to get up, I had approximately 5 hours of sleep and it is hard for me to function fully on less than 6. But I did go to boot camp and then left about 15 minutes early. I just started feeling horrible. Anyway the part I was there for was pretty intense. We did some squats with bicep curls first with one arm, then the other and then both. Several reps of each. Then some back lunges with a T-ray move for the arms. There was a special little leg lift in there with it. It took some coordination and I was glad to see I wasn't the only one who had to go through it a couple of times to get it. I wish I could explain it to you but I don't have the energy. Anyway we did some more arm stuff with squats and lunges. Then we did a tabata. 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, for a total of 4 minutes. The first minute was squats with an overhead press. Then plank jacks, followed by jumping rope (invisible rope), and then star jumps. After that she was moving on to some ab stuff but, like I said, I was feeling pretty bad so I packed it up and left.
Friday was a no-go for me. I didn't sleep too well and I had to meet a friend to move some things so I took the extra 2 hours of sleep instead of a workout.
Next week I will miss Monday and Wednesday because we are heading to Blacksburg, Virginia on Sunday. We are going to try to find a house and get some things squared away on campus. The boys are going to be staying with our parents so we are taking this trip all by ourselves! Yay! I know it's not really a vacation but I am going to try to make at least part of it feel that way!
I am really wanting to learn how to sew better. I can sew a straight line, most of the time, and I can do the basic functions on my sewing machine. You know, threading the needle, winding the bobbin and loading the bobbin. Things like that. Oh that reminds me of a Scottish kids song. It's called "Wind the Bobbin Up". I'll share it at the end of this post. I'm easily distracted.
So when I was at JoAnn's, one gloriously kid-free afternoon, I came across a section of these Panel Projects by Fabric Editions, LLC. I have always wanted to make my own bag or purse and they had several designs to choose from. I picked out the Abbey Bag. It has the whole project on one big fabric panel. It's all sectioned out for you and shows you what each part is and the directions are printed on the fabric panel also. I thought this might be an easy way for me to get my feet wet, so to speak, and try making my very first bag. If you think it's cheating, I'm sorry. I just feel that, for me, it's a step in a learning process and has boosted my sewing-confidence to make a bag without the extra help. Now it says on the package that you can make it in less than 3 hours. It took me at least 3 hours! I had multiple interruptions in the form of little people. They are really cute interrupters.
So I must say the instructions were pretty easy to follow. I mean I know what sides of the fabric are right and wrong and some other basic sewing jargon. I had trouble with the gussets though. Mainly because I really had no clue as to what that word meant. Now a smart person would have gone to their computer and searched (on Swagbucks of course!) for the meaning of this word. I guess I am not that smart...but, I figured out that it meant the way the purse kind of gathers and sits on the bottom. So I did what I thought was right and I am pretty sure it turned out okay.
There's all the pieces cut out. The directions, a pocket, 2 pieces for the tote part, 2 pieces for the straps and 1 square for the closure flap.
That's the pocket put on. You see the fabric is panelled so it looks like you stitched different pieces of fabric together but really it's all one piece and you just stitch a line between each section. So there are 3 pockets on the front.
There's a corner of my gusset. I guess that's my new vocabulary word for the day!
It did take me a while to turn the straps right-side out but they were easy to sew...straight lines.
There are my straps sewed on and my closure flap. Now, they wanted me to use velcro for the closure but I wanted a button and I had found a really cute button that matched and so I made a loop for the button out of elastic. So that is how my bag closes. I wish I had thinner elastic but I just made do with what I had.
Here's the finished project. I think I won't mind carrying it around! All in all, I think the Tote-n-Go Panel Projects are worth doing and are pretty easy for a sewing novice to accomplish. It was fun and now I have a new bag!
Okay here's the song I promised.
"Wind the bobbin up. Wind the bobbin up.
Pull, pull, clap, clap, clap!" (clap hands when you say 'clap')
"Wind it back again. Wind it back again.
Pull, pull, clap, clap, clap!"
"Point to the ceiling, point to the floor.
Point to the window, point to the door.
Put your hands together. 1, 2, 3." (clap as you say 1, 2, 3)
"Lay them down upon your knee."
I will sometimes do this song before I read a story to the boys and end it with the "lay them down upon your knee" part. That way they get a little movement out of their systems and then they know where their hands should be during the story.
I found the song on youtube but the words differ a little. I learned it when I lived in Glasgow, Scotalnd and took my kids to story time at the Partick Library. Man, I really miss hearing those accents!
**I did not receive anything from Fabric Editions, LLC for writing this interview nor buying their product. I only expressed my opinions and thoughts for the sake of helping a fellow "newbie" sewer. If you have a product that you would like me and my family to try I am happy to review it. Please contact me through email.**
How many of you have heard this phrase from your parents? And how many of you have said it to your own kids? I know I have. I thought at the beginning of my parenting journey (before my kids started talking back) that I would never say those words. I thought that I would explain to my children the reasons behind each command for obedience and that they too would understand those reasons. HA. HA. HA. It's okay you can laugh at me too.
So most of you know that it just doesn't work that way. It sounds nice and yes there is some explaining but there is NO negotiating. I'm not saying I don't give my kids choices. I am saying that I try not to let them give me choices! One of the things that my hubby and I have struggled with lately is our Wii. Our Caleb is a gamer. He would play ALL day if we let him. So because we know how much he cherishes his Wii time, we have used it to our advantage. For example: when we would like him to sit and listen to a story and he doesn't want to, then we just threaten to not let him play Wii. When he needs to eat supper but he doesn't like what is on his plate, we just threaten to not let him play Wii. There are many more examples of this and I think you can see the pattern. Fortunately, we began to see it also.
So we realized that Caleb was being rewarded for doing things that he should do because he is a part of our family, things that he should do to stay healthy, things that he should just be doing basically because "WE SAID SO". Why should Caleb be rewarded and what was that teaching him? The answer is that he shouldn't be rewarded for everything and that it was not helping him to achieve internal motivation.
"Internal motivation is the generator that propels children to figure out their particular interests, ablilities, and passions. Internal motivation is not tied to rewards; it is what drives kids to engage in activities that are satisfying for their own sake. It is the basis of all true learning. Think of the child who pores over history books, skateboards for hours on end, or works diligently in the garage fixing his bike. Think of the experience we have all had of 'getting lost'-what researchers call 'flow'-in something we found compelling and challenging.
External motivation, on the other hand, drives kids to participate in activities not primarily because of the activitiy itself but because of some associated gain-a grade, a trophy, a mention in the local newspaper. It strips learning of excitement, since what is most valuable is not the learning experience per se but whatever perks accompany it. Externally motivated kids tend to confuse performance with learning and as a result have lower grades, lower achievement scores, less interest in learning, less ability to think creatively, and greater psychological impairment than children who are internally motivated." (pages 55-56)
Well, ain't that a kick in the head?! I definitely want Caleb (and my other kids, of course) to be internally motivated. Relationships are more important then objects and that is what I want my kids to know. They need to know that I value my relationship with them and they need to see that I value relationships with others. Most of all they need to see my relationship with God. So maybe when they say, "I don't want to brush my teeth. Why do I have to?" and I reply, "Because if you don't your teeth will rot and fall out of your head and BECAUSE I SAID SO." I really shouldn't feel that bad.
Monday was Tough with a capital T! It was super muggy and I was sweating before we even started, did I mention how much I HATE to sweat? Well let me just tell you, I HATE sweating! I know it's good for your body and helps it to cool down and all but it is really just disgusting. Alright, enough about sweat.
We did our entire work out in the parking lot today. We started with a sprint up the line of a parking spot and then back-stepped back then high-kneed it back up. Then we did 15 rapid knee-lifts on each leg. Then we grabbed our hand weights and ran to the corner of the parking lot holding our weights above our head. I switched from 3lb to 5lb hand weights with the start of Summer boot camp. I can definitely tell the difference. On the side we did squat pivots to the next corner and then ran the long side holding our weights above our heads. Then on the other short side we did walking lunges with side twists. Then ran to the parking spot and started over again. We must have done this for 15 minutes or more. I got through two and one-half times. After we took a quick lap of the parking lot we went to the curb and did lunges with one foot on the curb and everytime we went down into the lunge we did a bicep curl. We did one arm at a time, changing legs with arms. Then we did them curling both arms. We did several more exercises using the curb. T-rays while doing step ups, overhead press while doing step ups, push-ups with hands on curb and knees on the matt and a bridge-up with arms out to side and alternating legs up. We did several ab exercises also. It was an intense workout for me and I was shakey afterward. Muscle fatigue, Iguess.
On Wednesday it was pouring down rain so I walked to the alarm clock, turned it off and got back into bed. I am not sure if everyone else went to boot camp in the rain that morning but I sure didn't. That evening I did a 15 minute wog and then did some walking lunges and squat pivots out on the basketball court. So I got a little bit of exercise in!
Friday was different then what we usually do on a Friday. Instead of intervals she divided us into 3 groups and then sent us out to start at 3 different stations. I started, with my group, at the gazebo which is positioned about 1/2 way along the track. We used the benches there to do the exercises. Step-ups with a overhead press, 15 on each leg. Then 15 knee-ups on each side. And then 15 on each side of knee-crunches. I don't know that these are the technical terms for these exercises. Sorry. However, we then rotated to the next station which was what she called "suicides" on the basketball court. You start at the long end sprint to the 1/4 line, touch it and then sprint back to the starting line. So on for the 1/2 then the 3/4 then the full. I was able to do it 3 times. Then we went to the track where we were supposed to sprint to cones she had set out along the way. Stopping at each cone to do 15 squats. I did one full circuit of this and then it was to our mats where we did some ab, glute and back work. We also did the pushup planks again. Where you do 10 pushups then hold a front plank for 20sec. Then 9 pushups and hold side plank for 20 sec. Then 8 pushups and hold a side plank on the other side for 20sec. 7 pushups and then hold a front plank for 20sec. And so on, all the way down to 1 pushup with a last plank for 20 sec. It was a good workout.
By the way, I weighed this past Sunday and I have dropped a pound! Yay! I guess doing Weight Watchers along with the boot camp is helping.
I made this Cowboy Cake for a baby shower this weekend. These sweet friends are having their first baby and, "It's a Boy!". I am so excited for them. I really enjoyed making the cake. The brown frosting is actually chocolate but all the other is regular buttercream. I hope to take some cake decorating classes and learn more when we get settled in Virginia.
I received the Rachael Ray Yum-o! The Family Cookbook for Christmas a couple of years ago and have recently tried some of the recipes that are found therein. I love to cook and I love to try new recipes. I don't always have the time or the energy for it but it is enjoyable for me. I like being able to make something that my family will enjoy.
So the recipe this week comes from the Rachael Ray cookbook and it is called Bird-in-a-Bagel. I made it for breakfast but in my opinion you could have it for any meal. It's about 7 Weight Watchers points.
You will need: Ingredients
1/2 apple, your favorite variety, finely chopped
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
4 slices Canadian bacon, cut in half and then into thin strips
Salt and black pepper
1 T butter
2 whole-wheat bagels, split
4 eggs (I would use small, unless you have bagels with big holes.)
In a bowl combine the chopped apple, shredded Cheddar, and Canadian bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the bagels to the skillet, cut side down. Carefully crack one egg into each of the bagel holes.
Place a piece of foil or a lid on the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the eggs have firmed up enough for you to flip the bagels over. Flip gently to avoid breaking the egg yolks.
Once flipped, top each bagel with some of the apple mixture, cover the skillet with foil or a lid again, and cook the bird-in-a bagel until the cheese melts, 2 to 3 minutes more.
Slide a bagel onto each plate and eat up.
The whole family seemed to like it. I will definitely make it again, although next time I will use small eggs. I only had large and there was just too much egg for the bagel hole.
I am glad that I worked out some last week or I think Wednesday would have been really bad. She started us off working hard this week. Well, we were off on Monday so I guess with only 2 days for the week she wanted us to get good workouts in. What I really like is that I don't have to wake up until 6:10am because I signed up for the 6:30am session! Extra sleep is always good. The only thing I'll miss is the quiet time that I had when I would come home and everyone would still be sleeping. Oh well.
Wednesday we did different stations and I believe there were nine different ones. Each station had 2 different exercises posted on a cone and we did the number one first and then the 2nd time around we did number 2. Each exercise we did continuously for 90 seconds. I had to pause occasionally to rest or get a drink. But it was a great workout. There were burpees, plank jacks, some leg lifts with medicine balls, arm stuff with dumbells and resistance cords, planks (front and side), step ups using hand weights, squats and lunges, and some ab stuff. It was fun but I was soaked after. Yuck! I really don't like sweat. I may have to get a sweatband or a wristband.
Today we did something that was kind of fun. On the track that we use, 1 lap equal 1/3 of a mile. She had us run 1/2 a lap then do 20 squats. Then run the other half which brought us to the basketball court. There we did walking lunges across half court and then went to our mats to do 20 push-ups. Then we started all over again. This is what we did for the first 15 minutes. I was able to do it twice in that time. Then we did some weight stuff while doing backward lunges and some ab exercise and a few more things. It was a good work out.
I will weigh on Sunday after being on Weight Watchers for 2 weeks although I have gone over my points so far for the week. I need to exercise again tomorrow in order to bring myself back in the positive. I had a Crispy Chicken Salad from Sonic yesterday and while it was much less points then the burger and fries option it was still too many points. Sad thing is I had a large Dr Pepper with it too! It was really good though. I will be making a cake tonight for a shower tomorrow and I am going to have to restrain myself for eating any of the icing!
When I was in highschool I started collecting stamps. I'm not really sure why. My Dad has been a postman for around 31 years so maybe it was that I thought it would be easy for me to get stamps and that maybe we might have an intrest in it together. Well, he wasn't really interested but he did get me some stamps that I asked for. I have some Elvis and Bugs Bunny and these cool postcards with some first day of issue stamps on them.
The rest of my collection came from EBay. I bid on and won a bunch of stamps from Greece. I don't know their age and I can't read what is on them. There are some pretty pictures of places and people on some of them and I don't know anything about them. My parents lived in Crete (with their families) at different times growing up. I am planing to go there some day.
Well, I had not really done much with the stamps except for put them in those photo album pages that have the sticky on the page and then a plastic sheet that covers everything on top. So that is how they have been and I have not acquired any new stamps in the past 5 years or so. I can't remember what I saw but something made me think of taking the stamps and creating something I could enjoy out of it. I thought it would be super easy to Mod Podge those stamps down on a framed canvas and then Mod Podge over them. Guess what? It was!
I painted the canvas a light brown and then after it dried I started a section at a time putting on a little Mod Podge and then pressing my stamps down into it. I started from the bottom and worked my way up. I just used my Greek stamps and I was able to fit on all but three of them. Then I lightly brushed on a top coat of Mod Podge. I had to smooth some of the stamps down with my finger and get any bumps or bubbles out but then that was it. It dried really fast and I was able to hang it up within an hour of making it. Here is my Greek stamp collection. Now I can enjoy it.
I am a stay at home Mom raising 3 boys with my husband of 12 years. My oldest son is 6, the middle is 6 and the baby is 3. They keep me busy and I love it! We moved from Texas to Virginia in July of 2010, where my hubby has taken a job as an Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech. I love reading, scrapbooking, crafting, cake decorating, baking, playing with my kids, listening to music and learning about my Lord and Savior. I welcome any comments as long, as they are respectful.
I read a total of 76 books in 2010 and my goal for 2011 will be 85.
11/25/11UPDATE--I didn't put into consideration that last year I added books of the bible to my list and this year I am not...I didn't keep last year's list but I am pretty sure that at least half of the 76 were just books as opposed to the Bible. So I think a new goal of mine will be to have read 50 books. I only have a month left...