Half days.

One day during our last week in Florida, it was really s-l-o-w at work, so Hubby took a half day.  Needless to say, Little Guy and I were thrilled!  We were going to have a picnic at the park, but no one was hungry just yet, so we decided to take a blanket and a ball and head for one of our favorite fields. 

See the two alligators on the shore behind the boys? How much more Florida can it get?

The alligators were moving to our side of the pond, so we decided it best to gather up our things and go to dinner, before we became dinner.


One last walk around the lake.

Back when I was extremely pregnant with Little Guy, Hubby and I used to head downtown and go for walks around Lake Eola in hopes I would go into labor.  The hospital I was to deliver at was downtown, so we thought we had it all figured out.  Well, labor never came during one of our walks, but we have some wonderful memories of trying.  We knew we just had to take the time to take one more walk around the lake before we leave Orlando.

Goodbye O-town.  It's been real.


Little Big Econ Trail

Sunday is family day at our house, so we spend it doing whatever we want.  This almost always means getting out into nature.  This Sunday was no different.  We were looking for a trail we hadn't done before (we're such explorers at heart), and couldn't seem to find one in a short driving distance, so we decided we'd go to the Little Big Econ Trail even though we'd done it last summer.  To our suprise, when we got there, it was a different part of the trail we'd never been to!  Hooray!

She's lost one of her legs...


Big Jumps

I have found yet another reason why I love homeschooling:  we are moving!  In the middle of the "school year," and luckily, one less thing for me to worry about is having to switch Little Guy in a school.  The school goes with us.  Even better: we are moving to Grandma and Grandpa's so he's estatic!  It's only a temporary situation until we are ready to find a house, but he could care less.  He's just excited to be at Grandma and Grandpa's. 

So, now we have a whole other state to explore and learn things about.  It's sad, exciting, stressful, and fun all at the same time.  We have really loved living in Central Florida, but it's not our dream.  We've talked about our dream for years now, and it seems the universe has kicked us from behind and forced us to stop talking about it and start being about it!  So, that's what we're doing.  It's funny how easy it is to have goals and yet still become complacent.  I think we are as equally apprehensive as grateful, but we know that this is just the next step on our path and all will work out as it should.    =)

*I will still be continuing to blog, but we will be taking a week or so off from "school" (ie crafts and projects) during the moving process. 

The Sunflower Sword

I came across "The Sunflower Sword" at our local library when I was looking for books for letter S week, and boy, am I glad I did!  Have you ever come across a book that was just perfect?  This was that book for us. 

"The Sunflower Sword" is the story of a little boy who lives in a land filled with knights and dragons and endless fighting, who longs to be a brave knight too.  His mother tells him he can't and when he asks for a sword, she gives him a sunflower instead.  The little boy plays 'knight' with his sunflower sword when he comes across a real dragon.  The dragon assumes that the sunflower is a gift from the little boy and so, they become good friends who "played much better games than fighting," and peace spread across the land.  SUCH a wonderful story!

Little Guy is sort of in love with knights.  We are constantly doing these little impromptu story telling sessions, and they usually contain knights and dragons, so this was great for him.  But, you certainly can't read this story without wanting a sunflower sword of your own, so I rummaged up some supplies and we made some swords!

Here's what we used:

We set to work painting the tubes green and the plates yellow.

Next, we painted glue on the centers of our plates and sprinkled them with sunflower seeds (with a few lost to Little Guy's mouth).

Then I poked a hole into the center of the plate and tube, and inserted a brad.

And....voila!!  A sunflower sword!  Little Guy told me he needed a colander to go with it (well, he didn't actually say "colander,"  but I knew what kind of hat he was talking about.)

*I would definitely whoosh your sword outside though, because I was finding seeds here and there for a couple of days after this project!


A day at the Farmer's Market


S is for Snow!

Little Guy has been asking me when it's going to snow almost daily.  I told him that it almost never snows in Florida, but he didn't seem to want to hear that.  We've worked out a deal that if it snows anywhere close enough for a weekend trip, we'll go see the snow, and he's pretty content with that arrangement.   While we wait it out, I thought it would be fun to use a snow theme for our letter S week.

We made a snowman using construction paper.  I cut out a bunch of snowman pieces and let Little Guy glue them on a piece of paper to create his own snowman. 
I read somewhere about how you can use q-tips and glue on wax paper to make snowflakes, and when you let them dry, you'll be able to peel your snowflake off the paper.  I thought that sounded fun, but it didn't quite work out for us.  As soon as Little Guy learned there was glue and glitter paint involved, he could have cared less about a snowflake. He just LOVES squeezing!
Somehow our snowflake making time turned into, "Mom, can you trace me?"  So, I unrolled what was left of our Christmas wrapping paper, turned it over, and traced him.  Then he got to work.
We read the book "The Snowy Day" and did an experiment with some homemade "snow."  I put some ice in the food processor to turn it into snow.  Then, we made it into a snowball, and put it in a bowl to see what happened to it as the day went along.  We talked about how it melted just like the snowball in Peter's pocket in "The Snowy Day."  We also did a snow themed cut and paste sequence of events activity.
We played this Garanimals ABC game.  Super fun game where you can match letters to letters, or pictures to the letter with the sound with which they begin.  This day, we played using the pictures to match the letter sound. 

We read:

"Frosty's New Friends"
(we read this the day we built our construction paper snowman)

"My S Book" by Jane Belk Moncure

"The Smallest Snowflake" by Bernadette Watts
(this went with our q-tip snowflake activity.  Really sweet book.)

"The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats
(a classic)

"Snow Day, Snow Play" by Jenne Abramowitz
(we just love this story.  It's not very long, and it rhymes, but it's cute)

"Song of Night" by Katherine Riley Nakmura


Letter N

N is for New Year!

For our first week back to school in the new year, letter N seemed pretty fitting.  This was the first year Little Guy really had a grasp on the concept of a new year, since we've been working with our calendar every morning.

We were going to make a noodle necklace, but Little Guy was not into it at all.  He wanted to build a house with his noodles, so a house he built.
Here he is concentrating on his house plans. 
I suggested we try to make an N out of our noodles, and he did a great job!
We also did a sorting activity using nuts. 
N week was the perfect week to work on the number nine.  Little Guy is pretty great with math.
We also made Naan, which you can read about HERE.  Super fun!  And yummy! 

The books we read this week were:

"My N Book" by Jane Belk Moncure
(great books to introduce the letter sound and jump start brainstorming for words that begin with your letter)

"My Cats Nick and Nora" by Isabella Harper and Barry Moser

"Nuts to you!" by Lois Elhert
(We read this one the day we did the nut activity)

"Nina Nandu's Nervous Noggin" by Barbara DeRubertis
(these are great books filled with words that begin with the particular letter)

"The Bravest Knight" by Mercer Mayer

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