Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Events

Okay, for my family Memorial Day usually means that Gary works and that there is farming to be done, but first there is the Service in Salem. I have been attending (for what seems like )Forever. But I have taken on a few new roles since I was a kid and I know go along with the Legion to each cemetery and play "Taps" for them.

I was talking to a friend the other day, who said that she had never been to a military funeral until recently and that it was very moving. That really got me thinking because I think that I have exposed my boys to not really the military funereal, but to a military salute. They know what a 21 gun salute looks and sounds like, they know that usually following the 21 gun salute there is the playing of "Taps" and it is a quiet solemn time to remember those who have passed on.

I hope that you take time this Memorial Day to share with your family and your children what Memorial Day is all about. It is for those who fought and gave their lives for our freedom. The freedom to have our picnics, to play our games, to go camping, whatever it is that you might be doing on this long weekend. I hope that you take time to remember and share that with those around you what the day really means. Maybe take time to attend a service somewhere near you to show your appreciation for those who gave their lives. They gave their lives, can you give a little bit of time to show them the honor that they deserve?

Have a safe and Happy Memorial Day Weekend and Take time to Remember

S'Mores Children's Sermon/activity

Okay, We had a very cool Children's sermon at church this morning that works so well with the official start of summer that it was too much fun not to share. Thanks Andrea!

The S'Mores lesson

After discussing that this was Memorial Day and that we are to remember those who have fought for our freedom, came the discussion that this usually meant picnics and campfires. And she asked the kids if they knew what the trinity was or who was in the trinity. When they didn't know she explained that it had 3 parts, The Father, The Son & The Holy Spirit. 3 parts just like a Smore! So the next time that you make a S'more remember that there are 3 parts the crackers, the chocolate and the marshmellow. The marshmellow is white like purity and when it is warmed becomes the glue that holds everything else together just like God holds everything together. And the best part about S'Mores is eating them and getting them inside of us, just like the best part about the Trinity is having them inside of each one of us!

So I hope that you have fun at your next campfire, but maybe you can use it as a learning opportunity that has a sweet treat in the end!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


The other afternoon, my mom stopped in with a bucket for the boys - in the bottom of the bucket were a large amount of Tadpoles. Well, we found a container to put them in and currently they appear to all be living. But I decided that if we were going to have them around that this was a great time to learn about them a little bit more. Garrett has been checking on them 2 & 3 times a day do I got online and checked on of my favorite websites for kids activities and searched frog life cycle. and up poped these adorable pictures and great ideas on how to make them. One of the neat ideas from this was that packing bubbles work great to appear like frog eggs.

So I printed off the life cycle in the large format and sent Garrett to check what color his tadpoles were. He came back in and when I showed him the picture of the tadpole, he went right to work coloring his picture. Now this is quite the accomplishment since Garrett doesn't like to color. But he worked at this for a while, coloring the tadpole and then the frog and all of the arrows to make our circle. Then he helped cut outsome of the pieces and he used the gluestick to stick them(with help for the proper order) onto the construction paper.

He did a great job and was very diligent about it too. So I hope you enjoy his art work and maybe you too can find some tadpoles to try raising.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

handy pudding

Garrett loves chocolate pudding. We had had some of the individual servings pudding here, but are currently fresh out. So Garrett and I made chocolate pudding which is a really easy thing for kids of all ages to handle and can be nearly mess free (except for the eating of it). I have a shaker Tupperware container, (I have found that recycled Kool-aid mix containers or something similar works too)that holds 2 cups of milk plus has room for the chocolate pudding mix. So he helped pour in the milk and the pudding mix. I got the lid snapped on and then Garrett gets to jump and shake the pudding for at least 1 minute, but I usually try for 2 minutes. Then it goes into the refrigerator until after lunch. After lunch , I decided that we would have a little fun with our dessert and I pulled out the ice cream cones. Instead of Ice Cream cones we had pudding cones. Kids really enjoy these and they are kind of fun. Garrett really like scooping the pudding into the cones. And then we were able to enjoy our pudding cones outside without a really big mess. I have seen these also with a small amount of whipped cream on top to make them look even better.

So grab the pudding and enjoy a Pudding Cone this summer! We did.

Friends dropping in

Sometimes those plans from the very last minute work out the best. Dawn, Jeff & Abby were able to come and visit this weekend at the last minute. This worked out for us since it was a rainy Saturday and our plans ended up being cancelled. IT is so nice to have friends visit and we really enjoyed their visit. If you haven't had a chance to visit distant friends, maybe last minute "oh we have a free weekend" would be the time to go for a visit.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

revised Candyland

The other day I was trying to figure out how to help Garrett learn his alphabet by the shape of the letter, not just saying them. So I thought about how he learned his colors and some of his numbers. He had to match them in a fun way. With games like "Candyland" you learn your colors, and "shutes and ladders" teach the numbers, so I was thinking that there isn't a reason that we can't learn our letters the same way. So when I was at Goodwill, I picked up a used Candyland Game and brought it home to be spruced up. I took a Sharpie marker and started printing both upper and lower case letters per block. Then I took the cards and on the backs wrote the alphabet in both upper and lower case letters. I put doubles on the cards that were doubles and I put numbers on the spots like "Peppermint stick" &" Gumdrop grove." With these changes we played the game using the letters and Garrett had to say the letters on each spot between where he was and where he was going. It seems to help and we are progressing. But now we have a game that we can play colors, or letters and numbers or we can play all three if the cards get all mixed up, there won't have to be a right side up or down either.
Do any of you have games that you have changed the rules to or a revised game that has worked well? please let me know as I love to have games in the back of my head!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fun garden craft

My boys had seen a cool craft in last year's "Family Fun" magazine that we decided to make for Mother's Day gifts. They were gazing balls. My mom really likes gazing balls and has them in all shapes and sizes in her yard, but a few of the smaller ones got broken last summer in some of the storms. These were really simple and fairly mess free. They use clear, plastic treasure balls (look like Christmas ornaments, but they open like an Easter Egg) any how, you put a few drops of metallic paint of 2 different colors in. Then close the ornament and slowly roll the ball around for the paint to cover the inside and mix together naturally. Then we opened the ornaments and let them dry. We found some square stakes that the boys then painted and we put everything together with copper wire wrapped around the ball and then wrapped around the top of the painted stake. These turned out really cool, they look like the expensive gazing balls and these ones shouldn't break as easily as the glass ones. For full directions check and then search for "high-stakes glazing ball"

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Children's Sermon

I once again had Children's Sermon., now this was kind of fun since it was Mother's Day. So I started by asking the kids that if they had any of the following living at their home to raise their hand and then I went through the following list:
a transportation director
a personal dietitian or nutritionist
a fashion coordinator
a landscaper
an accounts manager
a pediatric physician
a domestic engineer
an interior designer
a family historian
an arbitrator
or a personal coach
TO almost all of these I got "no" or "huh?"
Then we went back through each one and explained what these jobs would be in simple language and who most likely in the homes of our kids performed these duties. I explained that Mom's tend to be the ones who arrange for rides to where we want to be. That Mom is the one who decides what we can or cannot have to eat. "Can I have 1 more oreo?" and that sometimes mom says no because it is good for us NOT to have 1 more cookie. Then the fashion coordinator is the person who buys, washes and let's us know if what we are wearing is appropriate for the occasion and if it matches.The landscaper is the one who might mow the lawn or plants the flowers or shrubs or adds decoration outside to make your home look nice. The accounts manager is someone who makes sure that the bills are paid that there is money for groceries and all the activities that kids would like to do. The Pediatric physician - this I had to explain was "a kid doctor" and who do we go to when we have a sore throat or a splinter? - MOM. A domestic engineer - is someone who makes sure the the home runs properly. The interior designer is the one who makes the inside of our houses look nice and helps keep it clean. The family historian - is the person who helps keep track of our lives, either in photos, or journals or scrapbooks. They are the ones that when asked "What was it like the day I was born?" will be the one that can remember that day and explain it in detail. The arbitrator is the one who breaks up fights or arguments with siblings or friends. And finally the personal coach - I hope that we all have personal coaches as those are the people who encourage us all the time, they are the ones who challenge us and teach us new skills that we need to get through life. But the amazing part of all of this is that all those big titles we sum up with 3 letters -MOM. But when we read Proverbs 31:29-31 we find that "...that a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her reward she has earned, and let her works be known at the city gates."

Now you knew that mom did all these things for you, but I challenge you to learn 1 new thing about your mom today. Find out what your mom's favorite color is, what is her favorite flower, or her favorite food. Take time and talk to your mom because she is a lot more than you think.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Coupons / Riverside Knox

I was at Riverside in Knox today and saw that they are NOT going to accept printed at home coupons because of counterfeits. Just thought I'd let you know before you head in and can't use those coupons

Salute to America

Robert on his recorder

Robert's class presented a "Salute to America" they performed on their recorders, and sang songs of America, but here is one that I know Aunt Caren, Aunt Catherine and I were taught, which they are still teaching because it has all 50 states in alphabetical order.

Robert is front and center but Mrs. Nesta does step in the way a few times. Enjoy

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pilated Woodpecker update

I was fascinated by the woodpecker at Salem. I have since been trying to get a picture of it. But after checking online, I found that the pilated woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in North America. This one appears to be nesting as it is inside the tree now. If you stop by and don't see the bird. Stop and listen carefully, you can hear him tapping inside the hole at the top of the tree, but if you talk a little bit sometimes he will stick his head out and then he flies away but it seems that he does come back. But for a bird he is beautiful and it is the male as I was able to see the red streak on the cheek.

baby geese

If you have little ones that would like to see the baby geese, we noticed that there are baby geese at the Beaver Ponds that have hatched. THis is a great time to explain to kids about how birds come from eggs and then hatch out. Geese are very interesting to watch as they raise their young. Check them out if you get a chance.

Wildflowers blooming

It is that time of year when we go looking for the wildflowers in the area. There are actually some endangered or protected wildflowers locally. If you would like to see red trillium there are a few near the small bridge at the east end of Spook Hollow road. IF you don't know what a trillium looks like, I will try to get a picture of one and get it posted but I didn't have my camera with me and they are a little early (like everything else this spring). The other flower to start watching for is the Lady's slipper. These flowers aren't quite blooming yet, but watch for an orchid like leaf and a delicate pink slipper looking flower. I know of 2 places to see these flowers, but one is on private property and the other is off of West Home Road towards Emlenton, you would turn at the old West Home church (it is now a home) and follow that dirt road and they are usually on the right side of the road if you are going down the road. When I get pictures from this years flowers I will post them, but there are really some exciting nature things to see if you are watching for them.