"I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete." John 15:11

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Playschool: Letters J & K

Once spring arrived, our learning activities came to a screetching halt. Instead of covering a letter in a generous 2-week time frame, we are now averaging about one a month. At any rate, here is what I can remember of the letters J and K.

Letter J

Mystery Box:
Jesus, jewelry, jar, jackrabbit, Jack-o-lantern, picture of Julia, St. Julia statue, and Jellybeans (not pictured because they were immediately consumed)

Books we Enjoyed:
The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed  by Eileen Christelow
Jamberry by Bruce Degen
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
The Jellybeans and the Big Art Adventure by Laura Joffe Numeroff
My "J" Sound Box by Jane Belk Moncure

Food We Ate:
Jam, Jello, and Jellybeans
Perhaps his first time eating Jello - he was obviously pleased

So was baby sister


I really loved the activity ideas on Natural Beach Living for this letter, so we basically just did that!

We buried jewels in shaving cream:
"You put in one and I'll put in six."

Then we had fun playing in the squishy shaving cream
and when we were done, we put all the jewels in the strainer and washed them off.

I put numbers on an old muffin container and then gave him a bowl of Jellybeans. He then put the corresponding number of jellybeans into each muffin cup (then gobbled them up!).
We practiced unscrewing jars - this was surprisingly easy for him at 3.5 years old.
We locked up some jewelry and he practiced unlocking them.

 He also practiced spreading jam on bread. 

Our letter craft was a jellyfish.

Letter K

Mystery Box:
Keys, Koala bear, Kangaroo, kite, and kaleidoscope

Books we Enjoyed:
Kite Day by Will Hillenbrand
Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? by Eric Carle
Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
The Kettles Get New Clothes by Dayle Ann Dodds
Three Little Kittens by Paul Galdone
Kipper Books by Mick Inkpen
Mama Cat Has Three Kittens by Denise Fleming
Katy No-Pocket by Emmy Payne
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
A Kiss for Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik

Food We Ate:

Kiwi and a Kitty sandwich


After reading Katy No-Pocket, we looked up videos of a kangaroo with a baby in it's pouch. We also borrowed a few Kipper videos from the library.

We formed letters with our new Wikki Stix pack.

We played kitchen - I gave them each a bowl, some utensils, dried beans, pasta, and a spice jar filled with rainbow rice.

Andy was pretty thrilled to come home and find this one.

 We made a kite out of contact paper and tissue paper.
We picked out a balloon and then flew it like a kite outside.

Our letter craft was a kangaroo.

Friday, July 25, 2014

{this moment} Flying

{this moment} A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Friday, July 11, 2014

June Journal

 We had a fun-filled June to remember.

From field trips

to celebrations

to visits with friends

to ordinary days,
Doesn't everyone mow the sidewalk in a dress and princess shoes?

and even a trip to the beach, we had a busy and exciting month!

We went to the beach at the end of June with Andy's family. This year we stayed in a house with Andy's sister and her family. The kids had a blast! Julia was brave enough to go in the water with Daddy a couple times, but Philip was happy to stay on shore with the big-boy pool we made for them each day (he made sure we didn't call it a baby pool). He had a few panicky moments our first morning on the beach because he was scared of the whales that were in the ocean. Luckily, with a lot of reassurance from us, he rallied and played on the beach - he just made sure he wasn't anywhere near the water!

We ate dinner out with Aunt Sally and Uncle Joe one night. Afterwards, we all enjoyed looking at the boats and searching for crabs on the rocks.

Julia napped on the fly most days and couldn't quite keep her eyes open the day we went to the ice cream shop.

 Slept through the whole thing

 Didn't sleep!

Don't worry, she got lots of treats.
And it gave us an excuse to go back to the ice cream shop one more time.
They both continually commanded us "Look at my tongue!"
After miniature golf, and real golf, and tennis, and guitar concerts, and lunches out, and the annual Isle Mile (My-O My-O as Julia says), and a visit to the Serpentarium, and many great conversations, and the birth of a new nephew (back in GA - not at the beach!), and church, and countless renditions of Let it Go, it was finally our last night of the trip.
Two years ago these two cousins played together our last night on the beach:
This year they were out again, but now they look like this:

And there is a baby sister now, too!

Andy's Aunt brought glow sticks on our last night. They were a big hit!
 Bye-bye beach

On our way home, we stopped in Wilmington to visit some friends that just moved there. I made the mistake of giving Philip half of a bottle of Snapple at the beginning of our 4.5 hour road trip, and we ended up making countless bathroom breaks - never again! We had a great time catching up with our friends on life over the last few years and we especially loved getting to see the outgoing personality of our 5-year old goddaughter. "I wish the boy (Philip) was younger and the girl (Julia) was older, she mused one night at dinner. "In about 10 years, you'll be happy with the way things are," her father replied. We went to their swim and tennis club and the kids had a great time going to the pool for the first time this summer. Julia loved climbing up the ladder and Philip had fun walking down the stairs into the water, over to the ladder, and then climbing up - over and over again! After lunch, the boys went out to play tennis - Andy got to see what it is like to play against a real tennis pro. We caught up with them for a bit and the kids hit around some balls.

On our last night we had dinner by the beach, then played outside until after the sun went down. For the first time of the entire trip, Philip let the waves splash on his feet. When I asked how it felt he happily exclaimed, "It feels great!" Next year we'll be starting all over again trying to get him in the water!

In other news:
Philip has entered the Why stage. Not in a talking back way, but in a curious way. He is starting to get into our music and asks the name of every song that comes on the radio. He has declared Thrive by Casting Crowns as "his song" and asks for it anytime we get into the car. I cannot think of another song that I would want him to attach to at this time in his life. Perfect for my little boy! And to hear him shouting "Joy unspeakable!" repeatedly, while bouncing on our bed at night makes me so happy.

Julia (22 months) knows the names of all our neighbors and while eating meals she will announce to me who is outside. She is a meat-lover and she calls all meat chicken. She has started to show interest in learning her colors, but she usually defaults to orange when she is guessing the color of something. She continues to expand her vocabulary and I recently noticed her practicing words that she has a hard time pronouncing. Some of her cute pronunciations include staw-be-as (strawberries), o-gurt (yogurt) and lemon-egg (lemonade).

Both kids are obsessed with Band-Aids right now. Perhaps because they found the character-themed ones I've had for a while. A Band-Aid on any little bump will calm a hysterical child.

Or 5 Band-Aids!

I am finding that I like life with an almost 2-year old and an almost 4-year old. Things are so much easier than they were even 6 months ago and I love watching Philip and Julia's friendship unfold.