Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Random March Fun and Learning

Here's a few pics of things we've been up to lately...

We love going to story time at the library each Tuesday morning, where Ms. Sarah has a half hour packed full of stories, songs, rhymes, and dances, all with a specific theme.  This week's theme was construction, which if you know my kids, you know we were all pretty excited!

 After story time, we often will pick out new books to bring home, play with the puzzles, games, magnetic letters, etc in the kids' area, and every once in a while get to play the educational games on the computers if they are free.  Another highlight of story time is that there are take-home coloring sheets to go along with the theme---here the kids are coloring their bulldozers :-)

We have had almost constant snow and below freezing temps this winter....
Summer's snowman has been getting buried alive!  This picture was from a few weeks ago, now the snow covers all but the top inch of him!

 But, it is FINALLY starting to thaw out!!  We hit 40 degrees this week, and we are living it up!  Here we are going for our first walk of the year with our favorite neighbors.  While we dodged quite a few "lake size" puddles, it felt awesome to be outside!

 Barnes and Noble had a special story time for Dr. Suess' birthday last Monday, so we met up with a friend to hear the reading of Green Eggs and Ham.  The highlight, however, was the cool train table they have in the kids area.   Colton (literally) played here for an hour and a half!!!  Summer picked out books for me to read to her while Colton played at the train table.

Colton is in heaven when we get the special "car" shopping cart!

We've been doing lots of arts and crafts in this cold weather...here is some play dough...

 Here the girls (Summer and neighbors Faith and Noelle) are making all sorts of puppets and other goodies with stickers, glue, etc. 

 That same day, Colton was so sweet playing with neighbor Baby Lilah.  The 3 girls came over one morning while their Mommy and Daddy went to look at their new house.  We are so sad to be losing them as neighbors but are grateful for the friendship we have started and that we will continue even after they move this month.

 We love our zoo membership as much as ever!  The kiddos and I went on Friday and packed a delicious lunch of PBJ, goldfish crackers, and apples :).  A highlight for all of us was watching the bird show after lunch.
Photographer Summer at the zoo, getting a close up shot of the giant sea turtle.

Colton and the Penguins :)

My little beauty

 Summer decided she wanted to make a grocery list with me this week, so she asked me how to spell the words she wanted to put on her list, and then made one :)
Summer grocery shopping with her list :)
Winter is the perfect time for tot school and preschool, since we want to be inside anyway :).  About a month before Summer turned 2, I started "tot school" with her (see this post) , and since Colton is now a month shy of turning 2, I decided to try some of the same activities with him this week.

Working on tracing the letters in Colton's name (dry erase markers + paper in plastic sleeve = perfect reusable practice sheets)

Practicing writing his name
Here is a video of him tracing his letters...


I was out of fruit loops (which I used for Summer's counting practice) but I used some marshmallows for Colton for a similiar number practice activity using this worksheet.

We tried to identify numbers as well as talk about "how many" of something was that number.  Here is a bit of a video showing where we are currently at ;)


Summer did great working in her workbook while I worked with Colton.

In the past year we have mostly finished the Preschool (red) one, so a few weeks ago I bought her some kindergarten ones.  She loves them!

Summer quietly working while I worked with Colton.
While Colton was napping Summer and I had a bit more Mommy-Summer preschool time.  A few topics of late....

Telling time:

And a video of what we are working on with telling time...(we conquered the hour hand a while ago but are working on understanding the minute hand)...


We work on reading/word flashcards pretty frequently (at her request during breakfast or lunch), but have in the last month or so begun beginner reader books.  (I found a pack of 10 beginner reader books at a consignment sale last fall and tucked them away for when she was ready).  This is the third book we have worked on reading together, and the first time she has seen this book (I have to change up the books so she has to read it instead of memorize it!)  She is getting better at sounding words out, but often will just look at the picture and try to "guess" the words, lol!  Anyway, here is a little video of what we do when we practice reading with her reading books...


The word "the" shows up a lot in books, so one day we went through and found all the "the's" on a few pages of one of her Curious George books and now she recognizes the word "the" from memory, which is helpful, because its not an easy word to sound-out :).

While teaching my kiddos school related stuff is fun and educational, of top priority for me is their spiritual upbringing.  Our morning Bible reading routine has changed slightly in the past few months...instead of reading and praying with each kid individually when they wake up, we have transitioned to reading both their Bibles and praying together during breakfast.  This has seemed to work better when they get up at the same time, as well as keep a wiggly Colton focused ;).  We continue our weekly Scripture memory...

This week's verse
and everyone in the family takes turns saying it at each meal.  A month or so ago Colton started being interested in saying it with us, so I would have him repeat after me.  This week, for the first time, he remembered almost all of it all on his own!  Here are two videos, one of each of the kids, saying this weeks' verse:



I love watching both of them grow in their knowledge and understanding of Jesus.  A lot of Summer's recent questions have been about descriptions of heaven vs. "the bad place" and about sharing the Good News about Jesus taking away all sins of anyone who asks so they can go to heaven too.  Each morning she hears me thank God for her decision in this area and continued growth and also hears me pray for Colton and Baby.  Because a lot of our conversation surrounds life after death lately, as her understanding continues to grow, she has started to pray for her brother to understand God's forgiveness.  It is so absolutely adorable!  In the past week we have started encouraging Colton to pray on his own, vs just repeating after us, when it is his turn to pray.  He knows that prayers start with "Dear God" and end with "Amen" and have some "thank you's" in the middle, so we are transitioning him to pick which "thank you's" he will put inside his prayer :).

I will end with this video of the kids playing basketball in the basement, as it is (most often for Colton) a common occurrence.    Colton will go play in the basement even if Summer and I are upstairs, and will shoot hoops for the longest time!  Just this week he started being able to get height and arch to his shot, allowing him to get multiple baskets in a row in a hoop that is taller than he is--pretty cute to watch!  While this particular video does not showcase his new ability ;), I will post it here to remind me of his current love for basketball as well as Summer's use of Matthew 20:16 in saying, "Colton can go first and I'll go last" (Several months ago we discussed this verse, and ever since she has quoted it all the time, including with our plumber(!) , and I just love it!).


The Baum Family said...

You guys are so busy!!!! Looks like a fabulous week. Colton saying his verse is pure preciousness.

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