P31 Wannabe

Pinterest Cousin Portraits July 24, 2013

Filed under: Crafts,Life,Misc — Lacey @ 1:05 am

My cousin saw this picture on Pinterest and knew it was something we should do for my husband’s grandparents.

Here’s the link to the actual photographer’s page: http://carolinaphotosmith.com/blog/2012/09/best-beach-photography/

See, at the time we planned this, there were 11 great grand kids (there are now 3 more additions!). And it hard to get them altogether since three live out of state. So, last December, when the out of staters were going to be in town, we secretly planned a photography session. It took a bit of planning for each family to choose a color for their kiddos and to correctly number each kid in order of birth. But the results were so worth it! It was also a lot of work to get them to stay in order and all face the camera (as you can imagine with 11 kids 5 & under!).




They were so surprised and they love the photos. We took many more than those above. And we also had our photographer (a high school student from our youth group) take individual shots of each kiddo.

Since all the great grands were together we also made a few more super cute gifts for the great grandparents.

The Pinterest version:


And ours:




And a fingerprint tie for Papa since he wears ties every Sunday and every time he teaches (multiple times a week).



Mama was so happy about her apron. I don’t know if she’s actually worn it but its been up for display!




I guess maybe we’ll try to update the cousin portraits in the next couple years. Should be interesting since I now have an 18 yr old and a 20 month old to add to the mix! Ironically it was only a couple days after we took those photos that we got the call about being able to adopt K, and only a week later that we brought her home! How’s that for timing!


Planning for school this fall July 23, 2013

Filed under: Homeschooling,Life — Lacey @ 11:56 pm

This fall (aka in like a week!) H will officially be a kindergardener! We have been homeschooling (or experimenting with it) for 2 years now.  The first year, we combined with her two cousins who are 9 months either direction of her age wise.  I split the work with their momma and we each took the kids one day a week.  It was fun, but draining too because of squeezing it all into 3 hours a week and trying to entertain 3 kiddos with different attention spans! How do you moms of multiple homeschooling kids do it? *Big sigh*

Last year, we decided to do our own thing for homeschool, but we each bought a different volume of FIAR (1&2) so we could later swap books if we wanted to continue using the material.  H and I had a lot of fun rowing books, but we didn’t get through many of them. That didn’t bother me in the least because we spent multiple weeks on each book and technically she was still in preschool.  So, no rush, right?!

This year, (actually in less than 2 weeks!!) she will turn 5.  I had read multiple places that in our state (Florida) its required to declare with the school board the year the child is 5 in the fall.  But then once I looked back at it again this year, it says that its allowed at 5, but not required til 6.  So i’m confused if I just read it wrong or if it changed. But I went ahead and declared her.  She is very ready to be more formally schooled and would be public school Kindergarden ready, too.

Yesterday, I was feeling pretty yuck after still fighting a cold and trying to recover from our 8 day youth group trip.  I actually managed to get a few household chores done and even amazed myself by planning out the basic outline for H’s school this year!  Here’s the link if you’re interested:


I decided on using The Life of Fred: Apples for her math.  I had previously read a number of reviews on it and read through a few sample chapters online.  It’s kinda expensive because the only place to order is from a specific company.  The ones on amazon were all in a large grouping and I wasn’t ready to commit to that yet.  But the good thing about the books are that they are reusable.  The students don’t write in them at all.  I like that they’re story based and that they put math into real life situations.  The reviews I read said that their kids liked to read multiple chapters in one sitting and usually didn’t want to stop studying math.  Sounds promising to me!  The first volume has 18 chapters in.  So I plan on doing one a week and I hope to add in other worksheets and pinterest inspired math activities along the way.

For reading, we will be working more on Hooked on Phonics.  I found 3 boxes (K-2nd grade) at a thrift store about a year ago.  We’ve done a few word sets already (-an, -at, -ag, -ap).  I looked through the book and came up with an outline to fit the 18 weeks I’m planning for the fall.  We’re going to focus on one word set a week (-ip, tip, hip, lip, sip, etc).  And read any books that go with it that came with the set.  I plan on having her practice writing the words using different fun forms and I listed some ideas on my spreadsheet.  Tonight for instance, we practiced reviewing some of the words we’ve already learned by writing them with erasable markers on our glass front door.  She thought that was neat!  I’m just going to have to be careful to not do certain ones around my 20 month old as she may get the idea to use real markers on the other doors!

I also plan to continue rowing the remainder of the books left in our FIAR 2 volume.  I’m scheduling two weeks per book but leaving two weeks open at the end of the fall schedule for any overlap.

And for K (my 20 month old), I’m going to try to do better about spending some intentional “tot school” time with her each week.  And hopefully each day.  Even if its reading more books or doing age appropriate versions of the activities H is doing.  I also made a list of some fun sensory type activities to do with her each week on the fall spreadsheet, too.  I’m figuring H will want in on these fun things, too!

As you’ll see on my spreadsheet, I made my fall schedule start this next week!  I’m so excited to start, that I don’t want to follow a traditional school calendar!  Also, I left off the week of thanksgiving and gave us the majority of December off.  It’s always a super busy time time of the year and I’d like to have time to enjoy doing holiday type crafts and activities.  Plus, I know how real life is, and we’re bound to run over into other weeks with our activities and lessons.  I know this is kindergarden, and a lot of what I read says to not take it too seriously, to let them play a lot and to be flexible and easy.  Honestly, I am planning on not taking it too seriously.  But I do want a plan to work from, otherwise, I know myself…I will end up feeling lost or being unmotivated to do much.  So, that’s my plan!  Let’s see how it goes!


Pinterest Inspired Gifts

Filed under: Crafts,Life — Lacey @ 11:15 pm

Last summer/fall I was in the mood to make homemade gifts for the holidays. I was also in a sewing mood, so naturally that’s mainly what I did. I love all the pillows I see on Pinterest. These were some of my favorites and ones that I could actually attempt to mimic.



Here’s how mine turned out:



I’d recommend heavy duty stitching the leaves on. Mine hasn’t weathered use well. Which is sad since it was a gift.

I also made a couple of Christmas pillows. The first one, I failed in taking a pic before giving it away. It was a red felt poinsettia on a white and gold patterned Christmas print. The second, was slightly based on this one from Pinterest:


And here’s how mine turned out:


And finally, this one isn’t sewing (some of you sighed with relief I’m sure). K’s grandma saw this pic online and requested a set from my girls’ footprints.


I opted not to use canvas as I could see the disaster and multiple tries it would probably take with my kiddos, especially the 18 month old! So I used cardstock and put them in frames. And it did take at least two attempts for each kid.




HS: Mr Gumpy’s Motorcar (FIAR 2)

Filed under: Books,FIAR,Homeschooling,Life — Lacey @ 11:05 pm

I had planned on being on top of school this summer. Not that we’re doing anything super serious but I wanted to still keep doing some book studies and such. Well, as we all know what tends to happen…we’ve been kinda lazy. But we’re finally back to doing a FIAR study.

I had to order Mr. Gumpy’s Motorcar from amazon because it wasn’t at the library. But honestly it’s probably been my least favorite of all the books we’ve studied so far. The drawing aren’t as clear and there isn’t much substance to the story. But we’re still enjoying learning about what we can from the little bit of topics that are in it.


Day One
We started out by reading Mr. Gumpy’s Motorcar, of course. We talked about what was different about Mr. Gumpy’s car and our types of vehicles and why it’s probably set in Europe (England). H worked on an England coloring pae from education.com. Then we experimented with watercolors.



This was the first time K had ever painted!
We tried painting the sun like the artist does in Mr. Gumpy’s with round rings around it instead of the typical straight rays. H made sure to include rain and mud like Mr. Gumpy’s. And what rain picture would be complete without a rainbow? H is a bit obsessed with drawing them recently.


And I got in on the painting, too. Nothing impressive though, but its always fun.


Then we read from two library books:


Duck in a Truck has some onomatopoeia like Mr. Gumpy’s and seems like it is probably set in England, too, based on the side of the car he drives on among other things.

Day Two
Today we focused on weather. We started by making an interactive water cycle.



Then we made a cloud by microwaving ivory soap for 2 minutes.



I was hoping it’d be more fun to play with but it just became powdery pretty quickly. It made the house smell nice and soapy. But it was a pain to clean out of the microwave.

We finished by reading a few books about weather and clouds.


We also had a picnic outside and looked at the clouds. H drew the types of clouds we saw in her weather journal.



Day Three
Today H drew the clouds in her weather journal again.


We read a few more cloud/weather books:


H drew a picture if Mr. Gumpy’s car while looking at the book and trying to copy their methods:


We read a book about forces and movement:


And then did an experiment from the book with a few toys cars and a homemade ramp. First, H weighed them to see which would require more force to push.



Then she released down the ramp to see which one went the furthest (or even stayed on the ramp the whole way down). Next we added different items at the end of the ramp to either add friction or to reduce it (steam mop pad, foil, wax paper, towel, etc). She marked where the car went with a sticker on the floor each time.



We also wrote down the setting in our language arts notebook and she chose “trotter” as her vocab word. She had a lot of fun using the “I’ve got a bone in trotter” line from the book. I had to google it to find out what it meant. She drew a sheep’s foot to represent the trotter, which you can barely see compared to the rest of the random pic she decided to draw.


Then we talked about time sequence of stories. We talked about how some stories take place in only a few hours (like Mr. Gumpy’s) and others take place over days, weeks, months or even years. Next, we listed some of the other FIAR books we’ve read and what their time frames were. The parenthesis were her answers and the others are the correct ones.


Day Four
Today we finished up the book since hubby and I were headed out on a youth trip at the end of the week.

We read:

And talked about how the hen’s friends were similar to Mr. Gumpy’s in how they didn’t want to help. We discussed how that wasn’t nice. We talked about cooperation and helping each other. We also talked about how to be social and what social skills we need to get along with others (listening, taking turns, not talking all the time, speaking kindly, being friendly, etc).

We finished up by reading a couple more books about friction and forces:

And then did an experiment from the book with trying to hold different items (marble, ice, plastic baggy, spoon) with dry fingers, floured fingers and then piled fingers to show the effects of friction or lack thereof.

H sure loves doing experiments and getting her hands dirty! I just don’t always like cleaning up afterwards!

Sometime during the weekend (we rowed the book from the end of one week to the beginning of another), Grandpa came for a visit and we made a cloud dessert to go with our weather lesson: