Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back in Business!

I took a little break from my Usborne business, because life became a little hectic once I started schooling at home. I even let my website expire- well, it's now open again for business. Be sure to stop by my website and enter my drawing for $50 in free books and to explore all of our new titles!






Please keep me in mind if you need any educational resources, birthday gifts, etc. Feel free to ask me any questions about my wonderful products. Have fun browsing my online store. I'm happy to have it up and running again!

Happy Reading!

Jen

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Meet the Big Eyed Bird!

Recently, Sunshine learned about a Spanish artist named Joan Miro'. Here are a sneak peek of a couple of his paintings:






After analyzing his work, she had to create her own painting- an imaginary bird. She needed to include a variety of lines in her work such as thin lines, thick, wavy, loops, zig-zag, and dotted lines. She created The Big Eyed Bird. If you look closely, you can see that she did an excellent job incorporating a variety of lines.
As well as create quite an abstract work. Now keep in mind she's only 7, so I was proud of her artistic accomplishment!















To learn more about Joan Miro':

http://www.answers.com/topic/joan-mir

http://joanmiro.com/

Take Care!

Jen

Friday, May 22, 2009

On the Hunt for Animal Tracks!

Today is the day that finally arrived for my girls- a mini-camping trip with Dad! On their agenda is fishing, hiking, shooting bows and arrows, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows on the fire, and searching for animal tracks! My husband even brought plaster of paris for the kids to make molds of the tracks that they find. It will be interesting to see how this turns out. I applaud his effort though in planning something so cool for the kids.

Well, the teacher in me had to help out, so I printed out a two page guide that has just about every animal track on it imaginable. They each get their own guide, even hubby. I'm so excited to hear all about their adventures this weekend. (And yes, I'm staying home. Wooo Hooo! I shouldn't sound that excited now should I? Well, I adore my girls, but right now the silence is wonderful. It's not very often that Momma gets time to herself, so I'm taking it all in.)

As I was researching for animal tracks, I came across an awesome website containing a plethera of ideas, books, activities, you name it relating to animal tracks.
http://www.squidoo.com/animal_tracks

Other resources that may be helpful if you are more interested in animal tracking:
Environmental Education for Kids
Fun School Animal Tracks Game
Bear Tracker: Mammals (cool blown up photos of each track and info about the animal)

Happy Tracking!

Jen

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Curious Questions!

Peanut was curious about ants today. (Probably because they are attacking my kitchen like they do every summer!)

"Do ants have a queen like bees? Bees have a queen and the worker bees have stripes. Well, I saw an ant today that had a brown stripe. So I think this is a worker ant and it has a queen."


Pretty cool thinking for a five year old, although I'm not sure I've ever observed an ant with a brown stripe.

Well, she was right about the Queen part. There is a Queen ant and boy are they interesting.

Did you know?

*The Queen is noticeably larger than the other ants in the colony.

*The Queen has wings that stay on for the "nuptial flight" and then taken off or chewed off by workers. (pretty gross! or cool to others, I guess.) Some choose not to mate and can actually produce on their own- and will have all female offsprings.

*After the Queen finds a nesting area, she actually will seal herself in and never emerge in sunlight again.

I don't think I'd want to be the Queen Ant- wings get chewed, never see sunlight, and only use is to reproduce- no leadership involved for this Queen!

Sunshine was curious about Mom's breasts!

"Are you sure they don't get milk yet? Well, than why are they growing? Can you please show me that there isn't any milk in there yet?"

Continues to bug me!!

Mom- "No!!!!"

I'll just leave it at that! Of course, I explained when it will occur. Boy, she can be persistent.

So there you have it- ants and breasts!

Hope you are enjoying your day!
Take Care!!

Jen

What Did You Just Say??

Help! My 7 year old has a trash mouth! Okay, I'm exaggerating. She really doesn't, but she sure did shock me last night. I let the girls stay up late to watch the finale of American Idol. (Some may think I'm a bad mom for letting them stay up so late, but they just have such a passion for music-so I caved.)
Anyways, back to the story! We were anxiously awaiting Adam's performance.
He came out onto the stage in this outfit-
Sunshine girl looks at the screen and says......
"What the hell is he wearing?"

Mom: "What did you just say?"
Sunshine: "I said- What the hell is he wearing?"
Mom: "Oh my- honey- you can't say that."
Sunshine: "Why?" puzzled look on her face.
Mom: "Just don't say it- it's not nice. Where did you here that anyways?"
Sunshine: "I'm not sure." (And then she apologized for using bad language. Her little face was priceless.)

Of course, I marched right up stairs to interrogate hubby who claims he does not say that phrase. And then we laughed together, because it was funny to hear this come out of her mouth so casually like it was nothing. I think she learned her lesson, though.

Have a wonderful day!

Jen

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tree or Weed?



My husband, the horticulturist, seems to think that this is some type of tree that has been growing in our bushes, so we decided to transplant it and see what happens.


Well, his twin brother, the horticulturist, seems to think it is just a big old weed!


The girls didn't seem to mind! They had fun planting the tree/weed and getting a little bit dirty.

Well, we are curious to see what it turns into as it grows. Any ideas?

Take Care and sorry I haven't been around much these days! Struggling with 1st trimester fun -nausea and more nausea! Puts a damper on my creative spirit! Still smiling though, knowing that their is a little blessing in there!!
Jen

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gotta Love Play-doh!

Peanut and I had some alone time, so we chose to play with her new play-doh kit. We had so much fun pretending that we owned our very own bakery. This is something that you can do with your kids without the actual kit. Have fun creating ice cream for an ice cream shop or hamburgers for your own drive-thru! Beginning money skills can also be incorporated as you sell the products to each other.




Even though the creative thinking and math skills are important, even more so is the memory of having fun together!

Have a great day!

Jen

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!


We celebrated Mother's Day a day early, because I will be traveling to the Chesapeake Bay tomorrow for a wedding. The girls were so cute! They made breakfast in bed for me all by themselves!

The menu:

Toast with lots of sugar and cinnamon
Applesauce
Oatmeal cookies
A slice of American Cheese
Yogurt
Crackers
Grape Juice

They wanted to make me eggs, but knew that they weren't allowed to use the oven by themselves, but isn't the above menu just adorable. So funny! I was also given pictures, a clay heart that they molded, and a song.



Well, I will be taking a break from blogging for a few days while I am away with my hubby!

I hope that you have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Enjoy- You deserve it!

Jen

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hooray for my Brilliant Inventor!

Last month, I posted information about Inventing Day and also shared my daughters' inventions. If you missed my Inventing Day post, you can find it here: Inventing Day!

Well, we got a surprise in the mail today! Peanut won 1st place for her age group! Yeah, Peanut!




Her prize: a brillian inventor t-shirt! She is thrilled and has been running around in her t-shirt even though it is 2 sizes too big. Her invention is also featured on the website. Check it out here Lots of Stuff Robotic Turtle.

I'm so proud of my little inventor!

Jen

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ice Hockey?

After experimenting with water and ice cubes to explore how matter can change, the girls made up their own game.

Ice hockey.

Here's how to play. You need 3 ice cubes. One ice cube per child and one ice cube for the puck. They had so much fun hitting the ice cube across the table with their own ice cube trying to get it past their contender! Laughter and cheering. How did our science lesson turn into this? Well, they were being creative and I knew the game would eventually end. When the ice cube (solid) melts into water(a liquid). See, they were learning as they played and didn't even know it!! Isn't that the best type of learning, learning that occurs through discovery.

Take Care,

Jen

Monday, May 4, 2009

How to do art- Eric Carle Style!

Of course, we can't do art as good as Eric Carle in our household, but you can't blame us for trying can ya? I've always adored his illustrations.






Some of my favorite books include The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Quiet Cricket, and the The Very Busy Spider. Using the method of collage, Eric Carle creates the most colorful illustrations. He does this by first painting papers. We really enjoyed the process of painting our own papers.

(I can't take the credit for this idea- it was actually a project assigned by Abby's art teacher, but I loved the idea and wanted to share!)

First, you create papers using a variety of media, such as watercolors, fingerpaints, crayons, or markers.








As the papers are drying, the next step is to plan the illustration. (sketching a rough draft)



The final step is to cut out shapes, experiment with them, and then glue them on construction paper to complete the illustration.

Sunshine did a wonderful job creating her cat illustration. (above photo)

Visit the photo and video gallery at
http://www.eric-carle.com to view Eric Carle creating his papers and illustrations. Great way to show our children real art in action!

Have a wonderful and creative day!

Jen

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