A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Whatever Wanda book review and #GIVEAWAY

Have you ever needed an attitude adjustment?  Yeah, me too.  How about your kids?  Have they ever been determined not to enjoy a family outing?  Whatever Wanda is the book for them!

Whatever Wanda is book 3 in the Shine Bright Kids series by Christy Ziglar.

You may remember when we reviewed Can't-Wait Willow.  There's also Must-Have Marvin.  My girls like both these books, so they were excited to have Sam read them Whatever Wanda.

The story is about a little girl who seems to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed.

She doesn't want to wear her special duck shirt.

She doesn't want to go to the duck festival.

And she certainly doesn't want to have any fun while she's there!

Fortunately, things turn out okay at the end of the story.  Would you like to win a copy?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering!  If you just can't wait, Whatever Wanda is available on Amazon for $11.11.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Our Week with an update on Katie's New Leg

Somewhere online I saw a Lego Challenge asking kids to build something SPACE related.  Since we're studying space right now, I thought that seemed like a great idea, so this is what Jack built.

On the left, we have a spaceship.  In the center is a Lego guy weighing moon rocks.  At the back corner is a crater, and on the far right, is a flag.

We haven't been working from our Home Art Studio DVD the last couple weeks because we are in the middle of a new art review, but we did another lesson from the DVD this week:  shoe mobiles.

Inspired by the mobiles created by Alexander Calder, the kids were to make shoes and turn the shoes into mobiles.

We didn't have time to do the full mobile part, but the boys drew and colored shoes while I read aloud.

Another art project we did this week was inspired by our study of space.

This is Jack's canvas, depicting the earth, a satellite (the yellow part) and the gray moon.

Eli finishes up his canvas.  The mug with all the brushes is a new thing for us.  Zach & Heather gave me a beautiful chocolate fruit arrangement for my birthday that came in the mug.  I *love* having all the brushes stored so they're visible and accessible now.  The boys are starting to use more than one brush size in a piece, so this makes art easier.

Earth, moon, and sun, with another satellite, and a lot of stars.

We made it to the library this week!  Woo hoo!  It's been SO long since we've been.  I've been feeling like a bad homeschooler.  We used to go every single week.  With the gorgeous spring weather, I was inspired to get out of the house.  I hope to get back to going more regularly.  Sam and Brianna want to go next week, while they're on spring break.  (Note, this is the small portion of books that was left after people grabbed handfuls and ran off.)

In keeping with our space theme, I found this Space Pasta and had to make it for dinner one night.

The pasta is rockets, astronauts, etc, and the meatballs are "planets."  Pretend there's a vegetable on my son's plate, okay?  Pesto's green, right?  That's got to count a little.

Katie had an appointment at Shriners this week.  She was casted for her new leg about 4 weeks ago, since her current one is too small.  This was a test fit for the new socket.

Unfortunately, it was not a great fit, and we discovered another issue when she tried out the different style of leg.  So she was recasted, and we're going to try again next month.  Meanwhile, her leg doesn't fit, but that hasn't slowed her down a bit.

We've gotten to the point where we really only take Lukey out for doctor's appointments and church.  (And of course, he goes to school on the bus.)  Fortunately, doctor's appointments have slowed WAY down.  And with Paul working 3 out of every 6 Sundays... well, Luke doesn't get out much.

When he melts down at home, it's frustrating to not be able to help or console him, of course, and the noise sets us all on edge, but it's common enough that we have grown accustomed to it.  Unfortunately, Sunday, he melted down at church, and nothing would comfort him.  Paul took him out and he just kept crying.  I tried for a little while, and got him to settle for a few minutes while he was shaking wisteria blossoms down the front of my dress, but then he went right back to crying again.  Paul ended up taking him home.

I happened to win these amazingly cool crayons from 4 Knowledge 4 Fun via homeschool.com!  You may remember I did a series of reviews for them last year.

I traced Katie's name on our big Fundanoodle floor pad, using our bath letters.

Katie had fun coloring in the letters with these vibrant and quirky crayons!  She's recognizing a few more letters now.  At Shriners, there's a tic tac toe game, and when I asked her what the letters were, she correctly identified X and O.  She knows KATIE in capitals, but doesn't always recognize them in lower case or different fonts.  Still, I'm pleased with how she's doing, and I'm looking forward to starting her in my favorite homeschool book ever.

Hannah will be "off track" from school for the month of May, so I'm thinking I might have the girls join us for more official school during that time, as sort of a trial run for next school year.  At this point, we're leaning toward bringing Hannah home from public school and starting Katie on K materials here, since she just misses the cutoff birth date to go to PS K.  Eli will be off to high school next year, so it would be Jack, Hannah, Katie and I at home.

Another painting project.  We were supposed to be learning how to use watercolors without the colors seeping into each other, but both boys sort of did their own thing, so we'll have to try again to accomplish the goal of the assignment.

We're enjoying the lovely spring weather.  I'm hoping to make it to park day one of these days!  The boys miss hanging out with other kids, especially since Jack lost his friend across the street when they moved recently.

Looking forward, we're going to spend next week learning about African history!  At this point, all we've hit is Egypt and Morocco, so it's exciting to explore new territory.  I'll have to find us some African art projects!  (On second thought, if I dive into Pinterest I may not get anything else done all weekend!)

Linking up with Home to 4 Kiddos and:

For the Display of His Splendor

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Animal Trackers Club

You know, I'm really enjoying all the monthly subscription boxes that are available these days.  There are subscriptions for clothes, makeup, snacks, art pieces, and learning adventures.  Today, I want to share Animal Trackers with you.  

We received a kit similar to the one above.

It came in this very cute box!  This subscription is intended for kids ages 3 & up.  My little reviewers are 4 and 7.

The month we got is all about ZEBRAS!

The girls got one of the zebra figures in the kit, so we got out the zebras we had from a diorama Hannah had to make for school, so all the zebras could be a family.

Here, the girls are using foamy stickers on habitat cards.

Hannah's finished project.

And Katie's finished project.

Each month's animal also comes as a magnet to stick on the adorable lunch box container.

Another day, we did this fun project with Nuudles that came in the kit.  We hadn't played with Nuudles before, so this was a fun experience we got to try thanks to Animal Trackers.

There were also a couple of worksheets that incorporate letters and numbers in a gentle way.  The zebra mask was a hit, of course, leading to lots of creative dramatic play.  We played a couple different games with the Savanna Animal Cards.  You really get a lot of fun activities for only $12/month.

Also, if you have older kids, check out Space Scouts!  Same concept, monthly subscription, but space themed instead of animal themed, and geared toward kids ages 6 & up.

If you're looking for fun things to do with your kids, I hope you'll check out Animal Trackers and Space Scouts.  Either subscription would be a great boredom buster for summertime, or a fun birthday gift that gives all year!

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