Friday, May 29, 2009

Water Table Fun

After facing down two wasps nests, I retrieved the water table from the room above the garage last week. My water babies had a great time! Since M's play has developed so much from last year and little brother wants to do everything big brother does, I think this year the water table will receive even more use than last year!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lilac Season

Lilacs are my favorite flower, and this year the biggest of our lilac bushes (this is more of a tree!) put on quite a show this year! As you can imagine, the smell was incredible!

The blossoms are just about gone now, but next year I'm going to try some of the ideas in this post like making lilac sugar and lilac muffins!

Mother's Day Gift

I took a picture of my Mother's Day gift and then completely forgot to post it! I love it!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day in Our Little Town

We went to the parade for the first time this year since moving to this town. After our story hour theme was "parades" last week and the kids received flags and practiced marching, I knew we had to go! It's a small parade, but both the boys certainly enjoyed it! Okay...I did too! The marching band had nothing on our hometown, but there's something about hearing a drumline!

We found a perfect, shady spot to stand right in front of the high school...


VFW...octogenarians walking alongside 20-somethings...

Junior ROTC...

High school marching band...

Fire department (our priest was somewhere in there)...

A classic fire truck from a neighboring town...

My favorite of the classic cars...

After the parade we drove up to the lake shore to walk around...

This park has a picnic area and lawn, two nature trails, a rocky swimming beach, and offers many free, family activities throughout the season. I know we'll spend a lot of time here this summer!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Honey Cookies

At story hour a few weeks ago, the children read Honey Cookies by Meredith Hooper and we've made the cookies twice since. They are similar to snickerdoodles, though I don't like them quite as well. The dough is quite crumbly and not easy to form. M. and my husband very fond of them, however, and M. will recite portions of the book as we bake.

The book looks at where each ingredient to make the cookies comes from (e.g. 1,000 honeybees and a field of wheat) as a boy and his grandma bake their treats.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Early Math- Patterns

I recently came across this "Let's Tackle Math" set and pulled it out last week to begin work on patterns and sequences. At first, M. was more intrigued by playing with the various frogs, caterpillars, bees, and bugs but he also really enjoyed making patterns and finishing sequences.

I think this is a set that's going to provide us with lots of fun as we begin to explore math!

Yogurt Baby

Is there anything better than homemade yogurt first thing in the morning? We think not!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Easter Egg Hunt

We had the members of our MOMS Club over yesterday for a belated Easter Egg Hunt (our first had to be canceled due to illness) and the kids had a great time! There were 84 eggs hidden in the backyard and all but one was found! (I found it when I went out later in the day to hang laundry!)

Penny Polishing

Saturday morning, M. and I polished pennies for our MOMS Club Easter Egg Hunt yesterday.

We used put a drop or two of lemon juice on the front of each penny, dipped a toothbrush in salt then scrubbed away before repeating on the back. Once we had polished them all, we rinsed them clean and let them dry.

We both really liked this was soothing in a way and VERY satisfying to see the pennies restored to a bright and shiny state.



I found the idea at the 4Real Learning Boards here (scroll down for the post that describes the activity).

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day

Happy May Day! We ushered in this month of Marian devotion with gardening! We want to create a Mary Garden this year and what better day to begin?

I originally planned on devoting an area outside our kitchen door to the garden, but upon doing some reading I discovered that almost every plant we have in the various gardens around our home (there are six or seven) has a religious meaning behind it! For example, hosta (or plantain lily) is known as the Assumption Lily! So rather than devoting a single area to Our Lady, I think our the entirety of our gardening pursuits will be dedicated to Mary. Even the strawberry patch...strawberries are "Fruitful Virgin!"

Today we spent the afternoon outside, and did most of our planting and I started some rearrangement. Our fenced in area has an awkward oval-y shaped partial shade garden edged with rocks (for lack of a better, more-artistic phrase!) that's very inconvenient to running, rambunctious boys. Yesterday a friend came and took several of my peonies and hosta plants and today I moved the bleeding heart along here:

This area of the gardens has more hosta, day lilies (St. Joseph's Lily), columbine (Our Lady's Shoes), chrysanthemums (All Saints' Flower), hydrangea (Ave Maria), and now the bleeding heart (Mary's Heart).

Here's a quick tour of the other work we did today and Our Lady's flowers:
The big stump holds petunias (Lady's Praise), alyssum (Mary's Little Cross), vinca vine, and a variety of daisy...

Window boxes with pansies (Trinity Flower), petunias, dusty miller, alyssum, and lobelia...

The only tulips that bloomed this year. This is another garden that's going to be revamped. The stones have to go and the peonies (Pentecost Rose), irises, and tulips (Mary's Prayer) will probably be moved. I have enough bulbs for an army, by the way. They are out of control!

Oh, and I have to show off the wonderful gate my husband built last weekend for the front porch. Our school time will relocate out here this summer as well as playtime during on rainy or very hot and sunny days. The porch is completely sheltered from rain and almost always shady.