Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 117-Summer School

Cameron is a little upset with me.  His mom, who was also a teacher, does not want him to forget what he  has learned over our 3 month break called summer.  I never really had to worry about retention since our previous 5 years of a year round school schedule allowed a 3 week  maximum break (even for summer) from school.    

Now that we have experienced our first full year of a traditional school schedule, I really don’t want the kids to forget everything their teachers drilled into their brains day in and day out the last 9 months.  So, I came up with “Summer Tic Tac Toe” to cover their educational needs.  The kids can choose what math, reading or writing activity they want to do as long as they get “3 in a row”.   Each week they get to erase their board and start a new “game”. 

Even though Cam isn’t all that thrilled to practice some of his skills over the summer, and keeps reminding me that summer is supposed to be a break from schoolwork, the other kids are looking forward to playing “Summer Tic Tac Toe”.  Brit even said, “yay!” when I mentioned it…which makes me feel a little bit better.    


Some fun educational Websites:  www.fun4thebrain.com, www.freetypinggame.net, www.invention@play.org, www.mathisfun.com, www.seussville.com, www.nlvm.usu.edu

Mead makes Redispace transitional storybook paper that teaches proper spacing, legibility, appropriate letter size.  You can buy it at Wal Mart in the school aisle.  It is for students 1st Grade and up. 

For the File Folder Games, you can order “Instant File-Folder Games for Math” Grades 1-3 on Scholastic.com.  ISBN 0-439-13730 

Instead of the Investigations workbook, Scholastic also has fun math practice activities in “Mystery Picture Math”.  ISBN 0-439-449892.  The kids love the activities in this book.  I used to use them as a fast finisher for my class. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 116–Memorial Day 2011

Today, Justin paid a visit to this memorial dedicated to all the injured and fallen Marines who he served with during Operation Iraqi Freedom, in the Fox Company, 2D Battalion, 23D Marines.  We are thankful and grateful to “these brave men (who) fought valiantly next to one another as brothers, with honor, courage, and commitment”.  Let us all remember and thank those who sacrificed and fought for the freedom we enjoy today.    


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 115- Road Kill

She rolls onto her back and puts all 4 paws into the air and just lays there.  This is what we call Harley road kill and we all get a kick out of it.  When someone catches her in road kill position, they yell, “road kill” and all who are in earshot distance will run to look and laugh.     


Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 114-Ants Beware…

We’ve had a little ant problem in our laundry room.  While the exterminator was en route to nip this problem in the bud, Matti decided to take matters into her own hands and make a sign to scare the ants away.  She placed it on the floor just outside the laundry room (notice the right hand side says, “boo”) and it must have worked (along with the professional spray) because we haven’t seen any of those  little buggars since.   


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 113-Our Art Gallery

I love the kids’ artwork.  They are so creative and talented.  I have been wanting to display their pieces for awhile without breaking the bank.  Ikea came to my rescue.  I bought a curtain rod and clips for under $20 and voile, instant art gallery that brightens up our basement hallway! 


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 112–My Little Graduate

13 more years…and she will be graduating from High School.  I am relieved that it’s only Preschool Graduation.  Matti was known as the “caretaker” in her preschool class.  Her teacher said Matti was always concerned with how others were feeling and doing.  If they were having a bad day, Matti was there to cheer them up!  That’s why Grandma Carmen has always called her “Little Sunshine”.  She spreads joy and lightens up a room!  Singing songs was her favorite part of preschool.  She knows all her letters, sounds writes notes and has become a reader!   


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 111- The Family Bed…

…does not exist in our house.  My bed belongs to me (and Justin).  Kids are not allowed in it or on it.  In a household full of 6 children, something has to be sacred and untouched by little humans.  Matti knocked on the door and said she wanted me.  How could I turn those puppy dog eyes away?  We turned on America’s Funniest Videos which showed a funny martial arts segment that Wyatt and Cam had to see, so in they came.  Then Brooklyn and Brit peeked in to see what was causing all the laughter.  Before I knew it, the whole brood was laying and laughing together.  


Friday, May 20, 2011

Day 110- “I Like Ike”

Meet Dwight D. Eisenhower aka:  Cameron.  For the 5th Grade Wax Museum, Cam chose to research the biography of the 34th President of the United States.  He thought it was pretty cool that President Eisenhower was a General during WWII, created N.A.S.A. and organized N.A.T.O.  


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 109–Our BBQ Birdies

So, I guess the first photo of the newly hatched birds was a little graphic for some of you.  Any newborn thing is a little ugly and freaky looking, but look at these babies now!  They are so cute!  


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 108–The Three Sisters Planting a Three Sisters Garden

What is a Three Sisters Garden?  In a three sisters planting, the three crops benefit each other.  Corn provides support for the beans, beans have bacteria on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it into a form the plants can use, and the large squash leaves shade the soil, preventing weed growth and deter animal pests.  It is planted in a mound rather than rows.  I learned about this in an Integrating Science/Culture in Curriculum at Utah State and taught a Native American Unit as part of the 3rd Grade Social Studies Curriculum.  Brit and Brookie just learned about it during their field trip last Friday, so they were excited to try it.  I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time too, so we’ll see if it works!  We forgot to soak the corn seeds first, but it’s been raining since Monday, so I hope they got soaked that way! 


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 107- Make-up 101

Lesson #1:  Crying + mascara = big black streaks dripping down your face.  Lesson learned. 

Lesson #2:  Crying makes you look ugly.  I know that one first hand and now she does too.  So don’t cry over stupid things or you no longer look cute.  


Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 106–Trying to Grow Green Thumbs

We are not gardeners.  We do not till the earth and grow our own produce, until now.  For Family Night, we planted a Salsa Garden and Native American Three Sisters Garden among other varieties of veggies and fruit.  My mouth is watering at the thought of home-grown tomatoes right now and I am looking forward to harvesting our crops.  Hopefully we will have crops to harvest.  


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 105-Harley’s “Baby”

I have always hated how some people treat their pets like one of their kids.  For the record, I am eating my words.  This cat is a large part of our family.  She has a personality and possesses silly quirks like the rest of us.  At night, she finds a “baby” aka:  any small furry stuffed animal and carries it around in her mouth.  We always know when she has a baby because she walks around meowing as loud as she can.  Although this usually happens in the wee hours of the morning, tonight she carried her baby to Cam’s backpack and nestled right in early enough to snap a photo of her mothering instinct in action.    


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 104-Crafty Chick

Brookie helped me make flower pen gifts which started out as a teacher appreciation gift idea I got from my sis-in-law.  It snowballed into office appreciation gifts for the school secretaries (that have graciously taken care of our 5 kids all attending the same school who are in the office often for various injuries, needs and ailments) a birthday present for grandma’s office desk, and a visiting teaching favor.  It turned out to be a versatile, inexpensive project! 


Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 103-There’s No Business Like Show Business

The Bancroft home was filled with singing, dancing, and a play, all arranged and directed by Matti.  She took the title of Choreographer, Writer and Director, lined up the chairs and put on a “Night of the Arts”.  She had no problem putting the other kids to work in her show.  Cam, Wyatt and Brit were all in her play.  Brooklyn was in charge of the music played via piano and radio.  Britney and Wyatt joined Matti in the singing of “P-u-r-p-l-e” (sung to the tune of “Camp Town Races”) which is about as hard to get out of your head as “It’s a Small World”.  Maybe there’s a future for this spunky 5 year old…      


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day 102-Colton’s First Word

While decorating Colton’s room, I happened to place the hats next to his crib within arms length.  They became his new source of entertainment during naptime and he learned to put them on and take them off.  Although he doesn’t talk or mimic yet, for a brief moment, he did repeat the short “a” sound for “hat”.  Although he hasn’t said it since, if we ask him to put his hat on, point to or go get his hat, he does it.


Day 99-Special Delivery

Just received pics in the mail from my awesome sister-in-law of our kiddos.  I love it and I love them!   

Cousins - 4

Ages as of April 2011:  Cameron-11, Kaylee-10, Britney-8, Jake-8, Drew-5, Matti-5, Ady-1

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 101-An Artsy Bunch

I can’t help but highlight some of the photos taken by my sister-in-law, Krysta.  They are beautiful!  Britney, Kaylee and Matti showing off their spring creations at the Woodlands Children’s Museum.  The colorful  butterflies didn’t go to waste.  Krysta grouped them in her kitchen windowsill for some cheery Easter decorations.  


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 100-Fashion Show of Sorts

Cam showing off his Taekwando sparring gear.  We are looking forward to him competing in the future!   


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 98-Mother’s Day 2011

Mother’s Day came complete with notes, flowers, chocolate, Dr. Pepper and an afternoon nap!  There’s not much more that I could have asked for!  I love all the little homemade gifts from the kids.  It made my day! 


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 97-FHE Fiasco

During this object lesson about the Holy Ghost, Justin asked, “What happens when we don’t listen to the Holy Ghost?”  Just then, Colton took a ball, threw it and hit Justin in the head.  Couldn’t have been better timing…and provided not only a great answer to the posed question, but a great laugh as well.  


Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 96-Cam’s New BFF

Cameron had “Harley magnets”  on him tonight.  She perched on the back of his chair to him company while he worked on his CRT test review homework, then decided to burrow in next to him under the blanket. 



Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 95-Signs of Spring

Could it be true?  Spring is here?  These little birdies made their home in our BBQ grill.  We have been watching the eggs, and today, they finally hatched!  It is a welcome sign that spring is finally here!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 94-Target Practice

In this case, Justin’s Superman belt buckle is the target.  Don’t ask me why this is fun, but they seemed to enjoy it.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 93–The House That Matti & Wyatt Built

Yes, I tolerated this mess, because it wasn’t a mess at all to the trained eye.  It was the “house” that Matti and Wyatt lived in for a day.  If you look close, you can see the front door and different “rooms”.  They spared no detail, including a room for Harley.   


Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 92–History in the Making

President Barak Obama at the White House announcing the capture and death of Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.  Justin was deployed to Iraq as a result.  I am thankful for my husband and many others who risked and sacrificed their lives for our freedom and safety.  I love you, babe!   



Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 91–Pretty Piggies

These 40 little piggies stayed home to get spruced up for Spring.  We know how to pamper ourselves on a quiet Sunday afternoon!