Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Puppy Watch 2009

Our Puppy is Having Puppies!

Mandy is our 2 year old beagle mix.

We know (thanks to a trip to the vet and an x-ray) that she is going to have 6 puppies!

She is one of our FIVE dogs. Now, here's the million dollar question...

Who's the daddy???

This is Sox, our pound puppy. He is ALSO Mandy's father! I hope it's not him.

This is Duke, our oldest son's bulldog. He LOVES UGA football and bought this dog with his graduation money. Go Dawgs!

It's between these two guys.

This is Mardi, our beagle and Mandy's mother.

This is Sammy, our chihuahua. We had to adopt him from G.G. because he was a little too rambunctious for her. He has been fixed, so we know it's not him.

This is Tex, Katelynn's cat and resident hunter. He loves to leave us little love "offerings" by the front door occasionally. It's really GROSS, but he does it with love.

These are our chickens and 2 ducks. We don't have the rooster anymore because he didn't know when to tell time apparently and cock-a-doodle-doo'd all day and all night long. We enjoy our daily fresh eggs.

Apple Noisemaker Craft

Letter of the Week - Letter A

You will need: paper plate (painted the day before), construction paper, scissors, stapler, glue, clips and dry beans (something to make noise).

1. Paint the paper plate with red paint the day before.

2. Try not to eat the paint!

3. Cut a white sheet of construction paper in a circle, fold and cut in half for the inside of the apple. Add some "seeds" from black construction paper.

4. Glue the apple two apple core pieces in place, as above.

5. Fold plate in half and hold with clips. Staple around edges to hold together. Leave a small opening at one corner.

6. Pour beans into opening and finish stapling closed.

Apple noisemaker!

Katelynn decided she was going to try a bean and decided that they are much better cooked. Watch little ones for possible choking hazard. Katelynn still has the noisemaker and it's been about a week. She loves shaking it and dances around. She has since picked the "seeds" off though!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Homemade Sensory Tub

Colored Rice

Ahhh, the wonders of the Internet....

I have been looking around getting activity ideas for Katelynn and came across the sensory table/tub. My husband and I have 3 teenage boys. The youngest being 14. I don't remember sensory tables back when they were small! I am sure they had them, maybe they were called something else, who knows!

Anyway, these tables are very expensive from what I see. With me staying home and only having the one income...I have learned to become CHEAP!

Since Katelynn is only 20 months and is really a little young for such a thing, I decided that I would "make" her a homemade sensory tub. I plan to get a shallow Rubbermaid type container to use, but for now, I am just using a bowl to introduce her to the idea.

I did find a list of some neat things to use and for now, I am going with rice. I even colored the rice with food coloring. It was really fun! She LOVES it! She has only eaten about 3 or 4 pieces of rice to date, but at least it IS edible. Also, she is really very good about keeping the rice in the bowl. The only "disaster" we had was when I gave her a funnel to play with. Of course, she didn't keep it over the bowl when she filled it with rice. I have decided to wait on the funnel for a while to keep my vacuum cleaner from blowing up!

Here is how I colored the rice....

You will need...

  • Rice
  • Vinegar
  • Food Coloring
  • Sandwich Bags

1. Put a handful of rice (about a cup) in each sandwich bag. (I made 5 bags of rice total).

2. Add one Tbsp. of vinegar to each bag.

3. Add 3 drop of desired food coloring to each bag.

4. Mix thoroughly until all the rice is colored.

5. Let sit about 30 min. for color to soak in. Turn bag occasionally.

6. Spread on cookie sheet and Bake at 200 degrees for 45 min.

7. Let cool and store in a tight container.

Since I have just made mine, I am not sure how long it will last. I read that it will last for a LONG time (or until it gradually disappears). Also, it does not leave any color on Katie's hands. That's a good thing.

Short List of Sensory Tub Ideas:

(The ideas are endless)

· Colored rice
· Colored pasta
· Popcorn – popped or kernels
· Sand – wet or dry
· Styrofoam peanuts
· Shredded paper
· Aquarium rocks
· Cedar chips
· Cotton balls
· Plastic flowers
· Dry beans
· Pom-poms
· Feathers
· Cool whip

Don’t forget all the gadgets (scoops, funnels, sand toys, tongs, tweezers, spoons, whisks, turkey basters, bottles, etc.)

You can also have a water based table, too!

*Remember to watch little ones and choking hazards


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lesson Plans

How I Organize My Ideas...

I have been reading other blogs and decided that I am going to try this. It looks like tremendous fun and I am all for F-U-N!

I decided last week that it was time to start trying to do some crafts and fun activities to introduce the alphabet, shapes, colors and numbers to Katelynn. I know that she is only 20 months old, but it can't hurt! I have been doing some research and have made up a sort of lesson plan for each week.

I know that most everything at this stage will be trial and error. I want to make this fun for Katelynn and if she wants to take a break and do something else, so be it. I simply want to introduce these things to her and hopefully once she does start school, she will have absorbed a little bit of knowledge. For myself and my forgetful mind, I have organized a daily plan, but with a toddler, we all know that she will ultimately decide what we are going to do or not do! I would welcome any other suggestions or tips from all the mom experts out there!

Here is my Theme of the Week Worksheet....to make notes and ideas.

Theme of the Week:______________________________


Introduce theme on Vocabulary Board
Sensory Tub Idea:


Find things around the house
Post on Vocabulary Board


Letter of the Week
Letter printout (decorate / color)
Post on Vocabulary Board
Review theme /shape /color


Number of the Week
Number printout (decorate / color)
Post on Vocabulary Board
Review theme /shape /color



LETTER: _______ NUMBER: _______ SHAPE: _____________ COLOR: _____________

Below is another sheet where I organize the story, the song, 'A' snack ideas, crafts, a "field trip", and a simple game for the lesson.


Little Red House Fable

Once there was a little boy who came to visit his grandparents in a Norway.. Well, the small child gets bored as their is not a lot of excitement in Norway.. The boy asks his grandma what he can do. She said to go out in the town and find a round, red house that has no doors, no windows and has a star inside The little boy ponders the idea but can not figure out what he is supposed to find. She decides to go ask farmer John from next door, as he seems fairly smart. She ask farmer Scott but he can't figure it out but he has an ideal. He says, See that apple tree in my front yard, go sit under it and think lots of great ideas have come under an apple tree. So the little boy goes, sits under the tree and is about to fall asleep when out of no where a huge puff of wind comes. The tree began to sway and an apple fell out of the tree landing right next to the boy.The boy picks up the apple looks at it, and suddenly it hits him; An apple is round, red, has not windows, no doors, but wait is there a star inside. He runs to his Grandpa and asks him to cut the apple in half and sure enough, there is a star insider the apple (at this point cut an apple in half and show the star)


· Apples
· Animal Crackers
· Apple Sauce
· Apple Juice

Apple Pizza

For a tasty treat during apple week, make apple pizzas. It is real simple and delicious. Let your children put apple sauce, cream cheese, and cinnamon on toasted hamburger bun halves (can also use biscuits or English muffins). Then toast them for about twenty more seconds and you have a delicious treat.


Airport Field Trip or Visit an Apple Orchard (if avail.)

Take a field trip to a local airport with your children.


Apple Match

Cut out apples of green, yellow, and red. Put corresponding apples on a manila folder. Have your children match the apples.


Apple Shaker

What You Need:
· Paint
· Bells,rice, beans or any other small noise maker
· Poster Board or Paper Plates
· Ribbon
What You Do:
Let the students paint two pieces of apple shaped poster board (or paper plates). Then glue and staple the two pieces together (Putting Noise Maker in middle). Next attach the ribbon. Now you have a great Tambourine like noise maker for you children to enjoy.

Apple Tree

What You Need:
· Construction Paper
· Glue Stick
· Apples
What You Do:
Have Katelynn glue the apples on a tree that I make beforehand.

Eat an Apple
Eat an apple (pretend to eat fist)
Save the core (put one hand in the other)
Plant the seeds (pretend to plant seeds)
And grow some more (make tree shape over head)

I will post all of our progress throuout the week and we shall see how it goes. Again, feel free to offer advice.

Sunday Dinner at G.G.'s

This past Sunday my grandmother (Gaynell) or G.G. (great-grandma), as the kids call her, invited us over to her house for dinner. She has been a widow for over 20 years now and she loves to have “company” at her house. She is very a very independent person. I don’t know how she does it. She just turned 89 last month and is still going strong. She drives anywhere she needs to go and she has a beautiful home.

I have been blessed at the ability to make pretty darn good homemade biscuits from watching Gaynell make them. Unfortunetly, she didn't make any of her own for this dinner. It was cornbread and rolls! I am proud to say that my cornbread is even better than my biscuits. I owe it all to G.G. :)

Katelynn helping G.G. put the ice in the glasses for tea.

Katelynn is such a big helper!

It’s funny because I have always called my mom’s parents by their real names. Gaynell and Butch. I never called them grandma or grandpa or anything else. It’s funny how that is sometimes. My other grandparents were grandmamma and granddaddy. Since Butch and Gaynell always lived very close by, I was extremely close to them both. My other grandparents always lived in another state, so I wasn’t near as close to them.

Butch died when I was 15 and it was the first real loss I remember feeling. My dad’s mom (grandmamma) died when I was 5 or so, so I really don’t remember any of those emotions and again, they were sort of like strangers anyway. I remember that I could not even look at Butch at his funeral. I really don’t regret it. It was something I couldn’t do and thank goodness, no one forced me.
Gaynell and Butch’s only child was my mom, Judy. My mom died almost 3 years ago and that is the BIGGEST loss I have ever experienced. I will talk about that some other time. So, that leaves me and my sister to “look after” Gaynell. I just hope that if I am blessed to live as long as G.G., and have a fraction of the energy she continues to have.

G.G. may need just a little bit of help every now and then.

Our oldest, Jonathan (19) ate a little too much, it seems.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lions, tigers and deers...oh my!

Right after Christmas we took a day trip to visit Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, GA.

My husband had never been to anything like this before. It was such a joy watching him have so much fun!

The first thing we did was get into our rented vehicle. Thank goodness we chose this option. You will see why in a bit.

We bought our bags of food and off we went. John (my husband) was driving. My dad, Emmett, was in the front and I was in the back with my sister, Kristen and Katelynn (riding in my lap). We saw all kinds of "deer" and "cow" type animals.

And this is why we were happy we rented the van...

This cow "drooled" all over my dad! I thought I was going to need to borrow one of Katelynn's diapers before the trip was over because I was laughing so hard and my bladder is definetly not what it used to be!

Katelynn was not really sure about the animals, but all in all I think she had fun. She liked to throw the food at them. She wasn't really into them taking it from her hand. She did touch a few of them and seemed to enjoy that pretty well. I can't wait to take her back when she gets a little older. I may have to wear some Depends!

We made sure that she petted the giraffe because, after all, who gets to pet a giraffe?

Hello Mr. Rhino.

What is black and white and red all over?

An embarrassed zebra! Ta dum dum.

Katelynn, Paw Paw and Aunt Kree walk off into the sunset!