Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween


This morning we went on a Halloween parade of the nursing home in McKenna with the Mom's Club and this evening we trick or treated at our church's harvest fest and trunk or treat.  A fun day with too much candy!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkins!

This week (and next week as well) we are having tons of fun with pumpkins!  We started on Monday by making pumpkin pie from a pumpkin (which I heard was pretty good, I don't do pumpkin so I have no idea) and making pumpkin playdough!
Here are our shelves in the school room and some action shots:
On this shelf: Keanan's work boxes (monster worksheets), pumpkin seed spooning, tall/short picture sorting, pumpkin lacing, pumpkin counting game, pumpkin face drawing
On this shelf: pumpkin hammering (Keanan's favorite thing in the school room right now!), mini pumpkin transfer with tongs, pumpkin counting cards with glass rock counters, Kyla's workboxes, Jack O Lantern teeth counting game, pumpkin playdough (Kyla's favorite), orange paper cutting (we will use the pieces to make a pumpkin craft later)





 
Montessori Monday

Monday, October 24, 2011

'Tis the Season!

It's Christmas shopping time again!

Our society has taken gifts to the extreme at Christmas time.  The money that is spent in the US for Christmas could save countless lives in developing countries.  There is such an ingrained materialism in our culture, it almost makes me ill.  We give each other "stuff" that then gets used for a little while and tossed aside, or sits on a shelf collecting dust. 

This is part of the reason why we have no TV.  We do not want our kids bombarded with the commercials for the newest toy or latest gadget thinking that the "need" it.  We also do not give our kids many gifts.  For birthdays they get a book and one present.  For Christmas they get their stockings filled by Santa and one present from mom and dad.  Zac and I do not give each other gifts at any holiday or anniversary.  This is not because we are cheap, it is because we really want to stress to our kids (and remind ourselves) that Christmas is about Jesus.  God gave us the greatest gift, the gift of true life through His Son.

As a family we have decided to also give the gift of life for Christmas.  With the money that we would have spent on toys or other material things for ourselves, we will sit down together and select an item from the World Vision Global Gift Guide.  We will give a poor, hungry family a goat, or chickens, or medical supplies, or education, or clothes, or seeds, or ... the means with which to have a better life.  Our kids (Keanan at least) understand this and are more than okay with it!  Keanan is always talking about giving his toys away to other kids because he has a lot.  Warms my heat =) 

SO ... for your gift giving this year, especially if you are going to be shopping for us, please consider shopping from the World Vision Global Gift Guide or other similar source.  Lets all work together to give the gift of life this Christmas.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Despite the wet Washington morning we made our way to the pumpkin patch today!  The kids loved the tractor ride out to the patch and Keanan picked a pumpkin so fast we were back on the tractor ride in no time!  He and Zac also had a great time in the hay maze. 
How do you like those expressions?
After naps we went to work on the pumpkins!  Kyla and I decided to be a little different and ended with a mummy pumpkin =)  Keanan and Zac were a bit more traditional.

This is the perfect kick off to our pumpkin unit study for our school time during the next two weeks!  More fun and pictures to come, including making a pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin!! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Home Pre-School Unit: J

We have spent the last two weeks focusing on the letter J!  Keanan's workbox items were mainly about J for Jesus or J for jellybeans while Kyla's were J for jelly fish.
We didn't have a lot of work to display this unit.  Kyla does not choose to do work from her workbox very often, she is very happy to do activities from the shelves.  Keanan has 3 workbox activities that he is "required" to do per school day, and the rest is self-directed items from the shelves.  But a lot of his workbox work is counting, cutting, writing, matching, and other things that can't be taped up on the wall =)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Business Changes

As I posted on Facebook a few days ago, except for one doula client opening in March, I am booked until September 2012!!  I know that there are not any July and August due dates yet, but I will be taking July and August off for family time.  All of this happened in the last two weeks!  It is so exciting and crazy at the same time, I love it!!

This coming Monday is the last class in my first teaching series at CareNet of Olympia.  I have had so much fun teaching this class and getting to know the students, I even took them on a tour of the family birth center at St. Peter's hospital last week.  I am already getting excited for the class in January.  I volunteer to teach this class for 4 weeks, once a quarter.

Soooo.... things are busy!  And Zac was getting a little concerned about it.  We have a family rule that I am only gone 3 nights out of the week.  With one of those nights being our small group that leaves 2 for doula / class work.  With teaching, doing interviews, prenatal meetings, and the possible birth thrown in - I just didn't have enough time. 

Therefore, I will no longer be teaching group childbirth classes in Yelm through Miraculous Journeys.  After praying about it and talking to Zac this is the thing that had to go.  I will still teach private one day (or half day) classes to my doula clients and anyone else that desires that, but this will help me to not be gone so many nights a week. 

Here's the link for more info about my new class offerings.  Beautiful Miracles Childbirth Classes.  I am excited about the year ahead!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mother and Son Pirate Adventure!

Last night Keanan and I went on a date!  But not just any date - we went to the mother son Pirate Adventure at the Hands On Childrens Museum in Olympia!!  We had a blast!  Keanan made a pirate hat, eye patch, flag, parrot, telescope, and ocean in a bottle.  We also did a pirate obstacle course, made a giant pirate ship, went on a treasure hunt and had pirate dinner and desert.
While we were gone Zac and Kyla went on a date and had dinner out - the first of many =)  The perfect end to a wonderful family day!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What's on the Shelves, and Spiders!

This last week we started a two week unit on the letter J, so we also added new activities to our shelves in the school room.
 The above shelf has Keanan's workboxes (with letter J printables), a shining pennies science experiment, sandpaper matching in a mystery bag, magnetic and non-magnetic sorting in the blue basket, ABC exercise cards, pencil sharpening (he LOVES this), flashlight disassembly, and some fall colors collage.
 This shelf has a counting sheet with red glass stone markers, stamping (Kyla's favorite of the week), Kyla's workboxes (with her letter J printables), magnet shape pattern sheet, and cookie cutter tracing - using the newly sharpened pencils by Keanan.

I also put together a new Halloween sensory tub for the kids that we are all enjoying.  It has a black bean base, fake pumpkins, some jack-o-lantern fuzzy streamers, fall leaves, and little plastic bats, skulls, and spiders.  
Speaking of spiders, Zac and the kids made a giant web in the family room last night!  The goal of the game was to stay on the web and go around and pick up all the little spiders.  We added the books to block off parts of the web to make it a little harder for Keanan.  Lots of fun!
Thanks to 1+1+1=1, Confessions of a Homeschooler, Montessori At Home, and No Time for Flashcards for all the great ideas this week!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lots of Pregnant Mama's and Some Cheese!

Whew!  My business has really exploded in the last two weeks!  I have had or will have in the this next week FOUR interviews, 2 hospital tours, visiting a childbirth class student and holding her beautiful 2 day old baby, and teaching childbirth class at CareNet (with 5 couples!)!  Along with a friends baby shower and visiting baby Naomi last week - babies and bellies everywhere!  I LOVE IT!

The kids and I were at the Yelm Food Co-op today getting some things and I noticed the raw milk in the display case.  I suddenly really wanted to make cheese.  So I bought 1/2 gallon and we did!  I ended up with some lemon cheese and some queso blanco (spanish white cheese).  Yummy!  It's been whey too long! (Get it?!  Hahahaha) Anyways, here are some pics!
The cheeses hanging
Lemon cheese with herbs de provance
Queso Blanco

Friday, October 7, 2011

Apple Pie!

For those of you who have not attempted it, let me tell you that making an apple pie from scratch (even the crust!) is hard!!  Especially with two small "helpers."  But we did it!  And it turned out perfect!!! 

This morning we trekked to Lattin's Cider Mill for our apples.  My grandparents met us there and we walked around seeing all of the animals before selecting our 5 perfect apples (per the book).  We left with apples, cider, donuts (they make them there!), mini pumpkins for decoration, and 3 ears of corn (thanks Grandma and Papa!).  After naps we started in on our pie.  TWO AND A HALF HOURS LATER (not kidding) it was done!  What a wonderful end to our apple week!  I am a little sick of apples for a bit now =)

What does a doula do?

Want more info?  Visit my website: www.beautifulmiracles.net

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Our Apple Unit!


We had so much fun this week, and I took a TON of pictures! Let's start with what's on the shelves.
Above is: bucket of apple pie spice playdough, apple puzzle, Kyla's workboxes (with apple coloring sheets), apple sequencing, apple lacing, red strips for cutting which we then used to make an apple collage.
 
On the other shelf: Keanan's workboxes (we did some apple life cycle and other related things), apple slicing (this is the first thing he did each day!), apple fraction cards, fake apple transfer with tongs, apple math, cinnamon stick grating (he loved this), and measuring practice with beans (to get ready to make our apple pie on Friday!)
 
All of this was inspired by the book "How to Make and Apple Pie and See the World".  In it the main character wants to make an apple pie, but the market is closed.  So she travels the world collecting the best ingredients instead!  The only issue I had with the book was that she got the apples in Vermont.  Really!?  Obviously we changed this part to say Washington!  One of Keanan's workbox activities was to put the story cards in order.  You can see below all of the places and things we talked about an found on our wall map.  In a few years I will bring this book out again and do a multi week unit study going over each country, mode of transportation, and ingredient in more detail.  There are so many possibilities!
Here are some pictures of our school time fun this week:

Tomorrow we head to an apple farm to get apples and cider!  Then we are going to make an apple pie following the recipe in the book and have friends over in the evening to share!!  Pictures to come of all the fun tomorrow =)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

One World Birth

There is a revolution occurring in the world today.  Birth is getting worse, not better.  The reasons vary depending on where you are in the world.  Many are standing up and taking attention, calling others to action.  Such organization as the Million Moms Challenge have a goal to raise awareness and funds to do something about it. 

Another organization, One World Birth wants to get the word out and make the world aware that there is a problem, through videos.  Created by two filmmakers, One World Birth is an online video resource filled with clips from well known professionals in the birth world.

It is a different type of "film" as quoted from the site: "Whilst we love documentaries, we realized that if we spent a year making one about what is happening in birth around the world today, by the time we released it, it would already be out of date! That's why we came up with the idea of making a "live", never-ending documentary that would be available online straight away and would keep up with the rapid changes (both good & bad) that are happening daily."

They are traveling the world to film the issues that are happening in birth, and posting these new videos all the time.  This is a fantastic resource for birth professionals (such as childbirth educators and doulas - where I fall) and also for parents and soon to be parents.  

The filmmakers are self-funding this venture through the sales of their recent film "Doula! The Ultimate Birth Companion".  This is a wonderful look at the role of a doula and how they can serve you at your birth, highly reccommended. 

What Can You Do?
Visit One World Birth and check out the videos, there are many!  Spread the word about this great site, and purchase your own copy of Doula!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Keanan's First Puppet Show!


A few weeks ago I bought two super cute puppets made by a local mom from the MOM's Club of Yelm (which I am a member of).  Here's her Etsy shop if you are interested: http://www.etsy.com/people/HandsOnFun  They are really great quality and the kids love them (Keanan sleeps with his and has named it Mikos).  So here is Keanan's first show!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Yay for awesome days!

I love when things work out!  So far today the kids got to go play with their friends Kaitlyn and Ethan while I had a doula client interview (thanks Elizabeth!!).  They had so much fun and even got to see the school bus!  My client interview was so great, we really hit it off and ended up talking for quite a while.  I will be really sad if they don't hire me!

We got home, had lunch and reading time and then put Kyla down for nap.  Then Keanan and I had a wonderful time in the school room exploring all of the apple activities I set up!  He loved grinding cinnamon, cutting up an apple, learning about the apple life cycle and playing with apple pie spice playdough (which I made yesterday all by myself!!!  Seriously it smells like an apple pie - I want to eat it)!!  At the end of this week we will be making an apple pie together, more details on that later =)

I also registered Keanan and I for the mother son pirate adventure at the childrens museum next weekend!  We are both super excited for our "date" - dinner and desert included!

Tonight I am teaching my first childbirth class for CareNet Crisis Pregnancy Center in Olympia!  I can't wait!  I have 6 couples signed up so it should be a great time.

Dinner is cooking in the crockpot, laundry is done, my BSF lessons are all caught up.  Ahhhh..... if only every day could go this well! =)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Home Preschool - I


On Friday we finished up our two week unit on the letter I.   Keanan had lots of fun with I is for inchworm, and Kyla was working on I is for igloo.  I really liked this unit because we spent most of our time play-learning with our Montessori setup in the classroom.

With the re-organization of our school room we ended up moving the sensory tub to the family room.  It has gotten much more use here!  Right now we have a rainforest theme tub (complete with coffee beans as the base!) to go with our rainforest calendar theme that we just completed for September.


We also moved the KEVA planks to the dining room!  Keanan (and most days Zac) can be found playing with them on and off all day.  I love seeing him use his imagination and build new things!  Kyla enjoys them as well - but mostly as "babyzilla"!


We has an awesome time at our small group on Tuesday night with a visit from out friend Bethany's (who had her baby the next day!!!  Welcome baby Naomi!!!) parents.  We had a great discussion about homeschooling.  Yes, we are considering homeschooling our kids.  We have not made any definite decision, and won't for 2 years, but it is a very real option for us.  As a former public school teacher I have it drilled into my head what school "should" be.  This is not true, school can be so many things!  I don't have to follow some strict schedule or worry about doing everything in a certain curriculum.  Kids learn everywhere and all the time!  This has helped me relax my view of our preschool time a ton.  So freeing!