Friday, June 25, 2010

Washington D.C. Part 3

Washington D.C. is a city that I do not think you can ever visit and say you did it all! The main goal of our trip was to visit Grams and Gramps. We had loads of fun with them. The kids did not complain once about all of the walking. Unlike their Mom who had a hard time keeping up with everyone.

Earlier I mentioned Ryan was looking for a snowcone at the National Zoo. None were to be found at the Zoo. However, when we went back downtown D.C. Ryan hopped off of the Metro and found a snowcone! {see him eating it in the picture above} It was 10 am, but who cares, both boys enjoyed their treat as they took the long walk across the Mall.

We also saw Mount Vernon. Ryan was learning all about George Washington before we went to D.C. so this was his field trip.

We learned about how George looked to the Bible for planting his fields. He had outhouses for his slaves, gutters along the walking paths, and his slaves became free men, women and children when he died. He is also buried on his property -thinking ahead he put in his will that he was to be buried at Mount Vernon. {Smart man!}

This is the view George Washington had from Mount Vernon. Doesn't it just calm your soul?West Virgina has made a pack with Virgina not to disturb the landscape that is seen from Mount Vernon.

Mr. Washington also had various kinds of livestock.

We all enjoyed our trip and would like to go back soon.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Washington D.C. Part 2

We were in Washington D.C. for Ryan's birthday. Ryan loves, I mean he LOVES animals. We decided we had to go to the National Zoo for his birthday. He was also on the look out for a snowcone the entire day {more on this later}.

At home we do not have elephants at our zoo so for our family it was a huge treat to see a elephant up close. Isn't she pretty?

Check out the Panda! We watched her for a long time. She just walked all over the place - pausing to pose for pictures. Then she would move on. I loved watching the kids get so excited to see the panda come close to them and pause for a picture then move on.

It was a fun day at the zoo. Ryan did not get his snowcone, but that is for another day.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Washington D.C.

And we are off, to Washington D.C. that is. We were all excited to take a family vacation, something we had not done since 2005. We get to go hang out with my parents and see all of the fun 'Living History' school type stuff.

We went to the Natural History Museum. There we saw a Right Whale, Dino's, Mammoth and a bunch of other really cool stuff. At the Museum, it surprised me that it took the stance on Darwin's Theory. After all, we are a Christian Nation or at least those were the principles we were founded on.

For lunch we ate at the Museum, I really wish I would of taken a picture of my meal. Jacob and I shared a sandwich and drink for $15. This was not anything fancy either. I surprised myself by telling my kids to load up on the free refills of pop to make up for the cost of the lunch. Can you imagine?

We went to the Air and Space Museum at the airport. There we got to see the Space Shuttle and WOW! Is it ever big.

Don't you think that this flower is pretty? I do. I loved the Tulip Tree. If they could survive in the harsh winters that we have - I would have one in my yard. They were at the entrance to the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.

This was on the top of Jacob's go see list. He had so many questions about the tomb. The really cool thing was he got to see the changing of the guard and the changing of the wreath. Here are a few of the pictures of the tomb that Jacob took.

Stay tuned for more of our exciting vacation!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Teeth and Coke

Ryan lost his two front teeth this Spring. We decided to see what happens to teeth that are soaking in Coke.

Well, in less than 24 hours it was light brown.

7 days later is was almost black.

Let's not forget to mention that with in 14 days most of the coke evaporated and a syrup was left. {gross} One would think after this experiment that we would stop drinking pop, we have not.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Spelling Tricks

Ryan has tried many different 'tricks' for spelling. This is the latest, from Home Grown Heart. So far it seems to be the best way for Ryan to learn spelling. I give him a word to spell he then builds the word with magnetic letters. When that is completed he writes the word. The sheet is laminated so he can wipe off the words he wrote.

Summer Fun At The Beach

The beach is a fun place to go but what happens when the kiddo's get board - if that is possible! Here are some fun ideas when they just do not want to be in the water.

1. Collect items to make a wind chime when you get home.
2. Sandscrapers - see who can make the highest and most unusual towers.
3. Gilligan's Island - Pretend you are stranded on and island. You need to gather food, make a fishing pole, build shelter for just a few ideas.
4. Jewelry - Collect shells to make jewelry when you get home.
5. Bowling - Use a beach ball and either use empty water bottles or family members as the pins.
6. Hopscotch - Using a stick draw hopscotch in the sand.
7. Buried Treasure - Each take turns and bury an object under the sand. Start by asking questions, with each YES answer take a scoop of sand off of the pile.
8. Sundial - Make your own sundial in the sand using a stick. Place a stick standing straight up into the flat sand. Every hour make a mark.
9. Sea Science - Bring two cups to the beach and fresh water. Find out what sinks and what floats in salt water vs. the fresh water.
10. Scavenger Hunt - You will need paper and a pencil. Write the alphabet on the paper and then find items on the beach that starts with each letter.
11. Yacht Building - Using driftwood build a boat with a seaweed sail.
12. Pick up Sticks - Find sticks on the beach and then play a game of pick up sticks.
13. Bubbles - Bring bubbles to the beach, how long do they last after landing in the water? Dig a hole and blow bubbles in the hole and see how many you can catch in the hole.
14. How Hot? Bring a cooking thermometer, paper and a pencil. Take the temperature in various parts of the beach, which part is the hottest? Coldest? Try taking the temperature under the rocks, water, under your towel.
15. Sand Blast - Construction paper and glue needed. Start by making a design on the paper with glue. Then while glue is still wet gently sprinkle sand over the design. Let it sit for a moment, then tip paper so the extra sand spills off. (I would bring sand home to do this at home)

The Joy of Sunflowers

Gramps and Grams sent the boys some really cool sunflowers to plant. This will go along with the Nature Study we are doing this summer.

I was amazed at how quickly they sprouted. Within 2 days after planting them in the container that was provided we had sprouts.

They are now planted outside growing like crazy with all of the rain. Because of the nice gift of the sunflowers we decided to do The Great Sunflower Project.

Ryan studied Bee's at the beginning of the school year so this will be a nice review for him.

UPDATE: The rabbits ate our Sunflowers.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Twins and Nature Study

We went to our first Twins game as a family last night. I would never have dreamed that it could and would be a Nature Study! As soon as we parked on the 7th Street in Minneapolis, Ryan found a squirrel! Once seated in the stadium we had a great view of the city and of many birds that were flying around in the stadium. I thought I was the only one watching them but I guess Ryan was talking to his Dad about all of the Nature items throughout the game. Dad also taught Ryan how to read the scoreboard and what all of it meant. Shawn also had the opportunity to teach me about what exactly a ‘Ball’ is. Jacob was our quite one – he just wanted to watch the game in peace.

This last Wednesday we went on a walk as a family for the Nature Study. Jacob found a tree root that resembled a balance beam and Ryan was looking for the dead bird from a few days ago. Ryan never did find the bird again. Either it was picked up or a dog ate it (hope it was not my dog!).

A few days have pasted since our Wednesday walk. I had the boys who are making forts write in their Nature Journals while in their forts. Ryan added his 'dead' bird that he did not find and the Twins Stadium. Jacob and I did discuss why the tree root was above the ground and not below. They both enjoy writing and drawing in their Journals, I am beginning to think that they do not realize they are doing a Nature Study at this point in time.

Friday, June 11, 2010

2010 Summer Curriculum

On-line Phonics – Explode the Code
Horizon’s Math
Baseball Unit Study (Geography and History)
Nature Study Handbook
Individual Reading
Reading by Mom
Baseball (June and July)
Basketball (June)
Swimming (June and July)
Track - (Ryan - July)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Nature Study

I stumbled upon the blog: Handbook of Nature. Now, I am not that much of a nature person, but I really would like my boys, who love to be outside to just LOVE nature. What fun to tag along on the adventures with the Handbook of Nature group and instill the love of nature in all of us!

I chose to access the book online, one less thing laying around the house!

1. Read pages 1-8 of the Handbook of Nature Study. (online book)
2. So here is our challenge this week. Spend 10-15 minutes outdoors with my children. Go on a walk and discuss the things they see.
3. Make a big deal about whatever it is that they talk about.
4. After our nature study time with the kids, I need to pull out the Handbook of Nature Study and see if the item the children are interested in is listed in the index. If it is, I need to look up the information and then relate interesting facts to the boys sometime during the next week.

Bring on nature!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Math becomes an adventure with this addition and subtraction game that takes kids on a journey through Sum Swamp. They'll make their way over the crocodile shortcut and through the endless loop by adding and subtracting the numbers rolled. For a bonus you learn your even and odds. Now, Ryan already knew all of these things but it sure is a fun way to review without knowing you are reviewing!