All Girls School

Slumber Party Recap
May 31, 2008, 11:23 am
Filed under: Bubba

The whole thing went really well. Mimi and Baby were included willingly in all of the activities, which Bubba is increasingly reluctant to do. It seemed like they were all really enjoying each other. While we were waiting for everyone to show up, Bubba brought out Hullabaloo and it was a great ice breaker. I mean, really, what can bond a group of girls more quickly than running around, touching their noses to different colored floor pads and doing funky monkey dances? I can’t think of anything.

Next we headed to the basement to paint t-shirts. It was so fun to watch each girl do her own thing. Some rushed right through it, others took their time and paid attention to each detail they placed on their shirt. Baby was a rusher, Mimi was in between, as she took a long time to actually complete her shirt, but there wasn’t a lot of contemplation about what went where. We had stamps, sponge brushes, fingers and the applicator tips themselves to decorate with.

Next we headed outside to run around and play. After our final guest arrived, we turned on the grill and started roasting marshmallows for our s’mores. The overall preferred method seemed to be catching them on fire to make “torches” before eating them. I wanted to get photos, but I knew from a s’mores evening a couple of weeks ago that I needed both of my hands free at all times to assist with preparing the ingredients and helping to assemble. Needless to say, they were messy, sticky, and perfect.

When it was dark, we headed inside. The girls, fueled with sugar, instigated a pillow fight. After that I suggested we lay out the sleeping bags. I brought down all of my nail polish and some remover and a package of nail stickers that we had purchased for the party. This turned out, to my surprise, to be the continuing activity of the evening. Eventually, the girls set up a salon and took turns painting each other’s toes and fingers over and over again. Baby even headed back down there for a Midnight Manacure to touch up the first one. The house reeks of the nail polish remover that Bubba spilled (twice), but we’ll pull up those carpet squares and wash them out and hopefully that will remove the fumes.

Last on MY agenda was to pop them some popcorn and start a movie. I popped the corn, but they had no interest in starting a movie and laying down, so I left them to their own devices after that.

Some girls were trying to set a record as to how long they could stay up. Personal record, I should say, as we discussed that beating the World Record would take over a week. I can’t say for certain when they finally went to sleep, but there were some mentions of 2:30 or so. That seemed reasonable to me for a slumber party. What I found astounding was that they were all awake and perky and sweet at 8:00 this morning. We had some bagels, packed up our stuff and watched some Saturday morning tv until all of the parents came.

There’s a bit of post-party let down at our house right now, with the older two constantly coming to me asking for “something fun to do”. I told them that hanging out doing very little sounded like the most fun to me, but that maybe this afternoon we would venture out. All in all, it was a great time and there is talk of an End of Summer Sleepover in a couple of months.


Summer Sleepover
May 30, 2008, 7:40 am
Filed under: Bubba, just for fun, music, party, summer

Tonight is our second annual summer kickoff slumber party. We’re inviting different girls than last year. There are big plans for s’mores, t-shirt painting, nail polishing and decorating, popcorn popping and movie watching. I’m sure there will be lots of playing and giggling and singing and all other kinds of slumber party shenanigans going on well into the evening. In the morning there will be muffins and exhausted girls. Thankfully, this group of girls is certified Drama Free, so there will be no worries about yucky attitudes and hurtful words or actions. Bubba is so excited for them to get here. Countdown ten hours… and counting. I’ll try to get some photos of the anarchy party to post here this weekend.

Welcome, Summer!

Summer Has Arrived
May 27, 2008, 8:17 pm
Filed under: Bubba, family, guitar, library, mimi, reading, summer

We spent the holiday weekend attending my cousin’s high school graduation. Bubba was part of the ceremony and it gave me some mental flash forwards to sending her off to college. *sniff*

We’re working on our summer reading and have almost finished The Midwife’s Apprentice. I am really enjoying the book, but Bubba is finding it a bit slow and old fashioned and is not loving it. We should finish it tomorrow. I think our next book, Pure Dead Magic, will be more up her alley. She saw it at the bookstore and the blurb on the back intrigued her.

Next week we’ll begin attending the summer library activities. Aside from guitar lessons, the library will be our only other activity until later in June when swimming lessons begin. July holds more swimming lessons and art classes. We’ll send of summer with a family camping trip to South Dakota with some friends.

School starts for Mimi on August 14th, which seems insanely early to me. I can’t fathom why school needs to start back up in the midst of our hottest month when swimming should be at its peak. Oh well, we’ll get plenty of swimming in.

Garden update
May 14, 2008, 1:34 pm
Filed under: Bubba

It looks like my black thumb is slowly greening up as there are plenty of green things growing in the garden. All of the girls helped me plant, though, and the younger two were a bit free with where they placed the seeds. There is some sort of melon coming up in my onion area and the spinach is nowhere to be found. The blueberries look good as do about half of the strawberries. I’m not holding out a lot of hope for the tomatoes as they’re looking a bit ragged, but you never know. We’ll put the pumpkins out next month or so and will hopefully have some nice big ones for Halloween. I also found a nice little jalapeno plant at the hardware store yesterday and we planted it in the ground today, so if those tomatoes produce we can have some yummy salsa.

Bubba picked out some little pink flowers to plant in the girls’ special area and we were gifted some yellow ones by one of the preschoolers in Mimi’s class. We’ll put those in the ground tomorrow. Lots of their wild flowers are coming up. I have no idea what any of them are, but it promises to be a pretty little patch.

Bubba and I have been reading about Ancient Mesopotamia. She loves looking at the maps and naming all of the landmarks in the region. Her favorites to say are “Euphrates River” and “Persian Gulf”. I don’t know why she gets such a kick out of those.

Bubba’s gotten quite a few more photos taken and we’ll be putting them up on the computer later today. We’re planning on having her show sometime in early June, so there is a little more time for taking photos and then we’ll have to work on printing and mounting them all.

Summer officially started for us yesterday as it was Mimi’s last day of preschool. We have a full calendar of story times, library fun hours, art camps, swimming lessons and vacations. The girls didn’t want to wait until June 1 to begin doing the reading program, so we made up our on chart for them to get going on. They each get to pick out a book after every 12 hours of reading for Bubba and after every 24 books for Mimi.

Other than that, I’ve been working on organizing our stuff for next year. I’m going through all of the resources and writing down ideas of what will go together and what other supplemental items we’ll need with the lessons. That way it’s all compiled and all I’ll have to do during the school year is look at the list to see what I’ll need to pull out for the next week’s lessons. There’s no scheduling involved, that way if we take a day off to go on a spontaneous field trip, I won’t feel like we’ve fallen behind on anything. I hope to not have to do much as far as lesson planning goes during the school year. I think this will help me stay focused on the actual doing of the lessons instead of wondering what will come next. It is ridiculously time consuming, but considering there are two more kids coming after Bubba, I can’t think of a better way to set it all up. Plus, it’s all loose and general enough that I can add different materials and extras for each girl according to her interests. This all sounds much more structured than it actually is in implementation.

I’ll leave you with a photo of Mimi, our graduate.

Field Trip and Guitar Lessons
May 8, 2008, 10:06 pm
Filed under: Bubba, field trip, guitar, history, math, mimi, science, soccer, sports

Yesterday was designated “Put in as much of the new flooring as possible day”, so I decided to take the kiddos out of the house. We decided to go to the hands on Science Museum and spend the day there. I rounded up our friend and her boys and we set out to arrive as the museum opened. We happened to pick the day that five separate schools were taking field trips there, so there were a few chaotic areas, but for the most part we had a lovely time. There was a terrible movie that we were told was geared toward preschoolers. It was about ten minutes long and so short and void of any substance that I can’t believe someone actually took the time to create it. It ended abruptly and we just kind of looked at each other, not understanding why we had just paid two dollars per head to see it.

After that we spent a long time in the castle area. There was an interesting moment when Mimi felt the dress up clothes would fit better without her regular clothing on underneath. (Why does one of my children ALWAYS do this at a museum?) Then there was the issue of the ten minute shoe hunt to figure out where she left them. Then we moved to the toddler area where they always play with the water feature. I told them five or six times to play with it as much as they wanted, but to do their best not to get their shirts and pants all wet, as the temperature is always a little cool in there. Inevitably, they came away soaking and were later complaining about how cold they were. While I had the smaller two in the toddler area, Bubba went over to a math exhibit that explored things like measuring volume and folding paper incorporating geometry principles. She wasn’t happy to leave that area, but lunch was next, so she didn’t protest too long.

The next area was all about the flight and airplanes and animal and insects and the principles of aerodynamics that govern them. There were lots of fun hands on activities to see how these forces interact on different wing shapes. The last area held lots of examples of our local ecosystems, with many plants and animals, as well as a 12 foot tall tornado that the kids can climb up to and stick their hands in.

We were wiped out by that point and had made it through all the exhibits, so we left. We’ll be returning again next month as this exhibit was being unpacked there and we’re interested in seeing it in person. Maybe I’ll remember my camera, too, so I can put some photos up.

We had a quick ice cream stop on the way home, and then rested for a bit and looked at the flooring progress. Then it was off to Bubba’s first guitar lesson with her new instructor, Ms. J. I think she learned more in that single lesson than in all of her previous lessons with the college kid combined. I am really not exaggerating. At all. Not even a little.

In other homeschooling, we’re wrapping up on Ancient Egypt. Bubba listened to the unit, but wasn’t thoroughly engaged as we exhausted this topic about a year ago when she was interested in it. We learned plenty of new info, though, that we hadn’t read about before. We are also working on teaching Mimi how to play Crazy 8s and Uno. Mimi’s getting a stronger grasp on numbers and matching and colors and following rules, and Bubba is working on her patience and trying to keep a younger child engaged by letting her win every so often. I think it will help their relationship a lot when they can play games together without needing adult intervention.

Other than that, we’ve been outside a lot, watching the garden turn green and grow taller and taller. Soccer has proven to be lots of fun. Mimi cut her own practice short today due to her coach stepping on her hand by accident. Bubba’s team has set up a traveling match in the next town over, so it will be fun to watch them compete.

Tomorrow is Mimi’s preschool graduation. I’m likely going to cry. There will be pictures.