All Girls School

Advent Calendar
December 3, 2008, 9:16 am
Filed under: baby, Bubba, christmas, craft, math, mimi, reading, science, spelling, writing

I usually buy a small cheapie advent calendar for each of the girls every year. I have wanted something more permanent, but most of the nice ones that you can buy won’t hold a treat for three kids at once. Most of the ideas I saw for making one had the same problem or they just didn’t look like they would hold up to many years of use. Until I saw this idea. It looked perfect as it was completely customizable and could be made whatever size I needed. So Bubba and I set to creating them with some $1 wrapping paper that we found at Target. They turned out great and it has been a great motivator for the girls to get up and ready in the mornings.

I used a tiny kitchen curtain tension rod to hang them across the doorway off of the living room. They look really festive there and are easily accessibly to only dad or I. (Which is important because last year a certain two-year-old snuck into the advent calendars and wiped out a couple of weeks in one sitting.)

Mimi has become a reader lately. She brings home books to read to us. She sounds out every word that she finds and spells things to us incessantly. It’s so fun to watch her with this new skill. She has wanted to be able to read for a long time and has surprised us all with how quickly she has picked it up. She is the youngest in her class, so we expected it to be a slow process, but she keeps making these great bursts of progress. There are a lot of phonics games played in the car. She will instigate one by calling out, “Ok, give me a word that starts with the ‘ch’ sound,” and we all have to go around and around until we exhaust our vocabulary. Some of the family got to play a few rounds of this over Thanksgiving.

Bubba is currently studying the Ancient Aztecs, geology, writing a book report, Rosa Parks, regrouping and (x,y) coordinates in math, and is working on an embroidery project for her Secret Santa in Brownies. Between those subjects, reading, spelling and guitar, and all of the holiday baking and wrapping that we have planned, we have a full three weeks ahead of us.

Baby is… Baby. I think she has gotten sassier with the new haircut. She successfully wrote a couple of letter “A”s at preschool yesterday and was really proud of herself. She is gearing up for Christmas and is doing better at leaving the ornaments on the tree than she did last year. Within a week of putting it up last year, the tree was bare on the bottom third due to her little curious hands grabbing them every time she walked past.


March 10, 2008, 11:51 am
Filed under: art, baby, bookstore, Bubba, craft, mimi

Our local bookstore offers a children’s activity on the second Saturday of every month (save for when they were remodeling). This week, a local artist shared a bunch of clay with the kids and allowed them to create whatever they wanted. She spoke a little about where the clay came from and its properties. She gave them a couple of pointers on different ways to manipulate the clay. Other than that, though, the kids’ imaginations took over.

Here’s Bubba shaping a gift for a sick friend.

Baby had a harder time smooshing the clay, so she opted for pounding and squashing it. She also hoarded many many pieces.

Mimi’s favorite creation was the snake.

The two oldest working together.

Baby’s favorite part was the washing bucket. In fact, after she found it, she didn’t want to go back to the clay. I had to drag her away from it at the end.

February 29, 2008, 2:44 pm
Filed under: art, Bubba, craft

About a year ago, Bubba was interested in trying out embroidery. I had made a few things, gifts for friends and a quilt square for a family quilt, and she was intrigued. Unfortunately, her patience and dexterity were lacking and she quickly grew frustrated and uninterested. Since she’s been asking for more art projects lately, I thought it would be a good craft to try with her again. I showed her the basics of threading the needle, knotting the thread and how to stitch a line. I cut up a cleaning rag and drew a few shapes on it so that we can practice a few different stitches before moving on to an actual project. As I did the first two stitches myself and she watched, she immediately said, “Eh, that looks too hard.” So I handed it over to her and made her try a few stitches.

She loved it. The thread knotted a few times, she stitched around the hoop once and accidentally stitched through the extra fabric on the perimeter, but I showed her how to fix those things. By the end, I didn’t even have to stop the book I was reading to her, she was able to fix those little things on her own and re-thread her needle. Color me impressed. This was a far cry from the girl that threw down her previous embroidery project in a huff, declaring it dumb and vowing never to touch it again.

She really loved having something to do while I was reading to her. It occupied her hands and she was much less antsy¬† while we sat together. I chose this craft over others because she is having a difficult time with staying focused on projects lately, so I thought a simple craft with repetitive motions might be the best thing to hone her concentration and put her in a calmer state of mind. It’s only been the first day, but it has been a great success. After we finish the rough “sampler” that I made her, she wants to come up with a design and embroider her own pillowcase.