Friday, May 22, 2009

Vegetable Gardens Galore

The first day with a new big kid always makes me conscious of wanting to take pictures to document the Big First Day. Cute New Boy's first day here coincides with the beginning of the vegetable unit we're doing, so there's lots of good stuff to show. We're about a week behind on May curriculum (as usual), but I really just love doing what they're interested in, and if they want to play outside ALL morning and collect bugs and dig in rocks, I'm good with that. We're finally done with the rock unit I think, although I didn't get through all the material. I'm guessing they won't be asked any time soon to take a pop quiz on sedimentary or metamorphic rocks though, and we DID talk about igneous, and fossils, and limestone and granite, and arrowheads.....

So. On to vegetable gardens.

We played outside for about an hour and a half this morning. I'm growing lettuce and strawberries in pots and they've been helping me water them and watch them, so we did a bit of that, and then they ran around like banshees with Kanga while I got some art ready in the house. I went out periodically to see what they were doing and Cute New Boy (who of course needs a Disney name- who does he look like to you?) was SO excited that we were out there for so long. We're routined in terms of we do this, then that, in a predictable pattern, but I rarely watch the clock. Every time I went out he ran over and grinned at me and said, "WE'RE STILL OUTSIDE! STILL!" It made him very happy.

So then when we came in I read them The Surprise Garden by Zoe Hall and we talked about seeds and gardens, and then we made a mural of our own garden to hang on the wall.

The finished product-apple trees, watermelons, carrots, strawberries, sunflowers, peas, green beans, cauliflower, and some "big ones" and "long ones" that I couldn't get a clear ID on, but that pleased the artists immensely. :)

And then of course we had to have salad bar for lunch. Most of them did pretty well and ate at least one thing. I had hit the farmers' market earlier in the week so we had lots of colorful choices.

Everybody got to pick their own veggies and add meat and cheese. Good stuff.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Introducing Chip

Our youngest member of the bunch is Chip. He is Belle's little brother. I try to keep siblings in the same movie. :) So he's the little teacup, not the Rescue Ranger, for those of you keeping track at home.

It's nice to have siblings and stay in touch with families. I love how much they look alike. It's fun to remember Belle being so small, now that she's off at school and almost finished with kindergarten already.

Chip is a laidback, cheery, smily boy. Lots of fun to have around. Kanga always says she wants to tuck him in her purse at the end of the day and take him home with her.

He did cry one time. It was noteworthy and we took pictures of it, because even while crying he's just so cute.

And I realize in these pictures he's not really smiling. How silly of me. My very favorite picture of him is already up in the header though. So just peek up there.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mud Puddles *with video!*

It's been raining for so long here. On the days that it's not actually raining, it's still been really soggy and muddy in the yard. We haven't been outside in weeks. I decided today we were going out no matter what. So we got swimsuits on and I took the big kids out to turn themselves into mud balls. We had a great time! I took video also- it's at the bottom of the post.

I was so proud of Sebastian- he came out with us and actually stomped in the mud a bit and put his hands in it. He was still the cleanest one, but he did much better than I expected. Usually he really hates to be dirty and won't even try when we do messy stuff.

Duchess, on the other hand, has no such problem. She decided a mud beard would be good.

Simba and Scamp stayed inside with Kanga and Roo, and they were not happy about that. They had their faces mashed up to the glass most of the time. I just didn't feel like they were old enough to not get upset or else eat the mud.

Jumping in puddles brings great joy to everyone involved.

I got brave enough to squish my feet around a bit. It was really quite muddy. I felt like I was wearing thick mud socks afterwards and I had to get out the hose to spray us all off.

Ariel proudly showing off her muddy face.

O'Malley inspecting a puddle for worms.

I love stuff like this. Yes, it's messy and kind of a pain, but that's the beauty of having two adults here. I hosed them off one by one and sent them in to Kanga, who was ready with towels. We had a wonderful time.