Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pirate Adventures!

Ahoy there, Ye Mateys!   

   This month's theme for the "Poppins Book Nook" hosted by Enchanted homeschooling Mom was PIRATES! Chickadee loves this theme anyways as she likes Jake and the Neverland Pirates from Disney Jr. and also loves to visit the pirate exhibit at our local museum! She also loved the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride last year when we took our first trip to Disney. We had to ride it several times and each time she pointed out new things! We had fun this month reading different pirate books and creating an activity to go with our theme!

  First, we read "How I Became a Pirate" and its sequel "Pirates Don't Change Diapers" both by Melinda Long and illustrated by David Shannon. Chickadee and her Dad loved cuddling up and reading these books! We read a few other books too like "Exploring We Will Go" (a Backyardigans book), Little Einstein's "Pirate Treasure," and "Pirates: Adventures in Treasure Island" (a dollar store book). Chickadee loved reading different pirate themed books and using some of our old pirate theme packs from preschool.

 After reading the book we completed our lapbook component pieces for this months theme. The above is a picture of her completed ones from this month. You can find the FREE printables here.

  The activity we chose to do was to go on an actual, real life, pirate adventure!! We just happened to find one right in our own backyard (wink, wink). My husband helped me out by drawing a pretty accurate map of our backyard then I crinkled it all up and tore the edges (to make it look old) and then added a "path" with a great big X! 

  We told Chickadee that she had to follow the map exactly in order to find various tools to help her on her treasure hunt. I had also added small "X's" throughout the map at different locations where she would find these tools. (Really, I didn't want her to just open the door and go straight to the location of the biggest X). Along her journey she found a pirates hat, some swords, a bucket, and a shovel- all important treasure hunting tools! 

  When she finally reached the treasure, Chickadee had to dig it up from a large dirt pile in the corner of our yard! She had a blast and the laughs and giggles were well worth the work! 


  After she was finished, Chickadee INSISTED that Daddy to the treasure hunt and made him go inside so she could put everything back. It was a fun morning with lots of family laughs! :) (Although, I'm not sure who enjoyed the treasure hunt more... Chickadee or Dad!)

After we went inside, we took out the puppets that were included in the treasure "chest" and put on puppet shows for each other making up great pirate adventure tales of sailing the high seas and finding buried treasures! I loved hearing Chickadee use her imagination as she made up these great tales of adventure and giggle at the stories her Dad and I told. What a fun day and theme! "Yo ho, Yo ho, A pirates Life for me!" 

Until Life's Next Adventure,


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Adventures in Summerland...

 Wow! What a busy, but oh-so-fun, summer we've had around here! I cannot believe that August starts in less than a week and that means school starts in 2 weeks! We have had quite a few visitors this summer, fun little trips, and adventures of our own around town. Here is a recap of what we have been up to:

  The end of May was my middle sisters wedding... we had a great time helping to celebrate her celebrate this wonderful time in her life and we were all part of the wedding party. Chickadee's favorite part of the day was the dance floor during the reception... I'm pretty sure of it!  (Although, she did take her flower girl duties VERY seriously...lol)
Getting ready...

Family picture!

Fanning the bride!!!

Time to drop some flowers... look at her determination!

One of my favorite pics of the night!

Dancing the night away....

In June we had our church's Backyard Bible School!! It was one of the best ones we have done and we had a great turn out! The following week Andy was gone for Children's camp and Chickadee and I decided to do some rearranging of our living room/family room! It was quite a task, but we managed to get it finished and Daddy approved when he got home ;).  The same week, we also had a garage sale in which I was able to sell a fair amount of "stuff" and Chickadee made some good money selling popsicles! 

 July hit full swing and stated off on a sad note. Our 15 yr. old nephew passed away on the 1st after battling a disease called ALD for over 8 years. It was a bittersweet time as we were all glad he was no longer suffering and instead enjoying a healthy body celebrating his healing in Heaven! However, it doesn't take away the loss we feel here on earth. Andy officiated the funeral, which was hard, but God got him through and it was a beautiful service. 
Coleton (before he got sick) and his Grandpa!

  During July we also headed to my grandparents for the 4th of July and were able to spend a few days with my parents who were also visiting for the weekend. We headed to my old elementary and middle school to watch the fireworks. Chickadee got to play on the playground at my old elementary school while we were waiting. She was excited to see my old school and I thought it was pretty neat how although some things had changed, some were still the same..

  We also had a lot of visitors in the month of July: some of my cousins and their kids, my sister, my parents, some of Andy's family.... we joked we were running a hotel, but I wouldn't have traded it for anything! We also managed to head to our Museum 3 times in 3 weeks (due to all the visitors wanting to check it out!) It was great and I know for sure that we definitely got our money's worth out of our membership this year! 

Finally, Chickadee took some basic swim lessons. Our community pool offered a 2 week session and she was ready! She had some really incredible teachers (and a few COLD days- like 60 degree air temp) and totally grew in her swimming abilities! At the end of the week, she even got to jump off the diving board (into 12 ft deep water!!!) and swim to the side all by herself! We are so impressed and her hard work and excited with her for her new accomplishments!! 

And that brings us up to the end of July... Chickadee and I will be taking one more trip in 2 weeks to go visit my sister in GA and then we will be starting school! I can't believe we are almost ready to start first grade, but we are! Exciting time ahead!!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Adventures in The Great Outdoors with Poppins Book Nook

 This month's theme for the Poppins Book Nook (more info here) was "The Great Outdoors"

Chickadee and I had a wonderful time reading books about the great great outdoors and doing our activity together! Some of the books we chose to read this time included the following:

Curious George goes Camping 
A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee
Birds (a nature book all about Birds)
Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee
 .... and several others!
    After we had read several books, we chose one book to focus on for our lapbook components that go along with each month's theme. Chickadee and I chose "Curious George Goes Camping" for this aspect. Chickadee filled in the answers to each booklet or colored pictures as it suggested. She is really liking making this large lapbook so far and we like to look back at each month's themes each time we pull it out! It will be a great keepsake for our school year!

After we had finished that, I gave her the activity I had created. I made up a "Nature Scavenger Hunt"  and she was so excited!  This is the scavenger hunt I created:

   We read over the list together first so that she knew what she was looking for, then Chickadee and I headed outdoors! As soon as we opened our front door she exclaimed: "I hear birds chirping!" and checked that off her list. We walked around our neighborhood for a bit and found the things we could there. The next day we headed to our local nature park to find a few of the harder things. 

Here you can see her "Smelling something Beautiful; finding a cool stick; wildflowers; 2 different types of leaves;  feeling something smooth (a rock); and something rough (tree bark)"
We had a wonderful time enjoying the great outdoors and spending time together as a family! We also headed to a local campground with some friends for the day during this month and enjoyed a hike on one of the trails and just being in "The Great Outdoors" for awhile! We had a wonderful adventure this month exploring this topic and are excitedly looking forward to next months Pirate theme! 

Until our next adventure,