Sunday, March 22, 2009

Our poor turkey

Our poor turkey got attacked by a neighbors dog. Thankfully he only pulled out mouth fulls of feathers.
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Monday, March 16, 2009

Chickens Like Fishy Crackers

Hugs just came in and told me in complete excitement that "chickens like fishy crackers, and it makes it so much easier to catch them!!".  The kids love to chase and catch the chickens.  They normally catch them by grabbing onto their tails.  Hugs described to me how they are out there holding onto the chickens by their tails and feeding them fishy crackers one at at time.

Ever since we butchered the last of our three roosters, the back yard has become allot more fun for the kids, and for me too.  I check on the chickens food, water and eggs more often because I don't fear being attacked by "Big Boy" the last rooster we just butchered.  

The kids have been playing chicken.  They run out and pet the turkey while she is laying down, and they play they are chickens.  The highlight of this play is when all the other hens come over to be a part of their little flock.  Who knew chickens could be so entertaining.  Tumbelina plays that she is "Big Chicken" and Curious plays he is "Little Chicken" or "Chicken Little".

Yesterday when Jeff was hugging the kids he noticed they all smell like chickens.  Needless to say all the kids were given a good bath today.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dinner At my Sister in Law's

My DH's sister has a large family of eight children.  Many times on Sunday they host Sunday dinner for the large crew of our family.  My SIL and BIL cook like a restaurant, so we always eat like kings when we come to their house.  Today we had prime rib, potatoes, cheesy asparagus, carrots, rolls, salad, cabbage, mushrooms, and birthday cake.  It was a lovely feast.

Today they sang Happy Birthday to the family members who have birthdays this month.  SIL makes great cakes, including being excellent cooks they are excellent bakers also.  The birthday person always wears a large birthday hat that looks like a birthday cake with candles that velcro on top.   

We normally come over after church on Sunday.  SIL has one large kitchen table, and we pack the family in to other rooms with more tables, in order to fit us all in.

Curious gets to play with his cousin Lincoln who is only two weeks older then him.

The girls play sometimes with the neighbors, sometimes in the back yard, and sometimes with play dough.  SIL has a playroom equipped with a play kitchen, a wooden train set, and cars.

SIL tells great stories about her daily adventures in local politics or helping out African refugees or driving a school bus, so mot of the time the adults end up in a long discussion, or listening to Renee's animated stories.

Duce is SIL's dog, he is a red Merle Australian Shepard, he has two different colored eyes, one blue, one brown.  Generally he lives in the house, except when the family is over he sits outside the kitchen wind own smelling all the lovely smells and wishing he were inside feasting with us.  Today for the first time he joined in on the happy birthday song,  he sounded like a seal barking.

We love staying at SIL's house so much we are guaranteed to never leave at a reasonable time.  Right now it is 11:10.  Renee had six boys so she learned how to cut hair in order to be frugal.  So Renee's dinner most often ends with the haircut line up.  As I write this Curious George is sitting still just like his Papa did before him, while he gets his hair cut.  Curious looks handsome and fresh cut, so we are now ready to leave and drive home.

Teaching and Learning to Read With The Scriptures and Book of Mormon

Reading scriptures has been wonderful for teaching our kids how to read.

With Curious we have him watch as we point to the words and say them one by one and have him repeat the word, for his verse. In this way he is learning sight words Glen Doman style.

With Hugs we started with the phrase "and it came to pass" in the beginning chapters of the Book of Mormon that phrase is repeated significantly more then any other phrase. This was a good practice in increasing Hugs's confidence, when called on to read she would just rattle "and it came to pass" off with confidence. Thankfully the book changes the phrase around so it does not always use the exact same words or order. This kept Hugs on her toes and required her to read the words. Once comfortable with the AICTP phrase we would then find the individual words in the phrase and have Hugs read those words as we passed them in our reading. In this way we familiarized her with them as sight words. Over time we added in more sight words, one at a time. Now Hugs is confidently reading most of the sight words n her verse, and started onto the 3-5 letter words that follow the short value phonics rules. In this step by step way we can see Hugs increase in her reading ability.

Angelic, being our oldest daughter was the one we worked the most with reading. It would be too long of a list to go over all the different ways we taught reading. Needless to say allot of effort was put into it. But the mind focus was always to keep it a fun game, never drilling and boring. Angelic always loved learning new things, and school time. School has always been quality one on one time with mama.

Tumbelina saw Angelic reading, and us praising her. We did simpler versions of learning to read lessons with her. I love leap frog videos, they are excellent. But she just decided she wanted to read like Angelic one day. She would pick up books, and fumble through reading them, then bring them to me whenever she had a question. Honestly she is largely self taught.

Tumbelina can confidently read the scriptures out loud, with very minimal help from us. Angelic can read the scriptures will no help, clearly, and at a good pace.

Angelic should be in fourth grade and has just finished reading The Magicians Nephew by C.S. Lewis. She just picked it up one day and started reading.

It is amazing to see how well my kids read. I LOVE what Holt has to say in How Children Fail and How Children Succeed. My kids fit this pattern well, a child can teach them selves how to read, especially with good support from parents.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Crafts, and Potty Training

Tumbelina and Hugs have been making cute dinosaurs from scrap book paper. They really are quite crafty. The dinosaurs are almost as big as Curious.

Curious has been working on going potty. As an active little boy he often does not want to stop his play in order to go. In order to help him remember to use the potty we have set up a snack reward system. When ever he goes potty he earns treats to share with the whole family. This group reward worked excellent. This motivates the girls, and the whole family to remind him to go.