Monday, September 20, 2010

Our Castle- Another Super Daddy Project



Last year Ryan had a Knights & Castles birthday party. Our gift to him was this awesome play structure that my husband and I  (mostly my husband) made. The super cool part about it is that it comes apart really easy for moving it or for storage, in about 5 minutes with two people. The full plans are online here.

We’re still working on our recent Daddy Project of making Ryan a loft bed! Hopefully it will be finished really soon to share some pictures with you. Our most recent finished project was our tumbling composter. Yup- we keep our Super Daddy busy!


Friday, September 17, 2010

The Gem Jiggler


Do you habitually save things like egg cartons at your house? Sometimes my desk looks more like a recycling center than an office! But look- all that trash treasure comes in handy!

We have glass beads from the dollar store that we use for our behavior system (more on that later). Ryan still needs some work with double digit numbers. This game was super easy to make and provides another fun way to practice our numbers.

I started by cutting a single circle and asking him to trace it and cut it out 17 times. He did 4 in 30 minutes. It was great cutting practice- but I didn’t want to use all his patience on making the game! After the circles were cut I wrote the numbers and glued them to the egg carton.  TaDa done!

To play, stick a gem in the jiggler (aka the egg carton). Close it up and shake, shake, shake. The kids had a blast being super silly with their shakes. Open the jiggler and announce what number your gem is on. In yesterday’s version we announced the number, and then showed it on our abacus. If you could do both you got to keep the gem!

In the near future I’m going to use this game to introduce our place value kit.  With older kids you could have them write roman numerals or tally marks, or practice addition or subtraction. You could use sight words instead of numbers! You could use English or Spanish vocabulary. For younger kids you could include shapes or colors. Older kids could graph the colors they shake. The possibilities are endless…

Friday, September 10, 2010

What have we been up to???

Sorry, long time no post ;) Things have been insane at our house and remember my whole motto of focusing on what matters…

Anyways- remember that post about three weeks ago when I went on and on about wanting to spend all of my time with my kids and how I thought it was great that they would stay home for preschool this year. That lasted about 2 weeks then I was ready for a padded room!! I was miserable- feeling grumpy and burnt out. The kids were constantly having rough days and seemed incapable of getting along or occupying themselves. You know how I put far too much time and energy into decisions like this- so to make a long story short, the kids are attending a wonderful preschool two mornings a week. I can’t believe what a difference it has already made in all of us! Apparently we need some time apart. I do feel a bit like a failure- like I should be able to be super mom 24-7. But, it’s just not realistic for us and having a little me time allows me to be a much better mom the rest of the time :)


Ryan & Ella on their first day of preschool!

So what have I been doing during all my me-time (obviously not blogging)? I’ve started classes with the National College of Midwifery and hope to begin my apprenticeship soon to become a Certified Professional Midwife.

Thanks to all the concerned emails I got during my blogging hiatus! We’ll be back on schedule now with tons of great ideas coming your way :) Don’t forget you can sign up for an email subscription (on the right hand toolbar) so that you don’t miss a single post!


The kids love their new bikes! When we head to a park with a bike loop I sometimes even get a bit of homework done!