Sunday, October 31, 2010

My birthday bash

 The Festivities
(I love these fun balloons)

 My cake.  My husband is amazingly talented in the baking department and he and the kiddos made this beauty for me - topped with roses!

 Getting ready for my wish...

Distribution.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cheerios Asks

I have recently been selected as a Cheerios blogger circle member! I am super excited about this opportunity. Please feel free to head on over to the Cheerios Facebook page and take a look at all of the other CBCs as well.

So, my first topic is, "As a homeschooling mother to four kids, how do I use quality time with my children to ensure the best nourishment for their body and mind?" Great question!!

One of my biggest influences to my kids is my actions, not just my words. When I became a parent this became painfully obvious to me as my children got older and started emulating some of my not so pleasant habits. Now, on the flip side this can be extremely rewarding when you see your children displaying qualities such as generosity, kindness, compassion, etc. Children are like sponges absorbing all that they can.

The thing is, if I want my kids to be well-mannered, healthy and active - I’ve got to grow and practice these myself. Wow.

And let me tell you, I am still figuring things out. A is only in first grade with B in a mixture of preK and K (another beauty of homeschooling - the flexibility). My desire is to create/nurture an environment where questions are asked and there is freedom to learn.

And at the end of my homeschooling days I would like to go on Jeopardy - just kidding.

One thing I learned (as a parent!) that we have had success with as a family is simply categorizing food two ways: grow food or junk food (this concept is from Dr. Sears). "Grow” foods would be veggies, grains, fish, fruit, salads, and cereals. Most junk food is really easy to identify!
My kids practice sorting grow and junk foods during a school assignment.

C determining that watermelon is indeed a grow food.

A, B and C's finished assignment
Does this mean we are perfect and never eat junk? Hardly! We love parties, and always have cakes and ice cream! But, let me tell you, when one of my kiddos has eaten nothing but crap, their attitude is usually in the toilet and we don't accomplish much. Anyone else ever been here before??

I have. It has the SAME effect on ME.
Food Pyramid diagrams
The Food Pyramid takes it one step further in classifying foods: grains, vegetables, fruits, oils (not its own group but you need some for good health), milk, meat & beans. I love that the most recent diagram has a person climbing up a staircase to the top of the pyramid, emphasizing that not only is nutrition and what we put into our bodies important but daily exercise and physical activity as well. This concept is awesome for children - and for us, too! My advice is to get out and play together as much as you can; try to include your family in your exercise when possible.

I love to walk down to the neighborhood park with my kids when the weather is nice and read some of our schoolbooks there followed by “play” time.

These are just a few simple examples - there is so much more! What are some of your thoughts? I would love to hear them.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Princesses and a Pirate

Chick-Fil-A had a fun family event last night. If kids came in dressed as a princess or pirate they received a free kids meal. My kiddos had a blast. We pulled out some princess costumes (we have quite a few) from the girls dress-up box. I was so happy to find one that would also fit D. We had to come up with a pirate costume for C.

D enjoying her meal.

C as a pirate. We safety pinned the bird to the top of his shirt. He named the bird Blue, which I thought was pretty cute. I asked him what color Blue was (just to make sure there wasn't any confusion and he laughed and replied red of course - just checking).

A and B loved making the crafts. They made foam crowns and bead bracelets and necklaces. There was also a station for C to make a pirate hat, which he did!

A starting her crown.

B getting tips on her crown from the princess helper. They had lots of glitter which the girls loved!

The finished crowns crafted by A and B.

C making his pirate hat!

And to top it all off, the giant "fire" cow made an appearance as well. I call her the "fire" cow because she was all dressed up in a fire fighter uniform and had a fire truck parked outside.

D studying the "fire" cow.

Another photo up close with Daddy and the cow.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Our National Hunting & Fishing Day Adventure

A few weeks ago our family went to the National Hunting and Fishing Day in Round Rock. We had a lot of fun. Hunting is a topic that has always been difficult for me. I have never liked the idea of hunting for sport but I totally get it for food source. My Dad was never a hunter growing up but his Dad, my grandfather, was an avid outdoorsman. My siblings and I spent a few weeks with him in Washington one summer and he taught me how to use a bb gun. I was actually pretty good but I have yet to fire another one off after that. I am not a gun fan really. All that said, my kiddos had a good time at the event. I actually got to take A and C out for a kayak ride which was really fun for me! B got to practice fishing (with pretend fish) and all of the kids enjoyed the sensory safari set up for the little ones. The sensory safari was pretty neat because the kids got to see lots of animals up close and personal. They liked to feel the different coats and ask their names.

B going fishing. I love that C is standing there with a rubber bracelet in his mouth.

The Sensory Safari

A posing

C petting and exploring the moose

The bear

A and B feeling the animals

A and Mommy

C and Mommy. He looks squished in this picture. I assure you he had a good time. He got me nice and wet/muddy too!