Thursday, April 26, 2012


In honor of Arbor Day coming up on Friday we learned all about Trees!  I started the day off by reading the first portion of, "The Giving Tree" where the boy is still little and loves the tree.  He makes a crown to be King of the Forest, so we headed out to our Ash tree in the front to do the same.
 Twisting our crowns...

 Wearing our crowns...
 We made paint out of powdered milk, a small amount of water, and food coloring.  The leaves for our family trees were made with hand prints.

 We also started learning about AAB patterns.  It's much trickier than a standard AB pattern, but for their first day they did wonderful!
 "R" making his own pattern...
 We also made bird feeders out of pine cones, peanut butter, and bird seed.
 Most kids chose to hang them at my house, so our Ash Tree out front is decorated with a few new feeders, which the birds love by the way.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Family Raised on Sunshine and Rainbows {Book Giveaway}

I am so pleased and honored to be able to do this book giveaway. (Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to enter the book giveaway!)  My grandmother, Beverly Nye, has released her two best sellers (which have been out of print for quite some time) in a new combined print.  Beverly Nye invites you into her home for a friendly visit to share exciting, uplifting and practical ideas.  She makes life a little happier, healthier and more creative for every parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sister or brother and adds a smile to the reader's heart!  Her enthusiasm and encouragement come through on each page full of wonderful ideas. From the Deseret News:  "While living in Ohio during the '70s and '80s, Nye gained fame with several cookbooks and radio and TV shows, such as "At Home With Beverly Nye" and "The Great American Homemaker." After raising four kids, she championed the role of a homemaker as a fulfilling profession.  At the height of her fame, her book, "A Family Raised on Sunshine," was the No. 2 best seller at Waldenbooks — second only to Alex Haley's "Roots." She got thousands of fan letters and recipe requests every week."

Hi Everybody,
I'm so excited to tell you about my newest book - a combined, collectors edition of my TWO best sellers. Selling over a half million copies!!
"A Family Raised on Sunshine" takes place in the kitchen. It is filled with ideas, hints and recipes for ways to save on your grocery bill and have fun making your meals memorable! There are super easy, fun and economical recipes you will love!!
"A Family Raised on Rainbows" will inspire you in all the "colorful" things in your family life - holidays, vacations, traditions, gardening, decoration and fun with babies and children. There is even the complete pattern for a "Quiet" activity book for little ones. (This is worth the price of the book alone!)
Please tell all your friends about this 2 in 1 book. Its available on my website,, for only $19.95 + S&H. It also makes a super wedding or Mothers Day gift. Supplies are very limited so don't wait too long.
Smile Always,
Bev Nye
 The first section, "A Family Raised on Sunshine" encompasses the best homemaking advice and recipes that one could ask for.
In fact, just this weekend we hosted a "Honey Tasting" in our home and I made the following scones.  I substituted Butter for Margarine and Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix for the flour.  Because of the gluten free flour I had to drop the scones into the oil with a 1/2 cup measuring cup since it was runny and not able to roll out like regular scones, but they were so delicious that I had many requests for the recipe!
 The second section, "A Family Raised on Rainbows" really brings together how to make your house a home.  There are directions for everything from gardening to sewing projects.

For anyone wishing they had a new book, how about one for Mother's Day?  Buy your copy of "A Family Raised on Sunshine and Rainbows" here.
Written by Rita Heikenfeld of "When I heard that Beverly Nye was coming to our area for book signings, I was more than happy. Bev was a mentor to me and, along with my mom, Mary Nader, Bev encompassed all that I wanted to achieve, both professionally and personally. In fact, Bev was the original columnist for our paper, and was THEE cook in the 80’s on Bob Braun’s show. Bev went on to national fame and retired in South Jordan, Utah. But “retired” isn’t what Bev ever did. She’s as active today as she was when she lived in Cincinnati. In fact, she’s republishing her two bestsellers, A family Raised on Sunshine and Rainbows, into a combined book. And talk about relevant, these books belong in every home. Bev was “green and sustainable” long before the terms were coined and her books and philosophy reflect this. If you like Dr. Oz, you’ll love Bev’s book – even he could learn something from this woman.
I, for one, will be purchasing the set since mine are always on loan to somebody. Her recipes are as popular now as it was when she first published it."

Enter the book giveaway by following the Rafflecopter instructions below!

Mud and Worms

Wow!  Were we crazy excited about mud and worms or what?  I apologize that it has taken so long for me to post this.  Life has been crazy!  If you aren't following us on Facebook be sure to do so now.  When life gets extra crazy I post there first to keep everyone in the loop.
We started our day with some learning about mud and worms. And honestly, I could hardly keep their attention. They knew we were going to go out to the garden and play in the mud and didn't want to spend a single second longer learning anything inside!  This little video surely caught their attention for the all of 30 seconds it is long though.  Watch some real worms!
 For snack we spent some time discussing candy worms versus real worms.
 And then ate our candy worms in chocolate pudding :)

 When we first started the water everyone was surprisingly cautious about getting dirty.
 That changed though as the puddles began to grow and "R" was the first to jump right in!
 Of course, "T" discovered he could give himself a mud shower and "M" was the first to sit in a puddle :)

 We had a lot of fun making mud pies and painting our arms (okay, letting all the kids paint Miss Amanda's arms) and manipulating the dirt to make a river.  I kept EMan with me today since I knew how much he would love it.
 Look at those dirty girls!
 "T" was covered from head to toe.  Sorry about all that dirt in the hair mom!

 Right about eleven we had a casualty.  "C" slipped in the mud and hit his face on the wood spool that we use as a kids table.  It was the sort of thing that I would have taken him right to the doctor if I didn't have 6 other kids running around.  After cleaning it up and putting some ice on it the swelling stopped the bleeding and we didn't end up going to the doctor at all. 
 I'm actually quite impressed that now (Sunday) it is healing up quite nicely.
Since I focused on dealing with "C's" owie and had to get everyone cleaned up and ready to go home I failed to get pictures from the rest of the day.  Shorty after "C" fell the rest of the kids found some worms (it surprised me that it took so long actually) and made some observations of them.  We also took hose "showers" and sent everyone to different bedrooms and bathrooms throughout the house to change into some clean clothes to head home.  We really did have a lot fun!

April Showers Monday the 16th

Last Monday we talked about April Showers.  We learned all about the water cycle and how it rains so often in April.  We watched this short video from Scholastic about the water cycle.  In fact it is so awesome that they voted to watch it twice :)
 Since this week was a review week and there wasn't a new letter to learn we worked on reading our pre-reader books.  Pre-readers are considered a guided reading level (GRL) A.  They are books that have repetitive text with supporting picture clues that kids memorize once you read it to them a couple of times and they can "read" it back to you.  There are only a few words that students can actually "sound out" but they are able to identify one-to-one correspondence and beginning letter sounds that match the pictures.  The book we worked on today is called, "The Rain Rained." Each page repeats, "The rain rained on the ______." Fill in the blank with: house, dog, tree...etc.

 Yum!  Popcorn for snack!
 We are continuing to work on our Touch Math Module 3, which is, "Sorting, Classifying, Graphing, and Patterns".  We're coming closer to the end as we master patterning. 
 With the lacing pattern blocks we worked on AB patterns.  We talked about the similarities between remembering the words for our repetitive books, and remembering which block comes next.
 I was impressed with "A" today when she picked two different shapes of the same color and was able to correctly pattern them according to shape.  The rest of us used 2 different colors to have a little more obvious visual discrimination.
 We utilized Dawn's "April Showers Preschool Pack" over at Our Little Monkeys.  She always seems to have just the right set of printables for my lessons.  Thanks Dawn!
 Patterning in the cut and glue form.
 Singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider :)

Friday, April 13, 2012


On Wednesday in Little Adventures Preschool we learned all about fruit!  We started off the day by doing some shared reading and review of the letter V.  Next, we moved into a cut/sort/glue activity.  It's a printable I found here where we were able to sort items that are fruit, and items that were not fruit.
 We also continued our math lesson on graphing and were able to start extending the concept to be representative of the number of fruits we saw on the side of the paper instead of actually cutting out the fruits and gluing them onto the graph.
 We just had to explore the garden for signs of fruit as well.  How convenient that the strawberry patch was in full bloom :)
 Wow!  Look Miss Amanda!  We found a ladybug!
 The apple tree was also a hit on our tour of the garden.  I'm hoping that at least for the kids who visit my house often that our conversation about how they take a long time to develop into fruit will encourage them to keep their hands off during their free play.
 Our graphing today focused on how the graph demonstrates a set of something. It was so convenient to use the smart board screen shade to cover up our set of color coins and facilitate our conversation about how many.  We talked about how there were 2 blue boxes filled, so there must be two coins above - and I'd move the shade and we'd count.  Surprise!  They were equal!

The Farm

What's a week of learning about vegetables and fruits without going to the farm?  Our field trip this week was to Miller Farms, where they gave us a fantastic tour.  If you live in Colorado I'd highly suggest you do their Spring Festival.  It was great!  You do have to preregister with a group of 10 or more and plan on paying $5/person, but a personalized tour of their 1,000 acres was amazing!
 Riding on the tractor.
 Digging up a potato seed.
 They had baby goats...
 and baby pigs...

 and a cow.
 They loved feeding the goats!
 We also planted a flower and a bean.
 And we got a visit of their greenhouse, which was this building, and 3 more buildings all attached together.
 Afterwards we got to play.  This gigantic hay pile was calling all of the kids names!

 The old tractors were also fun to climb and play on! 
We had a fantastic time and are excited to go to another smaller and organic farm in a few weeks.  I just found some great farm themed printables over at 1+1+1=1.  Check them out here.