Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Baking Cookies

 I messed around with the standard chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I replaced the sugar with xylitol and apple juice, and did  equal parts of unbleached flour, wheat flour, and almond flour.  After all that, they still turned out, and they were yummy....

And yes, after she held up her hand and said, "no more pictures please!"  I put the camera down....

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's The Little Things

O has been such a big helper keeping the flowers and plants watered for me.  Everyday she asks to water them.  She has a good memory unlike her mother.  If it weren't for her the plants would have died long ago.

The only problem is that her tiny watering can is packed with all of our other things, and the giant one here is far too big for little hands.  So what is a mama to do?  Poke holes in the top of a juice container of course.  Pinterest has some similar ideas floating around, so this is by know means an original idea, but me oh my it has made watering plants much easier.

O rang the wind chime saying, "Here you go plants.  It's time for dinner drinks."  Nice.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sweet Child

Last night at dinner, I asked O to pray, and this is what she said...

Dear Jesus,
I love daddy so much.  Can you please keep him safe while he is gone so he doesn't get hurt.  I love daddy and miss him.  Can you make me not miss him so much?  I love him and miss him a bunch, but I want him to help others.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Oh little girl, you break my heart.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A New Dress

I made a new dress.  I painstakingly crocheted a trim for the bottom, the ties, and the middle.  This took way longer than I was going to take on this dress.
Honestly, I am not in love with it.  It's ok.  A little too country for my liking.  I had intentions of selling it, and then Miss O found it.  "You made a dress for me?  Oh Thank You Mommy!  You're the best mommy in the whole wide world!  Oh And I Can Wear It With My Girl Cowboy Boots!  Let Me Go Get Dressed Right NOW!"

So I guess we are keeping the dress...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Game Time / Quiet Time

It has been a long time since O has napped, but honestly I still need the break in the afternoon even if she doesn't.  So what's a mama to do?  Well, there are the old stand bys like books, quiet activity books (we have 2 of these and they work for O sorta...sometimes), she listens to audio books, and then occasionally (like once every three months) she actually naps.  Here are a few more things she enjoys doing.....

First up it's called Mighty Mind.  It is almost like pattern blocks, but not quite.  We have those too, but O plays with the Mighty Mind game differently.  The set we have comes with cards, that tell her which pieces she needs to make the shadow shape.  This game is great for dexterity, sorting, and cognitive development.  When young children do puzzles like this they are using logic and problem solving skills that they are not using when they are watching television.

Next are just regular old puzzles.  She loves her princesses.

Look at the expression!  Yikes! She does not love me taking photos during her quiet time.
 Memory is also a fun game that takes concentration and memory recall.  Again great for cognitive development.
Some other fun quiet time activities that we do (that I didn't take pictures of because in all reality it is rather distracting to O) are:
 Color Sudoku (we use a 4X4 grid, and we made our own, but this site has some you can just print out), 
coloring (usually with plain paper and something like crayons or pencils, less messy things), 
light table with salt in it,

Monday, June 4, 2012

Eye Spy With My Little Eye

After reading about another blogger who created her own Eye Spy Book, I decided to liven up our boring day by making our own.  We started by hauling out every small toy we own (mostly school related stuff, but school can be fun, right?).  Although most of O's toys were packed up when we moved, we still have a lot of toys.  We had a lot of fun creating our scene for our photos.  Then after we created one scene O played with the 'town' for a while, and I made a few more scenes to photography.

In theory (as in, if I don't forget about it before we leave) I am going to print off the photos, and create a mini eye spy book for O to look at while travel the 13+ hours to see daddy graduate book camp.

Here's a few photos....

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Heart of the Matter

I got this idea from Playful Learning.  Mariah has a ton of great ideas in her book and at her site.  She has quite a knack for designing spaces for children (I love love love looking this as well so I end up spending way too much time looking at all her great ideas).

Before I invited O to join me, I drew a big heart for O and for myself on separate sheets of thick water color paper.  I drew a few stick figures and wrote simple words that O is beginning to recognize (daddy, O, Jesus, family, etc).

After the quick prep I invited O over to the counter and told her I was making a picture of what it in my heart.  I explained that things that I love are in my heart, and that it could be people or special toys, or feelings.  I used the fine tip sharpies we have, so O was thrilled she got to use 'the fancy markers.'
As I was drawing, I briefly mentioned some things I was making, but I tried to be quiet so O could concentrate.

O made some very detailed pictures of her daddy when he was a baby, her daddy when he is grown up, two butterflies, and Jesus.  After she finished the drawing, I handed her some water colors and asked her to paint the picture.

She proceeded to cover up every detail she drew with dark colors.  After she finished, I asked why she chose those colors.  Her response?  "My heart feels black.  My heart is sad, mommy.  I miss my daddy."

It breaks my heart.  Only about 40 days until we can see him graduate basic, but then he will be gone again for 12 more weeks.  Oh me oh my.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Polishing Up

This is a typical activity you would find in any Montessori 3-6 classroom, and at our house as well.  O polished some silver pinch bowls we have with a q-tip and toothpaste (the store bought, not mine).  It is more about the process and the child being a productive part of the family unit than the actual results of the product.  An additional perk for me is this kept her focused at the counter for a solid 15 minutes which allowed me to get a few things done.  It is important to me that O can work on these projects with out me hanging around correcting, interrupting (after I started taking photos she politely asked me to 'turn off the light'--ie the flash or to 'give her quiet calm' so she could focus), or intruding on the process for her.  Other than when I am giving her a 3-part lesson, I usually give her the activity, with directions in the form of me doing one or two examples (I don't tell her how to do it, I show her).  Then I leave her alone.  When she has completed the task she shows me and then she cleans up and we choose a new activity.  
I am so glad I started this process when she was young (around 15 months) because I need those 5 minutes here and 15 minutes there to make lunch and do chores and have some devotional time.  With F being gone, I don't have the evening 'here you take her for a few minutes so I can get X done' that I used to have.