Monday, November 14, 2011

Are You Ready for Winter?

Learning about how animals get ready for winter is an interesting topic, but it’s even better when you can pretend to be those animals. That’s what we and few of our friends did today at the Kuehn Conservation Center’s nature program.


First, a few of the kids got to dress up as animals that tough winter out, hibernate,and migrate. The naturalist helped the kids think about what teach type of animal does to survive winter.

Next, the kids got to pretend to be squirrels by making a nest under a tree and then grabbing a nut one at a time to bring back to their nest. Then they got to touch and see other animals native to Iowa and learn about how they survive winter.

Finally, after a hike in the woods to build more nests, they got to crack open some hickory nuts with rocks and eat them.


As an added bonus, there was an Indian tepee the kids could explore and play in.


What a fun way to relish in a gorgeous November day, learning about and exploring God’s creation.

Cell Craft


Today we began a unit on the human body for science. Our first topic was cells. We talked about what their purpose is and looked at pictures of them in a book called Cells by Michael George.

After reading about it, I had the girls make a model of a cell from a diagram I got from


They drew a circle and then glued a button in the middle to represent the nucleus. Then they used gems and colored macaroni to represent the other cell parts.




Learning is more fun when you can use glue!

First Snow


We had our first snow last Wednesday. The girls were so excited that got themselves dressed in their gear and headed out to play. They spent about an hour running around and throwing snowballs at each other and the house. It would have been the perfect snow to make a snowman out of, but they didn’t get around to that.

We got a late start to school that day, but it was worth to see them enjoying the first snow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Now it Makes Cents


Counting money has been a frustrating skill for Lori to learn. But, as usual, when I bring art into the mix, math isn’t so bad.


So we began by pulling out the grocery adds that usually go to the recycle bin. Then I gave her the task of finding items she could buy with $1. So she began perusing the merchandise and clipping out what she could afford.

Then she pasted them to her paper.


When the cutting and pasting was complete, I had her pick two items she would like to buy, add them together, and then count out the correct change. Then she checked her answer on the play cash register.


Audrey got to cut and paste too, but her only goal was to find numbers and then tell me what they were.


Lori’s comment after this activity: “This makes math more fun mom.”

Mission accomplished.

Fall Fun

Ah, it’s fall again. Crisp, cool air,yummy smells, and gorgeous colors. One way we love to enjoy these sights and smells is by going to our favorite apple orchard/pumpkin patch. It is filled with delightful kid activities.


The girls favorite part is the corn pool. They love to run, jump, and burry themselves in it.


Next comes the rubber duck racing troughs. The girls pump water as hard as they can to get a rubber duck to float to the other side.


Then we moved on to the tractor tricycles…..


The jumping pillow……


And finally, the pumpkin patch.


Friday, August 26, 2011

First Day of School


On August 22, we began our first day of school. Both girls, surprisingly enough, sat at the table, eager to start.


We began our day with the Pledge of Allegiance, and then read the book I Pledge Allegiance by Bill Martin to help them understand what they were saying.


Next, we had calendar time. During this time we fill out this chart, fill in our weather graph,circle the date, and make the number of days we’ve been in school with money.


Lori is drawing a caterpillar and writing about it. This is from a fantastic workbook called Draw,Then Write.


Audrey is making a math story with stamps.


Our last activity of the day was a scavenger hunt that led the girls to scrapbooks that they will use to remember 2nd grade and Kindergarten. The best part was getting to decorate them.


Well, we survived the first week of school. 29 more to go!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fish Boil

Fish Boils are a popular event in Door County, much like a pig roast or sweet corn feast would be here. We were lucky enough to get to participate in one at a local restaurant called Pelletier's Restaurant and Fish Boil.

First, they take a large pot of white fish and boil it in a large pot of water.



After about 10 minutes of cooking, the oils from the fish rise to the top of the water. To boil this off, the Masterboiler throws 2 cups of diesel fuel onto the fire…….


which causes an explosion of fire……..


which causes the water to heat up rapidly and boil over, boiling off the fish oils.


Then it’s time to eat! Delish!


Wisconsin Vacation Continued

On day 2 of our trip, we headed to Peninsula State Park, a Mecca for camping and outdoor lovers. Apparently this park gets as many visitors in the summer as Disney World, or at least that’s what the guide book said.

Anyways, we began our day there on a rather exhausting 2 hour canoe ride. It felt like the wind and or current were against us the entire time.

We started at Nicolet Bay Beach and headed to this little island, called Horseshoe Island.


After that we took a little rest on the beach and then headed for a hike on the Eagle Trail. There were some fun cave like formations on this trail that we explored.



Here is the view from one of the lookout points on the trail.


After this we headed to see another lighthouse and a three story high lookout tower.

Here’s the lighthouse and an anchor from a ship that sunk near the coast of the peninsula.



John has a fear of heights so he stayed below as Lori and I trekked three stories up to see the view from the tower.



And that was day 2 of our vacation!




Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wisconsin Vacation

On July 30, 2011, John, Lori, and I set out on our vacation to Door County, Wisconsin. Lori handled the almost 9 hour car ride impressively well. This was her first trip outside of Iowa (and Omaha). It was also her first time staying in a hotel. Fortunately this hotel included a pool, which she and I both enjoyed immensely.

On our first full day we spent most of our time at White Fish Dunes State Park. We went on a hike and then headed to the beach.


Although the water was quite chilly, Lori enjoyed hopping over and splashing in the waves.


We also saw this impressive sand castle on the beach.


After the beach we headed a mile down the road to Cave Point County Park. Here we had fun climbing on the cliffs and rocks that jutted out of the water.


Lori was a little hesitant about walking on the slippery rocks at first, but with daddy’s help she became more confident.


And, hence the name Cave Point Park, there were numerous cave like formations in the rocks that we explored.


Once we were tired out from all our adventures, we drove to see a lighthouse before heading back to the hotel. This lighthouse is called the Cana Island Lighthouse. Unfortunately we missed the tour, but it was fun to look at none the less.


So that was day one of our vacation. More to come tomorrow!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Independence Day Celebrations!

Every year on July 3, our neighborhood has a block party. To kick off the fun, the kids decorate their bikes and parade them around the block.




After the parade, the host of the party set off a firework that released 30 parachutes. All the kids raced after the parachutes to catch them. Audrey was the only one who caught one. The other two were too busy covering their ears because of the noise.

Finally, it was time to eat, and for most of our neighbors, drink. We left around 8:30, the party didn’t end till about 3 a.m. Our neighbors like to party!

On Independence Day, we took the girls to the local parade, and then I took Lori and Audrey to see the fireworks that night. They enjoyed lighting sparklers with their neighbor friends while we waited.



Happy Birthday America!!