Pumpkin Picking and Carving!

We made our annual trip to Crescent Farms to pick pumpkins this weekend. The weather was perfect-sunny, unseasonably warm, and breezy. The pumpkin pickings were slim, but we still managed to find two nice pumpkins for carving. The girls had fun checking out a few animals, and trekking through the patch finding baby pumpkins, pumpkin blossoms, and a few “gross” pumpkins too.

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It was difficult, but Jonathan had to make an executive decision during dinner-we would wait until the next day to carve the pumpkins. The girls were clearly wiped out from a long day with not a minute of napping.

Sarah wanted to make a kitty cat. Jonathan exercised an unbelievable amount of patience as he slowly cut out the mouth, whiskers, and eyes. Sarah, we have found out, is a perfectionist. She wanted her kitty cat to be just right. She started melting down when Jonathan got to the mouth. He penciled in a smile when Sarah protested because she wanted her kitty to be sad. Many tears were shed. Jonathan’s patience persevered and she ended up with a sad kitty cat.

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Abigail wanted hearts all over her pumpkin. All throughout the pumpkin carving process (both with Sarah’s and Abigail’s pumpkins) Abigail kept telling Jonathan what a great job he was doing. She helped to lighten things up a bit. She was very happy with her final result.

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Lily was clearly exhausted. Because of church and meetings afterward she didn’t get a nap in. She did plenty of screaming and then retreated to the living room for some alone time (but not before helping out a bit at the beginning).

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Our pumpkin seeds are rinsed and will dry overnight before I toast them. I am definitely looking forward to that! Here is a simple and straight-forward recipe you may want to try!

Kindergarten Corner – Leaf Unit

Our third unit was all about the letter L and leaves. This unit came at the perfect time as the leaves are changing and falling all around us. This paired with really great and unseasonably warm weather resulted in plenty of play time in the leaves.

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The big take away from this unit was talking about the leaf’s biggest job-making food for the tree/plant. The girls became well versed in what ingredients leaves needed to do what they were made to do.

There were a number of fun crafty projects we tackled during the week. This included leaf rubbing, preserving leaves, and painting around the borders of leaves to make fun art. Our unit was capped off with making “stained glass” using leaves, wax paper, and crayon shavings (who doesn’t have spare crayons laying around?). This was mostly my job, but the girls seemed to enjoy sprinkling shavings and arranging their leaves.

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Day 6 in each unit from My Father’s World kindergarten curriculum includes an introduction to classical music. We didn’t buy the supplemental package for this, but thanks to Youtube we have been able to include it. For this unit we listened to Brahms’ Hungarian Dance no. 5 in G Minor. The girls danced to the music as if they were a leaf falling from a tree, twirling and spinning either fast or slow depending on the pace of the music. They loved this. We ended up doing it three times and even Lily joined in on the fun. We had lots of giggles and maybe even got a little bit of exercise too!

Third Trimester – Where Did the Time Go?

Sunday marked the start of the third trimester for me and the little guy. The time has just flown by because I have been distracted by the three kiddos not residing in my womb. Those moments in the day when I get a chance to sit and relax is when our baby will start moving and I realize that “this is really happening”.

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The girls seem just as distracted as me when it comes to the fact that in a few short weeks we will be a family of six. My ever-growing belly barely gets any notice from them. They are probably just used to it by now. Baby brother does come up in conversation though, mainly to discuss what we might name him. Sarah has suggested “Josepher” while Abigail suggested and became attached to the name “Marco” for a little while.

So, what are we going to name him? There is a name at the top of our list (and our list happens to be a list with only one name on it) but we aren’t ready to make it public knowledge yet. I’m not sure why. As soon as we came up with names for our other babies we were eager to make them known.

My pregnancy is still pretty much the same as my others were. Though my issues with heartburn have been kicked up a notch. “They” say that heartburn means your baby has a good head of hair. I am not holding my breath.

We have slowly started preparations to welcome our baby into our home. A few months ago we switched rooms with the girls. Why would two adults need a master bedroom when four children are smooshed into a smaller second bedroom? Our master bedroom is the perfect size and can easily fit the bunk beds, crib, and another twin bed we expect to put in place in early November for Lily.

We are looking forward to early January to meet our little guy. Until then we have Lily’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas to go through first (which is bound to make the time go by even faster!).

Sarah is Four!

Crazy stuff. Our little peanut Sarah is four years old today. While she may not have grown many inches over the past year she sure has grown in abilities. Sarah talks nonstop. When I buckle all of the girls in and set off on a short car trip I think, “Ahhh, a break.” But as soon as I back out of our parking space Sarah starts talking, and keeps talking most of the trip.

She started the school year off not knowing all of her ABC’s and now she is easily recognizing beginning sounds (at least for the letters she is most familiar with). Plus she writes her name like a champ.

Sarah is still the life of our little party. She always gets us laughing. She also makes the best facial expressions.

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We love you Sarah! Happy birthday to our fun and fantastic four year old!

We celebrated this past weekend with family and had a great time.

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Kindergarten Corner – Moon Unit

We had fun going over our second unit about the letter M and the moon. We pretty much followed the plan My Father’s World (MFW) gave us. There aren’t as many fun experiments you can do when you talk about the moon (versus what we did with our sun unit) but we still had a good time with it.

One activity involved drawing moon phases. We did that, but took it one step further, thanks to an idea from Pinterest. Did you know that you could make models of moon phases using the delicious Oreo cookie? Well, you can, so we did.

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One thing we did that wasn’t covered in the curriculum was painting moons. The curriculum wanted us to make a mobile of a sun, moon, and stars, but we had so much painting the sun in the last unit that I decided we should paint a moon as well. I found a cool method on Pinterest that involved adding flour to white paint so we could give our moons texture.

There are so many resources available via the Internet. Though you always need to be careful and sure of the source. We watched a few Youtube videos to supplement what we covered. For example, the girls watched footage from the moon landing to catch a glimpse of how the astronauts bounced around on the moon (a side note: I couldn’t believe how many moon landing hoax videos came up in my search results-I didn’t realize some don’t believe it actually happened!). We also checked out a video of a shuttle launch, which was pretty cool.

Kindergarten Corner – Sun Unit

School has been going really well these past few weeks. Of course we have our good days and our bad days. It took a while for Abigail to admit that school wasn’t all that boring. Our first unit covered the letter S and the Sun. My Father’s World (MFW) provided a lot of creative experiments and activities to show what the sun does and how important the sun is.

One activity was creating sundials and using them to track the time. We didn’t use the method from MFW, but instead tried these simple sundials we found on Pinterest. We set them up at Nonna and Papa’s house so we could have fun playing outside as the hours passed. The girls got excited with each passing hour when they got to check their sundials.

Another fun experiment we did was planting beans. We each planted seeds in jars set up on our window sill and then had seeds in jars we kept in a closet. I even had fun with this one-it was exciting to check up on them each day because beans grow relatively fast. I used a method I found on Instructables.com.

Beans on Day 1

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Beans on Day 6

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Beans on Day 9

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I knew that there was a chance the closet beans would sprout just as well as the window sill ones. What I did not anticipate was that they might sprout earlier and get taller than the window sill beans. We did of course notice the big difference in color and talked about which plants were healthier. Just because the closet beans were taller/bigger didn’t mean they were more healthy than the window sill beans. We may take this experiment further and see if the closet beans change color after moving them to the window sill.

Both girls are doing really well with school so far. For Abigail we are still reviewing a lot (which may be why she thinks school is boring), but I think she’ll be happier once we start more phonics and learning to read. Sarah has impressed me a lot. She’s gone from not recognizing all of her ABCs to picking up beginning sounds.

Jonathan’s Birthday

I have neglected this blog for far too long! We celebrated Jonathan’s birthday two weeks ago. I made him a homemade chocolate cake with raspberry jam between the layers and on top. The girls and I gave him a new Lego set and case. Jonathan has been getting into Legos lately since the girls have become huge fans of them. We had a great time celebrating with family. Happy Birthday Jonathan!

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