MIA ON THE PORCH

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Amelia has been on the porch before, but never outside without Mama or Daddy holding her. There are two sets of stairs, so I was hesitant to let our lady roam.

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I made sure she had a lot of distractions!

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Books, instruments, and various toys did the trick for at least half an hour!

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It was chilly so we brought out some (lukewarm) hot chocolate. Penelope called it her “coffee.” She carried it around taking sips here and there. Occasionally she would remember it sitting on a side table, and then run across the porch proclaiming, “I need my coffee.”

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Chocolate mustache!

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Chalk on chubby feet.

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Some of you may have noticed P’s fresh bangs. After a few weeks of hearing, “Mama, you cut my hair?” and watching her sweep her hair out of her face, I had to trim that mess up! She is much happier now.

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After a while, when the side stairs started looking appealing, we moved the party over to the swing.

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Reaching for Penelope.

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Walking better and better each day! Really, she could walk on her own, but she is scared to. She either grabs something or sits down.

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Her favorite silly face lately.

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Someone grabbed the “coffee”…illegally. Penelope was not amused.

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I see you, Mommy!

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I am so grateful for how well these two get along!  Amelia was so good, we’ll have to make it a regular playtime setting.

They both have a doctor appointment today. Penelope asked me multiple times yesterday if she could go to her doctors appointment. She really enjoys doctor visits. The doctor gives her a fake check-up when Amelia has a real one and she doesn’t. She’s cute.

THIS WEEK SO FAR

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Party banners were made.

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Dishes were cleaned.

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Swimsuits were worn.

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Sinks were scrubbed.

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Bubbles were played with.

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Naps were taken.

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Books were read and rotated.

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Tents were camped in.

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More naps were taken and smiles were shared.

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Harmonicas were chewed.

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iPads educated.

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Babies explored.

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Toys were played with, and consoled by rightful owners.

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Hats were worn and hats were shared.

– and it‘s only Wednesday!!

SUNDAY HIKE

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Sunday (before we tackled the shed), we went on a hike as a family.

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No reason you can’t look good doing it, right?

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Penelope was so excited when she discovered these. Zack told her they were for throwing…so, that was fun. At least no one was harmed.

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Penelope was so interested in “all things” that her and I often ended up pretty far behind Daddy and A. Worth it though!

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We stopped for a cracker / water break before we entered the forest portion of our walk. As you can see, Penelope brought Raggedy along in her “pack-pack.”

Miss A even enjoyed some crackers, even though I’m pretty sure there is milk in them.

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Zack pulled some moss for me to show how thick it was. I had no idea it was only green right on the surface, or how deep the roots go! Pretty cool find!

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Zack and his ladies on the way back to the car.

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Our loot. Safe to say we raked it in. Later, as we went inside for the night, Penelope scurried to fit all of this into her little hands. I helped her out, and she immediately went to find them in the morning.

RAINY MORNING

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I told myself I would not be cleaning on Friday. It seems like all I ever do, so I gave myself a day off. So so hard! T’was a mess. A big mess. “Out of sight out of mind” sounded like it was worth a try.

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It was cold, rainy, and dark outside but I figured I would take this time to enjoy our porch. I know, I know, no socks or jacket….she is wearing a hat though, kind of.

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We had music playing softly in the background as we colored and talked about “all things” (something Penelope says a lot).

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I had shorts and a sweater on, but also no socks. I’ll get my head screwed on right one of these days.

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Whispering “chalk”…goober. She makes everything fun.

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Polka dots! Can’t have too many apparently. Oh, and pajamas at 11am as well. It’s my day off, remember?

Who am I kidding, pajamas at 11 am is a regular occurrence.

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We were just missing the third amigo! Next time Mia!

FRONT PORCH

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As the weather here gets cooler we’ll be spending more time on the porch, so last night I decided to make it a bit more homey. I’ll be adding more plants, but for now I’m happy with how it turned out!

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I think this area needs a rug and or at least some throw pillows. Suggestions?

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I brought some plants, from the dining room, outside. I still have pots that need to be filled but no plants to fill them with, so I used one for Penelope’s chalk.

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My brother just gave me this brown chair before he moved to Oregon. It is really comfortable! The arm rests are so high – great for long, gangly arms! I made a runner out of a lace curtain we weren’t using, a plant, and some candles and voilà, cozy enough for cool evenings outside.

(Before this area had the green chair, the rocker, and that table was always covered in tools)

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I also received this corner shelf from my brother, still bare, but we’ll get it stocked with stuff…slowly. The rocker was a gift from Zack’s grandparents – my favorite seat! I’ve always loved the idea of a rocking chair on the front porch.

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I l o v e this yard. Never disappoints.

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Looking for stars.

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She decided every piece of chalk needed to be used.

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She asked me to draw a baby, but it ended up looking more like a toddler…with no hands.

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My Sweet Pea.

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Her masterpieces.

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Zack, happy with his girlies. The girls keeping a close eye on Maple.

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Penelope took a few photos with the camera…her toes…

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…Maple licking Mama’s leg…

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and A, resting her head on Daddy’s arm.

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It was wonderful watching the sunset, drawing chalk art with my little lady, all while over hearing Amelia’s giggles as she plays with Daddy. Pretty great way to end the day.

SNAPSHOTS: : 22

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Zack bought a bouquet? bush?…some mums the other day for something going on at the school. Every autumn I want mums, but I just cannot bring myself to spend that kind of loot on something of this nature even though I really enjoy plants. I’m a little hesitant to spend twelve bucks on a shirt, much less something that may or may not die soon. I am so glad he snagged me one and the money went to something good!

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I made spaghetti sauce Wednesday with the tomatoes and peppers our neighbor gave us!

In the crockpot place chopped tomatoes.

Add in (the equivalent of one third the amount of your tomatoes): :

Chopped white onion

Chopped green peppers

Chopped celery

Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic – all to your taste.

Tomato paste

Cook on LOW for three hours.

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Scoop out contents and place in blender.

Blend.

Pour back into crockpot and cook on LOW for another three to five hours.

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– It will be thin, so you can add in tomato paste to thicken it.

If you are freezing it, add in paste and meat when you are going to actually eat it. (The paste, will become watery upon thawing) If you are eating it right after you make it, add in paste and meat when you are ready.

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This batch made a jar and a half.

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Penelope has been enjoying her little tent lately. She has been “hiding,” playing with her dolls, having tea parties, taking pretend naps, and giggling like cah-razy in there.

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She asked me to join her Wednesday morning to hide from the thunder and take a pretend nap. Invite accepted!

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We have had a cold and rainy week. Needless to say, aside from our trip to the doctor, we have spent our days in pajamas making messes and snuggling and cleaning up those messes.

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Look, Mom, a B!

Penelope has been “reading” big books lately. Some upside down even! Talented lady.

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Penelope and I spent the majority of Thursday morning painting.

I hadn’t drawn or painted in so long, it was harder than I remember!

Happy weekend!!

DINING ROOM & KITCHEN

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I showed a peek of the dining room and kitchen the other day. I figured I would show you the rest since all but two of our friends live nowhere near us.

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The entryway to the house.

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This sewing machine is from Zack’s great-grandma. We’ve had it for a few years now. In our last apartment it was the resting place for our microwave. I think this is a better fit for it. Definitely one of my favorite things in this house.

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The board my shades are on was left here with its twin (on the table) by the previous owners. Not sure what it was intended for…

The plant is in a chicken broth can. 🙂

(The red thing is a rubber ducky)

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No, your head isn’t tilted, I just haven’t mastered the straight angle whilst harboring a baby on my hip without a tripod. I’ll get there.

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If you come over, watch your step! There is likely to be something on the floor in every room. If you decided to help-a-mama-out and pick up whatever junk just stabbed your heel, it will surely be replaced with another, equally as pointy, object in a matter of minutes.

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This can was the home of some boiled peanuts. Yes, I ate them, and yes they were delicious.

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This banner isn’t a year round thing. Just an autumn touch. Cheap. Cheap is what I was going for here.

These posters were a dollar + seventy-four cents. Everything else you see here was either a dollar or free-to-me.

Cheap!

The flowers / pine needles are from our yard.

shelf

This shelf is to the left of the fireplace / wood stove (?) Lets just call it a fireplace…

It is where most (not all) of the stuff my grandparents have given me over the years is kept.

The sewing machine was my first! The table it rested in, now holds our coffee shtuffs.

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If you were wondering, the album covers are held up by miniature clips and nails. Also cheap. See a pattern here?

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I keep a bowl various “old” (Sorry Mom and Dad!) photos of my parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

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This is one of two photos I have from Zack’s side of the family. The other one shares this shelf. I have a photo of Zack’s dad, but that’s it. Sorry Reighards and Rogers, you give ‘em I’ll display ‘em!

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This is my Mama’s shelf. Along side the photos are some Japanese stuff (from grandparents) and shells, because she (like myself) loves the ocean!

There is an Indian-style candle holder there as well, but I just couldn’t think of where to put it. 🙂

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I really like these large black and white posters, (Blueprint poster at Staples), I have them all over the house.

All of the shells you see are from my grandma, who also loves the ocean. Its in our genes…

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These white “things” are soaps Zack’s students made in Solo cups last year. They smell amazing! Aside from the smell, they look like candles. Two for one. – and free fragrance!

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This album is Chicago’s “You’re the Inspiration” single (my parent’s song).

The iron was my Vovo’s in Brasil. It is heavy so I keep it up high. Also, I’m pretty sure Penelope would use it to store various objects.

The couple figurine was a wedding gift from our friends Beth and Bill. One of these days I’ll paint the boy’s hair orange…

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We play records while we eat supper, and occasionally during the day is Penelope is in the mood for a dance party. 😉

(We have several children’s albums, we don’t make her dance to “Rocky Mountain High,” although I’m sure she wouldn’t mind.)

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A third of our album collection. My dad did the brunt of the work collecting most of these in his youth. Thanks Dad!

We’ll switch out those album covers at Christmastime!

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Me and my man before we had kiddos.

This is a jar? Vase? Container.

This is a container we use to hold our ticket stubs. My favorites? Tony Hale at The Crossing, Phil Wickham with Shane and Shane (Shari took me! She knows I loves me some Phil Wickham!), and the Billy Graham museum (Amelia’s first road trip!).

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My Daddy!

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The fireplace we treasure! Bats moved in shortly after us, but have since moved out. Man oh man are they loud!

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I found the stickies for that third platter!

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What you’d see when you walk in. I’m showing you now, because if you do happen to come over, you might want to look at the floor as you walk…remember the blocks?

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Also purchased some stickies for these babies, for above the new stove.

Silver from my Grandma, floral plate from Vovo.

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This cabinet is what we use for a pantry. It was Zack’s grandparents from way back when.

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The girls autumn aprons on display.

I realized the picture was crooked, but I decided I better leave it so you see something in it’s natural state. Meaning, my house is not nearly ever as clean as these pictures would have you think.

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My sister got this menu for Miss P. at Estes Park in Colorado when we went to visit them. I also got my mom a shirt from here, since her name is Penelope as well.

Well, there you have it! Feel free to come see it in person. I’ll make sure to sweep the clutter into the corners and the dirt under the rugs before you arrive!

SNAPSHOTS: : 21

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Saturday we attended the wedding of one of the coolest people we know. It was in Springfield so we were able to enjoy lunch at my favorite place, San Francisco Oven, before hand.

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We stopped for a potty break on our way down at the home of this creepy cartoon man child I am always seeing billboards of. It’s a huge candy shop as well as a gas station.

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Penelope entertained herself with the iPad, while Amelia entertained herself with her feet and a nap. Best travellers, even without the iPad.

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Parm shots.

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Daddy took A’s spoon. He got a stare down worthy of record books, and she got her spoon back. Well played Mia, well played.

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Penelope gave us all a lesson in classiness while we waited for our food. (This is not usual behavior, but we were the only ones in the restaurant, so why not.)

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I had a bright idea as we left the wedding, “I’ll grab her a cupcake for the road.”

Ha! Silly me.

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Sunday morning we had two sick girlies, so we skipped church and later watched an online sermon (Its not contagious stuff, but I wasn’t about to be the mom bringing a child with a cough in to play with other kids).

Zack had work to do so he stayed with Amelia while I took Penelope shopping with me.

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We took our sweet sweet time. (2 hours!) We even stopped to stroll the toy isles. Her birthday is right around the corner ya know!

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Tuesday we had a doctors appointment for A, she either has sinus drainage or reflux again, we’ll have to wait and see. (She is 100% happy, so no worries!)

After taking Daddy to work, eating breakfast, A’s first nap, the doctor appointment, and nap time again, Amelia was able to enjoy some quiet Mommy time while Penelope finished her nap.

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She was inspecting the tea set while I went potty (too much info?), and I came back to the living room to find it lacking a certain little girl.

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…so I followed the trail. You know the one. Food removed from the pantry, books in the hallway, and finally Miss A unpacking her fall attire.

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“Look Mom, a shoe phone!” Giggle giggle…

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It took her a while to decide which one she liked best, but the leopard print flats won in the end. I believe she carried it with her whilst crawling all the way back to the bathroom, where it will remain for possibly the next two months.

We’ll be snuggling today with movies, blankets and hot chocolate today, as it is cold and rainy here. Go Wednesday!

PRESCHOOL: : POLAR BEARS

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As I took my sweet time getting out of bed Monday morning, I decided “Today is the day we’re going to start getting this girl learned, and have fun doing it!”

I noticed several of the homeschooling “helpful hints” I had found on Pinterest,  had lesson schedules which were set around a theme, and included “exercise breaks.” So I gathered up some things and we had a wonderful experience with it!

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After breakfast I made a bridge. The game was you have to crawl under it and run around the couch. We were sweating and I, and only I , was exhausted within ten minutes.  She had a blast with it!

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Penelope took a photo of Amelia tumbling for me. Looks quite a bit like a blurry fan to me, but it’s the though that counts, right?

We tumbled (summersaults) after the bridge game. Amelia clapped after each of her turns and crawled back to my lap for another.

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We began the schooling part of the day by reading “Just One More Swim.”

We followed it up with learning about polar bears on a Planet Earth DVD and snacking on gold fish (because they eat fish).

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As I made lunch, she colored a page about a polar bear cub. She used the book as a reference. It ended up blue and purple though. 🙂

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After her nap, we continued our lesson with a craft. We made a polar bear face.

Materials: :

Plate – plastic or paper

White tissue paper

White yogurt cup or clear fruit cup

Glue

Scissors

White + black paper

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She was most excited about placing the eyes on it.

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I cut out some ears (free hand) and glue them to the back of the plate.

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I crumpled then shredded the tissue paper, and swirled glue around the plate (and plastic cup for nose). Penelope then placed the pieces of paper and pushed the paper down.

If you decide to do this, and use a white yogurt cup, you don’t have to cover it in tissue paper.

I glued a larger piece of tissue paper down in the center of the plate so the nose cup would stick to the plastic plate better, but I’m sure this isn’t necessary for a paper plate.

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We then “finally” put the eyes and tip of the nose on our bear. – oh, and smile!

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She can’t stop talking about her bear plate, and it will soon have a home on a wall around here!

We also watched a web cam video of a live polar bear and and danced to a polar bear song.

Penelope informed me multiple times at supper that she does not like carrots, so tomorrow we will be learning about carrots. What they are good for, how to grow them, painting a giant carrot to put on the fridge, etc. She has already been informed of one fact: No matter if she likes them or not, she still has to eat them! I don’t like carrots either, and I eat them simply to avoid being a hypocrite.

I really enjoyed this preschool thing! I hope this goes well and I don’t find excuses to stop doing it!