Friday, September 24, 2010

The Truth About Rainbows

So you may have read my previous post with our rainbow promises that included "to be nice to my sister" and "to not hit my sister" as well as my own promise to "be patient with the girls"......ahhh, the silly pipe dreams I have sometimes.  How does the saying go......if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain (pretty sure that gem can be credited to the often underestimated Dolly Parton?)  In my house, the rainstorm doesn't always come BEFORE the rainbow.  We cleaned up our mess from craft time (read: I cleaned up 99% of it while The Bear hid under the table and covered Buddy-the-friendly-dog in Hello Kitty stickers, and Tinkerbell s l o o o o w l y picked up 4 scraps of paper and made individual trips to the garbage can to dispose of them.)  Our calm land-of-rainbows serenity lasted a few hours and then entered the Afternoon That Would Not End.

I'll spare you the gory details but I can disclose that we have officially welcomed a new standing addition to our household and that is The Time Out Chair.  I remembered reading in my pediatrician's How to Raise a Child According to A Medical Doctor Who May or May Not Have Actually Had Children Himself* handbook that the time out chair should be in a separate room, facing a corner, and preferably should have arms to make the child feel enclosed, and should follow the one-minute-per-age rule. 

We had the opportunity to run tests of The Time Out Chair for both the 4 year old subject as well as repeated tests for the 2 year old subject.  2 year old subject was found to require multiple placements in The Time Out Chair to make it to the recommended two minute mark, and on this inaugural day of testing The Chair was found to be ineffective in behavior modification. 

Our research concluded that The Time Out Chair is most effective when Mommy sits in The Chair herself with Ear Buds, the latest issue of Redbook magazine, and a cup of coffee.  Further testing is required to support the hypothesis that The Chair could be even more effective with a glass of wine in place of the cup of coffee.  Feel free to test this one yourselves and report back to me.

*possibly not the technical title of said handbook

And as a funny addendum to this post, I will leave with you a picture that Tinkerbell drew the next morning.  This picture captures one of the moments that sent The Bear to The Time Out Chair on the Afternoon That Would Not End.

This is an illustration of little sister pulling out a literal, non-exaggerated FISTFUL of big sister's hair, and big sister's subsequent and self-described "mad face."  (It could be argued that Mommy was the one who had the mad face while Tinkerbell herself had a red, tear-streamed face.....)

In closing, a special shout-out to my girlfriends for a much-needed night out last night.....thanks for all the laughs and for the reminder of the coping mechanism that IS storytelling. 


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Our Morning Routine and the Hands-On Bible

I recently got inspired by Homeschool Creations bought this Hands On Bible.  It is an unabridged bible but has supplements throughout it that makes it engaging for kids.  A lot of the supplements are aimed at older elementary children but for now I am keeping it simple and doing the activities that are age appropriate or can be adapted (and will probably make some of them up along the way)

Their website has some great free resources including a bible reading plan that I printed and have been trying to follow with the girls in the morning over breakfast.  While the coffee is brewing in the morning, I skim the excerpt and then sit down with the girls at the kitchen table and read to them while they eat their breakfast.  I read some passages verbatim but take breaks to explain it in preschool terms.  We talk about it, say a little prayer, and occasionally do the accompanying activity (taking into consideration our schedule for the day).  This routine is just as if not more beneficial for me too as it gets me more familiar with the bible and puts me in a good mindset for the day....well, morning at least :)

This morning we did one of the suggested activities that went along with Genesis 9:1-17 (God's covenant with his people)  It was a huge hit with both of the girls!  They got to do some of their favorite things- coloring, cutting, and pasting.  Perfect.

Here is Tinkerbell's rainbow covenant (and mine on the lower left)

Shortly after this activity I had an opportunity to remind Tinkerbell of her promise to "listen to her parents".......and a few minutes after that she took an opportunity to remind ME of one of my promises to "be patient with the girls"......HA!

And here is The Bear's rainbow (Tinkerbell and I helped come up with her promises...she will probably need a lot of help remembering them- particularly the promise to "not hit my sister!!!")

We had more fun with rainbows while we were at it and I used some leftover paper to make a sequencing game that both girls did a couple of times.


I'm hoping this fall to focus on a "letter of the week" (in sync with Tinkerbell's preschool class) so I am going to save the sequencing rainbow to use again when we get to "R" in a few months...if this plan survives :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Craft with me, 1, 2, 3....Cuties-on-a-stick

September is always an exciting month- first days of school, first days of fall, fresh crayons and craft supplies.  It is a time of transition, and in the spirit of new beginnings I decided it's time to get back to the blogging board.  So welcome back, me!

For those of us lucky enough to live in or near the Land of Lakes, September also hosts the Great Minnesota Get-Together, otherwise known as THE State Fair.  To get the girls excited for our trip to the fair this weekend, we had a "State Fair Day" at our house.  We sat on the John Deere lawn mower under the deck, walked around the neighborhood until our feet hurt, watched Charlotte's Web, and had corn dogs, cheese-on-a-stick, and fruit kabobs for lunch.  And we had SO much fun making our Kids-on-a-Stick craft.  I might have had more fun than the kids.



I printed a cropped picture of each kid (on normal weight paper- they would last much longer on cardstock though!)  I cut out their faces then drew a cartoon body to go with each head- the kids colored them (headless- which they thought was hysterical) then they glued the faces and bodies on a craft stick (popsicle stick) and the final result is adorable.  After we made these pictured, one of Tinkerbell's friends came over and we made her whole Family-on-a-Stick, complete with a Hannah Montana t-shirt on one sister, a ballerina tutu on the other sister, and a hockey-playing brother.  It was fantastically fun.

Between the day's festive activities and our on-a-stick projects, I feel almost as exhausted as if I had actually gone to the fair today.  But you will still find me there this weekend- probably engrossed in the 4H exhibits or camped out next to the Pronto Pup booth.  You just can't replicate that roasted corn on the cob.  Or Sweet Martha's cookies.  Or the Dairy Barn milkshakes.  Or.......