Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Preschool

I thought I would share some of the Halloween projects/activities we've done for preschool. I am teaching Cyrena preschool by herself since we moved. I thought she would hate it because she's such a social learner, but she seems to be enjoying it so far. Here are some of the Halloween things I've done with the girls, in case you want to squeeze anything else in the next couple of days!

Cyrena and I have been working a little on addition--mostly more/less concepts. We played this pumpkin addition game that I found here.

The girls used shapes to make jack-o-lantern faces. They played with these a lot!

Cyrena is matching colored googly eyes to the colored monsters. I found this here.

This was a tray I set up for Natalie. We do trays every preschool morning. Natalie tonged pom-poms into cupcake liners

We sorted Halloween confetti; skulls, bones and pumpkins

Cyrena is making a pattern with Halloween stickers. She made an AAB pattern. Natalie just worked on putting stickers into the boxes on the paper.

We cut out skeleton bones then connected them with brads. Cyrena did all the brads by herself.

The girls loved their skeletons and played with them all day!

One morning on a walk, we collected some smooth, large rocks. We decided to make a pumpkin rock family. So we painted them orange, waited for it to dry, drew faces, then filled in the faces with black paint.

I never said we were artistic but there we are. Even the baby was included....the one on the far left that looks like a potato

Natalie is supposed to be sorting orange and white pom-poms. She loves using the tongs. In the background Cyrena is working on matching short vowel words with pictures. Not really Halloweenish but something she needs to practice.

We cut out a ghost pattern, colored each side and labeled them 1 and 2. We threw it up in the air and recorded which side it landed on. This led to great discussions about more/less-something we're working on in math. We would record then I'd ask her how many more greens we would have to flip for them to be equal, etc. It got her brain working! She really enjoyed this activity.

I cut out small pumpkin shapes, stems and leaves. The girls drew faces on them (I drew them for Natalie). Then they glued on the stem and leaves.

Then we stapled them to some twin and hung them from the doorknob. Cute and easy.

We played a pumpkin jumble game. It had a pattern block key to follow. She would roll the dice then place the corresponding pattern block on the pumpkin's face. If she rolled a 1 she got to pick any piece. If she rolled a 6 she had to take a piece off. She loved it. I found it here. Just ignore that stinker in the back playing with scissors....

I wrote a bunch of sight words on some pumpkins. She would pick a pumpkin out of the jack-o-lantern, read the word to me, then roll the dice and move along on the gameboard. I did put a few pumpkins in there that just had letters on it for Natalie to practice. She doesn't really know any specific letters but she knows they make sounds so when she sees any letter she immediately starts making sounds.....funny.

There were a few other things we did that I didn't get pictures of. Hey, sometimes it's hard to get off the floor to grab my camera when we're busy working!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A bit of this and that

We're keeping busy around here. Just enjoying some down time before the rush of the holidays (and baby).

The girls insisted on helping dad hang up all the pictures, etc. Cyrena is wearing part of her Halloween costume here.

She was not to be left out of the measuring and such

Natalie has really developed a love of puzzles! It makes me happy to see her succeed and say "did it mom!"

A princess' life is so hard...dressing up, attending balls, and taking care of the babies

And she manages to look beautiful through it all

We went on a little family field trip to the Riparian Reserve--a cool plant/wildlife reserve in Gilbert, right next to the library. There are several unique species of plants and birds that are not necessarily native to Arizona but frequent the area. It was really fun to hike all around (it's big) and spot some neat-looking birds and just spend time outdoors.

I was really sore from all the walking. I told David we are going to come here when I am 38 weeks and just walk and walk and walk. I'll be 38 weeks on Christmas Eve. :) That's just 8 weeks and 2 days away!

Cyrena made sure to bring her binoculars

There were also some fun grassy areas with walls to walk along

This is Natalie's current favorite book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? She loves the pattern and always wants to read it or have it read to her.

And last but not least, we took the side off Natalie's crib a couple of weeks ago. I was TERRIFIED to put it lightly. But she'd been climbing in it lately for fun and we worried she would injure herself. So David convinced me to see how it would go without the side on. I'm happy to report she's doing fabulous! We are just in shock. Of course she has started testing us just a little bit but for the most part, she loves it and listens to us. I think it helps that she shares a room. Our experience with Cyrena was pretty awful so this is like a dream come true. What a big girl!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Girls New Room

Here's the pics of the girls' new room. They love it because it's big and they have a lot of room to run around and be silly. There's also a long hallway that goes to their room that is very conducive to running. :)

This is taken from near the door. There's a big window in the middle wall.

Their library with pillows on the floor so they can be comfy with their books

Cyrena's new bed--she loves it! She can put treasures in one drawer and then her underwear, pajamas, and socks are in the other. We're going to get Natalie a matching bed soon.

The girls have had fun in our new playroom/den/preschool storage room. They've been playing really well together...having LOTS of tea parties.

I've got a ton more to post but I am going to pace myself and keep you all in suspense. For now, here's a fun video of the girls in their room. Cyrena's reading a book we got from the library and Natalie is counting for the camera. We just realized a couple of weeks ago that she knows how to count to 12. I guess she was paying attention during preschool!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Saying good-bye

A big THANK YOU to all who helped us move! We couldn't have done it without the generosity of our friends. David's boss and wife even came out to Surprise to help us get packed up and then followed us over here to unload beds and a few essentials. Then a bunch of guys from work came and helped us unload Saturday morning along with our good friend Michael who also provided dinner for us on Sunday. So much generosity, now I have a guilt complex.

Pregnancy and moving don't mix. It's way harder emotionally and physically! We moved when I was pregnant with Cyrena but this time was harder since we'd been in that house 5+ years. I thought I was fine until my final solo walk-through when the kids were already loaded in the car and everyone was waiting outside to head across the valley. That's when the memories and tears flooded me. That's when I pictured bringing my babies home, tucking them into bed every night, and all the million other little events that have taken place in that home.

I'm doing alright so far. The only time I get a little sad is when Cyrena starts talking about missing our house and her friends. I have to change the subject quickly. We're getting settled despite various little bumps in the road. We really like the house. It has it's cosmetic issues but that's ok. I'm loving being pregnant in a one-story, I never have been! The kids have more room to run around and they've been so happy. This house is slightly smaller than our old house but the layout is such that there's more open space so that's nice.

My body was in bad shape during all the moving. It felt like I was at the end of my pregnancy with all the pressure and aching I was feeling 'down low'. Luckily it's gone now and I'm not waddling anymore!

Here are some pictures of the crazy weekend

A picture of our loft the night before we moved-pretty empty especially considering what it looked like before.

The girls slept together on an air mattress...Natalie's first time not in a crib besides camping

The next day I put Natalie down for a nap. She didn't want to because there was too much going on. She kept trying to get out but I wouldn't let her. She finally decided to empty out books all over the room then fell asleep like this. She slept for over 2 hours like that.

Our first morning in our new house. They woke up excited!

The Bluths came to spend conference weekend with us and help us get a little settled. They cooked for us too and it was awesome!! The kids were great at entertaining themselves. They built many forts with all the boxes.

Cyrena found a 'box chair' to relax in

Ashley with Gavin and sweet Jane

The Bluths left after the Sunday morning session of conference then we had a picnic lunch in the family room.

It was a fun way to spend our first weekend in our new home. I've got pictures of the room we have completely unpacked so far....they'll come soon.

The Deans

My photo
Life as we know it is full of laughter, fun, stress, love, faith and surprises. What more could we ask for?