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Backyard Bird Love

May 11th, 2015







The weather is starting to cooperate and provide us with some sunny days.  We had a great week learning about several birds. What I love about these mini units is that all the kids can participate. There is something for everybody at some point.  I didn't research any special books for this one just simply grabbed 3 books about birds off the shelves at the library.  I just made sure they were Canadian content because that is our focus right now.  

My Uncle Norman had mailed my daughter some singing birds when she was two and they were a huge hit!  She is almost 10 and the birds are still singing.  The mechanism inside the bird is still going strong.  Unfortunately, Uncle Norman has passed but we still think of him often and are reminded of his presence while we play and sing with the birds.  

The younger kiddos painted their birds and the oldest just wanted to color.  You should really use card stock if you can especially, if you plan to paint.  Some birds received a brad to attach the large wing and some we just glued.  Google eyes are fun as well!



{Birds of a feather do flock together}

{Painted by 2 yr. old Mama did wings, legs}



{Kate's Cardinal}

Learn, Create, Love is where I have been hanging out these days. Go here to grab the link for all kinds of paper bird printables.  She also has a recent posting of lovely animals from the Savannah.   Easy crafts, simple instructions and they are super sweet.  

Next week we are planning the hummingbird.  I picked up humming bird feeders from dollar store and the kids can make their own recipe to fill the feeders.  Easy peasy lemon squeasy.

They really enjoy these singing birds from Wild Republic.  If you can't wait for shipping snail mail and you live in the Saint John area you can find these cuties at the NB Museum. *Update! Wild Republic is unable to accept international orders at this time.   


{BLUEJAY}

{ORIOLE}

{CARDINAL}

{RED WINGED BLACKBIRD}
Turns out our 16 year old cat, Kiki, loves bird videos.  She lied on my shoulder and watched the birds and then when the squirrel made his appearance on the screen she went for the kill. 







Have a great weekend filled with blessings & love.
~Becki















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STELLAR {ton} Easter

Easter 2015


We had the privilege and honor of having another memorable Easter at the farm.  I wish everybody could do this!  We spent Easter with some fabulous friends at their family farmhouse.  We packed the kiddos and all the Easter paraphernalia and headed to Stellarton, Nova Scotia.  Actually, it was Riverton based on technicalities.

In previous years I took photos of the kids bottle feeding the lambs but this year I was too tired to take photos.  I regret it now of course but that is just the way it goes sometimes.

One night we helped clean the barn and let me tell you that is tough work!  I was shaking and quivering in parts that were unknown to my own body.  I'm sure it was only 30 minutes of hard labor but felt like I just finished a triathlon.  Despite the hot mess I found myself in it was breathtaking and no pun intended there.  Yes, it stunk but it was magical.  The radio was playing some fiddle style song and the sheep were bahhhing away and then the snow started to fall outside.  It felt just like Christmas eve.  We were getting things ready for a cow to have her baby and everything was peaceful and calm.  We laughed, perspired {pigs sweat, people perspire} and cried out in pain as our muscles were woken up from a long winter's nap.  Our friendship was also tested as some poo whizzed past my nose only millimeters from going in my mouth.  Never mind the pitch fork that was uncomfortably close to my forehead.  I was more concerned with the poo matter.  Good times to be had!  Would I do it again, yes, in a heartbeat.

Many sheep and I lost track on the names.  Approximately 13 lambs were born for the season.  Of course I didn't get their names either.  They were all adorable and super sweet.

The kiddos had fun Easter morning and of course they woke up super early.  Pretty exciting to wake up with friends and eat chocolate for breakfast.

Other years we were able to have the egg hunt outdoors but this year there was so much snow that they had to stay indoors. Bummer! But we had tons of fun and many memories were made over the 4 days we were there.

We were worried about our almost soon to be 2 year old and how he was going to behave in a strange place with lots of people.  I envisioned tantrums and sleepless nights.  After we got pulled over for speeding I started scoping out hotels in case we needed to tame the toddler.  No worries!  Our little guy was a champ!  He was in his glory!  He behaved pretty well and slept like daddy; snoring his way through the entire night.

Gilbert came for a visit.  thank you Ben for taking the time to share your sweet Gilbert with us. Adorbs!  This was a bonus for the kids.  A little rabbit to come and play.  The only thing missing from this Easter was some baby chicks.  Megan and Avery did try to keep some eggs from the barn in hopes of having babies but we put an end to that little party.  They thought if they kept the eggs in their pockets they could hatch them.             
  

{Farm Fresh Eggs From Happy Chickens}

{View from my bedroom window}










{Carla's mom made cupcake treats. Thank you Helen MacIntosh} 

{Vintage Suitcase Love}
 


{MEOW}














A special shout out to Marion MacKay for letting us make some more awesome Easter memories. Thank you for sharing your space with a rowdy bunch. That couldn't have been easy but we sure appreciate the generosity.  I hope you turn some of those fabulous stories of yours into a beautiful book.   

~Becki

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FIAR Make Way For Ducklings

February 19-20

Rarely do I ever blog about homeschooling adventures but this one is definitely worth a blog post. Our literature study unit was about a new to me book called Make Way For Ducklings.   This book has been around now for about 70 years!  I'm sure I have not read this as a child and don't recall any teachers reading the book either.  I could be wrong.  

Robert McCloskey did a fantastic job writing and illustrating this book.  We read the book 5 days in a row and studied the book from cover to cover.  We discovered so many interesting facts hence the reason I'm taking the time to blog about his work and how we studied the unit.  Make Way For Ducklings was intended for my 5 year old but my 9 year old joined in with enthusiasm.    

We learned to skip count by 2's and counting practice to 20  
Added and subtracted
Baked Bostonian Blueberry Muffins
Learned about Boston, MA
Made Maps
Fed ducks at Rockwood Park
Egg Experiment; Vinegar/Naked Eggs
Lifecycle of a Duck
Field trip to NB Museum 
Learned parts of a duck
Duck sensory tub for toddler
Duck word cards Montessori nomenclature cards

I printed out several interesting {to us} photos and printable activities and put them in my Project Life binder.  I skipped the lapbook for this one simply because I thought it was so fantastic it needed to go into the PL binder so we could look back and be reminded of how fun this unit was for all of us.

Sometimes it feels like my 5 year old is not with the program.  I love it when I can witness when things click for her and I can see that she is retaining info and can remember things we accomplished. She loves to go over the story disks and can tell me all the titles of the books by the little photo in the circle.  I think it is amazing she can remember the full title and an author.  Why then, can't she remember to flush the toilet?  

Here are some great links for free printables to go along with the unit.  Personal use only!

http://www.123homeschool4me.com/2012/10/free-make-way-for-duckling-literature.html  {fav}

http://www.homeschoolshare.com/ducks_lapbook.php

http://www.homeschoolhelperonline.com/lapbooks/ducks.shtml

http://www.reifelbirdsanctuary.com/hatch.pdf    {favorite}

http://www.turtletrack.org/Issues03/Co11012003/Art/Mallard_CB.GIF

http://totallytots.blogspot.ca/2011/02/now-i-know-my-abcs-dd-is-for-duck.html {Duck cards}

http://www.ducks.ca/education/for-educators/resources/  {Great links for older grades and student field notebook with a detailed duck image inside the field guide}







  
Counting by 2's







Make Way For Ducklings is from Five In A Row Vol.2
Also great for Ping, vol.1

~Becki

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Storm Cookies

February 15th,  2015

We were hit with another storm today.  The worst. e.v.e.r  epic kind of storm.  For a split second I almost considered putting on my snowshoes and heading up to Tim's for a coffee.  I was quickly reminded of how nuts of an idea that really was.  Thanks Lisa for reminding me the errors of my ways.

I decided to finally make these cookies and put them to the test.  Perfect day to make homemade chocolate chip cookies if you ask me.  Since you didn't ask I'm just telling you.  I'm also going to tell you these cookies are amazing.  As one lady on Pinterest commented, "Move over butter and make way for the cream cheese!"  

I ate three of these bad boys and I'm full.  I predict these cookies will not see another day a.k.a tomorrow.

I'm also pretty sure I am not allowed to use Averie's photos but I'm going to post them then ask her permission.  Kind of poor blogging etiquette and totally against the rules but hey it's a storm day.

Her photos are beautiful and my photos do not do the cookies justice.  I would have to change cameras and switch lenses and that is absolutely not going to happen today.





So head over and see Averie's blog and get the recipe.  Try replacing the butter with some cream cheese.  I think you're going to love it...  

Happy storm day!
Love,
Mama B

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Visiting Cousins

 July 14th, 2014

I am sitting on the couch as the fog is rolling in and I cannot imagine a better time to start blogging.  We have been on so many petite adventures it is hard to pinpoint an exact place where we last left off.  I cannot remember the last few months exactly but I can do present pretty well.  Presently, right in this very moment we are enjoying our summer.  Finally, we can say it is summer!     

A walk down memory lane and a pinch of nostalgia I found myself dropping our daughter off at her first summer camp away from home.  She's eight.  She's mature.  We knew she could handle it. 

We sent her away for a week as a Visiting Cousin at King's Landing Historical Settlement.  Imagine it kind of like Little House on the Prairie has come to life and you are spending a week as Laura, Mary or heaven forbid Miss Nellie Oleson, living in Walnut Grove. She attended Parish School, milked cows, churned and washed butter and made some amazing memories.  
             




::  All employees and volunteers gave 110% :: 

I'm not just talking about clothing either.  At first, and I think I can speak for both myself and my mother in law and say, we were both confused when talking with the staff.  After the first two houses we
finally caught on to what was happening.  They assumed the character's role excellently; weaving tales and stories of long past. I really couldn't tell if they were making things up or telling the truth.  Was it impromptu or hours of practice?  
  





She had a blast and can't wait to go back again next year.  I'm so glad she loved it as much as I did.  

have a great summer!
:: Becki
      

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