Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The "Kankets"

 There is nothing quite like a blankey.  Kayley has been a firm blankey (which she always called her "kanket") user since she was 6 months old.  It has never bothered me...I always encouraged the small, square "travel size" kankets, since I didn't want them dragging a full size quilt around the house.
We always had firm rules about the kanket.  You can drag them all over the house, but you cannot, will not, absolutely not (except in overnighters) take the kanket out of the house.  I've stuck firm to that rule, and thankfully I've never had to fight the "leave the kanket at home battle."
 Maggie has become hooked on her Kanket too.  Gramma made these matching kankets for the girls, distinguishable by a blue or white ribbon in the corner.  It is always been important to have 1 backup kanket, just in case, so the girls both have 2 kankets each.  One for use, one for trading out when its time to wash, etc.

Thanks Gramma for making out pretty kankets!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

After the Storm...

We survived yesterdays tornado outbreak and we were excited after the storms passed to be treated to a beautiful -double- rainbow.  It was the first time Kayley had seen a rainbow and it was eerie for the sun to come out after it had been so dark.
Joplin, a town about 70 miles to our East, did not fare so well.  The town was nearly leveled.  Today we are still in the midst of severe weather and I am keeping both ears tuned to my Midland NOAA All Hazards Radio (a MUST have)
and SWMO Skywarn live scanner feed 
(which is the actual radio of chatter of the storm chasers in SW MO).  Click the pic to link to live Scanner Feed.

I also keep track of my favorite extreme meteorologist and storm chaster, Reed Timmer and the Dominator.  Because wherever he is...is where you DON'T want to be.   See the little car on the map?  You can see a little bit of the town of Republic at the very top of the map. 

So!  Hunker down...and wait it out.  Severe weather today and tomorrow...then hopefully all will be quiet for a while.   Stay safe all!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Birds, Floods, and Flowers

 We are having a very pretty Spring.  We have hung up several bird (squirrel) feeders, a Suet feeder and we just picked up a hummingbird feeder (I've seen a few hummingbirds!).  We also have a duck in the pond across the street sitting on a nest of eggs, and a Blue Heron has made its home in the rushes along our backyard pond.  (Couldn't say, but it is possible there is a nest back there too!)

We also have a bird that made a nest right above our front door.  Watch out!  If you stand under her nest too long she dives out and swoops over your head!

My flowers are gorgeous.  (Ignore all the toys - we were at the tail end of a playdate).  They didn't grow last year, but they shot up beautifully this year!   Not bad for free bulbs dug up out of my Grandma's backyard.  (And some from along the side of the road at old house places).
 I also snapped a couple of pictures of the recent flooding that I never got a chance to post.  Our backyard pond got really high, and after that controlled burn we had a lot of problems with standing water...everybody did.  And now - of course, we have a terrible mosquito problem with all the stagnant water everywhere.
 The highway was closed for a long while...the waters were so high the West Bound portion of the highway had to be closed because it was completely under water!!

Tantrums & Time-Outs

Maggie is a great toddler, learning and growing and exploring.  She keeps me on my toes! 

Now we have a whole new behavior in the last couple of months that I don't have a lot of experience with... the dreaded TANTRUM!   I've been very fortunate (I think) in that my experience with tantrums is pretty limited.  Kayley wasn't much of a tantrum thrower...although she did on occassion.  I usually handled it with a firm "Mommy doesn't do tantrums" & a time out or just ignoring it and letting her work it out - depending on the situation.  We moved through this phase pretty quickly with Kayley, I'm hoping the same approach works well with Maggie.

So, I've started time outs with Maggie a few weeks ago...and she has impressed me by staying in her special time-out spot until I tell her "All Done".  The recommended time for time-outs is 1 minute per year old, so Maggie gets a 60sec time out (or longer is she is still crying - but as soon as she stops crying after the 60sec time out she can get up).  I haven't used the time out for anything other than tantrums yet.  (Right now I can just tell Maggie "No-no" and she will stop...no time out needed) But, for tantrums it works well - at the beginning of tantrum, I just to move her to the time-out spot.  Several times now she has stopped crying almost immediately and signed "all done".  Soooo...I think it is working well so far.

Well - the other day I just couldn't resist getting out my camera.  She was SO tired... (hence the tantrum).  I can't even remember what it was all about, and I'm not sure she knew what she was upset about...I just remember looking at her while she worked really hard to make herself keep crying...and then she almost dozed off...and then she roused enough to remember...Oh yeah - I'm supposed to be crying and it was kind of hilarious and pretty cute.  LOL.  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Family Home Evening - playing Yahtzee!

Our activity with Family Home Evening often ends with Kayley begging to play a game.  We love Candyland, Chutes and Ladders and Yahtzee.  Especially Yahtzee.  Kayley"kisses" and "blows" on the dice for good luck...and she seems to think the louder and more obnoxiously she can shake it up...the better her chances are for a good roll!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Finding Clarinda...

I've been working sporadically on my geneology.
I love it when my dad comes to visit because we can usually convince the other to do some pretty interesting things.  Like drive 2 hours to a lonely cemetery...just because.  On this last trip we finally discovered where one of our lost relatives were buried.  In an unmarked, completely abandoned cemetery in the middle of a forest.  To get there, we parked our car along a small dirt road in Nebo, MO.  We used our GPS... climbed through a barbed wire fence (it didn't say no trespassing-so here in MO that is an open invite!  LOL) We hiked through a forested area...down into a deep ravine, crossed a creek bed...way back up another big hill...across a cow pasture (watch where you step!)...and back into the woods...  And here is what we found. 
The ruins of Chatham Cemetery.  
We knew that Clarinda was in an unmarked grave...  so we never technically found her... but we found so many lost and abandoned graves.  The cemetery has been reclaimed by the woods.  An amazing sight to see and depressing at the same time.  What happened to the families of all these other people?  They were sons, daughters, parents.  I just find it incredible that they are not missed by somebody...anybody.

The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew...

I'm so excited to share that I have been selected to participate in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew!  This landlubber is so excited to set sail in June!  Aaaarrrr!  :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Occupying the Toddler while Homeschooling

Not to be outdone, even at 16 months Maggie is always curious what is going on at the table during homeschool.  Kayley was concerned about Maggie feeling left out and so we have added a few minutes of "Baby-school" to our morning routine.  It has worked out great.  She joins us at breakfast for morning scriptures and at lunch while I read out loud but I wanted to give her a few things more age appropriate.  For about 3 to 10 minutes I put her in her booster and give her something to do.
Here are some things that we have enjoyed so far:

Counting Bears:

And a favorite - the ONE piece puzzle:

Maggie also enjoys coloring with crayons and paper and tearing up paper towels.

I am always looking for ideas to incorporate Maggie into the homeschool routine. 
If you think of anything clever - do tell!  :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

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