Tuesday, December 11, 2012

superhero blanket and some pillows

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that Emily is a tomboy at heart.  The girl loves all things superheros.  She had a little collection of superhero t-shirts and I thought they would make a cute blanket. 

I asked her if she wanted me to make a blanket out of all of her shirts.  She was against that idea.  But, then I found a picture of one on Pinterest that looked really cute.  The minute I showed her the picture, she was all for me doing a blanket for her.  She kept bugging me about it.  The problem was that I needed to buy some fabric.  I do that sort of thing in the States because I have trouble finding cute fabric here.

So, I got some fabric and the first week we were back, I decided to get her blanket done.  The first thing I did was to get all the fabric that I want to use.  Then, I had to figure out the layout of the blanket and get the dimensions that I needed to cut the fabric.

You can see the picture below is how I quickly layout the design of the blanket.  I try to do simple designs.  I have confessed before, I hate the sewing and cutting part.  I just like the end product.  And, making these girls of mine happy, that is the best part.

I cut out each of the t-shirts and sewed them onto a piece of fabric.  I was already liking how it looked.

I got all the other pieces cut and sewed together.  I was happy with the fabric selection.  I tried to find ones that were cute and not girly, but not too boyish looking.

I sewed the back piece on and it was finished!  She loved it!

This all happened right before I got my Christmas decorations out.  I saw some of this material and thought it would make a great little Christmas pillow.  So, I threw one together.

The girls were in love with it and requested a pillow for each of them.  I didn't do Christmas ones.  Instead, I did ones that could be in their room year round.  Here is Bella's.  Nothing fancy, but it sure is soft and cute!  I just love the orange and pink flower fabric. 

And, Emily had picked out some owl fleece while we were at Hancock Fabrics.  I used that for her pillow and some of the fabric from her blanket.  Cute, huh?

I have lots of fabric left over.  I'm going to have to make some more stuff!

Friday, December 07, 2012

buffet, bowling, and santa

Last Saturday was a great day!  We had heard there was a bowling alley in a town about 45 minutes from here.  We passed by it coming home from the airport a month ago and from the outside it looked nice.  Kind of unexpected.  So, we planned a bowling excursion last Saturday.

So, we waited for Jorge to get off work so we could head out.  While we were waiting, we snapped some pictures.  Here, the girls and I take a candid picture together.  And, below that, you can see my two "models".

On the way over to go bowling, we decided to stop at a restaurant that we had driven by many times.  From the outside, it looked really nice.  And, after going in, I was pleasantly surprised.  Very nice layout and they even had cloth table clothes.  Fancy, right?  A change from the plastic tables and chairs at all the other places we go.

It was a meat buffet.  They weren't kidding.  You start with a salad bar and get want you want.  Once you are done with that, you turn over this card on your table indicating that you are ready for the meat.  They just kept bring different kinds of meat.  We stopped them, but I counted 8 different sorts.  A turkey sausage, some sort of pork, chirizo, wings, ribs, ribeye, filet, and some other kind of sausage. Oh, and chicken wrapped in bacon.  Talk about a meat coma.  I didn't sample many of those.  I should have went with an empty stomach.  I thought they charged a very reasonable rate.  It was 140 pesos a person (and since the girls were little, they didn't charge for them.  Just their drinks).  Right now, that equals around $11.50 a person.

Once we were full, we headed over to the bowling alley.  VERY NICE!  VERY UNEXPECTED!  They could have plucked it up from some place in the States and set it down here. 

The girls loved it.  And, it was such a change of pace to do something fun when Jorge was with us.  We only bowled one game.  With the girls taking a bit of time, that was just under an hour for us.  And, it was very reasonably priced, too.  It was 30 pesos a game per person and 15 pesos for each shoe rental.  So, under $3 a game and less than $1.50 for the shoes.

Part of why it felt like it was plucked from the States is because everything was in English.  Take a look at the floor in front of Bella.

Bella did almost all her bowling on her own.  It took a bit of time.  Some of the turns, I wasn't sure if the ball was going to make it the whole way down.  What was nice is that they had automatic bumper guards that came up during the girls' turns.  You can see it is a clear plastic piece on both sides.  Just look at those yellow tick marks down the lane.  That is the bumper guard.

Somehow, her ball did make it down the lane every time.  And, she did fairly well at knocking down quite a few pins.

Emily was posing for me right after we got our lane assigned to us.  She was ready to bowl!

 Here I am in all my glory!  Not to brag, but I did end up winning!

Bella, striking a pose for me with the bowling balls.

Here is a shot of the score keeping screen.  Everything was digital.  I used my camera phone so the picture isn't the best.  You might be able to see they even show you how fast you are rolling the ball.  And, when we checked in, the girl asked for all of our names.  Jorge told her "Emmy" and she misunderstood him and thought he said "Amy".  So, that is why you will see that name.

Emily wanted help for all of her turns.  I think she thought having daddy help her was extra fun.

Jorge asked the girls if they would give him a hug if he knocked all the pins down.  So, you can see, he got them all down.

It was fun!  We are planning to go back again soon!  After we left there, we stopped by Soriana. It is pretty much like a Walmart.  We had perfect time because just about 40 minutes before we got there, Santa got there!  The girls were able to get their picture taken with Santa.  This is the first time ever for them to do this. They thought it was pretty cool.  Even though, Emily did tell us that it wasn't really Santa.  It was just a guy in a costume.

We headed back home and stopped by my mother-in-law's house.  Her sister was there with her 3 month old little girl.  So, my day was complete with some baby snuggling!  I'm glad there is a little one around so I can have time with a baby, but then be able to give her back! :)  Isn't she so sweet!?  I wanted to take her  home with us.

It was a great day!  It will be repeated!  Living in this small town, sometimes it just gets too boring!  It was nice to find something to do with the girls.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

there is a lot to learn!

When I started our Pre-K year last year, I was a bit intimidated by the idea of homeschooling.  Having to be the one to teach these girls everything!  It seemed a bit overwhelming.  And, we got through it.  The girls showed much improvement throughout the year.  And, we all made it out on the other side alive! :)

And, so begins our Kindergarten year.  Talk about overwhelming.  I'm not sure if this is going to be the same feeling I get year after year.  But, I am a bit nervous about this year.  Now, looking back, having the girls memorize the alphabet and number, shapes, colors, and whatever else we covered seems easy.

I have our set curriculum that I bought through Timberdoodle, again, this year.  I cut out some of their suggestions to keep it basic (and cut the cost...you can spend LOTS of money).  In other areas, I am looking online and in books we already have for ideas.  Art, for example, is something that I have a few books with all sorts of ideas.  And, just take a look at Pinterest.  Tons of ideas there.

I can handle the art projects.  The part I am nervous about is teaching them how to read!  WHAT!?  I have to do that?!  I hope it goes better than I am expecting.

Click on picture to go to link.
And, there are just so many things you just don't think about.  Or, at least, I don't think about them.  What about odd and even numbers, all the sight words, vowels, days of the week, etc.  The list just goes on and on.  Oh, and telling time!  Doing this whole homeschooling thing, I have definitely learned to appreciate teachers more.  Not that I didn't appreciate them in the first place.  And I only have two students!  A whole classroom full of them!  No thanks!

So, we have added some fun posters on the wall to emphasize what we are learning.  The book I showed above, The Reading Lesson, we just finished one lesson (each "lesson" is between 19 and 21 pages).  So far, it seem OK.  And, I am just going to work on repetition and review a lot.  Also, we have lots of phonics books that came with the curriculum.

I bought all these flash cards of sight words.  I'm just introducing a new one each day and reviewing the previous ones everyday.  We enjoy making up sentences with the sight words.  We started a sight word caterpillar on the wall.  We can only add words that we know.  That is a huge incentive for the girls.  They love adding to it.  Hopefully it will help them retain the words they learn.  (fingers crossed)  Something else I have been doing is when I read a book to them, I have the girls read the words we have learned.  Just another way for them to remember the words.  Some extra reading is going to be done this year.

I have been working on the numbers/math a lot.  As I mentioned before, I kind of slacked on the numbers.  There are a few that they get confused about.  But, now, I am introducing the spelling of the numbers.  Here, we are doing an easy math lesson.  We broke out the dominos and added up the two sides.  Emily picked up on it so quickly.  Bella, it took her a few times to get into the groove.

I do really like all the books that came with the package I bought.  It seems just the right amount of work.  And, the books are just well thought out.  I guess that is the point, right? :)

I did hesitate when buying all the books/workbooks.  There was a Beginning Geography workbook that I wasn't really sure about.  But, I went ahead and bought one for each of the girls.  I am really glad I did.  We have only done about 5 pages so far, but it introduces such basic information that, once again, I wouldn't have thought about teaching.  Remember, I didn't go to college to teach! :)  Here, the girls are doing a page in their Beginning Geography book.

The girls have always been OK with doing school, for the most part.  They have their days.  But, that is to be expected.  This year, I am going to be better about doing fun things, like art projects, with them.  A few times a week we finish our school day with something fun.  Last week we did the stamps and paper lanterns.  The girls loved the lanterns.

This week, the only project we have done so far is making paper plate snowmen.  That went over really well.  Right now they are hanging on the wall here in our classroom.  I think what we will do tomorrow is this snowman project.  We will keep it festive for the holidays for the next few weeks.

Now to get all my worksheets printed out for tonight's school session.

Friday, November 30, 2012

we started kindergarten!

***Updated -- I added pictures of us using the stamps!***

I got the packages of our school books and workbooks in the mail last week.  And, I got busy planning our year and was able to get us started on our Kindergarten year this week.  So, we are official Kindergartners.  Exciting, yeah?  Of course!

I'm a little intimidated because this year I am teaching these girls how to read.  Please, let it be not as horrible as I am thinking!  Time will tell, right?

The girls were excited to get started with school again.  We had taken a 6 week break.  I think we all needed that break.

I have started having an incentive a few times a week for them.  Art projects are the incentive. Easy, right!?  They know if they are listening and following directions during school, they get to do the fun art project that I have planned.

Today, I had to do the first part of the project before our actual school work.  We have to let our project dry before we can use them.  I got this idea from the crafty Julie!  She is always coming up with fun things to do.  Check out hers here.

We made stamps!  Fun!  I loved it just as much as the girls.

Some foam paper, scissors, hole punch, glue, and wooden blocks equals a fun time and lots of stamps for really cheap!

Bella showing me her favorite stamp.  She saw me make one and wanted to do the same.

Emily deep in her thoughts.  She didn't end up using any of the pieces she cut.  I cut out everything for them in advance so the project was more fun for them.  You can see on the yellow tray in the first picture there are piles of different shaped pieces.  That worked out perfectly.  The blocks are small enough that it isn't very easy for them to cut out their own.

Bella in her zone.

Here are all the stamps that Bella made.

I joined in the fun, too.  Here are all of mine.

And, here are all of the ones Emily made.  Notice that most of hers look like faces.  I think that was her intention.

They are drying right now. We will be testing them out here in a little bit!

Here we are using all our made stamps (and some that we already had from the store).

Emily started spelling out words she knew.  Very good and educational on her part!  Smart girl!

And, so you can see how some of our stamps turned out, here are the ones I made.  The project worked really well!  I highly recommend you doing this.

Go buy your supplies now! :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Indy visit -- Halloween

One of the main reasons we visit the States when we do is because of Halloween.  Living in a small town in Mexico, that holiday is not really celebrated here.  If we lived in a larger city, it might not be such an issue. 

The girls LOVE Halloween.  What kid doesn't?  A day that you can dress up as your favorite character and get candy by the loads!?  Sign me up!

And, carving the pumpkins has always been a highlight, too.  I love taking the seeds and roasting them.  Plus, just that time of year, when the leaves are turning, there is a chill in the air...it is my favorite time of year.  So, why not go at that time of year?!

Mamaw and Papaw took charged and helped the girls carve the pumpkins.

Emily loves getting her hands dirty.  She separated all the seeds from the goopy insides of the pumpkin.

She drew a face that was a bit challenging for Papaw to cut out.

Bella seemed like an old pro drawing a face on her pumpkin.

And, you see she isn't into the dirty hands.  She opted to use a scoop to get the slimy parts out of her pumpkin.

And, finally dressing up for Halloween.

Bella wanted to be all the things that had about 2 inches of fabric involved.  She eventually settled on a wearable unicorn.  Emily, true to form, choose to be a superhero.  Ironman!

We met up our usually friends and headed out to get lots of candy!  Here are the girls with their friend, Alex!

Running to the houses to get candy!

And, the running continued!  They burnt enough energy to balance out eating some of that candy.

It was a bit chilly that night, but overall, Halloween was really fun this year!