Saturday, September 27, 2008

"Falling Leaves" Science Project

UPDATE: Andy earned an "A+" on this project! Way to go, Andy!!!

Andy is hard at work on his science project. This year the focus is on leaves. He loved going out on the search to find as many different types of leaves that he could find.

He found 14 different leaves on his first search. Here they are seperated into baggies with the name of each leaf written on the bag.

What he didn't expect to come up with on this excursion was another case of poison oak. UGH! He's itchy (and a little grouchy) but he'll survive once the medication starts working. This isn't our first round with poison oak, so we knew just what we had to do. ;) Hopefully Little Sister won't get it, too.

Andy learned more than he expected to learn working on this project. Not only did he learn about the leaves around us, but he learned to create a WORD document and how to laminate items.

Here is what the binder consists of:

Front Cover

Front Cover-Close Up

He's now anxiously awaiting to see what grade he receives on it.

Today Nick Goes Dark for Worldwide Day of Play!

Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group will go off the air and offline on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET across all its TV properties and Web sites to encourage kids to go outside and play as part of its fifth annual Worldwide Day of Play event.

This marks the first time ever that all Nickelodeon television networks and its related Web sites including Nickelodeon, The N, Noggin, Nicktoons Network,,,, and will go dark to inspire kids to participate in the fight against childhood obesity., at 8 p.m. ET.

More than 250,000 kids in 10 different countries are expected to participate in Nickelodeon’s fifth annual Play Day, and more than 1,000 local events worldwide are scheduled to take place. Nickelodeon will return to the air at 3 p.m. ET with healthy messaging, all-new programming, and the finale of the extreme sports competition, My Family’s Got GUTS!

“Our annual Worldwide Day of Play has encouraged millions of kids all over the world to be active,” Marva Smalls, executive vice president of public affairs, Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group, said in a statement. “This day truly exemplifies how kids and families can take charge of their health by taking time to be active together.”

Nickelodeon has partnered with several organizations for its Worldwide Day of Play, including its signature partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as well as Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City and the NFL. Boys & Girls Clubs of America will host more than 550 Worldwide Day of Play events in 50 states and 10 countries, reaching more than 60,000 kids.

**printed from

Big Brother & Little Sister are outside playing. :) What did you do to celebrate this day?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Let's Read! :)

My husband and I share a passion for reading and we are trying to instill that passion in our children. There are plenty of resources in our house for reading--a large bookshelf full of books, 3 newspapers that we subscribe to daily, lots of magazines, cookbooks, (they are great to sit down and read!) and of course, the computer. We also make good use of our local library. Oh...I don't want to forget to include the school's A.R. reading books!

I've set up a corner of the house with a themed reading basket. For every upcoming season and/or holiday, we will decorate the basket, and then fill it with books, magazines, newspaper articles, recipes..etc that pertain to that particular event. Right now we are decorating the basket for fall. Once the basket is filled, I will list what we are going to be reading. Everyone in the house will be responsible for helping to fill the basket. (yes, even Dad...although he doesn't know it just yet.) We will probably add some movies to go along with it.

Since Andy is working on a science project called "Falling Leaves", he will be able to share some of this information with us!

Alexis has started out the school year reading "The Kissing Hand". We followed it up at home with "A Pocket Full of Kisses". During the past week of school, they've been learning about apples. We've read "The Apple Pie Tree" several times at home so she decided to take it in to show her teacher. The teacher asked to keep it until this coming Friday, so maybe there's a chance that she will share it with the class.

Andy started out this year by finishing up "The Series of Unfortunate Events". We watched the movie afterwards and I must say that everyone was pretty disappointed in it. Then again, once you've created a movie in your head while reading a book, isn't someone else's version usually at least a little disappointing?

** Not everything goes as smoothly as we would like ........ **

After finishing up "The Series", Andy told me that he couldn't find anything else interesting to read....that started a desperate search for what seemed to yield no results. Andy's teacher came to the rescue by offering to help him find something. Andy decided that he is going to read "The Hardy Boys" series of books. Well... almost two books through the series and he's still going strong! Thank you so much for your help, Mr. L.!!

Off on a tangent for a moment.... If your children have teachers who really go the extra mile to listen to their students, to reach out to them, and to make learning fun, please thank them!!

Back on track......

Once we start filling our "fall" basket, I will list the materials that we are planning to read. Then as the baskets change, I will add to the list.

Some of the books that we've added to our fall basket:

Where is the Apple Pie?
The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree
Little Apple-A Book of Thanks
The Apple Doll
Five Little Pumpkins
Exploring Autumn
Autumn Across America
Boo and Baa have Company
In a Pumpkin Shell
The Green Gourd

Hurricanes: World's Most Mightiest Storm

When is a Planet Not a Planet-The Story of Pluto

If you do similiar reading in your house, I would love to hear about it. If you have any suggestions for great reading materials, please let me know!

~~Happy Reading!~~

Andy's Great Horned Owl Diorama

Andy made this Great Horned Owl diorama for a fourth grade project. He did a terrific job on it. All of his hard work earned him an "A"!

C. Grier Beam Truck Museum

One of the best attractions to living in our area is that with a little searching, you can find lots of "free" or "almost-free" things to do as a family.

On this day, we visited the C. Grier Beam Truck Museum.

Experience the early days of trucking as they come alive through the exhibit at the C. Grier Beam Truck Museum. This must see attraction was founded in 1982 by the Carolina Freight Carriers Corporation as part of its 50th Anniversary celebration.

Housed in the original gas station where Carolina Freight had its humble beginnings, you can explore over 7500 square feet of vintage trucking memorabilia from the last seven decades. Catch the spirit that sparked the growth of one of America's largest and most respected companies in the world! More history...

Not only did Big Brother & Little Sister have a good time checking out all of the old Mom & Dad!

Visiting the Duke Power Energy Explorium

One of our "staycation" trips over the last couple summers has been to the Duke Power Energy

Visitors can:

*Take a virtual tour of McGuire Nuclear Station
*Play interactive games and learn to use energy
*Convert their own energy into enough electricity
to power a television
*Watch a movie about Lake Norman and the
*Walk a mile-long nature trail along the shore
of Lake Norman and explore the wonders of the
*Piedmont’s environment

We took part in everything except the nature trail walk.
It was an interesting trip--and it was free!

Our Trip to the Zoo

We visited the Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina this past summer. Although it was very hot and humid, we managed to have a really good time. We didn't set out to go there that day, we were on one of our famous "get in the car and drive" family jaunts. That made it even more fun.

The elephants were just coming back out into
this open area when I took this one. This guy
was posing for me.

The King and Queen of the zoo.
The flamingos were gorgeous!

They're cooling off in the water. Most of them were sleeping.

Are those smiles that I'm seeing?

I'm posting this as a reminder to me that they actually do get along!

Potato Beads

Big Brother, Little Sister and I worked on this project over the summer. The beads are made out of potatoes! Yep, that's right....potatoes.

This project can be found at It's easy to do but some adult supervision is needed. The hardest part is waiting for the potatoes to dry before you can make the bracelets or necklaces. These beads would work great on keychains, too!

First Day of Kindergarten!

This was the best I could do to get a smile out of Little Sis this morning. I could tell the the "first day" jitters where taking over.

A little more of a smile at school. She picked the only wall that had no decorations on it to stand in front of. She wouldn't have it any other way so here it is. She's just like her Mom, you can see the nervousness written all over her face. (yes, she was pulling at my heartstrings!)

Sitting at her desk. :)

The first week of actually getting her into the classroom was the worst. Tears flowed every day from both of us. I felt like such a horrible mother for leaving her like that. After she was in class, though, she enjoyed it. Now that she's used to it, she loves her teacher and school! :)

Big Brother opted out of pictures this time.

Getting Started

I will be working to fill these pages with lots of family memories. My kids will be working closely with me and making a lot of the decisions on the content that will be added to this blog.

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