Now blogging at THIS SIMPLE HOME.

Now blogging at THIS SIMPLE HOME.

At This Simple Home

  • Homemade Magic Shell - I remember having Magic Shell once as a child. The chocolate syrup drizzled over my ice cream magically turned crispy hard. Mmm... So I was rather excited t...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pregnancy Update: 32 Weeks

On the first day of preschool, M wanted to take pictures of me.  They make me laugh.  Really, do I look like this?  I don't think so!  It's not what the mirror reflects!
This pregnancy, like the others, have been healthy and uneventful.  Recently I could no longer control my heartburn with my diet and Tums.  BUT I was able to hold out for so long before taking something stronger!  I'm so thankful!  It is necessary for me to snack or my blood sugar drops.  For the past week or two if I have waited too long I've gotten shaky.  I'm to the point where I am quite uncomfortable and bending down is not easy.  My slow movements are rather amusing at times, even to me.
This past weekend we (meaning my husband and his brother) moved some furniture (giant desk, queen bed, elliptical) out of the spare bedroom, but there is still much to do...and remove...for that room and the baby in general.  We do have diapers for the little one, so we have something prepared!  I also bought a couple of bottles (knowing that I don't like Avent for full-time bottle users having used them twice).  No names have been discussed nor bedding or clothing washed.  No arrangements have been made for M and E...and no family in the area.  I guess we're hoping to be able to use all of our 50 days until baby's arrival!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Day of Preschool 2011

M has officially begun her final year of preschool.  It was a very big decision for us, but we decided to send her three full days (8:30-3) instead of half days for various reasons.
M was eager and excited for the school year to begin.  The countdown to school helped her to remember how many days until the big day.  I will definitely do that again!

With this being her third year of preschool, she is an old pro at school.  (Her first year of preschool was in a speech and language classroom.  She began that the day after her third birthday to get the intensive speech therapy she needed to help overcome the apraxia!)  She has always loved to learn.  With so much one-on-one therapy (with therapists and me) and being a quick learner, she has soaked up so much information.  Despite her fifth birthday arriving in a few weeks, we are quite content with her remaining in preschool instead of kindergarten.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Read Alouds: Earthquakes, Crickets, and Trains

On Tuesday here in southeastern Pennsylvania we felt the earthquake originating in Virginia quite well.  (I have to say that on the second floor of my home I noticed the results of the earthquake shaking lamps and Matchbox cars more than I felt the quaking.)

I Can Read About Earthquakes and VolcanoesWell, it just so happens that about three weeks ago the children and I were at the local thrift store for books.  Both of the children loved the volcano book we found, so of course, we bought it...for twenty-five cents!  What timing!

 I Can Read about Earthquakes and Volcanoes (new for just $2) is a rather lengthy picture book, full of information about volcanoes and earthquakes.  My guess is that the content is most appropriate for ages 5-9+/-.  An older child may want more details, but there is still much included in this book, and some of it may need to be explained to a 5 or 6 year old child.  The illustrations are good, but I wish a couple of photographs would have been included.

The Cricket in Times Square (Chester Cricket and His Friends)I am so happy to also share that my daughter and I FINALLY completed Cricket in Times Square!  It took over a month, though we were gone for a full two weeks, plus our long weekend in New York City.  (We only read it at bedtime, and my husband doesn't take a turn with the chapter books.)

A country cricket named Chester accidentally finds his way to Times Square in a picnic basket.  A boy named Mario finds him and makes him a pet, but keeps him at the family's newspaper stand in the Times Square subway.  Chester and Mario are quick friends and Chester also befriends a cat and rat!  Chester's musical abilities become famous, and his fame comes at a price...

When we completed this book, my almost 5 year old daughter asked to read it again!  However, we are aiming for a slightly shorter chapter book next!  M chose My Father's Dragon (linked to the trilogy, though some think the first is the best).  We will read Chester Cricket's Pigeon Ride, since that is also part of our collection, at a later time.  (Interestingly, Chester Cricket's Pigeon Ride is about half the length of Cricket in Times Square and, according to Amazon, geared for younger readers, though the second in the series...I think.)

Thomas & Friends: Railway Rhymes (Thomas & Friends) (Lap Library)One last very popular book around here is new to us.  It's called Railroad Rhymes and features Thomas and all of his friends from Sodor!  Our version is a board book, and the kids love looking through the book and finding which poem they want to read!  I didn't know that there were so many Thomas and Friends characters!  A definite recommendation from our kids for any Thomas fan.

Check out what others are reading to their kids over at Hope is the Word for Read Aloud Thursday!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Beach Fun

As part of our summer plans, we took the children to the beach.  Though M had been when she was nearly a year old, we had not been there since then.  M has asked to go many times, and was thrilled to be able to finally go.

We were pretty certain M would love the water.  She did.  We didn't know how E would respond.  To make sure he had a good time, we took a bulldozer toy along since he'd have a giant sandbox to use.  He enjoyed the water, but loved the sand even more.

Before we went, I printed some nice printables from Nick Jr.  (I shared about a file folder game for word families before based on their printables.  These printables are not linked with any characters if that is something you try to avoid.)  This time we printed a Wonder Pets Seashell Activity Pack.  They were all fun, but the pattern was the favorite!  It's definitely worth checking out before a beach trip.

The Atlantic Ocean is only two hours away, but we just aren't beach people.  I'm not a big sand fan...and I can barely swim.  My husband actually loves big waves, but it's still not a priority for him.  If you noticed the lack of waves in the photo, that is because we chose a location in Delaware without waves.  With all the New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware beaches within a short driving distance, we always choose Delaware, though I'm not sure why.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Where Did They Go?

In early July I went to a used book sale.  The cost was just $5 a bag.  I had two overflowing bags.  The loot is mostly (not all since some books I had already separated to share with others) pictured in the photo below.  I think I had at least 75 picture and chapter books...maybe 100.
Where did my books go?  I can't find them!  That's not true.  I know where a few of the titles are.  Before I "put them away" I had set aside a few of the books in our "read sometime soon pile" (for the kids or me) on the bookcase.  Maybe about 15 titles.  These were the Narnia (linked to post about them), Maud Hart Lovelace, Laura Ingalls Wilder-related, and a couple of others like Diggers and Dumptrucks. I found the holiday (Christmas and Thanksgiving) books in the basement.   Well, what happened to the others?  I just can't find them!!  My house is not so big that this should be a problem.  I suspect they are in the basement, but not where they "should" be.  It's rather frustrating.  (Last week I did go to the Goodwill where I get books for 3/$1 and bought about 20 books, but that doesn't really replace the others...I would have gone anyway.)

Click the picture above to see it in a larger format so you can read the titles.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Kids in the Kitchen: Homemade Microwave Popcorn

We learned several months ago that our microwave no longer likes microwave popcorn (no matter the brand).  We don't have an air popper, and I was discouraged from attempting to make it on the stove top.  With all that said (and no plans of purchasing a new microwave), I was thrilled when Confessions of a Homeschooler posted directions for making popcorn (and not in a brown paper bag, either, which we don't buy, though I've heard good things about it).

To make popcorn, you'll need a glass bowl with a lid.  (I used a loose fitting lid.).

Mix 3 tablespoons of oil and 1/2 cup popcorn kernels (according to the original instructions.  However, due to unpopped kernels, I intend to do a half batch next time.)

Cover.  Don't use plastic wrap.  Seriously.
Microwave on high power for 2 1/2-3 minutes.  Stop when pops are about 5 seconds apart.  
Flavor and enjoy!
 Below is what happens if you mix plastic wrap, oil, and heat.  NOT EDIBLE!
Check out our other non-stovetop Kids in the Kitchen fun, too!

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  • Homemade Magic Shell - I remember having Magic Shell once as a child. The chocolate syrup drizzled over my ice cream magically turned crispy hard. Mmm... So I was rather excited t...

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