Gotta Laugh!

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Back at Easter, we visited the park…it made me smile to see ALL the cousins climbing on the play structure all at the same time.    

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And then David slipped…and I had to get the picture before I ran to help him. Whoops.

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James was working from home one morning. Marcus joined him at the table to work as well. Marcus was making money. He was inspired by Alex, who was making play money for a game he’s creating. Marcus likes writing 1,000 and 1,000,000.

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David was very concerned he didn’t have something to give me for Mother’s Day. He decided to pull a craft off our “craft wall” to give me. This was an activity I MADE him do as we were talking about the letter A…and I did about half of it. But nothing says “Happy Mother’s Day” like an Alligator I mostly made myself!

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We found 4 caterpillars in our carrots last fall. We put them in a (borrowed) bug cage, watched as each made their own chrysalis, and waited. And waited. And then our friends needed the cage back, so we got our own, carefully moved them over and waited more. And waited. Its been warm long enough that I did not think any had survived. We were excited to see this butterfly in the cage this week! And this picture of David looking at it through the mesh made me laugh. Also, based on the caterpillars, I really thought we were going to see Painted Ladies. What a surprise to realize we had Swallowtails! Now we’re hoping we’ll get to see 3 more.

End of the Year: School Program

Monday, the 18th, the older two boys took part in their end of the year program. Oh my goodness, it was so good! The school worked super hard all year learning passages & songs that tied in with our Early American History as well as some Bible passages. The program started off with the Kindergarten calls reciting Romans 12:9-21. Click on that link and take a moment to read it and then realize we heard 5 year olds say the ENTIRE passage!!! Yes, it was convicting.  Throughout the entire program, the 5th and 6th graders came up to recite the 27 different Amendments to the Constitution and different quotes from historical figures.  Will recited the 12th and 26th Amendments and shared 2 quotes by James Monroe.

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In 3rd grader the kids learn to play the recorders and that class performed Yankee Doodle and My Country ‘Tis of Thee on them. I was a bit nervous how it’d sound–I’ve been hearing the practice at home! But they all did a great job and it was mostly squeak free! (If you have ever heard kids try to play the recorder, that’s impressive, especially a harder song like My Country.)

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The older kids also sang “In America’s History”, by Gary & Betty Francis, “Go Down, Moses” and “Whom Shall I Fear” by Chris Tomlin. The entire school sang “50 Nifty” (a song about all the states). (Other grades also did other songs and poems but I’m doing this mainly to record what the boys did…you don’t want a whole list of the entire program, neither do I! :) )

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The 4th grade also recited a “Flag of the Free” by Walter Field and did some really cool work with the laminated cards as they said their poem…and it was still clear enough to understand as they did it! (That’s impressive!)  The 1st-3rd graders also sang “The Presidents Song” and carried pictures of all the Presidents.

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The program ended with all the 3rd-6th graders reciting the Declaration of Independence (all but the list in the middle). This was amazing, it is super long, but they all did it clearly and well–no mumbling and hoping someone else would carry you!! I was so proud of them all. Then the rest of the school came up and joined in reciting Psalm 117, the Preamble to the Constitution and then we all sang the Star Spangled Banner together.

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I feel like I’ve gone on too much already about what a great job they did, but there were times this year I was really not sure how this was going to go. To see all their hard work come together so well made me super proud and thankful for this program we are a part of.  Also, I have to credit most of the pictures to their awesome science teacher who took so many great ones. I’m thankful she was willing to share…hers turn out a bit clearer than mine did.

With this we are DONE with school for the year. I’m amazing we have completed two years of school. I’m already trying to do some planning for next year and trying to picture how school will be different with a KG, 4th and 6th grader!! But mostly we’re enjoying slower days, lots of reading & playing outside right now. Its time to enjoy spring/summer!

Mother’s Tea

Marcus’ school had a Mother’s Tea a week before Mother’s Day. It was a nice time to have ice cream (no tea, despite the name) and spend time with him at school.

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Their class had eggs they got to watch hatch–we enjoyed getting to see the cute chickens! We also heard them sing a song and their teacher read us a story.

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Each student painted pictures of their moms–this is our friend from our small group who’s daughter is in the same class. And I gave Marcus my phone and he took this picture–not too bad, huh? :)

End of the Year: Field Trips!!!

Yes, tripS! We enjoyed the chance to do several cool activities as we wrapped up the school year. Actually, some of these were back in April, lest you think we spent the last month just tripping away. :) I’m finally sitting down, backing up the phone photos and getting more blogging done.

On the first day of April, we ventured to the zoo. Sadly it was super busy and warm (ironic, it seemed like it was cool the rest of the spring) so we didn’t stay too long. We have plans to go back, thanks to a new membership!

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A week later, we headed to the Indiana State Museum for a Civil War lesson. We originally went in March but there was a bit of a mix-up and we couldn’t get into the class. Our awesome field trip director set it up for another day, so we went back and got to learn about what life was like for soldiers in that time period. We got to practice marching and pitching a tent, as well as learn a bit more than we wanted to about the job the Doctors had in helping wounded men.

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At the end of April the older two and I went to a Discovery Day Performance by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. They enjoyed it, but decided last year was better–when they closed the show playing the Star Wars theme. :) We got there a bit early, they were glad they had brought books to read while waiting.

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In May, we went to the Children’s Museum to learn about the Science of Race cars. We had fun trying various tracks/heights to see how that affected the speed. We crashed cars in different ways to see how the force changed. Then we got to build our own car and tried to protect an egg. I was trying to help Marcus and David and didn’t have much time, it was getting frustrating. After lots of different issues, we took someone else’s idea and tried attaching the egg in the protective pod to a matchbox car for Marcus. (You can see the more ‘official’ way, using all the resources we were given, with David’s car below.)

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Finally we wrapped up the year with a trip to Conner Prairie, a ‘living history’ museum. We got to go on a BEAUTIFUL day and were able to see how Indiana was during the early 1800s–the boys interacted with several men dressed as an Indian and a Fur Trader and learned about their lives. We stopped at the Petting Zoo in a barn and they enjoyed seeing sheep, a calf and some other animals (but that was a busy place!) Then we went over to Prairie Town, set in the 1860s. They enjoyed the blacksmith demonstration. We then saw a covered wagon–we all found it interesting how they were more narrow but longer than we expected. I caught a picture of Alex sweeping with a broom at the General store (such a rare occurrence to see him WANTING to sweep, I had to document it!)

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After lunch we went over to the Civil War Exhibit. It focused on the ONE part Indiana had in the Civil War–when General John Morgan decided to lead a raid through Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio in 1863. Once again the kids had fun learning to march–they even marched over to a large field and got to charge.

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It was a great fun way to cap off an interesting year of Early American History, and to celebrate the completion of the school year.

End of the Year: Awana!

We finished off another great year of Awana. I was proud that ALL FOUR boys got awards for finishing their books. We started seeing the Cubbies, for the 3 & 4 year olds (pre-
Kindergarten). This was David’s first year in the program and Marcus’ second–it was fun for them to be in it together.

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The kids sang a few songs they learned–including “Read your Bible & pray every day, so you grow, grow, grow!”

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Than they got their awards!!!  You can see David and his friend checking his out below.

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Marcus was SO determined to try to pin his on himself….he got it mostly, but finally accepted some help.

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Alex got his award for finishing his first book in T n’ T. I’m super proud he got it done in one year, its a challenge!

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Will finished his second book (he was in his third year of the older group called T ‘n T but they get new shirts in 5th grade).  They also took some time to honor the 5th graders who are moving up to Jr. High/Middle School Youth Group….in the second picture Will is pretending to cry over leaving. :)

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And one last shot of the actual awards.
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Funny Kids

Today, on our way to the soccer field for Will’s game, David was following behind me and noticed an area that used to have a big puddle was all dried up. “What happened to the puddle?” he asked me. I started to explain how when water gets hot, it changes to a gas, or evaporates. Then I went on about how water can be in three different stages–either ice or liquid water or steam in the air. He said, “No, it can be in four stages, Mommy, it can also be mud.”

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Marcus, after Will’s game was done and they’d lost 5-2, said, “I wish the game was longer.”

I replied, “I thought you were ready to go home! Why do you want it to be longer?”

“So they’d have time to win.”

Science is Fun!

This is your brain.
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This is your brain in your (purple) skull.
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This is your brain after dropped 18 inches with nothing between the skull and the brain.DSC_2523
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This is your brain with cerebral spinal fluid protecting it.

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We did find one small crack as we worked to get the brain/egg out…but nothing like the first time! (Cerebral spinal fluid was played by corn syrup).

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Last month we were studying the heart. Our book suggested making a heart model with graham crackers and colored frosting.

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Marshmallows were the veins/arteries, and red/blue were to show us oxygenated blood vs. hte blood needing to go to the heart. I made sure they knew they weren’t really blue/red! :) This was a tasty lab!