Monday, November 23, 2009

D is for Dinosaur!

"Big and small, God made them all."

Dionosuars!  How could this unit not be fun!  When we started this unit I was a little worried about how I would explain creation vs evolution to a 5 year old and I had a slight panic moment.  However, my worries were completely unfounded since it never occurs to Liberty that there is any other way for creatures to exist if God did not create them!  Since this was not an issue, I decided to avoid evolution all together.  Instead of using an encyclopedia or other mainstream science resource to study the different dinosaurs I bought a book called Dinosaurs by Design by Duane Gish.  It is SO good and there are a ton of dinosaur picutures and descriptions.  We also read What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs? by Jon Morris and Ken Ham.  This book focuses primarily on The Flood and creation research rather than information on individual dinosaurs.  It is also very good.

We also took a field trip to the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History in Norman.  I had never been but I knew they had dinosaur exhibit.  I was really impressed.  For such a small museum, it was really well done.  The exibit included a giant Apatosaurus, the largest Pentaceratops skull on record, and a Saurophaganax.  Liberty loved it.


Apatosaurus (this picture doesn't do justice to its actual size)

Pentaceratops (Guiness Record holder for the largest dino skull ever found)

There is also a hands-on area of the museum that includes a dinosaurs dig.  Unlike the dinosaur digs that Liberty has done in the past where bones are basically thrown into a sandbox, these bones were buried in a mixture of sand and wax to create a more realistic excavation site.  This was Liberty's favorite part although she gave up pretty quickly!

Liberty digging for dinosaurs

For fun I baked the girls dinosaurs and letter D shaped cookies.  A few months ago I bought a collection of 101 cookie cutters at Wal-mart for $10!  I was really excited to get them out.  Liberty also used them with her playdoh.

There is a great dinosaur lapbook at homeschool share as well.  We added a small flip book of dinosaurs from our trip to the museum.  I also wanted Liberty to get some extra handwriting practice so I created a fun dino handwriting worksheet.

I felt like we were super busy with this unit, but it was so much fun!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Oklahoma Territorial Museum

Yesterday I took Liberty to the Oklahoma Territorial Museum to learn a little about the history of Oklahoma and to celebrate Oklahoma becoming a state on November 16, 1907.  The museum is primarily dedicated to what life was like in the Oklahoma territories before statehood.  If I had been more prepared, Liberty and I would have spent more time this week exploring Oklahoma history.  I was completely unaware of our State's birthday until a couple of days before.  I guess that will go on the calendar for next year :).  Nonetheless, we enjoyed spending the morning at the museum.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Halloween 2009

I LOVE getting the girls dressed up!  This year Liberty decided she wanted to be a cheerleader...again.  I decided to dress Emory as a cheerleader as well.  Of course, if my girls were going to be dressed as cheerleaders, they had to be cheering for OU!  Scott is a Texas fan and hates OU (I really think its primarily to get on my nerves.)  He is such a good sport though and watches all the games with me--even if he does cheer for the other team :(.  So, Liberty was dressed as an OU cheerleader, but all night she was telling everyone she was a Texas fan.  She always says "We like the Longhorns."  Its so cute I don't even mind.  Here are the pics from Storybook Forrest and the fall festival at Village Baptist.

U is for Us

God made us Wonderful!

This unit Liberty focused on the letter U.  Each week we are giving special attention to one letter while continuing to work on other reading a writing skills.  This unit took us a little longer than normal because we went to a little vacation in the middle (just one of the more brilliant things about homeschool--we can come and go as we please!)

Liberty is really getting good at reading and spelling three letter, short vowel words.  I have to admit I was blown away by how quickly she is picking it up.  I can ask her to spell just about any three letter, short vowel word and she can do it no problem.  For some reason, it is easier for her to spell words I say then for her to read them herself when they are already written down.  I know it will click soon.  During this unit I decided to make Liberty some short vowel cards she could practice with.  Each card has a picture and Liberty matches the correct word with the picture.  She loves doing these more interactive activities.

Our science topic this week was "Us."  We did a basic overview of our bodies and then focused on the five senses.  I love to do lapbooks whenever we can.  It's a great way to introduce new material and I really feel like Liberty gets more out of it because she is actually creating something in the process.  I couldn't find a lapbook I liked, so for this unit I created my own.  For my first lapbook, I thought it turned out good. 

My favorite part was adding the smells.  Liberty also thought this was really fun.  I wish I could think of a way to make the smells last longer, unfortunately they fade.  Does anyone remember the scratch and sniff stickers that were so popular in the late 80s.  I had a ton when I was a kid.  I thought about using something like that, but I didn't have the slightest idea where to find them.

We read several different books for this unit.  My favorite was "The Listening Walk" by Paul Showers.  It is so good.  After reading it, Liberty wanted to go on a listening walk.  The only problem was, she wanted to do more talking than listening :).

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Four Months Old

This post is a little late because we were out of town, but our Emory is four months old!  I say it every month, but I can't believe it!  Time is flying by SO fast.  She is currently at one of my favorite baby ages--the phase where they are fully becoming aware of their surroundings and developing appropriate responses.  Her little personality is really coming through now.

My favorite thing about this month is that she has started making all kinds of new sounds.  Its like she has discovered that the sounds coming out of her mouth are actually hers!  She is exploring her full range and talking up a storm.  She has also started laughing more.  I never know what is going to make her laugh, but fake sneezes seem to be a consistent favorite!  This video of her talking is too cute (if you are reading this on facebook, you have to go to my blog to see it--too cute!)

She is still waking up at least once a night to eat, depending on what time I feed her before we go to bed.  She is now able to go 8 hours without eating, although she rarely does :).  Our chunky monkey now weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 pounds.  I will know for sure on Monday when I take her for her 4 month WCC.

In between feeding she is sleeping fairly well.  She no longer needs to be swaddled.  However, she has developed quite an attachment to her pink and white blankie.  She thinks she needs it to both take naps and sleep at night.  She grabs it with both of her hands and rubs it on her little face until she falls asleep.  It is possibly the most adorable thing I have ever seen.  The only problem she seems to have sleeping is when her binkie falls out of her mouth.  Sometimes it doesn't bother her and other times it wakes her up and I have to give it back to her.  Its really annoying when it happens.

Until yesterday she has shown no interest in rolling over.  However, yesterday she started rolling onto her side, so I expect she will be rolling over in the next few weeks.  I also learned yesterday that I can no longer leave her unattened on the furniture.  Even though she is not rolling over, she is strong enough to kick herself to the edge of the couch and push herself off.  Or, in this particular instance, do a complete backflip and land on her face!

She doesn't appear to be getting any more hair.  It is now completely blond and virtually translucent.  You have to look closely to see that she has any at all except for this one particularly long piece that sticks straight up on top.

I have also discovered that she has very elfish-like ears.  They stick out only on the top, which make them look more enormous than they actually are.  Aparently this is genetic because her Great Great Grandfather has the exact same ears.

She is also developing better hand/eye coordination and can sometimes grab objects she sees.  This skill is still being developed and she is only successful a fraction of the time.

She is now big enough and has enough coordination and head control to play in her exersaucer and other similar toys.  She still really loves to swing.  I am going to have to find her a bigger swing since she is quickly approaching the weight limit on her infant swing.

She still likes to nurse every 3 hours or so.  I am trying to stretch that to 31/2 hours whenever possible.  She definitely isnt lacking in the calorie department.  I have decided to wait until she is 6 months to start solid foods.  So far she doesn't seem to mind :).

She still doesn't seem to mind when other people want to hold her although her Mommy is still her favorite person.  She still loves to be talked to and will smile and giggle at just about anyone.  She continues to be one of the best babies I have ever known.  She rarely cries and is so easy to please and entertain.

We are all still so captivated by her.  Liberty always whispers in Emory's ear that she loves her more than anyone else in the whole world--more than Mommy loves her and more than Daddy loves her.  We are so blessed to have her and we are all so in love with her.