1John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God.

Friday, September 30, 2011


A couple of weeks ago I took off with some gal pals to Port Angeles for the weekend.  I highly recommend getting away for that amount of time at LEAST once a year if you are a busy wife and mother.   I look forward to an escape, and this one was great.  It was much needed quiet time to chat uninterrupted, eat, take in the scenery, as grand or not as it may be, and to just drive.  None of the photos have been edited and something was changed in the camera settings, so not many of my photos turned out.  But I think you get the idea.  Above is on the shore of Lake Crescent.  It is located on the outskirts of the Olympic National Forest.  Just driving that highway alone, is worth it.  The views were beautiful, and the leaves were changing.
The water is always a teal color.
We hiked the short trail up to Marymere Falls.  Those stairs were a bit tough on my knee, which is still trying to heal.  I'd say it's about 95% now.  4 months and counting.
Marymere Falls.
 We broke for lunch at the top.
Girly gab time- did I mention that every woman should escape? 
I thought this car was note worthy.  We were having chinese food for dinner and this car was parked outside.  "Deer."  It was a great time and my favorite part was the drive.  I think I'm refreshed now for another few months.  I always feel the urge to get up and just go.  Not because I don't love my family, but I do get a bit tired of being at home every day.  I work here.  I live here.  I don't get to get out as much as I would like to.  I am incredibly blessed to be able to do so on occasion!
Another update- Halloween is coming and Stephanies bestie actually MADE this costume for her!  That is talent!! They are plotting a mask now.  (Catwoman.)  Steph is excited because this year she is throwing a Halloween party at our place.  I don't know who is more excited actually, me or her?  Everyone say it together, "FUN!"
Chippy came into the house.  He is too shy to actually take the peanut out of my hand, but he will come right up next to us if there is a peanut involved.  Meanwhile, everyone is loving school again!  We enjoyed open house for the boys last night- they each showed us around their classrooms and were excited about it.   All is well!
My sticky note verse right now is this:

Phillippians 2:3-4 "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interest of others."   Happy Friday!♥♥♥

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Playdough ABCs

Play-dough can be a great tool when applied to a lesson.  Don't have play-dough? With the exception of a dollar, any dough in general will work.   We created the letters Aa and Bb out of play-dough yesterday. 
The dough we used was particularly sticky, but it was scented and smelled like cherry koolaid.  Sticky dough=sensory trays. 
 Careful construction.... this activity helped them to remember and recognize the letters.  By the end of our learning time at the table, they were all racing each other.
"Look at my A!"  Excellent jobs!  Here is a fantastic recipe for home made pumpkin pie play-dough.  Scented play-dough will scent a room almost as well as a candle will.  This recipe can be created with any scent, I like to use the scented oils found in craft stores.
Pumpkin Pie Playdough
5 1/2 cups flour
2 cups salt
8 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 small container pumpkin pie spice
orange food coloring
4 cups water
Add all ingredients to a medium size sauce pan and stir constantly over medium heat.  When it resembles a ball,  lump it out onto a floured surface to cool for a minute.  Knead until smooth.  Store in an airtight container.  I use gallon ziplock bags.  Enjoy!! ♥♥♥

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Colorful Tree

It is so fun to play in paint.  Especially when it is WASHABLE.   We wanted to create some colorful trees.  Here is a free printable tree template!  I just traced the trunk shape onto a piece of construction paper, stapled 4 behind it and cut them out.  The girls glued them onto their papers.
No paintbrushes this time.. painting is a great sensory experience.  I would have loved to separate the girls for this project because they all seemed to copy each other as far as where and how the paint went.  Sometimes  art is TOO guided.  It can quite easily turn into what I call "teacher art".   All I said was, "Green can be used for grass, and please use your fingers!"
Good clean fun!
I loved how the leaves were falling off of this tree. ♥
Cheeese! Happy Wednesday!♥♥♥

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pumpkin Soup

This is a wonderful book!  It was perfect for our lesson and snack because we were going to try pumpkin soup.  "Eeeew!!"  They worried... It seems like I am always referring to Green Eggs And Ham by Dr. Seuss.  "Wait a minute, remember when he said he didn't like the green eggs and ham and then he TRIED them?"  I ask.  That jogs their memory, and they are usually brave about trying new things.  We have been learning all about pumpkins from seed to harvest.  We now know that we can eat certain varieties!
We drank ours from a cup.  Only one girl DIDN'T like it, and I wish I had taken a photo of her facial expression.  It was lovely.  ♥
It was a fun adventure to try something that we had just read about!!
The illustrations in this book are beautifully done.  My photos don't quite express that..  I am just not a budding photographer.
You can find the pumpkin soup recipe that we used here.  Happy Tuesday!  It's a beautiful blustery Washington day today! ☺

Monday, September 26, 2011

B Is For Butter

I realized that for the letter B,  I always schedule art that includes bats.  Since this is childcare AND preschool,  at least one of my kids remembers the projects from last year.  Time to make some adjustments to keep it exciting.  We decided to make butter instead!  We had pumpkin soup for dinner the night before and there was some left over cream in the fridge.
Here is what you need: a jar with a lid, a dash of salt, and some heavy whipping cream.  We just happened to have some baby food jars for a project we are doing this Friday, so we thought it would be smart to use them for this project, too.  Add some cream, a dash of salt, and tighten the lid.  We didn't measure anything.
Now SHAKE!  Shake some more... and some more.... it takes a few minutes.
All of a sudden, you will see a wad of butter in the jar.  Pour off the extra liquid.
You have butter!  We ate our butter with butter crackers.  I think this would be a great idea on Thanksgiving if your kids want to help.  It was VERY good!!
Yum!  Happy Monday!♥♥♥

Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome Fall!

 Today is the first day of Autumn!  Yesterday was a beautiful blustery day.  We decided not to do our worksheets and instead baked some sugar cookies that were all dressed up to welcome Autumn.   We had an egg emergency and rushed to Safeway to shop for what we needed.  They were so well behaved!  I love hearing the compliments.  The girls were proud of themselves, too.   They each received "Thank You" stickers at checkout.
Start with your favorite sugar cookie recipe.  I suppose you COULD buy a tube of dough- but that is a string of bad words in my house.  I happen to be a sugar cookie snob.  Here is the CORRECT recipe: (LOL)

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups flour
I honestly just throw everything in the bowl and mix.  Instead of refrigerating for three unholy hours, I add flour and knead until roll-able.  They taste perfect every time.  Roll out and cookie cutter them, bake for 6-8 minutes at 375 degrees.  Frost with cream cheese frosting, at Christmas time I add mint extract to the cream cheese frosting.  YUM! 
We used Wilton food coloring gel to get the beautiful bright colors, and rolled all three colors together to create a marble effect. 
Don't forget to taste the dough!  The girls were wonderful taste testers.
These are so much fun!  This is the first time I have ever colored the dough.  I think they are quite festive.
Time to pray and thank God for Fall!  We love to notice the leaves changing each day. 
The girls frosted their cookies.  Popsicle sticks are great tools for this!
Happy Fall!  Happy Friday!♥♥♥

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just One!

We finished remembering what the number 1 looks like and we can all count to one. (OK, these guys are way ahead, but I like to be thorough.)  We placed a small sugar pumpkin on the table for inspiration as we painted our pumpkin.
Look who showed up looking for "just one more" peanut.  I love Chippy!  I swear, he has facial expressions.
I love to use the chunky paintbrushes.  They are great for kids who are still working on holding a pencil correctly.
Use, reuse, and recycle!  These little plastic cups held applesauce at one time.  They make excellent paint cups.
We worked on painting in the lines as we created one pumpkin.
Meanwhile, someone was getting pretty desperate!   I just want to scoop him up and snuggle him to pieces! Chippy does this almost daily.  Sometimes he eats his peanuts right away, other times he carries them off to store.  I love to find the odd places that he buried corn.  They usually sprout into a stalk.
Our cats know that Chippy is our pet.  They never bug each other, but often play chase. 
One pumpkin!
One adorable squirrel who wants just one more.  Happy Wednesday!♥♥♥

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Just Let Them

I'm a clean freak.  Rubber Boots help with that.  We were on our way to a pumpkin launch last fall and the boys happened upon this beautiful puddle.  They had their boots, no problem.  7 or 8 years ago, I would've said, "No."   I have since learned that these little things are all a part of having fun.  The clothes can be washed.  Kids are resilient as far as dirt and being wet and muddy.  Go ahead, boys!  It's good, clean fun.  Happy Tuesday!♥♥♥

Monday, September 19, 2011

Leaves Are Changing

September is my favorite month for art.  It's time to start talking about and noticing the changing leaves.  Red, orange, yellow brown paints get used quite a bit at Henle House this month.  We started with a couple of leaf stencils cut out of black construction paper.  Older kids can master this, but for my younger preschoolers, I prepared this in advance. 
"You want us to paint ALL of the white, right?"  They are such great listeners.  I just love these guys.
I stressed that it was important for this project NOT to mix the colors.  We really wanted them to 'pop'.
It was almost a shame to cover up the paint with the stencil, they were very Claude Monet-ish.  The girls did a beautiful job! (All of my boys are in school now, so the whole preschool group is girl dominated.)
When the papers were finished....
We added our leaf stencil papers.  Beautiful!  This is a great way to highlight the brilliant colors of fall!  Happy Monday!♥♥♥