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

Monday, September 30, 2013

Books And Bats

We have been having some beautiful storms here in Western Washington!  Even the cats have been paying attention to them.   I am in mourning a little this morning because my arbor blew over and snapped a beautiful vine that had really taken off over the summer.  That's what we get for forgetting to anchor it down.  I'm sure it will grow back.  Meanwhile, a lot of people around us have been losing power on and off.  It brings out my "need to feed" people.  I'm not sure if I should risk baking with the winds blowing the way they have been.  We haven't lost power yet!
Tomorrow is officially October!  I got out my Halloween books for group time.  Books are amazing- they teach the kids and keep them engaged.  I can see their minds working as we progress through the stories- they are completely off in book imagination land. 
I love pop-up books!  The rule in our house is that the pop up books are only for grown ups to read to the kids.  This way they don't get destroyed, and we can enjoy them year after year. 
Here's a quick side note- it is fun to create the ABC's out of pretzel sticks.   The kids love to have these for snack.  The whole time they are calling me over to show me what letter they created. 
I prepared these pieces for art Friday.  Friday is usually our review day.  
They colored and glued 2 bats.  I think they all have the number 2 and the letter Bb memorized. 
♥♥♥Happy Monday!♥♥♥

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Visit To Adam

Since Adam has a working car again,  Henle House has the freedom to be mobile!  I had two little ones for the morning and decided we should get out and about.  We took a trip to see Adam at Builder's Millwork in Everett.  I hadn't seen the shop yet.   The kids were excited about the BIG space and were surprised to see Adam. :)
Fuzzy photo, but they really liked the "wheels".   They spent a minute or two running their hands over them.
It was a quick visit, but it was sure nice to get out of the house!  
Yesterday we worked on tracing the lines. :)
She's getting the hang of holding the crayon correctly.  I cannot believe it's FRIDAY.  This week has flown by- I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
♥♥♥Happy Friday!♥♥♥

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Let's Get Real

It's time for a bit of getting real.  People often ask me if I like my job.  Of course I do, but let's be real here.   There is a lot of stuff that happens that makes it hard at times.   It makes me feel vulnerable, even attacked.  I thought I'd share, because I'm human and need the outlet. 
Using our home as a business has it's faults.  We have to dedicate part of our personal space to the business.  I have to post business papers on my wall.  That's not very homey.   I have to be ready for my licensor to invade my space at any moment.  I can't just leave my laundry pile out in the open.  Can you believe I have had people say to me, "I hate that your house is so clean." I think every time someone says that to me a bit of my soul cries!  Don't they understand that I have to keep this house clean because it represents me as a business woman?  I don't feel it's fair to feel attacked.  It brings me joy to provide a clean space for my family.  I don't know why some people feel so threatened by that.  I get a lot of good comments about it, too.  While that is uplifting,  my human nature can't seem to let go of the negative comments.  I'm working on it. ☺
The best part about my job is the fun I have with these kids.  It feels good to try my best (and trust me- I have bad days just like everyone else) to provide a safe and happy place for these kids while they are missing their parents.  I am not a perfect childcare provider, but I do feel that this is what God has provided for me to do, and I love doing it.
The WORST part of this job is that I am just plain lonely.  A lot.  I don't get to go to a workplace filled with other adults from all walks of life and have meaningful conversations.  It's hard to make friends.  I think it's even harder when friends want me to be their childcare provider.  I then become a business associate.  That is the hardest part.  I need some close confidants in my life and now that my handsome hubby is no longer working with me I find myself having a pity party.  Just keeping it real! 
Maybe I'm moody? LOL
1Thessalonians 5:18 "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
♥♥♥Happy Thursday!♥♥♥

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Inviting Play

It's fun to take something that we do often and turn it into something to hold onto! We sing this song in the Fall.  In group time, the kids get to hold leaves and let them fall down as they are singing.  Why not create something to take home?  The idea is to allow the kids to share with their families what they are doing.
A simple construction paper pocket will do the job.  Just fold it up and staple the sides. 
Out came some leaf stamps! 
The kids glued the words onto the envelope.  They stamped some leaves onto the envelope.
They collected some fake leaves to stuff inside of the envelopes.  This way when they take the song home, they can use the leaves and share!
While they were doing that, I created some leaf puppets for them.  I decided to use hot glue because it's fast and it holds up well.  I just glued the leaf to a stick and added eyes.
The kids added mouths.  
As I suspected, they all wanted to take their leaf puppets outside to play.  Adding a leaf with eyes to a stick was an invitation for imaginative play.  Their leaves were chasing each other and they all ran around with their puppets screaming and hollering.  (So sorry, any of my neighbors who were home..) I love when the kids can play with art!  
Something miraculous has happened- I have only two children with me right now since my school aged kiddos have gone to school this morning.  I think we might escape to a farm stand. 
♥♥♥Happy Wednesday!♥♥♥

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pumpkin Harvest

We completed our table work yesterday in record time.  We are working on the sound of Bb.
We practiced holding our crayons and using them. :)
We practiced coloring inside the lines. ☺
We practiced coloring large spaces! 
After nap time we hopped outside to the pumpkin patch to harvest!  The kids planted these in the Spring and have been watching, weeding, watering and counting the pumpkins since then.  It was time to take a pumpkin home!
Here was their harvest!  Not a whole lot, but enough for them to each take one home. ♥
They were excited about this!! 
They each chose one to cart inside to their cubbies for safe keeping.  It is pumpkin time!  I need to get to a farm soon to get a nice supply for decorating. 
♫Now playing at Henle House: Crystal by Stevie Nicks. (From the Practical magic soundtrack.)
I love this movie and even MORE love Stevie Nicks.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Autumn Has Arrived

Friday we created some Bears! Bb is for bear. ☺ The rest of my photos didn't turn out, sorry!  I like the idea of turning the letter into the creature or thing that the sound represents.  Easy and fun. 
The greatest thing in the world has happened- Autumn has arrived!  Those of you who know me well understand that this is my favorite time of year.  I love everything about Autumn.  The smells, the scenery, the cool chill in the air- pumpkins-- spooks--- on and on and on I could go.  Thank you God for the change of season! I feel energized and excited.  Sorry if I make you crazy over the next couple of months with my gushy love of Fall.  See what I did with our galvanized bucket?  Adam put some apple tree wood in it about a month ago.  I added lights and will continue to add leaves.  Place it on top of a doily, and we have a bucket that celebrated Autumn!
Love love love this.  I love when the weather changes and it gets dark in the house.  It is the perfect invitation to light up some things.  Candles galore!
Our kids worked hard and finished stacking the mill ends on Saturday.  We are ready for a cozy fire!  It's not quite cold enough yet, but I did flip on the wall heater this morning.  It's a bit chilly.
We celebrated the first day of Autumn in our house with caramel popcorn and apple cider.  Amen.  If this recipe did not exist, I'd probably be dead. In fact, I laughed out loud when I found a note I scrawled across the side of the recipe that says "My life depends on this stuff." 
I stove pop 3 batches of popcorn in olive oil.  That's 1 1/2 cups of popcorn.  Clean out the kernals so you don't break a tooth!
In a saucepan:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
♥Heat until bubbly and sugar is melted.♥
  • 1 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
♥Mix it in and cook until bubbly.  A minute or two.  Remove from heat.♥
  •  Add 1 teaspoon vanilla
♥Pour over your popcorn and coat evenly.  Eat it with a washcloth nearby- this is a gooey mess of deliciousness that is hard to walk away from.  It is fantastic leftover.. days later.  Keep it covered. ♥
I have to wait another week to get out the Halloween.  Can you believe that it is already this time of year?  This year is FLYING by.
The kids were so happy that we needed umbrellas at the bus this morning.  Umbrellas are like bandaids, they just fix everything. 
♥♥♥Happy Monday!♥♥♥

Friday, September 20, 2013

Group Time

Group time became noteworthy yesterday the moment the kids decided that they had an invisible friend join us.  The kids had just finished cleaning up.  The next step was to get out their group time cushions and find a seat.  I noticed they had placed an extra one out there.  I asked who it was for.
"It's Jack!" He told me.  Really?  Ok.
We gave "Jack" a leaf so he could join the rest of the kids in song. 
"Why isn't Jack holding up his leaf?"  They asked me.  Kids have incredible imagination.  Sure, I'll play along.  "Maybe his arms are tired!  Maybe he's a jack-o-lantern and he doesn't have any arms."  They laughed and agreed.  Jack must be a jack-o-lantern. ☺
Treasure box guessing time!  "I have something in my box today, I wonder what it is?"  I gave them clues.  This box is used to highlight an every day object that the kids use.  We talk briefly about it.  Guessing what it is can be pretty tough!  I gave them some very easy clues..
  • We use this when our noses are runny.  ("Sleeves!" Someone answered... NO!)
  • We keep ours at my house in the kitchen.
  • It is usually white! 
 They guessed it correctly, a kleenex!  We tried using the kleenex as a shoe... nope.  Can we talk on the kleenex like a phone?  Nope... Can we eat it for a snack?  Nooooo...  This goes on for a while until they are laughing.  We each felt how soft and gentle it is for our noses.  Who knew a kleenex could be so entertaining!
Smudge was feeling needy and hopped onto my lap for the rest of group time.  Sometimes he is so bossy.  I love it!
There are never too many snuggles for my best beast.
Early this morning on my walk outside to get the paper, the sky was so blue.  I cannot believe my cell phone actually captured it. :)
♥♥♥Happy Friday!♥♥♥

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Full Moon

Wednesday is our day to learn different concepts.  We talked about "back", as in the back of the wagon.  This worksheet is simple, but effective.
He was proud of his work!  
Something amazing has happened- I have defeated the fruit flies.  They have been raiding the house for the last couple of weeks.  We have a giant apple tree that is bringing the flies in.  A friend posted how to catch them and lead them to their deaths. 
  • Pour some apple cider vinegar into a cup. (at least an inch worth)
  • Add a squirt of dish soap.
  • Add water to create some bubbles.  
  • Sit and watch in amazement as you catch an incredible amount of flies in a short period of time!
In 30 minutes, I counted 20 flies.  They love the vinegar, but they get stuck in the bubbles and die. 
When I got up this morning, the trap had 70 flies in it. 
I can now buy bananas again. 
This is a genius trap.  Apparently it's been around a while, I have seen info about this several times since my friend posted it.
 Last night the moon was beautiful! We had our first frost.  We all enjoyed looking at our breath this morning at the bus stop.  
♥♥♥Happy Thursday!♥♥♥