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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

We Can Do It/Happy Thanksgiving

Lately the kids have been learning how to put together their own nap time mat.  This means finding the mats that they use, putting them where they go, slipping on the fitted sheet, finding and placing their pillows on the mats and locating and laying out blankets.  They enjoy doing it! 
The hardest part is figuring how the sheet slips on.  Most of our fitted sheets were sewn together by me, using old sheets.  It can be a struggle to get it on the mats, especially the thicker mats.  All of the kids put forth solid effort, and are pleased with the work they have done.
What will be left for me to do if I teach them all to be self sufficient?  Trust me- there is plenty!  
I'm making sure that all of the families who bless us with their children each week know how thankful we are for them.  Do they really know how grateful I am?  I hope so, and Thanksgiving is my time to share that.  I do not take them for granted, each and every one of them makes my life so happy.  I'm thankful for this job.  I'm thankful that we also live in a place where we can take time out to go fishing.  Look how peaceful that is!  My cup is FULL of things to be thankful for, and the number one thing that I still thank God for each and every day is that He plucked me out of a terrible situation and turned my life around completely.  I don't deserve to be saved, yet I am.  It's been 10 years since I started my walk with the Lord.  God has that gift for all of us, all we have to do is reach out and take hold of it.  Jesus made it possible.  I'm thankful for my amazing husband.  I have never felt as secure as I feel with him.  I'm thankful for my babies, and that I get to see them growing up in a home.   (With Smudge, the worlds best cat.) The blog will take a break over the long weekend.  See you next week, and  all of us at Henle House wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!
♥♥♥Happy Wednesday!♥♥♥

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

F Is For Fox

Imagine my surprise when I realized this morning that I only took two photos of our work at the table yesterday.  Neither one of the two shows the completed project.  My mind must've been occupied by other things. We created a fox!  Let me redeem myself by sending you to the Pinterest link that I pinned.  You can see it HERE!  
We worked until we had created our foxes.  
As we continue our talking about being thankful, the idea of what to be thankful for in a child's mind tends to be things like toys and parents.  In group time yesterday, a couple of the kids had their minds blown when we talked about how important it is to be thankful for the things that we truly need.  One child said, "socks?"  Yes, we do need socks!  Imagine if we didn't have socks, and how cold and uncomfortable our feet would be without them.  The wheels were turning now.  "Beds?"  "FOOD!"  We are truly thankful for the things that we need. I'm glad that some of the kids understand that.
♥♥♥Happy Tuesday!♥♥♥

Monday, November 24, 2014

So Much Is Happening

So much is happening here lately that the schedule was thrown out on Friday and I don't have any photos to share.  We had a free day because I cleaned out the fridge and sent a bit too much food down the garbage disposal that clogged a pipe.  Have you ever experienced a day when just one thing happened that threw you off schedule for the whole rest of the day?  I couldn't organize myself and was consumed with trying to fix it, to no avail.   It was a two person job, and I don't have that luxury during the work day.
The little red table has been a work station for our big project, so no manipulatives have been set out.  The good news is that we are ahead of schedule!
 I did snap this photo of the kids, all snuggled up and ready for their 25 minutes of cartoons.  This is such a good way for them to thaw out and relax after a cold outside play time. 
Smudge looked so relaxed I worried that he might topple over.  He didn't.
Quick update on the boys- Aiden successfully finished his first season of soccer!  I'm glad he stuck with it.  
Ethan, the introvert, tried out for the school play and got a speaking part!  Those of you who know him, know that this is really unique for Ethan.  I'm very excited to see him coming out of his shell!  I suppose when he decides to do something on his own terms, he has a completely different perspective.   He will play "Mike TV" in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. 
Are you all gearing up for Thanksgiving?  We will spend it at my Grandma's house this year.  I'm on the hunt for rhubarb to make a strawberry rhubarb pie and am having a hard time finding some.  I might have to make pumpkin instead. 
♥♥♥Happy Monday!♥♥♥

Friday, November 21, 2014

We Are Thankful

In the past couple of years, I have really strayed away from the stories about Plymouth Rock and the pilgrims arriving in America.  I feel that it is much more important around Thanksgiving to teach the young children what it means to be thankful.  They have heard this word quite a bit over the last month.  I felt like they understood it well enough to be able to tell me individually what they are thankful for.  Other ways to express the word "thankful" to young kids could be "What makes you happy?" or "What is special to you?"  "Who or what do you love?"  These answers are all things to be thankful for.
We created a simple thankful tree.  The kids colored some leaves onto it and then they joined me in the other room for some one on one thankful talk.
I wrote down everything that they said, even if it didn't make sense to me.
The kids had so many things to be thankful for that we ran out of pre-cut leaves!  
It takes a lot more time when we do things individually, but learning to be thankful is an important lesson.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."  Note that it does not say "Give thanks in just the good stuff.."  In ALL THINGS.  It's a tough concept at first, but when you put your faith in God, being thankful in all things becomes easy.
♥♥♥Happy Friday!♥♥♥
♫Rockin with Stevie Nicks this morning. "Edge of Seventeen".  I did get to see her live in Seattle maybe 15 years ago.  She was one of my favorite singers when I was a child.  I remember spinning as fast as I could spin when my dad would put this record on, I couldn't help but dance.  ♫

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Brown Triangle Art

We are working on the color brown and the triangle shape.  A simple way to use this is to give the kids a pile of brown triangles and let them create whatever they want to create.
The possibilities are endless!
The kids played around with the triangles until they each had an idea, and then they just worked at their own pace.  She was creating a unicorn flying horse.
He pieced together a space ship!
I cannot believe that I didn't take photos of the finished products.  I did pull each child aside and asked them to explain to me what they had created, and I wrote down their comments, word for word.  This is a simple and fun project.
♥♥♥Happy Thursday!♥♥♥
♫Now playing at Henle House- "Soulseeker" by Thomas Bergersen.♫
Yes- I'm still loving this album.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Stop, Look & Listen

The kids were race cars and they were off!
Aaaah, the simple joys of playing outside. 
Running free, getting that blood pumping.
Feeling the cool air, breathing it in.  
We took a moment and just said, "Stop.. Look and listen.  What will you find?"  They heard a plane.  They saw it.
Sometimes we are just too busy to take a moment to stop, look and listen.  This morning on the way to the bus, there was a giant eagle perched in the tree.  We stopped to look.  "Good spying, Mrs. Nicole."  There are so many gifts from God around us and we are so busy that they are overlooked.  My challenge for you today is to take a moment, step outside.  Stop, look and listen.  You never know what you will find.
♥♥♥Happy Wednesday!♥♥♥

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

F Is For Fish

We are working on the letter Ff right now.   We had the perfect opportunity to create some fish because I had previously traced the fish shapes onto paper and did not have the chance to use them.  It was TWO YEARS ago.  I couldn't bear to throw the pages away and just waited.  For two years.  Until  yesterday when I remembered that I have them.  I am sure glad we used them.  The fish turned out BEAUTIFUL!
I attached the top of the Ff worksheet to the bottom of the fish page.  I still wanted the kids to look at and trace the letter F. 
They worked on that part first.  
The kids were encouraged to color the fish and to use as many bright colors as they wanted to use.  We used the oil pastels.  My favorite medium.
The results were beautiful!  The kids glued an eye onto each fish and up they went on the art wall. 
Easy peasy!  I think that when I originally created the fish pages, it was in reference to the number three.
♥♥♥Happy Tuesday!♥♥♥

Monday, November 17, 2014

Birthday Boys

It was Birthday Day Friday at Henle House.  We celebrated two birthday boys!  Sometimes we decorate cupcakes, other times we create cookie sandwiches.
Here they were, ready to create their chocolate frosting and marshmallow cupcakes.
Here is one of the birthday boys.  The other had to go to school and we set aside a cupcake for him so we could celebrate when he returned. 
Marshmallows-- YUM!
I was disappointed with my sprinkle collection and had to find something else to use.  The marshmallows were a hit.
♫Happy Birthday, to you..♫
A wish was made.
The kids colored a paper plate and I taped a craft stick to the back of it as a handle.  Off they went to play with the balloons. 
It was a fun time!
FINALLY-- time to open the present.  I always have something for each birthday child. 
Meanwhile, Petra was testing out nap time mats. 
After school, the other birthday boy returned!  We had another rowdy round of "Happy Birthday, to you!" 
It was a great way to end a very busy week.  Now I am ready for this busy one, too. 
♥♥♥Happy Monday!♥♥♥

Friday, November 14, 2014

Story Exploring

Story Exploring is a wonderful tool.  I was blessed to attend a course that taught me how to use the Motheread curriculum, and in turn they provided me with most of the books needed for all of the curriculum plans.  The idea is to take a story and expand it into a full lesson.  Yesterday we used 'Sam Who Never Forgets' by Eve Rice.   The lesson for the day is about caring for others.  Sam is the zookeeper who never forgets to feed the animals at 3:00.  The elephant thought that Sam forgot and was very sad.  Sam was actually busy filling an entire wagon with hay just for the elephant.   Phew!  The kids really felt bad for the elephant and had worry written all over their faces.
We created a handprint elephant.
I think I cut the ears too large, but the kids could recognize the finished product as an elephant.
I have been loving these dry days.  The leaves are actually crunchy instead of soggy.  We spent some time yesterday crunching around in them.
What a beautiful day!
Crunch, crunch, crunch..
Everyone was content.
The carrots are still happy in the garden.  I think I will pile some leaves onto them to protect them though the winter.  It will be nice to pull them out for soup occasionally. 
♥♥♥Happy Friday!♥♥♥