Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Got Air?

Yesterday morning I blew up a few balloons for the boys to play with.  It's amazing how balloons can be so entertaining.  I got out a couple of straws for them to do some experimenting.  At first Elliott thought the straws were going to somehow attach to the balloons. Then, he thought we were going to use the straws to make the balloons even bigger.  I asked him what would happen if he put the balloon on the table and blew air through the straw?  Instantly the balloon play time turned into mini-science lesson! 

We expriemented with different sizes of straws and found it was easier to blow the balloons with the big straws. It was also fun to blow the balloons across the table without the straw! We tried blowing the balloons with the straw above our head, and we found that it took a lot of skill and air!  Next, we went into my bedroom with the ceiling fan on high and tried throwing the balloons up, we found they came right back down - fast!   Elliott had the idea to turn off the fan to see what would happen - the balloons went up and came down slower!  The last experiment was putting the balloons in front of the table fan.  We tried all 3 speeds.  The boys thought it was the most fun to have the fan on high, they loved watching the balloons go flying!

Blowing a balloon with a big straw.

Trying to blow the balloon above his head!  Not easy for a 3 yr old!

Blowing the balloons without the straw.

It takes a lot of air to get it all the way across the table!
Oliver had a fun time, too!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Alphabet Hide-N-Seek

We've been having so much fun with the alphabet lately.  A couple of days ago I had the idea to make a hide-n-seek game with letters.  I cut up some card stock and wrote an upper case letter on each piece.  I then hid 5 cards in the living room (out in the open) for Elliott to go find.  After he found the first set of letters I realized we needed a place to put them, so I wrote each letter on a big piece of paper and taped it to our back door.  I put tape on the back of the letter squares and Elliott matched them and placed them in the correct spot.  Each time he placed a letter on the paper he sang the song from Frog Street about the sound the letters make: "The A says /a/, the A says /a/, every letter makes a sound, the A says /a/."  I was pretty impressed with how many sounds he knew!  

Elliott and I took turns hiding and finding letters in the living room, doing 5 at a time, until we were completely finished.  He taped a couple of the letters upside down or backwards, but I didn't say anything because I knew it wasn't a big deal.  However, he went back later and fixed them on his own!  The paper is still hanging on our door and I'm thinking about what we're gong to do with it next!

Finding the letters.

Putting up his favorite letter (backwards!).

Getting closer to being finished!

He was happy with his work, but he still wouldn't look at the camera!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mommy, You're The Best Cooker!

I tried 2 new recipes tonight; a chicken recipe and a peach cobbler.  I made the Fragrant Rosemary Lemon Chicken in the crockpot, green beans, mashed potatoes and homemade rolls.  For dessert - peach cobbler!  Nom, nom, nom! 

I now know how to take giblets (is that what they're called? ewww!) out of a chicken, and I also learned how to truss a chicken!  All of this from a gal who HATES touching raw meat!  It turned out great. Elliott said, "Mommy you're the best cooker!"  You can find the recipe at t     

This was also my first attempt at making a peach cobbler, or any cobbler for that matter!  It called for canned peaches, but we used fresh - yum!  I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out because I had to make some substitutions to accommodate our food intolerances/allergies. The boys helped me with most of the steps and they were great helpers, as always.  Oliver doesn't normally like peaches, but he ate a whole slice while we were mixing!  He's just like his brother; he likes to try the dishes out while he's making them!  After an enjoyable night outside (even though it was very HOT and HUMID) with the 6 of us (the dogs were there, too),  we came in the house to have dessert.  It was sooooo good!  MUCH better than I thought it was going to be.  That's definitely a dessert I'm going to dog-ear in the recipe book.

I caught a few pics of the boys eating the cobbler.


Monday, August 15, 2011

We Love to Pretend

Whenever there is a rainy day at our house Elliott wants to "make a fortress out of blankets" (from the book, "If You Give a Pig a Party").  This time we were pretending our fort was a police station and we were police officers.  I thought we needed some uniforms to go with the theme.  Elliott wore a police shirt (one of Greg's blue shirts) and Oliver decided to be a fireman and wore a fireman jacket - it didn't stay on very long.  I also found a pattern on line for a police hat.  The boys colored them, I cut them out and we all helped glue.  Oliver's hat lasted about 2 minutes before it was torn into pieces.  Elliott was happy to wear his!

Elliott working hard on his hat.

Oliver getting ready to do some coloring.

Elliott in his uniform - I think he stuck out his tongue because he didn't want his picture taken!  Lil' Stinker! 

 A favorite activity of ours is pretending to be super heroes!  On this day Elliott was Super Man, Oliver was Super Boy and I was Super Woman!


Taking the Alphabet Outside

On Tuesday of last week the boys were still sick, but we were able to spend some time outside playing with chalk on the patio and enjoying the cool morning after the rain.  I had an idea to start writing the alphabet around the patio.  This provided us with many games!  

We started just by stepping on each letter while singing the alphabet song.  This was great for Elliott because it helped him slow down while singing so he didn't run all of the letters together in the song.  His version, when he's not going slow, includes (you'll have to sing it to get the full effect), " A B C D E F G H I J J come and pee, Q R S......."  

Next we played "Musical Letters."  Just like Musical Chairs - we walked along the alphabet and when the music stopped, we stopped and took turns telling each other the letter we were standing on. 

I brought out a pair of old socks that were balled together and we took turns throwing the socks onto a letter.  The person not doing the throwing had to name the letter the socks landed on.  This was getting tricky because Oliver kept taking the socks and throwing them some where else!

Eventually we just ran around the letters as fast as we could! It wasn't really a game, but it was fun! 

Later on that week we used the sidewalk chalk to draw roads on our driveway for the bikes.  I wrote letters in the middle of the roads.  We pretended that when you drove over a letter and said the letter's name it gave you power to go "super fast!"  I didn't get pictures of this, but now I'm wishing I had taken some.  I just love that Elliott is at the point of recognizing and naming letters!  Such a fun stage!

Sick Boys = Movie, Cuddles.....and Baking in the Car!

Our week started off with both Elliott and Oliver being sick.  Bummer!  This provided plenty of time for movie watching and lots of cuddling!

The boys spent some time with Daddy watching Toy Story on the couch.

And they loved watching movies on our bed!

When they started feeling a little better we made cookies and baked them in the car!  Thanks to my awesome neighbor Kenna for the idea!  Elliott thought it was too funny we were putting them in the car and not the oven!  

Heading out to the car!

Putting them in to bake!

The cookies were out there for about 3 hrs. It wasn't as hot this day as I thought it was going to be, and you can see it the picture there were quite a few clouds.  The cookies didn't turn out that great, but the boys didn't care!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Painting With Feet

We finally had a 'cooler' morning here yesterday, and by cool I mean upper 80s/lower 90s!  The boys and I ate breakfast outside on the play-set, and an unwanted visitor came and had a taste of Elliott's food!  Silly bee!  We moved to the patio only to have our little dog Rocky eat some of Oliver's oatmeal.  It was so nice outside that I knew we needed to do as much as possible while it was not a thousand and one degrees!  Here are some pics of our morning activity!

I cut open a cardboard box and squirted it with finger paint.

The boys couldn't wait to stomp in the paint!  I put them in shorts and had a bucket of water and towels on hand for an easy clean up.
They stomped and stomped and....

...they slid around a bit, too!
At some point it turned into a finger painting activity!

Elliott sat right down in the paint!

As you can see they were happily covered in paint at the end! 
This was such a fun morning!  After I wiped them off we jumped in the pool for a morning swim!  What a great way to start the day!

P.S.  There are still footprints all over our patio.  I would wash them off, but we are conserving water because of the lack of rain.  Besides, I don't really mind looking at the footprints, they are pretty cute!

Ice Ice Baby! It's Hot Out There!

It's been so hot lately I was looking for a cool activity to do outside with the boys.  I found this great activity over at Crafts -N- Things for Children.  We filled up a plastic container with water and added some things we had around the house. The boys and I talked about which things were floating and sinking as we added them to the water.  After the boys played in the water a bit they helped me put it in the freezer.  Later that afternoon we took it outside to see what would happen!  Elliott and Oliver had a great time watching the ice melt and trying to figure out which items were going to come out next.  After the ice was melted we came inside and the boys drew pictures of the activity in their journals.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fire Station Visit and Craft

A couple of weeks ago we went with our friends, Shannan and Christopher, to visit a local fire station.  Before we went Elliott and I did a fire truck craft.  I found the idea over at Crafts -N- Things for children  It was simple; we used construction paper shapes with glue sticks.  After we put the fire on the building we decided to add smoke by using cotton balls, we colored the cotton balls with a gray marker to make them look smokey. As soon as I print the pictures I'm going to add a pic of Elliott to the cab of the fire truck.

This was Elliott's favorite part!!!

Elliott is really focusing!

Elliott and Christopher

Looks like a real fire fighter!

Oliver trying out the hat.

Elliott liked using his Little People's fireman and truck to pretend with the craft we made.

Elliott's craft