Friday, April 29, 2011

Parting Shots from April

Wow!  The fourth month of the year is over.  Where does the time go?
Here are just a few photos to end the month...I got a new lens for my camera (after a drop of the camera in Venice broke the other lens).  It's big--and it takes pretty good pictures, too!

After the camera fell again last Saturday (and a little Dr. Pepper spilled on it as I tried to save it from falling) Ted is wondering if I might be dropping it intentionally with the hopes of getting a new camera...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Buona Pasqua

 Here we are in Italy, celebrating our first Easter.  Admittedly, we did very little Italian-culture wise.  Might have been good to learn some of that and partake, but instead...

We had a Cascarones party with some of our friends from the co-op.  Interestingly, research on the world wide web suggests that the confetti filled egg tradition popular in Latin American communities might actually have been an Italian gift-giving tradition before morphing into something associated with Easter.

So, perhaps we were being slightly Italian.  Mostly, we were just having fun chasing each other and smashing eggs on each others' heads

and making a big mess with our friends.

Additionally, there were our usual holiday traditions.  We enjoyed the Seder dinner hosted by the chapel.
 I like that Lucy wore her "crown" to dinner.

Saturday night we spent opening the Resurrection Eggs and making our Resurrection buns to enjoy Sunday morning.
 Mary was enjoying some of the marshmallow early.
And then there's Sunday!  No pictures of the finished buns--but trust me when I tell you they were DEE-lish!
Everyone all dressed up in their finest:

After worship, we enjoyed brunch at the Club--we haven't had Easter Brunch at the base club in years.  We came home and eagerly began reading the final chapter of Amon's Adventures.  The Easter story that correlates with the Advent stories about Jotham, Bartholomew and Tabitha was a highlight of our Lent.

And then it was the much anticipated egg hunt!  Thanks to my mom for sending 60 filled eggs for the kids.  Those plus the golden eggs from Ted's mom and the empty eggs from Ted and me were scattered throughout our yard, and the hunt was on!

Candy in some, money in one, and an empty egg that they could exchange for a better gift (kinda' like the better gift from the empty tomb)--we had some happy chicks.

Buona Pasqua!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Medieval Times Lapbook

A little slow in getting this up...Cory's project was a lapbook focused on medieval times, and specifically knights.  All things knights. 
As we worked on his project we kept having to add more and more pages because he had so much he wanted to share. 

Here's the lapbook as you first open it.  A blue tab with booklets about becoming a knight, the armor and swords a knight would use, the seige machines, and a comparison of wooden and stone castles.
When the blue flap is lifted up, theres are even more booklets!  More weapons (no surprise), information about the feudal system of the medieval times, table manners, and common animals.
The red flap opens to reveal more about the people who would live in castles and manors, and a bibliography of sorts of the books we used to find our information.
And then, the last flaps, the two green ones, open to show what he learned about the Middle Ages, castle building, heraldry, entertainment and the Armor of God.
Here's Cory with the lapbook completely opened.
But it wasn't all books and writing--he also used what he learned to create a medieval scene with his PlayMobil toys
And then he fashioned a couple of weapons and challenged his sister to a friendly fight.

After we closed the lapbook, he brought out a book on sharks, read a chapter and then asked if we could start a Shark lapbook.   That's my boy.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Another First

Last weekend was a beautiful spring weekend and the last before baseball started.  We took advantage of a free Saturday to explore the area by geocaching.  Our first geocache in Italy!  We found parking and munched on a light lunch at a "playground."  Really, it was only a small merry-go-round and an itty-bitty slide--not a playground by American standards for sure.  However, behind us was the sound of the rushing water from the springs, beside us were stunning mountain views, and the kids found plenty of thrills on the merry-go-round, so no one complained.

We started at a mountain spring in Gorgazzo.  It's a lovely little spot, with a restaurant where we got some ice cream pops for the kids, took some pictures and enjoyed the views before we started searching. 

Isn't that blue water beautiful?  And of course, the girl!

I was pretty sure that hearing Cory scream "I found it!" from the nearby woods was not the best way to keep the whole geocaching game from "muggles," but kids will be kids, and ours can rarely contain their excitement upon finding the cache. 

After logging our find in the journal, we headed along the mountain highway towards another little village with more water and another cache.  We loved walking around the trail here, and since the kids were a little hot they enjoyed the cold spring waters on their faces and necks. 

The search for this cache was not as successful.  It seemed as though the clue might have lost something in translation--I'm just not quite sure what it meant.  Something about even ostriches flying.  I bet it makes perfect sense as an Italian idiom, but not in English.  In addition to the difficult clue, there were enough snakes hiding in the wall crevices that we Ted became a little leery about searching too hard for the cache.  Clue and snake problems aside, this was a beautiful place to spend a picture perfect day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ladybug Lapbook

 One of our favorite ways to do school is through a popular method called a lapbook.  Lots of information on the internet make this even easier--a few simple searches online and you find creative people who have already created little booklets that you can print and use.  We've done lapbooks on George Washington, space, Italy, and Little House on the Prairie, to name a few.  Recently the three oldest each picked a topic to begin working on, and shortly after that Riley asked if Lucy wouldn't like to do a lapbook.  Well, of course she would!  So we found a great topic...LADYBUGS!

Here is the front of the lapbook, a manila folder, cleverly refolded

 to open like this when it's finished
Between the beginning and end product, Lucy worked on all the parts.
Here are some close-ups of a few of the things we did:
Counting the dots on a ladybug and matching them to a flower with the printed number

Writing the numbers 1-10

Beginning concepts of odd and even (this is on the back of the folder)

Language Arts-
Reading The Grouchy Ladybug and retelling the story using pictures of animals in the story
Recognizing the letters A-Z
Recognizing letters a-h in a dot-to-dot

Listening and reciting a poem, listening to a story (about none other than Lucy Ladybug!)

Beginning word sounds, L is for...

Parts of a ladybug/writing numbers

Ladybug collage
Paper plate ladybug, reviewing parts and symmetry (this was not in the lapbook, but went along with the unit)

It was a fun unit, and we are using her completed lapbook to play with and review.  She loves to go through the animals of The Grouchy Ladybug and say "If you insist!"  Cory's lapbook will be finished tomorrow!  Pictures on his will follow soon.

And here are some links to where I found a lot of the printables:
One of my favorite lapbook sites, Homeschool Share.
Another great lapbook resource, Lapbook Lessons.