Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: Cats and Mice

A favorite spot

What's this? 


Cat and Mouse
This week I linked up with the following blog(s):

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Learning about the Alphabet: C is for Construction

Over the course of twenty-six posts, I will introduce my own simple lessons for the letters of the alphabet. I will provide enough ideas and suggestions for a week's worth of activities.

For the letter C, we focused upon Construction. 

Coloring Pages

Coloring.WS from DLTK's Construction Vehicle Coloring Pages
Super Coloring's Construction Vehicle Coloring Pages 



Our neighbors recently had their driveway removed and repaved, which prompted my son to ask lots of questions about the equipment and construction in general on our walk to the library. He went to the library hoping to find books about Bob the Builder, but sadly our library doesn't have any about this famous TV contractor. Our librarian did pull out a half-dozen books on construction including Bulldozers by Jean Eick.  My son looked over the book selection and chose two (this one and One Big Bulldozer by Michael Dahl).

We both enjoyed Eick's Bulldozers book with the many photographs, explanations, and definitions.  The book explores what constitutes a bulldozer, how they are used, the different parts, and tools -- as well as how they are used worldwide. 

Bulldozers teaches its readers several things in addition to facts about the construction vehicle. One can learn mathematics when Eick discusses the weight and height and geography with the inclusion of the world map when reading "Where in the world can you find a bulldozer?"

I would recommend this book to families of budding contractors from preschool to early elementary-aged children. We will also be looking for the others in the series. 

Featured Shape 

As so many construction vehicles have a rectangle as a base for the truck, practicing drawing rectangles this week is perfect. 

For example, when I sketched a fire truck for my children to color, I used three rectangles along with three circles and a trapezoid. has a Basic Shapes Dump Truck Craft that is perfect for this week! 



Make a dump truck-themed cake to share. Your kids will love to help not only with the decorating but also with the eating of the cake!


My kids love Melissa and Doug puzzles. They received this construction-themed one for Christmas. 

Painting with Trucks 

Use some of your children's older trucks and cars to paint. Run the trucks through paint on a tray and have them make tracks on paper.  If you use large paper, you can even turn it into wrapping paper for a party when it dries. 

Other Topics


There are so many possibilities to teach children about colors. Here a few fun ones to try with your children. 

Create a chameleon and talk about camouflage. 

Learn about color mixing with ice cubes.

Enjoy a rainbow salad with your children. 


Kindergarten Worksheets and Games Alphabet Resources 
Tots and Me..Growing Up Together's R is for Rice and Rainbow Sensory Fun 

I joined up with the following blog(s): 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Heirloom Audio Productions' Wulf the Saxon Audio Theater CD Review

G.A. Henty; Christian Radio Theatre; The Battle of Hastings

I am reviewing the newest release from Heirloom Audio Productions which brings to life the story of G.A. Henty's Wulf the Saxon.  It tells the tale of England before the Battle of Hasting and of the battle itself. 

On their website, Heirloom Audio Production states "we are especially passionate about bringing real history to life." 

I love this!  As a former teacher of history and a lifelong lover of all things history-related, I really appreciate a company that wants to bring history to its clients.  The stories they have chosen to share provide us with examples of "virtue and valor, daring and determination, character and courage."  Too often heroes and heroines have been removed from history books today.

Wulf the Saxon, written by G. A. Henty in 1895, tells the tale of a Saxon thane, Wulf of Steyning, loyal to King Harold Godwinson. The adventures of Wulf culminate at the Battle of Hastings.

Born in England in 1832, George Alfred Henty would live a life of adventure.  He was a sailor, fighter, and war correspondent -- and traveled to India and America, among other places.  Throughout his life, he would write over 120 books that would focus on the "moral values of loyalty, courage, honesty, and perseverance." (For more on Henty, see Heirloom Audio Productions' article, Just Who was G.A. Henty?) His stories make for great audio dramas for families with older children and teens.

G.A. Henty; Christian Radio Theatre; The Battle of Hastings
I was very excited to see the cast of Wulf the Saxon. Brian Blessed, with whom I am familiar due to the Blackadder series and the movie, Flash Gordon, brings Henty to life in this audio drama.  Blessed engages the listener much like Henty did his readers in his original tales.

It was also fantastic hearing Helen George portray a character different from that of the midwife she plays on Call the Midwife in the early years of the series.  Her Lady Edith was loving, generous, and selfless; putting her kingdom before her own needs.

Audio theater is not just a reading of the book but similar to a radio play in that the story is told through acting rather than just reading. Joining the actors are sound effects and with your imagination the scenes come alive. You could almost feel the spray from the water when Wulf is sailing during the storm. Or see the sparks as swords clashed at the Battle of Hastings.

To help my fifteen year-old stepson place Wulf the Saxon in its place in history, we pulled several books from our shelves.  We looked at pictures of the Bayeux tapestry, mentioned at the beginning of the audio drama, as well as photographs of spears and axes that were popular weapons of the day.

I asked my stepson some questions after he completed listening to disk one: What do you think it might feel like sitting in the middle of the night waiting for an attack? Should they attack the castle without the approval of their superiors? What would his recommendations be to the men scouting the castle? What might explain their feelings about fighting women?

The end of disk one leaves us on a cliffhanger. Personally, I couldn't wait to see what happened next in the story. Would they storm the castle? Would they be cautious?

G.A. Henty; Christian Radio Theatre; The Battle of Hastings

After listening to disk two, my teen and I discussed Lady Edith's sacrifice and what we could learn from her willingness to put England before her own happiness. We also talked about Lady Edith's ability to find Harold at the end of the audio drama. The idea that love is something that binds people together is a wonderful concept to be able to discuss with my teen.

The music, the sound effects, and the acting are superb. I would recommend Wulf the Saxon to anyone whether they are a fan of history or not.   

G.A. Henty; Radio TheaterIf you enjoyed the Wulf the Saxon audio theater, then be sure to check out the Live the Adventure Club. A club membership includes three 2-CD sets shipped to you, access to over 500 old-time radio shows, educational and teaching resources, and more! 

Where to find more information: 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Journaling through the Bible: The Sea

“And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; 
and when the morning appeared, 
the sea returned to its full depth, 
while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. 
So the Lord overthrew the 
Egyptians in the midst of the sea.”

Exodus 14:27 NKJV

What a wonderful image this conjures up. God so loved his people that He protected them from the ten plagues – from waters that become blood, frogs, lice, flies, diseased livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and the death of the firstborn. He then helped them escape through a sea.

I once viewed a documentary that attempted to explain natural occurrences for each of the ten plagues. While this is all very interesting, I find that – even if everything can be explained scientifically, it does not take away from the wonder of the ten plagues. God still presented the Pharaoh with multiple opportunities to see why he should let Moses and his people go but the Pharaoh chose not to do so. These events are still wondrous as the Israelites escape Egypt.

© Parkinsonsniper | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images
“So the children of Israel went into the midst of the Sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.”

Exodus 14:22 NKJV

This always reminds me of the scenes from The Prince of Egypt cartoon. Stunning. The wonder of God’s creations being held at bay to protect Moses and the Israelites.

This week I linked up with the following blog(s):

Friday, February 16, 2018

Book Club: Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill

We are talking about flamingos as part of our art study, so we picked out Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill by Jamie Harper from our library.

While the book's real focus is Fire Safety Week, it also provides lots of information regarding the different animals in the classroom and their reaction to danger.

I think my daughter's favorite pages were those that discussed primary versus secondary routes because there was a map with a legend.  She wanted to find each location on the map before we continued the story.

The book talks about pandas, elephants, birds, alligators, flamingos, proboscis monkeys, koalas, hognose snakes, pigs, octopi, and three-banded armadillos.  For example, the author provides details on how the koala howls and wails when they are upset and startled pigs run and hide when they are frightened.

Among the fire safety tips included is that of "Stop! Drop! and Roll!" My children enjoyed us taking a break from reading the book and acting it out on the floor.

Flamingo Activities 

Flamingos are really interesting birds due to some unique features.  They are not born pink but instead gain the pink color to the feathers due to the food they eat. The pink color comes from beta carotene, a red-orange pigment, that is found in high quantities in the food that flamingos eat: shrimp, algae, plankton, and larvae found in the wetlands. 

Another unique feature is the design of the flamingo's beak. The curve of their beak and neck allows them to dip their beak into the water and mud scooping up water, mud, shrimp, algae, and other possible foods.  They have a built in filtration system which allows them to remove the water while keeping the food in their mouth. They are filter feeders similar to whales who use their baleen to capture shrimp in their mouths. The flamingos use their lamellae, thin platelike structures, to filter their food. These structures are found lining their mandibles.

Beads and Buttons Craft 



1. Gather your materials. We made our own flamingos with mixed media.

2. I drew a profile of a flamingo on cardboard and cut it out.

3. Paint your flamingos pink.

 4. After they were dry we glued pom-poms, buttons, and beads onto the flamingos.

Flamingo Mask 



1. Gather all the materials.

2. I found a flamingo mask on and traced it onto cardboard.

3. We painted the masks pink using things other than just paintbrushes.

4. After the masks were dry, I cut out eyes, so they could be used as masks.

5. We drew the beak using markers.

6. My children then glued on their feathers.

7. After the glue has dried, the masks were ready for my children to play with them.

In a future post, I will share some craft ideas for teaching about Fire Safety.

Fire Safety Week Resources 

Sand In My Toes' Busy Hands: Fire Truck Shape Craft 
My Mommy Style's Letter of the day: F is for Fire
The Stuff We Do's Fire Safety Week
Homechool Preschool's Fun and Fabulous Firefighter Printables for Preschoolers

Flamingo Resources 

Glued To My Crafts' Handprint Flamingo Painting 
Glued To My Crafts' Popsicle Stick Flamingo
Crafty Morning's Easy Handprint Flamingo Craft for Kids 

I joined up with the following blog link ups: 
Homeschool Coffee Break 
Homeschool Review Crew 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Q is for Questions (Blogging Through the Alphabet)

My life is full of questions; some of which I never thought I would ask (or hear!) before I had children.

My children have asked some interesting, unusual, and sometimes cute questions of me. 

© Kovacsf | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images
"Do you mean we get to have Christmas again this year?"
"Can I have chocolate? I finished my breakfast."

"Why did I get a cup?!?"
(in reference to a gift)

We have also asked our children some questions over the years that may seem a bit unusual -- unless you also have children.

"Why are your feet in your breakfast?"

"What do you mean penne pasta tastes different than elbow macaroni?"

"Did you put the corn kernel in your nose?"

"Are you supposed to put your foot on the table?"

"Why are you eating your applesauce with your hands and not the spoon?"

And the questions their children have asked them. 

"Did you have TV when you were little or did you just play with sticks?"

"When will I be the same age as you?"

When attending church at the age of three, "Why isn't Jesus here? We all came to celebrate his birthday and he didn't even show up!"

Or when talking about Christmas angels, "You mean like Harold?"

My family and friends have also shared some of the questions they have asked their children. 

"How did you get marker all over your face?"

"Who shoved a wash rag down the bathtub drain?"

"Why are you eating a stick of butter?"

"Did you shave your arms with your sister's razor?"

What questions have you found yourself asking your children?  What questions of theirs have stopped you in your tracks?

I linked up with the following blog(s):