Sunday, June 19, 2011

We Love to Learn Through Play and Tot School

I love being a stay-at-home mom and feel really blessed spending my days with my son in this way. I also love taking pictures of all the things we are doing and sharing them with other moms doing the same. We've been on the go during the months of May and June so it's been a while since I've posted something. I combined a lot of pictures from those weeks here. I love that we have so many fun things to do where J is learning too.

Tot School
**J is 36 months old**

Piano Horn

I continue to introduce new musical experiences for J, and found this piano horn on Amazon. He loves it. I also have a little accordion that he usually asks me to play. He will get out the instruments when daddy gets home and tells me we're going to put on a concert for daddy. Something daddy enjoys.

Getting Outside
On this day, J wanted me to set up the bowling pins. His interest didn't last very long though, and we moved on to kicking around and chasing the ball.

Coloring is still a favorite

Coloring never fails to be something that J loves to do. I printed out a picture for God Made the Summer coloring page at Ministry to Children, a website I have been visiting a lot and J says, "You're going to love this one mommy." He told me he was going to use all kinds of colors. I have this one hanging up on our kitchen cupboard. Markers are his all-time favorite to use, but he just can't remember to put the lids back on and too many were drying out. We switched to colored pencils and now he loves those too.

Sorting with Tongs
I love these Triceratops tongs that we found at the Learning Express Toys store at our mall. He is getting really good at picking up things like these little pom poms and sorting them. He has also had fun trying to figure out what else he can pick up with them. He's learning that some things are heavy and some things are light, like his blankie.

Playing with beads, stones and colored stars

In the first picture, J took the little half moon stones and said he was making a moon tunnel. We had all the beads in a bowl and he was stirring them. I like how he then took the colored beads and put them around the wooden spoon. Then he was sorting them by color.

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

A caterpillar hitched a ride home one day. We found him on the hood while getting out of the car. I decided to keep him and after a little research discovered he was an Eastern Tent Caterpillar that will turn into a moth. We were feeding it buck thorn leaves which it seemed to like, but after several days of that he ended up dying. My son seemed to forget about our little experiment, so I haven't mentioned that our little caterpillar didn't make it. I'll be keeping my eye out for caterpillars this summer, since this is a fun project.

Doing Puzzles

This continues to be a good activity for J since it really challenges him, and challenges his patience. He sometimes needs a little help with this particular puzzle, but today for the first time he put it together completely on his own.

Discovering the Squirt Bottle
J discovered the squirt bottle! This has provided hours of endless fun. He loves toting it inside or outside and squirting things like the carpet or the wall. In the first two pictures, I let him squirt in the bathroom and nothing was really off limits since it was just water. He had the most fun watching himself and squirting the mirror. Now he will follow me out to the garden when I'm watering and always has to bring the squirt bottle. He tells me he's going to help make the plants grow by "watering" with me. It is so cute to see him out there with me squirting away at the plants as I water them with the hose. The picture above is the gear he puts on before we go watering. I just love it (Thomas boots, "Cars" gardening gloves, bug net, fire helmet).

Mr. Potato Head
He still enjoys playing with his Mr. Potato Head. This time he had fun putting his stickers all over it.

Fine Motor Play and Color Sorting
We found my old pillbox that I (thankfully) don't have any use for now after my depression. J just loves opening and closing the little boxes. It has several rows of varying colors with yellow, pink, blue and purple rows. He brought it out and asked me to get my colored beads so he could put them in the matching window. We also used colored pom poms and he has been doing this over and over again, sorting the beads/pom poms into the right colored box. He even took it with him in the car one day to play while we were on the road.

Finger Painting

We haven't done finger painting in a LONG time! I loved watching J's expressions as he started out the project and then saw his progress. He would select the color and show me where he wanted it and then he'd mush it around and have a ball.

See what others are up to at The Play Academy on the Nurture Store blog.

play academy

Thanks so much for visiting!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Welcome to My Home

Welcome to My Home!

I was so excited to finally get my garden planted yesterday and I decided to take some pictures. I ended up going around the entire house (condo) taking pictures of everything growing and doing a little picture tour of the yard. I really am enjoying our yard as things have greened up and blooms are opening. I thought it would be nice to share a tour of our sweet, little yard.

Some background thoughts first ... as I was digging in the yard, praying for the Lord to bless our little harvest and just enjoying the smell and feel of the earth, my mind wandered back to a former time, a much darker time. I was remembering 3 summers ago being in the midst of the darkest time in my life suffering from post partum depression with psychosis and severe anxiety. As I sat in the garden just thinking upon that time, it was hard to believe that was real. Back then, I had absolutely no desire to do anything in the yard. No desire to be outside. No desire to do anything but sit in a big armchair in the living room and stare out at nothing. Whenever these memories flood back, I just thank the Lord for his faithfulness. No words can express the gratitude that wells up in my heart that he healed me.

I remember the words of Psalm 30 verse 2:

LORD my God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me.


And now ... Enjoy the tour ...

View of our front porch with New Guinea Impatiens and Clematis Vine

My Humble Garden
(6 tomato plants, 2 zucchini, 2 yellow squash, 2 sweet banana peppers)

The Flower Garden
(Iris, Daisies, Lillies, Russian Sage, Periwinkle, Clematis, Purple Columbine;
only purple iris in bloom)

Wider View Showing the Sandbox and Bird Feeders and the privacy fence in the back yard

Peach Iris in Bloom Outside Privacy Fence

Close Up of the Lovely Peach Iris

A little visitor (Chickadee) in the Bird Bath

This is actually my neighbor's front door with a beautiful Lilac Bush
(the scent is amazing)

This is at the end of our front walkway; a barrel with Blue Flax Flowers

Close up of the Blue Flax
Purple Iris Patch
Lillies soon to bloom
Close up of the Purple Iris
Mint in containers; for Mint Tea and Mint Mojitos

Thanks for visiting!