Thursday, February 5, 2015

Babies, Whales, Penguins, and Projects

When you don't feel well or your kids are sick and you aren't sleeping well, something always has to give. For me, blogging goes out the window first. Followed closely by exercise (embarrassing to admit that, but I'm being honest--- who has the energy to exercise when you feel like you're barely hanging on to the day?). Well, I'm happy to report that all of us are mending from our colds and that the bug didn't bite us too hard. It has been much worse. Counting my blessings here. But either way, I've got catch up to do from the past 2 weeks. Accordingly, this is going to be a "recap" post. Individual posts just aren't happenin. You understand, right? and you're not judging me for it, I hope. ;)

 Mr. Emmett turned 5 months! He is our smiley, chill baby-- who hardly spends a minute on the floor without wanting to roll over onto his tummy. He hasn't figured out how to roll back onto his back, so we end up having to rescue him eventually, but he really LIKES being on his belly, so he doesn't complain much. He has successfully scooted his bum under the couch a few times and can rotate around in a circle on his tummy... putting lots of little things within his eager grasp!
 No teeth yet, but he is exploring everything with his mouth and will gum anything that gets close to him. He loves to explore textures with his fingers too--- embroidered/beaded embellishments on shirts and jackets are a clear favorite! Oh, and I think we've decided his eyes are going to be brownish with perhaps a hint of green. Still hard to say, but they are definitely not blue like his sisters. 
 We had a Family Home Evening lesson on Repentance using Jonah and the Whale. We had a wonderful felt set to play with (a combo of Keeping Life Creative's version with some storm clouds I designed, sailors and people of Ninevah from the LDS Friend, and then I shrunk KLC's version of Jonah so that he could fit on the ship with the sailors. I also added a hinge mouth to the whale because I thought that idea was cute), but the felt set in all its awesomeness is not pictured here because I forgot to go back and take a picture. 
 The girls got to practice putting pictures of themselves inside the whale (I got the idea for that at Blue Skies Ahead, but opted not to make a milk jug whale. We used a 2-D image instead) and then demonstrating what they would need to do to come out. We emphasized that though it is sad, lonely, and dark in the whale, the Lord does NOT want us to stay in there. He provided a way to come out: repentance. 

 The picture of the whale and the sticks with our pics on it were on display all week as a reminder. I can't count the number of times I had to either put a child's stick into the whale (kind of like 'you're in the dog house' only 'you're in the whale') or just ask "do you want to go in the whale? What do you think you should do right now?", but each time we helped the girls remember that they have a Savior who made repentance possible so that they could happily come out of the whale again. 

Preschool this week was all about penguins!
Caroline had a morning where she really wanted EVERYONE to come join her for preschool... so we indulged, though it made the table a little crowded. :)

We did lots of activities with these little abc guys all week. For this activity, I scattered about 7 cards around the room and called out a letter for her to find and retrieve. Lots of fun! Another game we played was matching the uppercase magnetic letter to the correct lowercase penguin. These penguins were free for printing at Gift of Curiosity. But it was really hard to choose our penguin activities because 3Dinosaurs, RoyalBaloo, and a myriad of others also have some wonderful free printables. Man, if my ink was unlimited... :)

This arctic animals tracing page is from the 3 Dinosaurs Zoo pack free printable.

We did a dice rolling game. Count out the penguins... and then eat them of course! :) Started out with one die, then added two dice so that she had to add the two together for increased difficulty. She loved this activity! (Eating the learning materials always makes the activity a hit, don't you think?) One thing I thought was observant of her was the way she started to arrange her penguins in the same configuration as pictured on the die (I didn't take a photo of her doing this, but it was neat to see her copying the composition and making connections from one 'space' to another similarly proportioned 'space'. The artist in me was pretty stoked to see her doing that because that is key to observational drawing!)

Our Penguin book club was a hit with the kiddos! We read A Penguin Story and Penguin and Pinecone. Both are adorable books! Then the kids got to practice being daddy penguins with eggs on their feet, throwing 'fish' (i.e. balls, bean bags, etc) into a box with a hungry penguin inside and singing "I'm a Little Penguin":
(tune of I'm a Little Teapot)
I'm a little penguin
black and white.
I waddle to the left
and I waddle to the right. 
I cannot fly but I can swim. 
So I waddle to the water and jump right in!

We did fun actions for the song and the kids wanted to do it over and over again!

 We made these penguin pals for our craft. I got out the heart punch for the feet and let the kids do it themselves and I think that might have been their favorite part! Originally the design was simple, but when one child wanted to add an orange scarf (because the penguin in Penguin and Pinecone wears an orange scarf) and another immediately asked about his friend pinecone, I knew we were adapting the project! who can stifle such creativity? A little ribbon, some brown acorn caps and buttons, and wuahlah! Penguins with personalized touches! 
Funny: while I was concentrating on tying that scarf on Caroline's little brown pinecone pal, I didn't notice that she had used the WHOLE pile of brown buttons and glued them to her penguin! Guess she wanted him to be stylin (or popular)!

C was pretty sure he wanted his penguins to swim in his milk. :)

On the home front, Gwen has been going perler bead crazy lately! She got a set for Christmas and was eager to try it out... again and again! She has been generous to share with Caroline (who made the above square) and eager to create both small and large designs. 

Pictured here: a purple snowflake, rainbow heart (the perfect landing pad for Toothless), and a very large penguin (that took her several hours to do!)

My friend Rachel posted recently about her projects and asked readers to comment on what they were working on... and I thought. Hmmmm. I should probably finish those stockings that I started in November thinking vainly that I could finish them by beginning of December (with preschool, Thanksgiving, and a 2 month old? What was I thinking?)... Inspired to create by her beautiful creations, I decided that I would love to work on them some more rather than snuggle down and read after the kids went to bed (the ambition to do a project came closely on the heels of feeling improved health! Amazing how that works!). I designed these critters myself (way back in October) after seeing these adorable stockings but wanting to go for an all animal motif (no Santa or snowmen here) for our family stockings. These are 3 of the 6 animals I've created (we also have a moose, raccoon, and bunny. with plans for a skunk when the times comes!). Now that they are ironed onto velvet material, I'm ready to add faces, embellishments and cute stitching to the felt/fabric. Stay tuned for more pics of the project progress!

Out of curiosity, what drops out of your life when your days are feeling weary? and what are you eager to add back in?


  1. Oh, man. When I'm sick or the kids are, everything goes. Exercise, cleaning, extra activities...we are all about survival mode around here, baby! We've been sick a ton this winter and I am ready for it to end.

    I'm loving your posts, though. I'm definitely going to steal your dice game for Eden tomorrow. What fun. I've never thought to glue pictures to felt for the felt board either. I love how you teach your children.

  2. your stocking are beautiful!! I really want to make some but I can't decide if I want to sew or crochet and I can't find enough FREE coordinating patterns in one medium. :( So I'm just using the ones we have. They might just stay around. I love your themes! I'll say it much work! but you're awesome. love you.

    Oh, and for me, exercise is definitely the first thing to go! :)

  3. You forgot to mention the drool. I'm convinced that the kid could be a competitive drooler. He's got impressive skills.