Welcome to TwoCowgirls, the blog about our crazy life in Downtown Saint Paul!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Two Cowgirls Preschool - Letter T

Apple Song (Sung to the tune of Itsy Bitsy Spider)

Once a little apple seed was planted in the ground.
Down came the soft rain, falling all around.
Out came the sun as bright as it could be,
And that little apple seed grew up to be a tree!

Here's what we did in preschool this week:

Day 1:  As part of our schedule with Wee Folk Art, we studied wool.  Today we read the book How We Use Wool, by Chris Oxlade.  It was a bit lengthy, so I skipped over most of it.  We just read the "bold" parts, and talked about the pictures.  She could relate to the book a lot because she has had a lot of experience visiting The Farm People's sheep.  When we were done with the book, she worked on her letter T worksheet.  Afterwards, she played a fun counting matching game that I drew up.  I cut out fall shapes out of construction paper, and drew bugs on them.  She had to match up the leaves with the same number of bugs on them.  When she finished with the matching, the shapes made a lovely necklace.  

Day 2:  We started out The Song of the Thrift Fairy, and writing her name.  After that, we read the book Pelle's New Suit by Elsa Beskow. The illustrations are gorgeous and the story is sweet.  I love everything Elsa Beskow has done!  When we were done with that book, she tried her hand at weaving, just like Pelle's mother.  I was impressed with how fast she picked this up :)

Outings:  Since we were studying apples, it was my intention to go to an apple orchard this week.  But, life happened, and we didn't make it.  We did, however, do a really fun Autumn activity.  We went to the Children's Museum to do some art!  They had out Fall colored paint, and fun props to paint with; pumpkins, corn, etc. 

When the girls were done painting, they had fun playing in the sensory bin for a while.  The bin contained leaves, bark, plastic animals, and gourds.  Elise liked running her hands through it all, and Millie made a food chain out of the little plastic animals.  I've been meaning to put together a similar sensory bin for Elise to play with during school, but I haven't had a chance.  This was the next best thing!  

Each week the art room changes, so I think we'll try to make it over there once a week during recess to get a little art on our schedule.

Check out what other homeschoolers have been up to this week, here!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The First Few Weeks of Homeschool

It seems that I could change the name of my blog to "All About Elise," lately.  Per my Moms request (Hi Mommy!), here is what Millie has been up to during her first 3 weeks of 3rd grade:

She met up with a bunch of friends to do a service project for Great River Greening, where they gathered acorns to be planted (the goal is 100,000 acorns!)

We get outside as much as possible while we still can.  Here she's stopping to smell the roses.

We went apple picking with her BFF.  The kids were more interested in playing with the dogs and climbing the trees, then actually picking apples.  Apple picking is hard work!  It's the first time we've ever done it.

She went geocaching for her first time.

She was super energized when she got to see a nucleus inside a cell through her microscope.  Her excitement was priceless! 

Along with a lot of great outings with friends, she read Animal Stories and started reading The Secret Garden.  She's learning about (and is really enjoying) Native Americans.  We've done some really cool activities with this, like painting rocks (like in The Birchbark House, which we just finished today), making hominy, watching video clips about the Seminole, and visiting the Dakota exhibit at the Minnesota History Museum).  She's working really hard at her piano lessons.  And, lastly, she's actually enjoying Language Arts this year, and her printing is really improving. 

It's been a busy 3 weeks!  If you ask her what her favorite subjects are in school, she'll say "History and Science".  And, she doesn't say "I hate math" anymore, which is HUGE.  Yay!  

Two Cowgirls Preschool - Letter L

Autumn winds begin to blow (blow)
Colored leaves fall fast and slow (move hands to show falling leaves)
Twirling, whirling all around (turn around a few times)
Until at last, they touch the ground (fall to the ground)

Our theme for this weeks was Autumn.

As part of our daily circle time, Millie reads a book to Elise, that coordinates with our weekly theme.  It allows Millie to practice reading aloud (which is something that can easily go by the wayside if I don't intentionally schedule it in).  This week she read Mouse's First Fall by Lauren Thompson, The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Lois Ehlert, and The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri.  All have great illustrations!

Here's what we did this week:

Day 1:

Today we read the book Tractor (Machines at Work) by DK Publishing, worked on her Letter L worksheet, and played Hi Ho Cherry O.  Playing the game was a great reminder that preschoolers need reminders about how to play fairly ;)  She was a pro at taking turns and putting the correct amount of cherries back in her bucket if she lost, by the end of the day.

Day 2:

Today we read the book The Rusty, Trusty Tractor by Joe Cowley.  This book was so cool!  It reminded me so much of Grandpa Howard and his tractors.  I need to remember to bring it to him to read next time...  After that we practiced writing "Elise", read about the lily of the valley flower fairy (one of my favorites!).  Millie joined Elise when they made Autumn wreaths using items they gathered the day before at the park.

As for getting out and doing a fun preschool activity?  We went to story time at the library.  Millie met a new friend, we saw some old friends, our old daycare lady was there with her kids, it was great fun!

Of course, I want to give credit to the blogs/website that inspire me on my preschool journey:
Jan Brett Printables (they're so pretty!) 

Elise's Candy Shoppe Birthday Party

My baby is four!  She requested a candy shoppe themed birthday party.

Here's what we did today:
10 people came to celebrate with Elise today!  "The Farm People", Grandma Suzie, Grandpa Roger, Aunt Kim, cousins Ben & Patrick, Millie, and of course Mommy and Daddy.

It would be a Candy Shoppe party without lots of candy!  Notice the Lego candy?  It's so cool, and works just like Lego's, too!

Silly girl

Pretty smile

Grandpa Howard gave rides in the Model T.  Everyone had a blast!

She blew out one candle at a time :)

Buttercream Frosting 

1 c soft butter
4 c powdered sugar
1.5 t vanilla
8 T heavy whipping cream

Combine butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl.  Beat with a mixer until combined.  Add the heavy whipping cream and continue to beat until smooth.  

She's already decided that next year, she's having a Barbie party. I better keep my eye on Pinterest for Barbie party ideas.  ;)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Two Cowgirls Preschool - Letter K k

This week was a blur.  As much as I wish our homeschool day was easy and slow, it is not.  In fact, we didn't finish everything we set out to do.  We did, however, have time for preschool!  Here's what we did this week:

I Love My Family

Some families are big (spread arms wide)
Some families are small (bring arms close together)
But I love my family (cross arms over chest)
Best of all!

Our focus during circle time this week was "Family".  We talked about the structure of different families.  We read some great books; Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs by Tomie de Paola and The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant.  

Day 1:  

We worked on our "letter K" worksheet (not nearly as interesting as the "letter I" worksheet, evidently) and read Beatrice's Goat by Page Miller.  The big event for the day was making butter!  It was pretty amazing, and tasted great!

How to Make Butter:
Put about an inch of heavy whipping cream in a jar with a waterproof lid.  Sprinkle in a dash of salt.  Then, start shakin'!  You can also put it in a mixer.  Keep mixing/shaking until the cream passes the "whipped cream" phase, all the way until you get a hard blob of butter in the middle of your jar/bowl surrounded by buttermilk.  

Day 2:

We started out the day reading The Song of the Kingcup Fairy by Cicely Mary Barker, writing Elise's name, and reading Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens.  Our big activity for the day was to bake bread to go with the homemade butter.  The recipe for herb bread suggested by Wee Folk Art sounded really (REALLY!) good, but I don't have a bread maker, so I used my old reliable recipe for sandwich bread.  Yum!  

I'm starting to adjust to our new schedule (a bit more than last week, anyways).  Next week I'm hoping to add a fun preschool outing into the mix!  

Of course, I want to give credit to the blogs/website that inspire me on my preschool journey:
Jan Brett Printables (they're so pretty!) 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Two Cowgirls Preschool - Letter I i

School Poem

Today I hurry off to school, 
To work and learn and play.
I'm in a brand new grade this year.
What a happy day!!

Welcome to our first week of preschool...ever!  We had a fantastic time warming up to the idea of doing school at home. We dedicate one hour, two days per week to preschool work, plus field trip time.
We started out each day with circle time, in which we sang the alphabet, counted the days in the month, talked about holidays (dads birthday), sang the Back To School Poem, and Millie read a story about going back to school to Elise.  
We're using Wee Folk Art as our guide this year.  This week we focused on vegetables, and how produce and milk gets from the farm to our table.  

Day 1: Today we practiced writing the letter "I".  Elise is one of those kids that loves worksheets!  It was my intention to only have her trace two or three of the "I's" on the sheet, but she insisted on finishing, then asked for a blank sheet so she could write more.  We read the book The Vegetables We Eat, by Gail Gibbons, and learned about the different categories of veggies.  Next, we made some salt dough, and turned it into lots of mini veggies for the toy farm. I know this was beyond fun, because Millie could barely concentrate on her 3rd grade work.  Of course, we let her join in on preschool today, too!  Here's the recipe for the salt dough:

Salt Dough Recipe

1 C salt
2 C flour
3/4 c room temperature water
1 T vegetable oil

Bake at 200 degrees for several hours.

Day 2:
Today we read about Cicely Mary Barkers Iris flower fairy, to continue our "I" topic.  We read the book Milk: From Cow to Carton by Aliki.  I love the illustrations in this book!  I pretty much love anything by Aliki.  When we were done reading, we started mixing up the paint (this was a lesson in itself!  Elise had a blast mixing primary colors to create purple, green, and brown!  She thought it was pretty amazing).  When Millie was done with her 3rd grade work, we started painting our veggie creations from yesterday.  They turned out great, don't you think?  When preschool was over, we took a walk down to the farmers market to get some veggies direct from the farmer!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day Of School!

Hello 3rd grade and PreK!!

So far so good!  At the moment, Elise is playing with her farm set (we're learning about how food goes from the farm to our table at preschool this week), and Millie is writing a story about a guinea pig and two rabbits.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

End Of Summer - Bucket List Progress

Today is the last day of Summer vacation!  Clearly I've given up on my Week In Pictures series.  Oops!  We had a fabulous Summer, made lots of memories, and spend lots of time with people we love.  Now it's time for me to take a look at my Bucket List, and see how much of my list I completed.  
  1. Go geocaching
  2. Go to the Hastings car show on date night with Bud
  3. Go kayaking with Bud
  4. Catch fireflies in a jar
  5. Go camping at the farm
  6. Make s'mores
  7. Play with fireworks
  8. Can or freeze something 
  9. Spend a day helping at the farm
  10. Dance together at the history center
  11. Read the Little House series to the kidlets
  12. Run the entire way on the river portion of my jogging/walking loop
  13. Meet Bud on Harriet Island after work for a dinner picnic with the kids
  14. Go to the beach
  15. Bake a pie
  16. Watch fireworks on the 4th of July
  17. Have a lemonade stand
  18. Go miniature golfing
  19. Stop for Icees on a hot day
  20. Float a boat down the creek
  21. Attend a concert in Mears Park
  22. Brainerd vacation
  23. Play at a new park
  24. Bike along the Mississippi as a family
  25. Have an awesome birthday party for Millie
  26. Go on rides at Como Town
  27. Play in the splash area at the MN Zoo
  28. See the dinosaurs at the zoo
  29. Go to a Sparky show
  30. Order homeschool supplies for next year
  31. Go on a boat ride
  32. Vacation bible school
  33. Go to a parade
  34. Day Camp
  35. Rollerblading with Elise 
  36. Ride the carousel at Como
  37. Have a garage sale
  38. Nature study
  39. Swimming lessons
  40. Lots of park playdates with friends
  41. Go to the state fair
  42. Go to a county fair
  43. Have a beer at a patio bar with friends
  44. Teach Millie how to sew
  45. Book-A-Wocky
  46. Play with sidewalk chalk
  47. Go to the farmers market, a lot!
  48. Go to the Eagle center in Wabasha
  49. Tour a cave
  50. Read a Ramona and Beezus book to the girls
Oooooooh, 31/50.  That's not great.  Wow, I guess I should have been looking at my list throughout the entire Summer so I'd remember to complete some of the events.  :(  Well, it's not too late.  The beauty of homeschooling is that we can still do some of these Summer things during the day in the Fall!  

Here's to a fantastic Labor Day (spent at the farm, with family, food, fun), and a great school year (I have butterflies in my tummy already)!