A dinosaur party!

My mom and sisters came up for a visit over Spring Break. Taking advantage of the extra adult help, I planned to throw Lance a birthday party while they were here.


Lance flashes his perfect grin, celebrating four years with a green dinosaur cake.


The first activity was making “cave drawings” inside a box. It was funny to hear a dozen crayons and markers simultaneously rubbing over the ribbed cardboard.


Lance loved this activity and stayed at the task longer than any of the other kids, taking pains to decorate the outside as well.


Next was a pre-historic fossil dig! The previous day we had made a coffee dough and pressed plastic bugs and such into it to make “fossils”.


Lance finds a dinosaur egg!


Grammy also brought some real dinosaur bones (cow bones from the back pasture).


This very much impressed the kids!


After everything had been found, re-hidden, and found again, we proceeded to crack open the dino eggs.


What was inside?


Baby dinosaurs of course!


The kids piled up a mountain of sand and we had a baking soda and vinegar volcano! Must have been quite a turbulent time for the dinosaurs because there were multiple eruptions on several mountains.


It became quite a status symbol to have your baby dinosaur engulfed in hot lava.


For lunch we had stegosaurus sandwiches – each mom preparing one for their kid – along with “lava juice” (red koolaid).


Then came cake and presents. Funny thing about the candles, it was super windy but once we got them lit, Lance could hardly blow them out!


Aunt Katie gave Lance some toy dinosaurs. He and Ivy played with them for over an hour while we sat around and talked until naptime.


Thanks to my mom and sisters for all their help making a fun day for a special little boy!


Due to business and mommy being to tired to do anything some days, this unit stretched over two weeks instead of the original half week as planned. We still managed to do some fun stuff though.


We read a book about our eyes each day. Here Ivy checks out her eye color and finds her pupil. We also looked at our reflections in mirrors and any other shiny surface in the house. It’s so cute to hear the kids use words like “fwection” and “iris” or tell me that “something is in my eye” just like what happens in the book we read.


I found a cute binocular project online. Mostly I made them, but the kids enjoyed looking through them.


To justify the time I spent making them, we went on a “binocular walk” – the kids would “see” something through their binoculars, we’d then go over to that item and look for something else from there.


Flora liked using hers as a trumpet.


We tried out different types of eyewear. Lance models the goggles.


Ivy sees the world in a new color.


Flora styles the pipe cleaner glasses. She especially enjoyed being held up to the mirror so she could see her new face wear.


The older kids played a game of visual memory. Three items on a piece of paper, they would close their eyes and I would take one away. Then they had to tell me what was missing. They both did pretty good at this.


We read the story of Jesus healing the blind man. Then I put blindfolds on them and we talked about what it was like to not see. We used our other senses to experience the world, then they were “healed” and took the blindfolds off. They were able to see things they would have missed, like the color of the building, or a little puppy running around. Lance retold the story several times.

This is the verse they memorized for the senses of taste and sight. It’s Psalm 34:8 if you can’t quite understand what they say.

O taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.

Our senses – Tasting

A trip to the Dentist inspired a new topic of learning – teeth and tasting. I ran to the library the morning of our appointment to find a book on dentists and prepare the kids.


Lance bravely takes his place in the dentist chair – showing off his brushing job.


The dentist examines his teeth – no cavities! All three kids checked out and did very well for their first experience. Mom and Dad passed with flying colors as well. The hit of the visit was when the kids were given helium balloons – such big smiles!


Tried a math game of rolling a die then putting the number of teeth into the mouth. The kids adored the activity (and the marshmallows) but the counting part sort of went over their heads. Lance points to his “incisors.”


I printed off a teeth brushing chart. This is a big hit, though Lance didn’t want to put the stickers in the circles for some reason. The extra stickers on Ivy’s chart are from Flora, who of course wants to be a part of anything the big kids do.


We also studied the sense of taste. They learned about the four types of taste – here Lance goes for a drink after trying the “bitter” cocoa powder.


Ivy eats a salty chip.


Lance puckers over a sour lemon. He must have been hungry because he tried to eat the whole thing, peel and all! They enjoyed a candy heart for the sweet category.


Flora participates in our mouth study by learning how to use a spoon.


Found this cute idea online – the kids “brush” the tooth with paint until it’s “all clean” (totally white). Ivy really showed determination and stuck with the task until her tooth was shiny.


Lance decided to use his teeth…


And we finish the post with a nice toothy smile from Flora – she really loves her tooth brush!

Cold weather topics

Despite having a very mild winter so far, we had fun exploring the idea of colder climates.


We learned about hats, gloves and scarves and would have taken a walk wearing them except it got too warm.


We made igloos out of marshmallows – while we started out with plenty we almost didn’t have enough to finish!


Here is the finished igloo along with some penguins and a walrus that we made from play dough the next day.


Later Lance came up to me like this, declaring he was a walrus (the glue stick being his tusks I guess).


We practiced some writing skills, following a grey line to take the polar bear to the iceberg.


Lance tries his hand at circles, zig-zags and wavy lines.


After reading a Richard Scary book about a snow storm, I made snowplows out of their toy cars by taping some cardboard to the front. They pushed sugar around the pan and surprisingly never figured out what it was!

They also made a “snowstorm cake” (featured in the book) when we went to the park. This was such a fun activity (filling a small container up with sand and grass) that Lance must have made a dozen of them and wanted me to partake of each one. He also put several toys on a plate at the house and wanted to “bake” his cake in the dryer.

Joy Dare

Giving Thanks a Thousand Times.

I’ve been taking a challenge to list 3 things I’m thankful for each day this year. Mostly I record these “gifts” from God in a journal, trying to follow each day’s theme as suggested here.

Today’s theme was to find the beautiful in the ugly and give thanks for that. The gifts I found were so much fun I just had to share them with you:


In my Bible study this morning, Paul reminded me of how God takes the ugly of my weakness and fills it with the beauty of His power. (2 Cor. 12 7-10)


Having probably bit off a bit more than I needed to chew for one day, I stood in the ugliness of dishes, trying to process a quadruple batch of bread. Yet I was also looking at the beauty of what my little kitchen could produce! (6 loaves of bread, 4 dozen rolls, hamburger buns, 2 dozen cinnamon rolls)


And finally, the ugly mess of toys my kids created while playing together beautifully as I worked.

Thank you Lord for allowing me eyes to see your goodness.


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