Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer 2015!

Summer is here! Don't worry, I survived my 9 days of work in June. Jason took off of work for two weeks and had the kids. That was nice that I didn't have to get three kids ready and out the door for my days back to work. Cecelia still had school the first week. The second week daddy had all three. The kind, caring, compassionate mother that I am even scheduled a pediatrician appointment for him to take all three kids to to get shots. Muah ha ha ha!!

So, what's on the docket for the summer? We will be busy of course but not that busy as I am a firm believer in babies sleeping in their crib for naps. My goal is to miss as few naps as possible. Thankfully, I can still get her to sleep in the Ergo when necessary but sleep on the move, from what I've always read, isn't restorative sleep... Sorry, Charlotte, third kid problems.

So, what are we going to do this summer?
  • Well, of course we have our summer list to start chopping away at! 
  • In addition to that list we have swimming lessons, a Sprecher Traveling Beer Garden (Dude- beer, brats and playgrounds. Yes, please!), playtime on the patio, playground crawls on the bike, Art in the Park and Cecelia's summer school. 
  • Of course, we are gardening and stocking our stockpile. Yesterday kicked it off... 30 lbs of strawberries, 15 pounds of snap peas, 25 pounds of peaches... YUM! 
  • Lastly, Jason is training for a century bike ride. He has found a like in bike riding. We invested in a "good" bike for him as he puts on over a hundred miles a week. Hopefully this one won't break down like the Walmart bike he has had for the last few years. 

Garden 2015- Layout

See the garden as of 6/30/15!!

See what else we are up to this summer!!!

K5 Homeschool Summer School

*updated 8/13/15 below
Yes, I am that mom. Summer school mom!! I thought about enrolling Cecelia in summer school through her school district just more socially (not necessarily for academics) but then I realized we would be locked in to a schedule of activities for those weeks, it would put a major crimp in Charlotte's naps (that her entire life was already experiencing having to take Cecelia to school and pick her up #thirdkidproblems) and that's boring for me (chauffeur).  I also knew Cecelia would have to do something this summer to avoid some summer slide as she learned A LOT this school year... even with 30 kids in her K5 class. Yes. 30.

So, I thought I'd make a little program/routine that would take about 45 minutes a day. Very doalbe during #2 and #3's naps and give Cecelia and I a little time to spend together by ourselves. She's not been getting the mommy attention lately between Charlotte and her being at school all day.

So our general outline is

My goal was for her to read at least 20 minutes (3 books a day). So she gets to pick two books and I pick one. She can choose from her raz-kids computer logon (left over from school) which is leveled for her independent level and I got a bunch of books from the library at her level. (Good thing or bad thing to have a teacher for a mommy? Yet to be determined!) She can choose from any of them in addition to the computer logon, books she has written, her ABC sounds book from k4, or some math books she made about her teen numbers in school. I then select a book to cover any skills I think she fell short at practicing that day. The little stink is really good at memorizing words and sentences in books. After one read through, she no longer needs to "work" at it. That leaves fewer opportunities to stretch out and used strategies for figuring out unknown words. Therefore, she gets frustrated easily. That mom picks book, usually one day is a new book where she can't just use the picture and initial sound of a word to nail it. She needs to find chunks or endings and put the words together. The next day I'll do a book she previously worked through so she can have another go around to not hate it! 

That mommy picks book is also a book we talk about some of the story elements. At her age setting and characters are appropriate to focus on. So we discuss then she gets to pick which to draw a picture about- her favorite part, the setting, the main character, or the characters. Thanks for the ready made pages Mrs. Jump!
Cecelia likes the Biscuit series!

After we read we are keeping track and trying to read 100 books this summer. She is keeping track on a hundreds chart and then we represent that number on ten frames. In a few more days we will have enough books read to start practicing using the ten frames to count by 5s, 10s, and 2s.

After reading she gets to rotate every other day between writing and math. We just use what she was doing in the K5 classroom and continued it at home. She even has her Writer's Workshop folder from school. I have her do about 20 minutes of either. One day last week during her "Writer's Workshop" time she wrote the book below! I'll translate phonetic spelling in captions below pictures for those that don't work in an elementary school!

"When the baby grows up by Cecelia Eiting"

"When Charlotte is 1 me and her I will teach her how to swim."
"When Charlotte is 2 I will teach her how to walk."

"When Charlotte is 3 I will teach her how to be a writer."

"When Charlotte is 4 I will teach her how to read."

"When Charlotte is 5 I will teach her how to write words."

Below is what Cecelia makes on the back of every "book" that she writes. It's the UPC code you find on the back of books in a library.... silly girl!

On the opposite day she works on a website called MobyMax. She has a login from school. I think they were using it as an intervention possibly. It's adaptive (gets harder or easier as the student demonstrates the knowledge or skill) and follows a best practice philosophy of how we now teach mathematics.

After Cecelia finishes her math or writing is the reward. READING WITH MOM. I wanted another activity to do with her and also a reward but didn't want to do stickers or candy, etc. What is better than more one on one time with mom (no siblings allowed). I also wanted to start exposing her to some different genres and authors of beginning chapter books as she will be moving into those this school year probably. Children's lit favorites like Amelia Bedelia, Arthur, Frog and Toad, Magic Tree House, Junie B Jones, ets are all ones I know she will love. With 30 in her first grade class, I wonder what sort of exploration with texts and/or how much she will actually be pushed as she is already above grade level. She may need some background knowledge on what she likes and some initiative to find those books herself!  And of course another way to make it special is we decided we would always read the last chapter at Starbucks! (Mommy is always looking for an excuse to go there!) So this week we finished her first chapter book ever. The first Magic Tree House in the series. It's almost like I planned it because there were dinosaurs in it and her zoo school this week was Dinosaur School. Boom! Our next one is an Arthur!

So, after a few chapters of our chapter book, this little summer school routine takes between 45-60 minutes. That's 45-60 minutes of alone time with my first baby!

*** UPDATE*** August 13, 2015
Today was the day! Cecelia read her 100th book of the summer (not counting bedtime books). To celebrate we are going to enjoy reading a final chapter book of the summer together. I'll give the ol' girl a 2 week break from the grind!!
Ten full ten frames is 100!

I'm so proud of my girl!!

The book we will read as the summer draws to a close... Junie B. Jones First Grader, At Last by Barbara Park of course!! Fitting, don't you think! I hope she likes it!

Father's Day 2015

This Father's Day we stuck close to home! The kids played on the patio,  Jason did yard work, Charlotte took great naps in her crib and I made some goodies in the kitchen. Nothing extravagant!

Of course we found time this week to make are for Daddy's work! He's a desk and cubicle man now!!

Not to be a Debbie Downer but can't help but think about all my dad has missed....

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Century Ride!

Jason is training for for a century ride (100 mile bike race). 100 miles...

He's enjoyed biking these last few years so we upped his game and got him a real bike. He's been putting on about 100 miles a week and is wanting to conquer a century ride.

There is a 90 mile, Race the Lake in August around Winnebago.

 The race start and ends in Fond Du Lac. It starts at 5:45am and you need to finish or be done by 1:30. Jason just went 46 miles in 2.5 hours last night, so I am sure he'll finish fine!

To train, he is following an 8 week plan.

So, daddy will be busy after work the rest of the summer. Mostly, not until after dinner!

See how daddy did here.

Strawberries? Yes, Please.

This weekend kicked off stockpiling summer at the Eiting homestead. It started with our first round of peaches on Saturday. We get them from Tree-Ripe Citrus. In a few weeks it will be blueberry season too!

Following our peaches pick-up we made a trip with Auntie Erica to Barthel Fruit Farm. We started in the strawberry fields. Coletyn and Cecelia picked one of every four for the box. They ate the other three. I think we went a bit too early and next year I am going to wait until the end of June. The berries were small still and we had to go far on a row to fill three flats.

All boy!

Up next were the snap pea fields. Everyone had a bag. Everyone had a plant. Jason stuck Cecelia in between four full plants. She sat on her butt and never had to move to fill her bag in between eating of course. Coletyn also filled his bag for G-Ma. He actually did much better than with the strawberries and picked about a pound and a half on his own!

Grand totals came to 30 pounds of strawberries and 15 pounds of snap peas.

Charlotte was with G-Ma (my mom) while we picked. When we went to pick her up, the kids copped a squat in her driveway and ate "lunch!"

So, what to do with all those goodies!! Right away all the strawberries got hulled. I use this appetizer spoon my girlfriend Melissa gave me years ago. It pops the hulls quickly with minimal waste.
 One whole flat got hulled and frozen on cookie sheets with parchment. Once frozen, I'll transfer to vacuum seal bags so that I can pull out the quantity I want, when I want from the freezer.

Another whole flat and a quarter got hulled and smashed. It equated to a full to the top gallon ice cream tub. This will get turned into jam. My plans are for mango-strawberry and strawberry-rhubarb jams. With the gallon of berries combined 1:1 with mango and 2:1 with rhubarb, I should get about 30-40 half pints of jam. I've started freezer jamming in the last few years. Blasphemy, I know. This quantity of jam should last us close to two years (unless the kids step up their game).
The remaining 3/4 of a flat I hulled and we've had strawberry shortcakes (Betty Crocker's recipe of course), Father's Day crepes and just eaten.

Man they are delicious!!!

Snap pea stir fry, of course! We'll eat the snap peas and I'll blanch and freeze them in portion sizes for dinners.
How long does it take to end 15 pound of snap peas.

75 minutes or two episodes of Hosewives

Charlotte helping momma in a recalled bumbo on the counter. #thirdkidproblems

 Sauteed in garlic and butter in winter, yes please!