Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Walk the Dinosaur!

*Scroll to the bottom to start my playlist before reading for the full effect

I lead a Carole Marsh book club for some of the local homeschool kids. We are in our second year of this book club. Before this bookclub, I led a Magic Tree House book club for over 3 years. When we read the Magic Tree House books, we read them in consecutive order, starting with book 1 and ending with book 40, which was the most current book written at that time by the author, Mary Pope Osborne. When we started the Carole Marsh series, I followed a suggested reading club list for the first year just to make it easier for me. I had not had time to research all of the Carole Marsh Mystery Series books (there are quite a lot!) and needed to get my list together quickly. As we approached year two of this book club, I began researching the books and putting our reading list together for this year. Having a better feel of who our regularly attending kids are to the club helped me in my decision and of course, the Tiaras had their opinions as well. Imagine!

Tiara 2 is a huge fan of our (very) old friend, the dinosaur. Besides dancing on Broadway, she wants to be an archaeologist and a paleontologist when she grows up. (She also wants to live at home and sees no problem with the fact that we live nowhere close to NY. She plans to commute, so she says.) So her choice for our book club this year was The Mystery of the Missing Dinosaurs. She has been looking forward to the meeting for this book since I initially put the reading list together last fall. And finally, this Thursday (day AFTER tomorrow!), we will be meeting to discuss HER book choice!

The kids normally do a journal entry each month which can be a craft, a written paper or even a drawing from the story. Anything they choose. After we discuss the book, they stand in front of the other kids and share their journal. (They also write two questions from assigned chapters which they ask in front of the other kids during discussion. They enjoy this aspect of being in control of the club and they gain public speaking skills as well which is HUGE!). For this month's meeting, I asked them all to make a dinosaur in place of their normal journal work. They were told they could make it out of paper, clay, salt dough, paper mache, etc. But they are all supposed to make a dinosaur for our meeting. Can't wait to see how well they all do!

The Tiaras have been anticipating the day we made our dinosaurs and today was THE day! The Tiaras both chose to make their dinosaurs out of Crayola's Model Magic which is an awesome product! It hardens like a clay but is a foamy texture while being formed which makes it very fun for the Tiaras. And it is not messy which makes it very fun for me!

So Tiara 1 decided on a Brachiosauras (one of the longnecks). She went with a baby Brachi cracking out of her egg and Tiara 1 decided she didn't want the baby dino to look scary at all. She definitely succeeded and her baby turned out quite well!

Tiara 2 decided on a Triceratops since she received a Webkinz Triceratops for her birthday. Her dino turned out very well also!

Tiara 2 finished her dinosaur long before Tiara 1 so she decided to excavate a Triceratops fossil using her Dinosaur Expedition kit she received for Christmas from her Aunt Jess.

Safety glasses were recommended and since we have no safety glasses, we improvised. And since we homeschool, most days the Tiaras do school in their pajamas. Might as well be as comfortable as possible while learning! We didn't complete our "dig" today but I'm sure we will by Thursday!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dress Rehearsal - Before and After .....

So this is our first year of Competition Team Dance for Tiara 2. Her first competition is this Saturday in Newnan, GA. Yesterday was her one and only dress rehearsal for the year. She is performing in three numbers this season including a tap number and a jazz number, both with kids from her team and a Production number with all kids from the studio, ranging in age from 6 to 18.





For the Production number, all the girls are wearing gold sequin dresses, black fishnet tights, low buns and red lipstick. After Tiara 2 was finished and ready to go, I couldn't help but be reminded of something else, from a few (just a few!) years back......

Simply irresistible!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Elephants, Tigers and Clowns! Oh My!

So the circus was in town last week. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. (Scroll to my playlist at the bottom for the full effect.) You know, The Greatest Show on Earth circus? Yeah, that one. We've gone every year since the Tiaras were little.

We all enjoy the circus but Tiara 2 especially enjoys the circus as she is a HUGE fan of elephants. Since she was a baby, she has been a fan of the pachyderm. She collects all things elephant! So the circus is always exciting for her because she gets to watch them paint pictures.

And dance.

And stand on very small stools.

And roll over.

There were also acrobats, trapeze artists, dogs, tigers and of course, the clowns. But the elephants.... well, they stole the show.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love Bugs Annual Visit on Valentine's Day !

So a few years back, the Tiaras read about Love Bugs in a book. The story mentioned that if you built a home for the Love Bugs, they would visit and possibly even take up permanent residence. You know the old adage, Build it and they will come? Immediately, the Tiaras set about building their Love Bug abode. They started with a shoebox and with the assistance of Daddy, they built two Love Bug beds out of scrap wood. They hand-stitched bed spreads using scrap cloth and stuffed the bedding with cotton balls. The Love Bugs landed last February 1st of 2009 and stayed with us through that Valentine's Day.

For Christmas of 2008, Tiara 2 wanted mailboxes for all four of our family members. She enjoys leaving notes for all of us and the mailboxes were very high on her list. Daddy set about making mailboxes and each of the Tiaras have one outside of their bedroom doors while ours sits just inside our bedroom door.

So the Love Bugs must have discovered our mailboxes because last February they began leaving small pieces of candy, one a day, in the Tiaras mailboxes. They always left the flag up, signaling the Tiaras that they had a treat each morning. And on Valentines Day, the Love Bugs left a larger sweet treat and a small gift. The Tiaras were SO excited that they decided to leave the Love Bugs home permanently out on our hutch, and continued to add on. Over the next year, the Tiaras added a chimney, a shingled roof, wallpaper, two tables and a mailbox, all made of recycled materials.

When the Jonas Brothers released their song, Lovebug, there was even discussion in our home that the JoBros must have their own Love Bug visitors. (Scroll to the bottom and wait on my playlist to load to hear the JoBros singing Lovebug.)

Well, the Love Bugs returned this year and the girls again had SO much fun receiving their treats every morning. On Valentines Day, they awoke to find rice krispie treats dipped in red chocolate with sprinkles on lollipop sticks and felt flower hair accessory craft kits.

The girls had a fabulous Valentines Day...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Made me giggle

The Tiaras cover many different subjects in their homeschool studies. Some we do on a daily basis, some three days a week, some two days a week and some we only touch on one day a week. Tiara 2 does a 'Symbols of America' book which she uses on a daily basis. The exercises are short and sometimes involve coloring. Tiara 2 just turned 7 so she enjoys that sort of thing. Actually, Tiara 1 enjoys it as well. Anyway, a few weeks ago, Tiara 2 had to color the President's Seal. She likes to be very independent and is a great speller so she didn't bother to ask how to spell the President's name. Tiara 1 looked at the page when Tiara 2 was finished and said "Oh my goodness, that looks like BROKE-OBAMA!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tiara 2's 7th Birthday : The UN-sleepover party....

So Tiara 2 is now 7. Sigh. I'm amazed by her everyday and I cannot believe she has been with us for 7 years now. She has grown into such a kind, sweet, compassionate and genuinely lovely person and her soul is just as beautiful.

All of Tiara 2's little friends LOVE the idea of sleeping over yet none are quite to that point of making it through the night without wanting to be in their own bed. As much as they WANT to stay all night. It just isn't going to happen. Yet. So when Tiara 2 told me she wanted a sleepover party for her birthday, I immediately began stressing! I knew the little girls would want to come but wondered if any would make it through the night or worse yet, back out at the last minute and not make the party at all? Tiara 2 and I talked and decided to put a twist on the sleepover party theme.

We decided to do an UN-sleepover party. So we made our trip to the craft store to buy our birthday invitation supplies. I started making the Tiaras invitations when they were babies and the invitations have become as much fun as the party for the Tiaras. This year, we went with the PINK and PURPLE theme since only girls were on the invite list. So we purchased cotton candy pink and light grape purple felt, lavender puffy teddy bear ribbon and some yummy pale pink paper with girly-girl pink swirls. We made sleeping bag invitations for the little girls. (There is an invitation for Tiara 1 and Tiara 2 as well. I usually mail one to each of them for the Tiaras' birthday parties. By doing that, the Tiara who's having the party will have an invitation years from now as a memory of her party and the Tiara who is the sister of the birthday girl will receive an invitation just as all other invited guests.)

We rolled the sleeping bags up, added their names to the outside and tied them with a strand of princess pearls. We then hand delivered our invitations to each of the five little girls on our invite list since these could not be mailed.

The day before the party, I made our chocolate "fried" eggs. They turned out very well and were a HUGE hit at the party! For the party, I sat them in a hot pink skillet which I borrowed from the Tiaras kitchen.

The day of the party, I made our cupcakes. We had fudge chocolate cupcakes with pink icing and golden vanilla cupcakes with lavender icing. I arranged them on our party table along with our fried eggs. Tiara 2 had her own pedestal for her cupcake.

We were serving breakfast at the party which included Belgian waffles so we had milk chocolate chips and white chocolate chips as well as whipped cream to garnish the Belgian waffles. Hot chocolate was also on the menu and the puffy pink heart marshmallows were available too.

We decorated with more girly princess pearl strands, purple streamers, hot pink and lavender curly ribbon, and balloons in cotton candy pink, grape purple and pearly white.

The girls were all dropped off at 5pm, wearing their pajamas and fuzzy slippers and toting their sleeping bags. They painted pillow cases.

Then they ate their breakfast of Belgian waffles and hot chocolate, both with lots of chocolate chips and whipped cream. After breakfast, they laid their sleeping bags out on the floor, the lights were dimmed and they watched Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler (which I HIGHLY recommend!).

They ate 3 bowls of popcorn during the movie and drank Capri Sun SUNRISE juice boxes.

After the movie was over, they had dance contests and burned all the sugar off.

We then had cupcakes and ice cream.

And as Tiara 2 was opening her gifts, the parents arrived to take their party girls home. The party seemed to be a HUGE hit and was a great alternative to driving little girls home at 2am when they couldn't sleep and missed their own beds.

Happy 7th birthday, Tiara 2......