July 26, 2011

A Pepper Update

Pepper is keeping us all entertained. The kids LOVE to tell her there's a dog outside and watch her run to the window so they can see her look out. They laugh uncontrollably when she does this. Even I think it's pretty cute. :)

We've gotten her almost 100% trained to go outside!  She came litter box trained. (Her previous owners had a lot of long days not home, so they did this so they wouldn't have to worry about her.) I thought it would be nice and convenient, but the convenience was majorly overpowered by the inconvenience of cleaning out stinky litter box and sweeping up the litter she drug out on her feet! Ew. So over the last month I've been training her to go outside. She really didn't see outside as a place to go potty, so this took some doing!  I moved her litter box outside, but she still would go to the litter box place and do her business.  That got old really fast!   Anyway, just this week she's finally coming to stare at me or whine to tell me she needs to go out.  She definitely knows what it means to "go outside," and she runs out and goes right away!  I still have the basement blocked off, so when it's open and she goes all day without peeing down there, I'll know we've succeeded.

She has learned to go outside and stick close with out being tied up.  Yippee!  If I stop paying attention she will run off, but as long as I watch her, she comes when she's called.

She's discovered she can get up on our bed.  The cute thing is she looks over the edge as if she's asking my permission.  I'm not totally fond of her sleeping up there, but she usually chooses to get off and head to her basket under my night stand.

She's realized a deep love for salami!  She eats almost nothing other than a few choice crumbs under the table.  I can leave my ice cream, peanut butter, crackers, sandwich, dog treats, etc. where she can get them and she won't touch any of it except eggs.  But twice now she's snatched salami from the eater's hand!  Mattie was standing with a piece on the way into her mouth and Pepper jumped up and stole it!  Mattie felt quite violated.  She quickly changed her tune when she realized how entertaining that was.  :)

All in all, Pepper seems quite at home!  We're thankful for her.  

July 24, 2011

Slip-n-Slide Fun!

It has been soooo hot here lately!  The kids are irritable because they're not getting outside to burn off enough energy, so we pulled out our generic slipnslide... aka contractor grade plastic!  
Getting a head start with Daddy's help!

It's always more fun 
with someone else!

I decided to be a fun mama and join in.


I'm sore, but it was more fun than I expected.  I guess we all need to be a kid every now and then!

He's a fun daddy too...

who goes a lot further than everyone else!

She's on a mission!

That smile is a gift!

I love hearing this boy laugh.

Happy boy!

July 22, 2011

Geography Fun!

I decided this summer to spend some time doing United States geography with the kids in the midst of the busy-ness.  In a few weeks we're starting American history, so I thought it would be nice to have a grasp on geography before we hit the history.  I wanted them to know the names and locations of the states, have a clue about the capitals, and know the most famous monuments and state and national parks. While I want Jacob to have mastery of some of it (like the states), my goal is exposure and interest, not 100% memorization. We've taken a very non-traditional approach, and we're having a great time!

Here are the resources we're using:
Little Man in the Map (a great book, especially for visual people!)

National Geographic United States Atlas for Young Explorers

States & Capitals with CD
(This also has cards in it that we'll use for our timeline cards as we go through history this year!)
States & Capitals   -

And when for the capitals,  The Little Man in the Map Teaches the State Capitals!
The Little Man In the Map Teaches the State Capitals!

And then of course, some iPod apps and enchantedlearning.com printable pages.  :)