Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Busy, Busy, Cough, Cough, Busy

Life is crazy.  Then you add the fact that it's December and it's 15 days until Christmas, oh my!

In the last few months we have developed such a great routine.  It has been good for all of us.  Days have gone by with fewer bumps.  But last week was a different story.  Lachlan got sick.  So of course I let him sleep in.  We watched more TV, and we did less Mother Goose Time.  We didn't always eat at the table, sometimes on the couch.

Well, last week was miserable.  But it wasn't Lachlan who made it tough, it was Peter.  I think the routine has more impact on him then I realize.  Honestly, I am still trying to figure out what's got Peter all wound up as I am typing now.

All I know, is that we got back on our routine, starting yesterday, and things seem to be improving.  (Say a little prayer that it continues, I'd appreciate it.)

It's so hard to keep up routine when kids are sick, life is busy or when your in a tough spot.  I guess that's what I appreciate most about MGT though.  It's a grab and go sort of program.  I can have just 10 minutes to try to fit something in and I can pull it off because I just have to grab a day bag and get started.

I've said it before and I will say it again, I turn to MGT whenever I am looking for a meaningful way to interact with my children.  It is a teaching tool, sure, but for us, it is also a way to connect.  I get to ask questions and take a peak inside their minds, more than I think I would have on my own.  I think my kids can feel it when they don't get this kind of time and interaction with me because I have too many other things to do.  I can see the change in their behavior. 

Ultimately, nothing in this world is more important than showing love to my children.  That is what this season is about after all.  The ultimate love of God coming down in flesh to rescue us all.  I do hope I can keep my priorities in check and not let the busyness crowd out what's really important.

This month the MGT theme is Winter Wonderland.  We have learned about snowflakes, snowman, icicles, igloos, melting and freezing, and mountain hiking.  It's all been so much fun.  This months Experience God theme is God is Love.  It is, of course, the story of Jesus' birth.  I have been trying to be extra diligent this month, with including an Experience God lesson each day. 

This is how our crazy, unplanned, no prep day went.
Peter started his day early and wanted to play some Nick Jr. games on the computer.  At one point he discovered their print outs and I noticed they had a maze set.  I printed them and put them back to back inside these pouches.  I gave these to the boys real quick as they sat at the table waiting for their breakfast.

I quickly started gathering supplies for week 1 of Experience God's craft as the boys ate.  
There was this big heart with John 3:16 on it as well as the crinkle paper for hay, craft sticks for a manger and a wooden ice cream spoon for baby Jesus.
He drew eyes, hair and blue for a blanket.  We spent some time talking about where they slept when they were babies and compared that to where Jesus slept when he was born.  We have a manger we put under our Christmas tree, so they have a great visual.  The explain section of each Experience God lesson always sums it up beautifully - Jesus came here to love, not to have a fancy room and toys. 
Next I grabbed the number sheet and we counted out 14 cubes.  Lachlan wanted to keep going so he took the cubes and put them on the number to form the number 14. 
 While Lachlan was working away, Adam struck his ,I'm so cute, pose. 
Here's Lachlan's finished board.

As he worked I was still gathering and getting ready for the next few lessons.  I stumbled across this100 card and it looked to me like the squares were about the same size as the cubes.  So I asked Lachlan to count to see how many cubes we have.
 Turns out we got 50 cubes in our MGT kit this month.  Half of 100.  It was a great visual for Lachlan.
As he was finishing up his counting I ran to the living room to hide the other manipulatives we got in the kit this month, plastic bears.  They were supposed to find them and organize them in groups of 4.
 Adam "helped".
I hid 12 so they could have 3 groups of four.  Adam still really wants to get his hands on them.

The boys thought this was great and decided to hide them for me.  I could find all but 1, which Adam later found.  It was a big one, so not a choke hazard, and he was quite proud of himself.

While they were bear hunting, I got out Lachlan's More Math & More Literacy books and turned them to the pages for Day 6.  One of the pages was a cutting page.  I always like to cut those out of the book before they get started so that they don't accidentally cut through more than one page.  It also makes it easier for them to hold while cutting.  I invited Lachlan over to his desk where I had them ready and he got started.
 He cut them out and then we worked on pairing the rhyming words. 
Here Lachlan was supposed to color the matching item.  He circled instead.

But I want you to notice that fuzzy foot in the background.  That's me in my fuzzy socks.  I, of course, am still in my jammies.  The only reason the big boys look dressed is because they went to bed in the shirts they wore the day before.  Adam is of course sporting his Christmas pjs. Your day with Mother Goose Time certainly doesn't have to be pretty and all wrapped up in a bow.  I think just doing it, in whatever way you can, is the important part. 

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