Sunday, November 27, 2011

What starts with the letter I?

Wow. If you are reading the blog, you might be under the impression that the Raney school as ended. That is not the case. We are going strong, but my blogging is sadly way behind!

For the letter "I" our Animal Alphabet friend was an inchworm. We did some fun crafts with worms.


For this activity, Cohen was instructed to put the worms in order, largest to smallest.




We learned about Insects as well. We went on an insect walk. Cohen found an insect, and then proceeded to try to squish him with a leaf.



We did a little science experiment to see what food ants like best, peanut butter or a marshmallow. They preferred the peanut butter. This was a really neat lesson, because it taught Cohen why it is important to clean up our food items in the house. If we don't, ants will find it.


We learned about indians and Israel as well...but I didn't take any pictures of that.

Now for the reading list:

Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Wendy Straw
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle
Snug As a Bug by Michael Elsohn Ross and Sylvia Long
Hungry Hoppers: Grasshoppers in Your Backyard by Nancy Loewan
Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss
Dot & Jabber and the Big Bug Mystery by Ellen Stoll Walsh
The Best Bug Parade (MathStart 1) by Stuart J. Murphy and Holly Keller
Zigby and the Ant Invaders by Brian Paterson
Fox Song by Joseph Bruchac
Many Nations: An Alphabet of Native America by Joseph Bruchac and Robert F. Goetzl
The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble
Star Boy by Paul Goble
Mystic Horse by Paul Goble
This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story by Laura Krauss Melmed and Mark Buehner
Bugs (Let's Look Series) by Lorenz Books
Simon & Schuster Children's Guide to Insects and Spiders by Jinny Johnson
The story of the Milky Way: A Cherokee tale by Joseph Bruchac

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Have you been crafty?

I'm trying to embrace this whole "Stay at Home Mom" thing and become one of those crafty people who make fun things for every holiday.

I have been spending the last few months working on my crafting skills. I'm practicing for Christmas...I'm making most of the gifts this year.

It all started with Halloween. I do love this holiday. It's probably not my favorite, but I love the idea of dressing up and walking around begging for candy. To begin our Halloween celebration, Cohen and I made a cute little card. (Warning: Most of these ideas came from Pinterest! If you are not on Pinterest, what are you doing??). I'm going to do my best to give credit where credit is due, and post a Pinterest link for each item.

Here is the fun card I found on Pinterest.



And our attempt to recreate it.




Next...I wanted to put up some fun Halloween decorations. I've never actually decorated for this holiday before, but I figured if I found something cute and easy, I'd decorate. This is what I found.



Here is my attempt at recreating it. I did this during Cohen's naptime one day. It was very easy!!




We had a Young Adults/LSU party at our house in October, and I wanted to make something yummy for our guests. This is what I found on pinterest....



Here is our attempt...



Cooking with Cohen is always an adventure. He thinks he must eat the entire time he's baking. I was concerned that we wouldn't have enough candy corn to top our pretzels.



The finished product. Maybe they weren't as cute as the ones in the picture, but they were fun to make and very tasty!


After all the Halloween fun, we couldn't wait for Thanksgiving. We made a cute Thanksgiving card with Cohen's handprint.





I found this cute printable. I used it to create our Thanksgiving Turkey.




Here is our turkey.

I actually had it hanging by the fireplace, but forgot to take a picture of it up there. Each night, as Cohen and I were saying our prayers, I would remind him to tell God "thank you" for something. Some nights he just repeated the same thing over and over again, but other nights he came up with new and creative things. My favorite on this list is "Meme's Health." The night before, I asked him to pray expecially for Meme because she was having some tests done the next day. He prayed for her that night, asked about her the next day, then thanked God for her good health that night (it was his idea...I didn't prompt that one).



So there you have it...our creative crafts for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Now you must patiently wait for our Christmas crafts.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Do you have any manners?

This week we are on the letter "K." I know, I'm a bit behind on my blog posts...but I wanted to jump ahead to share this one thing with you.

We are learning about Kindness this week, and we've had lots of fun learning this important lesson. During our lessons, we read a Berenstain Bears book about Manners. Cohen and I LOVE the Berenstain Bears...and their books usually teach a good lesson.

The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain

This particular book was on manners and how Mama Bear was so tired of all her family forgetting how to use their manners. She made a chart, with offences and penalties, for each time you forgot your manners you would have to do a chore. For example, on her chart if you forgot to say "please" or "thank you" you would have to sweep the front steps.

I decided to implement this idea at the Raney residence. Cohen and I have been working really hard on trying to be more polite, and nothing seems to be working. He still commands things, rather than ask politely. He rarely says "please" or "thank you" no matter how many time I try to remind him. I was getting pretty fusterated, because I didn't feel that poor manners was a good enough reason for time out. And if I chose to use time out as the punishment for poor manners, then would he really learn anything? Probably not.

So I made my own "Raney Family Politeness Plan."


Ok. I know that there are lots more things I could add to this list, and I really hope everything is spelled correctly...oh well...too late now.

If you are caught doing any of these things, you draw a penalty. Below is my list of penalties:


  • Do 10 Jumping jacks
  • Write your name 5 times
  • Run in place for 30 seconds
  • Today you get off with a WARNING! Congratulations!
  • Pickup 5 toys.
  • Hop on 1 foot for 10 seconds.
  • Put laundry in laundry room.
  • Wipe off table.
  • Give Mom or Dad a hug and promise to be more polite.
  • Draw a picture of something nice someone else has done for you.
  • Say 1 nice thing to someone else.
  • Choose 1 toy to give away to kids that don’t have much.
  • Listen to Mom or Dad’s music in the car next time we go somewhere.
  • Read a book to Mom or Dad.
  • Draw a picture of you doing something nice for someone else.
  • Pick up all shoes in living room and kitchen.
I know these penalties are really easy, but I have a 3 year old. I can't ask him to clean the attic or mop the kitchen. Maybe if you have an older child, get more creative. Instead of wiping off a table, make them do all the dishes. Just an idea.

I implemented this today, so we shall see how well it works. My goal is to have a more polite child who is grateful for the things others do for him.



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Are you hungry?

We had another wonderful time Trick or Treating in our lovely neighborhood once again this year.

If this looks a little like our hamburger from last year, you would be correct. As much as I tried to change his mind, Cohen would have no part in any other costume on Halloween Night. He wanted to be a hamburger...so he got his wish.



To try to make it look a little different this year, I spiked up his hair. So cute!


Our good friends, the Safley's, met us in our neighborhood and walked the block with us. Looks like Cohen is about to hit Lyons with that bucket...that kid is nuts!



Lyons is Aladdin.


His big sister, Mattie Anne, is Jasmine, and little brother, Evans, is Abu.


The first house we visited was our good friends The Millets!


Here are a couple of group shots of Cohen and all his friends.




We made our way around the neighborhood.


I love this picture...looks like someone was getting hungry, and that hamburger looked mighty tasty!


This lady dresses up every year as a witch. Cohen, Mattie Anne, and Lyons weren't real sure what to think at first, but when she started passing out candy, they were her best friend.


Here is Cohen with all his candy!! It was another great year! Can't wait to do it again next year...I wonder if Cohen will want to be a hamburger again?

Friday, November 11, 2011

What do you do when your parents are away?

While Jace and I were out running a half-marathon, Cohen spent some time visiting with his Nan and Pops (Jace's parents).

Here are a few pictures from Cohen's fun weekend with Nan and Pops.





Cohen stayed a couple of nights with them, so of course he needed to brush his teeth.....


...and shave.


They took Cohen to a local pumpkin patch to pick out a rather large pumpkin. Looks like Cohen is doing most of the work.


Ah yes...and now he's resting on the giant pumpkin.


The one large pumpkin was not enough...he also got a small pumpkin too!



Nan and Pops also purchased Cohen a pop gun. He had a lot of fun playing with it at their house.




Looks like he had a lot of fun spending the weekend with Nan and Pops! Cohen is so blessed to have wonderful grandparents that love him very much!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How much time does it take to run 13.1 miles?

Jace and I particpated in the 3rd Annual Jazz Half Marathon in New Orleans on October 29, 2011. This is the 3rd time we have run this particular race.

Here's a look back at our previous attempts...

October 2009

Jace and I ran the half-marathon together in 2009 (mostly because he didn't train). We both finished in 2:25:12. (This is also the same day we flew to Russia to meet the most wonderful little boy on the planet).

October 2010
Finishing Times:
Jace - 1:59:24
Emily - 2:22:19

October 2011
Finishing Times:
Jace - 1:54:43
Emily - 2:08:45


It was a great race once again. Can't wait to do it again next year.