Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful for Arkansas

We planned the best surprise for my family in Arkansas! Everyone thought we were missing Thanksgiving lunch and coming in the next day due to David's work schedule. But, we cooked up a very tiring, but very fun surprise!

We decided to leave right after David got off of working a 10 hour day {he worked 5:00 am-4:00 pm}and drive all night long without stopping {15 hours} and show up right in time for lunch anyway! They had no clue!

We called my parents at 9:00 am {right off their driveway} and said we were just passing through Indianapolis and would see them 15 hours later. And then we had Harbor ring their doorbell! Hahaha! Oh, the look on their faces was priceless!

Then, we hid in a back bedroom and when all of our family showed up for lunch, my parents told them they found the neatest thing at a yard sale. Everyone came to the back room to see it and we jumped out! Oh, there were tears and screams! So much fun!

We have been exhausted, but it has been worth it for Harbor. After a full night's rest, we have decided that night driving may be the way to travel! Harbor slept 11 of the 15 hours. : )

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

After lunch at my granny's house, we went to see the lights around our downtown square, which are always so beautiful!

Hoping your Thanksgiving was filled with as much love as ours was.
If you laid all of our blessings out, they would stretch from Fayetteville, Arkansas to Detroit, Michigan. : )

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Chalkboard

Harbor and I spend about a solid hour a day working in our preschool workbooks. I typically break the lessons down into 20 minute sections, but he seems to be able to focus for longer amounts of time now as he has gotten older. As a former teacher, I know what is ahead of us in kindergarten, which makes me want to work as hard as possible to make sure he thinks learning is "fun." 
When I sense he is tired or frustrated or bored, we close up the workbooks or learning games and go do something else.

I recently bought some chalkboard paint and painted a huge picture that I have had for several years.

I left it out, floor level with chalk, for about a week for Harbor to play with.

And when the novelty of its newness wore off, I moved it to our preschool table.

It has been a fun addition to our everyday lessons.

I try really hard to keep this area organized and I often find Harbor trying to put his books back where they belong. He seems to naturally like order and organization, which helps a lot with cleanup time! Does anyone else have a toddler like that? 

Harbor will "work" at his table alone for about 15 minutes as a time, coloring, working mazes, or dot to dot activities. Those are his favorites! I really think that he loves his preschool activity books because I am there, sitting close, side-by-side, giving him all of my attention, praising his efforts. I think all kids just want our undivided attention, even if it is just 15 minutes a day. To them, that is love. : )

I wanted to point out that the container I use for his crayons is an empty dish detergent container. I washed it out and soaked the labels off. It is clear, deep, and has a huge snap lid. I liked it initially, though, because it was green.  : )

Harbor, at three years of age, you can:
 count to 50 alone, tell me the sounds the letters make, write all of your upper case letters without help or seeing a sheet to show you what they look like{"M" and "W" are still tricky for you, though,} spell a handful of words from memorization, and spell almost anything phonetically that I sound out slowly.

We are very proud of his hard work. It is amazing what just 15-20 minutes of lessons a day can accomplish! Of course, I was a Literacy teacher for six years, so I definitely have the background for it, which helps. Even if you aren't in education, you can still work with your child. Start slowly with a fun workbook, show interest, and give lots of praise for any and all attempts. : )

The table and chair set were a gift from my parents. They are from Pottery Barn and have been the perfect size for the two of us. My mom actually found them used at a thrift store!

I'm glad we have a nice, quiet, sunny place to work everyday.
While we are warm inside, we have already had a few nights like this!

My car has never seen snow this early in the season!

Anything new going on? : ) Have a great week!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Harbor's 3rd Birthday {Party for 3}

This was the easiest party I have ever thrown.
A party for three doesn't require too much. : )

No invites to design, no postage to buy.
No crafting for days and days.
No cupcakes to design and order.
Just a table, a few pieces of fabric, a little cupcake stand, and some balloons.
The city backdrop and the seagulls were free.  : )

It was simple. It was easy. It was a party for three.

Happy 3rd {windy and cold!} birthday, Harbor William!

This is a wall of graffiti we pass in Detroit every time we go to Belle Isle. Detroit is full of graffiti, which comes as no surprise, but we love this wall.
Yes, Detroit, we enjoyed our day. Thanks. : ) 

For those who have the time and feel like browsing down memory lane, here are links to Harbor's other birthday parties.

Harbor's first birthday party here.
Harbor's second birthday party here.

David has to work Saturday and Sunday, and we are pretty sad about him being gone seven days this week, but we have a few Christmas crafts in the works!
Have a fun weekend!