Monday, May 30, 2011

The Class Brain

A couple of weeks ago I attended a teachers conference called edcampPlano. It was really great...lots of great topics to choose from and lots of great info to get! Loved it!

I went to a class by Diane Dahl ( on brain based learning. What a wealth of information! She brought in a project that her class did (look under metacognition lesson was a huge success) and it had me very interested in trying this in our own home classroom with the boys. I sort of changed it up so it will better work for a daily practice rather than all one time. We started out chatting about our brains and what our brains do and how they work and we looked at pictures, stuff like that. Then I gave each of them three pieces of pipe cleaner and we talked about the neurons in our brain and how they work and how our brain ties together information that we already learned with new information that we are learning. They caught on real quickly with the fun of pipe cleaners! So we began by talking about some of the different subjects we cover each day. Then we talked about how we would build our own brains by learning new things about each subject. So I let them know that they would build the class brain as well as their own. So each day, a couple of times, as
we start a subject I'll have them grab a couple of pipe cleaner pieces and tell me some things they know about that subject or what we've been covering, or what we learned yesterday, something like that. It has been a great experience to see them recalling information so easily. Both boys are beginning to understand more about how their brain works because I continually remind them through words actions and funny noises and gestures about how the neurons and axons and dendrites of their brains are tying together as they learn. It's been a lot of fun and I'm excited to see how it grows throughout the year. The brain currently hang from the ceiling fan right in the middle of the room but I'm thinking it may be too big for that area very soon.

More to come...Wendy

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Here I am playing catch-up again! Where did the month of May go? Boy oh boy did it just fly by! Wow!

Here is a beautiful reminder of my fun volunteer experience with Mrs. Kuntz this last school year. Since I am certified in Utah right now I can count up to 25 volunteer hours a year toward my training hours needed to renew my certificate. I enjoyed working with Mrs. Kuntz so much last year that I was overjoyed when I found out I could volunteer in her classroom this year and earn credit as well. Earlier in May the school held a Volunteer brunch for those of us who volunteer in the school. What a sweet gesture! They had yummy pastries and breakfast casserole and gave each of us a potted flower to take home. I have enjoyed my time working with Mrs. Kuntz and her 2nd grade class. She is always so full of smiles and good ideas. I am looking forward to volunteering again next school year. She will be moving to 3rd grade so I get to see all the wonderful ideas she has for an older group! Yeah!

The boys and I have been doing quite a bit of geocaching lately. We've almost gotten all the ones around Wax here, but there are still a few smiley's to claim! Here is a few of our most recent prizes.

Bug loves those little parachute guys that you throw int the air. LOL He also found some temporary tattoos. LOL Kaden traded for the turtle (for his little things shelf. I found a cool paper clip in one cache!

A couple of weeks ago we had some issues with the name calling. One of our neighbors has a
much younger sister that comes to play with her son and my boys sometimes. She is just the sweetest kid and so good about joining in and playing even though she is the only girl. Well for
whatever reason the boys were teasing her one afternoon and she got her feelings hurt. Well when she went inside, it got the best of Bug and he knew what they had done was wrong. So he came inside and told me about what had happened. Well she had already gone home so we didn't get to chat with her directly. The boys had already apologized, but after we talked about it I thought they needed to do a little more to show her they were sorry. So they decided to make her a card. Each of them sat down with markers and crayons and stickers and wrote her a sweet little note of apology. They gave them to her the next day when she came up and asked if she would forgive them. It was a sweet time of learning how to get along and how to treat others...

Here is another pic of our latest outdoor activities. LOL

The neighbor Mr. Larry has a mower with a trailer hook-up - the kids love to sit on it while he drives them around the yards. Funny!

I have been reading a blog called The Homeschool Post. I just love encouraging and so much good stuff to read. Well I participated in the last Mom Swap they did. How fun...I am always doing stuff for the kids - but now I get to do one for me! I can't tell you how excited I was to shop for my swap sis and to be able to send some goodies to her. I got a wonderful package in the mail! Yeah!

My Swap Sis (see for more info) Suanna ( sent me a spectacular package of goodies! I got a new wipe off board and some cool colored wipe off markers, a pie recipe book, some great stickers for the boys, an awesome piece of cloth for crafting (in my fav color blue!!!) and my fav candy - Haribo gummy bears! How she had time to shop and mail packages in the midst of moving I don't know - but she did a spectacular job!

Thank you so much Suanna!!!! You Rock!

Here's another highlight of our May - watching wrestling at Killer Tim Brooks pro wrestling night down the road from our house! The boys were so excited - we love wrestling around our house!

Here you can see all the kids up at the ring cheering for The Doberman!

More highlights when the Doberman was pinned!

Oh here he is - mad!

Here is one of the kids swaps!

We participate in the geo-box swaps at Homeschool Swapping Adventures ( This is just to coolest thing and the kids just love it!!!

This one here came from Ohio. We got it right around Easter so it had Easter eggs with some goodies from the state of Ohio in them. They also
included a new water bottle, some buckeye seeds (awesome!) and lots of magazines, maps and information about the state of Ohio! I loved the ladybug - the state bug we found out!

Very informational box filled with lots of learning opportunities!

They also sent some Chili seasoning - we plan to make chili and have a learn about Ohio day! Fun!

Thank you to the Hines family for this awesome box!
Here you can see the Florida geo box we got last month. (I actually put these in the wrong order - oops.) This box was really cool as well.

We got a book about Florida, a table football game, some nice magnets and cool postcards! They also sent us a really neat bag that has the outline of Florida on it - I love bags and this one is especially big and roomy!

We also got some orange coconut patty candies (Daddy was a big fan of these!) And the bottle of orange blossom honey (which we polished off in no time) was a HuGe hit! So yummy!

Shells from Daytona beach and some real oranges from their very own orange tree where also in the box!

Oh and I can't forget the bug jars - the boys love these and I have to say they are probably the most used thing of any items we've received.
Thank you to the Alexander Family for this wonderful box of goodies!

Here is Bug's extra activity for the month of May. We signed him up for riding lessons at the Flying G ranch. Oh my goodness did he just take right to it! He had a ball and was so excited to go each week.

He learned all about saddling a horse and some grooming techniques.

He also learned how to mount and dismount as well as how to make the horse go and stop and turn and so forth.

Here is Beauty, Bug's first horse. He found out later that she is actually a mule - thus the reason she is so stubborn. LOL He had a bit of trouble getting her to go sometimes. LOL

Here is Mr. Ken chatting with the kids before their first ride. Ken and Dee are wonderful people and we really enjoyed working with them each week. They are so gentle and patient and very concerned that the kids know how to be safe around horses and have fun! He chatted with the kids about how God gives us dominion over the animals and it's important that we treat the horse with respect while letting the horse know that we are in control (as God wants us to be). It was awesome - he sang songs with the kids and prayed with the kids and just really had a great time.

They are hosting a horse camp at the Ranch House Cowboy Church and Bug is so very excited to attend! Lots of horseback riding, crafts, songs, devotionals and much more. I am so excited for him!

Well I think I will sign off for's taken me much longer than I figured to get this done as I have had a least a thousand interruptions since I began. LOL

Until next one another and hug your kids!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Just trying to catch up on some does it get behind so easily! Lots of random stuff here!

Here is one of our school day photos...the boys just love love love to draw on the white boards! Red did this creative display. His favorite marker is brown these days.

Bug and I have been working on adding multiple is a show of some of his work. You will notice the hand prints that he did in between working

The boys and I have been geocaching quite a bit lately. We enjoying the hunt and seeing what goodies we can trade for! :) Bug found this one and wanted to put it back all by himself. (Probably because he had to climb the tree to replace it). LOL

This is an interesting pic. After the crazy storms
lately the huge oak tree at the park in town
was uprooted. It's quite sad to see this big old treasure on it's side.

Here is a peak at our Florida geo-box. It was filled with lots of goodies. Our favorite being a bottle of Orange Blossom Honey (Florida Orange Blossoms that is). There was also some real oranges and seashells from the beach in Florida. The boys had the best time digging through the goodies.

Here is a look at Bug's favorite goodie from the Florida box - a temporary organic tattoo made from organic orange juice. Funny! And this thing lasted forever!

Here is a look at Red's favorite "time killing" routine. While he waits for Bug to finish up his school work a lot of times I will find passed out in the floor - "resting". He is like his Daddy - can sleep anytime, anywhere! LOL

Monday, May 09, 2011

This post is all about our cooking escapades of late!

Homemade pizza has been a fun activity around the Johnson house. Since we found out that Red is allergic to cow's milk eat out pizza has been cut out of our diet.

So Daddy experimented with a can of biscuits one day and developed the well loved pizza of choice these days.

A can of Grands rolls out into nice little personal pizzas with some tomato sauce added the toppings are endless.

Hot dogs are a favorite of both boys...

Here's another view...

Of course the cheese ones are everyone else's.

Red chose hot dogs and beef on this one.

Here's another cooking high light!

One of our math lessons involved making a batch of Apple Jack cookies.

It was a fun time learning about cups and teaspoons and tablespoons!

Here is the finished product of our math lesson...some wonderful yummy cookies!

I love's so wonderful to have the freedom to do fun stuff like baking cookies with my boys! Love it!

Well April went out with a bang here in Texas!!! We had a couple of weeks of crazy stormy weather around here!

We watched the storm roll in one afternoon and it was just incredible. This picture just doesn't do it justice!

Here you see the middle bathroom. We do not have storm cellar (which I am honestly okay with cause I don't know that I could make myself get in it) so the boys bathroom is our safe place. I stacked sleeping bags and pillows in there - just in case! We also had water, a small ice chest of snacks, towels, flashlights, candles and books. I ended up leaving it all in there for a few days because the weather was so unpredictable.

I went in to the bathroom at one point and found this! LOL

Bug had filled the tub with his most treasured possessions. Lots of stuffed animals, his new am/fm radio Daddy got him, some of his stained glass, under all that you will find his star wars books and his new journal.

When the storm started being a little loud the boys got very restless. So I came up with a "tent" for them to watch cartoons in. A snack and some toons and they were better. Whew!!!

We got three different bouts of hail. None were really big - but it sounded incredible as it beat the ground. This was about the size of it all.

I gotta remember to waymark this one!

Through all the storms we got some much needed rain - Thank You Lord for your mercy! We got a little hail and a few broken branches. Nothing too bad really. We were lucky. The storm that came in during the night...I think it was one of the first had 90 mph straight line winds...that was the worst wind I think I can ever remember...just crazy!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Is finally getting around to updating the blog! Yeah!

Let's start with Easter...the boys picked out some goodies for daddy and put them in those cute little bunny bags. Well knowing how nosy Daddy can be we put up a sign to make sure he kept his hands off the goodies! LOL

So Daddy thought he'd do the same and put a goody bag for the boys on the table with a sign!

Here's the boys Easter baskets all ready to be stuffed by that crazy rabbit! LOL

The Easter bunny brought lots of goodies! Bug was excited that he got a new journal in his basket and some new games for his DS. Red was excited that the Easter Bunny brought the Red Trooper he's been wanting.

After church there was an egg hunt in the area. Bro. Chris said that he had seen a big white rabbit squeezing a chicken out there and he needed all the eggs cleaned up so they could have roping practice. LOL

The boys had fun picking up lots of eggs!