Sunday, March 03, 2013

Artwork Palooza

To commemorate our segue from Little House to Harry Potter, the girls each designed a bookmark (perhaps partially motivated by Benjamin eating the bookmark we'd used through the Little House series). Rachel signed her bookmark on behalf of both herself and Miriam. She wrote mom in bubble letters to show Miriam how such things are done properly.

On the back she wrote two ems: one an official bubble letter, the other a letter in a bubble. This was to show Miriam the difference between the two.

Miriam, you see, had drawn her friend Miles a picture (of a tent—not sure why) and had written his name (backwards) in her interpretation of bubble letters:

Anyway, here is the boomark Miriam made for Harry Potter (she was in bed before we even got around to reading it this evening, though):

It says DAD, MOMi, LHARCeL, and somehow also has all the letters for Miriam squished on there (many of which are official bubble letters). Benjamin is unaccounted for in her picture but the back has a lovely drawing of Miriam and Rachel:

The whole weekend long the girls have been pestering me to choose between their bookmarks.

"So, which bookmark are you going to use? Whose bookmark do you like better? Are you going to use mine or hers?" The translation of such questions is obviously: Who is your most talented, most wonderful, most favourite child?

After we'd finished reading tonight I asked Rachel to go get the bookmarks (emphasis on the plural).

"Why do you need both of them?" she asked. "Are you going to use one in this book and the other in another?"

"Nope, I'm just going to use both of them in this book," I told her.

She thought for a minute before waltzing over to me with the bookmarks.

"Then put mine in front!" she chirped.

Miriam was already asleep so I figured the order wouldn't matter much, though I wouldn't put it past Miriam to check the book in the morning to make sure her bookmark is being used (she won't care whose is on top).

Here is a picture that Miriam drew of our whole family:

She only asked for help spelling Benjamin's name, and as you can see has a complete disregard for letter order. She will sing M-I-R-I-A-M or R-A-C-H-E-L as she writes but will plop the letters down in any old order she pleases. Not only is she into bubble letters, but she's also experimenting with vertical writing. Here's a picture she drew of/for Rachel, or, as she spelled it, LeCHRA:

Here is a blueprint of the Hogwarts cake she wants for her fourth birthday (drawn on a paper that has "Boo." printed on it (Andrew set up our printer so that he can send jobs to it from wherever he is in the world so sometimes he prints things randomly in the middle of the day when I'm home alone with the kids just to sacre me (isn't he sweet?))):

And here is the conversation we had prior to the creation of this picture:

"Why am I not still four?" she asked while I was nursing Benjamin.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Ummm..." she hemmed while climbing up to perch on the arm of the rocking chair in order to whisper in my ear. "Why am I not still for?"

"Do you mean 'why are you not four yet?'" I asked her.


"Because you haven't had your birthday yet," I reminded her.

"Oh. Okay!" she said cheerily and then launched into a monologue. "Well, when I have my four-day on October 25th, can I have a Harry Potter cake? And I will say "Gryffin!" and you will say "-dor!" and then we'll say, "Gryffindor!" And then there can be a pointy thing and pointy thing and a square door, okay? You don't blend just make it, not blend it. Because it's not really shaky. It just has frosting. And then brown frosting. And then white things. And then it can be done. And then you can put it in the refigerator so it can be really good, okay? And then when I'm five (I was just talking about four but now I'm talking about five) I can have another Harry Potter birthday and everyone can come! Grandma and Grandpa and the girls across the street and everyone. I'm going to invite everyone to my birthday! With five candles when I turn five and four candles when I turn four. Okay? Okay?!"

"Wow," I said. "That's a lot to take in." And then, because I was trying to nurse and she was being a huge distraction I suggested that she draw me a picture of the cake she had in mind. That kept her entertained for quite some time (because she can't ever draw just one picture).

Here's a picture Rachel (Anneliese Heiss) drew of the Mount Timpanogos Temple, which is where Andrew and I got married. From left to right you have us, the temple, and the mountains:

Now onto some schoolwork of Rachel's...

Here she is at her last award's ceremony (back in February). You can see the lovely artwork going across the back of the stage. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I took of her (juggling kids makes picture-taking difficult). I wish that I would have taken a picture of the whole Eskimo scene because her Eskimo was on the far right, holding a fishing pole and she was so proud that hers was one that was chosen to put up during the awards ceremony.

She brought him home this weekend. He's about as big as Benjamin.

Both Andrew and Miriam find him to be a little scary. Miriam keeps asking why he has a scary face on and when we came home from church yesterday Andrew said, "Rachel, can you please take your scary man off the couch and put him somewhere else?"

"That's not a scary man, Dad!" she scoffed.

"What is it?" he asked.

"It's an Eskimo!"

My entire family recognized it over Skype. She was happy about that.

Here's an assignment she wrote about Miriam for Valentine's Day:

She shows she cares for Miriam (or generic "sistrs") by:
1) Pick them up when they fall.
2) Remind them what to do.
3) Give them a hug.
4) Give them a present.
5) Read to them.
6) Take care of them.
7) Help them.
8) Sing to them so they will stop crying.
9) Draw a picture for them.
10) Write a card for them.

Here's an assignment she wrote about an iguana (though it's possible she may have been supposed to be writing about chameleons since that's what her teacher interpreted ugrwna to mean (I asked Rachel though, and she said it was an iguana (which totally made sense the minute she said it))).

Her spelling makes me think of this:

But anyway, here's what Rachel has to say about iguanas (and/or chameleons):

The iguana is blue and purple and green and red. It is bumpy. It has leaves under it. The leaves are green. He is eating one leaf. The iguana's feet are green and purple. The tail is purple, too. The iguana has black eyes. The [iguana] has a tail. He has feet, too.

They've been working on using descriptive words (which we call adjectives at our house because I believe in introducing my children to big, scary words early) for the past couple of weeks. Here are a few more essays she's written with very flowery, descriptive language:

The girl penguin has on a red bow. The boy penguin has a Santa hat on. Both of the penguins are dressed in red. The boy penguin has a pompom on the top of his hat. The penguins have a white belly. The penguins slide on their bellies. Both of the penguins have orange beaks and orange feet.

The mommy penguin has a pointed hat and it has a pompom at the tip top. The baby penguin has red and white and black scarf on. The baby penguin has on red ear muffs. The mommy penguin has on red mittens on. Both of the penguin[s] have a beak and the beaks are orange.

Here's an essay about her American girl doll, though Rose isn't technically an American girl doll...she's a Magic Attic Club doll. Same difference, I suppose.

I am playing with my American girl doll. Her name is Rose. She has a blue dress on. She has lace sleeves. She has squares on it. She has black hair. She has a cat, she is a girl cat. The cat is white. She has a [continued on back:] dog too. The dog is blue. The dog is a boy.

Here's one last adjective assignment:

I play on the straight slide. The straight slide is yellow. It has a top. I like to go fast on the slide. It is warm outside. It is kind of chilly outside. The slide goes fast. The sky is very blue. You go fast if you have pants on. If you go too fast you will land on the ground. If you land on the grouns you will get hurt. So be careful. Do you like to slide?

If one thing is clear it's that Rachel knows that colour words are adjectives.

They've been watching Care Bears sometimes instead of going outside to play for recess because it's been frigidly above freezing lately. Our air quality is top notch here and the weather is beautiful but the kids are still kept cooped up inside far too often, in my opinion. Anyway, Rachel now loves Care Bears (and was very impressed when I sang the theme song for her—"How do you even know that song, Mom?!"):

I am playing Care Bears with Miriam and Benjamin. I am the Care Bear that is pink and it has a rainbow on it. We are having fun! It is a sunny day! Benjamin is grumpy bear. Do you like Care Bears? I do. 

The back of a letter-tracing worksheet: I like Gabby because she is sweet. I love the Book of Mormon. I like my teddy bear. It is a yellow teddy bear. I love the Care Bears because they care.

I see the dinosaur. I like the dinosaur because it is blue. The dinosaur is a longneck. I love the little dinosaur.

This is a counting activity they frequently do in Rachel's class. Each child gets a container of things (most often just tiddlywinks but occasionally gummy bears or goldfish) and they have to count them, draw them, and record the number:

This is another activity they frequently do (Read, Make, Write). We actually do this at home, too, because both the girls love it. In the middle column you just make the word using alphabet whatevers (magnets, scrabble pieces, noodles, etc). This particular worksheet made me laugh because of what Rachel wrote on the back.

After they're finished they're supposed to use the words in a sentence and this particular batch of words made her sound a little unsure of herself (at least the first two sentences).

Sometimes Rachel's really proud of the colouring sheets she does, when she feels she does a good job of staying in the lines. This was one of those times:

And lastly, here's a worksheet she learned in one of her classes. They have a counselor-type teacher who teaches a values class. This was a worksheet they did in that class. Rachel's been talking about filling other people's buckets with nice things for weeks now.

"Actions or words that show you care" help to fill the invisible bucket that everyone carries around with them. I love it when she comes home with papers like this so that I can use the same language the school uses to help her remember how she should behave. With all the talk about "values" in education,  I've been happy to see that the schools around here are sure to instill values in their pupils. I agree that values should be taught in the home, but I also see no problem with other adults in the community teaching my child good values. Anything good comes from God and I'm wholly of the opinion that it takes a village to raise a child. We've been so blessed to get such a wonderful, caring kindergarten teacher for Rachel!

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