Ahhhhh, Spring. . .

I thought I’d celebrate the first day of Spring (last Wednesday) blogging about all the beautiful signs abounding that Spring is here; the butterflies, the purple verbena already blanketing our yard, the two male blue jays I watched jockeying for position in a cedar tree.

But this is what my first day of Spring really looked like:

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That’s a picture of, you guessed it, two firemen looking at the border of what was a 4-acre brush fire.  I was standing at the edge of our back yard when I took this, about 10 yards from where they are.  Yeah, 10 yards.  About 4 acres burned.

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This picture shows the smoke from burning brush just beneath the edge of our property.

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All of these pictures were actually taken the day after the fire – it flared up again long after the firefighters went home.  They came back – sirens and all.

You know, it was a very strange feeling after running to the edge of our property on day one of the fire, realizing we had to get out, yelling at my kids to “grab your partner” (each Middle has a Little for a partner), crowding into the Suburban driving away, just me, my kids and my iPad and thinking to myself, “It’s all good.  We’re together, we’re safe, and it’ll be okay.”  (I’d leave out the bit about the iPad, but my kids have been teasing me mercilessly ever since.  They’d tattle on me if I told you I just grabbed the kids.)

I’m a collector of stuff – I have a ton of it.  But I’d trade it all without any hesitation for my family.  I’m thankful for the reminder.

And our house and yard still stands.

Wow.  I’m a lucky girl.  I get to keep my family and my stuff.

And Amber, this post is for you.  🙂

Arm-a-Dillow – You’re a Dillow

I know, I know, Texas is home to some pretty tall tales.  But in case you haven’t traveled to Texas lately to view the local roadkill, I just wanted to let you know, that yes, armadillos are real and they really do live in Texas.

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We found this one in what used to be our garden.  I thought they were night creatures, but apparently they come out quite a bit in the daytime.  This is not the first one we’ve seen.  And I’ll tell you what, they are MEAN-looking little critters.  But thank God for armadillos; trying to trap this one kept my middles busy for most of the afternoon yesterday.

Can’t wait to tell you why I’ve been too busy lately to blog . . . I’ve already written that post – just have to wait for one more thing to happen before I can post it . . .

Quick As a Cricket – Free Printable Sequencing Cards

Quick as a Cricket is another beloved children’s book brought to you by the dynamic author/illustrator team of Audrey and Don Wood of The Napping House fame.

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Each fanciful illustration is accompanied by a line of text underneath it with the same beginning phrase with only the adjective and noun changing, i.e., “I’m as hot as a fox” on one page and “I’m as weak as a kitten” on the next.

I originally chose this book for when our Letter of the Week was Q, but there are so many language elements to practice in this book, I had to expand my agenda a bit!  You’ll find opportunities for your little one like identifying nouns and adjectives, emotions (sad, happy, mean, nice), animal vocabulary, sequencing,  opposites, counting, and I’m sure I’ve missed an element or two.  It’s also a great early reader for kids because the majority of each sentence is the same.

An easy way to capture a teachable moment while you are reading this book is to point to and count the animals on each page after you’ve read the text.  It will go something like this:

“I’m as nice as a bunny.”

“Let’s count the bunnies.  (pointing) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.  Five bunnies.”

(Sorry.  I know most of y’all could have figured that out on your own, but I read posts like these and cannot for the life of me figure out how to incorporate the ideas without a script.  So I fill in the blanks for other people like me.)

I’ve made some free sequencing PEC-style cards to go with this book.  There is a card for each animal in the book.  You can find them here: Quick as a Cricket Sequencing

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Happy Printing!