Still Playing School: June 2013

2nd Blogversary - Why I Write

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 1 Comment
Last week was our 2nd blogversary, but let's celebrate this week, shall we?  (If you play along, I promise to give away cupcakes!)  Also, can we please make up a song for the blogversary to the tune of The First Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence?

Still Playing School has become more like a (delighful! enjoyable!) part time job and less of a hobby in 2013, which is my third year of writing.  Since I've started to treat it as such, we've seen an large increase in traffic as I am posting regularly.

Mr. SPS once asked what the return on investment is, particularly when I hired a mother's helper once a week to free up some uninterrupted writing time (which I then ended up using mostly to clean the house).  Essentially, why do I spend so much time writing here?

I started writing primarily to catalog the activities I did with E and to record her development.  Our second post was a sensory play date with Everest and Irelyn, who we are having co-op home school preschool with this summer!

And then, of course, we took a hiatus when we learned of Violet's diagnosis until after she was born and left us.  The following December, while visiting with Jamie and Lisa, I discussed my desire to write again, not just about E, but also about Violet.  I was struggling with the fact that my grief might not fit into the theme of this blog.  They assured me that the blog should encompass all parts of me, of us, of our family.

Still Playing School became a safe place for me to grieve.  I could write about Violet here without sympathetic or shocked or questioning eyes staring back at me.  Only those who wanted to read would visit.  Meghan, the owner of Splat Studio, once pointed out that my grief outreach was also education and teaching.  I tucked that comment into my back pocket for when writing about Violet feels self indulgent and so therapeutic that I forget it may help others.

Once pregnant with D, SPS was a place to marvel about our rainbow pregnancy and this little baby who appeared when we needed him most.  Once again, I had a vision of two students with whom to play school.

Bryan, the owner of Five Stone Kids, pointed out that this blog is my 10,000 hours of practice that may lead me to a future where writing plays a larger role in who I am.  

I love what Still Playing School has evolved into over the past two years.  I love the opportunities it has brought us, the people I've met, the experiences that it's inspired.  I love who I've become through writing.  I write for me and I write for my family and I write for you.  I love every single one of you, our readers, for traveling this journey with us.  Thank you!

When and how did you find Still Playing School?  

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Creating a Grieving Book for Children

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: , 6 Comments

When her baby sister died, E lost the only sibling she had (at the time).  She had watched my entire pregnancy progress and we had talked about the baby, who we then learned was a girl, who we then named Violet, who we then learned would die.  

It was a lot to process for my oldest girl who was about to turn two when she met and said goodbye to her baby sister.  I have done so much research regarding grieving, both for myself and for my children.  

One thing that has helped us all is having resources at our finger tips to regularly visit and discuss our situation and how much we all miss Violet.  I want to teach that death is a part of life and grief is normal.  Along with books like We Were Gonna Have a Baby, But We Had an Angel Instead and I Miss You: A First Look at Death, I wanted E to have one specifically about herself and her sister.  I used Shutterfly to write one about their relationship.

The words tell the story of how E couldn't wait to be a big sister while Violet was in Momma's tummy.  There are photos of what we did as a family as we waited to meet her illustrating that we already loved her so much. 

The book highlights E's time with Violet, starting with how V wanted to meet E first!  I purposely wrote in the present tense that E is the big sister and V is the little, that E loves V and that V loves E.  It is so important for her to feel her sister's love, even still.  

I don't write details specifically about what happened to Violet, but I end with a page about how we all miss her and can still remember her in many ways.  E has internalized so much of this tough subject in her own way which is evident when she talks about Violet.  Last week, she said she wished flowers would die so that her sister could enjoy them.   Yesterday, she wrote her a note and asked me to send it to Violet.

I won't pretend that it doesn't bring tears to my eyes every single time I read the book I made, but that's okay.  We are teaching E to visit grief in a regular way to decrease the times it builds up and surprises us. 
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Show & Tell: Samantha Gettler, PTSD Survivor

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: Be the first to comment!

Samantha Gettler has supported me immensely as I explore what I suspect to be PTSD related to Violet's death.  She has shared details about her own diagnosis, provided local resources, and been my sounding board.  I would be lost without her strength.  June is PTSD Awareness Month, so this is the perfect time to hear Samantha's story!

Welcome, Samantha!  We've known each other for almost a year now, but already I'm sharing so much with you regarding one of the most difficult moments of my life because you are such a caring, inspiring person.  I love how Violet has brought me new friends like you.  Can you tell readers how we met?

We met through Scentsy, actually.We were both consultants initially, but I have since backed out of selling because of time and energy. I still totally love the products and really need to get that party booked!

Scentsy is quickly taking a back burner in my life too, as Still Playing School takes up more of my time (and passion)!  Who do you share your life with?

I just recently (Valentine's Day 2013) got engaged to my boyfriend Brad Schroeder.

Aw, congrats!  How did you two meet?

We met through an online dating website and hit it off right away. I have a dog I rescued named Nelly. I have a bumper sticker that says "who rescued who" which describes Nelly and I in a nutshell.

Brad also rescued his dog, Cody, from a shelter in Alabama to be his service dog. Brad suffers from PTSD related to his experiences during combat in Iraq which is partially why PTSD is so important to me.

I also suffer from my own PTSD. I went to counseling for over five years to find ways to cope with my symptoms. I'm a firm believer that counseling helps with the right counselor and the right support system at home.

What was your PTSD like when it started? How have you gotten to where you are now?

I realized I needed help when I was angry.  All the time. I was having issues emotionally connecting to people. Sometimes I'd over connect emotionally, sometimes I wouldn't connect at all. I sought out counseling.  It allowed me to find a handful of coping mechanisms. Whenever I feel disconnected, overwhelmed, depressed, I have a handful of things I can do to help myself. I can't prevent or hinder my symptoms but I do have ways of working through them.

What about your fiance?  What was his experience like?

He knew he had a problem and his family took him to the VA for help.

Ideally, how do you see your PTSD in 5 years? 10 years? How do you plan to accomplish this?

I manage on a daily basis. I think I'm doing pretty well and hope to continue to do well. I don't want to say I'm "healed" because I don't think you are cured.  I just think you find coping skills and apply them when the situation arises.

What advice can you give our readers regarding PTSD?

I think that anyone who feels they may have PTSD should find a counselor/professional to talk to. It was life saving for me. My best advise in regards to counseling: It's like finding a husband. You have to feel comfortable with the person. You have to trust that person and you and that person have to have the same goals.

You gave me that analogy a few weeks ago and it's really stuck with me.  It's insightful to compare it to finding a partner.  The relationship has to be built on trust and not just credentials.  

Can you tell us about your work with PTSD service dogs?

I volunteer with Dog T.A.G.S. program as a trainer. I have seen the AMAZING changes a PTSD service dog can do for these veterans. I've seen guys who wouldn't leave their house, who wouldn't talk to people, who were very secluded in their own "prison" come alive, open up and go places! It's amazing how this program has changed lives. I am so happy to be a part of something so amazing!

Wow, the Dog T.A.G.S. program seems wonderful!  It must be therapeutic in a multitude of ways.   You should be very proud of your involvement with it!  What are your other passions?

I don't have children and our pets are our children. Cody is also involved in flyball. (It's a relay race where four dogs jump a series of four jumps and get a ball from a box. They are judged on passing and time.) I'm going to start Nelly in basic obedience relay course (the tunnels, jumps, tables etc.) to build her confidence.

Thank you so much, Samantha.  You are helping others more than you probably realize.  


Read more about our Show & Tell feature.
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E & Mommy Library Book Review - Part 1

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 2 Comments
We were at the library for story time last week so I chose a week's worth of books at random to check out.  Each night E picks one for us to read (along with some of our favorites from her collection at home).  Here are our thoughts on them!

The Colors of the Rainbow - Jennifer Moore-Mallinos

Comparing the differences of people to the colors of the rainbow, this Let's Talk About It book inspired conversation.  We discussed how people can look and act and dress differently (like D's "orange" hair) before we were in the awkward situation of her bringing it up in public.  Now when she inevitably does, I can remind her of this book!

My favorite part: From clothing worn, holidays celebrated, languages spoken, to skin color, I loved the examples this book gave.  Every page sparked something we could discuss, like how E's uncle is bilingual because he is from Turkey.

E's favorite part: "The haircut page!"

Still Playing School grade: B+

Everett the Incredibly Helpful Helper - Sue Ann Morrow

Everett thinks he is helping his parents, but he is really making more work wherever he goes!  Sound familiar?  This book has a super realistic story line with cute colored pencil illustrations.  (On the last page the mommy was reading a book to the preschooler while the daddy rubbed her feet and, I kid you not, we were doing the exact same thing!)

My favorite part: I liked discussing real life lessons as Everett made his messes.  "Uh, oh, do you think he should just grab things in the grocery store or ask his daddy first?"

E's favorite part: "The grocery store!"

Still Playing School grade: B

The Thingamabob - Il Sung Na

The elephant isn't quite sure what this umbrella is so he tries lots of activities and asks his friends before he figures out!  I found myself making sound effects for almost every page, which is not something I typically do while reading, but the book was that much fun!

My favorite part:  The illustrations of the different umbrellas on the inside cover.  They are from the top down perspective, so it took E a minute to figure out what they were.  We had fun choosing our favorite umbrellas!

E's favorite part: "The animals coming to him."

Still Playing School grade: A

What Do Bunnies Do All Day -

Have you ever spent a whole day on an adventure with your preschooler, only to have them tell someone later that they did, "Nothing," all day?  Little Bunny is the same way.  He ventures out for the first time without his momma, attempting to find our what his kind should be doing all day, all the while doing precisely what a bunny does all day.

My favorite part: I am partial to when he returns to Mother Bunny, of course!  The illustrations are whimsical, too.

E's favorite part: "The flowers!"

Still Playing School grade: C

Well Done - Richard Morgan

Confession:  I didn't read this one to E.  Mr. SPS did.  I just called him to ask what his favorite part was and he said, "I didn't like any of it.  It was entirely too young for E.  It was beneath her comprehension level.  I should have read it to D.  If it was our book, I would put it in the recycling." Well, then.

My favorite part:  It would be great to spark discussions about independence, probably, but not according to Mr. SPS.

E's favorite part: "He washing his hands!"

Still Playing School grade: A scathing, resounding F from Mr. SPS

Dear Bunny - A Bunny Love Story - Michaela Morgan

I...found myself really struggling to follow this story line.  The bunnies are writing love notes to each other, but do they know each other?  They are addressing each other by  Have they met?  They put the notes in a hollow log (The same hollow log, so why doesn't the second bunny get the first bunny's note when she puts her note in?), mice go to nest in the log, ripping up the notes.  When they mice realize what they've done, they feel remorseful so they put together a kidnapper-style note or found poetry or what have you for the bunnies from the two destroyed letters.  I am also bothered that the female bunny's note says that the flowers are tender and then again that they have exceptional tenderness.  Redundant, Bunny!

My favorite part: When the horribly written notes get ripped up.  KIDDING!

E's favorite part:  "The hearts!" (Spoiler Alert: The bunnies fall in love and there are hearts!)

Still Playing School grade: D

In the Trees, Honey Bees - Lori Mortensen

This book is poetry written about honey bees with elaborated facts included on each page.   I would highly recommend this for later elementary grades, not only to teach about bees (it's effective for that, even at E's age) but because it would be fun to pick a subject and write about it in the same style! 

My favorite part:  Factual poetry!

E's favorite part:  "They get flowers!"

Still Playing School grade:  A

My overall favorite book: The Thingamabob for the preschool level, but In the Trees, Honey Bees is a close runner up.

E's overall favorite book:  Everett the Incredibly Helpful Helper because "he makes the mess!"

What's your favorite children's book that you've read lately?
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links which just means if you click over to Amazon from the links this page and purchase anything, we get a bit of money for sending you there!
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The Problem with W Sitting

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 13 Comments

E is a perpetual W sitter as you can see in all of these posts.  I remembered Megan correcting Everest when he sat like this, but I wasn't sure if it was an issue that he needed to work on individually or if it was a position that every child should avoid.

When I asked, I learned that in Everest's case, he had low muscle tone in his trunk and core, so he was sitting this way for stability.  Megan needed to correct this position so that his muscles could strengthen, but she informed me that sitting this way damages any child's joints in their knees and hips.

So why was E sitting this way and what could we do about it?

I asked friends if anyone knew an occupational therapist that could answer a few questions about this (and also E's pencil grasp).  I was put in contact with a very helpful OT, Becky McVaugh, who thoroughly answered these questions.

Becky said, "Children who are developing typically usually do this for two reasons.  The first could be that they are seeking out sensory input.  If you attempt this position, you can feel the stretch that it creates which, for a child whose central nervous system does not register sensory input at the same level as peers, allows the child to be receiving input to their brain about where their body is in space, etc.  My hypothesis (based on the grasp) is that your daughter may be doing this for the second reason.  The second reason that children do this is that it creates a wider base of support which helps them support themselves better while sitting on the floor.  Many children start doing this when they are younger and it becomes an unconcious position for them."

"I see this position frequently in the 0-3 population that I work with and tell parents 100% of the time that it needs to be corrected as it can actually cause damage to the hip joints.  For a child that age, I would recommend pairing a verbal prompt such as "fix your legs" with a physical cue at first.  After some time, a few days at her age probably, you should just be able to remind her verbally."

Becky then described some alternate ways that E could sit:

 If you or your child has spent any time in the classroom lately, you'll recognize the phrase "criss cross applesauce."  What used to be called "Indian style" now has a politically correct and kid-friendly name!  Everest took it one step further at our home school preschool and added, "Spoons in the bowl," meaning hands should be in the lap, too! 

For side sitting, one leg is still folded the way it would be for w sitting, but the other leg is bent in the same direction.  Becky pointed out that this is the position that most chronic w sitting children naturally correct to since it still provides "a base of support, but because you are shifting the center of gravity, the hips are in better alignment."   Surprisingly, E rarely chooses to sit this way, but when she does, her left foot is usually tucked under.

Just like W sitting has the legs making a W, V sitting has the legs forming a V.   E doesn't seem to have to reach as far to play with toys this way.

Is your child a W sitter?  Did you even know this was something that should be corrected?  A BIG thank you to Becky for being so helpful with information for this post!
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Beach Learning

The beach is the world's largest sensory experience but we love to pack some academics and learning fun into our vacations, too! 

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Little Green Pouch Review & Giveaway

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: , 8 Comments

Isn't it exciting to find a reusable version of something you've been purchasing disposable?  When I discovered Little Green Pouch I just knew we had to try them!  This awesome mom-created company sent me a box of four - two for us to keep and two to giveaway!  

If you're a parent, you've likely seen the fruit and veggie puree squeeze pouches.  Have you tried them?  Most kids love them, just like any other squeezeable, pushable, slurpable snack.  It keeps their hands and mouths busy for awhile plus they are generally mess free and super convenient to throw in a bag on your way to the playground.  

But much like Maggie, who created the Little Green Pouch, I have felt stifled by the fruit and veggie blends that were available in prepackaged pouches.  I would buy a flavor to try, but E would deem it "too sour" and refuse to finish it.  Since I'm filling the Little Green Pouch myself, I know that she'll like what I'm putting inside for her snack!  I can add more nutritious produce that I know both kids like.  I'm loving their recipe page so  I'll be checking back for more ideas for both kiddos to keep the contents of our pouches new and exciting!

To try it out, I unzipped the top of the dishwasher safe, BPA-free, PVC-free & phthalate-free pouch and spooned in some applesauce.  I picked up E from her art camp (it was yellow/orange day as you can tell by the outfit and swath of paint on her tiny forearm) and gave her the snack at a nearby fountain.  She was impressed that it was still cold!

When we got home, I put the pouch on the top rack of my dishwasher, upside down and propped open.  Next I filled it with a homemade pea puree for D.  It was so much fun to be able to review a product that both of my kids could use!  

None of the accessories at the Little Green Pouch website are a necessity, but several of them would make this busy momma's life easier.  I am currently most coveting these silicone spout extenders for my teething, chewing baby!  

For D, it is super easy to pop out a few cubes of the frozen purees I've made for him to slip into the Little Green Pouch.  They thaw and keep the rest of the food in our lunch bag cold as we are out and about! 

Be sure to check their super informative FAQ page for anything I didn't cover in this review.  I'll report back in a few months on our SPS Facebook page to let you know how durable the pouches are after a summer of snacking on the go!

Now it is your turn to try the pouches out!  We will have two winners receiving one pouch each to spread the love around a bit more.  Please read our Rafflecopter tutorial to make sure you know how to enter correctly!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As stated above, Little Green Pouch sent our family a couple of resuable pouches in exchange for this review, but all opinions and enthusiasm is 100% our own!  
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Paper Chains for Countdowns and Patterns

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 1 Comment
The concept of time is abstract so it can be difficult to explain to children. We use paper chains to count down to exciting events!

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Why We Don't Sleep Train or Cry It Out

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: , , 2 Comments
Just now, I tried to put D down for bed, but he was restless.  He was tossing and turning and fussing in his bed, so I brought him back to ours.  We don't sleep train our babies and we never will.

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Some Days

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 1 Comment
Some days, not as often now, but still, some days...

Her name bubbles in my throat and at my lips.  I want to scream for her even still.

I want to ask the incredibly hard questions.  Oh, where are you, sweetie?  Why couldn't you stay?  Why did this have to happen to you? To the most innocent little baby, so perfect and so broken? To our family forever changed?  To so many beautiful babies and families that I consider my best friends now?  It's so incredibly unfair and unbelievable and hard.

I don't cry as often so it alarms E a bit more now when she sees it.  I try to cry quietly to avoid her questions if I can.  I used to be so open and honest with her with my grief.  I still am, if asked, but I don't want to heavy her small heart yet again.

I search for one more picture that most of the world hasn't seen yet.  I trace every tiny detail with my eyes, trying to find a part of her that I haven't seen before.

I'm just craving more of her, when I've already had all of her.

Most of the time I am rational, grateful, and at peace.  But some days, even still...

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Splat Studio Preschool Summer Camp

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: , Be the first to comment!
We've been in love with Splat Studio since we first tried an Art of Reading class when E was barely two.  In late 2012, Splat Studio officially moved to their new location.  We are ecstatic to have this family art studio  in our community and will be taking advantage of this as both kids grow older!

This summer, E is enrolled in Splat Studio's preschool summer camps.  This was perfect timing, as recently she's been asking us about mixing colors:

E: "Momma, what is blue and green and yellow?"
Me: "Um, brown."

E: "Daddy, what if we mix red and purple and black and pink?"
Mr. SPS: "That would probably give us a gross brown color."
E: "Why everything make brown, brown, brown?"

We've assured her that not all colors mixed together make brown.  We've encouraged her to experiment with paint mixing so she can discover the results on her own.  We've started to say, "We'll have to try it and find out!"  But even better is sending her to a real art studio where she can ask an artist, be an artist, and experiment with color all summer long!

The first visit was red day.  Did I mention that this was the FIRST time I was dropping E off somewhere and leaving (other than leaving her with friends and family)?  She was a bit unsure about staying by herself (and I was emotional) while D and I went grocery shopping, but she was super excited about her all red outfit.  

Once we arrived, she saw the red themed snack, red materials to write and draw with, and a friendly face in one of the helpers.  She didn't mind anymore as we slipped out to run our errands!  

When I picked her up, she was still smiling!  She had a red collage and painting to take home with her.  

It's very difficult to get reliable information from a preschooler regarding what happened during their day.  This was a skill I worked on daily with my kindergarteners.  Even so, E was able to tell me a bit about the story that they read and that red could mean love or anger.

I was ecstatic to get more details on Splat's Facebook page.  The children had worked on cutting and tearing paper for the collages, dabbing and sweeping with their paintbrushes, and yes, MIXING colors.  They used white and red to make pink and E was in heaven.

Thank you so much, Splat Studio, for another wonderful art experience for my girl.  We look forward to the whole summer and exploring the rest of the color spectrum with you!


We were not compensated for this review in any way.  We chose to enroll in the class and shared our experiences because we love Splat and all they have to offer!  
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The Genetics of Red Hair

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 8 Comments
We get a lot of comments about D's red hair.  The first was just seconds after he was born, from our favorite anesthetist, Doug, who was present for all three of our children's c-sections.  I'll never forget him asking, "Is hair?"

It was difficult to tell immediately, but after his first bath there was no denying it.  We had a ginger!  After E's jet black hair (at birth) and Violet's brown, we were shocked and the fact still hasn't sunk in completely.

We get at least one comment everywhere we go, usually, "Where did his red hair come from?"  I always answer the same way, "We aren't entirely sure, but there is red hair on both sides from his great aunts.  But not...this red."

But as I do more research, what I really want to answer is, "From a MC1R recessive gene on his 16th chromosome."

It's also getting redder, I think.  Or more "orange," as E likes to correct people who call him a red head.

The most interesting facts I've researched in the last 6 months include:

- Mr. SPS and I must both have a recessive gene for red hair that we passed on to D.  One in four of our children will have red hair and half of them will be carriers for the hair color, even if they do not have the red hair themselves (like E).  The red never shows up unless you have children with someone else who also has a recessive gene, so that explains how it can skip several generations then show up as a surprise like it did with us!

- Despite what strangers like to tell me in making conversation, red hair is not becoming extinct or dying out.

- D is more likely to be left handed, have a lower tolerance for pain and need more anesthesia, and has an increased ability to make vitamin D from the sun.

As far as having a worse temper, the verdict is still out, at least with D.  He is the most pleasant boy you can imagine 99% of the time, but it does seem to me when he gets mad or really upset, he cries much harder than E ever did.  It's rare, but during these crying fits I often check to see if he's hurt because he is so very inconsolable.  His toddler tantrums should be a blast!

Do you have a child with red hair or does it run in your family?  Do you know any other interesting facts about red hair?

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Weekday Vegetarian

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 3 Comments
We recently watched a Ted Talk featuring Graham Hill speaking about the environmental benefits of being a weekday vegetarian.  Compounded with the health benefits of eating less meat plus the abundance of fresh produce from our CSA and local farmer's markets, we decided to try it this past week.  It's so much less daunting because you rationalize that you can and will have meat again, just not as often as you did before.  I really appreciate the parameters of the week as well as the creativity it's inspiring when meal planning.

I didn't miss meat at all.  Mr. SPS said he didn't notice either, which is a bit more impressive.  We can still have it for lunch of course, but I think I only did once.  I haven't had a craving yet this weekend, either!

I realized that I had been planning our meals centering around meat because of cultural tradition and habit.  This week our menus included the following:

Monday - Hummus, avocado, red onion pizza I did crisp up the store bought crust in the oven before adding the toppings, but the recipe is supposed to be no bake and perfect for hot summer days.  I left a few slices avocado and onion free at E's request and I added shredded mozzarella.  I will re-do this hummus pizza idea frequently with different flavors of hummus, changing the veggies to use up what we have on hand.

Tuesday - Vegan Carrot Soup I omitted the matzo balls.  Mr. SPS said this was so delicious that we could go vegan.  I explained that I didn't want to, but he exclaimed again that we COULD because it was THAT GOOD.  Okay, I'll make it regularly!  I love the illustration style and recipes at The Vegan Stoner and will be following this blog now.

Wednesday - Asparagus Pasta, again.  It just needs to be a regular when the asparagus is in season.  E loves it!

Thursday - Corn and Tomato Salad -  I boiled 3 ears of corn and cut it off the cob.  I added a handful of halved cherry tomatoes, a couple of sliced scallions, balsamic glaze, olive oil, and a bit of garlic.

Friday -  Leftovers and Tapas

If we continue to do this, I think it'd be helpful to plan a pizza, a soup, a salad, and a pasta each week.  It would also be helpful if I ever took pictures of these meals to make these posts more appealing (so sorry about that).   I grocery shop on Monday and pick up our CSA share on Wednesday, but by Friday I will probably need to visit a market again.

What are your favorite vegetarian recipes?  (FWIW, we don't usually like fake meat or meat replacements, but I'd like to try cooking tofu.)
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Octopus Pattern Craft

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: Be the first to comment!

We started our co-op home school preschool this past week with an ocean and beach theme.  Megan and her two kiddos come to our house on Tuesday mornings and we go to their house on Thursdays.  One week in and we're all having so much fun!

We made an octopus craft after counting the tentacles in the book Commotion in the Ocean.  We started by "hot dog" folding a piece of construction paper.  (Teacher terms: A hot dog fold is long and thin like a hot dog bun and a hamburger fold is thicker and shorter in the other direction!)

I cut the paper four times, including on the fold, to make eight tentacles.  Next, we stapled the seam together.  The kids drew a face on their octopus.  

They selected two colors of cereal and sorted a pile of each to start their first pattern.  

We lined up the patterns first, then removed one at a time to glue it on.    

Using the glue independently was a huge perk for them (and good work for those hand muscles)!

So much concentration and collaboration while sharing supplies!

I think they turned out pretty cute!  

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