Friday, April 29, 2011

"I'll take geography for 500 Alex"

(Ok warning, the level of bragginess in this post may be unbearable). Anyway, it all started when, well, it's hard to say when it all started. It was probably around the time that we checked out this atlas from the library.

Cole loved looking at the maps inside and spent large amounts of time doing just that. And started enjoying drawing some of the places, especially the good ol' U.S.

For Christmas we got him an interactive US map which he also loved. And again he spent lots of time looking at it and hearing the information about the various states.
At this point, I thought he would enjoy learning a song (that my little bro. taught me when I was like, 10) that recites all the states in alphabetical order. As expected, he loved learning this song.

So with all this love of the states going on, I got curious. And one day, a few months ago, I asked Cole if he would like to have a blank map of the United States and see how many states he could fill in. I didn't know exactly how he would do, because aside from the song, I didn't spend any time teaching him anything about the states, and he hadn't been learning about it in school.

I was totally blown away when he wrote in all but three states on his first attempt.

And I loved the way he spelled some of the states. Like "Tenisy" for Tennessee.

After the blank map game, he decided it was the best game ever and the next time we visited my family, he gave all the grown-ups a blank map to fill in. He LOVED grading all the grown-ups work!

The love of geography continued to expand as Cole learned all the U.S. capitals from a song. Learning this song was followed by learning the president's of the United States song. And as far as the first song he learned, the alphabetical one, because of that song, he can name all the states in alphabetical order in under 30 seconds.

He's looking more outside the US now and learning songs that list the nations of the world. It cracks me up when he makes comments like, "Mommy, that chipped paint is shaped like Lisutu" but then a few days later he says, "actually I got mixed up, it's actually shaped like Luxembourg and Lisutu is more shaped like Maine". He loves to ask me or any grown-up, "Do you want me to name as many countries as I can from (fill in the continent)?" He will then list the names of countries that I surely have never heard of.

But even just our planet is not enough. Cole has expanded to studying the solar system and beyond. Last week he composed a song about the solar system, and with Clay's help, made it into a music video. These are his lyrics:
Mercury you'd think would be the hottest
Because Venus is the hottest one you see
After that comes Earth, the home to all of us
And then along come Mars with two moons uncircular.
(musical interlude)
After that comes Jupiter with the Trojans
Then along comes Saturn with the beautifulest of rings
Uranus the sideways
And Neptune, by my opinion it would be the coldest.
(musical interlude)
Ceres in the asteroid belt and then
Pluto once considered as a planet
Humea eliptical and Makemake
And Eris in the shattered disc region.
(Musical interlude with more verses to come)

Oh, and this picture is an example of what Cole's Sacrament Meeting doodles have been as of late.
We may have a cartographer on our hands.

Monday, April 18, 2011

"i believe in science"

Cole loves to participate in all things school. So when the science fair came around, with participation being optional, he opted to be a part of the fun. Clay and Cole decided on a mold experiment. For a month we had the pleasure of observing mold growth on bread.
Cole loved attending the science fair and showing his display board to the other kids and especially to his teacher. He waited with bated breath for his teacher to arrive so he could show her his work. He took me aside to where no one else could hear us and said, "Do you know why it's so important to me for Ms. Biederman to see my experiment?...Because she's my favorite teacher". He had to take me aside for this so that none of the other teachers would hear and have their feelings hurt. He is always overly cautious about others hearing something that could be hurtful, like when he waited til we were across the street from the school to tell me about the janitor, "Mommy, I loathe Mr. Ross. He never lets us eat our fill at lunch time".
Anyway, here's Cole with his project:

got your goat

(another adventure back in February) We hadn't been to the zoo in a really long time, and I wasn't sure that Luke even had any recollection of ever going to the zoo, so we decided to go on a fun family outing to look at some animals.

Cole always loved climbing in these caves. Luke was too scared to explore because it's so dark in there.

Luke enjoyed viewing most of the animals from Daddy's shoulders.

Trying to take a picture of Luke in front of the zebras.

Cole in front of his favorite animal, giraffes. (Although the giraffes are really blending in in this picture.)

We stopped by the petting zoo. Luke was just not sure what he thought of all the goats. There was one goat in particular that was especially aggressive. For a while, it was following Cole all over and Cole was getting really nervous about it. In the end they both enjoyed brushing this nice, relaxed goat.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Red Velvet

Valentine's Day was so lovely. My boys made me feel so loved. They gave me this beautiful gift.

I loved the card that Cole wrote for me. "Here are some delicious cupcakes" written his own way.

WOW! Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. They were so delicious! I then found out that the recipe Clay and the boys used, actually made 100 mini red velvet cupcakes! So we enjoyed spreading some valentine cheer by dropping off plates of cupcakes to neighbors.

We ended the day with a red dinner.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Princess Jasmine

When baby sister Katie was little, she prefered to be addressed as Princess Jasmine. She was such a fan of the movie Aladdin and would love to recite lines from it in Jasmine's voice, like,
"How dare you! All of you! Standing around deciding my future! I am not a prize to be won!"
She was very dramatic. Now that she's older, she's still dramatic. And she's found her prince.
Katie got married in January (oops, guess I'm a little behind on posting) to Ryan. It was such a wonderful way to start 2011! The ceremony was beautiful and so were the bride and groom :)
My sister-in-law Breanne was their photographer and I got to just follow her around videotaping everything on my little camcorder.
Here's a tiny bit of footage of their first moments as husband and wife:

I need my family to email me more of the pictures, so for now, I just have a few.
Here are all the siblings

And here are my little men

Lots more pics at