Blog Archives

DIY – Word Blocks

A little while back I came across the idea of using megablocks to help with phonics skills and fluency.  I thought it was a great idea.  I’ll try to find the website where I first saw it, and will share it when I do.  For now though, here’s our take on it:

Seeing how the girl has outgrown her megablocks and generally is using lego for building, I loved the idea of repurposing her old blocks.  So today I pulled out my label maker and her box of blocks and set to work.  This should give new life to all her old sets, that haven’t seen the light in several months.

I decided to put both a capitalized and lowercase version of the same word on each block.  This way, when we start worrying more about proper capitalization her blocks will still be useful for her.  Eventually I’ll be adding a whole lot more words – including many she has requested herself – as well as doubling up some blocks with words like is, was, it, and…  as many of them can be used twice in the same super silly, extra long, sentence.

We also decided to use many of her blocks with stickers on them.  You know how some sets (like Kai Lan and Diego) have themed stickers that get applied to some blocks?  Well, we’ve labeled those too – with Kid kid’s choice of words.  It can be nice for early readers to have visual hints when still working towards reading fluency.

So, here are our blocks.  I ran out of tape in my label maker, so had to stop a little earlier than I’d have liked.  But we still had enough finished to have a bit of fun.  Lily-Ann loved my “Dad was stinky” sentence, and I loved that her very first one was “Lily-Ann is cute”.  😉

 

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A sweet story and a building project!

I had three completely unrelated things to share seeing how I needed to post a photo for challenge days 18, 19, and 20…  but then I realized I could very honestly share a project the three of us worked on today and have it fit for all three topics.  Yeah, it may be a bit of a cheat – but it’s not a huge one, especially considering I did grab snapshots on both Friday and Saturday, even if I’ve decided to only share a series of images from today.  LOL

But first?  First I have to share a really quick little story that is super cute and totally warmed my heart.  😀

On Friday I was over at my parents place – watching everyone so Mom could go with Dad to an out of town gig.  When Marie, my sister (whom Lily-Ann is named after), got home she came upstairs as usual then asked for my attention.  I stopped working on supper and looked over at her:  “Yes Marie?”

“Moby.”

“Yes.”

“Moby, look.”

And with that she held up the index finger on her right hand as if to say just one second.  Then she bent WAY down to where little Thor (one of my puppies from the Avenger litter whom is now my Dad’s puppy) was standing, and gave him a little pat.  She then stood back up.  “Moby.”

“Yes Marie?”

My sister, who has never been much of a pet person and who does her best to just ignore the other two dogs in the household, gave me a great big grin and an enthusiastic thumbs up.  To which I replied “Awwww….  Marie!  I’m so glad you like him.  He’s a cute little guy, isn’t he?”  She nodded in approval, which made me feel awfully wonderful.  😀

Okay…  now onto my challenge photos.  😉

So, I need to share for something I bought, sweet, and someone I love.  Well…  here are the girl and her Dad working together to put up the last couple of shelves in her room (which he and I started putting up while she was out with my sister Riki earlier today).  I think this series of pictures covers all three challenge topics pretty darn well.

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photo a day challenge for january

A Vanity for Lily-Ann

Well, tonight the girl and I went shopping.  It was after supper, so we knew even if we were successful on our hunt, that our project wouldn’t actually get started tonight, but it was worth going to look – just the same.  We spent a couple hours checking out all our options before making a choice, and I think it will be workable.

The vanity I built myself when we first bought the house has been overloaded the last couple of years as Lily-Ann amasses more and more of her own things, and further develops her own style.  My vanity now overflows with things belonging to both of us, in containers, in piles, stuck in travel totes because there’s no room for it all.  Something had to change.  And with the girl’s fifth birthday around the corner, the two of us figure it’s time she had a vanity of her own.  Hence the shopping trip.

We live in a small space, so purchasing a vanity just isn’t an option.  That’s why I built mine to begin with.  It’s small, and is basically a glorified shelf jutting out of the wall at the right height with a couple more shelves on the side for storage of large non-everyday essentials.  Hers needs to be even smaller.

It took a lot of imagining…  checking out what we could find, how we could repurpose it, what we could change, what we couldn’t.  And I think we may have found something that we can make work.  It’s supposed to be a towel caddy, for hanging multiple bath towels.  But by pulling out the lower shelf, and adding something over the top (like a breakfast tray), I think we’ll be able to make it work perfectly for her.  It wasn’t quite what I imagined, but I think it will work just fine.

I love living in our small house.  Though it can be a challenge at times, I like how close it helps us to be.  There isn’t room to get away from one another, so we are physically and emotionally closer.  But there are times – like trying to make the most out of our bathroom space – when it can present some inspiring quandaries.

We’re Building a Loft Bed!

Wow!  A tough job in such a small home, but we’re doing it.  And we’re actually more than half way there.  This kind of construction is relatively simple, the biggest problem we’ve encountered is simply trying to maneuver such huge pieces of wood in such a tiny space…  to give you some perspective…  the bed will be 8’8″ long when completed (including the frame) and the space it is in is only 10′ wide.  So, it’s been a little tough.  LMAO  The space being so tiny is also what has made the loft necessary.  It really should make a world of difference for this family of three + four + one + one + one (all the pluses are for our animal family members).

Anyway, here’s what it looks like after day one of construction:

Loft Bed Progress


Our hearts will never heal.  On this, the anniversary of the attack against our friends and neighbours, we remember all those who’s lives were ended, and who’s lives continue to be affected by the loss of those closest to them.   Never forget.


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Building our Raised Bed Garden

Here’s  Lily-Ann, working diligently and concentrating oh so hard, as she helps to construct our raised bed garden (or at least the box for it).  Measuring, hammering, hammering, more measuring, hammering measuring, hammering, hammering hammering…  a little bit of cutting, then even more hammering and maybe a bit more measuring, just for good measure.  😉

All in all, it’s 16.5 feet long, two feet high and two feet wide, with a 14 inch deep compost section on either end.  We’re gonna need a LOT of dirt!  LMAO

measuring the wall that seperates the compost from the garden

"Working hard or hardly working, eh Mack?"

So…  got some dirt?

Building Blocks

Building blocks can refer to any number of things, especially in a metaphorical sense.  Anything you use to build up to something better is, essentially, a building block.  Today though I refer to them in the literal sense…  building blocks.

The wee girlie got sick last night at about 2:30 a.m. and hasn’t been well since.  No fever though, thank goodness.  But that’s meant that we’ve kept today really nice and low key.  In the afternoon we spent a couple hours sitting on the floor building with her mega blocks.  Something that she loves doing, but that doesn’t require much physical investment.

If you look closely, you’ll see Lily-Ann in the bokeh surrounding her block house.

MegaBlocks house for Kai Lan, Tolee, Ho Ho, and Itza.

Building Blocks

Here are a couple other shots of the house…  playing with my depth of field a little.

Itza the Iguana and Kai Lan hanging out in their block house

Itza and Kai Lan - hanging out.

Ho ho, Tolee, Kai Lan, and Itza, sitting at the table...

Hanging in the block house

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