Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Decorating Easter Eggs (2016)

 The girls dyed and then painted their Easter eggs this year. This project took all afternoon and they loved it! Mercedes especially has a very long attention span for activities like this. Their Aunt Elizabeth came to help! 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Emerald's Kindergarten Level Review Workbook

Emerald has recently completed her My Father's World Kindergarten Curriculum. I wanted to give her something easy to work on that would keep her brain fresh this summer since we have a baby due in September and she won't be starting A Beka's Kindergarten curriculum until October. 

I found this Kindergarten level Big Workbook from School Zone and it's wonderful. It reviews upper and lowercase letters and their sounds with some handwriting practice, shape recognition (including advanced shapes like cones,cylinders, cubes, spheres, etc. that she's never done before), number recognition and counting as well as other math concepts like units of measurement, patterns, adding and subtracting, graphs, telling time, counting money, etc. At the end of the book there are lessons teaching rhyming words, cause and effect, sequencing, etc. Throughout the book it includes lots of coloring and fun little activities like mazes and drawing pictures. 

This book is perfect for Emerald's summer review book because it is challenging enough to keep it interesting for her but not so challenging that it feels like hard work so she won't get burnt out. I ask her to do 4 pages a day which takes her about 15 minutes. She sometimes chooses to do much more and has done up to 16 pages in one day just for fun! 

Candy Land Board Game Cake

For Emerald's 4th birthday, we made this incredible Candy Land cake! We used four 9" x 13" chocolate cakes pushed together, green and white vanilla frosting and candy to decorate. 

We used:

Candy trail: Starbursts
Gingerbread Tree: a mini cupcake with green icing and red heart sprinkles
Peppermint Forest: Mini marshmallows, peppermints and peppermint sticks
Gumdrop Mountain: Dots
Peanut Butter Acres: Circus peanuts and peanut butter chip
Lollipop Woods: Dum Dums and multicolored lollipops from Wilton's lollipop favor kit
Snowflake Lake: Mini marshmallows, Frozen Snowflake Sprinkles and White Cake Sparkles
Mud Swamp: fudge, chocolate chips, peanut butter cups and Hershey's kisses.
Cupcake Castle: Regular and mini cupcakes, white frosting, multicolored sprinkles and multicolored nerds.

We had so much fun with this cake. It took us nearly 4 hours to decorate it!

Makes sure to watch the full Candy Land Board Cake Tutorial Video on the Mercedes' World Youtube channel! 

We took the cake to Emerald's birthday party and decorated the table with leftover candy from the cake in little candy dishes. We used candy/cupcake themed plates and napkins and Candy Land cups!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Emerald's 4th Birthday Letter

My Dear Sweet Emerald,

Today you are four. FOUR! How did this happen? Not too long ago you were a tiny, chubby baby in my arms, and now you are an adorable, independent, thoughtful four-year-old! I love the little person you are becoming. You have such a kind heart. You never think twice about sharing your snacks and toys with your big sister. You are always looking for ways to make my life easier now that I have a baby in my belly. You are so helpful. When I ask if you would like to help me clean, do laundry or cook dinner, you happily answer "yes please" and work harder than any little kid I have ever seen. And you do it with a happy heart! That makes me so happy too.

 You are turning into quite the leader! It's so fun watching you on the playground or at the pool, telling the kids at the top of the slide who should go first, second and third (usually in order of littlest to biggest) and even the big kids listen! I can't wait to find out how you will use this gift as you get older.

One of my favorite things is watching you play. You love to act things out with your sister and your little princesses, Barbies, ponies and blind bag toys. It's so fun for me to listen to the things you and your sister come up with to play. The two of you are best friends and I'm so happy that you have each other.

I love that you still love to cuddle. We bond over hugs, kisses, snuggles and tickle fights. You want to be a mommy and are always cuddling your baby dolls. You are so excited for your baby brother Dominick to be born so you have a real baby to snuggle with! You are going to be the best big sister. I can't wait to watch you take care of your little brother. 

I'm so glad you are my kid. You and Mercedes are the best daughters I could ever ask for. Every day you make my heart happy. Today we are celebrating YOU! Happy Birthday, Baby Girl. I love you so, so much!