Our progress so far

Well, it was a bit of a rocky start yesterday as we had lots of forgotten items and false starts, but we finally got off and driving.

And then after about 15 minutes Superman started the dreaded question, “Are we to the hotel yet?”
And then it morphed into his own personal quest to point out to us every hotel we passed.  “MOM!  You missed the hotel,” sounding more and more aggrieved as we passed each successive hotel.  It got even worse when it started to get dark.  He was somewhat mollified by the idea of we were looking for a hotel with a pool.  Until we drove by one of those…….

But eventually we stopped for the night and we did swim in the morning.  And then drove for all of 30 minutes before we stopped at a McDonalds to make sure of where the road we were on split off from where we were going.  But, as you can see from the first picture, it was three very happy kids at that McDonalds running around while Mom and I drank our drinks and studied maps.


Mom and I happily took turns getting pictures at the state welcome sign.  Yes, it’s a silly tradition, but it’s a fun one.

And then we were totally confused as a couple pulled up and asked us if we were looking for the clue too.  Apparently there’s some sort of treasure hunt going on in this parish for prize cash.


We did our usual stop at the Welcome Center, and the kids had a LOT of fun picking out brochures.  We tried to stop at the first place they’d found only to discover it wasn’t open on Mondays, and the same was true for the next several ideas we had………

I’ve decided for this duration to leave off the watermarks because it takes too much time on my slow laptop, and besides I really doubt anyone is going to try and steal my travel pictures.

We finally found a museum that was open, but it was more of a Mommy type of museum.

The boys had fun running from diorama to diorama counting the people in it, and I enjoyed taking pictures of all the things that happened in Louisiana state history, mainly focusing on agriculture and production.  Either way I took a slew of pictures planning on making it into a book about Louisiana.
IMG_0973 So, if you’re ever driving through Shreveport I totally recommend the Louisiana State Historical Museum.  It was built as part of the WPA, and had all sorts of interesting history.

Ahhhh, fun history museums.  It’ll be even better when my kids have the patience to look at them.  But, now I’ve got lots of ideas for my unit on Louisiana………  Farming stuff, lots of farming stuff.

Oh, and I’ve figured out another great idea for traveling with kids:

Raid the library for books on CD, in particular Hank the Cow Dog.  I’ve mentioned before our love of Adventures in Odyssey.  Now, we’ve got a new one to add to our mix.

Oh, and those single serve things you add to water bottles.  I bought some of the Target ones on clearance last year.  Admittedly (and Jeff caught me on this) more because the box they come in is cool, than for the contents.  They loved watching the water change color and the mix of it all as it went down.  Great little mini-science lesson on diffusion.

We’re continuing to learn as well, They each read me or Mom a book in the morning and at night.  I want to add in at lunch, but haven’t yet.

Now, I’m off to read for a little before going to bed, and hopefully the kids will fall asleep soon.  I swear it’s like they don’t need to sleep.

And as a final thought, in case anyone thought it was restful sleeping in a Queen size bed with 2 six year olds, think again.  At one point I think we formed an H in the bed, and at another point I think Superman was spinning in the bed, and Batman had about 2 feet of bed on the other side of him while I was making do with a piddly six inches.

Travel pictures

Here’s what I’ve noticed from driving cross-country with kids.



Kids can sleep in any position.











Don’t give your son chocolate bars in the car.  He will be quite proud of this.










Large numbers of books to read are always a good thing.   Oh, and always wear cowboy boots on trips.










You can always entertain yourself by drumming on your backpack.




Oh, and pre-schoolers need to go potty at least once an hour, unless they’re asleep.

I’m back!

home that is.  And it feels good to be home.  Mind, my house is a mess.  I have way too much laundry to do, and Jeff has been stuck at the place cleaning the car since 9 something this morning (I had been envying him that long stay there, but not so much now, he’s finished his book and is very very bored).


I’ve got a bunch of posts to write about California and a couple from Texas, but those will have to wait until I have my lap top, which is hiding somewhere in the mess that is now my downstairs (as compared to the mess that is my upstairs).


After staying with someone who has a dog and little kids, Princess is really pushing to get a dog now.  She’s reminded me several times that she is now going poop in the potty, so she should get a dog now.  I reminded her of the added stipulation we came up with from the linked conversation, and now she’s dead set on getting the house clean, as long as she doesn’t have to do any work.


Well, I better get that next load of laundry moved around and get the kids on putting away the next small bag of stuff (I’ve found if I break it up into little bags of stuff in between play periods it gets put away with much less complaint, and actually put away).


I leave you with a music video that entranced me at Dairy Queen yesterday, it’s a good thing to keep in mind.  I’m not usually a country music fan, but this was a good reminder.

Preschool Corner: preschool on the go



This will probably be my last preschool corner post for a few weeks because we’ll be traveling soon, and so here’s my plans for traveling and learning on the go:


And PS: the pictures have nothing to do with the post, they’re just random pictures I liked because they’re cute.




We’re driving from Texas to Southern California, so we’ll pass through New Mexico and Arizona.  I’ll put pictures up as we go through, but here’s what the kids will be putting together for their geography studies as we travel:

Arizona State Symbols

Information and pictures for this came from this site: Arizona Secretary of State for Kids.  And can I just say I love when states have information for the kids  on their website, and I LOVE it even more when they have coloring pages or anything like that.


New Mexico


006 And information and many of the pictures came from the New Mexico Secretary of State for Kids.  And as a random comment, I’d have to say the Uncle Ben’s Guide to the Federal Government page on the US website is AWESOME!  I used that back when I was teaching second grade for the kids to learn about the U.S. government.


So, they’ll be doing those.  I’m going to look up some books on those states in our public library to find some good ones.  I’ll probably also be picking up some ones on Tombstone and Grand Canyon while we’re going to them.  Maybe one on Santa Fe as well……..  I’m a sucker for a good kid’s book.  If you want to see what we  did on California earlier check here.


Math and Handwriting


005 I plan to use some leftover preschool workbooks which the kids are mostly beyond to refine some skills and to work on their handwriting.  These should be mostly ones they can do on their own.  I’ve also printed off a bunch from the Learning Page from their insect theme (some of which I’m going to have to reprint because it got all screwy while printing a bunch of them).




008 I’m going to bring some of the books I’ve printed out from Reading A to Z for them to keep practicing on.  My goal is for them to read an “easy” one in the morning and a more difficult one in the afternoon.  We’ll see if I stick to this.






  We plan to go to the  San Diego Zoo (which I am SO stoked about) and an aquarium in Phoenix, AZ (anyone else find an aquarium in the middle of a desert hilarious?)


I’m debating about bringing our science book with us to read more about bugs or just letting that part be.




For more great posts about what kids are learning in pre-school head on over to Homeschool Creations.

Picnic Talk: Entertainment on the Go

We are currently traveling cross country, so this really is a rather appropriate question for me. Here’s what we’re doing to keep them entertained from Wisconsin to Texas:

1. I won 2 Tag readers and the collection of most of their books. The really cool part is one is a school tag reader and it can hold all the books we own! This has been the most helpful thing for us because they can do it on their own, I just have to switch the books around. We’re keeping them in a diaper box right next to my seat.
obviously this is the wrong picture, this is a great reason not to try and do memes while traveling. I got it all wrong.

2. I got a whole slew of sticker books, stickers and other such stuff from Target and other such places over the last several months. Superman in particular loves to color and has filled up several of the books. We also learned not to let them have markers in the car. I thought they’d outgrown that particular problem, but apparently not. So, that leads to the next one.

3. Color Wonder books and markers. They are wonderful because they only color on the special paper. The downside is most of the cooler books only come as parts of sets and so you’re constantly getting more markers. I wish I could just buy the coloring books. Yes, I know you can buy pads of blank paper, but Superman wants to color pictures not draw.

4. Small toys. We got several small toys that fit in their little backpacks that work wonders for keeping them entertained. It’s also fairly amusing to us to listen to the elaborate plots they come up with.

Okay now to general waiting in line:

1. Find your ________ We play the touch game. It starts like this “Touch your nose, touch your chin. That’s the way the touch game begins.” NOw if you follow the script you go through all sorts of fun things, ending with “Touch youy elbow where it bends, and that’s the way the touch game ends.”

2. Sing the alphabet song and I will sign the letters, they’re kind of starting to do it as well.

3. Head and Shoulders, Knees, and Toes- always popular and fun to watch them try and keep up

4. Truthfully, I also just have them practice sitting still. They need lots of practice at it, and I also have them put their hands on their heads because otherwise they put their hands on their brother or sister and that starts a whole new round of problems.

Also, in general anytime we know we’re going to be going somewhere they will have to be a while I have them pack their backpacks with toys and books so we have something for them to do. THen I will pack my purse with an extra toy or two and some snacks. That and I’ve discovered an Iphone can have all sorts of fabulously wonderful things to entertain your kids. We entertained Superman for 3 hours in the ER with it, I love You Tube. YOu can find lots of old Sesame Street and other things on it.

Well, that’s my rambling list of ideas, if you want more go here. Meh, Mr. Linky is closed, so I’ll just post this for normal. But, keeping the link because that gives me a chance to find other cool ideas.

And we’re off

Like that amazingly fast herd of cats that we are. We’ve almost to Wisconsin, but here’s some pictures from our tip up.

Everyone loaded up and playing with their TAGs.

Supplies for the day. Each day I add a new coloring book and sheet of stickers, I also change around the books they have to read for the day. We also broke down and bought a DVD player for the car and they get to watch about an hour or two of movie. Yesterday they watched some old “Wonderful World of Disney” episodes about big cats. Those were very popular with my animal crazy kids. I love being able to check out movies from the library. The adults listened to Agatha Christie novels.

Okay, better go eat before we hit the road. I’ll try and post about the cool spot we found in Saint Louis because of a postcard the boys got.

Traveling with Tots

This is piggybacking on my post about Surviving a College Graduation with Preschoolers., but I wanted to expand on what I said for traveling.

Last year we took our then 3 year old boys and 18 month old daughter across the country to Columbia, South Carolina. Keep in mind we’re in Austin, TX, so that’s a long drive. It was about 3-4 days of driving for at least 4-6 hours a day.

Here’s the things I did to prepare:

1. For the months ahead of time I scoured the toy clearance sections, Goodwill, dollar stores, and the Target dollar aisle. As I had money and as I saw a great deal I would buy little toys. I found Thomas trains clearanced for a dollar. I found lots of stickers. I got coloring books, special Batman markers. A box of dolls from around the world for $3.

Shop the after holiday sales. Most every major holiday has special toys for them. So you find the Easter Kelly doll a week after Easter for $2. She’s cute and orginal. The box of cool Valentine sticker cards for 25 cents. I collected all of this into a giant box.

2. Haunt Half Price Books and garage sales and other places to get cheap books. My kids love books. This is a great way to distract them. If you have a supply of new books they will have the fun of discovering the new books. I love getting the clearance 50 cent books.

3. Have a special backpack appropriate to the size of your child. I found some great toddler backpacks that my kids can carry even when stuffed full of every toy they can think of. Make sure they know they’re carrying it (if you have more than one kid, it just doesn’t work to carry their backpack).

4. Get a large supply of snacks. I grabbed every single coupon I could find for individual sized snack bags (the 100 calorie bags are more expensive but the perfect size for little ones). and bought them all

Now, here’s what to do while you’re on the trip.

1. Know that you will be stopping often. So, work that into your schedule. Don’t think that little bladders can go for 4 hours between stops. Recognize and work it in.

2. Stop at the Welcome Centers as you cross state lines. This is a great cheap way to get entertainment. My Mom did this with us, and we loved to gather brochures for all the places we wanted to go. Your kids will love the chance to stretch their legs, and some of the better ones will have drinks to get (Thank you Mississippi!). You can also usually get a free map of the state, which can be very helpful.

3. Have a cooler full of juice boxes. I froze a bunch of juice boxes and water bottles ahead of time so that when we left I didn’t have to get ice as well. It keeps stuff cold longer, and forces you to not drink it all the first day.

That’s my tips for traveling, this Works for me! See more ideas here.