Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm not so good at this blog thing

LOL~We have had a crazy-busy week! It's been good though, Mary Helen got to spend the night last night with my grandparents and Anna got to go to work with Joel for a few hours last night. We have done our school, but nothing too much extra. I am trying to get back in the swing of things to get those workboxes done. . .

I am going to sit down this weekend (hopefully) and re-vamp our schedule a bit. I think chores at 7:30 in the morning is just impractical for us all. Luckily, we do have some free time to play with so it shouldn't be too hard to revamp.

Anna is not doing so well with the potty training. We have a couple of good days then a bad week. She comes home in her extra clothes pretty much every day from Bible Play School. I am planning to get an appointment with her pediatrician to make sure there is no medical reason for her having problems (UTI or something?).

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hooked on Phonics: My Feelings

Someone asked in the comments how I like Hooked on Phonics. I have only been doing it with Mary Helen (Kindergarten) for a couple of weeks, but so far I am in love. I'm resisting the urge to order 1st grade :). I think Mary Helen likes the woman on the cd telling her what to do rather than listening to me (she hears me enough in a day!).

I like the repetition. I think that's great for learning to read as well as building confidence. She has read 3 of the little books that come along with it, and I think 3 or 4 of the little books printed in the workbook. There is an adorable little chart that came in our kit where she puts a sticker for each story she reads - she LOVES that!

The workbook has the student circle words in various activity (circle all the words that rhyme with mat), but I am planning to use this program for all the kids and then pass it along (if there's any life left in it!); so we write the words on the chalkboard or paper. This is fine with her and saves the book.

Feel free to ask me again after Christmas how it's going and I'll give another update then :)

Have a great weekend everyone! I have a hot date with the Dairy King and the girls are spending the night with MeMa! Tomorrow morning some girlfriends and I are headed to yard sales! I should be ready to crash by the time we make it through Trunk-R-Treat at church tomorrow night.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Workboxes or No Workboxes. . . that is the question!

Well, one reason I felt like I had nothing to blog about is that we quit doing workboxes. I was after survival and basics. So, we've been doing math and reading. Nothing extra.

Lately, Mary Helen has been asking for more and more, and I've been pulling out extra activities and keeping her busy. Today I asked if she missed having workboxes, and sure enough she does! So, I'm back at it. Now I have to remember all the ideas I had for the boxes and get organized again!

The Snails Trail has a great post on sight words activities, and I'm working some of those into our boxes. I'm hoping to find more good ideas soon :)

Today I wasn't feeling all that great and the day just got worse and worse, so we were back to survival, but I hope to get on top of things and will start posting more about what's in our boxes next week.

Oh! I almost forgot - we got over a BIG hurdle last week - Mary Helen learned all the days of the week finally!! We have been struggling with it, and it finally clicked :) Proud Mommy moment!

Another praise - Anna wore big girl panties all day and only had one accident! Yay!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Welcome to our school room!

I recently turned part of our playroom into the schoolroom. We used to have the set up in the kitchen, but I really wanted my kitchen back. I already was using the closets in the playroom for school stuff, and I just really like to change things up!

When we started homeschooling last August (2008), I set up the kitchen into a nice little school corner. I wanted to paint a chalkboard on the wall, but Joel didn't think that'd be a good idea. His question was about painting over it being difficult or something. Well, hello, honey. . . we are going to homeschool forever, I don't think the need for a chalkboard will be changing. But, we did it his way and painting a thin board with chalkboard paint and nailed it up with a pretty little fram made from moulding. Well, I decided when it was time to move school that he is probably the smartest man I know! We just took that sucker down and moved it to the next room - and isn't she lovely?!

This is an overview shot of the school area. To the right is the playroom area - couch, rocking chair, tv, computer, treadmill and floor space for playing.

The table was given to us (free!!!) when some friends of ours moved and no longer needed it. Thanks to facebook, I posted on there that I was looking for a very cheap to free table, and with in 10 minutes I had this one offered to me!
This is behind where I was standing to take the first picture. I have some family pictures, a curtain rod to hang artwork, and these bins that hold everything! We store crayons, markers, stickers, coloring books, construction paper, and other art stuff. The other one has some of our learning games like the leap frog letter games, playful patterns, nuts and bolts, wipe off placemats, etc. The picnic table is for playdoh, art projects, etc.

One of the closet doors - we have our current sight word in the top red pocket chart, and ones we've learned on the wall to the left. Colors and days of the week are on the bottom.

The next picture shows the wall between the closets with our very fashionable princess clock, our schedule, and our baskets for our chore packs (I will have a whole post about those soon!). The canvas drawers have various supplies - pencils, pens, readers that we aren't ready for. . . The pocket chart has the activity that each girl does during alone play time. I separate them for 30 minutes in the afternoon to do an activity on their own. The girls really look forward to this time of day!

And, the chalkboard area - the papers on the left are each of the girls' AWANA verses. I have our cd player down there - we listen to Mary Helen's Sparks lesson on there and her Hooked on Phonics lesson. We also play praise music during other times of the day. Mary Helen loves to listen to "Mommy music about God" :)

This shelf is between the kitchen and play/schoolroom. The green baskets (from the dollar tree) are for free reading (they each have 30 minutes a day of reading time, and I rotate these baskets - the missing one is by the recliner in the living room). The purple baskets hold daily school stuff - Mary Helen's math and reading workbooks, and her finished worksheets. The bottom basket has magnetic paper dolls, a magnetic tea set princess party book, and a wooden doll book that you dress the doll (one of Anna's weekly activities during alone time).

Here is Mary Helen doing her Hooked on Phonics lesson.

And Anna doing her coloring sheet during school time.
Thanks for taking the tour! If you have pictures of your school area, please put a link in the comments, I LOVE to get good ideas for school areas!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hello, world! Remember me?

Two and a half months or so have passed since I have blogged! Shame on me!

Well, I have missed the blogging world. I have not blogged, and I have not been following blogs as closely as I like to. But, I am coming back. You may not have missed me, but dear friends, I have missed you!

So, in the next few posts, you can look to hear all about my pregnancy so far (over half way there!), our school year and the dramatic changes I've made in the last couple of months, see my new school set-up, find out why we decided to put Anna in our church's Bible Play School, how I talked Joel into a cleaning lady :), what God has been teaching me, and other stuff that's been going on around here!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Super Summer Swap Linky

Head over to Superheroes and Princesses to link up your post about the swap and to check out all the great thing other folks swapped! Can't wait to see all the goodies that got swapped!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

School Time!

I forgot to take any pictures the first day, so here are a few from day 2!

The first is Anna doing a Brown Bear heads and tails puzzle. You can get it and some other great Brown Bear Brown Bear tot book stuff here. Check back later in the week and I'll have a picture of our little tot book that we're putting together.

Here is Mary Helen working on her DrawWriteNow assignment. We learned a bit more about frogs this week, and she did the frog habitat in her book. I love matching her writing assignment to our themes when possible :)
This is Mary Helen's mini office. I put everything on it with sticky tack and it's a foam board that I got at walmart. I wanted something portable, but that I could change around when we didn't need something on there. . . I hope it will be very versatile! We bring them to the kitchen table to talk about the day and the weather and cover a couple of other skills (MH is working on counting to 100, recognizing numbers - I'll call out random numbers for her to circle - and skip counting). Then I put each girl's board on top of their workbox shelf.

Finally, here is Anna with her mini-office. They love using their wipe off markers on the different things in their mini office. So fun!

Today was Mary Helen's fifth birthday and we took the day off at the last minute to go to a movie with one of her friends. I had called to chat with my friend, and she and her daughter were on the way to the movie and invited us, so I figured why not?! I don't intend to drop school at the drop of a hat, but occasionally it's a nice treat! We came home just in time for a good nap before a family dinner to celebrate her birthday again!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Back to the grindstone!

We are very happy to be back doing school! I never would have imagined that I/we would thrive on routine, but we do!! I was up early, had coffee and quiet time, fixed breakfast, and we did a couple hours of school.

My camera is dead, but I'll take some pictures of our day tomorrow.

I am thankfully feeling MUCH better, and have a fair amount of energy. I was needing it! Joel has been so great keeping the kitchen stocked and cooking for us - we would not have survived if he hadn't stepped up and been so great :)

This past weekend was the homeschool convention, and it really boosted me up and got me ready to tackle another year, so that's always a bonus!

I'll hopefully be a much better blogger now that we're back on track! Hope all of you homeschool moms are getting ready for a great year!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

You know you're a homeschool mom when. . .

They're pond critters. We have tadpoles, water beetles, pond skaters, crawfish, and may be something else??

They had critter night for the preschoolers at church last Sunday night, and since the man doing the presentation is good friends with Joel, and knew we were wanting some tadpoles, he gave us all of these! The crawfish are disgusting looking, but I'm really excited to have something interesting to watch. Now, let's just hope we can keep them alive and see the tadpoles turn to frogs!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Land of the Living

Well, I think I'm coming back, y'all! My body is imprinted on the love seat and I've slept through about 150 I Love Raymond reruns. I'v watched entirely more Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy than I'd like to admit, and I haven't done anything around my house.

So, while I'm back to life I think, I am spending my spurts of energy today cleaning house and doing laundry.

Next week I'm off with the little girls to meat all the other women and children in Joel's family for camp meeting. I'm hoping I'm not too naseaus to enjoy the cabin/tent that my mother-in-law has been working hard to restore to living conditions so we can all spend the night up there. Joel and his siblings and cousins used to go up there every summer, but in the last 15-20 years the place has just been opened up enough so that the family can keep it (you lose it if you don't open it up every other year or so).

Well, for the past few years some of us have gone and stayed in hotels or houses in the area during camp meeting, choosing air conditioned locations because of young children. But, this year the cabin has upgraded kitchen stuff, newer matresses (family hand-me-downs), newer furniture (our hand-me-downs), and a new window (for more air circulation). We started making all the plans as we were leaving from camp meeting last year, and over the past 12 months, Joel's mom has been busy seeing that things get done around there.

What we didn't anticipate was that Joel's sister and I both would be pregnant (me 8 weeks, and her 9/10 weeks). Hopefully we don't morning sickness everyone out of there!

So, when I get back and recover, I'll be getting ready for the homeschool convention. We will start school on August 3, and I hope to be a much better blogger then! I hope I don't loose any readers in the mean time!

Hope you all have a great week - I'll put pictures of our adventure up when we return!

Monday, July 13, 2009

When Life Happens

So, I've been making big plans for our homeschool year. All these wonderful themes and such for us to do. And now, I'm pregnant. And Tired. And Miserable. So I'm not making big plans.

I will still educate my children, but I am going to let myself off the hook for doing a lot of extras. When I have the energy for extras, I'll do them, but we might get by with the basics.

Anyone else have to scale back their plans when life intrudes on the ideal?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

No Tutorial Today. . .

I plan to do a tutorial of my binder cover, but I'm very, very tired. That's what pregnancy does to you. Yep, that's right! We're PREGNANT!!

I am just 6 weeks along, with a due date of February 27. . . hopefully, I will be back to blogging regulary soon, but for now I'm trying to keep my head above water!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

To Tell You What's in My Binder. . .

Okay, there is nothing magical about the binder, but I love it! Here is a tab-by-tab description of what is in mine:

~ Calendar - I printed monthly sheets from I try to write everything down so each morning I can take a look at today and the next few days.

~Schedule - I have a copy of my daily schedule so I know what I'm supposed to be doing. I've made one for school days, and I'm trying to decide if I want make one for non-school days, or just wing it. Probably, I will just wing it since we are going to do school 4 days a week instead of just 3 like last year.

~Homeschool Plans - I have sheets for my unit plans with ideas, goals, and other notes. I also have my workbox planning forms in this section.

~Grocery List/Menu Planse - I have a table type form with sections of the grocery store - produce, frozen, paper products, etc. I currently have a 3 week rotating menu. On the fourth week I either start over or try to clean out the pantry and freezer of things that I've purchased but haven't eaten for whatever reason.

~Homeschool Misc. - I keep little tidbits here like things I would like to have in our art center, or great ideas I print off that I want to remember for later.

~Telephone/Address - Currently, there is only my Homeschool Co-Op group's contact information. I plan to put my Christmas list in here too.

~Travel - Places we want to go, ideas for keeping the kids entertained, sample packing lists, etc.

~A tab for each of my girls - yearly homeschool goals (for my kindergartner this has things like learn 200 sight words, count to 100 by ones, twos, fives, and tens; it also has things like learn to load the dishwasher, learn to tie shoes, learn to think of others before herself) I have a similar list for my 3 year old.

~Craft tab - things I want to make or sew, handy tips I read on the internet, etc.

Other tabs you may have:
~Ministry (I had one of these last year when I was facilitator for a women's mission group at our church)
~Household chores
~Loan/Borrow list - what you've loaned to someone or things you've borrowed so you can remember who has it or who it belongs to
~Gift Registry - who you need to shop for, gift ideas, sizes, etc.

So, what's in your binder? I might be missing something life-changing!!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Do You Have a Home Management Binder?

div>I do. I plan to utilize it more for our homeschool plans, grocery lists, and menus. But, I like to do planning at the library sans the kiddos on my afternoon "off", and a big, bulky binder just gets in the way. So, today, I fixed it.

Here is my boring, run-of-the-mill binder.

Here is my new, fabulous binder that I can carry on my shoulder like a pocket book!

It was VERY easy to make, I made it start to finish in about an hour and a half, including phone calls and a pull up change :). I like pretty organized!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Art Center

In my continued efforts of organization (HA!), I have created an art center for my girls.

I was blessed with this shelf of bins by a friend whose son had outgrown it!

So, here's what we've got so far (top to bottom, left to right)

~a bucket of magnetic letters (this has sense been moved, and we will fill that box with something else later)

~scissors and glue



~tissue paper


~paint (only water colors and dot painters, tempera type paint is still in the closet)

~coloring books, workbooks, and activity sheets

~scrap paper

~things to cut for collage (alphabet letters and things I've printed but not used as well as old magazines)

~blank drawing paper and construction paper

I plan to add a box of misc. art supplies such as toilet paper tubes, pom-poms, craft sticks, etc. I've had this set up for about a week or so, and my oldest daughter especially has enjoyed it. I let them take crayons and markers to the playroom to work on their trays, but glue and paint have to stay at the kitchen table.

Do you have something similar to this in your house?

Monday, June 29, 2009

What Could be Better than Goodwill?

I'm so glad you asked! It's free of course! Look at what I was blessed with this weekend. . .

Leap Frog word whammer with 3 letter words (never opened!), 3 Discovery toys, an opposite puzzle, and two workbooks. She also gave us almost a whole set of Hooked on Phonics (she kept the books for her son to keep reading, but it looks very usable without them), several computer games, and some princess dress up stuff!
What a blessing for all this to add to our homeschool closet!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Going to Convention Again!

You may remember that I went to convention back in May. Well, to be honest, it was a disappointment compared to my experience last year. SO...I've been saving my pennies, and I'm going again! This time I am looking forward to all of the speakers and encouragement to kick off the year the week I return!

This year, thanks to my friend, Momma Snail, I made business cards. I am printing the front with my blog header and the back with all my personal information. I will use them to enter drawings they may have, or if I meet someone new who I'd like to share information with.

Go check out Momma Snail's great post about convention survival!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Goodwill Goodies!

I was able to go to goodwill yesterday and look through all their books. I was so excited with all of my finds, I just had to show you all!

I got several workbooks, most of which had no writing in them. I got two math books in PERFECT shape, and one even has a companion cd rom!
I got a few story books, I got a nature activity book and a nature dictionary that Daisy (my older daughter) will love! So many goodies! You can click on the picture to enlarge and see them all. . .
I'll be showing some more fun stuff I've gotten this week over the next few days - I am getting ready for school to start!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Can't Get Enough Swapping?

Here's one for the moms! I did this last year, and I loved it! Head over to Kelly's blog to find out more!

Swap now closed

Thanks to everyone who has joined! We have had an overwhelming response! Now we have to match everyone up, so please be patient as we get your partners together. . . my little brain hurts already! We will email you all when we get matches made. I hope you are all thinking about what you're going to send - I can't wait to see what everyone does!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Very Important Swap Announcement!!

If you have signed up for the swap, but have not received a confirmation email from us, please email me at I either don't have enough information to sign you up, or I may have overlooked your email. Please let me know ASAP - with over 100 participants, I don't want to miss anyone! Thanks!

Workbox planning form

If you have signed up for the Super Summer Swap, but have not received an email from me confirming, please email me so I can make sure you're on the list! Thanks!

I wanted to show you the form I came up with over the weekend for our workbox plans. I don't know how to make the whole form pull up here, so I just took a screenshot of it for you. If you want one of your own, it is very easy to make. I used microsoft word and just inserted a table with 13 rows and 5 columns.

We are going to do school 4 days a week, and I put a category for each box.

My 5 year old Kindergartener will have the following boxes:
Math (we are using Horizon Math, so this will just be the daily lesson)
Writing (3 days will be Draw Write Now, I divide each lesson into 3 days; and the other day will be a letter writing day)
Reading (these will be easy readers, such as Bob books)
Phonics/Sight words (we will switch between the two)
Sign Language
Theme reading
Theme craft or Art
Theme lapbook elements
For fun!
Cleaning Job (this will be an extra daily chore such as dusting, putting away laundry or wiping down the bathroom sink. Sometimes I will throw something in ther like making instant pudding or lemonade)
Misc - for whatever I want her to do!

2 Year Old Preschool Boxes are:
Fine Motor
Shapes and Colors
Theme Reading
Theme craft or art
Sign Language
For Fun!
Cleaning Job
I plan to plan out each week on the weekend so that I don't spend forever each night plundering through deciding what to pull out for the next day.

Do you have a formula for planning? I'd love to hear it!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Have you signed up yet??

Things are in full force for the Super Summer Swap, but TOMORROW is the LAST DAY to sign up! We have over 100 kids signed up from almost half of the states and at least 5 different countries! Don't miss out on the fun! Sign up today!

Preschoolers are welcome to join us, as are families who do not blog. Please pass the word and sign up through tomorrow!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fun Giveaway Alert!

Susana at Our Homeschool Fun is having a Funky Artist Tote giveway. Run over there to check it out, and look around while you're there - her homeschool does look FUN!

Quick Book Reviews

Don't forget to sign up for our Super Summer Swap!

Remember when I was going on vacation and I had all those books that I was planning to read? Well, I still haven't finished them all!

I do want to tell you about the Mangers of Their Homes book and a devotion book that I read, both my Steve and Teri Maxwell of

I borrowed Managers of Their Homes (MOTH) from a homeschooling friend, because my post-convention budget had no room for anything else last month! So, I read it pretty quickly so I could get it back to her. I will definitely be purchasing my own copy of this book! It is SUCH an encouragement to me!

The main idea in the book is making a schedule for your family. She recommends 30 minute slots, and schedules her whole day. While it seems radical and rigid, you can see so much good in it once you read everything she has to say. There is scheduled free time, but being a homeschool family, free time is first filled with things that don't get done during the scheduled time (for all those dawdlers!).

She realizes that life happens, and she addresses that beautifully in her book.

Here's a biggie for me - I LOVE the computer! I love blogging - doing mine and reading others (LOTS of others!). I love all the wonderful homeschool ideas on the web. I love email. I love facebook. It just all adds up to A LOT of TIME!! So, I sat down and started writing down all the things that I wanted and needed to accomplish every day and week. I scheduled some time on the computer in the morning, about 15 minutes around lunchtime, but that's it. When I wrote everything down, I had time left over! I had homeschool time, planning time, cleaning time, cooking time, eating time, laundry time. . . lots of chores that "I don't have time for". When I put it all down on paper, I realized how much time I waste each day!

So, as part of my homeschool planning, I will be tweeking what I've already written down as our schedule, and I will beging training my family and myself to have more productive, fun days!

Having a schedule for us is like having workboxes - it makes you realize that you CAN do the fun stuff in life!

The other book I read by them is called Just Around the Corner. It is encouragement for homeschool families. They have a Mom's corner and a Dad's corner. I only read the Mom's Corner. I can't tell you how encouraging and challenging these articles were to me! I think when the Maxwells come to my area this fall, I will be purchasing the second book of devotions!

I won't tell you much about what's in the book, but I will tell you about one day that really spoke to me. It's about revering our husbands. When I began reading, I thought to myself - I don't have a problem with that. I respect my husband! (Can you see me puffing up?!) So, as I continued to read on, she stated that revering our husbands is much deeper than respecting our husbands.

Here are some questions I wrote in my journal to myself.
~Do I nag my husband?
~Do I try to manipulate him to do thing my way?
~When he suggests something, do I often have a "better" way?
~Do I truly trust all of his decisions? (he is responsible to the Lord in his decisions, not to me)
~Will I be more concerned with following the Lord and His Word to me as a wife than I am about having things go my way?

One more thing, I know that my husband loves the Lord, so I can trust what Romans 8:28 says. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love Go, to them that are called according to His purpose." I have to remember that God may be showing him something that He is not showing me. I have to learn to put my trust in the Lord, and thus in my husband.

Whew! How's that for deep thinking on a Friday?! I would really encourage you to check out the Maxwell's ministry at

These are my opinions on this material. I was not asked by the Maxwells to review their materials. I recieved no compensation for this review.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Keeping them entertained on the road...

We took a vacation to the beach recently. It was about at 4-5 hour drive. I wanted to keep the girls entertained both in the car, and at the condo. Here are the packets that I packed up for them.

This is Daisy's contains a Dora drawing story book, crayola color wonder pad and markers, mazes from a book that I laminated for re-use, wet erase markers, a notepad, and two coloring books with crayons.

Petunia's box included a few coloring books, notepad, wipe off letter writing activity, colorwonder set, and mini-erasers.

I also tossed in a few snacks.

Here are pictures of each of the girls before we got on the road...

Another thing we did was have a scavenger hunt and roadside Bing-o. I printed them off of and laminated them. I had a few prizes for completing the games (they were both winners) such as gummy worms (a family favorite) and swim rings from the dollar store.
Here is Daisy looking for scavenger hunt items.

Here is Petunia working with our babysitter on her scavenger hunt. The babysitters was a real key in keeping the girls entertained on the road and once we got to the beach!

**Don't forget to check out the Super Summer Swap! All the details are here.

For more on-the-go tips, check out ABC&123's Table Talk!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Super Summer Swap gets a button!

Be sure to grab our button and add it to your blog! We're having a great turn out - keep 'em coming!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Life as I know it

Reminder! Don't forget to check out the Super Summer Swap!

Whew! It's been a whirlwind few weeks around here! It's pretty sad I was better about posting while I was on vacation (love that post scheduler!) than since I've been home!

Last week, our church hosted Vacation Bible School, and I was exhausted every afternoon, and had trouble keeping up with the things that HAD to be done! We had planned to get back to school this week, but Daisy is going to another VBS this week, so we are having lazy days. Besides, I am still planning our pond unit (almost there), and I'm planning Petunia's third birthday party!

I wanted to share a few pictures of our last few weeks with y'all though...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fun News! We're Having a Swap!

Another note - please let us know when you sign up if you'd be willing to have an international swap partner. Thanks!

Edited to add ~ if you sign up for the swap, we will send you an email confirming that we have you signed up! If you do not get an email from us within a day, please email me again :)

Have you been waiting anxiously for the big announcement from Christy from Superheroes and Princess and me? The wait is over. We are so excited to announce our plans to co-host the Super Summer Swap!

What is the Super Summer Swap you ask? It is a fun way for our children to make some friends this summer. The participants will put together little packages to exchange with other children of similar age.

Why should your child participate?
1. What child wouldn't like to get some mail?
2. It will be a fun summer project.
3. Your child can learn a little bit about another child from another state.
4. Pen pals are always a possibility if the children want to continue the friendship.
5. Why not?

So, here is how it works:
1. It is open to all children of bloggers through elementary age.
2. Sign up between June 15 and June 22.
3. We will match children based on age and partners will be notified by June 26.
4. All packages should be mailed by August 3.
5. When you receive your package, write a post about it and we will have a Mr. Linky party after the packages all have time to arrive!

Packages should include a minimum of three items from your child; here are some examples: 1.
A postcard or brochure from where you live, 2. a lapbook or scrapbook or something handmade, 3. a photograph or drawing of your child, 4. a special gift that will allow your child's new friend to experience a hobby or interest that your child has or enjoys.
You do not have to spend any money, but please DO NOT spend more than $15.00 on the items that will be exchanged.

You can sign up through comments or email on this blog or the Christy's blog. Please include the following information when you sign up: name(s) of child(ren), age(s) of child(ren), the state in which you live, and your email address. (If you're not comfortable posting any of that information, you may email me at

Please feel free to ask questions, and PLEASE blog about this so that we can get a lot of people involved. This will be more fun if we have a lot of participants!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'm busy busy busy this week! (And a teaser for you)

We are doing Vacation Bible School this week. The girls are having fun and so am I! I have also been keeping an extra child in the afternoons too.

Anyways, I've been working on plans for our pond unit that we plan to start next week...

So, I may be scarce around here this week, but you'll want to be here Monday because Christy from Superheros and Princesses and I have something fun to announce!

Monday, June 8, 2009

We have a lot of reading to do!

The Bookworm posted the top 30 Picture Books as taken from the Top 100 picture book poll of 2009. So, she asked that we highlight the ones we've read. I highlighted the ones we've read in red. I'm ashamed. It's not that we don't read, we just haven't read many of these! Anyways, I have some good books to add to our library list! Some of them I read while I was in college for early childhood, but realized that I haven't read them to my own kids!

I think it's so neat that so many of the top books were written so long ago!

#1: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1963)
#2: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (1947)
#3: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (1979)
#4: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (1962)
#5: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems (2003)
#6: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (1941)
#7: Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (1955)
#8: Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (1939)
#9: Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag (1928)
#10: Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems (2004)
#11: The Story of Ferdinand by Monroe Leaf, ill. Robert Lawson (1936)
#12: Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann (1994)
#13: Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey (1948)
#14: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, ill. Lane Smith(1989)
#15: Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes (1996)
#16: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen (1987)
#17: Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina (1947)
#18: In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (1970)
#19: Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (1982)
#20: George and Martha by James Marshall (1972)#
21: Bark, George by Jules Feiffer (1999)
#22: The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone, ill. by Mike Smollin (1971)
#23: Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Lillian Hoban (1964)
#24: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault, ill. Lois Ehlert (1989)#25: The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton (1942)
#26: Corduroy by Donald Freeman (1976)
#27: The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (1902)
#28: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, ill. Ray Cruz(1972)
#29: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig (1969)
#30: Brown, Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? by Bill Martin Jr., ill. Eric Carle (1967)

So, which ones have you read?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Beach Trip number 2!!

We had a great time on our second beach trip! We spent most of the time hanging out at the pools, and I think we all could have stayed another week!

They had a mini water park at the resort we stayed at, and Daisy must have gone down this slide no less than 250 times! She had the best time!

I have plenty more pictures that I'll probably be boring you all with, but you'll have to suffer through :)
We have Vacation Bible School this week, and I'm going to work on planning our next theme - pond theme! Be looking out for my ideas as I plan and then as we dig in!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Our First Beach Trip

We went on a short vacation last week with Joel's family. We had a lot of fun playing and visiting with the family. Daisy, at 4 years old is the oldest of 7 children that make up The Dairy King's parents' grandchildren; and they were all together at one time in one house!

We go to the same beach every year, and there is an awesome sweet shop there, so we go have ice cream every year. We also love to get fudge there, but I was very good and didn't get any this year. Here are some pictures of us enjoying our ice cream (Petunia's cone was seriously soggy by the time she got done!)

We had some family pictures made while we were there (I'll post some later), and when we finished, we took the girls out of their dresses and let them play in their underwear. Yep. I'm serious. And I'm not ashamed! See. We took pictures!

Don't you love backwards panties?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Quiet Time

A very important part of our day is what we call Quiet Time. Some days it turns to nap time, but we don't talk about that :) I have some activities that they are allowed to do during quiet time. The rule is that they are to stay on their bed and be quiet. I let them take milk in a sippy cup, because that often soothes them to sleep.

Other things I let them take along are...
crayons w/paper, coloring books, or activity books (only Mary Helen since I don't trust Anna to not decorate the walls yet)
magna doodle

Things I plan to do this year. . .
Themed quiet time packs! I hope to include lacing cards, felt board activities, wipe off games, etc. to go with whatever theme we are doing. Should keep things interesting!

Do you do anything like this? What are some things you let your kiddos take for quiet time?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Themes we're planning for this year

I am working on a list of themes we want to cover this year. I don't know what order we will go in, or how long we will spend on each theme. As long as we have fun stuff to do with each unit, and they are learning and having fun, we will stick with it.

Insects and bugs (this will include worms, caterpillars, ants, etc.)

Farm animals (I wonder if we could find a dairy farm to visit?? LOL)

Zoo animals (probably include this with a jungle theme)

5 Senses (All about me - we will learn body parts as well as five senses)

Pond Life (frogs, ducks, geese, fish, snakes, etc)

Taking care of our bodies (hygiene, eating healthy, exercise, etc)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Guess what came to our house?!!

Oh yeah! The ice cream truck!! I was right in front of him in the neighborhood, and I called Joel to bring the girls out. He turned around a few houses before us (we are the last on a dead end), so I turned around and chased him down (oh yes, I did!). I asked if he'd come back down, so my girls got to get ice cream from the ice cream truck!! It really is the small things in life, isn't it? What fun!