Friday, August 6, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy!

We have had a very busy few weeks around here! Two weeks ago, Mary Helen was able to go to Kid University at the college in the "big city" next to us. She had SUCH a great time! There were 3 classes each day. She took Bears: Fact or Fiction, Leonardo Divinci, and What's the Buzz. It was quite exhausting getting everyone out of the house by 7:30 and then having to either stay in the city and shop or keep ourselves busy other ways, or come back home for a couple of hours to make the trip back again. I will say it was well worth it though!

Our Anna Banana turned 4 in the middle of the month, and we had a family party and we took her and one of her little friends to Monkey Joe's and out to a Japanese Steak house. Here is a picture of the birthday girl :)

The week after Kid University, Mary Helen got sick so we missed that whole week worth of school, but we finally got back to the grind last week. I didn't take many pictures, but here are a few :)

Here is a picture of the girls during our Morning Meeting time. This is my favorite part of the day! We go over our calendar, read our devotions, and do some other fun little things. It takes about 30 minutes to get through, but I would NOT change it for anything! I am planning to add more and more to it!
Anna with her letter b clothes pin cards (more goodies from Me and Marie!)

Mary Helen playing in the sensory box with Daniel haning out with her!

Mary Helen turned 6 yesterday, so I'll have some pictures of her coming up very soon!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Winner! Winner!

Thanks for everyone who entered the Me and Marie giveaway! Congratulations to Joy at Home who won the giveaway! I'll be emailing you right away :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Don't Forget to Enter My Current Giveaway!

Go here to check it out! It will end this Friday :)

Love/Hate Relationship with the Library

I LOVE everything our library has to offer - great selection, interlibrary loans, computers, movies, etc.

I HATE how expensive it is! I know. Your books are probably free, but mine rarely are. The Dairy King cringes when he looks at our banking stuff on line and sees how much money we give the library in overdue fines. I try to tell him that I'm just doing my part in keeping the doors open up there, and it is still cheaper than buying all those books!

Here are some things I'm doing to combat that, though. . .

First of all, I let each girl pick 5 books each, so that's an easy number to remember.

I have a rule that all library books must stay in the school room. They can go in the school room anytime to read them, but no more pulling books from between walls and beds or other random places :)

The next thing is I lay all the books out and take pictures of them so if one does go missing we can figure out which one it is, and look for it with a picture in our minds of what we're looking for!

Here is the picture of our current stash (there are 12 because I got 2 books about ants for them).

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week 2

This week Anna is going to be learning about the letter D, the color green, and triangles.

Mary Helen is keeping on keeping on with her curriculum, and I'm trying to keep things interesting with the workboxes :)

Mary Helen working on fruit loop sorting:

Anna's learning space with green things words, a letter Dd poem, triangle poster, and Dd words (all of these printables came from Me and Marie Learning - be sure to enter the giveaway for Me and Marie here!)

Anna with her Doogie Dog puppet (also from Me and Marie):

Here is the sensory table. Today is the first day we pulled this out, and Mary Helen liked it just as much as Anna. The table didn't last long though, the girls got to playing and knocked it off the table. They got some good practice with their cleaning skills :) Joel plans to build a pvc frame to hold the box, but until then we will have a sensory floor! The box is filled with rice and there is a note on the top telling Anna to dig up 8 dinosaurs.
Look for more highlights through the week!

Friday, July 9, 2010


I just noticed that my giveaway post posted on the date that I drafted it instead of when I posted it. . . clear as mud?!

Anyways, check it out here!

Good luck!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Giveaway Alert!

Me and Marie has a great Storytime Felt giveaway going on now! Go check it out!

Speaking of giveways. . . check back later this week for my first giveaway!!

Our School Room 2010-2011 year

Blogger and I are not getting along well today with rearranging pictures, so here is our school room in no particular order!

I have two closets with all of our supplies in them, and on the closet doors I keep all of our morning meeting stuff. In the red pocket chart I have our alphabet exercise cards, that I believe originated on homeschoolshare, but I found them on teachmama (click to go to post). You can get them here.
I plan to add them each week as we go through the letters, and I will mix them up and have fun with them each day.

Next to that, I have a run-down of what Anna is learning for the week. I got these from meandmarie.

On the bottom part of the wall between the closets, I have our weather and birthday graphs and our 100 days of school countdown. On the top part of the wall is a chart that reminds us, "We obey all the way, right away, with a cheerful heart." Oh how I wish it were the case all the time!

This set is mostly geared to Mary Helen, our big first grader! We are counting up the days and putting the cards in place value columns, even though we haven't formally learned this concept, she should be pretty comfortable with the concept by the time we get to it. I have her coins for the daily coin count in the little orange envelopes.
If you enlarge the picture, you can see the bottom pages better - here is where we write our date on the calendar, do our tally chart, number sentence, and coin count for the day.
Here are a couple of links where I got most of my great calendar printables!
Homeschool Creations

Here is a shot of the calendar area, Mary Helen's workspace (her workboxes are on that brown shelf next to her desk), to the left of the chalkboard are our weekly Bible verses. Mary Helen's verse is from her Sparks (Awana) book (printed from homeschool creations), and Anna's is from 1+1+1=1.

Moving down a bit, the middle of the room. My work area, storage, etc.
There you see Anna's desk and workboxes, and you can see Anna in the "Listening Center" (at least it was today!).

I will try to link to all the printables I have, but if you see something you're particularly interested in, let me know!

My First Giveaway! Me and Marie Learning

I have found a great site for printables for my preschooler! You may remember seeing on our morning meeting area that I have a place to put the letter, color, and shape that we are learning for the week. I got those from Me and Marie learning. I also have ordered a few other things from the talented Ashley who owns the store.

This week we have been learning about the color red and the shape circle. I ordered learning packs for each of these from Me and Marie, and all I had to do was print and cut for some learning fun! Here are some pictures of these in action. . .

Now, for the giveaway! Ashley is giving one of my readers a $10 gift certificate to her store. That will go a long way in her great store!

Here are all the ways you can get entered in to the drawing:
~go to Me and Marie Learning and decide what all you would get with your $10, and leave a comment here (mandatory)
~follow my blog
~follow the Me and Marie blog
~"like" Me and Marie on facebook
~put my button on your blog
~put Me and Marie's button on your blog (find it on her blog)

*Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry!

**Right now on Me and Marie, there is a Saturday stock up sale - be sure to take advantage of some great deals!

The winner will be chosen at random on July 16. Please make sure there is a way to contact you either by your profile or providing an email address in the comments section. Good luck!

I am not receiving any compensation for this review or giveaway. I love these products, and contacted Me and Marie Learning about hosting this giveaway. All opinions are mine.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Back to School today!

We started our school year today. We took quite a while off when Daniel was born, but we had finished up with Mary Helen's kindergarten curriculum in time. Here are some pictures for us to remember their first day of school this year. Later this week I'll have some pictures of our school room and some highlight of things we're doing this week.

Monday, June 28, 2010

up to our ears in corn!

I decided to put up some corn this year. I've never attempted to do it before, but I ended up creaming nearly 200 ears of corn. We will enjoy delicious creamed corn all year long!

Here is Mary Helen enjoying an ice cream sundae that Joel brought his hard workin' girls :)

We found a couple of worms that the girls thought were fascinating!

Being silly. . .

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Daniel is 3 months already!!

Time flies when you're having fun, doesn't it?! I can't believe Daniel is 3 months old already. He is such a joy to our lives, and I can't imagine how it was before he was here (okay, so may be I can fantasize about those nights that I got 8 straight hours. . . ).

Daniel seems to be so much stronger than I remember the girls being at the same ages. Even at a day or two old, he was lifting his head off my chest to look at me(*swoon*). He is already enjoying his exersaucer and johnny jumper. He loves to "talk" to us and I think he is going to be a people person!

At his 2 month check up, he was 75th percentile in all 3 categories (height, weight, and head circumference), so I suppose Joel and I are averaging him out somewhere in there :)

Daniel's sisters are crazy about him, and Mary Helen especially wants to hold him every morning when she wakes up. She loves to be a little mommy until he starts to cry, then she's ready to pass him on! Mary Helen rides next to him in the back seat of the car, and she keeps him happy by talking to him, making his car seat toy make noise, and reading books to him. The other day she wanted to help Joel out on the farm, and I secretly didn't want to let her because she is so good at keeping him entertained!

Anna likes to talk and play with him as long as he is happy as well. When he starts to cry, she gets a couple of notches louder than him to let me know that, "He's too WOUD!!!"

Vacation Bible School Time!

This year our church's VBS theme is Saddle Ridge Ranch. The girls were very much in the spirit of things this morning, and I got some cute (in my not so humble mommy opinion!) pictures of them this morning before they left!

Mary Helen pulled out their little stick horse for the photo-op :)

The girls are both so excited to have Grandma helping out at VBS this year (and mommy is so excited that grandma is playing taxi this week and I get to stay in my pajamas and wave them off for a few hours!).

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Beach Week 2010

Every year, Joel's family goes to the beach. The only year that it hasn't happened since Joel and I have been married is the year that his sister got married. The first year I went along, just a couple of months after we were married, we all stayed in a condo. There were 10 adults on that trip - Joel's parents, his 3 siblings, 2 in-laws and his sisters boyfriend (who is now part of our family). The next year, we stayed in the same condo, with the same number of adults, only then 2 of us were pregnant. Very pregnant. This year, only 7 years after my first trip, there were 10 adults and 9 kids! Mary Helen is the oldest of those nine, and Daniel is the youngest (by just 3 weeks) of those. This year, Joel's brother and his family left the day we came so we weren't all there at the same time. Instead of a condo, however, his parents got a GREAT house where there were nooks and crannies for pack and plays and sleeping bags. It was a great time! Here are a few pictures from our time. . .

Daniel's first dip in the pool. . . I think he liked it :)

Daddy's big girl headed to the beach down (greased down with the sunblock!)

Mary Helen was reading bedtime stories to her cousins.

Joel and Daniel with Joel's dad.

Cousins. . .

Anna was giving her uncle a new hair do - curling iron, straightener, the works :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Doll Review

Recently, I was asked to test a product for ebeanstalk. I'm not allowed to talk about it because it's not out on the market yet; but they sent me a toy as a thank you for testing the product for them. The product was for baby Daniel, so the toy was to be an age-appropriate toy for him.

Here's what they sent us (modeled by my beautiful oldest daughter)

It's a plush baby doll. It'd have been nice for it to have atleast been blue for our little fella, but we do have some people in our house who like pink :)

He's not old enough to play with any toys other than looking at things that are hanging over him and he's beginning to swat at things. However, here's what I think about the doll from what I can tell. . .

~I really like having toys that don't have a lot of bells and whistles. This one certainly doesn't have any. That's a good thing for using our imaginations, which is a very important skill in my opion!

~I like that it's plush, so it can be one of the first toys that Daniel plays with.

~While this was sent as age appropriate for our baby, our big girls have adopted her into their family of babies and she has enjoyed the stroller rides up and down our street!

~I probably would not have bought this for Daniel (being pink and all as well as having a supply of babies here already!), but our family is taking good care of her and enjoying her!

Ebeanstalk is a toy website dedicated to selecting the best toys by age and kids toys. The in-home feedback of bloggers and moms like me around the country help to make sure ebeanstalk continues to provide the best educational toys for your child. Check it out for yourself!

disclaimer: I was given this doll in exchange for product testing and for agreeing to review it on my blog. All opions are mine. I recieved no other compensation for this review.