Saturday, April 30, 2011

This and That

I cannot believe that May is here already! I feel behind. I had so many things on my mental to-do list that I didn’t finish. I’m going to try to finish the month of May strong! :)

Big thanks to April’s blog sponsors:

Speekee Spanish Stylish Photo Cards


My kids love Speekee Spanish. And with Tiny Prints I was able to send out Christmas cards this year. Tales 2 Go has been fun to listen on my husband’s iPad.  My 8yr. old especially enjoyed Time 4 Learning online education. All four sites have wonderful things to offer---go check them out.

Guest Posting:

I've got a guest post up at Itty Bitty Learners: ABC Spray 'N' Spell


Homemakers Challenge - 31 Days to Clean

I decided that since I was able to get this e-book, I should go ahead and do the challenge! This will be a big stretch for me at this time because I've been a little overwhelmed with things on the home front. So, I'm hoping that joining in will keep me accountable.

I several reviews coming up:

Road Trip USA by Confessions of a Homeschooler
Earn It, Learn It
Monki See

And I’ll have a couple giveaways too!

You Might Be Interested:

Several of my blogging friends have some cool things going on this month that you might want to check out:

homegrown mom

Do you need ideas and inspiration for teaching your daughters homemaking skills? In May, Angela will be sharing 30 posts just for you! I’m excited to share that this 30 Day Series is Sponsored by the Simple Meal Planning Website – Plan to Eat!   Series by Homegrown Mom


Tonya, From Live the Adventure, has a post with some travel resources for families. I found some helpful information and links there.


Friday, April 29, 2011

I Samuel Bible Study

Niv-ism Earlier this year I was sent a I Samuel Bible Study by Greek ‘n’ Stuff. This Bible Study comes in a KJV and a NIV version. Since it is geared toward upper elementary and up, I had my 12 yr. old daughter use it for her Bible study.

What it is:

A “no frills” Bible study that contains thirty-nine weekly lessons. Each lesson contains a “Think and Pray About It” section, memory verses and additional information fact. The study covered Samuel, Eli, Saul, and David. This study can be used by an older child for independent Bible study, or as a whole family for family devotions. As they state on their site, “The Bible is the only answer key you’ll need.”

What We Thought:

I had my daughter work through most of this Bible study independently. Each lesson is short and to the point. There are usually three questions working sequentially through the book of 1 Samuel. My daughter liked that it was doable and short. She had never worked through a book of the Bible verse by verse, so this was a new way to study for her. At times it was challenging to stick with the program due to the repetitive workbook style nature, but she would just take a little break and then pick it back up again. The Bible study was laid out well and easy enough for her to do on her own, but not too easy where she would get bored. Though she did the study independently, I would periodically discuss how things were going, what new things she had learned and if she had any questions.

  • King James and NIV Versions available (Sample page available)
  • $21.95 (US)
  • Check out the website for the other Bible Study topics and materials.

    For More Greek 'n' Stuff Reviews See:

    Disclosure: I am a member of TOS and I was given this product free for review purposes only. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

  • Labels: ,

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    How Does Your Garden Grow?

    Not much has changed in my garden since the first garden update. We’ve had lots of rainy and cold weather. After Mother’s Day is usually when it is safe to start planting in my area. I did venture over to my Square Foot Garden today to see what would need to be done and found:


    garlic chives? I swore I would not forget what herb I planted there---but I did. Anyone have an idea what it is?

    Besides the mystery plant, it looks like I have a couple of onions growing that I missed pulling from last year. I can’t wait to start turning over the soil and getting things ready.


    I am shocked that my seedlings are still doing well! This is my cucumber plant.  I didn’t start much indoors because I don’t have the space and I have little kids. I wanted my little ones to see that seeds turn into plants, but I wasn’t expecting many of the seedlings to survive their care :)  Oh, and my 2yr. old pulled out all the plant stakes. So I will have several more mystery plants in my garden! :)


    Since I haven’t been able to do much gardening outdoors, I’ve been taking time over the last month to do garden-related activities with my younger children.  This week we used plant printables from The Montessori Print Shop (a wealth of quality printables there!) as a spring-board for our garden-themed activities.


    First we did some seed observation. I had the girls try to guess what would grow from these seeds. We talked about how the seeds were all different from each other—different colors, shapes, and sizes.


    Then we placed the seeds onto the correct cards. The girls had a hard time believing that these little seeds would grow into plants!


    The Plants We Eat download contains several different ways to introduce children to the idea that the plants we eat fall into different categories. We talked about the different parts of a plant.

    gardenplant4   gardenplant5

    The plants were divided into six categories. For the first few times going over this concept, I will keep the categories together in strips for easier matching. My daughter first matched the categories like a puzzle. Then in the second activity, the control card was taken away and only the categories were listed. Later I plan on having my daughter complete her own chart (included in the Plants download).


    We sorted fruits and roots. Then sorted between other categories too. I wanted to keep it simple at first and only have two category choices at a time.


    I asked my 4yr. old to show me what was her favorite plant to eat. We love to eat asparagus drizzled with olive oil, sea salt, and parmesan cheese.


    My 2yr. old told me her favorite plant to eat was a rutabaga. I’ve never even seen a rutabaga let alone tasted one. I know she hasn’t either---lol! I think that will be something I’ll have to pick up the next time I’m at the store. How do you cook a rutabaga? Do you eat it raw? See, I have no clue!

    So that’s how my garden is growing----so far!

    My garden last year
    Another view of my garden
    My garden the first year
    Easy Egg Garden (Homemade Chia-Pet)
    Little Ones Learn About Plants


    preschool corner

    Stay Connected:

    Disclosure: I was given a free download from Montessori Print Shop for review purposes only. Opinions are my own. The way I used the cards are Montessori-influenced but not necessarily the official Montessori method.

    Labels: , ,

    Immi’s Gift

    We used Immi’s Gift in our letter Ii week. See what we did over at Totally Tots.


    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    It’s Raining…

    It has been raining on and off for several days. I long to see the sun and have a nice, dry, day. By the time the third rainy day in a row rolled in, I was not in the best mood. My kids though, thought nothing of the rain.


    My 4yr. old and my 2yr. old got matching Barbie rain boots. They were so excited when they saw  puddles starting to form outside. My 4yr. old eagerly put her boots on and headed outdoors after the heavy rain stopped.


    She picked a flower just for me…


    and then spent lots of time jumping in puddles. She was a wet mess when she was done, but oh the fun she had enjoying a day that I had complained about.


    Little Sis joined in the fun too. She zoomed in and out of puddles on her bike.


    Lil Pumpkin even came out to enjoy the brief respite from the rain. And my perspective changed while watching my kids experience some rainy-day fun.

    {This is my not-so-wordless-Wednesday post}


    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Ask the SLP

    This past year my 4yr. old daughter qualified for speech services from our local school district. This was new territory for me. Thankfully, my good friend Pam, who is a  Speech and Language Pathologist,  helped answer some of my questions and concerns.


    What can I do at home to help my toddler/preschooler with speech and language development?

    Become a narrator.  The best thing anyone can do is talk to his/her child.  Reduce distractions (turn off everything that has a screen), look your child in the eye and talk, talk, talk.  Talk to your child about everything s/he is doing like a sport commentator:

     "Honey, you are sitting on the floor.  You are playing with blocks.  I see a red one, a blue one, and a green one.  You are stacking the blocks."  

    Talk about what you are doing.

     "Mommy is washing dishes.  These dishes are so dirty. I’m putting a little soap in the water (while putting in dish soap).  I’m scrubbing the food off (while scrubbing.)"

    The "official" terms for these strategies are "parallel talk" and "self talk."  You will feel self conscious at first, but this how children learn language-- by mass exposure. 


    While implementing these strategies, be mindful of HOW you speak.  You need to help your child tune into you, the speech model, or you will literally be wasting your breath.  To do this, turn off the technology (t.v.'s and computers are loud and pull the visual attention away from you,) slow your rate of talking and slightly increase your volume.  If you think you speak slowly enough, you don't.  Slow down a little more.  Even if you are a loud person, go ahead and turn up your volume a bit.  So often the reason children have delayed speech or language is fluctuating hearing loss.  Fluid collects in the middle ear, which causes a temporary hearing impairment.  If the fluid becomes infected, you see symptoms and get treatment.  However, if the fluid does NOT become infected, you will not know the fluid is there (no symptoms) but your child will still not be able to hear everything.  Your child can't learn speech and language very easily if s/he cannot hear it.  If you make a habit of talking a little louder and little slower all the time, you help your child hear and learn whether fluid is present or not. Talking slower and louder may make you feel a little self-conscious until you get used to it, but it is worth the benefit of your child gaining skills and confidence.

    Parallel Talk and Self Talk are strategies you can employ at all times--in the car, in public, and at home.  Don't set aside time to do these, just make them a habit.  If your child is in the room, use Parallel Talk and Self Talk.  This will motivate your child to talk.

    Do you have any questions for the SLP? If so, leave them in the comments section or send an email, and Pam will address them in another guest post.

    pam100 Pam has been an SLP for 16 years.  She is currently working with students in a k-12 school, but previously worked with toddlers and preschoolers.  She loves her job and working with kids.  She is a proud mother of two lovely girls, and when not working she can be found in the kitchen, in the garden, or in front of the latest episode of What Not To Wear or Extreme Couponing. You can follow Pam on Twitter for more speech tips.


    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Found on my camera

    Here’s what I found on my camera this week:



    There were probably 30+ more Lego pictures on my camera. My son has started a Lego club and he’s going to be sharing a bunch of Lego creations there.


    Snuggling with her big sister.


    I find a lot of these types of photos on my camera. I guess they wanted to document that this light usually has one or more bulbs burned out at a time. :)


    My beautiful 9yr. old. She’s not mad---just annoyed at having her picture taken :)

    This is a picture I took a couple years ago but I thought it appropriate for this weekend: The Colors of Easter.


    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Little Ones Learning About Plants

    We are still anxiously awaiting the right time to plant in my neck of the woods. The garden centers and do-it-yourself stores are putting out their garden wares, and soon my kids will help plant our garden. So while we wait, I thought that now would be a good time to learn about plants, gardens, and vegetables. I decided to do several garden games and activities with my co-op toddler and preschool class.


    First we read In the Garden: Who’s Been Here? By Lindsay Barrett George. The kids enjoyed trying to guess what animal was coming up in the book. We talked about what we might plant in our gardens, and shared what our favorite vegetables were.


    I printed the craft from Homeschool Creation’s Garden Pack. I used this download plus the supplement I got from The Homeschool Village Garden Challenge.  (I love it when others have already done the work for me! :) )


    While they were working on the craft, we named the different vegetables in our baskets.


    Next we discussed what a plant needs to grow and the parts of a flower. For this game I printed the control sheet in gray-scale. Then I printed the sheet again in color and cut apart. I handed each child one part of the puzzle and we worked as a group to put all the pieces in the correct place.

    1animalpals animalpals

    I thought about doing the Chia-pet egg craft with this group, but then decided the eggs would never make it home in one piece. I found these Zoo Pal cups on sale and thought this would work just as well. The bonus was each cup came with a lid which made for easy transportation home.  I brought in a dishpan of dirt, some scoops, grass seed and a spray bottle. The children loved the responsibility of planting their own seeds. My daughters (4 & 2) still water theirs faithfully every day.

    I had more planned but we spent so much time planting that we didn’t get to the rest. I plan on doing those activities at home with my girls and will post them when we are finished.



    I’m working on my garden post for next week’s link-up at The Homeschool Village. (April 28th (10amEST) for the next Garden link up and new sponsor / giveaway!) You have time to get yours ready too :)

    Labels: , ,

    Sunday, April 17, 2011


    Here are the winners from the giveaways posted during my Birthday Bash:

    babyloveISpybag I Spy Bean Bag :

    mommy days said...

    Our birthday tradition is cake cutting and a nice dinner out.

    roadtripusa125 Road Trip USA:

    Heather said...

    The capital of Vermont is Montpelier


    edcubegiveaway Education Cubes:

    I would love to win this membership. Thank you for the opportunity. I do use printables--thanks to all these great blogs! We use a lot of worksheets and coloring pages but are starting to use more lapbooks and such.
    Thanks. Monica


    The Mom I Want To Be said...

    We use a lot of printables! My favorites are games :) Thanks for the giveaway :)

    rustedcupcake125 The Rusted Chain:

    Tara said...

    My favorite sweet treat is Braums PB cup Ice cream! Yum!!


    125x125Polliwogletters Sandpaper ABC Cards:

    Amanda said...

    They are all so good, but I'll go ahead and pick the "Playdough Spider" post. My 15 month old daughter enjoys "The Very Busy Spider", so I'm thinking I'll have to try some of your ideas!!


    imaginationstation Imagination Station Books:

    Laura said...

    reindeer :)



    A big thank you to all my giveaway sponsors!!

    Labels: ,