Story time at home in 3 easy steps

Tuesday at 9:00 our library puts on a toddler story time that we usually got to. This morning it was really cold out and both my kids were coughing so I decided it was best to keep them home. I started to put together a story time for them and thought it would be something good to share with you. I like to put together themed story times whenever we have to miss the one at the library. The kids like our routine staying in place as much as possible and it gives me something fun and educational to do with them.

  1. pick 3 books and a theme. I put these two things together because choosing the books is how I choose a theme. If I wanted to read a barnyard animal book I would choose 2 other similar books to make a theme. For example, I wanted to read the kids this really neat book titled The Black Book of Colors By: Menena that teaches kids about braille. I decided on the theme “black and white” and picked the board book Hello, Garden Bugs By: Julissa Mora and also an Usborne  book On The Space Station By: Carron Brown. It’s one of their shine a light books and every other page is black and white and you use a flashlight on the back of the pages to see a ‘hidden’ picture. E likes these a lot.
  2. plan a themed game. 3 books can be a lot for littlee ones to sit through so break up the time by playing a game between books. I cut out white squares that I wrote on with black crayon and placed the squares in our cube. Some of the squares had instructions such as “clap 6 times” or “sing the ABC song”. 3 of the squares I drew dalmatians on and the kids were to bark and act like dogs if they rolled one.
  3. plan a themed craft. Thinking about black and white one of the first things that came to mind was dalmatian. I printed off the outline of a dalmatian and showed the kids how to put their finger on a black ink pad and use their finger prints to make spots on the dogs. After I brought out the crayons and they drew a background on the paper. Easy!

 

 

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Unique indoor screen free kids activities

This past week my little guy came down with a stomach virus. As he recovered his sister got the virus and then he developed a cough. Except for when it got warm enough to take him to play in the yard the poor guy hasn’t been out of the house for 9 days! I’ve worked hard to keep the kids learning and playing. At the first sign of sickness I went to town and stocked up on new paint, play dough, markers and other craft stuff since I knew they’d have to stay home several days. Last night T.J’s cough was improving but he start showing signs of tummy troubles again so we stayed home today. E seems all the way better today and T.J’s cough isn’t getting any worse so he should be on the mend soon. His tummy has also been fine today.

Yesterday morning which was the third week of missing church because of traveling and sickness my church family did something really kind for me and set up a laptop with Skype so I could listen in on the service. That helped break up the day and was really encouraging to see their faces but the rest of the afternoon I gave up trying to keep the kids away from the T.V and let them watch it all day. They were bored of all the craft stuff and didn’t want to read books any more. I was fresh out of ideas for keeping them busy.

After they went to bed last night I brainstormed a list of things for them to do today and then got on Pinterest and starting pinning all kinds of cool ideas.

Here’s what we did today. If you’re quarantined at home with sick kids like so many people I know are right now I hope this post gives you some inspiration of how to fill those long hours!

Write on the floor and mop it up

Really! This is an activity I remember doing with my younger brother and sister when I was a teenager. I used a dry erase marker to write ABC’s on the tiles in the kitchen/dining room area. So the kids wouldn’t fight over who got to wash which tiles I drew shapes for T.J to mop up and the letters were for E. I gave each child a bowl with water, a rag and some all natural non toxic cleaner in it. I stood at the dry erase board in the dining room and said to E, “mop up all the A’s!” After all the A’s were erased we went on to letter B and so on. I was surprised at how well T.J could identify shapes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensory Buckets (bring the sandbox inside!)

Sensory buckets are so easy! They can be made out of just about anything. I made ours “letter D” sensory buckets. It started with me putting dirt (actually sand because the ground was frozen solid!) and dinosaurs in the buckets which made me think to add more objects that start with the letter D. Both dimes and dominoes ended up in there. I wrote an uppercase and lowercase letter D on the white board to reinforce the lesson. T.J age 2 had the most fun when he realized he could bury the dinosaurs in the sand. E age 4 spent the time hoping she could find more dimes to put in her piggy bank. Prepare to do a lot of vacuuming after this activity!

Bath paints

My kids absolutely loved this activity! If you choose just one thing from this list I’d recommend this one! I loved the delight on their faces as I showed them how they could paint the tub, their tummies, their bath toys and then how they laughed when I put the blue paint on my nose! This is one I’ll make again. It was so easy and very cheap. I had leftover white colored conditioner from the dollar store because we had used it to make fake snow the other day. (2 1/2 cups baking soda, 1/2 cup white conditioner- it feels cold!)

https://kojo-designs.com/2013/05/hoomemade-bath-paint-recipe/

Make a blanket fort

Give your children a place of their own, flash lights, a lantern, a chance to use their imagination and a pile of books!

 

Science Experiments!

I found this one on parentingchaos.com. https://parentingchaos.com/crawling-colors-color-mixing-science-experiment/P

Once you set this up (which only takes a few minutes) it takes several hours for the colors to start mixing. I recommend putting it out of reach of little ones but somewhere where the kids can peek at it through out the day and see what it’s doing. I made the mistake of setting it up on the kitchen table and then had to work to keep their hands out of the very pretty water they wanted to touch so badly!

Make a special surprise meal

Okay, so I get made fun of for making food creations for my kids but I think it’s so much fun! And have you seen the crazy meals people make out of hotdogs on pinterest!? lol! I had to try these little octopus guys, they are so cute!

Build something with unusual materials

I gave the kids disposable cups and paper to build towers out of. They weren’t particularly interested in it but maybe an older child would be.

 

That was our day! Share any unique ways you have come up with to keep busy at home when you’re kids are sick.

Our Reward and Shield

This morning I learned something new in my Bible study on Genesis that I thought was worth sharing. I’m going through a study titled The Promised One by: Nancy Guthrie. Right now I’m going through the section on Abraham. Nancy points out that after Abraham rejects the spoil and alliance offered by the king of Sodom chapter 15 starts off by God speaking to Abraham in a vision saying “…Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy great reward.”

That made my heart happy this morning to see that after Abraham rejected the counterfeit riches and protection this world offers that God promised him that He would be His reward and shield.

I need to remember this when my heart is tempted to look to fleeting and counterfeit fulfillment this world offers. Only in God is true and lasting fulfillment, reward and safety.

It reminds me of Psalm 62: 5-8 “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah”

On another note, yesterday I had shared my goals for the day and I’m happy to say I accomplished what I had set out to do! A few photos from our very messy hot cross buns themed lesson.

 

It’s another cold day, only 11 degrees outside. We had a little ice come down last night so I’m staying off the roads today and keeping the kids warm at home.

Today my goals include:

  1. preschool with the kids. Today’s theme is Little Bo Peep and includes a math game, making a puppet craft, and pretending to be sheep while listening to the poem on CD.
  2. make a big batch of low carb waffles to keep in the freezer for a quick healthy meal (maybe we’ll have breakfast for dinner tonight!)
  3. I want to slowly clean the living room room on my one good foot and one healing foot including vacuuming the carpet
  4. yesterday E was disappointed she couldn’t play in the glue and shaving cream mixture so I told her today they could play with shaving cream. This means they’ll have to go straight to the shower after!
  5. pack for my trip this weekend.

My kids are starting to wake up so I’ve got to go! Have a good day every body!

Picked up an old hobby and learned something new

I haven’t crochet in a while, not really since my daughter was born but since I’ve been sitting with my foot up I asked my husband to pick me up a crochet hook. I really had fun! I made a cream colored baby blanket for a friend who is expecting. I don’t think she knows about this blog but I guess if she does she’ll be surprised to learn it is for her.

Yesterday we drove my niece home who came and helped me this week. While visiting at their house I asked my other nieces to teach me how to cut T.J’s hair. I can’t stop looking at his cute face in this photo! He did really good and was a sport about sitting still while I slowly figured out how to cut it. I think he liked the attention of the girls crowded around him saying how cute he was. 🙂

 

 

I also got to snuggle with my littlest nephew Chet. Isn’t he precious!?

Chet was named after Chet Bitterman Jr., who was an American linguist and missionary working in Columbia when he was kidnapped and martyred in 1981. I had never heard of him until my nephew was named. Here’s a video telling a little bit about him.

My husband was off yesterday and after visiting with his sister and her family we went out for Mexican and then drove to the church my nephew plays piano at and visited with them some more there while people from the church had a time of singing and playing instruments. It felt sooo good to get out of the house although by the time we got home my foot was pretty sore and swollen. It was about a 2 hour drive home from the church and there really was no way for me to get my foot comfortable in the car.

I did have a good time riding in the car though because on the way to my nieces house I read aloud from C.S Lewis Screwtape Letters and on the way home since it was dark we listened to someone reading it on youtube. I’ve never read it before. It’s entertaining but also really convicting as I saw all my own sins being shown for what they are! My favorite part of the book so far is when Wormwood is reprimanded by his uncle for allowing the struggling new convert to have the pleasure of reading a book he enjoyed and going for a walk. He was reprimanded because pleasure is a gift from God and in enjoying good literature and creation the “patients” spirit was revived and he drew closer to God and even repented of sin!

Have a good weekend everybody! What kind of hobbies are you interested in right now?

Things to do with your kids while you are sitting down

Now that I’m on week three of having to stay off my right foot I think I’ve come up with enough ideas to be able to share with you. A friend of mine was over last week and she went on google trying to find a list of things for a mom to do with her kids while her foot was broke but she said she could only find lists of things for a mom to do with her child who’s foot is broke. For one reason or another, illness, injury, complications during or after pregnancy, as a mom you may find yourself alone with children who have seemingly endless energy while you are stuck on the couch. Here’s my little gift to the internet- my list of things I’ve found I can do with my kid with minimum getting up.

  1. Freeze dance. I play music on my phone and then hit the pause button and dramatically say, “freeze!” they have to freeze in whatever position they were in when the music stopped
  2. “sitting down” hide and seek. My great Grandma used to play this with me and my cousins when we were little. I sit on the couch and count to 20 while the kids hide and then say, “ready or not, I’m going to guess!” I then guess from my spot on the couch, “Are you behind the bathroom door?” “Are you in your closet?” If I guess their hiding spot I “found” them and we start again.
  3. Create a “story time”. Since we weren’t able to go to story time at the library I told them we were having a story time at home. I used the same order of events the librarian uses at the library and sang the same songs she sings.
  4. Read a lot of books.
  5. Face time or Skype with family your kids don’t get to see often
  6. Make sock puppets. I had to collect a few supplies but after I had what I needed I sat on the recliner next to an outlet and glued button eyes and yarn hair on a few old socks. I then sat while we played with them and tried to get them to put on a puppet show. (they didn’t want to but maybe your kids will!)
  7. paint nails. My four year old never gets tired of me painting her nails.
  8. Play Simon says
  9. If you can’t get to other people have other people come to you. Never mind that the house is messy, people don’t care! Invite some one over for a playdate. You and your friend can visit and the kids will entertain themselves
  10. make cards. The last couple mornings we sat and made cards for residents at the nursing home for when we visit with our homeschool group next month. This one takes some clean up so it would depend how active you can be.
  11. take photos. You may have to delete several hundred photos of your phone but my daughter loves it when I let her take photos with my phone. She sat up her stuffed animal on the couch and did a photo shoot with it.
  12. Amazon Prime. I am so glad we got wi-fi right before my surgery. It has given us new stuff to watch which is much more entertaining for the kids than if they were watching the videos we have that they’ve watched a lot of times
  13. Go pretend grocery shopping. I used green construction paper and made the kids fake money and then gave them grocery lists and a plastic shopping bag each and sent them to their kitchen set to play grocery store. It made the toys they already have seem exciting.
  14. dress up and dance to music. I don’t know why but if music is turned on the kids like to get out their dress up clothes and dance around with crazy costumes on.
  15. Let them try on your clothes. E likes it when I let her get in my drawers and try on my clothes. My skirts are bigger than her whole body but she thinks it’s fun.
  16. listen to an audio book for kids. This would be a good one if you were sick because you don’t have to use your voice.
  17. play hot potato. The other day I had E get out a big teddy bear and I taught her the hot potato song as we threw it back and forth to each other.

That’s my list for now! Share in the comments, did you have a time when you had to keep little kids busy while you were down and what did you do?

I still have so much to learn!

Tonight my husband and I were discussing the Gospel of Luke. He said something about Luke being a Gentile. I said, “What? I thought the disciples were all jewish?- what? Luke wasn’t a disciple!?” And then while I sat and crocheted he looked up the names of the disciples. No Luke. I guess because the Gospel of Luke is sandwiched between Mark and John I just thought he was one of the 12 disciples. I also learned this Sunday that Luke wrote Acts and percentage wise wrote more of the New Testament than Paul. I’ve been reading God’s Word since I was 5 but I still have so much to learn!

Speaking of learning.. our “Schole sister” group meet up today to do watercolors. We had been meeting to discuss the book For The Children’s Sake By: Susan Schaeffer but after we finished the book we are now continuing to meet but to do fun stuff with our kids. Last month we baked and decorated cookies, today we played around with watercolors.

If you’re curious, the Greek word for leisure (schole) is the origin of Latin scola, English school. It means “leisure”. The idea is leisurely learning for both mom and kids. (I had to look that one up first time I heard it so I thought I may not be the only one who didn’t know what it meant!)

As you can see in the cover photo I didn’t let the kids have all the fun and spent some time trying to copy Beatrix Potter and make my own little Jemima Puddle Duck.

 Lauren taught us some different techniques using salt, rubbing alcohol and crayons.

Some of the finished creations. Share in the comments, anything new you’ve been learning lately?


Snow family winter fun bucket list 2017

This week is Thanksgiving but I’m already looking forward to the things I want to do with my family over the coming up cold winter days. Here’s my very random bucket list. Hopefully it inspires you to plan some fun and make some memories with your family.

  1. buy “winter” scented candles to put replace our fall ones that are mostly gone
  2. take down fall decorations and put up greenery and lights- specifically on stairway banister
  3. remove pumpkins and make a snowman snow family front porch decoration using wood and paint
  4. put up lights on porch
  5. if it snows go sledding (purchase a couple sleds ahead of time!)
  6. make scented play dough
  7. make new years resolutions
  8. buy me and the kids matching pajamas (I won’t be able to convince my husband to join in on this one ha ha!)
  9. have a dessert night- make a few special low carb desserts to enjoy
  10. go to Christmas parade downtown
  11. go to boat parade
  12. purchase a gift for a foster child
  13. build a fire in the wood stove and make some sugar free marshmallows to roast
  14. do a snowman or snowflake craft with the kids
  15. learn to sew- pick a project to complete over the winter
  16. learn to knit kids hats
  17. send out December birthday gifts and cards for relatives who have December birthdays
  18. go caroling
  19. have a pajama day and play board games
  20. buy new slippers
  21. try and make low carb cinnamon rolls
  22. write a Snow family year in review
  23. hang up a mistletoe to kiss under
  24. either host or attend a New Year’s prayer meeting
  25. drive somewhere to look at Christmas lights
  26. decorate cookies

 

 

One of my best parenting moves ever!

Last night while washing the dishes I listened to this inspiring podcast on powerofmoms.com

https://powerofmoms.com/cleaning-whole-family-episode-330/

This was a podcast I really wanted to listen to because it’s an area I struggle with. It is so much easier to not involve the kids when I clean and to just clean up after them rather than teaching them to clean up after themselves.

I want my kids to be responsible though and I want them to have a good work ethic and a right attitude towards work. I know that starts when they are really young.

One idea mentioned in this podcast was “Mr. Gunny Sack.” I named ours “Mr. Chompers.” Last night the kids watched as I transformed a towel into a hungry looking monster. I folded a towel in half, drew a hungry face on it, then sewed it up to make it into a bag. I introduced Mr. Chompers to the kids then explained that he was going to live in the hall closet. I told them when the house gets messy he can smell everything that’s not in it’s place and that makes him hungry! I told them with much drama in my voice how the only way to rescue our stuff was to put it where it belongs. Mr. Chompers can not eat anything that is in it’s place. If Mr. Chompers eats an item he won’t give it back until the next day! Dun dun dun duuun!

I couldn’t believe how much fun the kids had with this. They were laughing and squealing and picking up stuff as fast as they could. I would say in a funny voice, “Oh delicious! A stuffed teddy bear on the living room floor, my favorite!” I would make it like he was flying towards the teddy bear and E would scream and rush the bear to the bucket that stuffed animals go in. Mr. Chompers would then act sad before going onto the next thing. After everything was picked up I told the kids they had to say, “Go home Mr. Chompers!” three times to make him go back in the closet. At the end of picking up the only things that Mr. Chompers had been able to confiscate was a dirty sock and an ear plug. The kids had really gotten into it! When E needed help getting a coat hung up I told her, “You beat up Mr. Chompers while I hang it up- keep him back!” It was so silly and it turned picking up into a really fun time!

When everything was picked up E cried because she wanted to keep playing the game! When she woke up this morning the first thing she asked was, “Can we play Mr. Chompers?”

I figure I’ll leave him in the closet and only take him down once or twice a week so he doesn’t loose his appeal.

If you have young kids who need some pick up motivation I highly recommend your family adopts a Mr. Chompers!

 

 

 

 

Easy and free fall decorations plus a neat video about the reformation

I love walking around Hobby Lobby looking at and touching all the fall decor and imagining where I would put it in my house. I realize though that that stuff is expensive and after the fall season it goes back up in the attic. I knew I could come up with something beautiful without spending any money if I tried, and I did! It’s not much but here’s what I came up with..

We don’t burn wood in our stove any more so I used it as an area to decorate. The gate around it makes it an area I can make pretty without my 2 year old pulling down the decorations. The kids were playing outside while I worked on it and E’s reaction of “Wow!” when she saw it told me that it was good enough. I did something I call “shopping around the house.” I look for every day objects that I have in various rooms and group them together to make something pretty. The glass jars were in the cabinets, the washboard was in the kitchen, the antique rug beater (?) was on top the fridge. And what could say “fall” better than combination of purple beauty berries and red oak leaves picked from the yard? I lit an apple scented candle which pulled it all together. The table runner was something that mom used to have that I asked for when I got married. With little children it’s not very practical for the table but it looks nice here.

 

I did this easy craft with the kids. It wasn’t exactly free, I spent a few dollars on the wreath base and something around $1.50 for a pack of 100 clothes pins. We already had the paint. You can’t see it in the photo but on every clothes pin there is written something different we are thankful for. It was neat to do this with E because last year when she was 3 she didn’t grasp the idea fully of talking about things we are thankful for. She understood it this year and it was exciting to recognize that growth in her.

I collected stones from around our property to make a fire pit. When I think of fall I think of sitting around a toasty campfire.

I cleaned up around the mailbox, set out a pumpkin and called it good enough. I want to try and spruce up the porch a bit before thanksgiving but currently it is covered with tools and boxes and stuff we are using to work on the new swing set.

Have your kids seen this video of the life of Martin Luther told with play mobile toys? It’s really neat and gives a solid gospel presentaion.

I learned about it October 31st when listening to this podcast by Amy from raisingarrows.net. She tells about how their family started a new way of observing halloween and reformation day that I thought was really interesting. I’ve never heard of anyone doing it the way she did.

https://www.raisingarrows.net/2017/10/halloween-reformation-day-podcast-030/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Weekend

T was off last night so instead of writing we enjoyed some time together. It’s early in the morning and the family is still sleeping so I’ve got a few minutes.

Yesterday morning T got home early, around 3a.m. I was up treating a low blood sugar when he got home. I got up for my day a couple hours later and read my Bible and spent a little time in prayer when T.J decided he was ready to start his day. He was cranky so we ended up sitting on the floor reading books to help keep him quiet so the rest of the house could sleep.

I was able to get in 15 minutes of exercise once he was ready to go in his high chair and eat. He ate a little bit and then decided he wanted to get down on the floor with me.

After getting dressed and eating breakfast and feeding E, I set the timer for 40 minutes and cleaned the house during that time before we went outside in the nice cool air. I cleaned and vacuumed out the car and did some weed eating. I hadn’t used the weed eater in so long I’d forgotten how to start it but I had T show me yesterday. While cutting the grass I found an old soccer ball so I set up a couple boards to be used as goals and showed E how to kick it through the opposite goal. We spent the morning playing hide and seek and tag and enjoying the cool morning until it was lunch time.

After lunch me and T.J took a nap and E went with her daddy to the bank. She felt special going out just with daddy. When they got back we decided to go visit his parents. We packed a cooler of stuff to eat for dinner and then headed out there and visited until around 7:30 or so last night. The kids got to play with their cousins that were out there and E helped her Grandpa milk the cow.

We got home around 8:30, put the kids to bed and then got to enjoy our evening together.

This afternoon I’m going to bring the kids to their friend’s birthday party. Later this evening we are going to have church and host it at our house. We home church meaning we meet with other believers in each other’s homes instead of a church building, taking turns hosting. We us usually meet Sunday morning but since T is scheduled to work Sunday’s for the next month or so every one very generously offered to meet on Saturday’s so that he  didn’t have to miss church for a long time. Isn’t that love in a body of believers?

This morning I read Ezekiel chapter 32-34 and it occurred to me that when Jesus was referring to himself as the Good Shepherd, chapter 34 may have been one of the passages of scripture He was referring to. (I know there are quite a few places in the OT referring to God as the Good Shepherd, it’s just that this one is new to me since I haven’t read through Ezekiel before.)

Yesterday when taking my vitamins I remembered this post I had written back in July about taking them.  https://snowinlove.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/learning-some-new-health-info/

A few months later after faithfully taking them daily along with Dr. Berg’s recommendation of drinking wheat grass juice powder, I have had no relief of symptoms. Things have not improved at all. For now, I’m going to continue taking the vitamins. Essentially they are concentrated vegetable pills with herbs and I know extra vege’s can only help me but still, I’m disappointed. I’ve been reading some more research that is showing cutting out diary may help hormone issue but since I already don’t drink milk and my diet is already super limited, I don’t think I want to cut out cheese for the sake of an experiment right now. Anyways, I’ll share if I do run across something that works. Have a happy Saturday!