This is my 200th post!

Wow! That’s hard to believe! Life has changed so much since I started this blog and it’s really neat to get to click through each month for the last few years and see what was going on at that time. This blog is constantly evolving and I’m thankful for those who read and comment for coming along for the ride with me. This is my little corner of the internet where I pour out my creativity, track my goals, share about my relationship with God and the day to day details of our lives. It’s where I often process my emotions, explore new topics and share news. Writing over the last few years has grown me as a person in a lot of ways. It’s made me a more mindful person and has helped me to live my life more deliberately. It has given me an outlet to organize my thoughts. Blogging has helped me through seasons of depression. It helps me to get out of my own mind when I’m stuck there and put my thoughts onto “paper” and get them out. Every time I see a post has been read I feel a connection to whoever that unknown reader may be and I’m reminded that I’m being heard and I’m not alone. So, thank you for being there for me. I hope as time goes by my words can be ones that edify and that this can be a place where you come to get encouraged and refreshed. In the future, if there is a topic you’d like me to write about, leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do.

I got on here tonight to continue my “journaling” of our lives lately. I didn’t even know this was going to be my 200th post until I saw the stats informing me.

This morning my Bible reading time was longer than usual as my Bible reading plan included four chapters. I read about Ezekiel’s wife dying and it really grabbed my attention because I don’t remember ever reading it before. Ezekiel’s total trust in God and his immediate, uncomplaining, unwavering obedience and devotion to God left me kind of dumbfounded. I prayed God would help me trust and obey Him like Ezekiel. I was also reading about the destruction of Tyrus. I spent a little bit of time reading through Matthew Henry’s commentary trying to get a grasp on the connection between the prince of Tyrus and Lucifer.

After reading I just had time for a quick shower before the kids woke up early. They wanted to go outside and wait for daddy to come home and it was kind of funny that we were in the same spots when he came home as when he left.

Thursday is my town day and I like to leave early in the morning while every one is still fresh and the kids bellies are full from breakfast. I unloaded the dishwasher, spent no more than 5 minutes cleaning out the fridge so it would be ready to put groceries in when we got back and got me and the kids ready to go.

E was invited to one of her friends birthday parties this weekend and it’s going to be a costume party so we first went to T.J Maxx and I let her pick out a costume. It’s a blue and black sparkly butterfly costume with enormous wings and a face mask. She loves it! We went to a couple more stores picking out a gift and wrapping for another party she’s going to later on. (Yes, her social life is much more interesting than my own!)

We went grocery shopping for the week at Kroger. The kids have their routine down when we go there. They want to ride in a car cart and get a free cookie from the deli. They get so excited about going to kroger! We got home around 11:00 and I unloaded the groceries and fixed some macaroni and cheese. (hear me being all southern? fixed mac and cheese? lol) We had nap time/quiet time and when the hour was up we sat and read several stories from the Jesus Story book Bible. (while I drank coffee and tried to wake up!) BTW- If you’re looking for a colorful children’s Bible story book- the more I read this the more I like it.

E has been eagerly anticipating our trip to kroger today so I could get butter so we could make applesauce cookies from the apples they picked last week. Baking with a 2 year old and a four year old can be um, interesting. T.J would not stop screaming because I was having them take turns with the ingredients and every time it was E’s turn he would scream and cry like his heart was breaking and he’d never get a chance to put something in the bowl again. I didn’t want him to wake up T so I ended up putting him in his high chair with a bowl and measuring cups and spoons and giving him his own ingredients to make a mess with. And boy was it a mess! By the time we were done the kitchen smelled amazing but looked like a tornado made out of flour had come through the place. There was so many dishes it was one of those messes where you just kind of stand there for a moment taking it in. Thankfully the kids uncle was outside cutting down trees and I told them to go watch him and that entertained them while I cleaned up. (recipe we used in the link!)

https://www.google.com/amp/www.marthastewart.com/314405/iced-oatmeal-applesauce-cookies%3famp

I drizzled icing on the cookies and the kids each had one before I brought them outside to play. It was cloudy again this afternoon and felt much cooler than last week. T woke up and we sat outside watching one tree fall after another while T’s brother in law knocked and cut them down. Slowly we began to be able to see the field and pond that makes a beautiful view on the other side of the thick woods. Our yard has always been tightly enclosed with trees but now the sun shines back there and it’s lovely. T picked out tree he wants to hang a tire swing from.

We spent a couple hours outside before bringing in the very dirty kids and showering them. We had frozen pizzas for dinner- I found some grain free pizzas at kroger. Instead of a wheat crust it’s made out of chicken! T ate with us before heading out. I put on a 20 minute or so educational video for the kids and sat and read my book. Instead of doing any more housework I put the kids to bed early and called it a night. Time for mommy to relax!

I’m really liking this on-line journaling thing so thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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Starting to get into the swing of our new schedule

T got home early this morning, right after I woke up. He was all excited to show me photos of a tractor he saw on craigslist but I’m not sure at 5:30 a.m I was very enthusiastic about discussing the pros and cons of different types of tractors lol. I tried! He was ready to go to bed so I gathered up my stuff out of our bedroom and bathroom and started the day getting ready in the kitchen. Night shift life!

While reading about the coming destruction of Jerusalem prophesied by Ezekiel I read this verse, “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” Ezekiel 22:30. It made me so thankful that I have Jesus to stand in the gap for me!

This is the workout video I do more than any other. When I first started doing it some of the positions like the downward facing dog pose was difficult for me but I’ve gotten stronger and more flexible.

E woke up before her brother so we had time to just lay on the couch together and cuddle. She told me she was going to marry her brother when she was older and then when I told her that wouldn’t work out she asked if she could marry daddy and then asked if she could marry me. She also told me she wished I was a queen ant having lots of babies. Classic examples of conversations with E ha ha!

I made the kids hardboiled eggs and toast and started some laundry and unloaded the dishwasher before getting ready to head to story time. On Wednesday’s at 10:00 the library does a story time geared more towards preschoolers. I have brought E just about every Wednesday since she was 18 months old. They read a few books, played a couple learning games and did a craft. There is usually anywhere from 10-20 kids there.

We came home and had lunch and then quiet time/nap time. I spent some time ordering school photo prints, and answering e-mails and texts. After getting caught up on dishes and laundry I helped E fill out a post card that she had decorated for one of her Aunt’s and we went to the mailbox together to send it off. We had in the mailbox some updated photos from one of our Compassion children. E was thrilled and I’m glad she has a relationship with a child all the way in Uganda.

https://www.compassion.com/m/default.htm If you’re interested in learning more about Compassion International here’s a link.

Me and T brought the kids outside to play. It got cloudy and cooled off considerably. We had a really nice time sitting on the tail gate of his pick up and talking while the kids played. It was probably my favorite part of the day.

E talked me into letting them have a bubble bath in the jacuzzi instead of a shower. I put waaay to much bubble bath in and the bubbles got really out of hand much to the kids delight! I wish the internet was fast enough to load photos right now- T.J was practically buried in bubbles!

While I bathed the kids T made us all dinner and we got to eat together and cleaned the kitchen together before he left. Isn’t he an awesome guy? The kids started a tradition where we go out on the porch and yell, “Good-bye!’ and “love you!” at the top of our lungs until he is out of sight.

After dinner I did a little bit of Mother Goose Time preschool with the kids and then I sat and relaxed with my book while they watched Preschool Prep videos.

I vacuumed some but that was about it before feeding the kids some warm apple sauce with cream and then tucking them in.

On Wednesday’s at noon in our area the tornado sirens get tested every week. When I was a newly wed I started this thing where whenever I hear the sirens I say “I love you” so that when my husband hears the sirens he can know I’m saying I love him. Today when the sirens went off I heard E start shouting from the other room, “I LOVE YOU DADDY!” It made me smile to have built such a fun little thing into our family culture. The funny thing is we say it even when we know he’s sleeping or is not where he will hear the sirens. It’s been so many years it’s just something we do now!

Do you have any small traditions or things you do that are a part of your family culture?

 

Letting go to grow, grace to myself

Before you dive into reading this post let me share something with you. Typically when I write a post I won’t publish it right away. I’ll save it and then agonize about it for a while wondering if it’s good enough and worrying that I may have misspelled words or forgot commas. In keeping with the theme of this post, I’m not going to do that. I typed my thoughts out here pretty quickly and I’m going to go ahead and hit the publish button. You’ll understand what I mean after you read it. Here’s to grace!

A couple weeks back was picture day for our homeschool co-op. Way in advance I signed up for the best time slot for us, bought E’s outfit, decided how I would do her hair and the night before I had every thing all ready and chores done in plenty of time to head out the door. I was feeling pretty good about having it all together!
Right before loading up on time with even an allotted amount of extra time still available I opened up my email to see the address of where we were going. The e-mail had been deleted and I couldn’t find it. I called every one I knew in the co-op. No one answered. I couldn’t get on the co-ops website because I lost the e-mail with the password on it. I started to panic. I immediately was so angry at myself. I told myself that I had ruined the morning and that I was a horrible mother and that now my child wouldn’t be in the year book because I would be late and miss the time slot I had signed up for. I started driving to a church I thought it might be at when I got a call from my husband that he had found the deleted email. Except it didn’t make me any happier because I was on the other side of town and would miss my 5 minute time slop by 5 minutes. I speed there any ways and rushed in. When I went in another child was getting their photo taken. “it’s too late.” I thought defeated. I was totally surprised when the photographer said she would get Ella next and even more surprised when I observed that the other moms were trickling in late and none of them seemed stressed about it. No one cared.

When I got home I apologized to my husband for being short on the phone and explained I was really upset thinking that E would not get her photo in the yearbook. “I’m sure they would have got you in even if you were later than you were.” he said. It took me by surprise because it was a thought that had never crossed my mind. In that moment I had this little perspective shift of how I give grace to every one around me but never to myself. I would never not take a child’s photo because they were late but it never occurred to me that someone would extend that same grace to me. I thought about all the negative things I told myself that morning and how I would never ever treat someone else like that or hold them to the same standards. “Maybe I should be nice to myself I thought.” It was kind of a revolutionary thought for me- something I hadn’t thought of before. I thought to myself “Maybe I should try and give myself the same grace and kindness I give to other people- maybe I would be happier.”

This morning I got to put that little lesson into practical action.

Last night I learned that my husband was going to get today off from work. Woohoo! Three day weekend! I usually always get up between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m without exceptions but last night I decided to set the timer for 6:30 instead and let myself sleep in some on a day when we didn’t have much that needed done or any where to be.

After breakfast in my pajamas (which is a weird experience for me since I usually dress before the kids get up) I began to get ready for the day. My eye caught my calendar and saw that I had written down the details for a field trip at the discovery museum an hour and a half away with our homeschool group. I ignored it and reminded myself that it was 8:00- we didn’t have enough time to get ready and beside that I had just brought the kids swimming yesterday with E’s homeschool outdoors kids club.

I started to clean the bathroom but the nagging thought wouldn’t go away- I knew my husband would really want to go if he knew about it. I took a deep breath and told myself that his happiness and the fun our kids would have was more important than my desire to get stuff done.

I hesitantly ran it by my husband who immediately said, “Yes!” he wanted to go. I had to quickly prioritize what I was going to do because we needed to get out the house FAST if we were going to make it. Make-up? no time. Change E’s ratty looking shirt and do a cute hairstyle? no time. Pack a lunch? no time, there goes my diet plan. I was doing alright until I couldn’t find the hairbrush and then the negative thoughts came into my head, “Why did you sleep into 6:30!? You CANNOT ever sleep in because this is what happens- I can’t believe I..” And then I remembered that word GRACE and I stopped myself from thinking those thoughts. I reminded myself that I wanted to think to myself what I would tell to others. So as I shoved snacks for the kids in the backpack and quickly pulled together what we would need I responded to my previous thoughts with new ones, “It’s okay that you slept in until 6:30 on your day off. Lots of people do that, most sleep in later than 6:30. You’re a good mom for getting up before your kids so you can be ready to serve them no matter what. Besides, you didn’t know you were taking this trip today.”

On the way to the museum there was a few times I looked at the clock and inwardly began to stress about being late. I HATE being late. Even as a child I was very concerned about punctuality- have been my whole life. There was no way we would not be late and I had to tell myself it was okay. No one was depending on me- I wasn’t letting anybody down. Instead of groaning about being late I talked to my dad on the phone and got to hear what’s been going on in his life. I read my husband an article I’d been wanting to read him and we discussed it. It was a nice time.

When we got there late you know what happened? Every one in our group was still standing around giving extra time to anyone who might be late. No one knew we were going to come so no one was waiting for us in particular. I thought about the word grace and was thankful that it was being extended to anybody who might be running late. I was glad I had enjoyed the ride up and didn’t stress about it because in the end it didn’t matter.

I had one last test of my perfectionism- I had to make new friends with no make-up on and my hair a mess. To make matters worse I didn’t have time to pick up my new contacts that I needed so I couldn’t see very well. I was squinting to see people’s faces. I wanted to just stay quiet and hide my disheveled self but I gently reminded myself that being friendly was more important than people thinking I had it all together. I walked up to a woman, my eyes squinting, and held out my hand introducing myself. I found out our husbands know each other and our daughters have the same name. I’m glad I meet her and I’m looking forward to visiting with her again in the future.

I’m sharing a lot of lengthy personal thoughts to make these points- when we let go of perfectionism, when we show ourselves kindness and when we replace negative thoughts with positive one’s, great things can happen! Grace. It’s a good word.

Challenge: next time you begin to mentally beat yourself up, replace your thoughts with kind one’s. Choose to talk to yourself as kindly as you would someone you love.

A peak inside our homeschool and a really great podcast

Some people don’t really count preschool at home as homeschooling but in my world it totally counts. I’ve been calling our family a homeschool family since my children were born. Homeschooling is so much more than the time spent on book work. If you’re a homeschooler you’ll understand that homeschooling is both a mind set and a way of life.

Yesterday was the first day of school in our area. Over the summer I never really stopped doing preschool activities with E, I just kind of worked them around other summer fun and family time.

I recently was super excited to be able to purchase quite a bit of Mother Goose Time curriculum from a friend who was selling several months worth at a tiny fraction of the cost. Instead of telling you all about it I’ll invite you into our day through pictures and let you see for yourself.

This month’s theme is Alphabet Island. It was actually the Mother Goose time June theme but since I bought it from someone who didn’t use it, we’re using it in August. It doesn’t matter at all what order the months are used. Today we are focusing on the letter’s R and Q and the theme of the day was all about crabs.

 

After dancing around to our circle time song (which I don’t use every day or else I would go crazy from it being stuck in my head!), E put up the number 15 on our calendar and we reviewed the month and day of the week. We had a huge storm roll through this morning that left flooding in some areas so E appropriately moved the dark clouds and the rain to the empty spot on the board. Without being too lengthy I introduced her to the letter Q and the letter R discussing the sounds they make. E looked at the crab photo and noticed that the crab’s eyes are black.

Each month of the curriculum comes with a CD of music that matches the theme of the month. This month’s CD is Dancing on Alphabet Island. It’s reggae inspired music, a very danceable beat. The ribbons above come one for each month but since E already knows her colors I just gave them to her and T.J to dance with. 

 

 

Today’s craft was a crab made out of a soufflé cup filled with red sand so it makes noise when it’s shaken. It came with a sheet of different eyeball stickers and E decided to make a monster crab with using 3 sets of eyeballs. The little lego things came with the curriculum and they have all sorts of uses. Today’s suggested activity was to float them in water and let the kids pretend to be crabs and use salad tongs as their “claws”. We did that one outside!

The curriculum comes with a square that can be tossed and new photos can be put in the sleeves each day but I had gotten rid of the one I had before I was offered a good deal on more of the curriculum. Since I didn’t have the square to use for today’s game, T (my husband) made a cardboard one for the kids last night. For the game we used a towel to toss it into the air and every time it landed on the crab the kids would do the crab walk. If you haven’t done that in a while- it’s a good work out! The curriculum provided word cards as well for kids who are reading but we stuck with the photos.

While T.J napped E and I worked on her alphabet island workbook. I was explaining to her the difference between the words aquarium and aquatic and I used the example of an aquatic center. She asked, “Can we go to an aquatic center?” When I surprised her by saying yes she gave me the honor of being told that I was “sometimes nice.”

We really did pack up and leave! I had been wanting to check out the new aquatic center built here in town and it was raining so it seemed like a perfect time. We spent about 2 hours there and then got home right before their daddy did.

I think E’s favorite part of the day was when we watched youtube videos about crabs. There was one video where an octopus was eating crabs inside a crab trap and then escaped. It must have left an impression on her because she kept talking about it and she insisted daddy watch it when he got home.

On another note, this morning I listened to this podcast by Amy at Raising Arrows. It resonated so much with me that I really felt emotional while listening to it. Do you feel burdened by homeschooling? Listen to these words of grace and wisdom that are so freeing!

https://www.raisingarrows.net/2017/08/homeschooling-purpose-rap-podcast-019/

Here’s a hint… and “World Schooling”

This morning before the kids woke up while I got dressed and tidied up my bedroom and bathroom I listened to this power of moms podcast. I listened to it a long time ago and I’ve been thinking about it and wanting to listen to it again.

So here’s your hint… We’re going to be traveling internationally. That’s kind of an understatement about the situation but it’s your hint for now!

Like most areas of my life I’ve spent so much mental energy thinking about how to make this trip productive I’ve forgotten about the fact that this trip is going to be fun and adventurous and educational and an amazing bonding time for our family! We are going to a place in the world that will allow us to interact with people from all over the world all at once!

 

Anyways, this podcast is so inspiring and so much fun to listen to! Listen in on a conversation with a mom with 5 kids who took them on a trip around the world. It includes how they afforded it, comical stories from their trip, tips for traveling for young children and more. She also makes a case for why experiencing radically different things as a family is really positive for a family. I also really now love the word “Worldschooling”. Yeah, that’s my hint, we’re going to become a World school family!

https://powerofmoms.com/encore-make-family-travel-dream-reality-episode-177/

Are you going to see the eclipse?

Have you heard about the total solar eclipse that is going to be visible from the U.S August 21? We are going to travel to another state so that we can be in totality and get to witness first hand the moon completely covering the sun. Haven’t heard about it? What about shadow snakes? Have you heard of those!? Check out the video below!

Neat huh? We’re going camping for the first time as a family, it should be an adventure!

 

Well, I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me. We’re showing our house today, tomorrow, and then we are having an open house Tuesday!

Bible time with little children

At some point during the day when things are calm and I’m not in the middle of doing anything- usually late morning but sometimes in the afternoon, I say to the kids, “Bible time!”

I have a toddler and a very active four year old. Sitting down for a Bible lesson just isn’t going to happen right now. Each day we go to the same spot- the nursery. It’s baby proof, there are toys and a rocking chair. I close the door so the baby doesn’t escape and I pull a bucket of toys out of the closet. They can play, the only rule is no talking during Bible time.

I start off by singing the same song every day. “This is the day that the Lord has made.” I clap my hands, act animated and they ignore me and play with their toys. I don’t ask them to participate. I read them a chapter out of the book of Proverbs. Today since it’s the 8th I read them Proverbs chapter 8. After I ask E, “Is there anything you want to pray about?” She always responds no. (one time she responded horses so I thanked God for horses.) I then ask T.J, “is there anything you want to pray about?” He can’t talk so he doesn’t say much lol.

That’s it. I then tell them we are done. It lasts about 10 or less minutes.

Why do I do this?

Because even if they are just ignoring me and playing with their toys I think it’s important that they see their mother reading the Bible each day. Even if they don’t participate I think it’s important that they hear me pray over them, I believe that eventually they will learn to pray by hearing my prayers. I don’t think they comprehend any of the Proverbs but I believe that the discipline of faithfully reading them the scriptures will eventually grow fruit as they grow in understanding. I don’t know when that will happen but I will keep offering it through reading it to them until one day they do understand.

A couple other benefits are they have to practice a certain measure of self control since there is the no talking during Bible time rule. Also, they are hearing a portion of good literature and proper english each day that from an academic stand point is important for language development.

One day maybe they will join in with me for the singing. Even if they don’t I know E knows the song after hearing me sing it every day and I know T.J recognizes it.

I don’t try and get them to participate in any way other than  making them be in the same room as me and not talk. Our Bible time gives them an opportunity each day to observe my relationship with God and I pray for them that they will come to know God themselves.

I’m not 100% consistent but most days we get it done. Sometimes if my husband is driving I use that time as an opportunity to read to my trapped audience. 🙂

Do you have a Bible time with your toddlers and preschoolers? If so, what do you do?

 

Lots of changes around here!

Around our household that is!

We’re selling our house! We meet with a realtor and signed the paper work. We had our house re stained this week and we are getting granite counter tops put in before she comes back in a couple weeks to take photos. We’ve been working hard getting things looking good and fixed up. We’ve been talking about selling for several years now. A few years back we tried to sell it but it sat on the market for a year with no offers. The realtor kept telling us we needed to put some money into the house for it to sell but we didn’t. This time we are so maybe things will move a little quicker.

This week a water pipe that we didn’t know existed at the front of our property got ran over and burst so a lot of this week was dedicated to unexpected water issues. My husband has been working to make things right for the next owner instead of the crazy maze of pipes that he was finding. Our house was someone’s DIY project and every time we work on it we say we will never in the future buy a house that someone says they built themselves. There has been endless stuff wrong with it because it was built by someone who obviously trying to figure it out as they went along. We’ve put almost 10 years of work into it though so it’s sellable at this point.

After our house sells we plan to rent for a while until we figure out exactly what we want to do. We want to take our time looking for a new place and there is the possibility we would want to save up money and build a house. My husband is also trying to make some decisions job wise so we’re kind of at a point in our lives where we are trying to decide what comes next.

On a different note, I bought some curriculum for E’s preschool. It’s called Mother Goose Time. I bought just a month’s worth so I could check it out over the summer and see if I like it. At the moment I’m totally overwhelmed by it and it’s taking way more time to get started than I expected. I’m not saying I don’t like it, it’s just taking time to learn something new. (I only got it in the mail 2 days ago.) I’ll probably post about it more later as I get more involved with it.

Anyways! If you’re wondering where I disappeared to that is what we have been up to! Not to mention that the plant my husband works at is in a very long outage and he has been working 72 hours a week for a long time now and still has a long way to go. Life is kind of crazy here at home with a 4 year old and a 1 year old. Sibling fighting has settled in and it has been a tough parenting situation that I am facing for really the first time. Most my days are spent trying to keep these kids from hurting each other! I’ve been reading books and blogs and trying to work through this- if you have any resources to help me help my kids get along then tell me!

A peek into our preschool at home

 

I’ve been asked about pre schooling E at home quite a bit lately so I thought I’d share a little bit of what we’re up to these days.

Tuesday:
For some fun math we had a “number snowball fight.” I would call out a number for E to go stand on and then I’d throw that number of “snowballs” (cotton balls) at her. She would then place the snowballs on the sheet of paper as we counted them together.

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For some name practice I finally found a use for the cereal made of beans gone stale that I bought in the clearance section!

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We read a chapter of the Jesus Storybook Bible. Today I read her the story of Joseph.

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At Arkansas Center For Music Education she got to jingle some bells and maracas and T.J got in on the fun as well.

Tuesday afternoon’s she has gymnastics. She does really well! She’s tiny but she’s strong!

Before bed I read her a chapter from On The Banks Of Plum Creek By Laura Ingalls Wilder. It’s said to be a 5th grade reading level book. Reading E books above her age group and that exceed her vocabulary is a part of my homeschooling philosophy. It’s a lot more fun for me as well!

Wednesday:

I’ve done so many things with these circle stickers I had left over from a yard sale this past summer. After numbering them 1-5 I put them on E’s finger nails. We talked about our ages and stuck stickers on our foreheads and shirts with our ages on them. We did some name stickers too. This one shows how fast and easy a lesson can be. (it’s all wrinkled up because I forgot about taking a picture of it until the baby tried to eat it!)

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Wednesday mornings we go to the library for story time. Ms. Emily, the children’s librarian puts a lot of work into the kids having a good time. They play with a parachute and then either do a craft or a coloring sheet. Each week we check out as many books as will fit in our library bag.

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After watching an episode of Sid the Science Kid about airplanes that we checked out at the library, I got on Pinterest and looked up how to make paper airplanes. E liked this one a lot! We went up to our loft and threw them down from up there.

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We worked for maybe 5 minutes, maybe less, on hand writing practice. I use books from the dollar store. E really doesn’t like practicing letters with a pencil. At 3 years old, I don’t push it. I offer it to her and she can try for as long as she is interested and then she can be done. At this age my main goal is for her to enjoy learning and want to learn. Today she worked some on the letter H.

Before bed we read one of her books she checked out today.

Thursday:
E and Daddy spent time reading together this morning when he got off work.

Today we checked out a story time they were having at a new book store down town. I don’t know if we’ll go back next week. It was a huge hassle to park downtown in the middle of the day and there was only a couple other kids and after wards E wanted so badly for me to buy her a book but they were priced 16-28 dollars and I know those same books are at the library.

We ran a bunch of errands today. Since E was a baby I’ve used outings as opportunities to talk with her and teach her. I usually have an ongoing conversation with her as I drive about why I’m stopping or what road were on why I’m changing lanes.

Today at the pet store I helped her count fish and we talked about how much the birds cost. I know this all sounds like just life and not school but that’s the point I’m trying to make- for us they are one in the same.

While we were at the grocery store I made sure to pick up some more cheap salt so we could make some more homemade play dough. She loves play dough! I wish I had gotten a picture of what she ended up creating. She made a pretty impressive octopus!

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Friday:
E woke up tired and clingy. I read her a bunch of books and then she just wanted to lay around. I set up a shape craft for her and tried to entice her to do a shape game but she didn’t feel like it. When she didn’t want to do play dough I knew something was wrong! Sure enough by dinnertime she was running a fever. Thankfully by Saturday morning her fever was gone so it was just a quick bug.
One of the books we read was about a girl who was sick. E could identify!
I told her in 3 year old terms about her immune system and how the white blood cells were working hard to gobble up the virus in her body. She also seemed pretty fascinated when I taught her how her blood is pumped and taught her to feel her pulse on her neck and on her wrist. About every 5 minutes she informed us that her heart was still beating. Good to know! ha ha

Monday:

We were invited over the home of a homeschool mom and friend of mine who is doing a book club/discussion group going through the book For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School by Susan Schaeffer.

We made cookie dough for the kids to roll out and cut shapes out of. While the cookies baked and cooled, the kids watched a movie and ate popcorn while the moms discussed the book. Today we discussed habit formation specifically building the habits of self control and selflessness in children.

The kids then got to decorate!

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When I was a kid in public school, the week before break I remember consisting of eating sugar and cleaning out our desks. That means I am totally counting decorating cookies with friends as “preschool time.”  🙂

Everyone enjoy your time with your family this week!

I don’t know that you’ll hear from me on the blog until next year- we’ve got some fun stuff planned for the rest of the year! I’ve got a lot of posts in my head though I want to share come January.

 

 

T.V free rainy day activities

Yesterday was a cold and rainy day (that turned beautiful late afternoon!) I thought I’d share with you some of the ways my kids stayed busy inside.

  1. make something yummy. I usually do fast and easy to clean up breakfast but since we weren’t going any where I took the time to let E help me make some low carb waffles. Sticky deliciousness! img_6927

2. make a treasure hunt. This is something my dad used to do with my brother and I and we LOVED it as kids. It didn’t matter what we were looking for, the thrill was hunting down the next direction. I had E go in her room while I hid the directions. I knocked on her door and with a “pirate voice” presented her with a map. I had directions hid all over, including inside the fridge and stuck to the toilet! The end the map led her to my nail polish stuff and I painted her nails. Can you tell she couldn’t pick which color she wanted?!

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3. Make baby a special spot. I had recently moved our Mark Twain collection that was on this bottom shelf because our 13 month old was destroying them. I put down a blanket and moved most of the baby books that couldn’t be torn from E’s room and set them up on that bottom shelf. It kept him entertained for a good 15 minutes which I realize in baby world is a good amount of time. 🙂 img_6934

4. Play with a sheet. Do you remember in elementary school playing with one of those rainbow parachutes in gym class? My kids love it when we I shake a sheet over their heads or we toss a stuffed animal up in the air. Of course we ended up making a tent! E’s favorite is rolling her up like a burrito, pretending to put hot sauce on her and then gobbling her up. I don’t know why kids love that so much. I can still remember taking ballet class when I was 7 and my favorite part of the class was when the teacher at the end would roll us up in the mats before she put them away and pretended we were burritos! I still remember how much fun that was!

5. Indulge your child’s imagination. Lately E has really been into pretending she is a dragon and asking me to play dragon with her. I cut out dragon shaped feet and after we decorated them taped them to her shoes.

 

6. paper chains. I used to spend hours as a child seeing how long I could make a paper chain! While I ran errands daddy made a really long one with E that is now hanging from the stair railing.

 

As a disclaimer, just because I titled this “T.V free activities” doesn’t mean my kids didn’t watch T.V. ! E watched little Einstein until I’m sure her eyes were hurting lol. Rainy days can be long! (especially when your kids wake up waaaay early and don’t nap..)