Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday–Shane Praying

As we were singing our mealtime prayer the other day, I look over and see Shane doing this:

2013-04-23 Shane Praying

Aw, how cute!

~S

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tot School / B4FIAR–Corduroy

Tot School  jdaniel4smom

Nathanael is currently 46 months. Tilly is currently 40 months.

We haven’t done anything for tot school in about four weeks. We had an Easter party for all the kids in our family and the one we co-op with, then had three weeks off for packing and vacationing. I was pleasantly surprised how well the kids did after having that long off!

This week, we read Corduroy and A Pocket for Corduroy, both classics that are so easy to do with preschoolers because there are so many choices for activities!  Because I just have the two tot-schoolers now, I’m not as careful in my planning. Usually I go online the night before and print a bunch of stuff, and then we just do whatever we feel like doing for that day. Here’s a few of what we chose to do:

Dot painting a brown bear from Making Learning Fun

2013-04-17 Tot School Corduroy (1)

Playing Bear Roll and Stamp from PreK Pages

2013-04-17 Tot School Corduroy (4)2013-04-17 Tot School Corduroy (5)

Prewriting practice from Homeschool Creations

2013-04-17 Tot School Corduroy (7)

Fine motor skills using Counting Bears, Easy Grip Tweezers, and ice cube trays. This one was tricky for them, but they persevered. I did not say they had to do any kind of pattern or specific color, so it was funny to see what they ended up with:

2013-04-17 Tot School Corduroy (9)

Nate ended up doing this pattern for the whole tray. Tilly ended up doing a bunch of purple ones, then gave up and just did whatever she grabbed.2013-04-17 Tot School Corduroy (13) 

Next we played a color recognition game using my Photo Stacking Blocks and Education Cubes color inserts. I highly recommend these blocks, especially if you have any boys. Adding an active component, even if it’s just a little bit, helps Nate so much! For the game, I used the color cards that matched the counting bears plus a wild card that had them all on it. I had them take turns rolling the cube down the hall, then running to see what color it was. They then had to grab a matching bear from the bin and put it anywhere in their ice cube tray. Again, hilarious, because Nate had to stick them all in a row, all on their bottoms. Tilly just put them wherever. When a wild card came up, Tilly always picked purple, and Nate picked whatever one he grabbed first.

2013-04-17 Tot School Corduroy (15)2013-04-17 Tot School Corduroy (14)2013-04-17 Tot School Corduroy (18)

Our snack was teddy grahams, which is not something I usually buy, so Nate loved them! I made simple papers that had the number 1-6. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to do with them when I made them, but after seeing that they both needed practice with number recognition and counting, I thought up this little activity. I gave them each 21 bears in a snack cup. They then had to lay out their papers, (which is why they’re not in order), and place the correct number of bears on each page. They got to eat them afterward, of course.

2013-04-17 Tot School Corduroy (24)2013-04-17 Tot School Corduroy (27)

We watched Corduroy from this Scholastic Storybook Treasures that Grandpa bought the kids a few years ago while they ate their snack.

We did some pattern completing from Homeschool Share. I love Nate’s facial expression in this picture :-) Also, notice in most of the pictures from today that he’s wearing a bag. He told me it was his purse, I told him it was his briefcase. So now he has a briefcase that he takes to “work” everyday. He told me it has his lunch and his coffee in it, heehee!

2013-04-17 Tot School Corduroy (28)

We then read A Pocket for Corduroy and made a Corduroy bear using the templates from Serving Pink Lemonade.

2013-04-17 Tot School Corduroy (21)

I asked them each if they wanted their own name or Corduroy on the nametag inside the pocket. Nate picked his name, Tilly picked Corduroy.

Overall, a fun and engaging unit!

Oh, and this is what happens when you don’t put away the supplies right away…

2013-04-19 Shane with counting bears

This teeny tot is too smart for me! I don’t know what there will be left to teach him when he actually gets to tot school age :-)

Links to some of the printables/resources that I found:

* Homeschool Share

*Homeschool Creations

*Serving Pink Lemonade – Great template with bear and overalls

*We Can Do All Things – Early Learning with Counting Bears 

~S

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Speak Up Saturday–Book Review–Jennifer: An O’Malley Love Story

Speak Up Saturday

Ohmygoodness! When I got the review copy on this novella, I was ecstatic! Good thing it was short, because I don’t think my husband or my kids would have been very happy with me for ignoring them for more than a day :-)

Cover Art

Jennifer: An O'Malley Love Story (or go here to get the ePub version right now, before the official release date!)

From the Publisher:

It's a summer of change for Jennifer O'Malley.
The busy physician has a pediatrics practice in Dallas, Texas, and meeting and falling in love with surgeon Tom Peterson is adding a rich layer to her life. She's sorting out how to introduce Tom to her family--she's the youngest of seven--and thinking about marriage.
She's falling in love with Jesus too, and knows God is good. But that faith is about to be tested, and in a way she didn't expect. The results will soon transform her entire family.

Why was I so excited to get this book? It completes the O’Malley series by Dee Henderson. This series was one of the first ones I read after getting a relationship with Jesus. This novella is about the only one of the O’Malley siblings that didn’t get a full length book, and for good reason which I will not divulge because it is part of the plot of the series.

What appeals to me about the series? The characters are believable and their emotional struggles are real. They are fun to follow along because they are more, well, celebrity for lack of a better word. I mean, they all have fairly high profile lives, but it’s fun that way. If you’re going to read a book, might as well make it something that is fantastical.

The part that I enjoy the most, however, is their stories of faith. How each one, especially Jennifer as told in this novella, come to know their Savior is powerful and awesome. Jennifer is the one who prompts the others to examine their lives and what they really believe, so to learn how her conversion came about was great.

I read this book in one evening, good thing it was only a novella! It prompted me to want to read the entire series again :-)

clip_image001

~S

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NetGalley as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Some links are affiliate links, which I may receive a small compensation from in connection with their affiliate program.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday–SNOW!

Last week, the beach. This week, SNOW! Thank you, Colorado spring, for the beautiful, and freezing, homecoming present.

2013-04-15 Snow! (14)2013-04-15 Snow! (15)2013-04-16 Kids in the Snow (3)2013-04-16 Kids in the Snow (9)2013-04-17 Outside at the Mullins (29)

~S

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Menu Plan Monday–April and May

mpm chalkboard

 

The last three weeks were a bit of a whirlwind. My husband’s grandmother passed away about three weeks ago, so me being me, I planned a two week road trip for my family to go to SoCal and enjoy the sights as well as go to the memorial service. Oh, and I played travel agent for the rest of his family, which include his mom and disabled dad, sister and her hubby, and two more brothers. Yeah. Made my head spin a bit. Then was the actual trip. Really good, but exhausting! Almost two weeks in a hotel room with your three kids isn’t exactly relaxing. In any way. BUT we did go to Disneyland, San Diego Zoo, the beach, and several other places. We had a great time, and are glad to be home. Except for this freak snow storm. I mean, almost a foot of snow in the middle of April?!? Welcome to Colorado spring, I guess.

2013-04-15 Snow! (6)

Anyway…I didn’t exactly get any meal plan done for the month before we left, and then we ate out for two weeks, ugh. Now that we’re home, and it’s already the middle of the month, I decided I would just plan out April and May. So here goes. Six weeks of meals all planned out:

Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
14 
Meatballs & Ravioli
15
Basic Tacos
16
Chicken Pot Pie Soup
17
Teriyaki Crockpot Chicken
18
Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
19
You’re On Your Own (YOYO)
20
Hamburger Helper
21
Stuffed Jumbo Shells
22
Orange Chicken Stir-Fry
23
Chili Colorado Burritos
24
Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken
25
Date Night with that man o’ mine
26
YOYO
27
Taco Dump Soup
28
Dinner at my dad’s
29
Creamy Chicken Taquitos
30
Sweet & Sour Citrus Chicken
1
Slow Cooker Pizza
2
Parmesan Ranch Chicken
3
YOYO
4
Light and Crispy Waffles
5
Baked Pasta Casserole
6
Mexican Lasagna
7
Valencian Paella
8
Cilantro Lime Chicken
9
Date Night!
10
YOYO
11
Pizza
12
Guiltless Chicken Alfredo
13
Sweet & Sour Meatballs
14
Scalloped Potatoes & Ham
15
Crockpot Parmesan Chicken
16
Rice-a-Roni with Chicken
17
YOYO
18
Something Grilled – Probably Burgers
19
Noodles Bolognase
20
Southwest Chicken Burritos
21
Orecchiette
and Sausage
22
Cheesy Hamburger Soup
23
Basic Casserole
24
YOYO
25
Chicken Lemon Soup with Orzo
26
Dinner at my dad’s
27
Mexican Lasagna
28
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
29
Grillin’
30
Green Beans, Potatoes, and Chicken
31
YOYO
1
Meatloaf Muffins

One more thing that I really like about meal planning in advance like this: It gives me the ability to bring people a meal more easily. I can see when I would already be making something that is easy to double, or one that I already usually double (like Stuffed Jumbo Shells), and just plan on sharing that extra meal. I have a friend who has just started chemo for breast cancer, and they don’t have a lot of local friends since they just moved here a year ago. I know which meals I will be bringing them in the next six weeks and I’m less likely to forget (what a horrible friend would I be then!) since it’s already in my family’s plan and not just on a sign-up sheet somewhere. I also have a neighbor who had a baby while we were gone in Cali. I don’t know her that well, but what better way to bless someone than by bringing them a meal?

Okay, enough talking. What are you making this week/month?

~S

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday–The Beach

So…we are in California on vacation. It was a totally last minute trip; Tim’s Grandma passed away and her memorial service was near L.A. I figured since we were all going out anyway, we should make a vacation out of it. We’re nearing the end, and I am soooo ready to be home. I mean, SoCal is great and all, but living in a hotel room with my three small children is exhausting.

I’ll have a ton more pictures to post, but for now, here are a few from the Silver Strand today.

2013-04-10 Coronado Beach (11)2013-04-10 Coronado Beach (2)2013-04-10 Coronado Beach (5)2013-04-10 Coronado Beach (13)2013-04-10 Coronado Beach (19)2013-04-10 Coronado Beach (28)

~S

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