Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas-Free Nativity Downloads

I love these downloads I found for the retelling of the Christmas story!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Books: The Friendly Beasts (An Old English Christmas Carol) -Illustrated by Tomie dePaola

Anyone who knows children's books, knows the name Tomie dePaola. His timeless illustrations would fill a book all on their own, even without words. Add them to this classic Christmas carol, full of description and repetition (just right for toddlers and preschoolers!), and you have a perfect mix. If there's one book you buy this year for Christmas, let this be it.

**Although the repetitive qualities of this Christmas carol are perfect for little ones, older kids will still love this amazing book!

Christmas Books: A Charlie Brown Christmas

We love Charlie Brown in our house! (Although I'm always wondering where the heck the parents are!?!) And this book was a no-brainer to go on my list of Christmas favorites. I'm sure everyone can picture Linus in their heads, giving his Christmas speech about the true meaning of Christmas.

Sure to be a favorite in your house, this classic is a must-have for young and old! (I highly recommend the video too!)

Christmas Books: The Mitten

This is one of my favorite winter-time books for children! I don't believe this version is in print anymore, but you can find used copies all over the web.

A classic story about a little red mitten that unintentionally becomes home to SEVERAL animals for the night. Sweet, cute and sure to put a smile on your little one's face!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Best Loved Christmas Books!

Hi everyone! I wanted to post some of our favorite Christmas season books. Most are just fun. Some convey the special meaning and joy of Christmas. All are loved in our house.

Tonight we brought out the first and although it's a relatively new addition to our family of Christmas books, we absolutely adore it! If you have a dino-lover in your family, I highly recommend The Dinosaurs' Night Before Christmas.

Product Description:
The dinosaur fossils in the museum come to life (and sing dance and eat gingerbread) in this rollicking twist on the classic poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. And with the enclosed CD children of all ages can enjoy dinosaur-themed Christmas party music and hear the story read aloud by the Today Show's Al Roker! A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book goes to support the American Museum of Natural History in New York where the story is set.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cleaning System

*I orginally published this on my personal blog, but thought it might help someone else out there!

This cleaning system is really helping me keep things under control. I just wish there were LESS cleaning to actually do. At least I don't have to worry about forgetting something this way and my house has stayed much cleaner!

Another bonus to this system is that I'm not angry at my husband nearly as much! Let me explain: I'm at stay at home, homeschooling mom. I feel like it's my job to do all the housework (at least the inside stuff!) But the truth is, there are hardly enough hours in the day to get everything done and when my husband would come home, sigh and start to pick up, it would infuriate me and I'd yell at him to leave it alone. Which would in turn, make him angry at me for yelling, being frustrated and not accepting his help..leaving the house still in a mess! With this system he knows exactly what still needs to be done that day and if there is something I really don't want him to touch, I take it off the hook before he gets here.

Hook you ask? Yes, hook. Here's how hooks play into the system.

Set up:

1. I typed up a list of the chores that I need to do daily and weekly. I printed, laminated and cut them, punching a hole on one end of the strip.

2. I divided the chores into three piles: Daily Morning Chores, Daily Evening Chores and Weekly Chores.

3. I embellished! Daily Morning Chores have a bright yellow star sticker on the end. Daily evening chores have a subdued blue star sticker on the end and the weekly chores don't have anything (except for "take out the trash" which is a Tuesday-MUST chore and "pick out Reagan's clothing for the week" which is a Sunday chore--I simply wrote those days on the ends of those cards).

Using the system:

1. I hung up two hooks in the kitchen (on the fridge) with the labels "To Do" and "Finished". All the items were hung up on the "To Do" hook and as I do them, they (obviously) get hung up on the finished side.

2. At the end of every day the blue and yellow tags get rehung on the "To Do" side. And on Sunday evening, all the evening chores get hung back on the "To Do" side as well.

That's it! So easy. Every day I do my daily chores and a couple of weekly chores. And it's keeping me saner and the house looking ten times better.

***A couple of things I wanted to mention that I do-the playroom/school room does NOT get cleaned everyday. That's a separate entity. I'm working on addressing that issue for us (maybe like a straighten at the end of the school day?). And the quarterly chores (washing windows, cleaning pantries, cycling toys out, etc) are still something I'm working on as well!

If you want a list of what I do, here are my chores!

Daily Morning Chores
-Complete a load of laundry
-Sweep kitchen and laundry rooms
-Vacuum (I look over the house daily. If it needs it, I do it, if not, I move it over to the finished pile and move on!)
-Run a load of dirty dishes and put away (reload any that need to be loaded)
-Pick up and straighten the house (this includes wiping sinks, emptying trash bins, picking up and returning items, hanging up towels, straightening pillow and slipcovers)
-Scoop litter box
-Make beds

Daily Evening Chores
-prep coffee pot
-bedtime routine for me
-pick up/straighten house again
-pack Josh's lunch
-fill work boxes for school

Weekly Chores
-clean fridge
-grocery shop
-meal plans and coupons
-wash bath toys, loofahs, bath mats in/out of tub and shower curtains as needed
-wash bed linens and towels
-clean toilet
-dust hall and bath
-dust family room
-scrub bathtub
-wash cats' bedding and bowls
-refill soap dispensers
-refill cleaners
-charge phone (yes, I consider this a chore!)
-garbage to curb
-clothes out for the week for Reagan
-clean out van
-change out Church bag
-clean coffee pot
-dust kitchen and laundry rooms (includes wiping down cabinets)
-mop laundry, bath, kitchen and entry areas
-wash slipcovers
-dust bedrooms (includes fans, sills in the summer!)

Stay tuned in the next few days for Reagan's chore and getting ready chart! This little thing has made our lives run a lot smoother in the mornings before getting ready to start school!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why it's important to teach enunciation..

Commercial: blah blah blah too can turn your house into a house of horrors!
Reagan: Look mom! You can turn our house into a little house of whores!!!

Words fail me.......

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Capital Tour

A must see for American History!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Interesting Article Regarding Children In Church

Where I grew up we had Sunday school but then all the children, except babies of course, were expected to sit through worship service. Yes, there were the cheerios, and drinks of water and coloring on the back of attendence cards...and even, dare I say it? The occassional trips outside to the switch bush. But we were IN church. Absorbing through osmosis, if nothing else, the way we were to worship, the amazing truth of the Bible and the soul-moving hymns that had been sung for a century or more.

Today, I attend a church with my husband and daughter where all the children 6th grade and under go downstairs for "Jr. Church". At first I was happy there was something to entertain my daughter while I worshipped. But I still felt uncomfortable. When, exactly, was I supposed to be teaching her how to behave and worship in church? After 6th grade? Surely I wasn't supposed to wait that long.

And then, I stumbled across this article. Now this is something that truly makes sense. Teaching our children the same way I was taught how to behave in church, how to worship God and all those amazing wonderful true stories that the Bible shares with us.

I think I'll be rethinking taking Reagan to Jr. Church from now on.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Science site for children!

Excellent science site for children. Biblical viewpoint! Check it out!
Science Terrific!

More Biblically based science available at Does God Exist?

Sunday, August 8, 2010


The Bible is a really important book, mommy. It's not like swamp monkeys or something.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Getting Started

We had our first official day of homeschooling yesterday and I, myself, have already learned several lessons:

1. Don't be afraid to skip through curriculum that your child has already mastered.
2. Don't start "school" in the afternoon.
3. Don't give in to your child's pleas to take a nap because that will only result in them not going to sleep until 10 o'clock at night.

And MOST importantly, NEVER, EVER, under ANY circumstances, address your child as such: "I am not your mommy right now, I am your teacher." Because as soon as this pops out of your mouth, you will immediately realize your vast error in not thinking before you speak...and getting said child to stop sobbing will only take away from your planned school time and result in the aforementioned exhaustion that will result in a nap that will THEN result in said child NOT sleeping til all hours of the night.

And if you still manage to get in some good lessons after all that, it's only by the Grace of God and certainly not the result of any schooling you managed to bluster through.

That being said, we accomplished a few things yesterday:

1. Reagan worked on mastering scissors. We have a special pair of scissors that has an extra piece that helps the children to make the scissor motion. I purchased them at the Dollar Tree and they have no identifying labels on them..I HAVE to find out who made these because every mother needs a pair for her children!
2. We worked on pre-writing skills...zigzags, circles, lines.
3. We studied the Creation of the world.
4. We talked about division and worked with rocks and cups to illustrate division.

Not much, but it was a start! Whew! Tomorrow I'll post our activity for Creation and some other things we're doing!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's All Coming Together!!!

I'm so excited! I have been so overwhelmed with all the preschool ideas out there. I kept finding more things to try, more things to do, exciting styles of learning---and then I realized..I wasn't doing ANYTHING. I just needed to get started. So I did some praying...and today I realized...I've been making it so hard and it doesn't have to be and suddenly I'm GOING, DOING! I've been directed to some great websites and I've spent most of today online jotting a bunch of things down. I'll keep doing that for the next few weeks and then we'll start! Stay tuned!
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