Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I like saving money!

I love a good deal and I just ran across a website I have never seen before. It offers 9 daily deals of drastically reduced items and then will occasionally add INSANITY deals (like $43 for and iPad!)  Friend referrals allow you to collect free items, so if you do check out this site, please use my referral code:

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Organized Necklaces

I have such a handy husband.  I showed him this idea on Pinterest and the very next night he had all the supplies purchased and then put it up for me.  I love it, but not as much as I love him! :)

post signature(hand towel rack with double sided hooks purchased at Lowes)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

(No Sew) Superhero Cape

My two Super Mario fans playing in their Superhero Capes!  
Idea from Pinterest... of course!

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Five Senses Board

For 3rd grade science, we were studying stimulus/response. This lead to a discussion of how each of our senses help us... which lead to a kindergarten lesson on our five senses. I love it when it all just pulls together like that!

The week prior, I pinned  a texture board on Pinterest which facilitated my idea of a Five Senses Board. 

The far left column is TOUCH.
  • feathers
  • double-sided sticky tape
  • both sides of velcro
  • glass beads (flat side is hot glued to poster board)
  • pom-poms
  • foam shapes
The next column is SIGHT.
  • Opaque (cut from a milk jug)
  • Clear (cut from a blueberry carton)
  • Pennies (dull/shiny)
  • Foam pieces (plain, glittery, stripes, dots)
  • Assorted colored pipe cleaners
  • Sparly stars
The third column is SMELL.
  • Vanilla bean 
  • Cocoa Nibs (lost their smell the first day)  :(
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Cloves
  • (Added later: scratch 'n' sniff stickers)

The forth column is TASTE.
  • Sour: I put sour gummy candies in... which don't last long!
  • Bitter: cocoa powder
  • Sweet: sugar (this is sucanat here)
  • Salty: chunks of sea salt
Fifth column is HEARING:

  • click pen
  • rubber band "guitar"
  • velcro
  • (Later added large jingle bells)

The boys absolutely LOVE this board! Adults even enjoy it! :)  Honestly, it's just hard not to interact with this board once you see it.  It's a lot of fun and I'm so glad I had all this random stuff on hand to pull it together! 

Here's Witt showing off the "Sweet" bag... his favorite, of course.

 Here are the boys huddled around checking it out. Nathan (left) has removed the "Salty" bag that is attached with Velcro and Will is scratching the cinnamon.

Will getting a whiff of cinnamon and Witt (left) pointing out that the Sour bag is empty! LOL!

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Birthday Countdown

In September, Will turned 9 and had a sleepover party.  Since then, Nathan (now 5) has been asking daily when his birthday will be (November).  Just about that same time, I ran across a chain calendar on Pinterest for kids that aren't proficient with a regular calendar.  I thought this might work perfectly for Nathan and I got to work. 

I included a blue ring for the day his Daddy would be back from a business trip and a black ring for Halloween.  The final one is red and is his birthday. Each morning he wakes up and cuts off a ring getting closer and closer to his birthday.  He LOVES this!

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hand Print Canvases

I'm not a really big artsy person, but when I ran across this idea on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to do it.  I picked up a cheap 3-pack of flat canvases in the craft section at Wal*Mart. If I were to do this again, I would pick up the ones with more depth like in The Mom in Madison.

First, I let the boys draw and color in their hands, names, and ages with oil pastel crayons.  Then they used water colors to paint around (and over) their handprint.   Bringing out the paints was a nice change of pace for our house. :)

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Be Prepared...

I have tons of posts coming from ideas I got off of Pinterest.  Just wanted to warn you. They ARE coming. :)

You can follow me on Pinterest here.

If you need an invite, just let me know in the comments. :)

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bear Cub

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Monday, August 1, 2011

First Day of School Pics

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nathan's Tiny Talk

4th of July week, week I took the boys to Camp Wiregrass.  Nathan kept me rolling in laughs each day.

One random comment was, "I want to have a motorcycle when I am older than 12 years old. Just so you know. And if you forget, just ask me."
Another day he was caught playing with a frog in the water fountain. LOL!

During a break, Nathan came up to me and asked if I wanted to know his new friend's name.  I was quite taken aback because he never remembers anyone's name, so I enthusiastically said, "Sure!".  His new friend's name is Maya and he told me they played on the see-saw together.

I asked him to tell me what she looked like and he said that her hair was dark and goes, "Loopty-loopty-loopty- loop!" Sure enough, it does! :)  She was just the cutest thing!

Nathan & Maya at the Camp Banquet Dinner

The second to last day at camp, he said the following with a BIG, EXCITED GRIN:
"Today, I got to dig in the dirty clothes basket and put dirty clothes on!"

Last week at lunch, we played "High and Low" where you go around the table and say what your high point of the day was and your low point.  Nathan's cracked me up:

"My favorite thing is that I found a worm in my corn."  (We shucked fresh corn from the farmer's market.)

"The bad news is that I lost him in the grass."

This quarter, I am teaching the younger boys' Bible class on Sunday mornings. Turns out Nathan was listening to the story of Daniel because later in the week he said, 
"I only want vegetables and water for breakfast; it will make me strong."
I gave him carrots and a glass of water. He smiled. :)

When something doesn't go his way, he says, "Awww.. Nuts!" or "Awww... Walnuts!"  He's such a character!

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Boys Will be Boys... Even when they are Men :)

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Apparently Disney Needs a New Ride

 Will, age 8, asked me to take a picture of a roller coaster he designed and wants to submit it to Disney. Here is his creation... of course it involves a train. :)

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Friday, June 24, 2011

2nd Grade Curriculum Reviews

Found this in my posts that were never published.  This is from the 2010-2011 school year.


We used Sonlight's Intro to World History Part I.  We studied mostly about Egypt, Greece, and Rome.  Will said his favorite was all the Greek Mythology stories. It took me a while to get used to the writing style in A Child's History of the World.  Eventually I came to realize that for his age, History should be just an introduction and read more like stories than a text book.  Later he will study more in depth, but will already have a general understanding from these early years.

Every time we discussed a new country, Will labeled it on our map.  This proved to be very beneficial for everyone.  Even Witt and Nathan were able to point places out... especially Italy because it's shaped like a boot! :)

At the end of the year, I gave him geography tests for the countries we studied in Africa and Europe, as well as a test of the continents.

The only thing I wish Sonlight had was more hands-on ideas for history.  I had to search other books and the internet for ideas beyond just reading from the book. However, we will used Sonlight again next year for History, but will move on to American History Part I.  We ordered the Core Tips CD for next year in hopes of finding those "extra" hands-on activities we want.


We used Sonlight's Grade 2 Readers and the corresponding LA sheets. At the beginning of the year, I really liked that the LA sheets went with what he was reading that day; however, as the year went on and his reading progressed, he wanted to read ahead of the schedule.  I adjusted his sheets to go with what he was reading, but eventually he was so far ahead that the sheets no longer coordinated.  We back-tracked and used the sheets anyway.

After he finished the Grade 2 Readers, he moved on to the Grade 3 Readers and completed four of those. For each book Will read, he drew a picture and wrote a couple of sentences about each book.  Then he would take a test on Book Adventure. Here are some of my favorite "book reports":

The Hill of Fire

The Big Balloon Race


The Long Way Westward

We used Sonlight's spelling word lists for the entire year.  Each day I gave him a different activity: 1) read the words and spell out loud while looking at them, 2) Make a sentence with the word, alphabetize, or some other exercise 3) Write words 2 times each, 4) Oral test without looking at words, 5) Written Test without looking at the words.  Spelling was his least favorite subject.  Many tears were shed over misspelled words. We will not be using this system next year.

We will used Sonlight's readers next year, but will not use their LA sheets.  I am satisfied with the amount of LA information Will learned this year, but some of the questions were strangely worded to where I had to find the teacher's manual to understand what they were asking for. Plus there was the whole non-corresponding issue... although that's a good problem to have based on our reasons.

For 3rd grade, Will will use Easy Grammar 3 and Daily Grams 3  for Language Arts and A Reason for Spelling C for well, spelling. :) (I also like that scripture is included in the spelling program.)


We used Book C of Getty-Dubay Italic.  Mid-way through the year cursive italics was introduced.  He's still working on the joins of his letters, but he's getting much better. We will continue with Book D next year.

By far, math is Will's best subject.  I am thoroughly satisfied with RightStart Math. It is a fabulous curriculum and we will continue with Level D next year.  This year in Level C he studied time, money, fractions, addition, subtraction, multiplication, area, perimeter, and more. 


We used Apologia's Exploring Creation with Astronomy. While we really enjoyed this, I personally found it hard to stay within a single topic for the whole year.  I like to bounce around a little bit among the sciences.

We did use the notebook and I found this to be a nice tool to teach Will how to start taking notes on important information.  I would read aloud and tell him what to write. Sometimes I would write for him and let him draw a picture about what I wrote.  

We really enjoyed the activities in the book and the extra ones in the notebook.  I think their favorite was the edible mars rovers, though!

Another fun one was mapping out the solar system on a scale of 1 inch= 35,000 miles.

(I really should have flipped this last picture around... oh well.)

While we did enjoy this curriculum, we will not stick with the submersion of a single topic next year. We are going to use A Reason for Science to give me the bounce-ability I prefer. :) Plus, it ties science and bible together. 


We did a few different things for Bible this year. We started out with Character Traits, moved on to a Who is Jesus? lapbook, and concluded the year using up sheets  from Bible Study Guide for All Ages that we had left over from last year.  We worked on memorizing the books of the Bible and looking up scriptures.  We also began working toward the Cub Scout Religious Emblem.

We will continue working toward the Cub Scout Religious Emblem and on Bible Study Guide for All Ages.

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