Saturday, January 31, 2015

Weekend Links

This Week:

What I Made:  I worked on hearts to put on my kids' doors on the days leading up to Valentine's Day.  Just a little way to let them know I love them.  Also worked on Valentine's for my nieces and nephew and my own kids.

What I'm Reading:  I just finished the January bookmarks book and I'm reading Wild.

What I'm Doing:  We're definitely striving to be healthier in 2015 so we're at the gym.  Besides that, it will be a weekend of hanging around the house, being creative, and probably target practice with the bow and arrow.

What I'm Watching:  We've been watching Friends on Netflix.  I also have the series finale of Parenthood to watch this weekend.  Better grab my tissues.

What I'm Enjoying: Sunshine (although we need the rain)... Lydia's science studies... our poetry unit for school... planning surprises for Valentine's Day...

What are you up to?

Friday, January 30, 2015

2015 January Bookmarks

2015 Bookmarks Title photo IMG_4519_zps6c71285c.jpg

*Bookmarks is an online book club hosted at Creative2xmom. Here we discuss the books we've read in the past month as well as the suggested reading. Our suggested reading for January was Love and Respect in the Family by Dr. Emerson Eggeriches.

 These are the books I read this month:

Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla--  Great beginning book for Squanto, geared toward 1st/2nd grade.  This book covers both the ups and downs of Squanto's life from traveling with the explorers to living in London to being captured and sold to making his way back to America and befriending the Pilgrims.  Although it doesn't go deep into the darker side of his life, it doesn't gloss over it either and provides a good overview of his life.

Patty Reed's Doll by Rachel Laurgaard--Another Beautiful Feet history book, this one in the California history curriculum.  Told from the perspective of the dolly, this book covers the journey of the Donner Party from Missouri to California.  It was an eye opening tale that covered all the ups and downs of such a journey: crossing the river, dealing with buffalo, all the flowers of the prairie, crossing the salt dessert, and finally getting trapped in the mountains coming into California.  This was a great way to make history come alive and engaged both my 1st and 4th grader.

Our suggested reading for December was Love and Respect in the Family by Dr. Emerson Eggeriches--This was a re-read for me.  I first reviewed it December 2013 and felt like it would be a good time to go back and read it again.  Eggerichs premise is how to stop the Crazy Cycle in your family and start living the Rewarded Cycle.  Two things stood out to me in this book.  One was the acronym that Eggerich uses in the Family Energized Cycle (Guides):


I came away from this section of the book so encourage and re-energized for parenting.  It gave me lots of tools and understanding for this new phase of parenting that we find ourselves in.

The second thought that really stuck with me was that we parent as unto the Lord.  So if we've not getting the respect that we desire, it doesn't change how we parent.  We still need to be parenting with lots of love and "guides" as though we we parenting to the highest standards.  I'm encouraged again by this book and suggest it to anyone in any stage of parenting.

So what are your bookmarks this month?

Tell us in the comments about the books you're chewing on. Or link up a review from your own blog. Let's share the books we're finding, good and bad. And give us your thoughts on Love and Respect in the Family by Dr. Emerson Eggeriches.

And come back February 27th as we discuss The Magnificent Obsession by Anne Graham Lotz.

*Linked to these Parties

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dinners of the Week Jan 19-25, 2015

A Peek Into Our Homeschool Week: Jan 19-23, 2015

Week 20 #1 photo IMG_4549_zpsb3ada9ea-1.jpg 
It was all about science this week...
Weathering, Erosion, and Deposition Game!

Week 20 #2 photo IMG_4550_zpsdbe2a6b8-1.jpg 
They had to read scenarios and sort them.

Week 20 #3 photo IMG_4556_zpsb930b30e-1.jpg
Classifying minerals
This was a fun hands-on kit.

Monday, January 26, 2015

10 Goals This Week

Here's how I did:

  • Take at least one of the kids on a date
  • Plan poetry unit 
  • Record 1-2 vlogs
  • Get a week ahead on posts


  • Make dessert one night
  • Make at least 2 birthday cards
  • Make some valentine's day cards

  • Listen to Essential Oils class
  • Workout 3 days
  • Get 8.5 hrs sleep/night (2 nights)
These are My 10 Goals for the Week:

  • Finish January kids' dates
  • Start heart project for Valentine's Day
  • Record 1-2 vlogs
  • Write review
  • Try a new recipe
  • Make dessert one night
  • Finish Valentine's cards

  • Listen to 2nd Essential Oils class
  • Workout 3 days
  • Get 8.5 hrs. sleep/night

10 Best Educational TV Shows for Preschoolers

Technology is a difficult road to travel.  We've all heard the warnings about limiting our children's screen time.  And while I think that's important, it also think technology can be a great tool in educating or children.  With a few limits and safeguards, these are our top 10 Educational TV Shows for Preschoolers. 

Sid The Science Kid
This is an incredible show for teaching your preschooler about basic scientific method and science concepts.  Plus Sid is so fun and really inquisitive, just like your 3 year old.

Little Einsteins
A preschool show about classical music and classic art... what's not to love?
And it involves a rocket!

Word World
The animals of Word World solve everyday preschool problems by building words and utilizing friendship.  Great for problem solving and letter sounds.

Super Why
Hands down our favorite preschool TV show.  Kids learn letters, letter shows and basic reading, all while exploring classic fairytales.

Cat in the Hat
Oh, we love the Cat in the Hat... exploring the world, science, relationships, and emotions are all great topics to discover with this whimsical friend.

Dinosaur Train
Dinosaurs and trains? This is a preschooler's dream
Acurate facts packaged in a fun story.

Go, Diego, Go
So much going on here... a second language, nature, animals, ...
All in this fast-paced adventure.
Sesame Street
Classic, classic, classic... everyone loves Sesame Street!

It's a Big, Big World
Again a science style show for your preschooler... I love it!

Mister Roger's Neighborhood
Mister Roger's taught us about community helpers, how to deal with our emotions, how to enter into a world of make believe... prefect for preschool.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Weekend Links

This Week:

What I Made: I sat down and made a couple of birthday cards for nieces and nephew.  They both turned out so cute.  Next up?  Valentine's Day cards

What I'm Reading:  the book club book for January (still) and a re-read of Steady Days!

What I'm Doing:  I'm gonna hit the gym this morning and then the kids and I are going to the museum. Should be a fun day.

What I'm Watching:  Parenthood... I can't believe it's ending.

What I'm Enjoying:  my crock pot... our unit on rocks and minerals... my new van... 

What are you up to?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Look and Live {Review}

I don't know what I was imagining when I first got this book.  Maybe some how-to about seeking the face of God.  Or another Christian Life book that might have a nugget of insight in the midst of the same old formula.  Whatever I was thinking, this book landed on my doorstep and hit me... or rather I hit it... sometimes like a brick wall.

This book was hard to get into at first.  I wasn't familiar with Matt Papa and struggled with what direction this book was headed in.  What was his point exactly?  About half way through, it hit me... It all comes down to keeping our eyes on Jesus.  Everything else around us is just a reflection of his glory, just a mere hint of His true image.  It all pales in comparison to beholding His face.

It was at that point that I really hit a rhythm with this book.  Papa's illustrations became more vibrant, and his words were clearer.  It really is all about keeping our eyes on the Lord and nothing else.  Everything else is a faded reflection.  

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

15 Chores Your 2-4 Year Old Is Capable of Doing

 photo 71fb8bea-ce83-4715-8a6e-18ccc820efab_zps19ab16b1.jpg 

My baby boy is growing up and I can hardly believe it.  He's just turned 3 year old and I'm suddenly seeing this real boy emerge.  He goes back and forth in his mind as to whether or not he wants to grow up.  One moment I'm hearing "I'm a big boy. I play baseball."  The next moment I hear, "I'm a baby."  Well, Mama's baby at least.

And while he's my baby, he's more than capable of helping out and doing chores around the house.  So I have to remember what 3 years old realistically looks like.  It looks like "my big boy" and "Mommy's little helper."  As a reminder to myself, and maybe you too, this is the list we're working off to help our Little Man learn his chores around the house.

1. Wiping up spills-- Littles have all kinds of spills.  But the good news is with a small cloth and some elbow grease, they are also capable of cleaning up those spills.

2. Sweeping under the table--Investing in a small sweeper and dustpan will yield a much cleaner dinning room.  :-)

3. Setting the table-- My little guy loves to take silverwear, water bottles, plates, napkins, and more to the dinner table.  It's not perfect, but it is very helpful.

4. Serving drinks-- Right now we're working on taking glasses to the table, but serving drinks from a small pitcher or getting water front the fridge are also useful skills.

5. Making the bed-- Yes, it's a process, but these kiddos work on spreading out their blankets and organize pillows and lovies.

6. Putting away clothing-- I wash and sort, and my Little Man is learning what drawers store what items.  And he loves getting out his jammies at night.

7. Picking up toys-- Really, this is such a basic beginning and my kiddos learn early on, "You make the mess?  You clean it up."

8. Getting dressed-- Watching your little one get dressed is really quite comical.  But it's a life skill to be learned.  And even though they want to "be the baby," these little guys are ready to learn.

9. Spot clean up after a meal-- Just like cleaning up spills, kiddos this age can easily wipe up the dinner table after meals.

10. Load dishes into dishwasher-- We start with the kiddos bringing their plates into the kitchen and eventually we move into scraping plates, rinsing and putting dishes in the dishwasher.

11. Wipe windows-- It's so easy to have Mommy spray a cloth and let the kiddos wipe down the windows.

12. Care for pets-- What kiddo doesn't love having a pet?  Filling water and food bowls, as well as brushing a pet are all chores that can be learned by a 2-4 year old.

13. Wipe down kitchen cabinets--With a small cloth, little ones can wipe down cabinets.  And they're at the ideal height to get those little finger prints.

14. Dust furniture--We love books in our family.  But with that, comes dusty bookshelves.  Small cloth for small hands and you have a dusting buddy.

15. Water plants--My little guy loves to see how things grow.  And with a little supervision, watering is a great way for him to be involved.

What chore is your little one working on?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dinners of the Week Jan 12-18, 2015

A Peek Into Our Homeschool Week: Planetarium Field Trip

I didn't get a chance to take many pictures last week, but we did take a field trip to the local Planetarium.  Our kids love going there and were so excited when they found out we were going there.  Actually I was too.  Here's a peek into our field trip:

Week 19 #1 photo IMG_0095_zpscc57e16e.jpg

Leaving our "handprints"

Week 19 #2 photo IMG_0094_zps76325938.jpg

Properties of minerals

Week 19 #3 photo IMG_0093_zps9ccb5b93.jpg

My "hands-on" kid

Week 19 #4 photo IMG_0092_zpscf66cbbe.jpg

Learning new things

Week 19 #5 photo IMG_0097_zpsa6bf7175.jpg

All smiles after our time

Monday, January 19, 2015

10 Ideas for Family Time with a Toddler

Jan 2, 2015 photo IMG_4475_zps6567c3ac.jpg 

 We live in a crazy bustling, loud house with these three kids.  They are always up to something, or into something!  Especially the littlest one.  That little 3 year old has more spark and spunk than his Mama can keep up with.  And although he keeps us laughing, sometimes it can be hard to balance his needs with the needs of my 7 and 9 year old.

So the challenge becomes how do you balance family time with older kids and toddlers?

These are just a few ways we're enjoying family time with our little man:

1. Take a walk--When the weather's nice, it's always fun to take a walk before or after dinner.  Taking a walk (or bike ride) around the block is a great way to connect and talk about our day.  And it's fun way to introduce your child to new vocabulary and ideas.

2. Go to the zoo--Who doesn't love going to the zoo?  I know all three of my kids do.  It's fun to walk around looking at all the animals and learning about their habitats.  Can you pick out which one has the craziest face?  Or which one runs the fastest?

3. Go to the park-- We do this often.  It's a great way for the kids to run off some energy.  And it's a great way for the parents to act like kids again.  Take some time to laugh with your kids on the swings.  They'll love it as much as you do.

4. Kick the ball in the backyard--Kick the ball back and forth... play keep away... try to score a goal on Daddy... however you chose to play, there's sure to be plenty of laughter.  Especially if you have a toddler just learning to kick the ball.  :-)

5. Craft Night--It doesn't have to be anything elaborate... making cards for the neighbors, painting pictures, or crafting a family project is a fun way to spend time together and get creative.  And just watch your toddler jump in with both feet.

6. Go for Ice Cream--This one's a favorite.  Going out for ice cream gives each kid a change to pick their favorite.  And while it takes a little more money than ice cream at home, it's fun to watch their personalities come out in what they chose.  It's sure to be a treat that will be remembered.

7. Host a Family Movie Night--We like to host a movie night once a week.  Every Friday night, we pick a movie and pop some popcorn.  It's become one of those constants in our week.

8. Get in the Kitchen--I don't always have time to cook with the kids, but when I do, it's definitely memorable.  Mixing, stirring, cracking eggs, helping measure ingredients... almost dumping in twice as much salt as the recipe calls for.... yep, memories in the making.  :-)

9. Create a family band--I have a video from when the two oldest kids were toddlers.  They created a Two Man Band.  One of the funniest things I've seen.  Since then, all three still love creating music.  With a collection of tambourines, bells, cymbals, and a hand drum, it gives us all a chance to let loose and be creative.

10. Plant something--There's something about getting your hands dirty and watching something grow.  It's a great way for kids to learn about plants, where food comes from, how plants grow, and working together for a bigger project.  For little ones, it's a good idea to include something that grows quickly such as beans or lettuce.  And always include something they can eat!

Looking for ways to creatively spend time together is a constant consideration.  As Noah and Lydia get older and play more sports, spending time together as a family with a toddler becomes more and more important.  These are 10 ideas that are working for us right now and helping us build memories as a family.

How do you create family time with a toddler?

10 Goals This Week

It's been since mid- December since I did one of these goal lists.  The holidays hit and we just needed a break.  Did a lot of traveling to visit family: first one direction, then the other.  In the midst of all that, we were in a car accident and had to do some van shopping.  But we had a weekend home this weekend and I finally feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things.  We cleaned and organized around the house and chased the kids around.  It was nice to have a weekend at home catching up.  As for four weeks ago,

Here's how I did:

  • Go to the snow
  • Write in J's baby book
  • Start LP Grades
  • Have a great Christmas celebration
  • Record 2-3 vlogs
  • Plan for 2015
  • Make 3 batches of cookies
  • Finish wrapping/shopping
  • Workout 3 days (2 days)
  • Get 8.5 hrs sleep/night
These are My 10 Goals for the Week:

  • Take at least one of the kids on a date
  • Plan poetry unit
  • Record 1-2 vlogs
  • Get a week ahead on posts


  • Make dessert one night
  • Make at least 2 birthday cards
  • Make some valentine's day cards

  • Listen to Essentil Oils class
  • Workout 3 days
  • Get 8.5 hrs sleep/night

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Weekend Links

This Week:

What I Made: Nothing... I've gotta get back into being creative.  Just where am I going to find the time?

What I'm Reading:  the book club book for January and lots of Magic Treehouse books to keep ahead of Lydia :-)

What I'm Doing:  We're having a bit of a social life lately.  Maybe too much.  :-)  Spent last weekend at my sister in law's car shopping and went bowling with our church last night.

What I'm Watching:  Netflix has sucked us in with Friends.  We're working on Season 1 and laughing a lot.

What I'm Enjoying:  a little sunshine, a little rain... 

What are you up to?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Berenstain Bears and the Biggest Brag {Review}

My kids were so excited when this book came in the mail.  They love the Berenstain Bears and will grab any of these books they can get their hands on.  That evening, they sat down with my husband and couldn't wait to dig into the story.

The Biggest Brag starts out with Brother and Sisters bragging and competing for who's the best.  Who gets the better grades?  Competitive and trying to one up each other, their bragging turns pointless.  And this is where Grizzly Gramps steps in.

Gamps reminds them what the Bible says about pride.  It's fine to be proud of our accomplishments.  We all have strengthens and gifts.  But bragging is rude and hurtful.  And will ultimately lead to a downfall.

Our three kids (ages 3, 7, and 9) loved the story.  The points that Brother and Sister argued on were relatable to my kids and my husband even enjoyed reading it with them.  All in all, it was a fun read for the whole family and a fun way to illustrate the problems with pride.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

While You're Waiting: Find Your Worth

(Image Credit: Jomphong)

*Recently I was thinking about all I would want my daughters to know before they get married.  Instead of wishing the days away until they walk down the aisle, how would I encourage them to live?  Living in the joy of who God created.  The practicalities and the dreaming.  What would I want to encourage... While they're waiting?  These are some of those thoughts.

Find your worth in the Lord; you don't need anything else.  You were created for a purpose with a plan for your life.  And you can search your whole life for that purpose. 


you can run after the Lord and allow him to unfold that purpose in his time.

Allow him to woo you.  Let him delight in you.  Know that your worth is found in being his and his only.  He lights up when you come to him.  He loves spending time with you and hearing what your thoughts.  The highlight of his day is being with you.  

You're not only worthy of his time, he waits for you.  

You are so worth his time that he'll wait for you.

Know that you are his and nothing can shake your worth.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Lego Indiana Jones Party (Budgeted!)

Party Budget Breakdown:

Party supplies:
   Invitations: $3
   Table Wear and Decorations:  $10
   Table runner: $0
   Banner: $0

   Whip game:  $5
   Blow darts: $10
   Pass the skull: $1
   PiƱata: $3
   Nacho Bar: $30
  Cake: $0

Party favors:
   Blow darts, candy, and $3 rice krispy treats

   Baseball mitt $27

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Peek Into Our Homeschool Week: Jan 5-9, 2015

Jan 5-9, 2015 #1 photo IMG_4504_zps42161864.jpg

Josiah practicing his letters

Jan 5-9, 2015 #2 photo IMG_4506_zpsa3cda2c8.jpg


Jan 5-9, 2015 #3 photo IMG_4509_zps9a04e9b4.jpg

Playing with Sullvanian Families

Jan 5-9, 2015 #4 photo IMG_4512_zps5504b3b4.jpg

Re-enacting "Magic Treehouse"

Jan 5-9, 2015 #5 photo IMG_4518_zpse1fd6d40.jpg

Lydia' Reading

Jn 5-9, 2015 #5 photo IMG_4522_zpse548e341.jpg

Working on American History Pockets
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