Saturday, February 28, 2015

Weekend Links

This Week:

What I Made: We made lots of art projects including Marshmallow Painting.  

What I'm Reading:  I finished up the February Bookmarks book.  I'm in between books, but afraid to start something new 'cause I have two review books coming, as well as the March Bookmarks book in the mail.

What I'm Doing: Baseball practice... bike riding... stepping up my game in my tumbling class... finishing up my CPR class...

What I'm Watching:  Parenthood with the hubby... Survivor... 

What I'm Enjoying: Baseball season... spin class... watching the kids learn new things...

What are you up to?

Friday, February 27, 2015

2015 February 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 February was The Magnificent Obsession by Anne Graham Lotz.

 These are the books I read this month:

Wild by Cheryl Strayed-- Reeling from her mother's death, Cheryl turns to a downward spiral, one that ultimately leads to an abortion, divorce, and a questionable relationship laced with drug use.  Desperate to find herself again, or die trying, Cheryl set off from the Mojave desert in her trek along the Pacific Crest Trail.  As Strayed revealed more about her past and the decisions that led her to the PCT, it was hard to sympathize with her.  However, that's also what her relatable.  She doesn't gloss over the messy parts.  Instead you're there with her: mess, triumphs, and all.  Over her wilderness journey, meeting with a strange cast of characters that becomes a family, and the ultimate release of the past, Strayed takes us through a take of self-discovery and forgiveness... set again some of the most rugged and beautiful scenery of the western states.

Jessie Benton Fremont: California Pioneer by Marguerite Higgins-- This was assigned reading for 4th grade history.  It covers the life of Jessie Fremont: an early California champion.  While the history was interesting and relevant, it was written in a way that was really hard for my kids to grasp. 

Our suggested reading for February was The Magnificent Obsession by Anne Graham Lotz--  What are you obsessed with?  Is it your church?  Your family?  The rules of your religion?  Your job?  Lotz follows the life of Abraham, showing us just how hard God is pursuing us.  Was Abraham perfect?  No, but he made on pivotal decision that changed his life.  He abandoned everything in pursuit of God.  He laid everything aside and filled his vision with the Creator.  Filled with insight, this book is one to be savored and read at a slow pass.  Meditate, enjoy, savor...  

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 Magnificent Obsession by Anne Graham Lotz.

And come back March 27th as we discuss Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos.

*Linked to these Parties

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Marshmallow Painting {Pinterest Inspired}

Mallow Painting #1 photo IMG_4730_zpseae1a0e8.jpg

I love finding new ways to add art and creativity to our day.  It's fun to look around your house and find all kinds of "tools" that you never realized where there before.  So when I saw this idea for Marshmallow Painting on pinterest (sorry link won't work), I knew we'd have to try it.  Marshmallows?  So simple and absolutely something I never would have thought of.  

Mallow Painting #2 photo IMG_4725_zpsb0a8dd13.jpg

Mallow Painting #3 photo IMG_4727_zpsca2c15f7.jpg

So we got out our paint and paper and started daubbering away with our marshmallows.  They make the prettiest round circles and squish when you paint with them.  I thought this would be a fun activity for the three year old, but my daughter was the one that got the most into it.  
Mallow Painting #4 photo IMG_4732_zps650871e4.jpg

Mallow Painting #5 photo IMG_4735_zps3f90e890.jpg

Just watch out.  You may find that your bag of marshmallows starts to dwindle as you paint.  Or that may just be my house.  :-)

What creative "tools" are you using these days?

Dinners of the Week Feb 9-16, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

10 Goals This Week

Here's how I did:

  • Take one child on a February date
  • Take CPR class (started)
  • 1 dance class, 1 gymnastics, 2 swim, 4 baseball
  • Record 1-2 vlogs
  • Finish February bookmarks book (1/3 done)
  • Listen to EO class
  • Work on Dinosaur Party
  • Try one new recipe/one dessert night
  • Workout 3 days/ 1 day of yoga
  • Get 8.5 hrs sleep/night (3 nights)
These are My 10 Goals for the Week:

  • 1 dance class, 1 gymnastics, 2 swim, 4 baseball, 1 teacher meeting, 2 dentist apt
  • Take one child on a February date
  • Finish CPR class
  • Finish bookmarks book
  • Complete one pinterest pin
  • Listen to EO class
  • Pick up donation cards at Carenet
  • Work on Dinosaur Party
  • Workout 3 days/ 1 day of yoga
  • Get 8.5 hrs sleep/night

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Weekend Links

This Week:

What I Made: We made gritty playdoh, pumpkin muffins, and lots of science experiments.  It was a week off of school so we did lots of extra projects.

What I'm Reading:  I just finished Wild by Cheryl Strayed and I'm reading the February Bookmarks book.

What I'm Doing: Baseball practice... sensory bin prep... cleaning the bathroom... LP lesson plans...

What I'm Watching:  Dogs with Jobs from Netflix (science for Lydia)... kids playing baseball... 

What I'm Enjoying: Bananas and peanut butter... poetry... discovering new books with the kids... new essential oils in the mail...

What are you up to?

Friday, February 20, 2015

26 Intentional Acts of Kindness #19: A Hot Meal

Ready for another Intentional Act of Kindness Challenge?  This one requires some forethought, but it's one that anyone can appreciate.

As you're planning your meals this week, think about someone you can bless with a hot meal.  That might mean planning your husband or kids' favorite meal this week.  Or it might mean planning a meal for a friend or a neighbor.  Who do you know that could just a little encouragement?

There are so many in our lives that could use a night off: the friends who's kids are having health problems, the mom that's overwhelmed, the neighbor who is unexpectedly hosting family.  If you look around, I'm sure you'll someone who could use a night off.  So put on your thinking caps and think,... who can you bless with a hot meal?

What Intentional Acts of Kindness are you practicing?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ladybug Card

Just wanted to share this cute little card I made for my niece's 4th birthday!  Super easy and quick.

Cards #4 photo IMG_4555_zps5c3010c4-1.jpg 

Hope this inspires you!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

26 Ways to Release Stress

Week 14 #3 photo IMG_3842_zpsb077218d.jpg 

1. Brew a cup of tea
2. Massage some lotion in
3. Take a bath
4. Give yourself a hand massage
5. Read a book
6. Journal your emotions
7. Take some pictures of beauty in nature
8. Take a walk
9. Meditate
10. Have a naturally sweet treat
11. Drink a glass of water
12. Exercise
13. Turn on some music
14. Light a candle
15. Take a shower
16. Take a yoga class
17. Use some Essential Oils
18. Play with a pet
19. Watch a comedy
20. Bake
21. Light a Fire
22. Count your blessings
23. Garden
24. Wash your windows
25. Relax with a face mask
26. Do a word search

10 Goals for the Week

Here's how I did:

  • Take one child on a February date
  • 1 dance class, 1 gymnastics, 2 swim, 4 baseball
  • Hair cut for Josiah
  • Record 1-2 vlogs
  • Write review and giveaway
  • Try one new recipe/one dessert night
  • Get bikes fixed
  • Update chore cards
  • Workout 3 days/including 1 day of yoga
  • Get 8.5 hrs sleep/night 3 nights)

These are My 10 Goals for the Week:

  • Take one child on a February date
  • Take CPR class
  • 1 dance class, 1 gymnastics, 2 swim, 4 baseball
  • Record 1-2 vlogs
  • Finish February bookmarks book
  • Listen to EO class
  • Work on Dinosaur Party
  • Try one new recipe/one dessert night
  • Workout 3 days/ 1 day of yoga
  • Get 8.5 hrs sleep/night

Friday, February 13, 2015

26 Intentional Acts of Kindness #18: Warm Towels

Here's an Intentional Act of Kindness to practice in your own family.  It's so nice to step out from the shower and be greeted with a warm towel.  But how often do we take the time to  practice this guesture?

This week, why not warm your children's or husband's towel for them while they're in the shower or bath.  Greet them with a warm smile and a warm towel as they step out.  It's an easy act of kindness, but one that require intentionality and thoughtfulness.

What about you?

How have you been practicing Intentional Acts of Kindness?

Day in the Life of a Preschooler

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

6:50 am-- Wake up and start singing

6:52 am-- Talk to your teddy bear, big brother, and the sun out your window

6:55 am-- Mom's not waking up; start kicking the wall...

6:56 am--- "Mommy!!!!!!"

6:57 am--- "MOMMY!!!"

7:00 am-- Ahh!  Mom finally rescues you ... immediately start speaking at an unGodly volume about the purple sky outside and how gross smoothies and bagels are

7:05 am-- Eat half of breakfast before complaining that you don't like it and throw a fit until a second breakfast arrives on your plate

7:15 am-- Realize that second breakfast isn't coming and the smoothie and bagel are actually better than sitting in timeout

7:30 am--Decide it's time to get dressed and run around naked for 20-30 min... where's Mom?

8 am-- Finally really get dressed... leave pajamas on the floor

8:15 am--Find where mom hides the finger paints...decide that finger painting the paper isn't nearly as fun as finger painting your body

8:45 am--Sent to the bathroom to wash up.....

9 am-- Still washing... possibly overflowing the bathroom sink

                 Still washing....
                      Still washing...

9:03 am-- Mom stomps in and turns off the water after discovering the cat has also had a bath

9:05 am-- Sent to your room to find dry clothes... return in a spiderman costume

9:10 am-- Build a dinosaur park, complete with lego corral

9:20 am--Dinosaurs break loose, creating a preschool version of Jurassic Park

9:45 am-- Bomb Jurassic Park with a Peppermint Playdough ball...

10 am-- Take one bit of an apple.  Realize you want what your sister is having for snack instead.  Return said apple to cupboard.

10:02 am-- Mom says it might be time for a nap!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

52 Uncommon Dates {Review}

Do you have a regular date night your spouse?  Are you looking to start a regular date night with your spouse?  Then this might be the right book for you.

Similar to our 52 First Dates Challenge, these 52 Uncommon Dates will give you ideas and inspiration for scheduling a date night for your marriage.  From a Gardening Date to the 5K Date, this book includes setting the scene, making it happen, speaking your spouse's love language, taking it to God, and digging deep in scripture.  

This book has a lot to offer.  The dates are fun and engaging.  My word of caution is that most of them are out of the house dates.  As a young mom of three, many of them weren't manageable in our present stage of life.  I'm hanging on to this one for the future, but for now, I'm also mixing with some of our own ideas.

How are you keeping date night fun?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dinners of the Week: Feb 2-8, 2015

A Peek Into Our Homeschool Week: Feb 2-6, 2015

Week 22 #1 photo IMG_4598_zps9451dbac.jpg

Brainstorming for Haikus

Week 22 #2 photo IMG_4608_zpse3445015.jpg

Five Senses Poetry

Sort of a slow week, sort of not.  We were busy.  We did get things done.  We were busy little bees.  But I just didn't take many pictures.  I'm not sure why.

I'd like to take all this poetry photos and do some posts soon on our poetry unit.  Maybe during our time off next week. 

Would anyone be interested?

Monday, February 9, 2015

10 Best Educational TV Shows for Elementary Age Kids

Technology has been a great tool in our home, especially when it comes to homeschooling.  And while we try to limit our time, there have been some great programs that we've found to supplement our studies.  These are our 10 favorite educational shows for elementary age kids:

Liberty's Kids
Journey through history as James, Sarah, and Henri discover what early America
A great supplement for our history unit

Martha Speaks
I love this program for introducing new vocabulary

The Jeff Corwin Experience
Adventure, nature experiences, exotic animals...
what elementary age kid wouldn't love it?

Wild Kratts
Follow Chris and Martin as they learn about new animals..
by becoming animals themselves

Amazing Race
Exotic locations, adventures, challenges,
and a competition... we love it!

Disney Nature
These are so informative and my kids love them

Reading Rainbow
Great for encouraging reading, introducing vocabulary,
and using imagination

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
Learning about other countries, capitals,
geography, and mystery

Bill Nye the Science Guy
We watch these together and have lots of conversations

The Magic School Bus
My favorite for beginning science
A fun way to learn

10 Goals for the Week

Here's how I did:
  • 1 dance class, 1 gymnastics, 2 swim
  • Create new sensory activity
  • Try to reschedule dentist

  • Record 1-2 vlogs
  • Write a review

  • Try a new recipe/one dessert night
  • Get bikes fixed


  • Workout 3 days/including 1 day of yoga
  • Get 8.5 hrs sleep/night

These are My 10 Goals for the Week:

  • Take one child on a February date
  • 1 dance class, 1 gymnastics, 2 swim, 4 baseball
  • Hair cut for Josiah
  • Record 1-2 vlogs
  • Write review and giveaway
  • Try one new recipe/one dessert night
  • Get bikes fixed
  • Update chore cards
  • Workout 3 days/including 1 day of yoga
  • Get 8.5 hrs sleep/night

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Weekend Links

This Week:

What I Made:  I got all the Valentine's Day cards done and ready to mail this week.  And we made a new play dough recipe.

What I'm Reading:  I'm still reading Wild and picked up February's book club book this afternoon.  I'm excited to read this one.

What I'm Doing: Visiting with family this weekend and hopefully remembering to eat well.   
But still squeezing our workouts in as well. 

What I'm Watching:  Nothing much new... Homeschool ABC Collab videos on Youtube

What I'm Enjoying: The rain... our poetry unit... inspiration for my gymnastics class...

What are you up to?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Pink Lemonade Playdough

 photo IMG_4613_zps85d4c9a2.jpg

We're at it again... making more play dough.  This time, the kids wanted to experiment with scent so we thought we'd make this Pink Lemonade Playdough.  It smells so good.  Even I was having a hard time not eating it.  

We really started with our basic play dough recipe then added some Crystal Light packets we had left over from our Skinny Raspberry Lemonade Cake.  You can also use a Kool-aid packet, but this is what we had.  I love the feeling of this cooked play dough; it's so much like the original.  And the color and smell this this one a winner for Valentine's Day!

Pink Lemonade Playdough
(half batch)

2 1/2 c. flour
1 c. salt
4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 c. vegetable oil
2 c. water
3 packets of Crystal Light/Kool-Aid

optional: food coloring for extra color

1. Mix all ingredients together.

2. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens.

3. Allow to cool slightly.

4. Knead on a well floured surface, adding more color as needed.

5. Store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Homeschooling ABC Collab: E is for ...

100th Day of School

100th Day 2015 #1 photo IMG_4588_zps2b76f640.jpg 

We celebrated the 100th Day of School last week.  Now before you think I'm super mom, let me show you just how low key, but absolutely fun our day was...

We started the morning by studying in our poetry unit.  We read Emma Dilemma the day before and studied some of the poems.  So on Friday, we started by creating our own poems about someone was have a dilemma with.  Who is someone in your own life that you have a love/hate relationship with?  Write about it!  Curiously enough, they both picked their brother to write about and that made for some funny conversation.  This might have actually turned into a therapy session for the kids.  :-)

100th Day 2015 #2 photo IMG_4589_zps0d5ee595.jpg 

After morning break, I told them that they were off the hook for math and we made cookies instead.  Noah practiced his fractions by helping me half the recipe while Lydia and Josiah just practiced their listening skills with helping measure.

100th Day 2015 #3 photo IMG_4591_zps4cc6fb00.jpg 
100th Day 2015 #4 photo IMG_4592_zpsc85c7a2e.jpg

100th Day 2015 #5 photo IMG_4593_zps8b40314d.jpg 

While the cookies baked, the kids watched the first episode of Little House on the Prairie.  We've been studying the early pioneers to California and this was just a fun way to catch a glimpse of what their life was like.

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Lunch was Mac and Cheese (a rare treat in our house).  The kids were excited and truthfully so was I.

Week 21 #6 photo IMG_4595_zpsa164f34e.jpg 

While Noah went to Lego class at the charter, Lydia and I worked on vertebrates.  Tuesdays and Fridays are her favorite afternoons 'cause she loves science and I think she's really going to love this unit we're starting.

So all in all, our 100th Day of School was super low key.  We didn't have a huge party with lots of projects lined up.  Instead, it was a day to celebrate how far we've come this school year.  The kids have learned about borrowing and factions, mixed numbers and telling time, poetry, inference, lots of vocabulary, California missions and pioneers, World Explorers and Squanto, matter, soil, fossils, and so much more.  Our 100th Da of School was a change to take a breather and just enjoy being together.  And that's really what homeschooling is about after all!

How are you finding new ways to enjoy homeschooling lately?
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