And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fingerpaint Fun!

We had such a great time making our mobile this morning, we decided to have an afternoon art session too! This time E was home from playschool and we had our favorite friend G here as well. I pulled out 4 brand new bottles of fingerpaint in red, yellow, green, and blue and 3 sheets of white constrution paper. Let the fun begin! We discussed possibly painting shapes, but the girls won and rainbow it was!

G made a beautiful rainbow scene complete with clouds and a sunshine, A made a rainbow and then smeared it over to make a more dreamy rainbow scene (squint your eyes, you can still see it!), and E had fun with his own version of the multicolored prism.



E's (2 1/2 yr old)


A's (almost 5)


G (6 1/2 yrs old)

Great afternoon! And the best part is now they are all up in the playroom entertaining each other! :)

stART One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

A Mommy's Adventures Thursdat stART blogs. This is a story plus art! So this week we finally decided to do our own! I am not the most diligent to take pictures while we do projects but I did get a couple of the end result!

I have been enjoying

We read One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss. Fitting since he was born on March 2. I think we will do more Seuss inspired ideas next week. Check out http://www.seussville.com/ for some fun games and ideas!

A made her first mobile for this project. It was simple and easy. She drew a 1 yellow fish, 2 orange fish together, a red fish, and a blue fish. Then she cut them out, we attached them to some yarn, and we used more yarn to tie two small dowel rods together. Viola! A fun fish mobile to hang in her room! She was pleased with the result and because she loves art projects and reading, I think we will be doing many more stART days!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Homeschool Hop #3- Why?

I want to try the Homeschool Hop http://ourworldwideclassroom.blogspot.com/search/label/Homeschool%20Hop/ and this week's theme is Why?

We actually have several reasons. I resisted homeschool. Didn't want to do it, didn't see a reason to do it, no, no, no. Well God ALWAYS let us know when His path is different than ours!

My oldest child, A, is almost 5. She is advanced for her age (I am partial because I am her mommy but we have had this confirmed! :). We sent her this past fall to public school PreK and it was not a positive experience for us. She was bored, she was misbehaving, and she was presented with lots of things that we were not prepared for her to be exposed to. Very quickly we realized that this was not going to work out, so we pulled her after less than 3 months.

I began by not being sure where we would go and what we would do and some days I still don't know. I do know that for now and for Kindergarten in the fall. We will be homeschooling. It has been a fun, positive experience for us so far! I get more excited every single week. There is nothing that can compare to her learning at her level (which is warp speed!). She is an extremely social child by nature and we attend an AMAZING church where she has tons of interaction on Sundays, Wednesdays, and lots of playdates in between! I would recommend anyone who is unsure if they can or are able to homeschool, to just try it!



MckLinky Blog Hop

Wow Wednesday

Today A had some new activities to work with! She began with a wooden United States puzzle given to us by dear friends! She was so excited to find the states we have been studying! I had also picked up a pack of Tracing and Lacing Shapes! She was happy to lace her star and we talked about the spelling of yellow and star. She also used her multi colored Jenga blocks to work on patterns. Today was Lesson 4 of Hooked on Phonics!

Then A and E spent 2 hours in PE! Where? At the new McD's playplace of course! Nothing like working muscles and socializing for 2 hours. Now it's naptime! Woo! Mommy's favorite time. :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

We are still raising money!

We have learned that the missions trip Kyle is taking to Uganda in the fall is not going to cost nearly as much as we first expected. Thank you Lord! We do still need to raise the funds for his portion though. You can still click the link on the right to buy coffee from Just Love Coffee, and a portion will go to the trip.

Also many of you have seen or received a diaper wreath from me. I am testing the waters! If anyone is interested in purchasing one and picking it up locally in Jackson, I will begin making them by order! They will start at $25. If you want extras or specialized items, the cost will increase a bit. I am going to put any profit I make directly to the Uganda trip. Here are a couple of recent examples:



I can make these as personalized as you'd like them to be. All the diapers are secured by ribbon so if there is a particular color theme you'd like, that is easy to accomodate. Also they can be made for boys, girls, or neutral. As you can see, just about any little gifts can be tied to the wreath including stuffed animals, onesies, rattles, toys, wooden initials, etc. If you are interested send an email to ecarter@eplus.net.

Thank you for your prayers and support!

Monday Monday

Another fun homeschool day for us! E was ready to join in today so I quickly came up with a few things for him to do. He colored in his bible stories coloring book, did some sticker are (put stickers on a letter "e" cut out of construction paper), and played a new sorting game. I couldn't find the heart pages we had used before for coloring sorting, so I came up with a different plan. I laid out different colored foam sheets that I picked up at Dollar Tree and he sorted the cards from Candyland onto them!



A has completed Unit 1 of Hooked on Phonics and she read me 3 books this morning! She is getting so excited about phonics and reading! She also did 2 worksheets on pennies and one on time and another Kumon cut and paste page. She reviewed her states and the first 8 Commandments. She also spent some time practicing writing on her dry erase board.



We also took an idea from http://confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com/ and made a "One Another" board where we post verses that tell us how to treat one another. What a great idea!

It was another productive day after a long fun weekend!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Way to go Wednesday!

We got lots done today! Woohoo! It was a very productive homeschool session. A has mastered the o'clock times, so today we began working on the half hour times. The flashcards on time are really a big hit! They have an analog clock on one side and a digital clock on the other. Great to teach her both ways at one time! We also worked on the 5th state Connecticut. Again all we use for our states study is a $1 United States placemat that we purchased at Wal-Mart, free coloring pages from crayola.com, and when we do a review later in the week we use some USA flashcards that I picked up in the dollar bins at Target. We did another page from the Kumon Pasting book, a sequencing worksheet, and reviewed words on our dry erase board.

The other exciting thing is..... our phonics prgram arrived in the mail yesterday! I was so excited to open it. I'd like to confess that as a child I loved school! My favorite thing every fall was to buy new school supplies. Nothing like the smell of fresh paper and pencils! So I was dizzy with excitement to open a box with a DVD, a workbook, and several small readers. Time for the big reveal. Our purchase was the Hooked on Phonics- Learn to Read- Kindergarten. I got it for a GREAT price at HSN.com. It comes with Level 1 and Level 2. I haven't opened Level 2 yet, but Level 1 has 16 lessons in it. Each lesson takes about 20 minutes. Each one begins with a short video section on the DVD, then you do about 4 pages in the workbook (these are all reading, no writing so it is totally reusable!!!). At the end of each lesson, the child gets a sticker in the workbook (stickers are included too!). After about 3 lessons, there is a reader for them to read! A was thrilled! We did lesson 1 yesterday and lesson 2 today. We will probably space a day between from now on, but it began with -at words and today were -an words. We had already been working on those so she zoomed through them! I felt like these were spaced well to work within her level. There are of course subsequent grade levels to buy as long as the program is suiting her. I also feel like they are quick and simple so I hope that E will be able to use them in a few years too.


Now I just have to pick a math program for the fall, and we will be good to go!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another Typical Day.....

We spent some time yesterday on schoolwork. Since it was President's Day, we had a short discussion on presidents and what they do. We also talked about our current president and the first president. Then we did a classification lesson on mammals and reptiles. She had a couple of worksheets on ordinal numbers. Then for the part she enjoyed the most, I used her new dry erase boards to write our a series of 2 and 3 letter words. She read them all to me! We have actually done this twice now and it works really well. We are concentrating on the worrds that end in -an, -am, -at, and -it. She also did one page from her new Kumon Pasting book. We reviewed the 8th commandment and the state of Georgia.

After a couple of months, I am starting to feel more confident about the process. Between reading the blogs and browsing the internet, I have lots of ideas for new things to do. I am also finding some fun ideas for E. We used a heart page I found online one day and he sorted his memory cards by color. I spent time teaching A things at this age but it is harder to find ways to work with him! He is a smart boy though and he seems to excel in math and numbers.

Our children are also getting to experience some amazing things. They are seeing friends of ours follow the Lord in extrodinary ways! They are excited to tell everyone that their Daddy is going on a missions trip to Uganda. They are really seeing faith lived out, not just talked about. We are so thankful for this place that God has us, for the church family he has drawn us into, and for the blessings we have received!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Read Matthew 22:36-40. Our super Sunday School teacher told us this morning that our spouse is our #1 neighbor! I have never thought of this but he is exactly right! Mark gave us his top 10 things he likes to do for his spouse. I don't have a top 10 of that but in honor of Valentine's Day, I will share the Top 10 things I love about my hubby!

1. His amazing love for the Lord. He is truly leading a life dedicated to our Savior.

2. The honor and respect he shows for our marriage. It is as though our marriage is an object to behold and protect.

3. He is a wonderful father. I know lots of people say that but really and truly he is. He loves both of our children and takes time to show them and tell them.

4. His zest for life. He is always willing to take that extra step of faith and he never turns down trying something new.

5. His terrific sense of humor. He makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. Always laughter around here. I can be so mad at him and all he has to do is say one little word or give me a funny look and it's over.

6. Those little quirks that at times get on my nerves but are really endearing overall. He is has no sense of direction and he is the clumsiest guy ever. So cute!

7. He is an encyclopedia of useless knowledge. :)

8. He is always willing to help others. He gives freely of his time and resources.

9. He has an amazing sense of dedication to whatever task is before him.

10. He treats me with the highest amount of respect.

Thank you Lord for my husband!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Excited about some new items!

Well I ordered the phonics program that we were looking at! Once it arrives and we've had a chance to put our hands on it, I will reveal it!

Also I was able to do some shopping yesterday and today. I found some items I had been looking for so I am excited to start working with them. I got E a new coloring book. He had used about every page in his Elmo one so today he got a new one! For A I finally found the 3 pk dry erase boards that have the handwriting lines on one side and the blank side on the other. E will get to play with these as well. Of course had to get the markers to go with them too! Also found a cutting and pasting book. Now she is actuall very good with the scissors and glue, but I got this because she LOVES to do it. She is a very crafty child and I quickly run out of ideas! Also she likes to cut and glue as a reward after she completes several worksheets. It was on clearance too as were the addition and subtraction flash cards I found! Also found a large pack of stickers on clearance. Love stickers for rewards or for E to do his "craft" projects. Found some pom poms, felt, and a Time and Money practice book at the Dollar Tree as well.


Exciting stuff! I like that our homeschool "center" is quickly filling up! It's easier to keep her attention if I can swap up the activities and not do the same old ones every time. We haven't been on much of a schedule since this is PreK but I did print her a calendar from About.com and each time we have homeschool time, she puts a sticker on the day. That way we can look back to see how well we are doing!

At the end of March, we will be going on a trip. There is a nice aquarium in the town we are visiting. I went to their website and made a list of the different types of fish and sharks we will be seeing. In the next few weeks I hope to put together some activities for them so they will be familiar with the different kinds before we go. I love turning regular things into learning time!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Best Laid Plans.....

Ugh. Frustrating morning. I had some really fun activites set out for the kiddos to do. We are all tired of the very cold weather and snow showers. We need some sunshine! So rather than do our normal pile of worksheets, I thought we'd do some great Valentine's activities and such. Just didn't all go the way I had hoped. The kids were a little too stir crazy to even fully enjoy those. We did make some super cute Valentine's crafts we saw on http://amommysadventures.blogspot.com/2010/02/little-miss-valentine.html. Both of the kids had a great time making these! We used google eyes and they drew on mouths. We read 2 Valentine's stories from our Childcraft Holidays and Birthdays encyclopedia. And alas A wasn't handling things so well at one point and so she received a few worksheets to work on to help her refocus. Then I wanted her to write her name on her Valentine's cards and that was a task as well. Ahhh some things become so much harder than they have to be.

Of course I had several phone calls that needed to be taken care of during all of it. I enjoyed my calls and they were necessary but it's hard to keep kids in line and talk on the phone! Anyway the fun and flexibility of homeschool is that there is always other time to make it up. Wasn't much anyhow!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Today's Ramblings....

So I was SO close on my prediction for the Super Bowl. I said Saints by 15 and they won by 14. Made my day!

On to more academic items, this morning we had some fun lessons. It was snowing again and they are predicting more to begin in just a little while. My kids are so tired of being in the house. They were able to play outside for  a short time yesterday while hubby grilled some chicken, but they are still rather stir crazy. Okay so I have been pricing the cube manipulatives and counting bears for math for A. They are reasonable but out of my price range for the moment. I had all but given up on hands on math for her until ta-dah! Saturday while we were cleaning up the playroom, I was picking up all 33 pieces of ice to the Don't Break the Ice game and I had an epiphany! The "ice cubes" are perfect little manipulatives!








So this morning A learned to stack, count, add, and subtract cubes. This was new to her and so exciting and fun. I think it made addition and subtraction more tangible. We have done addition and subtraction worksheets before but this was more interesting. After the cube lessons, we moved on to egg cartons. I have saved the last few we have had because I thought there would be some fun activities we could do with them. I cut the top off of two dozen and a half cartons. In the first one I just wrote the numbers 1-18 in the cups and we counted those and talked about it a little.

The second egg carton was our science project for today! I found this on several sites online and it was lots of fun! She picked all sorts of different items to put in the cups and then we froze the whole thing! She chose a goldfish, a toy ball, a piece of tape, a piece of paper, a piece of napkin, ketchup, coffee, milk, coke, an ice cube, mustard, a piece of gum, a gummy worm, an egg, a cutie orange, sugar, an eraser, and syrup. She was certain that everything would freeze except the ball. So we listed all of it on a sheet of paper along with her predicitions, then we popped it in the freezer. Several hours later (after other studies, a milk run to WalMart, and lunch) we pulled it out to see what had happened. She was excited to learn why some things froze and some did not. Fun experiment for sure!

We also worked on the 8th Commandment "You shall not steal" and on the state of Georgia. When her friend stayed the night over the weekend, A told her all about the first 3 states! Glad to see she is retaining the lessons! We also did a character study on honesty. After the modesty debacle last week, she has been asking me if certain outfits people wear on TV are modest, only she says honest instead of modest! LOL! So today we talked about the real meaning of honest. Cute study and no tough questions on this one!

Through all of this E colored a little and then he did some matching cards face up. He was excited to name each picture as he worked on it! He gets bored quickly and still isn't making much headway learning his colors, but he is picking up on the counting while listening to her. Also after our experiment he was walking around saying "No balls don't freeze and paper don't freeze." So cute!




Friday, February 5, 2010

In memory.....

Sunday is the Super Bowl. One of my favorite events of every year. Yes, I am a woman but I am also a complete and total football junkie. I have an unrational love for the Chicago Bears. All my male friends taunt me endlessly for this steadfast love I have for a team that rarely makes the headlines. I don't care. Da Bears are my favorite! Always will be! I can't to see a game in person someday. I love football way more than my hubby likes it. That's okay, he watches it with me most of the time. I have loved football since I was a little girl. I remember watching the Super Bowl when I was only about 5 yrs old. My kids watch football with me. My son especially loves the game! Who can blame him?

My dad is the reason I love football. He was a HUGE football fan. We watched together all through my childhood. He was also from Chicago, hence the Bears obsession. The sad part is that my dad passed away on June 29, 2009. This Sunday, Super Bowl Sunday, would have been his 58th birthday. How sad and ironic that it's on his birthday. I'm sure that has happened before but this is the only time I remember them falling on the same day. He was in the hospital this time last year, unable to talk, and so that was tough too. Prior to his accident in 2008, we'd spend every Super Bowl calling each other about every 15-30 minutes to discuss the action. We were rarely rooting for the same team. He dropped the Bears fantasy when Peyton Manning arrived the the world of NFL. He became a serious Colts fan then. Me being the loyal gal I am has never changed. I do not favor the Mannings much at all. The hubster loves them since they are from his home state of Mississippi.

So this Sunday I will be rooting for the Saints (I love an underdog) and I will be missing my daddy. I will miss his phone calls through out the game, I will miss the jokes about his lack of birthday gifts, and most of all I will miss his contagious laughter and unending stream of jokes. My daddy had his faults, but he was always and will always be my dad.

And as a final time for me to say HA, I hope Peyton loses! My prediction is the Saints by 15!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Budget Bound

Check out my new blog dedicated to our food budget for the year! http://budgetbound.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Taco Soup

2 lbs ground chuck (cooked and drained)
1 15 oz can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 15 oz can pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatos
1 15 oz can fire roasted tomatos
1 15 oz can golden corn
1 can Rotel
1 pkg Ranch dressing mix (powder)
Garlic Salt to taste

Mix together in dutch oven and heat over Med. Serve with tortilla chips and a dollop of sour cream. Yum, yum! There are lots of variations of this. Make it your own by adding bell pepper, onion, olives, whatever you'd like really!

Monday, February 1, 2010

One of those funny days......

To start my verse for today is Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.


So the snow and ice is still lingering for the most part. The kids didn't even ask to play in it today.  I think they had enough over the weekend. However since we couldn't run errands or do some of our other typical activities, we had lots of homeschool time this morning. We read about Groundhog Day and did a coloring sheet, reviewed our phonics and numbers flashcards, did some review worksheets, read a BOB book, and reviewed the first two states. In between all of that we started our character studies and learned a new memory verse.......

I found these great character builders at homeschoolhelperonline.com. I was so excited because there are several different ones and they have bible verses, questions, and other ideas to help you present these character traits. I had jotted down some notes on the first few I thought I would like to do. I decided after glancing at my notes that I would cover modesty today. Let me just say this was not as easy as I thought it would be! A has this amazing way of looking at things from a totally different angle. Before I could ever get started well she asked me (for at least the millionth time) why Daddy and E don't have to wear a shirt to bed. Let's just say that A has had a yearning to be naked since the day she was born and it bothers her to no end that I make her keep clothes on all the time! So I bumbled my way past that. I thought she was really starting to grasp the concept of modesty, then I read the verses. They were great verses but they both mention hair and jewelry. She about flipped out of the chair "I can't have braids or wear any jewelry. WHY NOT?????" I'm going no, no, no, no that isn't what it says. Whew. I tried to talk all of it through with her the best I could, then I gave up.


Next was her memory verse. Commandment 7 "You shall not commit adultery." Groan, why me???? So we had a short lesson that went something like this: That means when you get married you should be faithful to your husband. Huh? You should only treat your husband like your husband. What? What would you think if you saw mommy kiss a man besides daddy? Oh yuck! Exactly, only kiss your husband.

I should really spend more time reviewing the material before I present it to her.......