Monday, March 26, 2012

Cleaning Game

When I want to incorporate math, reading, and cleaning all together, my oldest son (5 years) likes to play a cleaning game. I look around the house to see what needs to be picked up and then write a slip of paper for each item and put the slips into a cup for him to draw one at a time. He reads each one. I incorporate math by having him add to find out how many of that item to pick up. Sample slips could be:

Put away 3+7 crayons.

Put 2+1 cups in the sink.

Put away 8+5 legos.

Put 2+2 dirty clothes in the laundry basket.

This lets us clean up while doing school, and he likes this much better than sitting down and reading books or doing worksheets.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pirate Skeleton

This is for the front yard at a pirate party my friend is throwing. It took me forever and was a real pain. I was planning to make two, but I'm not ever going to make another one! Lol. It took several hours to cut out the pieces and put them together. I used 7 milk jugs. He turned out really neat, though. We'll add a pirate sash and eye patch... and maybe a sword along with a sign "Pirates Beware." He'll make a great first impression of the party! The directions can be found here.

Stuffed Rocket

I'm throwing a rocket party for my son's 5th birthday and am thinking about making rocket party favors. I found the pattern for this rocket and love it. I decided to try it out on a baby blanket that both of my boys used that I wasn't ready to give away. It turned out so cute and my youngest loves to cuddle with it. The party favors will be about half this size and I think I'll fill those with rice for little bean bags.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Math Website

My son has been enjoying a website with free math games:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fistful of... bugs?

Noah (2 years old) has been bringing me little fistfuls of flowers. Today, he held out his closed fist for me, I held out my hand to accept, and he dropped a whole handful of bugs onto my palm. I squealed. I'll have to be more careful about accepting "gifts" from him! Definitely a "mocha moment"!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Expressing Feelings

I think it's very important for my children to learn to express their feelings. When I walked into Jaden's room and saw this on his board, I started laughing. Some parents might be offended, but I love it that he's starting to channel his feelings in a creative and constructive way. Me laughing also helped Jaden and me connect again after a time-out because when I laughed, he smiled back. I want to connect with my kids. I want them to know it's okay to be angry, it's what they do with that anger that makes all the difference.

Chocolate Spa Party

This ladies only party was very fun!






I stamped white napkins with brown ink hot chocolate stamps.

I rolled one wash cloth with one hand towel and tied them with a ribbon for each guest and put them in a basket. I also put all of the party favors in a basket.

I had emery boards, cuticle nail care sticks, and facial cleansing pads for each guest and wanted to display them nicely. I found the clip art girl and printed her head to make these spa girl favors. I added a different saying about chocolate to each girl.

I stamped cards for each guest.

I sent left over desserts home with each guest on these take home plates.

We started the night with chocolate facial masks, followed by chocolate sugar scrubs for our hands, dipping our hands in a paraffin bath, a couple of ladies used the chocolate sugar scrub for pedicures, and ended up with polishing our nails. I had nice meditation/spa music on in the background and the evening was very nice and soothing!

Several people have asked me for this recipe, so I thought I'd post it. It makes enough for 4-6 ladies.

This decadent mask is an excellent moisturizer – leaving your skin baby soft. To start indulging, you will need:
• 1/3 cup cocoa powder
• 1/4 cup of honey
• 2 tablespoons of heavy cream (sour cream will work as well)
• 3 teaspoons of oatmeal powder (grind oatmeal very finely--I used a coffee grinder, but make sure it's very fine or the mask will turn out gritty)
Mix all ingredients together and smooth onto face. Relax for 10 minutes, then wash off with warm water.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New Site

I've just updated my site/blog to this format and I like it much better! If you're confused about the older content, I have been adding several books and parties I'd posted on my previous site. I'll add some new content from here on out. :)

What's in the Bible? DVD's

What's in the Bible? is an excellent new series by Phil Vischer. I'm a huge fan of Veggie Tales. I will say this series is not quite as entertaining as Veggie Tales, but it makes up for it in depth and educational value. The first dvd is broken up into two segments, each about 25 minutes long. The first segment uses puppets, music, and some comic relief to explain what the Bible is, who wrote it, why it's important, how the books of the Bible are organized, why there are different numbers of books in different Bibles (Catholic has 77, Protestant has 66), and clearly explains everything about the Bible in terminology that young children can understand. The second segment explains the Table of contents, why some Christians believe the earth was created in 7 literal days and some believe it was created over millions of years, and briefly covers the first 11 chapters of Genesis while making it relevant to kids (and adults) today. I really like the last song "Who do you trust? Who do you listen to? How are you going to live your life? This is a choice we've gotta wrestle through, every girl and boy and man and wife."

Free Thank You Card Templates

Gratitude is very important in my household. Every day for home school I have my kindergartener write one thing he is thankful for. If he can't come up with anything, he has to write a Bible verse about thankfulness. Whenever he receives gifts, I also make him write thank you cards. I just came across these free kids templates for thank you cards and think they are really cute!

Sum Swamp

I just got this Sum Swamp Addition & Subtraction Game for my odest son (age 5) and it is very fun! It's super cute--I especially love the swamp pieces that you move--they are a snail, snake, turtle, or frog. You roll two number and one sign (plus or minus) dice. You add or subtract the numbers you roll and move forward that many spaces. If you land on a number, you roll the sign dice to see if you move forward or back that number of spaces. If you land on an "even" or "odd" space, you roll one dice to see if the number you roll is even on an "even" space or odd on an "odd" space. The game moves quickly and is unpredictable. I also love that my son is really starting to understand adding and subtracting in a fun way.

The Boy Who Changed the World

The Boy Who Changed the World opens with a young Norman Borlaug playing in his family's cornfields with his sisters. One day, Norman would grow up and use his knowledge of agriculture to save the lives of two billion people. Two billion! Norman changed the world! Or was it Henry Wallace who changed the world? Or maybe it was George Washington Carver?

This engaging story reveals the incredible truth that everything we do matters! Based on The Butterfly Effect , Andy's timeless tale shows children that even the smallest of our actions can affect all of humanity. The book is beautifully illustrated and shares the stories of Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug, Vice President Henry Wallace, Inventor George Washington Carver, and Farmer Moses Carver. Through the stories of each, a different butterfly will appear. The book will end with a flourish of butterflies and a charge to the child that they, too, can be the boy or girl who changes the world.

No No Yes Yes

No No Yes Yes is for very young children and is simple enough to keep their attention but fun and teaches things we should and should not do. For example, on one page it shows a toddler pulling kitty's tail and says "No, no" and on the next page shows the toddler petting the kitty gently and says "Yes, yes."

My 2-year-old loves all of Leslie Patricelli books that we've read. We have Happy Sad, Potty, and Quiet Loud.

The Princess and the Three Knights

The Princess and the Three Knights is written by Karen Kingsbury and is a beautifully illustrated book about the character of a man and about true love. It looks like a girl's book, but I love it for my boys because it shows how a man should be, what his character should look like and how true love protects.

You Can't Move a Hippo

You Can't Move a Hippo by Michael Catchpool is the cutest book about manners! A hippo is sleeping on a bridge and a lion and several animals want to get by, but the hippo won't move. They try roaring at the hippo, pushing the hippo, and bouncing the hippo. When none of it works, a little mouse whispers something in the hippo's ear. The hippo moves off the bridge. The other animals ask "What did you say???" The mouse turns back and says with a smile, "Please." The book is delightfully illustrated and well written. It is fun to read along with having a wonderful moral.

Pete & Pillar: The Big Rain is one of my favorite children's books. It is a beautifully illustrated story about friendship and sacrifice. Pete and Pillar are best friends even though everyone tells them they shouldn't be. One day it rains so hard that the valley is starting to flood. While Pillar (the bulldozer) works hard to try to push the mud and keep the water at bay, he notices that Pete (the diesel truck) is nowhere to be found. He thinks his friend has abandoned him when he needed help most. When the rain and water stop, he goes looking for Pete and follows Pete's tracks to the top of the mountain, where he finds his friend has plugged the hole in the dam with himself to save everyone else. I love the message that true friends are willing to stand with each other no matter what and will even sacrifice themselves if necessary. Beautiful.

Skid and the Too Tiny Tunnel

Skid and the Too Tiny Tunnel is another Pete and Pillar book about friendship and courage. Skid wants to help, but he's too small to really do anything. One day there is a cave-in at the mountain and Pillar waits behind to make sure all of the other equipment gets out safely, but is trapped himself. Skid is t he only one who can get to Pillar because he's the only one small enough to go through the tunnel. The only problem is that Skid is afraid of the dark. To help his friend, Skid summons the courage to crawl through the tunnel even though he is scared. Again I love the theme of self-sacrifice and I love that Skid keeps going even when he is scared. True courage is the mastery of fear, not the absence of fear!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


My friend, Cathi, wanted to do a ladies only summer luau and already had several ideas for it, but wanted some help organizing the event. I helped her organize it, come up with decoration and party ideas, make a tiki hut out of pvc pipe, make surf boards and some other decorations, come up with food ideas, make the kabobs, and set up for the party. She hosted the party in her back yard.

Lego Indiana Jones Party

This party was for my son's 5th birthday. He and all of the kids had a BLAST!

INVITATIONS:I used some free pictures/wallpapers from the website and made these invitations: