Thursday, July 30, 2009

This and That

I just wanted to share a bit of this and that today.

I joined a fruit and veggie co-op and I am so excited!! I will post a picture of what I get after my first pick up. Our vegetable garden has done great but we need more variety. Our garden is producing lots of squash and cucumbers and some tomatoes and zucchini but the beans never came up and we haven't gotten any corn yet but we are close.

Chris recently added onto our swing set. He added another A framed section so the swings aren't so close together. Before the swings were side by side and Emily kept trying to grab Ellie while they were swinging. Our plan is to add to the back of the set so the playhouse part is bigger.

I still have not been able to come up with 30 recipes but I am still working on it. Until then I have found this great info. on getting back to the basics with meal planning and there were great tips. My favorite was to designate each day of the week with a particular type of food:
Monday- pasta

Tuesday - Mexican

Wednesday - Crock Pot

Thursday - Soup/Salad and/or sandwiches

Friday - Pizza

Sat. - Something New

Sunday - Casserole

I have made two notebooks, one for Homeschooling and one for home. In the home notebook I just printed off monthly calendars and each day has what we are having for dinner and what my cleaning chores are going to be for that day. I plan on updating this monthly. I will also keep a master grocery list in there and lots of blank paper for making more lists:) It is going to stay on the counter so when I run out of something I can just jot it down. Gosh, I love lists!!!!!!!! I still haven't finished my Homeschool Notebook but when I do I will give more details.
Last thing I want to share if anybody is still awake is a few things Ellie has said recently. The other day she wore dress shoes without socks and when she took her shoes off her feet were quite stinky and she said in a genuinely upset voice "Oh no, now my feet stink like Daddy's." Today she was looking at a catalog and she said, "Mom, I need to sit on the potty so I can read my newspaper."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bottle Top Letters

I finally made the bottle top names that has been on my to do list awhile. I first saw the idea here and then I saw this tutorial and thought it would be a fun way for Ellie to learn to spell our names. I made one of mom, dad, Emily and I am working on doing some extended family names like Nana. I also did Ellie's full name because she is still learning to spell her middle and last name. I used Publisher to make the picture name cards and letters and then I modge podged them onto the water bottle tops (thanks Aunt Rhonda for saving these). Ellie and eventually Emily can use the caps to place over the names and they can use a dry erase marker to copy over the letters because of course I laminated them:) While I was at it I laminated these My Name Is strips that came from the $ section at Target. I plan on putting the strips on Ellie's desk when we do preschool and have her start each lesson by writing her name.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Art Area

I realized yesterday that when I was showing the bonus room redo pictures that I never showed the art area. Let me just say that it is nothing exciting to look at but I LOVE having all of our art supplies in one place and organized. Everything has its own tote but I still have not labeled anything but one day I will:) Having it all organized has really sparked Ellie's interest in doing art projects too. The only thing art supplies that I don't have in this area is paint and play-doh. I keep those on an art table in the garage because that is typically where we play with it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Goodwill Finds

I love bargains:)Here are my latest Goodwill finds. I got two books for the girls. The Knock Knock book is one I have been wanting to get Ellie but didn't want to pay full price. It is really cute and she loves Knock Knock jokes and we are also loving Rosie's Babies (sorry for the sideways picture)!!

I also got this small wooden chair that fits perfectly under her desk. It just needs a fresh coat of paint and maybe a cute cushion (another project to add to my ever growing list),

a hole punch for my craft desk and these cute little ceramic pitchers that will be perfect for our Montessori pouring activities!!

I got all of this for less then $10:)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Water Colors

I bought some water color for the girls to use awhile back and it was a waste of money. The color didn't show up on the paper and basically it was just a watery mess. That is what I get for buying the cheap kind. I was reluctant to buy any more but wanted to give water color another try. I bought each of the girls and little case of Melissa and Doug's water color and I am so glad I did! Huge difference in quality but not a big difference in price:) I think I paid less then $3 each and they love having their own case.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

School Planning

I have been doing lots of research over the last month trying to figure out what I want to do for Ellie's school this year. I was really considering starting Kindergarten but have decided to hold off another year before purchasing a formal curriculum. I did find a free 4 year old curriculum, ABC Jesus Loves Me, that I am going to use that I am really excited about. It covers letters, numbers, bible stories, character traits etc. Some of it will be review but a lot of it will be new. I really want to do one more year of play based child led learning and I think this will work great. I have also decided to do circle time two mornings a week. During this time we are going to sing, read books, do felt stories, devotionals, and listen to music. I am really excited about this time because Emily will get to participate. I don't have a set amount of time I will just follow their lead. I think part of the curriculum can be incorporated in to circle time too. Two afternoons a week when Emily is having rest time we are going to continue doing our Montessori (or at least my version of it) activities. I am going to theme each week and we can base our activities on the theme. I am also going to start Emily doing Tot School. Basically I am going to give her activities to help her fine motor skills and let her to be involved in what we are doing. I am going to save these activities for after her nap if we are still doing preschool. Some of the other things I want us to focus on this year is practical life skills like cooking, folding laundry etc. and art/craft projects. We are going to start school the third week in August and I want to have a few weeks completely planned out. I would like to plan more but I want to make sure this is going to work for us before I plan out to much. Some of the resources I am using are:

Mostly other mommy bloggers!!!

Felt Board Stories Book

Five Minute Devotions for Children

Hands On Math

Now I need to get busy getting everything together:)

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Chore Chart

I made Ellie a new chore chart today. On her last chore chart she basically did the same thing everyday: pick up your room and feed the cat. I think she will like her new chart a lot better because it is something different everyday. She still has to keep her room picked up but her new chart has pictures and is laminated so she can x off her chore once it is done.

Monday- clean off the stairs (they always get junked up after the weekend)
Tuesday- bring down all the trash cans from upstairs to be dumped in big can
Wednesday - feed cat and water plants
Thursday - clean off the table after dinner
Friday - clean up the playroom

I printed off clip art of each chore and and glued them to a piece of colored card stock and then laminated it of course because I have to laminate everything.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


was his name-o! I made a bingo game board for Ellie to complete this summer. I put some activities on there that I would like for her to do that she might not be inclined to do without some incentive but also some activities that she really enjoys. I printed off a blank bingo card from this site on pink card stock and I just hand wrote some activities for her to complete and once she has full card bingo then we are going to do something fun. There are sixteen squares to complete although technically there are only 15 because one is going to be a freebie. Here is what I have so far:

Read a chapter book together

Check out a non-fiction book to read from library

Practice writing lower case "e"

Pick out a recipe from her recipe book to make

Complete obstacle course (using skills from her gymnastics class that she has a hard time with)

Pick up trash in neighborhood or park

Do something special for someone (very interested to see what she comes up with)

Complete a workbook page (put this in twice)

Learn to spell middle name

Learn to spell last name

Decide on a craft to make together

I am hoping to start this on Monday so if you have any ideas to fill up the last couple of spaces I would love to hear your ideas!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


My friend is doing a great giveway on her blog to celebrate her blogs 1st Birthday. Go check it out and sign up to win a great book and while you are there look around! She has a great blog!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Playing in the Woods

As you can see I changed the blog background and although I really liked the black I have to listen to my fans, all two of you...hehehehe:)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Our Garden

We planted a very small garden this year but I am so excited about it. We started off with seeds and now we have this!

We planted corn, pole beans, squash, zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes. We also planted green beans but they didn't come up so we just planted some more. We have gotten two tomatoes off the vine so far and we have 3 squash that should be ready to pull soon:)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ice Cream Banner

It is safe to say that our Summer Days banner was a hit. We did the last activity today and she was be sad that it was over. I will probably wait a couple of weeks before pulling it out again. Here is what the banner included this week:
Monday: Made salt dough jewelry. The recipe I used called for 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt and 1 cup water. Bake at 250 degrees for about 2 hours. We ended up making shapes more then jewelry.

Tuesday: Go swimming with Mom and Dad. It is a rare treat for us to all go together especially on a weekday.

Wednesday: Play with Moon Sand. Ellie has wanted some forever and I bought some this past Christmas but never gave it to them. Boy is it messy!!

Thursday: Meet our friends at the spray ground park for a picnic and playtime.

Friday: Make alphabet sugar cookies.
Saturday: Celebrate 4th of July at Aunt Mary's house. Ellie loves loves loves going to their house.
Sunday: Get face painted. I bought a new pack of face paint at a yard sale and she has been begging to do this. She wanted her face to look like Charlotte from Charlotte's Web and then she painted dads face.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


The girls and I went with some friends to a local garden that I had never been to and had so much fun. It is located in a residential area and doesn't seem that big from the outside but once you are in the back it just opened up into a beautiful garden area! There were several small ponds with fish, fountains and lots of of brick paths leading in all different directions. It felt like we were in a small maze. We saw bunnies, squirrels, birds, mice, and a gopher feasting on the bird and squirrel feeders. There was also a great children's area beyond the rose garden. It was so cool!!! They had several small gardens for the kids to plant in with all of the tools they would need and compost bins for soil and a rain barrel to fill up their watering cans. They had an activity table set up with a craft, self serve lemonade on the porch along with chairs and books. It really was such a fun place to visit!!!!

Wordless Wednesday