Friday, January 29, 2010


Monday was our first day using Sue Patrick's Workbox System and it went great! Our plan is to do the workboxes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursdays we are going to focus on Five In A Row and take Friday off. I worked with Ellie pretty much the whole time to teach her how to use the system and she was very excited!! I am trying to use it how Sue recommends (except I am using 9 drawers instead of 12 boxes) and then I can tweak it however needed as we go along. Here is what our workboxes look like:Here is what I put in the boxes on day one in no particular order: (I tried to mix a good variety of easy in because I didn't want to overwhelm her or me the first day!)

Valentines Craft

Valentines books with snack (Cookies for the first day because I am a cool mom:) )How to Build an A: Letters A, B, CCounting WorksheetPuzzleLacing CardReading Lesson (which I am not loving)Sequencing CardsPutting the numbers 20-29 in order

I think this system is going to work great for us and really keep me on my toes!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

BIg Green Pocketbook

I wrote a post awhile back on the book The Big Green Pocketbook. We loved this book and I was really excited when our friend invited us to do some Big Green Pocketbook activities with them. She planned out so much fun stuff!!! Just to refresh your memory the story is about a little girl who takes a bus to run errands with her mommy and she takes along an empty green pocketbook. Every place they go she is given something to put in her purse. At the end of the story her purse is full but she accidentally leaves it on the bus but the bus driver drops it back at her house in the mailbox. The little girl draws the driver a thank you note with her new crayons. So here is a list of activities we did with the book:(unfortunately I forgot my camera so I don't have very many pictures and I am not sure where she got her ideas and printables.

She started off by giving everyone a bag, aka their pocketbook, and a coin. As she read the story she had everyone put their coin in the bus drop when the little girl did. She gave them each of the items the little girl received as she came to them in the book: two lollipops (one for now and one for later), a pocket calendar, a key chain, new crayons, and gumdrops shaped liked orange slices . She even had a little mailbox that the girls got to open with a little green purse in it at the end of the story!

  • After hearing the story they painted their bags green by mixing blue and yellow paint together

  • She talked about the shapes on the little girls shirt and then gave each of them a tub of rice and they had to find the shapes hidden in the rice and then name the shape.

  • They glued shapes onto a cute little green purses and attached yarn for the handle.

  • They strung beaded necklaces with fun shapes because they visited a jewelry store in the book

  • Colored a fruits of the spirit page and talked about how they related to the characters in the book

  • Practiced writing the letter L on a cute L is for Lollipop sheet

  • Pulled different green items out of a closed box and tried to guess what it was (they loved this so much)

  • After lunch they had an ice cream cone just like the little girl did at the soda shop.

We are going to take the girls on a bus ride soon and they are very excited!! It was such a fun day!

New School Desk

I recently came across a blog that is so incredibly awesome!!!!! It is called Knock Off Wood and Ana is a carpenter who makes amazing furniture but not only that she shares the plans for all of her lucky readers! I spent so much time going through her blog and drooling over the things she has made. Well, I almost fell off the sofa when I saw a table and chairs set from Land Of Nod on her site that I have wanted for quite some time. I emailed my dad and guess what, yep you guessed it, he made it for the girls!!!!! To say I was excited is an understatement. I actually got up and did a happy dance but don't worry I didn't take pictures of my dance but I do have pictures of the girls new desk and chairs! Thanks dad so much for the table and chairs!!!!! We will get lots of use out of it! Love you!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sue Patrick's Workbox System

I have being reading about Sue's Workbox System for months and months and really like the idea of it but wanted to actually read her book to learn more. I was so excited when I saw the she was actually going to be in my area and I got to go and here her talk about workboxes. It was so awesome and I learned so much!! For anybody out there who doesn't know what the workboxes are it is an organizational system for school work. I found this great explanation so if you want more detail you should check it out and look around because her blog is awesome!! I loved getting to hear Sue speak about the workboxes in person because we were able to ask questions and actually get a close up look of her wonderful ideas. I love structure and that is what the workbox system will bring to our school day. Like her book, she not only talked about the workboxes but she shared many of her resources and actual items she has made for her children. I wish I had just an ounce of her creativity. Needless to say we are getting ready to start uses the workbox system and I am sure I will be posting about our set up soon.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Book Recommendation

I checked out Milly Molly Mandy from the library for Ellie and I to read before bed. I saw it at a friends house and thought it looked so cute. Usually books that I am excited about reading with Ellie end up being a bust but this one did not. She loves it and I love it. It is short stories about a cute little girl named Milly Molly Mandy, her family and friends. If you check it out let me know what you think!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Chore System

I have read about Managers of Their Chores several different times in the past year and I finally decided to order it and I am SO happy that I did!!! Ellie has had a chore chart for awhile and done really well with it but I was ready to change it up a little. I can't say enough great things about it. It takes a little time to set it all up but it is well worth it. Each chore gets its own card and the cards are numbered in the order they are to do the chore. You make chore cards using their template. Each card has a number, the chore (in picture form for pre-readers) and what day to do the chore. All the cards go into a laminated pouch that clips onto their clothes. After they finish the first chore the card goes into the back of the pouch and this continues until they get back to the first card. It makes more sense after you read the book:) The book really stresses the importance of checking the chores afterward to make sure it was a job well done and this has really helped Ellie not just halfway her chores because she knows I will make her do it right. It only took a few days of me reminding her after breakfast to clip on her chore pack. It has been wonderful!!!!! The cutest thing was when Emily called after her and she told Emily to wait because she was busy with her chore pack and explained to her all about it. Here is what is in Ellie's chore pack as of now:

Everyday she has listed: (We practiced all of these for a week before letting her do it herself)
Brush teeth (includes putting the lid back on the toothpaste and putting everything away)
Get dressed
Put PJ's away (either dirty clothes or drawer depending on if the are clean)

Monday-clean room
Tuesday-take out upstairs trash
Wednesday-clean off the stairs
Thursday-clean room
Friday-clean playroom

We having been using chore pack since the begining of December and I am blown away at how well Ellie can clean at 4!!! I can't say enough great things about this chore system and I see us using this system from here on out. I even plan on making a chore pack for me:)

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Olivia is one of my favorite children's book and luckily the girls love it too! We did a little unit study on Olivia with our friends and it was so much fun! Here's our activities:

  • I read the book and used our felt pieces as I told the story. I printed the pictures from Nick Jr and then I laminated the front and glued felt on the back. Nick Jr. had a lot of fun stuff to do with Olivia on there site.
  • We went on a red hunt and loaded up our bags with all things red since that is Olivia's favorite color. Then we counted all of our things individually and then added them together.

  • We painted pictures like the ones Olivia saw in the museum and while they painted I went over different things that happened in the book and asked the girls if Olivia made a good decision or bad decision and if it was bad how could she have done it differently.
  • We practiced writing the letter "O" for Olivia.

  • Talked about and acted like pigs since Olivia is a pig.

  • Colored a picture of Olivia.
  • Learned the sign for o and red

  • Played with moon sand since Olivia built sandcastles at the beach with her mom.

Homeschool Share some neat ideas as well!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Easy Bake

Ellie got an Easy Bake Oven from Aunt Rhonda for Christmas and she was very excited! The morning after Christmas she woke up and pointed to the box and said "I can't believe I am the owner of my own oven!" Anyway, she wanted to have a party for her new doll (I am convinced she is going to be a party planner when she grows up) so of course she wanted to make something with her oven. We made sugar cookies and she frosted them, added sprinkles and cut up straws to use for candles. She was able to most of it herself. Afterward I ran her some dish water and had her wash all of the easy bake dishes and spoons. What great practical life skills!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Years Resolutions

I haven't made New Year's resolutions in a few years but decided to this year. Hopefully by sharing it on my blog it will help keep me accountable:)
  • Start a prayer journal
  • Get budget on track
  • Be more consistent with workouts (4x/week)
  • Start using coupons again (I have been really burnt out on this the last few months)
  • Date night with hubby once a month
  • Plan out meals (already got Jan. done:) )
  • Get date day with the girls on the calendar every month(Chris and I take turns taking each of the girls out by ourselves but we have been doing it sporadically)

Did anybody else make any?

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I might be the only person on the planet who didn't know this but just in case I am not I will share that I recently found out there are Trader Joe Cookbooks! I just checked out 2 from the library! I had no idea there were cookbooks made with all things found at TJ's. I am very excited and so far happy with what I have seen. If you don't have a Trader Joe's near where you live then just ignore this post:)