Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hi All

We are on Christmas break and I forgot to let everyone know! I should be back and running with Montessori Monday on Monday the 5th.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! And Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

From My Family to Yours

Merry Christmas!

Hope you have a blessed holiday!

Wednesday's Website

This website tracks Santa's progress around the world...showing "real" pictures/glimpses of him on Christmas eve. It is too fun and quite a thrill to share with your kids on Christmas eve! So if you go in for all the Santa-ness of Christmas, be sure to check this out!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Training Tuesday

This one was an obvious choice for this week! Gift wrapping...of course! Joshua has been pretending to wrap gifts with all his old baby blankets since my birthday in October. So we just figured we might as well put him to work. You may recall that Josh was buying gifts for all of us with his coin rolling money/allowance. So I saved out all those gifts for him to wrap.

He did pretty good! Lots of tape and I am not sure everything is completely covered but he sure did work real hard at it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Montessori Monday

It is Christmas this week so I just have a quick and easy one today!

After the holidays, cut the picture part of a few of your Christmas cards off and punch holes around the edge with a hole punch. Tie a length of string onto one of the holes. Using a needle, a taped end, or an end dipped in glue and allowed to dry overnight, have your child lace/sew the cards. This is a great activity for practicing early fine motor skills. Save them from year to year, keeping only the best/thickest cards!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Here is one of the many latest creations by Joshua. As you may know, he is obsessed with Star Wars. In October, he received a grocery bag stuffed full of Lego Star Wars kits from a family friend whose son no longer wanted them. If you have ever gone down the Lego aisle See! you probably realize that this was hundreds of dollars worth of Lego kits. We were very thrilled and appreciative!
What I love about this picture is that after building a Lego kit he is able to figure out how to build his own version of a Star Wars ship and he created and designed this one entirely on his own.
Love it!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I am Officially...

LAME and Boring!!!! If you want to play along just bold what you have done!

1. Started your own blog 2 in fact...
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band School and Video Game variety!
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (Disney World)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (to Josh)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child I adopted a Grandma at a Nursing Home as a child and she died the night before I met her. TRAUMATIZING!
16. Had food poisoning Worst I have ever felt in a shortish time!
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked Safety People Safety!
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill Mental health is just as important!
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run Playing with Josh, that is!
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (in general)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke As long as video game Karaoke counts!
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted at Cedar Point when I was about 5
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business When I was a Girl Scout we started a book making business.
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check My Mom would be so proud!
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy I still have all my Barbie dolls.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job I guess I was laid off but I felt fired!
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle Which may be why I have not broken a bone...
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper I was on the cover for 1st day of school 2 years in a row when I taught in Big Rapids MI!
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating Have you met me? oh
88. Had chickenpox TWICE!
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous Bozo~I was on the show.
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake Nope but I have swam in several of the Great Lakes though!
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone not that I ever use it...told ya...LAME!
99. Been stung by a bee Nope...never!
100. Read an entire book in one day Most every book I read!

HT: LaPaz Home Learning

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday's Website

Tons of activities, crafts, printables, etc... It is based out of the UK but is certainly packed full of many wonderful ideas for any family!

Check it out!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Training Tuesday

Hand washing!!!!!!


So I noticed Joshua soaping up his hands the other day! I was standing off to the side unnoticed and he was just rubbing and rubbing the soap. I was soo proud, that is, until he leapt off the stool and raced out of the know without using ANY water at all!

Of course, I called him back in and we embarked on the latest Training Tuesday session. Well now he is racing through the hand washing but at least he is using soap and water! If only we could get him to also dry his hands on a towel......


Monday, December 15, 2008

Montessori Monday

Idea from Montessori Play and Learn by Lesley Britton.

The Trans Game~

I made this game by filling 3 empty baby food jars. One with water, one with dirt, and one with air! These jars represent the different places transportation occur; air, land, and water. Then, I printed off cards that depict different modes of transportation like these!

All the child needs to do is sort the cards next to each jar into the appropriate type of place for transportation to occur. Make sure to mark the back of the cards with a symbol for self checking!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday's Website

Here is a fun one to help with lunch or to find different cooking ideas you can use with your kids!

I especially appreciate the easy to follow directions and often times diagrams!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Montessori Monday

Idea borrowed from Montessori Play and Learn by Lesley Britton~

I have been planning on making a timeline with Joshua for a longtime! Lesley Britton has a couple of different timeline ideas that she recommends for different aged children.

For the 3-4 year old
Create a timeline of your Child's day.
For the 4-5 year old
Create a timeline of your Child's life. She suggests using photographs to represent each year.
For the 5-6 year old
Create a timeline of homes through the ages. You could easily find pictures online of homes such as caves, Roman Villa, Tudor, Victorian, and Modern Homes.

We have already done the Child's day timeline about 2 years ago. Josh loved keeping track of what he was doing on it. With the Child's life timeline I would like to adapt it a bit to reflect his different milestones, especially as a baby. I think this will be helpful with his understanding of Little C and where he is at developmentally. Josh is a bit frustrated with Little C's lack of vocal skills etc...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

More Human Body Work

Josh decided to create a skeleton all on his own! He chose to use paper, scissors, glitter glue, and markers. I added paper fasteners when he could not come up with an idea to attach the body parts. He cut out and decorated most of it entirely by himself. I only helped with the hands and feet.
Love it!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Our Advent Schedule

I have a confession...

I am totally lazy...especially during the Winter. Living in Snow up to your you know what Michigan just makes me want to stay in PJs all day and watch movies. But I can't or at least I shouldn't so instead I have to make....err I mean motivate myself to join the living...

This is a super simple task during Advent because I just make an Advent calender to give us at least one special activity to do every day. I keep these pretty simple and with minimal ingredients or I will just find an excuse not to do it!

So is our list...
  1. Write list for Santa
  2. Cinnamon and applesauce ornaments
  3. Visit Santa at the mall
  4. Set up Josh's Nativity
  5. Paper chain for Josh's bedroom tree or maybe
  6. Fireplace, movie, popcorn night
  7. Set out the race track with Daddy and race cars
  8. Sew stocking
  9. Paper snowflakes
  10. Foam Frames
  11. Play in the snow and come in for some Hot Vanilla (Josh hates chocolate!)
  12. Hand print tree or wreath
  13. Activity with Daddy
  14. Watch the Polar Express
  15. Make Crystal Snowflakes
  16. Make new ornaments for our tree
  17. Paper strip ornaments
  18. Make Snow trail Mix
  19. Put up Josh's Bedroom Tree
  20. Gingerbread houses with graham crackers
  21. Watch the Grinch and Eat popcorn
  22. Make Christmas cookies
  23. Decorate a white felt stocking
  24. Open presents from Mommy's Aunts and Uncles!

So, anyway, I just type these all up and print them on paper strips and stick them in this tree shaped drawer system. I found it last year when I was in the check out at Target. We have a Starbucks in ours and I saw the tree and knew I had to have it for Josh. I had been drooling over one of those really expensive wooden ones for awhile but this works great and I saved a ton of money! But really you could just make a paper chain like this easy but adorable idea!

Enjoy your holiday season!


Human Body Puzzle

I wanted to share a puzzle that we LOVE! It is Your body 5 layer puzzle by Beleduc. It comes in a boy version or a girl version and is anatomically correct!
The first layer is a clothed child, then skin, muscle, organs, and finally skeleton. Josh loves this and is really learning a ton about the human body. It is great for your littles to learn body parts, and not to mention puzzle skills. Josh is going more in depth to discover the different organs and more about how the body works!

So anyway, we love it and I would definitely recommend it as long as you are aware that the boy has a penis (VERY tastefully done!).

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Ornament Ideas

Josh and I make ornaments for our tree every year and in a past life I was a Kindergarten teacher. So, I thought I would share some of the ornaments I have made with Children. Hope you find a bit of inspiration...

  • Craft Stick Frames ~ With my Kindergarten students, we made tree shaped frames EVERY YEAR! Easy and great gifts! All you need is a photo of the child, 3 green sticks, 1 brown stick, green construction paper, and decorations. Just make a triangle with the green sticks, glue together. Glue the green paper to the pack, trim to fit. Glue the brown stick on as a tree trunk. Allow the child to decorate then glue the picture into the center.
  • Paper chain ~ This is a good one for the little ones since it uses skills they are/or need to be practicing. (cutting, gluing/stapling, listening) Make it more fun with scrapbook paper etc... Also, if you cut the strips thinner they make a chain that is suitable for a tiny tree. (Perfect for the Kid's room!)
  • Bead ornaments ~ Super easy! Children can just string beads onto pipe cleaners and either the child or adult can bend into desired shape. (Candy canes, Bells, trees, hearts, wreaths, etc...)
  • Foam ornaments ~ Cut desired shape out of foam (we did this last year with a tree). Child can decorate with beads, buttons, rick rack, etc... Glue ribbon on back.
  • Cinnamon clay ornaments ~ Mix 1/2 cup cinnamon with 1/2 cup applesauce in a large zip lock bag. Allow child to squish until mixed well. Roll out with rolling pin or just flatten with your hands. Cut out Christmas shapes with cookie cutters. Poke a small hole at the top for hanging. Allow to dry over night (at least!). String with ribbon and hang on the tree.

Around the web... Tons of great ideas!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wednesday's Website

As some of you know, we have decided to send Josh to Kindergarten in the Fall. I am sure I will be posting more on that in the next few months.

But for now, I wanted to share with you a website that was invaluable in helping us to narrow down our many school choices.

You just put your location in and they give you a huge list of schools. From there you can read parent reviews, see test scores, find just tons of information that can help you in making such an important decision for your child. Even if you are not planning to send your child to school, it may be helpful to be armed with such information if need be.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Montessori Monday

Idea borrowed from Montessori Play and Learn by Lesley Britton~

We are working on sight words with Josh right now so this idea from Lesley Britton's book really caught my eye!

Words Around the House (recommended for ages 5-6)
This is another easy to set up game for language and reading development. All you need are index cards with the names of household objects written on them. You read the word with the child (or have child read it) and they place the card near the object. I thought this might also be fun to do with sticky tack, having the child attach the word to the object.

A fun extension for this one would be to do the same activity but with the name added in a different language under or instead of the English label.

You could also make this for younger children by adding a picture to the card.