Monday, July 27, 2009

Need vs Want

This morning, I asked Josh if he had packed up all the super hero guys that he needed for his day at Grandpa's. He replied "Maybe, but I still have a few more that I just want to bring!"

Hmmm, I kind of think he gets the concept a bit better than I do!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~ July 27th

I missed a few weeks...we were on vacation and then apparently it took me a week to recover and get back on track! This week we have a pretty normal week. One evening we are going out to dinner with neighbors/friends and one evening I have a Tastefully Simple Party to attend.

Monday~ Buffalo Wild Wings out with friends!

Tuesday~ Lemon Pepper cheesey chicken sandwich-yum (make extra chicken!)

Wednesday~ Egg in a Hole with leftover bacon from Tuesday's sandwich. TS Party for me!

Thursday~ Spaghetti and meatballs on the side.

Friday~ Empanadas

Saturday~ Extra leftover Lemon pepper chicken from Tuesday and Half Baked potatoes.

Sunday~ Hot Dogs...A's favorite! I might do some roasted potatoes just to use up some of our potatoes and to make it a little more...uh...Shannon friendly!

Have a great week everyone!

Check out the other menus at!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gotta Brag!

Josh was reading to us from one of his many Nate the Great books tonight and there was a note written in cursive in one of the illustrations. He read it...I did not even know he could read cursive! When I expressed surprise he said, "Well, I already read through this book last night!" How does that teach you cursive????

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday's Website

Sorry...I am too busy giggling at this to actually blog this week! Check it out, but be forewarned it is intended for an adult audience!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rug Review!

So awhile back, I was contacted by this really cool company They were wondering if I was interested in reviewing an area rug here on my blog.

Silly question! Of course I want you to send me an entirely free rug and allow me to share my opinion with my friends. It was way harder of a task than I anticipated however. I had to choose from thousands of rugs! Their selection is UNBELIEVABLE!

I just loved this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, and that is only a sample of the kid's rugs I was interested in. I drooled over the regular rugs as well!

Obviously, I picked this gorgeous United States Map rug pictured above. I knew we would love it but I have to admit that I was pretty shocked by how nice it actually turned out to be! Let me share why...

  • Company~ csnrugs was extremely helpful and willing to work with me throughout the entire "negotiating process." The rug arrived very fast and I was super impressed with the packaging...don't you just hate the way some companies wrap and pack and waste so much! Not with csnrugs it was just protected with a bit of plastic and labeled!
  • Texture~ This rug is much softer than I expected. We have other Children's rugs and they are often rough. But this rug is actually soft enough to lay/lean on, even with my sensitive red head skin!
  • Size~ It is a large 3'3'' x 4'10''. Nice big rug! Great to throw in a bedroom, playroom, or learning room. I would have even loved this for my classroom when I still taught. It is big enough for a group to gather around!
  • Clean up~ Okay...I admit it, just in case you are wondering, if the rug gets vomited on it cleans up very easily. The stain came right out with a clorox (the trees are dying!!! the guilt!) wipe!
  • Quality~ Bright bold colors, great size, soft to the touch and even cleans up easily!

Oh and they have an ENTIRE line of educational rugs!

So, are you wondering how we are using ours?

I quickly printed off some State cards that include the name and outline of all the states (also cards with each state capital but we set those aside for now). We are currently matching the abreviations with the names. I also plan to pull out the state quarters to match and the cards that contain all the state info, like these under State nomenclature. Oh yeah, and I might just let him drive a car along the road too!

We love our new rug and if you are in the market yourself, please check out my new friends at they will treat you right and are sure to have just what you need!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Book Basket

We just read a great butterfly book! It is a # 2 and Josh could read it very easily so it is probably around a 1.5 RL (my opinion). If you are studying butterflies or just want a cool science read then be sure to check out A Butterfly Grows (Green Light Readers Level 2) by Stephen R. Swinburne. It tells the lifecycle of the butterfly as if the butterfly was telling the story. The pictures are all photographs and are big and bold.

We loved it!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Return to Reality!

You may know, we have been on vacation this past week. But, sadly, it is pretty much over. At least that is what our crazy Michigan weather is telling us. We were supposed to camp tonight but the high today was something like 68'...I think I heard it was a record breaker for this day in July! So anyway, I do not camp in the cold!

The rest of our vacation has been really great though! ...even the weather!

We had a ton of fun and are now exhausted and pretty much ready to go back to our "regularly scheduled programming."

We decided this year to just jump on the stay cation bandwagon and try and save a bit of money. So we played tourists in West Michigan...mostly. If you are local...or just interested...we...

  • Drove to the Detroit area. Ate at the Rainforest Cafe (Josh's fave place from our last vacation), visited Andrew's family, and (of course) went to Ikea. Fun time!
  • On the way home, we headed to Binder Park Zoo, one of our favorite local zoos...the Africa area is amazing!
  • Tuesday was our 11th wedding anniversary. We headed to Lake Michigan/Duck Lake and had a great day at the beach. Duck lake is great for young families because the water is warm where Lake Mi stays pretty cold.
  • We took a day off from our day tripping and caught the newest Harry Potter Movie! Josh even dressed up as HP for the movie.
  • Thursday found us back on the road as we headed to Michigan Adventure Amusement Park. Fun but expensive!
  • Friday we were so tired, we caught a few garage sales and just took it easy. We had a sitter in the evening to celebrate our anniversary but just ended up getting takeout and watching a movie at home.
  • Today, we had a graduation open house with my extended family...nice to catch up with everyone, but like I mentioned, sure could have been warmer.

Right now Josh is reading a Magic School Bus book to Andrew and then heading up to bed. I have a TON of house related things to do...(read, my house is trashed because I refused to clean on vacation!). I also, have several blog posts to write...including a review of a super cute rug. Talk to you all after I dig a path through this mess!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Book Basket

So, I was browsing the library the other day and found the most AMAZING ...uh...cookbook. I mean, it is a cookbook but it is so much more. Here, go check out this link...

The Fairy Tale Cookbook: Fun Recipes for Families to Create and Eat Together by Sandre Moore

The recipes are all based on different famous children's books. Everything from Where the Wild Things are to Alice in Wonderland. And they are intended for families to make together! The directions are really great with breakdowns of what you could let the kiddos do...oh and the recipes are for real food for real meals that you can actually make and eat. Like I is AMAZING and is definitely being added to my wishlist!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Butterfly Lapbook

Our first lapbook! We really had fun making this and Josh is so proud of the "book" he created...showing it off to everyone who enters our home!

Cut and Paste Caterpillar! on our cover. I did cut this one out, it was the last activity and Josh was finished...WINK!

Days of the week cards

Book Sequencing cards

What's the Shape Book and many other ideas!

Lifecycle Book

Inside View!

Size sequencing cards

Lifecycle Sequencing

Butterfly Pocket

I am so sorry but I can not find where I downloaded these cards! (It was in 2007) If you or someone you know made them, please leave me a comment so I can give you credit! These are really beautiful and I would love to share them!

How to draw a caterpillar!

Josh's butterfly!

Extra work

Math Mats

Butterfly grid work

Monday, July 13, 2009

Montessori Monday

Calendar Activity Set
I presented this work last week to Josh. He loved it and it was a nice follow up to our days of the week cards we used during our butterfly study (from The Very Hungry Butterfly by Eric Carle).
I laminated the whole set and gave him a bit of sticky tac to use to put the Calendar together. I just handed him my calendar (for a control) to use to find out where to start and what Holidays to add and he took off...doing it several times for different months.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

So, What are You Doing Tomorrow?

We are painting! (our driveway!)

All you need is...

Food Coloring
Corn Starch

Our Amazing Butterflies

Here is a photo journey of our Painted Lady Butterflies!

Arrival Day

Caterpillars eating and eating and eating!

Caterpillars preparing for Pupa Stage!

Pupa (also known as Chrysalis) Stage
Chrysalids moved into Butterfly tent! (Somehow I missed the part in the info pamphlet saying they might shake around in defense to scare off any predator....sure did freak me out!)
Newly hatched and awaiting some dry wings! They did not really flap them like I expected...just seemed to wait it out.

Here is a good shot of the merconium (the blood like stain) that drips out, our info says it is the extra coloring from the wings. Looked a bit like a massacre after all the butterflies were hatched!

You can see one of our friends partaking in a bit of orange!
...and another...
Release day! Sheesh...they did not want to leave! We pretty much had to force all 5 out by tapping gently on the tent sides and shaking them out!
Bye dear friends...and thanks so much for sharing your short beginnings with us!
Josh and I also made our very first lap book about butterflies and I will be sharing the pictures ASAP!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~ July 6th

Hmmm, 7 meals...

This week is normal except we are beginning our Staycation on Friday! Still not sure what that means as far as meal planning...

If we were actually going somewhere, we generally stay in places with a small fridge. My husband is a Type 1 Diabetic and it is just easier with small children. So anyway we eat breakfast in our room, eat lunch out, and do sandwiches or similar for dinner.

Monday~ Pad Thai ( it a try...)
Tuesday~ Cream cheese Crockpot Chicken So yummy!
Wednesday~ 4th of July Leftovers -Hot dogs & Beans/Mac 'n' cheese. Also our neighbor's ice cream social!
Thursday~ Empanadas!
Friday~ Chicken Parmesan
Saturday~ Out for My Dad's Birthday...not sure where yet!
Sunday~ Out for MIL's bday @ Rainforest Cafe (Josh is too excited!)

So, I just realized that every week I say it is a normal week but then go on to show it is hardly just eating normally. Or...maybe that is normal for us....
We do have EVERY family birthday in the summer (except mine!)! So, right now 2 birthday dinners this week feels normal!

Go to for TONS of Menu Plan Monday!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Wednesday's Website

Newer Montessori blog that concentrates on more of the informational theory!

But if you have an interest in Montessori this is definitely one to check out!