2/24/2013

New Use for an Old Crib

Our dryer quit working about three weeks ago and we have been trying to fix it ourselves to save money.  We have replaced some different things, but it is still not working. I don't have a clothes line and didn't want to invest in one. I want to be able to dry the clothes inside when it is raining outside. I looked at my old crib and realized I could hang clothes on it.














I set up both of the long sides from the crib and hang up the clothes that need drying. It saves me from driving into town (we live in the country) to dry our clothes every couple of days. I was also able to recycle the crib and use it for something. We hope to be able to get the dryer fixed or get a new one very quickly, but until then, I will keep using my crib to dry the clothes.

2/22/2013

Looking at my word for 2013

 

When I chose my word for this year, I had no idea how I would need to be reminded of how God comforts me. I chose this word because at the time I was grieving the loss of my Pastor. Today, I just received news of a dear friends passing on to Heaven. I had to remember that my word for the year was comfort, because right now I need the Lord to wrap His arms around me and comfort me during this time. The Lord has a plan and purpose for why things happen that we don't know about. He will comfort us when we are going through trials and tribulations. He will comfort us in times of sorrow. 

2 Corinthians 1:3 ~ Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.


2/18/2013

Handwriting Without Tears ~ Review



Handwriting without Tears is a curriculum that was developed to make the writing process appealing to young children.  Jan Olsen, the developer of Handwriting Without Tears, is an occupational therapist.  She has worked hard over the years to develop a curriculum that will work with the child and for the child.  You can find out why her approach to handwriting works by clicking here.  This curriculum is to be used with children from pre-k all the way to 5th grade.

Here was my scenario every day since my 2nd grade daughter started school in August:
“Do I have to do all of my writing today?”
“Yes.”
(whining/crying)
“After you finish your writing, you are done with your school work.”
“Why do I have to do ALL of it?”

As you can see, I was struggling to get my daughter to do her handwriting every single day.  I jumped at the chance to be able to review this curriculum.  Since ‘without tears’ is in the name of the curriculum, it has to be good, right?  We used the 2nd grade books.  The 2nd grade curriculum consists of:
~the teachers guide ~ $9.25
~printing power ~ $8.25
~or printing power plus ~ $10.25
The difference between printing power and printing power plus is the ‘plus’ comes with an introductory cursive book.

 

When I first received the materials, the teachers guide was confusing when just looking at it without actually reading it.  It has multiple pages of introduction and foundation skills (activities) before actually starting with the lesson plans.  Had I read the table of contents first, I would have realized this and not been confused.  There are also guidelines at the back of the book to help you with teaching your child each week throughout the year.  The lesson plans for the kick start cursive can be found online.  It was very easy to set up an account.



The printing power book teaches the child how to print capital letters, lower case letters, and numbers.  When teaching some of the capital letters, there is a magic bunny that helps guide the child with their writing.  You can see him in the photo below.



The kick start cursive book teaches the child the lower case letters with an introduction to capital letters at the end of the book.  Magic bunny makes a return in the cursive book too!

cursive

The handwriting lessons are short lessons.  The lessons only take about 15 minutes a day.  Each lesson also includes an activity that is to be done to introduce the letter.  Some of the activities are drawing the letter in the air, a hand activity, or singing a song. There are several videos available on the website for some of the activities.  There are also recommended items that can be purchased to use with the curriculum, such as the Rock, Rap, Tap, and Learn CD.

My opinion (and my daughter’s too)~
I was surprised at how easy the lessons were to teach.  The lessons were short and simple.  My daughter said she enjoyed this program because it was fun and easy.  I loved the activities that we did before the actual writing.  My daughter loved to copy the letters and words in the book after doing the activities.  I think the activities made the actual writing part a fun experience.  I was surprised that the cursive taught not to slant the paper.  They want to make writing as enjoyable and fun as possible.  The scenario from above has definitely changed since using this product.  My daughter looks forward to her writing lessons and wants to continue with this until the end of our school year (and I am going to let her).  I did not like arguing with her everyday just to get her to do handwriting.  This product has made teaching her writing so much more enjoyable!



Disclaimer: I received  a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.

2/14/2013

Flowering Baby ~ Review




Since having my daughter almost two years ago, I will be honest and say that I have not done much with her academically.  The older three children take up a lot of my time with their school work.  I haven't devoted as much time to reading to her or sitting down and playing with her as I should have been.  I jumped at the chance to be able to review something that was geared just for little ones.

Flowering Baby, LLC is a curriculum written by a mother and daughter to assist parents in teaching their children from the day they bring the child home from the hospital. The curriculum is broken up into five parts:

Each year offers age appropriate activities such as singing, drawing, and reading.

You can purchase the curriculum by visiting their shop.  The 1st three years are $30 for each year.  The last two years are $38 for each year. All five years are $132.  PS: Keep reading.  I have  a special code just for you.

Since my daughter had just turned 22 months, we used the One to Two Year curriculum



When I first received the product and started reading what I was going to teach and do with my 22 month old, I was excited.  She was excited to get to do “school” like her older brothers and sister.  I got the supplies ready and we started.  My daughter loved the dancing and singing.  She would clap after we finished singing a song.  She loves books and loves when any of us read to her.  On one of the days, we were to sing the “Wheels on the Bus” song.  We just happened to have a book The Wheels on the Bus.  We read and sang from the book.  When we would listen to music on a CD, we would dance around and have fun. 



















Here is a sample day from the curriculum for the 22nd month:
Day 6 ~
-Play “Where did it go?” Using three cups, hide a small object under one of the three cups, move them around a few times, and then say “Where did it go?” If this is difficult for your child, move your hands slowly and let the child see what you are doing. If this is too much just use two cups or even your hands. -Read Hello Toes, Hello Feet. -Play “Wee Sing” CD today. Enjoy and sing along.

To see a full month's preview of the One to Two Year old curriculum, click here and scroll to the bottom.


As you can see, it is a fun and entertaining time to spend with your little one.  You spend about 20 minutes a day with your child playing, reading, singing, dancing, and drawing.  And if your little one is anything like mine, they will enjoy themselves tremendously. 


I really liked that everything was written out for me and I did not have to do any extra planning, except for visiting the library to get some books.  Even the rhymes and songs for the year are listed in an appendix at the end of the curriculum.  During the month, I did have to substitute a book (which is okay).  For instance, one day we were suppose to read Clifford, the Big, Red Dog.  We didn't have or get from the library that exact title, but we did read a different Clifford book.  I also loved that the child listened to both classical music and fun music.  My daughter loved dancing to both kinds of music!


I loved everything about this curriculum.  Seeing my daughters face light up every day was well worth the 20 minutes it took to do these activities with her.  She loved it so much, she would keep bringing me more books to read to her.  She also wanted to sing more songs every day.



This curriculum does start at birth, with doing things like holding and soothing your newborn.  As the baby gets older you start reading and doing activities with them.  At the three to four year level and four to five year level, there are two parts.

From the website:
 “. . . a daily general education guide and the theme studies.  The general guide includes math, language, science, physical, self-help and such.  The theme guides are twenty-four specific theme (mini unit studies) that you incorporate throughout the year.  We suggest you select two themes each month.  There are approximately six days of activities for each theme.” 
I look forward to continuing to use this curriculum with my daughter as she grows and starts learning more things. I know she loves to have school time every day now too.

Now, for what you all have been waiting for: use code BLOG10 to receive a 10% discount when ordering.


Photobucket

Disclaimer: I received  a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.

2/07/2013

A New Me

Back in 2010, I made a New years resolution to lose weight by changing the way I eat.  I also started to exercise more too.  I cut out sweet tea and started doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD.  By May of that year, I had lost 35 pounds.  In June, I found out I was pregnant with my 4th child.  So, the weight loss and exercising was put on the back burner.

Me, Easter 2010












My daughter was born in March 2011 and I kept using excuses as to why I couldn't diet or exercise.  I would think, "If I am going to be able to nurse, then I can't try to lose weight or my milk will dry up."  After my daughter turned one in 2012, I could no longer use the nursing as an excuse.  I was miserable, but I didn't do anything about it.  

April 2012














I resolved that 2013 was going to be my year.  I was just going to do it.  I can't keep making excuses.  I want to live a long and healthy life for my children.  I made a plan to start eating healthier, drink more water, and start exercising every day.  I started my new journey on January 7, 2013 and in one month I have lost a total of 10.8 pounds!

I will admit that there have been some discouraging days where I just wanted to quit, but I made myself keep on going.  My 9 year old son has been my biggest encouragement.  He will walk with me everyday and encourages me to try to go faster.  I try to walk a mile everyday, weather permitting.

I also have some Bible verses that are encouraging to me and a lot of friends on Facebook to keep me going in the right direction.  I know this is not an overnight change and that it will take months to accomplish, but encouraging words from God and friends have helped me along the way.  I look forward to living a long and healthy life!

My life verse: " Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea I will help thee; yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my rightousness."  Isaiah 41:10


2/04/2013

Don’t Throw It Away!






















Did you know you can re-grow celery and lettuce from the base once you have used it all up?  I didn't either until I saw it on pinterest.  After I read this article on it, I decided to give it a try.  I planted one and set it outside.  Well, it didn't get enough water and I accidentally left it out during a freeze.  My first attempt failed.  I was not going to give up.  I had another one and planted that one in a plastic cup and keep it on my kitchen window sill.  I can see it every day to remind me to water it and it gets a lot of sun.  I don’t remember when I planted it (it's been at least 2 months), but this is how it looks today.



It is growing and should be ready to use sometime this spring.  I just rotate it every couple of days to make sure the sun hits every side.

Now, the lettuce.  I read this article on re-growing.  Now, I’m not going to lie.  My first attempt failed again.  I don’t know what happened, because it always had plenty of water.  Again, I was not going to give up.  I put another one in some water just a couple of weeks ago and this is how it looks now.



Don’t be scared to give it a try.  You may be able to save yourself some money this spring.

2/01/2013

Free Books



Tyndale Rewards is a program that lets you earn free books!  Take surveys and answer some questions to earn points.  You will receive 25 points just for signing up!  I have already received a great (hard cover) book and the best part was that it was free.  It only takes a minute to sign up.  Sign up by clicking here.

Affiliate links are used in this post.

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