Tag Archives: Kids

Valentine’s Day Sun Catcher and Giveaway

***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This just means I get a small referral rate paid out to be for each item purchased using a link (not all the links.) I also promise to only endorse products I fully believe in and any comments related to the products are 100% my own, unless otherwise stated.*** Getting ready to write the post for today I noticed that this will have been the 10oth post I have a published. It is a small milestone, but a milestone none the less. I just thought I would share that observation, before sharing today’s craft.

Valentine's Day Sun Catcher and Giveaway

Valentine’s Day Sun Catcher

 

Materials:

  • Tissue Paper
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Single sided self-laminating sheets

 

Directions

  1. Cut your tissue paper in 1×1 squares to 2×2 squares . (You could cut other shapes as well but use your sizes for squares as a guide for rough sizes of the other shapes.)
  2. Using your marker draw a heart on one of the self-laminating sheets.
  3. Peel off top strip of the back off the self laminating sheets and using painter’s tape secure the sheet to the table there. Finish peeling off the rest of the backing and secure at the bottom edge using more painter’s tape.
  4. Now that the project is set up invite your toddler or preschooler in the room.(Those are the ages I have found enjoy this most. I have done this with a child as old as six and as young as a 18 months.)
  5. The child can stick the tissue paper anywhere on the self-laminating sheet, but the only part you will need will be the part inside the heart. Let them place tissue paper till their hearts are content.
  6. When they are finished, peel the bottom strip of painter’s tape off.
  7. Peel the backing of a second self-laminating sheet, and gently secure it to the back of the one your child has been working on.
  8. Carefully remove your sun catcher from the table (it will still be secured by the top strip of tape.)
  9. Cut the heart shape out.
  10. Now you will have a heart-shaped sun catcher.  (How to hang them will be your call. I simply use shipping tape and tape them to a window. Although you could get a hole punch, punch two holes, and then string some yarn between the holes.)

Have fun and enjoy the beautiful colors.   Now in celebration of 100 posts I would like to offer a giveaway. In this giveaway I will be offering two books and .

Desperate is a joint effort by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae each lady has a way of writing that speaks to the heart and encourages the soul. In their book Desperate they are seeking to encourage the desperate mom, the one who feels alone, who is stressed to her max,  and just needing to feel a little less alone. It is a book that speaks to the heart of every mother whether you are a brand new mother or a veteran mom of many, because at times we all need a breathe of fresh air and encouragement.

Under the Sun Giveaway

Educating the WholeHearted Child was wrote by Clay and Sally Clarkson. It was wrote with the homeschooling family in mind. Even if you are not homeschooling or not planning on it, this a book that I would recommend to every family, because every parent is a teacher and every home a classroom. It will provide a comprehensive over view of using real books and real life to nurture the heart, soul, and mind of your child. Quoting the description on Amazon, “Whether you are a first-time homeschooler or a longtime veteran, this comprehensive guide will equip and empower you for your journey of faith as a family. Discover the joy of bringing relationship-based, book-centered learning into the natural daily life of your home.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fruit of the Spirit: Love Your Children

(Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links.  Meaning I will get a small referral rate if you purchase after having clicked on the link. I will not endorse a product I do not believe in, so any endorsement on my part is purely my own.)

“Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” Colossians 3:21

 

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”  Deuteronomy 6:6-9

 

“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.  They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.”  Psalm 127:3-5

 Under the Sun - Fruit of the Spirit: Love Your Children

From these three verses it is clear what the Lord expects from parents. What is not clear is how we implement these truths. That there, is the beauty of the deal. There are many ways to raise your children in a Godly, loving home, and still seek after the truth of these three verses.

Whether you homeschool or send your children to the local school, you are still doing the best job you know how. Maybe instead you did CIO or maybe you co-slept. Maybe you used formula or maybe you were a mother who did extended breastfeeding. There is no winner and no loser. One parent is not better than the other. We are each doing the best job we know how to do, but still there are a few things that EVERY Christian parent should be seeking to do with their children.

Colossians 3:21 tells us though that no matter our choices we still need to speak love into the lives of our children. Our children have tender hearts. They are seeking love and approval. Clay Clarkson in his book, Educating the WholeHearted Child — Third Edition, says, “God has designed your children’s hearts to expect love from their parents. When they don’t receive familial and parental love, it is a kind of neglect of their spiritual and emotional nourishment, in the same way that not receiving food would neglect their physical nourishment. A child whose need for love is neglected will begin to close their heart and emotions out of self-protection.” See though you don’t have to embitter, as the bible says, or neglect their spiritual and emotional nourishment, as Clay describes it. Instead encourage them, express your love in words, hug them, and show them just how much you value them. Are your actions matching your words?

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 clearly expresses that we need to teach our children what the bible has to say to them. We can not do that though if first we are not seeking the knowledge ourselves. Live a life that you would be proud for your child to imitate. Are you spending time reading and learning from the Lord each day? Do praise and worship songs fill the air of your home? (They need not be the only songs, but are they given any air time?) Our children are aware if what we are preaching is matching up to the life we are leading. We don’t need to do everything perfectly, but we need to continue to grow in the Lord. Even in our mistakes they can learn much. But it doesn’t stop there. Are you spending time reading to them, and teaching them how to apply what they read to their lives? Guide them.  They need us to be an active guide, not just modeling the behavior we expect, but teaching them how to find the answers for themselves as well.

Children are a heritage

Psalm 127:3-5 Is a reminder that I have written on the black board by my laundry room. Our children are one of the great gifts that the Lord has to offer. Yes there will be days they challenge you. Parenting seems to stretch you in ways you never realized you needed stretching, and when the days get long and your patience gets thin, it can be easy to forget they are a gift from the Lord. So today I remind you to breathe and tell yourself that the Lord gifted these children to you. He didn’t bring them to anyone other than you. God saw to it that you would be the parent to your child. Appreciate that for a moment. He has trusted you with his workmanship (Ephesians 2:10,) his sons [and daughters] (Galatians 3:26-27.) It is that reason I have Psalm 127:3 wrote in large letters in my home, so when my patience runs thin I can remember that they are his gift to me. And your children are the Lord’s gift to you.

So today I say love your babies. Go raise them with the knowledge of the Lord. Get through the day-to-day issues of this world the best way you know how, and know you are loved. (John 3:16)

***If this post has touched you in any way please feel free to share this post. The only thing I ask is to please back to the original. And as always feel free to share via social media. If you have missed any of my prior posts in this series you can find them here : Introduction, Love Your God, Love Your Wives, and Submitting To And Respecting Our Husbands.*** 

 

Creative K Kids

4 Links to Inspire Fall Learning Fun

I wanted to share with you four of my favorite links this last month that I used to form lessons, inspire creativity, and have fun learning with my children. Now these are all fall or Thanksgiving themed so if you want to indulge in them you still have a little time before the onslaught of winter/ Christmas activities.

4 Links to Inspire Fall Learning Fun

I would also recommend as you look through the activities to keep a few things in mind:

  1. Where is your child developmentally? Just because the activity looks fun or cute to you doesn’t mean it won’t frustrate you and your child if it is outside his current skill set.
  2. What resources does it require? Can you afford to buy what you are missing? Is there a way for you to create a substitute for what you are missing here at home?
  3. Do you have the time and/ or energy to to commit to this lesson or craft?

 

From there enjoying looking through the links and discovering things you can do with your kiddos.

1+1+1=1 is always full of wonderful lessons and printables, and her Thanksgiving Preschool Pack is no exception.

 

Thanksgiving Preschool Pack 1+1+1=1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Serving Joyfully, I found this wonderful preschool Fall Fun Pack, for my oldest, Chloe.

Fall Printable Pack- Serving Joyfully

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over at Frugal Homeschool Family, I was able to find these wonderful color pages that both my 2-year old and 4-year old have enjoyed.

Free Thanksgiving Color By Number- Frugal Homeschool Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final link I want to share I discovered through Pinterest. This link from Diapers & Daisies provided much inspiration for us over the last couple months and I hope to find more inspiration from them in the coming months.

10 Best Fall Crafts to do with Toddlers- Diapers and Daisies

What I Have Learned From You, The Homeschooling Community

There are many wonderful things about homeschooling that drew me to it: the flexibility in scheduling, the personalization of my children’s education, and the chance to protect them a little longer. There have also been things I have learned that I value even more about homeschooling since I started preschool homeschool and started learning more from the homeschooling community.  It is these things that I am truly thankful for in homeschooling. It is these things that have made me appreciate the other homeschooling families all the more. They are also the reasons I appreciate the homeschooling community, everyone from those I have met through blogging to those I have met in person.

What I Have Learned From You, The Homeschooling Community

1. Homeschooling need not look like school at home

I have learned that if I try to replicate the model of the public or the private school systems in my home it is a recipe for burn out, burn out for myself and for my children. We can do school on the couch, in the kitchen, outside, behind a computer, or sitting at a desk. What they need is time with me coming along side them and showing how something works. And at their young age that can mean sitting down and playing a game of memory, or building blocks and asking them to repeat the pattern I created. I don’t need to drill them, or continually quiz them. With time I am sure tests will find their way into our homeschool but for now they are not here and that is fine. I can gauge their progress without a test.

I have also learned that homeschooling my girls takes fewer hours of dedicated instruction in the areas of book learning than it would take to teach a classroom full of young children. So instead of sending Chloe out of the house for hours a few times a week we can sit down for 10-20 minutes a day 3-4 times a week. For those of you who are skeptical let me reassure you, with this model I will have her ready for kindergarten level work by next fall, a full year ahead of what the school systems require of her.

Now of course if you have older children you will need to spend more time instructing them, but it still will not take nearly as long as the school day for those in brick and mortar schools. The reason is simply this: you will not need to spend as much time with busy work or covering material you already covered. Yes some kids will need you to still review, but working one on one you will know when enough is enough and stop the review portion when they catch on and then you will be able to move on to the next section.

2. There is not one right way to do this

I am beyond thankful that there is no one right way to teach my girls, or to organize a homeschool. There are families who have a school room complete with desks for the kids and a teacher’s desk for the mother (if you are a father homeschooling good for you but I am going on the idea the primary educator in most families is the mother.) Then there are families who have a school room but that is simply a place to corral the school supplies. I have also met and seen families who are un-schoolers, they let all their learning occur naturally albeit sometimes a bit directed. Or maybe some combination of the above.

So no matter what way you choose to teach, take comfort in the fact you are not alone. You are simply doing what’s best for you and your family. If you feel alone start by simply turning to the online homeschooling community. There are many of us, and I have found everyone rather welcoming.

3. Patience is not a pre-requisite.

One of the most common reasons I have heard on why a person can not homeschool is they feel they do not have the patience to do so. I understand this statement, I have said it in the past. Since I have dove into homeschooling, and learning more about it I have discovered patience is not a pre-requisite. In fact many veteran homeschooling moms still don’t feel like they are very patient. Just remember it is something you can learn and develop with time. Although even if you have spent years cultivating patience you will still need to work on it. People will always find a new way to test your limits, and your children more so than others.

4. Learning occurs in so many areas of the home life

As I have started to homeschool I have seen how learning can and does occur in a variety of situations. You can work on math as you are cooking dinner. Cooking offers a chance to explore counting, fractions, division (in some cases,) and following directions. Laundry can help with sorting, organization, motor skills, and more. The point is there is much for children to learn in the running of the home. And the biggest thing they can learn through chores is probably responsibility.

5. Education is Discipleship

The Free Dictionary defines a disciple as, “One who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another.” So no matter where our children are educated, we are creating disciples. They will take what they learn from the environment they are in and spread that to the world. So let me ask you, what is it that you want your children to learn to value? If you send your kids away for eight, nine, or ten hours a day they are learning much about the world from the world. Do you like the message they are learning there? I didn’t. I decided to teach them at home so I could help teach them a global view with a Christian perspective. That is not to say this couldn’t be achieved if the kids were in public school, it could have. It would have been more difficult is all.

No matter how you decide to educate your children, there are principles there for everyone. Take your time reflect on it. Digest it. Most of all appreciate that like parenting, there is no one exact perfect way to educate your children. Learn your options, they are many, and find what works for your family.

***What would you add to this list?***

 

Now This Is Something New To Me… Church Schools

Moving has provided me an opportunity to learn more about homeschooling and how different states do things. Michigan is one of the most free states in the nation in regards to homeschooling. (If you want to know more about homeschooling laws and your state, refer back to my post on September 3 titled Homeschooling Laws. That post has some references to help you learn more.) Alabama has more regulation regarding homeschool than Michigan, yet the only regulation it has is that you must report that you are homeschooling. (In Michigan, it is optional whether or not you report that you are homeschooling.)

Now This Is Something New To Me... Church Schools

Coming from Michigan my frame of reference for reporting that I was homeschooling was simply filling out a form and sending it back to the state. Alabama takes a different approach and it has thrown me a bit of a curve-ball, at least at first glance. In Alabama you can homeschool via a (cover) church school or if you have a  teaching license under the title of personal tutor. The church schools are something new to me and each one is so different from the next. It seems each school provides a different level of oversight. Some say that the children must be taught by one parent who does not work outside the home, they must attend ‘school’ for 175 days out of the year, they get 5 sick days, 5 teacher development days, the parent turns in lesson plans and grades, the students must undergo regular standardized testing, and the family must provided a statement of faith. Then there are church schools that provide a legal cover and that is all, you are free to school under their cover in any way that you wish.

Honestly while I am not opposed to parents choosing a higher level of oversight for themselves, I am thinking our household will be looking for a school with no oversight. I want, if need be, to teach my daughter  at seven years of age kindergarten/ 1st grade English, because that is where her skill level is at and not be told she is failing. I want to foster a love of learning, and not make it a chore. I worry that if they must perform to some preset notion of what level they should be at and instead of the level they are, then they will start to see themselves as a failure.

That being said I am not opposed to challenging children. I plan to challenge mine. It is through challenges and even struggles that we learn and grow. I just want to be able to set the bar for the challenges at an attainable level for my children. Basically I just want tailor my children’s curriculum to their individual needs.

My other big thing is I want to be flexible as to when we do school. By that, I mean if we are really sick for two weeks straight, I would rather focus on getting well than on studies. Or perhaps I would rather just take off for a vacation mid year and visit family. Flexibility in scheduling is part of homeschooling, to our family.

At the end of the day I will just need to pray and do research to find the right cover school. Perhaps the right school for us is not one with no oversight but rather one with more than I am currently comfortable with. Perhaps the Lord will use this as a learning experience for me.

 

Personal Thin Crust Pizzas

Today I just want to share a fun idea for lunches that even your youngest children can help you make, personal thin crust pizzas. To give you an idea how your kids can help you make these I will share what mine did when we made them. Chloe, my three-year old, put all the toppings on her pizza while I supervised, as to make sure she didn’t go over board. Paige, my two-year old, sprinkled the toppings I had already set out for her after I had put her pizza sauce on the pizza.

I also want to note that these are great for lunches because they come together quickly, and take only a little bit in the oven. I also think they are great because they can  be made according to each person’s preferences.

So today here is my recipe for the one I made myself.

Personal Thin Crust Pizzas

Fresh Mozzarella and Spinach Personal Thin Crust Pizzas ( 2 pizzas)

Fresh Mozzarella Pearls ~ half a small container or two handfuls

Italian Blend Shredded Cheeses ~ enough to lightly sprinkle on each pizza

Fresh Baby Spinach Leaves

Freshly Grated Garlic ~ 2 small cloves

Pizza Sauce ~ approximately two tablespoons

Small (taco size) Tortillas ~ 2

1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Place your tortillas on a small pan. Spread your pizzas sauce on the tortillas.

2.  Spread your handful of mozzarella pearls around each pizza, one handful per pizza.

3. Lay out your fresh spinach leaves on top of the mozzarella.

4. Sprinkle your Italian blend cheese lightly on top on of spinach.

5. Grate one small clove of garlic over each pizza.

6. Place your pizzas in the oven for 5-6 minutes. Check pizzas at 5 minutes. If the cheese is melted and bubbly they are done, otherwise let cook for another minute. Then enjoy!

 

***What sort of toppings do you like on your pizza?***

 

 

 

Sweet Words and Even Sweeter Hearts During Bedtime Prayers

Each night before bed my husband or myself says bedtime prayers with our girls. It is a sweet time, especially now as their vocabularies are starting to expand. It gives me such insight into what is going on in their hearts and what they found important from their day.

Bedtime Prayers

My oldest likes to pray for daddy every chance she gets. She prays, “Daddy home, please.” (Translated as: Bring Daddy home, please.) “Daddy home now, thank you.” She will also go through and list every family member and friend she can think of and ask for blessings for them and thank God for them. Sometimes she prays for her owies to go bu-bye or perhaps just for sleep. I think one of my favorite requests she has put before God was tonight. She prayed for our friends’ chickens and their garden.

My middle daughter still mostly lets us pray and she repeats what we say. That is until we start asking for blessing for the family. Then she has to name her favorite people off. It usually goes something like this “Mannie, Daddy, Mannie, Nama, Papa, Ama, Mannie, Papa, Nama, Papa, Nama, Mommy, Mannie, Ama, Papa, Nama, Daddy, oh…. ya… Cloa!”

Bedtime prayers are a great way for children, not only my own, to remember their blessings and remember to thank the one from whom all blessings flow. In my experience it is also a great vehicle to enforce the idea that God has them in his arms and he plans on keeping all the monsters away. I mention this because I have used this time to explain that they don’t have to be afraid, because as The Veggie Tales say, “God is bigger than the boogie man.”

 

***What are some of the sweetest things you have heard your little ones say during prayers?***

 
TheBetterMom.com

“I no like you, Mommy!”

In the interest of full disclosure I want to say that I have recently taken to writing these blog entries the night before they are published. That being said tonight has been a rough night in my house. I want to talk about it because as I share thoughts and wisdom I have collected about children I don’t want you to think I have it all together. I am still learning and growing too. I also have nights where things have gone so poorly that my three year old yells, “I no like you, Mommy!” Those words may not sound like much but they still hold a powerful punch, especially considering she uses like and love interchangeably, when dealing with family. They are even more powerful when I am struggling with liking myself, because I had a temper tantrum at the same time as my preschooler. I no like you Mommy I decided the best thing I could do for her tonight was apologize for my behavior, and just be there for her while she was angry and trying to fall asleep. As I sat there and listened to her spew, about wanting me to stay behind when we move, how she doesn’t like/ love me, and how I should just go away. It wasn’t easy to listen to. It occurred to me though, as I was listening to her, how much this is often how we treat God. His love is patient and kind, though. He is slow to anger. (1 Corinthians 13: 4&5) When we are upset and spewing at him, about what we feel he has or hasn’t done in our lives, you will not find him having a temper tantrum of his own. We show him blatant disrespect each day and still, he is there for us, ready and willing to accept everyone who is ready to turn to him. I thought on this a little more and all I can pray is I can show my daughter’s even a fraction of that sort of love. If I can show them how I am working through my own unhealthy habits then maybe I won’t pass them down. Maybe then my children will never have a temper tantrum of their own when their children yell, “I no like you, Mommy!”
TheBetterMom.com

Life With Three Small Children is…

Life With Three Small Children is Life with three small children is …

~early mornings and long nights.

~dirty diapers and potty training accidents.

~full of discipline and being lost for words.

~helpers making more of a mess than they are actually cleaning.

~full of tears (all too often those tears are my own) and arguing.

~hours spent walking and rocking babies.

~never ending dishes and laundry.

~repeating the same question 10 different ways in 2 minutes, and not once getting an answer that makes sense.

~saying no 1,001 times a day.

~searching for the lost shoe, book, blankie, baby doll, monkey, or puzzle piece.

~hours/ days/ months/ years worrying about developmental milestones.

~learning how to be creative when new food aversions arise.

~being there for the first bite of birthday cake and the ensuing mess.

~watching your children light up in the moment they achieve the impossible milestone.

~getting to say that one special yes that makes the entire day worth it. ~

~finally being able to communicate with your child.

~getting to buy special outfits and making favorite meals.

~enjoying the fleeting time loving on precious babies.

~afternoons full of bubbles, bikes, chalk, and laughter.

~watching babies grow into smart wonderful young people.

~stifling laughter at the all too cute but completely serious things 2 year old’s utter.

~cheering your child on as they master potty training.

~full of bedtime prayers and early morning snuggles.

Life with three small children is work, yes, but it is a greater joy.   Stay tuned tomorrow for the conclusion of my Fun Things to do Under the Sun series.  If you have not seen the previous two you can check them out here: Fun Things To Do Under the Sun For Free and 10 Things To Do Under the Sun That Are Practically Free.   ***What could you add to this list?***

Sharing with:   TheBetterMom.com AProverbs31Wife.com