Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lucy's Story

One of my favorite things about having a kindergartner is the inventive spelling! I love watching a child's reading/writing skills emerge in the very beginning! Lucy is totally into writing right now. Usually we get a sentence or two here and there, but today she actually wrote a story and was quite proud of herself.

See if you can figure out what she wrote.

Need some help?

"I bought a monkey. It was crazy. I didn't know what to do so I put him in the store. He was sad so I bought him again."

Countdown to Christmas

After searching pinterest for Advent calendar ideas, I finally settled on an idea that I loved!! I wanted something that could be part of our Christmas decor, but didn't take up a ton of space. While my mom was here at the beginning of the week, she and I got started on it and I finished it up yesterday. I love how it turned out and the girls are so excited for December 1! I have a feeling I will have a reader in my house who will be peaking at the tags, but that is okay with me. I love that they are excited countdown to Jesus birthday!!
Inside each pocket is a little card with a Christmas activity (mostly things we will do as a family - a couple that the girls and I will do during the day without Kevin) on one side,
and a clue from Truth in the Tinsel on the other side. Our plan is to start our day at breakfast reading the Bible passage that goes along with each clue. Then as Kevin heads out the door for work, the girls and I will work on the ornaments and chat about all that we are learning.
There is so much chaos this time of year and so much emphasis on presents and Santa. We want our girls to know without a doubt that we wouldn't have Christmas if it wasn't for God sending His son to Earth. I know creating an Advent calendar can be time consuming so check out this one that my friend, Nicole, has in her etsy store. Adorable!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Truth in the Tinsel

My plan for school for December is to take the month off from some of our normal activities and spend time really focusing on the meaning of Christmas!! I had hoped to have my plans written out by now but the craziness that is our lives has kept me from getting anything done. I don't want my plans to be so grand that I can't actually get everything accomplished. Enter Truth in the Tinsel. This e-book is so great and this totally covers our Bible and craft part of our day! I am so excited about this book. It is so well put together that anyone can use it!

Today ONLY the book is $2.99! Check it out and trust me it is worth way more than $2.99!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Stay Fit and Lean During the Holidays Part 3

Is Thanksgiving night the best night to talk about eating during the holidays (or anytime really)? Maybe so - if you are really full of food, you may be motivated not to feel this full again!!

First, go here to get some great tips so you are prepared for those upcoming holiday parties.

While exercise is really important to burn calories, strengthen your heart, and tone your body (as well as many other benefits), the food that you consume is actually about 75% of the game. In other words, you can exercise all you want but may not see any results and actually may put weight on if you aren't careful about what you eat. Here are a few suggestions to get started on the right path:

1. Try to eat 5-6 small meals a day instead of 3 bigger meals. Eating smaller meals throughout the day helps you to stay ahead of your hunger. You won't have major cravings later in the day if you are constantly fueling your body with the right foods.

2. Try to incorporate a lean protein at each mini meal. Protein helps to build/repair muscles as well as helping you feel satisfied longer. Protein digests slowly so you won't be hungry right away. Nuts are great options for a snack!

3. Balance your carbs and protein. Do NOT cut carbs out of your diet! Yes, you need to eat healthy carbs - not soda, candy and other refined sugars. Your body NEEDS carbs - this is where you get your energy to get through the day!! Don't believe me? Watch this video by the Boot Camp Challenge CEO.

4. Eat more fruits and vegetables!!! This one is a little easier to understand because we all know that you get so many great nutrients and vitamins from your fruits and veggies!!

5. Again, keep a food journal. You will be much more successful if you keep track of your foods!!

Stay tuned! My next post will include a giveaway!!

At BCC, we are offering a really great Christmas special !! 15 class for $99 - click here if you are interested!!

Random School Stuff

The girls seem to really enjoy history this year. We are using My Father's World for 2nd grade history, but Lucy joins us for almost everything. She doesn't want to be left out of this part of our day! The first couple of months, the girls learned about the history of the United States. They learned about various explorers, Pilgrims, Native Americans, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, 13 colonies, Declaration of Independence, Revolutionary War, etc.

Here is Norah writing with a quill pen. . . after talking about the Declaration of Independence and John Hancock. My mom picked up the quill pen and ink set when they were in Pennsylvania this summer.
Now the girls are learning a little bit about each state - in the order in which they joined the union. While talking about the New England states - we enjoyed some clam chowder. Well, Kevin and I enjoyed it. Norah and Lucy did not (Daphne can't have it because of her food allergies). Norah reluctantly ate the little bit we gave her. Lucy gagged and spit it out! It was slightly amusing - she has never done that before!!
We made a peach cobbler when we talked about Georgia - that went over better than the clam chowder.
When talking about South Carolina (and briefly about the Civil War) we talked about food the soldiers may have eaten. We made some hardtack - which is basically a hard biscuit, made with flour, water and salt. Sounds yummy, right?

All three girls ate a whole piece, but decided they were glad they didn't have to eat it again!!

We also made yarn dolls - but I never took a picture of that.

The girls enjoy telling Kevin what they have learned about each state. The second day of our state study (Pennsylvania), he asked the girls what they learned about the sports teams in PA. I think their response was, "Mommy didn't teach us any of that." Since then I have tried to teach them a random fact about a sports team - but they can't seem to remember any of it. Either that or they think it is funny when Kevin questions them and they don't answer. When we talked about MA, I told the girls about the Boston Red Sox. They couldn't seem to remember anything I told them and they kept saying "stinky Red Sox" which was okay with Kevin!

We are only 8 states in, but so far the way this curriculum is put together has been great for both girls! We are taking December off from our regular history to do some extra Christmas stuff, but I think we will all be excited to get back into the study of the states after the first of the year!!


As a former preschool teacher. . . . I know that sensory/art experiences for kids are important. It was easy with Norah to paint - I only had to clean up one kid. No big deal. Adding Lucy into the mix made things a little trickier, but I still made the effort regularly. Then Daphne came along. Wow. The thought of getting the paints out now is overwhelming. Norah and Lucy paint frequently . . .when Daphne is resting, but I am pretty sure that at almost 3, Daphne had never painted before. Oh, wait, there was the one time when someone drove through our fence and Kevin put up a piece of plywood so the kids could still play outside safely - we let the kids paint the plywood.

I saw this cute idea and knew this would be the perfect project for Daphne. I loved it because the first step was to paint a 18x12 sheet of paper with fall colors. The only goal was to cover the whole page with paint - didn't matter what it looked like.

I thought the best method with the least amount of mess would be to strip her down. Daphne was not a fan of this - but as soon as I handed her the paintbrush, she was over it!

She Did It. . . Again!

For the second time, Lucy has broken her finger sucking habit! Hopefully it will stick this time!! The dentist suggested letting her pick out a toy as a reward for not sucking fingers. She picked out that horse (she is serious about her rewards) and we put it on the piano so that she would see it everyday. She kept a chart and every morning when she woke up if she had kept her gloves on all night, she put a sticker on it until she filled it up. Sunday was the last day of the chart so we gave her the horse. She did fantastic - she didn't really even whine/argue much after the first night.

Two down, one to go.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stay Fit and Lean During the Holidays Part 2

Assuming you have found an accountability partner (or are going to soon) and that you are logging your food, let's talk about exercise.

First of all, if you aren't exercising - get up and get moving! If you are inactive, anything is better than what you are doing!! Walk, jog, bike, swim - tons of options!

Here is a really great article about setting up an exercise program if you can't afford a personal trainer.

There are quite a few really great dvd's out there to get you going:

Insanity (this one is a little pricey, but we got ours off Craigslist - brand new for very cheap!)

You can also sign up for a group exercise class (My sister is taking a zumba class and loves it. I took a kickboxing class and loved it) or a Boot Camp Challenge class!

Or you can join a gym or local community center and take advantage of their equipment! I like variety so I like a combination of going to the gym, running, dvd's, and group exercise!

We all know that regular exercise helps you lose weight (or maintain your current weight) and strengthen your muscles. And most of you probably have heard the basic benefits to exercise such as lowering blood pressure and reducing your risk of several major diseases, but did you know that it also stimulates your brain? Read this for more information!

Now that the holidays are HERE, move your body so you don't put on the normal weight gain that happens this time of year!

Weekend Away

We spent the weekend in Nashville visiting the Morrison's. Just before we headed out on Friday to make the trek south, Daphne fell and split her chin open. Thankfully, she just needed a quick trip to our doctor for some dermabond and she was good to go.

The girls did great travelling on Friday - they read, watched movies, drew pictures, listened to music, etc, so I slept and Kevin drove. Daphne actually napped - probably as a result of a slightly traumatic morning.

Kevin and Ryan headed to a basketball game on Friday night so once the kids went to bed, Heather and I were able to spend time catching up (plus, she showed me some of her homemade Christmas presents - amazing!!).

On Saturday we went to the Nashville Zoo - it was a beautiful day! Daphne was exhausted because she didn't sleep very well - so she was slightly on the feisty side.
Sunday morning the kids played and played (and several cried from exhaustion - lol) and then we headed home. The ride home was not quite as relaxing since we had some sleepy kiddos but we made it in one piece!!

It was fun to hang out with Morrison's again and look forward to doing it again!