Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Things I am happy about::

-A trip to IKEA today, its been a while, and though I can't spend much, its a fun place to go with the kids. (not to mention some awesome friends are meeting us there)

-A baby shower for a fabulous friend tomorrow night. Need to pick up one more game prize today at IKEA.

-Our Gather around the table group on Saturday. It will be a nice time of fellowship and getting to know some new people and our pastors better.

-Womens Fellowship tonight! Seriously, one of my favorite nights of the month. I learn so much from these women. We are reading "12 extraordinary Women of the Bible" by John MacArthur. Its been a great book and this week we are discussing Mary.

Things I am praying about::

-Our friend Alex had a stroke on Saturday night. He is 26. He is ok but it will be a long road of recovery for him. His caringbridge is here::

-My cousin is on bedrest. She is 26 weeks along and her placenta is sitting right on top of her cervix. This could mean early labor and that would NOT be good. Praying that her placenta moves before her next u/s and that they would figure out how to do bedrest with a busy 14 month old at home.

-For wisdom, patience, and organization for myself. In the area of parenting and homemaking.

-That my family (Kev and kids) would once and for all get rid of this cold and be back to their happy selves!

Thing I am working on::

-my organizational binder. I started a binder this past weekend. It has a schedule for me, my goals for the kids this winter/spring, our weekly goals and schedule and every printable I would need for that week. I am planning on doing two weeks at a time. Right now I have this weeks L unit and next weeks T unit. I plan on printing things only on the weekends now. Every other weekend I will sit down and print, plan and reevaluate how everything is working.

-A big compiled list of all the meals I make. This will make it easier for me to pick from when I do menu planning.

-A year bible study online. Check out

-"A word filled Family" by Dr. John Barnett.

- Losing weight. A knowledgeable friend agreed to be my "Jillian" and keep me accountable and whip me into shape. Upcoming goals are 10 year hs reunion and my 5 year anniversary.

Things I am keeping my out for::

- A new couch/ love seat/ chaise

- A white board

- ABC cookie cutters

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gluten free Easy Pot Pie

My cousin Heather gave me this recipe and I modified it to make it gluten free and we absolutely LOVE it! We gobble it all up in one meal and my husband requested last night after he realized there were no leftovers that I double the batch or make two next time. Its so yummy! :-) And very easy. I based it off this recipe.

I start by boiling my chicken. Its quick, easy and falls right apart after a 20 minutes or so. Then I shred it.

Put it in a casserole dish. While the chicken is cooking I make a homemade cream of chicken sauce. I use a bit of butter, cornstarch, cream, garlic, salt and pepper, and chicken stock. I mix the chicken, sauce and loads of veggies. Then I mix up the egg, milk and gluten free Bisquick and pour over top. Definitely a winter comfort meal that my family goes wild for!

Brown Bear Fun

My kids ADORE Brown Bear. Thats an understatement actually. Its one of our most worn in books and both kids can recite it. Sophia has it memorized and Liam knows a lot of it. It has a lot of our sight word for the week which is "See" So we read it and did the corresponding tot book found here.

Sophia worked on sorting by size. Matching heads and tails. Counting. ABC's. Colors. She really enjoyed it! And it helped enforce our sight word of the week.

Flashcard Games

Sophia loved pulling out the flashcards and playing a matching game with them. I lined up the big letters and had her match the little letters. She kept asking where I got this new game and thanking me. So funny, we have had the flashcards forever but usually just use them for letter bingo. When we play letter bingo I spell her name or another word she knows well and then show the flashcards. If it matches a letter on her paper she crosses it off. Once her whole name or word is crossed off she yells Bingo and gets a sticker. Trying to brainstorm more fun flashcard games. Do you have any that you like to play?


We started the L unit on Tuesday. I am figuring out that it takes Sophia about a week and a half or so to finish a unit. I'd rather spread it out and have her still enjoy it than force her to sit when she "needs a break Mom!!"

We made these cute ladybug snacks that I saw on here

I brought out Lions that I got here and let the kids sponge paint on a plate to make fun 'L' masks. Sophia loved wearing hers and walking around roaring. Little teething Liam wanted nothing to do with wearing it and I felt so badly because I was trying to put it on him and he slammed his face on the ground and got a bloody lip. Mommy fail. :-( He did like painting it.

Heres a little video of her saying her verse and painting.

Raising Rock Stars

RRSP A unit part 2

I had mentioned a few posts back that we were doing the Raising Rock Stars Preschool and casually started the A unit that I had printed before our book came. Amazingly, our book showed up early, half way through the week! Heres some more of what we did. She got pretty good at writing A's!

We found this A astronaut unit here and decided to add that in too since my little Princess tells everyone that after she is a doctor that shes going to be an astronaut and, "Don't worry Mom, everyone can come in my rocket, Ill have lots of beds!" We kept a lot of the pages and when we get back to the full A lesson I will bring the rest out.

I figured since we did this with a wreath, why not an apple! We also ate lots of apples and ant on a log!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Clothespin wheels

We printed off the Color wheel, Shape Wheel and ABC Wheel that I found on 1+1+1+1. I pulled out the ABC clothespin wheel and it was harder than I thought it would be for Sophia. This is a good thing! :-) She has so many activities that she is a pro at, that its a good thing when I find an activity that uses the skills she needs to work on! For this reason we got about 9 letters on her first time and then took a break and we moved onto the color wheel. She flew threw that! We will be going back to the clothespin wheel today! It challenged her letter recognition and fine motor. Getting the clothespins open was hard for her. She did giggle as she called them alligators eating the letters. Maybe I'll make some green with teeth??:-)

We also worked on stringing fruit loops with patterns. We did one with two colors and then with three colors. She really enjoyed that!

I also have this tin and put some scrapbook letters in it. While I was setting up one of the activities I let her pull out the letters and make piles. Left side was letters she knew and right was the I need to work on pile.

She did that while I finished creating the winter counting sheets. My wonderful Mother in Law brought over a huge bag of scrapbook scraps, a circle punch and a snowflake punch and some other great additions to our school room! I used the punches to create a winter counting activity. I printed the numbers 1-5 onto paper and let her count out snowmen and snowflakes to match. She could use all of one or mix and match. She stuck with one, my little orderly lady! :-)

Sophia RRSP

We went looking for the Susan Hunt My ABC Verses last week (we being my Mom, thanks Mom!:-)) and had to order it online. Free shipping equals pushing the official date of starting (with the letter L) to next week! I already had printed out the A unit and then found out the verse matched our verse of the week at church! So I decided to go ahead and do this unit casually and then will do the big full start next week.

Proverbs 15:1
A soft answer turns away wrath

We talked a lot about our words of the week and what kind of words Jesus would use or be pleased with us using. Then we cut and paste them together on this work sheet. We did some role playing and I was happy that Sophia seemed to get it!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Since we have a theme of green this week Liam sorted some green stuff into our new muffin tins; here he sorted green pom-poms, green pony beads, and green fruit loops. He also started "beading" for the first time. I had him put fruit loops onto pipe cleaner and although he did need my assistance, he really enjoyed himself and looked quite proud. One of his new phrases is "good job!" and he said it A LOT! LOL

Some of the skills he used were sorting and this really helped with his fine motor skills. Picking up those pony beads was challenging to his little fingers. He also is learning/working on his colors. I would recommend only putting in 3 things to sort so they don't get overwhelmed at this age (14.5 months)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Winter sensory bin

I started our first ever sensory bin this week! We didnt have any clear bins that weren't already being used so I used a wooden box that the kids got for Christmas that had math blocks in it. We moved the blocks to very large clear bin since there were two sets and these were sitting around just waiting!
Wasn't sure exactly what I would muster up to put in but the few things I did have to put in were a hit!
I found a few boxes of window plastic for winter time that never really were functional so I used that for a base and also threw in:: White and blue pom poms, a snowman globe, some glittery pipe cleaners(which you can see make fabulous mustaches :-)) , blue and white feathers, and a snowman figurine. Ill most likely add some snowflakes of some sort at some point here but for now the concept was new and fresh and the kids had a good 15 minutes of exploration. :-)


Just printed off 21 pages for next week! Love having my ink cartridges back!! Starting next week we are moving from random teaching to more intentional teaching with Sophia. We have a lot of fun doing the random crafts and projects that we do but I'd like to focus more on scripture learning, character building, abc recognition, and number recognition. Along side some other skills areas that need growth; scissor use, and handwriting/drawing.

I found the perfect package to use. Its called Raising Rock Stars and the name is taken from two different verses;
Philippians 2:15
so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.

Matthew 7:34
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

You can read more about the program here.

The only thing I can't decide is if I will start at her unit one which is the letter L or just start with A... there is a method to why she creates the units in that way. She wants her kids to learn to write each letter so L is a very easy word to start with. Of course, I printed the A unit this morning but think I will be back to the printer before Monday to print out the L packet. I'll need them both anyhow. :-)

I will continue on with Tot school for Liam. They have so many cool packages and lapbook ideas for him but hes just a little young yet and my thought of the day is that I don't want to wish away any of my childrens developmental stages because I am so busy anticipating the one to come. So he and I will just have fun doing what we have been doing. :-) He is so much fun and learning so quickly at 14 months! I thought he only knew 3 or 4 animal noises and started teaching them more intentionally yesterday only to realize he knows dog, cat, sheep, monkey, fish, squirrel, cow, duck, Lion, tiger, bear turkey, dinosaur, and bird already! So I guess we move on to horse, owl, and elephant! Also cracking me up from smarty pants is the fact that now when we say, "Liam, count" He veryquickly says "one, two, free!"

So thats whats on our plates starting next week! Keep checking back for some (hopefully) more organized teaching and learning photos! :-)

Our week

I am a homebody. I love to be home with the kids working on this stuff. I love my friends and other family, but there is something so wonderful when you have tiny ones to be close to everything you may need and beds for nappers. Getting out 1-2 times during the week is enough for us! :-)(We do LOVE visitors)

Heres a few more of the things we have been up to this week! We had a bit of a "The Very Hungry Catipillar" theme that we saw here. I didnt do all that they have but just took a few ideas since we just got the book (thanks Mom! :-))

Sophia has also been sorting pom poms in a veggie tray. She is using a pretend pair of plyers here but has been using the ice bucket tongs to help her with fine motor. Liam isn't the best helper since he puts them in no order, but if they are sitting together having fun, I'm not stopping them!!

We also picked up some sponges this week and as you can see in a previous post did some sponge water tissue paper art. Then we took two bowls, put water in one and had her use the sponge to transfer water from one bowl to the empty bowl. Once it was full and the original empty she wanted to do it again! So easily entertained. This was a hit and we will do it again.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Do you use your childrens real names on your blog? I had until my Tot school post a few days ago. It seemed so odd to use fake names. I'm back to their real names already. So, if you don't reveal their identity, why? Should I not?

Adventurous edible art!

Today was all about edible art. We started by having a friend over and making mini marshmallow hearts. Unfortunately my pictures disappeared on my phone so all I have are the finished product pics. I really need to start using the real camera more, we actually have a very nice camera! If you notice a few of my pics look much better than the rest, that is why.

Anyhow, we had the girls first sort the pink hearts out of the pack (It was a 4 pack, multi flavored, and yes, I did have more marshmallows eaten than crafted from my tiny marshmallow monsters....:-) ) Then they put glue around the edge of the heart and stuck the little mallows on. Later this evening our little scavenger did eat half of the marshmallows (and the glue) and we narrowly avoided a meltdown when big sister saw what he did -thankfully this is a QUICK craft to redo.

This afternoon we moved on to edible paint. I used pumpkin and apple baby food for Liam to paint with. I am always worried about him eating paint and no matter how much supervision I provide, he still trys, so I was so excited to see this idea here. For Sophia I took "whupped cream" and added a few drops of food coloring and let her finger paint with that. The kids both had a blast! One tip is to make sure to tape their paper down before letting them start.

These are nothing to hang on the fridge, lookwise, but fun! So have fun, take a pic when your done and let them get messy!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Menu Plan

Trying to get some sort of Menu Plan going and I figured here was as good a place as any to write it down!

Wednesday:: Buffalo Chicken Mini Burgers, salad, sweet potatoes
Thursday:: Tortilla Soup with toasty bread
Friday:: Party- we will bring a gf dessert (undecided)
Saturday:: Gf pizzas
Sunday:: Crockpot Bacon and Cheese Chicken
Monday:: Creamy Tomato topped chicken with rice and green beans with almonds
Tuesday:: Beef Stroganauff with salad

Buffalo Chicken Mini Burgers

We are making these again and thought they were good enough that I should share the recipe!

Dice 1 celery stalk finely
Dice 1 onion finely

Add in a bowl together

Chop one handful of fresh parsley and add to bowl
mix in 1 egg and 1 lb of ground chicken
Add sea salt and pepper to taste
Add 1 Tbsp of Tapioca flour to help mold together (you probably could use regular flour, this just happens to be a gluten free recipe)

Mix will still be soft
In a skillet that has hot EVOO and hot EV coconut oil put in mini burgers. I did about 2 TBSP worth of meat together. Mixture made about 18 mini burgers.
Top with Franks red hot sauce

We ate them with lettuce surrounding them and just plain. So good!

I think tonight we will pair them with salad and maybe sweet potatoes?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tot School

While sitting around trying to recuperate from this KILLER cold, I have found some blogs that I have fallen in love with. They pretty much put a name and much more organized picture of what I have been doing with the kids. So I am going to link up and join "Tot school" and use some of the BRILLIANT ideas these women have posted! Check out Carissas blog to see more. From there you can link up with some other fantastic blogs, like Totally Tots and homeschool creations as well as one of my favorites Delightful Learning. Theres a lot more that you can find and get lost in.

We have been out of printer ink so I haven't been able to print out some things that will allow me to use a theme and lessons. Therefore today we just did some fun random things and will try a unit next week. So here was today's random Tator Tot School at our place. Tot School

We made a homemade skeeball game for girlie spud. This gave me the chance to give her several directions at once, "Pick up the green ball, take three steps back and put it into the number 2 hole."

This morning we did some tissue paper painting. We used some leftover tissue paper we had gotten in some birthday and Christmas gifts. Then we got a sponge wet and painted the peices onto the paper. Little spuds Man needed more help holding the pieces down while he sponged it. Girlie was able to figure it out pretty quickly.

We also have been collecting some bottles, caps, buttons, egg cartons ect from family and this morning we used a Nesquick bottle to play a sorting/stuffing game. It was mainly for Spuds Man but Big girl felt the need to help. He had a blast! He became a bit frustrated at first when things were too big but after a while would throw them to the wayside and find more to stuff in. By far his favorite part was dumping out everything once he was satisfied with its fullness and starting again. What a boy.

The buttons you see are from girlie and a random triangle that appeared. She spotted it and excitedly exclaimed "Mom! Its a button triangle!" I was proud of her shape recognition and so we worked on doing some more. I wanted to get to a rectangle and oval or diamond but she got distracted by some math blocks Grandma got them for Christmas.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Wants

I am sitting on in the recliner sick as a dog and trying to do as much as I can from this spot. I am reading tons of blogs about tots and preschoolers and doing school for them. So many FABULOUS ideas. Very inspiring. (last week when reading some I was feeling let down, like, I could never do that! I could never be that organized!) this week I put on my optimistic thinking cap and am taking it all as inspiration. I am wanting to ramp up our school room and thinking of activities to have ready ahead of time.

So for my own purposes here is a list of things I want to pick up:
A sensory table
Bean bags
Dot Painters
IKEAS fun shaped ice cube trays
Some of the bins that stack with little drawers to have drawer activities for both kids
the magnetic puzzle for Liam from Target- Doug and Melissa
White Board
Push Pins
Contact Paper
Cotton balls
The Book shelves like they have in classrooms
A few more little wooden chairs- found some on craigslist
Black and White ink cartridge

Husband just came home with::
Clothes pins
A Clearance Easel with white and chalkboard
Mini Muffin tins
Coffee Filters
Color cartridge
Sister in law picked up some BOGO Foam paper to share! <3 Thanks Stephie!

I picked up::
Beans- large for counters
Beans- lentil for crafts