June 24-28 Recap

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In our homeschool this week…
We’ve been learning about the color yellow and circles. We’re also coloring different fruits and vegetables with each color we learn to make a neat book at the end. This week we colored a banana, a lemon, corn on the cob, and a pineapple.

My favorite thing this week was…
shopping with my little one’s birthday money. 🙂 He just turned one so I get to shop for him still, which I love. I ordered him some educational toys from Learning Resources and some clothes from Baby Gap and The Children’s Place. It was so much fun to pick things out for my little man, especially because it was with his birthday money. We still have a gift card left, and I’ll let him pick out a toy with that.

Here’s some of the things that have already arrived in the mail… I can’t wait to sort those colors with the boys!
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My kiddos favorite thing this week was…
playing with Ryce Man’s new toys he got for his birthday! He got new Melissa & Doug puzzles (my fave!), a Radio Flyer Scoot n Zoom, a drum, and his favorite toy this week has been his Melissa & Doug Pound & Roll Tower.

Things I’m working on…
I’m organizing bathroom cabinets this week. I might even get around to finish painting the laundry room this weekend if little man spends the night with his grandparents. I think that’ll be a win win, but am I the only mom who would rather have her kid with her 24/7 than share them. I’m trying to get better at this as you can see, but I just love spending every waking minute with my little boy. That’s crazy, right? 🙂

I’m cooking…
This week I make stuffed banana peppers. My husband’s grandmother brought us some fresh veggies and some fried green tomatoes one afternoon this week. She told me I should make stuffed banana peppers. If she hadn’t given me that idea, I honestly probably would’ve let them sit in that produce bowl until they went bad and I throw them out. But I decided to be brave and give it a try since she told be banana peppers weren’t a spicy pepper. I googled a recipe, but basically made my own.
    I cut them in half and scraped them out. I filled them with a string cheese log, or half -whatever would fit. I sprinkled a tiny bit of red pepper on top for a little kick and whatever other seasonings I thought might go well (who knows? I guess every time). I drizzled some olive oil and put them under the broiler for just a few minutes. I sprinkled some grated Parmesan cheese when they came out, and they were very tasty! 

I’m grateful for…
those fresh veggies and the little cooking tip I got this week!

Something I am ogling or have my eye on…
I keep seeing ads for this website all over the web so I decided to check it out. Maybe that was a bad idea because I pretty much love everything on here, but none of it is in my budget. Lol. If anyone would like to make my day/week/month/year (I know, it doesn’t take much!) , you’re welcome to find something from this website and send it to me! Haha.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…
This is how we caught my little man sleeping one night this week. “No more monkies jumping on the bed!” And yes, every night as I walk down the hall towards our room, I stop and take a peek at my little man sleeping. It’s a precious reward of being a mom!
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And some of my little man’s new skills he learned this week…
He can now climb into and out of his rocking chair all my himself!

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Little man fed himself some oatmeal one morning this week. Yes, it was very messy. I think the key is to give him two spoons. Otherwise, the empty hand goes right into the oatmeal, and he has no use for a spoon at all. He did a really good job of scooping and bringing the spoon to his mouth without spilling most of the time. I’m pretty proud of my 12 month old!

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And this is the big ole grin that makes me so happy when I wake up in the mornings. This is during one of our “Mommy and Me” breakfasts another day this week… it’s a fancy way of saying “We eat breakfast together”. 🙂

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Tot School: Yellow Week

~Ryce Man & Lil G are 12 months.~

My method of planning and using the work boxes each week is inspired by Monica at Happy and Blessed Home.

Character – We’re reading a short bible story every day from First Bible Stories for Boys. I have a few other children’s bibles
we’ll read from when we finish this, and then we’ll begin a character or bible study lesson geared towards toddlers when I feel they are ready for it.
Language (Focus Words) – I’m always making sure to name foods, toys, and the things around us to expose the little ones to different vocabulary, but here are our focus words for the week: Yellow, Circle, Duck, Banana, Corn, Lemon, Pineapple, Squash, Bus
I’m also experimenting with sight word flashcards: eat, cup, snack, bite, milk, car, truck, teddy, ball, blocks, horse, frog, cow, cat, duck
Small Objects – Yellow Magnets with Cookie Sheets, Yellow Blocks, Yellow Poms and an Ice Tray, Yellow Pipe Cleaners and a Tall Slender Container
*Note: All of these activities are supervised to prevent poking, swallowing, or any other thing that could happen if they were left alone.
Senses – Taste a banana and a lemon; Yellow Play-Doh
Spatial – Yellow Waffle Blocks; Yellow Clippos
Writing – Coloring Healthy Fruits & Veggies for our Color Foods Books; Small Yellow Circles; Big Yellow Circles
Math – Match Yellow Ducks fromEric Carle’s Match-ominoes; Count the fruits and vegetables we colored this week.
Reading – My goal is to read at least 3 books to the children each day. It’s a small, attainable goal. We point to pictures in the books we read, and this week we’ll especially be on the lookout for things we see that are circles or the color yellow. I try to choose the books accordingly.
Here are the stories I chose for this week…
Do You Hear It? from Eric Carle’s Collection, The Ugly Duckling, If You Take a Paintbrush, Busy Baby’s First 100 Words, Make Way for Ducklings, The Wheels on the Bus, The Lion King- Roar!, The Bedtime Beast, Teddy Bear Counting
Order – Fold blankets after nap; Clean up after play.
Toileting – Hand washing after meals & diaper changes.

Here are the boys coloring their circles. I know these pictures may make it seem like our time coloring is easy. The boys love to “share” so I’m constantly trying to make sure they each have their own page and/or crayon to work with. I’m all about having “just their” marks on their page, so sometimes it’s quite a challenge. (I’m constantly on the go to try and keep up with these two,  but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!)

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I took the yellow ducks from our set of Eric Carle’s Match-onimoes as listed above. It really wasn’t much of a matching game since all I gave them were yellow ducks, but they still enjoyed looking at them and carrying them around.

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Somestimes we add a Snuggle Time with Mommy to the mix… much needed on both ends.

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Ryce Man got these chairs for his birthday, so we had our first story time in the chairs this week. Aren’t they just the cutest?
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We also set up the table and tried to eat our meals and snacks together instead of taking turns in the high chair. This is going to be awesome once they get the hang of it, but adding structure sometimes isn’t a piece of cake. They love to get up, which nearly knocks the table over at times, so I’m sitting right there with them for now. They don’t always like that I make them stay seated in their chairs, but I don’t think it’s too early to learn this life-skill. I think Maria Montessori would approve since the chairs and table are child-sized and they are on their way to independence! 

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Yellow Magnet Play…

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Ryce Man likes to shake the cookie sheet to make the magnets fall off.
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Lil G is doing some “transferring” here taking the magnets from one cookie sheet to the next.

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And of course Ryce Man will stand on it at some point as well! I’m so proud that these boys are open-minded with their creativity and can find multiple purposes for the same materials.
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I pulled out the Yellow Pipe Cleaners this week with an empty, recycled “Puffs” container. We also had Yellow Poms and an Ice Tray out at the same time. I don’t want them to get bored with the same activities being brought out with the different colors and don’t want to limit their creativity in their play. I like to mix it up a bit when I can. 
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We’ve worked on eating our meals together at the table all week, and I’ve already seen some progress. Ryce Man’s high chair is convertible so I took the top half off so the boys could have a larger table. It’s a little high, but it works okay. They each have their own chair, their own plate, their own cup, and their own spoon (if needed)… they have ownership and can choose when to take a bite or sip their milk. I think they’ve enjoyed that aspect.
A few rules…
1. We sit in our chairs. (Getting up and leaving was a challenge at first. Climbing and standing in the chairs can also be a challenge.)
2. Our plates/bowls stay on the table.
At this point, I’m sitting right between them to keep things running smoothly, but don’t they look so much like big boys now??
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Here are a few places I link up…
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Tot-School-Gathering-Place4122222

tendermoments


Modelling Thankfulness

About a week ago a fellow blogger friend, Alicia from Teacher Turned Momma, inspired me to do something with my little one. One of the areas in my life that I want to excel in is being an intentional parent- spending intentional time playing, learning, and modelling Christ for my child. I believe it’s never too early to do these things. Alicia shares in her blog post how they are working on thank you notes from her little girl’s first birthday party, but they are spending intentional time on each one… writing a sweet thank you, letting her little girl do some sweet artwork, and praying to thank God for the person the card is for and asking God to bless them. I just LOVE this, so I’ve decided to do the same this week with my little one who just turned the big O-N-E this weekend.

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So if you’re reading this and you gave him a gift for his birthday, just know that we are working on them every chance we get. It takes a little longer because he’s not at the age where he wants to color for long periods of time, so we’re only doing about one a day. He is seeing how loved and blessed he is each day as we do this!

Weekly Recap June 22, 2013

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In our homeschool this week…
We’ve been learning about the color green and circles. The tots are both 12 months this week so we’ve had lots of excitement! Read my post on our GREEN week here.
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Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
   This weekend was Ryce Man’s first birthday party so we saw his Nana, Pawpaw, Auncy, Papa, Memaw, Papaw, his aunts, uncles, his cousins, and his friends. We live about 3 hours away from most of them so we were so blessed that they made the drive to come celebrate with us! We had a Sock-Monkey Themed Backyard Picnic Party, and it was PERFECT!!

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My favorite thing this week was…
 being productive. I feel so good when I can cross things off my to-do list and get things done. I not only completed all of our homeschool activities with the little ones, but I also got the party decorations done and some cleaning around the house… just call me Super-Mom. Haha, just kidding! 

My kiddos favorite thing this week was…
  playing with an exercise ball. I’m trying to be more intentional with my time, so I did a few short workouts this week. The boys LOVED the great big ball that I brought out. They did get a little frustrated trying to fit it through the safety gate to take it into the hallway though.

I’m grateful for…
   friends and family coming to celebrate our little one’s first birthday with us!

I’m praying for…
    financial favor. This week was interesting, shall I say, with our budget as it was SUPER tight! We’re praying for blessings and favor, but trusting God in the meantime. Last week we got a random, unexpected check in the mail that helped us get through. He ALWAYS provides somehow, some way. I’m just interested to watch and see what He’ll do next. I was able to use my Winn Dixie fuelperks this week to save a bit on gas for the car and used my coupons to get a few groceries. We are blessed.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…
This is my little Ryce Man doing his sit-ups/pull-ups, whatever you’d like to call them! (Up and down, up and down, silly boy!) 
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Tot School: Green Week

Ryce Man & Lil G are both 12 months this week! They aren’t twins, just good buddies!

I’ve decided to call them Tots now because they’re the only ones doing homeschool with me so I don’t have to differentiate between age groups anymore.

This week in Tot School we are focusing on The Color Green & Circles. I have pulled out all of our green toys and play things, as well as a few surprises to bring out each day as well. Our focus for this month is Healthy Foods (Fruits and Veggies mostly) so each week we will use our focus color to learn about some different healthy fruits that are that color. When the month is over we should have a colorful book of healthy fruits and vegetables, and these tots will have been exposed to many new vocabulary words for their language development!

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Character – We’re reading a short bible story every day from First Bible Stories for Boys. I have a few other children’s bibles
we’ll read from when we finish this, and then we’ll begin a character or bible study lesson geared towards toddlers when I feel they are ready for it.
Language (Focus Words) – I’m always making sure to name foods, toys, and the things around us to expose the little ones to different vocabulary, but here are our focus words for the week: Green, Circle, Small, Big, Broccoli, Cucumber, Zucchini, Peas, Brussel Sprouts, Kiwi, Celery, Avocado, Asparagus, Cabbage
I’m also experimenting with sight word flashcards: eat, cup, snack, bite, milk, car, truck, teddy, ball, blocks, horse, frog, cow, cat, duck
Small Objects – Small Green Poms and an Ice Tray, Green Pipe Cleaners & Paper Tubes, Green Magnets & a Cookie Sheet, Green Craft Sticks and a Popsicle Mold
*Note: All of these activities are supervised to prevent poking, swallowing, or any other thing that could happen if they were left alone.
Senses – Green Play-doh, a Green Timer
Spatial – Green Clippos, Melissa & Doug Fishbowl Puzzle, Cut Pool Noodles in a Small Tub of Water
Writing – Coloring Healthy Fruits & Veggies for our Color Foods Books
Math – Make & count play-doh circles.
Reading – My goal is to read at least 3 books to the children each day. It’s a small, attainable goal. We point to pictures in the books we read, and this week we’ll especially be on the lookout for things we see that are circles or the color green.
Order – Fold blankets after nap; Clean up after play.
Toileting – Hand washing after meals & diaper changes.
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I love this picture of Ryce Man with the turtle bank. It’s almost as if he thinks it’s a real turtle… However, not long after this sweet picture was taken, he began throwing it. (Oh why did Daddy teach him to throw so early?) Yes, he broke the wooden turtle bank. He also broke a ceramic lizard decor piece I had on the front porch this week. I’ve learned not to be attached to inanimate objects. 
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Here’s Ryce Man with the poms and ice tray… He loved filling it up and shaking the tray so they all would fall out everywhere. Then, Mama would fetch them. Repeat. Repeat again.

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I brought out the Play-doh again this week. This week I made “circles” instead of balls in hopes that they wouldn’t start the throwing again and making me fetch them. (They sure know what to do with a ball.) We had more of a success with the play-doh this week because of it. Yes, they both still taste everything. Lil G doesn’t care about the bitter/salty taste of Play-doh and continues to taste it, but not eat it. Ryce Man, on the other hand, is disgusted by the taste! Yeah, our Play-doh is pretty gross after they get their hands on it. I’d love to just trash it after each time we play with it! (Donations, anyone?!)

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Lil G’s favorite this was kicking the paper tubes around with his feet. He walked all over the living room doing just that!
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Ryce Man loves to see himself on my iphone…. I love this feature!
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I love how these tots “talk” and interact with each other… it’s the most precious thing!
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And then Ryce Man tried to put his finger in Lil G’s mouth… Luckily this didn’t start a “cause and effect” cycle. No biting yet 🙂
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I just love a sleeping baby… Ryce Man rubs his bear to fall asleep, and here he is snuggling LOTS of blankets! His hand is green from finger-painting. And yes, we stayed in our pajamas all day… We’re allowed to do that. 🙂

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Daddy came outside to play… You can tell he’s trying to get Ryce Man to smile for my camera. 
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Cutie Pie… 
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Always Moving… this must be his exercise! 
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Green Magnet Play – they loved these magnets, and also loved making music with the cookie sheet. Win win! Oh, and I think the funniest thing about this activity was when Ryce Man took the cookie sheet into the kitchen and opened the oven drawer. (The kiddos love to open the over drawer and take out all my cookie sheets and baking pans.) I was excited that he recognized that this was a baking pan as well!
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The green craft sticks and the popsicle mold was a scary activity for me because I really didn’t want them putting them in their mouths. Of course they both tried several times, so I had to correct them on this, but overall it wasn’t too bad. They did enjoy putting them in the sections and dumping them out so I’m sure some learning did take place here. 
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I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not so much worried about “mastery” at this age, only “exposure”. I’m exposing them to lots of different activities and concepts, hoping that one day they’ll grasp  whatever it may be. I want to be intentional in my “play” time with them, and watch them learn and grow together. However, it sure is a pat on the back when I do see them master something… when I see them actively learning and their little wheels turning in there. Both boys pointed to their nose this week, which I think is just a huge deal! Ryce Man also pointed to “red” in a book and a “circle” as well. I tried to get him to do it again, and of course, he was done so I don’t know if he really mastered it or it was just a coincidence. Either way, I was proud, and I’ll be proud each time these boys “grasp” something that I’ve taught them.

Some other accomplishments this week… Ryce Man says “nack” (translation: Snack) and goes to the high chair when he wants to eat. Daddy has also been working with him on animal sounds with one of his farm books, and this week he tried to mimic a dog’s sound by giving a deep “ooh ooh” with his mouth round like Daddy’s. So cute! Daddy was also impressed watching Ryce Man brush his teeth this week, when he moved the tooth brush around in his mouth instead of just chewing on it. We’re both amazed each and every day by our little guy who is turning O-N-E tomorrow.

Next week, we will be learning about the color YELLOW and circles again as we continue with our fruits and vegetables theme. We had a really successful week of GREEN, getting pretty much everything done on my list. I’m excited to share with you some of my new ideas next week. See you soon!

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tendermoments

June 9-15 Weekly Recap

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In my life this week…
“I’m trying to give my mind a break from planning and trying to anticipate what will happen, and instead pray continually,
knowing that God will take charge of all the details.” Read my post on A Daily Discipline.

In our homeschool this week… 
It’s just the Tiny Tots… I’ve been calling them babies, but they really aren’t babies anymore 😦 We’re learning about the color
red, circles, and fruits and vegetables that are red.
See our posts on Red Week…
Red Week 
Red Week Day 2 

Red Week Day 3
Finishing Up Red Week

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

I’m a natural planner and list-maker, but it’s important not to overwhelm yourself with these things. Remember to just have fun and go with the flow. Don’t be rigid in your homeschooling experience.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
This week we took our first outing as a group. I’ve been wondering how it would be to take two almost one-year olds out by myself, and we all survived!

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My kiddos favorite thing this week was…
playing with the red bell I set out for them for Red week. They also loved emptying the tub of red things and carrying the tub all over the house to climb on and sit in.

Things I’m working on…

d.i.y. party decorations for my little one’s first birthday next week! Pinterest has been wonderful to give me so many great ideas, but I’ve definitely had to simplify and only do SOME of the great things I’ve found. I have a lot on my plate this week getting it all done. Be sure to check back next week to see the photos!

I’m cooking…

Chicken with fresh veggies (a new variation each day, but I’m loving the Fresh Takes that Kraft makes for seasoning our chicken). I’ll also be baking a Chocolate Pirouette layer cake for my husband’s late birthday – He was sick on his birthday and for a week later, and then I got sick the next week. We’re both feeling better now and ready for cake!

I’m grateful for…

the extra time I have this week to focus on my child and his buddy, Lil G. It’s been nice to just have one age-group to work with and have the extra time in between to myself. 

I’m praying for…
financial breakthrough. With a cut in my income this past week and both mine and my husband’s sickness and being short on work, our budget is super tight and unfortunately in the negatives this month :-(. Deciding who to pay late is not a fun decision to make.

Something I am ogling or have my eye on…
The Well-Planned Day Planner – I’ve seen it featured on several blogs this week!

 This was my first week to link-up, but I can’t wait to see you here again next week!

Our Organized Homeschool: How I Store our Weekly Activities

Each week brings a fresh new theme of ideas and things to focus on and learn about. It’s a reason I love Mondays because everything is new to me and the kids as well.

When the children come in at the beginning of the week, I have a display of any theme-related toys and manipulates on the two bottom shelves of the cabinet in the living room. The children have access to these items all week, but they’re especially excited about them on Monday mornings.

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I have a cart that holds the things the Tiny Tots will be doing. The tiny tots do not have access to it, but its location changes sometimes depending on where we’re doing our work. The cart has 10 drawers or work boxes that are all labelled, but we don’t use every box yet.

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The drawers are labelled like this… Writing, Language, Movement & Music, Small Objects, Senses, Spatial, Math, Reading, Order & Other, and Character. We don’t use all of them right now, but we will as they grow older.