Thursday, August 16, 2012

LEGO DUPLO Giveaway!!!

You guys, LEGO DUPLO is having a $100 giveaway!!!  

Regan has just recently discovered these (LEGOs are one of the few plastic toys that I'm completely fine with her having, haha!), and she's in love.  

Her birthday is coming up in October (3 years already- how did THAT happen?!), and the last time we were at Target she tried out her brand new "negotiation" skills to get mama to buy one set of DUPLOs after another.

(Don't know where she got that tendency from- AHEM!)

Anyway, if you have little ones in your house, you should definitely enter the giveaway!

And, LEGO *just* had it's 80th birthday.  I found this neat little animated video about the company- check it out.  It's actually pretty heart warming.

Lots of Love,

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"Superwoman" VS. The Abiding Woman

A great reminder for myself of late.

(If this isn't "clickable", please read it HERE.)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Behind the Scenes...

It's been a while since I've posted... again.

But, it's summer, and "behind the scenes" we're still deep into the 'work' of eating clean and finding the right nutritional supplement and vitamin blend for my thyroid and hormone issues, and trying to keep up with a lighter daycare schedule, busier sewing schedule, and enough family time to keep us feeling connected.  So, I'll let myself off the hook a little.  

When this song came up in my Pandora playlist today (see the video I've posted above!), I suddenly heard the lyrics sort of as a message- from my heart to me, from my heart to future babies, I'm not really sure which.  In either case, it made me think of our infertility struggles and gave me a little hopeful feeling- a bit like the Lord sending just a little gift of peace and hope my way.  Just for me- as a reminder that, yes, He knows exactly what we're going through, and where we are.  And He loves us.

I know it's not a "spiritual" song, in any way, but I just love it when God does that for me.  Just, out of the blue, gives me a little gift of love.

Have a beautiful 4th, everyone!


Thursday, May 31, 2012

'This Momentary Marriage'

A book I'll be finding for myself very, very soon.  This was good for my heart today, and I thought I'd share it with you.  :)

"Marriage is not mainly about prospering economically. It is mainly about displaying the covenant-keeping love between Christ and His church. ... Knowing Christ is more important than making a living. Treasuring Christ is more important than bearing children. ...Either way, it is short. It may have many bright days, or may be covered with clouds. But if we set our face to make of marriage mainly what God designed it to be, no sorrows and no calamities can stand in our way. Every one of them will be not an obstacle to success, but a way to succeed. ...The beauty of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and His church shines brightest when nothing but Christ can sustain it. " ~John Piper, 'This Momentary Marriage'

Please see an amazing video here.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

How to Start Using Montessori at Home

I've mentioned I'm very interested in Montessori principals of learning, and I've been able to find some GREAT  online resources!

I plan to start with this at home this week and next.

I'm so excited, and I can't wait to observe how the kids respond- they love "real" work and being independent!  

More updates (and pictures) coming soon- this week we're doing "Curious George Plants a Tree" as our theme.  We've taken this week at an easier pace than last week, due to the distractions of some general life "stuff" (so annoying when that kind of thing gets in the way of the fun stuff!), but we're still enjoying ourselves.  Hoping to do the Wrap-Up post soon!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tot School-- The Carrot Seed Wrap-Up

As I said in one of my previous posts, I'm trying to incorporate more "Montessori" concepts and  activities for the kids in our daily life as well as in our schooling.  To start us off, the kids were THRILLED to be my shopping helpers during a recent grocery run.  The store we were at even had a few child-sized carts.  They shared one (we took turns between who sat in the big cart with me, and who drove the little cart), and did surprisingly well at "driving" it.  :)

Our cooking activity for this week was to make Carrot Soup (see previous "The Carrot Seed" post for links).  Both of them got the chance to help with the "grown up" work of it, rather than just sit and watch.  Again, they LOVED it, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much opportunity for discussion, on everything from cutting safety to counting, to colors/smells/textures and more, there was!  It was a completely valuable learning experience.  :)

At first I gave them each a "toddler" knife to cut the veggies with, but since it had no real cutting edge on it we decided to try regular plastic knives.  Those worked much better.  I was glad I had some on hand from the recent party we had- usually I don't have that kind of thing readily available, so I'm really looking forward to purchasing some more materials and real "tools" for them both from here.

Through trial and error the kids discovered that carrots are very hard to cut- I had to use my "big, sharp, grown up knife"!  Xander was the first to "solve" the problem on his own- just break it!  That did make the carrots smaller, but not quite small enough.  So, we decided I would cut them and they would help add them to the pot.  :)

They even experienced cutting onions by themselves!  We discovered that they smell pretty "strong", and make our eyes water a little- AND that they don't really taste very good before being cooked.  ;)

While the kids waited for me to sautee the celery and onions, they decided they'd do a little cooking too.

Once the soup had cooked down enough we put it in the blender and they got to help add the rest of the chicken broth to finish it off.

All in all, we decided it was very yummy, especially with our Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad sandwiches (we made ours with mild guacamole since that's all the avocado we had on hand).

After naptime on Friday (since we didn't get to it earlier in the week), we did our Carrot Painting! 

I'd say our latest Tot School "unit", even though it was short, was definitely a success.  :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tot School-- The Carrot Seed

Oh my goodness, Two posts in a Row!!!  

Well, in my post yesterday I mentioned I'd started homeschooling Regan.  I call it "Tot School"- since she's a little young for real "preschool" and because I don't *really* believe that an academic preschool experience is necessary for young children.  But, more on my beliefs about schooling some other time.

This week, after our several week break, we're getting going with Tot School again with the book "The Carrot Seed", by Crockett Johnson (seriously, that is *such* a cool name!).  

(Image from

Our typical weekly school routine will be this one, that I discovered on Pinterest recently:

We're starting on Wednesday this week, so our activity plan will go something like this:

Wednesday-  *Brief trip to the library to check out a few books on seeds/carrots/gardens.

Thursday-  *Plant a bean seed so we can watch it grow.
*Play with playdough (orange and green, if we can find, or have time to make, it).
*Take our monthly trip to La Leche League.

Friday-  *Story Hour at our local library.

In our book basket for the rest of this week we have:
(Growing Vegetable Soup)
(When the Wind Stops)
(New Boots for Spring)
(And the Good Brown Earth)
(How Groundhog's Garden Grew)
(A Seed Is Sleepy)

And, if we can find them at the library, we'll also check out these:

(Muncha Muncha Muncha)
(Inch by Inch: The Garden Song)
(The Tiny Seed)
(The Giant Carrot)
(How A Seed Grows)
(The Enormous Carrot)


(The Carrot Seed)

 I hope, in the future (hopefully we'll have more children one day to homeschool!), to purchase most of the books on the "check out at the library list" for our own library.  I used to own a couple of these, but in all of my paring down madness some of them must have been given away.  Oops.

I'm looking forward to getting started, and I know the kids are excited too- they LOVE this stuff!