Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Family Fun Day

Yeah, it's Friday!

Around here, Fridays are a big deal. Well, at least to my boys. They know that sometime during the day we will have fun since it is officially known as Friday Fun Day! However, I have been dragging myself along all morning since Eager to Help fell out of bed at 3:30 this morning and I didn't return back to sleep. I did, however, get up, have a good quiet time, prepare the breakfast table, clean the dishes I didn't get to, load the dishwasher, exercised and took a shower all before the kids heard me moving around 6:40. Whew!

No wonder the room or maybe I was spinning by 10:00 am! Thankfully my little girl was exhausted too so I gave her an early nap and let her brother play with legos while I slept an hour! Wow- do I feel great! Could this be the start of a new routine? I don't think so! But I am glad to have a some things done and didn't just sit in bed letting the hours go by wishing I were asleep.

The week did fly by and we are gradually getting used to a new school routine. My oldest is in first grade and has a full day, which was very hard for him the first week. Now his system is adjusting and I am realizing my own mornig schedule needs rethinking too in order for the mornings to go smoothly (but that will have to be another post!).

So, tonight's fun will be homemade pizza which the boys are eager to help make and a game of Sequence. My husband plays this game with them and I keep little Ready to Go out of the way in the process, usually playing with extra game pieces. Since they are usually exhausted by the end of the week, we keep bed routines pretty similar so they can get some extra sleep on Saturday.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Whose who

I thought it would be fun to describe the crew whom I'm blessed to be around. I've thought of fun titles that seem to fit their personalities (so far!).

Hubby- (Go to Man) whenever kids/I have questions or problems we go directly to him. He has the level head and usually sees through whatever is manipulating or confusing. I love his diverse interests- sports, travel, good literature, food and politics. Age- undisclosed! If he were a book he would probably be an Encyclopedia!

My oldest son, (Mr. Active) loves anything sports related. He brings the energy to our house and fills it with action. When he is not around he is noticeably missed. He is 6. If he were a book he would be an Adventure Story.

My middle son, (Eager to Help) whenever I'm cooking I hear "Mom, I can help with that." He enjoys quiet activites but has a sneaky side which keeps you on your toes. He is 4. If he were a book he would be a Mystery Novel/DIY handbook.

My youngest girl, (Ready to Go) bubbles with personality and a quick "hi" to everyone. She has a daring side to her that makes my heart skip a beat. She is 18 months. She would be a Thriller!

Week 1 All about Me

General week's schedule:
Songs: Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes, BINGO w/ child's name
Key Verse: Ps. 139:14 I am fearfully and wonderfully made
Books: A House for Birdie by Stuart Murphy, Hands, Hands, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins and The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss

Favorite Things: discussed favorite: toy, book, snack, color, sport, game and ask what they want to be when they grow up. Record answers to save for later activity.
Review letters in his name and talk about other things that begin with each letter.

Preschool Day Activities:
Songs: Head, Shoulder, knees and toes and BINGO using child's name:

There was a mom who had a boy
and Evan was his name-o
and Evan was his name-o

What's in a Name: write child's name in large block letters on cardstock. Have them glue beans, pasta and rice inside.
Outlines: child lays down on butcher paper and is outlined. Then he gets to decorate it using whatever materials you have around the house.
Favorite things: discussed above answers
Family Tree: draw a picture of a tree with branches signifying each member of the family. Cut out apples for each family member labeling each with the first letter of their name and glue them onto the tree. Have the child glue pictures next to the correct apples.

Talk about who is in our family
Name game: write family members' names on index cards two times and then make an additional card with just the first letter of each name (could be upper or lowercase). Have child pick a single letter and then find names that begin with that letter. You could also do it reverse and match names first then find the correct beginning letter.

Make hand prints with poem - see All about Me theme from
Favorite Books: find pictures of favorite items and glue them onto white paper, staple them together to create a small book. Have the child color his self-portrait on front.

Label body parts
Computer: complete facial jig-saw puzzles found at: Great exercise and you can adjust the puzzle difficulty

Play Balloon Tap by calling out certain body parts (ex. elbow, finger, head) to hit the balloon without letting it fall on the ground


This week we are starting a co-op preschool in which two other moms and myself will alternate teaching, helping, and caring for younger siblings. The book we are working from is Kitchen Table Play & Learn by Tara Copley & Andrea Custer.

The units are based on various themes with lots of hands on activities and a bit of preparation for the teacher. It will be great for "Eager to Help" to have some other boys his age to work and play with. I will also supplement throughout the week with various activities related to that week's theme. This is another reason I was eager to set-up this website so that I can keep track of all the things we do.

Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any other fun ideas related to the theme of the week.

Friday, September 11, 2009

remembering 9/11

At the time of 9/11 I lived in Arlington, not too far from the Pentagon. I remember teaching an adult piano student in my home that morning and hearing a distant but strange sound from outside. We looked out and seeing nothing, resumed the lesson. Then we started to hear a lot of commotion (sirens and police) more than usual and turned on the TV. We couldn't believe our eyes. It was unthinkable. My heart ached as we watched the horror unfold on TV. We both tried to reach our husbands who worked in downtown DC. No chance. The phones were busy.

We stopped watching the TV and began praying together for all those involved. My student then left for home so she could be there for her son. I resumed watch over the situation on TV.

I was so relieved when my husband came home. We embraced and he shared how downtown was just a nightmare. Traffic jams and police everywhere- it was chaos. We continued to pray and found it very hard to function without knowing what was happening on TV. In a very real way I remember sensing for the first time that our time here on earth is truly in God's hands.

We are here for a short time to live for Him, to glorify Him and honor Him with our lives. We are not to live in fear of what man will do to us, what others' will think of us or how others will judge us. I pray that each day I grow more and more in awe and fear of the Almighty God who orders my steps and fills me with joy and hope even in the most difficult circumstances. May you also find His peace that passes all understanding, give you strength for whatever you are facing.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sunshine Pancakes

I came across this idea from Skip to My Lou and loved it! It gets the kids smiling, even in the morning!

First I put the faces on the grill, flip them, and then add the remaining batter around it to create the face. Then I flip the whole pancake once more to cook it through.

This way they eyes and mouth "pop" and it looks like a carved pumpkin. The kids also enjoy adding blueberry or chocolate chip eyes and a strawberry nose.

From the Beginning

Hello! I'm glad you've stopped by. As you can tell, I've just started this blog and honestly have no idea what I'm doing, so you'll see me learn through the process. When I read blogs out in the cyberworld, I am very impressed with how folks put it all together and hopefully I'll pick up some tips.

The reason for this blog:
The beginning of summer, 2009, I was so excited. My kindergartner was going to be home during the day to enjoy time with his two younger siblings. I had ordered Hooked on Phonics to keep him motivated in reading for the summer, the teacher sent home workbooks to complete, he had his journal to write in and Math U See blocks ready. By the end of July he was soaring with HOP, however, completing the workbooks was like pulling teeth, the journal was thought of occasionally and his younger brother decided to use the blocks for building things.

One day was particularly hard. They were overtired from going to bed later than usual and I had my “agenda” to complete with them. As I thought over the day and browsed various blogs for ideas, I stumbled across Skip to My Lou blogspot and saw “Start your day off with a smile! Pancakes”. It dawned on me that what was missing was planned fun. I plan the essentials (discussed above) and let the rest of the day fall as it may, praying they just get along. I was focused on him completing the workbook, learning to read, counting by 10’s that I missed the joy of them having fun together. I needed to plan and think of creative things to do!

I do come up with fun, creative ideas and crafts with a bit of effort, but more often I find what really gets me motivated is seeing what others have done and then I get inspired to go from there. Hopefully this website will do the same for you!