Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Edible Counting

I picked up this idea from one of my favorite blogs Chasing Cheerios. Although I didn't have marbles, I did have Skittles, so I improvised. I managed to do 5 different number exercises with my little guy all in one sitting.

1. I numbered small pieces of paper 1-8 (I only had 8 Skittles) and placed them in the tray.

2. I had Eager to Help put the Skittles in ascending order and then return them to the bowl.
3. I then added a 1 in front of the numbers explaining that the numbers now change. I wrote 11-18 on a piece a paper distinguishing 11 and 12 from the remaining teen numbers. I put the numbers in the tray all mixed up. He had to put the Skittles in ascending order naming each number.

4. Now was the fun part. He could pick one Skittle at a time to eat if he said the right number underneath it.

5. After he finished eating, we dumped the numbers out and then he placed them on the number line.

We had fun with this activity and it was very simple to do. It combined numbers that were both easy (1-8) and challenging (11-18) for my little guy and kept him thinking. Of course, it didn't hurt that there was a yummy treat he could enjoy!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week. So I thought it would be fun to link up for my first Not Me Monday. But of course, it was a normal, orderly week around here and the following could not have happened.

I did not mismatch my husband's suit giving him dark blue pants and a black jacket on a day he had to appear in court. And he did not call as soon as I walked in from dropping him off asking me to bring in the matching jacket. And of course, I did not have to dress the kids again for another 40 min. drive.

I did not have my daughter sit on a plastic shopping bag because in between the above mentioned trips to my husband's work she had an accident in her car seat.

I did not let my insistent 2 yr old daughter wear her pajama top under her nice outfit to church yesterday.
I didn't take extra trips to the bathroom just so I could finish a great book I was reading without being bothered.

I didn't manage to clean the pile of boxes in our basement only to have the rest of the house get torn apart by the kids.

I didn't discover my husband's lunch cooler which had been sitting around for 4 days with a container that almost made me sick and had to be thrown away.

I'm not the kind of mom who puts the cookies up so high the kids forget about them and I am stuck eating them so they won't go bad.

And I would never put one of our favorite cereals behind all the other cereals so I can enjoy some of it before it's devoured by the kids.

I'd love to hear what you haven't done the past week!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I won!

I just found out I won my first ever online giveaway- a free workshop on Organizing! Thanks to Laura at Organizing Junkie and Aby Garvey at Simplify 101 for offering this. I can't wait to participate!

Box attack!

Well after a long absence (my internet was down) I'm trying to get back in the loop. It was great having to go without my daily internet fix while a good friend debugged our computer. I was struck by how much entitled "down time" I give myself each day while I surf the web. I need to exercise constraint - but don't I also need to catch up on what happened on all my favorite blogs during my time off? lol.

So what did I do to occupy my day? I determined to tackle some boxes.
Some people have stacks of paper, (me included) that take over areas of the house. But I also have boxes crawling up my walls!

LAST YEAR we offered part of our basement to a friend who needed a place to stay and was looking for work, so I quickly stored everything in boxes and piled them along the wall of our basement. They have never been touched since and I dreaded going downstairs and seeing this reminder of yet another project. Well, right before our computer failure, I was motivated by girltalk's "pick your spot" contest and knew I had to participate. I had a clear goal in mind and a deadline to meet.

So without further delay here is my before picture:

The funny thing is in my mind I thought "most of this stuff is my husband's things" but when I divided the boxes I was stunned to find out my side had more. I should have taken a picture of all my boxes on one side and the few that belonged to my husband on the other :)

Well if you need some good advice on how to tackle a project like this you should turn to Laura's great website- Organizing Junkie for info on the Process. I got my plan into action and sorted, purged, filled many trash bags and now have a bunch of things in a giveaway pile. The most difficult part of this was discovering my Ph. D and graduate papers of a time I dimly remember. Now I love staying home with my kids- do I envision one day needing a file on Early music notation and Byzantine chant? Well enough of that- here is the final after picture:

I love that the boys can play basketball since before they didn't want to come downstairs much either! When they are not doing that and in all my spare time, I created a nook for my sewing projects. We can even use the fireplace without fear of burning the house down from all the papers! I must confess that I didn't go through my husband's boxes but he said he would soon now that his major deadline at work has passed. It has felt so good to be rid of all the extra stuff- I think I even lost a few pounds in the process!

Do you have any areas in your house that have turned into Mt. Vesuvius? I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Year after year I stay up to welcome in the New Year and find the next morning I feel like I've been run over by a truck! Not the best way to tackle resolutions like: wake-up regularly before the kids to have my quiet time. The yearly New Year's Eve bowling is paying its toll! But after the kids went to bed my hubby and I did have a wonderful time thinking about the last year and discussing our hopes for the year to come. It was the first time we welcomed the New Year with no TV blitz!

For 2010 we want to focus on three big goals:
1. Establish family devotions.
2. Get by with less and enjoy the things we have more.
3. Establish a workable budget and stick to it.

For family devotions we plan to:
1. pray through the Global Prayer Digest each day (it's a great way to introduce missions, and learn about various countries and cultures).
2. sing a hymn or praise song
3. read a portion of scripture and work on our Fighter Verse
4. close in prayer

I love that the Global Prayer Digest focuses on one topic for the whole month rather than one or two days. I hope to carry over the topic into other areas: bedtime reading of missionary biographies of those who served in that country, typical foods you eat and maybe a craft.

I'll be posting in the coming days on how we will tackle the other two goals. If you want some excellent questions to help you think about your own New Year's goals, click on SimpleMom and you can even find a free Pdf worksheet!