Hard Lotion? Huh?

Over a year ago I did a review and giveaway for a product I had never heard of, MadeOn Hard Lotion.  I said yes to hosting the review due to my husband’s dry winter skin issues.  Thankfully this was his solution and now we are loyal customers!

Here’s what we use specifically and I have repeat ordered many times already!  Hard Lotion {Bee Silk}, Peppermint Lip Balm, and Goat Milk Soap.image

PacMan and Krash have very dry hands and use the lotion bars to combat this.  I can always tell when they aren’t using it, their poor hands get cracked.  My husband uses the soap and hard lotion to battle his dry winter skin.  I use the soap and the lip balm…I only need the hard lotion on occasion.

Renee, who owns MadeOn, is so helpful and kind.  She is hosting a BIG giveaway with 10 winners, each receiving a combo gift pack {family size hard lotion bar, pocket size lotion bar, coffee soap, and lip balm}.  You can learn more about these awesome products and enter to win here!MadeOnGiveawayFinal

The giveaway ends 4/30/12



Moments to Remember

Moments to remember

 

Moments to Remember was developed as a simple way to look back on our week as homeschoolers and find photos that encompass the memories we want to remember.
The week may have been tough, there may have been more bumps than smiles, but in the end these are the moments that keep us going, the ones we need to remember.

This past week PacMan was away for 3 days in the morning hours for his state testing.  I loved spending time with my little 2 each morning, it was a nice change, although I certainly missed my oldest guy too!

The weather was beautiful so we spent loads of time outside, here’s a peek into one of the mornings, when we were out together for 3 hours straight!

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Yup, she regularly wears her sunglasses upside down!IMG_2631

 


Want a button? Use this code, or feel free to just copy/paste the header from the top of the post!

 

 

Link up your moments to remember post below, be sure to provide a link back and be sure to use a permalink to link up your exact moments to remember blog post {not your blog home page}. Your post can be as simple as one photo, or as detailed as tons of photos and tons of words!  This linky is for homeschoolers, or families who are keeping their kiddos at home during the early years {we consider you homeschoolers too}.

When adding your link, just put your blog name for the title and choose an image from your Moments to Remember post for the thumbnail.

Next week, link up with Homeschool Creations!



A Day in Our Homeschool Life ~ Part 2

Homeschool Life Button Morning School

It has been awhile since I wrote the Minute by Minute Tot School post, and have since been asked to update with a detailed post of what our homeschool time looks like now with a 4th grader, Kindergartner and Tot Schooler. I am breaking this idea into 4 parts, probably 5 when all is said and done, but 4 planned parts for now!  If you missed any other parts, see links below…

  1. Before the Homeschool Day
  2. Our Homeschool Morning {that’s this post!}
  3. Our Homeschool Afternoon
  4. After the Homeschool Day

How I recorded our day……

I kept a notebook with me, my iPod {camera}, and my good camera.  I took TONS of pictures and jotted down notes throughout the day.  It isn’t easy, but makes for a very true-to-life account for you all.  Good news – the day we recorded – March 7, 2012, was a very typical day for us!  I was hoping it would give a good look at what is “normal” for us and it does! 


9:00am

Family Prayer Time ends, PacMan heads off to finish his morning chores {with a gentle reminder}. Ladybug clings to me and my “fuzzy Mickey pants” that she loves.  She follows me into the schoolroom and wanders over to the computer to play Starfall.  I set her up and she plays independently.

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I wander back into the kitchen where Pac is unloading the dishes while chatting with Daddy. Krash announces that he has poop on his face and is freaking out.  The dog licked him in the face and Daddy teased him about the fact that the dog eats his poop. Oh my men, always something new.IMG_0496

Next I am asked to cut the butt tag off of the stuffed animal, important business.IMG_0504

Meanwhile, Krash comes into the schoolroom first bugs L-bug on the computer, she whines for him to go away, a common occurrence.  She has major personal space issues. IMG_0507

He then selects Wedgits to play with.  Ladybug joins him which results in some possessiveness. You can see him pull the box away and direct her back to the computer 😉 We have a quick “be nice” talk and then add Construct Its to their play and all is well.  They play together.

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9:10am

I make myself some coffee, clean the island off from breakfast.

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I come back into the schoolroom and Ladybug announces that she is sitting criss-cross, and is very proud.  We are working on getting her out of her W sitting lifestyle-but it is hard, she chooses to W sit 100% of the time!IMG_1994

She wanders over and dumps over the South America puzzle, then wanders away again.IMG_1997

9:15am

Pac is done with the dishes and comes into the schoolroom to begin his independent work at his desk. IMG_0559

The little two play. Ladybug with the rainbow balancer, Krash with Construct-Its, then Ladybug with the iPad {Build a Bug is her choice}.

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Jolanthe calls, we chat for about 10 minutes.IMG_0555

 

9:25am

Daddy goes around and gives good-bye kisses as he heads off to work.  Wednesday is his later day, he normally leaves by 9am.IMG_0551

I notice PacMan isn’t at his desk, I yell for him-he was feeding the cat, a morning chore he forgot.  He comes back and gets back to work on his phonics.

I check email, Facebook, and sip on my coffee for about 5 minutes total.

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9:35am

Ladybug asks for her gorilla notebook {Animal ABC-letter G}, she chooses the Gg play dough mat.  Krash jumps on the iPad.

I sit with her and make her “snakes” so she can make the letters. I can’t remember why I was high-fiving her, but am so glad Pac caught this pic!

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He is playing Toca Doctor and calls me over to hear the stinker sound, on the right he is making the sound for me.IMG_2025

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I notice he hasn’t cleaned up the Construct-Its, and ask him to do that, he does.

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Meanwhile, Pac is playing First in Math on his computer…IMG_2033

Ladybug switches to making play doh balls on the Gorilla dot fun mat.  After balls, she presses jewels into the dots. I am playing with her.

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She then goes to get Wrecking Ball and makes him…IMG_2039

9:45am

A full room view, showing them all in action…IMG_0569

The little two switch to Magneatos after cleaning up Play Doh…they play nicely together.  IMG_2042

I run in the kitchen to load breakfast dishes in the dishwasher, also answer a phone call from our college “daughter” Kirsten…IMG_2045

9:55am

Krash asks to make a house for his stuffed dog {the one I cut the butt tag off of earlier}.  He makes a house out of rainbow blocks with my help.IMG_2054

Ladybug makes a house for her 2 favorite Skylanders; Cynder and Wrecking Ball.IMG_2057

10:00am

I run over to my desk and write K’s morning message, which I forgot to do the night before.  He LOVES these and gets disappointed if I forget.  I write it and slip it in his Morning Message notebook while he plays!IMG_2059

Krash runs over to watch PacMan work for a few minutes…IMG_2061

10:05am

Ladybug accidentally knocks her house over and throws a little fit.

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She gets over it and cleans up her blocks when I ask her to.IMG_2073

10:10am

She moves on to pom pom transferring, she loves this.IMG_2074

 

Pac is ready for his spelling test, and I sit at my desk to give him his test.  Krash is still playing First in Math on his computer.IMG_2081

Spelling test…

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We get all of 3-4 minutes before Ladybug joins us.  She chooses Scrabble ABCs and wants me to play with her.  She sits at my desk.  I play with her and give the spelling test, thankfully Pac is used to this!

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Full room shot…IMG_0580

10:20am

I grade his test, he updates his daily task list { a school to-do list and chore list I made for him in Excel}.

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He is done with his independent work for the morning {screen shot from his lesson plan blog}…1020 am updated blog

He sits to play with his siblings.  They play together for a few minutes before snack time. I put on Seeds in the background…

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10:25am

I ask Ladybug if she wants to clean up the South America puzzle with me {the one she dumped this morning}.  She says yes and we name the countries together.  She plays with this puzzle at least 3-5 times per day. Pac takes a few pictures…

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10:30am

Snack Time!  Ladybug gets to choose a tv show at this time, these days it is usually Octonauts.  The boys can either watch with her or go play in their room.  They ate their snack and went upstairs.

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I run upstairs to see the boys, Pac is showing Krash his sports pendants that Baba gave him.  I fold a load of laundry and start a new load.

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10:45 am

I come back downstairs, do some computer time, check in and answer 2 Facebook comments, and reply to 4 comments on the blog…

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10:55am

Octonauts is over, Ladybug comes to my desk to play with her rainbow balancer, she loves to “spinny round.”IMG_2150

I set up trays {trays are from Michaels} for Calendar Notebook time, then call the boys down for Calendar time.IMG_0588

11:00 am

Ladybug chooses not to sit with us at first, and plays Starfall for awhile.  IMG_0590

The boys and I get busy on our group task list.  Calendar, We Choose Virtues, Little Passports/Brazil, and PowerPointsIMG_2152

Pac is starting a new drawing for his drawing page in his Calendar Notebook, he is choosing from our Draw, Write, Now books.IMG_2156

11:10 am

After the boys finish Calendar Notebooks, we review the 3 virtues {We Choose Virtues} we have studied so far: Obedient, Self-Controlled, and Diligent.IMG_2157

We move on to Little Passports and find animals from the Amazon Rainforest.  By this time Ladybug has joined us and has been working a bit in her Tot Time Notebook.  She comes over to find animals with the boys.IMG_2161

We all see what our next baby animal is.  Baby Animals is our calendar theme for this month {they will be released next month on the blog}.IMG_2164

11:15am

Time for PowerPoints!  The kids all get in a bean bag

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We do USA first, going through our F-I states.  We then do Counting 1-10.  Our PP shows are shown up on our wall with our projector.

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11:25am

Outside Time!  I get Ladybug dressed and all of the kids head outside to enjoy a warm winter day.IMG_2174

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Meanwhile, I make lunch in our Easy Lunchboxes, warm my coffee up and drink the rest.

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The lunch mess.  I wish I had a school cafeteria lady.  That’s my wildest dream.IMG_2186

I jump on Facebook for a second, answer a comment, set up All About Reading for K’s afternoon school and pick up the schoolroom. IMG_0633

12:00 pm

I call the kids in to wash hands for lunch. IMG_0637

The phone rings, it is my husband calling to say I Love You.  I joke with him that he just wanted to make it into this post {he knew I was recording this day}.  He laughs and tells me he totally forgot about that but yes, I can add his call to the blog post. ;-).

I LOVE this shot.  Krash was a TOTAL whiney grump because I made him a peanut butter sandwich and made Pac a meat sandwich.  Someone always complains about lunch.  He would have complained about meat yesterday. ugh.  Pac was thrilled with his lunch as you can see.IMG_0639

Ladybug is a finicky eater, but today she enjoyed most of her lunch: peanut butter sandwich, pretzels and hummus, & mango. She tells me she made a bread chair.

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12:10pm

Ladybug is done and we head upstairs to get her ready for nap {the boys stay down and finish eating}.  She insists on brushing her teeth every day before nap.

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We head into her room, she is in the “I do it” stage so she undresses herself so we can put her pull up on for nap.  She chooses Miss Spider ABC to read together. We read, sing and rock.

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After reading, she happily goes in her bed.  She always sleeps with books and most naps end up being 2 hours of her reading to herself.  She did this today, never actually slept but stayed in her bed happily until 3:00pm when Daddy comes to get her out.

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I head in to transfer laundry to the dryer and make sure our old dog is OK,  I shut our bedroom door so he won’t bark at the doorbell while Ladybug is “napping.”

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12:20pm

I am back down to clean up from lunch.  The boys are done and in the schoolroom reading.IMG_2261

 

There you have it, 3 hours and 20 minutes at our house!  Most days look very similar to this one.  This was a pretty good day for us, often we have more meltdowns and attitude problems.  The older two knew what was going on so they probably had better self control than normal!


Stay tuned, in my next post I will share what it looks like after lunch! Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it!


 

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Moments to Remember

Moments to remember

 

Moments to Remember was developed as a simple way to look back on our week as homeschoolers and find photos that encompass the memories we want to remember.
The week may have been tough, there may have been more bumps than smiles, but in the end these are the moments that keep us going, the ones we need to remember.

A few special moments from this past week…

Side by side sibling play always makes me smile. Ladybug learning on the iPad, Krash with Construct-Its.IMG_1999

I have no clue why I was high-fiving her, but Pac caught it!  I love that I get to be the one sharing in these moments with her all day long! Another thing to remember is her sitting criss-cross!  This is a HUGE battle for us as she wants to W-sit, 100% of the time, and if you remember she had walking issues a bit over a year ago.  We are constantly correcting her and encouraging her to sit “big girl” which means any way other than W!  She finally began to sit correctly on her own this week!IMG_2005

I love that my tot can explore our South America puzzle 5 times a day until she has the entire thing mastered and even names some countries-all because she wanted to.IMG_2104

D.E.A.R. Reading time, snuggled up in a hole behind our bean bags together.IMG_2266

This boy LOVES his Morning Message notebook {I wrote about it here}.  He checks it first thing every morning and loves to sit and read it with me.  It has become a really special time for us.IMG_2290

 

Finally, I shared this video on my Facebook last night, of Ladybug naming many of the Skylanders characters.  I love that my little girl can learn while matching Skylanders!  I love this video and will always remember how she says these names so sweetly!

 

PS-yes I wear my fuzzy Mickey PJ pants often.  That is a Moment to Remember for me.  I love that I can wear whatever I want to teach school.  Ladybug is currently in LOVE with these pants, so I wear them a lot for her {I love them too!}.


My blog is migrating to WordPress this weekend!

My lovely friend Jolanthe is hosting again, tomorrow, please go link up with Homeschool Creations!


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Project Simplify ~ Homeschool Storage Room

I recently read Organized Simplicity while on vacation and LOVED it.  I wasn’t expecting to love it, but I did.  I figured it was just another organizing book, but for some reason this one hit me differently, THANK YOU Tsh!  When I saw the Project Simplify was happening in March, I decided to jump on board this year.  I had already dedicated March as our “GET THIS HOUSE IN ORDER” month, with no plans of blogging about it.  When I saw this opportunity, I thought it would be fun to snap a few before and after shots of some projects and join in!

This week’s theme area was KIDS.  I chose to tackle our homeschool storage room, which I originally blogged about here.

Before I show you the recent BEFORE photos, I must share my dilemma with you and how it got this bad.  This room was intended to be homeschool storage only, managed by MOM.  As the warm weather hit last year, it was overcome with bikes, skateboards, rip sticks, roller blades, scooters, and MORE.  Since we live in the inner city and people will literally hop the fence to steal a scooter so they can scrap the metal for cash, we have to put every riding toy inside, every day.  Sine this room has the door that leads out to the riding area, guess where the new toy garage was located?  Yup, the homeschool storage room; aka ~ garage, utility shed, mudroom and more.  I thought we would get a grip this winter when we stored the toys, but the weather stayed mild and we never stored them.  So, I knew I had to revamp the room.  It got SO out of control thanks to my little ones just throwing their toys everywhere.  I couldn’t get to my school stuff to put it away properly so the piles began, and continued, and grew.  It was horrible, really horrible.  I have proof…

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This wasn’t even on a really bad day, as some of the riding toys were outside when I snapped this.  As you can see, I literally could barely walk in there, let alone find what I was looking for.

Not anymore!!!!  We are in the process of building a small outside storage area for riding toys so they don’t get stolen, and in the meantime we have them all stuffed into an outside deck box thingy. I can walk!


Here is our learning toy shelf {the shelf is from Ikea}…

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My favorite thing about the new learning toy storage area is my new click boxes from Target {below on left with green top}.  I love that they are clear and that they can be unclicked and brought right into the schoolroom and put on a tray.  I emptied as many toys as I could out of their cardboard boxes and stored them all together in our basement {in case I give them away in the future and need the box}. I also got rid of at least 25-30% of our stuff.  I blessed another homeschooling friend who has 3 little ones younger than mine, giving her all sorts of good stuff!

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About a year ago I wrote a post about storing our sensory bin items.  In that post you can see that we stored things in this area shown below.  We still have sensory bins now and then, but not nearly as much as we used to back then.  This is also the area that stores misc. Tot Tray supplies.  A year ago I sorted our small items by color, but it was time to change that since all 3 of my kids know their colors!  Our poor sensory bin area got pretty bad too, as you can see on the left, I cleaned it all up as you can see on the right!

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The drawers still store our small items, they are just not sorted by color groups now, but by like items.  Here are 2 drawers…

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This is the door that leads to the outside play area and it had gotten out of control too. I didn’t take any before shots.  These are the after, all set up for springtime weather.  I added a shoe organizer to the back door, I was sick of the big pile of nasty shoes in the basket.  On the left is an assortment of items my kids use regularly outside in the warmer weather.

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I did one more simplifying task, on the door that leads into the school storage room!  I bought a nice shoe organizer from Target and made a school/office supply zone.

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I can’t share the cards I made since I grabbed most of my images straight from Google, but here are the categories I have in case you are curious:

  1. rulers
  2. watercolor paint
  3. scissors
  4. colored pencils
  5. paint brushes
  6. tape
  7. index cards
  8. notepads
  9. pencils
  10. pens
  11. highlighters
  12. Sharpies
  13. Dry Erase Markers
  14. Vis a Vis Markers
  15. Modeling Clay
  16. See the Light Art tools
  17. Chapstick {since we are all always losing it}
  18. glue
  19. gluesticks
  20. shaving cream {for fun like this!}
  21. craft cups {disposable}
  22. erasers
  23. sticky notes
  24. index cards

My thought process was categories that many family members are commonly look for.  This door is in our dining room which connects to both our kitchen and schoolroom.  It is a very central location for all of us.


One last thing I did to help simplify homeschooling craft time was to clear off our hutch in the dining room and create an area to store paint supplies. IMG_1421

I got the silver tins from Target recently for $2.50/each.  In them: cloth napkins {for meals and art}, small paint trays & baby wipes, a few tempera paint bottles {our smaller ones}, paint shirts/smocks, paper towels.  It looks so much cleaner and more simple, and has already been a big help!.


I am so thrilled to have this all done and I honestly don’t think I would have gotten it completed in such a short amount of time if it weren’t for Project Simplify!  I was determined to get my after shots done on time! Next week is the KITCHEN/PANTRY!  My husband is loving this!


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