Lately in Our Life ~ All Around Champ, Ecuador & Simple

Lately in Our Life Nov. 2015

 

All Around Champ!

The new gymnastics season has begun and we have one VERY HAPPY boy!  He is competing at a new level this year {6} and felt totally prepared for his first meet which was in November.  Well, I suppose he was prepared since he WON!  This was his very first 1st All Around place and he was so excited!  He also took first on rings, pommel and floor! We are excited for his second meet in about a week!

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Ecuador

I recently went on an incredible trip thanks to my awesome friend Jodi. You probably already know that I love Young Living and might know that Jodi is the one that got me hooked many years ago. Well, Jodi has been with Young Living for over 10 years and is pretty “high up” in her rank with them and earned a totally free {yes completely all expenses paid} trip for 2 to visit the Young Living farm in Ecuador.  Her husband couldn’t go so she took me!!!!  how incredibly cool is that?

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I didn’t have many expectations going into the trip, just an open heart and mind and excitement to spend time with one of my best friends alone for 5 days! We stayed in Guayaquil, and traveled to the 2000+ acre farm which is about an hour away.

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Seeing the plants that turn into the oils I use was incredible.  That’s Jodi and I in front of a Palo Santo tree on the left and in front of Oregano fields on the right. 

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Even more incredible than seeing the plants was meeting the Ecuadorian people who work on the YL farm there and their joy. Not only did we get to meet many of the employees, we got to meet many of their kids!!!  This was the really cool part.  Young Living has a school near the farm which educates 300 children PreK-12th grade!  They have their first graduating class this spring!

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It was the trip of a lifetime and I am just so grateful to Jodi for taking me!

 

Simple Holidays

This time last year was WAY different than this year.  We spent Thanksgiving last year away from family due to Frank’s broken legs and our move. This year we had a totally uneventful, simple day with family.  It was lovely. I am finding myself very grateful for simple.

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See more of what’s been going on lately in our life here on Instagram!

See our other Lately in Our Life posts here!



A House for Hermit Crab Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kit Review

A House for Hermit Crab Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kit

{disclaimer ~ Ivy Kids is a blog sponsor and sent us kits for this review}

Oh my word, am I ever in love with Ivy Kids Kits.  I am honestly a bit skeptical of monthly subscription kits so when I say this one blew me away, know that I mean it!  This is by far the best monthly subscription kit I have seen.

Ivy Kits are a monthly educational subscription for children ages 3-8 developed by early childhood teachers with children of their own. You can tell these kits were developed by people who truly know young kids.  The activities are awesome. Not only can you subscribe to a monthly kit, you can also buy past kits.

Each Ivy Kit contains instructions with ways to modify games to best suit each individual child and provide adults with questions to structure a child’s learning. There are enough games and materials in each kit to engage and cognitively stimulate a child throughout the month and can be replayed for years to come.

This is a photo of the top inside of the box, there is a fabulous reference guide on the box to show you all of the items and activities included at-a-glance. We were sent 3 kits for review and my daughter {age 6} chose to dig into “A House for Hermit Crab” first.  I will share a peek of the other kits we got at the end of the post since we haven’t used them yet.

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When you subscribe to Ivy Kids, each month you will receive a very well organized kit containing a book and ten or more activities based upon the story. Everything you need to learn and play is included in your kit. I sorted out ALL that was included in our “A House for Hermit Crab” box on our dining room table and it barely fit.  Seriously, so many wonderful activities!

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You’ll see that each activity has a very well written instruction and idea sheet.  I organized all of these in sheet protectors in a binder.  They come in these great plastic baggies, but this method worked better for my brain.

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I kept all of the bigger items in the box, and when we chose an activity, I go to the box and grab what we need.

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Activities From Our Box…

I let her choose what we do mostly, we still haven’t completed the entire kit. she went straight for the “Create a Hermit Crab Habitat” activity.  All of the little animals were included, and the sand!  There was also a growing hermit crab {the kind that grows in water over a few days}.  She put the habitat together all by herself.

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She asked to add salt so it would be like an ocean!!  ha ha!

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Decorating the hermit crab’s shell was her next choice. The kit came with tons of stickers to choose from, the big hermit crab poster and the paper plate for the shell. She loved this!

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We played the hermit crab game together next…

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I chose for us to do some work with months of the year, featuring this awesome included chart and the cards.  It was a great story sequencing activity!

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Painting the sea creatures was a BIG hit of course!

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We still have lots more to do, I will share more in our Monthly Homeschool Wrap Up posts in the future! You can see ALL of the activities included in the box here!

Below you can see a peek inside of the kits that await us!  Blueberries for Sal and Make Way for Ducklings!!

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Current Promotions from Ivy Kids…

20% off your first kit for NEW Subscribers to the monthly subscription kits!

Use code: IVY20

Expires December 31, 2015

A huge thanks to Ivy Kids for sending us these kits to review.  If you are looking for a simple way to do unit studies with your young child, I highly recommend Ivy Kids Kits!



2016 Dot Fun Printable Calendar for Kids

2016 Dot Fun Calendar for Kids

Yesterday we shared our new Color & Trace 2016 Calendar for Kids.  Some kids aren’t ready for tracing but would enjoy having a calendar of their own.  I created this dot version for those kids! Use dot paint, or dot stickers, or simply color in the dots each day!

Learning ideas to go along with these printables ~

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  • At the beginning of each new month, color the focus picture. If your child doesn’t like to color, color together…make it fun!
  • Each new day, dot paint the day, or use a dot sticker and talk about what day it is.
  • Practice counting each day up to the date.
  • Use 2 or 3 colors to create a pattern.
  • At the beginning of each month go through and mark the special days {holidays, birthdays, anniversaries or anything your family celebrates}.  Have your child decorate those special dates so you can look forward to them!

Don’t have Dot Paint {or don’t want to be messy with little ones}?  Use Dot Stickers instead!  Color-Dot-Stickers

Download your free 2016 Dot Fun Calendar for Kids here!

Get your Calendar Notebook covers here

Calendar Notebook Covers


Looking for more calendar fun?

2016 Color and Trace Calendar for Kids is great for kids who are tracing!

Free Printable Trace and Color 2016 Calendar for Kids

 

Add these printables to our Calendar Notebook printables!

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Here’s one set up for homeschool calendar time we have had.  Lots of free printables!

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Here’s our Calendar Connections for more fun learning!

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Trace and Color Printable 2016 Calendar for Kids

Free Printable Trace and Color 2016 Calendar for Kids

Looking for an easy way to work on calendar math with your child?  Our trace and color printable 2016 calendar for kids provides a simple, low prep way to do this.  Print 12 pages, staple them together or put them in a binder and you are set!

Learning ideas to go along with these printables ~

  • At the beginning of each new month, trace the name of the month, the year, and color the focus picture.
  • Each new day, trace the number and talk about what day it is.
  • Practice counting each day up to the date.
  • Use 2 or 3 colors to write in each month to create a pattern.
  • At the beginning of each month go through and mark the special days {holidays, birthdays, anniversaries or anything your family celebrates}.  Have your child decorate those special dates so you can look forward to them!

Download your free 2016 Color and Trace Calendar for Kids here!

Dot Fun 2016 Calendar is Coming Soon!

Get your Calendar Notebook covers here

Calendar Notebook Covers


Looking for more calendar fun?

Add these printables to our Calendar Notebook printables!

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Here’s one set up for homeschool calendar time we have had.  Lots of free printables!

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Here’s our Calendar Connections for more fun learning!

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Tot School Gathering Place Week 151

Welcome to Tot School™ Gathering Place! Gather together here, gather ideas from other blogs, share your own ideas on your own blog. Browse around at the other posts linked up, leave a few comments if you have time, and be sure to check back to see if your blog was featured!

Each week we will feature photo{s} and ideas from blogs who link up. Remember, provide a link back to Tot School Gathering Place within your post that you link up, so you can be considered for the feature! {disclaimer ~ affiliate links used in this post}

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I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! My heart (and belly!) is full! It was a wonderful and relaxing time celebrating with my family! As we set our sight on the upcoming Christmas season please post all those wonderful ideas that you do with your Tot! We’d love to celebrate the Christmas season with you!

The turkey may have been eaten and Thanksgiving Day in the past, but these adorable clothes pin cards will have your Tots enjoying counting! Head on over to see what Mama Crystal from The Elliott Edition created for her Tot!

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Is your Tot into the solar system? Do you have some leftover pumpkins? Take a look and see how Mama Swapna from The Practical Mom and her Tot used a pumpkin to create a solar system!

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Munchkin and her Mama explored the letter “B” this past week with several creative trays! Check out Adventures in Tot Schooling and see if any of them may interest your Tot!11292015 Adventures in Tot Schooling


Were you featured? You are welcome to a button but you certainly don’t have to use it! Totally optional! Tot School Feature

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Do you have your FREE

Where to Begin with Tot School eBook?

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See the Tot School webpage here!

Follow {1plus1plus1} Carisa’s board Tot School Ideas on Pinterest.


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 Are you NEW or have never been featured? Read this! Basics: write a specific post about what you did with your tot, link up the permalink from your post, link back to Tot School within that post, put your tot’s age in months in ( ) like this: (43 months).