Archives for 2010

Christmas Learning ~ Day 1

I may not post every day, but I was SO excited to begin today that  had to share.  I also want to share because my prayer about my ATTITUDE being more important than the ACTIVITIES really worked and we had a great day!  I lost it only once and it was a mild lose-it, so it’s a success for us all! Here’s a glimpse into our day.  You can see our 10 Days of Christmas Fun here, this is just Day 1!

As expected, the kids LOVED the Christmas Sensory Bin.  I think I want to rename it to the Imagination Bin.  Honestly the thing my kids do most with these bins is use their imagination.  It is amazing what they come up with.  I love just sitting back and watching.


The bin was out for over an hour this morning and the kids came and went from it, playing differently each time. I came in one time and found Ladybug curled up in our new giant bean bag and Krash counting different things from the bin.  IMG_6486

I did initiate a few activities, one was sorting the red and green items into plastic Christmas trays I had.  The Little People train set {which we have had for years and I cannot find anywhere online} also got included 😉IMG_6496

Later in the evening, we got the bin out yet again and this time we made a long line together 😉IMG_6553

We did everything else on our list too, here K is putting the trees in order…IMG_6489


This was hilarious.  I can’t believe my little point and shoot caught the take off like that!  We put our ornament ABCs up on our dishwasher {with magnets} like last year.  I had one boy find the letter set and the other RUN into the kitchen and put it up. IMG_6505 They took turns until we were done.  This was a great way to make this activity interesting for Krash.IMG_6504


They colored their “color by shape trees” together and really enjoyed doing the same thing. I asked Pac Man if he wanted me to print it all for him too and he said YES!IMG_6511


Marble painting was a BIG HIT!!!!  We only had one box so we shared {a great lesson for them}.IMG_6515

We made candy canes, stars, and trees.  Tomorrow I have something special planned for us to do with the trees when they dry!IMG_6524


We did page 1 of our abc trees, using Unifex Cubes for our markers.  Ladybug was so cute watching Krash work.IMG_6555


Krash worked on the word JESUS today…that most important word of the season so it had to be first!IMG_6560


This is my favorite photo of the day, all of my kids sitting and working together.  It was like this for at least 20 minutes.  Krash was coloring in his super hero book and the other 2 and I were making Christmas collages {using old Christmas cards}.  It was just peaceful and nice. {gotta love the torn apart sensory bin in the background!!}IMG_6563

It was a fabulous day.  Not a perfect day, but overall a very fun day.  My favorite part was sitting in the big bean bag while my boys sat in front of me {each in their own bean bag ~ finally we can use them for reading time} and I read from the Hands on Bible I won from The World According to Them a couple of months ago.  I used the Advent Chain readings and we got caught up to today.  It was awesome just sitting there with them {even if Krash was out in la la land for a bit of it}.  We all just soaked in the Word and it was wonderful. 

I am praying days 2-10 go even half as well as day 1!


See more Christmas Fun Ideas…

Our Worldwide Classroomimage

10 Days of Christmas Fun ~ Plans

I have planned 10 days of fun Christmas focused learning for my children and am so excited to begin today!  I have never done this before and probably wouldn’t have this year had we not gotten stuck down south for a week!  I have always wanted to be this planned, just never had the time to prepare this much!

The plans are based mostly around Krash {age 4.5} since he is in the middle, but I plan to include Ladybug and Pac Man as much as possible.  Pac Man LOVES the younger stuff so it should be no problem this year.  Plus Pac still has to do normal 3rd grade during these weeks too.  Krash has December off of RRSP and will just be doing this.  Ladybug will be joining in with the fun when she isn’t sleeping!

You can download the PDF files and then you can see the links within the documents,  I linked up every activity so it would be easy for you find it {and also for me to go back next year and find some things I may repeat}.  I also included an image because I am totally visual, so hopefully that will help some of you too.  I found tons of neat stuff online, I am so excited and thankful to all of the other moms out there who offer their printables/ideas for free too!

Week 1…


Week 2…Slide2

Every day stuff, and extra links…Christmas Lesson Plan

You can download our Christmas Learning Plans here!

edited to add…Some of the links weren’t working, I updated and think I fixed them all but the PDF isn’t saving properly so I had to link u some of the images instead.  Try the words or the image and if neither work, let me know and I will add a direct link here in this post ;-).

I snapped a few photos with my measly camera {my good one is STILL away being fixed, I am going CRAZY without it}, to show you a few things I have set up to begin our week.  I took these photos Sunday night before we began on Monday.

I flipped K’s RRSP board over and attached our Christmas songs with velcro so I could possibly do this again for different seasons when we take a week off of RRSP…IMG_6464


I set up a collage making table, putting old cards into a basket.  I added white paper, scissors, glue and tape.  Pac Man got ahold of it right after he saw it !!!  Above are our focus Christmas books {all linked up in my plans}IMG_6465


Our first hands-on activity is ready {thanks Musings of Me} and on our dry erase board with magnets…IMG_6467


I am SOOOO excited about our Christmas Sensory Bin!!!  This is just the beginning {Thanks to Michaels-I got almost everything there with a 25% off entire purchase coupon}.  For the bin, I plan to add one small item each day and challenge the kids to figure out what is new.  I plan to get the bin down daily, as I know how much they all love it!IMG_6461


Finally, I decided to make myself a written note to hang on the board so I don’t go brain-dead!  It’s amazing how much I can plan and then forget something HUGE.  So, this is not the order specifically, just a cross-off sheet for things I hope to do with the kids tomorrow!!IMG_6470


A mommy side note…I am well aware that things won’t go as beautifully as I have planned in my mind and I am praying I can keep my cool.  I tend to lose it a bit when my grand plans aren’t so grand in the eyes of little ones.  Even if I have a few flops, I need to remember that they will remember my attitude more than any activity we may do.  Lord help me remain graceful, peaceful, and joyful.

Tot School ~ or NOT

~Ladybug is currently 19.5 months old~

Once again, we don’t have anything to show for our Tot School, but I do have a good story for you! I will share the very brief version here {which will seem long but trust me, this is the brief version}…

We were scheduled to drive back home {a 10-12 hr drive} this past Monday.  We had been down south with family since the previous Wednesday.

We did not leave Monday due to some major car repair issues.

We then schedule to leave Tuesday.

We did not leave Tuesday, the car repair didn’t happen on Monday due to the wrong part being ordered.

Tuesday we were told by a trusted friend {our old mechanic} that we should get rid of our car {a Ford Excursion}.  He informed us that the year of our truck was the “lemon” of a year for Ford diesel engines and the next repair was a WHEN not an IF and it would be a minimum of $6000 to repair.  We put $3000 into another major repair about 6 months ago.  This was horrible news but to get a decent trade we knew we had to act fast. We began researching and looking.

We still did not leave Wednesday, because we were choosing our “new” {used} car.  God paved the way beautifully as He always does.

Wednesday afternoon my husband picked up our “new” Suburban.  This unexpected car was able to be paid for with the trade {we got way more than we expected-Praise God!!!!!!!} and some gifted money that we had been given just a month ago.  So, our “new” car has 100,000 less miles, is much nicer, and is PAID FOR!!!!  God worked it all out.

So, we finally go to sleep Wednesday night planning to leave around 8am on Thursday.

At 4am my husband woke up with the stomach flu-BAD. Around 8am we realized Pac Man had a fever {no stomach symptoms but a high fever}.  My husband decides to be tough and we pull out in our “new” car around 10am.

At 11:30ish, Ladybug was PUKING EVERYWHERE {yes in our new car}.  I was driving so my husband could rest and it all just happened so fast.  She went from fine to a MESS in seconds.  We pulled over and realized the magnitude of the damage…PUKE WAS EVERYWHERE.  It was the worst I have ever seen in my entire life.

We end up at a hotel for the remainder of the day so I could clean up Ladybug and do laundry.  I also needed to get L-bug a new car seat as her puke soaked all the way through the cover and the foam pad thingy {it was an older Britax car seat so we needed to get one anyway, just not this fast!}.

We make the best of it and soon Ladybug perks up IMG_6409and actually has a wonderful day snuggling with her beloved Daddy {she is a total Daddy’s girl}.IMG_6412

I got the nasty clothes clean, got a new car seat {we ended up being about 5 minutes from a Babies R Us and were able to get the Graco 3 in 1 seat which we are really happy with}, and even enjoyed my family a ton. 

We awoke to a healed family on Friday and were back on the road by 10:30am.  By 7:30pm on Friday we were home and so thankful.

It has been quite the off-week for us and honestly I feel a bit frazzled losing an entire week of homeschool, and Christmas decorating!!!  We are kicking off our Christmas homeschool fun tomorrow and we are decorating the house today! 

I am praying for a more normal at home week filled with Christmas fun with my kiddos!!!

I hope most of you had a more normal week than we did!


See Christmas Gift Ideas for Tots here…


More Tot School Links…

Please put your tot’s age (in months) after it, like this: 1+1+1=1 (41 mos)

Ready for Christmas Learning!

I have been “stuck” down south for several days now and not only did I create an entire new {unplanned} Nativity Preschool Pack, I also got our plans for the December all finalized-to an extreme degree.  Here’s a small glimpse…
Yup, red and green file folders and all.  I even have a detailed spreadsheet {which I will share once we get home and I get the final activities in and linked up}.  We plan to begin our Christmas schooling on Monday, so I still have the weekend to gather the rest.
Thankfully I was able to use a printer AND laminator down here {thanks Mom!!!}, and was able to get most things totally prepared.  One night my mom and Ladybug were playing in the hall while I was laminating and cutting away…I looked up and saw Ladybug helping my mom snap a photo of me…

We head back home today, and I am thrilled!  I have so much planned for the kids and am excited to be so prepared {usually I just gather some Christmas activities and hope I remember to do them all}. Have you shared your Christmas plans on your blog?  Leave me a link in a comment, I’d love to check yours out before I finalize ours! ;-).

Welcome to 1+1+1=1

First, let me welcome you to my little corner of the web. 1+1+1=1 is a blog that began in 2007 and has grown beyond my wildest dreams! If you are brand new, chances are you are a bit overwhelmed and not sure where to start! I hope this post helps you navigate through the gobs of information available here.

About Our Family

The best place to learn more about our family is here on our website. You can read all about us, what we do, our faith beliefs, why we homeschool, why I blog, and more! You can also peek at our About Us page here on the blog too. Much of the info is the same.

As for me, the one who actually writes this blog, I don’t like writing about that portion as much as I like writing about the people I love, but I know I love to read about {and see a photo} the other women online whose blogs I visit, so here’s a bit about who I am. My name is Carisa ~ yes only 1 s. This is me…

IMG_8548{my good friend Jolanthe took this photo of me while at the Relevant Conference in Oct 2010}

I am a 36 year old mom to 3, who you will read all about here on my blog, but I am also a wife of IMG_7784over 12 years to an amazing and Godly man {and also as beautifully imperfect as I am}. We have an interesting love story-in a nutshell we were engaged within 6 weeks and married within 11 months. When we left our suburban southern {typical American dream} life to become full time faith supported missionaries, we uprooted it all and replanted in the inner city within 6 months of hearing the initial call from the Lord. We move fast and it seems to be how God likes to do things with us. We seek the Lord together in all we do, both in things we partner on and in things we do individually. Although I write this blog, my husband is my accountability partner in all areas, I am so grateful for his support and wisdom as he guides me lovingly.


There is much more to who I am, but hopefully what you will see when you visit my blog is that God has given me things to share and I pray I am a good steward over what He has given me. This blog truly belongs to Him.

I use the same Avatar image for everything so it makes it easier for you 😉 This is the current “me” online…Carisa2010b

My Children

I do keep their real names semi-private. I use blog names for them in print, but yes, occasionally you may see their names in a photo or hear them in one of my videos. It’s not a do or die thing for us-just something we try to be mindful of mostly so their names are not searchable online. Online we call them: Pac Man {oldest son}, Krash {middle son}, and Ladybug {youngest daughter}. If you click on their names you can read a bit more about them!


About the Name of the Blog

Read all about how the name 1+1+1=1 came to be here!

History of the Blog

Ever wonder how I began my online life? Start here with The History of 1+1+1=1 ~ Part 1. In that post you will find links to the posts that follow and share the rest of the history of the blog and my other sites!

Main Sections

RRS125x125giveaways125behind the scenes sidebar150Sensory Bins educational iPad Apps 100 image

TotSchool125Tot School Printables 100 Preschool Packs 100 Totbookbutton150tottraybutton Tot School Ideas 125 

You Can Read Button 100 Word Play 100

RRRSP header copy RRSP Bundle Download  RRRSK header copy

 members only a

Although it’s not always Christmas, I get asked often about gift recommendations, I recommend looking through these posts, and you can always glance at my School Tools collection.

Gift Ideas.. Gift Ideas...moms Gift Ideas...preschoolersimage

I create many printables to share for free, here are several categories which are hosted on my website…

Calendar Connections Button 100 Clip and Learn Button 100 Montessori Printables 100 Pocket Chart Printables button 100

seasonal fun 100 Sin Along with Me Button 100 REad & Write the Room Button100

#1 Post

Ever wonder what the #1 MOST READ post is on my blog? It is…

Behind the Scenes ~ Tot School…Where Do I Begin?Tot School Where

Navigating Around the Blog

The best way to find what you are looking for is to use the top navigation bar…navigation bar

When you hover your mouse over any of the topics, a drop down menu will appear. Here is an example from the Behind the Scenes section…Drop down

When All Else Fails…

There is a SEARCH tool on the right sidebar right under the Sponsors section!

My Other Sites

I do have a few other websites and blogs, it can get confusing, I know. I get confused and I write them all!

  • 1+1+1=1 Website…this is where I host many printables and other extensions of the blog.
  • 1+1+1=1 Reviews & Giveaways…I host all reviews and giveaways on a separate part of this blog. This is so people who are uninterested in that portion can easily ignore it! It is also easier to navigate around the review/giveaway page with it separate. I always share about giveaways here on the main blog, you just have to go to the other portion to actually read the review and enter!
  • Totally Tots Blog…this is my team blog, which I lead with Jolanthe from Homeschool Creations and a team of writers.
  • Totally Tots Website…this is an extension of the Totally Tots blog.
  • Raising My Lil’ Ladybug…this is a blog that I began when my daughter was born. It has since died down for the most part, but there is tons of info on it {mostly about cloth diapering} and I do update it every now and then! Best thing to do is subscribe to it, that way you’d see if I randomly post to it!
  • 1+1+1=1 on Facebook…our FB page is pretty active, I often post over there about things that aren’t worthy of an entire blog post! If you are on FB, I’d love for you to join us there!
  • Pinterest…this is where I host the ideas I found around the web!
  • Twitter {@1plus1plus1}
  • Little Bits…this is a non-profit business that my moms runs to support our missionary work. I run the website/blog for her, but it is her business. ALL profits from orders come straight into our missionary account. You can follow the blog to see new products, and please pass it along to friends to help spread the word! She custom makes orders too, info is on the website for custom orders.


There are a few questions I get often! I do not mind answering questions for you, but I thought it would be helpful if I posted the information in one place so many could find the answers without having to wait to hear back from me via email or comment. Visit the General Blog FAQ here.

Getting in Touch with Me

I must be honest…email is a VERY hard thing for me to keep up with. It honestly breaks my heart to think that I leave anyone hanging. I know it must feel like I don’t care or that I am selfishly ignoring you. I promise-that is not the case. I simply just do not have the time to keep up with all of my email anymore. I read EVERY email and comment and reply to most of them. There are some that get filed in my “Need to Reply” folder and I get to them when I can {no rhyme or reason to which emails go there-mostly depends on when they come in and how busy I am at the moment}. I am sorry if you haven’t heard from me, if it is something very important, feel free to leave a comment on my Facebook page-I am usually better with that! See my email address and more info about contacting me here.

Want a Button?

I am honored to see any of my buttons on other blogs/sites. If you’d like to add any buttons to your site, I thank you in advance! You can find all of my available buttons and the html coding here on my website.

Interested in Sponsoring?

I do host ad space on my blog, along with providing reviews and giveaways {on a limited basis}. I have a media kit available to any business owners {large or small} who are interested. Please email me with a link to the business you are representing and I will get back to you ASAP! I only accept blog sponsors who are family friendly ;-).

The Bottom Line…

I am online because I feel God calling me to be here. YES, it takes up a lot of my time, and this is a decision I made along with my husband, who supports me fully. My goal is to honor God through this blog and my sites as I try my best to serve others by using any gifts and talents God has given me. At this season of life, blogging is a natural fit since I am home with my children and not feeling called in ministry outside of my home {which I did for years}. Will I always be here? I don’t know, but I do know I feel certain that God wants me here right now. It is my desire to let Christ shine through me…even as the sinful and imperfect person that I am. If you are a believer I welcome you. If you are not, I welcome you. If you want to know what I believe {in a nutshell ~ The Bible…all of it}, you can read more here, if you are seeking, I invite you to go here to a page we created on Totally Tots to help others with questions.

Thank you for visiting 1+1+1=1, I hope you enjoy your time here and that it helps you in some way!

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