Archives for August 2011

Adoption & Photography Update!!!

My online friend, John Bowman, author of Montessori at Home! and the Montessori Minute guest posts has offered to give you a wonderful incentive to go along with your purchase of Angela’s eBook, to help fund their adoption!!!

He is going to GIVE, yes give,

everyone who buys her eBook to support their adoption

between now and Sept. 9, 2011

a FREE copy of Montessori at Home!


I am so excited that he has offered to do this. He has an amazing heart which is why I love working with him online so much. Guys-the photography eBook and the Montessori at Home eBook for $25 {or $20 with the coupon code}…amazing!

Read the details in my post from earlier today and let me know in a comment on that post or this one if John needs to send YOU a copy of Montessori at Home!

Purchases for the Angela’s Photography eBook must be made between now and Sept 9 and we will verify with Angela that you have purchased before sending you your copy of Montessori at Home, so be sure to let me know which email and/or name you use! I know a few of you already purchased Angela’s eBook today, so be sure to either email me or leave me a comment with your email address if you’d like John to send you a copy of Montessori At Home!

Thank you John!!!

Photography & Adoption…2 Loves

UpdateAll Montessori At Home eBooks have been sent to those of you who purchased Angela’s book and requested John’s book as a bonus! Please email me if you did not receive your Montessori at Home Book.

The winner of the YCR, MO, and RRSP Bundle isJenni! I left you a comment below you need to email me since I don’t have your email!

I don’t talk much about adoption over here. Actually I don’t talk much about it at all. But I chat with God about it a lot. I used to think we would have adopted by now. We have been guardians {2 different times}, totally God’s plan. Now we are content with our 3 biological kiddos, and content not knowing what the future holds for us. Neither of us feel called to pursue adoption right now, but both my husband and I are completely open to God’s will in this area {and all areas actually}.

So, since we are not adopting and have no plans to adopt in the immediate future, I find myself reading adoption blogs {I am a bit of a blog stalker-if you have a blog focused on your adoption I may indeed be stalking you visiting your blog}! I spend my time praying for other families!

I met someone recently who goes to our home church in NC and she is a blog reader-totally cool! She knows someone also from my hometown and passed along their adoption information to me, we too have become fast “friends”. I am so excited about their fundraiser and have offered to help spread the word for them, the idea is simply genius and involves another love of mine-photography!

This is the beautiful family…The Braniffs.


They are in the process of adopting a daughter, Rose ~ from the DRC in Africa.

You can read their story in a few places specifically on their blog,

  • Why Adoption?
  • Broken {where they share why they are choosing to adopt from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Africa}
  • You can also read even more of the specifics of their story here where they were recently featured on Filled with Praise.

Now for my 2nd love-photography! I love my camera and I love seeing others learn how to use their cameras…I just don’t have time to teach them usually! This is where Angela steps in! She is a photographer, check out some of her beautiful work!!! Here’s a sneak peak at her beautiful daughters, photos taken by Angela, of course! These were their “back to homeschool” photos for this year!

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She wrote an eBook all about the basics of taking great pictures using your DSLR, for newbies!


This eBook is simple and to the point, with photos on almost every page to show you examples. It won’t take you long to read and will be something you can go back to and try different things out to achieve photographer-like results!!! Angela sent me a copy to peek at so I could share with you and I loved it!

Here’s the cool part…the fundraiser!!! This fundraiser really does benefit YOU and THEM without a middle {loss of money} portion. That’s why I loved this fundraiser so much! The eBook cost Angela just time to create, so there is no middle man to pay for a product! You pay for the eBook and then they receive 100% profits for their adoption costs!!!

She has priced the eBook at $25 which is very reasonable and a wonderful way to donate and get something valuable in return.

If you are strapped financially and really want to get the eBook and support them, she is offering my readers a discount of $5 – 5off – off making it only $20. Please only use this option if you need to.

Additionally, just to give you a bit more incentive, I am going to offer a giveaway of all 3 of my “for sale” items… RRSP Download Bundle, Members Only, and You Can Read.

Come back to this post and leave a comment telling me you purchased the eBook and I will enter you to win any of the 3 you don’t already own…or all 3 if you don’t own any of them! The giveaway entry option will close on September 9, 2011. I will email you if you are the winner so be sure to leave your email in your comment! If you purchased the eBook prior to reading this post, you are still free to enter. Anyone who has purchased can enter!

Finally, John Bowman is offering to GIVE anyone who purchases Angela’s eBook a FREE copy of Montessori at Home! See details here!

In a nutshell, here’s the deal…

  • Go here and purchase your eBook “Life…As You See It” here for $25 {or $20 using code- 5off }
  • Read your eBook and become a better beginner photographer.
  • Thank God for allowing you to be a small part of bringing one of his orphans home, baby Rose.
  • Come back to this post and leave me a comment if you’d like to be entered to win access to…You Can Read, Members Only, and the RRSP Download Bundle!
  • Leave me a comment, or send me an email if you purchase and would like John to send you a free copy of Montessori at Home!
  • Optional…follow along with their blog to see Rose in person when she arrives and then thank God again, and again, and again. Got it? 😉
  • Optional…share about the eBook you just bought and love and the Braniff story on your Facebook, blog or whatever! Spread the word if you feel led in your heart to do so!

Disclaimer- although I LOVE adoption and read adoption blogs and pray like crazy and donate personally, this is the first time I have used my blog to reach out to share a fundraiser. I do NOT plan to do this often…only as the Spirit leads me personally. I am fully aware that I can’t help everyone but I can help 1. I am a big believer in following the Holy Spirit where I am personally led to be a part of change and making a difference. The Holy Spirit definitely led me to feel called to share this particular story on my blog. Angela did NOT ask me to share or even know I was considering it, I shocked her with my email!

Rainforest Printables and More

Alphabet Tot School

I am gathering a wide collection of free printables within certain themes. In order to better organize these online, I have created theme blog posts for the themes I have created many printables for! Links to these pages in the top navigational bar labeled “Theme Printables” so you can jump to them easily.


In this post, I will direct you to the page where the file is hosted on my website, since they are in various places! I hope this helps you find things within themes! I will try to gather anything I have done, created, or posted about surrounding this theme! Slowly I am adding more blog posts like this to help you find everything for the major themes we have done and will do!

Rainforest Read & Write the Room

Rainforest Calendar Connections

Rain Forest Calendar Connections

Rr is for Rainforest {Tot School Printables set}

Letter Rr Printable for Toddlers

Rainforest Clip & Learn 1-10

Clip and Learn Rainforest

Rainforest Montessori Match Up

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Rainforest Animals Montessori Nomenclature Cards

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Color by #

Color-by-Number...Ff-is-fr-frog_thum image

Letter Crafts from Totally Tots {click on the letter to get to the post}

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Rainforest Books & More…


Are you on Pinterest?

You can check out my Rainforest Themed Finds here!

I will be adding any new ideas or rainforest printables I create to this post!

Will you leave links to your RAINFOREST themed printables or ideas in the comments section? I’d love to check your ideas out too!

Looking for More?

Ocean Printables & More

Bug Printables & More

Pond Life Printables & More

Plant & Animals Cells PowerPoint

I have a new PowerPoint show available in the Members Only PowerPoint section, featuring  Plant & Animal Cells. The show is based on PacMan’s 4th grade science book.


It is fully animated, showing answers upon clicks.  First there is a matching portion.  The little star pops up for the word that is to be matched.  On a click, the word moves over to the correct statement on the right.Slide2

There is a plant cell labeling activity…Slide3

and an animal cell labeling activity.Slide4

At the end there is a true/false section.  The statements pop up one by one and then go back and highlight green for true and red for false with the false statements being corrected by the blue boxes appearing one at a time.Slide5

I plan to make a few review shows for him for his science, if this one goes over well.  With Calvert he takes an assessment every 20 lessons.  The shows are used as his review before he takes the assessment.  He also has to take standardized testing at the end of this year for science and I plan to use the shows to review for this in the end!  He is using this text for Calvert 4th grade science.

You can access this show in the Members Only section of my website.  If you are not a member already, you can learn more info here.  See what is in the Members Only section now and what is coming soon here!


Tot School ~ Camping comes to life!

~Ladybug is currently 28 months old~


Theme_thumb3Our theme of the week ~ CAMPING ~ came alive for Ladybug this past week!  We went to a camp {actually the same camp PacMan attended earlier this summer} and enjoyed 3 days with our staff family {we are a VERY close staff serving together as inner city missionaries}.  Even though we didn’t stay in tent, we got a pretty good camp experience!  Here’s a glimpse into all my little bug got to experience!

Modern camping, complete with movies on the computer…IMG_1313

Checking out our friends’ tent.  They brought a tent because there weren’t enough cabins for all of the families.  Ladybug loved laying in it!IMG_1379

The grounds are gorgeous, nature in all of it’s wonderful perfection.  Ladybug was a little hiker.  I think her favorite thing to do was wander around.IMG_1381

A bit of night wandering…

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She loved the wooden swings…IMG_1423

She was not a big fan of S’mores…IMG_1454


Paddle boating was another favorite…IMG_1696

She loved the fish, every single fish!!!

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Loved him so much, she saved his life!

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Back at the dock, she kept playing in the bucket of the caught fish.IMG_1851  IMG_1926

The creatures she got to see were just perfect.  She touched and held any that she was able to!

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This big ol guy was my favorite.  He just sat and stared at us from a little island in the middle of the lake.  We got close to him with our paddle boat.  Anybody know what type of frog he is?IMG_1824-2

This poor guy was so great, handling many little kid hands all over him,IMG_2225-2 including Ladybug!IMG_2194 

It was an amazing few days, I wish it could have been longer.  We hope to go for-real camping as a family soon!IMG_2018



More Tot School Links…

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