Archives for March 2012

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.

Our homeschool week began with a very sad day.  We awoke Monday morning knowing our precious dog, Bower, was leaving us.  It has been a long journey to get to this day, one paved with many prayers for wisdom to know when it was time to let go.  He was very sick and going downhill fast.  We took pictures with him the night before and spent our morning loving on him until the moment Daddy drove away with him to go to the vet. Oh how we miss this sweet baby, he was an amazing dog and our years with him were far too short.IMG_3283

Tuesday went by with moments of sadness as we felt the painful reminders of his absence.  We grieved together and tried to move on.

Wednesday morning began the same as any other, but by about 11:30am all had changed!  While Daddy was at work up at the church, he and some other men found an abandoned litter of kittens.  This is actually very common as we are in the inner city, my husband has just never been a part of the finding crew.  One of our pastors was bundling the kittens, who were about 2 weeks old, to take them to the shelter.  In a split second, my husband peeked in, chose the runt and just brought her home.IMG_3450-2

I was cleaning up from morning school while the kids were outside together and he brings this teeny tiny furr-ball out from behind his back.  Surprise!  I immediately said yes-even though we had NO plans to get another pet any time soon.  She was so tiny and precious, it was one of those moments where I would have never said no! 

He walked her outside to show the kids and he had to get back to work!  In a matter of minutes we became the parents of an orphaned 2 week old kitten.  We piled in the car to get kitten formula and a bottle and then took her to the vet.  The vet agreed with my age guess and tube fed her and warmed her up.  Gave me kitten instructions and our journey began.  We aren’t entirely certain “she” is a she, but that was the vet’s guess and ours.  We aren’t naming her until we know for sure!

I don’t think I have to even explain what a surprise blessing this has been during a time of sorrow.  We are just so grateful to have this joy stumble into our lives right as we lost our beloved dog.  All 5 of us are head over heels for this little furr ball.

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What a blessing homeschooling has been this week, as we had the day on Monday to break the school routine and spend the morning loving on our dog, and then on Wednesday we were able to alter plans again and spend the afternoon caring for our new baby.IMG_3514

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Link up with Homeschool Creations!

Weather Calendar Connections

My wonderful friend Shannon is still working with me to create the Calendar Connections cards. She is a fellow inner city missionary with me and also a homeschooler {and former school teacher}.

We chose the theme of Weather for April!Calendar Connections Weather

The facts are written at a 3-6th grade level but you will be able to water them down for younger kids. It’s a great way to involve your entire family in exploring a particular theme.

The cards fit my particular pocket chart calendar, I ordered mine from Oriental Trading but they now have the same one on Amazon!


but you could use a poster foam board and velcro to easily create your own set up. You could also use a standard pocket chart. They seem like they would fit in this calendar on Amazon but I am not certain.

I am now creating smaller sets to go along with the small pocket charts found recently in the Target $1 section. Be sure to visit this post for a tutorial of how to sew your $1 pocket chart into a calendar!

There is also a new sheet included to be used in a Calendar Notebook if you are using those too!Calendar Connections Small Weather

I printed my numbers on cardstock and laminated them before cutting them apart.

You can download these for FREE here!

You can use most of our Calendar Connections cards for any month! We are slowly building up what we hope will be a wide variety of themes to choose from!

Behind the Scenes – Communal Lunch

Communal Lunch

If you have followed my blog for awhile, you probably know that I really do not like lunch time.  We have tried a few lunch time solutions and they all work, my favorite being pre-making the lunches the night before.  However, I found a new way that is seeming to get my 2 picky eaters to eat better!  The Communal Lunch!  Instead of giving each child their own plate {which usually results in “I’m not eating that” and other whining} I put a ton of healthy food on a tray and give them each a toothpick and let them eat!IMG_3218

On the tray above: tomatoes, avocado, pretzels, Naked pita chips, mango, kiwi, carrots, broccoli and hummus.  I often will give ranch also-my oldest prefers it over hummus, but thankfully the picky 2 actually prefer hummus!



As hands dive in, it seems to cause other hands to be a bit more willing to try different foods.IMG_3232


Ladybug and Krash are my picky two-I m constantly exposing them to a variety of foods in hopes that they will develop new tastes!  So far, Ladybug still hasn’t touched any veggies on our communal trays, but in time I bet she will!IMG_3234


This is my summer plan.  Communal Lunch served after Lunch in a Cup

The kids are having nutritionally packed smoothies from our Vitamix {I have been waiting for years and finally the guy came back to Costco with the Vitamix display!}  for their mid morning “snack” and then I am busting out the communal lunch tray about an hour later.  When it has been warm, I have served it all outside!  Sometimes I serve it on a plate, depending on how much and the variety,image

Their smoothies usually consist of random combinations of: baby spinach, plain/vanilla yogurt, bananas, apples, carrots, cucumbers, celery, broccoli, berries, mango, pineapple,  Vega, and ice. I have other stuff I put in them and have no special recipe, just whatever I have and think would go well together.  Almost 100% of the time they happily drink whatever I give them.

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ps-I have NO clue where we got the green divided tray, we have had it for many years!!!  It even has a top so I can put the uneaten portion back in the fridge and pull it out later in the day for snack!

Hands On Rainbows…Toys, Crafts, Books

I had so much fun choosing toys, crafts, books, and manipulatives for Ladybug’s Rainbow theme, I thought I would share some of our  hands-on ideas all in one place! 

Hands On Rainbows

Crafts & Art

Marble Painted Rainbows ~ We used the blank rainbow printable in my Tot Pack, I trimmed it to fit the only box we had suitable for marble painting.  I got out rainbow colors and marbles.  We squirt a bit of paint right into the box and then drop the marble in.  I added different colors as we went along!

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Make a Rainbow Chain ~ So simple, yet so fun for tots-both during the process and after!  Ladybug and I sat together and taped her chain {we only made one rainbow, but you could keep it going!}.  After we finished she loved playing with it!

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Fluffy Cloud Rainbows ~ The ever popular rainbow craft, cotton balls, white construction paper and rainbow strips!IMG_3132

Open Ended Art Rainbow ~ there is a blank printable in my Rainbow Tot Pack you can use, or just draw your own! I gave her rainbow colors and a porcupine ring painter and let her paint her rainbow however she chose!IMG_2781

Rainbow Colored Play Dough Fun ~ Use the printable from the Rainbow Tot Pack shown below, or just have fun with rainbow colors!

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Parachute ~ Our exact parachute is this one from Oriental Trading, I saw this one on Amazon too.  We have a 6 ft version, which is nice for home use.  IMG_2819


Rainbow Balancer ~ This is an awesome toy and she plays with it all the time!IMG_2150


Rainbow Blocks ~ We play with this set all the time, but they were just perfect for rainbow week!image

There are SO many more possibilities with toys, the list could go on and on!  Those were just a few of my favorites!

Other Ideas

Make Your Own Rainbow ~ A piece of styrofoam and some pipe cleaners and you have your own home made rainbow! I set it up for her and she spent loads of time looking at it and touching it. We also took it apart and reassembled it together!  Older kids could put the entire thing together as a craft!IMG_2766

Somewhere Over the Rainbow ~ Print the song lyrics and laminate, make props out of the printables by laminating them, cutting them out, and taping to colored popsicle sticks.  Use the props while singing!


You can use the foam/pipe cleaner rainbow shown above too!IMG_3205

Make a Game ~ Use a store bought color die, or make your own, grab a collection of matching pom poms.  Have your child roll the die and then move the correct color pom pom into another container {we used a paint tray}.


Water Beads ~ I ordered this set, which is very inexpensive for 5 colors!  The kids absolutely love watching them grow and then playing in them.

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Be sure to visit my Rainbow Pinterest Board for even more ideas!


See our Rainbow Tot School Post also for more ideas!

Baby Animals Calendar Connections

I am on a bit of a Baby Animal kick if you haven’t noticed!  I recently released the Baby Animals Printable Pack, and also Mommy & Baby Animal Matching Cards!

I have another Baby Animal item for those of you who subscribe to my newsletter!


This is a set of Baby Animals Calendar Connections, with our new design.  These are more for the early elementary level, featuring the animal group names as well as female and male names, with a photo of an adult animal on the back.  These are also set up to print front to back!  See the first pages of the actual printable set for more information!

This set is available to my Newsletter Subscribers for FREE.

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