Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Thanksgiving Lapbook

 I know it is a little after the fact, but we had to actually finish our lapbook before I could bring myself to post on it!   It turned out to be a great learning experience (for both of us) and we really enjoyed creating it throughout the month!  I have included photos and a video walking through all of our different components.  There is also a list at the bottom of the post with the resources I used!  Enjoy and please feel free to share any feedback!  I would love to hear your comments and suggestions!




Here is a list of the sites where I found our wonderful resources:
A very comprehensive list on Squidoo
A great little Bingo game on
Verse cards and other printables on
Dot-to-dots and more at

I found all of our resources through a basic Google Search, so if I left anything out I am sure you will be able to find them easily!  Thanks for taking a gander at our Thanksgiving lapbook!

Friday, November 27, 2009

What I love About You- November 27, 2009

There are so many things I love about you, R-Man, but here are just a few!

-The silly stories you tell!  You have such a wonderful imagination!

-The way you spontaneously tell us that you love us!  It makes everything worth it!

-How much you love trucks and construction equipment!  You know what everything is called and how it works!  You amaze me!

-Your love for hip hop!

-What a snuggle bug you are!   I will never tire of your hugs, kisses and cuddles!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tiny Talk Tuesday- November 24, 2009


R-Man went to Disney on Ice with Nana this past week and on their way home this is what he told her, "Nana my daddy can build ANYTHING!  He can even build a house!!  It's because he has so many tools!"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What I Love About You- November 22, 2009

R-Man I love how generous you are!  You are always sharing with others and it just warms my heart! 

Case in point, this morning you brought me chocolate!  Now granted, I was in the shower and you had snagged a few more chocolate chips than I said you could have, but none the less, you brought your mama chocolate and that will always earn you points!

Keep up the good work little man and never stop being generous and selfless with what you have been blessed with!

PS- And when you are married ALWAYS give your wife chocolate- it is the key to her heart!  :-D

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Read and Share Toddler Bible Review

What a great little Bible this is!  We truly love it!  It is very simple but it is a great place to start.  We generally read and discuss one Bible story a week after dinner and this is typically the Bible I turn to on Mondays.  It puts everything in terms that little guys can easily understand and encompasses the basics of each story very clearly.  The graphics are adorable too!

I also like that at the end of each story there is a little box with ideas for parents to help their children better understand what was just read.  The ideas range from drawing descriptive pictures to acting stories out.  They are easy to do and make the story time so much more interesting!

To top it off, a one hour DVD is included with the Bible.  R-Man loves watching the stories and seeing them animated just helps drive home the concepts even more for him.  I highly recommend this toddler Bible and think it would make a great addition to any children's home library.

The Read and Share Toddler Bible can be purchased from Thomas Nelson Publishers here.

This book was provided for honest review from the publisher.

Preschool Corner- Thanksgiving and K!

Mmmmmm... I am feeling much better this week about where we are headed on our home pre-schooling journey!  I still have a lot of research and preparation to do, but now that I have taken a more relaxed approach and shifted our focus we are having so much more fun and I really feel that R-Man is absorbing a lot more.

I did more reading into Charlotte Mason this past week along with a good bit of blog hopping on the topic and found a WONDERFUL blog called Our Journey Westward!  This mama very closely mirrors what I believe our future homeschool experience will look like.  She has a strong emphasis on Charlotte Mason's methods while incorporating lots of unit studies and some classical education, which is exactly what I have been thinking about!  She lists so many wonderful resources on her blog- you really must check it out!

So what are our days looking like right now?  Well, we are working on establishing more of a routine.  I try to reserve Lion Cub's morning nap time (about 45 min- 1 hour) to solely focus on working with R-Man on "pre-school" things.  During that time this week we have been working on different components of his Thanksgiving lapbook (which I will be posting on next week), reading Thanksgiving books, and the letter K.

He is really coming along with his cutting skills and is even beginning to enjoy coloring and drawing with me (I never thought I would see the day!)!

Another fun project that R-Man and I embarked on this week was writing his very first book!  It is something I have been wanting to do with his for quite some time since he has such an active imagination and is always telling us the most hysterical stories!  So, we sat down and he dictated to me a whole story he called "A Lot of Spiders."  

And here it is for your reading pleasure (remember that he is only three and I tried to stay as true to what he told me as humanly possible!)!

A Lot of Spiders
by, R-Man

There were a lot of spiders going to get all the food.
By going on the floor and going to eat the food and going to go on my little chair.
They will bite big on my little chair.
Then they will bite bigger on the big chair and then they will bite all the chairs.
And there will be a big, big, giant chair and all the spiders will be eating it.  They will eat it all gone in their tummies and they will be really, really, really big!
All the spiders go up the loop and go to Canada and eat the food!
The End

I am debating over taking the story he wrote, tweeking it a bit so that the English flows better and he can hear the difference between the two, and adding graphics to turn it into a story book, but I am still not sure.  It is so pure and clearly written by a three-year-old so I will probably just leave it alone and let him learn as he grows.  It was a fun project though and I hope to do it more often!  I am hoping to prompt him into writing something about Thanksgiving this week!


R-Man has really taken an interest lately in building things out of his foam blocks and legos!  I adore this type of play because I can totally see his wheels turning as he tries to figure out how best to stack and balance things to make them work!  He builds whole towns that he then drives his cars through and he loves using his semi-trucks and tractors to move the blocks around and haul them from place to place!  Of course he also loves that he is building things "like daddy!"

In "Life-School" my husband and I are both putting a more concerted effort into instilling "habits" into R-Man and our whole family.  The habits we are working on are praying more throughout the day, memorizing scripture, reading the Bible together as a family, and Catechism.  I try to read a daily portion of scripture with R-Man during either breakfast or lunch everyday and we try to read whatever particular Bible story we are focusing on for the week (this week is Daniel and the Lion's Den) out of one of our children's Bibles right after dinner.  It has been great to see R-Man absorb these habits so quickly!  It amazes me how fast and well he is able to memorize verses, including the reference!

We are working on other "habits" with R-Man also- he likes to call them his "jobs."  He is responsible for taking his dishes to the sink after each meal, making his bed, putting his clothes in the laundry room and putting away the silverware out of the dishwasher.  He is doing a great job and is at a young enough age that these tasks actually seem fun!  Good by me- less work for mama!

It was a great week and I know it is only going to get better from here!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tiny Talk Tuesday- November 17, 2009

Alright, I now that R-Man has said more funny things this week, but this is the one that really stands out in my head!

The other night we were sitting at dinner and out of nowhere he piped up with, "Dad, I think I need to go to Hawaii."

Hmmmm.... he hasn't been spending much time with me now has he?  If you don't follow my personal blog you can go here to see the post I wrote on this very topic just last week!  Too funny!  We laughed so hard to hear those words come out of our 3-year-old's mouth!

If you want to participate in Tiny Talk Tuesday just head on over to Not Before 7 to get in on the hilarity!

Friday, November 13, 2009

What I Love About You- Nov 13, 2009

R-Man, there are so many things I love about you right now!  Here are just a few!

  • The way you run to get your brother whenever you hear him waking up in the monitor!  You seem to have a sixth sense for hearing him and cue into his whimpers long before daddy or I do!  What a connection!
  • Your AWESOME dance moves!  Your rhythm never ceases to amaze me!
  • Your big blue eyes and loooooong eyelashes- killer!
  • Your goofy grin and crazy faces!

  • Your love of all things truck or heavy machinery related!

  • The way you play with your brother and entertain him- he is your biggest fan!

We love you so much and think you are pretty darn cute and smart boy!

To join in and find out what other mamas love about their kiddos, visit Lil' Ladybug!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Preschool Corner- Changes & Holiday Traditions

Over the last couples of months I have been trying to use The Hubbard's Cupboard curriculum for 3-year-olds with R-Man but have been realizing more and more that it just doesn't work for us.  I think it is a wonderful curriculum and a well outlined map, however it just isn't really jiving with R-Man's style of learning or even my teaching style. 

So, that has left me to searching- again- for something that works for us.  I decided to skip a curriculum (nearly) altogether this month and just focus on Thanksgiving.  There is so much to this holiday, from the history to the concept of being thankful to the food, that I was sure we would have no shortage of material to cover of fun ways to learn!  We are currently working on a lapbook that I will be posting more about in the coming weeks, but so far it has been a lot more fun and held both R-Man's and my attention much better!

I place of our weekly bible-themes we have been focusing on our own family Bible and Catechism time each night after dinner and have been choosing our own verses to memorize as a family.  We are currently working on 1 Chronicles 16:34:
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

I try to work in our scripture memory all throughout the day and in lots of different formats (song, repetition, explanation, etc...) so that R-Man gets used to using scripture anytime of day for all varieties of reasons.  Soon we will also be starting advent with The Jesse Tree, which will give us a map for our Bible time for the month of December.  To learn more about The Jesse Tree and how to start this tradition with your family, head over to Tired, Need Sleep for an EXCELLENT post by Nicole!  She even has a full 13-page print-out with scripture cards, ornaments and the works (Thank you Nicole!)!

In my quest for the learning process that will best work for us I have been doing a lot of reading on a variety of teaching methods, and although I think that ultimately I will end up using a mixed-bag approach as we more fully head into our homeschool years, I am significantly leaning towards many of Charlotte Mason's methods.  I found this terrific site called Simply Charlotte Mason that has wonderful articles, books and DVDs, especially about early learners.  Charlotte Mason places a large emphasis on establishing habits in ourselves and our children and I think that our whole family could benefit from implementing her ideas!  I am hoping to receive some of the books and DVDs from that site for Christmas, so I will definitely keep you all up to date on how our little journey is going!

Well, with all that said, we have been doing a little bit of "structured" preschool learning.  We continue to work on a letter a week- this week Jj was for Jet.

He loved cutting out the letters (almost all by himself) and gluing on the jets!

We have even started the very early stages of copywork.  R-Man has never been much of a drawer/colorer, but after reading Harold and the Purple Crayon I discovered that he really enjoys copying a picture that I am drawing at the same time.  I got out a large sketchbook we have and drew a line down the middle.  We then went step by step to create a picture- just like Harold in the book!  R-Man loved it!  He was so proud that he posted his pictures on the fridge right away!  We have also been doing letter tracing, particularly with his name.

All in all, I'm feeling better about how things are going.  I don't feel like I am rigidly stuck to someone else's schedule, trying to accomplish more tasks than either of us feel like doing or are interested in.  The way R-Man we are learning right now feels much more natural.  We read good books, do interesting projects, sing goofy songs and just have fun- exactly the way it should be at this age!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tiny Talk Tuesday- One God!

The other day we were working on The Catechism for Young Children after dinner and Jer asked R-Man the question, "Is there more than one god?"

R-Man instantly replied, "No! errr, yes?" (with a questioning expression), then, "Um, no.  Still no."

It was so cute and I am glad to know he has that resolve!

To join in Tiny Talk Tuesday head on over to Not Before 7:00!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Last weekend we went to my grandmother's house (R-Man's great-grandma) to celebrate my mom's (R-Man's Nana's) birthday (which happens to be on Halloween).  We are not much for celebrating this holiday but we did decided to have a little dress up fun, mostly in terms of hair!  Here is R-Man with his new (and very real) Mohawk!

And here is Aunt Rena (R-Man's great-grandma's sister- confused yet?) and Uncle Rick (my uncle) with their matching wigs!  The funniest part is that Aunt Rena really wears her wig everyday and has worn the same style since the 70s!

Here is Aunt Michelle (my aunt) with a long black wig and eyelashes on to round out the gang!

It was a fun and crazy evening with lots of laughs and general hilarity! 

Happy Birthday Nana!  
Live it up cause next year is the big one (a half CENTURY!)!!
Oh she is going to hate me for writing that!  Haha!  At least she looks pretty stinkin' good for 50!  
Oh, wait, sorry mom, 49!  ;-)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Leaves, Leaves, Leaves!

We have two huge Maple Trees in our front yard that drop an abundance of leaves each fall.  Usually this process takes a few weeks and we see the leaves gradually change color from green to gold to red over the course of that time.  This year, however, we had a rather fierce storm over a couple of days that caused all of the leaves to seemingly drop in one fell swoop!  You could practically hear the thud as all of our still-rather-green leaves hit the yard!


So, the boys and I ventured outside over the course of a few days to begin the clean up and R-Man had so much fun!  His favorite part was driving his monster truck through them, although he would inevitably end up getting stuck!


The picture above was taken by R-Man on the second day we worked outside- not too shabby!


Eventually he got to help daddy load the leaves into the back of his truck and take them to the dump, which was the highlight of his week!  Nothing better then a little manly work (and play!).  He is such a daredevil- he even jumped out of the back of his daddy's lifted Dodge Ram into the pile of leaves without blinking!  Fearless I tell ya!


The carpet of leaves is now gone, soon to be replaced by a blanket of white!  (Ahhhh!)  The seasons are so much more fun though when they are experienced through the eyes of a child!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I just have to tell you...


I just have to tell you how wonderful I think you are!  Things have been stressful lately and I haven't been as patient as either of us would like, and I think you need to know right down to your core that not only do I love you but I really like you!  I think you are such a good little boy and do a pretty darn good job obeying... most of the time!

You are so attentive and patient with your brother- a huge help that I never expected you to be!  You are so loving and calm with his incessant screaming- it doesn't even seem to phase you even when I feel ready to pound my head against the wall!  He adores you, and your dancing and antics never fail to amuse him and keep his attention!

Your big blue eyes and amazingly long lashes are so stunning- I know you are going to be quite the heart-breaker one day.  I am ever amazed at how beautiful you are, how fast you are growing and the crazy and interesting things that escape from your mouth!

Your ever-widening repertoire of dance moves is a source of constant entertainment for our family!  Your latest additions of The Robot and The New Orleans Bounce keep us in stitches every day!

Your imagination and creativity are so interesting to me!  Your invention of the "monkey kiss" and your silly gibberish are just the funniest things to your dad and me!

I am so blessed to be able to call you my son!  I couldn't be more proud of you or love you more than I do!

Always remember that the Lord is with you and loves you even more than I do.

Try to stay innocent as long you can.

Never loose your compassion, kindness and generosity.

Whatever you do, make sure it is first of all loving.

And never forget that no matter how big or how old you get, you are never too big or too old to snuggle your mama!

I love you sweet boy!