Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A winter BBQ!

The best thing about summer? Hands down for me...BBQ! 
I love the smell of yummy food on the grill!

Grilled Chicken Legs with Veggie Cabob and Corn!



Everything was seasoned with black pepper before grilling. Served with Cottage Cheese and Pear!

YUMMMMMMMM!
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Little Readers!

For many of us we have one or more children embarking on the journey to become a reader!! YAY!! I love to read and I want my children to have the same love for it as I do! I'm sure you feel the same way too! My oldest son is well on his way to being a reader just like me...you know the ones who read a novel in a day or two because they can't put it down? Yeah, thats me! I read the entire "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" in 2 1/2 days! 

Here are some great and fun reading tips...it doesn't matter if your child is at a very basic level or if they are well on their way to chapter books, these are still great to implement!

At Home:
Turn off everything...the TV's, iPads, ipods, radios...anything that can be distracting to your little reader! Your child will begin to learn that when it is quiet it is time to read! Be sure that you are using book that at your child's level. 

Download my I PICK wall art printables HERE

{I would highly recommend printing on cardstock and laminating to make them last!}

Designate a time EVERYday as reading time! 
Morning, noon or night! It doesn't matter. For our home it is the afternoon for about an hour. Sometimes my son wants to read to me and other times he wants to read by himself. He must read something from the bible {His favorite book to read!} ((Heartmelting)) Then he may read any of his books. Currently his big favorite is THE CLONE WARS! 

Check out some great Literacy Apps HERE!

Reading Aloud Tips:

Reading aloud should be fun and interactive.  Ask your child questions during the book, like “what do you think will happen next” and make personal connections, “remember when,” that create a context for reading.  This sets your child up for success—even adults need to understand the context of reading materials in magazines and newspaper articles.
Laying groundwork for future independent reading is done when you first read aloud to your children: pause to confirm and revise predictions, ask questions and make connections.  This teaches your child that understanding text is a process that occurs before, during and after reading.

Before Reading
Choose books you or your child can get excited about reading.  There are so many books out there, don’t spend time reading ones you won’t enjoy!
  • If you haven’t read the book already, scan it to get a sense of it before you start reading aloud.
  • Plan an introduction—find links to personal experiences.
  • Introduce the title, author, and illustrator.
During Reading
Read with fluency and expression.  Children need to hear changes in your voice to indicate when you are reading dialogue. Vary your pace, too. Slow down to build up suspense and speed up during exciting scenes.
  • Hold the books so your child can see the illustrations.
  • Try to establish frequent eye contact with your child.
  • Invite your child to question and comment but keep it focused on the story.
  • Explain words and ideas you think your child might not understand.
After Reading
Sometimes a book will pique curiosity and lead to questions and conversation afterwards, sometimes not.  It’s ok either way!
  • Allow time for discussion
  • Encourage various levels of response with questions
  • Retell the story or reread it to enhance comprehension.
Reading aloud is a great time to enjoy books together.  The increased vocabulary, correct grammar and comprehension will come naturally.  Soon enough, it will be your child’s turn to say “all by myself” and read these books to you.  Then, it will be the chapter books and “just one more chapter before I go to bed, please?”  Way to go mom and dad, you’re building a strong foundation of readers who WANT to read when YOU read aloud today.

Fun Idea Child Reading:
Cook! Yes Cook, have your little one read a recipe!

Apple Salad

Ingredients:
1 dozen apples
2 cups washed grapes (any seedless brand)
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Directions: Wash, core and slice a dozen apples, and place in a large bowl. 
Add raisins, walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and stir thoroughly. 
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes about 6 servings

Get more recipes HERE!


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Mmmmmmm

This Delicious Croissandwich is my all time favorite quick and easy lunch...ok...it has been known to be our dinner too! 


Yummy Butter Croissant topped with:
Colby Cheese
Roasted Turkey Breast
Avocado
Tomatoes

That's it
So Delicious!
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Monday, November 19, 2012

God is always in control!

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Flourishing or Failing?

When it comes to Homeschool moms we often put ourselves in one of two categories...Either we are flourishing or we are failing as the teacher.  We are guilty of comparing ourselves with EVERY single homeschool mom we know! I'm completely guilty of this! There are weeks when we are at Homelink {Our co-op type group} and I see these other moms preparing for the next week surrounded by school books and calendars and I think 'Ok, I am so far behind. I'm failing' In reality I know that I'm not! In fact have a schedule {ha a laugh when I write "I" and  "schedule" together...FYI organization is NOT my middle name...not even close} ok back to what I was saying! I have a schedule that I like and works very well for us! However, when you are in that moment and you are talking with other moms who seem like that are so on their game it is so easy to feel like you just aren't measuring up. Why?!? Her kids are not my kids! I know the way my kids learning and chances are they are totally different then her kids.

Is it really true...are we either Flourishing or Failing? How are we gauging this? Is comparing our kids to another moms kids, comparing our school week to someones else really going to give us a clear answer?

Recently I was chatted with a few 'Teacher Mom' friends of mine. I asked what the average week looks like in their home....

Teacher Mom #1 
"We get up, the kids eat, they play! We do some math and reading, then they play. Later we do some history and science, then they play. Ending our day with some spelling and writing."

Teacher Mom #2
"7am is breakfast, then we spend anywhere from 45 mins to 1 hour per subject with lunch at noon. ending our school day at 2:30-3:00"

Teacher Mom #3
"There is NO schedule, every day is different, every week is different."

Teacher Mom #4 
"5 subjects per day, they vary. We play games, do art projects, I read them books. We try to make every subject engaging!"
Which of these moms is doing it right? Could they all be doing it right even though they are nothing alike? Yes! I think so! Something that my mom loved about homeschooling was the freedom to teach your child in the way that works best for that child! That is what I love about homeschooling! 

Oh! by the way EVERY single one of the moms above told me that they have some much fun and so do their kids!!

Homeschooling for our family is to instill a LOVE for learning! That love that I have and that I know a lot of you have as well. I don't want to ever hear my kids say "NO not Math" or "I hate reading" because of that it is my job to create a environment where my children are excited about learning! Where they can thrive and flourish! 

There are so many different ways to achieve this!

What's your Style?



  • Eclectic {using two or more styles

  • Charlotte Mason Method
  • Classical {the classical approach to homeschooling}
  • Uncschooled {child-led schooling approach}
  • Traditional {aka Text Book}
...or you do something totally different! 

Are your kids learning? Are your kids having fun? Are you having fun and enjoying it? 

GUESS WHAT!?!?! You ARE Flourishing! NOT FAILING!

It DOESN'T matter if your friend Sally is on such a schedule that it put ship captains to shame. 
It DOESN'T matter if your friend June is disorganized and rarely has a schedule.

What DOES matter is that your child and you are sharing a love for learning...how ever you get to that point is up to you! 

Flourish on Mama! Flourish on!
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Makes My Monday


My little loves!

Our Beautiful Drive to Church!
My beautiful tree!

my silly littles

What's makes my monday? My kids, my family, this beautiful weather! 
I am so thankful for all the blessings we have! 

What makes your monday?


Wishing everyone and happy and beautiful Thanksgiving!
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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Perfectly Pinned Monday



Welcome to the VERY first installment of "Perfectly Pinned Monday" 

Do you love Pinterest as much as I do? I cannot tell you how many times I have referenced my boards! Remember what is was like before Pinterest? Searching for a link...trying so hard to remember where you saw that idea, recipe, craft!! Ahhhh! Thankfully those days are over!!!

Each week I will showcase some of my favorite pins from the week before! I will include all the links if available! Also I will notify you if a link is corrupt...I have been sent to some less that family friendly sites :( Thank the Lord my kiddos were not around!

Please feel free to comment your Pinterest link and your favorite pins!


I'm so very excited to share with you some of the great pins from this week! 

Love these money saver jars to teach kids about giving/saving/spending.
We live in a world full of "want want want" "me me me" This blessing jar gives us the chance to show our little ones how truly blessed we are! Every time the Lord answers a prayer or you get blessed by a kind word write it on a little piece of paper and put it in a jar! Have your kids do it to! At the end of every month go dump out the jar and read the blessings! Oh the Lord is so good!!

My little girl LOVES hair "Pretties" This is super cute and super easy....maybe one in EVERY color?!?!

Check it out Here!

Directions: Buy plates from Dollar Store, write things like, Night Before Christmas, wedding vows for a gift, happy birthday song, the possibilities are endless :) Please note, they used a Porcelain 150 Pen which is permanent and safe once baked for 30 mins in a conventional oven. Have children write to preserve their special handwriting at different ages and stages!

Directions: 1/2 your fingerprint, 1/2 his-- Salt Dough - 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, cold water. Mix until has consistency of play dough. bake at 250 for 2 hours, then cool and paint.good recipe for thumbprint pendants

Make a personalized mug cozy for that special teacher in your life. An inexpensive and thoughtful Christmas or teacher appreciation gift.  View directions HERE!

Looking for a beautiful fall centerpiece??? Check these out!

NEVER EVER will I pass on a VERY faded car again!! Paint it black...What's up Batmobile!!! 

Click on the Birdies to Follow me on Pinterest!!
Happy Pinning!

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Lord, can I stay here forever?

Five Minute Friday {stay}

Start:

It's a happy morning! The smell of hazelnut coffee fills the house. Laughter is heard coming for the kitchen while the kids eat their breakfast. Daddy is in his office downstairs and the kids know it and are eager to go tell him "good morning!!" Breakfast is over the kitchen is cleaned and I sit at the table in the dining room watching my little play together! Elias is teaching the twins how to put the letters in a new alphabet puzzle...they just want to force them in like most toddlers do! The morning is filled with "mommy I love you!!" "let's play together" "it is time for math?!" {he loves math}
I look at them and I am filled with so my joy I almost can't handle it. These little people are my children!! The Lord gave these little to me! In that very moment my husband walk up the steps...his hair is a mess, he is in his pajamas, and desperately needs another cup of coffee...but...I feel butterflies in my stomach, the kind I felt on our first date, or when we got married, or countless times since we met! I'm so in love with him! My life is full of blessings! I'm a very blessed wife and mommy! I'm filled with love, joy and a lovely sence of peace! I close my eyes tight, eyelashes damp with tears of joy..."Lord, can I stay I this moment forever?!" is my prayer. I know that at some point the arguing and fighting will start, someone will hurt someone else's feelings, he'll have to go back down to the office. But right now is this very moment...deep breath...I want to stay here forever.

Stop

Five Minute Friday
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving at TPT!!


I have said it before and I know I will say it again...I LOVE TPT {Teachers Pay Teachers}

You know when you hit that point where you think everything you are doing is boring and lack luster? TPT is to the rescue!!! TPT is my ultimate go to! The coolest part is when you buy something you are helping another teacher!! AWESOME!



Currently TPT has more than 700...YES 700 FREE printables! From Math, to reading, crafts, spelling, and beyond!


BROWSE EVERYTHING HERE!
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Under construction!



Please be patient with me while "Life In Bloom" {formally Lollipops and Snapshots} is under an over haul!!!!

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Mama's Autumn Must Haves


Some of my favorite things!!!!

I love nothing more than my lace dress! The best thing about it? It can either be super dressy or totally causal! Last week I paired my dress with a mustard & eggplant cardy, mustard tights, and my brown riding boots...CUTE!!

Riding boots go with EVERYTHING...jeans, skirts, dresses....EVERYTHING!

Love love love polka dot and brown and black together!

I love smoky eyes...but I have always tried to do something other than black and gray! I love purple smoky eyes!!! 

Colored tights...how I love thee! I currently have in my regular week rotation....Purple,  Pink, Teal, Green, Mustard, Red, Brown & Gray. I have the cutest black dress...very casual and I love mixing up the look of it...which is so east with colored tights! 

I love this! ENOUGH SAID!

Talk about adding a punch of color and bling to any outfit! I love these! 

Skinny Jeans are a girls best friend! I love wearing mine with anything! Boots, heels, flats....tshirts, sweaters, dresses...you name it!

I love TOMS! 

Fall/Thanksgiving Fun for the Kids...and a few for mama!!

Are your kiddos like mine and LOVE crafts, drawing, painting, glueing and writing?

Here some fun things to do...it snowing here so these are perfect for when they come in form the cold!!

YUMMY!

Make sugar cookies as usual. Separate the dough. add food coloring to each...Red, Yellow, Orange and  Green. Smash the dough together gently to make a marbled look...roll and use your favorite fall leaf cookie cutters!! SO much Fun!

I love this!
check out the tutorial here!

find it full sized here!

find it full sized here!


Your kiddos will have a blast tracing their hands and feet! They will each have their very own one of a kind turkey! 

find tons more at ABCteach!

How about a little something for Mama?!?!
find 12 great printables here!

Stop by Pinterest boards...Join the pinning madness!!