Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My First Hands-On Bible

Last I checked I don't know any toddlers or preschoolers who will sit long enough for you to read anything without pictures or something to intrigue them. Well I do believe we have finally found a way to atleast get some munchkins to sit thru Bible time and actually get something out of it. I present to you.... My First Hands-On Bible.

The kiddos love it and so do I. Sugar Bean always begs for school time to begin and now she even enjoys Bible time made specifically for preschoolers!

There are some great reviews on this Bible all over the web but I just wanted to share our experience thus far.

Each of the 85 Bible stories are packed with hands-on activities to keep your young audience from straying away.

As you read the story you come across these little hands that give an activity to involve little ones in the story. Today we were reading about the creation of man. I love how it even has the verse numbers as you are reading along and it's actual scripture not a diluted story book.

At the end of the story there is a "Jesus connection" to bring the meaning of the story right back to the root of Jesus.
Two cute characters Cuddles and Pockets give the children further activities. In this story Cuddles has a rhyme time that you do simple motions with. There is also an activity suggestion, in this case we molded people out of homemade play dough as God created Man.

"Let's talk" gives some discussion questions to get your kids talking about the story. Finally Pockets the kangaroo lets us know "it's time to pray" and suggests a simple prayer.

This really is the girls favorite part of our school day. I have a feeling we will be going thru this Bible atleast three time as I'm sure June Bug will enjoy the activities more as she gets older. For now she sits and listens and plays along while Sugar Bean and Wiggles do most of the acting and talking. Im so happy to finally have a Bible they can get involved in! We still have quiet reading time where they mimic me sitting and reading my Bible quietly but this really gets their attention.
My First Hands-On Bible is written in the New living translation which although I prefer KJV, I find this very easy reading for the little ones. I have also seen there is a hands-on Bible we will grow into as well made by Tyndale.

Enjoy those teaching years and make every moment a moment to learn.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tip Tuesday

Yea I know I'm a day late but in my defense I had to see if these tip worked before I posted it and that meant waiting for kids to go to sleep!

What do you clean/polish chrome with??

Aluminum foil dampened w water! A little circular rubbing on this chrome and bam look at that baby shine! I don't have a before photo but I can tell you the chrome had some tiny rust spots and was a bit icky.
A little elbow grease and no chemicals, it's a win win. Now there is a scientific explanation for this amazingly simple process but we all know the joy of finding something out is in the research... So get to googling, it's out there somewhere. I know I read it!
Happy shining!
Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall party with snow!

Snow in October? Yep we enjoyed our first snow for the season today and my oh my it is beautiful. Just wanted to share some pics...

View of the back hillside

The front walk is blocked by down trees :-(

The hens are not happy about the sudden change in weather!

Some quick decorating for the much requested "party" that momma was continually questioned about for the past two weeks. We just ate dinner at the cool pumpkin table and danced around with costumes from the dress up box.
If you are curious how I made the "bat tree" as it has been named, you'll need...
Scrawny corn stalks (from our failed corn crop)
Tree limbs (we used crab apple)
Canning jar
Pack of rubber bats (found these at Kmart)
Spider web stuff
Optional marbles or sand to weigh down jar or stack some pumpkins around :-)

I just crammed everything in the jar, Sugar Bean hung the bats and we strung some webbing. That's it! Instant decor! I put some candy in canning jars because who doesn't love some country charm?!

We don't go all creepy Halloween here just fun kiddi stuff. Painting pumpkins, make cookies, a few coloring projects, and throw around some streamers. Then momma makes dinner and we eat. Super simple and just enough excitement to make the kids happy.

Wiggles making cookies.

Sugar Bean too! They ate half of them by lunchtime!

Snow before November is just crazy!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tip Tuesday

We often have lil ones making big messes and momma can only keep up with so much or shall I say put up with so much! Don't overlook the opportunity to teach even the wee ones how to clean up after themselves.

Spilled milk? Hand them a rag as well and let them assist in the clean up. No point in yelling or throwing a fit just show them how to clean it up.
June Bug is notorious for coloring the floor, furniture and appliances. So....

Time for baby to clean up...

Never overlook the chance to teach!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tip Tuesday

Okay y'all, we are going to take a shot at a weekly post... Tip Tuesday! Let's see if I can remember to stick w it. Lol! Of course I'll do my best to pick up the rhythm with general blogging now that life is balancing out!

So.... Tip Tuesday

A marvelous use for those to go drink trays. I was about to toss these when *epiphany* let's store the paint cups in them! These paint cups were previously tossed around in a box and always falling over. Perfect! Soon June Bug will have her own set too so I'll have to collect another drink holder. This should get the creative juices flowing... What else can you store in these?

Tip two! Why not a bonus tip?!

A child's garden tote bag works wonders for organizing crayons, markers, colored pencils, twistables, scissors, etc. We place it in the middle of the table for Sugar Bean and Wiggles to get creative. June bug is limited to just crayons right now so it's kept out of her reach.

Feel free to share your creative and useful tips!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Curriculum cleanout Giveaway Leapfrog!!!!


Here we go! It's that marvelous time of year to bless other homeschoolers w free giveaways!

We are giving away a LeapFrog Fridge Magnet set. We love ours and it's wonderful for learning letter sounds and the alphabet. Of course we have no need for multiple sets so enjoy!

To enter just leave a comment! Don't forget to leave a contact email.

For a second chance to win... Check out another post on this blog and leave a comment.

Giveaway end 10/1/2011
don't forget to click the curriculum giveaway link above and check out all the other great giveaways.

Winner will be chosen by a random drawing.

Many blessings!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Where the wild grapes are

We've been truly blessed throughout the year as we discover all sorts of yummy treats growing around the homestead. This post is a bit delayed but better late than never, right?

Grapes were very plentiful this year along the fence row and boy did we enjoy them! Considering my children enjoy grazing from the garden while they play this was just one more munchie to them...

Wiggles picking; careful not to disturb the tiny bees enjoy the grapes too.

Sugar Bean showing off her perfect grape!

June Bug squealed w joy when she realized she could pick too!

...and she enjoyed her hard work!

Don't they just look yummy! After munching on these, store bought pesticide covered ones tastes horrible!

My country bumpkins appreciate the wealth and ate every grape they could find!

Playing catch up on my blogging so expect some curriculum reviews and just a peek into our little world!
Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ugly wool blazers ROCK! And week in photos

So what do you do with a massive pile of hideously ugly wool blazers...

Why you make absolutely adorable wool stockings....

Now they still need little ribbon hangy things but cute right?

Oh and just the cutest June Bug smiling today...

And my hens have finally figured out how to use the laying boxes instead of the floor.

Sugar Bean finally has a sunflower!

And of course the kiddos investigated an Ant attempting to carry away a crumb.

Have a lovely Sunday y'all!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Farmers cheese - How to?

Cheese. Yummy delicious cheese. I'm on a cheese making kick. Blessed lovely cheese!

Farmers cheese is the EASTEST cheese to make. No need for fancy ingredients or complicated recipes....

How to make Farmers cheese...

Ingredient List

1/2 gallon whole milk (pasteurized is fine, but NOT ultra-pasteurized)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

Cheese Cloth

The How To...

Pour the milk and salt into pot and heat SLoWLY on Med-low to approx 185-190 degrees. Stir frequently to avoid burning the milk. Once desired temperature is reach add vinegar and stir. This would also be the time to add any desired herbs or spices. Turn off heat and let rest for 15 minutes.
In the meantime drape your cheese cloth over the strainer. If you wish to save the whey, place strainer over bowl. Whey is very beneficial and can be used as a water substitute in many recipes.

Once 15 minutes have passed the curds and whey will have separated.

Carefully strain the curds and whey through the cheese cloth.

You'll have some beautiful curds filling your cheese cloth.

Now grab up the corners of the cheese clothe and twist, squeezing out the whey. Now you can take a few minutes to squeeze out the remaining whey Or you can tie your cheese cloth ball to a wooden spoon and rest it across the top of the strainer.

You now have beautiful yummy cheese! Unwrap your cheese...

Now you can enjoy your cheese warm or place it in a container and chill in the fridge.
Farmers cheese is a soft cheese that reminds me o something between a cream cheese and a stiff crumbly cheese. It really depends on how much whey you squeeze out. The drier your curds , the drier your cheese. After chilling I was able to slice it nicely for crackers and sandwiches. It's nothing like store bought cheese! Play with herbs, salt, and spices to make your perfect cheese!!


Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Yard Sailing for Crazies!

Move outa the way mall shopping divas, I'm a crazy yard sailing momma!
I've always loved great deals and have a twisted fascination w what the neighbors put to the curb.
I mean let's face it some people put out perfectly good items for the trash! Antiques to garden equipment to perfectly usable furniture. So it's only natural to have a love affair w yard sales.

So how do you yard sale with a four, two, and one year old? Oh come on don't give up so easy!

Step one: Line up shoes so your not hunting for them in your mad rush to early bird the yard sales.

Step two: Pack snack, drinks, and some occupying toys along with the normal going out bag.

Step Three: Find your gear... Stroller or wagon, baby sling, potty seat stashed in the vehicle for tot potty breaks, and my life saver Mommy Hook...
This little sucker can clip on the stroller and carry all the bags!!

Now wake those kids up, throw clothes and shoes on, don't forget the sunscreen! Say a little prayer before you head out... Ask for guidance, wisdom, and safety! (and pray those kiddos don't drive you insane!) lol!

Load up and you're off! Now die hard "modern" yard sailors don't just rely solely on hardly readable signs posted on telephone poles. They are handy but now days ya break out your smartphone! There's yard sales posted on online classifieds, craigslist, and specific yard sale sites. I'm nutty enough to map out our trip the night before, allowing for those few wind torn sign detours. Best yard sales with kids are community ones like we hit today. If you can handle the walk. Park and load everyone into the double stroller and stick the baby in the sling. Make offers and get great deals! Chat up the sellers and keep a positive attitude, even when ya get funny looks! Told ya I was crazy!

.....After a few hours of walking, take you finds back to the truck, load the kids back in, crank up the a/c, and then bribe w smoothies to keep the day rolling. While the kids get brain freezes drive around to those individual yard sales that you can pull right up too and jump out to check out. When the kids have had enough of hearing, "just one more yard sale!" Then it's time to head home with only one more detour! Muwaahhaaa!

Score! Tons of puzzles, games, and preschool goodies! See this is precisely why I need a school room! I'm stocking a freaking preschool with stuff! Gotta love being a homeschooler! But seriously I do pick some stuff up to put on eBay and things here and there for other little ones in the family.

I have no clue what possessed me to buy these but you really cant pass up bins!
Any ideas what to use them for?

I even picked up some name brand jeans for myself but they might go to a sister cause my momma hips might hinder a nice fit. But when you can find $50 jeans for $2, duh!!!

Okay so now you know I'm a crazy nut! By the way once you get home, feed the kids and let em play with some goodies, drop them in front of a movie until everyone passes out and take a nap! You've had an exhausting day!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 29, 2011

Recycled Wool Sleep Sack Tutorial

It's sewing season for me again! Round the clock burning the midnight oil building stock for Palmerton Festival. So I thought I'd share how to make a sleep sack or sleep shirt for wee ones. Most wool sweaters will make a sack to fit anywhere from newborn to 9 months. If you want to make it for an older child just adjust according and add some length.

So here you go... Please pardon the Low light pics, it's stormy outside and the sun is hiding!

Find a soft wool sweater. It's not necessary to felt it but if it is a loose weave I would. You don't want toes and fingers getting caught.

Measure 3 to 4 inches from armpit and cut off the sleeves.

Since the average neck hole will be too large for a wee one... Cut a one inch wide strip from the end of your now short sleeve all the way into the neck.

Next cut the lower side of the arm into the armpit. You want it to measure about 11/2 inches wide. Then continue your cut down to the hem of the sweater. The sweater I'm using here is XL so I had a considerable bit to take off.

Fold sweater in half and make sure everything is matchy matchy as well as trim if you want it a bit slimmer. Also curve the cut the last few inches at the hem so when the sack is done it more or less hugs around the bottom of their feet. If your making a larger one for an older child just leave it straight like a night shirt.

Cut the cuffs off your previously removed sleeves.

Optional: grab some wool scraps and design a cute appliqué.

This also comes in handy if you need to disguise a flaw like I had in the neck... Ta da! Bubbles!

Sew your cute little design to your sweater.

Now with right sides together line up the neck and sew a straight line starting at the NECK to the wrist. Not the other way around or else you'll have an uneven neck seam.

Then sew a seam from the HEM to the wrist. Again not the other way around or your hem will be uneven. Then you can even up both sleeves trimming if necessary.

Now remember those cuffs you cut? Too big for the little wrist now so cut the cuff and sew a new seam to make them the right size.

See much better!

Now place your cuff inside the inside out sleeve. RAW edges up and right sides together. You'll know you did it wrong when you finish and turn it right side out and your cuffs are backwards! Lol. I did it a dozen times making wool diaper covers.

Sew the cuff to the sleeve.

Ta da! Now do it again on the other side. Then trim any bulky seams and snip stray thread. Turn right side out and lookie lookie what you made!!

Wool is the number one best thing for your child to sleep in. Keeps them an even body temp. The don't sweat or freeze. It's not flammable! It's antibacterial and antimicrobial. Means less washing for mom too! Just let air out and it's ready for bedtime again! Not all wools are itchy folks! You can find buttery soft cashmere, merino, lambswool etc.
Sew away ladies! And Don't forget to check out my favorite wool recycling gal!
Don't forget to tell her I sent you!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone