Friday, September 25, 2009

Tot School - Easing our way back to Normal

Aaron is 26 months old.

Thankfully our routine was closer to normal this week.  After a full 2 weeks of our household being sick the only thing we had to deal with is myself still having some soreness from having my wisdom teeth extracted last week (unexpectedly).  So our routine wasn't as full throttle as it usually is but we did get in some good school time and some tot school time!  Next week we should be moving FULL STEAM!!  :-)

Here are some moments that I was able to catch with the camera!

Aaron sure has a lot of fun doodling on his Little Tykes doodle pad.  Monday he spent a long time with it.

He also wanted in on the fun when Seth and I were working with the magnetic letters (working on our sight words).  He wanted to make words as well.  In fact when Seth and I were done I had to go tend to Alyssa so I had Seth be the "teacher" for awhile.  Aaron would put a letter on the freezer and then Seth would tell him what letter it was.  It was so cute listening to them.

The boys really enjoyed being able to go back to story time at the library this week.  The theme was the First Day Of Fall (since it was on the first day of fall) They read books about fall and talked about falling leaves.  For the craft they had washable paints and both boys really got into this!  Aaron's pic is the one on the right.  He enjoyed this so much he didn't want to stop.  And neither one of them got paint on their clothes!!

Aaron had fun coloring this morning and was ECSTATIC when I gave him his own box of crayons.  I put his name on the box and he kept pointing to it (as he is doing in this picture).  He felt very special that he now has his own box of crayons!

Aaron had a lot of fun with his little sis as she was finally able to complete her roll!!  (she has been going from tummy to back for a while but didn't accomplish back to tummy  until this week!)

It sure was nice to have all the kids well this week!

By the way - I am doing weekly posts about Alyssa on our family blog if you would like to keep up with her.  There is a link at the top of the right hand column that will take you to that blog!

Back to Normal!!!

Things were pretty much back to normal this week!!  We still took things a bit easy (my mouth has still been a bit sore from my wisdom teeth extraction at the end of last week) but we did get back in our routine a good bit.  The boys were super excited about that!

Can you tell what Seth is learning?  Yep!  You got it!  We are starting to learn our sight words!!

You know that I am teaching Seth how to read, right?  Well we started with Hooked on Phonics and while I think there are some really good things about that program...Seth was not liking it as much as I had hoped.  I am learning pretty quickly that Seth is a logical learner, not an analytical learner.  He is not going to be one that is going to like memorization.  With Hooked on Phonics it is really nothing but drills (at least the version we have...I have heard that they revamped their Learning to Read Program).  The version we have will list the _at words for example and have you read them, and then read them again, and then read them again...  not really any variety in the drills...just read the words.  Probably partially due to Seth being a younger beginner reader, Seth does not like the monotony of these drills.  I had to come up with different ways to work on the words.

My mom is a seasoned elementary school teacher.  When she taught first grade she purchased the Scholastic Home Reading and Phonics Program.  She is no longer teaching that grade and told me I was welcome to use the program for Seth. At first I was thinking this was probably set up the same way of Hooked on Phonics and thought that I would just use it to supplement our Hooked on Phonics.  Then she brought it to me!  It didn't take long for me to realize that this is a totally different concept to teaching phonics than Hooked on Phonics!  This program provides the variety that Seth is wanting.  The neatest thing about it I think is the fact that everything is centered around the start the program reading your first book (it has picture clues for words).  We haven't even gotten to our first book with Hooked on Phonics and that is what Seth is wanting to do is read books! 

It was also super cool to see that the workbooks used some concepts that I had already come up with myself and was trying to use with Hooked on Phonics.  That is when I realized this may be the program for us!

On Monday I introduced the first reader to Seth!  He was super excited that he was able to help read the book!  He loved the first worksheets that we did.  We started learning our first sight words and by Wednesday he was reading that entire book by himself!!  And he was EXTREMELY proud of himself!!

Now the thing about sight words is it is a memorization thing!!  But remember...I have a kid that, at least right now, doesn't like the drills.  So I am trying to become as creative as I can to get these sight words learned (as seen in the photos above).  We have played with magnetic letters to spell our sight words, we have written them on our white board and I have also made a Mickey Mouse Memory game with them (you can make this too...just go to Home Depot and get the free Mickey Mouse Paint Sample cards!)  I am sure I will continue to come up with even more activities and games to learn these sight words!

I also have to say that Seth is doing really well already with his sounding out words as well!  He really impressed me this week!  I have felt for a while that he is going to be an early reader.  He really seems to have a passion for reading.  He just wants to read...not drill...not repeat lines of words over and over...he just wants to read!

Ok - so I didn't think this post would end up as a review on Hooked on Phonics and Scholastic Reading Program but I guess it kind of did.  I am hoping this may help someone else out there though that may be looking into what program to use to teach their child to read!

Next week we will be FULL STEAM back into schooling!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Getting back into the swing of things

Well we are slowly getting back into the swing of things.  I am still battling some pain from my wisdom teeth surgery last week but am so anxious to get back into our schedule.  We did manage to have a morning session of school this morning...which made Seth very very happy!  We are hoping to have an afternoon session as well when Seth gets up from his nap! I think if we slowly get back into this we should be back up to full speed by the end of the week!  :-)  My next goal is for us to make it to storytime at the library tomorrow.  That is the highlight of the boys week and we have missed the past two weeks!  I know they will both be so excited to get to go back!

I thought I would go ahead and post some more giveaways from the Let's Hear It For the Boys Giveaway Celebration!  I am really hoping and praying I win one of the giveaways from this celebration.  They have all been soo good!  It would be so much fun to win something!

From Me And My Boys:
1. A $25 gift certificate to Mr Bobble's Blankets
2. A $30 gift certificate from For Your Bug-A-Boo 
3. The Bath Goods Collection from Boon

From Baby Loving Mama
1.A onesie (choice of design) from RageBaby
2. A choice of backpack, hoodie (3T-7) and infant coverall pajamas (up to 18-24 months) from Hatley
3. A Dice Dice Baby Travel Toy from Infantino
4. 2 pairs of baby legs from BabyLegs (5 winners on this one!)
5. $25 gift certificate to Dali Decals

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Tot is a Cute Tot

Aaron was a featured CUTE TOT on Totally Tots again this week!!

Go check out his picture!!

Cute Tot

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It just doesn't stop!

Just when you think things couldn't get any worse...I have had an infection develop in one of my impacted wisdom more putting off getting them looks like they are going to come out tomorrow!!!  I am praying this will end all of this though and that I can feel better and that our family can get back to normal!  My boys are better and are going stir crazy in our house!  Daniel is getting better and thankfully Alyssa is still staying well.  I am just ready to be be well too!!

Oh well...what can you do...

here are some more giveaways...(don't know if I really should be doing this on hydrocodone...but I am going nuts!)

From Baby Loving Mama
1)kids nylon sleeping bag and alligator terry cover up from Land's End

From Me and My Boys
1) A piece of artwork of choice from Magic Pumpkin Art
2) Any item of choice from FreckleBox
3) A pair of shoes from StrideRite

ok - that was enough to wear me out...I'm going to rest now!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ugh!! Is this ever going to end??

well - still no school today!  I ended up at the dr this morning still battling being sick!!  My hubby is at the dr as I type this...looks like he has strep throat!!!

I am finding that the hydrocodone that the dr prescribed is working...I am hoping maybe tomorrow we can get a little bit of school done at least!

By the are some more giveaways I have entered (you had to know this is how this post was going to end! :-) )

From Me and My Boys:
1. A personalized coloring book and sicker set from Using Your Heads  (you got to check this site is too cool!!)
2. AWaboba ball (bounces on water) from Vat 19
3. A pair of shoes from See Kai Run

From Baby Loving Mama
1.A Happy Cat Bean Bag ($298 value!) from Spunky Sprouts
2.A Pair of shoes from See Kai Run
3.A pair of sunglasses from Baby Banz

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Let's Hear It for some giveaways!!!

Here are the latest Let's Hear It For The Boys giveaways!

Me and My Boys is giving away a shirt of your choice from Lollipops and Polka Dots.

Baby Loving Mama is giving away a shirt or onesie of choice from The Bomb Mom.

Have a good weekend everyone!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Whoo Hoo - It's Friday

It is finally Friday!!  Whoo Hoo!  And I think that everyone is finally on the mend!  Aaron and I still are not quite 100% yet but we are tons better!!  I am looking forward to getting out of the house on a date with my hubby tonight!!  I have been cooped up way too long.

So, in honor of my date, I have entered some giveaways - ha! ha! ha!  (I know you find this hard to believe...)

The Let's Hear It For the Boys Giveaway Celebration has been GREAT!!  I really hope I win one the awesome items they are giving away!  Here are their newest giveaways:

From Me and My Boys:

1. The entire line of Sesame Street bath products!!

From Baby Loving Mama

1. an Automoblox from Manhattan Toys

Have a great weekend!

No Tot School This Week

Due to Seth, Aaron and myself being sick all week there was no school this week and there was no tot school this week!

We are all anxiously looking forward getting back in the routine next week!

Click here to check out other tot school posts.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Check out these giveaways

Things may be slowly getting better around our house.  Seth is pretty much back to normal.  Aaron and I are still a bit puny though.  Thankfully Alyssa and Daddy are still well.  Poor Daddy has to put up with a house full of sick people!

I am hoping to get back full swing into school next week.

In the meantime...I have entered more giveaways :-)

My Four Monkeys is giving away the Book I Met A Moose In Maine One Day

The Let's Hear It For The Boys giveaway extravaganza is still going are the new giveaways that are up:

From Me and My Boys!
   1) a t-shirt or onesie of choice from SnugFits (two winners)
   2) "Little Bear Hugs" from  (5 winners)!!

From Baby Loving Mama!
 1) $25 gift card to Hoohobbers

I really am anxiously looking forward to getting back to doing school and being able to get out of this house...but hopefully if I win a few of these giveaways it will make this lazing time in my recliner the past few days worth it!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Check These Out!

Ok...I am now battling a fever!  I really was hoping this was just allergies but now I am not so sure!!  Oh well...At least I have gotten in some time planning homeschool activities...and you guessed it...finding giveaways!!

here are some more I found today:

Baby Loving Mama is giving away a Sandra Magsamen book (actually she is giving away 5 My Little Monkey Books!!)

Baby Loving Mama is also giving away to 2 lucky readers a Luvs prize package (including One month supply of Luvs diapers (4 free jumbo pack coupons), Diaper bag, and Autographed photo of Marissa Jaret Winokur)

My Four Monkeys is giving away a $15 gift certificate to Little Jumping Beans (they have adorable handmade soft soled shoes for little ones!)

Go Graham Go is giving away a My Read and Rhyme Bible Story Book from Tyndale Publishing.



Still no school happening at our house today!!  The boys are doing better but Mommy has gotten worse.  My head is killing me and I am achy all over!!  I do ok if I stay seated but once I get up and get moving around I get to feeling really bad (which sucks when you have a house full of kids to take care have to get up!)  Thankfully Alyssa is still doing good.  She is sleeping alot (which actually helps Mommy)!

Anyways...maybe if I could win some giveaways I could feel better :-)

Here are some I found today!

Me and My Boys has 2 new ones:  (they have partnered with baby Loving Mama for a "Let's Hear It For The Boys" giveaway extravaganza!)

  1. A toy truck from Green Toys
  2. a tee-shirt or onesie from DreamKids

Baby Loving Mama also has two new giveaways for the Let's Hear It For the Boys extravaganza!

  1. a pair of baby or kids shoes from Pediped  (Alyssa would look really cute in a pair of their shoes!!)
  2. a $100 gift certificate to Baobab

Two of A Kind Working on a Full House is giving away a Melissa and Doug Food Groups Toy (don't you know my boys would love this!)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Well - we are all sick around our house right now!  I am even feeling puny myself.  So needless to say we are not getting any school done right now :-(

So what can you do when you are on the couch not wanting to do anything?  Why check out giveaways to enter!!

Here are some I have entered today:

Me and My Boys has started a run of giveaways (check out their button on the right hand column of the blog!)  Today they started it with a Crayola Giveaway!

Baby Loving Mama is giving away a Thomas and Friends DVD - Hero of the Rails

Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls is giving away an Oompa backpack!

The Nix Family is giving away a Leap Frog Tag Reading System!!!

The Suburban Jungle is giving away a copy of the new Kenny Loggins All Join In CD  (It is all childrens songs - btw - I LOVE Kenny Loggins!!!)

My Four Monkeys is giving away a Crazy Forts Set.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A few more giveaways

I found a few more today that I had to enter (guys I get extra entries for blogging about them...thanks for putting up with me!!!  HEE HEE)

Two of A Kind Working On A Full House is giving away:
 1. A back to school product from Oompa
 2. A shopping cart cover from Ritz Baby
 3. A personalized book from MJM Books
 4. Nursing cover and skid pants from Dittany Baby
 5. A blanket bag from Chic Tots

I am really enjoying her blog!  You need to go check it out if you have a chance!


I am spending a lazy Saturday morning in the blogging world entering giveaways!!  Here are some that I have found today!

Mission Mommy is giving away a bundle of Avery Products!  This pack includes Hi-Liters, labels, GlueStics, binders, dividers, sheet protectors, Marks-a-Lot permanent markers, and t-shirt transfers. (Retail value of supplies is over $50.)

The Buzz has the following giveaways going on:
  1. A beautiful bracelet from Booby Brain
   2. A Gift set from Plush Naturals
   3. Sugar scrub and body butter from Lush Body Bar
  4. A skirt set or birthday set from Oh Baby Boutique  (Oh Alyssa needs a new outfit!!!)
  5. A $30 gift card from Cinnamon Sticks Boutique
 6. A $20 gift card from We Choose Joy
 7. A $25 gift card from SimplyJCrochet
 8. A $20 gift card from Baby In A Fish Bowl
 9. A taggy toy and wrist rattle from Lil Bit Sassy

Wish me luck!!!

Tot School - kitchen week

 Aaron is 25 months old.
The first of the week was a lot better than the last part of the week!  Seth ended up getting sick (and Mommy felt bad herself) so we didn't have school on Thursday and Friday.

But the first part of the week we got in a lot of kitchen activities (both of my sons' favorite!)
We made chef hats...
and enjoyed playing kitchen while wearing them. :-)
We made puffy paint cookies (with yellow paint because Mommy couldn't find the brown!)

We cooked vegetable soup and banana bread for Granny and PaPa.   Aaron loved washing his hands...

and adding the cut veggies to the crock pot!

He helped with the banana bread by turning on the mixer...
and mixing the dry ingredients.

We started Alyssa on cereal...but she is not liking it too well.  She looks at me like I have just stuck dirt in her mouth!

Click here to check out more tot school posts!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Another Giveaway!

So by now you probably all know that my kids love to play with food, right??

Well look what Our Homeschool Fun is giving away!!  Don't you know my kids would love this!!!

Speaking of giveaways!
I won one of the giveaways at the The Homeschool Lounge open house!  I am so excited.  It is a $25 gift certificate to Families With Purpose.  They sell planners, calendars, home organization items, etc.  I have already picked out what I want - just waiting for the certificate to go purchase it with!!  
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Life School Lesson - Vegetable Soup

Today we had a fun day of school!!  We did school through a life lesson of making Vegetable Soup!

I originally thought of the idea as I was preparing our current Science lessons that are on Plants (from the book What Your Kindergartner Needs To Know).  The final lesson was talking about the different plants that we eat.  I saw in the Everything For Fall book a recipe for Vegetable Soup and thought this would be fun to close out our science lessons.

As I started preparing the lesson I realized that more than Science could be taught with this lesson...I started seeing how math, health, and even phonics could be taught as well!!  So I decided for the day instead of going to our classroom for school we would go to the kitchen instead!

Here is how the lesson went:

1) I put all the vegetables that we would need for the soup all in the same basket.  This way Seth would have to recognize the right vegetable to pull out when it was time to add it to the soup.

2) I made a recipe book for us to go through (I have provided pdf links for the book below if you would like to print it off and use it as well).  I laminated the pages and binded them with a ribbon.

3) The first step involves washing your hands (to put a health lesson in the mix).  All of the steps involving the vegetables also involve washing the vegetables.

Here are the boys washing their hands!

3) Each step states what to do with each vegetable.  At the bottom of the page is a picture of the vegetable...the picture shows the number of that vegetable that is needed.  So, as a math lesson, Seth had to count the number of the vegetable that was on that page.  He then had to go find that many of that vegetable out of the basket and wash it in the sink.

Mommy would do the cutting part and then Seth would put the cut veggies into the crock pot.  (actually Aaron really liked this part!)

While we were washing and cutting the veggies we would talk about what letter that veggie started with (the phonics lesson).

4) We then counted out and added all the other ingredients to the soup and plugged in the crock pot and let it cook all day!
 *Note - to finish out the soup I thawed out a couple of steaks....then about an hour before we were ready to serve the soup I pounded the steaks with a meat mallot (to make it super tender) and cooked it on the countertop grill, then cut it into pieces and added it to the soup!

Granny and PaPa got to be the consumers of our yummy soup!

We also made banana bread.  I typed out the recipe with pictures so that Seth could help me read it.  He and Aaron really had fun making this! I also have a pdf link below to the recipe for the banana bread.

Here is Seth putting the butter in a bowl to soften in the microwave.

 Seth watching the batter as it was mixing.

 Seth and Aaron working hard on their banana bread.  (they remembered halfway through that they had chef hats to wear - LOL!)

Aaron mixing the dry ingredients.

And that, my friend, is what you call LIFE SCHOOL!!!  :-)

Here are the PDF links for the recipe book if you would like to print it out.  I know I have gotten a lot of resources from other blogs (letting other moms do the work) so I decided it was now my time to make a resource available for other moms to have!!

(there are 2 steps per page below.  I cut them out to where each step was a single page.  I laminated each page and then bound them as a book with ribbon.

Parent's Note
Recipe Page 1
Recipe Page 2
Recipe Page 3
Recipe Page 4
Recipe Page 5
Recipe Page 6
Recipe Page 7

Banana Bread Recipe

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Kitchen Play - Giant Cookies

Have I told you before that my boys love to play kitchen?!?!

Well we made another item to add to our kitchen box today - giant cookies!!

I got this idea from No Time For Flashcards blog - you can see her post on this topic here.

Basically you make homemade puff paint by combining shaving cream, white glue and paint.  You then spread it all over your paper plate.  You can add dots for chocolate chips just by placing them on top (no extra glue required for that!).

I could not find my brown paint (funny how it showed up after we were done) but I did have yellow paint so we decided it would be sugar cookies :-)

For our chocolate chips I made small heart die cuts from the library (it was a lot faster than me cutting out circles - Ha Ha!)

Unfortunately I have two little boys who are afraid to get their hands too dirty so they weren't really into spreading the goo on their plate so Mommy did most of the work! didn't turn out as fun as I wanted since the boys weren't into getting in the glue and having fun spreading it...but they will enjoy playing with their cookies during their kitchen play.  I would like to try it again since I found the brown paint...maybe they would be more open to getting their hands dirty if we did it outside one day!  The paint really does dry up pretty cool.


Good Morning!

Hey guys!  We are fixing to head on over to the library!  Story Time is starting up again.  It is hard to believe that it has been since the first of April since we have been to story time (due to my bad end to the pregnancy, Alyssa being born and story time haulting for the summer).  The kids are so excited!

Giveaway note:
ABC & 123: A Learning Cooperative is hosting a children's giveaway sponsored by, who carries everything from kids chairs to toys.Giveaway ends September 6th!

Speaking of Giveaways - I won another one!  I won the sidewalk chalk!  WHOO HOO!  My boys will be so excited to get that in the mail!  :-)

I hope everyone has a fun filled day!