Monthly Archives: March, 2013

Family History Activity

Baby RolandYour kids are never too young to hear about family stories. My 3.5 yr old went through a faze of wanting to play camping trip every day. We would get out our sleeping bags and make a tent out of sheets and chairs. I should include that “faze” maybe the wrong word since I still have to pretend to camp every day. These pretend camping adventures brought me back to when I was a little girl and went camping with my family. I started to tell my son all the different camping stories I remembered. His favorite one I tell is about when my dad, mom, brother, and I were camping in a tent at a campground. A storm came and it started to sprinkle, then rain, then lightning, then thunder, then downpour. The tent buckled under the weight of the pond-sized puddle on top and it came down on us. My 5’11’ mom used her pole-sized leg to hold the tent up (my dad was 5’8”). This story always makes my son laugh.

Activity 1: Sit down with your kids and look through old family albums. Tell them stories you remember as your look through the pictures. Look through their baby book with them and tell them stories about when they were babies. Make a journal of memories so you can give them to your children someday.

Activity 2: Have your child ask grandparent’s and even great-grandparent’s¬†questions and record the answers in a notebook or album. Here are some examples of questions they could ask:

1) What kind of games did you play when you were little?

2) Did you play any instruments?

3) What were your parents like? What memories do you have of them?

4) What kind of holiday traditions did your family celebrate?

5) What was your favorite place to visit?

6) Favorite story involving a sibling.

7) Favorite recipes: include copies in the album

8) What kind of jobs did you have?

9) Happiest day of your life?

10) Worse day of your life?

This website lets you type in your last name to see where it came from.

Pictured above: My grandpa as a baby. Wasn’t he cute? ūüôā


Must Read Monday: Shapes

Shapes: A Busy Fingers BookFinal book for Math March is Shapes by Janie Louise Hunt. Since I’ve written about math books for older kids I wanted to include this one because my 16 month old wants me to read him this book every day. It is a cute rhyming story and the shapes have different textures for little fingers to touch. This book is a Busy Fingers Touch and Learn book and there are other books like: Follow the Line, 123, and ABC. Touch and feel books like this help children begin to love books. He also said “a-pole” for the first time after seeing a picture of an apple in this book. So there is a chance I might be biased toward this book because of that. ūüôā

Spilled water = Gospel analogy

My oldest son decided he didn’t like the cup I handed him so he dumped the water on the floor and ran to his room to pout. I told him that when he decided to clean up the spill, then he could come out. After the heart-to-heart with him I came out and my youngest son (18 months old) had taken a towel and was cleaning up the water. I told my oldest to come out and look what his brother was doing. I told him that he deserved to clean up his own mess because it was his wrong. But his little brother was showing grace by taking it upon himself to clean up the spill. I said that’s what Jesus did for us. We made a mess. We sinned and kept sinning, but Jesus took it upon Himself to clean up our mess. He showed us His grace and love when we didn’t deserve it. I told my oldest to tell his brother thank you for being so kind so he gave him a choke-hold hug and the little one started to cry. Point of the story: There is always opportunities to share the gospel with your kids, even when it’s just spilled water on the floor. Also, don’t give Jesus a choke-hold hug to say thank you. “We are not driven to obey Christ in order to get in good with Him; we are driven to obey Christ by a heart that is filled with gratitude for the way He plucked us out of this world and poured His love out on us.” – R.C. Sproul


Healthy Snacks for Picky Kids

IMG_4198 IMG_4203 Some of my kids favorite snacks:

Actually saying “favorite” is probably not entirely true since their favorite snacks would be cookies, candy, or cake. I’ll say these are the snacks my kids will actually eat since they are picky. ūüôā

1) Apple slices with PB

2) Apple slices with cheese

3) Ants on a log (celery, PB, raisins)

4) Light Cool whip with sugar-free pudding sprinkled on top (you can mix it in also)

5) Applesauce jello (I use raspberry jello)

6) Cut-up Peppers (orange, yellow) with Hummus dip

7) Cut-up prunes (not joking!)

8) Cuties (sweeter than oranges and easier to peel)

9) Yogurt and Cottage cheese mixed

10) Frozen fruit (in a bag in freezer section) mixed with white grape juice





Must Read Monday: Fraction Fun

Fraction FunI should just call this Math March since all the books I’ve recommended are children’s math books. Dang it! Now I have to figure out one more math¬†book for next week. It shouldn’t be hard since David Adler has written many math books for kids. Fraction Fun is another great one for learning fractions. His books are very colorful and have some great hands-on activites to learn fractions. The only activity I didn’t like in this book¬†was one that included using a small scale and coins. You need to weigh the coins on the scale to figure out the ounces.¬†If you don’t have a scale you can’t do that one.¬†He does use a pizza to teach fractions, but I think he should have made that a hands-on activity. Mommy ate 7/8’s of the pizza, how many slices do you have to eat?

Games invented by a 3-year-old


Upper Left: Paper towel stacking. Count how many you can stack.

Upper Right: Lid toss. Get a bucket and toss tupperware lids in it. Count how many you make. Could make it into a competition (for the competitive-type people like myself).


Pictured above: Up and away. Put a small fan facing toward the ceiling and throw plastic grocery bags into the fan wind and watch them fly.


Pictured above: Spray bottle target practice. Make a target out of paper and fill up a spray bottle. Set the sprayer to spray a streaming line.

Must Read Monday: Shape Up!

Shape Up!SHAPE UP! by David Adler is a great book to learn shapes and polygons. The one thing I absolutely love about David Adler book’s is he includes activities to do to help really let the information sink in. He has you use pretzel sticks to make an¬†equilateral¬†triangle and then take a bite out of one to make an isosceles triangle. This book is geared for ages 6 and up, but I still read it to my 3.5 yr old because he won’t know what a dodecagon is unless I show him (it’s a 12-sided polygon, by the way. I didn’t know what¬†a 12-sided polygon was until I read this book. Now I sound smart!)

Wall Art/Photo Frame Ideas

Wall Art/Photo Frame Ideas

We are now hanging pictures in our new house so I thought I’d share. ¬†Sorry I don’t have a very good camera or photography skills. The first picture is of our new art wall.¬†I spent hours on pinterest trying to find a way to hang the kiddos art and still be able to change it easily. There are lots of great ideas, but most were time-consuming and too pretty. I say pretty because there were some really cool painted frames with a clip to hold pictures, but¬†I have boys, so the pretty frames weren’t going to look good if they¬†draw a picture of mommy getting stitches in her leg.¬†There is also a picture frame you can buy at places like Target that the door opens and you can change out the picture (for just one it was going to be $15). Another person had painted cookie sheets and used a magnetic¬†to hang drawings. All were great ideas, but I wanted the drawings to be the focus on the wall.

Picture 1: Wall mount sign holder. We got vertical and horizontal sign holders.

Picture 2 & 3: Close-up of the sign holders.

Picture 4 & 5: The first finger paintings my sons did and the photo of them doing it. Used a cheap 11×14 document frame from Wal-Mart and turned the backing around so the black color would show through. I also wrote a little tag with the date and their age underneath the photo.

Picture 6: Pictures of them taking a bath together. Hanging in the bathroom. My mom’s cousin gave me this idea.

Picture 7 & 8: Pics of me and my hubby (much younger photos) and hung like pics you would take in a photo booth. We made silly faces and printed them in black and white.

Picture 9 & 10: Old pages of a children’s workbook from 1960’s that was in my grandparent’s attic. I love #10 picture.

Picture 11: Plates we got at a garage sale and hung over the kitchen sink with plate disc hangers.

IMG_7853 IMG_7855 IMG_7856IMG_7859 IMG_7857IMG_7862 IMG_7863 IMG_7864 IMG_7865 IMG_7866 IMG_7869

Gun Safety and the story of when my brother shot me.


I have one gun story to share that is humorous now, but it could have ended differently. My brother shot me. Mind you, it was a BB gun, but he shot me. The small round bullet landed right in my ear. It lodged itself deeply and the babysitter (last time she was asked to babysit us) had to pop it out. If the BB pellet had landed an inch to the right it could have damaged my ear drum. I tell that story because it is funny now to look back, but some stories don’t end so well.

USA today printed this statistic:

Between 2006 and 2010, 561 children age 12 and under were killed by firearms, according to the FBI’s most recent Uniform Crime Reports. The numbers each year are consistent: 120 in 2006; 115 in 2007; 116 in 2008, 114 in 2009 and 96 in 2010. The FBI’s count does not include gun-related child deaths that authorities have ruled accidental.

I never really had to talk to my son about guns until my brother (who shot me) came for a visit from California and brought his hunting rifles with him. This spurred a conversation with my brother about keeping his guns out of reach and safe and with my son on some safety tips. The picture above is a toy guy that my son has. I used it to run some scenarios about what to do in certain situations.

Scenario¬†1: I put¬†the gun on the¬†floor and I told my son¬†he was at the park¬†playing and he walks up and finds a gun. I asked him what he would do. He gave the correct answer of coming to get me or his dad. If your child is older it might be wise to teach them to stay with the gun and yell for help, that way if another little one comes along they don’t try to pick it up.

Scenario¬†2:¬†We pretended that he was at a friend’s house and the little friend tells him to come check¬†out¬†his dad’s¬†cool gun.¬†I told my son to run out of the room and go get an adult right away.

If you think of other scenarios to run with your children do them, and then repeat them often. It is also wise to teach your children not to aim or pretend to shoot at other kids, that way when they hold a real gun it is already engrained in them. The game we play with the toy gun is hunting. We put stuffed animals around the house and hunt them (my apologizes to PETA).

Consider enrolling your child in a gun safety class if they are older. My dad had both my brother and I take a gun safety class¬†and it was a great learning experience.¬†It didn’t hurt that I received¬†a lot of male¬†attention since I was the only girl who attended. So if you have a daughter make sure your husband keeps an eye on her! ūüôā

Must Read Monday: Anno’s Counting Book

Anno's Counting Book Big BookAnno’s Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno has been around for many years. Like before I was born amount of years. I had this book when I was little and now I bought it for my boys. It’s a great book for learning to count. On the side of each page is cubes counting up to whatever number it is. The pictures are great and they add up to the number as well. For example: The pages for number 8 have 8 houses, 8 children playing, 8 clouds in the sky, 8 trees, etc. I have learned that my 3.5 yr old cheats and looks at the number on the side of the page instead of counting objects so I just cover the number with my hand. He’s¬†a clever little devil. ūüôā description

First there is an empty field. The it is January, the first month of the year.
All alone in the snow stands 1 yellow house. In front, 1 child builds a snowman.
Behind the house is 1 tree and 1 black cow. Now, five months later, it is June.
There are 6 buildings in the field, 6 children playing, and 6 adults working.
One adult tends 6 ducks. Another drives a trains with 6 cars. From 1 to 12,
through the months of the year, the town grows. More houses and trees and
animals and people can be seen until December arrives with all it’s magic.