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No More Sickness

I often feel like I should just keep my mouth shut and not complain. I feel like I need to count my blessings (and I do). I have several friends with children who have chronic illnesses that require tons of medicines and frequent hospital visits. We don’t have that. I have friends who have children with life threatening disorders and deal with pain that I cannot imagine on a daily basis. I am not comparing myself to them.

The last two winters have been ridiculously riddled with sickness for us. I was hoping that with the onset of spring, we would have some relief. I realized the other day that Little Sis has been sick in some way or another for over seven weeks with no relief. She had croup which turned into an ear infection. She had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic which resulted in hives for four weeks and counting. The other night, she woke up with a stomach bug which she has oh so graciously shared with Baby Girl. In the middle of all of this, we found ourselves in the hospital with Baby Girl battling pneumonia. Big Brother had the worst case of the stomach bug I’ve seen in a while over Christmas (all the kids had it, but his was the worst). We have croup, ear infections, colds on a regular basis.

We have been dealing with such constant sickness that my compassion is dwindling and I find myself getting upset at the children who cannot control their vomit or bowels. I find myself shaming a four year old for not making it to the bathroom. And then I feel horrible mom guilt.

I am battling my own thyroid health issues on top of all this… anxiety, depression, mood swings, inability to lose weight, brain fog, cold intolerance… just to name a few. I have reached my limit. I am in survival mode and desperately longing for the day that there will be no more pain and no more sickness. It’s heart breaking to see my babies struggling. It’s frustrating to wash sheets over and over again in the night… to be coughed directly on… to wipe noses… to find snot on your clothes and be unsure of exactly where it came from.

Apparently this post is a common theme on this blog… as I’ve basically written the same thing at least two other times HERE and HERE.

I am learning more about essential oils and natural health care, immune boosters, etc. My children and I are all walking around with socked feet because I rolled Thieves Oil on them earlier today. I have a make shift diffuser (my scentsy warmer with coconut oil and a couple of drops of tea tree oil) warming in the corner. I am about to scour amazon and pinterest to gain more knowledge of how I can help my family.

What do you do to keep your family healthy? Oils, Vitamins, special Diet???? Comment Below and Let me Know!!!

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{FREE} Saint Patrick’s Day Printable Pack- Preschool- 3rd

If you are still in need of activities for Saint Patrick’s Day, feel free to download this FREE printable pack!

This pack has activities for preschool- 3rd grade!

Preschool Activities include:

Number Recognition and Prewriting

Lower Elementary Activities include:

Two different writing prompts

All ages can enjoy the maze and drawing activity.

Remember… Click on the Link BELOW the image to download the printable pack!

saint pat picture

Click to download Printable Pack—–>>Saint Patricks Day Printable Pack

What activities do you have going on at your house today?!?!

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Influenster and the J’Adore Box

A couple of months ago, I joined a company called Influenster. They send you products to try out, you review them and let your readers know what you think.

So far, I can tell you that they are real products that an actual family like mine will use:

vox box 1

This nice box filled with goodies came to the door. I was so excited. I love packages. Included was a bag of Hershey’s Kisses, Vaseline Men’s Spray Lotion, Frizz Ease Flat Iron Hair Spray, Tea, Fake Lashes and a Mud Mask.

vox box 2

Chocolate!!!! Need I say more!

vox box 3

I have recently become a fan of hot tea and let me tell you, these are delicious!

As far as the lashes and frizz ease, they are not really products that I would use. I will probably pass them on to some friends.

I’ve always been a fan of Vaseline lotion products. I gave my husband the spray lotion that was in the box. It has a manly smell that is not overwhelming. It is not greasy and absorbs quickly.

The final product that I (and Big Sis) tried was the Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask:

vox box 4

I am not a clay mask kind of girl. I have, thankfully, been blessed with good, low maintenance skin! I will say that I liked this mask. It wasn’t abrasive. It didn’t stink. It was cool and refreshing. You put it on and leave it for about ten minutes, then wash off with warm water. It cleans off very easily. I will totally use this again.

I really enjoyed this Pamper Me, called the J’Adore Box from Influenster. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

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Preschool Art Class Part 1

art class 1

Our homeschool association hosts Enrichment Classes during the fall and winter/ spring. This semester, I am teaching two preschool classes… a book club and a famous artist class.

I am going to be sharing every week for the next few weeks what we’ve been up to in those classes.

We learned about Michelangelo in our first week of the famous artist class.

We started our class with some music and movement to get the wiggles out. We played a couple of get to know you games and then dove right in to learning about Michelangelo.

I checked out several books from the library. I HIGHLY recommend previewing the books before you start showing them to preschoolers. One book pictured Michelangelo studying a cadaver to prepare to sculpt. He was very thorough!

We looked at some of his sculptures and at his paintings, especially the Sistine Chapel. We talked all about how he painted while suspended and laying on his back.

Next, the children got to “do art like Michelangelo!”

We taped paper to the underside of the table and gave them markers to color. Remember… with preschoolers, art is all about the experience and NOT the end result!

art class 2

art class 3

When we finished with this project, the kids got to play and sculpt with play doh. I gave them each a popsicle stick to craft with. We talked about how Michelangelo had sculpting tools. They had free reign of the play doh for the rest of the class.

Our classes are one hour long!

Be sure to check out the other posts in this series:

Van Goh

Dr. Seuss

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Meal Plan Monday- 3/10- 3/14/2014

meals

After a CRAZY week last week (Baby Girl ended up spending three nights in the hospital with pneumonia), I am going to TRY to bring some order back to our lives! I figured I would START with a meal plan!

Monday: Orange Chicken in the Crock Pot

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday

Wednesday: Smoked Sausage and Potatoes

Thursday: Fried Rice

Friday: Leftovers

What’s on your menu this week?

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Week Long Blog Haitus

We have sick children. We have for a week or so. I have fallen behind on my “IRL” or “In Real Life” responsibilities! I’m sure you understand.

For that reason, I am taking a week off of blogging.

Please feel free to poke around the archives of the blog and see what you can find.

You can check out the recent top posts by taking a look at the top of the sidebar to the right.

Feel free to hop over to Ninja Mom Designs and use NINJA50 to save 50%!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

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Why I’m Not Blogging Today

Happy Snow Day Everyone!

snow day

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Preschool Busy Bag GiveAway Winners

Busy Bag Winner

Thank you to all who participated in the Preschool Busy Bag Give Away. And, welcome to all the new followers. I am so happy to have you here.

The winners are

random 1

Kristin who said:

I have three nieces and a nephew who periodically stay at our house, although my husband and I don’t have kiddos yet. I’d love to have something like this to help us settle down for nap time or bed time, or when I’m trying to cook and clean.

and

random 2

Jackie G who said:

This busy bag would come in handy for my nearly four year old daughter, while her brother is doing his school.

The winners have been notified.

If you are still interested in the Preschool Busy Bag Printable pack, please feel free to hop on over to MY ETSY SHOP. You can use the code BUSYBAG50 to save 50% on the pack (normally $7) or any of my other DIGITAL ITEMS.

Thank you and Happy Friday!

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Learning with Lapbooks

lapbooks

We have been using lapbooks quite a bit this school year. I learned about this tool last year and only really started looking into it this year. We started using Easy Peasy for many of our subjects this year. Lapbooks are utilized a lot… especially with history. I love the idea of lapbooks… that at the end of a unit study, all of the fun projects are preserved in an easy to store file folder.

Here is the reader’s digest version of lapbooking (from my perspective):

1. Choose a unit or subject to study

2. Check out books and look up websites and activities about the subject

3. Each day, work a little on your unit study and add mini books (small books that contain information from that day’s study) to your lapbook ( a file folder… one that has often been doctored up to include more space)

4. Continue to work on these mini books as you work through your unit study until you are done. Complete your lapbook and enjoy.

I’m sure that did not make a whole lot of since, so here are some links to lapbook tutorials that are very helpful:

How to Make A Lapbook

Lapbook Templates

How to Fold A Lapbook

Instructions on How to Make a Lapbook

Once you’ve figured out how to make a lapbook, there are TONS of FREE lapbooks circulating around. At the beginning of this school year, I asked the kids to write down what they wanted to learn about. I took the list and looked for lapbooks to go with the subjects. I was afraid I was going to have to put together my own (which would be fine), but it turns out, I have found lapbooks to go with everything I’ve searched for so far. Here are some of my favorites that we’ve done so far:

Pandas

Simple Machines (I did pay for this one, but it was well worth it as all the info needed is included)

Legos

Owls

Fall Leaves (this one is $1.00)

If you go to Pinterest and search for Lapbooks, all kinds of wonderful resources will pop up. Here are a couple of sites that offer free, complete lapbooks. You can also piece together your own lapbook by gathering your own activities and minibooks (check out our Thanksgiving Lapbook from last year).

Homeschool Share

Lapbook Lessons

Homeschool Helper

Do you use lapbooks? What are your favorite resources?

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Fifteen Books and Book Series for Ages 6-10

Book List

Big Brother is a crazy fast reader. He loves books. He devours them. I can’t keep up. I am constantly on the lookout for new books and book series to introduce him to. It’s so hard because so many of the books he is able to read are filled with witchcraft, sorcery, sex, boogers and farts and so much more.

I’ve been reading a book called Six Ways to Keep the Good in your Boy. One chapter was very specific on reading being a huge contributing factor in character development. It strongly encourages us to expose our children, boys specifically, to real heroes and purity and authentic manhood. It does not down booger and fart books… but it encourages to limit them and push your son beyond his current level. It does not down fantasy, but does encourage to stay away from books where the line between good and evil becomes blurred and evil things are made out to be good… like friendly, sparkly vampires… just saying.

So.. with that in mind, I asked Big Brother what his favorite books are and here is the list we came up with (they are in order of reading level/ ability):

Henry and Mudge are great for beginning reading, together or alone. There are several books in the series. A girl’s counterpart exists as well… Annie and Snowball.

All of my children love Amelia Bedelia. It meets several different levels of comprehension. Little Sis and Big Sis love the silliness and Big Brother loves the clever word play. Some of the books are about halloween or haunted houses…we just avoid those.

I will admit. I am not a huge fan of Junie B Jones. I think the language is unnecessary and there is an underlying disrespect for adults. I have had many talks with Big Brother and Big Sister about these books. We talk about appropriate language versus inappropriate. Then we discuss where Junie B should have a different attitude, etc. I also told them that if they started using words like “stupid” or “dummy” etc in their own language, the books would have to go. Honestly… I didn’t make that big of a deal out of the whole thing and they quickly tired of the books on their own.

Read my blurb on Junie B Jones above… that’s kind of how I feel about these books as well. Big Brother is really enjoying them right now. I am okay with it as long as these aren’t the ONLY books he’s reading. They are cleverly written and have quite a bit of subtle humor and word play… which Big Brother is a big fan of.

This mystery series has a female protagonist. She is known for her photographic memory. Big Brother has enjoyed this series as well. There is also an easy reader companion series called Young Cam Jansen. Again, there are some haunted house/ ghostly ones… so check titles first.

We are huge fans of Nate the Great. The easy reader mysteries are very clever and great for fans of mystery and detective stories. They usually include riddles and jokes at the end.

Although there is magic involved in these books (a wizard sends them on their way in the Magic Treehouse to solve mysteries), it is not the focus. The books are filled with facts about history and science. The children have to collect clues to solve problems. We’ve enjoyed the historical aspects about presidents, wars, etc as well as the animals ones about oceans, penguins, tigers and more. Big Brother has kind of outgrown these as they are rather short and a fairly quick read for him.

Although this isn’t a chapter book, it is a favorite around our house. It is also sure to provide hours of entertainment. Watch out though… this books was on the banned book list once upon a time for topless bathers on the beach… I haven’t seen any such pictures in the copies we’ve checked out from the library… maybe it was taken out in later printings?

We just recently discovered the Buddy Files. They are all about a dog detective and his adventures. Big Brother was an instant fan.

This is a classic series about a mouse and his motorcycle. It was a favorite of mine when I was little!

The Boxcar children is about 4 orphaned children who were adopted by their grandfather. The series has several books. We always leave the library with at least one or two in our basket. There is always a mystery to solve.

The Little House Books are a total favorite at our house. Big Brother loves them just as much as the girls. We just recently finished the entire series and they immediately wanted to start all over again. They just love hearing about Laura’s life on the prairie. I have read these aloud, but Big Brother is able to read them himself. Our library has several abridged versions that are great for early readers.

Big Brother wanted me to include this on the list. We read this off and on this past year as part of our Exploring Countries and Cultures from My Father’s World. It is a collection of short stories of real missionaries and heroes of the Christian faith.

I adore the Chronicles of Narnia. They are by far some of my favorite books. While I’m not sure my kids are ready for ALL of the books in the series, I think the first two or three are okay for now. Unfortunately, my kids don’t agree. They were a little nervous as I read through the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I’m hoping they’ll warm up to them soon. I know these books have sorcery and magic. However, what I like it that there is a clear good and a clear evil. The lines are not blurred. You know that the good is good and will win in the end. Not to mention the parallels to Christianity being great for discussion.

The Lego Ideas book is another suggestion from Big Brother. He reads parts of this every day. He has the profiles of the featured builders memorized. He loves to try to recreate the creations in the book and has started putting his own Lego idea book together. This book has inspired him to think outside of the instruction manuals that came with his lego sets.

We just checked out a few more from the library that we are trying out… Hardy Boys (early editions), Sugar Creek Gang, Cul De Sac Kids, Alvin Ho and Summer According to Humphrey.

I would love to hear from you! What are some of your favorite books for children? Please comment below so we can grow this list!

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