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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Activity Day

Sometimes you just need a day out !
Spring is starting to peek at us her in PA. We
have days of clarity and days of rain. Over all
though all of us our just itching to get out of
the house. I feel like we have been trapped in
here for years. Now that's not true of course
but we don't get out as much in the colder
winter months. We often choose staying in and
keeping warm. I'm ready the kids are ready but
our weather isn't quite there yet.

Last Friday we decided to get out. Our home
school group often has activity days. They
present an activity and then the kids can play
in the gym with one another. It is all by choice.
On this particular activity day the theme was
making paper and paper bowls.  Now this was
supposed to be a nice warm spring day but
folks it was not. It was cold out. The kids
were in coats with their hands in cold water.
I so worried they would all be sick. Kids are
versatile and so we did it anyway.   

The person who planned this must be a
saint because what a fun, lovely mess. Our only
job was to bring  bowls, towels and come ready
to create. The kids scooped the pulpy gooey mess
onto their bowls and worked it till it created a
shape. Sweet Pea of course said EWW mom
can you do it. I of course gave her a bit of
a hand but had her do the most part. After they
Got the core of it on their bowl and made
sure there were no holes we choose
some color to add to the bowl.

Our wonderful coordinator had various
colors of construction paper that the kids
could choose and add to their bowls. This
paper was cut up in strips and soaking in
a mixture of glue and water. More Ewws
from Sweet Pea. We dried them in front of
a heater for a few day. They came right off
the molds and we had these marvelous paper
bowls... Now the question what do you put in
a paper bowl?  At this moment they are just
for decoration in the kids rooms. I am sure
they will figure something out to go in it.

We also were able to make some paper.
Now this was even a colder experience because
it was right outside on a blanket. The bowl
activity was located in a little alcove of the church
but this one being a lot messier was outside.
There were dishpans of very wet pulp.
Sweet pea used a screen to scoop it out and
then took a sponge to soak out the excess
water. Her paper turned out different than
normal paper. It dried a bit hard but she was
excited more about the process.

After the kids played in the gym and ran
around. Spirit needed that run around time.
He is such a hyper kid anyway and this was
exactly what he needed. My thought is wow
I wish I had a gym in my house . We sure
could use it.

Hopefully over the next few days we will get
to see more of the nicer weather. Maybe
even a few peeks of those new buds coming
out , Along with a few sneezes. Perhaps even
may I dare say it ... a day at the park. I am
so ready and so are the kids. What are you
doing to keep active ?

Warm Blessings,


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

P= Princess and Pumpkins

It has been awhile since I posted anything here. I really needed a break from blogging. I was beginning to have trouble writing anything anymore. Blogging suddenly became a job and that wasn't the original intent. And so I decided to stop for awhile. Today I felt like writing and I came across this post that I never shared. Of course it is more for the month of October but thought you might like it anyway.

What little girl doesn't love stories about Princess's?
My little one loves everything princess and everything fluffy, girly and Pink. I am so glad she likes all those things I sort of miss it. My oldest daughter loved everything girly too but then along came her next sister and well not so much. Still to this day she does not like over girly things. She chooses boys shorts because they are longer and really dislikes crafting. It has been fun for me after all these years to revisit girly girl things.

Anyway , Choosing a topic for the letter P was easy and obvious. We went with P is for Princess and Pumpkins. We read fun stories like the  Princess and the Pea, Cinderella, and Rapunzel.

I also found this book Wizard, Pirate and Princess things to make and do. It is from Usborne books. Do you know them?? Oh I so love Usborne. They have some really great products and I probably have shelves of them. Whenever I find anything retired at Yard Sale or book sales I grab them right up. You can also host a party and receive lots of free book goodies. If you need a consultant let me know. I know a friend. Now I'm not a big wizard fan but I have used this book for the Princess theme and did a pirate theme recently for the boys I watch. We made pirates hats for an explorers lesson in history too . My 3rd grader loves to make a new hat for each era we are studying.

Princess and the Pea was my favorite story when I was a little girl. Imagine sleeping on all those pillows. The idea of it is just so much fun. I found the picture idea of Princess and the Pea in the book above. Now the princess I drew using the how to guide in the book. I had my little Princess color and decorate hers and lay her on her mattresses. I also drew the bed for her in advance and had her add pieces of scrapbook paper cut into strips for her Princess's bedding. It turned out adorably !!!

This book also showed us how to make princess shoes which went great with the Cinderella story.  Although they turned out a bit to small to wear. I later though Ohh I should have gotten slippers to decorate. I will just shelf that idea for now because I am sure next year we will reread some of these stories and do more princess themes.

Of course the Princess attire would not be complete without the Fairy God mothers hat. This one was super easy. We painted a piece of paper and added glitter to it. Then I just formed a cone with it and stapled it. My Princess found some ribbon to add coming from the top. I probably should have had some elastic to help keep it on but over all it was great for a picture.

 Now since Cinderella's coach was a pumpkin I thought P for pumpkin too might be fun. This went perfectly with the time of year back in October. Keep that in mind when doing a princess theme. I found this printable to make a book called What's inside a pumpkin? I really wish I could remember where I got the printable but since it was October I just don't.  Heh heh.  You could always cut an orange pumpkin shape and write these words on the outside.

Inside the pumpkin we added pumpkin seeds and string to represent what you might see and feel inside.

We also made another orange pumpkin book to help us practice our numbers. I wrote the numbers for her with pen and then mixed up the pumpkins. We practiced a few times counting out seeds . When we were finished we glued them in. At that time she was recognizing numbers to 3 . We are now recognizing numbers to 10 !! whoo hoo Showing progress.

At last years Curriculum fair I found these hard books that you can write in whatever you like. I turned one into an ABC book and each time we learn a new letter we put something inside that begins with that sound. Now next year we will do more letter work and will have this book as a reminder. Our letter P page we used our knuckles to make pumpkins and added paper leaves. She used a crayon as well to make the vines. It turned about pretty cute.

For some Science we learned about the life cycle of a pumpkin. These life cycle cut outs are all over the web. If you google it you will have your choice of many different ones.  This is just a start. I hope to do more plant life here in the Spring. It has gone full circle.

I believe the following math pages came from Teachers Pay Teachers by Amanda Myers.  Have I ever mentioned How much I love them. I love being able to find things that teachers prepare. They know what we need they just do. Anyway I think this one comes from her Pumpkin No Math Prep e-pages. They were right what I needed. Now many of the pages I get for preschool can also be used for Kindergarten later. The skill is simple and then becomes complex as the sheets go. So next year I can use these pages again and they were only $4.00.

Last were some writing P sheets. The Highlight a Letter was a freebie from Teachers pay teachers. The color pages with the pig came from a writing workbook I had bought a few years ago. The Poem about Pumpkins came from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I printed one for each letter . We read it and then she highlights the letter P. Great recognition activity. Lots of letter P fun. Of course we always do our Handwriting without tears activities as well.  

I wish I would have had it in me to keep up posting of all of our letters but at very least you can get an idea of what we have been doing. I will hopefully be able to share more of them before the year ends and we will be doing more letter work next year in K so more to come anyway.

It's good to be back writing again. I might not write daily but I will share my thoughts and ideas when I have them.

Warm blessings,


Monday, November 24, 2014

H- is for Halloween

Halloween Yeah.. I'm a bit behind in sharing this one with you but didn't want you to miss out on some of our activities. We did a lot of Activities that week and many I missed taking pictures of and documenting. That happens from time to time. I did want to share with you my Sweet Peas adorable little painted pumpkin. We like to paint them when they are this age. I then sprayed it with a clear gloss spray to make it look shiny and professional. She loved that.

We are still working on learning our numbers from 1-5. I want her to recognize the numbers when she sees them. We made these cute little monsters to help with that. I laid out number cards and she would count out that many lil monsters.

To go along with our monster theme for Halloween we made this monster number book. One hair, one eye, one mouth, one nose and then Two hairs, two eyes, 2 noses, two mouths and so on until we reached five. There were loads of giggles with this activity.

We also did our usual Handwriting without tears writing. We used our song book and our pocket chart material just like we did with the letter A.

We also added this Handy Horse in our ABC book!
H= Horse.

Just a few shares today.

Warm Blessings,


Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekly Randomness

1. I am completely swimming right now in everything. It feels a bit overwhelming but I'm working on digging out little by little. I keep telling myself one thing at a time. It is all paper... lesson planning, grading, blogging, church planning and a house cleaning. Ok well its not all paper.

2. Lately I have been babysitting and I am loving these little ones. I go to their house which I like even more than being here because I can focus solely on them and not so much on my own messes.

3. Tomorrow is our Church Bazaar and I'll be working in the children's room. I have all the crafts prepared completely but one which will take me 5 minutes in the morning to finish up.

4. After the church bazaar we will be heading over to my grandsons house for a double birthday party. I know its going to be a fun long day.

5. My daughter picked her Bridesmaids dresses. I will share better photos soon. This is from her phone and as close as we could find but I think its a bit of a darker blue and more sheer compared to this one. Can't wait to see all of this together and yet there is so much yet to do.    

Warm Blessings,


Friday, November 14, 2014

Little Love

I found this little sweetie on my laptop this morning from my sweet little one. It is so nice to bloved.These moments make being a mamma worth more than money can buy.

Warm Blessings,

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Out of the Box Games- Snake Oil Party Potion- Review

It's time for some fun with Out of the Box Games and the Game Snake Oil Party Potion. Snake Oil Party Potion is a $14.99 Value.  The kids love games ! It's just so fun to gather with the family and enjoy each others company. This particular game is for children ages 8 years and up. However I think younger children can play if the cards are read to them.

The party potion Game is a new add on to the snake oil family. It is a smaller game and more portable. You can play it alone or add it to the original game to make more card combinations.
Out of the Box Games Review

How to Play:

You will need 3-6 Players to play the game.

Each player receives 6 cards.
One of the players will need to be the customer. The customer in the game will choose a customer card and take on the role of the card. Such as caveman or maybe a clown.

The player then choose 2 word cards from their pile of 6 cards to create a product that the customer might like to purchase. The players have 30-40 seconds each to try to convince the customer to choose their product.

The play that the customer choses becomes the new customer and receives that persons customer card.
You can see who can collect the most customer cards by the end of the game. There are other variations of the game that you can try.
We played the Game and what a riot. The kids had a good time creating products. My kids are extremely creative and I just sat back and laughed.

What I liked out this game is that it has educational value without the kids even realizing it. They learn to speak clearly, creativity, innovation, and other verbal skills. Great fun for all of the family.

We absolutely love this game and I hope to add the original game to our game stash as well. I loved how it fit in with a wild west sort of theme and could be played along with this type of study for a fun additive.

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Warm Blessings

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Purposeful Design- Understanding the Creation (Review)

Of course I say... that I love teaching bible to my kids. The bible is such an exceptional book for teaching and sharing the love of our Lord. This great big book though can sometimes cause me to wonder... Where do I start? Well, why not from the beginning with Creation. Purposeful Design has this lovely hard bound book to help you understand creation. It is a nice supplemental book to use along with your bibles.

Purposeful Design Review

Purposeful Design- Understanding the Creation by Jay Schabacker is a hard bound book valued- $18.95. The book is meant for all ages to be read.

I was so excited when I got my book to see that Jay had signed it. Nothing warmed my heart more. Thank you Jay Schabacker for taking the time to put such love and care into this book Purposeful Design Understanding the Creation.

This book is different than any other creation book I have encountered. It isn't just about the creation story but it takes you deeper. Helping you to see the glorious miracles right from God's hand. These things seem everyday to us because we wake to them and leave them in sleep each day but they are so worthy of our questions and attention. God is so awesome and powerful. Purposeful Design will help your child realize all that is around them.
Purposeful Design Review

The Chapters Represented are as follows.
  • Chapter 1: The First Day: Creation of the Heavens and the Earth, The Foundation of it all
  • Chapter 2: The Second Day: Creation of the Atmosphere and Water
  • Chapter 3:  The Third Day: Creation of the Dry Land and Vegetation
  • Chapter 4:  The Fourth Day: Creation of the Sun, Moon, and Stars
  • Chapter 5:  The Fifth Day: Creation of the Birds and Fish
  • Chapter 6:  The Sixth Day: Creation of the Land Creatures and Humans
  • Chapter 7:  The Seventh Day

    Each chapter of the book takes you on the wonderful discovery of God's creation. For example in Chapter 1 you read the biblical account of the start of our world but then you look into how the Moon and stars orbit our earth. You learn how everything occurs to the second and no other could plan so well but our Lord and Creator. When you look at things like this your mind cannot fathom all that God is but you realize that you are a part of a greater unity than you can possibly understand.

    In Chapter two we took a look at the water cycle, which by the way fit nicely into my third graders Science and literature unit. We have been studying the water cycle and then reading about it from a weather magazine. So we had another source to look at and a very different perspective then from a secular magazine.

    Another match up in curriculum was from Chapter 3. We learn of the plants that grow on our earth and how each is made specifically for us. This one fit nicely with my preschoolers study on apples. You will take a closer look at an apple and learn how it is useful to you. Very interesting ,things I had never considered. We are given these things and we just enjoy them. We don't stop and think of their benefits. It just reminds me that we should stop and thank our Lord for all of our blessings.

    Skipping around a little on the 5th Day God Created Birds of the air. Our study on animals and their biomes later matched this look at God's wonderful creation. I was pretty happy that so many of the chapters could be related to lessons that we were already doing.

    You will also learn about the seasons, instincts of salmon, (I always found these fish fascinating) Cattle, Camels, and the amazing Human body.  The chapter on the Human design would be a great precursor to a more intense study. It talks about the brain, skull, hair, ears, eye, mouth and nose.

    And then on the Seventh day God rested. He modeled for us that our bodies need that day of rest. God wants us to rejuvenate our souls and sit in quiet worship with Him. It closes with Proverbs 19:21, Romans 8:28, Philippian's 2:12-13 and Ecclesiastes 8:17 and 12:13-14.

    Along with this book you can head over to Purposeful Designs website to get your free study guide to go along with your book. It's called
    Young Explorers Club. You would be able to use this guide with Upper elementary and older. There are fill in the blank questions from the book to help you solidify the material. We did not use the explorers club although it is a nice additive. We are more hands on homeschoolers but I can see this being a wonderful resource for those that enjoy worksheets.
    About Jay
    I wanted to add here that I was impressed when reading about Jay Schabacker. I like to take a look at the writer of my children's books to make sure their beliefs align with ours. I was impressed by the fact that He in essence is a scientist but also  maintains his faith. Sometimes not an easy thing. If you would like to read more about
    Jay Schabacker you can learn more on the website.

    My thoughts on the BookWhat I liked the most about this book was that I could really relate this to my children. They were able to stop and smell the roses so to speak taking a good look at Gods design and it's purpose for our lives. The pictures in the book are attractive to children. I specifically enjoyed that I could relate parts of it to each of my children and even learned a good bit myself.  Since we are hands on homeschoolers I did kind of wish there were some suggested hands on activities however, this momma is pretty creative so it didn't cause a big issue for me.

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    Wednesday, November 12, 2014

    IXL - Review

    Christmas Book Review

    Practice, Practice ,Practice... Sometimes with certain topics all the child needs is a bit more practice. My daughter who has dyslexia would often need to see a concept more than one way. It would be that 130th time that I showed her that she would have it and retain it.  She was my first at home child and I soon learned that practice was sometimes all we needed to succeed. IXL will give your child all the practice they need. I love this quote off the IXL website..."Practice is like Play. " A perfect why to explain IXL.

    IXL for one student is $9.95/month for one subject, or $15.95/month for both math and language arts. Additional students is only an extra $2 per month.

    An annual subscription is $79. for one subject or $129 for both math and language arts. Each additional student is only $20 per year.

    IXL gifted the crew a one year Membership for up to 5 students. That included IXL Math and IXL Language Arts.  Math covers topics from Prek-to 8th and then includes Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2 and Pre Calculus. Language Arts runs from 2nd -8th grade.

    I started out using it with my Pre-K student and my 3rd grader but later had my 8th grader do a few things in it as well.  Parents have their own log in so that they can keep track of students usage, progress and achievement. IXL will compare your child's scores to state standards and is Common Core Aligned. Here in the parent account it will calculate the data you need for your child to excel. There is an easy to use tool bar that shows you all of your child's content and what they might need to practice more.

    When you open your IXl you will choose which level you would like to work in. There is a list of skills under each grade level for math and for Language arts. You can pick and choose which skill you would like to work on or you can have your child work in order through the program.  Once your child is ready or finds the topic they need. They simply click that link and begin working. Remember this is a program meant to be used in addition to your regular curriculum. It is a wonderful way to supplement what you are using and get in that extra practice as it is needed.

    When I received the program I began using it with my preschooler. In the mornings I have her preschool day set up in blocks. So that in the morning she works on a little bit of math skills and in the evening language arts skills. There are no language arts skills in IXL for Preschool. Our language arts time at this level is reading stories and working on our ABC recognition.  In the math program she was able to practice shapes, numbers to 3, 5 and then 20. Classifying, comparing, position and money just to name some of them. My girl knows her shapes well but has been struggling with reversing 3 and 5. This worked well in trying to solidify what I was trying to show her. This must be a typical problem because there is a specific 3 and 5 section. Your child will count and then they can practice the number recognition.  We are still working on it but I really saw improvement with the practices.

    My 3rd grade son utilized the program practicing his multiplication facts. Math was the area he needed the most practice.  There are many topics in the 3rd grade math such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, time lapse, measurement , graphs, decimals, statistics, and more. As I mentioned above we have been working on our multiplication facts. There is an introduction to math facts and then a skill building section. Each fact is represented so you can practice 2's, or 9s or whatever you want to practice. You can even practice them all together. What I was surprised about when beginning our introduction to multiplication is that is aligned perfectly with our current math curriculum. We were able to practice any of the sections from his math book. I really like to give the kids as many different ways of learning as I can. This provided a visual that I could not have provided in the way it's resented. Kids at this age love playing on the computer so it felt more like play than study. If my son was correct it told him immediately and if it was incorrect it showed him why.

    Later I had my 8th grader join in. I didn't think he would be able to use the program at first but he could. In fact all my older students would benefit from this practice. I honestly wish I had loaded all the kids. I only added my younger two but allowed my 8th grader to try a little under his sister so we could explore the language arts program.

    You see in 8th grade our big nemesis is grammar. I have never been that great a grammar and so I am not very good at teaching it. I have to learn first and then teach him. It is often rather wobbly. When I looked over the language arts I wasn't sure what to expect but you can imagine my euphoria when I saw all of these grammar concepts...

    If we didn't quite have a concept we could look in the 7th grade program as well and work our way up to something.  Honestly this practice was perfect for him and for me. Recently we have been working on prepositional phrases. Below is an example of what my son came upon .

    When he selects the phrase it highlights the text. If he is correct it tells him and if he is not correct .... It tells him why. Big Big Big when you are in he upper grades and really need the why something isn't correct. I can use my teacher guides all I want but if I can't tell him why it is wrong. What use is it to him.  I was a little disappointed IXL ended at 8th grade but the good news is that it is a work in progress and the upper grades are coming soon!

    My thoughts on IXL
    IXL is a very basic program. It excludes the bells and whistles but is about content. I like that for my learners that do not need the distraction. Often times I would find my child struggling a bit with a topic and we would turn to IXL for more practice. It is a wonderful supplement to what you are already doing. My oldest daughter later this year will be doing Pre Calculus. I can only imagine how much this will helps us as we go. Honestly right now I wish Chemistry was there too. I can only see IXL growing as the years go and can't wait to see what else is added in the future. Thank you IXL for all the practice. Mom sure needed it.

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    Warm Blessings,


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    Friday, November 7, 2014

    Weekly Randomness...

    Time to share a little Randomness.

    1. The fire photos were taken at our Co-ops Safety day. It was an Awesome event. There were probably over  10 community workers there who would speak to the kids for about 15 minutes or so each and then they would move on to the next. Some gave out goodie bags and some didn't . The kids came home with so much information. It was a great day!

    2. Nov. 5 was my Birthday. We spent it at home doing our school work having a regular day . My parents stopped in for lunch. They brought pizza and cake. I really am not a big lets celebrate my birthday sort of girl but it was a nice day.

    3. I like using Body Spray over using perfume. I especially am in love with Bath and Body works . I love the sweeter scents and fruity.  

    4. The boys had some fun at Rabbit club too. They dressed their rabbits in costume . Then they had an achievement night. At Achievement night the boys each received gold ribbons for their rabbit notebooks!
    In their notebooks they learn more about taking care of their rabbits. They keep track of their care and their show material. I am so proud of all their hard work.

    5.. Its out just for a short time. My favorite Sierra Mist Cranberry Soda. I so love it. So I am scouring the stores looking for more. I need to stock up because it soon will be gone.

    Warm Blessings,

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    David Nicholson - If He Had Not Come - Book Review

    In years past we have made the count down to Christmas memorable in several different ways. My favorite way has been reading a new Christmas story each day up until Christmas starting December 1. Over the years I have collected some treasures and I have collected a few fluff books too. If He Had Not Come is not one of those fluff books. It is perfect for putting the focus back on the reason for the season.  

    Christmas Book Review

    If He Had Not Come  is reintroduced by David Nicholson a 18.95 value for a hardbound book and $3.99 for the Ebook version. The book is in picture book style Illustrated by Charles Jaskiewicz.

    This book is written for children ages 6 years and up. Although as the parent I would review the book first and make a decision about that based off of your knowledge of your own child.
    Christmas Book Review

    About the Story:

    The story is about a young boy named Bobby who is excited to wake up Christmas morning and open all of his Christmas presents.  Before he heads to bed on Christmas Eve his father opens his bible and reads from it. The verse there that reads "If I Had Not Come" stays in his mind as he heads off to bed.

    When Bobby wakes up in the morning he races down the stairs only to find nothing... no tree, no parents , no gifts. He seeks out his family and tries to find them at work. Only to come across grouchy people with no spirit for our Lord and Savior. He is briskly sent on his way and he seeks other avenues of help only to be turned away each time with the people having no knowledge of Christ or Christmas.

    He  eventually comes across an elderly man needing medical attention. In his effort to seek help he is unable to find anyone willing to help. All the homes and shelters no long exist because people aren't willing to help without Jesus.  Bobby is happy to find that it is all a terrible Dream. He wakes up less worried about his gifts and more focus on the Reason, Jesus Christ.

    Secretly I suspect the world would be a lot worse than portrayed in this children's story but it gives the kids something to think about . Christmas isn't all about getting it is about Jesus' life and giving.

    There is more than just a story.In the back of the book you will find resources to go along with your story.

    Interactive Topics for families and Sunday school teachers -  This section provides discussion questions that go along with the story. They are in chronological order so you can ask them as you read or come back to them at the end. This is one page in length.

    Going Deeper- Takes you to the bible. It shares bible verses pertaining to some of the questions that are raised in the interactive topics section. This guide is also one page in length.

    Gospel Message- Outlines the New testament message. (1 page)

    Lastly there is a suggested crafty style activity in the very back.

    My thoughts: I work as a Sunday school teacher and as I read this story I kept trying to seek the deeper meaning. I read this story to my 8 year old son and he picked up on it quickly. When the story was over I felt like there was so much more I could do with this story.  Jesus was born to save us from our sins. His birth also sparks many charities and pushes people to want to do more and give more of themselves. As I read I kept thinking this would be a great book to use when introducing the Christmas Child boxes that our church sends to other countries.

    This will definitely be a story we read again at Christmas time and will be a part of our days before Christmas story time. Our church this year on Christmas Eve will be hosting a Pajama party for our children and I thought this may be the story we read to the kids this year. So much to think about the night before his we celebrate His birth.

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    Warm Blessings,

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    I would love to hear from you. Feel free to comment or leave a message in my message box. I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thank- you for visiting Angels of Heart.

    Rejoice in the Lord Always.