Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bird Feeders

We used one toilet paper roll (that was all I had handy) and then cut up some egg shells.
Matthew got to cut the yarn that we would put through the holes that I punched in the toilet paper roll and egg shells.
I smeared on peanut butter and Matthew got to dip the items in the birdseed.
After we were all done, we put them up on hooks on our shed. It was perfect timing because we were just about to get some snow. If the birds found them in time, I'm sure they were grateful!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Free Reading Program that is working! Only today left to get it!

A few weeks ago, I was reading my usual blogs and came across one that said that Funnix was offering their reading program for free until February 16th. I love free, so I decided to download the program right away.

I opened it right up and started to scroll through the first lesson. The lesson appeared to be fairly long and looked very dry. I decided that I was going to skip ahead and see when they would be reading their first story. Well, the first part of the program (you are able to download BOTH the first 40 lessons and the second...I forget how many lessons for free right now) after 40 lessons kids were not reading whole stories! My first thought was that this was going to go way to slow!

I decided to try it out with my son anyway. When I sat down with him, I first learned that I was not thorough enough! Each lesson didn't just have a letter that was covered, there are 9 or 10 sections that work on things like:

"Most of the lessons have 4 main activities:

Children identify sound and letter names.
Children identify words.
Children read a story.
Workbook or Lined-Paper activities." - Funnix website

I had been trying to work with my son on putting sounds together to make that when I say:

kah - ah - tah

He would say "cat". I had been very unsuccessful. I had not considered that he might need something a little simpler to start with. They started him with compound words, so that he'd hear things like:

mail - box

He very easily and quickly knew that the answer was 'mailbox'.

They are also teaching him how to look ahead when he reads. They do this by asking the kids to put their finger on a starting point of a line. When they are told to, they have to move it down the line to the first dot and do what is at that dot. Usually, it is something like touch your ear or nose. Then, when they are told again, they moved their finger down to the next dot and do what is at that dot.

There are many other amazing reading skills happening in this program, so I urge you to take a look.

My son is an early 3 year-old and is having success with this program, but I do sit next to him and follow along and help him. Their site does say that this program is for children ages 4-7 and will take them from "the non-reader to a beginning third grade reading level in 220 lessons".

Also, if you read this post and see that the program is no longer free, no worries! This program is only $25, but will be going up to $38 soon.

I have no been compensated by to write this positive review. I used this product in my home and felt that it was worth sharing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Trying to be a winner this week...

So far, this week has been a winner of a week.

On Monday, I found out that I won tickets to the Auto Show. Cool,  because I had suggested that my husband take his Dad for his birthday. Nothing is better than being able to give a gift that is free.

Tuesday, I happened to be online (a facebook contest that popped up) at the right time and won an overnight at the new Wyndham hotel that is downtown. This is likely to turn into a date night with hubby. An always much needed night away from the kids and just for us!

I was sitting there thinking last night that I wonder if I could win something each day this week! Wouldn't that be amazing luck? I often have people tell me that I'm lucky, because I win stuff. What they don't understand is that I do have my little "tricks" to win!

I honestly would never flat out CHEAT (cause cheaters NEVER win), but I have one trick for winning that I'm going to share....

Say I'm at a Chinese Auction. Usually, if I'm at one of these it is to help support a cause. So, I want to help them, but I want to win too. I walk around and check out the "merch". It never fails...there is ALWAYS one item that everyone wants! It's usually something related to a sports team. If you look at the ticket container for this, it's FILLED to the top! My chances are not good!!! But....the basket of kids toys may only have a quarter of the tickets that said sports item had. Which would I pick?

Of course I'm going to go with the kids toys! Even if I can't use them, I can save them for gifts or put them away for when my kids are older.

Have you ever tried to win something from a website that has a whole bunch of people entering....your chances are horrible!!! Why bother!?

No cheating here....just simple math:

If 100 different people entered for the sports item my chances of winning are 1 in 100


If only a quarter of the people entered for the kids my chances are 1 in 25!

I like to walk away with something!

The Auto Show tickets....I didn't want them for myself, but I knew my father-in-law would enjoy going. Since I had asked my husband to take him for his birthday, I thought I'd at least try to win them! Plus, the source that was giving them away is one that I KNOW isn't going to have too many entrants.

And the hotel...again...that was just being online at the right time....and thanks to Mac Kids for asking me to like them a few weeks ago!

What have you won lately???

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Asking for help....

                                                             My little Valentine last year

First, Happy Valentine's Day!!! I'll share more about what we are doing to celebrate Valentine's Day at our house later today or tomorrow.

I read a blog post this morning that really hit home.

I'm horrible at asking for help! I feel like the fact that I'm a mom that only works 10ish hours a week, I should be able to handle everything all by myself. That's not the case! I actually feel very overwhelmed most of the time. A  lot of it is in my head, but still. I know all of that, but I still won't ask for help. Usually, I won't even accept help when it is offered. My Mom is awesome, because she will insist on helping me until I agree. She knows when I need it most. Thank God for my Mom.

Anyway, as I read this post from "Freelance Homeschool Mom", it was like the heavens opened was one of those, "I never thought about it like THAT before", kind of moments.

Share your thoughts in a comment below.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sick Daddy....

Last night, I had to work. My husband switched his day off to help me out with the kids for the night. I had been looking forward to this night away from my kiddos and the midweek break that comes with having Daddy home.

Then, I woke up to a sick husband! He said everything hurt and he couldn't stop throwing up. Awesome! I immediately got the kids out of the house. We went to Chuck E. Cheese. I knew it wouldn't be too crowded, but I was shocked that we were there for 2 hours and had the entire place to ourselves for the first hour and half! I was able to let Matthew run around while attending to the needs of Chloe.

When we got home and Daddy was still very sick, I decided that I was going to have to take at least one child with me for the night. Chloe was the obvious choice for a few reasons: 1. She's still nursing and it's just easier 2. We wanted to limit her contact with Daddy as much as possible, because we don't want her getting this 3. It would be a lot easier for me to take care of her than to take care of Matthew.

As for work...let's just say that it started off kinda difficult, but twoish hours of difficult stressful babies that are crying and upset was nothing! The night ended decently and pretty quietly. I was grateful for that. We left around 10:30 and I called Scott to check in. I literally got a *groan*. He said he was out of Pepto and asked me to get more. I said I would, but was not too thrilled that I was going to have to take the baby out of the car again for two reasons 1. It was freezing cold 2.I had already been to Giant Eagle today 3. The van doors in the back were frozen shut again and I had to hoist her carseat over the drivers seat! I hate having to do that! It is the only issue that I have with my new van. The stupid doors freezing up!

Does anyone else have that problem? Are there any good solutions?

Anyway, we got out and got the Pepto, and headed home. When I got home, my husband shared that he was so sick that he already called off for tomorrow...WOW!! So sick that he can't wait to see how he's doing in the morning. I can't wait to see how today goes...and how much longer it will be before I get this...Pray that I don't!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012


We did another something that I saw on Pin Interest.

Playdough, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners!  How simple! I really wish you could hear the good stories that my kiddo came up with while we were playing with our aliens.

As we were playing around with this, I realized that it was a great time to work on counting and so we counted the eyes. I'm thinking that when we are working on addition and subtraction we could add and subtract eyes for a math lesson.


I found a fun experiment on Pin Interest. . I decided to try it out with Matthew, but of course I didn't have everything that I needed so I had to make due. I only had only 3% hydrogen peroxide. I know that it said that the this experiment wouldn't work with 3%, but I wanted to try anyway.

As it turns out, this experiment is still kinda interesting. It does not explode quickly, but it slowly rises up and starts to bubble up. You should try it out with your kiddos!

Here's some pictures of what happened for us. Matthew still enjoyed playing with the bubbles after we were done.
Sorry for the darkness on some of these....