Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Praying Proverbs 31" Review and Giveaway


Today, I am blessed to be reviewing Praying Proverbs 31: prayers for a daughter's virtue by Tracy Glockle.  This e-book is a 10-week devotional and prayer guide for mothers of girls.  Over the course of the ten weeks, the e-book works through the expectations for a godly woman as outlined in Proverbs 31. Every week, one or two verses are highlighted.  Each daily devotion is short and can easily be done in 10-15 minutes per day.  However, the daily topics are though provoking and left me pondering the daily topic (and its impact on my family) for hours after completing my daily devotion.   As the mother of two little girls, I loved this e-book!  Working through the book helped to focus my daily prayers for my daughters.  In addition, Praying Proverbs 31 reminded me of God's expectations for me, as a wife, mother, and Christian woman and helped guide my prayers for my spiritual growth.  Even though I have already read through it once, I am looking foward to completing this study over and over again as my girls grow.  I absolutely recommend this book to all mothers of daughters.  Praying Proverbs 31 can be purchased starting tomorrow (December 1) from Tracy's website or from Amazon.  And in honor of its launch, the e-book is on sale for only 99 cents! 

I am also excited that I have one pdf version to give away.  To enter the giveaway, follow this blog and  leave a comment below stating that you are a follower.  You can also get one more entry by "liking" Praying Proverbs 31 on Facebook and then leave a comment below.  This giveaway will close at 11:59 pm central time on Thursday, December 8.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Collages, Collages, Collages

Making collages has always been one of Abigail's favorite independent art projects.  She loves choosing pictures from her collage box and gluing them onto paper.  Recently, I have been putting some of the leftover materials from our learning units (unused pattern and counting cards, alphabet flashcards, etc.) in her collage box.  She loves reusing her schoolwork to make art and I love that she gets the opportunity to look at her work again in a more independent manner.  It also makes me laugh to see materials from several different units on one collage!  Today, I want to share a few of her recent collage creations.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Handprint and Fingerprint Autumn Tree

I found yet another idea for an autumn tree art project.  I am constantly amazed by all of the great ideas I have found by looking at other blogs and using Pinterest!  This time, I painted Abigail's hands and lower arms using brown paint and pressed them onto the paper to make the tree trunks.  Then, she made fingerprints using red, yellow, and orange paints for the leaves.  This art project was easy and fun.  Plus, I love that it incorporates Abigail's handprints/fingerprints. 

A Peanut Butter Turkey Sandwich

We had a lot of fun with the turkey snacks that I made last week, so I made one more "turkey" for lunch.  This time, it was an open-faced peanut butter sandwich.  I used homemade bread, peanut butter, a grape, and shredded carrots.  It was easy to assemble and Abigail loved it.  I can't wait to try some cute food ideas for Christmas!

Our Pig Unit

Last month, we went to the state fair.  Afterwards, Abigail wanted to learn about pigs. We spent the following week doing a pig unit study.  I am very behind on posting about our unit. 

Each day, we read a non-fiction book about pigs.

We also read a few fiction books.

I created several pig-themed activities for Abigail to complete.  To download these activities, click here.

Abigail counted pigs,

used pig counting cards,

and made pig patterns.

Abigail spelled the word "pig",

found words that start with the same letter as "pig"

and words that rhyme with "pig".

Abigail demonstrated her knowledge of animal habitats,

practiced tracing lines,

and practiced cutting along lines.

In addition to the above activities, I also found a few pig-themed activities online.
Abigail colored this P for Pig coloring page

and watercolored this pig coloring page.

I had several other fun activities planned for our pig unit, but both girls got sick.  By the time that they were well again and we were back to doing our regular school routine (instead of short, fun lessons spread throughout the day when both girls were feeling ok), Abigail no longer wanted to learn about pigs.  I saved all of the extra pig activities and we will do them later.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Bowling

Last week, I found this cute idea for turkey bowling.  As soon as I saw the idea, I knew that Abigail would love it, so I planned it as one of our Thanksgiving activities.  To make this game, I taped pictures of turkey (I used the turkey pattern cards from 1+1+1=1's Thanksgiving packet, because I already had them printed) onto 10 plastic cups.  Abigail has been loving playing the turkey bowling game!  Even though Thanksgiving is over, we are still playing!  Abigail has also been using the turkey cups to create her own stacking and kicking games; I love when she takes games that I have prepared and uses her imagination to change them!  Because this game has been such a hit, I think that we will do Santa bowling next month!

This post is linked up at It's Playtime.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Autumn Independent Work Packet

We spend several hours in the car each week as we travel to and from activities (soccer, swimming, playgroup, playdates, etc.).  Abigail often asks for something to do while we drive, so last month, I made her an autumn-themed indendent work packet.  It is very heavy on same/different as she specifically asked for those.  To access and print this packet, click here.  Please remember that, while I am sharing this material free of charge, it was created by me.  Please feel free to use it for your personal use, but please do not sell it or claim it as your own.  Thanks!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Construction Paper Autumn Tree

Abigail made another cute autumn tree.  This time, she painted the trunk and then ripped construction paper for the top of the tree.  Abigail LOVES ripping paper, so she really liked making this tree.  When she was done with the tree, she continued ripping paper.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving and Our Thankful Tree

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope that your day is filled with love, peace, and blessing.  We are looking forward to our day together as a family.  In preparation for the holiday, Abigail and I made a thankful tree.  Over the past few weeks, Abigail chose a few blessings each day for which she is thankful.  Many of them were trivial(like cookies), but I also saw that as the month went on, Abigail gained a better understanding of the concept of thankfulness and her chosen blessings became more sincere.  The thankful tree has been a wonderful way for us to focus on how truly blessed we are!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Homemade Thanksgiving Placecards

Every year, we host Thanksgiving.  My parents and my in-laws travel to see us for the holiday.  Abigial has been excited for their arrival and counted down every day until they got here!  She wanted to make "presents" for them.  She created some art projects on her own for them (gluing paper to a box and putting colored glue into paper sack - preschooler designed art projects are really cute!).  Since Abigail really wanted to make art projects for her grandparents and I love placecards for a fancy dinner, we made these turkey  handprint placecards.

We went to the local Michaels and bought cardstock so that they would be very nice.  Then, we sat down together and Abigail made her handprint eight times; some of the handprints turned out much better than others, but they are all cute!  I added the turkey legs and eyes and wrote the names on the cards.  Tomorrow, I will have Abigail put them on the dining room table.  She will love helping and getting to choose where everyone sits!

A Fruit "Turkey" for Snack

I found this idea for a fruit "turkey" and decided to try it for snacktime the other day.  We did not have all the ingredients, so I had to improvise a little.  I used a pear, an apple, Cheerios, dried cranberries, and an almond.  I used peanut butter to hold the ingredients together.  It was very simple to make and Abigail was excited for her snack!

Shoeprint and Handprint Turkey

I found this cute idea for a turkey art project using a shoeprint and handprints.  It was so easy to make!  First, you trace one of your child's shoes onto the paper.

Then, you make handprint feathers around the shoeprint.

We used red and brown handprints.  Once they dried, I drew feet and a face.  Abigail's completed turkey looks like this:

While this was a simple art project, neither Abigail and I enjoyed it that much.  I think that she prefers all of the tree art projects that we have been doing to making turkeys!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Grilled Cheese "Turkey" Sandwich

I had such a good time making Abigail's "turkey" pancake that I decided to continue the fun at lunch that day.  Abigail asked for a grilled cheese sandwich.  Taking my inspiration from here,  I came up with this sandwich.  I used homemade bread, sliced cheese, a small piece of radish (for the nose), two dried cranberries, carrot sticks, and apple slices.  It was easy to make and a fun way to add more fruits and vegetables to Abigail's lunch.  The pancake and grilled cheese also inspired me to create a few more "turkey" snacks for Abigail.  Expect posts about those in the upcoming days.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Handprint Turkey Thank You Cards

We are blessed to have a variety of wonderful people in the girls' lives.  I know that we do not say thank you often enough to the people that are helping us to shape our girls into the women they will become.  With Thanksgiving being this week, I decided that it would be a perfect time to say thanks to a few of these adults.  I had Abigail make these handprint turkey cards for her babysitter, bible study teacher, soccer coach, and swim instructor.  Inside, I wrote a note about how much we appreciate them.  When she sees each of these people this week, Abigail will be giving them the cards and saying thank you.  It is a small act, but I hope that it helps these four amazing people know how much our family appreciates them.

A Turkey Pancake for Breakfast

Recently, I found this cute idea for a turkey pancake.  We had leftover pancakes in the refrigerator, so yesterday, I made one for Abigail.  My version did not turn out quite as cute as the example I used, but I still thought it was good and Abigail seemed to like it.  To make this, you need two pancakes, a banana, dried cranberries, and an almond.  Place one pancake in the middle of the plate.  Cut the second pancake into the shape of a turkey face.  Place two dried cranberries on the face for eyes and use the almond as a nose.  Then, slice the banana and put the slices around the round pancake as feathers.  It only took me a few minutes to assemble this "turkey" breakfast and Abigail enjoyed it. 
This post is linked up at the Preschool Corner.

Handprint Autumn Tree

Abigail and I made another autumn tree.  This time, she painted red and yellow handprints for the leaves.  The original idea can be found here.  We started this project by painting the trunk.  I drew a simple tree trunk outline and Abigail painted it using brown paint.  She did not stay within the lines, but she had a lot of fun painting!  Once the trunk was dry, I painted Abigail's left hand using yellow paint and her right hand using red paint.  Then, I pressed her left hand (yellow) down in three places, followed by placing her right hand (red) in three places.  Abigail really likes doing art projects using her handprints, so she loved this.  This was a simple, fun fall tree project!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Compassion Letters

Earlier this week, Abigail wrote Thanksgiving cards to the two children that we sponsor through Compassion International.  She painted handprint turkeys and dictated a short letter for me to transcribe: "I made you a Thanksgiving turkey.  God loves you.  Love, Abigail."  I wrote a letter to accompany Abigail's letter; in my letter, I briefly explained that Americans celebrate Thanksgiving to be thankful their blessings.  My letter centered around 1 Thessalonians 5:18.  I love that we can incorporate helping others as a part of our homeschooling curriculum.  I hope that writing letters to the children we sponsor will help Abigail to develop a heart for God.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cotton Ball Autumn Tree

We have had a lot of fun making autumn trees, so I came up with another way to do it.  This time, we used cotton balls.  I had planned on having Abigail use the cotton ball to stamp her paper, but she chose to do the art project slightly differently and rubbed the cotton balls along her paper.  The tree still turned out very cute and Abigail had fun painting it!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pear Stamp Autumn Tree

We made a third autumn tree, but this time used a pear to stamp the top part of the tree.  Abigail LOVED this art project and, as usual, she completed it differently than I had planned!
I first had Abigail paint the trunk of the tree.

Then I gave her red and yellow paint and a half of a pear.

She began stamping her paper.

However, she soon realized that some of the paint was going on her hands.  She must have liked the way that the paint felt, because before I knew it, Abigail was finger painting.  I found it very humorous that Abigail chose to fingerpaint; she usually gets upset when she gets even a little paint on her hands.

She ended up with paint all over her hands and arms.

Abigail had a fabulous time with this art project.  In fact, she laughed for almost the entire time that she was painting.  Just thinking about her laughing makes me laugh too!

This post is linked up with the Living Life Intentionally TGIF Linky Party.

A Day in Toddler School, Week Five

After two weeks of having no interest in school, Charlotte was VERY excited about school this week. Each day when I told Abigail that it was time for preschool, Charlotte ran to her highchair. She worked very hard on every task that she was given this week and seemed to enjoy her work. While she did a lot each day, Charlotte's best day in school was Tuesday. On that day, she:

played with her Crayola 3 Ct Washable Tadoodles Crayon Buddies crayons. She did not actually color with them (the marks on the paper were made by me). She moved them around and played with the crayons for about ten minutes.

Second, she worked on her Melissa & Doug Deluxe Jungle Friends (Safari) Jumbo Knob. Charlotte loves this puzzle (probably because I make the animals sounds as we work on it!)

Charlotte's third activity was a task that I made. I gave her an empty water bottle and two unsharpened pencils. Charlotte had to put the pencils into the bottle. This activity is fabulous for fine motor development!  I think that this was Charlotte's favorite task of the week!

Next, Charlotte played with the Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube. She is too young to put the pieces into the holes, so I took the lid off and we used the toy as an in/out activity.

The fifth task that I gave Charlotte was the Lauri Toys Tall-Stacker Pegs and Pegboard Set. Charlotte really liked playing with the pegs, but was not interested in putting them into the pegboard.

Charlotte's final activity was to move the plastic Easter eggs from one container to another.  She really seemed to like doing that!

I was amazed at how hard Charlotte worked and how excited she was for her work. I was especially impressed by Charlotte's concentration. She is a very focused little girl!