Thursday, December 9, 2010

14 Days until Christmas

And as a little gift, I present The 14 Days of Christmas.  I have no idea where these ladies are but they seem like one fun bunch.  Enjoy!

Don't forget to keep checking Shoo Raynor's blog for great drawing lessons.  This is what my girls did today.  I apologize for the poor lighting in these pictures but I just quickly snapped a photo of it tonight because I wanted to show you what your kids can do.  My girls were so pleased with their work today.  It was thrilling to see them so happy about something they'd created.

I hope you're enjoying the Christmas Advent Season!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanks be to God!!!

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!  Here are a couple of goodies I've found and wanted to share.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best. 

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789. 

Rush read this today on his radio show and I thought it would be fitting to print and put copies out on our tables. 

And here's a little something fun to keep the kiddos out of trouble.  Take time to look around Shoo Raynor's blog.  Good stuff there.

Hope you have a great Turkey Day spending it with those you love!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Advent Season is nearing

I usually have good intentions but I recall a saying about a road to "somewhere" being paved with good intentions???   Every year I really wanted to do Advent activities but we just always seemed to fall short.  Thanks to the, yet again, shrewd and wonderful read-aloud recommendation of my good friend, Colleen, last year was different.

So, if you have experienced similar situations...I am imploring you, run don't walk to your nearest book store and get yourself a copy of one of these books in Jotham's Journey Christmas Trilogy.  We started the series last year with the first book in the series, Jotham's Journey

One thing I do recommend is if you're going to use the advent candles (and I recommend it for the ambiance, alone) try to buy larger ones (and I mean large as in "thicker" than just the 10 or 12 inch regular taper candles). Otherwise they'll melt down before you're through because unlike burning them in church only on Sunday, you're burning them every night and they will melt down before the end of the Advent season.  I am thinking this year we may try to make our own beeswax candles.  If I can't find the materials locally, I may just order some from this site.

The candles just add to the whole experience.  Last year my husband usually read the story each night and it was a special, wonderful time for all of us.  I found myself looking forward to each night's reading.  I'll bet you will too.  What special memories our family now holds marking the coming celebration of the birth of our Savior King.  And we all learned a little something along the way too.  Thank you Mr. Ytreeide.

 Sunday, November 28, 2010

So mark your calendars...Sunday, November 28th starts this year's Advent season.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Recently, I happened upon a fellow homeschooler's blog, Jimmie's Place who shares many of my same views on all things homeschool related.  On Jimmie's blog was a link to her darling daughter's blog, Sprite's Craft Corner.  Well, that started the ball rolling and now Ms. Priss has debuted her new blog, Me & My Brilliant Ideas with her "pen name", Lizzy.  (She wanted "Me & My Big Ideas" but that blog name was already taken so Li'l Bit suggest "brilliant" and it stuck).  First order of business...she's describing how to draw a face. 
Please stop by and leave her a comment.  She'll be pickled tink.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Science bits and bytes

As many of you know I was using My Father's World curriculum last year.  But I just was not "feeling it" this year.   So I mixed it up a little bit regarding curriculum. 

Recently I have had several revelations and/or signals telling me that I, indeed, need to be teaching and inspiring my girls more scientifically.  I firmly believe that this nation is in a mess and ONE of the only hopes we have for it is this homeschool generation.  And if they're not scientifically prepared - well, that's just not good on so many levels.  So, how do we motivate and prepare them?  We've got to get motivated and prepared as their teachers.

So, over the next few days (because I just don't have a long blog post in me) I'm going to share some science links, ideas, tips, etc.. that I think are worthy of sharing.  All of these are NAYY...


Teresa Bondora of How to Teach Science is a phenomenal lady.  I purchased and read her ebook, What We Must Teach Our Children In Science , and it has totally changed my outlook.  Even as an engineer I have been somewhat reluctant towards teaching my girls in sciences.  She forever changed that.  Period.


I have talked about this little jewel before but Ellen McHenry is a great resource too.  She graciously offers so much free on her site.  I can't say enough good things about her gift to homeschoolers.

#3 Greg Landry's Homeschool Science Academy offered a Mom's retreat in the NC Mountains this year.  What a treat to spend a few days recharging with other like minded Christian homeschooling Moms.

Greg is a great resource especially if you have older homeschool children.  Send 'em to one of his camps and let them do dissecting with him.  Because I've realized Life Sciences really aren't my bag, baby.


Science Jim is heavy into physics - something this applied scientist appreciates just a hair more than dissections.  He has some really great stuff for teaching the young-uns.


I mentioned earlier that I have chosen to not use My Father's World this year.  However, I still wanted to include geography into our curriculum.  We are using A Child's Geography by Ann Voskamp.  It is really so much more than simply learning geography and cultures.  There are a LOT of scientific terms and concepts covered as well. I will share some specifics on this later in this series of blog posts.


While at the Mr. Landry's Mom's  retreat, I found out about this gem of a book, Handbook of Nature Study.  Can't wait to finally start REALLY scheduling and going on nature walks.  Something I intended to do last year but never actually prioritized.


Christian Kids Explore Science is the science curriculum I have chosen to go with.  I discussed this with Greg Landry at the retreat.  I had found another great curriculum that I absolutely fell in love with but he warned me not to go that route because they have an evolution view of science and even though that viewpoint is not covered in the lower level of their science curriculum Mr. Landry expressed concern of (mom and/or kids) being sucked into that fallacious line of thinking.  And he didn't say this but given the choice I would rather support Christian curriculums/companies.

That's all for now but stay tuned...more ideas to come.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Capitol Tour with David Barton

I got this email the other day and thought it was worthy of sharing.

Watch the whole 8 minutes.  It is really interesting in telling historical and Biblical facts about the Capitol, presidents, and others.  

I don't know about you, but I don't like being lied to.

Monday, August 23, 2010

How do you Do(odle)?

Why must I feel the need to share my life story in every post?  Dunno but here goes nuthin...

Some of you may recall I have talked about my dear, dear hubby taking a short term job out of state a few years ago.  I won't share ed zackery where it was but it was not a "destination" locale that's for sure.  Dry, dusty, desert is the name of the game and I'm used to coastal, fertile soil.  Not 'dem parts.  Not only was it dry, dusty and deserty (is that a word?) but it was also rural.  Very rural.  Pickins was slim for things to do.  So, one day while shopping in the lovely local Wal Mart, I picked up a copy of an obscure little magazine, Homegrown Hospitality.  Immediately I was hooked, snagged up that little jewel of a magazine and went home and visited the editor's blog.  Lawsy me!  I had hit the mother ship.  Stephanie's blog just blew me away and I couldn't get enough of her doodles and cute stuff.

Well, recently she announced an online class she is offering, Doodle 101 Twenty Ten.  This is the first week and lookee what I did. 

Stephanie, if you happen to read this.  I do read your blog.  I know about your aversion to pink, but I'm sorry "pink, it's my favorite crayon" so my very first letter had to be in pink.

Ms. Priss saw me retreat from the classroom wielding 2 pink markers and immediately wanted in on whatever "action" was taking place...  Can I just say that makes my heart want to sing...  So I said, "C'mon in honey-bun."

I was amazed at how easy it actually was.  Especially after Stephanie broke it down into the little steps but most importantly stressed to us to let go of perfectionism and crooked lines were OK.  (BTW, I copied some of Ms. Priss' doodle ideas...I know I am a ruthless, unscrupulous mother)  But...that's beside the point.  Here's my finished product:

I am not 100% sure but I believe there may still be openings in the class.  NAYY.  If you do decide to take it let me know.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Timeline Folding

I have had a lot of people ask me about my timeline and how I actually taped the cardstock together.  Here is my very first youtube video explaining it.  Don't ask me how I knew to fold and tape it like this.  I guess you can attribute it to many years of DVR'ing and midlessly watching craft shows.  So, Carol Duvall eat your heart out....

Below is a visual hopefully further illustrating my point in the video.

One thing that I didn't mention in the video (there were a lot of mistakes and slips of tongue...sheet of tape?!?  I have new respect for people who are on DIY television shows..aaaaanyyyywaaaayyy....)

I used only 1 piece of tape per fold (in the middle of each index card) on the video.  If you're taping a larger (8.5x11") sheet of cardstock you obviously want to use 2 or 3 pieces of tape (top, bottom and possibly middle) per fold.  If you want to tape in 3 spots you may want to tape it at just the top and bottom, draw your line, and then go back and add that middle piece of tape because even a Sharpie or Magic Marker is not going to want to mark over a piece of tape.

Since we're on the topic of timelines you also may be interested in my book of centuries that I created.  I have not really used it much with my girls since it is a little more abstract but plan to use it eventually when they're a little older and no longer need concrete manipulatives illustrating the consecutive dates in that of a real timeline.  You will need to print this front and back and be warned it is A LOT of pages.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sweet Potato Biscuits

If you haven't figured it out by now I'm what you would call a good ol' southern girl.  And when you're a southerner you fix southern food.  Sweet Potato Biscuits fall into the southern cuisine category.  My DH's grandmother used to make them and while I did like them they were very dense biscuits and required kneading and rolling them out which gets quite messy.  And I'm not "into" messy.  Not gonna do it...wouldn't be this juncture.

When we lived in another city we had a Cafe Carolina near our home that made THE best sweet potato biscuits.  To die for.  They served it with shaved smoked deli ham and cheddar cheese.  Little sandwich biscuits of heavenly goodness.  Well, low and behold lookie what I found?  The Recipe.  You gotta love the internet.  You can find just about anything you're looking for on here. 

But I've gone and changed it up because I'm gonna do everything I can to keep from washing a dish.

First off, I cut the recipe in half.  You will be swimming in that many sweet potato biscuits.  This is a good amount for a family of 4 for  My Daddy'd have my hide if he heard me calling it dinner.  In the south we eat supper around 6pm.  Dinner's around noon.

#1 before you do anything else get out your trusted friend - the digital scale.  That baby will save you dirtying so many utensils.  Its a good thing as Martha would say.   That is why I have put the gram weights in parenthesis.

Here goes...

1/3 c. (75 g) brown sugar (plus extra for topping)
2 c. (240 g) Bisquick
1 c. (~260 g) sweet potatoes (about 1 large)

Mix the brown sugar and Bisquick together until blended well.  I found a wire whisk worked best.

Add in your sweet potatoes.  About 260 g of sweet potatoes.  (Don't mind the scale because I've just realized I didn't properly tare the scale so it is calculating the weight of the measuring cup too.)  But I've done all the hard work for you.  All you have to do is tare your scale and dump 'em in.  No messy measuring cup sacrificed.  You're welcome.

I used my magic bullet and puree'd or whipped the sweet potatoes.  I did it the night before and skipped this step and the biscuits had a different texture  and look - the texture was not bad but the biscuits did not look nearly as appealing.  So I think this step is worth it.

Alright.  fold in the potatoes

This is what your mixture should look like.  The night before I used dark brown sugar in the biscuits and I believe next time I will try light brown because the color was darker than I remember at Carolina Cafe.  Anyway make sure you get it mixed well because I had some dry spots...they were still edible though, trust me.

Scoop them onto the baking pan. (I couldn't bake without my ice-cream/cookie scoops) 

Top them with a little additional brown sugar.  Also, be sure to use parchment paper because baked on brown sugar is NOT a good thing.

Put them in the oven at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

And voila...sweet potato biscuits that were easy as...pie?!?  Mmmm...did somebody say pie?!?

First night (without whipping the potatoes and using dark brown sugar)

2nd night (whipping the potatoes and using light brown sugar).

Let me know if you fix you some biscuits and if they were fit to eat or not.  That's a little suthah-nese for ya...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I "heart" Television..hear me out

I am not a perfect homeschooling Mom by AAAANNNYYYY stretch of the imagination.  Let's just say I have my moments and leave it at that.  One of my coping mechanisms at times is the age old baby-sitter, dear old tv.

Last fall, I went with a good friend to hear Steve and Teri Maxwell speak.  It was a nice talk and Steve spoke at the very end.  He described a box in our homes that sucked the life out of all of us.  He was very convicted about this and while my friend pointed out they are the "real deal" as in they practice what they preach and the fruits of their labors are evident, I still can't give up my tv.  (Not to mention the next day I had one of THE worst days in my homeschooling life because I felt like I just didn't measure up to the Maxwell's standards.)  But I'm getting off point, here.

I am brought back to my mother's words to me as a child when I would (I'm sure) incessantly inquire whether any one particular thing was "good for you" or not.  After being asked that question probably a couple of hundred times her reply has been a keeper.  She said, "Ginger, too much of anything is bad for you."

While we try not to keep a lot of news and trivial television on in our house (especially when the girls are around) and we are VERY aware of the influence commercials have.  However we still USE our tv.  We use tv, Nintendo DS's, Wii, and the internet.  But my girls also read books, knit, play board games, play outside, do arts and crafts galore, dance and so on.

This all leads me to the reason I am posting.  I shared on a homeschooling forum a list of television programming that we DVR.  My girls take some of these programs in phases but here is a list of our television repertoire (in no particular order):

  • The Electric Company (PBS)
  • Adventures from the Book of Virtue (BYU)
  • Peep (Discovery Kids)
  • Nest Family Animated Stories (TBN and BYU)
  • Animated Hero Classics (BYU)
  • Fetch (PBS)
  • Animated Stories of the New Testament (EWTN)
  • Animal Atlas (local Fox Affiliate)
  • Jack Hannah's Into the Wild (local Fox Affiliate)
  • Magic School Bus (Discovery Kids)
  • Children's Heroes of the Bible (HOPE)
  • Looney Tunes/Tom and Jerry (Boomerang) - Did I just type that?!?
  • Also ABC Family channel will often have a lot of good movies, etc...
I was watching O'Reilly on Fox news the other night (after my kids were in bed) and he had a guy on from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (....have you ever?!?) that wants to SUE McDonald's over Happy Meal toys.  They claim the toys attract kids and make them fat.  My kids have amazingly NEVER really begged to go to McDonald's and they certainly don't care about the 2-bit toys.  As a matter of fact, we don't even eat at McDonald's because their workers are usually not the squeakiest of clean and I saw this video about an alleged 4 year old petrified Mickey Dees cheeseburger.  Therefore we eat at Chick-fil-A 9 times out of 10 for obvious reasons and guess what?  My girls usually TRADE IN their "toy" for an ice-cream.  Gasp!  (That is when I let them buy the kids meal and don't make them buy a sandwich and split it.)  But far be it from me to tell someone else they can't take their children to McDonald's or anywhere else for that matter.  I'm just sayin'...I think because I have limited my girls' television repertoire we don't have these marketing issues and hence the tv is used as an educational tool in our home.  Boy...I am getting waaaaay off subject in stepping from one proverbial soapbox to another...

I recall my husband's deceased grandmother telling how thankful she was when she got her first television.  As a single mother of 2 children in the 40's and 50's she was thankful to have it to keep them busy when she was working.  Isn't that an ironic point of view, especially today?  I think about how hard she worked just to support her family.  She was an independent woman for sure.  A true conservative through to the bone, relying on her own hard work - not others - for just about everything she had.  I am constantly reminded and thankful to the sacrifices that both my husband's family and my family have made so that now our family can be where we are today, particularly being afforded the opportunity to homeschool and hopefully counteract some of modern society's ills.  Maybe one day I will be telling my children's children how thankful I was to have a DVR.

I guess I just feel like maybe we need to lighten up and remember that too much of anything (including moderation or the lack thereof) is bad for you!  I hope this list of television shows will help bless your family.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

5 Make-Up Must-Haves

Rene at Cottage and Vine recently posted her five favorite cosmetics and asked us to post what five items we would pack in our overnight bag.  If you know me, you know I have an opinion.

#1.  I was so happy to see Cetaphil on Rene's list.  She had the lotion but I can't live without the cleanser.  Years ago I read Paula Begoun's book Don't Go to the Cosmetic Counter Without Me and Cetaphil cleanser was one of her top picks.  I have used it ever since.  I buy it at Sam's or Costco in bulk and my girls use it to bathe with as well.  Paula even claimed that if you need a little exfoliating action that you can mix in a little baking soda with the cleanser.  I have done that in the past when I actually cared to exfoliate.  These days I am doing good just to wash my face.  I did not know however that the lotion would smooth your hair, so.
 #2 If Cetaphil's cleanser makes my list then their moisturizer must be deemed 2nd place.  I have never had any complexion problems using their moisturizer and it is relatively inexpensive especially when compared to department store brands.  I especially like that they now have their moisturizer in spf 50.
#3.  OK...its all about the hygiene.  Because if I'm going anywhere overnight I'm gonna have my toothbrush.  Beauty will just have to wait.  I love these toothbrushes and I couldn't live without my plain Colgate toothpaste (none of those whiteners, total care etc... for me) with their oh-so-luxurious patented flip top.  Can these 2 items technically count as 1?!?  And oh yes, I forgot to mention my Reach flosser.  I probably wouldn't floss every day if it weren't for this baby.  The way I figure it is if you think the flossers are pricey, try having a cavity filled because you didn't floss.  I'll guarantee the flossers will run you a little less.
#4  Now we get into the "beautimous" segment.  I'll have to pick, hands down, MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation.  I love this foundation.  It is so quick and easy to apply and since I tend to have slightly oily skin it does a great job of minimizing that.  They also offer a huge variety of shades/colors.  If you go to their site, sign up for their emails because they're always doing free shipping.  However, the first time I recommend you go to a department store so that you can make sure you get the right shade because I'm not kidding when I say it comes in a HUGE variety of shades.

#5  Since I have long eyelashes I will forgo the mascara and stick with accentuating my lips.  How does the saying go?  "Just put on a little lipstick.  You'll be fine."  I love these Palladio retractable waterproof pencils (by the way I use their eyeliner too).  I get these at Ulta.  I hate it when the wooden encased pencils get worn down and while you're applying it the jagged edge of the wood tears into your lips (or eyes) like Excalibur's sword.  Lots of times I will use this lip liner to fill in my lips completely and just smooth it all out with a little gloss.  Heidi Swapp said on her blog (of all places) to wear gloss in a photograph that it would make you look 10 times better.  Who couldn't use looking 10x better?  I have also heard to pick the perfect shade of lipstick - match the lipstick to your tongue.  It doesn't have to be the same color as your tongue just the same shade.  Because nothing is worse than your lips entering the room 10 minutes before you get there.

So that's it.  My beauty must-haves.  Now, if I could just do something with my hair...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Salsa Chicken

My good friend Colleen and I are always sharing recipes.  She gave me a keeper recently and it has become a staple in our house.  It is super tasty, pretty-darned healthy, and EASY.  It also seems like a summery dish to me.  The worst part of Salsa Chicken is making the taco seasoning but you can cheat and use a prepackaged taco seasoning.  If I can avoid MSG though I try to.  I don't know that any of us are allergic but it never hurts to avoid "danga" when you can.

So here's the recipe for Salsa Chicken.  I use Harris Teeter's mild picante sauce and my children (who do not normally like chunky stuff) seem to like it.

Here is the recipe I use for my home-made taco seasoning.  Like they say use more or less crushed red pepper flakes depending on your family's preferences.  The thing I like about allrecipe's site is that you can change your servings and it will automatically recalculate the amounts needed in the recipe for you.  I usually make about 100 servings of this at time just to have on hand.

We serve the Salsa Chicken over a bed of greens (spinach and/or romaine) with sour cream.  We will also have some fruit (pineapple or strawberries) which seems to chase the heat a little.  If I'm feeling real crazy I'll serve some tortilla chips too.

Let me know if you make it and if you enjoyed it.

And uh...Colleen how 'bout giving up some mo' recipes like this 'un.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Family Journal

I told you I would post about our family journal.  We've only written a few pages so far.  But so far so good.  Our Summer Bingo sheets are really helping us stay on task in that regard. 

Here is the notebook I decided on.  I was with a friend in Barnes & Noble and we happened upon these in their bargain book section.  I snagged it up because it is all about what looks good in Mommy's living room, now isn't it?!?

It may say $17.99 but if you know anything about me you know I NEVER pay retail.  I believe this little baby was only around five bucks.

Now, here's the segway.  A couple of years ago my husband took a job out of state in a wretched awful place that was dry, dusty, and windy.  Dry is ok.  Dusty - I'm used to inside my home.  Windy - fine at the beach (well not really - since that experience I have come to realize that I detest the wind).  But, I digress.  Combine all three of those elements while residing in a 2nd floor apartment?  You're looking at some unhappy campers.  Not to mention there was NO shopping in this little neck of the woods.  So, we spent a lot of time at the library.  And luckily that place was a gem.  We happened to find a little book there called Dilly's Big Sister Diary.

It was such a cute little book, I decided to hunt it down and buy it , I believe on Amazon.  The concept of doodling and journaling comes to life in this book.  Dilly is a big sister expecting a new baby brother and her mother buys her a journal to write down all of her thoughts.

It really is a cute little book.  Some parts make me want to cringe (just a little) but all in all it is a cute story.

I think there are some similar American Girl books in this style too but I am usually a little stand-offish from most American Girl material.  Anyway, here are some samplings of our entries...nothing much other than just chronicling our daily lives.  I usually try to date the entries because I know the girls usually won't.  And oh yes, I like to make sure to include pictures.  Can you tell that from my blog?

It is ordinarily (I say ordinarily like we've been doing this for years) just light conversation back and forth between us.  We may or may not talk about what we've written.  Most of the time that is the fun of it - not talking about it and reading what someone else has written.

It is living history in the making.  Do this today.  Like the Nike commercial says, "Just do it".  Make it a habit.  You will not regret this.  Years later you will be so glad you did.  I know it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Bingo

Recently my friend Alicia and I were talking about our summer plans.  She sent me a link to Stacey Julian's blog post from last summer for her Summer  Bingo game.  I fell in love and immediately set to work to create some more (different) Bingo cards.   I simply used Stacey's template and just filled in with my own "tasks".  Here are some of the "task" ideas I came up with.

Fun and Games
Play charades with your sister
Build something with only 25 Legos
Build something with only red and white Legos
Play Memory with your sister
Play school (in your room)
Play Mancala (in a closet)
Play any board game with your sister
Play a SMART computer game
Play the Tea Party game
Play a game from the yellow book
Play checkers
Play Calico Critters
Put a puzzle together
Build something with blocks
Time something out of your stopwatch book
Play with Fractiles

Outside Fun
Make an obstacle course in the yard and have a race!
Do gymnastics across the back yard 
Lay outside on a blanket and play “I Spy”
Bury treasures in the sandbox and have someone find them
Jump on the trampoline
Play Uno outside on a blanket
Make a sandcastle in the sandbox
Play hopscotch
Jump Rope (How high can you count?)
Tap dance in the garage
Roller blade for at least 30 min.
Make lunch and take it outside to eat.
Throw the softball with your sister
Play jack rocks
Make a bike path in chalk and then ride it.
Take photos of nature
Get a blanket and watch the clouds

Journal - Is it more fun playing inside or out in summer?
Write a note or letter and mail it.
Copy a poem and mail it to someone.
Write a note with a question(s)and mail it (send a return env.)
Journal - Picnic or Restaurant?  Why?
Journal - Family Journal
Make a “would you rather” list  in the family journal
Family Journal -favorite ice-cream flavor
Write in your journal
Journal about something you did recently.
Copy a Bible verse in your journal

Call someone and read a short book to them
Call and talk to a family member.
Offer to help a neighbor
Call and offer to help a family member organize something
Make a bible verse bookmark for a neighbor

Chore related
Clean out under your bed
Clean out your sink
Go thru and put away things in your junk basket
Clean out the beackseat of the car
Swiffer floor
Straighten the shoes by the back door.
Clean out the dishwasher
Straighten a drawer in your room
Swiffer the baseboards downstairs
Help a Parent Wildcard (parent chooses)
Dust your shutters
Organize or decorate something in your bedroom.
Set the table for the family.
Check the mail
Water Mommy’s plants

Read a short book
Read a chapter of a book
Read a chapter of a book in Mom & Dad’s room.
Read a chapter of a book outside on a blanket
Read a book in a blanket fort
Read to your sister (or parent).
Read your book in a secret place.
Listen to a book on tape

Play DS Math
Play a math game from the classroom
Write any math facts in chalk on the driveway
Write 8’s math facts on the driveway
Write 7’s math facts on the driveway in chalk
Water paint math facts on driveway
Puzzle– or Math– mania
Do any math puzzle or sheet
Timez Attack (or other PC math game)

Artsy Fartsy
Color a page in a coloring book (Drawer #3)
Do an activity book (Drawers 1 or 2)
Plan a tea party (invitations and guest list)   next week (food and decorations)
Draw with Mr. Kistler (online or book)
Make up a scavenger hunt for a friend
Make up a dance routine
Put on a puppet show
Play dress up
Cut up magazines and make a mosaic
Sketch something from outside
Paint outside
Set up pretend horseback riding in your room
Play store
Make something with beads
Play with Model Magic

I also modified Stacey Julian's rules and prize options, slightly.  Just something you may want to consider for your unique situation.

The Rules
1.    You must make your bed, pick up your clothes in your room and bathroom, and brush your teeth before playing Bingo.
2.    You will receive a new bingo card each week (on Sunday).
3.    You will get one FREE sticker to place on any square on your card.
4.    Be sure to tell Mom or Dad which bingo square you are doing or have just done.
5.    You earn one ticket for every bingo (5 squares in a row).
6.    If you complete your entire BINGO card (blackout) by Saturday night, you will get $3.00 toward something fun.

The Prizes

Redeeming BINGO tickets
1 ticket = Popsicle/ Home-made ice cream cone
           = Stay up until 9:30
2 tickets = 1 hour of Wii (or TV)
3 tickets = redbox rental
5 tickets = sleepover
Finishing one card = $3 to do something fun (ice cream, $ Tree, Michaels, Putt Putt, toy store, etc…)

What I love about this idea is that it is a good way for them to independently experience a lot of different activities this summer.  It puts them in command - they schedule what they want to do when they want to do it (within my limits in the design of the Bingo Card).  Then they have to use some budgeting skills with the "loot" they've earned.  Some of the tasks are super-simple and/or super-fast, some not-so-much, but that's the fun of it.  It is all basically fun, not-so-hard stuff that is rewarded with just more more fun.  Plus is uses down any over-stock supply of stickers you may have bulging at the seams.

Some of the tasks I will use over and over while others I will only use one time.  Since it was important for me that my girls not forget everything they've learned this year, I made sure I incorporated some Reading, Writing, and 'Rithmetic but you may opt not to do so.  Mix it up.  And be sure to post any other ideas you may have to add!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Favorite Things #7 & #8

One of the best inventions ever of all time has to be the timer.  We use these ALL the time (no pun intended).  This one is probably my favorite.  But I have a "collection"....which I will share.

See...nice, new one (above) old one (below).  We use the living tarnation out of these things.

 Notice the broken ring, hence the strap won't attach any longer.  But this one is my favorite because you can key in specific times to the second.  Also, when they're new and chirrens haven't been beating it to death, you can wear it around your neck so if you need to go outside (when something is in the oven) or to another room or floor of your house, you've still got your audible reminder with you.  I like to send these with my girls sometimes when they go next door to play at the neighbors' houses.  I'd be willing to bet my neighbor is probably happy about it too.  Either that or she thinks, "man that girl is anal".  Which is true.

But here is another nice one.  Flip it on one end and it is a timer and the other end is a clock.  Convenient.

See a drawer (labeled - see my previous post on my labeler) with nuthin' but timers.  Happy, happy, joy, joy...

See...analog, digital, orange-shaped analog that smells just like orange...just kidding. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention and actually reading all of my posts!

There's even one in there that is from the Dollar Tree.  It is especially nice to let the girls have one of these to keep in their bathroom to time teeth brushing.  But, don't ask me what bookmarks are doing in the timer drawer.

Having timers will afford you to do stuff like this.  Which is another one of my favorites.  It is a complete list of things I need to do to clean my house complete with approximate times to complete each task.  It is one of Sandra Felton's ideas.  With this list, I can clean the entire house systematically and most efficiently.  However, the very thought of cleaning the whole house at one time makes me want to pass out.  But if I only have 23 minutes.  I know I can Vacuum upstairs.  Which seems to make the task a little less intimidating.  But let's be honest.  I usually have more than 23 minutes to spare.  I just choose to use them sitting here at this life-sucker.

Now, go bless your house and clean something!