Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Scoop (4/26)

 Happy Sunday!
I'm linking up with Teaching Trio for their Sunday Scoop linky party.  Life has been pretty busy lately and I've been a bit absent from social media and blogging so I'm happy to link up!  Click the pic to link up too.

Here's my Sunday Scoop...


Starting Wednesday we have company staying with us everyday except one day through May 17.  So cleaning, laundry, and meal planning are at the top of my list.  

Our church is having an Earth Day Fair after the service.  My kids are excited.  There will be a petting zoo, face painting, and a bouncy castle for the kids.

We are celebrating a friend's birthday at the pool this afternoon with a cook-out.  I'm making cucumber salad and birthday cake.

What are you up to this Sunday?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Stop, Swap, and Roll Blog Hop!

 Hi Everyone!
I'm so excited to be participating in my first product swap blog hop.  Thanks to Melissa from Jungle Learners for organizing this.  Click the button to head on over to her page.

So I was matched up with Amanda from Daisy Designs.  To check out her adorable blog click the picture below.
 Daisy Designs
We each got to choose a product we wanted to try from each other's stores.  I chose her addition and subtraction dice games for math centers.  While I'm not in the classroom this year, I have a daughter in second grade who loves to play math games and needs support with her addition and subtraction facts.  Talk about a perfect match, right?

 Dice Games for Math Centers - Vol. 3 - Addition and Subtraction
My daughter was so excited to try these games out.  First we did the addition

Then we did the subtraction.  Pictures coming soon... little brother deleted them off my phone. 

I printed off a few of the task cards.  There are a total of task cards.  Too many for Suri to do, but so many options for the classroom!  Task cards are great for active learners, like my daughter.  I made her hunt for 5 of them.  I made it fun, like a scavenger hunt.  She loved it!

So what do I LOVE about this product??  Oh, let me tell you...
1.  It just takes dice!  (ok, paper and pencil too, but seriously, 0 prep!)
2.  The dice games are fun!  My daughter enjoyed these and was willing to do them after school.  Now that says a lot, right?
3.  Your students can take them anywhere.  You can make this an active learning activity.  They can work anywhere in the room.  You could even do these dice games outside on a nice day.
4.  There are so many ways to differentiate.  These games will work for all first graders and second graders.  You could even use them with strong kinders or as intervention with struggling third graders.
5.  Playing dice games makes learning and practicing math facts fun!
6.  There are so many task cards!  That gives you options.  You can choose which ones to use and use the ones most appropriate for your students.  Yes, there's an answer key too.
7.  The product is very well organized and Amanda pays great attention to detail.

Want to know the best news??  I'm giving one away!  Are you cheering yet?  Enter below to win!  The contest ends April 28 so enter away!  Don't worry, if you don't win, you can click the picture above to head over to Amanda' store and grab a copy for yourself!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now get hoppin' and see what everyone else is sharing. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Picture Speaks for Itself...

 Before moving to the Bahamas, my husband and I were foster parents.  How/why we became foster parents is for another post or, more like a few posts.  But recently I started following The Refresh Conference on Instagram.  What is that?  It's a 3 day conference for foster and adoptive families to do just what it says... get Refreshed.  I went the first year and it was amazing!  I highly recommend going if you are foster or adoptive parent.  I was so sad that we couldn't travel to go the past 2 years while we have been here. 
I think we can all agree that parenting is hard.  Those of us who are foster and/or adoptive parents have an extra layer or many layers added onto that.  The Refresh Conference recently posted a question that I really thought long and hard about before answering.  What is the best part about being a foster parent?  I can tell you what's not, that's for sure.  :)  But I thought long and hard about what keeps me going when the going gets hard?  What makes me say yes when placement calls and asks if we can take a child or siblings?  This....

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Toddler Tuesdays (and preschoolers too!)

  Welcome to Toddler Tuesdays... where I share what we do in our toddler/preschooler story time.

We start our story hour at 10:30 every Tuesday morning.  Our ages range from 1 year olds to 4 year olds.  So when I plan I try really hard to choose books, songs, crafts, and snacks that everyone can enjoy.  When we first started story hour there were three of us leading the activities.  Now it's down to just me.  I do have to say that there are some awesome moms who step up and help with everything now that I'm on my own.

When we started story hour we used to sing songs, read the book, do a craft, and eat snack.  A few weeks back my son requested that we read the book first.  I thought, "why not?"  You know what?  It was genius!  We always struggled getting everyone to sit and listen to the book after singing songs.  No more.  They sit really well for the story and then are ready to move around and sing our songs.  So that's how we roll now.  :)

Today it was all about trees.  I chose this book. 

I'm 99% sure that this is a reprint/newer edition of a book I loved as a child.  When I found it at a book sale I had to buy it.  I LOVE this book.  There is so much for kids to access.  They are learning about trees, seasons, and animals.  All from one book.  The kiddos enjoyed puffing up their cheeks like chipmunks and making animal noises as we read each page.  Who doesn't love to "cheep cheep" like a bird or "Whoooo whoooo" like an owl??  I also pointed out how the tree is changing as the seasons change.

We also talked about the parts of the tree.

They loved the book.

Then it was time to get our wiggles out and sing.  Here's our current song list:

Now onto our craft!  We made trees today.  I had the parents trace their child's hand and wrist/arm on brown paper with a pencil and cut it out.  This is the tree trunk.  Most of the kids are able to glue now or do most of the gluing so they glued their brown paper on a piece of white construction paper.  Then the fun part began!  We used pink paint and finger painted leaves on our trees using one finger.  I have some kiddos who are reluctant to get their fingers dirty and just don't like to have paint on their hands or fingers.  Guess what?  It wasn't a problem this time.  Look at those fingers hard at work making leaves for their trees...
 Look!  Falling leaves!

 Love his expression!

 Someone is being very careful!

Look how careful she is being to use one finger!

Here's what one looks like when it's all done. 

Then it was snack time.  Sometimes we try and do snacks that go with the theme.  Other times not.  When there were 3 of us working together we came up with some really cute snacks.  Now that it's just me the moms help me out and bring snacks.  Today it was my turn though and I went with our theme of trees.  I sent my husband to the store to buy pretzels and grapes this morning.  The store was out of normal pretzels.  (Bahamas problems)  So he got these Everything pretzel sticks.  They worked.  The parents liked them more than the kids so it was a win-win.  Kids ate the grapes, parents ate the pretzel sticks.

And there you have it!
Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Scoop ~ April 12

 Hooray for Sunday Mornings!
This week was my daughter's spring break and let me just say I am ready for her to go back to school tomorrow.  She is ready too.  I'm linking up with my friends at Teaching Trio for the Sunday Scoop.  Click the pic below to head over to their fabulous blog and link up too.

Here's my Sunday Scoop...

I saw this idea on a parenting post on facebook about creating a points system for the chores that your kids can do around the house.  I'm totally going to do it.  I've already explained it to my kids and they love the idea.  They can turn in their points for money (allowance), extra ipad time, or a fun activity together.  Suri is already thinking money.  Levi is thinking about a toy... how a 4 year old thinks about money.  Last night Levi dusted the downstairs and earned 10 points.  Suri cleared the table and wiped it down.  10 points.  Every 100 points equals $1.  Is 7 too young to learn to mop?  Ha ha!  The house is a mess so it's time for them to get to work!

I have a cross fit workout I have to do today.  I'm going to try and squeeze it in before church.  Otherwise it will have to happen after church before I eat lunch.  Not ideal since we get home around 1pm and I'm usually hungry and ready for lunch.

My poor blog.  All I've had time to do lately is 5 for Fridays and Sunday Scoop linkies.  Time to sit down and write all the posts I have turning around in my mind.  I just need to find the time.  Isn't that the story of our lives?

I need to decide what my kids are having for dinner tonight because...

I'm going out with my husband!!!!  We haven't been out in a couple of months.  We usually are better about getting out together but for some reason we haven't been out in awhile.  We are going to go see Insurgent and then go out for dinner after.  We are going to get to sit down at a table and eat at a normal pace.  No one is going to be wanting anything or trying to get up and run away from the table because they are bored.  We are going to sit and enjoy adult conversation.  I'm just a wee bit excited!

What are you up to today??

Friday, April 10, 2015

Five for Friday April 10

Good Morning!
I'm so happy that it's Friday, how about you?  Thanks to Kacey from Doodlebugs Teaching for hosting this linky.  Click on the pic below of you want to join in on the fun!

Let's get started...

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Sunday was Easter.  Didn't get any cute pictures of the kids but it was a very nice day.  My husband had to work.  The kids woke up and went on their egg hunt.  I made cinnamon roll casserole for breakfast.  The kids and I went to church.  I found these two fun art projects for the Sunday School classes to do.  The toddlers did this one:
I found it here.

The elementary kids did this one:
I found this one here.

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This week was my daughter's Spring Break.  We tried to stay busy and do something fun every day.  We went and saw the movie Home Tuesday afternoon.  It was a cute movie and the kids enjoyed it.  This afternoon we are headed here:
It's been a busy hectic week and there's no better place to unwind than our favorite beach.

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Our guest calendar just started filling up.  We will have guests staying with us starting on April 29 all the way through May 17.  There is 1 day in that window that is a break but other than that we will have company the entire time.  My younger sister, husband, and kiddos are coming first, followed by my youngest sister, husband, and my niece, followed by my best friend from back home.  The kids are excited their cousins are coming.  We are happy to have family and friends come see us!

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This is my newest product I just finished last night.  I plan to upload it this morning before I go to the beach.  It contains 2 sets of Earth Day facts.  10 are true.  5 are false.  Your Earth Day detectives have to hunt around the room to find their cards, read them, determine if they are true or false, sort them by true and false, and record them on the provided recording sheet.  Your kids can either write the facts out (2nd or 3rd graders) or simply record them fact number since each card is numbered (first graders).  It'll be $1 today and tomorrow!

Divider 5 
Did you see this on instagram last night?
Fellow teachers/bloggers and I have teamed up to offer this awesome giveaway!  All you have to do is go through our instagram loop to enter.  You can hit a GRAND SLAM and be entered in the other $150 gift card giveaway if you do the other loop.  Awesome prize!  Who doesn't love $150 to spend at Target?  Hurry though, it ends on Sunday evening.  Do you follow me on instagram?  If not, click the button at the top of my blog or the link below:

 Happy Friday!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sunday Scoop~April 5

Happy Easter!
I'm linking up with Teaching Trio for the fabulous linky: Sunday Scoop.  Click the pic below to join in.

Here's my Sunday Scoop this sunny Easter morning...

Easter dinner...yum!  I love cooking a big dinner.  Ham, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, and sock it to me salad is on the dinner menu.  Carrot cake poke cake is dessert.  It'll just be my husband, our 2 kids, and myself so that means plenty of left overs.  Ham freezes really well so I'm looking forward to that.

I bought my kids cute Easter outfits.  Hoping to get a couple photos of them.  We will see.  This may involve bribery.

I planned art projects for both Sunday school classes, elementary and toddlers.  I need to do a little prep for those.

I have 2 products ready to be uploaded.  Just need to find a few kid-less moments to get it done.

A shower before church would be so nice.  Especially since it's Easter.  The hubs is working so I'm going to try and get my kids busy with something so I can sneak off for 15 min.

Looking forward to celebrating Easter and the resurrection!  Happy Easter everyone!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Five for Friday~April 3

 Happy Friday!
I know my friends back home in Seattle are excited.  Today is their last day before Spring Break!  The Bahamas is a very Christian country and so today is a holiday for all schools and many businesses.  Right now I'm enjoying my cup of tea while snuggling with Levi.  We are watching Octonauts.
Thanks to Kacey from Doodlebugs Teaching for hosting this fun weekly Friday linky party.  Click the pic below to join in on the fun.
Here are my random 5 events from the week...

Last Saturday was our Embassy community Easter event.  We had egg hunts, crafts, face painting, an Easter Bunny, and enjoyed a delicious brunch.
 Levi enjoying the tree swing
Suri getting her face painted
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Levi on the hunt for eggs
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Suri and Levi checking out their stash

 Monday we had a friend come and play for the day.  She and Levi are the same age.  We took them on a treasure hunt on the beach.
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 Then we took them out to lunch at Senor Frogs.  They loved playing on the big swing outside.
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Tuesday was preschool story hour.  We read The Grumpy Morning by Pamela Duncan Edwards.  The kids loved it.  It's about a bunch of animals on a farm getting grumpy because they are hungry.  The farmer has overslept.  While they are "complaining" they are making their animal noises so it was great practice for animal noises.  The kids had fun making the noises with me.

For our project we made Cheerio worms.  
 Cheerio Worms - Simple Fine-Motor Skills Activity for Toddlers and Preschoolers - Mamas Like Me
I found the idea on Pinterest here.  It's great fine motor practice for them and pipe cleaners are much easier for stringing items on.  It's a lot easier to manage than string or yarn for little fingers.  Here's some of the littles busy at work.


My husband took his underwater camera out to the pool to try.  I took it paddleboarding a couple of weeks ago but he had yet to try it.  He captured some shots of my son underwater.
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While I was at book club Tuesday night someone got ahold of a pair of scissors.  His dad had just given him a haircut that afternoon.  Apparently it wasn't to Levi's standards and needed a little refining.  Oh well!  This was the first time.  I'm sure it won't be the last...
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I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!  Enjoy the time with friends and family.  If you're just starting Spring Break... kick back, relax, and enjoy!
Happy Easter!