Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snow Day

Please ignore the dirty floor. It's sand from the snow I promise!
So the New England received a ton of snow the day after Christmas. This is only our second snow this year. I can't believe it. The first year that we moved up here it snowed in October. Now that I have two busy little boys I'm happy that the snow held off as long as possible. Poor J looks like the kid from the Christmas Story movie. I think I was sweating after pulling and tugging to get all those boots, jacket, and gloves on the little guy.

It was so worth it though. He had a blast...and then took a 2 hr. nap after! I'll do what ever it takes for a quiet afternoon!!!

He climbed up and down the hill that is next to our house. The same one that I grumble about every time I have to go grocery shopping (parking area is at the top of the hill). Today I LOVED it though.

We also built a snowman. I don't think I have built one in over six years. That's one of the great things about having little children. You get to be a kid again too.

  If you got snow I hope you get to have as much fun in it as we did today!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Yummy trail mix

While out and about on all of our Fall activities (hiking, visiting local farms, apple picking, get the picture) we could use a yummy snack! Hubs and I came up with the perfect mix:

*1 cup of unsalted roasted peanuts
*1 cup of raisins
*1 cup of peanut butter chips
*1 cup of dried cherries
*1 cup of chocolate chips or M&Ms
Mix in a bowl and then place individual servings in snack size zip top bags. Usually I double the batch since we go through it so quickly. :) I think this is the perfect mix of sweet, salty, and savory.
Before we head out the door we throw a few snack bags of trail mix, water bottles, and some fruit or veggies in a bag. Then we have a healthy snack and are not tempted to eat junk food!

Apple Picking

Well it's Fall in New England! We are surrounded by apple orchards and pumpkin patches our here. So the hubs and I took the boys out to pick some apples, go on a hay ride, and pick out a pumpkin. Here are a few pics of our great adventure.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A simple wedding gift

Sugar and spice and everything nice
My younger sister is getting married this Saturday (yay!!!) and I told her that I would set up her spice and baking cabinet...or where ever she wanted to put those things. I came across some basic glass jars at Target. I like things plain and simple (maybe a little too plain), but my sister likes color! She is helping step out of my color phobia little by little. :) I was looking for some way to label the jars, because the last thing you want is baking soda instead of sugar in something! I came across these cute letter stickers. How fun are they! They serve the purpose and add a little personality as well. I think I should make some for my kitchen too.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall Decor

Over the TV cabinet

On top of the book shelf in the Living Room

On the Kitchen table      

In the Dinning Room

Here are a few of the Fall touches around my home. I picked up a large bag of gourds at BJ's and spread them out around the house. I like the green and white ones and get tired of orange each Fall. I also picked up some fake orange and yellow leaves at Wal-mart. They add a nice punch of color in the corner of my Dinning Room. The pumpkin tins are from the dollar section at Target (don't you just love that section!). I have to be careful what I put on the bottom shelves since two little boys like to play with anything I set there. :)
Who me?
Not me either Mommy!

Friday, August 13, 2010


Today we are learning about numbers one through three. To do this we are using a page from his workbook, a few dry erase cards, the abacus, and the cash register. We practiced number recognition with the dry erase cards. J thought this was fun since we had not used them before.

Then we played "store". I made some simple paper money last night. I used green construction paper and wrote a 1 on each piece of paper and a smile face. Then I made price tags and placed them on a few toys. We found the cash register at the thrift store last week.
J and I took turns shopping at the store and working with the cash register. This was a great way to practice number recognition and counting. He had to tell me how much each toy cost based on the price tag, find the numbers on the cash register, and then count the money. We also practiced using good manners to greet the
We also practiced J's cutting skills. I made lines on a piece of construction paper and he had to stay on the lines while cutting.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Learning about letter "H"

Today we learned about the letter H.  I showed J the letter on the card and told him what it was. Then I gave him the letter H that I had cut out of cardboard the night before. He squirt glue on the letter and then applied cereal all over the letter H. Cereal has nothing to do with the letter, but it is a fun activity. We talked about words that start with the letter H while he worked on his craft. After he was finished he got to eat some of the cereal. This was a special treat since I never buy the sugar stuff! :) Once the glue is dry we will hang it up in the play room with the other letters we are going to work on.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


It seems like everyone is getting ready for school to start in a few weeks. All the school supplies are on sale and the stores are boasting about huge back to school sales. Parents can't wait for the kids to go, and the kids are hoping that summer will last forever!
        Now that J is three, my husband and I have been talking about him going to school. At this age Preschool is more about their social development than academics. We looked into several options and came to the conclusion that it would be best for our family if we taught him at home this year. He attends Sunday school at church, a mom's group, and the library reading program each week. Not to mention frequent play dates. So as far a socialization goes I think he's covered.

          It would be very easy for me to spend a small fortune on school supplies that we "must" have. I love school supplies! There is something about a brand new box of crayons that makes me happy. (I'm easy to please I guess) I have managed to find some wonderful school supplies at the thrift store, dollar store, dollar section at Target, and TJ Max! Along with books from the library I think I'm all least my husband hopes so! ;)

So here is a run down of what we will be using this year:
 Alphabet, Number, Color, and Shape Workbooks (mainly all from the dollar store)
Craft supplies (dollar store and Target/Wal-Mart)
Books (library, yard sales, and thrift stores)
Puzzles (Target dollar section and TJ Max)
Blocks (Wal-Mart)
Lacing patters and beads (from Aunt)
Abacus (thrift store)
Play-dough (homemade)
Shaving cream (dollar store)
Alphabet cards (Thrift store)

J is so excited about all his school supplies! We only spend about 15-20 min. each week day sitting at the table doing the school work together (he's only three). During this time we work on one page from the work book and some sort of hands on/fine motor skill...cutting, finger paint, play-dough, lacing beads, etc. Then we move onto a floor activity...blocks, tinker-toys, Leggo, etc. . Moving to different stations helps with his attention span.
We do all this during N's morning nap time, which is usually between 9am to 10:30ish. After that we either run errands if needed, or go to the library, local farm that we are members of, play-date, or some other activity. After lunch and the boys nap time we then continue the learning time with a life skill lesson. This could be anything from helping Mommy cook, set the table for dinner, water plant, or even a nature walk. Then there is more free play while I finish dinner prep. Before bed we read several books together as well.  J is responding really well to this schedule since he has Mommy all to himself in the morning.
I welcome any creative ideas on what others are doing with their preschoolers. I have learned so much from the blog world!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


One of my favorite spots about this house is the playroom down in our basement. Since we live up in New England and have REALLY cold Winters this room gets used a lot. I also host the church moms group and this room is a great spot for all the kids to hang out while the moms have their bible study upstairs. So let me give you a tour...

 As you first come into the playroom you will see our "art center" and toy shelves. I found the easel at the local thrift store for around $10, the ABC's at the dollar store, and the car rug at BJ's. The small table/chest was mine when I was a little girl and it makes a great toy table.
The large book shelves were left with the house! yay! The containers are from the dollar store. I did not want a big box for all the toys to get thrown in. Things get lost and broken that way. I also like the fact that some of the shelves are out of a child's reach. Sometimes I need a spot to put my glass of water, phone, or what ever I don't want little hands to get a hold of. ;)

 This is where we "park" the cars and trucks. I have two boys...there are never enough trucks! ;) The desk chair is where I sit (or whatever adult is watching them). I would love to put a couch down here one day. Maybe even a sleeper sofa would be great.
Don't you just love this rug in the playroom. We found it at a discount store. I think it is the type that they would use in an indoor playground. The carpet down in the basement is stained and I did not want my babies rolling around on it, so when we came across this rug I had to have it.
On the other side of the room is where all the big climbing, bouncing, "get out all your wiggles before bed" spot. Did I mention I have a very active three
year old...and his baby brother is not far behind.

 In an attempt to dress up the really drab walls I put up these cute car wall stickers that I found at Target.

 I really like the fact that the basement has a sliding glass door that leads out to the back yard. This lets in a lot of natural light into the room. Baby N also really likes to look out the window.
 Here are a few ways that I store some of the toys in the playroom:

The Geo Tracks are one of J's favorite things, and since we got them for free at the church yard sale, they are one of my favorite toys too. We had an extra hamper and the tracks fit perfectly.
 I need to get a new basket to hold all of the balls, but for now this will do.
...and since sometimes you need a place to hold the baby while you run upstairs...a pack-n-play. We have also used this many times for friends to lay their baby to sleep while the adults have movie night.
So the key to having a great playroom is a clean safe place with lots of floor space to play...and storage for everything. Now the playroom is not always clean and picked up, but at least a few times a week it is. I help the kids during clean up time. This is also a great time to check on any damaged toys, small things that N might put in his mouth, and just make sure the playroom stays nice.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Trash to treasures

Look what someone was throwing away! Well I pulled my SUV over and threw them in the back...while the former owner was watering her lawn. Can you believe it! I also stopped and chatted with her and told her my plans for her...umm trash.
So far I have sanded them down and painted one. I found outdoor paint on sale at Sears for $2.50. I was just going to paint them white, but when cream is so cheep...cream it is! :)
Now I need to find the prefect outdoor fabric to finish the project (or one that I like just as much on sale)
So stay tuned for the finished results...:)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Working on it...

Someone needs more of Mommies time these days. I have been trying to be more creative in my parenting approach, and I feel like I am learning new things every day. My husband and I joke that we were perfect parents...until we actually had our own kids! :)
A few things that I have come up with:
1. There is a stop light posted on my fridge! - This is a simple visual device that I'm using to help J stay on track. :) I took a piece of black construction paper with green, yellow, and red circles glued on to look like a stop light. Then I used a clothes pen and clipped it to the side of the "light" that helps J to see where he is at. I also drew a smiley face on the green circle (great day), a strait face on the yellow (warning), and a sad face on the red (not good). J can earn back a green light with good behavior...or a nap. :) This tool has really helped.
2. The schedule - This is also posted on the fridge. On another piece of construction paper I wrote out J's day. Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, table work (preschool activity), free play, lunch, book, nap, etc. I also drew pictures next to each activity since J can't read yet. Then I use a clothes pin to clip on the paper and move it to point to the activity that we are on. I did not put times on the schedule...J does not know time yet either, and I don't want to be held to that strict of a schedule!
3. A shopping list - can you tell I have a visual child! (I'm the same way though, and yet have no picture of this!) I was having a hard time getting my very active little boy sit still while I shop. So I created a shopping list for him to hold on to. We have turned shopping into a fun game of I Spy. Before we go shopping I write out a few of the things that we need to look for in the store and draw pictures to go with each item. This is a great way to talk about colors, shapes, and letters while out. I put this list in a plastic page protector to keep it "safe" through the trip.
If you don't like to draw just use clip art from your computer. Children don't care if your not the worlds greatest artist. They are just happy that they get to play a game!
When all else fails a 50 cent ride at the end of the shopping trip usually does the trick. ;)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

hanging art

J loves to paint, but I quickly run out of places to hang his pictures so that they can dry. Also, now that baby N can pull himself up onto things some of J's pictures that were hanging on the fridge have been ripped. oops! So I decided to hang them up in the playroom using a clothes line and clips that we found at the Dollar Store.
First J painted each of the clothes pins. Our "painting table" is outside and can be sprayed down when craft time is over. :)
Then we hung up some of his pictures using the dry clothes pins. To hang the clothes line I just nailed two long nails into the wall half way and tied the line to the part of the nail sticking out of the wall. We are not going to be hanging anything heavy on the line so I was not too worried about how well it's hung up.
You can see half of the playroom in this direction. This is the area where we do arts and crafts when the weather does not allow for outside activity.