Thursday, February 28, 2013

The People We Meet...

Hello friends, I cannot believe another week is almost over. This week I have been doing a lot of thinking (a dangerous past time, I know!). I have been thinking of all the people that have crossed my path in these recent years and how much I have regretted ever meeting them and then at the same time people that I have treasured from the moment we connected. There are real life people that have changed me and Internet friends that have completely made a difference in my life. There are people that have hurt me and people that have made me want to be a better person. There have even been people that made me wonder what good it could have done to make me go through all that hurt. Then one day out of nowhere, I got the answer from my 8 year old. At dinner she thanked the good Lord for the people she met, even if they were mean to her, because it taught her how NOT to be. All of a sudden, the reality of that simple statement came and hit me and I realized how right she was. I met these people, so I could learn to be better, to not stoop to their level and mainly to not inflict the hurt that they did. 
This woman pictured above is an AMAZING WOMAN, she taught my 2 oldest children Kindergarten and has ever since been shaping my life. Do you ever meet those people that make you want to BE BETTER? She is that person, she has softened my heart and made me stop and think. She forgives when people do the unthinkable, she loves those that betray her, she always believes that things happen for the greater good  and it is all as the Lord intended it all to be. She is everything that a person should be with a heart the size of the Rockies and I am glad and honoured to call her my friend. 
Then there are my Internet friends, those of you reading right now. You do not know just how much you have changed me, molded me. Those people that take a minute to leave a comment, send an e-mail or a Facebook message. The people that read and take my advice or even just those that visit here. It warms my heart to realize that there are people that I am having an effect on. When I go through major life choices there are a handful of friends that I discuss it with online before I even tell anyone in my 'real life'. Though we have never met, there are people that can lend comfort in the written word, better than someone can in real life. If my Facebook page is ever quiet for more than a couple days, I have friends there that write to ask if I am okay, message me to inquire if I need anything but mainly just reaching out. THAT amazes me, that WARMS my heart and makes me want to reach out and hug them all. Most recently, when I stressed about our recent homeschooling decision, an Internet friend calmed me down and encouraged me. At that same time, I was inundated with comments and messages that were shocked and surprised that I was not already homeschooling, telling me I was a natural and cheering me in so many ways that gained the confidence to know it was going to be alright! It was all of you people out there that made me realize I just made the best decision in my life. Thank you for being here, for joining me as this blog evolves.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting a woman that will forever be in my life. Yes, I am saying that now and I know it's the truth.  She is strong, beautiful and humble, not to mention someone that can make me laugh when I am near tears. I look forward to speaking with her daily and a quick meet up for coffee, easily turns into an all night event that often gets us kicked out of places way past closing. She is the type of woman, though much younger than I, that seems so naive but in reality she is just wise beyond her years. She sees the good in the world and sees the good inside everyone. She is that person that can see someone for who they want to be, not who they are. We became instant friends and I hope that her goodness rubs off on me. She is aptly named Angel, and I truly believe that she is an Angel walking amongst us, someone to bring peace and laughter to our days. I often wonder if I befriend these people that I wish to be like, in hopes that I can be shaped into a better person, a person in their likeness. It amazes me how much the people we meet can change us within seconds.
Of course with the good, there are always the bad. You know, those people that you wish you had never met. The people that leave a sour taste in your mouth, those that speak a good game but cheat in order to win. You know the type, the people that make you wish you second guess everything in your life and of course *gasp* make you wonder for the teeny, tiniest of seconds if they are possibly right. Yes, there is a reason we met them, but darn it sometimes you wish you hadn't. I am beginning to realize that though people like that changed me, they changed me for the better. Though they hurt me, they made me who I am today. What is funny is that these people are often the first to criticize who you are and what you are but all they did was have a hand in making you that person they despise so much. Don't worry about the people that are always wanting to comment, fight, keep going behind your back, the problem they have with you is actually the problem they are fighting with themselves. Stop and think about that and then be thankful for having met them. Let the bitterness fade away and move on. No need to reach out to them or force them into your life, just thank them for teaching you and move on.

I have so many more people that I feel so good about, but I am just discussing these past few years. Some people come in and out of my life so quickly, I hardly remember their names but the imprint they left on my heart and soul will be there forever. Others come to stay and I am so thankful for them.One such woman I started working with at the beginning of the year (during my brief stint into the working mom world) and I love her. She is a strong, independent, amazing mother and person that can always make me laugh until I cry, even hours after we have spoken and someone that can make me stop and think. This job ended up stressing me out more than needed and I left with a horrible taste in my mouth, regretting that I ever bothered to try anyway...but then I stop and realize that had I not tried, our paths would not have crossed in the way that they did. We both left that job on the same day and we are changed for it but we are also better and closer. I must keep reminding myself that there is good in everything that happens, even the bad. It is often a little wake up call. I must also remember the above quote, to 'be the person I would like to meet'. It's time to change the world into a happier place, wear a smile and give compliments to strangers, share your brightness and watch it catch on. A smile could change someones day, a compliment could radiate within them for days and even weeks at a time. How do I know this? Because people I have met have made me feel those things, on days when I thought it would never get better. Strangers and friends alike, let us all bond together in changing our little corner of the worldIn Sy Miller’s words:'Let There Be Peace on Earth, and Let It Begin With Me'. 

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday....(Nearly!)

My husband built me shelves in my studio space and a small work desk! This keeps it clean and tidy and best of all keeps small hands out!
Read out loud and watch your kids fall in love!
My husband and I end every night with a cuppa tea, do you have any evening routines?

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Learning Sight Words with Flashcard Folders

Happy Tuesday my friends!! We are having a wonderful week so far (yikes! Is it really only Tuesday?!) and we plan on keeping it going. My youngest is working on his reading skills and to make blending sounds easier, I made flashcard folders! I made a folder for each sight word group (3 letter words, 4 letter words etc.) and then held it all together with a paperclip, so that they could all be re-loaded easily. The idea is to just pull out a word one letter at a time as he sounds out that letter, blending them together as they come all the way out. Once he has done that word, he pulls the card all the way out and moves on to the next!
Are you reading anything to your kids this week? We have just started The Lightning Thief! I am reading it out loud to the 3 of them and they are LOVING IT!

In Science we learned about turtles and then headed to the nearest pet shop to check them out! Wish we could have gone to the zoo, but it's about 2 hours away. While at the pet shop, they each gave facts about turtles that we had learned.  
Enjoy the day my friends and remember to cherish each and every moment!

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

It's that time again! Monday always pops up unexpectedly. This week, instead of banishing it, I am embracing it! I will dedicate this week to being my best self. It's time to keep my head up and go-go-go!
This is the sheet I use for all of my menu planning. It keeps it easy to track and shop. Just do a google image search for meal planning and so many different options will pop up.

Monday: Pork Chops & Garden Salad
Tuesday: French Dip Sandwiches & roasted potatoes
Wednesday: Minestrone Soup
Thursday: Chicken Pot Pie & Garden Salad
Friday: Vegetable Lasagna
Enjoy the week and take moments to relax!!

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Sunday, February 24, 2013


Our books for 5-A-Day this week were an absolute joy!
1. Knuffle Bunny Too was so cute!
2. Knuffle Bunny Free was funny.
3. Please Write Back inspired us to write letters!
4. Halloween Howl taught us not to judge.
5. The Easter Story reminded us of the Season.
Knuffle Bunny coloring page!
What are you reading?

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Homeschool Organization!

The weekend is here!!! It has been a long week full of learning and fun. As we head into our 2nd full week of homeschooling, I can honestly say that I am learning along with the kids.We are working out the kinks still but enjoying each others company. I wanted to share our latest organizational tip.

A. Each child has a folder that is tabbed using cardstock as dividers and just label stickers folded in half to make a tall tab. 
B. Each child has a wipeable checklist of all the subjects to be covered that day. The sheet is in a page protector so that they can check it off with each subject that goes by and reuse it another day.
C. Within each day the subjects are stapled together and then separated with paperclips and an index card telling them what subject it is. 

D. When they are done with that subject the index card and paperclip are slipped into the page protector all to be used again. 
The opposite side of the folder in the right pocket is set up the exact same way, so that I have 2 weeks worth of work ready to go. This is in case life gets in the way (as it inevitably does) or we choose to go on vacation and they can bring the work with them or anything at all.
The folders allow us to pick up and throw some things in a sack and head to the library, park or museum to do our work for the day!

Have a Great Weekend My Friends!

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Around the House...

Happy Friday! As many of you know, we just bought a house in August. We are slowly trying to make it our own, as time and money allow. Our work on the house usually begins on the weekends and that is only if my husband doesn't have to work OT and we don't have other family plans or things to drive our children to. Soooo you pretty much see how it's a painstaking process!
Here is one of my favorite places in the house. During a rain storm, my husband and I love to turn the couch around and just sit and watch it all come down. It's amazing and so calming. This week, I will be changing the ribbon around the 'S' to an all black color so that I can just leave it at that all year, instead of constantly changing it out based on the season. 

Our Family Command Center is SLOWLY getting started. I have a Dry Erase Calendar up along with a cork board and some file boxes. I would like to spell out LOVE in between those and then Family at the top. It is just a matter of finding what we need. I plan on adding another thinner and skinnier cork board to use as a menu board or maybe even a chalkboard. Still haven't found what I want yet. This space is ever evolving but I am glad that it is finally in it's beginning stages. 
Welcome to my livingroom coffee table. This is a giant magnet, is yours? It's a clutter magnet that I have to clean every.single.evening. Add in that it's glass and I have to clean it twice a day! LOL! How does it manage to constantly attract everything?? I should have taken this photo last night, so you could see how it looks at the end of a day! LOL!!

This is a picture of my evenings. No lie. Once the kids go to bed, my husband and I can be found in front of the fireplace playing games and drinking tea. We discuss the kids, our day, his work. It's the perfect way to unwind after a long and often tiring day.

I shared our classroom desk last week with you all and have just recently started adding various things to the space. Our latest addition is the low shelf that I knew I wanted in the space. Next thing that I need will be some frames in order to frame some artwork that I want to display under the shelf. It looked to naked under there. What's going on around your house?

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lasting Impressions

Thursday means the week is almost over, yay! Now that we are learning at home, I look forward to the weekend so that we can spend time with Daddy. I really love having my children home with me and seeing how their faces light up when they learn something new. As we start on our adventure in homeschooling, I am learning tips and tricks along the way.

One of my favorite things to keep on hand at all times, are page protectors. They are handy for their real purpose but above it all, they are AWESOME for their Dry-Erase capabilities! I pick up packs whenever I see them on clearance or at thrift shops!
My youngest is learning his phonics sounds and we play a fun game with his learning. As he tells me each sound of each letter, he gets to draw on the box that he knows. HE LOVES TO DRAW! If he gets it wrong he leaves it blank. We make our way through all 72 sounds and when we are through, he gets to go back and study the ones he got wrong. He has so much fun and since he loves to draw, he studies hard to get it right. These are just printed cards on paper and we have made them last with page protectors and bound them with a simple paperclip and rubber band as shown in this previous post!

BINGO games are huge in our house, but I DETEST those little markers (Plastic or Paper). They always seem to get lost or bent and ALWAYS litter the floor. My easy solution? I slipped each playing card into a Plastic Sheet Protector & everyone just uses a dry erase marker to mark their game. I leave the top on the protector open, so that can switch their boards around if need be. I tape them to size with packing tape! Use an old and clean sock as the eraser!

When we are writing letters to friends and family members, we put a practice paper in a page protector in order for them to 'practice' what they want to write and say, so that they can erase mistakes and then just copy it onto regular paper when they are ready for their final draft!
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nearly Wordless...

Save those ads when they come and after you have studied them! Give them to the kids to practice their scissor work and if they do a good job, 'laminate' a few of them with packing tape for them to use as coupons for their play centers! Also perfect to use as Addition with Money worksheets. Give them an assortment of them and ask them what their grocery total would be. Work on Subtraction by telling them how much money they have and then subtracting what they spent at the store!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fun with the States!

My kids are studying Presidents, States and Capitols right now and I am always on the look out for anything related to any of those topics. The kids can use them for years to come and there are always ways to make them fun. 

While shopping at the thrift lately, I found the EXACT SAME Fandex that we already own and for only .49!!! What a STEAL! While my husband didn't understand why on earth I would want another one, my brain was already running away with ideas.

Using our EXTRA State Fandex that we found for less than .50 at a thrift, we made a fun game and Geography Lesson!
1.Autumn & Gabriel cut out each of the states very carefully around the outline.
2. Roman cut out the State names when they were done.
3. All 3 kids based on sight alone attempted to match up state shapes with names and tape the name on the back.
4. With the leftover states, they used the complete fandex to put the correct names to states.

5. With each state having the name on the back, we now have visual flashcards!
6. We can put together a large USA map on the floor.
7. With the capitol of each state starred on the state, we can even play states and capitols.

So many fun uses and learning opportunities for so very little!

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