Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Alphabet Christmas Tree Craft

I saw this on another blog and modified it for my kids' levels. The kindergartener matches upper and lower case while the preschooler matches uppercase to uppercase. I also made the pre-K one more sequential so it was easier to find the next letter.

My almost-3 YO only needed help with four of the letters. My 5 year old also enjoyed this task.

Math fun

We found a connect-the-dots book with a story close to her reading level. She gets to do the dot pictures after she reads each page. So far she loves this.

He enjoys matching shapes.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Company Christmas Party

The theme for the company Christmas party was the Island of Misfit Toys. They had a photo booth and caricature artists. We had a good time once the kids settled in. There was a room with kids movies and crafts. A whole wall that was dry-erase. Food was good and I got to meet some of David's co-workers.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


What is a reboot? There's the computer version, but also it means "The restarting of a series storyline that discards all previous continuity." That's where we are. 

With starting fresh in a new place, there is the mundane like setting up bills and new doctors. Then there is looking for your new favorite places and making new friends. There is really so much to settling in a new city.

Three years ago we moved from living 10+ years in a rural town to Springfield, OR. The move was actually the least dramatic thing that happened that year. The first year I didn't expect to make any new friends because it used to take me a while to warm up to people.  I met a really sweet, outgoing woman who asked me to be a part of an indoor play group and to help her on the board of directors. Her name was Ashley and I have her to thank for getting me involved in my community and getting to know people in a context that suited me well. I really wasn't that outgoing back then.

Serving others is where I am most comfortable meeting people. Since then I've done a lot of leadership training and found I can be my introverted self and still enjoy people in my own way. I don't put pressure on myself to be outgoing any more, and I give myself more grace and patience than I used to. I take the little accomplishments and don't beat myself up for not going too far out of my comfort zone. 

Rebooting means starting over with friendships, lifestyle and patterns. That means finding ways to keep in touch with meaningful friendships from afar. What I now see is so much opportunity to be more intentional about our life patterns. There were some things I wanted to change before we moved, but they were difficult to change because we were kind of stuck in certain patterns. Having to create new patterns is a great time to start fresh and plan ways we can improve.

I have never been a fan of new years resolutions. I think if you want to make resolutions, make them and stick to them when they occur to you. However, I too have been feeling stuck sometimes because patterns are hard to break and new patterns are hard to start. When you HAVE TO start new patterns, it's a great time to make sure they are patterns you want!

What do you do to start new patterns of behavior (when you aren't in a post-move situation)?


Below are some pictures from our first trip to the local indoor park. The kids had such a great time that they both had long naps this afternoon. Even my eldest who has grown out of daily naps. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


One of the nice things about homeschooling year-round is that when you need to, or want to take a break, you can. We took a couple weeks break while packing and moving. We have started to settle in, so now we're exploring our new city and getting connected.

For an introvert, I've gotten good at putting myself out there. Not that it isn't draining and even a little scary, but it is necessary to get connected to people. I realized many moms are lonely. Not in a desperate way, just needing company and really don't know how to get that bit of adult conversation time that they need since their needs come last when kids are little. I know, because I am one of them. At least I used to be.

The kids are liking all the new places to explore. New parks, new trails, new adventures. We are choosing to be brave. The sooner we get connected, the sooner we can settle in.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Milky Way Magnets

We're doing a theme unit from the outside in of the universe down to the earth and moon, then we will transition to geography and habitats. This week we made a galaxy with a swirl wooden piece I found at the craft store.

We used:
1 wood piece each
white paint
glitter stars

First the children painted their wooden swirl. My two year old was able to do it with help and really enjoyed it. My five year old was able to do it on her own without help. We let them dry while we did other projects and schoolwork.

When the pieces were dry I applied glue to my 2 year old's shape and showed him how to pinch the glitter and sprinkle it on. My 5 year old was able to do the project unassisted. Once the glue dried I glued the magnets on the back so we could put them on our refrigerator.

Tiger (2yo) was so proud of his galaxy. He was bringing it to us and talking about it for days. It was so awesome to experience his sense of accomplishment. He would also bring me the glue again for days and the galaxy showing me he wanted to do it again. We found other ways to use the glue!

Blueberry's (5yo) favorite part was the glitter!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Money Math Madness

Too much with the alliteration? Ok, well, we do have fun.

Blueberry is finishing up Kindergarten math concepts so we're making sure she has a solid grasp of money values. We found some cute books at the library. Our favorite so far is "A dollar, a penny, how much, and how many?" by Brian P. Cleary.

We did coin rubbings, and wrote the name and value of each coin. Then we did sorting with some play money I found at the dollar store. 

If you've never done rubbings, simply peel the label off a broken crayon. Darker colors work best. Experiment with pressure to see what turns out best for you.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Preschool Worksheet Hacks

You can go through a lot of paper and printer ink, whether you're homeschooling or just keeping your kids busy during the summer. Save time, money and paper with the tips below!

Step 1: Get dollar "store" or dollar "bin" activity books.

Step 2: Cut off the binding.

Pro tip: Tear off the front and back covers and only cut through the papers, about 1/4 inch from the binding. It really helps if you have a heavy-duty paper cutter.

Step 3: Sort the worksheets into useful categories, or according to your preschool themes.

These will be fun to reinforce number concepts.

F is for Frog
B is for Butterfly
L is for Ladybug

Pro Tip: Some worksheets like word puzzles, mazes and dot-to-dot can be reused if you do them in these plastic sleeves with an erasable marker. My daughter enjoys the repetition of doing these types of activities multiple times. Many worksheets can be saved and reused with younger siblings when they're ready.

You can find a set of these that we use HERE.
Affiliate Link

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Portland Trip June 2015

 Lamborghini Experience

David's birthday present was going to Portland to drive a Lamborghini for three laps with this group that goes around the country. He said it was amazing, thrilling and he would totally do it again.

Chinese Gardens, Portland, OR

Friday, June 12, 2015

Seaside, OR

We made a big trip with extended family to Seaside, OR. The kids had a great time bonding and playing with their cousins. Even though most of the days were overcast or rainy, we still made the most of our time together.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Indor Playground End of Year Party

We had such an awesome year at WIPG. Finishing our second year is bittersweet, knowing we will miss all of our friends during the summer.

Summer becomes a time when we have to become more intentional about playdates!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Winter Activities for a 2 Year Old

Indoor Playground at the Mall
Winter play in Oregon requires a little creativity and intention. It is usually quite wet outside for most of December through April. Thankfully there are a lot of indoor spaces and play groups we can belong to that offer socialization for our kiddos in a safe environment.

Our playgroup activities are structured through memberships and yearly passes for local educational facilities. We belong to MOPS, which is a nondenominational mom's group for fellowship and support with other moms. We have a membership for our local science museum for kids. We also belong to another indoor playgroup co-op. We subscribe to our local homeschool group newsletter for local activities. We find library story times a little hectic with two little ones, but we like to go on quiet mornings when we have our choice of puzzles and board books.

At home we do art, craft and cooking projects with my 5 year old. My 2 year old is a little more challenging to keep entertained indoors. I make a list of activities to keep him stimulated and at home we do some directed fun throughout the day, interspersed with free choice times.

What is your favorite rainy day activity for your toddler?
Play dough

Library Puzzle Time

Coloring at the Library

Water Sensory Bin

Play Area at the Science Factory, Eugene

Tea Party at our indoor play group.

Rice Sensory Bin

Puff Ball Sensory Bin with a container that I cut holes of different sizes out of the top.