Friday, January 30, 2015

Devotions with My Sons

This week, we started a book of devotions as a family.  It's one we read several years ago, but with all the boys being older, we decided to go through it again.  It was a lot of fun and we are looking forward to reading the next week!  It's the VeggieTales Family Devotional.  

We first bought the book because Zander was the BIGGEST Veggie Tales fan of all time.  :)  He's outgrown the love a little, but he secretly still gets pretty excited when Jaxon puts a Veggie Tales DVD in to watch. When we gathered around together, however, the boys really enjoyed the lesson, even Adisson.  I think Veggie Tales will always remind them of when Zander would beg to watch every DVD we owned each day.

Something we are really trying to work on as we reintroduce family devotion time, is memorizing a Bible verse.  In all honesty, that's not something we've done much of in the past. I remember memorizing so many Bible verses when I was younger, so it's something I want to do more of with my fellas.  Here is this week's Bible verse.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Messy Beautiful Love Book Club

Last week, I saw a posting on facebook regarding a book study coming up at the beginning of February.  I headed to the blog, read the details, and thought "I wanna do this."  It occurs to me so often that my relationship with my husband is of paramount importance to our sons.  How their Dad treats me is how they will treat women.  How I behave toward others will be characteristics that they seek out in a partner.  While my marriage isn't careening toward disaster, there's endless room for improvement.  Besides, quicker than I can possibly believe, the kids will be grown and moved away and then it will just be the mister and I.  I want to be sure he still likes me when that happens.  :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

January Story Corner Blog Hop: Bears Don't Read

This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links. For more information, please click on my full disclosure policy top.

I'm thrilled to tell y'all about a BRAND NEW monthly series called The Story Corner.  Each month on the fourth Thursday, myself, and a few other incredible bloggers will share with you a great book along with a craft, activity, and/or recipe.  Let's get started!

I was so excited to receive Bears Don't Read this month and I knew that the boys would enjoy it!  Bears Don't Read is a story about a bear who finds a book but doesn't know how to read.  He sets out on a quest to find the owner of the book in hopes that he will learn how to read.  His adventure doesn't go quite as planned as people are rather scared of a big, hairy bear.  

When selecting activities to do with my guys, it can be hard to find crafts that will appeal to all of them.  A sixth grader doesn't typically find that he has a lot of shared interests with a preschooler.  Science is always my answer to how I can bring all three boys together to learn.

Gummy Bear Science
Enter Gummy Bear Science.  Do you want to know why this was an instant hit?  GUMMY BEARS!  I saw this experiment on pinterest and read more about it on Steve Spangler (a website we love!).  The set-up is filling three jars with water.  To one jar, we added a tablespoon of sugar and to another we added a tablespoon of salt.  The third jar was filled with plain water.  Then, after eating several gummy bears, we added a few gummy bears to each jar.  

The plan was to show you what the gummy bear looks like before and what the gummy bear looks like after they've been swimming for 48 hours.  We fished out the gummy bears, got our dry erase board all set up, and realized there wasn't a single, regular gummy bear left in the house.  Someone, Adam who shall remain nameless, found them on top of the fridge and ate the rest.  So...sadly, you'll just have to take my word that these guys are super swollen with water.  :)

Regular, unsoaked gummy bears are smaller than the yellow bear is now.

Side-by-side to show you how big the green one has gotten.

Fork Painting
Another way to get everyone excited about an activity?  Tell them we are painting.  My boys love to paint.  I think they would paint everyday if that was an option.  I saw this incredibly cute picture of how to use a fork to paint a bear. I definitely wanted to give that a try.  It's always interesting to use different tools when painting.  It allows for a lot of discussion on how different items produce different results.  I had so much fun painting!  Plus, I think our bears turned out pretty cute!  Get the details on how to do your own fork painting here.  
I don't know if they look like bears, but fork painting was fun!

Bear Graph
Another fun go-along activity for us this week was to make a bear graph.  In this graphing exercise, we needed to ask others to name their favorite type of bear. Since there are only five of us at home, we asked others for their input.  Opting for the quickest turnaround for answers, I asked my friends on facebook to select one of the following bears as their favorite: black, brown, polar, or panda.  I found some free bear clipart online and printed a few sheets of the same bear.  Then, I opened a blank file folder and wrote down the few necessary details of our graph.  Below is a photo of our results.  (And I know that next time I ask about bears, koalas need to be included!)

Our bear graphing fun! The boys really enjoyed this activity!
The Story Corner
I loved this story and so did the boys!  I'm so excited to share a book with you each month as well as a craft or activity that you can do at home.  Plus, you can find some more awesome ideas and books from my co-hosts listed below:
Janine at True Aim Education
Karyn at Teach Beside Me

Bears Don't Read is a Kane Miller title that you can find here at my Usborne website.  If you are interested in learning more about Usborne & Kane Miller or would like more information on hosting your own Facebook event, I would love to talk to you!  A facebook event is super fun and includes great tips on raising readers in your home, the opportunity to win a giveaway, plus the chance to earn FREE books to add to your home library. Need more information?  Click below!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wordless Wednesday


I know, it's supposed to be a wordless post but I'm just giving you a tiny explanation.  The following photos were taken at an indoor trampoline facility we visited last weekend.  We had a Cub Scout overnighter there and my boys, all of them, jumped until 4:30 AM!  These pictures were taken when I had to wake them up just a short time later at 6:00 am.  How cute are they?!  (We totally slept napped on trampolines!)

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Spoiled Homeschool Kids

I'll admit it, my homeschooled kids are spoiled.  Completely and utterly spoiled.'s not what you think. Let me take it back a little.  

We love museums, science centers, zoos, nature centers, etc.  The boys would be thrilled with a weekly field trip, but we live out in the sticks so everything is a drive.  However, I love to take advantage of middle of the week field trips, off-season vacations, and random lunches at Chuck E. Cheese.

Random weekday afternoon of mini-golf?  Yes, please!

Memaw hung out with us on this field trip.

Do you know what that means for homeschooled kiddos?  Significantly less people!  Hurry, insert your socialization worry here.  I don't mean that my sons don't have to talk to people, I mean they don't have to share exhibits with ill-mannered children lacking supervision.  Few things aggravate my sons more than a rude little kid who shoves them out of the way so they can have their turn at a game or who blatantly disregards other people.  

Any second now, this giant piggy bank is going to open and balls
are going to fall all over the place.  He's waiting....

Here they come!!  He did this over and over again. :)

Since I try to visit the children's museum that they love when I suspect less kids will be there, we have the opportunity to take our time and enjoy stations and exhibits to their fullest.  Of course we share with others and you can be sure I'm often reminding the boys that others may be waiting so let's not linger too long at one place. However, they become a bit accustomed to the ability to savor the calmness of our visits and get annoyed when a school field trip rushes in unexpectedly and the place turns into instant chaos. 

The boys even had the opportunity to try out a game prototype!!

They aren't the only ones.  I much prefer to schedule our trip to the beach in September when school is in session.  Yes, the rates are lower, but the weather is amazing and it feels as though we have all the sand in the world to ourselves.  I, too, enjoy the loveliness of a trip without it being soured by unsupervised children. 

Co-op field trip to do some gem mining!

We got so many cool rocks!
What about you?  Are you a homeschooling family?  Do you try to take field trips or plan events somewhere when you know there will be less people?  

Zander with a little one on one help from Papaw at a museum.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

We Rang in the New Year -- With the Flu

Each January, I have the best intentions.  It's a brand-new year and a clean slate to start covering with our memories.  I have hopes to organize an area that's gotten a little too hectic, a renewed excitement for homeschooling and scheduling, and the desire to purge unnecessary items.

I had a pretty lofty list of goals.  

Then, we all got the flu.  It is ridiculously difficult to get anything at all done when each member of your family is sick.  The Christmas tree is still up, the gifts we brought home from our trip to Ohio are still in bags by the front door, the suitcase hasn't even been unloaded from the van.  

Absolutely nothing has been done in several days.  When I manage to get out of bed or the recliner, it's to make sure the boys' fevers are under control, their cups are refilled, and everyone has tissues.  I've washed a few blankets, but we're now out of detergent.  I need to get to the grocery store, I even managed to get my menus planned and grocery lists organized during some downtime in Ohio, but don't have the energy to go to the store.  

So.  January began with a whole lot of great ideas and expectations, yet here I sit in the living room surrounded by sick kids and blankets watching The Pink Panther on Netflix. 

So much for good intentions.
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