Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kk is for key painting

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right now, we are covering the letter Kk.  this is a sort of limited letter, so i decided to make it a little more interesting.  i hot glued an old key onto a small wooden spool for Bear to use as a stamp to paint.


when he saw the keY sTaMP, he came right over.  and started working.


he even got really close to inspect how it worked.

what are some unconventional art approaches
you have used?
 
 
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Monday, November 28, 2011

in {her} shoes...michelle

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good glorious monday morning to you all!  did you survive black friday shopping? i know i did...i was at home. asleep. 


i'm over at Tales of a Trophy Wife today sharing my favorite post ever. 
wanna know which one it is?   flutter over there now and find out

this week's mommy in the in {her} shoes series is Michelle from The One with the Cupcakes.  as a die-hard Friends fan, i feel in love with her blog immediately.  go over and check out her post names and you'll see why!  michelle has everything: crafts, food, parenting!  stop on over after you read her story and say hi!



Hello! I’m Michelle. I’m a full-time mommy and part-time blogger and aspiring photographer over at The One With the Cupcakes where I share recipes, crafts, photos and any other random thing that strikes my fancy.

A big thanks to Andie for letting me participate in this great series!
Like Andie, I’ve always been excited about being a mom. Even when I was in college studying Spanish and Elementary Education, I knew that once kids came along I would want to stay home with them. What I wasn’t in any way expecting was that my first, Ellie, would be born before I even finished college. Talk about surprises. My husband, Steve, and I had been married just over a year when she was born, at the beginning of my senior year. I stayed home with her that first semester and then finished my last semester that following spring with the help of amazing friends and family. And here I am. Less than a year and a half after graduating. I have no work experience of any kind, no job title, no résumé builders, but another little wonder, Olivia, has joined our happy home.

I am beyond blessed with my little girls. They bring so much joy and life, not only to me, but to everyone around them. Ellie is all energy and giggles. She is strong willed and smart and is already very much the bossy big sister. But she is also the best friend who, whenever Olivia whines a little, comes rushing to her aid bringing her toys and stuffed animals to play with. Ellie loves Elmo, and giving kisses, and playing dollhouse and coloring. She is my tigress, my bubbling fountain of laughter, my brand-new day every morning.



And Olivia. She is my steadfast one. She is very contemplative and methodical. She seems so quiet, but really she is just waiting for her opportune moment to break out with a roar or a squeal or a laugh that just about melts your heart. She is my old-soul, my friend from ages past. She takes my breath away with her wonderfulness.



As much fun as we have, the three of us girls being at home together, it is a struggle sometimes, to make ends meet on one entry-level professional income. It’s hard to be such a young mom because most of my peers don’t have children yet. It’s hard to not be doing all the grand things I was planning on doing with my life at this point. It’s hard to change diapers and make sandwiches and not be out changing the world, as I thought I would be right about now. But I know that I have this one fleeting and precious opportunity to raise kind, smart and giving children that I can someday give back to the world. I have this one chance of a few years to make a lasting impression on these beautiful girls I have been given. The rest of my life can wait.

It has always alarmed me that stay-at-home moms have to really fight for respect for what they do. We are concentrating whole-heartedly on raising the next generation. We are their earliest teachers. Their life coaches. We are molding them into being thoughtful, respectful human beings. We realize, more than anyone, that children are the messengers we send into a future we will never see, which demands great sacrifice in the present. What about that is lacking of respect?




My girls are still very young, but every night I pray that, through my example, they will learn to be kind, loving and respectful. Kind, because as humans we are all hurting in some invisible way and a little kindness means a lot. Loving, because from great love stems the ability to see what others need and improve social situations by providing that. And respect. Respect for oneself and one’s own life, value and ambitions. And respect for the lives, value and ambitions of everyone else. Respect does not mean you always agree with everyone, but it does mean you try to imagine they might believe what they do for a reason. Teaching them these things is not going to be easy, but I’m determined to love them through everything, provide them with experiences and opportunities that shape them into moral, socio-conscious people and give them a peaceful home from which they can learn, grow and thrive.

And along the way, I want to keep track of every adorable thing they do, teach them how to make fabulous desserts, and build blanket forts for make-believe.

So that’s me! Feel free to come say hello over at my blog: The One With the Cupcakes. You’ll find some recipes and crafts and little tidbits I write about my growing girls!


Friday, November 25, 2011

monkey math manipulatives

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during a recent trip to my fave store, the doLLaR trEE, we found a little plastic backpack full of monkeyhead erasers.  we picked them up because i thought that they would make excellent math manipulatives.

Bear wanted to play with them the other day.  i wanted to see what he was going to do with them, so i just gave them to him.  then i sat down and watched.  he started counting them one by one and then putting them in a line. 




$1 well spent.  wouldn't you agree?
 
 
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

guest posting at imprintalish today

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i'm "out of the blog-office" today!  go over to imprintalish to find a fun and easy personalized gift for the holidays!

it uses moD poDGe!  **sing-songy voice

i'll see you here!
 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

sun, moon, stars etsy shop discount

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i've got some new CrayonFreckles etsy shop items! 

they are prints of multi-media collages that i have created. 
this set is the sun, moon, and stars collection inspired by well-known children's verses.

You Are My Sunshine



Goodnight Moon


Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
i've got a special rate for this set....
all 3 prints: $27
2 of the prints: $20

contact me and i will set up a listing for you!

 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

sweet november giveaway winner

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thanks to all of you who took the time to share with me what your "me" time was everyday.  random.org picked the winner

the winning comment was:
Excellent giveaway! I am hoping to relax with a magazine and my crochet tonight.

 


 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Monday, November 21, 2011

in {her} shoes...jenni

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Hello Crayon Freckles Readers, I am Jenni from Kissed By A Frog, my little blog for keeping track of what goes down with my business venture, showing off craftiness, and whatever else I throw in there. I have a few fun tutorials free for the making and I host a blog party every Thursday. I would love to have you all hop over and check it out! Enough about my blog...

I have been loving Miss Andie Jaye's In {Her} Shoes Series and am so honored that she allowed me to be part of it. I must admit though that this has been the most difficult post to write and I am not sure why. Maybe, I am in a mommy slump. Maybe I could not muster up the motivation. Or maybe it is just hard for me to open the door and let peeps in to our little world. I really am not sure. But I am going to put my little heart on my sleeve and let peek into my mama mess...

These are my shoes, my dirty, disgusting, smelly worn out shoes. I would hate for you to actually be too close to them because they are awful. They are my true MOMMY BADGE, at only 2 months old they show that I am one busy lady that is not afraid to get my hands feet dirty, to run in the mud, to paint whatever the kids think paint should go on, and to take on the world.


Some days I need boots. With 3 boys and 1 girl, things can get a little thick around here. (If you know what I mean.)

And other days, I am so frazzled and frustrated with it all, that I have shoes like this;
but that is just how we roll.

In all seriousness, I love being a mother. I love waking up to my 4 children begging for whatever their little heart desires that day, changing dirty diapers, and snuggling with them until the day ends. I am one of those mothers that realized at an early age that life is too short and time flies by; so we must savor every moment, and seize the day.

When I was growing up, I never really wanted or thought that I would have children. I had BIG plans of being a Dr. or Architect or Lawyer or Broadway Singer but really did not have the motivation or drive or support system to make myself anything fancy like that. When I found out that I was pregnant with my first, my life changed. I knew that the path I was on would lead straight to NOWHERESVILLE. He saved my life. I picked myself up by the boot straps, took my rear to college, and made a better life. He is a miracle because that.

Actually, now that I can no longer have children, I think that each of them has a special story of why they are a miracle to me and my husband. They all have special talents and are wonderful little people.


We try hard to raise our children to be polite and use manners. So far so good! My toddler, the terror, is always polite even if he is screaming at the top of his lungs during a tantrum never forgets to say please or thank you.
   

We work towards caring and valuing others; sometimes we donate items to various organizations (out with the old), with my new business we have been able to donate new items to help others in need, we have donated our money, including allowance to help local, and we even donate our time to helping others. Last year, my now 6-y-o was given an award for having good character for always thinking about others. I think that says a lot.
 
Last year, she donated her hair to Locks of Love. One of her preschool friends was diagnosed with cancer.

We also emphasis the importance of a solid education. Not just an education but a good education and important it is to get the most out of what is offered to you through education. Even if it means going above and beyond what is required. We only have one that is old enough for us to know if we have made the right decision to push our children further in education and let me tell you he is a amazingly successful academically. In 6th grade he received an award for having over 1000 reading counts books, there are only 2 other people that have done that at his school. He is in the T.A.G. program in the district and another one through DUKE. He has also score in the top 2% of the nation the last 2 years on his standardized test. I was a teacher and I know and believe with all of my heart that children are capable of so much more than the education system allows them to be!

  
Here is during one of the awards ceremonies, "NERD" day at school, and his medal for reading excellence.


Lastly, it is of the utmost importance that we enjoy life. We have been reminded, on more than one occasion, that life is and can be very short and unpredictable. It is a sad reality but a true one. We try to teach our children that no matter what others think of us, it is okay to dance crazy even without music, laugh uncontrollably about whatever tickles your fancy, and love as if it were your last day.
 


I keep referencing "WE." I am sure you are wondering. But I believe that our family is a  team. We work together for the greater good. We are the Incredibles. Okay, okay, so we are not super heroes but we do strive to be super incredible!


I struggle everyday wondering if am I good enough, if I am doing the right things, if I make the right choices for them and after all of my self doubting...I WORRY! I worry about the most ridiculous things imaginable! My head always goes to worst case scenario. I am sure that I should be medicated for it but I am not. And so I worry and my children, their friends, our friends call me a HELICOPTER MOM because it would seem I like to hover. I am not always with them or anything I just like to know they are okay and safe and making the right choices. Is that wrong? Does that make me a helicopter mom? If so, well then so be it. 
Does this mean that our family is perfect? Heavens NO!

I hope you enjoyed a little walk in my shoes today. I would love to hear from all of you. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your day!

HUGS~
Jenni
Photobucket

Saturday, November 19, 2011

kitchen safety...the fun way

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thought i'd share with you one a way that we try to keep Bear sAFe while we're cOOkiNG in the kitchen.  we have an l-shaped kitchen/dining room area.  so we set up Bear's little saFeTY cONeS in the entry to the kitchen and the division of the kitchen and dining room.  this keeps him far enough away from the stove that we can cook on it or take things in and out of the oven without him being in danger.


 
 
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Friday, November 18, 2011

patterns with shapes and colors

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a while back, i got these fOAm sHapES for $1 a bag at the target dollar spot. 
((i got 4 bags))

foam shape color patterns
i finally got enough time to sit down and make pattern cards to go with them.  it was a little bit of work tracing, coloring, laminating, and cutting... but Bear loved them so much!  he went right to work, without any instruction. 

see how my little Type A lined all the cards up?
 
i made some of the cards with an empty space on them so that he could complete the pattern.  it's a good thing, because the others didn't challenge him too much.  i think that sometime soon i'll make some more cards out of poster board.  this way they'll be longer and can contain 3-4 shapes/colors on them.



he spent about 30 minutes on this activity.  the other thing that i found interesting was that he was able to self-correct himself when he put a shape in the wrong spot.  lastly, i love the fact that he was learning early math skills

what are some of your favorite math games and activities?
 
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

canvas and felt toolbox bag

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i originally made this for Bear to use as a trick-or-treat bag.  {he went as Bob the Builder}  but now it's a great little bag for us to throw library books or a few toys in when we go somewhere. 

this toolbox bag was fairly easy and quick to make.  it honestly took me about 30 minutes to make.  the bag is a simple, plain canvas one from hobby lobby.  i cut out the tools from felt freehand.  then i used aileen's craft glue to stick them all down. 


the finished product


what's a quick and easy project you've done?
 
 
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Top Trumps: The United States Review

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I have been given an opportunity to review Top Trumps: The United States from Timberdoodle.  Since we are currently participating in a postcard exchange with other homeschoolers and preschools around the country, Bear, my 3 year old, has developed quite an interest in the United States. 



The point of the game is pretty easy!  It's quite similar to the War game many of us played when we was younger.  Each card has 5 statistics about the state: population, amount square miles, number of counties,  distance from D.C., admission to the union. 

The recommended age is 6+, but the rules are so easy that I can play a modified version with Bear (who's 3) or a full version game with my 15 year old Pip.

Here's how you play:
Choose your card's best attribute/statistic
Compare that values with other player
Player with the highest value wins the round
            and starts the next one
The first person with all the cards, WINS!


The modified version that I played with my son (see image above) was just comparing the first number, which is the population in millions. All these numbers are 1-2 digits. Not only did we have fun looking at what state each other had, it gave him some practice in early math skills. He would identify each number. I helped with some of the bigger ones (19, 38). Then I asked him, "What number is bigger 4 or 1?" He could then compare fingers and see which was bigger, which decided who won the round. 


What's great about the Top Trump cards is that they also include facts about the particular state and beautiful photographs.  There are also illustrations of the state flag, bird, flower, and map to indicate location. 

I like the ability of the cards to serve a dual purpose.  Bear likes to sit and go through them and just look at the pictures.  Sitting with him, I can tell him the name of the state and what the picture is of.  There are a few states that he already knows based on the pictures on the card. 

There are so many opportunities that the Top Trumps: The United States cards have to offer in the educational exploration of the United States.  I'm excited to see just where they take us!

Stop by the Timberdoodle website to find more fun learning games for preschoolers to teens!  You can also check them out on Facebook. There's also the DoodleBlog that offers great resources for parents, educators, or parent-educators.


I received this product free from Timberdoodle. I was not compensated in any other way for this review.
All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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