Monday, April 30, 2012

in {her} shoes...kali

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i'm so excited about today's in {her} shoes guest poster.  she's my newest bloggie buddy and is quickly becoming a dear friend... the kind you sit and talk over coffee with.  Kali blogs over at The Vintage Milk House.  right now she has an amazing series on her Adoption story.  it's heartfelt and very moving.  it looks at Kali, her "Natural" mother, and her "Nurture" mom. 


Hey there Crayon Freckle Fans, I’m Kali! I am so excited and honored that Andie asked me to be a part of this series. What an awesome idea for a series! {She rocks!}
Photobucket

I’m a wife to my hubby Greg of almost 8 years, a former businesswoman turned stay at home Mom to 3 little ones -
Wesley (4½), Veronika (2½)and Vanessa (10 mo.) 


I’m not a perfect Mom by any means and I’m definitely not your typical stay at home Mom! I loose my patience sometimes for ridiculous reasons. My laundry is hardly ever folded and I tend to freak out when trying to get the kids out the door and in the van. BUT I live for being silly and laughing with my kids, reading to my kids, crafting projects with them and just plain old experiencing things while watching them grow as individuals.

I’ve found that blogging at The Vintage Milk House has really given me sense of purpose and self. It serves as my window to the rest of the world and feeds my needs as a people person along with my habit as a crafter/DIYer/writer. I believe it also keeps me grounded and intentional in my parenting.

What’s the most challenging part of being the type of mom that you are?
Mastering my juggling skills. We all have to do it. Balance life in a way that makes our homes and families run the smoothest. I didn’t start off as a SAHM. I jumped into this thing with 3 crazy kids and the biggest obstacle I face is taking care of this Momma first, everyday, so that I can take care of everyone else. Sometimes that also means getting out of my own head. I have a tendency, as my Hubby would say, to “Over think things”. Which lots of times leads to un-necessary worries or extra work. If I take the time every day to get myself in order then I’m less likely to run rapid in my own head and everything else follows much more smoothly.


What’s the most rewarding part of being the type of mom that you are?

Catching my kids in the act. For example: Catching my 4 year old “reading” to his baby sister. Listening to my oldest two, solve a problem together, politely. Watching them use their imagination. Finding them helping one another or a friend. Hearing them use their manners in conversation with others...but the biggest part is catching them being themselves. I hope to foster and nurture individuality in all of my children.

When I “catch” my children in the act it serves as a little pat on the back or some days may even be the boost I needed to help me make it through the rest of the day. You know, those days where everyone is fighting, no one is listening and nothing is going as planned? Several times I’ve “caught” my kids on one of those days and it completely lifts and shifts my priorities. It also reassures me that I must be doing SOMETHINGS right. 


What’s the most important values that parents can instill in their children?

I believe it is respect. If you think about it respect falls on the feet of all things moral and Godly. Raising your kids to truly be respectful little people means not only respecting others and themselves, but also respecting the values of life concepts. Things like education, spirituality and plain old hard work. Respectful people are mindful of others and their feelings, thoughts and beliefs. To take it a step further if respectful people respect others and life concepts then their minds will be open to SO many possibilities!


How would your children describe you in 3 words?

This is a hard one… I nervously asked my 4 year old Wesley – “Using your words, what sort of Mommy to you think I am?” His response: “Hmm, now that’s a hard one Mom. Well, I know I love you AND … you are beautiful! – Is that what you mean?”

I could have just eaten him up there! 
He kills me with his verbage’!

I would hope when my children get older they would say I’m creative, energetic and empathetic. But I’m sure they won’t actually say that until they are parents themselves!
Thanks Andie for allowing me to be part of such an AWESOME series!

~Kali~

Friday, April 27, 2012

buying mommy ice cream

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the other night, i thought that Bear might get a kick out of running to our local ice cream shop to get some ice cream.  the kids meals always have free ice cream tickets on the side.  so, when this came up, Bear said,
"Momma, i'm gonna buy your ice cream!"

once we got there, Bear handed his 2 little tickets to the cashier and told her that he was buying me ice cream.  we walked to the table with our frozen treats... he was so proud.  as we ate our ice cream, i was oVeRwHeLMeD wiTH gRatiTUde to be able to spend simple, precious time with him...

spending time with our kids doesn't have to be expensive family vacations or trips to the biggest museum in town.  sometimes it's the little things that they most clearly remember when they get older.  i heard once that events that have the most emotion attached to them are often the ones we remember longer.

here are some other ideas on ways to spend quality time
  • have a picnic on the front yard
  • read books under the dining room table
  • lay on the grass and watch the clouds
  • go for a drive on a country road
  • bake cookies
  • have a slumber party on the living room floor

what's your best memory of time spent with your child?
 
 
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.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

i ain't gonna paint no more book activity

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I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont is one of our favorite books.  it's not uncommon for us to check it out from the library. read it almost everyday, then return it, just to check it back out.  my Bear's a hoot, i'll tell ya. 

to start the project, i laid out a long piece of paper from our easel roll.  Bear laid down on it while i traced around his body to provide him an outline.  he's ticklish, so i took a bit of work and giggles.
 
he chose what colors of paint he wanted and dumped them on our painting tray.  i provided him with various painting tools.


the paint became its own activity

he explored various tecniques and tools while he painted. 
 

the final product was a painted up paper-Bear similar to the paint-covered little boy in I Ain't Gonna Paint No More!


happy painting!  and remember....
if you aren't getting messy, you aren't having enough fun!


 
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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

heart wall

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i saw this heart wall at Toddler Approved around Valentine's Day and thought it'd be so cute with all pictures.

turns out i was right because shortly after that i found this:

from Decor Pad

so i decided to create my own hEaRT waLL in our bedroom so i could see
some of my favorite pictures every day when i woke up.


what makes your heart happy?
 
 
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, April 24, 2012

tip-toe thru tuesday apr: 4

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before we get to the party stuff, i have to share with you an email from Marcy who sent me a picture of their version of my most popular post, the count on him octopus math activity.  didn't aiden do a great job!?
hello lovelies!!  in case you haven't heard already, tip-toe thru tuesday is now co-hosted by myself and Kim from Tiaras and Bowties.  here's the new button for the party!

tiptoethrutuesday


here are the toP 2 pOSts from last week plus one of mY faVEs.  don't forget to check out Kim's fave over at Tiaras and Bowties.  if you're featured, grab a fEAtuRed button from my button page


Reinventing a Sewing Machine from A Girl and a Brush
Early Literacy Activities from Learn with Play at Home


now, it's time to party!!

PoST aNYtHiNG you've created (show me some etsy shops and giveaways!)

Feel free to share several posts

Link back to my page somewhere on your blog

Stay around and check out a few other links. wE aLL LovE fEEdBaCK!

Monday, April 23, 2012

in {her} shoes...crystal

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today's in {her} shoes guest poster is Crystal from Growing a Jeweled Rose

Growing a Jeweled Rose


Hi, I'm Crystal, the writer of Growing A Jeweled Rose.  I am so excited to be a part of the "In Her Shoes" series!

From a very young age I knew I wanted to be a mommy.  It is something I always felt I was meant to do.  I also always knew I wanted to stay home with my children.  Actually, it was a dream of mine.  My husband is fulfilling that dream by providing me this amazing opportunity, and it is a gift I am grateful for everyday!  I will cherish these days forever.  I am surrounded by laughter, hugs, kisses, and toothless grins all day long! What could possibly be better than that? 

Shoes?  What shoes?
 Us free spirits go barefoot whenever possible!

What is the most challenging part about being the type of mom you are?
While motherhood is more amazing than I could ever express, every mom is sure to face her own set of challenges.  My biggest challenge, being the type of mom I am, is balance.  Trying to find balance between seizing the day and staying on top of the mundane.  I am all about living each moment to the fullest and am constantly on the go-go-go with the girls.  If we aren't on the go, we are surely getting into some messy fun!  (I love the messy stuff) I am so passionate about living and enjoying every moment of life, I often struggle balancing all the other not so enjoyable stuff.  While I am getting better at the juggling act all parents face, it has surely taken some practice and discipline, and discipline is not something us free spirits fancy.

What is the most rewarding part about being the type of mom you are?
The most rewarding part of being the type of mom I am is that we make the most of every day.  We have so much fun!  All the time I spend focused on my girls rather than other things will never be time wasted!  I will never look back, and think of how I wished I had cleaned more and played with the girls less.  Just look at those smiles! 
Rosie- age 2
And in all of this playing, I know Jewel and Rosie are learning and growing so much!  Mommy is learning and growing so much!  And we are all having SO MUCH fun!

In your opinion, what are the most important value(s) parents can instill in their children?
There are so many values my husband and I hope to instill in Rosie and Jewel.  One of the most important to us is compassion.  I have been appalled many times in my life by people's lack of compassion, by their ability to do nothing or not care when another is hurting or in need.  I have always been a very emotional type, very sensitive, and very effected by others own sensitivities.  My husband is the same way.  We strive to teach the girls how to walk in others shoes (pun intended ;)) Just imagine how amazing this world would be if everyone in it was overflowing with love, empathy, sensitivity, and compassion

If your children could describe you in three words, which ones would they pick?
While I may not know the answer to this question, I can tell you what my hope is.  If my children were to describe me in three words, I hope they would be compassionate, loving, and present, because that is exactly what I want them to be.  Full of compassion! Full of love!  And present in each moment!  These moments are all we really have after all.

I would love for you to drop by Growing A Jeweled Rose, and see what fun we have been up to!   We love messy play and things that glow.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

diary of a worm small motor activity

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this week, we read the hilarious book, Diary of a Worm by Harry Bliss.  the worm character is just so cute.  there are quite a few play on words and twists of cliche's that are funny. 

in the story, the little worm and his classmates make macaroni necklaces.  if you look in the picture below, you can see that they only need one macaroni.  after we read it, Bear and i made macaroni necklaces.  of course, we needed more than one macaroni :)
  

this is one of those tRiED aNd tRUe activities that many of us did as a child.  i like oLd sChOOL activities like this because they're simple, they use materials that most of us already have, and they are memory-makers

since we didn't dye the noodles first, we colored them with permanent markers when we were done.  i'll post a pic of us wearing them in the morning after church.

what's your favorite "old school" activity
to do with your children?

 
 
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.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

why i don't have a post today

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i don't have a post today because i'm hanging out in the dirt with my cute lil' man.


see you tomorrow lovelies!

 
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.

Friday, April 20, 2012

how washing windows teaches life skills

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we've got some really fun crayola window crayons.  the kids have fun using them, but after a while the front door is so covered that there's no where else to draw.

so what has to be done?
                             yep, the window has to be washed. 
and who washes that window?
                             the little hands who colored on it.

now...before you think i'm a hoRRiBLe moTHeR...hear me out. 
how many times have you seen adults leave a mess on their table in a restaurant?
or watching someone throw their trash out of their car window?
these are the type of actions i'm hoping Bear will avoid.
teaching a child to clean up after themselves teaches them:
  • basic cause-and-effect... i make a mess, i pick it up
  • how to be responsible for their actions
  • respect for their homes, neighborhoods, or properties of others
the real life lesson in this post isn't about teaching your kids to wash a window...
it's what the washing of the window represents:
\

so, Bear and i got out the wiNDoW cLeaNeR aNd waSHcLotHEs and started scrubbing away.  it was quite a workout.  it was really fun for him to be able to pretend to "clean the dump truck." after a while, my high part of the glass door was done and he just kept working away down below.  i'm absolutely praying that he keeps his eagerness to help as he grows.

how do you encourage your children to help
clean up after themselves?
 
 
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.

**it's silly that i even have to say this, but there's always that 1 person.... if you let your child help your clean windows, supervision with the cleaning chemicals is required.**

Thursday, April 19, 2012

homemade blue playdough for Autism Awareness

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we desperately needed to make another batch of homemade playdough as our brown-mud playdough and our pink strawberry playdough had seen their last days. 

since it's Austism Awareness Month, we made blue playdough.  if you'd like more information on what you can do to spread awareness and support autism research, go to the Light it Up Blue site.

Bear wanted to do it all by himself.  so i let him do as much as he could alone. 
Bear crossed the ingredients off as we added them.
and yes, the dumptruck acted as a measuring tool.
Bear was able to decide how much blue to add.
then he mixed it all up!

here's the recipe we used in a cute little, pinnable image just for you!

we've used this recipe from the Nurture Store since we saw it in their playdough cupcake post.  they also have a free playdough ebook available 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.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

what to do when your child follows directions

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juice in one hand
"breakfast snack" in the other
he gets up
he sits down
he is everywhere

"babe, please sit at your table
and eat your breakfast"
is answered with
            "okay, momma"
and that's just what he did
{after flipping the table upside down}
i did not question
i did not correct
i did nothing other than 
thank him for listening
                                   because that's what he did
even if it wasn't exactly what i had meant

 
 
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, April 16, 2012

in {her} shoes...charisa

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today's in {her} shoes guest blogger is Charisa from Madtown Macs.  she's the cutest little thing!  and the way she writes her blog makes it feel like you're getting an email from a college friend {i.e. her latest posts about fighting poison ivy}  after you're done here, shoot on over to her blog and say hi!


Hello, I’m more than thrilled to be guest posting today for Andie. I’m Charisa and I’m the Director of In-House Operations for my household. (The title “stay-at-home mom” just doesn’t do it for me!) My associates are my husband, my almost 7 year old son, and my almost 4 year old daughter. I have a degree in art education and am proud to be one of those moms who is not afraid to get messy. I started my blog in 2006 as a way to vent all those new mommy frustrations, journal everyday moments that might be forgotten, and also as a way to keep up with family and friends since we had recently been relocated for my husband’s job. I never thought I’d still be at it 6 years down the road!

Me with my two associates.

Here we go! It’s Question and Answer Time!
What’s the most challenging part of being the type of mom that you are?
Balance! (Like so many of us out there!) I want to be Supermom! And Superwife! And Superdecorator! And Superparty-planner and on and on and on. I want to do it all and ...*head on keyboard*... I can’t keep up. As I result I’m guilty of never taking any time for myself, so that’s what I’m working on - being okay with not doing it all. The kids will survive with doing one less craft for Feazel Day so Mommy can squeeze a workout in. In fact, we’ll all be happier at the end of the day.
What’s the most rewarding part of being the type of mom that I am?
Everything. Every smile, every laugh, every tear, and even every hard lesson learned. When we decide to become parents we sign up for the good and the bad. It’s all part of life and this is exactly the life that I signed up for. I count my blessings every day for the family my husband and I have created.
What’s the most important values that parents can instill in their children?
I believe basic, common sense values that unfortunately so many have forgotten these days are the building blocks to teaching important values. Be a good person. Help your neighbor. Respect others. Different doesn’t mean wrong. Work hard for what you want. Don’t take more than you need. Kids learn by example so if they see you doing it, most likely they’ll follow suit.
How would your children describe you in 3 words?
Creative, Silly, and Fun. I feel they’ve hit the nail on the head! We have lots of fun around our house and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We take our silliness very seriously!
Thanks, Andie, for letting me steal your stage for the day!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

bird activities for preschoolers: journaling, graphing, and art

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as i mentioned the other day, we are doing a unit on birds, per Bear's request.  right now, we are on the tail-end of our bird unit... {get it? tail-end?}

the other day we did a playdough and sticks bird nest sensory activity.  here are some of the other bird-related things we've done.
 
here's a peek into Bear's preschool journal.  the left-hand side is a sticker collage that relates to what we're learning about.  the right-hand side are my transcriptions of Bear's bird knowledge and the new info he's learned.
today we just built we did a bird characteristic graphing activity. {say that 5 times fast!}  i put the  bird characteristics across the top and various items that share 1+ bird characteristics down the side.  we went down the list through the items.  Bear marked off what items had the top characteristics.  after we had went through them all, we went down the far right column and answered the question "is it a bird?"

for art, i pulled out our big bag of feathers, googly eyes, orange foam triangles, and popsicle sticks.  i didn't push/ask/coerce him to make a bird.  i took a sTeP baCK and watched what he did with the materials. {this is a hard thing to do sometimes, isn't it?}

here's the final result:

talk to you later, my peeps!

 
 
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.
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