Sunday, April 29, 2012

Easter Tot School

(Alex is 4 years, Max is 2.5 years)

My neighbor – a mom of three little ones - recently asked how I balance tot school, a baby, babysitting, and keep up with the house.  The answer is easy…I don’t!  My house gets beyond messy.  If you peek at the background of these photos, you’ll often see a full garbage can, a messy counter, or a pile of dirty dishes in the sink.  You don’t see my overflowing basket of clean laundry, waiting to be folded.  You don’t see that, while I attempt to keep the main rooms of the house fairly clean 90% of the time, my bedroom is a disaster 100% of the time!  So, take heart – I am HUMAN!  I do not have my act together!  :)

We play and learn every morning, but most is casual…playdough, fingerpainting, reading stories, doing puzzles, playing Candyland or Memory Game during baby’s morning naptime.  The rest of their time is spent playing with Thomas trains, Hot Wheels, pretend playing doctor’s office or McDonald’s workers.  That’s how it should be.  They’re little.  Life is meant to be full of learning through play!

Wednesdays are usually the only day that we sit down all together and have a focused learning time.  I generally only take tot school pictures on Wednesdays, since that’s when we do the bulk of our “school work”. The kids are bouncing with excitement when I put the baby down for her morning nap and they get to come to the table.  They love Wednesday mornings! 

This is two weeks worth of pictures:

First, the Easter Blessings pack…

Sorting uppercase and lowercase Rs

April2012 039

shadow matching

April2012 017


April2012 018 April2012 038

learning to write R, r

April2012 020

finding and stamping R and r

April2012 022

April2012 025

circling what’s different

April2012 023 

Ordinal Numbers – circle the fourth cross, cross out the third lamb, etc.
Alex is getting pretty good at these!

April2012 026 April2012 027

coloring the lamb’s bow…

April2012 032April2012 034

circling the smallest

   April2012 029April2012 037


Next, the Easter Fun pack…

…and a smiling baby girl pic that somehow slipped in here…
I could delete it, but I’ll leave it for you to admire her cute little grin…

March2012 093

Eager to see what we’ll learn today…

March2012 095

Ten Part Puzzle

March2012 096 March2012 097

Shadow Matching

March2012 098 March2012 099

a rather hilarious attempt at a three part puzzle…

Max is 2.5 year old, can count to 20, understands one-to-one correspondence while counting, but DEFINITELY doesn’t recognize written numbers to put them in order.
(Nor do I expect him to know.)
He thinks he knows, though, and he tried and tried to get it right!

March2012 100

Size sequencing

March2012 101 

thinking, thinking…He *almost* got it right.

March2012 102March2012 103 

color sorting…
Max is in love with “chapstick” right now, as he calls glue sticks.
Any pages that he can do with “chapstick” make him giddy!

March2012 105

Alex…my goofball!

March2012 108March2012 111

Easter Path page

March2012 106 March2012 107  March2012 109

Do A Dot
Max only uses green. 
He doesn’t know his colors by name yet, but he knows that green is his favorite.

 March2012 110

Counting Mat

  March2012 112 March2012 114

Find & Stamp the letter
Max really wants to get these right, and often he does.
He does NOT recognize letters by name yet, but if I show him an E,
he can find and stamp all the Es.

March2012 113

What’s different

  March2012 115 March2012 116

Max just learned to make circles.  I love the swirly one on top.

March2012 117

Count and Match

March2012 118

playing the memory game with Mommy

March2012 119 March2012 120

Afterwards, we gave Max all the memory game cards and he made matches.

March2012 121

There ya have it…two weeks of Easter tot school…
only 3 more weeks of tot school pictures to catch up on posting! :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

WINNERS! Handwriting Pack Giveaway

Congrats to the winners of the handwriting pack giveaway!

handwriting printables ad

THREE winners from the Teacher’s Notebook Giveaway:

The winners have been randomly selected and notified via an e-mail directly from Teacher’s Notebook.

Total Entries: 37 entries.
#1. newmom
#2. Keys4Education
#3. starlight1

FIVE winners from the Facebook Page giveaway:

#1. Kami
#2. Kate
#3. Jaime
#4. Wendy
#5. Jennifer

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Easter Weekend 2012

First and foremost, we know {and teach our children} why Easter is the BEST holiday.  It’s not because of bunnies, eggs, chicks, or presents.  It’s because of the death and RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ.  Without His AMAZING SACRIFICE, we would have no hope.  Because of HIS amazing gift to us, we have the hope of eternal life in Heaven with Him! 

We still choose to let our children have fun with the Easter bunny and Easter baskets.  We try to do as much of that as we can on Saturday; that way, the focus on Sunday can stay on Jesus Christ.

I must admit, our Sunday morning was hard to keep focused, though.  Daddy had to be at church early for Praise Team practice.  I’m pretty used to that, and I can usually get myself and three kids ready without issue.  When you add in reading the Easter story, getting in “pretty” clothes, surprise Easter Eggs and candy left outside of your front door (we’re thinking it was our new neighbor), and runaway neighbor dogs…well, it gets tricky!

At 9 AM, Keith was just getting home from practice.  We leave for church at 9:30.  I had two kids dressed for church, and I was ironing my clothes.  One of the boys was still in a pajama shirt and no pants.  Nobody had socks or shoes just yet.

I looked out the window to see our neighbor’s dog take off running down the road.  This neighbor was in the same situation as me – her husband was at church, and she was home getting three small children ready on her own.  Their five year old daughter was in her pretty Easter dress, looking down the road as the dog took off.  Since Keith had just pulled into the driveway, still wearing a sweatshirt and jeans, he chased their dog around the neighborhood. 

Somehow, my boys snuck out without my knowledge while I was drying my hair.  Keep in mind that one was pantless, and the other was dressed for Easter but barefoot.  I panicked when the boys were gone, but I finally spotted them several yards down the road, retrieving Tucker and bringing him home. 

Keith & I hurried to finish getting ready, and we headed out the door.  During church, I noticed that Jensyn’s dress still had a tag hanging off of it.  I quickly checked the boys’ shirts, and I discovered that they, too, still had tags on their new polo shirts.  Ah well, we made it to church on time, we celebrated the resurrection of Christ, and we helped a neighbor.  I guess we’ll chalk that up to a good Easter morning! :)


Coloring eggs…and kids…and dish towels…and mama ;)

 April2012 081 

  April2012 079April2012 077

April2012 085April2012 087


We went out for breakfast, then came home to find that the Easter Bunny had come while we were out.  (Shhh…mommy ran in and quickly hid the eggs & baskets while Daddy entertained the kids in the driveway!)

Only the boys got eggs, since Jensyn isn’t quite ready to hunt.  They each had colors assigned to them, and they found eggs with smarties, Peeps, and quarters.

April2012 091April2012 090

We have one of those talking eggs that says “Yoo-hoo, I’m hiding!”  We put that in with the Easter baskets, and the boys follow the sound to find their baskets.  This year, they were hidden under the computer desk.  See the boys “cupping” their ears to follow the sound?  They were so cute!

April2012 096 April2012 097

Diggin’ in to their loot: bubbles, shampoo, bubble bath, plastic toy boats, wind-up construction trucks with bunny drivers, an egg filled with tattoos, and “Wooly Willy” style bunny rabbits.  Jensyn got a Little Peoples set, some Gerber toddler snacks, and a new play dress.

April2012 098 April2012 105  

Cousin Cailin turned three, and her birthday party was on the day before Easter.  They had an Easter Bunny theme, and it was LOTS of fun!  The Easter Bunny even made an appearance to hand out toys, and he filled the backyard with eggs while everyone was inside eating.

singing to the birthday girl

April2012 134

When bribed with large quantities of JELLO BEANS, Jensyn is quite the happy baby!  (The not-so-happy part is the diapers that mommy changed for three days afterwards.  No more jello for this baby until she’s potty trained!)

April2012 132 

April2012 106 April2012 110 April2012 111 April2012 114 April2012 115 April2012 116 April2012 117 

April2012 119 April2012 126 


Grandma & Papa’s egg hunt

April2012 141

  April2012 151 April2012 150April2012 148