Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Weekend Away

Last winter, we stayed at a great hotel just 45 minutes from home.   We had saved up enough points to get the 2 room suite for about $65.  This hotel has a regular pool, a hot tub, and a kids pool with sprayers, a little waterfall, and one kid-sized waterslide.  It’s loads of fun for little ones!

During our stay last year, there were problems with the pool area ventilation system.  As a result of those problems, the hotel manager sent us an e-mail with a coupon for a free night’s stay.  We used it this past weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed a Saturday afternoon/evening of splashing and playing!


Jensyn was our fearless one!  She didn’t mind being in my arms in the big pool, and she sat on my lap while I dangled my feet in the hot tub for a while.  Her favorite part, though, was the kiddie pool.  Oh, my, was she a brave little girl!  She went down that waterslide all by herself – climbed the stairs alone, slide down on her own, and had no fear of splashing into the 1 foot deep water.  She didn’t want anyone to help her or catch her, although we did watch her like a hawk.  It was such a JOY to watch her giggle as she stood up at the bottom of the slide, then turned around to dash back to the steps again.


Max tried a little of everything.  He enjoyed playing in the big pool, but he also had a lot of fun on the slide and in the sprayers.  He was Mr. Independent, and he got in trouble a few times for running to the big pool without having Mommy or Daddy come with him.   Overall, though, he had a GREAT time!


Alex liked the kiddie pool, but he LOVED the freedom of swimming “independently” in the big pool.  Of course, we were watching him closely and he had his Puddle Jumper on the whole time.  He says his favorite part was the big pool.  He had the most fun racing across the pool with Daddy & Max.

Our “neighbors” for the night were quite noisy until almost 4 AM.  Poor Alex couldn’t sleep, and neither could Keith or I.  The little ones slept great until about 6:30 AM.

We enjoyed breakfast the hotel, and then we headed to a church we really enjoy visiting.  Once again, we thoroughly enjoyed our experience there!  It’s such a friendly, welcoming place!

It’s always nice to get away for a night & enjoy some fun, family time together…especially when it’s FREE! Smile

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pull-Ups First Flush Sweepstakes

We are nearing the end of potty training our second child, and wow, has Max ever taken us on a potty training adventure!  Anything that can make potty training a little easier or more fun is always welcome!

Pull-Ups is always looking for creative ways to make potty training exciting for little ones.  Check out this “First Flush” event in Times Square!

Pull-Ups is hosting a fun First Flush sweepstakes right now.  Upload a photo or share the story of your child’s first potty success, and you will be entered to win a 4-day DISNEY GETAWAY!  (I don’t know about you, but I’d sure enjoy that!)

Also, check out the new Pull-Ups Big Kids app in the App Store or at Google Play!

Disclaimer: I received PullUps in exchange for sharing about First Flush and the Pull-Ups Sweepstakes with my readers.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Our GoodNites Pack arrived!

We’ve been asked to review the new & improved GoodNites Bedmats, which have been rated as the 2013 Children’s Product of the Year!

Our GoodNites Bedmats arrived on Friday along with a basket of FUN goodies!  The kids were so excited to cut open the box and find out what was inside.


We received the boy pack shown below, but GoodNites also offers a girl pack.

Bed Mats 2.0 Boys KitBed Mats 2.0 Girls Kit

We received a lights & sounds alarm clock, a StarMaster that lights up the walls & ceilings with stars, battery-operated color-changing lights (which, once removed from little sister’s neck, headed straight to the bunk beds to serve as the boys’ nightlights), Angry Birds slippers, cloud-shaped corkboards, a sand art glow kit, and a pack of soft, non-crinkly GoodNights bedmats (which we’ll be trying out this coming week). 

I was excited about the Land of Nod blue basket, as I’ve been wanting a basket to store our library books.  This was the PERFECT size, and it’s durable enough to hold up to a little abuse from my kiddos.  I’m so thankful to have sturdy, portable storage for our library books to be carried around the house!


Guess what?  You have the opportunity to win one of the kits pictured above!  We’ll be trying out the bedmats next week, and then you can watch for a giveaway post to show up here once we’ve completed our review!

GoodNites Bed Mats allow your child to sleep in regular underwear while keeping the bed protected.  Simply peel off the backing, place the absorbant cloth-like mat on your child’s bed sheets, and rest assured that your child’s bed is protected!

You can find a $1 off GoodNites Bed Mats coupon by CLICKING HERE.

Disclaimer: I received free GoodNites BedMats and prize package in exchange for sharing this exciting announcement with my blog readers.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Jensyn at 22.5 months

Our sweet little girl is so girly, yet so silly!  A couple in our church is celebrating their 50th anniversary with a trip to Hawaii, and after church their children held a small cake & card reception for their parents.  Everyone at church got a lei, and that made Jensyn very happy.  The girl loves accessories: shoes, rings, hats, necklaces…you name it, she loves it!

So we got home from church, she puts on a stocking cap with her lei, and proceeds to bring all her babies and their accessories out to play.  She was quite the sight!


Speaking of baby dolls, this girly is VERY attached.  Here she is at bedtime last week, lined up to sleep with her babies and their blankets.  When you put her to bed, she says “I need a baaaay-beeeee!”  Usually, it’s a minimum of 3.  Tonight, Keith (who typically puts her to bed at night) said she had SEVEN babies in bed with her and wanted more.

When I get her out of bed in the morning, she typically brings 3 – 4 baby dolls with her to the kitchen for breakfast.


I think I might have posted this one in a random post last week, but it still makes me giggle.  If Jensyn can’t find a hat, anything can become a hat.  Here, it was a pair of her pants shoved over her head and topped with an upside-down disposable diaper.


We love your silly antics, sweet girly!  I wish you could stay little forever!

MFW K–Ee Elephant

{CLICK HERE} to view the rest of our MFW K unit posts.
{CLICK HERE} to view our post explaining WHY we chose MFW K for our family.

Alex is 5 years, 1 month
Max is 3 years, 5 months

We are using My Father’s World Kindergarten as our base,
adding in some of my own printables.

This week, we are learning the letter Ee for elephant.
Our Bible words are: I will remember what God has done for me!


“Stand Back” was Alex’s favorite of the week.




We talked about the many things that God does for us each day, and we talked about the most amazing thing that God did for us: sending Jesus to die on the cross for our sins!




All About Reading…we are reviewing (AND LOVING!) this program.
It’s not a necessary addition to MFW K, but it is a lot of fun!
Alex is reading to me from his reader, and he’s placing his next sticker on the chart.



our own handwriting pages – we do these on day #1,
and then we divide the “official” handwriting page between day #3 and day #4.


He’s great at uppercase E, but lowercase e is still tricky.



Counting 1 – 30, doing a dot-to-dot from 1 - 30


stamping 15 elephants
writing 15 – he loves the little rhyme:

“Short neck, belly fat, Mr. Five wears a hat”

that Grace taught him.



We read some factual books about elephants and learned lots of fun facts.
Grandma Elephant’s In Charge also has a lot of neat facts woven into the simple story plot.


shape art – I traced the circles, but Alex did all the cutting
(except the black of the eyes, which we did with a hole puncher)
and gluing in the correct place


Alex colored this picture to go along with the book “I Love My Mama”.

He’s not big on coloring, so for him, this is a pretty good job!



Elephants never forget…but sometimes Alex forgets!  I placed he8 items on a tray.  Alex pointed to and named each object.  Then I had him close his eyes tightly while I removed one.  He had to guess what was missing.

After he’d done this 5 or 6 times, Mama closed her eyes while Alex removed an object.  We had lots of fun together!


Alex loves to do the tot school pages with Max.  He did a handful of pages that were duplicates or were too hard for Max.  He also did every page in a page protector once Max had finished with the notebook.

circle big/cross out small                      circle the ones facing left                       maze


We found a few elephant mazes by doing a Google search


tot school 
(Max is  years, 5 months)

Just for the record, I *offer* these activities to my little ones.  I  *NEVER NEVER* force a 3 year old to sit down and do “worksheets”.  Max is free to play or do his own thing.  I encourage puzzles, hands-on activities, etc…and he can do whatever paperwork interests him.

Max gets so much JOY out of doing these activities.  He is SO excited to come to the table and work on these pages.  I love the expressions on his face.  I just sit back with the camera and watch him work.  Here he is doing the size sort (aka “making stairs”):


Working on number recognition – grabbing the numbers as I name them
and placing them in the correct order to complete the puzzle.


counting/number matching…..stamping S and s……matching shapes


prewriting practice


size matching…easy maze…picture matching


circle what’s different……stamping the S and picture


Max & Alex did elephant shape art together.
I cut out Max’s pieces for him, and he made a very interesting elephant.
Poor thing looks dizzy to me!


Jensyn colored on the sample that I printed from the internet, played with her brothers’ scraps, and tried to run off with glue sticks multiple times Smile


We may be linking up with the following blogs:
Tot School