Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Little Angel!!


One of my absolute favorite Christmas gifts given to me by my sunshine when she was three years old is this Angel craft above that she made for me at Preschool. I will keep this one forever!!! Luckily, her teacher even laminated it- Yeah!! I am so hoping that my littlest will come home with one of these this year. If not, I'll have to do it with her, because isn't it adorable?? I want to cry every time I look at it!

Here's another angel idea that I found in one of my Usborne Christmas books!(Things to Make and Do for Christmas by F. Watt & R. Gibson) A sneak peak for my favorite readers!!!



Starting to look like Christmas around here!!
Christmas Blessings,
Jen

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Annual Turkey Fashion Show

And the winners are- drumroll please.......................



Peanut's turkey wearing a fushia fluff ball hat with black swirly jewelery!



Sunshine's turkey also placed with it's elaborate puff ball coat!!

And most importantly, the girls loved creating thier fancy turkeys!!

Happy Thanksgiving!
(Yes, I know that it is the day after, but if the Pilgrims and Natives celebrated for three days, so can I, right? Mmmmm. Pumpkin pie for 3 days, oh yeah!!!)

Jen

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cyberschool Adventure!!


I have now entered the world of Cyber education!! As of Friday, I am officially homeschooling my six year old via Cyberschool. (If you're curious about why, feel free to visit my other blog- God's Shining Stars. As my daughter would say, "We are high-tech, Mom!" Due to this transition to Cyberschool, I haven't had a second to spare to blog all of these creative ideas running through my brain!! I'm sure that I'm going to have lots to blog about, but until I get into a routine with my daughter,my time is going to be limited! Here is a sneak peak at my Cyberschool day tomorrow!

I'm going to do some morning activities with both of my girls!

Calendar activities:
Days of the Week Song
What is today? What was yesterday? What will tomorrow be?
Is today an odd or even number??
Create equations with today's date!!
For example: Tomorrow will be the 24th, so we will create equations that equal 24.
12 + 12 = 24
24 + 0 = 24
25 - 1 = 24


Weather: My girls will take turns being the meteorologist each morning. They will predict the weather and then check the weather outside. Next, they will make a predication about the type of weather they think will occur the next day. Using a weather sign, they post the weather of the day on a chart.

After we do our morning routine, we will go online and check my daugher's announcements from her teacher and any email messages she may have from any of her new teachers. She has a 1st grade teacher for her basic subject areas, and then an art and music teacher, and a gym and health teacher. They will communicate with her all via the computer. Basically, they plan the activities, lessons, and materials, and I teach with their support. They provide videos, websites, powerpoint presentations, and live chats. They will be able to see her during live chats via a webcam.
Other activities that I will be helping my daughter with tomorrow are orientation activities such as organizing her work space, taking care of and using her computer, and get to know you activities to send to her cyberteacher. If we have time, I will let both of my girls work as a team to complete a math scavenger hunt around the house.

This will be our morning and then we are off to a Thanksgiving performance for little sis and a Thanksgiving feast. She will be wearing an adorable turkey hat!!



I plan on doing some Language Arts and Math in the afternoon. We are still waiting for all of our curriculum materials to come in the mail, so I'm basically winging it for now with what we do have- luckily I have a teaching background! The great thing about teaching at home is the flexibility. I'm so excited that my oldest can attend her little sister's performance.

After teaching her in the afternoon, we have girl scouts (she'll be a Daisy!) after dinner. I just signed her up for this, because I want to be sure she has opportunities to be with children weekly. Life is getting crazy, but exciting!

Wish me luck with this new adventure!!!

One creative tip for Thanksgiving before I sign off!!! Have your child create their fanciest turkey. Trace hand on card stock like traditional turkey projects. Next, let them go to town with all kinds of craft materials- glitter glue, pom poms, fabric, feathers,google eyes, etc. Their challenge is to create the fanciest turkey to win an award in the Annual Turkey Fashion Show!! My girls loved this!! Their turkey's were way over the top!! I'll try to share photos later this week if I get a chance. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Many blessings,
Jen

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Just Letting Loose!

We had a super, duper great game of charades going on in this household the other night!(Did I just say super, duper? I think one of my blogging buddy's language is rubbing off on me! You know who you are, The Queen of Pinkness!!)

Back to Charades!! See if you can guess what we were? I just had to grab the camera, because I was laughing so hard at the creativity of my husband! Look below- you'll see!!!

Here's a hint- We are marsupials that live in Australia.


Did you guess?? Answer: My husband is a Kangaroo and peanut is the joey!! (Probably funnier to me, but I was rolling on the floor with laughter when they started hopping around the living room!)



Hint: We live in the ocean!


Answer: An Octopus!!!Aren't we cute?? Ha, Ha!!!!



And the Grande Finale..........



The Statue of Liberty!!!


Okay, so that wasn't too wordless, which is surprising since I slammed my typing finger in the dryer this morning!! Don't laugh- it was 6:00am and I was still tired. (I'm totally just making an excuse!! Can't get any clumsier than me!!)

Have a Wonderful Wednesday!!
(Thanks Punky Monkey for W.W!!)

Jen

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Marie Antoinette - A Real Person, A Real Award



Amy Short, artist and friend, recently awarded me with the Marie Antoinette - A Real Person, A Real Award. She wrote: "Jen, keep up the great work because little artists become big ones one day!"
Visit Amy's blog and website to check out her work. She is very talented! http://www.amyshortart.com/

Thank you so much! I am honored to recieve such a unique award!!
Marie Antoinette- very interesting lady! I think I'm going to have to check out a biography from the library. For some quick reading, check out this awesome link that I found-
http://www.marie-antoinette.org/Welcome.html

Take Care!!
Jen

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mr. Potato Head

Last week, I had the pleasure of watching my two nieces in the morning, before getting them off to school. The house was full of life every morning, with four little girls playing dolls,watching cartoons,or creating puppet shows. One day, they had fun playing one of my childhood favorites- Mr. Potato Head. Here is a photo of their creations!!

I laughed at the site of them. They must be modern Mr. Potato heads, because they look to me like they are break-dancing. This is where I got my inspiration to learn more about Mr. Potato Head and his history.

A few fun facts!!

-Mr. Potato Head was developed in 1949 by George Lerner.
-George got the idea from playing with fruits and vegetables from his mother's garden.
-The toy was manufactured and distributed by Hasbro in 1952.

Fun Photos!


Original 1952 Mr. Potato Head boxed set


Mr. Potato Head, 1992

If you are curious about Mr. Potato and want to learn more:
Mr. Potato Head- History

Wow! Look at Mr. Potato Head in 2008! There are a lot of different styles available.
Mr. Potato Head- Toys

Enjoy your Monday!!

Jen

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'm Lovin' Your Blog Awards!!

So sorry! The award ceremony had to be postponed until today due to a future Diva in action!! My six year old was in a talent show Bop Bop Bopping and doing gymnastics in this frilly feathery pink outfit her friend let her borrow. I stepped back while she choreographed her entire routine herself. My little independent 6 yr. old! I'm very proud of her. See Mom wanted her to sing, but she stood strong and did what her heart desired!!
Now for the award ceremony!! I proudly received this award last week from the writer of Too Much Information and am very excited to pass it along to the following five recipients whose blogs I'm lovin'!!!!


Mom's Marbles is the creation of the Stay At Home Mom sister team, Mary Ellen and Sarah. They both have a background in working with children- Elementary Education and Childcare. They have children ranging in ages 1 - 5. Alexa is the newest team member of Mom's Marbles and shares tons of great ideas while homeschooling her little ones. I'm lovin' their blog because it is jammed packed with fun and creative ideas that we can use as parents so that we don't "lose our marbles". Be sure to check out their very creative blog!!


simple mom
Simple Mom. Stop by her site and you'll see why I'm lovin' this blog! It is filled with tips on how to live life simply. From organizing, money management, taking care of ourselves and our kids, this blog has a little bit of everything.
Recently, I've been working on living life more simply- just slowing down and enjoying my home and others and focusing less on things and busyness. If this is a goal for you, be sure to check out Simple Mom!


ParentingPink.com/blog
Parenting Pink, created by a Mother of three girls, is one of my favorite blogs that I visit almost daily. If you've read my blog in the past, I've mentioned her awesome blog before. I just love her honesty, humor, and her professional advice on raising girls! Although a lot of time is put into her blog, her main passion is her Parenting Pink website- be sure to check it out!


Art Projects for Kids!
I'm so glad that I came across this blog due to my daughters' new found interest in art and artists. After reading our new Art book, the girls are fascinated. This blog, created by an Art teacher, is wonderful. I love the projects that she shares with detailed instructions and photos of the finished product.(see photo above) You can clearly see her passion for inspiring creativity in others in her posts. I can't wait to try some of the projects with my girls! If you'd like to explore art more with your children, you'll have to go and check out Art Projects for Kids!



Keep the Way

Keep the Way is written by a homeschooling mother of two Preschool Princesses. She has passion for instilling a love of learning in her children, creating fun unit studies and encouraging Moms to experience Joy in the Ministry of Motherhood! Look at the photo above of her wonderful unit table that is filled with books relating to her topic of study. I'm so glad that I came across her site because of her inspiration and her many wonderful links and resources.



Congratulations to the above recipients- I'm lovin' your blogs!!! Here is your award!! Feel free to pass this along to five blogs that you love. Also, be sure to post five of your own loves! Here are my loves!



1. I love... my Lord, my God! He came a knocking when I was just a little girl. I'm glad that I opened the door and let him in my heart!!

2. I love... my husband! Met him in a grocery store when I was just 14 years old. I was assertive, somewhat,- I had my brother-in-law ask him for his phone number for me. Good thing I did!! That was 22 years ago! I'm so blessed to have shared over 1/2 of a lifetime with him!

3. I love....my children! Love watching them change and grow. They make me laugh, cry, smile, yell- yes sometimes, dance, and praise God daily!!!

4. I love...my family! I'm so lucky to have a family that would do anything for me and my children!

5. I love...my friends! I have old friends(some friendships that have lasted since Elementary School) and new friends(that are only a few years old) who continue to bless my life!


Have a wonderful Saturday!! Be creative, curious, and most importantly think about everything you love today!!!

Jen

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Love It!!

I received this adorable award from a very sweet lady over at Too Much Information! Be sure to check out her very inspirational blog- filled with warmth and appreciation for family and life!

I will have my own award ceremony this evening and pass this along to five blogs that I love. I will be sure to follow the award rules and post 5 things that I love as well.

Enjoy your Thursday!
Jen

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gratitude Turkey


I made this cute little guy back when I was a teacher. I would hang it in my classroom to celebrate Thanksgiving. I decided to pull him out for my girls and they just love him. On his belly, I taped a little pocket that says "Give Thanks!" We are going to fill out slips of paper each day and write something or someone that we are thankful for and store it in the pocket until Thanksgiving. I'll dictate for my 4 year old and let my 6 year old do her best with her beginning writing.

I've seen this done a little bit differently. Instead of slips of paper, feathers are filled out and then they are used to decorate the turkey. Either way it is great for kids to think about and appreciate what they have in their lives!

Gobble, Gobble!!!
(I know, I'm corny- but I just couldn't resist!)

Jen

Monday, November 10, 2008

Alien Invasion!


I couldn't resist these little guys! They were staring at me one day while I was shopping at Target. Besides being such a deal, I knew that my girls would enjoy creating stories with these little alien guys. Boy was I right!
A couple of nights ago, my oldest daughter decided to write a script for a puppet show- staring their new puppets. My little one contributed her ideas, while Sunshine wrote the script. Here is a just a sample of their work:

The Monsters Have a Fight

Characters:
Maddie the Cyclops
Mollie the Monster

Maddie:
Hey, Mollie, Let's go to the park. (My six year old's writing- hay Mollie lits go to the prek.)

Mollie:
NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maddie: Molly, Please! ( Mollie ples)

That's all I can share out of respect for Sunshine. She got embarrassed when she saw that I wanted to share her ideas with the world!! It is so interesting to watch a child progress in the area of writing. I'm so glad that she will take this risk, even though all of the words aren't spelled correctly. I encourage fluency and the flow of ideas first and then editing for spelling and grammar. It was also encouraging to see her work so well with her younger sister and include her in this writing process. Even though her younger sister wasn't able to write the words, her ideas mattered, also. They are going to practice and perform their "Monster Mash" for Mommy and Dad!

Take Care!
Jen

Look What I Found!


Today I came across a truly great website- Let's Explore- that encourages creative thinking through play. Amy Anderson, parent and educator, provides families with a creative collection of playthings in her unique online store. I liked her one-of-a-kind products, such as crayon rocks and fish stick chopsticks. I can't wait to further explore her blog as well that is filled with fun activities to do with our creative and curious kids!

Take Care!!

Jen

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pewwwee?? What is that Smell??

Actually, the smells that we were sniffing today were quite yummy!! After watching Sid the Science Kid this morning(I do like a little morning TV while I drink my coffee, even though the experts would cringe), Peanut wanted to do a science experiment, too! Hey, the t.v. motivated us to do science today, so it can't be all that bad, right? Everything in moderation is my motto!!(That includes chocolate and wine ladies-oops or men if any Daddies are reading, sorry! LOL)
Okay, back to Sid. They were learning about the 5 Senses today. For one part of the segment, they experimented with different smells. Next, they recorded their predictions in an observation journal. They used lemon, cinnamon, onion, and popcorn for their hidden smells. I chose peanut butter, chocolate(mmmm- so I have an excuse to eat it after),crushed mint, and coffee grinds. I put them in Styrofoam coffee cups and used foil as lids. I poked little holes in the cups with a fork.







Next, we smelled each cup one at a time and made a guess for each one. Peanut guessed 4 out of 5. The crushed mint was tricky!





After the experiment, we discussed the sense of smell and then tested her sense of touch. She tried to guess what was in each cup by feeling the contents while her eyes were closed. Then we discussed the different textures. The last part was the most fun- we dipped the popcorn and chocolate into the peanut butter and had a feast. We can't leave out the sense of taste now can we???


Other resources for the 5 Senses:

1. Preschool Activities for 5 Senses

2. First Science Experiments: Super Senses by Shar Levine & Leslie Johnstone

"Here, young readers will learn, in easy-to-understand language and through simple experiments and activities, some fascination facts about there senses in a way that will start them thinking."


Boy, we've been quite busy experimenting today! We made homemade apple sauce too, so the aroma in the house was mouth watering and the applesauce turned out GREAT!!

Have a fun day!!

Jen

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Literature Links!


My new project is underway!! I am going to be putting more time into my Literature Links blog and wanted to be sure to share this resource with my Creative and Curious Kids followers. This is another resource for parents that will link creative thinking and learning ideas with literature. I'm going to try to post book reviews once a week. I will be using my new books for this site, so it will relate to books that I love through my business, but there will also be links to neat websites, craft ideas, and other resources. I'm only going to review books that I have personally read to my children or neices, nephews, etc. If you haven't been over there, please visit and let me know what you think. So far it only has 3 posts. Still a work in progress, but already packed with a lot of ideas! I posted a fun one today based on a book about a litle penguin titled- How Big is A Million? It includes fun websites, songs and poems, and craft fun all relating to penguins! Please stop over and comment.

Have a great day!!

Jen

Exciting News!

I'm very excited to be featured over at Keeper of the Cheerios for her Christmas in November Giveaway! I'll be giving away another great book titled- Things to Make and Do for Christmas! Be sure to head on over and take a peek!! Good Luck!!
Keeper of the Cheerios


Merry Christmas in November!!
Jen

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Buried Treasure!


I had one of my first home shows last night where I had the opportunity to share all of the great books I've been bragging about the last couple of weeks. How much fun is it to share something so wonderful with other Mommies. I had a lot of fun meeting new people,too. Well, enough about me. While I was gone, my husband did a fun activity with the girls. (Actually from Usborne- free plug for me! Yeah!) It was a Pirate Kid Kit that came with a book about Pirates and an excavation kit. My 6 yr. old chose this as her prize for a Reading Incentive Program. The kit included buried treasure that the girls had to dig out of plaster. They had safety glasses and digging tools. My husband seemed to enjoy doing this activity with them, but said that it was messy. My response- it's not fun if it's not messy!!! I remember doing something similar but with dinosaur bones with Sunshine when she was three and she loved it. I couldn't believe that my hyper little one would actually sit still for the amount of time that she did to dig and dig to find miniature dino bones. She just loved it. After seeing that both of my girls were enthusiastic about their pirate adventure with Daddy, I decided to research if there was a way for me to make some of this stuff myself! Here's a neat website that I found that has recipe for making rocks to hold little treasures!

Dig and Play Treasure Rock

Fun, hands-on science!!




Happy Election Day!!

Jen

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