Thursday, January 30, 2014

Just a few things from January

A few things from January, that I don't want to forget. Earlier in the month Kevin and the boys went along with me to Charleston to see Erin's final dress fitting for her wedding dress. 

Jessica and I (on both sides) were her matron of honors, and of course the bride Erin in the middle. Erin got engaged on Christmas morning after dating Josh for 6 or so years together. Such an exciting time for her.

After her dress appointment the boys were ready to eat so we headed to dinner. We always pick places that have some kind of entertainment for the boys. Normally Cracker Barrell so they can look around the store while we wait for our food. This time we chose a steakhouse and the peanuts kept them busy. :)

After dinner we went to the boys favorite store of all time. Cabelas. It's about an hour away from our house but we spend about 2 hours just looking around. 

Other than Erin and Josh's wedding this month, we have mainly been dealing with the snow and cold. It's been a true winter here in West Virginia. 

We try to get out everyday. 

It's always a good thing to get that boy energy out. There's a lot of it with these two. We are supposed to get another big storm next week with 6-12 inches. But, our all mighty Lord is giving us a 54 degree day this Saturday. We will be heading to the park and I can't wait!!!!!

Have a great weekend.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Weekend Recap!

Kevin and I were in a wedding for our friends Erin and Josh. Our boys were also in the wedding as the sign holders. (Here comes the Bride) It was a long day for a 3 year old, but we got through. During the wedding Kipton wouldn't stay seated and at one point he was laying on the stage beside me picking his nose. Eeek! All of my good pictures are on my big camera and it won't load onto my computer. Hopefully I'll get them up soon.

After the actual ceremony, my parents came and picked up the boys and took them home. It was nice to have some alone time with Kevin. We got to enjoy the reception and then dinner after. 

It's soo nice to get that alone time with your husband. I really need to make it more of a priority to have date nights. I think it's crucial for a marriage to bloom when you have kids. 

Other than the wedding, the boys and I enjoyed the days leading up to it. We went to Chick fil a for lunch and playtime. It has either been very cold or the roads have been super icy so we've been at home much more than I prefer. 

One day I was so desperate to get us out of the house, I braved a movie trip. This was actually their first trip to the movies. I've always been too worried they wouldn't sit still so we've just never tried. My boys aren't big TV watchers at home and normally watch about the first 30 minutes and then walk off. But, I braved it alone with the boys and much to my surprise they didn't move. We saw Frozen and they loved it! Or they loved the popcorn but either way they didn't move. (Kip didn't want to take off his coat) 

Other than that, we've been home trying to keep busy. You know, just acting like deer. 

School is canced again today for the very cold temperatures. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Featured Post with Southern Doe

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Home days in the Winter

So today is Day #3 at home since we've had lots of snow. We have had fun even though we've been home. 

Yesterday I took the boys sledding. The best way to sled is behind the 4-wheeler. (I say it's the lazy moms way) or the smart way either one. We always did this as kids. It was my FAVORITE thing to do when it snowed. My boys love to go fast. "FASTER MOM, FASTER!" (they are screaming)

As I posted about yesterday we also did our favorite sensory activity to go along with our snow day. Using shaving cream as our snow, and playing in it!

We have also cooked good food! I probably have gained 5 pounds as well, but what else is there to do when you're stuck at home? We just recently bought 1/4 of a cow for our beef. We are experimenting with our cuts, and even though I really don't like raw meat, it's very good. 

I cooked apples for my boys with cinnamon. It's their favorite dessert, and this was all gone in about 5 minutes. We invested in some cast iron skillets, and I do believe that they are the best. Kevin has been trying to convince me for years but I wouldn't buy them. He bought me these for Christmas. 

We also made The Pioneer Woman's pizza. Homemade pizza dough and homemade marinara sauce. Karson and I were really the only ones that ate it. Kevin said there were too many onions that he could taste, and Kipton asked why didn't I go get the pizza from "Rocky Tops". (local pizza place). HA! 

Our schools have been closed all week, and are closed again tomorrow. I am READY for us to get out and do something!!! Do any of you get cabin fever? You run out of things to do, and you are tired of cleaning up messes for the 100th time? 

It's a blessing I know, but some days it's hard!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winter Sensory Play

It was a big snow day here in WV. We got about 4 inches last night which is a lot for our area. Normally we just get an inch or so. It really is so beautiful here! Especially if you live in the country and have all of the snowy trees around your house. 

I thought it would be the best day to pull out our favorite sensory activity. WINTER SNOW!

All you need is:

Shaving Cream
Cookie Sheet

My boys love tractors, construction trucks, anything to do with working vehicles. So I give them a few small toys and some beans that can serve as their rocks. The spoon is their "snow shovel".

There are A LOT of ways to use shaving cream to your teaching advantage as well. Here are some other things we do with it on the cookie sheet. 

-Draw shapes 
-Practice writing your letters
-Math problems
-Sight words
-Spelling words 
-Draw simple pictures 
-Draw a road with your finger for the trucks to drive on. 

I hope you'll find this sensory play useful for your classroom or your own children. Don't let it intimidate you!!

Set the rules and stick to them. Explain your rules before any materials are given. "If you can't follow the rules, you will be asked to wash your hands and you will be done playing."

That always works. I've never had ANY problems or major messing with this activity. Even in the classroom when I would use this as a practice tool for spelling words. Setting the rules right from the beginning is the best way to ensure there will be no kids making it bad for the whole class. 


Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Favorite Things

I thought I would share a few of my favorite things. Of course my favorite things are my husband and two boys, but I'm assuming were talking beauty type items. Here are a few of my favorite things ($10.00 and under)

I have very bad, have to work super hard, oily, skin. It's a full time job to just have one blemish if I'm lucky. My skin has actually gotten worse after having my boys. I know it's mainly due to hormones. I have been to 2 different dermatologists, used Proactiv, and now on a face cream from my family doctor, as well as an antibiotic (Which is working better than anything has. I told you it is a full-time job) 

An up close picture of my skin. (Gotta love boys in the backseat)

Therefore, I use all Neutrogena. It just keeps things "under control". I use liquid foundation and then this Neutrogena SkinClearing mineral powder. It's normally around $11.99 so I'm $2.00 over on this one. It works really well, and I feel like it keeps my makeup on all day. Here at Target!

If I do have a blemish, then I use this Neutrogena SkinClearing blemish concealer. Here at Target!

My favorite Hair spray is by Aussie and it's got maximizing Volume. 
I also have to add that I've been looking for a way to hang my necklaces rather than in my jewelry box so that I can see what I have when I'm getting ready. My sister got me this shelf and it works PERFECT in my bathroom. It's one of my favorite things!

My favorite shampoo/conditioner is by far Pantene Volume. Anything that has Volume, I'm willing to try!

At night before bed, I use CeraVe moisturizing lotion. This helps with all of the blemish medicine I use if I'm breaking out. I also have a anti-aging night cream that I put under my eyes and neck. It's just the equate brand, and truth be told it's probably not doing much but I'm still doing it :)

Of course, these three handsome guys are my FAVORITE things! 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

My great white hunters!

The theory "Whatever Dad is interested in, his boys will be interested in". It's so true! My boys LOVE hunting, fishing, 4-wheeling, farming, boating, shooting guns, gardening, working, basically anything that has to do with the outdoors. So winter is hard on us. ALL. I'm not crazy about being cooped up in the house but I manage to get through. 

The boys however, well they need out every day. In some way, whether it's to take a walk, play, even put on snow suits because it's so cold it's worth it just to be outside. 

We have been very strict on gun safety even though these are BB guns. Karson is a great helper to Kipton and reminds Kipton of the rules. He knows if he doesn't obey them, his gun will be taken away. 

I love having boys! I seriously can't imagine my life any other way. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Teaching your child to READ! (Part I)

I thought I would share how I've been teaching my boys at home. I do have my Elementary Education degree, which puts a huge itch in me to teach. But, you do NOT NEED a teaching degree, or ANY degree to teach your children. So everyday we do some kind of lesson. Some days it's super small and some days it's longer. Some days, no lessons but learning a new game. Which in our house is a lesson on sharing and waiting your turn. My boys are currently 4.5 and 3.5 years old. 

I started this post as a complete post on "How to teach your child to read from home". But, after writing and writing, I realized I can't write it in just one post. It's way too wordy, and you would get way too bored. HA!

1. The very first step is: BEING READ TO!

As mom's we've heard this a trillion times. From the moment that your babe comes out of the womb, they should be read to, sang to, and talked to. The more you talk, the more words they hear, the better they mock you, and the more words they will speak. (That's the key)

Don't just read at bedtime. If you're home with your kids. READ! Sometimes I am good about this, and sometimes I'm not. We'll get ready for bed, and I'll tell them to pick their stories and I'll realize this is our first time to pick up a book for the day. In our toy room, I have a chalkboard I made and I always have "READ TO THEM" at the top, so I remember! 

2. The next step is LETTER RECOGNITION. 

I have started with this Alphabet Book with both boys. I made it in college and it's just perfect. I know there are a lot of flash cards out there, but this is so great because of the ring that holds them all together. It's easy to flip, and none of them get lost. I also laminated each card so they wouldn't bend or rip. 

I started when they were 2 just flipping through the book each day naming the pictures that go along with each letter. They got to where they knew all of the pictures but still not the letter. I would always say the letter and keep repeating myself. "B is for Ball" I would also point to the capital B and call it Big B and the lowercase b Little B. 

After they knew all of the pictures, then we started on knowing and recognizing the letters. I have always kept this book on my end table by the couch and when we would sit to watch TV we would flip through and do a few. If their attention span was getting short, we would stop. I never forced this on them. They both have really enjoyed learning their letters. 

So after lots and lots of repetition they will learn their letters. I would make up ways to remember the tricky ones that they had a hard time with. Kipton made the connection that H was on mommy's van. (We have a Honda) so whenever he can't remember H I remind him that H is on my van. Any kind of trick you can make, helps them remember. (The letters in their name. "Remember this one, it's on your name)

So by 3.5 years old, both of my boys knew all of their letters. 

More to come: Stay TUNED!