Sunday, August 28, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

sweet sleepy sophia

this is how i found her when i went to get her from nap the other day -perfectly posed! she is a sweet SWEET little girl!!!!!

out of the mouths of babes 8/26

aiden had hand foot mouth disease pretty bad this past week. it was a week of "fighting" to get him to eat/drink anything, so i was more than willing to give him a milkshake for dinner one night. for those of you who know me, you know this is RARE! my kids don't even get to have ice cream for dessert unless it's a b-day party...
at the end of the week they were feeling better so i prepared a normal dinner -chicken pot pie. they love this and usually get really excited to eat "chicky pie", but this night, aiden looked at it & placed his hands on his hips and gave me a look. i said, "c'mon! it's chicky pie. you love chicky pie!" and he quickly responded with "i not eat that, mommy, i no like it! i want ice cream and applesauce!!" -this from my non talker

Thursday, August 25, 2011

thankful thursdays 8-25-11

lucy ran away this week....

we are THANKFUL that she was found!!!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

vanilla punch

Vanilla Punch

2 1/2 T almond extract
2 1/2 T vanilla extract
5 C sugar
2 C water

combine all in saucepan stirring frequently until sugar dissolves.

for punch:
1 C syrup : 2 L sparkling beverage
(one recipe yields 4 batches)

we made this for a bridal shower this week and it got RAVE reviews! i also have been thoroughly enjoying the "leftovers"!! (leftovers can be stored in fridge for several months) it tastes like a cream soda.
i used sprite for the shower, but don't have sprite in my house so i'm drinking it with sparkling strawberry water today. i also used sliced frozen strawberries as ice. delish! this can be varied many other ways too (ie: peaches or blueberries, lemon lime soda or ginger-ale, even a sorbet added)! super cheap & super easy!! to make it a bit healthier, i think i'll make it with splenda and diet soda next time ->that way i won't have guilt when i ONLY want to drink this! :)

THIS is the man that i love more than words could ever express!

my little girl had her first zoo trip this week! it was a BEAUTIFUL day (mid 70's). here we are together...

Friday, August 19, 2011

our weather puppy

when the boys and i do "circle time",
we always talk about the weather!
i have been wanting a weather bear of sorts
(for them to learn how to dress),
but they are always so expensive...
until we found this weather puppy!!!
thanks oriental trading!

here are his outfits:




beach/pool days
fallcan't wait to see the kids reaction!


our $.99 ebay win (spidey costume) has finally arrived!
we've had it less than 48 hours and i'm pretty sure
we've already gotten our monies worth
(as o only has it off to sleep/eat because that's our rule)!!!

may be the best $.99 ever spent!!!

matching cookies

no, this is not a blog about anything ocd!
i did not bake a batch of cookies and make them match...
these are a matching game
with pictures of cookies!
the boys had loads of fun playing with these!

they are another great oriental buy,
and i imagine can also be shared!
to see/order them, click here.

counting bears

i was so pleasantly surprised when i pulled these out today! aiden did GREAT sorting through the bears, and even had much fun counting them with me! i barely got to ask where each bear should go he caught on so quickly!
counting bears are pretty expensive @ teacher stores, but here on amazon, they were quite affordable and worth it!

lacing beads

these great lacing beads were a dollar store find! thank you dollar tree!! we bought these and the lacing cardboards too (in fun farm shapes)!

chain links

these links were bought from oriental trading. there were so many in a set that a friend and i went in on them together...afterall, what kid needs 500 of these things?!? i busted them out this morning for the first time and the boys LOVED them! they made bracelets (or silly bands as they called them), necklaces, snakes, etc. i had to make them clean them up! i challenged o by asking him to make specific necklaces ->this just added to the fun for him! he even told me, "next time i'm going to make an all blue one for daddy!" anyways, great & inexpensive manipulative toy! to see them at oriental, click here!

school days -take 3

so, once again i find myself wanting to do school with the boys.
last year went really well,
until we stopped that is.

i'm taking a slightly different approach this time.
i have goals, and i have plans!
i have pretty low expectations!
i just want them to have fun!

with all that being said, i've been introduced to a blog that is basically what i was doing last year,
only it's COMPLETELY MAPPED OUT for me!!!
a woman who lives here in philadelphia
took the same abc bible verse book we based school on last year,
and made a curriculum for it.
you know me and being ocd,
so this totally helps me to be organized!!

we're using the same notebook to store:

we will sing songs with prop sticks,

memorize our verse,

collect cards that start with our letter for the week,
do crafts,

learn a sight word (an easy to recognize word that helps teach them to read),

work on our letter writing skills, etc.
each week we have a color
& number as well
(for example,
the week pictured is yellow and #1.
the sight word mentioned earlier is 'see')

this is geared towards owen,
but obviously aiden will have a blast too!
at the end of each week,
a certificate will be given.

i am SO in love with this stuff!!!
we plan to start in sept when we return from vacation.

i have little time to blog these days,
so i'm not expecting to blog about each letter
-though i'm sure none of us will be surprised if i still do!

also, the next few blogs will be "product reviews"
as we have been building up our toys to be more educational!

one determined rat...

...or many!
yup - that's a hole in our rubbermaid trashcan.
guess they wanted in...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

thankful thursdays 8-18-11

almost every thursday,
we have the JOY of heading to jersey!
during the "school year" we have bible study...
but during the summer,
we have pLaYdAtEs!!!

last week we went to gigi's.
we swam, had lunch, & shopped
-all with some of our favorite people!!!

we <3 thursdays in jersey!!!

*soph joins us too, but she was sleeping in the carseat!*

Sunday, August 14, 2011

reading readiness

owen has been showing signs of WANTING to read, and all i can think is 'can i really help him learn how & potty train aiden at the same time?!?' i mean, can't they reach major milestones at different times?!?

well, i'm not sure we'll take this adventure on quite yet -as we're also starting up school again in the fall! i think we'll wait and see how that goes...

for reference (for me when we are ready and friends who may want to know), here is a list of some reading readiness signs i found:

Understanding Text:

At this stage the child: pretends to be a reader; holds books the right way; turns pages at appropriate times; can discuss what is happening and relate it to their own experiences; knows that the reader is focusing on the print and that it is conveying the message; makes inferences on both what is read and the pictures; enjoys stories being re-read and chimes in regularly; likes to turn the pages and knows when to and will make attempts to re-read the story from memory and picture cues.

Using the Context of the Story:

The child can determine meaning from context by saying things like: 'I like dogs too' and will bring their own experience as it relates to what is being read. Relating their experiences to strories, television shows, or even ads becomes a popular behavior when the child uses context to make sense.

Word Meanings:

Although the child isn't yet reading, they recognize their own name, brands (McDonald's 'M', Stop Signs etc.) Recognizes the sounds of letters and makes references like, 'that ones starts the same as my name, or snakes start with the same letter that Stop Signs do.

Reading and Print Attitudes:

The child starts to demonstrate an interest in printing and will pretend to print or write. They will ask more questions like 'What does that say?' They like to chime in when familiar stories are being read. They like to take part in daily reading and never want to miss their bed time story or story time. They show a greater interest in books and will enjoy looking at them more frequently even though it may seem that they're looking mainly at the pictures.


When a child displays the attitudes described above, they are most likely at the stage where they are ready to learn how to read. The child will benefit from many alphabet activities, exploring with the sounds that letter make and reading early stage books. These children will also benefit from making books like 'A is for Apple and Ate. B is for black bugs. C is for Cinderella and Candy.

The idea behind this type of book is that the children are encouraged to use the sounds that letters make (long and short sounds, 'r' controlled sounds - a as in car, and hard and soft sounds as in Cindy and Candy. When children are encouraged to make these books, they can read them on their own as they have made the pictures to help them.

Pattern books are another great early writing and reading activity. Again, children draw the pictures and use patterns like: Blue is for the Sky. Blue is for the Bluejay. Blue is for blueberries. Or I like books: I like to run. I like to jump. I like to play.

Lots of praise at this stage will encourage the young reader to develop confidence and will move foward in their ability to read.

(they come from this site)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

baskets of hope

so our dear friends donated these baskets to us.
they are made in/from rwanda!
there are many more than pictured...

a basket means so much there!
it is a traditional gift given,
especially at weddings,
basically saying 'i hope you are blessed abundantly'!
(it literally means 'i hope your grain is much')

we are selling them for $20-$40
(depending on size)
& all proceeds go to our general fund
-for moving us to rwanda!

would you be interested in helping us move
so men can be trained up in the word of god?

(the same baskets go for $40+ at macy's:
baskets at macy's)

to order/inquire, please contact me at



uncurled, it's bottom half was about the size of a penny.
imagine it with it's legs out.
and these suckers are FAST!
i can't believe i got close enough to spray it with some raid,
but boy did it work!!!

craziest part:
right before hand i was attempting to catch a baby mouse
-that which was the same size of this thing!
ah, the joys of living in the city!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

thankful thursdays 8/11/11

so, it may seem quite silly,
but this week i am thankful for healthy snacks!
especially ants on a log.
not sure what it is about it
- don't even think i liked it much as a kid -
but this week it happens to be a favorite!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

my little superheroes

the boys LOVE to play dress up these days,
and who wouldn't when you have superhero costumes?!?
we have been lucky to win some great costumes
on ebay lately for just $.99
-guess it's a good time of year!
it's great to see them having such fun
(and growing their imaginations)!!!

wordless wednesdays - 8/10/11

Friday, August 5, 2011

hazards of city living

the "gift" my dog tried to give me this am....

um, no thanks lucy!
in a slightly humerous kind of way,
it makes me think about the types of "gifts" i might receive
when we live in africa -
whether by dog (if i'm stupid enough to get one)
or by child!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

thankful thursdays 8/3/11

what did i ever do without it?!?
today i'm thankful for it,
& the peace it brings in my