Easter Sunday

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16 NIV

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Happy Easter Sunday everyone!
Eat chocolate, do egg hunts, enjoy the spring weather, and remember to celebrate His glorious rising!

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Calendar Time!


In the mornings (or around lunch time, whichever is more convenient), we got into a nice routine of doing some simple calendar work with rhymes and songs! Both girls love it πŸ™‚ (yes, even Miss C! Who doesn’t like songs!)
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We start by singing the months of the year:

(Tune: 10 Little Indiens)
January, February, March and April
May, June, July, August and September
October, November, and December
These are the months of the year!

We usually shout out the current month (which has the little purple sticker, so A can see which month we’re at, and visualize it in the context of the whole year): “January, February, March and APRIL!!!” πŸ™‚

The image for the months of the year is taken from the Montessori for everyone site, right here, and the song comes from 1+1+1=1.
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Following that, we check the weather outside the window, and move the arrow to the correct section on the circle. Then we place a little sticker dot on the Weather Graph, to see how many days during the month it was sunny, rainy, cloudy, etc.

And then we sing this fun song from 1+1+1=1:

(Tune: Bingo)
Today the {sun} is in the sky
And SUNNY is the weather
S-U-N-N-Y (3x)
And SUNNY is the weather!

If you go on 1+1+1=1’s website, you’ll find all the alternatives for the other weather options. πŸ™‚
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Right afterwards, we talk about which season it is. As our weather chart says, currently the season is spring! We have a little sticker next the our season as well (season chart also from the Montessori site, right here).

And I made up this song for the season:

(Tune: Are You Sleeping/Frère Jacques)
Every year, has four seasons
Winter Spring, Summer Fall
This month the season is spring (2x)
March, April, May (2x)

You can sing:
This month the season is summer (2x)
June, July, August (2x)

This month the season is fall (2x)
September, October, November (2x) {yea… sing quickly lol}

This month the season is winter (2x)
December, January, February (2x) {another tongue twister!}
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Following that, we’ll read a story about the current season.

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Then we move on to the calendar itself!

I made a little scallop sticker that we move around every day, as well as a “2011” sign.

We sign two songs to learn the days of the week, both from 1+1+1=1’s calendar section.

Following that, we read the daily story from our DK Children’s Everyday Bible. I really like this book, I find that the stories are short enough for a young child, but not so simple that an older child will be bored, and the illustrations are just beautiful and very engaging. They go through the entire Bible, covering most of the books, in a story that flows well. It’s a GREAT introduction for the kids! Through it, they get their first complete exposure to the Bible, from where they can go more in depth as they get older, since all the stories will already be familiar to them. You can do it year after year without it being repetitive since it will be a whole full year before you repeat the same story. And it helps foster the habit of daily Bible studying πŸ™‚
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And that, is our calendar time!
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Some resource links:

  • We got our calendar at our local office supply store, but you can also order it from Amazon here. I laminated it all to add durability, and also the repositionable stickers can peel on and off easily, as we move them every day or every month.
  • DO visit 1+1+1=1’s calendar post, she has lots of great resources for you, free printables, ideas on how to set one up, etc. It’s very thorough!
  • Homeschool Creations also have great calendar stuff, ideas and printables. I didn’t use them just yet because the calendar set is pretty complete and enough for A’s level, but as she gets older, I definitely might add some of her stuff!

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Spring Reading Thing: Update Week 4

2 (and ~3/4) books this week!

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~* Books Finished *~

The ADD & ADHD Answer Book, by Susan Ashley
I liked the Q & A format of this book, made it easy to go through and find precise information. Overall, I’d say the book is fairly basic – a good first overview of the subject, to get basic info and know where to move on from there. It does a fairly decent job at explaining the different aspects of ADD & ADHD, as well as various methods to manage the disorder, including but not limited to medication, and presents ideas for working with teachers and schools. It presents options in a neutral way, neither advocating medications nor condemning it – rather, it presents the facts and guides to reader into making an informed decision, including questions to ask your care provider. It’s fairly easy to navigate and find answers to a specific issue/aspect you want more information on. The Q & A format also lets the reader read the parts that are relevant to him (or their child, etc.) at that moment and gloss over or skip those that are not. I would recommend it to anyone who has a child with ADD & ADHD, or who suspects their child might have, it perhaps even suspect THEY might have it. It’s a very good introduction book and/or first resource book to find more info, and could be a valuable tool to have in your personal library if you need to manage this disorder yourself or for someone under your care.
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Living Dead in Dallas: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 2, by Charlaine Harris
A little bit different than the first one: not as much mixture between mystery and fantasy, more fantasy with some investigation going on, but more of a fantasy-related investigation than pure police investigation… if that makes sense πŸ™‚Β  The first book had a feel for both style, but with this one I felt we went more in the vampire/supernatural realm, although there is a murder, and we do follow it through. It was a bit like there was 2 stories in one: the book started with a story, then introduced the 2nd story, we concluded that one, and the came back to conclude the other one. It flowed well, but I have to admit I had almost completely forgotten about the first intrigue until it came back up – in fact, by the time we concluded the first one, I was wondering what the rest of the book was going to be about since there was a good chunk of it left but we had seemingly just tied all the plot lines for that second intrigue! πŸ˜‰Β  But all and all though, a good book, just like the first one. I couldn’t put it down, and I had to start book #3 immediately πŸ™‚

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~* Books Started *~

Club Dead: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 3, by Charlaine Harris
I really wanted this book to count as a finished book this week! πŸ™‚Β  I’m almost 3/4 done, and if I didn’t have a conference to attend today, followed by my parents and sister visiting afterwards, I’d have postponed posting this until later today and finished it during naptime πŸ˜‰ Ah well. No cheating today!
I would have been done sooner, but I gave some priority to my Bible in 90 days reading, seeing as I neglected it for, ahem, 2ish weeks, and I’m now very behind. But I still want to finish on May 5th, so! Also, DD2 gets too distracted with I read paper books versus on my Nook when I nurse her to sleep, resulting in, well, not falling asleep. Since I currently do a bulk of my reading when I nurse her to sleep 3 to 4 times a day, well, paper books go “slower” πŸ˜‰ The waiting list for them from the library is toooo long for my patience in reading them, so I’ll stick with the paper version my dad lent me. I have them to book 5, and I already placed books 6 to 8 on hold from the library – hopefully they’ll be ready when I am!!

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~* Next Up & Added on the List *~
I’ve added a couple of books to my list, which now brings it over 25 books. I’m going to maintain my goal of 25 books, meaning I might not read all the books in my list – I tend to choose my next book based on what I feel like at the moment rather than a set in stone list, anyway… πŸ˜‰

No-Cry Sleep Solutions, by Elizabeth Pantley

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Dead to the World: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 4, by Charlaine Harris

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Dead as a Doornail: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 5, by Charlaine Harris

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Friday Fill-Ins – Apr. 15

1. For me, it was the idea of having a levelled backyard that sold it.

2. I wish they had more local, organic/fair trade & seasonal selections at my local supermarket – not that I don’t buy those at Farmer’s Markets, but FM are hard to find outside of our 2 months of summer...

3. Behind the sound of the wind in the trees, I heard springtime coming in.

4. Staying home with my kids is something I always wanted to do.

5. When it was over, I grabbed the next book in the series and started it immediately.

6. It was a long couple of months when I first had DD1 (referring to the PPD), but I never felt alone.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to hanging out with my mom, tomorrow my plans include attending a local homeschooling conference with – yes! – my husband, and Sunday, I want to spend time with my sister and her boyfriend!

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Spring Reading Thing: Update Week 3

2 books this week!

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~* Books Finished *~
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Positive Discipline for Preschoolers, by Jane Nelsen, Cheryl Erwin, and Roslyn Ann Duffy
I really enjoyed this book. My counsellor had highly recommended it when I expressed doubts on my parenting techniques (to make a long story short, I had Postpartum Depression/Anxiety/OCD after my first child, which came along with lots of doubting etc. I’m in a much better place now, but being proactive and all, I started seeing a counsellor pretty much as soon as I found out I was pregnant, and I’m still seeing her casually every 2 months or so, just to keep on top of it all – PPD can point it’s nose anytime during the first year, in any case. I would say I don’t have it, but I get tendencies, or moments. Anyway – I promise one day I’ll sit down and write about all that in more details!)
In any case, she recommended the book, and I found it to be excellent! Unlike many parenting books, it’s not a “This is a precise method and if you follow it to the letter you will FOR SURE get X results, and if you don’t it’s because there’s something very wrong with either you or your child”. Bah! No, rather, they present their ideas, back their claims, and then give you tools you might choose to use and/or adapt to your needs and parenting. And I can see why my counsellor kept telling me to just read it already (oops – I kept forgetting to check it out!) – it speaks EXACTLY to the type of parenting I was striving for, and was for the main part doing already. Perhaps it’s a bit of a preaching to the converted thing, but for me, anyway, it just reaffirmed my ideologies, as well as what I was already doing, and then gave me some tools and ideas to work on some areas we are currently having more struggles with.
All and all – I highly recommend it if you’re interested in learning more about this type of parenting/teaching/disciplining.
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Dead Until Dark: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 1, by Charlaine Harris
Heard a lot about this series, supposed to be good. Have not seen the True Blood series on TV yet, but I know it’s based on these books. I like supernatural/fantasy/magic type genre books, so I thought I might like these ones!
I never know how to label these types of books, it seems anyone you talk to will be using a different name for the genre. I suppose there are subgenres too… I guess one could also use the term “vampire fiction”, but I never like to use that, to describe my reading in any case, because it’s not the only fantasy/supernatural genre that I’ll read and like. Example: totally adore the “Charmed” TV series (kay, not a book, but same point :P) I suppose Lord of the Rings would also fit into this broad supernatural/fantasy genre, yet it’s completely different.
Anyway! Moving on.
As it turns out, it is supernatural/fantasy/magic type genre, but with a twist: it’s also very much a mystery/police investigation genre book. Which I normally don’t enjoy that much. But then again, I really liked this one, and I fairly enjoyed Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie too. Hmm…
All this to say it was a good book, and the mix between the two genre was refreshing and entertaining. I already have book #2 of the series on my nightstand πŸ™‚ And I will be renting the DVDs – hopefully before the new season starts on June 26th. Think I can finish the books before then too…?

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~* Books Started *~
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The ADD & ADHD Answer Book, by Susan Ashley
I needed more info on ADD & ADHD (for personal reasons), so I searched the library’s catalogue, and thought I’d browse this book. Should be a quick read as it’s all in Q&A form, and I’m skipping those that are not significant for me at this time.

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Living Dead in Dallas: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 2, by Charlaine Harris
Book 2 of the series – I had it on request as an e-book, but I just finished Book 1 and it’s darn good and I just have to start book 2 NOW, if you know what I mean πŸ˜‰ So I got it as a good ‘ol paper book.

Night World is being bumped down the list – the book was due back at the library with holds on them and I hadn’t had a chance to start it yet, and anyway my sister has them so I’ll just ask her to bring them over when she comes to visit next weekend.

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~* Next Up on the List *~
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No-Cry Sleep Solutions, by Elizabeth Pantley
I think we might need to address some sleep issues with Miss C, so I thought I’d revisit the book.

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Spring & Easter Activity Share

I printed a gardening Mini Book, which lists flowers by colour – PERFECT to complement a Rainbow Garden book we’ve had since last summer, one of A’s favourite! πŸ™‚Β  We’ll be reading the book, then colouring the mini book.
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I found an Easter Egg Tree craft on Sunday School Kids. The idea behind it is that egg represents new life, and the tree looks bare and dead in the winter, but will seem alive again in the spring when new buds come out. Together, they represent the new life promised to us through Jesus.

Using an image of an Easter egg with interesting but simple patterns (so that we can cut on the pattern lines and get different shapes to match up, versus for example an egg that would just be straight lines with different designs in each section… does that make sense??), we coloured it, ran it through the magnet laminating cartridge of my Xyron laminator, and made a fridge puzzle!

I found this fun Life of Jesus Cross Craft printable on Pre-Kinders. The Life cards come in a set of 2 on the 8.5×11 page, so I ran one set through the magnet cartridge, and made sequencing magnets for the fridge!

Here’s an Easter egg with shapes to cut and paste on the side – scroll down a bit it’s under the mp3 link.

I used the egg template page from Les CrΓ©atifs (but I found it on this website) to make felt board eggs to go with this counting rhyme. I coloured them in Photoshop before printing them. The numbers come from my felt counting set. I also took out part of that set for counting games, using the bunny and chick pieces.

From that same website, I’m planning to do the Chick in the Egg pop-up craft (I copy/pasted the image in Photoshop, combining it to make 2 eggs shell and 1 chick fit on one page, so we can glue 2 shells together and have a pocket for the chick), and the glued feathers rooster craft (the links are to the image to print, from the main page you can see how the crafts look like).

We’ll do some marble painting again because it was so much fun! That set of patterned eggs comes with 2 blank one at the end which I’ll use for the marble painting template, and with the patterned one, I’ll see if I can get Miss A to kind of colour following the patterns, and then we’ll hang them in the playroom as Easter decorations!

I have some left-over foam cross from a Creatology set I got when we prepped for Miss C’s baptism – obviously we didn’t do them all then, and Easter is a perfect time to make some more!

Here are some VeggieTales Easter colouring pages – you’ll need Facebook to access them. (No, VeggieTales didn’t ask me to post these ;))


And, of course, some colouring pages, Easter & Spring themed/coloured craft items (markers, stamps, pompoms, glitter glue, stickers, foam bunnies and foam sticker eggs…), and books!

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I mention a lot of products in this post – in no way am I associated with any of the companies mentioned. They are simply products I have here and use, and linked them in the spirit of sharing methods & ideas. Some products do have a link back to an Amazon page, from which I’d receive a small percentage through the Associates program if a sale is made. Do note, however, that I didn’t mention them simply in order to be able to link them; rather I linked what I was already mentioning.

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Spring Reading Thing: Update Week 2

First week for me, but officially week 2 of the challenge.
Edit April 3rd: Oops! I had forgotten to list my finished magazines!

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~* Books & Mags Finished *~
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New York, by Edward Rutherfurd
As usual – EXCELLENT. I love Rutherfurd’s books!
I would say though that perhaps the pace was a little too quick – lots of periods covered, and so each section was rather short and quick, except for one or two that lingered longer. I think I prefer it when there’s a huge chunk of story over a couple of years with the same characters, and then a jump of a few generations to another chunk of story with their descendents. You can linger on the characters longer, get to know them, and really get into the story. When it jumps around every dozen pages to a few years later and you only spend a chapter or two with each generation… you don’t get to know them as well.
But that would be my only critic – and it’s very much a personal preference thing anyway. πŸ™‚Β  Other than that – if you enjoy historical novel, then pick this one up, and if you enjoyed Rutherfurd before, you won’t be disappointed!

Today’s Parent, April 2011
I figured I would read the latest issues as they come in, and then work on my backlog in between… πŸ˜‰
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~* Books Started *~
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Positive Discipline for Preschoolers, by Jane Nelsen, Cheryl Erwin, and Roslyn Ann Duffy (21% done)
My counsellor highly recommended that book, so I’m reading it!

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~* Next Up on the List *~
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No-Cry Sleep Solutions, by Elizabeth Pantley
I think we might need to address some sleep issues with Miss C, so I thought I’d revisit the book.

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Night World No. 1 (Secret Vampire, Daughters of Darkness, Spellbinder), by L. J. Smith (I already read Secret Vampire last May, so I guess this is technically a To Finish book… but anyway πŸ™‚ ).
Came in from the library, so it’s a next up!

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Dead Until Dark: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 1, by Charlaine Harris
Also came in from the library.
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