Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chore Chart

A few nights ago Anna and I were reading God's Wisdom for Little Girls and there was a page on being diligent. The little girl in the picture had a chore chart and Anna noticed it and asked what it was. I remembered the chore chart I had been working on for her was in the next room so I ran and got it and introduced Anna to her chore chart. We finished reading, said our prayers and went to bed.

The next morning I woke up to "Mommy, come see I made my bed". We went downstairs and Anna immediately went to feed our dog. We came back upstairs and Anna asked if she could brush her teeth; she was working her way through the chart quite diligently.

Here's Anna with her chore chart (she had added a few of her bible memory cards in as well). The chart itself is something I found in the $1 bin at Target and the cards I simply made with clipart, printed out and laminated.

Anna's Chore Chart

The items on Anna's chart include basic things such as make her bed, clean up her room, brush her teeth, say her memory verses - - so not necessarily "chores" for now but I think this chart will be good for our daily routine.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Riding Horses

Over the weekend Anna went to a birthday party at J&H Stables and rode a HUGE horse. I have to admit I was nervous as Anna was put on top of the horse and was told to hold on as they led the horse down the path but Anna had a wonderful time.

Here's Anna brushing Ernie before his saddle was put on:

Brushing Ernie the Horse

And Anna riding Ernie:

The Horse was HUGE

Anna is ready to go back and ride again!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What's in the Bible

Our bible story to go along with our 'A' lessons has been Adam and Eve. There were some great crafts to go along with the lesson on Lapbook Lessons that include everything from writing sheets to finger puppets. I also decided to introduce the girls to the first of the new Phil Vischer (creator of Veggie Tales) video What's in the Bible.

I had assumed the first DVD was mainly about creation and Adam and Eve but I was happily surprised that this first DVD focused on "What is the Bible" and "Who wrote the Bible" as well as had a brief summary of the first 11 chapters of Genesis. In this first video Phil Vischer is the narrator and he and his puppet friends use their witty humor to teach the kids about the bible. There is lots of teaching about church history "from Jesus to Billy Graham" and even talks about the Apocrypha (books that can be found in some catholic bibles but not in the protestant bible) which I did not even hear about until college. Vischer attempts to explain why some Christians believe the earth is 6,000 years old and some believe it is billions of years old and how that answer doesn't matter as much as the fact that God created the earth. With concepts such as these, I thought for sure the girls were going to lose interest but when it was over Anna said "I love the bible!".

There was one section of the video that made me cringe. To navigate from the first section of the video to the second, they use a little boy who is riding in the car with his mom. I find his comments to his mom very belittling - he even tells her the DVD doesn't go into the air conditioning vent, it goes in the slot marked DVD. I thought in these few minute the humor went over on the rude side and I certainly didn't want my 2 and 3 year old picking up any ideas.

Everything else about the video I enjoyed. I want Erik to take a look at it to see if there's anything else he doesn't like about it and then hopefully we'll be able to watch the second one, "Let My People Go", as we talk about Moses in a few weeks.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A is for Apple

It's time to start the alphabet again and hopefully this year make it past 'N'. The girls have a good grasp of the letters and their sounds thanks to LeapFrog but I thought going through the alphabet would be an easy way to plan crafts and lessons. So here we start with A.

Our theme for 'A' has been apples. Here the girls are making their apple craft that I found on the fabulous Totally Tots website.

A is for Apple

A is for Apple

In preparation for our field trip we read through the book How do Apples Grow by Betsy Maestro. This book is very detailed and a little advanced for Anna and Maddie but we still enjoyed looking at the pictures and seeing how an apple tree grows. On Saturday we went to our friend's house to pick apples. Mr. Scott would shake the tree and the girls would gather the apple off the ground into their baskets.

apple picking at Mr Scott's

apple picking at Mr Scott's

apple picking at Mr Scott's

apple picking at Mr Scott's

Tomorrow we will be talking about apples in the context of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden with some resources from Lapbook Lessons.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sense of Style

Anna has never been overly opinionated about the clothes I put her in but lately she has been very opinionated about which shoes to wear. This is what she calls "mix matched feet". She never wants to wear watching shoes anymore!

Maddie wanted to share her cool sense of style too. Here she is sporting her shades and silly bands (all of them!)

My Sound Box

Everytime we go to the library to check out books the girls run to the section with the Sound Box books by Jane Belk Moncure. I first starting using these books with the girls last fall when we were working our way through learning the alphabet and we have since checked out each letter book multiple times. The concept is simple - the child in the story (Little A, Little B, etc) finds items that begin with their letter and put them into their sound box.

Last night when I came home from my aerobics class I found pictures of the girls making their own sound boxes. Anna had an 'a' sound box and guess what she put into her box, herself!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sweetpea Beauty

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart - 1 Samuel 16:7

My girls, just as most 2 and 3 year old girls, are into princess stuff. Princess movies, princess dolls, princess dress-up clothes, etc. and sometimes I wonder what message they are taking away. My girls may be a little young to notice but as a mom I'm very aware of the messages of the world that you have to be pretty and thin and popular to "be somebody".

VeggieTales recently released a movie Sweetpea Beauty which does a great job explaining that it is what is on the inside of one's heart that matters, not their outward beauty. It is a takeoff of many of the well-known princess movies so it is entertaining as well.

I pray that I can teach my girls that they are beautiful and perfect just as God made them. I want them to know where their true beauty lies.

Here is the song by Nicole Nordeman that was recorded for the movie. The chorus is a reminder of how God sees us. It says:

Has anybody told you you’re beautiful?
You might agree if you could see what I see
‘Cuz everything about you is incredible
You should have seen me smile the day that I made you beautiful for me

Monday, August 9, 2010

MOPS 2010

This past weekend I spent some time at a planning retreat for our local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. This is my first year in the "inner circle" and with that has come new information and a new perspective. Stories of moms who were sitting at home riddled with depression and came to MOPS and found new friends and hope. Moms who felt a longing in their hearts for something more and came and responded to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Moms who just wanted to know they were not alone on this motherhood journey.

I first started attending MOPS after Maddie was born and I was desperate to find other moms who desired to raise their kids in a way that pleased God... and to get out of the house. For that first year I just soaked everything in - the speakers and most importantly the fellowship with other moms. It has been a wonderful, encouraging experience for me and so I urge every mom-of-a-preschooler to come check it out. Feel free to leave me a comment or check out our local MOPS website for more information. I hope to see you on September 14th!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Anna's favorite thing to do these days is to write letters and make cards for her friends. While she can write many letters well, there are a few that give her problems and usually end up in a meltdown. So I've gotten a few resources to help her work on her writing skills.

First I made laminated writing practice cards that I printed off of the Confessions of the Homeschooler blog. Anna enjoys tracing over the letters on the card with a dry erase marker (I prefer the washable ones since the marker inevitably ends up on clothing).

Then I saw a Leapfrog toy on another friends blog that looked like fun. It is the Leapfrog Scribble and Write. The toy displays shapes, upper and lower case letters in red lights and the child then traces over the shape. I especially like that it tells the child where to start writing the letter and then where to put the pen next. We bought this for Anna but we have found that Maddie loves it as well and the only problem for us is that we only have one :).

Working on letters Working on letters