Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year, Friends!!

 I hope 2012 was a great year for you and that 2013 will be filled with 
hope, joy and love!

Today we are hanging out as a family running errands, playing games, and making chicken tortilla soup for dinner. We will ring in the new year quietly with all three blessings in bed by 8pm(hopefully). I plan to write my 2013 goals today. I am thinking a lot about commitment, vows, and goals. I plan to write out monthly goals by category. One of my goals is to be more intentional with my boys. I would also like to blog more. The sweet new addition of Corbin to our family in 2012 has kept me from blogging as much as I would like, but that's ok. :) He is a wonderful amazing blessing! 

May your day and new year be blessed! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

JP's Preschool Christmas Program

I am loving where God lead us for JP's preschool experience! It has truly been a blessing to our family! JP goes to Pre-K 2 days a week at an awesome local church.

There are so many things I love about it! Here are just a few:
He has two amazing teachers who love him and the Lord.
He is doing so much for these two sweet teachers that he wouldn't do for me last year. 
He is meeting new friends! 
He learns about Jesus every day.
He is learning so much academically and socially.

I really love that they had a precious Christmas program where the kids learned and shared the story of Jesus' birth.  They began practicing their songs in October and JP ate this up! He LOVES to sing and he would belt out the songs in the car every day. In fact, once my husband asked me, "Does he have a solo in this program?" To which I laughed and replied no. I love that JP loves to sing songs about Jesus. My favorite part of the program was when they sang "Happy Birthday, Jesus" It was so precious!

JP was an awesome shepherd! He remembered all of his actions and signs during the play and sang his sweet little heart out!

They had an adorable nativity set that we snapped a few shots in. Love this crew so much!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

M & M Wreath

I found a wonderful activity that included sorting and M & Ms! This activity was right up mine and the boys alley!
First I had the boys sort their M &Ms by color and then they filled their wreaths with M and Ms. Hop on over to Toddler Approved M & M Wreath for the template. It was great fun!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Book Countdown

This year I decided on November 30th to do a Christmas countdown and Advent Activities! I know a little late, but better late than never, right?! I searched all my favorite blogs for ideas and came up with a ton of ideas all swirling in my brain! To be real honest I was overwhelmed. I wanted to do it all! They were all so creative and wonderful, but one theme that keeps ringing true for me as a mama to 3 now is: simplicity! I wanted to do so many ideas all at once and then I read an awesome blog post by Shauna at Fantastic Fun and Learning that resonated so much with my head and my heart. She encouraged me to keep it simple and manageable. She even encouraged me to use the activities that I already have planned as part of our Advent activities and to use my calendar to help. It was awesome and just what I needed to read at that exact moment! So I grabbed the December calendar from JP's preschool and planned away! I incorporated what we are already doing as our Advent activities. I loved all of her ideas to keep it simple! You can click on the link to hop over to her blog post to read what inspired me!

Some of the activities on our calendar are:
M &M Wreath
Sing Christmas Carols
Attend a Fun Reindeer Parent's Night Out at our church
Make Green playdoh
Make Christmas Tree Shapes
Make Christmas cards for friends and neighbors
Make Christmas cookies
Host a Happy Birthday Jesus party
Play Nativity Memory Together
Drive around and look at Christmas lights
Have breakfast with Santa at JP's preschool
Attend our church Christmas Eve service

I also found an awesome idea to read Christmas books daily as a countdown at Reading Confetti. Thank you, Lorie for the inspiration! I loved this idea and decided I could do this one! So I gathered all the books I own from my teaching days and then went to my local library's website and put a ton of books on hold! I LOVE our library! The boys have loved reading a new book each night!

We were so blessed to have my parents join us for JP's Preschool Program and then dinner at our house this week. I took this precious opportunity to allow them to read the 18th book in our countdown! I loved it! What sweet memories my boys will have with their grandparents!

Overall I want my boys to know the real meaning of CHRISTmas and so as we do so many of the fun activities I have planned I hope to continue to show them Jesus.

Happy Countdown to Christ's birthday, my friends!

Linked up to some of these great parties!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours! I hope you had a great time enjoying food, family, football, food, fun and fellowship!

I do enjoy this holiday and month. I love all the reflecting and spirit of thankfulness. I have been posting on my Facebook status each day my blessings and things I am thankful for. I have so very many things to be thankful for! Many of which are in this picture! I am so humbled and honored to be the wife and mommy to this crew! Yes, some days are hard, but I wouldn't trade it for the world and I am one blessed gal!

I am also thankful for this sweet, blogging community and my followers. Thank YOU for following along this journey! I hope your Thanksgiving was great too!

By the way Teaching My Blessings is now on Facebook! Feel free to click on the "like" button on the sidebar on the right to follow along. :) I am also now on G+ if you use that too! Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Reorgized Home Management Guide

Hello Friends,
Well what do I do when my family is sick and then all finally fall fast asleep?

 Reorganize my Home Management Guide and blog! 

I know I am crazy!?! I really should have been sleeping last night and I should be napping right now while my boys nap! Which is such a rarity at my house anymore! But instead, I blog! So, let me tell you about an awesome blog I follow called: 
At Organizing Homelife Ginny just finished a series called 31 Days of Home Management Binder Printables that I loved! I already have a home management guide (that I will call HMG for short) that I use and enjoy. But I was so excited when I saw that Ginny was having this awesome series in October. At the beginning of the month I was so intrigued by all of her printables and wanted to head straight to my printer, then I decided to wait until the end of the series to print the ones I needed and thought I would use. Last night I printed her calendar(front to back) so it opens nicely in my binder, the babysitting notes page, her annual bill schedule, section dividers, and the household projects printable. I liked seeing what she includes in her binder and what works well for her. I just thought I would share this awesome resource just in case any of you need it too. You can click on the button above to hop over to her site.

So what does this have to do with teaching my blessings? Well, to teach them well, I also must be organized in managing our home. I consider both jobs of Mommy and Home Manager my full time jobs. This resource helps me and I hope it does you too! Do any of you have a HMG too? Do share with me what works for you.

Happy Home Managing!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012- Not So Great!

Halloween 2012 was not our best our Halloween yet, to say the least! The stomach bug hit our family this week and it hit us hard! On Monday night, CA got sick at 10:45pm. He was sick all night long. My hubby and I took shifts through the night to sit with him while he was sick. Then on Tuesday, he was still not feeling well all day. My sweet hubby took the day off to be home with us and help me. He knew that with a nursing baby, I would need help! Oh how I am so thankful for this man! Thankfully, I was able to take JP to his preschool Fall festival where I was able to take this snapshot of these cuties! They had a fun trunk or treat, a hayride,a bounce house, and other fun festivities. I didn't get to stay as long as I had hoped as I needed to get Gatorade for CA. :)

Then just when I thought we were in the clear and doing ok, CA got sick again at dinner on Tuesday night. Which meant no Bible study for this mama on Wednesday morning. I do love my ladies Bible study! I love the fellowship, studying God's word, and everything about it! So bummer for Mommy, although I am so ever grateful to be a SAHM when my babies are sick! There is just something about knowing them so well and being with them to give them the comfort and TLC they need when they are sick! There were numerous times during the past 48 hours that I was able to see the explosion coming and react fast. Sorry, a little too much information, I suppose, but mostly mommies are reading this anyways! :)

Today we just hung out at home and snuggled and played. CA slept a lot! I could tell he still wasn't feeling well. Then later in the afternoon, I thought we were doing ok and then around 3:30pm I saw that look in JP's eyes and said, "Go fast, to the bathroom!" Where he then got sick too! Poor baby! Then my sweet hubby texted me to say he wasn't feeling well either! So on Halloween night we put a sign on the front door that read, "Stomach Bug in Progress. Sorry Trick or Treaters!" I didn't want my sick family to have to hear the doorbell all night.

So all in all 3 out of the 5 of us have the stomach bug/virus! I am praying that this mama and sweet baby boy don't get it next.

Through all of this God has shown me a few blessings:
-I am so blessed to be home with my boys!
-I am blessed to have a loving husband and Daddy who took a day off to help us.
-We were blessed with costumes for Halloween as a birthday present and hand me downs, so next extra cost was lost at the expense of not using them tonight. :) Those costumes can be costly!!
-I am blessed with family and friends who texted, called, or messaged me to check on us!

I do hope all of you had a wonderful Halloween! Hope you and yours are healthy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Virtual Book Club- Amy Krouse Rosenthal

As you may remember we are participating in a Virtual Book Club for Kids this year where many awesome bloggers host a blog hop each month. You can choose a book by the featured author of the month, then do an activity related to the book and then blog all about it.  This month's author is Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

Here are a few of her books:
I was only familiar with one of Amy Krouse Rosenthal's books: Duck! Rabbit! I quickly adored her writing and illustrations. She is a witty author who likes to put a fun spin on topics in her books. We really enjoyed reading so many of her books that we checked out from the library. I tried to think of an activity to correlate and just kept coming up empty until I saw this awesome post titled 10 Extension Activities for Spoon at Reading Confetti. I immediately felt inspired by all of these awesome ideas. Thanks, Lori!

"Meet Spoon.  He’s always been a happy little utensil.  But lately, he feels like life as a spoon just isn’t cutting it.  He thinks Fork, Knife, and The Chopsticks all have it so much better than him.  But do they?  And what do they think about Spoon?  A book for all ages, Spoon serves as a gentle reminder to celebrate what makes us each special."

First I took out all of the silverware out of the trays and showed the boys how to sort the silverware.Thankfully, they both help with this project in the kitchen, but it was fun to pull out both sets and allow them to sort them all. We are blessed to have two sets of silverware, one that is real silver as a gift from my husband's grandmother. :)

It is not uncommon to find at least one boy in costume at our house. :)

Next, we created spoon families with plastic cutlery, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and markers. The boys really enjoyed this activity!

JP had the idea to act out the story with our silverware. I did not think of this idea and I loved that he did! His creativity amazes me many days. I tried videoing him and then uploading it here but it isn't working. Bummer! Just imagine him acting out the book!

Check out all the other amazing ideas for Amy Krouse Rosenthal's books here:


Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin Patch!

I LOVE Fall! I love so many things about this season: the colors, the decorations, the leaves changing colors, the cooler crisp weather(well eventually in TX!), pumpkin spice lattes, wearing a sweater (ok, again eventually I'll do this), and a pumpkin patch! Each year we try to attend a pumpkin patch together as a family.This year we were able to go on a week day as the Daddy had a Monday off. We were so grateful and took the opportunity to make it a fun, family day! I had heard awesome things about this pumpkin patch in our area and I really wanted to check it out. I'm so glad we did. We all really enjoyed it! The boys loved all of the character cut outs! I took a ton of pictures, but didn't want to bombard you with them all, so here is a snapshot of our day.

 So grateful for days like these to enjoy God's biggest blessing to me: my precious family!

What is your favorite thing about Fall?!  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

L and Yellow Muffin Tin Meal

The boys love muffin tin meals! And I love to make them! What is a muffin tin meal you might ask?!? It is a simple  and fun way to serve food to kids.The small size of the muffin cups make perfect portion sizes for little mouths. 

This week we focused on the color yellow and the letter L. I tried to think of yellow and L foods and came up empty, so I improvised and added magnets to the boys' tins. JP didn't care for it and took them off immediately and I laughed. Oh well, I tried. :)

This muffin tin meal consists of: cut up stick cheese, a peanut butter and honey sandwich, apple slices, carrots, and pretzels. 
 Muffin Tin Monday at

Nursery Rhymes Theme and Scissor Skill Update

We worked on nursery rhymes recently and really enjoyed it. I love aligning our preschool work at home with what JP is learning at his preschool 2 days a week. We read many nursery rhymes from library books and books we own. I was able to use amazing, free printables from Beth @ Living Life Intentionally. Thanks, Beth! We love your stuff!

Here the boys are working on a Baa Baa Black Sheep colors printable.

I love when JP is concentrating his little tongue comes out! So cute! 

CA has been working very hard on his scissor skills.  We used brown paper sacks, construction paper, and cutting printables from Cheerios and Lattes to help him. I saw BIG improvement in a sort amount of time with him! Yea!

How was your week? Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Banana Bread in the Steamer

I love to teach my blessings in the kitchen with me! This week we made banana bread together. Thankfully they love to help!

One of my favorite gifts we received when my husband and I got married 16 years ago was a Sunbeam Food Steamer. I love this item in my kitchen! It has been a wonderful tool to have for so long. I can steam vegetables, chicken, fish, fruit, rice and so many more things in it. It can even bake banana bread. Yes, you read that correctly, banana bread in the steamer! It makes the most moist banana bread you will ever taste! Thankfully this handy appliance came with an instructional manual and recipes. In the back of the book is the recipe on how to make banana bread. Keep reading for the recipe at the end of the post.

Here is a picture of my steamer:

After reading this awesome post by Allison Tate titled The Mom Stays in the Picture, I am making a concentrated effort to be in the picture more and more with my blessings. If you haven't read the article, please do. It moved me to tears when I read it!

So here is my oldest baker ready to help! Please excuse the no make-up look, but also in an effort to be real that is the look I sport most days! I typically wear make up on Sundays. :) Just keepin' it real!
First we mixed the dry ingredients.
Then we mashed the bananas while CA had a turn at mixing the dry ingredients.
Both working so hard! Love his silly face!
We then mixed the wet ingredients together. Then we mixed the dry and wet ingredients together. Next we poured the banana bread batter into the greased "rice bowl".

Here is my steamer, instruction manual/recipe, and the banana bread mixture ready to steam.

Here is our finished product ready to be sliced! Delicious!

Banana Bread Recipe From Sunbeam:
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 ripe bananas mashed (1 cup)
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup milk
1 egg

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add bananas, margarine, milk and egg. Pour into greased and floured Rice Bowl. Cover Rice Bowl with aluminum foil to prevent water from entering.  Be sure the foil creates a tight seal around the Rice Bowl. Fill the water reservior to Max level. Place Rice Bowl in Steaming Bowl. Steam 60 minutes.

Linking up to some of these great sites!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cutting Practice

 I am participating in new writing series perfect for JP and CA at a new blog I found called Cheerios and Lattes. The series is called Play to Write-Write to Read where the blog author shares a writing activity and a writing best practice. I have been reminded of so many skills necessary for teaching writing. It is amazing to me how many fundamental skills are necessary for teaching writing. My "teacher brain" knows so many of these skills, but my "mommy brain" tends to forget. It must have something to do with being home for 5+ years now, managing our home and keeping up with our amazing three blessings! That is why I am so thankful for other like minded mommies who blog all of their great ideas and then I can implement them with JP and CA.

So far we have worked on name writing, journal writing, line mazes, and this week scissor skills. I remember when I first taught JP how to use scissors last year I thought I was going to pull my hair out!! Oh my! Thankfully it wasn't so frustrating this week with CA. Although he got frustrated and threw the scissors across the room. Bummer!

I made cutting strips for the boys. I instructed them how to hold the scissors and stayed close while they were cutting. I love their focused, concentrated faces!

This is a new skill for CA. He is 3 1/2 and I really didn't allow him to use scissors much last year during our learning time. But I think now he is ready. We will continue to practice a lot. He had a hard time holding the paper that he was cutting and got frustrated twice to which then he threw the scissors across the room. To be honest and transparent, I got really mad at that point. Unfortunately I yelled and got pretty upset, :( Sad day! I will work on that too. There are some great printables at Cheerios and Lattes that I plan to print to help with this important skill.

Want to learn more writing strategies? Feel free to click on this button to join the series. I'm linking up there!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Happenings

We are having a fabulous Fall so far! I am still loving teaching my blessings!

 JP is thriving in Pre-K! He goes 2 days a week and I can tell he is learning so much! One thing I truly appreciate about his preschool is the collaboration between school and home. The preschool has school wide themes for each week. His teachers sent home a calendar in the beginning of the year for the whole year of all the planned themes. You know what immediately went through my brain don't you??!!! I can align what I do at home with CA to match what JP is learning and enrich JP's learning even more on the three days a week he is home! I was giddy when I learned this! His teachers even email their lesson plans to the parents weekly!! It is working out beautifully!

In fact for my birthday back in August I told my husband the one thing I wanted for my bday was to go to Starbucks alone to plan, think, and research preschool ideas! So being the amazing husband that he is he made it happen for me. Here is a pic of all my happy planning items: computer, calendar, lesson planning notebook, and yummy drinks! I was one happy gal in my happy place!

This year I decided to make my own lesson plan template on excel instead of using a premade lesson plan book like I did last year. I used to plan this way during my teaching days and it works really well for me. If you would like to see my template you are welcome to check it out here for FREE!  This year we are working on a character development trait, literacy skills, math skills, one memory verse per week,sight words, and continuing to read a plethora of library books. (Remember I have a little addiction to the library?!?!) There is a section in my template for each of these skills.

In September we have focused on these themes:
  • All About Me/Family
  • Friendship
  • 5 Senses
  • Camping/Daddies
Here are a few pics of our fun times together.

My three blessings!

CA reading his Bible to Baby Brother

The Daddy reading to the boys! Love it!
How was your September? I really do hope to blog more. My three blessings keep me pretty busy and some days just plain ole tired! :)

Virtual Book Club-Lois Ehlert

I am participating in a Virtual Book Club for Kids this year hosted my many awesome bloggers. To participate we will read a book by the author of the month and do an activity based on the book.  I'm excited! This month we have read Lois Ehlert books.  Click on the picture above to learn more about it.

We did an activity with the books:

 After reading the books a few times and reviewing the shapes and colors I gave CA an assortment of foam shapes that I picked up at the Dollar Tree for him to create his own animal shape. We had a lot of fun discussing the shapes and colors together.
Here is his final creation. He says it is a cow, looks more like a person to me, but what do I know?!!

We had a lot of fun together and that's what's important. I am looking forward to more specific author activities throughout the year in the Virtual Book Club! Won't you join us!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

4-6pm Activity Time

Please tell me I am not the only mama whose children go crazy wild from 4:00-6:00pm? I know many days they are hungry, tired, and ready for a new face (AKA DADDY!) And well, honestly let's face it most days so am I!!!  Usually during this time of day Baby Brother needs to be fed and dinner needs to be prepared. It is just a hard time of the day. I found that I was becoming a really grumpy Mommy during this time of day so I began brainstorming how can I make this time of day better. Here is what I came up with: Rotating Activity/Stations/Centers-Whatever you would like to call it!

I set up 4 stations near me in the dining room area and set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off the boys rotate to a new activity. It has worked brilliantly this week!! Less fighting, more engaged boys! Who could ask for more?!

Some of the things we've tried are:
  • Playdoh
  • Squinkies in a salt tray
  • Legos
  • Big coloring books on the floor
  • Puzzles
  • Mr. Potato Head 
I am sure more ideas will come to me as we continue this new fun activity time. My goal is to keep them engaged while I try to multi task during this hard time of day.

I am pretty sure I originally saw this idea at one of my favorite blogs ever, Meaningful Mama., where she shares a tip, craft and character development strategy daily. Be sure and hop over there for some awesomeness.

What do you do to keep your family happy during this challenging time of the day?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Preschool Plans-Updated!

The 2012-2013 school year will begin a new adventure for us! After thinking and praying about the decision for almost five years we have decided for JP to "wait to start" kindergarten until next year. He has an August birthday, so he just turned 5 in late August. This is a decision that many parents of boys with summer birthdays discuss. In my teaching experience young boys often needed more time to mature. My husband and I have discussed this plan since JP was a baby. My husband has an August birthday also and his sweet mom always wished she had waited for my hubby to start school. JP is a smart, creative student, although he has never been to preschool. Thankfully he has been home with me for all five years of his life. We decided last Spring that he would need some kind of preschool environment for this school year to prepare him for school. So with much prayer and careful consideration I researched a few of the options in my area. I am thrilled to share that God lead me to an amazing Christ centered preschool just right for our family. The moment I walked into the school to tour the facility I knew it was the right fit for him (and honestly, for me too). He will attend Pre-K two days a week from 8:45am-2:00pm. His first day is tomorrow. We have had a lot of fun picking out a new backpack, a new water bottle and preparing. Tonight we read The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn by listening to it on a video on Youtube. 

 Both of the boys listened to the story and then I kissed both of their palms and explained that they could feel my love by placing their hand to their cheek tomorrow. I used to read this story each year when teaching and I am sure a copy of this precious book is in a tub in the garage. Thank goodness for technology. I found exactly what I was looking for on youtube!

CA will be doing Preschool at home with me this year, but I am including him in all the fun 1st day of Preschool activities too.

I found an awesome printable here for his teachers to fill out some of their favorite things that they like so I can spoil them a little this year. I remember how special I felt when parents of students took time to learn the things I liked and would treat me every now and then! Awesomeness!

I also found a very cute printable at Its Overflowing where a dear friend of mine writes and hosts an amazing blog! She is super creative and amazing! I loved her idea to make teachers cookies with this adorable printable, so I tweaked it to fit my style and budget. I used pink card stock I had on hand. Then I picked up some clear treat bags and cute ribbon at Micheal's to match the pink card stock. So here is what I made for JP's sweet teachers! I hope they feel loved and appreciated on their first day with Pre-kindergarteners!

I also found an adorable "First Day of..." at I Can Teach My Child that is absolutely perfect! Can't wait to take their pics in the morning!

So now I am off to rest my tired eyes. Honestly, I am a little nervous as I haven't ever left JP for very long other than MOPS and Sunday school. I know he will do great and I know I will too once I leave him. He is ready and needs this year to build his independence. He needs time away from CA, Baby Brother and well Mama. It will be a new adventure for us all! Off we go!

So the first  week has gone great!! He loves Preschool! He went into his class Tuesday morning with no trouble. He got right to work and told me all about his fun when I picked him up! He already seems bigger and more responsible to me!

 These sweet munchkins are still home with me! CA and Baby Brother and I have had a fun week at home doing our "preschool things" too! Love them!

How was your week? I hope great!
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