Friday, October 11, 2013

I'm Still Teaching My Blessings Just in new ways...

Hello Friends!
I promise I did not fall off of the blogging bandwagon. I've just been quiet for a little while. Honestly, I haven't known what to write about so I just haven't. :) I've sat down to blog numerous times and then just haven't.

We had a fabulous summer and are now in full swing Fall season with school and fun activities. 

I am still teaching my three amazing amazing blessings just in new ways.

JP started Kindergarten this Fall! It has been a wonderful experience so far and I am so blessed by his school and teacher. I'll be honest the first two weeks were a little rough adjusting. His school day is early and he was just tired. But now we are in a good groove.

CA began attending PreK this year and LOVES it! He goes two days a week to a wonderful program at a church. It is a perfect balance for him to have time with me at home and then time at preschool. He was dressed and ready at 6:01am on his first day!

Then that leaves me with this sweet dumplin' on the days that both the big boys are at school! I love it! I can play with him, run errands or clean house great with one baby! He's such a good baby, although now he really is a toddler! Thankfully he is very flexible and has had his sweet nap schedule readjusted with the start of school.

I still consider myself to be my children's first and most important teacher. While they are being instructed by others at school, I know that God has allowed me to teach them the most. I believe in mommyhood we are always teaching, instructing and guiding our babies for a long time.

Thank you for patiently reading along. I do hope to blog more often!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Brotherly Love with Reading!

So one morning (ok many mornings) while I was trying to make breakfast for my three blessings the volume in our house just got louder and louder! Between TC desiring his food and making his wants known loudly by squealing and CA needing another item and asking politely for them, I began to feel overwhelmed. So I asked JP if he could read to his brothers. He is beginning to learn to read and really does well with predictive text, especially so many of our familiar books. So off he went to get our favorite board books! Sandra Boynton books are a big hit with these 3! He pulled all three of their chairs together and read to his brothers! Precious moment! I had to grab the camera to record this sweet moment! I was and am one proud mama!

I am so blessed to be their mama and I hope they always know that!

We now have a few new routines in place to make our morning a little more smooth:
-JP and CA must get dressed and make their beds while I begin preparing breakfast. This has helped a ton! It gives me just a few minutes to get things prepped and ready while their little bodies are busy and not under my feet in the kitchen. :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Literacy Filled Home

One of my goals in parenthood is to raise lifelong readers. I want my children to love books, and love reading! This Spring I watched a Google hangout (a video chat) titled Spring Into Reading: Reading Questions Answered by Kid Bloggers  where numerous awesome bloggers discussed how to instill reading and literacy into our children.

Here are a few of the questions they covered:
  • How do you foster a love of reading in your home?
  • How do you decide which books to read with your kids?
  • How do you get kids to sit still when reading?
  • How do you keep kids focused when reading?
  • When do you start reading chapter books to kids?
  • What are storytime rituals at your house?
  • What are simple ways (that don't involve any extra materials) that you use to engage your children as you read stories aloud?
You should totally click on the link above and watch the videos! I LOVED it! It was so fun to listen to other mommies and bloggers discuss how reading occurs in their homes! I had many "ah-ha" moments and was able to take away so much from watching this video that I thought I would share what I learned with you. I implemented so much of their ideas right away.

-One idea is to read to your children all times of the day: at breakfast, lunch, or dinner, while they are taking a bath or anytime you can. I started doing this and love it. I now read to the boys at lunch time. I also now read to the boys while they are in the bath. They are splashing and having fun and they can't go anywhere! I now keep a basket of books in the bathroom to grab while they bathe. I also got really tickled one day when JP and CA both picked up books to read while using the bathroom one day!

-One blogger gave the idea to have books in every room of the house. I already had books the boys rooms and our front room, but I found baskets to put more books in each room of our home.

This is a new basket in our living room that I love! I found this new item at Micheal's and just couldn't resist buying it. It also fits quite nicely inside our coffee table.

TC loves the new basket too!

I love Sandra Boynton books so I made just one basket for this collection.

These are the books in TC's room.

This a reused book holder from my teaching days that we use to hold our library books. All of these books stay in one location of our home (on a good day).
-Another idea was to start reading chapter books when you think your child is ready. They advised if your child can sit still for 10-15 minutes and understands story elements to begin and see how it goes. I have done this with JP(age 5 1/2) and he is loving it!

I hope these ideas inspire you as much as they did me! Happy Reading! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


This is a funny story that I want to be sure to remember so I've chosen to document it here. I hope it makes you laugh too. 

So there really is a 6th member of our family. He is a six inch, cute, brown, teddy bear named "Bear". He is JP's sidekick. He was given to JP as a shower gift before he was born. I can't even remember when JP took to him so fondly. It just happened one day. JP loves Bear deeply and talks of taking Bear to college with him one day. Bear likes to go many places with us. Well last Thursday we went on a bike ride to the park down the street from our house. JP took Bear with us. I remembered when we got home that Bear was in the garage. Well, in the everyday tasks of dinner, bath, and bedtime we all forgot about Bear's location. Then right as I'm tucking JP into bed he says, "Mommy, where's Bear?," in the most exasperated voice.  To which I reply, "I don't know, but I'll find him." So I searched and searched the house. I looked in every nook and cranny one would look for Bear: under the couch, in the toy box, under beds, the garage, the van, and numerous locations. I prayed that God would help me find Bear. But, NO Bear! So then I went to check on JP and possibly ask him if he remembered where Bear might be. But oh no, that sweet boy was sound asleep. So I sat down in my chair as by now it is 9:15. Then when I decided to head to bed around 11:00. I then realized if I didn't find Bear that night JP would be one upset little boy come morning! So I started looking again. The sweet hubs immediately knew what I was doing and said "You looking for Bear?" Yep! So we looked again together and tried to retrace Bear's steps. The daddy then said, "I'll go to the park to look." So off he went to the park at 11:15 at night with flashlight in hand! I then prayed again and asked God specifically to help us have insight and wisdom to find Bear. I then heard God say "think like JP" and I thought "Where would JP put Bear?" Oh yes! The Freezer! And there Bear was in the freezer! I quickly called the Daddy and told him to come home from the dark park! When we returned from our walk we were all very hot and JP thought Bear needed to cool off. Oh my sweet thoughtful son!

Oh the things we do for our precious children!

Summer 2013 Bucket List

Summer 2013 is here! We are excited and ready to begin our summer fun! We have just a few days left before the Daddy of our family is off for the Summer and we are ready! We have lots of fun plans for this summer. I asked the boys what they wanted to do this summer and here are a few of their ideas:

Visit the Children's museum
Visit the Children's aquarium
Paint (JP's idea- not exactly sure what he wants to paint, but paint we will!)
Visit the Bureau of Engraving and Printing(JP has been wanting to do this for months!)
Visit Many Parks in our area and all 24 in our town!
Swim lessons/Swim at our neighborhood pool
Visit the Zoo
Participate in a Sports club Class at the recreation center
Participate in the Kids bowl free program
Attend a professional baseball game
Have many Play dates with friends and cousins
Play at many local splash pads!
Go camping in the backyard
Participate in our Local Library Summer reading program

I made a calendar on Publisher to hang on the refrigerator with picture prompts so the boys can see when the fun events are planned.

I make a Summer Bucket List to keep me accountable and to have a plan for the lazy days of summer. I want to be intentional and meaningful in all I do and my Summer Bucket list helps me do that.

We did paint birdhouses in the garage this weekend. 

I still love his serious, focused face with his tongue out! Too funny!

Happy Summer!!! We hope your summer is awesome! What's on your Summer Bucket List?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I'm Still Here!

Hello Friends! Or anyone still reading this blog,
I am still here, I promise! I have not meant to abandon blog writing. At times I just don't know what to write about. All is really good at our home. I have learned in the past year that life with three precious ones 5 and under is busy! These three blessings keep me on my toes. Thankfully our days are full with all good stuff: Bible study twice a month, library visits at least once a week( or more), play dates, laundry, reading together, working out at the gym, laundry, running errands, grocery shopping, family time together on the weekends, and oh did I mention laundry?! I love our life and my 3 blessings so much!

I try to be intentional with CA and TC on the two days a week that JP is at preschool. But if I were to be real honest these are the days we run errands or I catch up on house stuff. Balancing it all can be a challenge.

I have also realized I only have a short time with JP before he is in school full time in the fall for kindergarten. While I could be working with him more on the days he is home, I have chosen to follow his lead. He loves preschool and has really learned a lot this year! He  loves to read books, sing songs, dance, play super heros, play with legos, write his own "books", play with cars, and ride his big wheel. I realize I won't have this time back with him. The dynamics of our family will change when he is no longer home with me full time. So we just do a lot of fun things together and I feel that he is learning while we are playing and "doing life".

So that's what's been happening at our house. Stay tuned for more posts about literacy, less screen time, and the very active one year old in our house! Where did the last year go?

PS- I tried to upload pics to the post and was unsuccessful! I'll try again another day.:)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
I hope your day was blessed celebrating Jesus with those you love!

We had a great day together at church and then dinner and Easter fun with our family!

Happy Birthday, CA!

I'm a little late in blogging! Oops! We had a great day celebrating our big 4 year old back in February!

I can't believe CA is 4! He is such a sweet, silly, funny little boy! He is such a blessing to our family! I'm so thankful to be his Mommy!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Baby Storytime!

The highlight of my day was taking TC to baby story time today at the library! We are so blessed to have a wonderful public library right down the street from our house! And if you are a new follower here or need a little reminder I am a library geek!
I LOVE the library! 
I love everything about the library! Books, books, and more books, dvds, books on cd, story times, the children's computers, and our awesome librarians. 

Our library calls baby story time "Babies and Books" with a 20 minute lap sit session filled with songs, rhymes and sign language. This was TC's first time to Babies and Books. He has been to the preschooler story times many times with his big brothers. But today was all about him! He loved it! He sat or stood holding my fingers a lot during the songs and stories. He also showed off his crawling abilities. All the mommies sat on the floor with their babies in their laps and the sweet librarians encouraged us to sign, sing, and read with our babies. We sang a few songs, read a board book to our babies, and then the babies were mesmorized my an awesome bubble machine afterwards. It was so much fun!

Another thing I love about our library that they encourage early literacy skills at each story time session. As a former 1st grade teacher I know the importance of each of these skills, but it is always a good reminder. Here are six pre reading skills to remember:

Six Pre-Reading Skills
  1. Vocabulary: Knowing the names of things. 
  2. Print Motivation: Being interested in and enjoying books.
  3. Narrative Skills: Being able to describe things and tell stories.
  4. Print Awareness: Noticing print and knowing how to handle a book.
  5. Letter Knowledge: Knowing letters are different from each other and knowing their names.
  6. Phonological Awareness: Being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words.

So if you have a precious baby at home too like me, I want to encourage you to read to your baby! I know at times it is hard for me to remember the importance of it in the midst of teaching my bigger boys, managing our home, and just living life. But it is so important to sit with our babies to share new words, new signs, point to the pictures and the words, and just enjoy books .

Happy Reading!
Linked to some of these awesome parties this week! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Shaving Cream "Snow"

I try to expose the boys to different textures such as salt, pudding, shaving cream, and play doh for fine motor, sensory and writing activities. We had a blast exploring our winter/snow theme the past two weeks. So what else makes a great snow activity other than shaving cream? I put some of Daddy's shaving cream on a tray for CA and he loved it! The house smelled great afterwards too!
I called out letters, shapes and numbers for CA to write in the shaving cream. I loved his enthusiasm and excitement! He is learning so much and is a lot of fun to work with!

One thing I love about JP's preschool is that his teachers are amazing communicators. On Tuesday afternoon they sent an email to the parents sharing the activities, books, and center ideas that the class would be participating in this week. I laughed out loud when I read that they too would be having "Shaving Cream Snow"! JP does NOT like "messy things" such as shaving cream. I immediately emailed them back to let me know how he does with the activity. I talked it up with JP that it is ok to try new things. He still wasn't keen on the idea, but come to find out he did try it! Here is the picture his teacher emailed to me:

His facial expression cracks me up! He is one honest boy and doesn't hold back his feelings! I was just impressed he touched it at all! He is one awesome boy!

I love how God created each of my boys so differently!

Linked up to some of these awesome parties!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jumping on Pillows

What do my boys LOVE to do on a cold, winter day? Jump on all the pillows in the house! Many days I say no to this activity, but sometimes you just gotta say YES! They absolutely love to gather every pillow from all couches and beds and then just be plain silly and JUMP! Today they had a blast! The sound of their giggles were priceless today!

2013 Goals

Hello fellow readers and friends!
Happy New Year! I have not forgotten about my little corner of blogosphere called Teaching My Blessings blog. I've just been busy teaching them and getting settled into 2013. I loved setting new goals for a new year this year. I haven't set goals in a few years but I do enjoy it. It always feels like a fresh, clean slate to me. So to keep me accountable I thought I would share my goals here with all of you. I broke them down into categories.

2013 Goals

  • Give each member of the family 2013 hugs in the year 2013 (6 hugs per day)
  • Read to the boys everyday
  • Have a family devotional each day

  • Keep balance with family and commitments
  • Read one book per month
  • Blog once a week or more
  • Exercise 3x a week
  • Drink 64oz of water per day.

  • Get up before the boys
  • Have prayer and quiet time daily
  • Memorize one scripture per week.

  • Have one date night at home per week
  • Have one date night out per month
  • Read devotional and pray together on Sunday nights

Home management
  • Use my weekly and monthly chore chart
  • Use my Home Management Guide regularly

  • Teach JP to read
  • Teach JP and CA preschool activities each weekday
  • Teach JP to tie his shoes

Feel free to ask me how it's going! Happy 2013!

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