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?
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