Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Musings: Swiss Edition

Tristan (11): I want to speak like Switzerland people. Swiss? Switzernese?"

Me: "You mean "Swedish"?

Tristan: "Yeah! That!"

Monday, July 11, 2016

Monday Musings

Brennan, 3: (Randomly)  "Mom,  Elmo doesn't shoot people."

"I'm going to spell your name (writing on paper): A, 4, Mom, Z, 10."

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday Musings: Flaming Edition

We're sitting at the table eating....

Tristan: "My potato is too hot."

Travis: "If my potato was so hot it was flaming my brain open, I wouldn't eat it."

Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday Musings: Random Edition

Travis (5): "Mom, for my next birthday or Christmas I want the other Slugterra blaster with the other
bullets, but maybe you can't find that. In that case, I'll just take some random toy."

Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday Musings: Wool Edition

Travis was talking to me about a bunch of random things, as five year olds do.

Travis: I think this shirt is made of wool.

Me: I don't think so. Do you know where wool comes from?

Travis: Sheep. Everyone knows that.

Monday, May 30, 2016

We're Still Alive and Welcome Bennett Aubrey!

This little punkin was born March 15, 2016!

Bennett Aubrey 

8 pounds, 11 ounces

21 and 1/4 inches long

We have just been so busy with various things and I was just trying to keep things afloat while pregnant, that the blog got neglected. But, it's more important to live life than try and stress about blogging. I did want to share her birth story, so I'm carving out a minute (or three hours by the time I'm done) to get this posted!

Bennett's Birth Story

This pregnancy was the first in my 40's. I will be 41 next month. And, this pregnancy was the picture of perfection. Not one little issue. Bennett was perfect, my blood sugar was perfect, my blood pressure was perfect. I didn't even have group B strep this time. As a matter of fact, I went to the eye doctor in December and he said my vision had improved since my last visit three years ago. WELL. How's that for getting older? Take THAT 40!

According to the ultrasound and my calculations, my due date was March 11, but my doctor kept insisting it was March 15. He felt like she was a big baby and suggested we induce on Tuesday, March 15. While inducing is NOT my first choice, I've needed to be induced before (my babies get comfortable and don't want to come out!) and most of my babies do tend to be big. So, I decided to go ahead and go with that plan instead of waiting, having her be ten pounds and still needing to be induced anyway.  I was 2 cm and 80%, but that basically meant nothing. I could have gone on like that for weeks.

That morning we needed to be there at 7:30 and Brittany had decided she wanted to be there for this birth also, and she drove separately.  After checking in, we waiting in the waiting room for what seemed like at least 30 minutes until they got me in a room. The nurses came in and got me all hooked up and started the usual routine of questions and procedures. The nurse was very nice and was also helping another nurse that had just moved back to Tulsa get up to speed.

They started the pitocin at a very small dose and would continue uping it at very small doses. It felt like literally FOREVER to get contractions going. I had decided quite a few babies ago, that when I get pitocin I get the epidural. If I don't, then I plan to go drug free. I've delivered 3 without epidurals, 4 with epidurals at the very last minute (2 of those I needed pitocin), 4 with epidurals and pitocin (from the beginning and without having started contractions on my own) and one c-section. My c-section was my first delivery so I've had 11 VBACS. ELEVEN! My doctor says that may be a record.

The only problem with the epidurals is that they make me nauseous, and to the point of throwing up. And, sometimes they don't take well on one side. Both happened this time. They had me lay on my side and then flipped me over to the other side every 30 minutes while I labored. I was feeling nauseous, so I just laid there and listened to David and Brittany talk while I dozed off. That is a memory I will treasure- just laying there listening to those two talk.

Probably around 4 o'clock or maybe even later, I just started to feel really bad. You know that "I don't want to do this ANY MORE feeling".  And I thought to myself, "Yeah. You probably want to check me. Like, right now."  Just a couple of minutes later the nurse said she would check me and then, "OK! There's a head!" So, of course the next little while was a whirlwind of getting the doctor and getting things set up.

My doctor is very good about keeping the mom involved and I was actually able to reach down and help deliver her after I think three pushes. She was laid immediately on my chest, skin to skin. They allowed her to stay there as long as I wanted. They cleaned her off and waited until I wanted them to do the vitals and clean her up. I was still throwing up and nauseous so I went ahead and let them take her after a while and then let Brittany and David hold her.

The hospital, which is large and has a great children's hospital attached, no longer has an infant nursery. They have babies stay with the moms the entire time. They only have a holding area where they do simple procedures. The only time she left my side was to do her hearing test. I was so surprised at that, since that had changed since just two years ago when I had Trace, but I think it's a great change!

I had great post-partum care, as well. Many times the extra nurses and consultants and what-not will come in to see me- the woman with so many children. I'm a spectacle, I guess! The lactation consultant said I have virtually NO chance of getting breast cancer with nursing so many babies and for so long.  I have spent basically my entire adult life being pregnant or nursing.

Recovery went well, but the stomach cramps were something awful. Bennett has been doing wonderfully. She basically slept through her first two months and has only just started waking up for longer and smiling and cooing.

I've definitely been blessed!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Lessons With Toddlers

So. What DO you Do with toddlers all day? If you're anxious to start homeschooling, or you've agreed to take on the toddler class for your homeschool co-op, here are some ideas to get you started.

Divide up your day.

  • 15 minute increments are great at the toddler stage. You could have an activity/lesson ready to switch every fifteen minutes or so.


  • On the half  hour. You could have something planned to start on the half hour, then if your child begins to lose interest they can play with toys until the next half hour starts. You could also plan each thirty minutes with a different subject. For instance, 9:00 would be Bible and play with Bible toys; 9:30 would be science and play with science toys, etc.

  • Repeat this over the course of the week: Kids this age don’t get tired of the same thing over and over, so a recurring “theme” each week would be fine. Also, there is a lot the kids may not understand at this age, but it plants the seeds of learning to hear things and have them repeat things.

  • Just use discretion with the activities. Some toddlers are still putting things in their mouths, so just keep that in mind.

Subjects and Ideas 


Most importantly for this age is just to hear scripture repeated and Bible stories.  For Bible you could do the same simple verse each day for a week, and week two add on the second verse with the first, and so on. If your toddler isn't talking, they can still hear you telling them the verses!
-simple verses
-Bible storybooks and felt boards
-songs/finger plays


You could also do a weekly theme with math. Colors and shapes are great at this age. All week you could reiterate “This is round. Can you find something that is round, etc.” Also, you could have a special bag that contains items you found around the house with the shape or the color of the week. Each day bring out that bag and go over the fact that “This is round, etc.” or “All these things are blue” and let the kids have time to look at all the things from the bag. The next week choose a different shape or color.

Other math activities:

-dried beans in a container with plastic spoons, etc. to scoop and sort the beans (you could also use rice, but that’s harder to clean up. And, make sure they're not eating them.)

-gather about ten things and use them to count to ten- you could do this everyday.

-lacing shapes and beads….With the beads you can talk about patterns, “Here is a red bead, then blue, then red, what comes next?”


Check some books out of the library that have pictures of animals. Go through the book and talk about each animal “Look at this, it’s a tiger. God made tigers. They go roar. Can you roar like a tiger?" (Can you hop like a bunny? Can you crawl like a turtle? Can you jump like a kangaroo? ,etc.  Point out features on the animals, Does this one have feathers? Does this one have fur? Where does this animal live? (In the jungle, in the desert, etc.) You can also check out books and do this same thing with bugs, butterflies, birds, fish, etc.  "Look at these fish, it has orange and yellow. This bird has a small beak. This bug has six legs, etc."

Fun Science Fingerplays.....

 Five Little Ducks

Five little ducks that I once knew (hold up five fingers)
Big ones, little ones, skinny ones too (make big and little hands)
But the one little duck with the feather on its back (hold up one finger)
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack.

Down to the river they would go
Widdle, waddle, widdle, waddle to and fro (waddle like a duck)
But the one little duck with the feather on its back (hold up one finger)
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack.

Up from the river they would come
With a ho, ho, ho and a hum, hum. Hum (waddle like a duck)
But the one little duck with the feather on its back (hold up one finger)
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack.

Did you ever see a bunny? (To the tune of “Did you ever see a lassie?”)

Did you ever see a bunny, a bunny, a bunny
Did you ever see a bunny that hops so slow?
He hops and hops, and hops and hops.
Did you ever see a bunny that hops so slow?

(Also, hops backwards, fast, on one foot, etc.)
(Also, change the animal –Did you ever see a tiger…..He growls and growls, etc.)

Hop Little Rabbit

Hop Little Rabbit, won’t you hop, hop, hop?
Hop Little Rabbit, won’t you stop, stop, stop?
Hop Little Rabbit, one, two, three
Hop Little Rabbit, hop to me.

(can change this to run, march, crawl, tiptoe, etc.)

-God made dinosaurs, they were on Noah’s ark

Five Enormous Dinosaurs

Five enormous dinosaurs letting out a roar
One went away and then there were four
Four enormous dinosaurs munching on a tree
One went away and then there were three
Three enormous dinosaurs didn’t know what to do
One went away and then there were two
Two enormous dinosaurs having lots of fun
One went away and then there was one
One enormous dinosaur afraid to be a here
He went away and then there were zero.

The Caterpillar

A caterpillar crawled to the top of a tree, (index finger of left hand moves up right arm)
“I think I’ll take a nap,” said he.
So under a leaf he began to creep (wrap right hand over left fist)
To spin his chrysalis and he fell asleep.
All winter long he slept in his chrysalis bed, (keep right hand over left fist)
Til spring came along one day and said,
“Wake up, wake up little sleepy head.” (Shake left fist with right hand)
“Wake up, it’s time to get out of bed!”
So,he opened his eyes that sunshiny day (Shake fingers and look into hand)
Lo-he was a butterfly and flew away! (Move hands in a flying motion)

The Insects  (to the tune of Wheels on the Bus)

The bugs in the air fly round and round, round and round, round and round
The bugs in the air fly round and round all through the day
The spiders on the bush spin a web, spin a web, spin a web
The spiders on the bush spin a web all through the day.
The bees in their hive go buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz
The bees in their hive go buzz, buzz, buzz all through the day.
The ants on the mound crawl all around, all around, all around
The ants on the mound crawl all around all through the day.

-Go through all the body parts, “God made my eyes so I can see. God made my ears so I can hear. God made my legs so I can jump”, etc.  This would be a great time to sing “Be careful Little Eyes what you see” and the Hokey Pokey (Put your left arm in, put your left arm out, put your left arm in and you shake it all about, you do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about.)

-Bring some leaves, twigs, flowers, rocks, etc. in and talk about them. Let the kids touch each thing and feel if it is rough or smooth.

-You could get a special bag of different food packages for your child to look through and talk about how God provides good food for us to eat to keep our bodies healthy.  (Hold up the packages, “We need milk to keep our bones healthy-who likes milk? Me! Me!, etc.)

Here We Go Round the Blueberry Bush

Here we go round the blueberry bush, blueberry bush, blueberry bush (Hold hands and walk in a circle)
Here we go round the blueberry bush so early in the morning.
Pick the blueberries small and round, small and round, small and round (pretend to pick blueberries)
Pick the blueberries small and round so early in the morning.
Taste the blueberries ripe and sweet, ripe and sweet, ripe and sweet (pretend to eat the blueberries)
Taste the blueberries ripe and sweet so early in the morning.
Help mix up the muffin batter, muffin batter, muffin batter (pretend mixing)
Help mix up the muffin batter so early in the morning.
Now let’s share the muffins, share the muffins, share the muffins (pretend to hand muffin to someone)
Now let’s share the muffins so early in the morning.

-What do we do when the sun is high in the sky? We skip, run, jump, etc. God put the sun in the sky to give us light during the day. What do we do when the moon and the stars are in the sky? We sleep. (Kids pretend to sleep.) God gave us the moon and stars for light at night time. (Twinkle, Twinkle little star...)

-Talk about each season and what the weather is like, what you would wear in each season and have children pretend to put on clothes for each season.  (Or you could raid the closet and bring in one type of season’s clothing each week for the kids to try on like all hats scarves and gloves for winter,etc.)
What would you do in each season? Pretend to swim for summer, pick and smell flowers in spring, pretend to swim in summer, etc.

-Talk about different kinds of weather. Can you whirl around like a tornado? Can you stomp softly like little rain drops? Can you clap loud like thunder?


-Opposites: Everybody stand up really tall, now shrink down really small; the block is on top, now it’s on the bottom, can we run in place fast, now slow, etc.

-Use the play mat (or if you don't have a play mat, you can just write the letters on card stock) to find the letter A, now let’s find the apple. A says “a” and apple starts with “a”; You could do one letter every week, or just spend a few minutes going over different letters.

-sing the alphabet song

-“Signing Time” Dvd’s (Maybe from your local library?)

-This is the letter that your name starts with….write with chalk on construction paper.

Social Studies:

-Talk about families and how God gives families moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandpas, aunts, etc.

-Talk about how we live in Oklahoma. Can you say “Oklahoma”? Oklahoma is in the United States of America. Can you Say “America”? Our president is President Obama. Etc.

-Walk through a typical day with the kids. When we wake up we stretch (kids stretch) then we brush our teeth (pretend brush teeth) then we put on our clothes (pretend to get dressed), etc. ending with pretending to go to bed/sleep.

-What kind of vehicles do we see in our neighborhood…talk planes, cars, trains, big trucks and what each would do.

Row Your Boat
Row, row , row your boat (act out rowing the boat)
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream
(Drive, drive, drive the car, fly, fly, fly the plane, etc. acting out each action)

-shaving cream on construction paper. Could use dollar store paint brushes and let them “paint” the shaving cream onto the paper. Pretty easy clean up.

-playdough with cookies cutters

-sidewalk chalk on construction paper

-cut out people from magazines, paste on construction paper and glue to large popsicle sticks for puppets


-Get an inexpensive supply of musical instruments from your local store, (or you could even make your own with beans and cans).

-Play different types of music: classical, jazz, hymns in the background.

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