Friday, October 14, 2011

My Spaghetti Faced Boys!

I just can't get enough of these boys :) I'm framing these for my kitchen!

Cole, 13 months

Jacob, 11 months

Cole, 13 months

Jacob, 11 months

More Birthday...

Last Sunday, Cole got to have a party with his school & church friends. We are so blessed to have an awesome playground & gym at the church - so we had the party there. It was so easy!

This was Cole & his friend, Zander, showing Jacob his new toy. It was precious :)

I made cupcakes & bought ice cream cups. That's it!

The kids had so much fun, and, the only effort I made was to bake the cupcakes. That's what I call a WIN!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Home/School Connection: Fall Board

Since Cole started Preschool 3 years ago, I have felt like it was very important for us to actively work at home on the same skills he's working on at school.

We fondly call our home school work "Mommy School", which has come to bring on a groan from my son when he hears it! (He's not crazy about sick days, snow days & school breaks because he has extra "Mommy School" on those days). One of the ways I try to make it exciting for him, is to utilize as much opportunity as I can to bring color, design & fun into our work at home. When we lost our school/office combo room when Jacob arrived, we had to find creative ways to work all those fun extras into our home.

One of my favorites is our bulletin board. He loves it when he comes home from school & a new theme is on the board :) We had to downsize our board just a bit when we lost our school room, but, I did find a great place to incorporate this board into the kitchen.

Here's a shot of our Oct/Nov board.

We are in a big push for early reading right now. Sight Words & Letter sounds all around us. (You can also see my previous post on "Slap a Sight Word" here) These leaves are laminated & I write the weekly words in dry erase marker to prevent having to redo them each week. Gotta save a girl some time anywhere you can!

Here's our "Question of the Day". I use this to encourage creative thinking, and, early writing skills.

And of course we have a monthly calendar that we work with daily.

In upcoming posts I will be showing you other ways our home doubles as a classroom for the boys. I would love to hear how you incorporate these fun ideas into your home & classroom as well!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Birthday Buddies

This is Cole & his best buddy, Jake. They share the same birthday! It's so fun that they will get to celebrate together all the way through school. Because our school is so small, they will always get to have the same teacher :)

Yesterday, we brought cupcakes to school for the boys to share with their friends during snack. They were a hit :)

Mrs. Lister enjoyed giving each of the boys their 6 swats :) She is a great teacher, and Cole enjoys her very much.

Getting to celebrate birthdays at school is so fun.

Family Friendly Halloween Activities!

One of the biggest challenges that I, as a mother, face this time of year is finding activities for my children to participate in for Halloween. Going door-to-door trick or treating is just not a good choice for my family. With Dad working in the evenings, and 2 small children, it's just not a safe or smart choice for me to make. Still, I want my boys to have the fun & excitement of picking out that perfect superhero costume and letting their imagination soar with their friends. So..I search for alternative ideas that be fun for the boys, and, less stressful for Mom & Dad.

One great option is the Fall Festival at church. Many churches in Central Illinois offer some type of event in the week leading up to, or the evening of Halloween. You will usually find food, candy, crafts & tons of fun, all in one safe place. Another only have to get out of the car once! If you have ever hauled costumed children in & out of car seats multiple recognize what a bonus this is for you :) If your in or around the Montgomery County area, please join us at Hillsboro Free Methodist Church on Monday, October 31st from 5-7pm for Indoor Trick or Treating!

Another choice is hitting up your local pumpkin patch. One of our favorite trips is to our local Orchard (Broom's Orchard in Carlinville, IL), for their annual apple & pumpkin festival. Picking your own pumpkin is so fun for the kids, and, you get great pictures while your at it, Mom! Most festivals include food, hayrides, games, petting zoo's, even pony rides. These are great, low cost, family outings. Plus..your supporting your local growers! Your just intime for Broom's annual Pumpkin Fest this weekend. If you don't have plans, head on over to Carlinville.

While I love to see the children dressed up as Tinkerbell & Spiderman, I do not love the idea of opening my front door every 10 minutes, unsure of what may be on the otherside. For a safer option for both you & the trick or treaters - why not grab a few neighbors & set up a "Trunk or Treat" in your local parking lot. Most retailers would gladly offer their parking lot for a safe option for children. Park your cars, fill the trunks with candy, even set up a few fun games for the kids. Parents will appreciate the effort to keep everyone safe.

An important part of our preparation for Halloween, includes talking to my children about the good & bad parts of this day. It's important for them to understand that there are people who take advantage of children & adults, and emphasize the demonic origins of this day. We, as Christians are responsible for educating our children. My family personally does not dress up as ghosts, goblins, devils or monsters - they are scary to my children. We utilize this time to encourage our children's imagination, but, also keep them grounded enough to recognize there is evil in this world.

I would love to hear how you work to creative alternative for your family!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Celebrating our 1st Born

This Thursday marks the 6th, and, Golden Birthday of our First Born, Cole. We are so very blessed that the Lord entrusted him to us!

Our Celebration started last weekend with a Farm Party. One of Cole's favorite places is at my Sister's House - she just happens to live on a big farm. Horses, ponies, cows, bulls, goats...yes, the list goes on & on and he loves every minute of it. Josh & Lindsey graciously agreed to host his annual wiener roast birthday party at their house.

We were so excited that most of my family (immediate & extended) were able to celebrate with us. We enjoyed a bonfire, hayride, wobble wagon, pony rides, petting zoo, even soft serve ice cream!

By the end of the day Cole was covered in dirt & had a huge smile on his face. Before he fell asleep on the long ride home, he said "Mommy & Daddy, I just love today". Those moments are so precious. Cole has so much to celebrate this year, he has truly worked hard to get to where he is!

The celebration continues with a Party with his school & church friends this Sunday, and, a Party with Jason's Family next weekend. While we normally would not have 3 birthday parties, I'm kind of glad we can show him just how much he means to us with all of these celebrations this year.