Sunday, August 30, 2015

Team Spirit Hair Elastics



I've posted before about DIY hair elastics. They are super easy and inexpensive to make and they make great gifts and party favors. 

Football season is upon us, so I made some team spirit themed elastics! I made these for my tween niece because she lives in Michigan and is a Michigan fan. It hurt me to make these, as I am a Michigan State fan myself. :-)

I used football-textured card stock to hold them and printed out the Michigan logo and glued it on. 

These make great little gifts for fans and cheerleaders, no matter who your team is!



Linking To
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The Happy Housie // The Blissful Bee // The Turquoise Home // Place of My Taste
 
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That DIY Party with DIY Show Off

Monday, August 24, 2015

DIY Airplane and Balloon Mobile

In less than a month, I will be a Mama of two! Right now, we live in a two-bedroom condo, so Cupcake and Little Man will be sharing a room for at least a year. Well, we will move him in when he starts sleeping and won't wake her up. I don't need a cranky baby AND a cranky toddler on my hands!

I've been making little changes to change Cupcake's girly room to a gender neutral shareable room. Don't worry, she is loving the changes. This room is going to have a colorful adventure theme and she is a little adventurer at heart.

One of the first things I changed was the mobile. Cupcake had a cute, girly bird mobile that I made for her. Using the same concept, I made a travel mobile with airplanes, air balloons and clouds.


The airplanes and balloons were made with wood cutouts that I bought from The Wood Shape Store on Etsy. The clouds are just made from card stock. 

I covered the wood airplanes and air balloons in card stock. I wanted to give them a slight distressed look, so I sanded down the edges and applied a light coat of distress ink.Then, I sealed them with one coat of Mod Podge.


To attach the wood pieces, I screwed in small eye screws and attached them to the embroidery hoop with fishing line. I wanted to give the planes the appearance of flying, so I attached the screws in different places. This made them hang in different positions. 


I love how it turned out and it is so easy and inexpensive to make!


As for the bird mobile, I did save one of the birds and made it into a Christmas ornament for Cupcake this year (I make her a handmade ornament every year)-I will post about it later!

Linking To
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Work It Wednesday with The Happy Housie // The Blissful Bee // The Turquoise Home // Place of My Taste
 
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 Inspiration 2 with Live Laugh Rowe and My Fabuless Life

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That DIY Party with DIY Show Off

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Preschool Bug Unit Activities


The theme for our first week of homeschool Preschool this year was BUGS! Here is what we did for the whole unit, including non-bug activities. To see the overview of this year's curriculum, click here.
Scroll to the bottom of this post for a list and links of free printables we used for this unit.

Opening/Calendar
Each school day, we open with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance and do our calendar board. Right now, Cupcake is learning the days of the week to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." We sing:

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday too.
Wednesday, Thursday just for you.
Friday, Saturday that's the end,
now let's say those days again,
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.

After the calendar board, we do a name recognition activity, which I will post more about later.

 Phonics (a,s,m)
We begin each phonics lesson singing the ABCs with her Under the Sea poster I got at the Dollar Tree. Then, we practice sounding out and tracing each letter for that week with Montessori sandpaper letters. Cupcake loves little objects, so we have an alphabet box and she sorts each object on the proper letter.


This year, we started doing Do-a-dot sheets for pre-writing practice. This was her first one, so she was just getting used to it. I usually help her do the letter so she knows the order to write it. These adorable alphabet do-a-dot sheets are free from The Measured Mom.


Phonics Bug Spray
I drew bugs on the sidewalk with chalk and wrote the three letters of the week in them. I would sound out a letter and Cupcake would spray the bug with that sound with a bottle full of water. She thought it was great for about two minutes-then it turned into spray everything! She sprayed the grass, all the plants, me...hahaha. I just let her go with it because preschool is all about learning through play! It was also a great fine motor practice.


Phonics Bug Smack
I cut out each bug and laid them out on the ground. I made a letter sound and Cupcake smacked the corresponding letter with an ( unused) fly swatter. She LOVED this activity.

 
Cognitive
Counting and Color
For counting this week, we played the Catch a Bug Game from Picklebums. Cupcake rolled a die with numbers on it and then counted that many bugs and put them in her jar.


We used the same game to practice colors. I made a die with the colored dots provided in the printable. Cupcake rolled it and would place that color in her jar. You can mix both activities and throw a number and color dice.


Shapes
We did a bee and flower shape matching activity from the Insect printable pack from Gift of Curiosity. Cupcake liked flying the bee to the flower, making buzzing sounds. :-)

  
Sizing
We used the ladybug sizing printable from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

Gross Motor
   I simply took Cupcake to the playground to climb for gross motor practice. We also did a bug action game which I did not take a photo of. The action cards were from Oopsy Daisy and contained actions like "crawl like a ladybug" and "wiggle like a worm."

Story Time
  We read the following bug books for story time:
Bugs Galore by Peter Stein
The Very Busy Spider, The Very Lonely Firefly and The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
Little Cricket's Song by Joanna Barkan

Bear and Bee by Sergio Ruzzier 

    
Art and Music
Honestly, we didn't get to our art project this week. :-( But, we did sing bug songs and do bug rhymes-you can get my free printable for these int he list below.

Sensory
  We went on a field trip to a hiking path near our house to look for bugs! This was definitely her favorite activity of the week. I bought Cupcake a bug net and container from the Dollar Tree. She didn't really use it, but she liked holding them and running down the path yelling, "I'm an explorer!" We DID stop to look at different bugs, though.


Bible
This week, we covered Creation days 1-3, using the ABC Jesus Loves Me curriculum as our guide. We read the story of creation from The Jesus Storybook Bible and used the review questions and memory verse song from the curriculum. I like to print out the verses for Cupcake, even though she cannot read yet, to start her on word recognition.

Songs
Along with Genesis 1:1, we sang "God Made Them All" from the Big Stories for Little Ones album by Rain For Roots. (My FAVORITE children's album!) and "This Is the Day That the Lord Has Made."

Activities
Every other day, I did not read the story to her, but re-told it using our DIY felt board. To make creation felt pieces, I used a free printable from Keeping Life Creative. She offers a few Bible stories for free, so you can test if your kids like the felt board, but she has a whole Old Testament pack in her store that I recommend. 


 
Linking To

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Mom 2 Mom with  
Montessori Monday with Living Montessori Now

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Laugh and Learn with  
Hip Homeschool Hop with Hip Homeschool Moms

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 Preschool & Kindergarten Community with Homeschool Creations

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Preschool Bug Free Printables: Phonics and Songs


The theme for our first week of homeschool Preschool this year was BUGS! I made a couple of printables for our unit, so I'm sharing them with you. You can see all the activities we did on my post about the unit. 

Phonics Smack a Bug Printable (a,s,m only)
 My first printable was for our smack-a-bug phonics activity. We only did lettters a,s,m that week, so I only have those letters right now. I cut out each bug and laid them out on the ground. I made a letter sound and Cupcake smacked the corresponding letter with an ( unused) fly swatter. 



Click on the picture of the printable below to download. 
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0h_so9UrDrvbnJuMnFIUjVGcDA/view?usp=sharing
 Bug Songs and Rhymes Sheets
The next printable is two simple pages with the bug-themed songs and rhymes we did for music time.

Click on the picture of the printable below to download.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0h_so9UrDrvYmszZnBOQk9GZkE/view?usp=sharing 
 You can see details about our bug unit and links to more free bug printables HERE.

 
Linking To
MONDAYS
Mom 2 Mom with  
Montessori Monday with Living Montessori Now

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Laugh and Learn with  
Hip Homeschool Hop with Hip Homeschool Moms

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 Preschool & Kindergarten Community with Homeschool Creations

Monday, August 17, 2015

Glitter Wood Slice Ornaments {Countdown to Christmas!}

It's only August, I know! BUT, I have a lot of Christmas crafts I want to share on my blog and I'm not sure how much blogging I will be doing in December. Baby # 2 is due September 18, so I will not be able to blog as much. So, each month I will include just ONE Christmas post...until Novemberish of course. :-)


I made this craft last year in Mops (Mothers of Preschoolers), so it was not my idea and it WAS a good group craft. The lady who planned the craft does not have a blog, so I searched on Pinterest to see if I needed to credit anyone with the original idea and the closest I could find were these wood slice ornaments from Craftaholics Anonymous. Though mine are different, they are a similar idea, so I want to make sure to give her credit!!



As I said, this was a great group craft and easy to do if you have the right tools. We got a bunch of wood slice ornaments at Michael's. Last year, I remember seeing them everywhere-already cut and drilled. I know Hobby Lobby sells birch coasters year-round and you can drill a hole in them or check Etsy for pre-cut and drilled wood slices.

The woman who planned the craft also has a Cricket cutting machine, so she cut all the words and shapes out with it. If you do not have a cutting machine, you can find cute scrapbook embellishments to use instead.

I used glitter Mod Podge to paint over the surface because I wanted mine to be glittery. So, pretty much all you do is glue the words and pictures on the wood slice and coat it with glitter Mod Podge.

I put a word on one side of each ornament and a picture on the other. 





 Linking To:

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Work It Wednesday with The Happy Housie // The Blissful Bee // The Turquoise Home // Place of My Taste
 
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Inspiration 2 with Live Laugh Rowe and My Fabuless Life

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That DIY Party with DIY Show Off

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Questioning God and His Motives {Reflection}

I wrote the following a few years ago, after a period of being in a valley.


 Today I meditated on Psalm 43 and it brought me much comfort. The Psalm is short, but blatantly shows David's inner struggle with doubt. Because of his hard circumstances, he questions God's actions and motives. "Why have You rejected me? Why do I go about mourning?" (v.2)

I totally relate. In the midst of hard circumstances, my crying out to God is usually a question of whether He really cares for me or not. I often feel guilty for questioning Him and His motives. I've heard from wiser people that it's OK to question God because it often leads us to truth, if we are seeking Him. But, I still often feel guilty (probably because in that moment, I am not grasping the Gospel-that even if I am sinning, God is forgiving and much bigger than my questions). So, as I see David, a man after God's own heart as scripture calls him, crying out to God with questions, I am comforted.

However, verses 3-4 are the the kicker-the key verses in this passage. David doesn't just wallow in self-pity and in the mire of questioning God's motives. He's honest-and God let's him honestly question what he does not understand, but God does not let him stay there. In verse 3, it's almost as if we can visibly see the Holy Spirit moving David's heart toward truth.

"Send out your light and your truth;
   let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
   and to your dwelling!
 
Then I will go to the altar of God,
   to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre,
   O God, my God."

 Here, we see David's desire to know the TRUTH about God's character and motives-his desire to move beyond the questions. He has faith because he knows that Truth will lead Him to God and that when he understands the true character of God, it will lead him to thankfulness.

I believe this is the on-going struggle of faith. We have seasons of questioning and seasons of certainty. What I gather from this Psalm is that questioning God is not the sin. It's how we respond to the Truth He reveals that matters. 

Even more important, what I see in this Psalm is the abundant grace of God. As I mentioned before, God is so much bigger than our questions. He is not going to stomp off to a corner, pout, and ignore us because He's offended by our questions. Instead, He gently corrects us and leads us in Truth. This may not happen in the timing that we'd like for it to happen, but He does do it and the slow process is what sanctifies us.

 Linking To

Mom 2 Mom with  
Titus 2 Tuesday with Cornerstone Confessions 
SDG Connections with Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood 
Women with Intention Wednesdays with Women With Intention
Thought Provoking Thursday with 3D Lessons For Life
Faith Filled Friday with Missional Women
Blessing Counters with Counting My Blessings

Friday, August 14, 2015

Deep Dish S'more Cookies {Pin There Done That}


If you're like me and you love S'mores, you have to try this Deep Dish S'more recipe from Cookies and Cups!


It is incredibly yummy!! Shelly (from Cookies and Cups)  recommends using a muffin top pan or whoopie pie pan to back these, but I just used a regular muffin pan and filled it half way. It worked wonderfully.

Also, I do not have a Kitchen Aid mixer, so I used a hand mixer and it worked well.

This pin experiment was a WIN!!


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