Thursday, April 30, 2009

Once Upon a Book ~ Life in a Pond


Life In a Pond by Allan FowlerSummary: Introduces the animal and plant life in and around ponds.

Popsicle stick dragonflies:


  • Popsicle sticks
  • Pompoms
  • Glue
  • Aluminum Foil

To Make:

  • Cut out the wings from your foil each dragonfly needs 2 sets
  • Glue the wings to the stick ( have them overlap some so the stay on)
  • Set your Popsicle stick on to some wax paper and let your LO glue pompoms on the stick for the body over the wings so the whole stick is covered
  • Let dry
  • When dry apply glue to the back of the stick (i used hot glue but a super glue would work) and glue to the pond (if you use regular glue you will have to hold it or position it where a clothespin can clip and hold it there till the glue dries)

Dragonfly Song:

1 one little, 2 two little, 3 three little dragonflies

4 four little, 5 five little, 6 six little dragonflies

7 seven little, 8 eight little, 9 nine little dragonflies

Flying through the air.

Flight of the Dragonfly:


  • Classical and other various types of music
  • your tot

To Play:

  • Put on the radio or a mixture of cd's and have them run around and act like flying dragonflies to the music (you run around too do show them to dance slow to slow music fast to fast etc....) Flight of the Bumblebee is great music for this!!

MAY Theme of the Month: FARMS!!!

Supplies needed for the first and main activity: White Foam board, Green and Blue Paint, a small mailing box or tissue box (empty), round small pringles container (empty) Glue (opt) :

For the first activity that will will build a Farm Play board and add to it each week in May!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Celebrating YOUR Tot ~ Last call for May Tots!

This is the last call for May Birthday Tots! Does your tot have a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th birthday in May? If so...

We need your info by May 2, in order to include your tot in our monthly post, which will be up the first week of May!

AND, if you have a June Birthday Tot, we will need your info by May 25!

Did You Know ~ Healthy Fats Part 3

"Give us nothing, but vegetables to eat and water to drink." Daniel 1:12

"I give you every seed - bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it." Genesis 1:29

Seeds and Nuts
Nuts and seeds provide healthy fats that are very important in maintaining a healthy heart, brain and blood function. Some of the best choices of nuts and seeds are raw almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and flax seeds. Keep fresh nuts in your refrigerator and grab a handful when you feel the urge to munch. It is best to soak them before eating to ease in digestion.

Nuts and seeds contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Studies show that omega-3s provide important health benefits such as protecting against cancer and lowering cholesterol. Roasted nuts have been found to carry carcinogens which could lead to cancer growth, so buy your nuts raw. Although peanuts are high in protein, they are also highest in mycotoxins; mold and fungus tend to be found in or on most peanuts. Unless you are eating them from a truly reliable source in their raw form, I would recommend removing them from your diet and this includes peanut butter. Replace peanuts and peanut butter with almonds and almond butter. They are delicious, sweet and very alkalizing once ingested. Test your saliva pH before eating almonds and then chew on a small handful of raw soaked almonds – you will find the pH level goes up!

Kitchen Note: Soaking nuts, seeds and beans break down the natural enzyme inhibitors, which protect them from breaking down before sprouting, but it is hard on human digestion. Hence, soaking makes nuts and seeds easy for our consumption. It also begins the process of sprouting. We are then able to enjoy their life energy, as it is transferred to us once we eat the wonderful sprouted beans and seeds.

Coconut oil is 92% saturated – but don’t let that stop you from enjoying this delicious fat
Coconut oil is unusually rich in short and medium-chain fatty acids. Lauric acid, the major fatty acid from the fat of the coconut, has long been recognized for the unique properties that it lends to non-food uses in the cosmetic and soap industry. In recent years, lauric acid has been recognized for its unique antibacterial, antiviral and antiprotozoal properties. Coconut oil has grown in popularity because it is high in lauric acid, which research has shown might boost brain function and enhance the immune system.

Lauric acid has the additional benefit of being transformed into a substance called "monolaurin" in the human body. Monolaurin is an antibacterial, antiviral and antiprotozoal substance used by the human body to destroy lipid-coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria and the common cold. Lauric acid is also present in human breast milk that, when consumed by infants, is converted into monolaurin, which gives babies protection from infections. It is also being promoted as a weight loss aid because it contains at least 50% medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which are easily digested and not stored as fat by the body and instead enhance the metabolism while giving a feeling of satiety. Approximately 50% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid.

Dehydrated coconut is about 69% coconut fats, as is creamed coconut. Full coconut milk is approximately 24% fat.

Capric acid, another one of coconut's medium-chain fatty acids, has been added to the list of coconut's antimicrobial components. Capric acid is found in large amounts in coconuts and it has a similar beneficial function when it is transformed into "monocaprin" in the human body. Monocaprin has been shown to have antiviral effects.

Also, research has shown that natural coconut fat in the diet leads to a normalization of body lipids, protects against alcohol damage to the liver, improves the immune system's anti-inflammatory response and increases the metabolic rate. A faster metabolic rate stimulates increased production of needed insulin and increases absorption of glucose into cells. This is important for anyone with Type I or Type II diabetes. It also helps stabilize body weight.

The medium-chain fatty acids and monoglycerides found primarily in coconut oil have tremendous healing power. It is rare in the history of medicine to find substances that have such useful properties and without toxic or even harmful side effects.

Eating raw young coconuts would clearly be the best option, but most of us do not have access to this, so using coconut oil is the next best thing. One way you will want to consider adding coconut oil to your diet is to use it exclusively for all your cooking and sautéing needs since it is a completely saturated fat and does not form dangerous trans-fatty acids. My favorite source for coconut oil isNutiva - Coconut Oil Organic Extra Virgin. You can also check out the book Coconut Cures by Bruce Fife.

There is a lot of hype about coconut oil, and that hype results from a common process that begins with health research.

When scientists discover that some element of a natural food is healthy in some way, food or drug companies and others try to figure out how to profit from the isolation and sale of that component as a kind of "drug" or wonder food. Its part of a longstanding tradition in western medicine and science that constantly strives to improve, rather than embrace, nature.

In accepting this profit-driven, reductionist view about food, we neglect variety and moderation. Too much of any good thing can be bad for you.

Instead, we should add new research to our knowledge of foods, and constantly strive to eat those foods in their most original, unaltered and whole state.

Coconut oil is the isolated fat that results from pressed coconut meat. In recent years, coconut oil has grown in popularity because it is high in lauric acid, which research has shown might boost brain function and enhance the immune system. Lauric acid is a substance also present in human breast milk that, when consumed by infants, is converted into monolaurin, which gives babies protection from infections. It is also being promoted as a weight loss aid because it contains at least 50 percent medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which are easily digested and not stored as fat by the body and instead enhance the metabolism while giving a feeling of satiety.

If you eat a diet generally low in other saturated fats and cholesterol (such as a vegan diet), then a moderate intake of unrefined coconut oil is recommended.

Most of our healthy fatty acids should come from whole, unprocessed foods such as avocado, flax seeds, raw nuts and raw seeds, so we get the whole package of nutrients including all the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytochemicals and fiber, which are destroyed when we process foods to isolate single ingredients -- and all the healthy components that science has yet to discover and isolate.

As a general rule, it's best to eat whole foods as close to their natural state as possible -- not isolated single components. While we need the use of isolated fats for cooking and dressings, for instance, it’s best that keep those to a minimum. Eating a whole coconut is way better for you than the isolated fat itself.

The many uses for virgin coconut oil with both a pleasant scent and taste include:

  • In place of other oils, margarine, butter, shortening, etc. in all cooking needs, as it is a stable cooking oil
  • As an ingredient when juicing or making smoothies
  • Consumed straight by the tablespoon as it smells and tastes so pleasant and has such excellent nutritional properties
  • In place of other oils on salads
  • As an excellent massage oil
  • As a skin lotion for healthier, younger skin, as explained below

For skincare, use the virgin coconut oil as you would any lotion. It prevents destructive free-radical formation and provides protection against them. It can help to keep the skin from developing liver spots and other blemishes caused by aging and over-exposure to sunlight. It helps to prevent sagging and wrinkling by keeping connective tissues strong and supple. In some cases it might even restore damaged or diseased skin. The oil is absorbed into the skin and into the cell structure of the connective tissues, limiting the damage excessive sun exposure can cause.

Coconut oil will not only bring temporary relief to the skin, but it will aid in healing and repairing. It will have lasting benefits, unlike most lotions. It can help bring back a youthful appearance. The coconut oil will aid in removing the outer layer of dead skin cells, making the skin smoother. The skin will become more evenly textured with a healthy "shine" as the coconut oil will penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and strengthen the underlying tissues. It is the only moisturizer I use – one jar is in the kitchen and in our bathrooms. Our children ask to be rubbed with coconut oil after their baths and anytime they are in a pool.

Simple food choices go a long way when it comes to your heart's health. Focusing on fresh foods full of heart-healthy fats and antioxidants can decrease your risk of developing heart disease and cut your chances of a heart attack.

Health posts written by Jill are excerpts taken directly from her book...currently being edited for reprint in May 2009. Breaking Free – Truths For Healthy Living

Please see our Did You Know ~ disclaimer here.



Bear is 20 months old and is presently an only child. She is excited about becoming a big sister in August. Bear is very active. Bear loves to climb, run, swim, paint and read. She has a fantastic sense of humor and loves to find ways to make us laugh. She is most happy when painting and cuddling with Mommy to read, but her favorite time of the day is her nap time when she is given her pacifier.

Top Ten Tot School Tools

  1. Melissa and Doug alphabet puzzle
  2. Wooden animal puzzles
  3. Melissa and Doug beads
  4. Play Doh
  5. Empty jars of different sizes and their lids (she likes to put the lids on the jars)
  6. Pipe cleaners and empty Parmesan container (to practice fine motor skills - she places the pipe cleaners in the holes of the container)
  7. Felt board with felt shapes and felt doll
  8. Playskool Shape Sorter
  9. Shape puzzle
  10. Crayons, paint, stickers, stamps, paper, and safety scissors

Bear's Favorite DVDs, or TV shows

  • We don't have a tv...recently Bear has been watching Jack and the Beanstalk on the bbc website
  • You Tube clips of Signing Time. Her favorite clip is Walking Through the Zoo.

Bear's Current Favorite Books - they change weekly

Bear's Mommy blogs at: The Adventures of Bear

Do you want your tot to be featured one week? Go here to read more details!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tot Food ~ What's on YOUR Tot's Plate?

Welcome to *What's on YOUR Tot's Plate?* if you'd like to join up, please write a post on your own blog and link to Mr. Linky below! You can just share the photos, or also share any info about what was on the plate (did your tot like it, what was it, how to make it, etc.).

Finally, I made lunch for my boys! I even had my camera close by, so here is my first contribution to Tot Food!!!

This is a typical lunch at our house: Whole Wheat mini bagel, with organic PB, and natural jelly, sprinkled with Flaxseed Meal. We always have some type of fresh fruit (strawberries and organic apples this day), and often a veggie, but today it was a cheese stick. Most of the time the boys drink water with their lunches.
Here's some of the actual items we use... I order those EnviroKidz Organic Animal Cookies (great price through Amazon's Subscribe and Save program) with Krash in mind who is sensitive to artificial dyes, they are great for a small desert or treat. This day he got a few after his plate was clean :).Another plate this past week: mango, carrots, broccoli, ants on a log.We use organic PB, celery, and carrots. Our decisions of what to purchase organic are made using the resources I write about in this post. He was not fond of the celery but licked the PB off of it! He usually eats celery, so I am not sure why he wouldn't! He LOVED the mango, we haven't had it in awhile! After lunch this day the boys got an Annie's Organic Bunny Fruit Snack.You can ONLY link to the weekly Mr Linky if you write a post exclusively for this, link to that exact post (not your homepage), and provide a link back to Totally Tots in your post. I hate to be a meanie-but we gotta have rules or it won't work! If you have any questions, let me know. If you need help with how to do a direct link, go here and scroll down to see a photo-tutorial (just ignore the Tot School part). You are welcome to add your "What's on Your Tot's Plate" link anytime between now and Monday. We will put up a new Mr Linky each Tuesday.

You can right click and copy the graphic at the top of this post if you would like to use it in your post. You certainly don't have to, but are welcome to.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bible Bites ~ Jesus is Coming Again!- Week 4

The Bread: Revelation (You've just gotta read it for yourself this week!);
Read Revelation 21: 2 - 4 to your tot.The Bite: "And behold, I am coming soon." (Revelation 22: 7)

The Believing:

Let's teach our tots to anticipate Jesus’ return by describing what Jesus looks like according to John’s Revelation (Did ya know He's no longer the man in sandals?): white hair, fire in his eyes, gold feet. Make up a simple tune to hide this glorious imagery in your tot's mind: “Jesus is riding a white horse! Jesus is riding a white horse! Jesus is riding a white horse; a white, white horse!” (The other verses: “Jesus’ hair is white! Jesus' hair is white! Jesus' hair is white; it is white like wool”, “Jesus’ eyes are like fire… like refining fire.” “Jesus’ feet are gold… pure, pure gold.” etc.)

We must also teach our tots that Jesus will appear in the sky (just like He went into Heaven!) and that we are to look actively for him and make sure our hearts are ready to meet Him. I distinctly remember one afternoon when our little tot could barely speak, she toddled by the front window, pointing to the sky, and said, “Jesus is coming! Very soon!” She was right! This week, spend time praying that you and your family would be prepared to meet our glorious Savior face-to-face. If you find that your heart quakes with earthly fear at the thought of Jesus' return, talk to God about your fears and search for the truth in Scripture. Please be encouraged that Christians can anticipate a most-glorious future! We will be giving our tots a priceless gift if we do the heart-work of learning more about the Revelation of the future and being noble women who laugh at the days to come (Proverbs 31: 25).

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Now I Know My ABCs ~ Dd

It's time for some fun Dd activities!!! We hope you enjoy these! If you are new, you can visit our ABC webpage to find links to any other letters we have done, letters (with books listed) coming up, as well as the PDF of the cover sheet for your ABC notebook!

Books to read...

Dinosaur Roar by, Paul Stickland

Ten Terrible Dinosaurs by, Paul Stickland

Dinosaur Stomp Dd's...


To Make:

  • Dd's
  • Place small amount of paint on a paper plate and place dinosaur in the paint
  • Have LO stomp the dinosaur all over the Dd's so you have dinosaur track Dd's
  • Let dry, while drying let LO color small dinosaur
  • Cut out both and glue to construction paper

Dinosaur Puppets...


  • Dinosaur Printout (click: Games & Activities, then Make Mobile...just print pages 3 - 6)
  • 8 craft sticks
  • construction paper ( 2 different colors)
  • stapler
  • scissors

To Make:

  • Print out pages 3 - 6 and cut out
  • Attach each dinosaur to a craft stick with a staple
  • Cut 1 piece of construction paper in half and fold in half again to make an envelope and staple shut
  • Place you dinosaur stick puppets in and your ready to play!
  • Hole Punch BOTH Dd pages and add to your Alphabet Book!

More Dd fun:

  • Use the Dinosaur printouts from Dinosaur track Dd's to make the different games
  • Use the Dd printout for Dinosaur Tracks Dd to make a puzzle cut in several pieces and let your LO put back together or have them glue them back together
  • Eat Carrots with Ranch Dip
  • Act like Dd animals: Dog, Duck, Dinosaur, Deer, Dragon etc...
  • Make Dots with qtips and paint or use paint dobbers (Dot Paint)
  • Make Dino's out fof Play Doh...visit Carisa's blog to see her Land Before Time Activity Pack!

Get Real with God ~ Give it Up

Are you facing troubles in your life? Do you feel uncertain about a job situation or are you worried that you might lose your home due to the current economic situation? Are you sick or do you have someone in your life who is? Are you parenting a child who is testing you beyond what you think you can bear or who is just plain hard to love? Is your marriage a far cry from what you hoped and dreamed it would be? Do you feel discouraged, tired, hopeless?

If you can answer, yes, I know I can, to any of these questions or have a trouble or concern in your life that I didn’t touch on above…where do you turn? Do you turn to a friend? Do you turn inward and shield yourself from the problem or try to “deal” with it yourself? Do you lean on your spouse or are you certain that there is no one in the world to turn to?

I am a big do it yourself kind of gal. I see a problem and most of the time I see a solution. If I can’t see a ready solution I take it upon myself to figure one out as quickly as possible. All the while shielding myself from as much pain as I can. I spend a lot of time trying to keep myself in control of all areas of life. Parenting, like most relationship oriented situations, is the surest way to find yourself out of control and that is where I have been over the last 17 months or so.

As I mentioned before in another devotion, my husband and I adopted an 11 month old little boy and to say it has been a difficult journey is an understatement. For many of the first months that we were home, I was depressed and discouraged. I couldn’t seem to let go of the pain that E’s rejection brought. And then I got angry. All that pain and disappointment turned to rage, mostly I raged in my heart, but I am ashamed to say that it would at times spill out and it would effect the people around me. I had always felt like a good mom, like I had it together in that area. I took pride in my parenting, but now I just felt like a failure and a mess to boot.

I talked to my husband endlessly about it, cried to my mom and dad, and ran it all by my best friends and honestly it did nothing to solve the situation. Sure it felt good to vent, but the darkness in my heart didn’t go away. You see it is so easy to take our hurt and pain to the people around us. To lay our burdens at their feet. To ask for their advice and seek their counsel. While they may listen and give you some good suggestions about what to do in your situation, they are never capable enough to carry your burdens. There is only One who can do that and He is waiting for us to humble ourselves and pray as 2Chronicles 7:14 says, Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land. While I had been praying about this situation, I was missing a key ingredient to standing before my Heavenly Father. I had not humbled myself. Almost every time I took my pain before him, I was still telling Him what I wanted Him to do with it. I would hand over part of my burden while still clutching another ragged corner and I wouldn’t let go. Even in my hurt and pain I still thought that I knew best. I was seeking relief from my pain, my situation. I wanted it to go away, but I wasn’t seeking His face in humility asking Him how he wanted me to walk the road He had put me on. As I learned, pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). And pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor (Proverbs 29:23). Coming to the end of my rope was necessary. I needed to get there, frankly need to stay there, so that I could see how little I had to offer my family on my own. I had to come to realize that parenting is something that I absolutely can not do without God. I am not capable nor am I even worthy of the calling, but my Father is and He deeply longs to carry me, burdens and all. He just asks that I admit that I don’t know what to do, that I can’t do it and that I trust Him to work it all for my good. Sometimes the good doesn’t look or feel good. I can attest to that, but in His infinite wisdom He knows what I need.

So if you face trials of many kinds (James 1:2), and you will, resist the urge to run to your family or friends…, no, sprint into the arms of your Savior (rescuer, deliverer) . Throw your burdens, your pain, your sorrow at Him if you have too. He will catch them. Fall on your face before Him, knowing in that lowly position you are closer to Him than you have ever been. He will hear you and He will answer. 1Peter 5:6-7 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you. Sisters, He cares for you and He is mighty to save. Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.You can not save yourself. So don’t try, just give up…hand it over and live in joy.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Crafty Corner ~ Summer Treasures

While this particular craft was done in the summer, it can easily be adapted to fit any season. We're planning on making a collection for each season and are calling this collection by our 2-year-old daughter Savanna - "Summer Treasures".

Savanna painted the three canvases. Paintbrushes were quickly abandoned since Savanna preferred to just use her hands - always so much more fun. Savvy's techniques ended up being perfect for this craft as the canvases were very forgiving when it came to applying the glue and the shells.

We selected some of our favorite shells from our collection and glued them onto the canvases (we helped Savvy organize the placement of some of the shells).

We decided to dedicate this wall (the wall outside Savvy's room) to Savvy and Blakie's artwork. I imagine this wall to be an explosion of color years from now.

When we finished the canvases, Savvy used a red water color paint to discover more summer treasures.Using a white crayon, I drew some items that reminded us of summer onto the white piece of paper. Savvy then used her watercolors to paint the paper and was so excited to see "hidden" pictures as she painted. The more of the paper she painted, the more that was revealed.

This Crafty Corner post was written by Elise. You can visit her at her blog, The Adventures of E and T Plus 2. Thanks Elise for sharing this great craft idea!

Friday, April 24, 2009

TOTally Working for Me ~ Tot Biking

Over the past seven or so years my husband and I have practically broken our back pushing tricycles around the block while we were waiting for our kids to learn how to pedal. While we know there are tricycles that have wonderful handles, we already had one and couldn't justify the extra money to buy a new one ~ just for the handle.

The question is why it took us so long to figure out how to have a fun bike ride without the backache. Apparently we needed a seven-year-old to help us out with her handy jumprope.

We tied the jumprope around the front of the handle and that way Kaleb can still help with the steering. We're able to pull him along while our other three ride around on their bikes. And Kaleb loves it!

We just wish we would have figured it out years ago.

This TOTally Working for Me post was written by Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations.

Do you have something that is working for you and your tot? We'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Once Upon a Book ~ Scoot...POND week 4


My oldest is called Turtle so I have a special place in my heart for turtles! :)

After reading Scoot! by Cathryn Falwell have fun making and playing turtle games!

Egg Carton Turtles:


  • Paper egg carton cups
  • Green Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Foam turtles (use this template, I used the smaller turtle)
  • Glue

To Make:

  • Paint your egg cups green
  • Set aside to dry
  • Cut out the smallest turtle pattern from the printout
  • Glue to the bottom of egg cup
  • Now add to your pond with some glue after the shell is dry!
Turtle Turtle Action Play: (from

Turtle Turtle
Tune: “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”

Turtle, turtle moves so slow,

Crawling, crawling, watch him go.

At the pond he looks around,

See his head move up and down.

Turtle, turtle wants to swim,

Now he slides and dives right in!

Liz Ryerson

Turtle Path:


  • Masking Tape

To Make:

  • Make a path on the carpet with masking tape
  • Have your LO get on all 4's to crawl like a turtle

Added Bonus:

  • Make a Paper Turtle print out pages 3, 4 and/or 5 and let LO color you can cut and glue it where it says and your LO will have a cute paper turtle!
  • Another fun activity go to the pet store and look at the frogs and turtles!

Visit our website to see other POND books and books cooming up!