Thursday, April 29, 2010

Book Basket ~ May/June

At the end of each month we want to give you a 'heads up' of the books that will be used in the two upcoming months for several of our features: Little Books for Little Cooks, Now I Know My ABC's, and Once Upon a Book. These lists are to help you out so you can be looking for the books at your library, digging through your stacks in search of them, or order those 'must haves'!

Here are the books that we are planning to use during the months of May and June:

Little Books for Little Cooks

Now I Know My ABC's


Once Upon a Book


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Now I Know My ABCs ~ V is for Vegetables

It's time for some fun alphabet crafts!! 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 all the fun crafty letters we have been working on. Be sure to check it out!


 The Vegetables We Eat ~ Gail Gibbons

Summary: From the farm to the supermarket, this book talks about many vegetables and the importance to eating things that are good for us along with some great illustrations.

V is for Vegetables

What You’ll Need:

  • Light green, dark green, and orange foam sheet/construction paper 
  • Pencil {to outline}
  • Scissors
  • Glue

How to Make the ‘V” for Vegetables:


  1. Trace and cut an uppercase ‘V’ out of the light green foam sheet or construction paper. I used a foam sheet that was about 4" x 5" in size.
  2. Using the orange foam, cut out a carrot shape that will fit on one side of the letter ‘V’.
  3. Use the dark green foam to cut out the top greens for your carrot.
  4. Use light green foam to cut out a stalk of celery for the other side of your ‘V’.
  5. Glue the vegetables onto the letter ‘V’.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Play with Me ~ Nesting Blocks

Nesting blocks are a favorite toy around here. We personally own these 2 sets {click images to see on Amazon}…41DdDs5KMOL._SL160_

29_large5 …and there are many others out there. Nesting blocks are great for so many things and offer many opportunities for play. Below you’ll sea few of our favorite ways to play.

There’s the obvious use-stacking, which begins all out of order as seen below when K was about 2 1/2.IMG_0874 copy

At 3 1/2 he was able to stack them according to their sizes. IMG_2827

It is SUPER FUN for a tot to crash into a neatly made tower, over and over and over again!IMG_2828

My favorite thing personally is to turn the blocks on their side and challenge K to find objects that will fit in each block. Here he is doing it with them standing up, having to work on balance also.IMG_8914 copy

Here we designed a car garage and he had to park correctly sized cars in each garage. He loved this!IMG_2847 copy

Set the blocks up on the floor and have your tot toss something into them {K is using a ping pong ball here}IMG_4955 copy

Here he is tossing a bean bag from behind a line… IMG_4960 copy

We also made steps for his Rescue Heroes…he was ALL BOY within minutes and destroyed the steps as the Heroes went into battle. IMG_4975 copy

Here we played a game of memory. We placed small objects under each block and he had to remember where each thing was.IMG_4989 copy

Ladybug is obviously a much younger tot. She enjoys using the blocks to put things into…IMG_4995 copy 2

I put smaller blocks inside of the larger ones for her and she had loads of fun pulling them out and putting them back in. We also stacked and knocked them over ;-). IMG_5056 copy

They also make great shoes for tiny tot feet!IMG_0569 copy 2

Happy playing!

Signature button Carisa

You can see this and other toys we feature here on our website all on one page. We will add all of the toys we feature with links back to the blog posts!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Little Books for Little Cooks ~ The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

Little Books for Little Cooks Little Books for Little Cooks is a bi-monthly feature that focuses on creating some edible fun with your little one.   We will share a fun book to read with your little one along with a cooking activity to do that ties in with the featured book. Sometimes there may be actual cooking involved…and sometimes just fun!

by Don and Audrey Wood

Summary: Little Mouse has a big, juicy, ripe, red strawberry that he doesn’t want the Big Hungry Bear to get! Will he be able to save it?

strawberry mouse

You’ll Need:

  • a plate
  • a knife
  • red licorice strings
  • strawberries
  • almond slivers
  • mini chocolate chips
  • black decorator’s gel
To Make:
  1. Cut the green tops off of the strawberries.
  2. Slice a thin piece off the side of each strawberry so that it will lay ‘flat’ on the plate.
  3. Push two almost slivers into the top of the strawberry to use as the ears of the mouse.
  4. Insert a 3-4” licorice string into the strawberry where you removed the strawberry greens {all of ours already had a small hole the perfect size to slide the string in!}.
  5. Use the decorator’s gel to give the mouse two eyes and also stick the mini chocolate chip on as a nose.
  6. Enjoy!
Hope you enjoy this cooking activity with your little one! To see more featured books and activities, click here!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

From Tots to Teens ~ A Servant


If you don’t read my personal blog – I thought you might enjoy seeing a recent photo of our family. My mom came over to celebrate her 69th birthday with us last weekend. Lilly is in front of me and next to Lexi. She is our newest daughter (12 yrs old) home from Ethiopia almost 10 weeks ago. The color matching was not planned either – except for Noah down in front and my husband. Everyone else choose orange or red, except for Jordan who matched my mom. I didn’t notice until I uploaded the photos to print one out for my mom.


“As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

This verse has become a hot topic in our house. We have been teaching the children what it means to be a servant. What it looks like to be a servant. Why we are to live as servants and how God will bless us for humbling ourselves daily! Children naturally live to serve me, myself and I – the unholy trinity. It is our job to train them to serve the holy trinity – God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

serv·ant [sur-vuhnt]–noun: a person in the service of another.

  • One who is privately employed to perform domestic services.

  • One who is publicly employed to perform services, as for a government.

  • One who expresses submission, recognizance, or debt to another: your obedient servant.

    Related Words for servant: retainer, handmaid, handmaiden

    Last Thursday I decided to help the children understand what we have been talking about by writing our role as servant to God on the board. As you can see I put it in 6 steps…


    1. The moment you confessed you were a sinner, needing to be saved by His grace and asking Jesus into your heart – you were instantly His bondservant…bought with the precious blood of Jesus. Our lives are no longer our own and we owe our very life to Him. We need to live out Romans 12:1-2 daily – it is the last we can do.
    2. Serve Jesus in all you do. Every choice you make put Jesus before it and if you know it would please Him and align with His general will then you know it is the right thing to do.
    3. In order to show God we love Him we must follow His commands – obey whatever He asks us to do – the 1st time He asks, with the right attitude, every time.
    4. You can’t serve yourself and God – it is impossible. We must be willing to lay down whatever we want for what we know God wants from us and of us first. Even when it doesn’t make sense or feel good, that is what He is asking us – to put nothing above Him or before Him in our lives. That He will bless us for obedience and trust in Him providing the good in our lives!
    5. Our only goal is to hear, “good job, well done, My faithful servant.” Anything less is missing the mark. We don’t want to live our lives knowing that we have been OK sinning against God – keeping Him as our insurance into heaven – without allowing Him full access of our hearts, lives and receiving all the glory due to Him.
    6. In order to be in constant fellowship with Him – we must confess our sins so that we can bring honor and glory to God. As a servant of His we want to make sure others see His best – not what we have to offer but what He offers them.

    We have explained to the children that in order to show God how much we love Him and how thankful we are for all that He has done for us and continues to do – we must live our lives to serve Him.

    Obedience is the first fruit of love.

    Obedience is an outworking of the state of our hearts.

    If we are distant from God – it becomes all to easy to begin sinning against Him and not caring that we are doing things to please ourselves versus bringing Him glory. If we have grown comfortable in not obeying what is asked of us – it becomes easier and easier each time to disobey what our parents and God are asking us to do.

    Thus our desire to hide the truth of His word in our children’s hearts…because where the heart is the mouth soon is to follow. If our hearts are filled with the truth of His love for us and desire to use us to fulfill His plan for our lives – we are much less willing to sin against Him. Psalm 15:2, Psalm 36:1, Isaiah 32:6, Luke 6:45

    In the coming weeks we will be memorizing the following verses and working on serving each other by the power of His Spirit. I am teaching the children the fruits of the Spirit right now as well. You can get wonderful resources to make lapbooks from Carisa’s blog 1+1+1=1. I have several books and CD’s that teach songs to help them memorize the fruits of the Spirit as well.

    Isaiah 6:8 says, Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

    Luke 1:38 And Mary said, "Behold, the bondslave (servant) of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

    Deuteronomy 13:4 says, “It is the LORD your God you must follow, and Him you must revere. Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and hold fast to Him.”

    Malachi 3:18 says, “And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”

    Joshua 22:5 says, “But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul."

    1 Samuel 12:24 says, “But be sure to fear the LORD and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you.”

    Matthew 6:24 says, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

    Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many."

    Luke 22:26-27 says, But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.”

    John 12:26 says,Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves Me.”

    Romans 7:6 says, “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

    Romans 12:11 says, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”

    Hebrews 9:14 says, “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

    1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.”

    1 Peter 4:11 says, “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

    Galatians 5:13 says, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”

    The greatest lessons I have learned recently about parenting are the following from my husband:

    “We are parenting our grandchildren.”

    “Every moment of parenting is an opportunity to reflect God’s love, grace and mercy – to teach them how to receive it and live because of it.” AMEN!

    He often reminds me, “our goal is not to be their friend, nor their enemy, we are to teach them and train them, not entertain them. We are to guide them and encourage them, all while watching them fall and grow through the challenges they experience now – preparing them for the ones they will each encounter later in life (with much greater consequences). There is a time for correction and a time for love. Wisdom teaches us when to use them both. Our goal is to seek wisdom as a family.”

    I have 9 beautiful reasons to become a faithful servant and do it well. They are depending on me to train them in the way they should go. They are watching me and seeing if my faith aligns with how I speak to them, discipline them, react to them and love them. They will learn much more from seeing than hearing. We must become doers of the Word. We are to walk out our faith. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17

    Let our homes become living examples of Christ’s love and His only reason for doing anything – to serve His Father, all for His glory. Our family LOVES the CD’s from Seeds Family Worship – use our 20% off code: INHISGRACE.

  • Striving to be a faithful servant with you!


    Saturday, April 24, 2010

    Treats 4 Your Tot


    Here are some more cool giveaways for tots/moms of tots, check them out below and let us know if you win something we told you about!!!!

    ~I do not take email requests to be added to this list, these are just personal favorites I find online, you are welcome to leave any giveaway links (TOT FRIENDLY ONLY) in the comments below.

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Once Upon a Book ~ What Makes the Seasons?

    What Makes the Seasons?
    by Megan Montague Cash

    Summary: This rhyming story features a little girl who discovers all the many ways that the weather changes throughout each of the different seasons.

    Bible Verse

    “He changes times and seasons.” Daniel 2:21a Four Seasons Book: To go along with What Makes the Seasons? we made a book about the four seasons. I got this idea from our Hands-On-Homeschooling curriculum. Since I could not share the printables from the curriculum, I created my own printables so that I could share them with you. The link to download as well as more details on our book is here.

     album 4.8.10 006  album 4.8.10 008  album 4.8.10 009 album 4.8.10 007 Computer

    First-School had a link to a site showing how trees change in the different seasons. The links are below:


    After viewing the different trees and how they change, we decided to decorate a tree based on a season of choice…the boys chose spring and winter. Our spring tree has blossoms (we used popcorn) on it and the winter tree is covered in snow (we used salt). For the tree trunk and branches we traced their arms and fingers.

    album 4.8.10 010 


    We decided to make a Spring-themed snack. So, we opted for flowers. If you would like other season-themed snack options, you may want to try a sun for summer, a snowman for winter, or acorns for fall.

    album 3.4.10 002


    We integrated math into our snack. After the boys made their flowers, I asked them various questions like:

    • How many raisins did you use?
    • Did you use more oranges than apples?
    • How many pretzels do you have left over?
    • How many raisins and carrots did you use?
    • Which do you have more of…carrots or apples?
    • Which do you have less of…oranges or raisins?


    We talked about the meanings and characteristics of the words listed below. What Makes the Seasons? proved to be a fun and helpful addition to our discussion!

    • summer
    • winter
    • spring
    • fall
    • autumn
    • seasons
    • hibernate
    • weather
    • blossoms


    As described in What Makes The Seasons, the “Earth’s yearly trip around the sun affects the seasons one by one.” To illustrate this point, we used a globe and flashlight. We went into a closet and turned the light out. One of the boys held the flashlight and the other got to turn the globe. We talked a little bit about the Earth rotating around the sun and spinning on it axis and I explained to them that when it is winter here, it is summer on the other side of the globe, etc.


    The boys played with the Seasons File Folder game that we made. The object is to match of different clothing items with the appropriate season.

    album 4.8.10 004

    Want to see what's coming next (and books we've done in the past)? Click here to see our Once Upon a Book webpage!