Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Now I Know My ABC’s ~ d is for daisy

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!

image Oops-a-Daisy! by David Algrim

Summary: Accidents happen and your toddler will have fun with this interactive flap book ~ discovering the accident that is about to happen. Oops-a-daisy!

d for daisy craft

What You’ll Need:

  • Green, yellow, and white foam {or construction paper}
  • glue and/or tape
  • scissors

daisy craft

How to Make the ‘d’ for daisy:

  1. Cut out a lowercase ‘d’ from a piece of green foam sheet. To make the letters go along with the uppercase letters we’ve done in the past, this letter was cut from a piece of foam that was about 4” x 5”.
  2. Cut an oval/circle out of the yellow foam to use for the center of the daisy.
  3. Cut out petals for the daisy using the white foam.
  4. Glue or tape the yellow center to the back of the letter ‘d’.
  5. Add the flower petals to your daisy and have fun reading the book again!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cute Tots ~ Coming SOON!

image It's been awhile since we have shared your Cute Tots, but the day is arriving soon! If you'd like to share your tot with our awesome group here on Totally Tots, please go here and see how!

We are sharing Cute Tots on THURSDAY
!!! Yes, sorry for the short notice, totally Mommy-brain forgot to post the reminder! I will be working on the post on Wednesday evening, so email me a photo and blog link today or tomorrow if you'd like to be included! It's a great way to share our tots and our blogs!!!

Looking forward to seeing your Cute Tots and visiting your blogs!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Little Books for Little Cooks ~ Little Ladybug

Little Books for Little Cooks

Strawberry Ladybugs

strawberry ladybugs

What could be better than strawberries along with a little smidge of chocolate? Try them out and see!

The Book Before You Cook…


Little Ladybug: Finger Puppet Book by Chronicle Books

Summary: Cutest little board book that your little one can put his finger in and move the ladybug finger puppet.

When It’s Time to Cook…


You’ll Need:

  • strawberries
  • seedless red grapes {or cherries}
  • toothpicks
  • mini chocolate chips
To Make:
  1. Wash and dry all of the fruit. Hull the strawberries.
  2. Put a grape on the end of a toothpick.
  3. Insert the other end of the toothpick into the center of the strawberry.
  4. Give your ladybug some spots using the mini chocolate chips. Push them into the strawberry {pointy-side in} to add your spots.
  5. Be careful when eating because of the toothpicks!

Hope you enjoy this cooking activity with your little one! To see more featured books and activities, click here!

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!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Get Real With God ~ Are You Listening?

My brain has been so preoccupied since my husband started working again that my posting deadline for Get Real with God snuck up on me! And as I sit and rack my brain trying to think of something encouraging and intelligent to write to you God-fearing, family-loving women, the Lord, in His infinite wisdom doesn’t give me an original idea, but instead reminds of something. My husband wrote an amazing post on his blog recently, and it was his blog post that convicted me and encouraged me. So today I want to share that with you!

Did you hear?

Yesterday I did some praying on the way to work and later in the day talked to a friend about the favor of the Lord. We talked about having the favor of the Lord because of some of the good things that were happening in such a short time on this new job. By the end of the day, as I walked through the skyway to my parking spot, I realized that the absence of favor from the Lord is what most would consider being a mini-picture of hell.

When people pray to the Lord, they want to be heard. Moreover, they want the Lord to respond to their prayers and they do NOT want to be ignored. Even still, they want the Lord to respond positively... versus negatively. The ideas of hell and what it is like vary a bit, but one thing is constant: Absence of God. People crying out in anguish and calling out to God, but He does not answer, does not 'hear,' does not respond...

I thought about the last year or so, I lived where the favor of the Lord (at least how it is often thought of) has been absent. I thought of the times where I prayed and sought to get God to respond to some of the things others did to me or my family. Even my prayers for a little favor to just get moving in a new direction seemed to be unanswered. I said to the Lord, "This must be a small picture of what Hell is like... It is when we call out to You and You do not answer, ignore our words, or hear them but respond negatively?"

Distinctly... clearly... my statement and question was answered by the Lord when He said, "What is it then, when I call out to you and you do not answer, ignore, or respond negatively? Hong long have I been calling on people to respond to My Words through time?

My life has been changed once more... this morning is a new morning. It is why I am drawn to Him.

It’s so easy to rationalize why we don’t listen the Father. “Oh I was too busy, oh I’m taking care of these children you gave me, oh I’m so tired.” And even if we don’t have excuses we just simply ignore what we know that Lord has asked of us especially in regards to our families. I know of many, many people, who were following the Lord, but lost their way when their prayers weren’t answered. In essence they walked away from the Lord because He didn’t respond to them.

I am deeply grateful that the Lord doesn’t walk away from me (and you) when I ignore Him. Instead He waits, and His Spirit gently nudges me in the right direction, taps me on the shoulder, whispers in my ear, “Daughter? Where are you going? Are you doing what I asked you to do?”

Women of God, do not lose your way because you aren’t listening and obeying. Do not ignore what the Lord is telling you to do. Stay close to the Father, even when He doesn’t answer or you can’t hear. That is living your Faith.

My prayer for you, borrowed from Paul:

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be the glory!” Ephesians 3:14-21

Because He lives,

Saturday, June 26, 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. Items BOLDED are things we personally own and love!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Once Upon a Book ~ Starry Safari


Starry Safari 
by Linda Ashman
Summary: Follow along as a young imaginative girl encounters various different animal adventures while traveling through the “safari” on her bright orange jeep…until she is stopped by the “Big Safari Ranger” (her dad) who comes to tuck her into bed yet again.

Bible Verse

“God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind” Genesis 1:24


We used our foam animal kit to make little animal puppets just like we did with my 2 years olds for Peek-a-Boo Jungle. Here are my older boy’s animal creations!


We incorporated math by using the leftover facial features from our little animal puppets above. We used terms like less than and more than as we discussed the leftover parts. Such questions included:
Are there more monkey ears leftover than elephant ears?
How many more googly eyes are leftover than tiger noses?
How many less green popsicle sticks are there than blue sticks?
We also grouped the leftover popsicle sticks and worked on counting by fives.

Dramatic Play

We reenacted the story. We made a cute little orange jeep using the toilet paper tube rolling car instructions. We used straws and a hole puncher to add the roll bars.

My daughter contributed one of her miniature dolls to be our little jeep driver and we used our box of miniature animals similar to these. All of the kids had a blast driving the car through “our safari” as I dramatically read through the book numerous times.

album 6.18.10 003

Our favorite part was when each of the kids had a turn wearing daddy’s shoes and being the Big Safari Ranger.

album 6.18.10 021

album 6.18.10 007 


Play Safari Ranger Says. This is played like Simon Says. The Safari Ranger calls out animal related instructions, like “roar like a lion” or “jump up and down like a monkey”.

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!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Now I Know My ABC’s ~ c is for chameleon

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 Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle

Summary: Your little one will giggle as the chameleon discovers he can change colors…and tries to look like the many animals in the zoo but all at the same time.

chameleon craft

What You’ll Need:

  • Two different colors of green craft foam
  • pink craft foam
  • googley eye
  • scotch tape
  • scissors {fine-tipped work great!}

chameleon craft

How to Make the ‘c’ for chameleon:

  1. Cut out a lowercase ‘c’ from a piece of a green foam sheet. To make the letters go along with the uppercase letters we’ve done in the past, this letter was cut from a piece of foam that was about 2” x 4” ~ small, but oh so cute!
  2. Using the lighter green foam sheet, cut out a head, four legs/feet, and a tail. If you have smaller, more detailed scissors, now would be a great time to use them {and not have your toddler use them ~ grins}.
  3. Cut out a long thin tongue to stick out of your chameleon’s mouth.
  4. Use tape on the back side of the ‘c’ to stick on the chameleon’s head, tail, feet and tongue. Tape works better than glue on this craft because the pieces do not overlap as much, but rather fit right next to each other.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Play With Me ~ Rocks with Stack and Nest Buckets

Our featured tot toy this week is a rock, well actually 26 alphabet rocks! 

Alphabet rocks 002

. . . And some nest and stacking buckets


Having just vacationed at the beach, rocks supplied most of my boys’ entertainment for 3 days.  However, when we returned I decided to turn the rocks into something educational for Mr. Smiley (2), who will be entering Tot School this fall!

Alphabet rocks 013

What can you do with rocks and nesting cups?
  • Explore
Wow!  A lot of cups and a lot of rocks is enough to make a great play time with Mom!  Mr. Smiley at first just had fun picking up his rocks, setting them down, putting them in a cup, dumping it, giving one to me . . . etc.
Alphabet rocks 019

Alphabet rocks 023 
Alphabet rocks 032

Alphabet rocks 027 
  • Play hide and seek.
Place a rock(s) under the cup and have your Tot discover what is hiding.  Say the sound and the letter on the hidden rock when it is uncovered.  By mostly using the sound of the letter instead of the name of the letter, your child will automatically sound out words rather than see symbols. 
Alphabet rocks 014

  • Shake Shake
Toddlers love to shake and make some noise!  Place a rock in two similar sized cups and let them shake, shake, shake.  It makes a wonderful thumping noise.  (Make sure the cups are somewhat secure.  Flying rocks don’t feel good.  This activity definitely requires some supervision.)
Alphabet rocks 020
Alphabet rocks 017

More Ideas…
  • Guide your Tot’s fingers over the letters and repeat the sound and/or letter painted on the rock.  (I used puffy paint for this very reason.)
  • Stack the rocks or have your Tot place the rocks in the cups and stack the cups!
  • Place the rocks in a line.
  • Make shapes using the rocks.
  • Sort by rock size.
  • Allow them to GENTLY toss the rock into the largest bucket.
  • Take two rocks together and have them tap, tap, tap the rocks.  This makes a delightful sound!
Happy Playing!

P.S. If you happen to make your own alphabet rocks, I highly recommend that you use prune-sized rocks.  I went for larger and heavier rocks.  In hindsight, it would be safer for myself and our dog to have smaller, lighter rocks!
Alphabet rocks 026
 signature button Jodi
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!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

From Tots to Teens ~ Father's Day


father - [fah-ther]

Father – this word conjures up so many emotions in me and I’m sure most of you too.   Here is a story on the history of Father’s Day.

Some definitions of father are:
  • to assume as one's own; take the responsibility of.
  • a father-in-law, stepfather, or adoptive father.
  • a man who exercises paternal care over other persons; paternal protector or provider: a father to the poor.
Smith's Bible Dictionary 

Father The position and authority of the father as the head of the family are expressly assumed and sanctioned in Scripture, as a likeness of that of the Almighty over his creatures. It lies of course at the root of that so-called patriarchal government, (Genesis 3:16; 1 Corinthians 11:3;) which was introductory to the more definite systems which followed, and which in part, but not wholly, superseded it. The father's blessing was regarded as conferring special benefit, but his malediction special injury, on those on whom it fell, (Genesis 9:25,27; Genesis 27:27-40; 49:1;) ... and so also the sin of a parent was held to affect, in certain cases, the welfare of his descendants. (2 Kings 5:27;) The command to honor parents is noticed by St. Paul as the only one of the Decalogue which bore a distinct promise, (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:2;) and disrespect towards them was condemned by the law as one of the worst crimes. (Exodus 21:15,17; 1 Timothy 1:9;) It is to this well-recognized theory of parental authority and supremacy that the very various uses of the term "father" in Scripture are due. "Fathers" is used in the sense of seniors, (Acts 7:2; Acts 22:1;) and of parents in general, or ancestors. (Daniel 5:2; Jeremiah 27:7; Matthew 23:30,32;)
"It is a wise father that knows his own child." -- William Shakespeare
"Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!" -- Lydia M. Child
“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”--Henry Ward Beecher
“Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad.”- Anonymous
“It is much easier to become a father than to be one.” - Kent Nerburn

The Bible has many verses on what it means to be a father and the awesome responsibility placed on men to do their job well.

A man who loves the Word of God and Loves the Lord with all his heart and all his soul and all his mind. He would love his wife like Christ loves the Church. He would love his family UNCONDITIONALLY and would ".... provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." -Ephesians 6:4

  • "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" -Matthew 7:11

  • As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; -Psalm 103:13

  • A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth. –Proverbs 17:4

  • A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. –Proverbs 17:27

  • Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. -Colossians 3:21

  • Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? –Hebrews 12:7

  • He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse. –Malachi 4:6

    Here are two posts I wrote for Father’s Day last year here and yesterday here that truly speak of the amazing job my husband Scott does in this area!  that truly speak of the amazing job my husband Scott does in this area!   I am eternally grateful God is using Scott to show me what a “real” father looks like.  I sadly didn’t have a relationship with my father most of my life.  He unfortunately walked away from me again once I took Jesus into my heart.   I praise God that He is unlike my earthly father in every sense of the word. (One of my dear friends Kim wrote this post about being a real father – take a moment to read it here. Share it with your husbands and encourage them!)

  • I remember the first time I read the following letter and it spoke so deeply to my heart.  I cherish this letter still to this day.    Why?  Read it and see…


    No matter what our relationships were like or are like with our earthly fathers, we are all blessed to be loved by our perfect Father in heaven.   There is nothing any of us can do that will cause Him to stop loving us perfectly!   There is nothing we need to do to make Him love us either.   Nothing! 
    We as earthly parents will fail many times throughout raising our children.  We will say things we don’t mean.  We will say things that don’t honor God or our children.  We will do things that will have them question our love for them.  We will let them down…in one way or another.   Even so, we can all thank God that He will equip us perfectly to do our job well!    All we must do is stop working at being a good parent and let Him be their perfect Father through us.

    The greatest gift we can all give our children is to seek God with our full hearts, mind, body and soul!   To bathe our homes and families in prayer!  To pray for our husbands to lead us faithfully and diligently to God and His best for our families!   To teach them His way and Truth!  To speak His words of love more each day and not settle for anything less than God’s best for them! To lay down our lives for them – not the way the world does it (letting the children rule the home) as God commands us – to serve them well as we raise them to be humble, faithful servants willing to lay down their lives for others too!

    I want to take a moment and thank every man that is called father.   I want to honor them by acknowledging the awesome responsibility before them.  I want to honor them by acknowledging all the sacrifices they make each and every day to ensure we and their children are provided for, protected, prayed for and are taught the truths about God!  Thank you.

    I want to take a moment and acknowledge the legacy left behind by all the military who will not be with their families this year.  May God comfort each of you and hold you close to Him!  I pray the same for all the families who lost their father’s and husbands this year no matter the cause.  May their memories bring comfort to each of you and help encourage you to draw close to God!

    With much love and wishing you all a very blessed Father’s Day!


    p.s. If anyone would like a copy of the Father’s Love Letter let us know and a copy will be emailed to you in PDF format.