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Showing posts from January, 2012

Home School Activities, Classes, and Ideas: Winter Session

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This winter has been unlike any I can remember in Lincoln, with extremely sunny and warm days (today, 60s!), so there isn't a lot of playing in the snow. We've had maybe 5 inches of snow altogether from October through early January, but with it melting so quickly it's been easy to play outside daily in the sun this winter. Normally over the winter we would have the kids try to be outside at least 1 hour per day, even in freezing temperatures, to get fresh air, move around, yell, and get their energy out. This year we've been playing at parks, taking after-dinner walks, and enjoying down-time mostly outside. There are a few things I schedule every winter because, normally, it's cold, dark, and we may even be home-bound for days at a time without stuff on the calendar.
A few things we participate in every winter are two classes my kids have grown to love: 1) Preschool Music at Around the Corner Music Studio. For 10 sessions at a…

Movie Review: Moneyball

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Over the past couple of weeks Stefan and I have watched a number of really good movies, and I will try to share them evenly over the next month or so. They are all from different genres, but I thought this one would appeal to the most broad range of personalities. The story Moneyball is a true story about how a baseball GM and a recent Yale graduate make history with the way they make a lineup. Using crazy math skill, logic, and faith they create a team on a minuscule budget that ends up setting records left and right.
Here is the trailer of this true underdog story. I think anyone can enjoy this film with it's drama, comedy, and real risk that appeals to the masses. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars for great acting, story, and emotional appeal. Watch it; it's a night well spent.

Visual Monday: Dark Days

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This January, with very little snow-fall and temperatures rivaling early April, is still a quiet and absent month after about 5PM, when the sun goes down. I know people who work outside the home may call it mutiny to be at work before sun-up, only to be driving home on their commute to watch the sun set--if they make it, but for us at home it is a wonderful reminder of short days and how you fill them. It's another nice thing about winter: to stay at home warm and cozy and call it an evening after a brisk walk around the neighborhood to work on that late dinner digestion. I try to enjoy something about every season and short winter days are definitely up there next to "not sweating profusely".…

{This Moment}

This moment is...um...a little bit random, I know. It makes me laugh hysterically and that's why it's one of my favorites from the past week. Talk about random--this photo is my best friend's mother's adopted dog who is not only wearing a tobasco doggie shirt, but shivering like the dickens. Wow. Join others with a favorite moment from the week!

Usborne Bookshelf Giveaway: "How Big Is A Million?"

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My first giveaway from my Usborne bookshelf is the book called "How Big Is A Million?" by Anna Milbourne. It is part of the Pipkin series, called ThePipkin Complete Collection and includes the titles, "How High Is the Sky", "How Deep Is The Sea", and "How Big Was A Dinosaur", for little curious fact-finders.
Pipkin the penguin loves to ask all kinds of questions about the world to help him grasp how big our Earth is. This is a very sweet story about his journey to find out what exactly a million looks like.
While finding out how penguins stay warm, and who they're likely to run into in the South Pole, the reader also is given an introductory to math; 10, 100, 1000, and eventually a million. Included in this story is a poster that is sealed for the future reader to find out what Pipkin saw. Here is a peek inside so you can see what the illustrations look like. This book is hard back and suitable for children up to 7 years old.
To …

New on the Blog; A Rundown

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I just wanted to do a short post on all of the new features on the side-bar of the blog for those who rarely read them (ahem, Hi mom!) and for those just passing through with a hopeful recipe search. Here's the rundown of what I recently updated:
Beneath the photo of Stefan and I is a text box that has my email address for those who are interested in my Usborne bookstore, and a link to the wonderful lady who took our family's photos this past fall. You can contact her through her blog.The red rectangular link will take you directly to my Pinterest boards. What is pinterest, you say? Only the most addictive thing since sliced bread smothered in Paula Deen's crunchy butter balls. With chocolate. Pinterest is a visual 'cork board' of sorts, where one can categorize different boards ("Home", "Style", etc.) and glean worlds of visual eye candy from the web. And from eye-candy I mean of the …

Announcement: Here's My Card

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Ever since right after Christmas I've had a big announcement to share, but wanted my 'ducks in a row' before I let anyone know. I recently joined the Usborne team and am thrilled to be a representative of their company. I thought about this for over a year, when I was first asked to join because of my enthusiasm for this wonderful brand of children's books. I did reviews on my blog (1, 2), mentioned them on facebook, and even added them to our home schooling curriculum through the last two years. It finally just made sense to become a member of their company simply to get the discount on all the books I was buying (birthdays and other gifts included!) and if someone else happened to be interested, I could lead them to books I'd be buying for my own children...that's how much I love them. I was doing all the advertising for free!
Here are some questions answered, all of which Stefan, in one way or another, has asked me, so I'm using that as a spri…

Visual Monday: Children Reading

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....Wait...what? *** How could I have the title of Children Reading and not include a Reading Rainbow shot?! This week is full of fancy announcements, a new side bar feature or two, and even a giveaway. And yes, this week's Visual Monday is kicking it off. Stay tuned!

{This Moment}

Join the fun remembering a moment from the week.

Linky Love

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It's been a long time since the last version of Linky Love was put out...near Thanksgiving I believe! It's time again for some great finds from the web, and if you care to join me in passing around your latest and greatest leave them for me in the links! I loved this post on living without credit cards. We've been credit card free for..hmm...3 years now? We haven't missed it one bit. I'm thinking of Christmas presents for next year (sick, I know) and these designs and ideas have been inspiring.I found this 'real life fast forward' start to finish painting video SO neat. Was thinking of letting my children watch it, too. Still going on your new years' resolution to eat healthier? This simple overview helps break it down. With our kids getting older and being invited to more birthday parties, I loved this idea of having the child make this simple and fun present. My girl Ani D is back. Ordering soon!Yes I tot…

Color Theory Class

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I am very excited to tell you all about a one-night class I am signed up for at Art & Soul here in Lincoln, called Color Theory I. One of my '26 Before 27' goals was to learn about the color wheel, at a more formal level than just mixing and matching my wardrobe, and painting my house. When a friend of mine told me he had been accepted at Art & Soul to begin teaching a color theory class, I told him I'd be interested as it was something I had planned on learning! He is teaching 3 levels of color theory, and each is a prerequisite to the next (i.e. I have to take color theory I before color theory II, and so on). Because I am not planning on going back to school for a design degree-- I just have small ambitions and love to learn-- I am only taking the first level.
If you are local: Art & Soul makes it easy to register online, and it's $40 for the first level. The class will include all the supplies you need, and t…

Movie Review: Midnight In Paris

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This was one of the movies I was really excited to see back in 2011. It never worked out for Stefan and I to go out to the theaters to see it, so I immediately put it on our netflix queue and it has stayed at spot #1 until it was finally out for viewing. Stefan is always always a bit skeptical of my movie choices, and especially the romantic comedy ones, but I'll let you in on a little secret...he actually likes about 90% of all the movies I choose. He has a worse track record with his own choices, and for that I give him my smug little face and continue on with my queue dominating (!). This movie, though, perhaps...was a bit lost on him. Over a lifetime ago when I was in college, I was an English major near the top of my class, with a French minor. Never mind that my last semester I scraped by with 9 credit hours, a third trimester pregnancy, and a deathly fear of graduate students sharing my 300 level rooms which made me quit aforementio…

Visual Monday: MLK

Sunday Special: 2012 Movie List

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Something Stefan and I love to do is watch movies together. We are avid Netflix users, and we usually average about 3 movies a month and watch many things on instant play along with that. I always have a regular 'movie list' going in my notebook, just so I don't forget any titles that look interesting to me. Netflix makes it so easy for the film addict, because you can prioritize which movies you want to see in an order, or even 'save' ones that aren't available on DVD yet, but will eventually end up in your queue. We watched a lot of movies over our holiday break between Christmas and New Years, and I'm already 7 down! I will have reviews coming of all of the ones I've seen (with the exception of Shrek 3, absolutely pitiful) soon enough! The ChildSoul SurferThe IllusionistAnother YearMoneyballMidnight in ParisBraveThe Last LionsSuper 8Page OneWinter TaleProject NimJane Eyre (the newest version)Certified Cop…

Saturday Special: 2012 Book List

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I am a die-hard reader. I love to talk books. I love to recommend them to others. I love to write reviews and pass on my own to those who would borrow and read. And while we're talking about goals, why not share a few lists of my own? An important list I have made for the last couple of years is my book list. Generally I am a fast reader, and can read a book a week. However, there are books that take me upwards of 4 weeks, and some that only take me a couple of days. I like to have about 25 on a list for each year because, for me, that's pretty do-able. This is what I'm starting with this year: Bel Canto by Ann PatchettThe Element by Sir Ken RobisonLife Together- BonhoefferReclaiming Christianity by A.W. TozerRainbow Valley (#7) Rilla of Ingleside (#8 in "Anne of Green Gables series), both by MontgomerySwamplandia by Karen RusselTruth + Beauty by Ann PatchettPlayful Learning (H) by Mariah BruelThe Write Start (H) by Jenn…

{This Moment}

This {moment} deserves an explanation. Yes that is my daughter. Yes she wanted a spider-man face. No, she has no idea who spider-man is... We went to a birthday party that had live entertainment along with awesome face painting, a magic show, and the most creative balloon animals I've ever seen. This was a fun way to celebrate a sweet boy that goes to our church! *** Join the fun and capture a moment from your week.

2012 Goals; a snippet.

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My goals for 2012 are short and tidy, but the hardest part of any resolution is simply trying to squeeze out more time than is available to us within a twelve month period. I like to take this list and jot out thoughts and intentionally sit down to think about, overall, what I want to accomplish with the time I'll be given, God willing.
As far as physical health goes, I'd like to continue on my path of making sleep, exercise, proper nutrition, and portion control important, and other than loosing a bit more weight (just to be back at college weight, so close!) I'm in maintenance mode for this, but it's still a goal. I learned a couple years ago that I'm the best version of myself when I get between 8-9 hours of sleep at night and get plenty of exercise.
Another goal is something that we've had to really compromise on. We have a goal of not having one, or both of us, away from the house during evenings more than 2 times pe…

2011 Goals Recounted...

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Last year's goals were a little vague on the blog, but in my journal I had written them out to a T, and I was interested to do a small recap to see how I've grown in a year. Looking back, I feel I did well on some, poor on others, and maintained a steady line on a few.
*Goal achieved: maintained workout routine throughout entire year (5 days a week, M-F, 30 minute spinning, followed by completely getting ready before kids start day around 7AM). This has been a really really really* good routine for me. I have noticed my energy is better when I workout regularly (duh, knew this before kids, but a couple years after really got stuck in a slump), I'm in a better mood, I sleep better, and of course weight management is fairly effortless.
*Goal achieved: I have lost weight in the past 6 months, though not as much as I originally intended (still want 15 lbs gone), but I am over my half-way mark and that's very satisfactory to …

A Year In Photos...

Started off the year with lots of walks outside in the freezing weather, and plenty of goals. The kids began their winter art projects (or 'what's in the art box'). In February, apparently there was no snow and the kids were able to dig in sand, albeit frozen. We also celebrated Anikka's 2nd birthday with a little family party. March saw plenty of cousin time... and the beginning of Float for Life lessons for Ani. Easter was celebrated in April with easter egg hunts at the grandparents' houses... and our first try with square foot gardening. In May the kids often were brought along to the farmer's markets to sample the wares... and in June, we celebrated Father's Day (without, apparently, a photo of their father!) with a backyard bbq. In July there was plenty of trips to the zoo, Ani's first time seeing fireworks, Lukka's chance to stay up later than everyone else (kids) to *play* with fireworks, both children's first experience with VBS (and mama some …