Wordful Wednesday

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A glimpse at my multiple personalities...

Clearly I should step away from the computer and get back to folding laundry. But this is much more fun!

Pen Pal Notes

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ever sit in a restaurant with your kids, hoping to have a nice meal, when all of the sudden crayons start whizzing by your face? As you feebly fumble through your purse for one more treat, trinket or toy to pacify him until your food arrives, you realize you are inadequately prepared for the occasion and your only options are to leave or relinquish your cell phone to a teething, cranky toddler and pray your food arrives before you have to submit an insurance claim for a new phone.

Been there? I have. We don't eat out much anymore. But, look what I found! Seems to me like a great idea for traveling with a young one. These pen pal notes are designed to be added to school lunches, but since my kids don't go to school or day care I'm finding alternative uses...and there are many. Not only restaurant waits, but how about the doctor's office, dentist, vet, sitting through a siblings soccer/swim/baseball/piano/insert activity here practice? Road trips, sleep overs, summer camp? I think these are a great idea for preschool to elementary aged kids. Even toddler could color them and expand their vocab as you read them together. Or, just mail them one at a time to your kids. They love getting mail, and why not make it interesting educational mail at that?

I think these are a great idea. Check out the variety of topics and the placemats too. Now, why didn't I think of that?!

Sneak Peek Opportunity To Test A New Educational Game

Details are as follows...
MomSelect is looking for moms and kids to test out an awesome online experience for kids. By taking part in this program, your kids will be given free access to a new kids' website, not yet available to the public. Focused on the animal kingdom, this online game is not only entertaining but teaches positive lessons about nature and cooperation. Moms will feel comfortable with the safe and secure nature of the online world and the educational aspect of the activities, while kids will love rescuing and caring for the baby animals they encounter during their gameplay.

If your child would be interested in being part of the first group of kids to experience this exciting website, we'll send you a unique access code. The code will be valid during the entire site sneak peek testing period (approximately 4 weeks) and your child will be given special benefits and access within the site.

After testing out the site, we ask that you fill out a brief online survey with your thoughts regarding the site. Your feedback, along with the thoughts of your children, will directly impact the final product launch. And as a thank you for your insights, we'll be holding a drawing among survey respondents - 3 lucky moms and their kids will each win a $50 Target gift card!

By participating in the sneak peek testing program, we ask that you:
• Visit the site with your child to get a sense of the website
• Encourage your child to play as much as possible during the sneak peek testing period
• Fill out the online survey within the requested time period*

To be eligible for this program, you must have at least one child in the 7-12 age range and live in or near one of the following geographic locations:

* IL
* MN
* Greater NY Area (NJ, PA, CT)
* Southern CA
* Washington DC
* MD
* GA
* TX
* NC

If you are interested in participating in this sneak peek testing program, please click on this link to register.

The sneak peek codes will be sent out the week of April 6th. If you have any questions, please send an email to Amy at amy@bsmmedia.com with the subject line "Sneak Peek Testing".

Let me know if you sign up. We are anxious to check out this new product and I'd love to hear your feedback as well!


Some of you may be familiar with CurrClick, a great education resource. If you have never visited their site, you should check them out. They have tons of downloadable lapbooks, worksheets, unit studies, and more at great prices. And, because all of their wares are web-based, it is a very green way to shop for curriculum :D Although I think all of their items are offered a reasonable prices, if you sign up for their weekly newsletter, they send you a free download in each newsletter. Now, that just can't be beat! Click quick and you can catch the latest freebie...a live online class for elementary- aged kids entitled Water, Water, Everywhere!

Check This Out

This is very cool. It's called searchme. It's a new visual search engine. When you search, your results come up as visual pages that you can scroll through like itunes album covers...way cool. It's brand new, and not yet perfect (it doesn't fetch as many results as google)but fun to play with. I imagine it will get better with time. Check it out and tell me what you think.

Updating My Space

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ever since I was laid off of my part time gig a few weeks ago, I have had a little more bloggy time. That's great because I enjoy it. It's my creative outlet. Not so great, however, because my part time job paid way more than I currently make blogging (Ah hem, feel free to visit my sponsors any time ;)
With all this new found bloggelation I figured it's about time I changed things up a bit around here. You may (or may not) have noticed that I've restructured my sidebars to be more user-friendly. I am also adding two new features that will post in the side bar on the left: our current reads, and a random daily tip. I plan to do a little more memeing, as it seems like a great way to meet other bloggers, as well as post more frequently. So, stay tuned for lots more fun, in fact, if you subscribe to my feed you are sure to never miss a bit of bloggy goodness.

Many thanks to my loyal readers. I LOVE you and appreciate all of your comments. Keep 'em coming. I love to know what's on your mind.

Peace and blessings!

Earth Hour

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tonight the observance of Earth Hour begins at 8:30. The goal is to heighten awareness of environmental issues and inspire people to practice conservation. To participate, simply turn off your lights, and other electronics, for one hour starting at 8:30 PM. You can visit earthhour.org for more info. This event provides a great opportunity for starting a dialog with kids about environmental issues and how human behavior effects the health of our earth. While many families are already aware of the environmental issues we face and probably practice some conservation and recycling, it provides another opportunity for us to be good examples to our kids. Ideally, this event will inspire us to make even more changes in our daily behavior and not just serve as a yearly hour of darkness.

Amy over at Crunchy Domestic Goddess makes a great point; however, about Earth Hour and the use of candles. We could all do more harm than good if we light up the night with parrafin wax candles. Read more here.

My hope is that we will all choose to participate, spend some interesting quality family time together, and be inspired to be better stewards of our beautiful planet. Perhaps combining the event with ssome time making eco-awareness bracelets out of recycled materials, or a recycled bird-feeder would provide a lasting reminder to be more green.

For more earth friendly fun and ideas click here.

This Just In...

Friday, March 27, 2009

We're having a pee pee party over here. My 18 month old just went pee pee in the potty for the first time! Woo hoo! All on his own accord too. He stood next to the pot and said "uuuuhh, uuuhhh" (what he usually says when he wants something but doesn't know how to say the word) and began pulling on his pants. So I put on the Diego potty booster seat and plopped him down and he peed. Just like that. Too cool. We clapped and cheered and high-fived, then sang our potty song. Sing along now...

Pee pees go in the potty
Pee Pees go in the potty
Pee pees go in the potty
'Cuz that's how big boys doooo it!

He also just started saying "potty", probably because of all the cheering :)

Now, I know better than to get too terribly excited about this. Since my other too did the same thing at around 18 months old, then promptly lost all interest in the potty, I'm not holding out hope that we'll have a easy road to the end of diaper duty. Still, it is a milestone that deserve celebrating. And he's so proud!

So Ready For Spring

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Perhaps it's the gray day, the chill in the air, hormones, or just lack of sleep, but today I just feel glum. Tired, depressed, unmotivated. I'm ready for spring already! Enough of the cold and cloudy. I need to feel the sun. Nevermind that blankets of pine pollen and allerjesus (as my son calls them) follow. I've planted my pansies and cleaned out the closets. Now let's get on with it!

Ok, done whining. Sorry. In an effort to cheer myself up and do something productive with the kids, I've been searching for interesting spring activities to engage in, even if the weather isn't cooperating. I found this free spring activities booklet from Teacher Vision. My son hates these type of worksheet, but my almost 4 year old daughter loves them. And, this guy from Family Fun is just too cute.

Here's a link to explore the Journey of the American Robin. Interesting stuff. See also this previous post. Or, if you have a green thumb, check out this seed starting page.

You can also find lots more ideas here. Or, check out all the cool stuff at Cobblestone Farms and spruce up your space. Just looking at her site lifted my spirits :)

May our flowers bloom and lift us gently from our gloom. (I do see some tiny buds on our dogwood trees...so it can't be far off.)

Wordful Wednesday

I've been so busy blog hopping, facebooking and twittering with the UBP that I nearly forgot to post my WW this week!

Here it is. Sorry that the photo quality is so poor. Mommy still needs a new camera :(

This is what happens when you let your preschooler serve breakfast to your toddler.

For more WW fun visit 7 Clown Circus and 5 Minutes for Mom.

Bella! Bella!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Yesterday, we went to the vet. Bella, the three kids and I. Bella gets car sick, and though the vet is only about 7 minutes away, she started drooling half way there, all over my leg (wet jeans, yuck) and barfed on my cd case just as we pulled into the parking lot. (Picture me running back and forth from van to small strip of grass with soggy kibble laiden wipes.) Yeah, fun. Poor pup, she just does not like riding in the car. And, since she has so rapidly out grown her crate, it is tough to keep the wet kibble contained. Yes, we will be getting a new crate, pronto.

Thankfully, once in the vet's office, she did fine. She got lots of "awww's" and tummy scratches and "Wow, look at those paws! She's gonna be big." comments. She weighed in at 39 pounds, a gain of 11 from 3 weeks ago. She also got a clean bill of health, booster shots, another dewormer (just in case) and a follow up scheduled for 3 weeks. Then she barfed again on the way home.

After a few laps around the yard and scarfing down a bowl of Nutrish, she promptly collapsed on the couch and started snoring. She was one pooped puppus. (Mommy wanted to join her).

By the way, Bella loves these shirts from Cafe Press:

Free Homeschool Resources

Monday, March 23, 2009

Here are some links to free homeschool resources and some good deals. Hope you find something that makes you jump for joy (or at least grin).

Free curriculum and resources

Online math games. Available to download 5 games for free
by entering code hmschl0309 at checkout (takes $5 off, and games are 99
cents each). You can shop by grade level or category.

Homeschool Freebie of the Day Join their list for reminders.

Or, try The Teacher's Cafe for a listing of resources.

Happy hunting!

FREE Doggie Treats

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I'll admit it. I love free stuff. Even free samples. Maybe I need more of a life (or at least an occasional afternoon outside my own home, which, by the way, feels smaller every day). But, I do get excited when the mailman brings me free goodies. And when they smell yummy, Bella gets excited too.

Check out these freebies for the puppus in your life:

Treat People



Nutrish (Bella loves this stuff!)


Ultimate Blog Party!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ultimate Blog Party 2009
It's here! Grab your party hat and loot bag...the Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom
is underway, and you won't want to miss out on all the fabulous prizes, or the opportunity to meet some amazing bloggers.

Sweet Serendipity is proud to participate by donating two great prizes that include a $25 gift card to ecostoreusa.com and a hard cover copy of the Usborne book, Cats by Anna Milbourne. To be entered to win, visit 5 Minutes for Mom pick out your favorite prizes (ie # 83 and 84) then write a post about the contest and play along. Here's how it works:

Here’s how it works:

In your ‘party post’ include at the bottom a list of you top prize picks (you can even list the entire set of prizes in your preferred order.)

1. Read through all the prizes and visit the listed sites.Take your time – you have until 11:59pm Eastern on March 27, 2009. Read through the prizes but also visit the blogs and spend some time browsing the sites.
2. Prioritize which gifts you’d want most and make a listEach gift is numbered, so just make a list such as:10, 24, 30, 45, etc.The list does not have to include all the gifts. For example, if there are ten gifts that you know you’d really want, and besides that you’d be happy with any of the other gifts, you can list just the ten. It’s up to you… but the best idea is to make your list complete.
3. In your ‘party post’ — that is the post that you link to in the Mr. Linky — include a hyperlinks to the websites or blogs offering your top three picks. And then list the prize numbers of the rest of your preferred prize list. If you aren’t a blogger, you can leave your list in your comment.(If you’re Canadian or International, only include the Canadian and International prizes.)

You'll get a chance to make lots of friends along the way and discover some awesome blogs you never knew existed.

As for me, I'd love to win 89, 91, 188 or 26!

Wordful Wednesday

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sadly, I think my camera is on about it's last frame. Lately I have been getting some weird blurring, ghosting, and discoloration. At first I blamed it on the kids..."who's been messing with my camera?!" But no matter what I adjust or reset, it just is not working. Maybe I've just worn the darn thing out. I do use it ALL the time. Big sigh. I love that camera. It was a very thoughtful and generous gift from my little sister (THE best little sister in the world!) which she purchased while living in Japan. I will take it to the camera doctor, but I may just have to give in and purchase a new one, ouch! The big guy's bday is in 2 weeks, so I'd better figure a solution quick! Can't believe he'll be seven!!!

Anyhow, here are a few of the recent pics of the kids that I was able to correct enough for them to be viewable.

Happy WW everyone!
PS Stop by next week for the Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom, with loads of great prizes, including 2 from yours truly! Don't miss out on all the fun!!! ;D

St. Patrick's Day

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you!

Irish Blessings

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

Now sweetly lies old Ireland
Emerald green beyond the foam,
Awakening sweet memories,
Calling the heart back home.

Ireland, it's the one place on earth
That heaven has kissed
With melody, mirth,
And meadow and mist.

Wherever you go and whatever you do,
May the luck of the Irish be there with you.

May your heart be warm and happy
With the lilt of Irish laughter
Every day in every way
And forever and ever after.

Here is a collection of useful links for St. Patrick's day:
Dover Samples

Family Fun Online

History of St. Patrick's Day

Recipes and Holiday ideas

Annie's St. Patrick's Day Page (lots here)

Browse more recipes or submit one of your own.

Find lesson plans here .

Find events near you.

And be sure to check out Currclick for FREE St. Pat's resources!

Happy Birthday Einstein

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Learn more about Einstein and his accomplishments here and here.

And, I know it's Saturday and brain strain is not on the agenda for most of you today, but these fun educational games are worth a click.

Swamped and Pooped

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hello...ello...ello... dear readers...eaders...eaders...

Hmmm, sounds like a vast, vacant canyon out there. Oh, I kid, I know all three of you are so loyal and I am deeply grateful.

Okay, so it's late. I'm loopy. I have been swamped with work and coordinating soccer teams/coaches/uniform distribution on top of homeschooling, child rearing, laundry loading, housekeeping and dog training. I. Need. Sleep. Coffee's just not cuttin' it anymore. Still, I love you dearly and wanted to post something since you did stop by and all. So, here it is...two quick links to cool stuff.

This ing sponsored link teaches kids all about money.
And this resource link is just a fun place to stop daily for news, history, vocab, quizzes and schtuff.

Hope you enjoy 'em.
That's all I can manage for now....

Wordful Wednesday

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sweet puppy...

Sleepy puppy...

Silly puppy...

Bad, bad puppy!

Mmmmmm Java

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Love it. Gotta have it. Like it even more when it's free!!!
Check this out:

Seattle’s Best Coffee Celebrates 39 Years of Uncommonly Smooth™ Coffee!
To mark the occasion, we’ve developed a promotion with several special offers for our cafe guests throughout the month of April.

Monday, April 6
Enjoy a complimentary small coffee on us.

Tuesday, April 7 — Tuesday, April 28
All 39-year-olds receive a free medium cup of coffee on us. Limit one per customer.

Friday, April 10 — Sunday, April 12
Buy a pastry, get a medium cup of Anniversary Roast coffee on us.

Friday, April 17 — Sunday, April 19
Get a $.39 (plus tax) medium cup of Anniversary Roast coffee.

Friday, April 24 — Sunday, April 26
Buy any 12 oz or larger bag of coffee and receive a medium beverage on us.

Friday’s Are for Coffee
Buy a bag, get a drink.
Every Friday, buy any 12-ounce or larger bag of coffee and enjoy a medium (16 fl. oz.) beverage on us.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Anyone following the Iditarod this year? We studied Alaska and followed the race last year and really enjoyed the process. We learned a great deal about Alaskan geography, wildlife and culture. Each family member selected a musher to track and the one with the fastest race time received a small prize. We also had a party at the end of the race with Alaskan-themed foods and decorations. We even built mini sled dog houses with graham crackers, frosting and sugar crystals, as well as a sugar cube igloo. Adding another dimension to our experience, we exchanged post cards with families in Alaska who told us about their take on "The Last Great Race."

The ceremonial start to this year's race was held today in Anchorage. The official start of the race is tomorrow in Willow. If you'd like to find out more check out these resources:
The Official Site of the Iditarod sign up for insider email, read about mushers, and watch videos from the trail.
Iditarod Blog with books recommendations for kids
Alaska Daily News online
Teachers Page full of great links
Activity page/Lesson plan resource
Homeschool Lesson Plan

More lesson plan links

And a list of movies:

Iditarod XXIV Video By The Iditarod Race Committee (purchase at iditarod.com store)

Snow Dogs

Iron Will

Eight Below


Stone Fox

Snow Buddies

White Fang

Sun Dogs

Iditarod: Toughest Race on Earth DVD Set by Discovery Channel

What's not to love about asparagus and feta?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

So I have an abundance of fresh chives and I've been wondering what I'm going to do with them so they don't go to waste. I came across this recipe and I just have to say Yum-O! Tho, with only 2 tbsp chives, I think I'll be needin' a few more ideas. Let me know if you have any good ones :]

Spring Asparagus Salad
by: Kathy Gunst

A light, fresh salad to celebrate the flavors of spring. Serve with crusty bread.
1 pound fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, optional
1/4 cup crumbled bacon
1 tablespoon chopped scallions
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
In a large skillet, bring 2 inches of water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and cook about 6 minutes, or until soft but not limp. Drain under cold running water and then drain again. Place on a serving plate. Whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Stir in the chives (if using), pickles, and scallions. Spoon the dressing over the asparagus and top with the feta cheese. Serve cold or at room temperature. (Makes 4 servings)

Kids Can Customize and Print Their Own Books

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dr. Suess's birthday was Monday, and Read Across America Day was Tuesday, but I say celebrate literacy and great books everyday! I was recently contacted about a new site that allows users to customize, personalize and print their own books. And, it's FREE to use! Cool, huh? Readsake.com offers several stories to choose from and you can edit the names and images in the stories to make them personal to your child. You can also print the stories for your child to color, or print individual coloring pages. Incidentally, there are several pages that would be useful in homeschooling lessons.

Once you sign up, again for free, you can customize, share and archive your child's stories. This is a new site and I've played with it a bit, but still have more exploring to do. I wanted to share it though, as it seems like a fun teaching tool that kids would be excited about. (My kids love to see pictures of themselves and watch home movies, and personalized books are always a hit.) The only negatives I have found so far, are that the stories are really geared toward the preschool set. Though the site says up to 8 years old, I found that they weren't exciting enough for my soon to be 7 year old. And, there are several ads on the site, but it is fairly easy to navigate, and it is free, so I didn't really mind.

Check it out and see what you think. Let me know if you and your kids make a book. They'd be fun to share!

PS- also check out kidthing for free downloads of Dr. Suess favorites.

Wordful Wednesday

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A family in need of a few good belts...


Don't Be Obtuse, Celebrate The Seuss!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Yes, I know I'm late. But, better late than not at all. Today is Seuss Day. The Doctor's birthday. He has given us such wonderful wonders and fanciful fiction. What a creative genius and inspiration (his first book was turned down 24 times before it was published!) I have loved his work since childhood and enjoy sharing it with my kids today. And by gum, the world could use a little of Horton's faith and Sam I Am's optimism these days! So, if you haven't had a good dose of Seuss lately, you should take a trip to Diffendoofer or Mulberry Street. It just might do you some good.
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Today was an unusual day. It actually snowed here! The kids, especially my oldest, had a blast playing outside. It wasn't a lot of snow, by any means, but any snow on the ground here is unusual, so it is always exciting. It gave us a good reason to bundle up and brave the cold gray day and the snowball slinging and crunch underfoot was a welcome change of pace. We had a great time together and all got worn out. The kids went to sleep without a peep. That's the good. (I wish I had better pictures, especially since it was the first snow for Buggaboo and Bella, but someone's little fingers changed the setting on my camera and all I got was yuck.)

We've been on the wacky schedule for a few weeks with DH working nights. Well, not just nights, overnight. Most nights he leaves around dinner time and comes home at breakfast. He is in his final semester before graduation so he attends evening classes before work. Then, of course, needs to sleep all day. So, I run around all day shooshing every one while trying to keep up the house, train the puppy and throw in some education. It has been stressful. The only time I really get to myself is after the kids hit the sack and I'm exhausted. That is when I work and/or blog. I have been working part time as a virtual assistant and have enjoyed the work. I like contributing to the family income and it makes me feel like more of an adult. Plus, the extra income has really come in handy.
Unfortunately, today I was effectively laid off. There is no more work for now and for the forseeable future. That's the bad news.

The ugly? There is no chocolate in this house.


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