Monday, August 29, 2011

Brightly Beaming Resources Week # 12: Ducks

This week we learned about ducks.  We had fun reading duck stories and learning letter L and the number 12.

Here is the ladder we made for letter L from No Time for Flashcards.  I doubled this lesson for teaching 12 with 12 rungs on the ladder.

The other day at the library we found feathers on the ground that we used to put on our duck!

I'm also starting to find some "skill" sheets for Shrade to do such as these printables from Homeschool Creations (Pond Life) and Confessions of a Homeschooler (Preschool Pond).   I just used the ones for tracing at this point.

We sang songs like "Little White Duck" and "5 Little Ducks."

Here are the books we read:
5 Busy Ducklings (Rookie Toddler)Duck in the Truck. Jez AlboroughStory about PingCome Along, Daisy!

Cold Little Duck, Duck, Duck

It was really fun the other night to see Shrade acting out the story we read earlier that day (Come Along, Daisy) with his ducks in the bathtub. He said, "Daisy, stay close."

And last, but not least, we went to the park to see the ducks. They were very happy to see us. They quack, quack, quacked!

Gorgeous mallard

Friday, August 26, 2011

Summer Reading Challenge Grand Total

Week #1- 22
Week #2- 36
Week #3- 39
Week #4- 24
Week #5- 47
Week #6- 31
Week #7- 30
Week #8 & 9- 31
Week #10- 35
Week #11- 35
Total: 330
Average per week: 33

Wow!  I'm so proud of myself and my kids for taking this challenge.  We love to read and my son is picking up on letters and story telling skills just by what we do for reading.  It has been a great summer for diving into books and hope to participate again next summer.  We will try to set a goal next year and see if we can do it.

Warrior Prayers Challenge by Brooke McGlothlin (Guest Post)

Are you the mother of boys who often finds herself ready to wave the white flag in defeat?

Do they drain you, overwhelm you, steal your heart, break your heart and cause you more anxiety than you ever dreamed possible?

Maybe you only have one boy amongst a sea of estrogen and you just can’t figure out how to respond to him in a way that affirms all that is good about his masculinity.

You're not alone.

Last May, over 1300 women and a few dads in SEVEN different countries joined together to pray purposefully and passionately for the hearts of their sons in a challenge called 21 Days of Prayer for Sons. 21 Days is based on the best-selling eBook Warrior Prayers: Praying the Word for Boys in the Areas They Need it Most.

Even our best parenting efforts don't come with a guarantee. As much as we might wish we could change their hearts of stone to hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26), we can't. But we serve a God who can. Knowing this, it becomes quite clear that there is only one thing we can do…

Plead with God.

“The fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:17.
It’s our hope.

The next 21 Days of Prayer for Sons challenge starts September 6 and ends September 26, 2011. How can you participate? Easy!
  1. Purchase your own copy of Warrior Prayers: Praying the Word for Boys in the Areas They Need it Most (just $5.97 as a PDF download or on Amazon Kindle!) You could, in theory, participate in the challenge without a personal copy, but your experience will be much deeper and richer with it.
  2. Commit to praying for your son(s) or grandsons 10 times a day for 21 days straight. This is a huge commitment, so if you feel God leading you to participate, pray and ask Him to give you the strength and endurance you need.
  3. Consider leading your own group on your blog or in your community!
  4. Sign-up HERE!

Get inspired by recent participants!

“This challenge…has given me my joy back in mothering” ~LaToya

“Thank you for giving me a tangible method for transformation in my family!!” ~Anne

“Thanks, Brooke for your help. I’ve always known that God was listening; I just didn’t know what to say!” ~Laurel

“So many heart changes are going on in our home and I’m just so thankful…” ~Ashley


Brooke is a mom of two young boys who leave her desperate for God’s grace. Her pursuit of being a better mom has left her at the foot of the cross, knowing that if God doesn’t show up … nothing happens. This dependence upon God to turn hearts of stone to hearts of flesh leads her to her knees in prayer. She’s the author of the best-selling eBook Warrior Prayers: Praying the Word for Boys in the Areas They Need it Most, creator of the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons challenge and co-founder of the well-loved online community for mothers of boys, the M.O.B. Society. She offers hope for change to the hearts of women at her main blog, A Life in Need of Change.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer Worship Series- Essential Role of the Family

This was actually supposed to be my first post in my Summer Worship Series, but it's last!  Oh, well.

Recently our church hosted a Visionary Parenting conference with Rob Rienow.  Unfortunately, I was not able to attend as it was right before I had Jessna.  However, he was the speaker at the service that weekend and I was completely intrigued by his thoughts.  His main point was that the essential role of the family is for world evangelism.  Read on.

Between 1946 and 1994, the percentage of Americans who claim to be Christians and can articulate the basic gospel message went from 65% to 4%.  Yikes!  

*God created families to be discipleship centers.
*The biblical purpose of parenting and grandparenting is to impress the hearts of children with a love for God.
*God created the family as a vital engine of world evangelization through the power of multi-generational faithfulness.

Basically, the family is the place where children will come to know Jesus as their personal savior.  Wow!

So what are you doing in your family to lead your children to Christ?  I hope that what I've shared this summer in my series has given you some resources to use in your home with your kids.  I feel so excited and privileged to be the one to teach my child about the God I love.

As I worked through the book The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ's Example in Reaching the Hearts of Our Children this summer with my Good Morning Girls Bible study I realized that I need to be intentional in teaching my kids.  So I have recently  started a little devotional with my 2 year old and 3 month old.  After Jessna's 9:30 am feeding we read a Bible story together (all three of us) on the couch and sometimes I remember a song that goes with it.  Then we sing our verse for the month from Songs for Saplings.  And last of all I added praying a virtue for my children with my children.  I feel so blessed that I can do this!

What about you?  I'd like to know what you do in your family!  Thanks for joining me this summer.  I look forward to your comments.  I have many more ideas, but I'll wait until next year!

Rob Rienow can be found at

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Warrior Prayers Ebook and upcoming challenge

I am SO excited to announce this great opportunity to bless our sons with prayer. Have you heard of the Warrior Prayers Challenge? Last April I discovered Brooke McGlothlin and her great resource to pray specific Biblical prayers for our sons. There is another challenge coming up this fall (September 6-26, 2011).  If you would like to begin this journey of praying for your sons with the power of God's Word, I invite you to get Brooke's book. Just click on the link below.

only $5.97 

To sign up for this challenge go HERE.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summer Reading Challenge Week #11

Week #1- 22
Week #2- 36
Week #3- 39
Week #4- 24
Week #5- 47
Week #6- 31
Week #7- 30
Week #8 & 9- 31
Week #10- 35
Week #11- 35

Can't wait to add up all the books we've read this summer.  Jessna loves books.  It's one of the things that keeps her quiet.  Go figure.  She's only 3 months old.  I guess it's true.  Read to your baby!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summer Worship Series: Songs for Saplings

Songs for Saplings

I just want to say this CD has revolutionized and inspired me to teach Scripture to my young son.  I started right before he really learned to speak and each month I pick a new verse to learn.  I sing it to him at diaper changing time, after our devotions and other times through the day.  Sometimes I hear him singing it to himself.  They are easy to learn and I get Scripture in my heart.  Totally Tots featured this CD in their In My Heart series which features the verse with pictures.  I will start using these next year as I work on word and letter recognition with my son.  How great to learn Scripture with your child.  Hide God's Word in their hearts early!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer Reading Challenge Week #10

Week #1- 22
Week #2- 36
Week #3- 39
Week #4- 24
Week #5- 47
Week #6- 31
Week #7- 30
Week #8 & 9- 31
Week #10- 35
Wow, the summer is flying by.  This week I starting Brightly Beaming Baby lessons with Jessna so I read the same book everyday.  It's fun to be intentional with reading to her.  Soon I will be checking out all the "baby" books that I read to Shrade when he was that age.  It's going to be interesting juggling the learning needs of two vastly different ages.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Worship Series: Scripture Adventures

I really encourage you to check out Scripture Adventures.  They have a wonderful selection of activity books for teaching your children about the Bible.  I have used the FREE Easter Lapbook with my son.  They have full curriculum for the Old Testament, the Life of Christ,  Acts and a new series for learning about Jesus.  These would be perfect for homeschool or for just some fun learning with your kids.  The activities and workbooks are very appealing and easy to use.  I love finding ways to excite my children to study God's Word!  I'm excited to learn too.

Learning Activity: Melissa and Doug See-Inside Alphabet Peg Puzzle

Melissa & Doug See-Inside Alphabet Peg Puzzle

I'm trying to think of ways to keep my son busy and learning while holding a fussy baby!  The other day I got out this puzzle that was given to us by a neighbor.  I gave Shrade a letter and thought of something in the house that started with that letter and he had to put the letter on that object.  I thought of a lot of things in our house that begin with the letters of the alphabet.  I emphasized the sound at the beginning of each word.  He also had a workout running around putting letters all over the house.  When we were done he had to go collect them all so he had to recall what started with each letter.  It was fun!

Also, after all letters were back in the puzzle I had him take the letters out that were green, then blue, then yellow and so on.  It was good visual coordination for him to do this.

These were just a few simple things that I did with this puzzle. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Summer Reading Challenge Week 8 & 9

Week #1- 22
Week #2- 36
Week #3- 39
Week #4- 24
Week #5- 47
Week #6- 31
Week #7- 30
Week #8 & 9- 31
Well, we were gone on vacation and nothing normal was accomplished.  I barely read to the kids, but we had lots of fun otherwise.  We went to Grand Marais, Minnesota right on Lake Superior.  It is beautiful.  Jeremy's grandma lived there, but passed away on Easter.  It was still good to get together with the cousins.  Look at these pics!

Picture with cousins at Artists Point

At the airport playground- no we did not pay to play!

Overlooking Lake Superior on Lutsen Mountain

Sitting in the alpine sled

Alpine Slide with daddy- Shrade is "driving"

Swimming with daddy on Devil's Track Lake

Touring a Lumber Mill

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Learning Activity: Family Name Game (Guest Post)

Toddlers and preschoolers recognize many words before they can truly read.  With that in mind, I created a family name game for my daughter when she was first enjoying words.

I printed the names of our four family members (Daddy, Mommy, E, and M) in four different fonts each.  I used decorative scissors to trim the names, and then I glued the names to small rectangles of cardstock.   I also found one picture for each family member to help visualize the names just for fun.  Of course, you could use several pictures.  (I laminated all for durability knowing more than one child would use.  Though I don't truly homeschool, the laminator has been a great investment!)

We used a file folder to create a home for our Family Name Game.  File folders are a great way to contain little pieces!

When the file folder game's cover says, "The (Family Name)s."  I wrote the title on a piece of paper, and M found the letters she needed to make the title.

Inside we "wrote" each family member's name with the foam letters.  She didn't need too much help, but I sounded out the words, and she told me what letter should be next.  

We keep the game piece of names and pictures in a zipper baggie.

To play, we match name cards under the foam name in the game.  The pictures just add some extra fun.  

I just think it's great exposure for a pre-reader,  knowing our last name (and spelling it), as well as to identify us as a family.  Since the cards are all laminated, we can use this with E when he gets older, too!

If you don't have foam letters, you could use stickers or even go on a letter hunt through magazines or newspapers.  I imagine the process of the letter hunt would be great fun for a young one!

Annette blogs about what she is passionate about (food, books, crafts, family, and faith) at Live, Learn, Love.  Her own children and the blogging world inspire her every day!

I am thankful to have met Annette through blog hopping and we have commented on each others' blogs as well as shared emails.  She is very special. You will enjoy what she has to share today!

Summer Worship Series: Egermeier's Bible Story Book

Egermeier's Bible Story Book

This story book, Egermeier's Bible Story Book, is the complete Bible in one book.  Well, many of the Bible chapters are combined in one story, but it takes the reader all the way through the Bible.  This is not a picture Bible, but there are pictures in it.  This would be a great book to read before bedtime for elementary age kids and eventually they will read it for themselves.  I believe in introducing children to the Bible in many different forms so they know the stories.  But it's also important to read the Bible itself for God's exact words!