Saturday, my favorite day

Nothing beats Saturday around here. It's the only day I don't have to get up out of bed at a certain time. I love it. I slept until 11 a.m. this morning, took a long hot shower, drank coffee and read emails. If I were any more relaxed, I'd probably go into a coma. I'm looking forward to my afternoon. I've got shopping plans to pick up a new printer and it's time to add some spring colors to the interior of my house. My rooms feel drab and colorless to me, so I'm going to infuse them with springtime bursts of color. Stay tuned!

Multi-Faceted or Scatterbrained?

I just cannot decide on one specific direction I should take with this blog. I am such a multi-faceted person. I love this new-found blogging, but have so many sides that I'm really not sure where to focus. I guess I've never really had a focus and that's what makes me who I am. I love my job, my hobbies, my scrapbooking, my sweepstakes, my writing, my family, my life, my faith, my pile upon pile, layer upon layer, thoughts and ramblings, of this snapshot of life in the 21st century of a 40-something year old. As my husband often says, he is just along for the ride. I've seen many blogs over the past few weeks, and most of them have some direction. Interesting that mine has no direction at all.....Good or bad? Not sure yet.


Two Great Wins in 24 Hours!

I love winning. I especially love winning things that I know we can use. My two teenage boys were rather excited to find out I won a Case of Cloud Cakes made by Little Debbie!! We will let you know if they are delicious. I'm sure it'll be based on how quickly a whole case disappears from my pantry. The host for this giveaway was Mom Spark.

Then I got another winning email that I had won a fabulous prize that my daycare kids are going to love! We won this great Firehouse playhouse. It's made of a plastic-type of cardboard, so hopefully it'll hold up for a while. We'll give it a go and let you know!  The giveaway host for this one was Mommy Confessions.

I am so grateful for all the wonderful wins I am blessed with and love to share them with others!

Preschool Lesson: Following Rules and Showing Respect

Today we started our circle time with a book called Following the Rules. I read it once all the way through, then we read it again, talking about each page, why we follow rules, and some of the rules we follow to show respect. The children made suggestions on things we don't do, and then we thought up things we CAN do to show respect. As we went through our morning routine, I pulled ideas from the book to make connections for them. We also sang many of our favorite songs today!

We continued our shapes review by tracing six shapes on paper, naming each shape and pointing to it, then talking about the colors we used on the papers. We ate circles (vanilla wafers) for snack and counted out plates and cups for seven children. Outdoor discovery involved a few conflicts where we learned sometimes it's best for both kids just to walk away from each other and choose another activity, and sometimes it's best for both kids to work together and share the activity. We also practiced covering our mouths with our hands instead of saying something ugly.

More than anything else, kindergarten teachers prefer children to arrive at school with social skills. I can (and do) teach them lots of academic skills, but if a child cannot interact with others, learning cannot take place. It's so important to have social skills to succeed.


Preschool Lesson: Shapes Review

Today we used brand new crayons (oh what a hit those are!) to color a picture of a hot air balloon that has shapes all over it. We said the names of the shapes aloud and pointed to the right shapes. We read a book called The Shape of Things and looked for shapes in the book. Then we looked for shapes all over the classroom. We also talked about hot air balloons and where we would go if we could ride a hot air ballooon anywhere in the whole world. Some of their answers were: Mimi's House, the park, and Walmart. We sounded out the words hot air balloon, writing them on sentence strips and hanging them on the wall above the pictures we made.

Today is a special day, a 4 year birthday. We had a birthday snack of milk and cookies, after we sang Happy Birthday and said our mealtime prayer. Then we counted out the correct number of plates, cups and napkins for seven friends. We talked about the shape of the plates and the shape of the cookies too!  Happy birthday to my little curlytop!!!!!

Blogging About Kids

As I've waded through the oceans of blogs, I find many people blogging about their kids. I'm honestly finding it challenging because my children are old enough to read and understand my posts. I have a college-age daughter and two tenth-grade sons; all of them are connected to me on the internet and have access to my blog. I can't complain about them (not that I EVER would LOL). I can't use them as examples. I can't tell funny stories about them because they would be devastated socially. I guess it's a good thing that I can only post an occasional mom-brag about them. It ensures that I will always present them in a positive light.

I also have seven preschoolers that are a part of my home daycare. I feel appropriately restricted on what I can post about them. I don't ever want to hurt anyone's feelings by what I write. Again, I believe it's a good thing that I'm feeling these moral boundaries. Blogging is a whole new world to me so I'm trying to carefully navigate my way through. I don't want to tell you about an incident, and then have parents stressing over whether I'm talking about their child. So I'm trying hard to be a critical editor of my blog. I love working with these kids and families.

On a more serious note, the safety of all these children is my top priority. Beware of the dog......


Preschool Lesson: Q is for Quilt

Today we learned that Q is for Quilt. We learned that a quilt is many different squares all put together to make one big blanket. We colored a coloring sheet of a quilt and traced the letters q-u-i-l-t. Then each of us colored one square of  a construction paper quilt and we glued them all together on a big piece of butcher paper to make our quilt. We sounded out the word quilt and wrote it on the butcher paper. We also learned that q is never alone, u is always with q. We hung our quilt on the wall in our classroom. We counted the squares of our quilt and observed that the same number of rows is the same as the number of columns, making our quilt a much larger square. We talked about the colors of the quilt squares that each child chose. Then we snuggled up in a big quilt and read books together.

I love to use printouts from Confessions of a Homeschooler and from Funshine Express. I paid just $10 for an entire download of printouts from COAF and I order FE printouts from their website and have them shipped to me. I have tried using both their curriculum programs and find I prefer a combination of their materials using my own ideas for activities. I often find ideas online and love the collective ideas at ChildFun. Happy teaching!!


Being Consistent

Another good workout tonight! Twelve miles on the bike in 45 minutes, listening to my God Tunes. My meals today were filled with good choices. Ch-ch-changes!!!!!  I am trying to eat more fruits and veggies, and less breads and cheeses. I also drank more water today. I'm visualizing a much thinner me!

I thought I'd share the machines I'm using for my workouts. I am very happy with both, and we remained budget-minded when we went shopping.

Marcy Bike  and  Marcy Home Gym

If I can just stay consistent, I know I can lose the weight. I've done it before and as long as I don't get lazy again, I can achieve the results I want.

Swimming season is just around the corner and I'm so blessed to have a pool in the backyard. I really don't like public swimming pools for a million reasons. I am so looking forward to evening swims after my workouts this summer. Generally, the pool warms up sometime around the end of April, if the weather cooperates. We've gotten in earlier than that on a couple of occasions, but it's really not that enjoyable when it's too cold.  The pool isn't heated, since we're in Texas, but we can usually swim from April to October easily. I'm also looking forward to decorating the deck and pool area for the season!


Want to Win a House?

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A Healthy Lifestyle

It is so hard to live a healthy lifestyle. It's so much easier to be lazy and eat whatever. But I'm trying to make changes. I put in 45 minutes on the exercise bike tonight, while jamming out on contemporary Christian music on my Ipod. The time goes by much faster when I can combine it with music, and I can close my eyes and quietly praise God at the same time. I also did some weight-lifting exercises on the gym machine. I've had a few days away from my routine, so I am sort of sore tonight. Dinner was buffet salad, prepared by my husband, with bowls of fruits and veggies to toss.....lettuce, spinach, crab, cheese, tomatoes, avocado slices, black olives, hard boiled egg slices, plus dressing. I've also switched from regular Coke to Coke Zero, although I only drink about one soda a day. I drink lots of coffee, water, and diet Blueberry juice. Okay, I could drink more water.

My dog Buddy crashes on the carpet next to the bike while I exercise. I really need to walk the dog more often. He could use the exercise too. Usually my husband exercises at the same time so we keep each other company. Our boys don't use the exercise room as much as I thought they might, but since they are slim and strong and active, they really don't need it like us old folks do. I'm amazed at how hard it is to lose weight, the older I get. Healthy food and exercise is the best way to lose weight. I vow to stay away from "get skinny quick" schemes. I want this to be something that I can carry through my entire life, which I'm assuming will be longer since I'm making all these changes! Happy exercising!!