Friday, July 31, 2009

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!!!!

KaZAM Bike, ends ??? couldn't find a date

$50 gift certificate to ends Aug 20

Kushies Hooded Towel, ends Aug 8

Mutsy Booster Chair, ends Aug 10

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Celebrating YOUR Tots...last call for August

This is the last call for August Birthday Tots! Does your tot have a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th birthday in July? If so...

We need your info by August 2, in order to include your tot in our monthly post, which will be up SOON!

AND, if you have an September Birthday Tot, I will need your info now or by the end of August!

Once Upon a Book ~ Wemberly's Ice Cream Star


Summary: A mouse named Wemberly, who worries about everything, finds that patience, just like a frosty treat, will go a long way.

Ice Cream Shoppe

I made a really cute 'Ice Cream Parlor' for my girls to play with and they have had a blast! I used empty ice cream containers, empty syrup bottles, paper bowls, plastic spoons and pompoms for the ice cream with red and pink pom poms for the cherries! This has been a huge hit and I plan to do a different prop box idea each month! :) You can check it out at: Teaching My Little Bookworm.

Fine Motor

Spooning the ice cream: Have your LO practice spooning the pompom ice cream balls from the ice cream container to the ice cream bowl.

Craft Time

Craft Sundae: A cute addition to your ice cream parlor!

- Put cotton balls or fiberfill into a bowl (line the bottom with glue so it stays)
- Add brown tinted glue (tint glue with brown paint or food paste)
- Put a cherry on top! My girls wanted sprinkles to so we added glitter. You could add strawberry syrup (red glue) or pineapple syrup (yellow glue).

Snack Time

Ice Cream Sundae: Make a sundae together at home or take your LO out and treat them to a sundae at an ice cream shop.

Circle/Song Time

Ice Cream Poem

I like ice cream. Yes I do!
One scoop for me?
No! Make it two!
Hmmm...two scoops of ice cream,
I want more.
How about three?
No, make that four!
1, 2, 3, 4,
Splat! "Oh no! It's on the floor!"

More Ice Cream Fun

Ice Cream learning game

Sing the ice cream song and have LO add the scoops to the cone. For the 'splat' have them lift the sheet upright and watch them fall!

Perpetual Preschool Ice Cream Recipes.

No Time for Flashcards made a I ice cream cone

DLTK-KIDS has a neat page of Ice Cream activities

Ideas from Perpetual Preschool and Preschool Education Songs

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!

Monday, July 27, 2009

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!!!!

Rileyroos Shoes, ends Aug 3

Wishes & Whimsies Storytelling Game, ends July 31

I Spy Lanyard, ends Aug 7

Musical ToyBox, ends Aug 5

SunSmarty, ends Aug 5

Plasma Car, ends July 31

Thermos Bottles and Sippy
, ends Aug 7

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Now I Know My ABC's ~ Oo

It's time for some fun Oo activities!!! 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 the PDF of the cover sheet for your ABC notebook!

Ovals by Sarah L Schuette

Summary: Ovals are shapes that look like stretched-out circles. Learn all about ovals, where they are found, and what they can do. Observe the ovals all around and check out Ovals today.

Oo is for Ovals


- Oval Template (cut ovals all around a piece of construction paper)
- Watercolor paint and brush (or any paint would work)
- Construction Paper

To Make:

1. Make Oval template by cutting ovals all around a piece of construction paper.

2. Place template on top of another piece of construction paper. Have LO paint the inside of the ovals and let dry; when dry lift the oval template and you have painted ovals!

3. Write Oo is for Ovals and add to your alphabet book.

More Oval Fun

- Take an oval walk and take your camera along to capture ovals in nature
- Make deviled eggs and talk about how they are oval in shape
- Trace the Oval worksheet

Down in the Deep, Deep Ocean! by Joann Cleland

Summary: Different animals of the sea are explored.

Ocean Stick Puppets


- Craft sticks
- Ocean printouts from
- Crayons
- Clear contact paper, laminate, or packing tape
- Scissors
- Stapler or hot glue

To Make:

1. Print off the pages of Ocean Creatures.
2. Have LO color them.
3. Cut them out and laminate with packing tape, contact paper or laminate film.
4. Staple or hot glue to the craft sticks.
5. Store in a baggie or an envelope (I store all the baggies in the front and back pockets of our 3-ring binder for the alphabet book).

More Ocean Fun

- Visit Totally Tots for all the Once Upon A Theme Ocean Crafts
- Make Whales in a Bottle
- Make Octopus Ink Art
- Math Activity: Goldfish Counting

Get Real with God ~

Daily Life Following

~Part Two~

When we met our youngest son we were strangers to each other. Although we had a picture of him and had been praying for him for months, we didn’t really know him. We didn’t know what to do to soothe him or what foods he liked. To him we must have looked so threatening We looked, talked, and even smelled different and he did not trust us one bit. A year and a half later and we are still on the verge in the trust area. When he does something wrong he is always waiting to see if we will reject him and often he will purposefully disobey just to see what we will do. He expects us to leave him and is almost surprised when we don’t. So sad for a small child. He doesn’t realize that he is our chosen child, that I had wanted him since I was a child myself. Our love doesn’t often penetrate his little heart because he spends so much time trying to keep a tight hold on the reins of control in his life. He fears our rejection and doesn’t trust our love therefore, he disobeys, acts out and runs away from it.

Trust is a BIG thing in the kingdom of God. Without it, it is impossible to know Him. When we don’t trust Him we run away from him. We close our ears to His voice and avoid His hand in our lives. We fear his judgment and hide our sin from him. Like my son, in our distrust we remain in darkness, finding it difficult to obey and even harder to love.

To daily life follow Him like we talked about last week, we must trust Him. We must believe that God’s plan, the Cross, worked. We don’t need to prove our worth to Him. We are made worthy because of His Son’s atonement sacrifice. As Danny Silk says in his book, Loving Our Kids on Purpose (a must read), “God is going to be OK no matter what we do. The Father’s attitude toward us in our sin is, “It’s all right,. But I need you to trust me, and I need you to hear me. We’re going to be OK. We’re going to make it through this…..I need you to come close to me, not to be afraid of me and run away. I need you to trust that I love you and that I am with you and for you. Come here.” If we don’t believe that He is for us that Christ’s sacrifice is enough to redeem us we will spend all our time trying to earn His love, not rest in it. Our lack of trust will hold us in bondage to fear. Fear that there is nothing we can do to earn His love. Hear this…..there is Nothing we can do to earn His love…..we already have it as demonstrated by His Son’s death.

When we don’t trust him we choose to believe that all He wants is to control our lives, to make things harder, to get us to obey. To daily life follow Him we must choose to believe what he really wants is a relationship with us, to give us freedom not to take it away. When He asks us to do something it isn’t for His benefit but for ours and His Kingdom. His commandments aren’t so that He can control us, they are so that we will know how to show Him we love Him and to help guide us into a relationship with Him…His ultimate goal. To daily life follow Him we must choose between the things that pull us into a relationship with the Father and those things that drag us away.

To daily life follow Him and trust in Him, we must realize that He is more concerned with our hearts than our behavior. When our hearts are turned towards Him, our ears are open to the Holy Spirit, and our Eyes focused on the Savior we will demonstrate our love for Him by our actions. Heart first…we must never let anything be more important than our heart’s connection to the Father’s and in doing so we will trust Him and walk in obedience.

Romans 3:22, We are made right in God's sight when we TRUST in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Totally Working for Me ~ Nighttime Fear

When Zachary was just barely three he started having some strange 'dreams' at night that would wake him up screaming. Dreams about bugs, bugs, and more bugs. It eventually made him completely scared to go to bed at night because he was certain that there were bugs out to get him.

I'd like to say that we were always calm and patient with him and helped him through this months-long issue as model parents...but really. Not so much. There were times that I was about at my wits end and struggling for ideas to help him out.

Enter the flyswatter.

Who would have known that a little piece of metal and plastic would do such a world of good? We gave him one to take to bed and he instantly had his defense against the 'bug monsters'.

Somehow, somewhere our kids pick up on monsters {and I'm not kidding you, our oldest just said the word as I typed it - SEE?} and then there are bedtime issues. We do pray with our kids about monsters and pray for peace as they sleep, but here are some creative ideas I've used and seen for helping shoo away those bedtime stinkers {some ideas are from The Wide-Eyed Wonder Years}:

- Spray them away with "monster spray". Fill a spray bottle with water and decorate it for fun. Spritz the room with the spray - just like you would for bugs {Wonder Years}

- Give them a flashlight. There are so many fun kids flashlights but you could even use a smaller one to help shine in the corners of the room - it's a fun little toy!

- Tickle your kids! Play tickle monster with your kids - let him be the ONLY monster you know! {Wonder Years}

- Find a cool night light. We have the standard night lights in our kids rooms, but you can find one shaped like a star or there are many character night lights available. We moved one close to the bed and that helped so much!

This TOTally Working for Me post was written by Jolanthe. You can visit Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations and No Ordinary Moments.

Do you have something that is working for you and your tot? We'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Once Upon a Book ~ Mouse's First Summer


Mouse's First Summer by Lauren Thompson

Summary: Mouse and Minka invite you to celebrate summer with a picnic in the park.

Open Ended Art Time
(read more about open ended art)

Ice Painting: place piece of paper into a baking pan or box. Sprinkle Kool-aid all over. Place a few ice cubes on top, shake and slide the ice all over so it wets the Kool-aid making a pretty design!

Motor Skills

Sun Prints and Sun Prints I Spy:

Make sun prints and have your LO match up the print left on the paper to the item it belongs to. For complete directions see Sun Prints I SPY at Teaching My Little Bookworm.

Snack Time

Sun Baked S'mores


~ Graham crackers
~ mini marshmallows
~ chocolate chips
~ pie plate
~ tinfoil
~ sunny day!


Have LO place one graham cracker sheet in a foil pie plate. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and miniature marshmallows. Cover the pie plate with tin foil. Place outside in a sunny, hot place and check after 10 minutes. They are done when the sun has melted the chocolate and marshmallow.

Circle/Song Time

Put A Hat On Your Head

Put a hat on your head
Sun cream on your face
Play under a tree

that's the safest place
When you're playing outside
And you're having lots of fun
stay under the shade
And keep out of the sun.

More Summer Fun

~ Blow bubbles
~ Play in the sprinkler
~ Catch fireflies (lightning bugs)
~ Have a picnic

Ideas from: Perpetual Preschool and Preschool Education Songs

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, July 22, 2009

Meet CJ...

CJ is 30 months old and full of energy, excitement, and wonder. From the time she wakes till she reluctantly lays her head down at night she is full steam a head. This girl loves grapes, go-gurts, and milk. She loves her dresses but only if she can wear her sneakers with them. Can't really call her a tom-boy but she's not exactly a girly girly either. Being the youngest she still has to forge her own way as she has two older brothers LJ 7 and JJ 5, who don't cut her any slack and she does her best to keep up with them in her own way. She hasn't met a fish or dog that she hasn't wanted to bring home and she can always be found doting on our two turtles. We love how CJ has changed the dynamics of our family and often wondered how we ever made it without her with us!!!!

Her Top Ten Tot School Tools...
-play doh
-wooden shapes puzzles
-Usborne baby books
-PlayTime Critters (little tikes Farm 3-D memory match-up)
-Giant Sticker Book
-color paints & crayons

Her Favorite DVDs/TV Shows...
-Mickey Mouse Club House
-Sponge Bob
-Baby Einstein
-Mickey Mouse in Living Color

Her Favorite Books...
-Jump Frog Jump
-Good Night Dog
-Cuddly Baby

CJ's Mommy blogs at... Learn to Love, Love to Learn

Do you want your tot to be featured one week? Go here to read more details!

Monday, July 20, 2009

In My Heart~ Nahum 1:7

In our house my husband is ALWAYS encouraging us to know the Lord, to stay close to Him. There is safety close to the Father; he can keep us safe from unforeseen troubles. When we are walking closely with him, he keeps up from stumbling, he directs us in the way that is right. We are living this scripture right now…our family is in a time of “trouble.” God has not left us, nor has he forsaken us, in fact he has taken care of every single need we have. We have plenty of food, clothes to wear, a grandmother who is very generous and each other, still my husband has been out of job for over six months now!

Every morning when we pray we are thanking God for his provision, begging God for employment, trusting in God’s goodness.

My two oldest sons had a very profitable yard service business that they walked away from when we moved back to the Midwest. My oldest son has really felt the desire to get a “real” job. He’s only 14, so there are some limitations. But he has applied at a pizza shop, to be the kid on the corner holding the sign and he’s applied at a grocery store to be the dreaded “cart boy.” He got turned down at both places, but you know what the Lord did? He brought a neighbor over to our house, and she hired him to do yard work. Now, it’s not an on-going job, but it’s still an answer to a prayer and I believe that God will keep answering. Son trusting: God Providing

My second son has always wanted to take some kind of martial arts class. It’s never been in the budget and he’s been so gracious and good-natured despite that. We were out garage saling the other day and he found a brand new, amazingly top quality bench press with weights for $35. He was able to buy it with his own money and has discovered that he loves the challenge of lifting weights. He’s never complained about not getting to do karate. Son Trusted: God Provided

My oldest daughter was so sad to leave Washington because she had some really special girl friends over there. We had many talks and prayers to the Lord about this worry she had. Do you know she has more friends now then she did over there and these are people we see often! She is so happy and so thankful and is continually telling me how glad she has a friend like “such and so.” It’s another wonderful example of God’s compassion and goodness. Daughter Trusted: God Provided

This is kind of a silly example, but it is true just the same. My 6 year old found a frog. He loved that frog and his mean ole’ momma made him let it go. He was sad, but complied. A day later daddy brings him home a turtle that he found crossing the road. Not only that, but since then, daddy has put a pond in our back yard for the turtle and that six year old has added 10 frogs to his little collection! Truly it was a day of trouble for a six year old when his momma makes him return his pet to the wild, but we talked about how because he honored his mom, God could bless him. And boy did He! Son Trusted: God Provided

I could go on and on, but you see the trend. God is so good. His goodness is beyond my understanding most days. I think it’s important to remind our children when God has answered their prayers, to remind them that God is their stronghold, their ever present help in time of trouble, to let them learn to trust and know the Lord. Why He cares about our little “troubles” is beyond me, but I will feel that I’ve served my family well if I can show them how trusting in God, and striving to KNOW him, leads to a place of safety and peace.

Go here to find the PDF files for our verse this week!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Now I Know My ABC's ~ Nn

It's time for some fun Nn activities!!! 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 the PDF of the cover sheet for your ABC notebook!

The Ark that Noah Built
by Melody Carlson

Summary: A retelling in rhyme of the Bible story of Noah's ark.

Nn is for Noah


- Noah Printout
- Crayons
- Construction paper (for backing)
- Glue

To Make:

1. Print out the Noah picture
2. Have LO color it
3. Write Nn is for Noah on it and you could highlight the word Noah also if you'd like
4. Glue it to the construction paper and hole punch it so you can add it to the alphabet book

Night-time by Alastair Smith

Summary: See what animals do when you are asleep. Cats prowl, mice scuttle, owls swoop and bats flutter across the pages, capturing the night-time atmosphere in different environments from backyard to rainforest.

Nighttime Animals Matching

- Crayons
- Scissors
- Clear contact paper, laminate or packing tape (since pieces are small)
- Construction Paper
- Glue

To Make:

1. Print off the nighttime/daytime animal worksheets
2. Have LO color the animals
3. Laminate with the contact paper or laminate film and cut out
4. If using clear packing tape cut out then cover with the tape on both sides
5. Glue the work mat (page 1) to the construction paper
6. Place your animal pieces in a baggie or envelope
7. Add to your alphabet book

More Noah Activities

Rainbow and Noah's Ark Lesson with crafts
- More Noah's Ark Coloring Pages
- Two Noahs Ark File Folder Games
- Another Noah's Ark File Folder Game

Get Real with God ~ Daily Life Following

Daily Life Following

~Part One~

One of the things my husband and I are most strict about with our children is that when we call them they need to come right away…first time. It isn’t a matter of control really, but a matter of obedience and sometimes safety…you know your parents. The other day my oldest was up from the table in the middle of lunch and I wanted him to get back in his seat. We were eating outside so he was on the side of the house when I called him back. I know he heard me because he turned and looked but that’s it. He didn’t move. Just looked at me like, “What are you going to do if I don’t.” I was MAD and he knew it but that didn’t motivate him to move. I actually had to get up and get him. What happened after isn’t really necessary for the purpose of this devotion, but it wasn’t pretty.

This situation got me thinking about the way I am with my Father. Do I come when He calls? First time, no questions asked. I know I answered the call when I was young and chose to follow Him, but do I make the daily decisions necessary to truly come to Him when He calls me?

Daily life following is hard. Just like I ask of my kiddos, sometimes He asks me to do things I really don’t want to do. In Matthew 19 a rich, young man comes to Jesus and asks him what good things he must do to have eternal life. Jesus tells him that he must keep the commandments. To which the young man replies, “I’ve obeyed all of the commandments.” I bet the kid was thinking, “Sweet! I’m in. That was so much easier than what I thought it would be.” But Jesus wasn’t done, you see He knew what was going on. He saw to the heart of the man and in verse 21 He says, “If you want to be perfect go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Wow! Hard stuff. Remember this was a RICH young man. Sadly, the man heard this, and went away.

Your Father knows you. He knows what is beneath the seemingly benign questions you ask of Him. He knows what you are holding on to in your life that keeps you from following Him with your whole heart and just like He called his disciples, He is calling you. Matthew 16:24, Then Jesus said to the disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life.”

Daily life following means listening first. Listening to what the Father is telling you through the Holy Spirit in your life. Sometimes it is just a breath, an inkling or reminder of something He wants you to do for His people…write an encouraging note to a friend or help mow your neighbors lawn. Other times it is a directive like I received the other day, “Traci, you need to take a computer break.” No, I didn’t hear audible words, but the words in my heart were so clear there was no need for a voice and sadly I had been hearing the Holy Spirit tell me this for a month or so. I just didn’t want to do what He told me. How like my children I am. You see, He knows what is standing in the way of me and Him and most often, I can’t see it as clearly. I am too occupied with the computer in front of me and the lives lived out in the blogs I read and not focused on my life and what He wants me to do with it. You see anything can become a distraction, an idol, even good things so much so that when He calls, we don’t even hear, let alone answer.

Daily life following means choosing to do what He says. God doesn’t demand. He doesn’t threaten or hold things over our heads. He loves. He saves. He forgives. Choosing to do what He tells us to do isn’t about control it is about safety really. Following Him puts you under His protective covering. He knows you best. He knows whatever He is asking you to do, give up, take up or let go of is really in your best interest and will ultimately bring you life everlasting. You don’t have to do it, He will still love you, but doing it shows Him how much you love Him. I John 2:5, But those who obey God’s word really do love him. He doesn’t need you to do it, you need you to do it. He doesn’t need me to take a computer break, I need to take one. My ability to hear Him and daily follow Him depends on my obediently answering His call and doing what He tells me.

He may not be asking you to sell all like He did the rich, young man, because ALL may not be your hang up, but he may be asking you to do something else equally as hard in you life. Are you listening and responding first time, no questions.

Remember…..Matthew 11: 29-30, Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cute Tots

Tots sure are cute, aren't they? Be sure to click on the photos to visit the mom bloggers of these cute tots!

Is one of these tots your tot (or has your tot been featured as a Cute Tot in the past)? Grab this button for your blog to share with your readers...

Cute Tot

Want to send in a photo of your Cute Tot? Click Here!

Friday, July 17, 2009

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!!!!

Ergo Carrier (YES this is for tots! We still use ours with Krash on our's great!!!!), ends 7/27/09

Toilet Time Targets, ends 7/20/09

It's a Girl Thing, ends 7/24/09

Bebe au Lait Hooded Towel, ends 7/27/09

See Kai Run Shoes, ends 7/31/09

Kimochis Feeling Toy, ends 7/23/09

(another) Kimochis Feeling Toy, ends 7/20/09

Hazelaid Jewelry, ends 7/29/09

Story Tots Custom book, ends 7/29/09

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Once Upon a Book ~ Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!


Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner

Summary: Complete with an "actual size" chart and "bug-o-meter" listing fun facts about each insect, "Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!" is sure to inform and entertain little bug lovers everywhere.

Art Corner

Worms in the Grass: Take blue construction paper and finger paint it with green paint to make grass. Then take different lengths of brown yarn and have your LO glue them to the painting for 3-D worms in the grass.

Snail Searching: Have fun looking for snails. We haven't been able to find any snails this summer so far which is odd since usually we have tons! If you find one, be sure to keep it for the next activity!

A Snail is an artist! book


~ 1 to 2 pieces of paper
~ eyedroppers
~ markers
~ water colored with food coloring
~ live snail


1. Fold the paper in half and make it look like a book.
2. Have your LO draw a picture with markers on the left side of the 'book'.
3. Use the eyedroppers to drop colored water drops on the right side of the 'book'.
4. Put your snail on one of the drops. As the snail moves, his trail will make a picture.
5. Have fun!

Circle/Song Time

Create the homemade book {below} and sing this song together!

Hunting Bugs

Sung to: "A- Hunting we will go"

A-hunting we will go
A -hunting we will go
We'll catch a (insert any insect here)
and put it in a box
(loudly) and then we'll let it go!

Homemade Book: Go on a bug hunt and take your camera along. Once you or your LO find a bug ~ take a picture. Have the pictures printed up and make a homemade bug book!

Snack Time

Ants on a Stump: Take an apple and cut it in half so it is a circle. Spread peanut butter on the apple half. Add some raisins for the ants!

Ideas from: Perpetual Preschool and Preschool Education Songs

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!