Summer Goal: Learn to Spell Our Name

Untitled design-4With my daughter being 3 1/2 years old when she returns to preschool this fall, I would really like for her to learn how to spell her name. Not necessarily WRITE it, but spell it out loud. Plus, it will definitely help her with letter recognition. (Which I learned is a 3 year old skill.)Β  She can recognize her name when she sees it written out, but she doesn’t know how to tell me to spell it. Her name is Khloe, and before we started working on it she knew “K – uh I don’t know – o – Mama what’s that one.” πŸ˜‰

I bought a writing tablet from Dollar General that has the wide lines and dotted center line. Every few days I will write her name out in dotted lines and she will “write” them, a.k.a. trace them. As she writes them I point to the letter and she has to tell me what it is. Then when she is finished with each one we have a huge celebration. πŸ˜€

After she has written out her name three times (we go with three times each time we do it, because that is about what our attention span can handle at this point), we go over the letters one last time. She has actually progressed to knowing everything except the “h”!! I am so proud of her! Of course, at times she gets in a hurry or is not real focused and misnames a letter after just saying it correctly. I’m patient, though. Mama understands that she’s three and sometimes learning just is not as fun as it was yesterday.

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She loves her little desk, too.

 

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We also swap out working on number recognition as well. All of my workbooks I have bought at Dollar General or Wal-Mart.

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Look at that first cute little 3 written by herself. πŸ˜‰ Love it!

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Obviously I helped with the first independent 10, but the last one was all her! ❀

Do you teach preschool at home?? I may work full-time outside of the home, but we try to dedicate a few nights a week to focusing on learning with mom and dad. I would love to hear some ideas you have! Leave them in the comments below!!

 

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Our 1st Mom & Daughter Road Trip

Untitled design-4This past weekend we found our selves on a spur of the moment road trip to Mobile, AL. My best friend from college’s father had passed away and I made the drive to spend time with her and her family. Trevor had to work, so my daughter and I loaded up and we headed out Friday morning (yes, on the 4th of July. Love and friendship know no holiday) at 4:45 a.m. and headed for Mobile. We arrived around 10 a.m., stayed all weekend, and headed home Sunday morning around 11 a.m. It was good to see her and a family that I love dearly, but I truly hated the circumstances. Her entire family, even relatives I had never met before, made my daughter and I perfectly at home. The first night we stayed with her aunt and uncle because they had a daughter the same age as mine. Then the second night we stayed at my friends to get a full nights rest before driving back. We just hung out with the family and went with their queues on the comfort and healing process. I am truly thankful I was able to be there for her! Saturday there were a few hours when the family just needed to take care of some things, so my daughter and I made the 30 minute drive over to Dauphin Island and got in some much needed Mom and Daughter time. It was definitely not what we had foreseen for our holiday weekend, but with the given circumstances I would not have wanted to spend it any other way.

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4:45 a.m. Friday getting ready to leave the driveway.

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Excited that we get to spend a little quality time together on our first road trip!

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FINALLY went back to sleep. She stayed awake from the time we got in the car until almost Montgomery!!

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She was awake by the time we got to Mobile, and was excited about the bridges. πŸ™‚

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She finally got to meet my best friend’s “little sister”. She enjoyed their entire family! She now has a pepaw and second mimi and a few more aunts and uncles πŸ˜‰

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My best friend’s younger cousins. She said they were her best friends.

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We were still able to celebrate a little with her family.(Check out those shoes. We can travel 5.5 hours from home and my child will still manage to find the dress up diva shoes to play in.)

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Saturday we did give them a little time to take care of things and headed over to Dauphin Island. She LOVES the ocean and beach. I also think I found the spot for our family vacation next summer! I had never been either.

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Sand, sun, ocean, and cheetos. What more could a girl need? πŸ˜‰

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Of course we went hunting for sea shells, too.

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She has got this figured out!!

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We stopped in Prattville for gas and lunch on our way home Sunday. She proceeded to roll her window down and let me know she likes for the wind to blow in her hair. Ha! (I locked the windows after that πŸ˜‰ )

 

I hope you spent your holiday weekend with your loved ones and had a great time!

 

Easy Summer Toddler Crafts

This summer I have vowed will be different than last summer. Last year I was completing an internship and getting ready to graduate with my Bachelor’s degree during the summer semester. I was zero fun. I don’t even remember having any fun! I WAS CRAZY. This summer, I have already planned so many things to do with my daughter and since she loves crafts, of course they were a big part of the planning!

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This turtle inspired us to make one of our own. We took a paper plate and she went to town painting it green. It was total “freedom of expression.” I made the spots for the shell, his “feet” as we called them, and his head out of black construction paper. Find the eyes in any craft section. Our turtle’s spots don’t look so amazingly organized. A three year old tends to see symmetry and art in a completely different light πŸ˜‰

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This fish and the next photo are going to be our upcoming crafts. How hard can this one be? Cut the triangle for the mouth, then go back with scissors that cut shapes to create his teeth. I believe I’ll let my daughter paint it however she wants. Maybe I’ll find the Rainbow Fish book to go along with it. He might come out like a rainbow as well!!

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I love this! I think we can get as creative or simple with this as we want. I think in the picture they are using small paper bowls, but we’ll probably stick with the plate. (Just because I already have a stack of them.) I have lots of left over crafting ribbon and tulle that we can use to create our jellyfish. I can’t wait to make both of these crafts soon!!

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We have not attempted this project yet, but surely it cannot be that difficult? Paper plate, hole punch, yarn, beads, feathers and voila! I’m like a man when it comes to following directions. I didn’t even search out instructions for this idea… I just know if I have the materials I can make it work πŸ˜‰

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I guess this one could be a little more difficult. But only because of getting the fish drawn and cut out. Ha! Let your child paint the plate blue while you man the fish project. Create the fish using white paper and then hand it off for painting to the toddler as well. I think I would use green tissue paper (or construction paper or whatever works for you) and cut or tear the strips to my desired length(s). The bottom appears to be white beans of some sort… and what kid throughout history hasn’t loved making something out of beans and pasta shells?! We might save this one for a Saturday when we have time to take breaks and then finish working on it.

I love these crafts! All you need is:

(1) Paper plates

(2) Paint of all colors (and paintbrushes)

(3) Construction paper (and tissue paper if you choose)

(4) Scissors – one regular pair and then a few that cut in shapes/angles

(5) Scrap ribbon, string, yard, tulle, fabric, etc.

(6) Crafting beads and crafting feathers

(7) Small white beans

(8) Glue. Hot glue gun, glue stick (if your toddler is hands on with glueing), or Elmer’s glue (if you’re brave and messy). Just make sure you have glue.

 

I will have to update you all with our photos after we have them all made!

{NEWEST} Children’s Clothing Store with AMAZING Prices!!

HELLO FRIDAY!!

Are you as happy as I am that the weekend is here?? Well to add a little more joy to your happy day… I have some awesome news to share!!

A friend of mine has opened a new children’s boutique. It is very upscale clothing for VERY discounted pricing. And no worries… you don’t have to live in my area to shop! It is online based and everything ships next day! How awesome is that?? You should check them out… C&J Cutie Couture. If you decide to order… be prepared to have a PayPal account! You can also check them out on Instagram.

Below are the summer outfits currently in stock. (PS… isn’t that model adorable. I sure think so. πŸ˜‰ )

NOTE: Sizes offered are 12 months – 4T and are based upon availability.

Click on the pictures to be taken to the exact photo on her site.

 

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Again, please patronize this amazing store or share with someone who might be interested!! I’m excited to finally find someone offering clothes at reasonable prices for children who only play in them!!

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!

Free Natural Science Museum in North AL

This past weekend we made a spontaneous decision to take our daughter to the Cook’s Natural Science Museum in Decatur, AL. Admission is free and it is an amazing place to take children ranging 3 and up. (And I love Free Activities.) Spring of 2015 it will be moving to a new, larger location in Downtown Decatur. So be sure and check the website for updates if you decide to visit!

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Cook’s Natural Science Museum

Of course, because the museum is owned by the company/family that owns Cook’s Pest Control, there definitely had to be bugs near the front entrance. πŸ˜‰

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Most of the gigantic bugs have origins in other countries. THANK GOODNESS!

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This was our favorite set of bugs HAHA! The blue butterflies were a winner.

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This thing could give me nightmares.

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Moth. Large moth.

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A City Wildlife Habitat.

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Next was a walk through of ocean and beach science. Seashells of EVERY shape, color size.

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Pelican. (And a pirate ship steering wheel. Khloe wished she could be on a pirate ship πŸ˜‰ )

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Porcupine Fish

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The Snout of a saw fish. I cannot imagine the size of the fish on the other end!

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This is always my favorite part in every natural science museum: the rocks, minerals, stones, etc.

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Of course, we had to examine each one of these.

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Now, how often do you get a change to hold a meteorite?

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Here is the said meteorite. It weighed around 20 lbs.

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We loved the “glittery” rocks. πŸ™‚

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Again, my favorite part.

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We found Swiper the Fox!! πŸ˜‰

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She wanted to stand next to the baby bear.

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I love how realistic it all appeared!

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River/ Pond natural habitat. Possibly Dad’s Favorite part.

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I wish I had a video of Khloe’s reaction when she walked around the corner to this. LOL

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A “torcupan” AKA Porcupine. πŸ˜€

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This could almost freak you out as realistic as it appears. Khloe loved to inform us that she knew it was a rattlesnake, but she hates snakes, “yuck!”

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This is an ELEPHANT LEG BONE.

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This was the closest Khloe would get to the Alligator. Haha!

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Full shot of the Alligator.

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Had never seen an Ostrich egg before. Wow.

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Bald Eagle. Magnificent.

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Eagle.

I did miss getting pictures of many of the other fowl. Turkeys, Swans, Canadian Geese, ducks of EVERY kind, hawks, and more. These are definitely not pictures of every single animal in the museum. We easily spent over an hour there. Khloe did not want to leave and would have circled through a few more times if we had let her. We bribed her with ice cream, though, and she was happy to go to the car. πŸ˜‰

If you live in North Alabama or find yourself passing through, this is a must visit attraction. The current location is free, so make sure you check the website before heading out to make sure the have not moved locations yet.

We Love Youth Rodeos

We love the youth rodeo events at one of the local Cowboy Churches in our area. We are not members of the church, but the public is welcome. This is our second year to participate in the Youth Rodeo Series at the Cowboy Church of Colbert County, Inc.Β  She loved the events she could participate in last year so when this year’s series rolled around, we took her back! She can only participate in a few events because of her age. She technically qualifies to participate in stick horse racing, ribbon pulling, dummy roping, barrel racing, and pole bending. She is not old enough to control her pony by herself, so we only let her do the stick horse race and the ribbon pulling. We’re looking to start dummy roping next year. πŸ™‚

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She had taken her hat off and said, “yeehaw.” We were getting ready for the May Youth Rodeo.

 

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After we get signed up and settled in our chairs, she has to climb the gate. It is the coolest and must-have thing to do every time we go. πŸ˜‰ We also go see the goats and cows, but I did not get a picture of that.

 

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Once the rodeo is actually starting, they always ride the American Flag through the arena as the National Anthem is being played.

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Waiting on her turn to stick horse race. They each individually run down and around a barrel, then back across the finish line while being timed. It is way too cute.

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Ribbon Pulling

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The whole idea is that each child runs down, pulls the ribbon off of the goat, and runs back across the finish line while being timed. It’s hilarious and adorable to watch all of them.

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This isn’t my child, but once she turns 6 she can participate in Goat Tying. Either mounted or unmounted. As you can tell in the picture, this child was mounted. She rode down on her horse, jumped off, laid the goat down and tied his feet together in order to receive her time. (The goat is tied to a rope on a stake so that children aren’t chasing it all across the arena.) I’m so pumped. I get Khloe excited telling her that when she turns 6 she can do that too! We also saw a boy pull his own tooth because he forgot to unhook his rope from his saddle horn. No worries, they found it for him!

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After her two events, we hung around for a while to watch the barrel racing for her age group. She loves wearing her daddy’s hat. I want to find her a small one πŸ˜€

 

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She was daddy and he was Khloe. Ha!! Do you like her clover bracelet I made her? Talk about taking me back to my childhood!

 

I love that they set a time in between the younger children’s events and the older (up to 18) children’s events for a Devotion. A leader from the church enters the arena and spends about 10-15 minutes giving a bible study/ devotional to the entire crowd. What a great ministry!

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My little country baby. ❀

Β I hope she continues to love the youth rodeo events, especially as she gets older and can get more involved in the different categories.

It was a Mom and Daughter Kind of Day

Β Good morning and Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend!! πŸ™‚

A few weeks ago we received news about the dreaded “F” word at work (a.k.a. Furlough). Thankfully, I can break mine apart instead of taking it all at once. I decided to take mine for 5 Wednesdays and keep my daughter home from the Summer Program at her school. Save money when not making money AND spend extra time with my daughter than I usually get. It was a win-win! Last week was our first Mom and Daughter Day. I don’t think it could have been more perfect!

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We started breakfast with pancakes. They were requested to be purple and with sprinkles. So that is what we had. πŸ˜‰

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I have to admit, she had a pretty cute idea even though I was skeptical at first.

Β Then we watched a few cartoons. (Some Paw Patrol, Team Umi Zoomi, and Dora).

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After about an hour of TV I cut it off and we commenced to a little arts and crafts time! She loves it. Here we made a caterpillar. We also made a Father’s Day craft for dad… but that is for a later post.

 

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Here she did a little free painting and decided this was for Daddy. Together they decided it was “the Earf.” (Earth)

 

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About noon we headed to the Splash Pad in town. Look out world here we come. πŸ˜‰ I do not know how she is such a diva, but it is adorable.

 

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She played on the playground a while before actually hitting the water and sprinklers.

 

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While we were at the splash pad, I saw a girl I graduated with and she had her daughter with her, who is a few months younger than mine. They had never seen each other before, but as you can see in this picture… you would never imagine they didn’t know each other. It was sweet!!

 

We headed home around 3 and played dress up for a while until Dad came home from work. We played Dr. with her Doc McStuffins set and outfit and then all cleaned up for church. We ended the evening by attending Wednesday night service at our church and picking up some fast food on our way home.

It was a pretty perfect day for this Mama! πŸ™‚

 

Have you ever had to take a furlough? Did you decide to make the best of it with your kids? If so, what activities did you plan out that we might could take advantage of??