Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy New Year!

We are all doing very well.  Enjoying our holiday vacation with family and friends.



Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year!  


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Back to School!


This year I am at the kids school half days Monday-Friday.  We love being together!
I will post about my Internship later!

Ready for the first day of school!


The kids school got goats this year.  Very exciting!


And big boy is starting in ta Toddler classroom half days next week.  We have been waiting for him to walk well.  I am so excited for him.  He just loves to be around people.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Kids summer work

The kids put a lot of hours reading this summer and even some math and geography work.  Even Daddy did some science experiments with them.
We are a week away from school starting!

Here is some of their summer work.  I know I had more pictures, I just can't seem to be able to get organized with Blog pictures.   Very frustrating.  The kids have also been working on math facts, sweet boy has worked with the division and multiplication boards, and bella with the stamp game.  Stamp game is Bella's favorite math work.  I am slowly realizing just how smart she is.  She amazes me sometimes.  She definitely got that from her Daddy!

The smiling toddler had to be placed in another room after destroying the map twice!

Sweet baby and his books with Mr. Potatoe Head's glasses!.  He signs "Read Book"!
Lots and Lots of lego building, specially miniature stuff like this little Piano.  Sorry for the blurry picture.
I LOVE toddlers! So sweet.
Maps came out again.  Bella has been very interested in the flags, countries and animals of the world.  Possibly because of the Olympics.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Beach!

We had a great time visiting my husbands family once again this summer.
My husband lost his Mother this May to cancer. Our trip was good but the the joy of Grandma having her grandkids around was missing. She LOVED going to the beach with the kids.

They would all fall asleep as soon as we got in the car after the beach.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Swim Meets

Bella, the kids friend in the middle and sweet boy!

The kids have had a great summer competing and even winning some first, second and third place ribbons!

We are really enjoying watching the Olympics with the kids this year. They are excited because they understand all the swimming strokes and relays.

These are pictures of their first place races.
He is the one with the cap
Beautiful!

Sweet Bella is the one with the cap
I have to remind people that she is ONLY 6 years old!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Organizing our busy life *Part two: The calendar

Part One - The mail
Part Two - The calendar
Part Three - The home management notebook (coming soon)
Part Four - The teachers notebook and my planner (coming soon)
Part Five - Our finances (coming soon)

 
This simple calendar system was conceived the day my husband and I both had separate events the same evening and no babysitter.

I will first tell you about my situation. Your situation may look different so you may need a different system.

I am the person in our household who arranges all school pickups, school drop offs, therapies, doctor appointments, after school activities and sitters. My husband schedules baseball.

My husband and I are teachers so our lives are very busy and without wiggle room August trough May. We have three school calendars: my husbands from xyz school district, my kids from their private school and mine from the city college.



In May I purchase this wall calendar. It runs July to June.  It lives on the refrigerator. You can purchase these at any office supply store, Target or Wal-Mart.  Size 81/2 by 11.

I transfer ALL dates from the three school calendars to this calendar.

Since I also participate in 4+ committees at work and I am President of a local organization
I transfer the dates to my personal planner so that when I am in a meeting I can see what I have going on.

The calendar on the refrigerator is used for the following reasons:

1. So my husband and I know when there are before and after school commitments. Example: if the youngest has a therapy session at 8am then my husband will need to take the kids to school. If I see he has parent conferences on a Monday night then I need to take my oldest son to baseball or have him go with a friend.

2. All of my youngest son's therapies and everyone's doctors appointments are penciled in here.

3. Carpool schedule is here.

4. Weekend activities are here.

5. All of my work commitments are in my planner and only placed on the refrigerator calendar if it means that I will need a sitter or if it means that I will not be able to transport the kids or I will be out of town.

6. PTA commitments are here.

My husband uses a planner and his iPhone to set appointments and reminders.

I have thought about using google calendar but I like the feel of a physical calendar. I also benefit from looking at the refrigerator every morning and night.

Well, that is all for my calendar system. How do you set up your families calendar system?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Organizing our busy life *Part One: The mail

Part One - The mail
Part Two - The calendar
Part Three - The home management notebook (coming soon)
Part Four - The teachers notebook (coming soon)
Part Five - Our finances (coming soon)

About three months ago I found a great post from A bowl full of lemons blog on pinterest on how to organize mail

I did not have a good way to organize the mail and papers the kids brought home from school. I also spent a lot of time trying to find certain information that I should have had in one place. The only thing I had going on right was a good calendar system.

So here is how I organize my busy life and that of my family. Starting with incoming mail and papers.

Here is my version.



This basket is on top of a little table next to the kitchen.  The organic feel of the basket and folders makes this very appealing to me.  I liked it a lot more than the wire or plastic filing storage containers.

I purchased these pretty folders from Target. They came with labels and an online template to print. Since the labels were not on a whole sheet of paper, I taped the labels to a whole sheet of paper for ease of printing. Just tape them to a corner of your 8.5x11 sheet of paper.  Print on plain paper to see how to tape and feed the paper.



I made the following categories:
- To pay
- To file
- To read
- Coupons
- One for my daughter
- One for my school age son
- Return to school

In the 'to pay' I put any bill even if it is auto paid. This way I file all of the statements at the beginning of the month.




I use this little file for the monthly bills and only keep one year worth of statements.

In the 'to file' folder, I place anything that comes in that I've read that just needs to be filed in my bigger file system. Not bills and not children's work. (retirement statements, tax papers, medical letters, insurance papers, etc)
Here is where I put the papers that need to be filed.  It is a small hand held plastic file storage that I can place under my desk.  Also purchased at target.


In the 'to read' folder I have things like newsletters, brochures, things that I need to read for the kids school, etc.

The 'coupons' folder contains all coupons and discounts that come in the mail or I get when shopping. I am not into heavy couponing so this is a simple system.

The 'kids' folder. Completed school work and art work that comes home I will put it in their individual folder. We take pictures of all of their art work.
A few special pieces get framed but most goes in the trash after a picture has been taken. I will be making a Digital book of their Artwork by year.
Other work and a few pieces of art work will go in their school file. One file folder per child per year.

'Return to school' - the kids Thursday folders and anything else that goes back to school and fits in the folder.

This system has worked so great. I've had it in place for over five months and it has cleared off my counter and kept me sane!  I no longer shuffle papers endlessly thinking about what to do with them.




Friday, July 13, 2012

Ice Skating and Swim Team

This summer the kids are taking ice skating lessons and participating in our local swim team.
It gets so hot in the Dallas/Ft Worth area that we have to participate in activities that keep us cool!

They both absolutely LOVE these sports and wish to continue. If I only had a personal driver for them!

Here are a few pictures.

PS- My first post with Blogger App. I hope this is my solution to post easily.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New work for Baby

Baby is two now and  I need to come up with a blog name for him.  He is not a baby anymore.  :(  I'll work on that!

I got this idea from his physical therapy session.  They use this to distract the child so he or she will stand without assistance and play and not notice they are standing by themselves.  It also works on muscle strength having to bend each time to place the puzzle piece in the basket.

Taking off the puzzle piece.

Taking another piece off with the other hand so now trying to balance.

Putting piece in the basket.   Still holding on for support.  He will sometimes let go and bend without wall support.

All of the materials I had so this project cost me $0.

Materials:

  • Small white board
  • Puzzle pieces
  • Velcro circles
  • Small basket

Directions:

See how high to attach the whiteboard to your desired location.  I did it so that my sweet baby has to get on his tip toes to get the top puzzle pieces.
Place velcro circles on the white board and  velcro circles on the back of the puzzle pieces and you are done!

Hope you enjoyed and can make one for your Toddler!  So much fun!











Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sweet Boy and Bella Update!

I started this post over a month ago!   I finally got all of my pictures moved over to this computer and can finish up this post!

Bella is growing up so fast.  I can see how her language is changing, how she is maturing, and how her baby talk has gone away. 
Bella wakes up in the morning and gets herself ready and makes her bed.  She loves to do her chores.  I hope this does not change!

Sweet Boy keeps being the role model and Bella wants to do what her brother does.  We tell Sweet Boy how he is the role model and he takes his job of teaching his sister seriously (most of the time!).

Both kids really love school and their teachers. 

Here are a few pictures of the kids at school.

Kindergarten Graduation!  Bella is now a 1st Level.  How fast they grow!

Chasing chickens at school!  I don't think she was suppose to let the chicken out!
.

Sweet Boy is participating in Boys Scouts


Isabela is a Daisy!















Both kids have started Piano lessons.
 

Bella is still dancing!


Sweet Boy is still loving baseball and on a team.

The kids just got out of school today and I am done teaching so I hope to make time for posting.  I will be finishing up my Montessori Elementary training over the summer but other than that we will be home all summer!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Toddler Activities



The following is the shelf that lives in our dinning room.  This was taken many months ago.  The works are now different.

To the left of this shelf is his table.
My son is currently using the table for snack time and some lunch time.  The table is from Ikea.  The legs were cut so his feet would touch the floor.  At age two or even one a half, typical children can easily get in and out of this chair and carry their plate to the chosen place for dirty dishes.  My son is not there yet.  He is working on getting in and out of the chair.  He does fine eating by himself but I need to be with him to help with the cup or he will spill it all over himself and at some point throw it.

So back to the shelf.  The items on the shelf are often rotated.  Some things stay a very long time because big boy really likes them.  The most important thing that I do for my two year old and this is true for any two year old is to narrow down toys.  What I mean is: if the shape sorter like the one below brings two of each shape, only put out one of each shape.  Once they have mastered that, then put two of each shape.

There is so much language with this toy.  Color, shape, in, out, give me.  This is not a Montessori Toy and most of our toys are not. 

These are the stacking cups.  This particular set comes with 11 or 12 cups.  I only put 4 or 5 out at a time.
 This Leap Frog Toy comes with all of the letters of the alphabet.  Here I put out the vowels.  But now with the speech therapist we are working on certain sounds so I pulled the letters just for those. 

These Arthur books have tabs to open.  Excellent work for big boy.   He LOVES LOVES books.  It is the sweetest thing.  He will sit and look at books for very long periods of time.  He will also sit and listen to me read 4 or 5 board books.

Big Boy loves music.  Music is always out. 

This changes.  Currently transportation! Vroom Vroom!


 Other works I put out for Big Boy:
1. Baskets of items of the same color
2. Bowls and cups with tops to match
3. Discovery basket - random items with different textures for him to discover
4. Always have balls out of different sizes.
5. The playschool farm
6. Puzzles
7. Plastic zoo animals
8.....