A Little of This and That….

Here is a peek into our week and our life. . . one random thought at a time.

! – Tuesday brought a post-op appointment for Caleb. What we thought would be a quick visit turned into a couple of hours. I am totally ok with that. Dr. T is an amazing surgeon and never rushes with a patient. We were happy to wait while he was in a consultation. Waiting in an exam room with Eddie, Caleb and expensive equipment is always interesting. Thanks to Dr. S for showing us how the fancy smancy light worked. And we learned that Dr. T is old school; he still has his receptionist use a paper schedule book for him. Aw, a kindred spirit. I love paper and pencil.

2 – Bekah and I are re-working her school schedule. I told her that if she tackled math 4 days a week for an hour a day, there would be no math on Friday. I think she might have done a happy dance. In her mind.

3 – We are currently focusing on Van Gogh for our artist study. I think that Martha thoroughly enjoys Van Gogh’s work. She wanted everyone to share Camille and the Sunflowers by Laurence Anholt with her.

4 – I eat a clementine almost every day. This is interesting because I don’t like clementines. This would be the first pregnancy craving that goes against my normal eating choices. It is nice cuddling with Martha and enjoying a snack. She adores clementines.

5 – Every winter I think how nice it would be to enjoy a cup of coffee. Unfortunately, I do not enjoy hot beverages. I can’t even drink hot chocolate. I think I might be ready for spring.

I’m linking up with Random 5 on Friday at The Pebble Pond. I’d love to hear a little of this and that about you and your week!

The Pebble Pond

On the Other Side

One of my favorite past times is snapping pictures of my family.  No special occasion is needed. No exciting location is required to be the backdrop. From kiddos cuddling on the couch to conquering unknown lands outdoors, I always am ready to snap a picture or four hundred. We all love looking back at pictures over the years and re-living the memories.

Guess what? The pictures of me, the mom, are few. I’m behind the camera and I like it there.  I have never been a fan of having my picture taken. This fact has only become more firmly planted in my mind. The camera doesn’t lie. It shows that I’m not as thin as I would like, that my hair could use a trim, that my teeth aren’t perfect and wow, I don’t look twenty anymore!

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3: 2-4

Or does the camera lie? My husband calls me beautiful. He is wearing his glasses when he says it. He means it. He believes it. When he tells me, I believe it, too. When he tells me I’m beautiful, I am. When my children look at pictures of me, they don’t see the wrinkles or the few extra pounds. They see mommy. The one who loves them, reads to them, laughs with them and is always taking pictures. Giggle.

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” Psalm 139:14

What a tragedy it would be, if I was so selfish and insecure that I kept them from having pictures of me. Pictures they can look back on with grandchildren and share stories of their lives.

It isn’t easy. I have to constantly remind myself to hand over the camera. To relax and smile. To stop worrying about perfection. I still don’t do it as often as I should.

As hard as it has been for me, I am glad that I have been encouraged to come to the other side of the camera. I love looking back at pictures that show my children and me together.

Join me. Come to the other side of the camera. Smile. Make a funny face. Strike a pose. Get a snapshot of a memory. You are beautiful, mom. You are. Say cheese!

Fundanoodle – A Review

With little ones always on the move, I always have my eye open for ways to engage their hands and their minds. Fundanoodle is a company that focuses on educational readiness in Pre-K – first grade children using fun, hands on activities. Muscle Movers – Lower Case Letter Cards seemed to be a simple, fun activity to add to our day that I could use with my little ones.

Tell me about these Muscle Mover – Lower Case Letter Cards

The Muscle Mover – Lower Case Letter Cards pack include 26 colorful, sturdy, laminated letter cards, an “o” ring to keep the cards together and a dry erase marker. As soon as your Muscle Mover cards arrive, you can open and go with your young learners.

On one side of each card is a lower case letter. Your child uses this side to practice writing each letter. The cards are laminated for use with the dry erase marker and erase very well.

The second side of the card contains a bright, colorful picture and then a “muscle moving” command such as: “slide like an alligator”,  “scamper like a mouse” or “rock like a turtle”. 

The double sided cards provide opportunity for lots of moving and squirming around and for building fine motor skills. A perfect combination for your young learners.

How Did We Use Muscle Movers?

We added these to our day very informally. While you could use these cards along with teaching your child to read or teaching the sounds of letters, I decided to use them for independent time and for those days when some jumping and rolling around was needed.

I used the action side of the cards with all those who were interested in playing. A couple of my older ones helped out and joined in the fun.  The cards are really great for those days when the younger ones need a few minutes to let out some energy in the midst of big kid math or for rainy days.

My five year old, Sarah, was the main one to use the writing side of the cards. Since the cards were designed for 5-6 year olds, they suited her well.  At times Sam, 3, would want to “write” but it never lasted more than a letter.

The lamination of the cards does provide some versatility. You could have your child “finger write” the letters. Another option is to give your child a bit of playdough and let them use the cards as playdough letter mats. This works really well for those children who need to strengthen the muscles used in fine motor activities. Using pipe cleaners or yarn to form the letters on the muscle mover cards would work well for children who have sensory issues and don’t like the texture of playdough.

Grab a bag, toss in the Muscle Mover – Lower Case Letter Cards along with a dry erase marker and some pipe cleaners and you have a great  learning-to-go bag!

Budget Worthy?

This is a well made, durable product that will hold up to much use. I have had three children dragging these cards all over the house for weeks and the cards show no wear.. However, we play “muscle moving” games frequently so this was not a new concept for us. We have many activities that provide letter writing opportunities. For us, it would not be an investment to make. However, it is not an unreasonable price. The cards will last and be enjoyed. If you have young learners in your home, it might be just the item you need.

Purchasing Information:

Muscle Movers – Lower Case Letter Cards $14.99

Fundanoodle offers a wide variety of items. The crew reviewed several different selections so take a moment and see what others are saying about Fundanoodle.