Friday, January 29, 2010

GIVEAWAY… I Wish You Enough, by Bob Perks


Yesterday I posted my review of I Wish You Enough, by Bob Perks.   And, it just so happens that I have an extra copy of this book to give away! :)

This would be a great gift for a friend or family member (after you read it yourself, of course). 

If you are interested in winning this, leave a comment below (mandatory first entry).  If you are a follower or subscriber to Tired, Need Sleep, leave another comment for a second entry. 

This contest is only open to those who have a U.S. shipping address.  The contest will end at midnight on February 1st, and I will pick a winner at random on February 2nd.  Please make sure to enable your email address or leave it in your comment.  I will notify the winner via email (and a post on the blog) on Feb. 2.  If I have not heard back from the winner within 48 hours, I will pick a new winner.

Good luck!  I know you will enjoy this little book! 

Have a beautiful day! :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Book Review – I Wish You Enough by Bob Perks

Bob Perks has written a warm, friendly, and inspiring book in I Wish You Enough: Embracing Life’s Most Valuable Moments One Wish at a Time.
He originally wrote a poem by the same title, which became the basis for this book.  The poem speaks of wishing “enough” for those we love… “enough sun to keep your attitude bright.” And “enough rain to appreciate the sun more.”
The book is a compilation of anecdotal stories relating to the idea behind each phrase of the poem (sun/rain, happiness/pain, gain/loss, hello/goodbye).  The stories are very touching and thought-provoking.  This is a book that will give one the desire to embrace all of life – the good and the bad – as a gift from our Father in Heaven. 
The author’s words brought me to tears several times, and had me bursting with joy a few times too.  This book is a treasure you will want to share with everyone you love.  It helped me see a richness in every day life that changed my perspective for the better and has helped me remember to slow down and savor each moment.
This is a book well worth reading and passing on to those special people in your life!
Have a beautiful day! :)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Science Experiment #3 – Expanding Color Crystals

We are still loving our Mind Blowing Science kit!  It continues to engage and fascinate M.  

Experiment #3 (this is actually #4 on the list that came with the kit.  We skipped #3 on the list because someone was not prepared with all the household liquids required for testing.  We’ll get to that one some other time.)…

First, we had two cups of water.  We added a couple of scoops of baking soda (our base) to one cup and a couple of scoops of citric acid (our acid) to the other.   Then we added some red cabbage powder and watched as one cup turned red (acid) and one turned blue  (base).  science 3 (1) So far this was stuff we had already learned, but it was still fun for Mad Scientist M.  

Next, we filled a third cup with a little of the blue water and a little of the red water, and watched it turn purple and foam up.    Apparently there’s no picture of this,  and you’ll have to use your imagination. :)

Then we got out these tiny little polyacrylamide crystals:  science 3 (11) This photo is enlarged… in reality these crystals look a lot like sea salt, but are maybe a tiny bit smaller.

We added 2 scoops of crystals to each cup of colored water.  We couldn’t see them any longer and M thought they had disappeared or dissolved.  We set the timer and waited about 30 minutes.  Here you can see they are starting to gel up:  science 3 (2) The instructions say to wait 2 hours.   So we kept on waiting….

In the meantime, I gave M a little colored water (green – his choice), baking soda, and some vinegar to play with.    Seriously,  bursts of green fizzing foam are a great way to spend your time if you’re stuck waiting for something, in case you don’t already know this. ;)science 3 (4)

2 hours later, here’s what we had: science 3 science 3 (12) science 3 (13)Pretty purple, pink, and blue crystals.   Really, the picture above looks very greenish, but they were actually a pretty blue (grrr… stupid old camera).   AND they were no longer hard, but squishy and soft.  The polyacrylamide crystals are a special plastic that will slowly soak up liquid and become soft.  We are going to let them dry out and then we’ll have pretty, sparkly, tiny little colored crystals. 

M spent quite a long time looking at these and feeling them in his hands.  Mommy and Daddy got in on the fun too.  :) 

For more science with kids, go see Adventures in Mommyhood!

Have a beautiful day! :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Valentine Count and Clip Cards

blog pictures 018
I get so much enjoyment from making little activities for M and other kids his age… I know it probably seems crazy to a lot of people, but this kind of thing is really fun! :)

So, the latest is this set of count and clip cards.  The child counts the hearts on each card then clips (using a clothespin clip or anything similar) the correct number along the side.  These go from 1 to 12.

My little sweetheart and I will be using these during the week before Valentine’s Day. :) 

I printed my set on cardstock and laminated them in order to make them a bit sturdier for the clothespins.  You can print them by clicking on the thumbnail below.  Let me know if you use them!
Have a beautiful day! :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Art Box – January 25, 2010

artbox (1)

Several recent posts from Adventures in Mommydom inspired me to put our old playdough in M’s Art Box this week.  (By “old”, I mean it was made a couple of months ago and has been mixed with enough other colors of playdough that it’s starting to look not-so-pretty.  Besides, I’m itching to cook up some Valentine playdough sometime soon!)  With it I included a little divided container with googley eyes, buttons, sea shells, beads, and glass mosaic pieces.   I also included some pipecleaners. 

M was extremely excited about this!artbox (4)Here’s what he made:blog pictures 006 blog pictures 005 artbox (5)

Aren’t they cute, especially the last one??  He had a ton of fun with this.  So now I know exactly what to do with the playdough when it’s time to make a new batch!   This will definitely be a somewhat regular addition to M’s box.

He’s also been itching to paint craft sticks ever since this.  So… he painted craft sticks.  I was hoping he had some crafty plan for them, but nope.  Just painted them all orange. :)artbox

I also put a roll of electrical tape in the art box.  M saw it and knew exactly what it was for.  We’ve only done this once before (here), but it’s been hanging on the wall ever since and from time to time he has asked to do the “tape painting” again, so I knew he’d be interested.  I let him cut the pieces of tape himself and he put them wherever he wanted, then began painting (first with do-a-dots, then with tempera). artbox (6) I love how it turned out:artbox (7)He said it was a “deep, dark forest” and then “sunshine”.  We had recently read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.  I think this may be where he got the deep, dark forest idea.  He loved taking the tape off!!

He also painted this pretty little picture, which alas, came with no cute story.  I still like it. ;)blog pictures 001

Join in and link up your kid-art below!  It’s so much fun to see what they do on their own!

Have a beautiful day! :)


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tot School – Jan. 24, 2010

image M is 40 months old.

This was a pretty light week for Tot School. I had quite a bit planned and ready to go, but M spent a large amount of time each day in pretend play and was so happily amusing himself, I just let him do his own thing. I expected him to ask to “do school”, but this really only happened on Monday while I was busy (of course!) with housework.

So… perhaps we are entering into a more involved creative play phase? I eavesdropped as much as I could and heard some pretty interesting and exciting things going on. :) It’s always a little stunning to me to realize that my little baby is a real boy and can think on his own and make up stories and well, who knows what else! Am I the only one feeling a bit of bewilderment at this sort of thing??

Anyway, enough rambling. M did his (independent) shelf activities while I cleaned Monday afternoon, and there are almost no action shots of these. Sorry, I know those are always more fun!

Math Skills:

M practiced his size sequencing skills with Scrambler (from Bob the Builder):scrambler size seq.

And with baseballs too:

baseball size seq

Visual Discrimination:

I never know if this sort of thing is a math activity or what… anyway, I’ll just put it in it’s own little category for now. M did these Curious George Shadow Match cards:cg shadow matchThere’s more than just these, but for simplicity’s sake I only photographed a few. I thought these would be fun, but M was not interested. I will bring them back out some time soon because *I* think they are fun! Maybe he’ll change his mind next time around. :)

Literacy Skills:

M did two “cutting pages”, as he calls them, of the letters M and K. I can’t stress how much he LOVES to do these; they are always the very first thing he heads for. M collage page(See the gross brown stuff? That’s what happens when you leave your kid alone with a purple glue stick and he uses the entire thing on one page.)

letter K collage page


We have been singing and playing our instruments a lot and listening to some cds. If anyone has any children’s music recommendations, I’d love to hear them! We learned a fabulous and cute new robot song. Listen to it here!

Fine Motor Skills:

M pulled out all of these puzzles on his own one day and did every single one of them. There were 12 little wooden puzzles in all:puzzle day

On one of his shelves I put out a foam tray (this was originally a mushroom container at the grocery store), and a plastic needle with yarn. He poked the needle through the foam wherever he wanted and then pulled the long length of yarn through. He had so much fun with this and came to show me his “design” several times:sewing foam tray I have to say this was definitely one of the hits of the week!

I also set out a new Dollar Tree 25 piece puzzle for him. He did this completely on his own the first time with no help. :) He’s definitely a puzzle boy. He was so proud of himself and said, “I just kept looking at the picture to see what piece I needed!” new puzzle

His marble track came out and he put it together with only a little mama-direction. He loves this and it’s always fun.marble track

A wonderful friend sent M this fantastic little peg board: blog pictures 002 Can you believe how cute it is?!? I was so excited when I saw it and so was M when he saw it waiting for him the next day. He made designs and rows of patterns, and ran to show me each one. :) This is a sign that he really, really likes something. And, I just realized that marbles sit perfectly on top of these little pegs, so I will be heading to the dollar store very, very soon. ;)

Creative Play / Large Motor Activities:

M was finally able to go outside and PLAY! Yay!

Early in the week we had some beautiful weather – it felt like a little bit of spring. :) In Minnesota that means it hit 32 degrees. ;) It lifted everyone’s spirits a little bit! M bundled up and went out… I wish I could’ve captured more of this on my camera, but I wasn’t able to get many good pictures. Ah well. Here you can see he is trying desperately to ride his bike on the small portion of our patio that has been shoveled:bike in snow It didn’t quite work, but then he found a little ride on toy and “snowplowed” for a while. He then proceeded to lie on his tummy on the deep snow farther back in our yard, and play with his little cars and trucks for close to an hour. I even had our windows open to let in a little fresh air. :)

We made Monkey Bread on Wednesday. Yum, yum!monkey bread

He really loves to bake with me and I need to do more of this kind of thing with him.

Life School:

We have had a challenging couple of weeks lately with M’s behavior. However, things are looking up and he has acquired some new freedoms and been given some new responsibilities. After I-don’t-know-how-many-months of trying to teach him to put one thing away before getting something new out it seems to have really sunk in! He has been so great about this and usually puts toys and activities away on his own without being asked. It’s absolutely heavenly! :) Of course there are always a few exceptions because he will need more than one thing in his play quite often… but I’m telling you, the bedtime clean up has gotten so much easier and quicker. Normally we only have 3 or 4 things to put away! Whoo-hoo! Because it used to be 20!

He’s also started making his own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and he’s allowed to use the microwave to cook his own chicken nuggets. :) This is all under very close supervision you understand. But still, he’s doing great and the more we work at making it fun for him to be a big boy, the better his behavior has gotten.

For more Tot School posts, check it out here!

Have a beautiful day! :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Book of the Week – Jan. 23, 2010

Hands down, the favorite of this week has been Jan Brett’s The Three Snow Bears.
imageThis is a take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a fairytale which M has never heard.  I have read several versions of Goldilocks, so I can’t remember if the bears are friendly in the original story or not-so-friendly.  But in this one the three snow bears are nice, good bears who spend their morning saving a pack of sled dogs who are floating out on a large piece of ice (ice floe?); yet, they are not exactly welcoming of the little girl they find has been in their home while they were gone.  It’s a good combination of knowing they are good… yet knowing they are still bears!  It’s a fun story to read and M has asked for it daily.
For more children’s book recommendations, visit Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns! 
Have a beautiful day! :) 

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sunday School on Friday – Creation

We’ve been reading Bible stories every morning since a little before New Year’s Day. As you can imagine, we are way past the creation of the world by now. However, it’s always good to review and M really enjoyed *creation* activities.
God made all the animals and we sorted them. :) I used a green piece of paper for land animals, a blue piece with waves drawn on it for water animals, and a blue piece with clouds drawn on for animals in the sky. We took M’s Fisher Price Zoo animals and sorted them all onto the squares of pictures 020 After they were all sorted we talked about how it was Adam’s job to name all the animals. We thought that was probably a pretty fun job. ;)
M was also interested in the fact that ostriches have wings but can’t fly. He liked that they are fast runners though! We also talked about the hump that camels’ have and how they store water in them. This led to a discussion of the desert and jungle for the land animals. M decided I should’ve made a desert paper and a jungle paper instead of just one paper for all the land animals. That way we could’ve sorted them a little better. What can I say? He’s right; I need to start running my ideas by him while I’m still in the planning stages, hee hee. This idea was from here.
Then we made a fun sticker collage with foam stickers. First I traced M’s hand on green paper, we cut the hands out and glued them to blue paper to make grass. We added a little pond at the bottom. We added cotton balls for clouds in the sky. M put the sun in the sky and drew a little face on it all by himself. :) He thought it looked a little silly, but I think it looks great. ;) Then we got busy with the other stickers. We made flowers and added animals in the grass, fish in the pond, even a couple of birds in the sky! There’s even Adam and Eve, and if you look closely you’ll even see an apple tree with a cat in it (sorry, no snake!). :) blog pictures 041 M was so proud of his creation and he showed this to Daddy as soon as he came home. He said, “It’s the world that God made!!” So sweet!
And we read this lovely little book:image
Our Nest, by Reeve Lindbergh. I am in love with this sweet book. It’s a perfect bedtime story, making everyone feel safe and secure, as it talks about all the “nests” we have – our homes, our towns, our world, our universe… all of creation is our “nest”, a place to be cared for and loved. The book mentions creation, but does not mention God. However, I do feel that God’s loving hand is implied in the wording. It’s a beautifully illustrated book and a wonderful way to talk about God’s creation with a child!
Have a beautiful day! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Science Experiment #2 – Color Changing Liquids

Our second experiment in our science kit used red cabbage powder (which looks purple), citric acid, and baking soda.

We put water in two cups, then added the cabbage powder to each and watched as the water slowly turned a very pretty 2 (1)

M added citric acid to one of the cups, then baking soda to the other. The first one turned a pinkish red and the second one turned blue! The citric acid and baking soda are both white, so M did not expect the color change at all! science 2 (2)

Then M had a little fun adding more citric acid or baking soda and watching the colors get darker or lighter. Soon he mixed them together and this started some pretty pink fizzing. :) science 2 (5)

Of course, soon everything was dumped out into the tray together and M examined it closely:science 2 (7)

Eventually I gave him a small cup of vinegar and a little bowl of baking soda. He kept scooping the baking soda into the tray, then he used a pipette to squeeze a little vinegar onto the baking soda piles. science 2 (8) To quote M, this was “super-fun”! :)

Baking soda is a base, citric acid is an acid, and the cabbage powder is a neutral. The cabbage juice is a natural dye, and adding a base or acid to it will cause it to turn either red or blue.

For more science fun, check out Adventures in Mommydom!

Have a beautiful day! :)


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