Thursday, January 29, 2009


"Parents need to fill a child's bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can't poke enough holes to drain it dry. " -
Alvin Price

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Priceless #2...

Package of Durex Condoms: $5.99
Shoe box they're hiding in under the bed: Zero Dollars

Discovering your kids making water balloons out of them in the bathroom sink: Priceless...

(guess I'll be moving that box up onto a very high shelf...)

Thursday, January 22, 2009


"Stop trying to perfect your child, but keep trying to perfect your relationship with him." -Dr. Henker

(I couldn't find any info on the Dr.-but the message is what's important, don't ya think)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Magnetic Letter Games and Uses for Kids

25 Ways to Use Magnetic Letters At Home-

1. LETTER PLAY Encourage children to play with the magnetic letters on the refridgerator or on a table. Playing with letters allows children to learn more about how they look. (TIP: Use metal cookie sheets for letter play. My kids can sit anywhere with the trays-it's great!)

2. MAKING NAMES A child's name is the most important word. Have children make their names several times, mixing up the letters, making their names and checking them with their names written on a card.

3. LETTER MATCH Invite children to find other letters that look exactly the same as a letter in their name (e.g. place an m on the tray and have the child find all the ones that look like it). They don't need to know the letter name.

4. NAME GAME Have children make names of friends and/or family. Have them make the name, mix the letters, and make the names several times.

5. MAKING WORDS Make a simple word like mom or dad or sun and have your child make the same work by matching each letter belowe the model word.

6. ALPHABET TRAIN have your child put the magnetic letters in the order of the alphabet.

7. CONSONANT/VOWEL SORT Have children sort the consonant letters and the vowel letters.

8. FEATURE SORT Have children sort letters in a variety of ways - e.g. letters with long sticks and letter with short sticks, letters with circles and letters with no circles, letters with tunnels and letters with dots, letters with slanted sticks and letters with straight sticks.

9. COLOR SORT Have children sort all the different colors of the letters.

10. UPPERCASE/LOWERCASE MATCH Have children match the uppercase letters with the lowercase form.

11. WRITING LETTERS Have children select ten different letters and write each letter on a paper. They can use the magnetic letter as a model.

12. WRITING WORDS Have children make five simple words (dog, fun, big, hat, like, sit) and then write the words on a sheet of paper.

13. MAKING FOOD WORDS Make some words that identify food - e.g. bun, corn, rice. Have children draw pictures of each, mix the letters and make the words again.

14. MAKING COLOR WORDS Give children a list of color words with an item make in that color as a picture support (e.g. a red ball). Have children make the color word with the letters using the model, mix the letters, and make it again several times.

15. MAKING NUMBER WORDS Give children a list of numbers with the number word next to each. Have children make the word and mix the letters two or three times.

16. LETTER NAMES Specify a color and have children take one colored letter at a time and say the letter name.

17. MAGAZINE MATCH Look through a magazine or newspaper with children, cutting out some large print simple words. Glue them on a sheet of paper with plenty of space below each. Have children make each word below the printed one.

18. FIND THE LETTER make a set of alphabet letters, upper or lowercase, on a set of index cards. Shuffle the deck and take turns drawing a card and finding the magnetic letter that corresponds to it.

19. LETTER IN THE CIRCLE Draw two circles and place an h in one and o in the other. Have children put letters in the h circle and say how they are like the h. Do the same with the o circle. This activity will help children learn to look at features of letters. vary the letters in the circles; accept the kids' explanations about what they are noticing.

20. CHANGE THE WORD Build several simple words and show the children how to change, add, or take away a letter to make a new word. Examples are: me, he, we, my, at, hat, sat. After the demonstration put the needed letters in a specail place in an empty container for them to practice.

21. ALPHABET SEQUENCE Place the letter a on the table and have the child find the next letter (b) and put it next to it. Continue through the alphabet.

22. LETTER SORT Place a pile of magnetic letters on the table or tray for the child to spread out. Have the child put all the letters that are the same together in a pile. Then, if age appropriate, have the child five the letter name for each pile.

23. LETTER CHAINS Make a five letter chain (e.g. pfrmo). Have children find the same letters and make the same chain below your model. Then have the children make a chain for you to copy.

24. LETTER BINGO Make two cards with a grid of three boxes across and three down. Trace one lowercase letter in each box. Put a pile of magnetic letters that are represented on the cards and some that are not in a bowl. Take turns taking a letter out of the bowl, say the letter and try to match to your card. The first person to fill three boxes in a row wins.

25. RHYMING PAIRS Make a simple three letter word such as dog, bug, cat, fan, can, hot, man, net, pan, rat, sit on the fridge, table or metal cookie sheet. Say the work and then say a second word that rhymes. See if the child can spell the rhyming word below the first word.
(reprinted from Gay Su Pinnell and Irene C. Fountas from Phonic Lessons 2003)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Small Courtesy Cups=BIG Savings at the movie concession stand!

Because I worked at a movie theatre throughout high school and college, I know about courtesy cups. Theatre patrons usually request them for tap water in place of expensive sodas. I often used them for extra jalapenos when I indulged on nachos or a hot dog.

Now that I have kids, nieces and nephews, so I use courtesy cups to save on concessions. My mom and I took 5 kids to the movies this weekend. I ordered the "movie lover's" bucket of popcorn for $6 and a medium soda for $4.25. The purchase of the bucket also included a free refill. I asked the concession worker for 5 courtesy cups. Each kid had their own lil' cup of popcorn and we shared the drink. It was much cheaper at $10.25 than $4.75 kid theatre packs times 5 kids. (And they don't need the nasty candy that comes with those packs anyway!) You could always use the same technique with the soda if you're worried about so many kids sharing.

Bring your own courtesy cups from home if you don't want to ask the theatre for several of them.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


It's a New Year full of many changes-in honor of "change," I'm making a few changes to my blog--starting with Thoughtful Thursdays...

I'll dedicate each Thursday to a simple, thought-provoking something-be it a quote, story, song, memory, photo or video.

"The best way to make children good is to make them happy." -Oscar Wilde
I've always believed the best lesson I could ever teach my kids-is that happiness is a choice. As much as I love Mr. Wilde's quote, I think "the best way to make good children is to teach them to choose happy."

Children Learn What They Live - Dorothy Law Neite
(in my words: Monkey See=Monkey Do)

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
If a child learns to feel shame, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence
If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


My daughter came back home with my husband for the Christmas holidays. I was so ready for her to be home! We had a lovely time over the holidays and are now back into the daily routine. My daughter returned to her school here in Texas. The first week was rough. After having been attending school in another state for 2 months and then the 'laxed holiday break, it was a difficult time for my daughter. She is doing much better now and is settling back into her old routine. And though the transition was bumpy-I think the time spent bonding with her daddy was priceless. Plus, she discovered a confidence in herself I hadn't seen before.
And she even learned how to make her own's the first one I received from her...