Pollinator Week Resources

Happy Pollinator Week! This may seem like an odd ‘holiday’ to celebrate and it certainly is not as well known as many other holidays but I think it is a great time to teach about all of our beneficial pollinators. Each year in June a week is designated as National Pollinator Week in order to celebrate and educate people about our pollinators. Pollinators are vital to our food supply and environment but unfortunately, many of them are declining in population.

Pollinator Week Pinterst

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Several years ago, we became much more aware of pollinators and all they do for us, as we became hobby beekeepers. This experience has taught us so much about bees and pollinators in general. Last year we even lost an entire hive of bees to a municipal spraying program designed to reduce the mosquito population but accidentally reached our bees. I think that the best way to help the pollinators is teaching children about them and their importance. There are many small ways that we can help in our own homes to protect them and allow their populations to grow and thrive.

For many people the term pollinator brings bees to mind. Bees are an important pollinator but they are not the only pollinators; birds, bats, butterflies and even beetles are all important pollinators. As we celebrate this week, I encourage you to start by educating your children about the various pollinators and then finding at least one small way in which you can support pollinators in your area. I will also include a list of some fun crafts and recipes to turn your learning into a fun celebration. If you have time, I encourage you to look for local field trip opportunities to really get hands on in your learning.

There are many resources for learning about pollinators.  The American Beekeeping Foundation has some great information and resources.  Pollinator Works is a great website to learn about various pollinators. In addition to websites, there are an abundance of books that talk about pollination and pollinators such as Bees, Bugs and Butterflies, What Lily Gets From a Bee, and From Seed to Sunflower. I have also included a more extensive list of websites, videos, and books at the end of this post.

Once you have learned a little about pollinators, it is time to take action to help the pollinators. There are many things you can do right in your own yard to help various pollinators. You can plant beneficial plants, set up habitats conducive for birds, or clean up trash that is dangerous for the birds.  You can check your garden and lawn chemicals to make sure that they are safe for pollinators. Watch for plants treated with Neonicotinoids. If you need more ideas, Kidsgardening.org has a great list of Ten Tips to Help Pollinators.

Now it is time for a little fun! Try to make a pipe cleaner bee, draw a chalk pastel bird, or even hatch your own butterflies. You can make cookies shaped like pollinators, taste some raw honey or bake a honey dessert (baklava anyone?). You could even listen to Flight of The Bumble Bee while you enjoy your pollinator snacks. See the list below for more recipes and craft ideas.

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Pollinator Doughnut Activity

Finally, if you have a little more time try to fit in a pollinator field trip. You could find a local butterfly garden, a beekeeper that is willing to show off his hives, a science museum with displays, or even a zoo that has bats, birds or bees. This week there are many places doing special pollinator activities but if you cannot make it this week there are still lots of opportunities to learn more about this wonderful animals from various experts.

I hope that these resources are helpful as you learn more about pollinators and what we can do to help their populations grow and thrive. If you do something to help out our pollinators or learn more about them, I would love for you to share in the comments. I have also started this Pinterest Board for pollinator resources.

 

Books and Websites on Pollinators

Wild For Pollinators

Junior Master Gardner

Magic School Bus in a Bee Hive (video)

Magic School Bus inside a Bee Hive (book)

Magic School Bus (episode on bats and one on butterflies)

Bee and Pollinator Activities

Bat Pollination Information

Crafts and Recipes

Honey Recipes

Bee Themed snack (fruit and kix)

Bee Themed Cookies

Butterfly Cookie Cutter

Flower/Butterfly Mini Set

Mixed Set of Bee, Butterfly, Dragonfly

Healthy Butterfly Themed Snack Ideas

Pollinating Doughnuts

Bat Craft

Butterfly Crafts

Bee Crafts

Butterfly Garden

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When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale!

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

 

Flag Day Resources

Flag Day is an often-overlooked holiday, but there are many great resources to help us celebrate and the history tie-ins are abundant! While it will probably never share the ‘fame’ of  Independence Day on July 4th; Flag Day is a great day to learn more about our flag and our nation’s history. I know that summer is here for many of us and we may not want to have to make one more lesson plan, so I gathered some fun resources that you can easily use to celebrate Flag Day in your home with very little preparation.  Some are more ‘school like’ but there are also some fun ideas, like a flag cake and art work that can feel more like a party than a history class.

It’s flag day because, on June 14, 1777 the second continental congress decreed: “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Flag Day Pinterest

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My children love to make a flag cake. We typically make one for Memorial Day (which often is the same weekend as my son’s birthday) and Independence Day but it would be a perfect treat for Flag Day.  Simply make any rectangular cake that you would like (we use two yellow cake layers with strawberries in the middle) and then top with sweetened whipping cream. Once you have a nice white rectangle, they can use blueberries for stars and cut up strawberries to make the stripes. For something a bit more savory we have also made this yummy American Flag Dip.

There are a variety of great art projects and crafts ideas for Flag Day.  We really liked this free chalk pastel flag tutorial or this video lesson. If you like those lessons, you should check out Nana’s US History Course, which is currently 20% off in celebration of her birthday. In addition to chalk pastels, there is a great list of crafts here including one for small children using paint and star shaped cookie cutters that I think will be fun with my five-year-old. Older children might enjoy these patriotic jar lanterns or these washi tape flags.

If the history of the United States and her flags is interesting to you and your students, I have also added our fun ‘US History Through Flags’ packet to the free resource library. This will give you a fun and easy way to incorporate these topics in a few minutes a day throughout the year. You can also follow the US History Through Flags page on Facebook to get daily bits of history right to your news feed.

I have included a variety of resources below to help you tailor your Flag Day celebration to your children.  I would love to know what creative ideas and resources you use to celebrate Flag Day in your home.

Flag Day Resources

History of Flag Day

US History Through Flags

Smithsonian Star Spangled Banner

Flag Day Poster

Flag Day Worksheets

21 Ways to Celebrate Flag Day

Flag Etiquette

Flag Coloring Pages

Patriotic Poems

Why Are There Stripes on the American Flag? (Free on Kindle Unlimited)

F is for Flag

Story of the Star Spangled Banner

Flag Day Resource List (Still Learning Something New)

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

June 13th -15th 20% Sale at You Are An Artist!

Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale!

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

Through The Year in Foot Prints: May

I normally like to go ahead and post these at the beginning of the month, but May seems to have come and gone in the blink of an eye. I decided that ‘April Showers, Bring May Flowers’ for this post and we did a flower out of my son’s foot prints. I’m also sharing pictures of a couple of the craft projects that my five-year-old son did as a part of his Toucan Box subscription and a cute seashore chalk pastel lesson that my older two children completed.  It may have taken until the end of the month, but they all enjoyed their various art projects.

may footprints pinterest

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For the baby, I simply chose purple as the color of the flower, dipped his foot into the paint and pressed it onto the paper. I then moved the paper slightly and repeated until I had a circle (mostly) of footprints. I used my finger to add a yellow middle and a green stem from finger paint. If you were working with a child that was a little bit older, they could probably do that part themselves.  It is amazing to me to see how much his little feet have grown since January.

Supplies:

White Cardstock

Finger Paint

I am trying to think of a fun summer or beach themed idea for June. I’d love to hear your thoughts or ideas in the comments.

Benjamin enjoyed working with shapes and paint by adding in the black foam lines and then painting the various rectangles. The other part to this activity involved sticking the foam circles onto the framed area to make interesting designs. This was one of two kits that were in his Toucan Box this month.

My older children are feeling the summer itch and ready to be spending days at the beach so this fun tide pool lesson was a big hit!

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Last week for the  Schoolhouse Teachers sale!

May Sale

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Through The Year in Foot Prints: March

Dr. Seuss’s birthday was March 2nd. We always enjoy celebrating Dr. Seuss and reading on that day. This year was extra special because it happened to also fall on the day we had planned to celebrate my youngest son’s birthday. While my daughter was looking for fun craft ideas she came across some ideas for using hands to make fish representing One Fish Two Fish.

Footprints march

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I decided that using Joseph’s feet and making his monthly footprint art into fish would also be fun. So we printed out a fish bowl template.  Then we dipped one foot into red paint and placed it on the fish bowl. Next, I did the other foot in blue paint and placed it on the fish bowl.

Then we washed his feet off with a baby wipe and allowed the paint to dry. Once the paint dried we added a quick mouth and eyes with a black sharpie marker and cut the fish bowl out.

One thing I will note, is that if you were going to do this craft with children who had bigger hands or feet you would want to choose a different fish bowl. I would try to find one that was landscape and not vertical to allow more room.

This was an easy and fun craft and I look forward to adding it into our collection and watching his feet grow throughout the year. I hope you enjoy this craft. I would love for you to share your finished projects or ideas with us!

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Supplies:

White Cardstock

Red and Blue Paint

Markers

 

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Through The Year in Foot Prints: February

I love Valentine’s Day , though we don’t celebrate in the most traditional way. I love my husband very much but for our family Valentine’s Day has become a great reminder to celebrate the love we share as a family and the love of God with others. The children enjoy making and sending cards to various friends and relatives, we give away candy to various folks that we see throughout the day (postal workers, sanitation workers, etc), and over all just try to share love and joy. We also eat ice cream sundaes for lunch but that is a story for a different day.

Foot Prints Across The Year February Pinterest

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That made choosing this month’s craft super easy for me. I loved the idea of being able to make several of these and send out for Valentine’s Day and so I decided to use his feet to make a simple heart that we could send out to the grandparents, as well as keeping one here. There are many variations on this craft that involve poems or sayings and other decorations. You can keep it simple like the one we did or spend a bit more time dressing them up. I will share links below to several of those projects to give you some ideas if you wanted to add to the craft project.

Supplies:

White Cardstock

Red or Pink Paint

Markers

Instructions:

I simply put red paint onto a plate, dipped the baby’s foot into the plate and pressed it onto the cardstock at a slight angle, then I repeated with the other foot creating a heart. I then drew a heart around the footprints and added his name, year, and a Valentine’s greeting. You could cut out the heart, add a poem, or even frame it as shown in some of the links below but we thought that keeping it simple was best for our purposes.  My four year old wanted to paint with us as well so he tried a hand print heart. The feet did a little better at making the shape but he had a blast and I think it still turned out cute.

I hope you enjoy this craft. I would love for you to share your finished projects or ideas with us!

Links to Similar Ideas:

Framed Picture

Salt dough foot print heart

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Foot Prints Across the Year

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I thought this turned out adorable but in hindsight I would not use a black background.

Children grow up so fast and it really is true that the ‘days are long but the years are short’. As the mother of a 12 year old I can tell you that the years fly by and I’m sure that will become even more a reality as he continues to grow up and gets ready to leave home. I am blessed to have four children ages 12, 10, 4, and 10 months and I want to make sure that I utilize the perspective that comes from having older children to really enjoy the moments with all of them. This doesn’t mean that every moment is going to be fun or that I’m going to be any less exhausted (teething anyone?) but I want to make sure that I capture the memories while they are at each new stage.

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When my oldest was a baby I thought I would always remember with vivid clarity each moment, each new accomplishment, each different stage, but time has a way of making some of those memories quite blurry. I think this is especially true for busy moms that have so much going on with just keeping the house running and making sure everyone is clean and fed. I wanted to be intentional about watching the baby grow up even in the midst of the hustle and bustle so I decided to create a keepsake each month that would remind me how much he was growing.

Each month I’m going to do a foot print project that goes along with the month/season and at the end of the year I will have a fun collection and be able to see how much his tiny feet grew over the course of a year. My four year old LOVES anything related to paint so he will probably also participate although I don’t expect to see as much of a dramatic difference in the size of his prints. I may use his hands instead of his feet. I had originally thought about using hands for both of them, but attempting to make a hand print using the 10 month old taught me that it was not the best plan.

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The hand print did not turn out well as he did not want to relax his hand.

I hope to be able to create some kind of book or keepsake at the end of the year to commemorate the growth.  While you have the paint out and the children messy you can even create a duplicate project that you can send to grandparents or other relatives that might enjoy the keepsake.

For January I found this footprint snowman that was super easy to complete. For the baby I just helped him make his foot print and then I finished the project. I let my four year old see the example of this cute snowman project using a hand print and he loved the idea. However, I made the mistake of leaving him alone with his hand print and his new paint sticks and the results were not quite was I was expecting.  We may try again later this  month with a little more guidance.

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If painting isn’t the right fit for you, you could do some other fun craft, a series of pictures, or a program like Qeepsake which sends you a question each day to answer and create a journal of memories. I hope this post encourages you to have fun capturing memories of the hectic but wonderful time when your children are small and growing and changing rapidly. I would love to hear your ideas in the comments for how you record those memories and mementos.

foot prints across the year pintrest

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

Make meal planning easier with done-for-you meal plans and a variety of recipes that will keep your menu full for years with the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle. Get recipes for every type of eating style for $37 during this 6-day sale!

Exciting news from All About Learning Press this week! They are coming out with a full color edition of levels 1-4 All About Reading and to celebrate they are hosting a $1,000 giveaway! We use All About Spelling and are hoping to use All About Reading next year with my son who will be in Kindergarten.

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.

2019-fresh-start-new-year-1st-pinterest-768x1024

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Are you looking for a free Bible study that your whole family can enjoy? The Proverbial Homemaker is offering up a study of James that is FREE for a limited time.

Join the FREE Get Active Inside Challenge!

Over the course of 5 days, we’ll discover ways to allow physical activities indoors, get your child’s energy out when it’s too ❆ cold ❆ to go outside & keep your kids busy so they’re not bored and asking for cartoons.

 

Be Still and Be Present: Week 4

James 1:17

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James 1:17 probably is not the first verse that comes to mind when you think of the Christmas season. Most people thing of the story of the birth of Jesus as told by Luke or Matthew.  However, during this time of gift giving and receiving it can be so easy to lose sight of the true gift of the season. Sure we know that Jesus is the reason we celebrate, but do we really live that out both in our hearts and our actions?

I want to spend the next week really focusing on all of the gifts and blessings that are in my life. We celebrate not just because Jesus was born but because he died for our salvation. No matter the stresses and frustrations of today, the gifts not yet wrapped, the child who is sick, the dinner that isn’t going to cook itself, the house that still needs to be cleaned; we celebrate because Jesus became flesh and was born to a virgin in order to die for our sins. When I put things into proper perspective there is so much for which to be thankful and joyful.

For many of us the next few days will be busy and it may seem that we do not have time to ‘be still’ but I encourage you to try very hard to carve out a bit of time each day to focus on Him. Sing hymns as you travel to visit family, read the story of the birth of Christ together on Christmas morning before you open gifts, pray over each person with whom you exchange gifts.  You may not be able to hide away and have thirty minutes of uninterrupted time but you can still take a few minutes to focus on the reason that we celebrate.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17 (NIV)

 

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Sometimes our best laid plans just don’t happen. We had some fun times and did some great things this week, but other things did not go according to plan.  On Friday my four year old woke up with a fever. This is never a good thing but was made worse by the fact that Friday was supposed to be a fun day out with friends.  After much deliberation on my part, he stayed home with my husband and I took the other three to meet up with our friends.  This time of year can be hectic and it was nice to spend an afternoon hanging out with friends and enjoying fellowship with no obligations. We tried a new burger place, had some yummy cupcakes, and then spent a couple of hours at the aquarium where most of us have memberships.

It would have been very easy to decide not to spend the day with our friends due to all the things on my to-do list. I could have said that I was too busy to go and no one would have argued with me, but sometimes we need to put the lists aside and just spend time with our people. My first priority in ‘be present’ is my family, but I also need to take the time to pour into my friendships as well. Friday we were able to ‘be present’ not only as a family but with our friends.

We have not yet done our graham cracker nativity scenes because I want to wait until my son feels better so that we can do them together. We did do some more puppets because he has decided he is really into the puppets. Another activity that we did this week with our 4H club was a five senses activity with these blooming tea balls. It was fun for all ages and simple to do. It is also easy to adapt for one child or a group of children. I simply unwrapped one of the tea balls and had them look at it, feel it, smell it, and listen to it. Then we dropped it into a pitcher of very hot water and they watched it bloom. Once it had steeped they were able to taste it.  It would make for a nice low key activity this week after the hustle and bustle of Christmas.

If you didn’t finish all the fun crafts and activities that you wanted to do, do not despair Tuesday is only the first day of Christmas. I have found that the days following Christmas often bring a slower more relaxed pace and we can enjoy those activities without the pressure of long to-do lists hanging over our heads.

Take some time this week and ‘be present’ with your immediate family and if you can with extended family. If you are not close enough to visit for the holidays maybe you can spend time with neighbors or use technology to virtually visit those that live far away. Take the time to bake the cookies, get on the floor and play with the new toys, read the book, or just sit and chat.

How are doing with this challenge? I pray that it has blessed you and brought you closer to God and your family. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. While this challenge may be wrapping up, it is my hope that you will continue the habits of ‘being still and being present‘ into the New Year.

 

Be Present Resources:

Blooming Tea

Free Printable Nativity Coloring Pages

Hands on As We Grow (If you have young kids and struggle to come up with easy activities to do with them, this maybe a great resource for you. She has some free challenges, e-books, and a membership plan full of great activities that are easy to implement.)

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

Amazon is doing it again! $5 off $20 Book Purchase. Use Code GIFTBOOK18. If you aren’t sure what book to buy you might want to check out this new book by Sally Clarkson that is on pre-order right now: Girls’ Club.

Exciting news from All About Learning Press this week! They are coming out with a full color edition of levels 1-4 All About Reading and to celebrate they are hosting a $1,000 giveaway! We use All About Spelling and are hoping to use All About Reading next year with my son who will be in Kindergarten.

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.

Christmas Traditions: Breakfast (and a Recipe)

For the first 33 years of my life I went to my grandfather’s house each Christmas morning for breakfast with my family. My parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all gathered together to enjoy breakfast, fellowship, and gifts. I have so many fond memories of those Christmas mornings. My grandfather passed away a few years ago and that first Christmas morning was bittersweet. I missed my grandfather dearly and it seemed so strange not to be there for Christmas morning. However, we started our own Christmas tradition as a family.

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I honestly do not remember what exactly we ate for breakfast when I was a young child, but for all of the Christmas mornings that I could remember we had sausage, eggs, bacon, and most importantly ‘cat head’ cheese biscuits. For those of you that are not from Eastern North Carolina, I want to clarify that a cat head cheese biscuit got its name from the size of the biscuit not the contents. These are large round biscuits filled with gooey melted cheese, like the ones on our plates in the picture at the top of this post.

While I still miss my grandfather, we have settled into a new family tradition that incorporates some of the old tradition and makes it our own.  When I was younger my grandparents house was only a few minutes from my home, but by the time I had my own children we were living almost 45 minutes away which made for a rushed morning to get there in time for breakfast. Now we have a slow relaxed morning before heading off to visit with family for lunch.

We get up Christmas morning and myself or my husband put an egg casserole and some homemade frozen cheese biscuits into the oven. The children can enjoy looking at their gifts, we can read the Christmas story from Luke, and then enjoy breakfast together around our kitchen table. The time together and the slower pace is nice. By choosing foods that can be prepped ahead of time we are able to have a nice yummy breakfast with minimal effort on Christmas morning. This helps me to be able to focus on my family and not spend my morning cooking and cleaning.  I have included my breakfast casserole recipe below in case you are looking for a simple breakfast idea for Christmas morning.

I hope that my children grow up with as many fond memories of Christmas as I have from my childhood. While it is sometimes fun to change things up and there should be no pressure to keep doing things that aren’t working for our family, traditions can be a great way to build family unity and memories. I would love to hear about your favorite family traditions or how you have incorporated old traditions into new ones as family dynamics have changed over the years.

Christmas Morning Egg Casserole

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

Amazon is doing it again! $5 off $20 Book Purchase. Use Code GIFTBOOK18. If you aren’t sure what book to buy you might want to check out this new book by Sally Clarkson that is on pre-order right now: Girls’ Club.

Exciting news from All About Learning Press this week! They are coming out with a full color edition of levels 1-4 All About Reading and to celebrate they are hosting a $1,000 giveaway! We use All About Spelling and are hoping to use All About Reading next year with my son who will be in Kindergarten.

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.

 

 

Crafting with Noodles!

We had some fun with noodles this past week and I wanted to share in case you were looking for a fun easy activity to do with your children. I did this activity with my four year old in mind but my ten year old joined in and had lots of fun as well.

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*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

I chose this activity in part because we had all of the supplies on hand and it would be easy for the four year old to do with minimal help. He loves anything that involves paint and had been wanting to make some decorations to go on the small Christmas tree in his room.

First we chose our paint colors. Since we were looking for a Christmas theme we did red, green, and white. We split the noodles into three bags and put a squirt of paint into each bag (one red, one green, one white). Then, close the bags up and gently move the noodles around in the paint until they are fully covered. Next, spread the noodles on a cookie sheet to dry. We chose to cover the cookie sheet in parchment paper for easy clean up, but old newspaper would work as well.

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It took a couple hours for them to be fully dry. If you have little ones that take a nap or rest in the afternoon you can paint the noodles in the morning and let them know they can finish their project after rest time as an incentive.

Once the noodles are dry you can get creative with them. We were stringing them to make a garland for my son’s Christmas tree. He wanted to do a simple green, red, white pattern. I tied the first one onto the end of the string to keep the others from falling off and then let him go to work. He enjoyed stringing them on but did get a little bored towards the end, so I agreed to help him string them as long as he was giving me the colors in the pattern.  When he was done, I tied the last noodle to the other end of the string and we had a garland for his tree. He wrapped it around his tree and was quite pleased with this work.

While we did Christmas tree garland, you could also use these to decorate a mantle or window, small sections of yarn to make necklaces or bracelets, or have them removable to practice a variety of patterns or color recognition. If you have extra painted noodles left over just stick them in a Ziploc bag until you are ready to do another activity.

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What fun and simple crafts have you been doing with your children?

 

Supplies:

A variety of  washable paints

Ziploc Bags (1 for each color of paint)

Noodles (can be different kinds but need to have a hole in the middle)

Yarn or String

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

Amazon is doing it again! $5 off $20 Book Purchase. Use Code GIFTBOOK18. If you aren’t sure what book to buy you might want to check out this new book by Sally Clarkson that is on pre-order right now: Girls’ Club.

Exciting news from All About Learning Press this week! They are coming out with a full color edition of levels 1-4 All About Reading and to celebrate they are hosting a $1,000 giveaway! We use All About Spelling and are hoping to use All About Reading next year with my son who will be in Kindergarten.

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.

 

Be Still and Be Present: Week 3

Joy

 

Some weeks ‘Be Still’ is much harder than others. It felt like last week was a lot of ‘go, go, go’.  It was a really busy week for us as a family, with our business, and our church volunteer obligations. However, I’m pleased to say that my goal of being still didn’t just ‘disappear’ out the window as it has in the past when things got too busy. Using the app on my phone to do my devotional and spare minutes here and there to be intentional about prayer meant that I was able to spend some time focused on Jesus each day.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Sometimes I think God uses a variety of ways to reinforce that which he is teaching us. This week he used the lesson I was teaching to our middle school students to reinforce that focuses on Jesus in this season is the key to true joy. When I focus on myself and what I want or need it is easy to be disappointed. Maybe we didn’t get to do some fun activity I wanted to do, maybe I’m not going on a cool vacation like my friends, maybe money is tight and I don’t put everything under the tree that I would have wanted. If I am focused on me those things are disappointing and frustrating, but if I turn my focus to Jesus it is much easier to be joyful over what I do have, eternal life, because he came as a baby to grow up and die for my sins. When our focus is on what we have because of Jesus the joy flows naturally. It may not erase all of our problems but it will bring joy to our hearts.

Over the past couple of weeks we have focused on peace but this week I want to focus on joy! John 15:11 tells is that our joy may be full in Him and I want us to hold on to that promise this week and focus on Jesus and the joy he brings. You may still have sadness or grief in your life, there still may be stress and frustration, but if we focus on Him there will also be great joy.

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

John 15:11

 

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We had a lot of fun this week as I was intentional about ‘being present’. Some things were small and some a bit more time consuming but all time well spent. We had the privilege of stopping at two large light displays this week on our way home from a field trip. The first one we rode though and enjoyed but the second one you can get out and walk through. The baby was asleep so it was just me and my three older children. We all enjoyed it, but the excitement that my four year old had for the experience was amazing. I have seen these lights every year for the past 12 years and while I always enjoy them I had forgotten just how amazing they are to those that are not familiar with them. My four year old had forgotten being able to walk through them last year and was absolutely enthralled, running for display to display squealing with joy. Looking at those lights through his eyes brought me to a new appreciation of that great display and I loved making those memories with the children.

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I mentioned last week that my four year old wanted to do a puppet show. I had planned on printing out puppets and doing a show with him. I found these cute printable Christmas puppets and we colored them but then he and his siblings decided to change things up a bit. They ended up using some nativity masks that we have and doing a show together depicting the nativity story. It was cute and hilarious.

Another fun and easy project that we did this week was making Christmas tree garland out of noodles and paint. It was so easy because we simply put noodles and paint into ziploc bags to cover them, let the paint dry on the noodles, and then the children could put them onto a long string to make a garland. Check the blog later this week for a quick tutorial of this fun activity.

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I used to have grand plans and dreams of us baking and creating our own gingerbread house.  I’ve come to realize that in this stage of our lives that just is not going to happen. My oldest has an intolerance for food dye and so we cannot use most commercial kits. Some years I get a chance to go to Trader Joe’s and pick up a kit that he can eat but with the closest one being two hours away that does not always happen. Luckily I have found a variety of tutorials for cute little graham cracker nativity scenes that are lots of fun, easy to make, and I can accommodate his food restrictions. This is one of the family activities that I hope to do this week. I will link to a couple of different ideas for these in the resources below.

We are also going to spend some time this week making cards together to give to friends and neighbors. I have already sent out our ‘official’ Christmas cards but I know it will be fun for us to share homemade cards with some people that are close to us and a good time for us to spend crafting together. We can all work on them and spend some time talking and listening to Christmas music while we work.

How are doing with this challenge? I would love to hear about the progress you are making or the challenges that you are having so that I can try to help you overcome those. I pray that this challenge is bringing you closer to God and your family.

 

Be Present Resources:

Edible Nativity Scene

Another Simple Version

Gingerbread Nativity

Hands on As We Grow (If you have young kids and struggle to come up with easy activities to do with them, this maybe a great resource for you. She has some free challenges, e-books, and a membership plan full of great activities that are easy to implement.)

 

 

Sign-Up Here For Be Still and Be Present Weekly Emails

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

Amazon is doing it again! $5 off $20 Book Purchase. Use Code GIFTBOOK18. If you aren’t sure what book to buy you might want to check out this new book by Sally Clarkson that is on pre-order right now: Girls’ Club.

Exciting news from All About Learning Press this week! They are coming out with a full color edition of levels 1-4 All About Reading and to celebrate they are hosting a $1,000 giveaway! We use All About Spelling and are hoping to use All About Reading next year with my son who will be in Kindergarten.

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.