Now if I could just keep the kids away from it....
When my dad was moving, he gave me this old coffee table that my parents had in their house years ago. It was an ugly orange-tinted stain and had scratches all over it. I wanted to keep it for sentimental reasons, but when I got it home, I realized it really did not go with anything in my living room. I didn't want to throw it out, so I got creative with it. Here's what I started with...
As you can see, it does not compliment my new couch at all.
It was pretty beat up from being stored in dad's garage and probably from moving so many times.
And this is it now!
I used some paint I had at home. Chocolate and cream colors to match my couch. I also covered up those ugly scratches. I applied two coats of each color, then I covered it all with a clear coat to protect the paint.
I think it's a beautiful table now :)
Now if I could just keep the kids away from it....
I've decided to take on the challenge of homeschooling... again.
My living room has been transformed into a preschool! I have extra kids coming and going. I stay up late each night working on lesson plans and preparing the next day's projects. I only have a couple hours in the day to accomplish any housework that needs to be done. My dishes are stacking up. My carpet needs vacuumed. My bathroom needs scrubbed. The kids' room... take a wild guess what THAT looks like! But my 3, almost 4, year old daughter is learning. Every day I think to myself, "Is this worth it? Maybe I should just pay the $160 each month to put her in a real preschool." But then I remember the reasons why I decided to do this. 1. My daughter is hard of hearing, and being in a large classroom with the teacher talking from the front of the class, she will miss out on a lot of things being said. 2. My daughter works better one-on-one. 3. Only I know how to handle her random outbursts, what calms her down, and how to address it. 4. Preschool is expensive. 5. I like spending more time with her. 6. Preschool is expensive. 7. I want her to learn sign language so she can communicate better with me. 8. I want her to learn from a Christian perspective by not glorifying Halloween, but learning the true story behind Christian holidays when they approach. 9. She likes to snack a lot during the day, and our flexible schedule will allow for that. 10. Preschool is expensive!
So, as you can see, I have many reason for choosing to homeschool my child. I tried this with my oldest because I couldn't afford preschool. At the time, our living arrangements made it difficult, but I had the materials I needed to make it possible. By the time she had her kindergarten screening, she was at a 1st-2nd grade reading level! I remember the teacher telling me, "I don't know what you've been doing, but whatever it is, keep doing it!". Now, keep in mind, every child is different. Some catch on easily, while for others it may take more time and effort. This is why homeschooling is great! You can teach at the child's pace! In a regular school, the teacher moves on to the next lesson whether every child is caught up or not, thus letting some kids fall behind and making the rest of their entire schooling experience difficult for them. No parent wants that for their child. They want them to do their best and succeed! So when I realized my 3 year old was going to be a little more work than my oldest, I decided homeschooling would be the best option for her.
I still had all the learning materials I used with my oldest, thankfully. I spent hours searching homeschooling websites and preschool websites, and was able to use ideas I liked from each one to create my own curriculum and lesson plans. I don't have it all typed up yet, but when I do, I will be happy to share it with you all!
So far, preschool has been going great! We've even had a few friends come to visit and sit in during a lesson. We've made it to letter D, number 4, and have learned about Cows, Jungles, Cats, feelings, and The 5 Senses... also in sign language! My daughter is starting to use the sign language she has learned everywhere we go!
I will keep you updated on our progress, and I will definitely let you know when I have our curriculum and lesson plans available for download! Please feel free to share your homeschooling experience with me! I'd love to hear from other moms/dads who also homeschool!
Written by Amanda DeWain
This homemade Christmas countdown calendar is easy to make, and the kids can help! Here's what you'll need before you start:
Step 1: Draw your tree on one side of the poster board, and color it in.
Step 2: Write the numbers 1-24 spaced evenly on the other side and 25 near the top of the tree. A ruler might come in handy if you have one!
Step 3: Draw and cut out 24 ornaments on construction paper, and one star or topper of choice.
Step 4: Use a dot of glue or tape to hang the ornaments below each number, and the star below the 25.
Step 5: On each day of December, take one ornament off the calendar and stick it on the tree. On the 25th day of December (Christmas Day) you will put the star on the top of the tree, and your tree will be complete!
Hint: To reuse the calendar next year, laminate the poster board and ornaments, and use tape instead of glue.
Merry Christmas from Amanda and the girls!
If you are looking for something fun to do with the family, here is your answer! Geocaching! I will tell you as much as I can in this blog about the world of geocaching, but the best way to learn is by experiencing it yourself! So here goes...
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt game using GPS devices and hints. Geocachers navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and attempt to find the geocache hidden at that location. Sound confusing? It's really simple once you get the hang of it. But wait, there's more!
To play the game, you must follow these steps:
1. Register at www.geocaching.com (this is the site with all the coordinates). 2. Visit the "Hide & Seek a Cache" page. 3. Enter your zip code and click "search." 3. Choose any geocache from the list and click on its name (you can pick by difficulty, terrain, or distance). 4. Enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS Device (Locus Free is an Android App that works pretty good if you don't have a real GPS). 5. Use your GPS device to assist you in finding the hidden geocache (along with any hints given on the website). 6. Find the geocache, sign the logbook, and return the geocache to its original location!
There are a few rules:
Geocaches can be found all over the world! Most geocachers hide caches in places that are important to them. These locations can vary. They may be at your local park, a hiking trail up the side of a mountain, underwater, or on a busy city street. Your first geocache should be easy. When looking for your first geocache online, you should make sure it has all these criteria: cache type- traditional, difficulty rating- 1, cache size- regular or large, and you should also check to see that other geocachers have recently logged finds on the cache. This indicates that the geocache is most likely still in place and findable.
There are over a dozen different types of geocaches. To read more about those, click here. Geocaches vary in size and appearance. You will see everything from large, clear plastic containers to film canisters! Small, Regular and Large containers usually hold trade items. A geocache always contains a logsheet for you to log your find. Larger caches may contain a logbook and trade items. These items turn the adventure into a true treasure hunt. You never know what the cache owner or visitors to the cache may have left. Remember, if you take something, leave something of equal or greater value in return. It is recommended that items in a cache be individually packaged in a clear, zipped plastic bag to protect them from the elements. You may also find a Trackable, a geocaching piece that you can learn more about here.
Well, that about sums up the basics of geocaching! There is a LOT more to learn on the geocaching website. My entire family enjoys this activity, and I am making it more popular among my friends and extended family. I hope you enjoy your first geocaching adventure, and remember to take along snacks, sunscreen, water, your GPS-enabled device, trading items, comfy shoes, and a camera! You won't want to miss the scenery and history surrounding you!
*Information gathered from www.geocaching.com