Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our summer plans

I am enjoying summer with the girls so much.  We have have no schedule and I am loving it!  The girls have been playing so well with each other.  Every time I turn around they are playing school or house or barbies.  But there are some fun things  I have started or am hoping to start with them this summer too!   They are growing so quickly and I really want to enjoy them and teach and guide them as much as I can!  So here's what is happening this summer in this all girl household:

1.  Fabric paper dolls.  This has been the biggest hit for all ages (3,6,9).   I have a huge bag of old clothes that they can cut up into fabric scraps.  I then print off black and white copies of free printable paper dolls (available all over the internet).  The girls spend at least an hour cutting up fabrics and creating different outfits for there girls.  When they create that perfect outfit (and accessories) they glue it on and we hang them up.     When friends come over, this has been very popular too!

2.  Read alouds.   There are many benefits to reading aloud to your children and not just when they are young.  My 2 oldest daughters can read, but when I grab a classic and we all huddle together and I read aloud to them, there is something magical as well as educational.    Currently our read aloud is, The little house in the big woods.  I love the this time!

3.  Summer Binders.  I opted to cretate my own summer program this summer than to choose a workbook to keep the girls current with their math, writing and reading.  Each girl has a binder.  In that binder is a pencil and dry erase marker.  I then filled each binder with plastic page covers.  In the plastic page covers I put specific skill worksheets for each child.  For example, my 6 year old daughter's binder has worksheets on addition and subtraction facts, handwriting practice, phonics worksheets, bible verses, some fun mazes and printouts.  Everything can be filled in using the dry erase marker and then wiped off and used again.  I also have a blank page for tic tac toe or hangman!   They do these everyday, usually they do them when they are bored and I don't have to remind them!   They can easily be taken in the car and on vacation as well!

4. Our own library.   We have reading time, where the big girls read on their own and I read to my 3 year old.  I make sure we have tons of books constantly available to them.  We have bookshelves filled with approriate reading levels all around the house and compfy chairs that invite you to sit and read and enjoy books.  I love to create our own library and Goodwill has been amazing at helping grow our library. 

5.  Creating plays.  The girls have been creating plays and then performing them for me.  I remember doing this when I was young.   I just love sitting on the couch and watching them perform.  Sometimes we record them on the i pod or someone will be the director and record.

6.  For my oldest.  My oldest is 9 and I can see that this year she needs more planned activities than previous years.  I make sure we play with friends about 3 times a week and we have found some special things that she enjoys.  She has a journal that she keeps with her throughout the day and writes about things she does, feels, sees, thinks, etc. She is really enjoying this right now.  And she really likes making her own friendship bracelets with embroidering floss.  This is a fantastic boredom buster and creative outlet.   And she is thinking of others and making them for others.  

7.  Family serving project.   I am really trying to think how we can serve Chirst as a family and teach my kids now that showing love to anyone in need is a mission trip.  I would love to go over seas and help and serve, but a mission trip can happen anywhere we show Christ's love to someone in need and I know there are people in need all around us. 

8.  Playdates.   Playing with our friends and spending time enjoying our days with friends is what makes summer special for my girls so I plan playdates a few times a week.  Usually, the parks, the beaches, summer movies, skating, or just playing at each other houses.  Since I have all girls, sleepovers are a big request here!  

Between all of the above fun and excitement we will also have a 2 week vacation to New York and a couple of VBS.  Summer sure does go fast, but it so sweet! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Count your Blessings

How different the world looks when you look through grateful eyes.  Eyes that see all the beauty that is around us at any given  time.   With well trained, grateful eyes, I bet one could find beauty and blessings  anywhere and everywhere.   I am training my eyes everyday as I try and name all the beauty and blessings around me that I normally don't see.  The amazing blessing that comes with seeing the beauty around us is that you can't help BUT see beauty everywhere.  The more you do it the more you can't help yourself. 

Every Monday, Ann at  counts her blessings.  I continue to follow her and find joy in this world by finding and naming the beauty around me.  As a mom of three girls, 3,6,9, I am teaching them  how to find the beauty everyday, everywhere and count their blessings.  I love to sing my girls to sleep by singing them the song, Count Your Blessings.  My favorite version is from Bing Crosby in White Christmas.  Enjoy and I hope you fall asleep tonight, counting your blessings!