Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: March 22, 2017 (w/linky) : Baby Shower to Welcome Our New Granddaughter

Preparations:









Sadly, I didn't get a picture of the food table, which is where the onesie cupcakes were set up, plus the banner the children made was hanging over it.




Cupcake Decorating Contest


They were supposed to frost a cupcake and make an "A" out of sprinkles.
"A" is for Annika


Present Time







Getting to hold the baby.











Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.


Tots and Me


Littles Learning Link Up: March 21, 2017


 Each month you will find:
  • A seasonal round-up (toward the beginning of the month)
  • A guest post featuring crafts, activities, tips, snack ideas or other early childhood topics. (toward the end of the month)
  • Posts where I share what I have been up to with my preschoolers and/or early elementary children (including occasional highlight posts where I share how we used ideas that have been linked up here on Littles Learning Link Up).
Each week, I will host a link up, where you can share either what you have been up to recently, or old posts that may go with the theme.  Feel free to link up more than one post.

Each week I will continue to feature a couple of posts from those that have been linked up. 

I hope you will continue to share your wonderful posts, and I hope you will find something new to try with your child(ren).

It would be great for everyone to stop by and visit the other linked-up posts as well. Check them out, leave some comments, pin those that interest you. Let's make this a real party and socialize with each other.

What have we been up to?

We have been learning about Germany in our homeschool. Of course, that means we get to watch fairy tales, because so many come from Germany. Did you know Disney based the Sleeping Beauty castle on a castle from Germany? We didn't. It is one of the fun things we have been learning. That said, we didn't get to watch Sleeping Beauty, but we did watch Snow White and Tangled. Maybe this week we will get to watch Sleeping Beauty. And we watch Once Upon a Time, so we have lots of fairy tales represented there.

I do not have a craft to share this week. Due to the weather last Wednesday, co-op was cancelled. We did a little bit of school work, but not much, and I hadn't planned a craft at all. Last week was actually not near as productive as I would have liked. School-wise at least. Thursday I wasn't feeling well, and slept some of the morning and afternoon away. Then on Friday I was getting ready for the baby shower for our little grand daughter. Yes, I will be sharing pictures of the baby shower for this week's Wordless Wednesday.

Let's take a look at that review schedule:

I recently posted two reviews. The first one is for Eclectic Foundations Language Arts B, which is what Hannah is using (and loving).  And the one that posted last week was for the Circle C Stepping Stone books written by Susan K. Marlow. The girls are really enjoying these books.  We are starting Color My Conversation from Northern Speech Services. Color My Conversation is "a dynamic, multi-sensory social skills program developed by a Speech-Language Pathologist to teach the skills of face-to- face conversations." That review will be posting in the second week of April. I just started Readers in Residence (Sleuth) from Apologia Educational Ministries with Tabitha. And we started watching Drive Thru History: The Gospels. Both of these reviews will also be posting in late April. There will be a review for ArtAchieve posting at the beginning of May. We used Level 1 of ArtAchieve last year and really enjoyed it. I was very excited to see we were going to have the opportunity to try out Level 2, especially because there are quite a few projects that go with the countries/continents we are learning about (Germany, Africa, China, Japan, Australia). 

Some thing I would like to share with you:

Resurrection Day isn't until next month, but it is never too soon to be preparing for such an important holiday. Last year I shared the Focusing On Jesus Resurrection Day Round Up.


Last week I shared my Flower and Gardening Fun Literature and Craft Round Up. This featured my Complementary Color Flower Craft and a round up of fun flower/gardening crafts and book lists.



I am trying to line up guest posts for 2017. If you would be interested writing a guest post for Littles Learning Link Up one of these months, please leave a comment or contact me via my contact info on my About Me page. I will need to have your email address so I can contact you. I am looking for posts that have to do with young children: crafts, activities, foods/snacks, tips, or other ideas. I am open to suggestions.

Now onto:
Littles Learning Link Up Features

On my last Littles Learning Link Up post, there were 11 wonderful posts linked up. I will be picking one randomly selected post to share, plus the top clicked-on post.  

Don't forget to stop by other posts that are linked up. See what catches your eye, stop by, pin the post to a relevant board, and perhaps leave a comment to let the author of the blog know you have been by for a visit. I know I appreciate others commenting and letting me know they have read my posts, so I am sure others do too.

This week's randomly selected post is:



Jennifer from The Jenny Evolution shared Skittles Rainbow Sugar Cookies Bark Recipe.

And here is this week's top clicked on post.



Michelle from homeschool-your-boys.com shared 8 Things Moms Should Know About Their Sons.

Join the Party!

I would love to have you join in this week! What sort of activities do you do with your young children? Do you have some favorite activities you would like to share? I invite you to link up below. I will be pinning posts on one of my relevant boards, and I would love to feature some of the activities each week from what is linked up.

Please know I may share a picture from your post and link back to it, along with sharing how we used your idea in our school time. By linking up you are giving me permission to use a picture from your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. Additionally, if you choose to try out any of the ideas with your child, please make sure you give credit where credit is due.

Linky will be open through Monday night, to give me time to check out all the posts and get the Features organized. Please take the time to visit some of the other wonderful posts linked up.

Photobucket

Monday, March 20, 2017

Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up- March 21, 2017


Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, Shelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways on  Tuesday's Giveaway Link Ups. 

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Featured Giveaways

Smurf's Movie Swag US only Ends 4/2



SING blu-ray US only Ends 3/31



Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily ReviewsShelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #143: March 16, 2017

Welcome back to... 


I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around March 16th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook.

Last year I focused solely on review posts for the posts I wanted to share. It was fun remembering some of the review products I had forgotten about. This year I will be focusing on recipes I have shared in the past.

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. (If you don't have anything from this current week, it is still okay to link up with a post from a previous year around this time. And if you haven't been blogging for a full year, feel free to share any earlier post.)


Please make sure to share from the past as instructed above if you would like your post to qualify for the Featured Post. Most weeks I find that there is a wonderful post, but I can't feature it because it is a current post, not from the past. I love reading the current posts, if you want to share them. However, I am not able to feature them, because the spirit of Throwback Thursday Blog-Style is to share posts from the past.
Thank you

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post:

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:

Our Unschooling Journey Through Life shared Rainbows For St. Patrick's Day.



To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

If you would like to help spread the news:

Tots and Me
Happy Throwback Thursday!


Reading Adventures With Circle C Stepping Stones Books from Kregel Publications {A TOS Review}


I love reading. Just putting that out there right away. When I was growing up, my nose was always stuck in a book, even when I was walking to school. It means so much to me to see my daughters following along this same path, though it has been longer coming for Amelia than it has for Tabitha. I love finding new books for them to read, to encourage this love of reading. So, yes, I was thrilled when I learned that we were chosen to review the first two books in the Circle C Stepping Stones series from Kregel Publications. Thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew, we received Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top, written by Susan K. Marlow


Yes, they were thrilled to receive them. 

The books in this series are geared for children who are 7-10 years old. They tell about the adventures of nine year old Andrea (Andi) Carter who lives on a California ranch during the late 1800s. The author had previously published three other series about Andi Carter. There are books for younger children that share the tales of Andi when she was six years old (Circle C Beginnings), books for slightly older children that tell the story of preteen Andi (Circle C Adventures), and a series for teens that focus on Andi when she is a teenager (Circle C Milestones). Sadly, we have not had the opportunity to read the other series, but I have a feeling the children would love for us to be able to get a hold of them. I think Amelia would love the Circle C Beginnings books, and Tabitha would enjoy the Circle C Adventures, and would probably want to read the Beginnings books as well.  


The two books we received are about 100 pages long with slightly smaller font than the Circle C Beginnings books. Each book begins with a "New Words" section that introduces a list of vocabulary words and their definitions. Each chapter is only 5-8 pages long, and there are black and white illustrations spaced throughout the book, one in about every two or three chapters. The illustrator is Leslie Gammelgaard, the same illustrator of the Beginnings books. These illustrations are also available as free coloring pages over at the Circle C Stepping Stones site. Here is a sample, which is a picture from the first chapter of the book.


At the end of each book, there is a short "History Fun" section that shares a bit about the true history of the events that transpire in the story.

Now I would like to share a little bit about each book. 

Andi Saddles Up

This story begins on Andi's ninth birthday. She is so excited because she is going to finally be able to ride her palomino Taffy whenever she wants to. But more than that, she is highly anticipating her very own, brand-new saddle. Her birthday is full of emotions, from joyful anticipation, to disappointment, to fear, and finally excitement. The story continues with Andi finding a new friend at her new secret fishing spot. A friend who also loves horses and fishing. Unfortunately, due to border disputes between their families, this friendship is on rocky ground. We learn a bit about the "Sheep and Cattle Wars" through this story. Andi's brothers are the cattlemen, while her friend Sadie's father is a sheep herder. It is finally thanks to Andi and Sadie's friendship, and an accident, that things are settled between the families. 

Andi Under the Big Top

The second book in the Circle C Stepping Stones series begins on a sweltering summer afternoon. Andi is waiting for her family to get ready to go home after church. Suddenly, her friend Cory surprises her with the news that the circus is coming to town. During the week before the circus arrived, Andi's imagination ran wild with thoughts of being a part of the circus. On the day that the circus arrives, Andi meets a young boy named Henry, whom she soon discovers has run away to join the circus. Sadly, she also finds out that the glamorous circus life is not all she would have thought it would be.  She does have a wonderful time with her family watching the performances, and then getting to go behind the scenes. While in this area, she comes face to face with Miss Minnie Mae, the bareback horse rider, whom she idolized, until she makes a disturbing request of Andi. Before the circus leaves, Andi wanted her brother, who is a lawyer, to help Henry get back home, but Henry disappears. Then there is a more pressing issue to deal with, as she discovers Taffy is missing. It is through an unexpected turn of events, that things begin to straighten out. 

How we used these books:

I read Andi Saddles Up before I would let either one of the girls get their hands on it. Then I allowed both girls to read it independently. Tabitha loved the book so much, she didn't want to wait for me to read Andi Under the Big Top, so I allowed her to read it first. Amelia is still in the first book, as she reads at a bit of a slower pace. She is also enjoying the book. 



Once Tabitha and I were done with the first book, and Amelia was past the first few chapters, we began to utilize the free Activity Pages that are available at the Circle C Stepping Stones website

These Activity Pages are about 25 pages long per book. There are reading comprehension questions for each chapter, along with other language arts activities, such as vocabulary, poetry, alphabetizing, word puzzles, and similes. There are also lessons in geography, history, math, science, character traits, Bible, and other fun miscellaneous activities. A schedule has been planned out, which will take 28 days if followed. As we do not have the lapbook, we were able to shave quite a few days off of the schedule. The lapbook pages are scheduled on days when there was no reading, so it was quite simple to just eliminate those days. I am also combining some of the activities, so it will take us even less time to finish the sheets. We are still in the middle of them, as I had the children start with their independent reading. I figured that would give them a chance to be able to just enjoy the books before having to dig deeper into them. Plus, a second reading, with mommy reading a chapter at a time to all, has given them a chance to re-hear the story and remember details. 

There are several questions about each chapter, that the girls answer after I read the chapter. Then, after three chapters, they can work on the other pages for that section. Every three chapters is a section. 

I think the girls favorite activity so far was writing the Cinquain poetry. 

Tabitha's:


Amelia's:


I do love that there are so many subjects touched on in these activity pages, and that they connect so well with what is being read in the story. For instance, we learned about poetry because Andi was learning about poetry in school. Our math lesson in Andi Saddles Up was based around the trout that Andi and Sadie were catching. 

The stories themselves are wholesome stories which honor God. A prayer of blessing is prayed before meals, Andi herself prays to God frequently, and the family goes to church. Morals have been taught to Andi and you see her catching herself doing something wrong and correcting herself, or being corrected if need be. Besides this, the stories are full of adventure and have conflict/suspense. Even I wanted to continue reading to find out what was going to happen with Sadie and Andi in Andi Saddles Up, and what was going to happen to Henry and Taffy in Andi Under the Big Top.

The recommended age range of 7-10 seems to be just right. Both girls were able to read the books with no problem and were able to answer the comprehension questions, showing me that they did understand what they were reading. Even the younger children (who are 5 and 7) have been enjoying the chapter I read aloud each day. I do not have them work on the activity pages though. 

These are definitely books I can recommend for yours and your children's reading pleasure. Each book can be purchased for $7.99 from Kregel Publications. You also have the opportunity to purchase the Activity Pages for both books as a spiral bound book for $6.00 plus shipping. Personally, I have found it easy enough to print out the pages as we need them, but it is nice to know that option is available.

You can find Kregel Books on Facebook and Twitter.
You can also find Susan K. Marlow on Facebook and Twitter.

Don't forget to stop by and see what my fellow Crew Mates though of these books. Just click the banner below:

Andi Series {Kregel Publications and Susan K. Marlow Reviews}
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