Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What If....Easter

What if the Resurrection really happened? That was the message at church on Easter Sunday...and it was a great message to hear. The Resurrection really did happen and we need to be living like that. Here is the link to hear the Easter message from our church.

Here is a little recap of our Easter with a few pictures. I realized that I have 2 modes I am either behind the camera making sure to get every shot and not really enjoying time with my family or I am spending time hanging out with everyone and forget to take pictures. Definitely not a bad thing, but it means I don't get as many pictures.

We started Easter with Jake seeing his Easter basket. So cute...he was so excited. You will see in the picture of his basket there is a package of light bulbs. 2 of the lights in Jake's playroom were burnt out. Lately we have been opening the windows for light so I totally forget to buy light bulbs when we are at the store. When I asked Jake what he wanted for Easter he honestly said light bulbs...every single time. And wouldn't you know when he saw his Easter basket he said " I got light bulbs I knew he would bring them."

Following our baskets we made resurrection rolls for breakfast and headed off to church. After church our families came over for a delicious brunch and egg hunt for the kids.

 The big boys waiting to be let out for the egg hunt.
 Jake isn't looking in this picture, but he was totally against taking a picture and this is the best of like the 5 we could get.

Time 4 Learning

Recently I was given the opportunity to review an online home school program Time 4 Learning. They offer programs from pre-k to middle school.

We hadn't really given Jake much computer time before this so it was a great opportunity to introduce him to the computer. I was so happy to see that Time 4 Learning was very easy for him to use. Most of the time I was sitting with him while he did it, but it was with very little assistance.  A simple scroll with the mouse over an object and a fun voice would recite the name of the object helping him to choose the right answer or option he wanted. He was so proud of himself to be doing it alone and best of all to be on the computer.

Time 4 Learning has lots of fun themes like gardening, transportation, alphabet, numbers and so much more. It was fun to use the garden theme during our garden learning week(along with others throughout the month). Jake really liked making a pattern with different flowers and the matching activities.  The stories and recalling were great too. He would listen to the story and then questions were asked giving him options to choose about what happened in the story.

Along with the learning activities there was a playground area with games, and videos some including some of Jake's favorite shows like Clifford. And fun games he and I could play together too.

There are also parent/educator sections to connect through a message board community. You can get reports on your child's progress as well.  I like that you can set your child's learning level and we were given 2 options. The 1st level Pre-K along with level 2 so when things were a little under Jake's learning ability we could go into level 2 as well.

Over all we both really enjoyed Time 4 Learning it was a great supplement to other things we are learning at home. Almost daily Jake would ask to do "his computer work." It was also a big help introducing Jake to the computer in an age appropriate way.

If you are looking for a great addition to your home school curriculum or activities Time 4 Learning would be great.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Daily Moments (4/17-4/23)

Can you believe I am posting a Daily Moments post with pictures for almost every day? I feel like it has been forever since I have posted an actual daily moments. With last week being screen-free I have several pictures for a few of the days. So you will also see a couple post this week just about those things.

Sunday-April 17th- Planting our garden...getting dirty

Monday-April 18th-Taking a break almost every bench we came to along our hike Jake wanted to sit down.

Tuesday-April 19th- working on his jelly bean Easter book. I love this picture because you can see his concentration, but also do you see the crayon behind his ear. He always wants a pen, pencil, or crayon behind his ear. "When Handy Manny works he puts a pencil behind his ear." That is what Jake says.

Wednesday-April 20th-Jake spent the day with Mawmaw & Papa pictures to share

Thursday-April 21st-Our Easter play-date with good friends. Jake loved the monkey bars. I had to help him move across them, but he would hang there forever.

Friday-April 22nd- Sometimes playing is such hard work...napping on the couch

Saturday-April 23rd-We decorated Easter eggs at Nana's today.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Screen-Free Recap

It was quiet around here last week...we were participating in screen-free week. The week went great!!! 

Jake did test and ask for the tv almost daily, but usually only once and then he would be reminded that it was no tv week. And he had gotten to the point before this week that when we were out somewhere he would say "when we get home can I watch tv?" During screen-free week he began asking if he could play outside when we got home.

We occupied most of our time being outside. Thank goodness the weather was wonderful for the whole week. I am sure the week could have gone terribly different if it had been rainy all week. We took a family hike, planted our garden,  enjoyed time playing outside, crafting inside(great week with lots of Easter crafts).

At night when Jake went to bed and before Jason would get home there were a couple of days I would get on the computer. My goodness how easy it is to get sucked into the computer. One day some of my friends were planning a night out to the movie through facebook...I got a text about it and got on to respond. Of course I thought let me just read some updates. I realized after only 10 minutes that I needed to get off. But I could have spent way longer on there. Most evenings were spent reading. No tv, no computer just me and a good book. Until Jason got home. (had 2 books waiting to be read...they are finished. Do you read? Would love to hear what your favorite book is or any good suggestions).

So from this week, it really helped me to see how much I was on the computer, phone, and relying on the tv. I am taking the initiative to set a timer for computer use. In the evenings I would get so sucked in...I really enjoyed spending the evenings in quiet. Of course I will still be blogging, but that will be built into my time. Jake will be aloud to watch some tv, but not every day and on days he does watch tv it will be only one show or maybe a movie. I will not be using the tv as a babysitter so I can get on the computer or make dinner more quickly. Last week Jake helped with dinner most nights and he loved it and it was fun for me too. (he has frequently helped me bake, but rarely had I let him help with dinner...thanks to screen-free this has changed).

One of the biggest things I mind seems so much more peaceful when I am not trying to keep up with what everyone else in the world is doing ALL day long.

And as I have often said time goes by so fast(my little boy will be 3 1/2 on Saturday...that half is a big deal when you are 3). Why would I want to waste these precious years (even amidst their difficulties) with Jake sitting in front of a tv or me behind a computer screen?

So screen-free week has ended, but around here we are sticking to limited screen all the time! Feels so refreshing!!!

Did you participate in screen-free week? I would love to hear how it went in your family...please share in the comments.
Oh, and regular blog posts will be up this week. With lots of pictures too!! 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Pictures

This week is screen-free week. If you aren't participating and you happen to come  I am leaving you with some of the cutest pictures while I am away. I won't be blogging this week in an effort to stay away from the computer.  But please leave a comment while you are here. I love to hear from you!

Heather & I often have our boys' pictures taken together. They are 4 months apart and we love that they are so close in age.

Recently my friend Jill of Jill Samples photography took Spring pictures with the boys. I must say that they are the CUTEST pictures ever. I love them. Jill did a great job, but I am sure it helps that our boys are so cute already.

It was very difficult to pick which one's I was going to share, but here are some of my most favorites...but really I love them all!!!

Family:I will be getting some pictures to you this week. If there is a specific one here you want let me know.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Turn It Off!!!

Next week is National Screen-Free week-April 18th-24th. Formerly known as Turn off your TV week. The campaign for a commercial free childhood has taken the next step and named this week Screen-Free. Realizing that most people spend as much time watching tv as they do on their computer or using their smart-phone for more then the phone.

I am so excited to participate in Screen-Free week. Giving my family a chance to detox from the amount of tv and computer time we have been indulging in. 

I was THAT mom before I had Jake and while I was pregnant. Saying my child would never watch tv. Umm...that lasted for about the 1st year of his life. And from then we can say that life got in the way and soon it was ok for him to watch a little bit of tv and a movie here and there.

I am embarrassed to say that over this past winter we have been watching WAY TOO much tv. It was so cold & yucky outside that tv was just easy. We would snuggle on the couch and watch tv, then we would do some playing and crafting and soon tv was back on. While I was making dinner it was easier to just turn on the tv. Not to mention that at 3 Jake has found a few favorite shows and asks to watch them.

Then there is  the computer time for me. I get on in the morning (while Jake watches tv). Then durning Jake's quiet time I am on again. I usually have about an hour and a half after Jake goes to bed and before Jason gets home that I am on the computer. But then after only a brief time when Jason gets home I am back on the computer. It has become WAY TOO much!!

And don't get me started about twitter, facebook, and email updates coming straight to my phone. It has all become TOO MUCH!!!

We are taking the plunge and going Screen-Free April 18th-24th. I am hoping this will be what I need to fill our time with so much more and continue this way after Screen-Free week has ended. 

We will be filling our time with lots of fun outdoor activities and free play. (since the weather has been so nice here lately we have been outside way more, but tv is still too much) With this being Easter week we will be spending time as a family focusing on Easter. Making Easter crafts and enjoying fun Easter themed learning activities. I am going to spend the time when Jake goes to bed to read more. When Jason gets home this will be our time together to reconnect. I am sure there will be lots of talking and connecting without the tv to distract us.

If you are looking for ideas of things to fill your time during Screen Free week check out Simple Organic. So what do you say...Are you going to take the challenge of Screen Free week? Leave a comment and let me know your family is participating. And I would love to see what things you are planning to replace your screen time with.

Edited to Add: Simple Kids has a list of 20 things to do during Screen-Free week. If you need more ideas to fill your time while the tv & computer are turned off. 

Because next week is screen-free and Easter I will be taking the week off from blogging. So take the time and turn off your computer too. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Out of space

I know that today is Tuesday and Daily Moments post is supposed to be up. I tried to upload some pictures to the blog and it seems I am out of storage space. I have the option of buying more space to put up more pictures so I will do that in the next few days.

Question for bloggers: Did you buy space for your pictures? Is it the same in wordpress? Not that I would have any idea how to move my entire blog over to wordpress.

Until I get this taken care of...take a few minutes and look around the blog. Are there posts you liked, but didn't comment on? And be sure to check out my post What's for Lunch? and share your lunch menu ideas.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What's for Lunch?

What do you eat for lunch? For me lunch seems to be the hardest meal to plan.

Breakfast is easy: usually I make a big batch of waffles to have in the freezer for easy toasting, some mornings we do cereal, or oatmeal, and others we do eggs.

Dinner is fun to plan! I enjoy cooking and have fun going through blogs, cookbooks, and other recipes deciding what to cook for dinner that week. I do a weekly menu plan and it works great.

But then there is lunch. Lunch is usually just Jake & I. And really I don't want to have to "cook" another meal. I want something that is easy to put together, but tastes good. Sometimes we eat leftovers, but I am really not a big leftover fan. Lately lunch has been sandwiches, with a veggie, pretzels and fruit. The sandwiches aren't too fancy tuna, chicken salad, or turkey. We have been know to switch it up and make the sandwich into a wrap instead of eating it on bread. But still pretty boring and normal.

This sandwich option is easy. The ingredients last us most of the week. With a lunch out here and there or leftovers. And doesn't add a whole bunch to our weekly grocery budget.

Through the wonderful world of internet & The Ultimate Blog Party going on at 5 Minutes for Mom I have discovered several blogs with tons of great lunch ideas. Most of these lunches are fun for Jake, but are adaptable for me (you know I don't really need my food cut out into shapes, but I can still eat the ingredients).

Do you struggle with lunch like I do? I have put together a small list of blogs or other online resources that list great lunch ideas. I haven't tried any of these recipes yet, but will be adding some to our meal plan. Some of the sites might contain info I don't agree with or use ingredients that I would not. Since I was only looking for lunch ideas I didn't look around a lot on the sites. And ingredients I wouldn't use will be replaced with stuff we like.

Have you heard of bento lunches? They are kind of becoming a big deal in America. Read here to see what it is all about. You can search and find tons of bento lunch ideas. For this reason I am only linking to one bento lunch menu blog. But really there are tons! 

Bento Menu Library at Laptop Lunches
20 quick & easy lunch recipes
The Kid Can Cook -we are not nut free, but some of these sandwiches looked fun & yummy
Once A Month Mom-doing something like this might work too cooking everything one day and having lunches available

Ok, that is only a few lunch ideas. Really there are tons!! And when I try some good lunch recipes I will let you all know. In the mean time share with me in the comments...what do you do for lunch at your house?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Daily Moments...but not really

As I was getting ready to write my daily moments post for last week I realized I only had pictures from 2 days. Not so good for a daily moments post. But for Tuesday I had lots of pictures...I thought I would share what most of our Tuesdays look like. Well, except for the fact that last Tuesday was the last day.
Counting the bees(fingers) as they come out of the hive to tickle
Every Tuesday Jake & I enjoy a music class together. A friend of mine's sister so graciously leads children in a free music class. She started doing it in her home and then moved to offering it at her church. Jake started these classes right after he turned one and we have done them twice a year since then.


   Marching shaking his musical instruments
                                                                                                          The class is lots of singing, musical instrument playing, dancing, marching, & finger playing too. And of course Mrs. Jennifer always reads a story to the children. Did I tell you how blessed we have been by Mrs. Jennifer and her music class? Well,we have!!

It is always such a joy to hear Jake singing the songs from music throughout the week. And when we started listening to a new kids worship cd in the car and "Do Lord" came on he was so excited & couldn't believe this song from music was on in our car.

Throwing his scarf in the air at "pop" goes the weasel
Crawling during the freeze parade

Saturday, April 2, 2011

It's A Party...

There is a party going on at 5 Minutes for Mom...The Ultimate Blog Party! 5 Minutes for mom has been hosting this blog party for 5 years. Bringing bloggers together and giving a place to get to know other bloggers via this great wide world of internet.

If you are here from The Ultimate Blog party...welcome! Get comfy, grab a cup of coffee & take a look around.  I am so glad you stopped by and I hope you will leave comment to introduce yourself or just to say hi! 

I am Melissa, wife to my wonderful husband Jason for almost 7 years(in May). We have a 3 year old little boy named Jake. He has truly filled our lives with more then we ever knew possible. And although, I have enjoyed every age...3 has been my favorite. 3 is so much fun. I am also extremely blessed to be a stay at home mom & love being home to care for my first!!

The blog started as a way to share our lives with family and friends. But has grown into a little more then just Jake updates. I share pieces lives. Usually fun things we are doing, but sometimes opening the door to the things that are on my mind or that I am processing at the time.

Here are a few posts from the last few months:

Daily Moments
Joy Follows
Public or Not?

You can subscribe to Nunnally Family Fun and get updates straight to your in box or just click the follow button on the side of the blog. Again I am glad you stopped by. And have fun partying with other great bloggers during the Ultimate Blog Party!