Busy Busy

Been pretty busy here. We’ve been doing school, organizing and spending family time together. A few weeks ago Tony and I went with his parents to Illinois to do some antiquing. I have to say that I am glad we experienced it. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. There were so many vendors there. I think over 500! That’s a lot of walking and a lot of seeing the same things. I was hoping that were going to be much more of the items that I wanted but that wasn’t the case. The ones that I did want though the price was insane. There is no reason the price needs to be jacked up that high. I know everyone has to make that dollar but yikes!! I would definitely go to more around Wisconsin than go there again to get the prices we do!!
We have been at least going every other weekend antiquing. Then, taking the other day for family and the weekend in between for cleaning. Although, we havent done much cleaning. I did also decide to take custom orders for LyTen Love. I haven’t got too many which is probably a good thing because I have been working on a few special items. A little surprise for a friend and also a little something for our home. I am pretty excited to be getting ready for christmas. Tony agreed I could put up Christmas items the day after Halloween. Well, it’s already the 5th of November and I haven’t yet. Wow!! That is a miracle. I can’t wait to show you all the ideas I have. Also, I have been making a tradition list for the girls. Super excited!! Elf is coming to our house this year!! I have pinned so many awesome ideas. The girls are going to love him!! Is anyone else doing elf? Have any great ideas?

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Letter B for Bugs

The second week of school we worked on the letter B. It was a fun-filled week of bugs! Along with the letter b we worked on the number 3, yellow, and the oval. I had many different activities worked out and since this was our first week officially starting I figured we would go as we could. It worked wonders and she really enjoyed learning. On sunday, I made up the closet door that will hold our main items. This door will show her the virtue we are working on, the letter, some theme items will be placed there and also the verse from the bible we will be learning. I am super excited for the next coming weeks.

(sorry so blurry- took a quick picture with iPhone and didn’t realize until I took it down already)
letter B door

Everyday of the week we will put a number on our calendar. Also on Sundays, I will be putting up flash cards under the calendar of the letter, color and shape. On the white erase board so far we have used only for project hanging.

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I keep forgetting to take pictures so they are of the letter A which we just finished last week. I am a little behind on blogging and also, I now know to use only the dslr camera not the iPhone. Obviously, iPhone doesn’t equal quality.

I tried to use simple items that I either had around home or from the dollar store. There was a bag of these colored sticks and colored blocks for one dollar I picked up. They are great for color learning and also for manipulatives for math. I used washed out jello cups and a circle punch to punch cardstock. Easily wrote numbers with a marker and then had her take the sticks and put the correct amount in each cup.

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While she worked she insisted on having the large bugs on the table as well. Of course I said yes! How fun is it with bugs on the table with us!

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My mother has been helping me a great deal with printing and making items for this. She has been so wonderful! Thanks mom!! I am not sure I would be able to do this alone and keep up making items for LyTen Love. I will post at the bottom where we had found these great printables.

I had her take the cards without the words on them and match them on top of the page with words. She did a great job even though she had a hard time identifying katydid and the praying mantis.

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Since we worked on the caterpillar the previous week I thought this worked in this theme as well. It is a simple printable with the life cycle of the caterpillar on it. It has numbers on the side 11-20 to help with counting as well. Loved this printable.

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I also found some great printables for the weather and days of the week. Each day we talk about the weather outside and how hot or cold it is. Then she traces the day of the week, finds the number of the month and writes it out. Awesome printable for everyday use. Instead of having to print them each week I have been using the sheet protector I got from the dollar store.

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I also wanted to have her work on her cutting skills. I am that mom who is deathly afraid of her using them. So I haven’t allowed her to use them as often as she probably should. It’s a great motor skill learning to cut. Especially, zig zags and curves. She did so much better than I thought she would. Its her favorite activity. If she sees me pull them out she can’t contain herself and we usually have to do it right away otherwise she is too antsy to do anything else.

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Dont mind the messy hair… this is why we love homeschooling. No more fighting about brushing hair in the morning to go somewhere.
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I found an adorable craft on Pinterest. Take a simple egg carton and make a bug. She was really excited about making him. It was a little hard for her to get the pipe cleaners through it but in the end she loved making it. I just gave her simple permanent markers and she drew on him. It was heaven because the markers are the “off-limits” markers and she got to use them!

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Look at that smiley face!! Again… iPhone don’t use!

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Here is an example of sheets from a dollar store learning book. It has lots of letters, shapes, number sheets. It is fabulous! Also, using the sheet protector I can reuse the sheets over and over and over!

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This past week we worked on Letter A! I will be posting about letter A shortly!

Here are the links to the printables:

Life cycle puzzle
Bug matching
Weather and days of the week

First Day Adventures

The months have passed quickly and before we knew it two days ago was our start day for school. Lyla was pretty excited and I was nervous!! It has taken a ton of prepping and printing to get things ready. I was originally going to start watching some kids from the end of August until next year. In the end, Lyla was not listening as well and concentrating. My main goal is to homeschool and be successful. I chose not to watch the children in hopes it will help Lyla stay on track more this year. The first day of school was supposed to start the 3rd of September as the other kids in town. I am watching the one child the first two weeks until the new babysitter can watch him. I am so thankful that she was a friend and understanding of our situation. I just want the best for my daughters.

I still have to rearrange her schedule around since I had the start day the 3rd. Which we are still going to be working on small items just not going in deep like I was planning. So maybe its a good thing. We can start slow and easy and then work out a schedule that works for both of us.

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The weekend of Labor Day, Tony and I went on a little hike near some railroad tracks and found a monarch caterpillar! I just knew it was a sign that we were going to have a great start for school. I have now made this week learning all about the life cycle of the butterfly.

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I didn’t have a lot of information so I went straight to pinterest and found some great ideas! Also, I had joined a website called teachers pay teachers. It really has some great items for free as well as ones you pay for. Sign up its free!

Starting out, we made a caterpillar craft! The kids enjoyed decorating that page for the caterpillar to live on. Even Tenley joined by sitting on the table and observing and drawing on her own paper.

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That night we worked on labeling a worksheet of each stage of the butterfly. She did really well writing each word. We have lots of practice to do but I have hopes she will be a pro! These work sheets I had gotten off the Teachers pay Teachers site. At the bottom of the page it gives this link.

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That was all we could accomplish during the day. It was pretty late in the afternoon and I had to run to the post office and make dinner. We decided we were going to work a little more after dinner time. She was pretty excited to work again on things!!

At a rummage sale this summer, I had found these great wooden shapes for sewing. She absolutely loves it! I think it was her favorite part. She was a pro at it!!

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The first week of school I had scheduled the letter I. Our first theme I wanted to use was ice cream to make it an easy fun start. So, I had prepped and made a few construction paper ice cream cones to match lower case and upper case letters. She did pretty good. There were a few she got stumped on but once she realized that another letter looked better there she figured it out. (The popsicle sticks were to keep them from blowing off the table- we had our fan on)

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I had her do some pattern matching which she had fun and I didn’t realize I may have to find her a few more activities. She is so quick with these. I will have to find more challenging items.

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I took simple empty jello cups (thanks mom!) punched circles from a Pepsi cardboard box and wrote numbers on the circles and put them in the bottom. She then took the sticks and put the correct number in each one. I then mixed them up and had her redo it with the blocks color coordinating. She did really well. We have 1-4 down for sure!

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We worked then on a worksheet where she drew the stages of the butterfly.

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I am pretty excited with how school has been going for us!! I hope everyone had a wonderful start to school.
I have been praying a lot lately to help us stay on track this year!! I am very thankful she loves to learn new things. She is pretty excited. Hoping to post weekly about what we have been learning!

Creating a New Project

I have been so busy prepping for school that I haven’t been on here much! We are starting September 2nd with the other kids here in our town. It also gives me time to be prepared! Excited to take daily pictures and post weekly of what we had worked on that week! So get ready for preschool overload soon! To hold you off of the excitement many of you know I have a little mini (yes I know I said “small” with two different words in the same sentence) business! LyTen Love! Currently, I have been pretty busy with homeschool that I haven’t been creating much or marketing my business to get business. I have a few items to make for people in a few weeks but mostly been away for awhile. I had just recently finished a new and exciting little creation I would love to share with you! By no means is he perfect but he is oh so cute!

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Isn’t he just darling?! He’s for a family member who’s having a sweet little boy! So excited hopefully they love it! Well, I do have plans- yes I always have so many plans- to open my etsy shop! I have many owls made already and now I just need to create a few elephants and foxes and I think I will have enough to open! Wouldn’t that be fabulous!? I think so!!

So here’s to the last weekend before pre-k homeschool marathon, watching another child and opening and running an etsy shop! Please say a prayer or two for strength and encouragement! God knows what’s best for me and I really believe he will lead me the right way! His plan always over rules my plans! I trust him! Hope you all have a fabulous Labor Day weekend!! Enjoy!

Hawaiian Luau

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Last year on my side of the family we all discussed how troubling it is to meet everyone for birthdays throughout the year. We decided that it would be fun to plan a one year birthday party for all the kids. There are seven all together. Ranging from age 14-1. We also live about 20 minutes to an hour away. Also, most of the older kids have so many activities going on its hard to plan for weekends that are free with summer school, dance, softball and church. It gets just a little crazy. So last year at christmas we planned that we would try it out this year in July. My parents and sister had most of all the decorations for a Hawaiian party so that’s what we went with. We were suppose to buy each child a present ten dollars or more. We also had since Christmas to get something. Which made it easier I think!! Since, most of the time I am a procrastinator when it comes to that and always buy last-minute. Well, it turned out great my parents decorated it perfect, we had grass skirts and leis and good food! Here are a few snap shots from the party!

There is a ton!! Lets just say it will be like you are there!

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The kids really loved getting together! My parents made up games and an obstacle course which was a blast. I helped Lyla through it but really she did great by herself! She kept up really well with the older kids. I cannot wait for next years party. We decided we are doing a pirate party! So fun!! Arrrrggg Matey! Well I may have to perfect that a little before the party. I have some time which is good! It had been fun already searching pirate ideas on Pinterest!!

Postcard Birthday Wish

My daughter Tenley’s first birthday was October 5th, 2012. Since we did not have a birthday party besides family for her older sister Lyla we did not with Tenley either. I don’t really find them necessary especially since they are so young and wont remember who was there! We got some great pictures of cake eating that we will use for the scrapbook. I was kind of bummed that I had not thought of this idea for Lyla but will probably do it for her as well for her 5th birthday.

We had everyone family and friends send a post card with a birthday wish to her from their state, country, city or any kind of post card they could find. I sent an email and made an event on Facebook asking instead of presents and a party to send a postcard! It was so successful! I was so happy and couldn’t thank those that took the time to send them enough! I was overwhelmed by the love of family and friends from around the world!

I am now- yes over a year later …. she turns two in four months turning it into a scrapbook!

I was so thankful I almost started crying when I was reading all the wishes on the cards!

Really everyone who sent one… Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

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My Golden Birthday

So it’s about 3 and half months away from my golden birthday! September I will be turning 27! Yikes. I know most are like yeah you’re still young and have lots of time. I know I probably do but then I sit here and think of how fast it has been since Lyla was born. That was 4 years ago!! I still can’t believe it! I don’t understand how quickly it can pass. I remember when time seemed soo slow when I was in high school and younger. I felt like the school year would never end. I guess time passes by when you’re having fun. I must be having the time of my life because I swear just yesterday I was 20. I have a lot of amazing things that have happened. Two of my biggest accomplishments are my two beautiful girls. I wouldn’t change a thing. They are the best. I feel most days they make me feel young, but at the same time old. Tony and I have been together for 7 years which is pretty incredible. Crazy to think about!!

I was reading a great blog about how she just turned 29 and she wanted to do 30 things before she turned 30.
Here is a link to the post! Check it out!
http://optimisticfascination.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/birthday-goals-29-things-to-do-before-i-turn-30/

I got so inspired. Made me want to make a list as well. Except, I will be doing 30 things before I am thirty and I will have 3 years instead of just one year. I want to give myself good time for a few things and this is the perfect way to go about it. Yeah there are many things I want to do before I die but there are some short-term goals I would like to have done!

These are not in order of what I want to do. It’s just a list of what I want to do! I will probably randomly cross things off the next three years.

1. Buy a house

2. Get a tattoo

3. Finish the girls baby scrapbooks

4. Join a gym

5. Get married to Tony

6. Have a garden and eat from it

7. Take more family pictures. Hoping every 6 months!

8. Sew a dress

9. Go to Ikea in Chicago

10. Run three miles straight

11. Open my Etsy Shop

12. Swim in the ocean

13. Read the entire Bible

14. Get a dog

15. Say yes to everything for one entire day. (don’t tell anyone of course what day)

16. Go to church at least 20 times

17. Go to a midnight premiere

18. Keep up with my blog

19. Have a kid free weekend with Tony at a hotel out-of-town

20. Learn sign language and teach the girls

21. Bake a 3 layer cake

22. Limit my time on social media (Facebook, twitter, internet, blogs, pinterest, and instagram)

23. Spend more family time together, make memories the girls will remember

24. Ride my bike with the girls in the trailer often

25. Be successful with my business

26. Visit family more- mom and dad, grandparents, sister and brothers

27. Finish all the laundry- don’t have any dirty clothes besides the ones on us
(this one might be the hardest one haha)

28. Finish more projects

29. Read 200 books

30. Print out most of the pictures I have taken and at least put them in albums

Hopefully I can accomplish most if not all of these!! I would love to cross all the them off!! I am pretty excited to start a few of these! I feel like if I can see them I will do them!! It will be a constant reminder hey get on track!! Don’t slack!! Wish me good luck!! Here’s to crossing things off my list!

What do you want to do? What is your bucketlist?