Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ten Things to Smile About This Month

Ever had a really bad month where nothing seems to go right?  I believe that even in the worst months there is always something to smile about; whether it be something as simple as a sunset or a funny thing someone said.  Those good months, well it's always good to stop and count your blessings; so come join me the last Tuesday of every month for Ten Things to Smile About This Month. (#10Things2Smile)
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(Linky will be open for two weeks, so plenty of time to link up)

Ten Things to Smile About in January

1.  A new year a new chance to get back on track with those little things

2. Forts in the playroom

3. Downton Abby is back on!  Plus we have started watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix, loving it so far.

4.  Passes to Knotts and fun days with lots of rides and many more to come this year.

5. Spending a day with my bestie!

6. Watching Alex play basketball, she might not be the best on the court but she does not lack for enthusiasm and loves playing with a team
Her shot ALMOST went in-- and no her team did not get the rebound
7. This shot and how much the kids have loved their bikes

8. Being able to photograph cute babies!

9. Getting all dressed up for a night out (we went to a wedding reception)

10. Rain!

What made you smile this month?  Join in the fun and share using #10Things2Smile

Monday, January 26, 2015

Best of the Blogosphere Linky Party: Week 3

Welcome back to the Best of the Blogosphere Linky Party!


It's our third week searching for the best blog posts on the internet. Since we're a diverse group of bloggers, we don't care what genre they are. In fact, each week we pick our own personal favorite and then highlight four of yours. All we ask is that you post what you think is your best post of the week every Monday!

Okay let me just say I had the hardest time picking my favorite post this week!  I seriously had at least ten posts open that I kept flipping between trying to pick my favorite.  I had one picked for sure but then realized that Deb had already picked that one, so decided to spotlight another.  One I loved was Kenzie's 10 Ways to Be Happier.
 I love the idea of complimenting a stranger as a way to make yourself happier, as yes I do believe that will help you feel better and you never know what affects that will have on the person you compliment.  Definitely check out the rest of her list.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to check out each other's blogs. Here are your favorites from last week! If you haven't had a chance to read them, you won't be disappointed! Bacon & Pepperoni Roll-ups

Are you ready to see what week #3 brings? Come meet us!
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Party Rules:
      • Follow your hosts! Take a moment and give us some love! Follow us on social media so we can promote you!
      • Link up your best post of the week. Be sure to add the link for a  specific post, not your homepage. And, please link up only one post.
      • Please link up family friendly posts- nothing political or religious. Also, please do not link up posts to promote giveaways, link parties or shops. Guess what? You can link up a sponsored post if you feel it's your best post of the week. We're cool with that. 
      • By linking up with the Best of the Blogosphere Linky Party, you are giving permission to us to feature your post with a link back to you- either as a weekly winner or our own personal favorite post 
      • Take the time to visit a few blogs and vote for your favorite post of the week.
      • Tweet about us #bestoftheblogosphere
Ready to party? We are! Come join the fun!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Five: Monday Holidays and Sleeping on the Couch

Happy Friday everybody!  For me the week went fast, yet Monday seems forever ago.  Funny how it works that way.  Since today is Friday, that means it is time for Friday 5! (#Friday5) Come share 5 thoughts and 5 pictures from the week.

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Five Thoughts

1. Love Monday holidays as the week seems to fly by (and I get to hang out with my friends like Lourie on the day off) but hate it, as Tuesday makes a way worse Monday then Monday usually is.

2. I am loving the Best Of the Blogosphere link up, I have been able to find some new blogs this way and I love finding those bloggers out there that are still just telling their story.  Make sure you link up your favorite post from the week (any kind of post will do) for a chance to be featured!

3. Tuesday night I spoke at a big Public Affairs meeting.  I serve as our regional Public Affairs Social Media Specialist for my church.  I admit I was a bit nervous going into it, but I heard nothing but great praise and thanks afterwards.

4. I love wrapping up in a blanket at night to watch TV.. problem is that often makes me so comfortable I end up dozing off.  Oh well, can't give up my blanket!

5. Yesterday Eric was gone all day for work (he flew up to San Jose for the day).  Alex was coughing some in the morning, but seemed well enough to send to school at least. When she came home after school and sounded a little worse, I decided a two-hour basketball practice was probably not the best idea.  Right about the time I would have dragged all three kids to her practice, Ryder fell asleep on the couch. I woke him up when dinner was ready and he was burning up 102.3 fever!  We will see what today holds.

Five Pictures

Riding the trolly at the mall
Lourie and me 
Pretty sunset-- straight out of camera shot

What is your Friday Five this week?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Whack-A-Word and Other Fun Ways to Learn Sight Words

Love them or hate them, at some point every elementary school-age kid is going to have to learn sight words.  For some advanced readers they come easily and quickly, but sometimes you have to get a little creative to help them learn.  Today I am sharing a new way my son and I use to learn sight words and sharing some other tips and ideas.


Write the sight words on index cards.  I just did 4 words at a time, as he is just in pre-school.  Then as you say the word, the child whacks or hits the right word.  

My son used one of his toy hammers.  You could use a fly swatter, a princess wand, whatever your child likes.
I would call out a word and he would whack it.  
I would switch up the order, and as he got better and would increase the speed a little bit.

He really enjoyed doing this but thought it was even more fun, when he was in charge.  He would whack the card and I had to say the words, very very quickly. 
He was hitting the words so fast when it was my turn, I am not sure how many he really was learning at that point, but it helped him totally enjoy the activity and he asked again several times to whack his words.  

Tips and Tricks

With sight words, consistency is the key.  You need to be consistently working with your child, not just the night before the test.  That is why I believe it is good to find some different ways to study the words, rather than doing the same thing every time.

Stephanie of The Vintage Modern Wife, a former first grade teacher gave these ideas:
   --Sight Word Race: Put Students in two teams and put a sight word up on a screen via PowerPoint.  First person in line had to yell it out first and then the next kid would go.
  --Use Funny Voices: Teach the kids the words using silly voices, anything to make it more enjoyable.
 Melissa of This Girl's Life Blog- said that her sister-in-law who is a teacher, has her students use play dough to shape out the words

Shell of Things I Can't Say- also a former teacher said: Write out the letters of the alphabet with chalk (on the ground outside), then have the child jump from letter to letter to spell the common sight words.  Or write the sight words on the ground with chalk, say the words and have them jump to the word and even share a rhyming word if they can. 

Ideas Around the Web
Here are a few more great ideas I found on-line. Click the title to take you to the original post and find out more information about each method.

 A great way to review a group of words and really get them moving

For those boys and girls that like to throw things- slam that ball into the words

Tape the words into an egg carton- and play a game of Tic-Tac-Toe 
(she uses this for numbers and letters too)

Write the words and then have the child circle the words 
or throw a bean bag at the right words

Match the words on the clothes-pin to the words on the card

Do you have any tips or tricks that you use for teaching sight words?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Old School Blogging- Reflections

I am linking up with Elaine of the Miss-Elaine-ous Life for some old school blogging.  Join and and link up at her site.

Who do you idolize?
   You know, I don't know if I really idolize anyone.  I definitely don't idolize celebrities, never have. I remember in grade school when my friend insisted I had to tell which New Kid on the Block was my favorite, and I really couldn't as I could care less about them (I don't even think I knew all of their names).  I think there are people I am amazed by and would love to follow their examples, but wouldn't say I idolize them.

What is something you are really proud of that you have accomplished? 
 Being a mother to my kids, I don't always do it perfectly, okay check that, I never do it perfectly, but I try and most of the time I love it and to see their success and the good kids they are, it makes me proud.   Oh and I hope to add writing and getting my book published to this list sometime this year!

What is something you are not so proud of? 
 The times when I have unintentionally offended someone and the times that I have put others things before what matters most.

Who was your best friend when you were 5, 6 or 7- tell something about them.
 My best friend at that age was my friend Jill, I have actually blogged about her here.
This picture was from 4th grade- but we were friends at younger ages too. 
What is one thing you wish you could still do but seems impossible right now?
  Well not a still do but still have-- a flat stomach.  I think short of a tummy tuck and it will never be like it was before I had babies.

If you could choose what would be your last meal?
   I would have a hard time picking one thing, so how about a super fancy buffet where I can just pick and choose everything I want.  I know what a cheap answer, but it is true, I LOVE buffets!

What are two or three jobs that you have liked?
   I really haven't had that many jobs in my life; I like being a photographer.  I enjoyed my data entry job- I worked for a small company that was making physical catalogs into on-line catalogs (yes that dates me and I bet that company doesn't exist anymore), and I have a love/hate relationship with my job as a foster care worker.

What is one job that you did not like?
   Probably my job as a foster care worker.  It was my first real job out of college, and it felt good to help people, but it was also horrible and horrific the things I saw and the people I had to deal with (both clients and other agencies).

What is your least favorite chore around your house?
  Putting laundry away!  My bedroom floor can attest to that.  I do have cute laundry room decor at least... but still doesn't make me want to put the clothes away.
You can read the tips at this post here
How tall are you?  Do you wish you were taller?  Shorter?
  I am 5'5" (barely probably more like 5'4 1/2") and most of the time I am just fine with it.  My husband is 6'8" and so while you think that would make me feel short, it has actually had just the opposite effect and I think I am taller than I actually am.  I wouldn't mind being a few inches taller.

What is one of your favorite quotes on love, life or motherhood (choose one)?

Do you have a favorite quote?  What would you eat for your last meal?  I would love to know!