Barefoot Books Ambassador

I’ve decided to become a Barefoot Books Ambassador! My kids absolutely love the engaging, colorful, and content-rich products (and I do too!). Our first item, before realizing it was a Barefoot Books product, was the Yoga Pretzels card deck. My children were introduced to the cards at yoga class and had expressed interest in having the cards to use at home. We also noticed that many of the books we especially enjoyed from the library were published by Barefoot Books, so I decided to add them to our personal home library by becoming and Ambassador. Here’s a picture of the products we received in my Ambassador box:

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Many times, we use Barefoot Books to go along with our studies. For example, my daughter has been learning about ancient Hebrew culture through Old Testament stories, experiencing Jewish holidays, and eating traditional foods. We are using the The Barefoot Book of Jewish Tales to expand upon this learning experience. Besides the great stories and colorful illustrations, there are two audio CDs included in the book. This is great because we can listen to the stories on-the-go or use them to read along with the book. When we first got the book, my daughter was captivated by the first story and asked to listen to the rest of the stories in one sitting (I agreed to finishing the first CD). Several days later, she opened the book to read along while she listened to the audio. Needless to say, I am very pleased with the decision to include it in our library! Here she is with her head buried in the book:

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If you are interested in taking a look at what Barefoot Books has to offer, please consider using this link to my shop: https://www.barefootbooks.com/erin-hook 

 

Thanks for visiting,

Erin

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Writing Practice

We’ve been doing some fun activities to work on handwriting and fine motor skills. Here’s one that we did:

First, I drew lines on the chalkboard and wrote the letters I wanted my daughter to practice on. She wrote the letters with the chalk, then she went back and traced the letters with a dry paint brush.

Finally, she traced over the letters with a wet paint brush. Of course, the activity wasn’t complete until she added her own personal touch by drawing smiley faces. 🙂 She enjoyed this very much and we will continue these exercises to improve her writing.

Supplies for chalkboard activity:

Note about the supplies:

The con-tact paper did not stick to our walls with satin paint, it only sticks to our flat/matte painted walls. It was difficult to put up, had a lot of air bubbles, and folded over itself easily, causing tearing. For a quick use, non-permanent product it is fine. I prefer black Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Brush-On paint, but it does involve prep-work, possibly painting multiple coats and of course, it is permanent. 

Prang chalk – I really like this chalk. It is vibrant and sticks to the surface well. Almost every piece was broken when we received it from Amazon, however that didn’t bother me.

The Chalkboard Line Drawing Tool is by Westcott. I have no previous experience with these tools. It does make line drawing so much faster and neater. The chalk moves around a bit in the holder, so there is a bit of trial and error in getting the chalk in just right.

Are you working on handwriting with your children? What types of activities are you doing?

Plan To Eat

I just started using plantoeat.com, an online menu planner this week. And so far, I am really liking it. Just learned that they will be having a Black Friday weekend sale, offering their full year membership at just $19.50! After my experience with it this week, I am looking forward to getting the annual membership. Check it out if you are looking for a simpler way to menu plan and perhaps, save money on your grocery bills. Here is my affiliate link, https://www.plantoeat.com/ref/erin (or click link above if you do not want to use my AF link). Stay tuned, I hope to post more information about Plan to Eat tomorrow.

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

MuTu System 45% off sale

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Today only there is a 45% off sale for MuTu System products. I highly recommend MuTu. It is a progressive exercise program for moms who have abdominal and pelvic floor issues, or just want to lose their “baby belly”.  Not only do you get exercise materials with this program, but a supportive, understanding, and helpful community of women who are on the same fitness journey. Even if you don’t want to purchase anything today, you can utilize the resources on the website to learn more about Diastasis Recti, the pelvic floor, strengthening the core, prenatal and postpartum exercise, and more.

 

Juicing Day 2

So today is my second day juicing. I am using the Breville BJS600XL Fountain Crush Masticating Slow Juicer. My thought so far is that it is very time consuming in both preparing the fresh produce as well as cleaning the equipment, but there are payoffs for this. From what I understand, this juicer requires smaller pieces of fruits and vegetables than a non-masticating juicer. Skin removal is needed if the skin is thick, such as was the case with the cucumbers I used. Removing apple cores and hard seeds from citrus is also necessary. The drawback is this takes a bit of time to get ready to juice. After juicing, the equipment needs cleaning…sooner than later. The pieces are easy to clean except for the filter basket. It has small holes that require a cleaning brush and warm soapy water to remove all the food particles. This is a job to be done directly after juicing to make sure the holes don’t clog up. Definitely not something you can do in a hurry before rushing out the door in the morning (or whenever it is you have to rush out the door), if your lifestyle requires you to do so. Most days, mine does not. I do have young children that require my full attention though, so keeping them occupied while doing all this has been a challenge. Now for the positives…yes, after all that, there are positives! One is a higher yield of juice, which can be stored for up to 72 hours if you can’t finish it all. Also, the juice contains some pulp and is thick (thicker than juice, not as thick as a smoothie), so it filled me up. My GI system has tolerated the juice just fine (knock on wood!). I love it so far and I’m motivated to keep going. My hope is that over the next few days of using the juicer, I’ll get faster at prep and clean up. What about you? Do you have experience with juicing? If so, do you have any helpful tips to share?

Juicing Day 1

Today I started my day off with fresh, delicious, homemade cold-pressed juice. Today’s recipe: “Sunrise” consisting of carrots, beets, and oranges, found in Reboot with Joe Juice Diet by Joe Cross. Let me admit something here, I detest beets. Every beet I have ever had the misfortune to consume, I have done so with complete disdain. I have to say though; this juice recipe was not bad. It was better with ice. So, why am I doing this? Because raw vegetables have been upsetting my GI system. I adored smoothies but they began to cause more pain and upset than I could handle. It is my hope that by removing the fiber, I will be able to tolerate the juiced vegetables… and possibly, I will start eating nutritious vegetables I would otherwise not (like beets!). Stay tuned to find out more about my juicing adventure.

Waldorf Essentials

Our Homeschooling Curriculum

As a homeschooling mom, I am often asked if we buy a curriculum or if we design our own. At this time, we actually do a mixture of both! We are drawn to the Waldorf educational philosophy because of its holistic nature, but we are not “purists”. That being said, I’ve selected activities I like from three different curriculums that draw inspiration from Waldorf (Steiner) Education. We also include a bit of the Charlotte Mason Method of homeschooling in the mix. The programs we are currently using are Ambleside Online, Earthschooling, Oak Meadow, and Waldorf Essentials. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, we do the Angel Bear Yoga program, which also draws inspiration from Waldorf and Charlotte Mason.

As a user of the Earthschooling curriculum, I am excited to become an affiliate and promoter of the program! For the next two weeks, the folks who provide the Earthschooling curriculum are promoting an offer called Share with a Friend. How it works is that from now until November 25th anything you purchase can be shared with one friend!! This offer includes lesson blocks, curriculum and even classes at The Avicenna Institute. When you place your order, use the code SHARE5. You will be sent an email with instructions on how to share, give, or gift your item. By following my affiliate link, you will be taken to the website to take a look around at all the offerings.

Once you get to the Earthschooling website, you will notice that Kristie offers many other services. In addition to the wide variety of products/services she offers for sale (such as Wildlife Education Curriculum, consulting, and a Naturopathic Series) you can find free articles and videos to help you along your homeschool journey.

Screen-Free Week

Last week we participated in “Screen-Free Week”. Normally, we limit TV watching in our home anyway. However, with that being said, we did have a few weeks of excessive TV watching while the kids were being baby-sat so I could wrap things up for work. I was pleasantly surprised that the transition from watching TV more-than-usual to none-at-all, turned out not being a big deal or challenge.

Except for Monday and Tuesday, the weather was beautiful. On Monday and Tuesday we spent most of our time indoors. We caught up on laundry, went grocery shopping, and to the library. We read books and colored. In celebration of May Day, we made a cake and paper cone May Day baskets to place fresh-cut flowers in for some of our loved ones. Wednesday we delivered our gifts and then began taking advantage of the beautiful weather by spending most of our days outdoors.

While we did our normal routine activities, we added in walks and field trips to new places. We started off on Wednesday with a walk on the James F. Hall Trail and played at one of the playgrounds for the first time. We watched several types of trains whoosh! by us. Noah was excited, to say the least. As we were leaving the park, we saw our friend Officer Bob, so Noah was again, very excited.

Thursday we walked the Newark Reservoir, participated in Hannah’s Nature Nuggets class, and took a late afternoon visit to my mom’s house so the kids could see how much the 2-week old chicks changed. Hannah and Noah also enjoyed running around outdoors.

Friday, the three of us we went down to Cape Henlopen. The two-hour drive was a bit long for them, but we made it! We visited the Nature Center which had live fish, sea horses, and a tank for the kids to touch horseshoe crabs. We then got some advice on which trails and sites were child-friendly. We started out on the Seaside Nature Trail, a nice little walk in the sand that went out to the bay-side beach. We sat down on a log and had a snack. As we got up to start walking, I saw a large shadow on the ground. I looked up to see a Turkey Vulture swooping down to take a closer look at us…uh, I didn’t like that! By the time we got to the beach the wind started picking up pretty badly. We decided to try the Observation Tower next, but Hannah was terrified of the steps. We decided to skip it and head to the ocean-side beach, instead. With the wind, we didn’t stay there too long either. We did look for shells and walked a little bit, but the crashing waves and wind were really scary to Noah.  Again, we decided to come back to it another time. Hannah was disappointed that we couldn’t sit out on a blanket and use her sand toys. I think one of the things Hannah took away from the experience is that the beach during springtime is much different from the beach in the summer. On a positive note, while we were on our way out of the park, we noticed a playground. We decided to check it out. It was slightly wooded around the playground, so it kept the wind at bay. We played for about an hour and decided it was time to go home. When asked what their favorite part of the beach was, they both said, “the playground!”

Saturday was Music Class and “Creek Fest” at White Clay Creek. The kids really enjoyed Creek Fest. We listened to live music, had fresh ice cream from the UDairy Creamery and visited the tables of various vendors and displays. Hannah enjoyed the tent with various falcons, hawks, and owls. She asked the naturalist some questions about the names of the falcons. We saw our church friends, The Juggling Hoffman’s. Hannah and Noah had their own little show as they were sitting next to us in the shade during their break! Hannah and Noah gravitated toward the playground and loved it so much asked if we could go back on Sunday. We decided after church we would go back to the playground at the park, which was a fine way to wrap up our Screen-Free week! Did you participate in Screen-Free Week? If so, what was your experience?

A Hectic Week

This week has been pretty hectic. I gave notice of my resignation to my employer last Thursday and I’ve have spent the week wrapping up a project and teaching my successor how to do the work she will be taking over. Because of the crazy work schedule, my 2-1/2 year old is off of his sleep routine and I’ve been dealing with meltdowns and behavioral issues with both my 5-1/2 and 2-1/2…not too much fun. I will be glad to have this phase of my life completed and to move on to full-time mothering at home with no outside work obligations and distractions.

Despite my hectic schedule, we made it to the library for story time and to select some books. The books we chose were related to the earth and nature (Earth Day was on Monday this week). One of the books we borrowed is called Seeds! Seeds! Seeds! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. The book is about a little boy bear, named Buddy, who receives a package in the mail from his grandfather. The package contains five activities for Buddy to do while learning about seeds. My kids love it! I recommend the book because it really caprtures their attention and the activities can easily be done at home as a go-along with the book.

We also made it to nature class this week! We missed it two weeks in a row; last week because of my work schedule, and the week before because I was sick with a head cold. Coincidentally the nature class this week was about seeds, where they come from, how they grow into plants, etc. After the instruction was over, the children decorated a plastic cup with stickers and planted a few sunflower seeds. Then we went for a nature walk in the wood looking for seeds and nuts. Mostly, we found walnuts.

Today when I went into work, I brought the children with me and we went to the Spring Sale fundraiser afterward. Luckily, we didn’t see much we wanted to take home with us (I’ve been de-cluttering and organizing). I did find a nice small wooden bookshelf for Noah’s room, though. 🙂 Because it was so beautiful this morning, we made an impromptu stop at the park. We walked a couple miles, listened to the birds, saw a few trains go by, played at the playground and saw a few Mallard ducks. When we got home at 11:30 Noah was ready for his nap! Now Hannah and I are going to cuddle up on the couch and read some books. How was your week?