Monday, October 20, 2014

Skeleton Anatomy Activity for Kids

Exploring the anatomy of the skeleton using your child's own picture and free printable skeleton worksheets. Great for preschool and early elementary kids.

Children are often more eager to explore and learn when the learning is about them. This skeleton activity uses your child's own image and two free printables to help them understand how the skeletal system is constructed. Sounds complicated, but it is not.

Due to how simple this learning activity really is, it is easily adaptable to preschoolers aged 3-5 years and also elementary kids who are in Kindergarten and up.

Young children ask a lot of questions about their bodies-how they are constructed, why they do certain things, and how all the systems work together. It can be difficult to explain the inside of the human body to preschool and elementary-aged children, since they tend to have to see something to believe and understand it. There are ways to make the learning more hands on so that what can't be seen can be explored in fun ways.

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Inspired Bloggers Network Thanksgiving Giveaway

It has been important to me to try my best to get great freebies and giveaways into your hands as a thank you for stopping bu to read this blog, commenting on Facebook or plussing over on Google+. It means a lot to me that you read and share to spread the message that being a SAHM is so important!

Well, I have another big thank you to share with you-a big giveaway offered here. You can enter to win a Le Creuset Dutch Oven and a $100 WalMart gift card. Thank you for all you do for your families...and for reading along with this blog! Here are the details:

This post contains an affiliate link. Please view my disclosure.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Learning About Trees: Activities for Kids

An entire morning of simple activities for learning about trees for toddlers and preschoolers. We spent the morning reading, exploring, measuring, and talking about trees. Post contributed by Jaimi of The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide over at B-Inspired Mama.

Time playing outdoors does not have to be disconnected from the learning we do indoors. I think children naturally notice so many things about nature – plants, sounds, textures, light, shadow – that observing their discoveries and expanding on them is a nice way to keep the focus on our child’s interests. We can use what we find outdoors to create and learn with fun indoor nature activities for kids, too.

While at the playground recently, my children were talking about the trees. I took a few pictures thinking I could expand on what they were noticing at home on another day.  After playing, my children collected some sticks and poked around inside the base of a tree that contained an ant nest. This all turned into some nature exploration at home.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Working on a Successful Marriage-The 3 C's {Guest Post}

Lessons learned from 19 years of marriage-Wendy Woerner guest posts about the 3 Cs to a successful marriage between husband and wife united in Christ.

My husband and I have spent a significant amount of time as an 'island' isolated. Due to several moves across the country that took us away from family and friends, we were basically alone for several years. We had a growing family and were struggling with a major issue in our marriage. We had no one to talk to, no one to advise us, and we weren't sure we would make it.

My husband and I have been married for 19 years. We just celebrated our anniversary earlier this month. We're excited that we have made it this far with every intention to make it until the day we take our breaths in heaven. 

It saddens us that so many who enter into marriage today do so with the attitude that it's a try-it-and-see kind of thing. Or, that they will only stay married as long as life is easy. 

There have been times in our marriage when it was hard, when we weren't sure if there was a solution to our problems, when we had tried everything we could think of, and we had each thought of 'getting out'.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Books for School-Age Kids: Remote Control Adventures Series Review

A fun and interesting set of books for school age kids called the Remote Control Adventures series reviewed at The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide.

Do you have a child who likes adventure stories? Maybe your school aged child likes comic books but not real books? Getting some kids to read rather than watch an action-packed show on television can be a challenge. I have a son and husband who enjoy their television time. My oldest son does enjoy reading and he was very interested to read the Remote Control Adventures series. He likes action-packed television and movies, so this book series was a natural interest for him.

The Remote Control Adventures series combines adventure with comic-book-like action and illustrations to keep the interest of a school-age child. It is a great cross between a tv theme and a suspenseful story-you can 'see' it as you read. I was asked by author Lynne Silber to read and review her Remote Control Adventures series for elementary and middle school-aged kids. I was given a set of 6 signed books to give away as part of the blog anniversary gift giveaways too! You can win one book, so we will have 6 winners! The widget to enter the giveaway is at the end of this post.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Resources for Moms Starting a Home-Based Business {Guest Post}

Tips and resources for moms thinking about starting their own home-based business. Guest post written by Taseea Cruz of Ivy Kids, a SAHM who started her own business out of her home.

{Guest Post written by Taseea Lainas-Cruz}

Have you ever created something for your friends or family and thought to yourself "Maybe others would enjoy this as well," or, "Maybe I can turn my passion into a business"? These are the thoughts I had a year ago right before I started my own business, Ivy Kids LLC.
Prior to starting Ivy Kids LLC, I was an early-education teacher, and before that, a chemical engineer, but being a good mother was always my primary concern. After my second child was born, I had intended to go back to my teaching position, but that option turned out to be unavailable. Although money was tight, losing my job turned out to be a blessing in disguise. 

Staying at home to enjoy my children was the best thing that could have happened to me. It gave me the opportunity to watch them grow and learn each day—something I was unable to do after the birth of my first child and for which I had felt sad and a little guilty. Now I get to be there for every important moment. Raising children is one of the most difficult things you can do, but also the most rewarding.

However, trying to entertain two young children at home proved to be more difficult than I had expected. I had a limited budget and could not afford those great early childhood classes. I also became frustrated with the lack of developmentally appropriate educational games available for young children. As a result, I began creating my own projects and activities to keep my children engaged and cognitively stimulated. I wanted the time I spent with my children to be meaningful and not just trying to get the day to go by. 

I noticed that when the activities were based around a favorite book and characters, my children were more invested. I worked hard to create activities that would encourage problem solving, creativity, and critical thinking. 

I started making kits for family members and friends that were also staying at home with their kids. I received so much positive feedback about the creative, entertaining, and educational value of the activities that I thought I might try starting a business and sharing my kits with others. I started building the Ivy Kids Kits in my home and funded all the start-up costs with our savings. This has been a big financial risk, but I have so many people encouraging me and believing in the product, that it's worth the risk. I have now recruited other teachers (turned stay-at-home moms as well) for their expertise in developing the contents of each kit.

Starting a business as a full-time mom is definitely a balancing act. Setting up an efficient routine and managing time effectively are essential elements. Sometimes some daily tasks are postponed, like cleaning and laundry, but I just accept that. I am also extremely lucky because I have a very supportive family. Without my husband and parents’ help, I do not think I would have been able to handle everything. 

I feel that starting a business is like trying to complete a very complex puzzle with many pieces. There are so many details to think about, and every day there is a new problem to solve. I encountered issues that I never initially thought about when I first had the idea of creating monthly educational activity kits. For example, I had to find out how to start an LLC, how to trademark my logo, how to package and ship my product, how to collect sales tax. There are just so many steps involved from the initial product idea to an actual business launch. It has taken me a full year to launch this business, but I do feel as though I have learned a lot. 

One suggestion that I can make to other moms who may be looking to start a business is

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

When I Think I Fail As A Mom

When I Think I Fail As a Mom-the challenging days can make us feel that we are doing it all wrong. Overcoming those feelings of self-doubt can be done and you are not alone.
"Fall Colors in Nature" by adamr from

It was one of those days. My limit was reached by 10 a school assembly...with all 4 kids...and 3 were crying. Both babies wanted to be out of the stroller or held. My 3 year old kept asking me (every minute), "When are we going to go to the playground?" I was hearing 25% of what the PTA president was sharing. The thought, "My husband has it too easy," flashed through my head...a few times. 

That afternoon the cry fest occurred. Tantrum after whine after obstinate response. I think my children plotted to all melt down at the same time because it was just too much. I started telling them that-"It is just too much to have you all crying and upset at the same time." (I used a soft, calm voice, but my truth needed to be shared.)

When my 3 year old is crying over everything, I want to solve the problem...I view a tantrum as a situation that needs a solution, but often there isn't one.

I get overwhelmed with not knowing what to do: How to solve the problem of a 3 year old's emotional meltdowns? How to hold two babies at one time the entire afternoon?

My mind strays to self doubt: 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Why I Chose to be A Stay-at-Home Mom

5 reasons why I chose to be a stay at home mom. Did you make the same choices?

I chose to be a stay-home-mom based on experiences that I could not ignore. Before my husband and I were even married, we discussed how we would best care for our children if/when we had them. There is only so much preparation you can do to get ready for parenthood, but how we were going to care for our children was important. 

Maybe you had similar experiences that shaped your choice. Here are 5 reasons why I stay home: 

1.) My mom was home during the day when I was young.

2.) I was a teacher and caregiver in child care centers.

3.) Sibling interaction is important and not always accessible in daycare settings.

4.) My goal is to teach my children that caring for family is important.

5.) I want to live out my faith and values. 

My Mom was Home

My young years required me to be very independent from an early age. I was the oldest of two children, my dad worked more than full-time hours in the business world, and my mom was a part-time nurse. She worked (for pay) on the night shift and worked at home as a full-time mom during the day. (No, she did not sleep much, and no, I do not know how she did it!)

My mom was tired a lot since she would have to sleep some mornings while we watched (probably) too much television. No super-crafty projects. But, she was there. She was there to take me to many doctor appointments when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at 10 years old. She was there to sit at the clinic while I had procedures after she had been up all night working. She made every parent-teacher conference, and every sporting event. I knew that my dad working allowed her to be home with my brother and me. 

My mom always wanted to stay home. She wanted to JUST be a mom and wife. She and my dad also had life experiences that shaped their choices. They wanted my brother and me to be able to go to college without having to take on debt. It was their main reason for wanting two incomes, other than wanting to afford to live in a good school district. I ended up with student loans anyway.