Fostering Early Literacy

For today's What to do Wednesday post, I thought I'd write about something super simple, but also something that is really important--fostering literacy in our young children.  Let me tell you why I feel so strongly about this. For 4 years, I taught school in Title One, low-income schools.  The first one I taught at was here in Arizona, and I taught only English Language Learners.  I loved those kiddos with all my heart, but oh, boy!  They were so…

Lessons from Dad

In honor of my dad's 66th birthday, I have compiled a list of important things I have learned from him (either because of his example, his words, or his actions) that I want to teach my own children.  Here they are, in no particular order. You don't have to be perfect at everything you do, as long as you do your best.  I vividly remember the first time I brought home a B-.  It was really traumatic for me, and…

The Ones We Won’t Hold

A couple of months ago, Jeff and I found out that we were expecting our second child.  We were thrilled!  Adeline has brought us so much joy and we were so excited to have another baby to dote on, adore, and love unconditionally. We told a few people we were expecting... Mostly because I am lucky enough to have a titled uterus, which makes it painfully obvious that I am expecting from very early on... from approximately 5 weeks.  I…

Mess-Free Toddler Craft

I don't know about you, but I am SO tired of these summer days where it's way too hot to spend time outside.  Except, of course, on the walk to and from our car to our townhouse, because obviously girlfriend has to pick up every rock and leaf along the way.  I swear it sometimes takes us 7 or 8 minutes to walk the 100 yards to our house, and of course, when I try to pick Adeline up, MAJOR…

Back to School Book Giveaway

Adeline and I love books.  Like a lot.  Baby Girl could spend 30 minutes at a time (which is a LONG time for a 16 month old) reading books, and we often do.  I don't know about you, but I tend to get a little bit tired of reading the same books over and over and over again.  So what better way to help you "Make Your Monday Count" than by doing a giveaway of some of the best children's…

My Meal Prep Salvation

Let's get real for a minute here... I really love being a stay-at-home-mom.  Like a lot.  There are lots of days when I miss teaching, but not really days when I miss working full-time outside my home.  BUT, one thing that I absolutely do not like about staying at home with my baby is the pressure to always have a nice, home-cooked meal on the table at dinnertime.  Also, let me be clear:  Jeff is not the one who makes…

Homemade Fingerpaints

For today's What to Do Wednesday post, I'm introducing you all to an activity that your toddlers will LOVE...  Well, at least if they're not like my toddler, who really hated it... At least, she did at first. If you're like me, you are always looking for fun things to do with your toddlers.  This has been especially true for me since we moved away from our families, who doubled as our best friends.  I started trying to find something…

Since I Can’t Save Her From This Nightmare

A couple of nights ago, my daughter woke up screaming in the middle of the night.  She was crying so hard that she could barely breathe.  Normally when she wakes up during the night, she just whimpers a little and then falls back asleep, but this time it was different.  I went into her room and picked her up.  I held her while her ragged sobs slowed, and she eventually fell back asleep.  Based on her cries, I think she…

Poppy Chow

Okay, so there is something very important that you should know about me.  Peanut butter and chocolate are my favorites.  I mean, I love them separately.  But together... HEAVEN!  Peanut butter M&M's, buckeyes, Reese's... You name it--I love it.  So when Jeff suggested that we try this delectable treat, I couldn't turn it down. For one of Jeff's Father's Day gifts (besides the handmade part), we got him an air popcorn popper.  Air popped popcorn--as opposed to microwave popcorn--is also…

Strengthening our Faith

We hear a lot and talk a lot about faith in our church. Often times it seems like kind of an abstract concept and difficult to obtain. We talk about how we need to strengthen our faith, and even discuss the ways we can do it—go to church, read your scriptures, pray—you know all of these answers. But do we ever really talk about WHY those things work? HOW does reading the scriptures help us strengthen our faith? Today I'm going…