Friday, December 31, 2010

What's Coming Up in 2011?

I'm not the most creative in coming up with new ideas, so I will be posting what I normally post, but hope to make a more consistent effort.  I have started a new curriculum with my son that I will be sharing with you.  However, I'm due to have #2 in May, so things might slow down close to then.

Here are my ideas for the new year:

*Bi-weekly lesson plans with Brightly Beaming Resources
*Free and Fun Activities
*Learning Resources
*Parenting Ideas
*Book and Music Reviews
*Spiritual Growth Ideas

Happy New Year 2011

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Toddler Talk Thursday: Holiday Traditions

These are our family Christmas photos since Shrade was born.
Next year we get to add baby #2 who will be about 7 months old by then!

We are just starting to create some Christmas traditions.  This year now that Shrade is 2 we are reading a The Baby Bible Christmas Storybook (The Baby Bible Series), singing Christmas carols and playing with this unique Nativity made by a friend of my grandma's.  Next year I hope to add an Advent activity for each day and a paper chain to count down to Christmas which we celebrate as Jesus' birthday.  Also, as far as presents, we are very low key and we only give one present to Shrade.  As he gets older it will change, but he receives a lot from relatives so it's good.  

Another tradition that we started was making MGM cookies to give away.  This year Shrade helped me mix up the colors of the frosting and put sprinkles on the cookies.  He didn't like that it was a messy project.
For the recipe head over to The Knowlton Nest.
To me, these are the best Christmas cookies EVER!

Learning Activity: Carol's Affordable Curriculum

I've been researching around for what I can use to homeschool my little guy.  Shrade just turned 2 and one of my friends uses Carol's Affordable Curriculum with her daycare kids who are about the same age.  So I decided to order for October.  I chose Tiny Tots.  I was amazed at the number of things that were included in the package for less than $10 (shipping price not included).  There is a detailed lesson plan and project for each day of the week (Mon-Fri).

Included in all orders:
*Curriculum guide- lesson plans, menu, calendar, essential skills, certificate
*Story book
*Poster packet
*Large calendar
*All materials needed for projects (no cutting required)

It's a fabulous resource and one I will probably use more in the future.  It's best to start with the new school year in September so you can get the sequence.  They also include a Christian curriculum and a summer curriculum.  I did not choose to do this curriculum this year, but as I said it will be a great resource for me later on.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Building a Spiritual Foundation

Spiritual Growth of Children (FOTF Complete Guide)

I picked this book up when I was teaching Kindergarten and I'm so glad that I kept it because it is an awesome resource for building a spiritual foundation with my children.    This book is part of Focus on the Family.  The book is divided into 4 parts: The single most important task for Christian parents, How to pass on your Spiritual legacy, The content of your Spiritual legacy and Practical questions and resources. 

There is one section I wanted to share with you today.  For ages 0-4 you can lay the foundation with your child.  So I have a 2 year old and these are the important topics that I bring into his daily life in various ways:

*God exists
*God and Jesus love you
*God wants to take care of you
*God created everything
*God created you

How do I do this?  Well, in conversations when we are learning about animals I say, "What a beautiful animal that God created."  And every night I say to my son, "Daddy loves you, Mommy loves you, Jesus loves you most of all."  My son is always very eager to pray and he is even learning how to sing Jesus Loves Me.  There are just so many simple ways to give your children a Spiritual foundation.  Be sure to check out this book so you can give your family a heritage of faith in God.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I love Rising Moon Adventures!!

Olea at Rising Moon Adventures is having a giveaway on her blog!  I recently did a review of her flannel board stories and my son was enamored and so was I.  She is so creative and she has such a wide variety of stories.  Your kids will love learning with Olea's unique flannel board stories!  Check out her giveaway on her blog: Rising Moon Adventures.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Barefoot Books Review and Giveaway!!

Recently, Shrade and I were able to review two books from Barefoot Books.  I first learned about Barefoot Books at the library.  I was immediately drawn into the unique pictures and also the fun songs that came on CD's with some of the books.  I was so thrilled when Liz allowed us to review some books from her Barefoot Books home business.

The first one I chose was I Wish I Were a Pilot by Stella Blackstone.  I knew this book would capture the attention of my little guy.  He is completely in love with transportation vehicles.  This book features several types of vehicles, but focuses mainly on the job title of who runs that vehicle.  There were pilots, cyclists, balloonists, race car drivers and much more.  There is also a page at the end with pictures of all the different ways of transportation.  Of course there were so many ideas for teaching with this book and I love how this book made it easy to introduce these fun ways of moving with diverse machines.

The second book we chose was The Secret Seahorse by Stella Blackstone.  My son is also enamored with sea animals and I thought this book would be a fun way to identify them as well as finding the "secret" seahorse that is hiding on each page.  What I found completely captivating in this book were the illustrations which were actually "antique fabrics and felt with sequins, buttons, beads and assorted bric-a-brac."  They are so colorful and really make the rhyming story come alive.  One thing that would be very helpful with a story like this would be to include a "key" to all the sea animals included in the story.  I was unsure about several of them and had to ask my husband.  The paperback version includes this, but not the board book which is what I received.  However, this is such a great book even if you don't know all the names.  At first my son couldn't find the seahorse that was hidden on each page until I pointed it out.  It really blended into the background, but now that he "reads" it, he points out the seahorse on each page and of course he loves the clown fish picture the best!

*These books were provided to me free of charge by Liz from Barefoot Books for purpose of this review. This is my honest opinion of these books and no monetary compensation was received for my opinion.*

Buy it: Go to Barefoot Books and find a great selection of books and fun! 

Win it: One Milk N' Honey reader will receive up to $15.99 gift credit for books from Barefoot Books.   Open to US. Giveaway ends Monday November 22.

To enter: Be sure to connect with all the links before filling out the entry form.

1. (Mandatory) Be a follower on my blog (2 entries)
2. Visit Barefoot Books and tell me a book you would like. (required)
3. Subscribe to my blog by email.(link on page)
4. "Like" Milk N' Honey on Facebook (link on page)
5. "Like" Creative Corner- Barefoot Books by Liz on Facebook
6. Vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs if you like my blog! (brown button)
7. Post about this giveaway on another site (Facebook, Twitter, Blog) (1 entry for each)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Toddler Talk Thursday: My 4 Favorite pics of Shrade!

Oh, this was such a tough call!  I have so many favorite pictures, but these ones I could look at over and over!  I'm just going to say, I realize that Shrade is not smiling in most of these, but that doesn't mean he never smiles.  I just had to have these ones for this post!

Shrade and Mama!

Well, he never got a dinosaur, thank goodness!

With his favorite person: Daddy!

My friend Tonia captured this look

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Growing Kids God's Way: Respect for Peers, Property and Nature

This week we will talk about respect for peers, property and nature.

-love your neighbor as yourself (quoted several times in the Bible)
-no unkind speech
- be happy when something good happens to another person
-respect others' property

-main point: the object of respect is not the property itself, but the owner

-God made it

These are just the very basic points and I hope it encourages you to look further into this class.  Next week: Principles of Obedience.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Toddler Talk Thursday: Family

We are very privileged to live within driving distance of both sets of grandparents and our sisters and their families.  However, they are long trips so we don't see them as often as we want, but we do get to see all of them at least once or twice a year.  We travel to them and fortunately we live halfway between family members so if they travel through they always stop at the "Knowlton Bed and Breakfast."  Now that we have a grandbaby, the grandparents are making a few more frequent trips.  Here are some pictures of what Shrade has done with family members:
Grandma Linda

Four generations with Grandma Nettie and Great Gma Layne
Grandpa Jeff and Grandma Nettie at Shrade's baby dedication

Snoozing with Grandpa Del on a hike

Grandma Nettie

Cousins- Ethan, Jordan, Reagan and Auntie Koren

Doing "Rough Road" with Grandpa Jeff

Walking with Grandma and Grandpa
Auntie Janine takes professional pictures and she came up to do a photo shoot

I love this one of my mom and Shrade!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What's on our Bookshelf? The Noisy Counting Book

This is such a cute book!  Not only does your toddler learn how to count, but they also learn all the special sounds of animals and insects that live around the pond.  I read this book and my son always laughs.  The more I read it, the more he gets involved in all the sounds.  He especially loves the frog- Ga Dunk!  He also learned a new word to say- Quiet.  This is a great book about a boy who decides to go fishing and one by one the pond animals start making noise until he yells- QUIET!  See what happens after that.  :)

Check it out: NOISY COUNTING BOOK (Tough Enough for Toddlers)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Growing Kids God's Way: Respect for Age

This week we discussed respect for age.  There are specific commands in the Bible concerning this like in Leviticus 19:32 it says to "honor the aged one."  So go back to the basics and teach your children to offer their seat to the elderly, open the door and honor age at buffet lines.  What a world of difference that would make and in doing so, honor God!

One of my favorite aspects of this lesson was teaching the "interrupt rule."  Basically, instead of interrupting, you teach your child to be patient.  I don't want to give away the rule since it is a fun part of the class to learn, but read the book and find out more!

And last, what happened to Mr. and Mrs.?  This is a debatable question and one that you need to decide in your own home, but we want our son to honor age by calling other adults by Mr. and Mrs.  Age has not made us equal and it teaches the children to have honor for those who are older.  Let me know your thoughts on this.  I'm open to differing opinions.  Both my husband and I grew up in this way and we would like to teach our son to address adults as Mr. and Mrs.

Next week: Respect for Peers, Property and Nature

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Magic Cabin Review and Giveaway!!

Shrade and I recently were privileged to review this fascinating ABC Animal Train from Magic Cabin.  This is an absolutely incredible fun and interactive learning toy.  The carrying case has a 3 sided zipper and opens up into a plush, squishy and colorful train.  Inside there are 26 animals in pockets each labeled with the letter of the alphabet.  There is a card attached that names each animal (some I had never heard of) and on the back of each animal is the letter that it starts with so the child can match up the letters.  The animals are so unique and cute!  Shrade and I had fun taking them out and putting them back in for all the correct spots.  This would be a great travel toy!  I can envision many years of fun learning with this toy.

*This product was provided to me free of charge for the purpose of this review. This is my honest opinion of this product and no monetary compensation was received for my opinion.*

Buy it: Go to Magic Cabin and find a great selection of toys and fun!  And every month they give away a $100 gift certificate to their store!

Win it: One Milk N' Honey reader will receive the ABC Animal Train.   Open to US. Giveaway ends Wednesday, November 3.

To enter: Be sure to connect with all the links before filling out the entry form.

1. (Mandatory) Be a follower on my blog (2 entries)
2. Visit Magic Cabin and tell me another toy you would like. (required)
3. Subscribe to my blog by email.(link on page)
4. "Like" Milk N' Honey on Facebook (link on page)
5. Follow on Networked Blogs (link on page)
6. Put my button on your blog and provide link.
7. Follow me on Twitter (@shondaet)
8. Vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs if you like my blog! (brown button)
9. Post about this giveaway on another site (Facebook, Twitter, Blog) (1 entry for each)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Growing Kids God's Way: Respect for Authority and Parents

We are in week 6 which begins a  3 part section on respecting others.  Our first stop is teaching respect for authority and parents.  There was so much information in this chapter that I'm just going to highlight three main points:

*When we train our children to respect earthly authority, we are training them to respect God.

*When children are young, we lead them by authority, when they grow into teens we lead them influence.

*Character is the outward reflection of the inner man.

It's not too late to teach your children to respect authority.  As we move further into this class, I will be sharing some practical ways to many of these foundations that I have posted so far.  Thanks for listening.  Next week: Respect for Age.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Toddler Talk Thursday: Games

This is a fun one!  I used to be a Kindergarten teacher for 12 years and now I get to play games with my little guy, but I have find what is appropriate for his age level.  Here are some of the things we do:

"Tent" time with daddy
Dressing up with scarves
Throwing balls down stairs
Tickle time!
I have found many other great ideas on the internet.  I just need to write them down and do them!  We also sing lots of songs, dance, play peek-a-boo, play chasing games around the "circle" in our home and also do lots of blanket games.  I can't wait to see what you wrote for your games!

I'm hooked up to Toddler Talk Thursday!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Little Shepherd Book Review and Giveaway information

Little Shepherd by Cheryl Malandrinos is a sweet little story of five year old Obed who experiences one special night his first time tending sheep with his father.  This fictional story centers around the night the angels came to announce to the shepherds the birth of Christ.  Many strange things happened and Obed was very concerned about leaving the sheep to go visit the Savior who was born.  Obed experiences the wonder of seeing baby Jesus and the protection of his sheep while he is away.  He sums it up with this thought, "What an unusual night this turned out to be."

I was very taken with this children's story and I really like that it came from the perspective of a young child.  Everything from Obed's point of view is different from adults and it was a refreshing take on the most wonderful night in history.  Equally impressive are the illustrations in this book.  The colors are dazzling and really add a lot of appeal especially if this story is read aloud to non-readers.  This is a great addition to your Christmas story reading.

Be sure to read the rules for the giveaway and you may comment on this post if you want to be entered.  Be sure to leave your email address so the author can contact you.  Thanks!

GIVEAWAY #1 (for people who comment during the VBT- Oct 4-Dec 17)

An autographed copy of Little Shepherd
Angel figurine printed with the Serenity Prayer
A Little Shepherd sticky note pad
Little Drummer Boy 2010 Hallmark Keepsake Ornament
Gift of Peace 2003 Hallmark Keepsake Ornament
Retail value of Giveaway #1 is $65 (rounded to nearest dollar)

GIVEAWAY #2 (for those who purchase a copy of Little Shepherd between August 21, 2010 and December 17, 2010)

A ”Sparkling Angel” scented jar candle from Yankee Candle
An angel gold and silver lid topper for the candle
An angel tea light holder from Yankee Candle
A Little Shepherd sticky note pad
A Jim Shore Nativity Star hanging ornament
A Jim Shore Holy Family hanging ornament
A $25 gift card
Retail Value of Giveaway #2 is $97 (rounded to the nearest dollar)
Here are the rules and guidelines for these giveaways:
1) For Giveaway #1 you must leave a comment on the hosting blog with a working email address for the author to contact you if you win.
2) For Giveaway #1 only the first comment with your working email address is used to determine eligibility (one comment, per blog).
3) You are eligible to win Giveaway #2 if you purchase a copy of Little Shepherd between August 21, 2010 and December 17, 2010 and provide the author with proof of purchase via email, mail, or fax prior to December 19, 2010. Little Shepherd is available at the Guardian Angel Publishing website, Amazon,, and at
4) All giveaway winners will be selected using
5) Prizes will be shipped via USPS with appropriate insurance. The author cannot guarantee receipt before December 25, 2010.
6) Author, blog hosts, and Pump Up Your Book are not responsible for lost or damaged goods.
7)  The same person cannot win both giveaways.
Although it is not a requirement for eligibility, Cheryl asks that you consider following the blogs who host her during her tour and also the Little Shepherd blog.
Good luck to all who enter!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Winners for Handmade Fun 4 Children week!


Winner for Rising Moon Adventures is MELISSA!
Winner for Sweet Melly Jane puppets is NINA!
Winner for Jenny's Quiet Creations $35 GC is HOLLY!
Winner for Abi's Stitchery Name Book is ABI!

Winner for Isabella's Upcycled Treasures is KELLY!
I want to thank everyone who participated and supported me and my sponsors during this fun giveaway week.  Don't forget that you can order some great Christmas gifts for your children through these fun Etsy shops!