Free Fall Dot Marker Printables

Just a few days ago I was given the opportunity to guest post on Simply Helping Him about 10 activities I use to keep my pre-schooler busy during the school day. As I stated in that post, one of Cameron’s favorites is the Do-A-Dot

I just found a blog that has free fall dot marker printables! Print these out on some card stock or heavy weight paper, and you’ve got a great activity. I can’t wait to show Cameron these new pages for him to paint on. He’ll love them, especially the apples (he’s a little apple feind)!

A Homeschool Moms Dilemma: Keeping Your Preschooler Busy

Having a pre-schooler when you have older kids can be a challenge! It can especially be a challange when you’re trying to homeschool an older child (or children) and maybe take care of a baby (or two babies in my case).

Cameron, my second-born, is almost 4 year old, and he likes to push the limits with everything. It can sometimes be difficult to keep him out of trouble. I’ve found the key to making it through the school day is to have lots of fun activities to keep him busy.

Don’t get me wrong, we still have some difficult days, but the more I have lined up for him, the better. If you’re looking for some ideas on keeping your pre-schooler busy while you work with your older kids go check out the rest of my post at Simply Helping Him.

What are some of your ideas for keeping your preschooler occupied during school time? I’m always looking for new ideas to add to my arsenal!

(Special thank’s to Misty for having me guest post on her blog!)

Copy Kids DVD: Get Your Kids to Eat Fruits & Veggies! (Review and Giveaway)

Do your kids like to eat their fruits and veggies? I have one that loves veggies (broccoli being his favorite), one that loves fruit, and two unknowns (they mostly like breast milk)! Copy-Kids is a DVD that seeks to encourage kids to explore and experience the vast array of fruits and veggies.

I was given a chance to review this DVD, which has won three excellence awards, one from Dr. Toy, one from MACT, and another from Parent Tested Parent Approved. The DVD is aimed toward children between the ages of 6 months to 5 years and retails for $19.95 on the Copy-Kids website. Perfect for my family, because I have 3 in that age range! Unfortunately, my two youngest are just 1 year old and we attempt to keep their screen time at zero. (There have been too many studies that have come out in the last decade that show correlations between children under the age of two watching television and the development of ADHD and learning disabilities.) I did make an exception to review this DVD though.

Copy-Kids is not a flashy DVD. There aren’t boisterous characters, animations, or extravagent special effects. Copy-Kids is simply a DVD of kids having fun exploring and eating different fruits and vegetables. From a parent’s perspective, the kids are quite endearing.

My Kids Reaction

Dylan and Elliot (1 year old), were largely disinterested and did’t pay much attention to the screen while it was on. Cameron (3) enjoyed parts of the DVD, but was really only interested in watching the parts with fruits and vegetables he knows he likes. He always protested during the sections featuring food he doesn’t like.

Copy-Kids is a really cute idea for a children’s DVD, but I don’t forsee that it will make much impact on the eating habits of my children. I’m totally open to the possibility that it might surprise me, and I’m all for trying!

If you would like a chance to check out Copy-Kids, be sure to enter our giveaway!

Enter our Giveaway

You have the chance to win a Copy-Kids DVD. For everything you do below, get one entry in our drawing. (You must comment below this post and let us know what you did to get credit). This giveaway is open to our friends worldwide, not just in the US.

  • Subscribe to our blog (and if you are already a subscriber, let us know that).
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  • Like Copy-Kids on Facebook.
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  • Unlimited bonus entries every day! For every blog post from you SHARE on Facebook, you get an entry into the drawing (post up to 2 per day). Leave a comment here telling us what posts you shared.

This giveaway will end on September 15, 2012.

Friday Funny: Happiness is Two Babies

These babies are two things that make me intoxicated on life! Here is a little glimpse into our world and the joy they bring us. We hope they’ll shower you with a bit of happiness today 🙂

During my pregnancy with twins I was incredibly sick and more uncomfortable, from the pain and pressure of having two growing human beings inside of me, than I have ever been. It was a very difficult pregnancy for me. I was also very stressed out knowing I was going to have to homeschool my oldest son, care for my pre-school son, while caring for two infants.

I had never dreamed of twins as a young girl or wanted twins. In fact, when I was pregnant with my first son, my mom remarked, “Oh, I saw twins today, wouldn’t it be fun if you had twins?”

To which I answered, “No! Are you crazy? I know how much work one baby is. I don’t know why anyone would want twins!” But God is funny, he didn’t give me twins during that pregnancy, or my next one, but on my third pregnancy. Twins plus two older boys to care for. I didn’t know if I could do it.

But despite my trepidation, our family gets along pretty well. I feel so blessed to have these two sweet happy boys in my life! As always, God knew just what he was doing and blessed our family even when we didn’t necessarily see it as that at first. It’s been a busy 14 months, and they don’t let me sleep much, but Dylan and Elliot have been my most happy, laid-back babies. I can’t imagine having one without the other.

The Case of the (almost) Missing UGLee Ergonomic Pen (plus a giveaway)

Nope, I didn’t spell “ugly” wrong. The pen really is called an UGLee pen (even if they are ugly). The ‘U’ in UGLee stands for “ultimate,” the ‘G’ for “grip,” and ‘Lee’ is the last name of the pens creator, Dr. James Lee. These pens do have a very unique grip. I’ve never owned a pen quite like this one, or quite as expensive as this one either!

Dr. Lee set out to design an extraordinarily comfortable ergonomically designed pen, a pen that wouldn’t make your hand cramp. The pen weighs a mere 11 grams (that’s super light, even for a pen). The ink writes very smoothly, too. But what I like best of all about the pen is the comfy, squishy grip on it. Overall, I really like the pen, but at $19.99 for a three pack, I seriously doubt I’d ever purchase the pens on my own. I will certainly enjoy using the pens while I have them though!

Apparently Luke liked the pen too, because he was toting the pen through the house. I asked what he was doing with my pen.

He casually stated, “I thought I’d take it to work.”

Oh no! This was not going to happen! My husband was not going to kidnap one of my fancy, expensive, new pens and hold it hostage at work…or worse yet, lose it at work! I calmly but firmly let him know I would not appreciate him doing that.

To which he responded, “Why not? I’ve taken some of our other pens to work.”

Ah ha! Now I know where all of my good pens have gone, you know the ones that actually write without having to scribble on the side of the page first. A bit agitated, I now scolded my husband, “You better not take anymore of my pens! Covenant Eyes can buy you your own pens for work, but you leave my pens alone.” He seemed a bit perplexed by my discomposure.

If you’re a Covenant Eyes employee and if you see one of my lovely pink UGLee pens at work, don’t give it to Luke! Be sure to bring it directly to me. Oh, and if you happen to be one of Luke’s supervisors, would you please purchase a few decent pens for him to use at Covenant Eyes so he doesn’t feel tempted to steal my pens.

If you, too, would like to try out a three pack of these fancy, expensive pens, but you’re like me and much too cheap frugal to purchase them, you’re in luck! We’re having yet another raffle giveaway and all you need to do is complete at least one of the following items below, or complete several of them for more chances to win. This giveaway will end 7/31/12?

Leave us comments to let us know what you’ve done!

  1. Leave us a comment telling us one thing you learned about the UGLee Pen by going to their website.
  2. Like UGLee Pen on Facebook.
  3. Like Intoxicated on Life on Facebook (and if you already ‘like’ us, just say so below).
  4. Follow UGLee Pen on Twitter.
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  6. Daily bonus entries: tweet about one of our posts and/or share a post on Facebook, one post per day. Don’t forget to let us know in our comments each day what post you’ve shared!

Unfortunately for our friends around the world, this giveaway is only for those residing in the US. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

From First Date to Wedding

Read the first two parts of our journey: “How we met on eHarmony” and “From eHarmony to First Date

Luke: I was glad Trisha needed to use the restroom as soon as she got to Starbucks, because I needed to catch my breath right after seeing her. As I stood there listening to the sounds of coffee being poured into double-sleeved cups, I kept saying to myself, “You can do this, Luke. Yes, she’s really cute, but you can go on a date and not make a complete fool of yourself.” By the time she came out, I had psyched myself up enough to continue with the night.

Trisha: Yikes! Who was this crazy driver. One of the first things I remember about Luke is the red light he flew through. Despite missing the red light, we made it safely to our first stop: The Parthenon. We shared a delightful dinner of Greek food at The Parthenon while I listened to Luke talk a mile a minute and tell crazy stories. He sure could make me laugh, that was one of the things that initially attracted me to this quirky guy.  Continue reading

Bible Memory with Children

As I discussed in a prior post, Bible memory is a very important part of our family devotions. It is a discipline we believe has a lasting impact even on our young children. It’s a discipline we believe we will reap the benefits of for the rest of our lives.

We begin Bible memorization with our boys as soon as they are able to put sentences together. It seems like this was around 2 years old for both Bradley and Cameron. We begin working through full chapters or large portions of chapters with our children and shy away from individual verses (though there are exceptions).

Some have skeptically asked how children so young can be expected to memorize long portions of scripture, to which we heartily respond that childhood is the perfect time to memorize scripture. Young children are like sponges. They retain a vast amount of information with relative ease.

What technique do we use?

The technique we use with our children is the same as we use ourselves. It really isn’t anything fancy. First, we choose a passage we’d like to work on as a family. Then, we begin by going over the first verse or the first part of the first verse if it happens to be a long verse. We go over that several times and have the kids repeat after us. As nights progress we quiz each other on the segment. When most of us seem to have it, we then add the next portion of scripture, continuing to recite what we have already mastered. We continue in this manner until we have the whole passage memorized.

We recite the scripture during our family bedtime devotions and the kids and I work on the passage first thing in the morning as part of the first school subject of the day: memory time. We use the Charlotte mason memory system, for many more things than just Bible memory, and we’ve found it has really helped us move information into our long term memory.

If you are looking for some good passages to start with the following is a list of a few our family has worked on: Psalm 1, Psalm 130, Psalm 131, and Romans 12. I’d urge you to begin scripture memory as a family now! Helping your children learn this discipline young is ideal. Don’t be intimidated by longer passages. Even if it takes you a year or more to memorize a chapter, the spiritual rewards you will reap are worth the time and effort.

We would enjoy hearing more from you, our readers. What scriptures have you enjoyed memorizing with your children? Are there any tricks or tips you have for helping you kids (or yourself) memorize the Bible?

What’s In The Bible: Giveaway and Review

“Hey, he sounds like Bob the Tomato.”

These were the first words out of my 8-year-olds mouth while we were watching the first DVD of What’s in the Bible. I quickly explained to Bradley that the man on the video does the voice for Bob on Veggie Tales. He immediately got a big smile on his face.

The clever, comedic genius Phil Vischer, creator of the adored vegetables of Veggie Tales, strikes again! What’s in the Bible features Vischer (as himself), and a host of puppets like Buck Denver: Man of News, Chuck Wagon, the piano playing Pastor Paul, a church history teaching pirate, and a Sunday School Lady complete with magic flannel-graph. The characters are engaging, the music is catchy, and our family loved watching the interviews with kids talking about Bible themes.

There are currently 8 DVD’s available, spanning Genesis through Song of Solomon, answering questions like, “What is the Bible?” “What is Salvation?” and “What is the Pentatuech?” To call this series ambitious would be an understatement. Continue reading

5 Reasons Our Family Memorizes the Bible

If you’ve been around our family much, you know one of the spiritual disciplines we emphasize with our children is Bible memorization. Memorizing the Bible at a young age has so many advantages. Children have amazing memories and are able to absorb so much, so why not fill their minds with the Word of God so it can permeate their souls as they grow and mature?

We know that Bible memory isn’t just edifying for them, it is also something that nourishes our souls as well. Do you wonder why we emphasize memorizing the Bible so much though?

  1. We memorize the Bible so we can discern truth from error. We desire to make right choices and avoid sin. Knowing Scripture helps us guard our minds and make correct choices. Psalm 119:9-11 wisely says: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word…I have stored up my word in your heart, that I might not sin against you.” Ephesians 6:13-18 talks about the armor of God. Is it any wonder that the word of God is likened to a sword? It is able to cut through the lies of this world! Likewise, Psalm 37:30-31 states: “The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice. The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.” If you are to be righteous, have wisdom, and speak justice – you must have the law of God in your heart. Continue reading

Identical or Fraternal? How to know

Dylan and Elliot – 1 day old

So, you’re having/had twins and you want to know whether they’re identical or fraternal. You’d think it would be a simple question to answer in these days of advanced medical technology, right? Nope.

We found out we were having twins in November 2010. We were told at the very first ultrasound that they were probably fraternal because they had separate sacs and placentas. In fact, after they were born the hospital pediatrician said that they were FOR SURE fraternal because they had separate placentas. However, they look so much alike, and eventually curiosity got the best of us. We ordered a DNA test and found out they are actually identical.

So, how do you know?

Fraternal vs. Identical

Fraternal twins, or more accurately dizygotic twins, are the result of two eggs each being fertilized by different sperm. Fraternal twins are no more related to one another than any other siblings, except they shared mommy’s womb at the same time.

Identical twins, or more accurately monozygotic twins, are the result of one egg being fertilized with one sperm and then splitting in two. Identical twins share the exact same nuclear DNA.

You know they are fraternal if…

1. They are different genders. Obviously, a boy and a girl can’t be identical.

2. They have different blood types. Two distinct blood types can’t be identical. Doctors will test their blood types after they are born as a standard test in most hospitals.

You know they are identical if…

1. They are sharing the same sac. Sharing an amnionic sac means a fertilized egg split relatively late after fertilization.

2. They are sharing a placenta. Fraternal twins almost never share a placenta. Keep in mind, it may be hard to tell the difference between a single placenta and two placentas that have fused together. More often than not, identical twins will split late enough to share a placenta but early enough to have separate sacs.

It is inconclusive if…

1. They are the same gender.

2. They have the same blood type.

3. There are two placentas. All fraternal twins have two placentas, but about 25-30% of identical twins split early enough to have separate sacs and placentas as well.

4. They look alike. Even fraternal twins can look strikingly similar. (Ever heard of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen? They look identical, but they aren’t.)

3. They look different. Identical twins can look different at birth due to environmental factors in the womb.

DNA Testing

The only way to be sure about your twins is DNA testing. Many companies provide this, usually using a quick and painless cheek swab. Prenatal testing such as amniocentesis can also provide this DNA information.