I love anything that encourages early reading and helps to increase vocabulary in young children. Memory verses, rhymes, songs and music are all elements that have been proven to help. As a homeschooling family, we have employed all of them at various stages in our children’s educations. It has been known for years that children [...]
I love anything that encourages early reading and helps to increase vocabulary in young children. Memory verses, rhymes, songs and music are all elements that have been proven to help. As a homeschooling family, we have employed all of them at various stages in our children’s educations. It has been known for years that children who recognize rhyming words have a much easier time learning to read. Nursery rhymes are a great way to help them understand rhyming. As someone who grew up reading and reciting Mother Goose rhymes, I was tickled to share this review project with my grandson. He and I often play and sing rhymes together and his favorite is The Itsy Bitsy Spider. That probably has something to do with Grandma being VERY animated when we play it.
I had the chance to review The Mother Goose Club DVD, music CD’s and coloring book. My grandson and two pre-school granddaughters watched the DVD with great concentration and intensity the first time through. (Yes, there was definitely more than once through.) I wasn’t quite sure if they were liking it or not, as they barely moved or made a sound, but also never took their eyes from the screen. The DVD is several short episodes of the Mother Goose Club TV series, compiled onto one DVD, and we actually watched them all straight through and then the kids wanted to watch again. That second time is when they got a lot more active, dancing and singing along. I guess they were just studying and memorizing the first time. lol Our middle granddaughter actually had to be MADE to shut the television off and come eat lunch, later. She was enjoying it too much to be bothered by food!
As I mentioned, my grandson loves playing Itsy Bitsy Spider with me, but is usually more interested in watching Grandma than doing it himself. He climbs up in my lap and says, “Gumma, Bitsy Pider”. He sits silently, watching and listening and sometimes doing the spider movements with his fingers. That’s why it was so fun for me to pop around the corner and catch this brief little moment on video, when he was watching the DVD. He was actually doing all the actions along with them and it’s hard to tell under that pacifier, but he was singing some of the words. Too fun!
The Mother Goose Club started out as 1-minute educational programs for preschools that promoted early reading. It was featured on PBS. Now, it is available for your preschoolers and toddlers to enjoy, anytime. The package we received included the DVD, 2 CD’s of music and rhymes and a coloring book. The two CD’s didn’t really hold the kids’ interests as long as the DVD, but I think that was because the DVD was right there, available to them. The CD’s would be great for car rides or places where a TV isn’t available and the coloring book is a hit anytime! You can save $5 off this same Super Pack when you visit The Mother Goose Club website and use the promo code summer at checkout. The website also includes audio and text files of rhymes and songs, as well as videos and printable coloring pages. It’s a great way to check out what the Mother Goose Club is all about!
I received this Mother Goose Club Super Pack, through Team Mom, to review and test the products. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.
It’s crazy how fast the summer gets away from us. We have been plugging away at projects, inside and out, hosting get-togethers and family weekends, celebrating the Fourth of July in “Fourth of July City” (Independence Day is sort of a big deal, here in our little town! ) I still get to help with [...]
It’s crazy how fast the summer gets away from us. We have been plugging away at projects, inside and out, hosting get-togethers and family weekends, celebrating the Fourth of July in “Fourth of July City” (Independence Day is sort of a big deal, here in our little town! ) I still get to help with the Youth Group on Wednesday nights, because as Pastor Dan says, “Jesus doesn’t take summer break!” and I’m busy helping our little 4-H club create their projects for the upcoming county fair. Those four girls are sewing their hearts out and my sewing machine is humming and happy. And then there are the world’s greatest grandbabies, and dishes and laundry and plans for the upcoming homeschool year…did I file my paperwork, yet? hmmm….. So, needless to say, blogging has been squeezed in all the spaces around the rest of life and I have tons of pictures taken and blog posts “cooking” in my head. I just need to get them all organized and typed up for you. Have you had a wonderful, crazy, hectic summer, too? You’ll have to tell me about it!
I want to update you on my garden progress, today. The last time we talked about everything we are doing in Our Backyard Makeover, I had completed building the fabulous Double Bed Raised-Bed Garden from Greenland Gardener. And if you haven’t entered the giveaway they are sponsoring here at Busy-at-Home, so you can win your own Double Bed Raised-Bed Garden, be sure to pop over to my giveaway post and enter. So, on with the update. I can’t really show you where I’m at, until I show you where I’ve been. As spring progressed, my “garden area” became somewhat more overwhelming. The plethora of plant life coming up was scattered, with no rhyme or reason, and it was so terribly overgrown, I considered giving up before I had even started. But armed with garden gloves, a spade, our tiller and a kind-hearted husband, I dove in to conquer and tame the jungle that was threatening to take over the backyard.
So, we dug in to clear the area and get it ready for a vegetable garden. This took three passes of digging, weeding and tilling over a period of about two weeks, but we finally did make a little headway. The difficult part has been that even after an area has been cleaned, perennial plants that had been previously planted and were not ready to sprout and blossom, yet, suddenly burst into our cleaned areas. It’s amazing how much was planted in there! We also had dill and volunteer tomato plants coming up all over the place. Even though I’m not sure what variety the tomato plants are, I saved the larger ones, since my lovely heirloom tomato plants got a little toasted around the edges, sitting on my deck waiting for the garden to be ready. I saved some dill, too. Man it smells so good!
In between “cleaning” sessions, I built my raised bed garden box. After the garden box was complete, my hardworking hubby made a final pass through our backyard garden and flowerbed areas with the tiller. We had previously dug up, and moved, some of the flowers that had been growing there and I have learned a lot about myself and my “gardening philosophy” in the process of putting this all together. It’s been great fun watching as new things have popped up in the beds, here at our new home, to see what was here and all the color we have. But, I also learned that though I wouldn’t have expected it, I am a slightly more organized and “ducks in a row” kind of gardener. I don’t have to have meticulous, straight rows all in one pattern, but a carefree perennial and wildflower garden, completely mixed into, and often hiding my vegetable garden is not my style either. A very sturdy and invasive ground cover had been planted EVERYWHERE and was threatening to choke and crowd out every other new plant. So there has been a large amount of adjustment, moving and just plain “tilling under” going on, along with the ooohs and aaahs over all the plants I DO want to keep.
So after the initial “clearing”, I was ready to start my vegetable garden in earnest. I had constructed my Greenland Gardener Double Bed Raised Bed Garden Box, purchased the necessary soil to fill it, as well as landscape fabric and garden staples. I was good to go, except that as I previously mentioned, my garden plants that had been waiting on the deck for a place to grow, had gotten a little crunchy. I just hoped for the best and planted them anyway.
To get the raised bed garden area ready, I used a garden rake to smooth and level it as best I could. Then I cut landscape fabric to fit the area and fastened it down with garden staples. This step helps prevent weeds and unwanted plants from growing through the bottom of your raised bed garden. In my case, it’s a critical step, since we aren’t sure what else may be under there, waiting to sprout in the summer or fall. I am adding a second raised bed garden, so I will be continuing to extend the fabric on down the fence-line in a later post.
Once the landscape fabric was in place, I arranged my garden bed over it and began to fill it with the soil we had purchased. In the past, I have carefully mixed a growing soil using peat moss, compost, topsoil, and vermiculite, getting a perfect, loose and nutritious mix for my plants. But, as late as we were into this planting season, I was more interested in just getting my garden in the ground, this year. I purchased Miracle Grow Garden Soil at our local Wal-Mart and it seems to be working very well. If I have a compost tumbler, by next planting season, I may get more creative with my garden soil. For the time being, I am pleased as punch to have it already prepared for me.
When the boxes were filled and the soil leveled, I planted the volunteer tomatoes we dug up and the “toasted” heirloom tomatoes from the deck. I also toasted a watermelon plant, two cucumber plants and four jalapeno peppers which were promptly planted into the beds. I will be moving the watermelon, when my second garden bed arrives and is set up. After about ten days in the ground, my plants are bouncing back and feeling happy. Believe it or not, they are growing and I think they will thrive, though the harvest will definitely be later than usual. It was too embarrassing to take closeups of their condition on the day I planted them, so the above distant view is it. :) The later pictures show you how well they are coming back. So, believe me, if I can do this, you can, too. Grab a pot or build a raised bed and grow something. Nothing else tastes as good!
Oh, I also added trellises for the tomatoes and cucumbers. I like them so much better than tomato cages. They look better and they are just easier to work with, since I can get to both sides. They also save space in the garden, rather than leaving vining plants sprawled across your space, you can grow them vertically and produce even more in your small garden area. When both garden boxes are in, I will also cover the landscape fabric with shredded cedar mulch. It helps keep down the weeds, makes a nice sturdy path for me to walk on in the garden and it just looks good. As an added benefit, some garden pests do not like the smell of cedar. Win, win for me!
Before getting the bed organized and the garden planted, I did pot some plants on our deck, as well. I have a cucumber that I am trying to train along the privacy screen and a sausage tomato, plus some strawberries. These plants were in much earlier and they are going great guns! I am anticipating fresh cucumbers very soon!
There is still much to do. When the second garden box arrives, ( It was actually delivered during the writing of this post!) I will transplant the watermelon, plant a zucchini and what should be a second crop of green beans, though it will only be my first. I long to have an asparagus bed and a corner for herbs, as well. Asparagus will need to wait until fall, but the herbs may still happen this summer. I have a small pot of basil on the deck.
I’ll keep you posted on the next stages of our garden adventure, as I go along, and I’ll be sharing the great deal I found on outdoor furniture, recently. In the meantime, how is your garden doing? Are you reaping the bounty of your labors, yet? What’s your favorite garden recipe?
We have so many generous sponsors hosting giveaways at Busy-at-Home that it is often difficult to go back and edit each individual post with the giveaway winner’s information. Instead, I have created a page for Past Giveaway Winners and this will be where I announce confirmed giveaway winners to our Busy-at-Home readers, from now on. [...]
We have so many generous sponsors hosting giveaways at Busy-at-Home that it is often difficult to go back and edit each individual post with the giveaway winner’s information. Instead, I have created a page for Past Giveaway Winners and this will be where I announce confirmed giveaway winners to our Busy-at-Home readers, from now on. Winners will receive a personal e-mail, as always, requesting shipping information for their prize. They will have 48 hours to reply to the email with the requested information. Upon receiving their reply, they will be considered confirmed and the closed giveaway will be listed, along with the winner’s name, on the Past Giveaway Winners page. With any luck, that will keep you all better updated and provide me a more efficient way of logging the information. Hope you all have an awesomely blessed weekend! — Glenda
I just received the opportunity to pass on a great frugal deal for Parents Magazine. Use promo code PX0709 and receive a full year of Parents Magazine for only $4!!! Thats only 33 cents per issue! In Parents Magazine you’ll find information, tips and suggestions about children at each age and stage, as well [...]
I just received the opportunity to pass on a great frugal deal for Parents Magazine. Use promo code PX0709 and receive a full year of Parents Magazine for only $4!!! Thats only 33 cents per issue! In Parents Magazine you’ll find information, tips and suggestions about children at each age and stage, as well as recipes, craft and activity ideas, info on pregnancy and birth, and so much more.
No monetary compensation was received for this post, however, I am entered to possibly win a cash prize in a contest among the bloggers making this post.
I’ve never been one of those women who gets all syrupy and goofy over diamonds — jewelry of any kind, really. So, that song about diamonds being a girl’s best friend has always seemed pretty silly to me. My wedding ring is the only diamond I have ever owned and I am completely content with [...]
I’ve never been one of those women who gets all syrupy and goofy over diamonds — jewelry of any kind, really. So, that song about diamonds being a girl’s best friend has always seemed pretty silly to me. My wedding ring is the only diamond I have ever owned and I am completely content with that. I WILL say that losing it in the garden two summers ago was probably one of the most significantly sad days of my life, not because of the loss of the diamond, but the symbolism and the sentiment I had for the ring. Unfortunately, replacing it was not in the budget for us and for the time being, still is not. A piece of costume jewelry is my stand-in, for the time being. There is no comparison between the two in quality or beauty, but the one commonality between the diamond and my temporary stand-in, is the way I have kept both clean and sparkling.
Making the most of what we have can sometimes mean finding a frugal alternative to typically accepted methods of doing things. Jewelry cleaning products can take many forms from liquids or gels to ultrasonic machines. All of them can be pricey, most smell AWFUL and some are toxic. Another alternative is professional cleaning, but again, it can be expensive and seriously is not a great value for your money. Early in my marriage, I learned that an inexpensive product we always have in the house, is the BEST diamond polisher. My wedding ring sparkled and shined whether I had been working in the garden, kneading bread or doing the dishes, because no matter what job I had tackled, in less than 60 seconds I could use toothpaste straight out of the cabinet and have a ring that looked like new. I have happily discovered it is an effective method for bringing a little luster to costume jewelry, as well. So, this morning I grabbed my Arm and Hammer Advanced White Brilliant Sparkle Toothpaste to snap a couple pictures and show you how simple and inexpensive it is to clean your rings at home.
There’s nothing extra for you to buy. This is probably one of the most frugal projects you will accomplish, at home. If you have an old toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste, you’re set. Head over to the sink, apply some toothpaste to the brush and gently scrub your ring, gems and all. Rinse with cool water and pat dry with a soft cloth. You will be stunned at the sparkle and shine! Yes, indeed, toothpaste is most definitely a girl’s best friend’s best friend.
You must be 18 or over and a US resident to enter. Winner will be selected in a random drawing using random.org. Deadline to enter is midnight (CST), Sunday, July 17, 2011.
Arm and Hammer is again, generously sponsoring a giveaway of a $25 VISA Gift Card. There are many other great frugal uses for toothpaste around the house and ways to handle everyday jobs by re-purposing products we already have. I’d love to hear some of your frugal tips and tricks for making the most of what you already have on hand, when tackling your household chores, whether it’s with toothpaste or another product. So, in a comment below, share a tip for using toothpaste or another common household product, to do a job that we wouldn’t expect.
This is a sponsored post for Church & Dwight Co., Inc, the maker of ARM & HAMMER branded products, who is compensating me to try different products. Sign up for a free sample of Advance White Brilliant Sparkle Toothpaste. And then head over to The Switch & Save Challenge to keep up with all of the bloggers and enter to win $25,000.