Please Note: Posts on this site may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links. Read my full disclosure statement.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Three Trees--One Amazing Story {Review and Giveaway}

With an intro that begins with a narration about how God created all the trees and seeds, each with their own destiny, this animated tale tells the story of three special trees. Follow the unique journeys of three seeds as they are planted in three different locations.  Watch them grow into an olive tree, an oak tree, and a pine tree, each wondering if they will ever be something more---something special. 

The beautiful olive tree imagines being fashioned into a fancy king's treasure chest but when a carpenter comes to cut her down, she is disappointed with her transformation.

The oak tree stands tall and firm and desires to be a flag ship for the King's navy.  A couple of boat builders spot the strong oak and take him off to use, but after arriving at the boatyard, he is not destined to sail on the mighty ocean.

The towering pine tree looks over the valley and dreams of growing and growing until he became the highest tree in the forest to remind everyone of God's glory. After a rather intense storm, the tree gets struck by lightning and topples to the ground.  His dream is shattered and he is eventually discarded into a pile of wood scrap.

What would become of these three trees?

Watch this lively, animated 40 minute rendition of the classic book, The Legend of the Three Trees to discover how God uses these trees with fallen hope and gives them purposes that are even greater than they could ever dream.

Teach children the hope and love of Jesus and that we all have a purpose to bring glory to Him in our lives. Show them through this folktale that it is always best to trust in the Lord.

Would you like to win a copy of this movie for your children to enjoy?  Then just fill out the form below!  U.S. residents only.

Friday, April 18, 2014

R is for Raspberry Vanilla Edible Scented Playdough

It's time for the letter R in the ABCs of Scented Playdough series!

I'm glad to be back to this series now that we are settling in to our new home!  This week, I thought it'd be fun to make another edible recipe. So, we made raspberry vanilla edible scented playdough!

As usual, the recipe is super simple.  I used this recipe with a few adaptations. I used raspberry jello, olive oil instead of vegetable, added one tablespoon of vanilla extract, and about 1/2 cup more flour.

Throw all the  dry ingredients into a bowl and mix.

Add the wet ingredients and put them in a pot on medium heat.  Stir until it all clumps together.

Allow it to cook and then knead in more flour if it is still sticky.

Hand it over to your children for some yummy sensory fun!  Just don't let them eat too much at once.  It IS sugar, after all.

Next week: the letter S! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Teach Children ASL Set to Inspirational and Familiar Hymns! {A Review}

Once upon a time, I moved to North Carolina because I wanted to attend college to study Deaf Education. I wanted to teach elementary aged deaf students. I began learning American Sign Language in high school.  We were required to take two foreign languages and ASL was one of the options available.  The teacher was a deaf woman who allowed an interpreter in the classroom for the first month and then we were expected to learn by total immersion.  It was fantastic.  I fell in love with it all.

I had dreams of teaching and maybe even interpreting at some point, but life had other plans. It's been several years since I've regularly used ASL so I've grown a little rusty, but I do teach my children from a young age basic signs before they can speak to help encourage communication.  Recently, my oldest daughter (age 8) has expressed interest in learning more, so I dusted off my notes from high school and college and started teaching her a few signs.

We have utilized other sign language videos, but I'm always on the lookout for more resources to help me dust off my skills and pass on my knowledge to my daughter. I was excited to receive the chance to review For His Own Glory! Barnyard Collection from Crowe's Nest Media, a new 40 minute DVD designed to teach young children basic farm animal signs.

Bright, cheerful imagery accompanied by live action shots of real farm animals capture the attention.  Fellow children help teach the motions of each sign. In the background, you will hear familiar Christian hymns and inspirational music such as Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee.  The best aspect is that throughout the video, glory is given to the Lord for His creation.

Children will learn signs for:
  • horse
  • cow
  • pig
  • rabbit
  • donkey
  • rooster
  • cat
  • goat
  • dog
  • duck
  • chicken
  • sheep

I love that this is not only exposing children to another language, but also teaching them to praise God for everything! Teaching thankfulness at a young age is a great goal to have as a parent.  We are all dependent on the Lord and without Him, we'd be living purposeless lives.

This playful and vibrant video serves as a fantastic introduction to some basic ASL signs while also encouraging children to honor God. Crowe's Nest Media is a family ministry that creates, edits, narrates, and animates all of their our videos and they have done a fantastic job with this one.

The DVD retails for $16.95, but is currently on sale for $14.95.  There is also a  digital download version that includes three files for computer, tablet, and smart phone.  The download is $12.95 (on sale now for $9.95!).

Crowe's Nest Media is offering to giveaway one copy of this DVD to one of you! They are also generously offering a discount code for 25% off your entire purchase exclusively for my readers!  Just use the code "moon25" at checkout!

To enter to win, fill out the form below. U.S. residents only.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Using Pinterest to Enhance Preschool Lessons

With the popularity of social media, it is no surprise that a visual smorgasbord like Pinterest has taken off.  As a homeschooler, it the virtual pin board has become a priceless resource for ideas, lesson plans, book lists, crafts and so much more to help make their school time much more fun and interesting.

Today, I'm going to share with you some of my favorite finds on Pinterest to use with the younger  crowd.  I nearly always scan various boards or search for particular topics when planning out my lessons for my own three year old, so I've discovered some really great things over time.

Without further ado, here are my favorite Pinterest finds for preschool:

Reading Readiness/Alphabet Awareness

How to Teach the Alphabet with Legos from Teachers of Good Things
ABC Bingo from My Joy Filled Life
Shoebox Alphabet People from An Idea on Tuesday
Lego Animal Alphabet Cards from B-Inspired Mama
Letter Mazes from 1+1+1=1
Rock Letter Tracing from Childcareland Blog
The Letter Box from Play Talk Learn
Perler Bead Alphabet Magnets from Life Lesson Plans
Alphabet Balloon Pop from Makeovers and Motherhood
Magical Alphabet Letters from Sow Sprout Play

Number Recognition/Counting

Make Your Own Counting Sticks from The Mommy Talks
Fishing for Numbers from Buggy and Buddy
Numbers Washing Line from Lessons Learnt Journal
Number Nature Scavenger Hunt from Makeovers and Motherhood
Skip Counting with M&Ms from Learn Play Imagine
Water Balloon Number Blast from Little Bins for Little Hands
Paint Chip Number Punch Puzzle from School Time Snippets
Magnetic Ladybug Counting Game from B-Inspired Mama
Corn Maze Math Activity from JDaniel4's Mom
Knock 'Em Down Bean Bag Toss from True Aim

Color Fun

Color & Pattern Matching Game from The Connection We Share
Pipe Cleaner Color Sorter from To the Moon and Back
Q-tip Painting Color Words from 1+1+1=1
Color Mixing Discovery Bottles from Familylicious
Seek and Sort Color Game from Where Imagination Grows
Color Surprise Eruptions from Learn Play Imagine
Water Bead Color Mixing from Happily Ever After Mom
Pom Pom Rainbow Collage from Danya Banya
Rainbow Sensory Bin and Color Sort from Sow Sprout Play
Gross Motor Color Game from Simple Fun for Kids

Shapes and Patterns

Pattern Block Mats from PreKinders
Felt Shape Flowers from B-Inspired Mama
DIY Shapes and Colors Matching Game from Plain Vanilla Mom
Contact Paper Shape Art from Mess for Less
Rainbow Shape Rocks from Fun A Day
Shape Symmetry Play from Mama Pea Pod
Train Shape Matching Puzzle from Craftulate
Shape Playdough Mats from 3 Dinosaurs
DIY Shape Stickers from Mess for Less
Cardboard Shapes from Gummy Lump

Fine Motor Skills

Beading Tower from The MaMade Diaries
Feed the Elephant from The Inspired Treehouse
Button Sorting Cups from About Family Crafts
Paper Ripping Activity from Craftulate
Felt Button Chain from Tips from a Typical Mom
Threading a Rainbow from De tout et de rien: Activit├ęs pour le Pr├ęscolaire
Golf Tee Hammering Activity from Sugar Aunts
Monster Munch from Lalymom
Button Threading from School Time Snippets
Pin Pricking from Lessons Learnt Journal

Gross Motor Skills 

Flaming Hoops Circus Activity from The Inspired Treehouse
Flag Tape Obstacle Course from Frogs, Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails
Surf's Up Balance and Coordination Activity from The Inspired Treehouse
Balloon Play from Lessons Learnt Journal
Indoor Hopscotch from Happy Hooligans
Jumping Lines from Little Bins for Little Hands
DIY Bean Bag Toss from Dirt and Boogers
Indoor Car Wash from Homegrown Friends
Pool Noodle Baseball from Toddler Approved
Pool Noodle Abacus from Happy Hooligans

Sensory Play

Sensory Rainbow Writing from Blog Me Mom
Homemade Floam from Growing a Jeweled Rose
Glitter Clay Fingerpainting from Mini Monets and Mommies
Edible Water Beads from Life Lesson Plans
Foam Dough Doughnut Sensory Bin from Life Lesson Plans
Sugar Cookie Rice from Sugar Aunts
Monster Truck Wash from B-Inspired Mama
Alphabet Apple Picking Sensory Table from Sow Sprout Play
Vanilla Cinnamon Oobleck from Sow Sprout Play
Dinosaur and Volcano Sensory Bin from Life Lesson Plans

Pinterest Boards to Follow

KBN Activities for Preschoolers
KBN Gross Motor Activities for Kids
KBN Learning Activities for Kids
KBN Fine Motor Activities for Kids
KBN Sensory Activities for Kids

Do you use Pinterest in your homeschool planning?

That's Pinteresting

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Wholesome Magazine for Young Christian Girls {A Review}

Take a walk down the magazine aisle in any store these days and you'll find yourself grimacing and attempting to shield your children's eyes from the onslaught of loose morals. Overtly sexual poses and titles are boldly proclaimed and worship of the next "hottest" boy bander is highly encouraged. It's rather discouraging for Christian parents who desire to keep their children innocent and child like. 

I often wonder why there is such a heavy push to shove our children into adulthood earlier and earlier.  Why can't little girls just be little girls?  

I've been rather selective of which magazines that my eight year old daughter is allowed to pick up and read.  I don't want to put ideas in her head that she isn't mature enough to deal with yet.  I don't want to start insecurities about her appearance because of some airbrushed model.  I don't want her to be worried about crushes and boyfriends.  She's eight.

I want her to be playing with dolls and making pretend apple pies for the family.  I want her to run outside and play in the dirt.  I want her to play dress up and twirl and clip clop around in Mommy's high heels. I want her to be immersed in all things child like for as long as she desires it because I know the reality that will one day come. I want her to aspire to do noble, God honoring things rather than pine after boys and material possessions. I want the things that she puts in her mind to be good for her.

That's why I was so pleased to be asked to review For Girls Like You magazine. This ministry for young girls is a quarterly publication that includes articles, activities, and educational information that is wholesome and age appropriate (for girls ages 6-11). The best part?  It is all based on the Word of God!

Instead of teaching your daughter materialism and secular messages of "gimme, gimme," this magazine instills Biblical principles and morals. Rather than holding up celebrities as role models, it showcases young girls who are accomplishing big things and well known Christian women such as Candace Cameron Bure and Francesca Battistelli.

Every issue also includes fun "Sprinkles" sections that encourage your daughter to add her own flair to a part of the magazine! Word searches, story writing prompts, and drawing opportunities are some examples of what these sections contain.

Which headline would you rather read(taken from actual magazines)?

"How to Flirt: The Secret Thing that Makes Boys Fall For You" 


"How to Handle Peer Pressure God's Way"

As Christian parents, let's allow our children to stay young while they can.  For Girls Like You can help with that! 

Subscriptions are very affordable at only $18.99 for one year or $31.99 for two. Other products available include a journal for doodles and writings,  magabooks that include articles, photos and activities from past year's issues, and t-shirts.

Wynter Pitts, founder of this incredible and much needed ministry, has offered to giveaway one subscription and one journal to one lucky reader!

To enter to win, just fill out the form below!

Monday, April 14, 2014

10 {More} Fun Field Trips in Western North Carolina

Back in October, I shared a post about ten fun places to take your children for field trips here in Western North Carolina.   Since there are so many great venues in this area, I decided to write another post and share ten more fun field trip destinations here in this neck of the woods. 

This is a fun interactive children's museum in Huntersville is chock full of engaging activities for young children.  With a town market, a farm, an auto repair shop, a submarine, and so much more scaled down for children, this is a fantastic place that allows your children to stretch their imaginations by pretending to do the thing they watch grown ups do.  To read more about our adventure there, click here.

Nestled in Morganton, this orchard and cider mill is hands down the best of its kind in this area for a field trip!  You will be given a tour of the fields, shown how cider is made, how to properly pick apples, where the apples are stored after picking and more.  Every child is allowed to take home a small bag of apples as well!  We absolutely loved the time we had and left with tons of yummy goodies from the small shop.  To read more about our trip and to see some more resources for an apple unit study, click here.

This is another gem of a museum designed for children.  It's smaller than some of the others that we have visited, but that doesn't mean it isn't just as or more fun! We spent hours exploring the various rooms and activities and my children have been begging to go back. There is a climbing lobby complete with a beanstalk that leads to the second floor, a library where there is a storytime that may include a real live pony, an alphabet room, and several other exciting areas for children to investigate. The museum offers a great discount for homeschool families as well!

A historic cotton plantation and living history farm, Latta Plantation provides a peek into America's past.  Tours of the buildings are offered with guides and you are allowed to wander the grounds on your own. There are themed events offered frequently with several made specifically for homeschoolers.

This is the only NC state historic site associated with the time period of the French and Indian War. Visit during one of the living history weekends to experience reenactments and learn all about how soldiers lived during the American Revolution. 

Located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, this unusual attraction is definitely a stop you should make!  Gravity defying exhibits, a room where it's impossible to stand up straight, and small educational museums will provide a day's enjoyment for all ages. 

This giant cliff, 4000 feet above sea level, is the location of an old Native American legend that is a tale of love between a Chickasaw maiden and a Cherokee brave. This is a beautifully scenic place with walking trails and a gift shop.

This site is the first known location that gold was discovered in North America. Tour the mines for free and then pan for your own gold!

Travel in style on board a train as you travel through Western North Carolina!  There are various excursions to choose from including a tour of fall foliage, holiday themed events, and more.  There are over fifty three miles of track on this railroad as well as two tunnels and twenty five bridges.

Visit the Carolina's oldest cheese plant and watch how this dairy staple is made! Shop in the cheese store and stock up on some yummy cheeses, fudges, and butter!

Have you been to any of these destinations?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Babywearing in the Summer {A Beachfront Baby Review and GIVEAWAY!}

I mentioned in a post earlier this week that my personal favorite baby carrier is my wrap.  I love it and use it constantly when I have small babies and toddlers. It is the most comfortable carrier that I have ever used and I appreciate its versatility.

The one downside to it is that it is very hot to wear during the warm months of the year because it is made of jersey knit. This meant that during the warmer weather periods, I had to use other styles of carriers and put the wrap away until I could use it without sweating. We spend a great deal of time outdoors and being active throughout the summer, so babywearing is part of daily life even outside of our home.  I always wished that I could use my favorite carrier during this time, but it just wasn't possible without giving myself and baby a heat stroke.

Recently, this problem has been solved for me and I am very excited to share my discovery with you all this week!  Beachfront Baby is a company started by a work at home mom that manufactures breathable baby carriers that are absolutely perfect for the summer season!

I reviewed the Beachfront Baby Wrap in sky blue.  My husband is a die hard North Carolina Tarheels fan and when I asked for his input on color, he chose this one because it so closely resembles the signature Carolina blue. Our oldest son's t-ball team is also known as the Tarheels (my husband is the coach), so we were able to have team spirit when using the wrap at games and practices. 

Any babywearing mama would be pleased with these polyester jersey blend ring slings and wraps. They are just as comfortable as the more traditional versions yet they provide adequate air flow that will keep mom and baby cool and comfy.

Happy little guy!

They are designed to be worn in the water as well so they are perfect for taking your little one to the beach or the pool.  Whenever I've gone swimming with infants or toddlers in the past, I have always held them in my arms, which makes for a short stint in the water.  Now, I'll be able to wade in and have my hands free to assist  my other small children at the same time!

You can also wear your baby into the shower in these carriers!  Get baby's bath in while taking your own!

The wraps are one size at 15 feet long and 19-20 inches wide at the center(wraps are also available in extra large and petite if needed). They hold babies from 8 to 30 pounds.  If you are familiar with standard baby wraps, you put this on in the same fashion.  It has a slight stretch, but is not quite as flexible as the regular styles because you need baby to remain safe and secure while immersed with you in water. 
Me and my little guy hanging out at big brother's t-ball game.

It isn't quite warm enough for water play here in North Carolina, but we still got plenty of use out of this wrap.  I was able to move freely while keeping my seven month old son content and I never felt too hot or sweaty.  I did get it wet in the shower to test it out and I was quite pleased with the comfort it maintained after it was saturated. The material feels similar to that of a swimsuit and dries relatively quickly.

The wrap is available in ten colors, so there is something to suit everyone! If you prefer a ring sling, they have those as well!

I am so happy to have discovered Beachfront Baby and their warm weather ready carriers.  I am even more ecstatic to tell you that they have very generously offered to giveaway one wrap to one lucky reader!  Winner will be allowed to choose their own size and color!

If you'd like to enter for your chance to win one of these great baby carriers, then just fill out the form below!  U.S. residents only. Good luck!

Photo Credit


Make sure you check out some of my other fellow Crew members and their series:

Nicole @ Journey to Excellence ~ 5 Days of Missouri
Kristi @ The Potter's Hand Academy ~ 5 Days of Spring Studies
Jennifer @ Royal Little Lambs ~ 5 Days of  Essential Oils
Annette @ A Net in Time ~ 5 Days of  Science
Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker ~ 5 Days of Frugal Fitness
Meg @ Adventures with Jude ~ 5 Days of Homeschooling from the Kitchen
Lori @ At Home: where life happens ~ 5 Days of Favorite Books
Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker ~ 5 Days of A Christ-Centered Home

For even more 5 Days of... series, click here:

April Blog Hop

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Ultimate Guide to FREE DIY Baby Carrier Tutorials

Babywearing can be an expensive practice if you are like some people who enjoy using different carriers for various purposes.   *cough* *cough*

One way to save money on your habit or to just start out frugally is to make your own carrier.  Break out the sewing machine (or not) and create a carrier that suits your needs and your personal fashion sense.  Here are several free tutorials that I've found online to make several styles of babywearing  wraps, slings, and carriers:
Photo Credit

*You can find many more tutorials online with a simple search, but I found that most are very similar, if not identical, to those listed below.*


No Sew Ring Sling from Jan Andrea
Ring Sling from Everything in its Place
Reversible Sling with Padding from Craft Gossip
Pocket Sling from House of Estrela
The Fox Hole, a Hooded Winter Baby Sling from Instructables
DIY Ring Sling from Craft Crazy Mom
Budget T-Shirt Sling from The West Yorkshire Sling Library
Tube Sling from Jan Andrea

Mei Tai Style

Scandi Mei Tai
Podaegi from Sew She Sews
Mei Tai from Those Martins
Mei Tai from Beau Baby
Meela Baby Carrier from Miso Crafty
X Back Baby Carrier from Lobolita
Hood to Headrest Mei Tai from A Fuller Day
Ultimate Mei Tai Carrier from Wabi Sabi Baby
No Sew Sweatpants Baby Carrier from The Fur Mother
Reversible Podaegi from It's Not Spaghetti


Jersey Knit Wrap from A Load of Craft
Baby K'Tan from Crafty Mama
Sling Wrap from Make Baby Stuff
Gauze Baby Wrap from 21 Random
Baby K'Tan from One Hope Left

Other Fun Stuff

Make a babywearing "coat" from Walking with Dancers
DIY Fleece babywearing coat from Toile Giraffe

Baby Bjorn Cover from The Rachel Berry Blog

DIY Ergo Teething Pads from Fuel My Family

Stuffed Animal/Doll Baby Carrier from Craftiness is Not Optional
Baby Doll Carrier from The Ribbon Retreat Blog
Baby Doll Carrier from Sew Bossi
DIY Baby Doll Mei Tai Carrier from Bead and Cord
DIY Doll Sling from The Mommy Dialogues
Baby Doll Sling from Domestic Dork

Have you ever made your own carrier?

Photo Credit


Day 1: An Introduction to Babywearing and its Benefits
Day 2: A Guide to Baby Carrier Styles
Day 3: The Dos and Dont's of Babywearing

Make sure you check out some of my other fellow Crew members and their series:

Nicole @ Journey to Excellence ~ 5 Days of Missouri
Kristi @ The Potter's Hand Academy ~ 5 Days of Spring Studies
Jennifer @ Royal Little Lambs ~ 5 Days of  Essential Oils
Annette @ A Net in Time ~ 5 Days of  Science
Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker ~ 5 Days of Frugal Fitness
Meg @ Adventures with Jude ~ 5 Days of Homeschooling from the Kitchen
Lori @ At Home: where life happens ~ 5 Days of Favorite Books
Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker ~ 5 Days of A Christ-Centered Home

For even more 5 Days of... series, click here:

April Blog Hop

Get Equipped! Homeschool Giveaway

Attention homeschoolers! Looking for resources, encouragement, and training for next school year? This giveaway has some great resources to get you started. We're giving away $600 in prizes.

Get Equipped! Homeschool Giveaway - 10 winners, $600+ in prizes. Ends 4/19/14

8 Winners Will Get...

  • A live stream pass to the Family Discipleship and Homeschooling Conference (worth $29.95)
  • Two year-long handwriting workbooks—print and cursive—that help kids memorize a long text of Scripture, and a 30-day family Bible study that delves deeply into that same passage (worth $17.50)

2 Grand Prize Winners Will Get...

  • All the prizes mentioned above
  • A year-long subscription to Lessontrek's lesson planning app (worth $60).


One-year subscription of Lessontrek's lesson planning app (2 Winners)

Sponsor: Lessontrek

Lessontrek is a better and modern web application for online lesson planning for the homeschool, private, and public school teacher. Lessontrek helps parents create lesson plans quickly and easily. In just a few minutes you can setup your school year and subjects, create lessons and assignments, record grades, and more. Their handy drag-and-drop system makes reordering lessons easy.
"I like how you can organize the subjects, set up the school based on whenever you start and take breaks. I also like how easy it is to use and create the subjects, assignments and color code everything." - Gretchen (Colorado)
Lesson trek is giving two Grand Prize winners a year subscription ($60 value for each). .

Livestream Pass to the 2014 Family Discipleship and Homeschool Conference (10 Winners)

Sponsor: Christian Heritage

Live Stream Main Prize Image
Live stream Ken Ham to your living room! Enter to win a Live Stream Pass to 2014. Family Discipleship & Homeschooling Conference. 10 WINNERS! Watch the preview video at From the comfort of your own home, join thousands of other homeschoolers for two full days of hope, encouragement and inspiration. The live stream of the 2014 Family Discipleship and Homeschooling Conference will present something for every member of your family:
  • Fathers will be called to loving, servant leadership and faithful discipleship in the home by looking to their heavenly Father for the perfect example of fatherhood they never had.
  • Mothers will be encouraged with a fresh perspective on the big-picture “why” behind the daily routine of motherhood, as well as practical tips for keeping the “homeschool routine” from turning into the “homeschooling rat-race.”
  • Young adults and children will be prepared to engage the culture for Christ with a biblical view of history, science and defending the faith.
Through the lineup of dynamic speakers and practical sessions, you will be equipped to fulfill your great calling in life: making disciples of Jesus Christ – one child at a time.

One-year handwriting curriculum and accompanying family Bible study (10 Winners)

Sponsor: Intoxicated On Life

Philippians ESV Family Bundle
This bundle of resources is aimed at helping kids memorize and understand a longer text of Scripture—in this case, Philippians 2:1-18, the Apostle Paul's great hymn to Christ celebrating his incarnation, death, and exaltation. The bundle comes with two handwriting workbooks—print and cursive—which provide a year's worth of handwriting practice, vocabulary words, and dictation practice. The bundle also comes with a 30-day family Bible study and Scripture memory cards. All of these resources are centered on Philippians 2.
Intoxicated On Life is giving 10 winners this family bundle, each one priced at $17.50.

Enter the giveaway below!

Giveaway runs from April 10 to 19. Enter below and don’t forget to share this great opportunity with your friends!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...