Category Archives: parenting

F is for From the Mouths of Babes


I have this statue on my bedside table. It was a gift from Will a few years ago, and is very special for a few reasons. (Mainly because he gave it to me, but also because it’s done in a style that his mom – who passed away in 2007 – really enjoyed and collected art in.) It’s been a mainstay on my bedside table ever since I got it. We’ve tried putting it in different places, but nowhere else is quite “right.” Some things are like that, you know?

So, there the statue sits. Small Fry is a bit behind on his speaking skills (but he’s making real progress the past couple of weeks!). He has just a handful of words he says (Mama, Dada, water, bubble, yeah, no). When I went into our room the other day to get a fresh diaper so I could change him, he followed me. He’s seen the statue before, of course, but this time he picked it up and pointed at each figure in turn, saying, “Mama. Dada.”

I love that this is how he sees his parents: in a caring, loving relationship.

What a way to melt a mother’s heart!




Quiet Book

I mentioned back in the summertime that I’d made a quiet book for Small Fry’s second birthday. It wasn’t that awesome, but it was okay for my first time out. Well, for our nephew’s second birthday in September, I poked around online (as well as exploring my fabric and notions stash) and found some ideas for quiet book pages for him. Would you believe that there are whole blogs dedicated just to making quiet books? I was shocked. And amazed at the incredible talent of some of those ladies.

So, while my second book still wasn’t quite as awesome as some of the others you’ll find online, it was much better than my first, and I’m very pleased with the way it turned out. Here are the pages I made. Continue reading

Product Review: Snake Oil Party Potion Game

Snake Oil - Party Potion vocabulary building game. Review at Simplicity Breeds Happiness

Can you sell a torch purse to a princess?

Do you, Miss Princess, have money to burn? Then let me introduce to you the torch purse – it burns your money for you!

How about a bone sandwich to a dog?

Mr. Dog, what you need is to eat a sandwich like your owner does. But peanut butter is too sticky for dogs. Designed especially for you, so the move to sandwiches isn’t too abrupt a change from your preferred food, I give you the bone sandwich!

If so, Snake Oil – Party Potion, from Out of the Box Games, is the game for you! Continue reading

C is for Costumes

c is for costumes sbh

You know that Halloween was last week, so I want to talk today about how we do costumes in our family. First, though, let me go over Halloween. We don’t give the “holiday” much emphasis in our family, but we also don’t avoid it altogether. The downtown association in our town sponsors a trick or treating event every year where the local businesses along the main drag offer candy (and other goodies – coupons from the dance studio, toothbrushes from the dentist, etc) for the children. It’s a completely safe way to do trick or treating, and it’s always really fun to see all the children’s costumes. Continue reading

Book Review: If He Had Not Come

Christmas is coming. Like it or not, we’re already into November, and that means Christmas is just around the corner. And Christmas is a time for family traditions, both old and new.

(Please don’t hear me saying that having traditions is what Christmas is about. It’s not, and I know that. It’s about celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Traditions are just a nice thing to make us humans feel “warm and fuzzy.”) Continue reading

Product Review: Clued In Kids

I have a super fun product to talk to you guys about today: Clued In Kids! For review purposes, I received both the Halloween Treasure Hunt and the Baseball Treasure Hunt. These are available as PDF downloads for $5.99 each. Having them as PDFs means, of course, that you can print as many as you’d like and reuse them, which makes these a great value.


You can see that each clue includes the challenge for the kids in the main area, as well as the place where you need to hide the clue at the bottom. This makes it so quick and easy to set up these treasure hunts!

So what is Clued In Kids? The answer is very simple. Helen Bertelli, the founder and president of Clued In Kids, writes Treasure Hunts for kids. You purchase the hunts, hide the clues, and let your kids go. For about 5-10 minutes worth of work on your part, you can easily keep your kids occupied for 30-60 minutes (possibly more, depending on the children). Each hunt is designed around a theme – Halloween and Baseball, in my case, but there are also loads of others (Thanksgiving, Winter, Happy Tummy, Gluten-Free, Homework Reward, and many others). Continue reading

Book Review: The iWitness series by Apologia

Apologia Review
We are fascinated by things like Biblical archaeology in my house. Get us (especially Will and Seahawk) going on the subject, and an hours-long conversation is sure to ensue. So when I heard that members from the Schoolhouse Review Crew would have the opportunity to review the new iWitness series from Apologia Educational Ministries, I was definitely intrigued. They asked us to review the following books:

Written by Doug Powell, each of these books takes the reader on an in-depth search of different aspects important to the Christian faith. The books aren’t a boring tome, though. Each one is designed to look like a stack of documents, using different graphics and fonts, to introduce you to the evidence that has been discovered over the years. They follow a logical progression, but the goal is not to just tell you, “This is how it is, so you have to believe it.” Instead, the idea is to push you to do your own research and (ideally) come to the conclusions that “Yeah, this is probably really true” on your own. The books are good for a variety of ages (we read them aloud with all three boys), but the reading level is roughly 11 and up. Continue reading