Friday Finds and Favorites #47

Hello Friends!

This week has been crazy busy! So I’ll keep this week’s post very brief. I have two awesome recommendations that you should definitely check out! πŸ™‚

elderberry
Excellent immune system booster!

1) Black Elderberry and Black Elderberry Syrup

I purchased the Black Elderberry capsules for John and I and the syrup for D. πŸ™‚ Elderberries support and boost our immune systems. We ordered ours from Thrive Market.Β 

2) Clary Sage

I’ve been diffusing Clary Sage this week. Clary Sage is mainly known for helping with PMS, but it also helps with depression, anxiety, and stress. It also smells fantastic! πŸ˜‰

Now it’s your turn! Share your favorite memories and finds this week! Leave a comment below. Add your blog to our linky and don’t forget to visit my amazing co-host, Camille! Feel free to grab a button it’s optional! πŸ˜‰

 

 




 

<3 Anna

4 years.

My sweet mister,

My heart is so heavy right now. There are so many things going on in this world that you just won’t understand right now. I hope that things will improve by the time you are an adult. (I do believe that we will have conversations as they are age appropriate throughout your life on various topics.) I believe with my whole heart that this is part of our responsibility as your parents. It is a responsibility that we do not take lightly and definitely requires a lot of prayer.

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We celebrated his last day being 3 at his favorite restaurant. πŸ™‚

I can’t believe that it has been 4 years. 4 years that you have brought such a beautiful ball of light and energy to our lives. You are adventurous, compassionate, intelligent, silly, theatrical, and so full of life. You are so very precious to us and we are so very proud of the person that you have become and will grow into! (Please keep smiling and being the silly ham that you are!;))

We love you so much!

Mommy and Daddy

Homeschooling Happenings! Lesson 3: “g” is for Garden

Hello Friends!

I normally do an IC awareness post for Monday, but this week you will see it on Wednesday. (Please be sure to check back for that post as I’ll be sharing what a cystoscopy and laproscopy are and why people have them done. )Last week we learned about the Creation story and focused on the letter “g.” “g” is for Garden. πŸ™‚

This week we focused on:

Theme: “g” is for Garden

Letter: G

Shape: Square

Song: He’s Got the Whole WorldΒ 

Book Resources: Planting a Rainbow, The Tiny Seed

Day 1

We began this theme by reading the Creation story and singing the Creation song included with our God’s Little Explorer’s Curriculum.Β If you are searching for a great Bible based curriculum for your preschoolers, I can’t recommend this one enough!

We used a magnifying glass to explore seeds.
We used a magnifying glass to explore seeds.
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He is so theatrical. πŸ˜‰

We reviewed the sound that the letter “g” makes.

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Check out those “g’s” πŸ™‚

We also watched and learned this nursery rhyme.

We worked on using zippers too!
We worked on using zippers too!

Day 2

We reviewed the Creation Story and did Days 1-4 in this preschool packet.Β We also reviewed the Creation song and “He’s got the Whole World…”

We explored plants and I showed D the parts of the plants: roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and seeds. We also talked about what a plant needs to grow.
We explored plants and I showed D the parts of the plants: roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and seeds. We also talked about what a plant needs to grow.

We also reviewed how everything has a place and how it’s D’s responsibility to put his clothes in his hamper and keep his toys in his toy box(es).

Day 3

We reviewed the Creation story again as well as our songs.

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Handwriting Practice

 

We made "Fruity Flowers" and D also arranged the fruit in the shape of the letter "g."
We made “Fruity Flowers” and D also arranged the fruit in the shape of the letter “g.”
Counting practice
Counting practice! We also reviewed addition and subtraction.

Today we discussed using our Quiet voices in public places. We practiced using our indoor voice at the library and how to behave at the library. Apparently, this lesson stuck because later in the week we visited the library and D reminded us all to use our quiet voices. πŸ˜‰

Day 4

We reviewed the Creation story and songs. We also watched the second half of What’s in the Bible with Buck Denver (Volume 1).

This is a busy bag activity from one morning. He counted the items on the card and then matched that number with the pom poms.
This is a busy bag activity from one morning. He counted the items on the card and then matched that number with the pom poms.
We finished up the Creation packet.
We finished up the Creation packet.
D really enjoyed learning the Creation story.
D really enjoyed learning the Creation story.
We also added on to our map! See D's flowers? :)
We also added on to our map! See D’s flowers? πŸ™‚

The curriculum that we use only goes through Thursday, so Friday is more of a laid back day. We usually read through a Highlights magazine and do some pages in our Brain Quest Workbook. πŸ™‚

 

What are you and your kiddo(s) learning about this week? Be sure to stop by again next week for more homeschooling adventures with the Leviners! πŸ™‚

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #46

Hello Friends!

I don’t know about you, but this week has been crazy SLOW for me. Yesterday felt like it should’ve been Friday. :/ I’m just so glad it’s finally here! Last weekend, we went to soccer practice, had lunch at Granny’s kitchen, and explored our favorite apple orchard. The weather was ridiculously hot, so we may go back next month when it’s a bit cooler. πŸ˜‰

Team huddle
Team huddle. Go Panthers!

I have to say that D has come a long way! He spent much of his first season sitting on the sidelines or in the field, or crying. :/ He is now participating every practice and this Saturday we will see how he does at his first game of the season. We are so proud of the progress he has made! πŸ™‚

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Go D!

 

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Dribbling the ball
Our Soccer Star!
Our Soccer Star!

It was a very humid morning so we stopped by the house to change clothes and stopped by Granny’s Kitchen before our fun at the apple orchard.

Chicken and Waffles...Be still my heart! ;)
Chicken and Waffles…Be still my heart! πŸ˜‰

This was one of the best meals I’ve had out in a long time! There’s never a bad time for Chicken and Waffles!

D enjoyed riding in the wagon.
D enjoyed riding in the wagon.

We began our visit with a walk through the apple orchard to pick our own apples. πŸ™‚

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Nifty tool
D supervised. ;)
D supervised. πŸ˜‰
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D eating an apple donut..yum!

We followed this up with a visit to the bakery! We shared yummy apple donuts and tasty apple slushies. It was a perfect way to cool off after our sweaty soccer practice and journey through the orchards. πŸ˜‰

My guys! <3
My guys! <3
I love this one!
I love this one!
D has grown so much this year!
D has grown so much this year!

appleorchard9

So tall!
So tall!

Our final activity of the trip was the tractor ride tour through the orchard. Declan was very tired from his busy day so he was pretty cranky at this point. He was in serious need of a nap. :/ BUT once the tractor got going he was excited again and interested in the sights around us.

All smiles and ready for the ride!
All smiles and ready for the ride!
I love this man. <3
I love this man. <3

Now it’s your turn! Share your favorite memories and finds this week! Leave a comment below. Add your blog to our linky and don’t forget to visit my amazing co-host, Camille! Feel free to grab a button it’s optional! πŸ˜‰ Also we are still looking for two great people to join our team and help with the co-hostΒ responsibilitiesΒ here. If you are interested, please comment “I’m in!” πŸ˜‰

 

 



 

 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!!!

<3 Anna

Homeschooling Happenings! Lesson 2: Our First Week!

Hello Friends!

We made it through our first week of Pre-K! πŸ™‚ D and I are already learning so much from each other. Flexibility and a willingness to not sweat the small things is key! This week our theme was God’s Word is a Treasure, but before I share what we learned with our theme I would like to start with a few things that we do before our lesson(s) begin!

ake-a-walk

We begin each lesson with prayer and Bible time. Right now, we are working with D on the ACTS model of prayer. (If you are unfamiliar with this model, Each letter stands for a different word: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication {asking for help!} ) I’m already noticing that D is becoming more mindful of his actions and is gaining a better understanding of when he should apologize.

This is the example we use it's from Professionalizing Motherhood by Jill Savage
This is the example we use it’s from Professionalizing Motherhood by Jill Savage

After prayer and Bible time, we have our own version of circle time. It includes these songs, linked below! πŸ™‚

The Good Morning Song

What’s the Weather Like Today?

We then go to our bulletin board and discuss the weather, month, day of the week, and what number the date falls on.

Our bulletin board! If anyone is interested, I got most of these items from Target and Dollar Tree. The weather part is from Confessions of a Homeschooler. :)
Our bulletin board! If anyone is interested, I got most of these items from Target and Dollar Tree. The weather part is from Confessions of a Homeschooler. πŸ™‚

This week we focused on:

Theme: God’s Word is a Treasure

Letter: X

Shape: Rectangle

Song: The B-I-B-L-E fromΒ Wee Sing

Book Resources:Β Going on a Bear Hunt, Blueberries for Sal

Day 1

Our first day was Tuesday, September 6, since Daddy had Monday off for Labor Day. πŸ™‚ Our first day included a fun “X-Marks the Spot Treasure Hunt!” D is going through a pirate obsession (Jake and the Never Land Pirates is his jam.) so this was absolutely perfect for getting his attention!

X marks the spot! Sophie was even excited about the search. :D
X marks the spot! Sophie was even excited about the search. πŸ˜€
D found the treasure!
D found the treasure!

As the theme says, “God’s Word is a Treasure.”, so the treasure was D’s new Bible and school supplies for his upcoming adventures! πŸ™‚

We also decorated our new ABC notebook and practiced choosing clothes for various types of weather and seasons.

Day 2:

D made a treasure map!
D made a treasure map!

Sophie’s dog food bag made the perfect treasure map! πŸ˜‰ We made an extra one for D to use for playing with his pirate gear as well.

D made x's with his snack. :)
D made x’s with his snack. πŸ™‚
We practiced making x's with our arms and making sound of x-"ks".
We practiced making x’s with our arms and making sound of x-“ks”.
We used the binoculars we made on Day 1 to search for rectangles.
We used the binoculars we made on Day 1 to search for rectangles.

We ended the day by making rectangles with popsicle sticks and learning how to make our bed.

Making rectangles
Making rectangles
Learning to make his bed.
Learning to make his bed.

Day 3:

We reviewed our theme of the week and I showed D where we would keep our many “treasures” from our lessons. (Mommy’s treasure box <3) We also played X Freeze (Mommy played music and D would have to freeze and form his arms into an X.)

This is the thing that I’m most proud of for this week!

D's x's
D’s x’s

Declan has hated writing from day 1. Before we began this curriculum, we had loosely followed others and also used various workbooks. These x’s were made with no tears and no help from Mommy! (Other than that small x you see in the upper left hand corner.) I call that a Mommy win!

We finished the day with practicing sharing our toys and asking to take turns politely.

Day 4:

Declan cut out these gold coins and I hid them for another fun treasure hunt to end our first week.

homeschooling12

D searching for the coins.
D searching for the coins.
D found all of the coins! Apparently, Clary and Doris joined us for this pic. ;)
D found all of the coins! Apparently, Clary and Doris joined us for this pic. πŸ˜‰
Declan wrote x's in the rectangles.
Declan wrote x’s in the rectangles.

We finished working with the coins and rectangles, by cutting and gluing them to construction paper.

Each week we will end with a service project. This week, Declan chose a book to donate to the library garden.

The first week went well, but was not without it’s own bumps. The first day was particularly tough, but we got into a groove and I’m learning to not push too hard. I know that no matter how much we do each day…He is learning and that’s what truly matters. <3

What are you and your kiddo(s) learning about this week? Be sure to stop by again next week for more homeschooling adventures with the Leviners! πŸ™‚

<3 Anna

5 Helpful Posts on Interstitial Cystitis!

Hello Friends!

Today I’m sharing a few of my past posts on Interstitial Cystitis. I hope that this can help someone struggling with bladder pain. <3

Interstitial Cystitis

***If you missed last week’s post on Dietary Guidelines, be sure to check it out here!***

***This post shares the signs and symptoms of IC. It’s especially helpful if you are not sure and have yet to be diagnosed.***

***This post has even more resources and help for once you are diagnosed.***

***This post, I reviewed an excellent book on bladder health. I would recommend this one to anyone!***

***And this is just a great post for everyone! It explains what IC is and some ways I cope with it.

Please let me know if you have any questions on any of these posts. I’ll do what I can to help. Thanks for reading!

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #45

Hello Friends!

Despite it being a holiday weekend, I’m so glad to see Friday again! It’s been a long week. Do you ever feel like holiday weekends sometimes make it harder? I know I do and this week was living proof! I’m glad it’s in the books now.

As I said in last week’s post, D and I spent much of the weekend getting over our first cold of the season. It was made so much easier with Sambucol, essential oils, and this tasty soup!

soup

D ate the carrots and beans from it and wasn’t too keen on anything else, but I consider that a mommy win! πŸ™‚

soccer4
First Practice, Fall Soccer.

Declan’s first practice went pretty well. He had some down moments, but overall he participated for most of the practice and that’s what really matters! πŸ™‚

D was doing much better and the cold had hit me hard...worst day! Lunch at Sonic!
D was doing much better and the cold had hit me hard…worst day! Lunch at Sonic!

Sunday was a very chill day. We stayed at home most of the day and made it a priority to beat the cold. John, thankfully, was spared.

fair1
Fair 2016

On Monday, we were all feeling a lot better! We went to the fair and very quickly decided that next year we will stick to night time hours. It was HOT! πŸ˜‰

fair3

Declan was a little nervous this year about rides. He was completely fearless last year, but he came around and was able to enjoy himself.

fair2
I think this one was his favorite. πŸ™‚
He kept giving the guy running the ride high fives!
He kept giving the guy running the ride high fives!
Riding the mini ferris wheel with mommy and daddy.
Riding the mini ferris wheel with mommy and daddy.
BIG Slide with Daddy!
BIG Slide with Daddy!
Declan watching the Cyclops ride. Too funny!
Declan watching the Cyclops ride. Too funny!
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Last ride of the day. It was incredibly short and he was not a happy camper afterwards.

We ended our time at the fair with cotton candy and kettle corn! It was a fun fair day, but we were so happy to get home and cool off for a bit. Later on, we took Sophie with us and walked the Greenway nearby.

He is the best! <3
He is the best! <3
Caught mid-jump!
Caught mid-jump!
This is what "family walks" look like for us. ;)
This is what “family walks” look like for us. πŸ˜‰
Handsome hubby! <3
Handsome hubby! <3

It was a great Labor Day weekend and it has made me so ready for fall! I’m ready for cooler temps and the many fun fall activities we have planned!

Now it’s your turn! Share your favorite memories and finds this week! Leave a comment below. Add your blog to our linky and don’t forget to visit my amazing co-host, Camille! Feel free to grab a button it’s optional! πŸ˜‰



 

 

 

<3 Anna

Homeschooling Happenings! Lesson 1: Fun with Busy Bag Activities!

Hey guys!

Today I’m beginning a new series on the blog, “Homeschooling Happenings.” Every Wednesday, I’ll share with you all what D is learning. For the first half of the school year we will be using God’s Little Explorers Curriculum. (You can learn more about it here. ) I’m so excited to document this season in our lives and would love for you to share here what you and your kiddo(s) are learning as well! πŸ™‚

One of my recent goals has been to cut down on tv time. Tvs are such time suckers! I want Declan to use his mind to explore things, by doing and not constantly watching. One way I’m combating that is by using busy bags/activities in the morning after breakfast. This has helped us to not turn the tv on until after lunch time. This is such a great thing!

Disclaimer: I’m not hating on tv and I have had many days where Declan has watched more tv than I wanted. (This mostly being due to my health issues.) I think there are many educational programs and even not so educational programs out there that are great! I just want to encourage others to be mindful of how much time is spent watching tv and what your child is watching. I will be the last to judge others in their parenting decisions and I know I still have a long way to go on things—including this issue. <3

D putting together a wooden train puzzle.
D putting together a wooden train puzzle.
busybags2
D sorting cards by colors. (Just ignore the junk on the other side of table. I’m constantly trying to keep it clean and D is always right behind me to add more toys, etc.)

Next up is a busy bag activity that I created myself. It’s super simple!

You’ll need:

colored poms poms

laminated strips of paper or whatever you have on hand

various colored markers

The only thing that I purchased for this activity was the colored pom poms and you can get those at The Dollar Tree for only $1! πŸ™‚

First: We made patterns!
First: We made patterns!
We then sorted by color.
We then sorted by color.
I then had him match the color labels to the correct pom poms and lastly, count them to see which one had the most and which had the least.
I then had him match the color labels to the correct pom poms and lastly, count them to see which one had the most and which had the least.

You can really take any small item like this and use it in so many ways to teach and learn. D had such fun with this and it’s something that can be reused over and over again! πŸ™‚

This week for God’s Little Explorers, we are beginning the curriculum with the first lesson: “X” Marks the Spot (God’s Word is a Treasure). We began the lesson with our first busy bag activity of the week. I took the “X” letter sheet from my curriculum notebook and put it in a page protector. I then explained to D that this week we would be studying the letter X and taught him how to roll the Play Dough into long snake like shapes and then showed him how to make an X from them.

The look of concentration. <3
The look of concentration. <3

Next week, I’ll be sharing more of Week 1 and who knows what else! πŸ˜‰ So be sure to stay tuned for more homeschooling fun! What are you and your kiddo(s) learning this week?

<3 Anna

Interstitial Cystitis Dietary Guidelines

Hello Friends!

Interstitial Cystitis

Since the month of September is Interstitial Cystitis Awareness Month, I thought that I would spend the next four Mondays sharing posts that are relevant to Interstitial Cystitis. (You can find even more information on our IG account and my FB page. ) This week I’ve been sharing dietary guidelines. Diet plays a very big role in decreasing discomfort and pain for those of us with IC. One thing you must know up front—What works for me, may not work for someone else with IC. (Interstitial Cystitis is a very individualized disease. This is one of many reasons it is so very difficult to diagnose!)

BEVERAGES:

Hydration is very important for everyone and that doesn’t change with this diagnosis. It does, however, make things a little tricky. This requires balancing hydration and frequent restroom visits which can be a major nuisance for everyone involved. Β I mostly drink water, Teeccino Dandelion Caramel Nut (morning treat now that I can’t have coffee), and hot/cold chamomile or peppermint teas. I sometimes get vanilla or caramel frappes at Starbucks and obviously have them made with just milk. I also drink almond/coconut milk with cereal and things like that. I absolutely CANNOT have caffeine, carbonated beverages, or alcoholic beverages. These send me into bladder spasms and pain for weeks/months. πŸ™ I also CANNOT have any citrus—so lemonade, orange juice are out as well. (I rarely do this, but when I do have orange juice—I get low acid and water it down a ton!)

FRUITS:

Fruits…it seems like an easy category, but it’s NOT! I’m very limited on what fruits I can actually eat. As I said above, citrus fruits are completely out. Bananas are safe for some people, but I’m not one of those people. :/ Right now, I’m able to eat blueberries, pears, and certain kinds of apples. I still need to experiment with melons to see if honeydew or watermelon would work for me. (Cantaloupe is usually not tolerated well. I have no idea why!) I also enjoy dates, raisins, and coconut without any issues. Coconut has definitely helped with making my limits not feel so unbearable!

VEGETABLES:

Vegetables are easier to fit into my diet. I can eat most anything and it has been fun to expand my horizons and try new things! The major no-nos for vegetables are tomatoes (which I know are considered a fruit…It’s just weird putting it in that category.), raw onions, chili peppers, anything pickled, and certain kinds of beans. Vegetables that I love are: sweet potatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, parsnips, asparagus, squash, zucchini, and okra. πŸ™‚ I really don’t feel too limited with vegetables. Sometimes it stinks that I can’t have tomatoes for a good sauce, but I’m learning to work around it.

MILK/DAIRY:

Since I’ve already discussed beverages, I’ll just skip on to food items. I can eat frozen yogurt, but not refrigerated. I’m not sure what the difference is. As far as cheeses go, I eat mozzarella, mild cheddar, and sometimes Parmesan. Heavily processed and spicy cheese are a no-go! Cottage and ricotta cheeses are also safe! πŸ™‚

CARBS/GRAINS:

I have found that gluten doesn’t do me any favors with my bladder, so I try to not eat it very often. I’m usually more relaxed about that when I’m out, but at home I’m (pretty) strictly gluten free! For example, when I’m out I’ll have a burger and usually take the top bun off…fewer calories (Not that I’m counting! ;)) and less gluten. Heavily processed breads, pastas, and cereals are bad news.

MEATS/FISH:

Meats are pretty flexible. I just need to avoid super processed and canned meats. I don’t enjoy those anyway, so it’s not a huge loss! I’m careful to get bacon that is free of nitrates and extra processing measures. I do the same for deli meat. I don’t eat deli meat too often, but I’m careful about what I buy and made this change before my diagnosis.

NUTS:

I typically eat almonds and cashews. Peanuts and most oils are also safe. Hazelnuts and pistachios are to be avoided and pecans are iffy for me.

SEASONINGS:

Garlic has become one of my new best friends for seasoning my food. Turmeric is also a great one! They both have tons of benefits as well! Big no-nos are ketchup (tomatoes again!), mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, any spicy seasonings/foods.

FOOD ADDITIVES:

Things I should avoid: ascorbic acid, MSG, aspartame (NutraSweet), saccharin, and foods containing preservatives, artificial ingredients/colors.

Any questions? The IC diet has definitely presented its challenges, but when pain comes into play…I try to play it safe most of the time. Sometimes I rebel and pay for it, but I’m only human. πŸ˜‰

<3 Anna

We’re Back! Friday Finds and Favorites Hop!

Hello Friends!

Camille and I are back for our Friday Finds and Favorites Hop! Each Friday, you can stop by and share your favorite moments andΒ anything awesome that you have discovered that week. I hope you will join us each week for this fun and simple no-rules hop! πŸ™‚

If you follow my IG pages, you know that this month is Interstitial Cystitis Awareness Month. I will be helping to spread awareness about this disease that we definitely need more information on! Check the blog every Monday this month for a post! πŸ™‚

sambucol

These little babies work wonders! Declan was feeling under the weather on Wednesday and I gave him these, diffused lavender and lemon essential oils, and gave him Zarbee’s cough syrup at night. It made a huge difference! I’m not feeling the greatest today, so best believe…I’ll be stopping by CVS (I hope they have it. I know Walmart does.) and stocking up on a few helpers to keep our home cold free! πŸ™‚

Also the fact that yesterday was September 1 is a HUGE exciting deal in our household. We are already celebrating fall! Here is a peek at some of our fall decorations. Stay tuned to my IG for more! πŸ˜‰

linusandsally4ever
They found love in a pumpkin patch….
D: Mommy, we haven't used this in awhile! This sweet boy is just as excited as mommy! :)
D: Mommy, we haven’t used this in awhile!
This sweet boy is just as excited as mommy! πŸ™‚
And after we finished decorating, D requested that we read all of his fall/Halloween books. <3
And after we finished decorating, D requested that we read all of his fall/Halloween books. <3

So now that I’ve shared…What are some of your favorite moments and finds of the week? Be sure to stop by next week! Camille will be back and we will have the linky tool good to go. πŸ˜‰

<3 Anna