A List Maker's Life: April 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Winners Announced!

Thanks to all of you who entered my recent Sinupret giveaway.
They have generously agreed to send out prizes to 5 winners:

#8 - Katie @ Katie's Nesting Spot
#3 - Shannon @ Shannon's Sharings
#13 - Jenn @ Ponytails, Wooded Trails, and Camouflauge
#17 - Katie @ Bloemer's Blog
#6 - Jess W

Please email me with your mailing information and we will send your winnings on their way!

Itty Bitty Bookworm

I love to write objectives & skill sequences.
I love to organize learning opportunities.
I love to search for clever ways to introduce new concepts.
I love authentic assessment activities.
Curriculum is "my thing."

My dream job would be to write curriculum for elementary students.
However, after exploring Itty Bitty Bookworm, I have found that Tara has already done THE job on creating an amazing literature-based curriculum for preschoolers. This month I had the privilege of reviewing the April unit for 3-5 year old children. The kids and I had such fun learning with some buggy books & projects!

The review is posted today on ABC & 123, along with a fantastic giveaway!
Check it out for yourself. I think you'll also love it!

Reminder: Today is the last day to enter my healthy kids giveaway!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Would You Rather

When asked "Would You Rather?" here is what I'd say Works for Me
What would you rather...

Always have to write with your other hand or with one eye shut?
I’d rather write with my left hand. It might look very messy, but at least I’d be able to see what I wrote.

Walk in circles through a spinning door a thousand times or hang upside-down for 3 hours?
I’d rather spin & spin in a door. At least I’d be going somewhere.

Wear a bicycle helmet everywhere you go or carry an open umbrella everywhere?
Well, if I had an open umbrella I suppose nothing would fall on my head that I’d need the helmet to protect me from.

Be the first person to land on Mars or the first one to live on the moon?
I’d rather land on Mars, as long as I could come back to Michigan ASAP.

Kiss a monkey or eat a bite of dog food?
Animals???!!! ACK…do I have to decide?

Be the fastest runner in the world or the fastest reader?
I’d rather be a fast reader that looks like a fast runner. I have some many books I’d love to have time to read.

Walk on water anytime you want or fly for 3 hours, but only 3 different times in your life?
I’d like to be able to walk on water. That is the perfect solution for not touching the gunk on the bottom of the lake.

Sleep each night on a hammock 3 stories above the ground or sleep each night on an air filled pool mattress floating in a pond of baby sharks?
Sleeping in the hammock high above the earth sounds a lot more relaxing to me than floating with flesh eaters.

Have a jar of jellybeans that never goes empty or a magical stereo that can play any song you want?
I’d love a magical stereo. I think everything is more enjoyable with background music.

Spend the rest of your life in a submarine or in a space ship?
I imagine the view from space would be amazing. I’d rather live in the space ship.

Thanks to Jenn @ Ponytails, Wooded Trails, and Camouflauge for the fun tag.
I'd like to pass it on to:
Mary Anne @ Thrifty Crafty Mama
Dawn @ 7 All Together
Paige @ Some Days You Gotta Dance
and anyone else who'd like to give it a try!


Baby's Bummed

Oh Boy, do I have loads to share regarding this little bum. The words will have to follow in a future post. For more Wordless Wednesday pictures check out 5 Minutes for Mom.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Inquiry-Based Learning
Gavin will experiement with small electronics to make observations, question what he sees, and construct new knowledge about how things work.
~broken electronics and/or small machines
~observation notebook
~tool box
Gavin had the best time using his inquiring mind and a few small tools to take a closer look at how things work. We shopped the local mission shops to find small electronic cast-offs for less than $1 each. Back at home Gavin used his screwdriver, hammer, and pliers to take apart the small machines piece by piece. As he explored I encouraged him to talk about what he noticed, ask questions about what he saw, and draw pictures of how things fit together in his observation notebook. When he was done we tossed the pieces.
Simple, hands on science for a 4 year old!

Monday, April 27, 2009


willingly "wasted" weekend
lounging lakeside
in a comfy cottage
creatively compiling
priceless pictures &
making more memories


with thanks to...

helpful husband
tirelessly trudging through
daily drama
keeping kids
happy at home


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Salads

Welcome to Saturday Salads.
This is the place to be to share a yummy salad and find some new favorites!
If you missed last week's edition, check it out.
There were several tastebud tingling submissions;)

Cabbage Salad
1/2 head red cabbage
1/2 head white cabbage
1 1/2 cups Ramen noodles
3/4 cup almonds or sunflower seeds
2 onions

1/2 cup oil
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbl. sugar
4 Tbl. vinegar

Your turn...
Please share the link to a salad recipe you enjoy!

Be thinking ahead for next week. I'd like to host a "themed" Saturday Salads, featuring variations on chicken salad!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

{Love}ly Thursday

Things I'm Loving This Thursday

The kids are old enough to have a friend over for the morning and actually play with her!

There was not a single bill in today's mail.
There was, however, an adorable birth announcement featuring sweet Henry.

I have a new hair style that I have been enjoying.

Tonight when I tucked Gavin in he said, "You look like my momma again." Well, what does that mean Gavin? "You just look so pretty!" What a charmer. Unbelievable, his comment wasn't followed by, "May I have another drink of water?"

Beautiful temperatures and more daylight for an evening "jalk."

Grey's Anatomy is not a re-run for the first time in at least a month.

Katie and I are reviewing a really great educational curriculum & are looking forward to posting a fantastic giveaway on ABC in the next week. (I also have a giveaway of my own going on right now).

I found a fantastic deal on diapers at Diapers.com. They're going to deliver them right to my doorstep without a single cent for shipping! The wonders of online shopping. (If you want the code for $10 off your order I'll be happy to pass it on).

Gibson is sitting up on his own for minutes at a time. It is so fun to see how excited he is to see the world from a new perspective.

Tomorrow is Friday!!

Gotta Love It!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Veldheer Tulip Farm

Gearing up, with little Gibson, for the crazy delight of all things Tulip Time.
Wordless Wednesday is hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom.
Don't forget to check out my current giveaway while you are here!

Works for Me: Healthy Kids

As you may know, concerns over children’s cold remedies have many parents thinking twice before dipping into the medicine cabinet. Because of the FDA recommendation not to give over the counter medication to children under the age of 4, parents are looking for alternatives to support children's immune systems. Consider Sinupret for children over age 2.

What is it?
~an herbal remedy for maintaining healthy sinus, respiratory, and immune system function.

What's special about Sinupret?
~safe & effective
~kid friendly cherry flavor
~clinically tested
~referred by pediatricians

To read more about the research behind the product, product specific, and doctor recommendations check out Sinupret's site.

For some "herbal entertainment" browse the comics, crafts, games, and recipes on Phytoland Kids. Teach your children about the benefits of natures remedies.

The List Maker's Reccomendation:
Sinupret appears to be an effective option for keeping little ones healthy during the "pick up every germ in the church nursery, during preschool centers, and at the indoor playground" season! Need a second opinion before you give it a try? Check out Courtney CoxArquette's review!

The List Maker's Suggestion:
Although many children don't mind syrups, for the sake of older children and adults it would be nice if they eventuallyoffer a chewable version.

Sinupret is offering one of my readers a special giveaway pack.

The giveaway includes:
· A copy of Dr. Bob Sears bestselling book The Healthiest Kids in the Neighborhood
· A sample of Sinupret
· Yellow children's binoculars
· Sinupret for Kids Activity Books
· Sinupret for Kids Stickers
· Mini Plush Bear

To be entered into the giveaway please leave a comment on this post.
I will choose a winner, using Random.org, next Thursday (April 30th).


Monday, April 20, 2009

Mom Fit Monday: Everyday Exercise

Task for Week 3

"Getting fit doesn’t have to break the bank. This week I want you to take a traditional work out tool (ie hand weights, jump rope, bench press, etc) and share an alternative way to work-out with it using something you already have in your house. Or even better, tell us about a weigh to work out at home that doesn’t require any tools at all."

I must admit that when I read this task it was a bit daunting for me. I really don't have any creative ideas for developing a clever work out. In fact, I am quite pleased when I tie up my laces shoes and jalk/walk/dance as many times a week as I have set as my goal.

However, this week I rediscovered an effective at home workout that requires some unusual "work out tools." Are you ready for this???

Spring Time
Stuffy House
Great Music
& the Cleaning Bucket

Yes, SPRING CLEANING! I can vouch for the effectiveness of this work out, if done properly!
(Adding a baby carrier loaded with a 5 month old adds to the exercise benefits).

This day long exercise could easily be spread out over the week. And just imagine if I were to take part in this routine consistently each week (instead of 4x a year).

While cleaning the windows, walls, floors (I mop on my hands & knees), ceilings, nooks, and crevices the kids and I added extra hops, bends, stretches, skips, shuffles, and steps!

Here is just one of the crazy cleaning games we played.

Choo! Choo! - Each of us used our own dusting rag and started in a separate corner of the room. At the call, "All Aboard" we each "chug" our rag along the baseboards with "a chugga, chugga, chugga, chugga." At "choo! choo!" we lift up and ding our imaginary bells. We continue around the room until each board has been passed by once by each of us (3 times total).

I know...I know... I'm lucky the kids still play along and actually think these chores are fun.
With a little creative thinking each step in the house cleaning process could take on a few more muscle building moves. Happy Body. Happy House.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Decorating Style

Today I followed an entertaining link from Katie's Nesting Spot to find out my decorating preferences.

Before taking the quiz I would have guessed my style to be "Cottage Chic" or "French Eclectic." I also enjoy these styles.. I love the flexibility these styles allow for re-purposing, re-using, re-painting, antiquing, and mixing old with new!

I suspect, however, if we had more available decorating cash I would find my house looking quite beach front-ish.

Why is that?
According to the Sproost style quiz my style is 100% Nantucket.

Nantucket Style:
~Your dream house is in your favorite beach town (Why, yes it is!)
~Art & accessories will be things that remind you of the coast
~The feeling of the sea is evident in the furniture layout
~Fabrics: naturals, cottons, and linens - light in color and texture
~Furniture: wood framed & wicker
~Colors: white, light beige, sky & ocean blues, sea glass green
~Overall feeling: light, airy, comfortable & laid back

After reviewing my style quiz, it is quite logical to me that I was drawn to the rooms with the beach feel just as much as I am drawn to the beach itself!

As Sproost explains, " And what do you do at the beach? Hang out with family and friends - and your home is just an extension of this play place. And though the space is filled with white furniture, it somehow manages to feel both durable and casual ."

I'd love to hear the results of your decorating preference quiz. Give it a try & leave a comment here!


Friday, April 17, 2009

Saturday Salads

Welcome to another edition of Saturday Salads!
Post a favorite salad recips, then add your link to join the fun.

Poppy Seed Salad
1 head romaine lettuce
1/2 purple onion, thinly sliced
8 oz. can mandarin oranges
1/3 cup slivered almonds

2 tablespoons poppy seeds
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup light mayonaise

Mix the dressing with a hand blender. Allow it to refridgerate for some time before serving.
*This dressing is also nice on top of fresh peaches.

Katie's Steakhouse Salad
Michelle's American Taco Salad
One Pink Fish's Walnut and Camelized Onion Salad
Brandy's Strange Salad
Local Nurishment's Simple, Seasonal Salad


Paper Flowers

It finally feels like spring around here! We are loving the warmer temperatures and the opportunity to play outside. However, after rest time today we did squeeze in a Kid Friendly Friday activity!

Although the temperature is rising, our flowers are not (soon, hopefully!). We decided to fill the vase in the center of our table with glossy paper flowers instead. This was an idea I pulled out of a Parent Magazine.

~pages out of a glossy publication
~straight trimmer
~green pipe cleaners

~choose a colorful page out of a magazine
~cut 6 - 1 inch strips from the page
~hole punch 3 holes in each strip (1 in the center, and 1 at 1/2 inch from each side)
~using 1 strip at a time thread the pipe cleaner through the center hole
~fold the sides to the middle and over the pipe cleaner in the center
~repeat with each of the 6 strips
~after they are all threaded, put the pipe cleaner up through a button then back down and through the center of all 6 petals
~twist the little end onto the stem to secure

Hmmmm...my instructions are a bit confusing.
Maybe the pictures will be more helpful!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Favorite Number & Lists = Perfect!

Katie @ Katie's Nesting Spot tagged me to play along with a little "Eight is Enough!"

8 Things I am Looking Forward to:
~Putting away the winter coats, and my socks, for the season
~Camping with friends this summer
~Next weekend's scrapbook getaway with friends at a Lake Michigan beach house
~Cruising in the Carribean
~The Idol results...do we have to listen to all the commentary & Jennifer Hudson??
~Meeting the new babies in our family: Henry, McKenzi, Kaeli, and Josi
~Seeing if Gibson's baby smiles turn into a fantastic sense of humor once he is able to talk
~Tulip Time - a few short weeks away

8 Things I Did Yesterday:
~Visited yet another kindergarten option
~Shopped for groceries with all three kiddos in tow
~Pretended I was an astronaut, a My Little Pony, a pirate, and a Pterodactyl
~Set up a team to March for Maddie in the March of Dimes' March for Babies
~Resisted the incredible urge to "lose it" over the tornado that is the kids' room.
~Ate leftover boiled eggs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner & pulled left overEaster grass out of every nook and crevice of our house
~Sang along to Clifford's Silly Songs
~Browsed loads of digital kits in search of the perfect one for my blog makeover

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
~Paint (the artistic kind)
~Teletransport myself between our home and home whenever I wanted
~Take Kevin with me to Scotland
~Save more money
~Tell a joke
~Speak publicly without nerves
~Index my blog with Google...help? anyone?

8 Shows I Watch:
This is a tricky one for me; I am not a TV person. In fact, I'd be quite happy with no TV.
~American Idol
~Grey's Anatomy
~House - well, I haven't watched it in the last 6 months
~News 8 @ 5:00 - background noise
~The Today Show - also background noise
~Sid the Science Kid - uh...the kids are watching this while I get ready in the AM. I don't look, but I listen.
~YIKES! I can't even think of an 8th with a stretch. How 'bout Ellen??

8 People I Tag:
Shelby @ Schweri Stories
Jenn @ Ponytails, Wooded Trails, and Camouflauge
Kate @ Bloemers Blog
Amy @ Pete, Amy & Peyton
Amanda @ All About the Kapengas
Trina @ Me+3
Kim @ Life of a Modern Mom
Michelle@ Chelle's Closet


Tricky Bunny

Gavin found quite a load!

Wordless Wednesday is hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pull Out the Purple

This Saturday is Holland's March for Babies. Annie and I have put together a team to march for Maddie, Jake, James, and all the other sweet babies who are affected by premature births.

Many mommas all over the blog community, and the country, are mourning the passing of Maddie Spohr. This is our small way of giving to others in their time of need.

Join Us!
8:30 on Saturday, April 18th
Kollen Park
Holland, MI

If you aren't in our area, perhaps you will consider donating to March of Dimes. Or, maybe you will check into the march in your area & set up your own team!

Marching in support & remembrance,


Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Birthday "Old Man"

Way back when, on Kevin's 27th birthday, while he was getting ready for work I was still snuggled in bed sleeping. I knew it was a special day and wanted to say good bye to Kev before he left. Who knows what I was dreaming about, but I mumbled "Happy Birthday Old Man." Now that has become our birthday joke. Really! It is still funny to us. So, the first birthday greeting of the day is from me & has since then always been the same.

How old is the birthday guy now?
I'm not saying, but I will take 31 guesses ;)

I am SO excited!

I just got a message from Tara @ Family Traditions letting me know that I was the winner of her latest giveaway. I'm going to get a blog makeover from Jen @ The Trendy Mom Blog Designs!

I am really looking forward to working with her! I am also looking forward to cheering up my page a bit & finally having 3 columns to work with! YEAH!!

I also just checked Two Little Monkeys for my daily fix & read that I was also the winner of her adorable Kidlet bag! So fun!

Thank you! Thank you!


Mom Fit Monday: Recipe

Task for Week 3: Continue trying to reach your daily and weekly goals. This week, find, fix, and share one healthy recipe. It could be some healthy snacks, a dessert, or even a morning shake.

My Saturday Salads linky is one way that I have been on the look out for new, healthy recipes. If you have a salad post, old or new, please join in!

Here is the recipe I found for this week's task.

Quiche Lorraine Light

It is our tradition to have an egg dish on Easter morning. Although this recipe doesn't seem extremly "healthy or low fat," it is a significant improvement to the traditional recipe which includes 12 eggs, a can of soup, and LOADS of gooey cheese!

I found the recipe on Eating Well. The site is a helpful resource for fiinding new menu ideas, as well as converting old favorites into healthier options.

Despite lots of Easter & birthday celebrating over our weekend, I was able to stick to the goals I have set for myself & for this challenge! Now, I am waiting to see some results...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Celebrating Easter's Truth

The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances. ~Robert Flatt
"Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.'"-- John 11:25-26 NIV
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers."-- 1 John 3:16 NIV
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die."-- John 11:25-26
Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there. ~Clarence W. Hall



Wordle: Easter

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday Salads

Frozen Fruit Salad
8 oz. light cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
20 oz. pineapple tidbits, drained
16 oz. peaches, drained & diced
2 diced bananas
10 oz. frozen strawberries with juice
8 oz. Cool Whip

Cream sugar and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Mix in fruit and then fold in Cool Whip. Put in a 9x13 pan to freeze. Remove from freezer several minutes before serving.

Are you making a salad for your Easter table?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Things I Love: Easter

Here are a few Easter favorites we love!

holiday project: yarn eggs

children's book: Where Are Baby's Easter Eggs? by Karen Katz

spring symbol: bunnies

promise: new life

feeling: hope

mess: decorating eggs

colors: pink & purple

jelly beans: Starburst

gift to give: a dozen eggs

clever snack: carrots

basket surprises: lip gloss & colorful socks

What do you love about Easter?