Education Opportunity – Limitless Learners Contest with Education.com

Ok friends, this is exciting!
Education.com is doing a contest for students Kindergarten through 5th grade (in the coming school year), where they can win $500 towards their future education, PLUS $1000 for their elementary school or library.
How awesome is that!?

Disclaimer: The pictures below are from the Education.com website and correspond to the links provided. They are not mine.

Click here to go to the contest page for ALL the details: https://www.education.com/contests/

Here are the basics of the contest rules

Students will need to do the following by October 31, 2019 to apply:

  • Obtain a completed consent form signed by the applicant’s parent or legal guardian.
  • Respond to the following prompt in the appropriate format (listed below): Describe a time when you were having so much fun, you didn’t realize you were learning something new!
    • Kindergarten students: Create a piece of art (e.g. draw or paint a picture) and write about what is happening, or ask an adult to write a sentence or two describing your picture.
    • 1st grade students: Create a piece of art (e.g. draw or paint a picture) and write 1–3 sentences about it.
    • 2nd grade students: Write a short story (5–8 sentences) and create at least one picture to illustrate it.
    • 3rd grade students: Write a short story, journal entry, or comic strip.
    • 4th grade students: Write a short story, journal entry, poem, or comic strip.
    • 5th grade students: Write a personal narrative, short story, poem, or comic strip.
  • Submit the above to our judges (via one of the following two ways):
    • Via email to contest@education.com.
    • Via standard mail to:
      Education.com
      401 East Third Avenue
      San Mateo, CA 94401
      Attn: Limitless Learners

Ta Da! Such a great opportunity!

My kids are not old enough for this contest, but Education.com has some great (and fun) resources for Pre-schoolers, too!

I’m excited to try some of the worksheets with my son, like this one!

Education, to the glory of God!
Soli Deo Gloria!

Family Vacation – Big Bear Lake, CA

Mountains, forrest, lake, great weather, small town feel with (all the amenities), and family friendly to boot! I’m not even kidding. We just spent a week up in Big Bear Lake, California, and it was a blast.

First of all, I love spending time with my family. There is literally nothing I’d rather be doing. We are so blessed to have such a close family. My siblings and I are so close, both in age and in relationship. It’s really a blessing. This past week, it was so sweet to see my kids playing with their cousin, she’s not quite 1 yet, but she is walking and she followed them all around. They kept calling to her to “catch me!” and she’d laugh and toddle down the hall after them.
The range of properties available to rent out in Big Bear is amazing too. We were able to fit my entire side of family under one roof, and we weren’t on top of each other. From little cottages to three story cabins, they have it! We stayed in the lovely, Evergreen Manor and all four generations enjoyed the house. I asked around and our favorite thing about this home in particular was the space in the living rooms and kitchen. My son loved that everyone had their own room, and that he could go from room to room and spend time with each person every morning.

Gorgeous! And this is just what we saw on the drive up!

Second, this location is awesome. I love the mountains, and this lake is in the heart of a beautiful valley about 7000 feet above sea level, so it’s just perfect to me. While we were there, the hottest it got was maybe 76 degrees, and the low maybe around 38 at night. My husband and I were day dreaming about living up there! So beautiful.
But not just that, the town itself is so cute, and really has everything.

  • Coffee shops (nearly 10 of them, including 2 Starbucks, but I like to stick to the places were the locals go, like Moonridge Coffee Company)
  • Breakfast places (a place called Dank Donuts was a personal favorite)
  • Restaurants (we had some good Thai food, and followed the locals to a burger joint that always had a line out the door called Get the Burger)
  • Groceries (we stopped by the local Vons at least once a day)
  • Parks and playgrounds
  • Hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities (skiing and such in the wintertime)
  • Ice cream parlor! (skip the Ben and Jerry’s and head for the local store “North Pole Fudge Co.” with their own ice cream and fudge! Yummy!)

You get the picture, there’s a ton to do for the whole family!

I think our favorite thing we did all week was the boat tour around the lake. Over at the Pine Knot Marina, the offer a tour of Big Bear Lake on a paddle wheel boat called Miss Liberty. During the ride around the entire lake, the skipper tells you all about the activities along the shoreline, the history of the lake and the valley, and even points out some lake front properties belonging to celebrities (don’t worry though, the boat if far enough away that everyone still has their privacy).
While on our tour, we passed by the home of Noel Blanc, son of Mel Blanc who was the original voice of many beloved cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, and Barney Rubble. Noel Blanc was home as we passed by and came out on his deck with a mega phone! His father trained him to do the voices of all the characters he created, so Noel spoke to us like Bugs Bunny! He was super friendly, and turned out to be family friends of our boat’s skipper. Very cool! Really showed us the small town feel of this often popular resort town.

A close second for our favorite thing we did was visiting the Big Bear Alpine Zoo I’m an animal lover, and my kids, being so little, are big animal fans too. The zoo is all rescued animals, some are in the process of rehabilitation, others are permanently injured as to need human assistance for survival, or were found at such a young age that they never learned the skills necessary to be successfully released. It’s super cool!

We did tons of other family activities, too! Like game night after the littles were asleep, playing at the park, a water balloon fight, scavenger hunt, and a talent show! Ever seen Dan in Real Life? They do a family talent show in that movie and my family does it now, it’s super fun!

We want to go back during the wintertime! Although, I’m a little nervous doing snow with our kids so little. I’ve never done it before! Any tips, I’d welcome it!

How are you spending your summer? Hopefully surrounded by family doing fun, unique, “summer-only” kind of things!
Like boat tours with Bugs Bunny!

Special thank you to my family who helped me with all these pictures! I was usually holding a child and wasn’t able to get many pictures at all!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Library Review: Why Read?

I just got my very own library card! Woot woot!
I had one years ago as a kid, but it’s easily been over a decade since I’ve perused the shelves of my local library for literary treasures, and now I have three kids who all love books (although the youngest mostly likes to chew on them).

We picked some gems on our first outing to the local library, but I have to say, my kids’ tastes in books differ wildly from my own. Maybe they take after Daddy? Maybe they are just little? Who knows!

Here are the favorites from our first trip:

These were the instant favorites. Cute and funny! Both kids loved the Mo Willems book, my daughter loved the Olivia book, and my son loved Goose Needs A Hug.
These were the crowd pleasers. Everyone liked something about these two books, even baby Kristie!
This was by far the kids favorite book! They almost had it memorized by the time it was due! We even looked up videos of the real life sounds these animals make.

I love good books, I love to read, and I love to learn. Good books are a great step to having life long readers, and life long learners. My son is just learning the beginnings of letter sounds and that when you put those letter sounds together, you get words! He thinks it’s fascinating.

I don’t just think reading is important because I’m a mom, nor because I’m a teacher at heart (I did major in education). As a Christian, reading is crucial. Jesus is called The Word in John chapter 1. God has communicated through a book, the Bible. Reading is, quite literally, life and death.

My kids are just figuring out this truth. They see how our family prioritizes reading God’s Word most of all. They see me read my Bible everyday. We take the time to read The Big Picture Story Bible at dinner. We have Bible verses written out that we read and memorize together.

It’s important.

Read for God’s Glory, friends. Even when your reading Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? for the fiftieth time that day. 🙂

Soli Deo Gloria

When the rain comes

These few months of “winter” here in southern California have proven to be a struggle for me and my kids. Between cold viruses and rainy days, we have been inside more than I would like.

Looking to Valentine’s day, I see more rain on the way, and I am super tempted to pout and complain.

Again? Really? Lord, do you know how hard it is to have three kids 3 and under in a two bedroom apartment? And now we can’t even go outside? I just know they are going to act out.

I’m tempted to not believe that God is good.
I’m tempted to not believe that God is sovereignly providing for me.
I’m tempted to not believe that God’s grace.
But! God is good. God is sovereignly providing. God is abundantly gracious!

Our Rainy/Valentine’s Day Plan:

1. “Mommy, let’s make a sheep.” My son has been asking this for a week, and I have been putting it off. He knows all the materials we need, I already checked, and we have all of them.

Sheep craft – materials:

  • Sheet of paper
  • Cotton balls
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Markers

2. I received an email from Education.com asking if I would be interested in sharing a Valentine’s day word tracer worksheet on my blog.

Here’s a note from those at Education.com :

Celebrate friendship all month long as you practice your writing skills with this Valentine word tracer. The fun can continue at Education.com with more learning activities.

Education.com has a ton of resources and ideas on Pinterest as well!

God provides! Usually in unexpected ways from unexpected sources.

When it rains or snows, even when we doubt, even when we disobey, God is still good, sovereign, gracious, and steadfastly faithful to love us.
God is the perfect Valentine.
Sounds a little cheesy, but it is in essence true!
God not only loves perfectly, God is love.

Be reminded of this sweet truth, friends, as I remind my own heart.

Soli Deo Gloria!

The youngest Young

So so so thankful for the arrival of Kristen Pearl 💜

Safe and easy delivery, born in the afternoon of November 17th. Big brother and sister love her lots, and we are all adjusting to our new normal.

It’s chaotic, but also beautiful.

I cried about it last night actually. Sleep deprived + post partum hormones? Maybe, but also this reality hit me: she will never be this small again. This is a very special time. I can hold her this close, in this way for only a very short time. I remember holding Warren this way, and Eve too, thinking that same thought, “you will never be this small again”.

Every mom knows that pull between wanting to see your child grow and thrive, but also the longing for time to stop. Little hands, little cries, little worries, little blessings 💜

“The days are long, but the years are short”

I don’t know who said that first, but they are right. 9 -10 feedings in 24 hours makes for a long day, not including all the attention and demands of the two older kids too!

“But God…”

The two most beautiful and powerful words in the world! In these long days, I cling to that promise of God’s grace, mercy, and unthwartable plans are for my good and His glory.

Amen! Hallelujah!

Soli Deo Gloria