Tuesday, February 06, 2007

These are a Few of my Favorite Things

Random stuff I'm diggin'. Why not share the love?

Shutterfly. I used them this year for our annual Christmas-yeah-right-more-like-Valentine's-Day photo card. I really liked their options for cards... not the same old, same old. They have some very cool collage cards that I think would be a fantastic way for families to showcase individual children. They offer lots of font options on the cards, and the text is REALLY customizable (meaning, you are not limited to simply writing "Merry Christmas from the Smith Family.") Shutterfly made it easy to create the card and edit the photo just the way I wanted it. I also thought the prices were reasonable. Check out Shutterfly for other stuff as well, like photo gifts, prints, and albums.

My teaching philosophy: "Learn to read. Read to learn." Knowing this, it will not surprise you to learn that I dig kid lit that helps kids learn basic skills. The Math Start books are really cute and teach all manner of math concepts without it feeling like a math book. Ranging from simple counting to time-telling, there is probably a Math Start book suitable for your child.

We have been playing a matching game around here ever since Christmas that is just like Memory, only better! I Never Forget a Face* is a matching game produced by eeboo. The game consists of 24 pairs of sturdy "cards," each with a picture of a girl or boy from around the world. We play this game all the time here with everyone turning over different cards and declaring "Afghanistan, Viet Nam," or some such combination. It is a first step for helping our children develop respect for other cultures. (We're into that around here...) (*That link is to a site that sells eeboo products because I can't get the eeboo homepage to load properly.)

Club Mom. I stumbled upon this a month or two ago. This site has LOTS of stuff for moms... anything mom-related is there... though that wasn't the real draw for me. What intrigued me was the vast array of online merchants offering points for products and gift cards purchased through Club Mom. Points can be redeemed for products in their rewards catalog (some nice stuff in there) or for gift cards. I imagine there are tons of sites just like this out there, but it's all new to me. Club Mom is affiliated with some merchants that I do use online, so it seemed like a no-brainer to start collecting some points by making my purchases through them. (I already have my eye on a Bed Bath and Beyond gift card for when I redocorate my living room.)

This is enough to make even someone like me want to buy jewelry. I love it. Absolutely love it. I knew you would too!

I have been using this can opener for a few months now and I can't say enough good stuff about it. It works SOOO well, and after my last can opener, which I had to fight with every time I put it to use, this is such a welcome change. The Orbi can opener doesn't leave sharp edges on cans, doesn't cause the contents of the can to ooze out, and it is smooth and easy to use. If you need a new can opener, get this one. It may cost a little more than the old fashioned kind, but it's worth it. (And I got mine for only $10, so look around for a good price.)

New American Dream is a site I found a while ago when I was searching the internet for ideas about how we could be more responsible with our spending and our consumption of energy and material goods. This site turned out to offer a whole lot more than I was looking for. It offers a lot of basic information and links for more specifics. Topics include Clean Energy, Simplifying Holidays, Reducing Junk Mail, Socially Responsible Investing, and many others. I found the information about Fair Trade (with links to all sorts of fair trade merchants) and Kids and Commercialism particularly interesting. Go check it out!

This is a picture of Ms. Boo's reading chain. She isn't so into reading, so she needed a little motivation. I knew anything that appealed to her crafty side would be met with her approval. So, each time she reads a book by herself to me or Paul, she gets a new link on the chain. I keep a supply of books I know she can read in a container in the family room. They already have the construction paper taped to them with the title and author written on them. I also keep a stash of plain construction paper pieces handy, so if she wants to read we can put up a new link quickly. She hasn't really read a lot. Like I said, it isn't her favorite thing (hmmm, where did she get that trait?) but I think the chain has motivated her to read more than she would have otherwise. She wants to get the chain to stretch across the family room and into the living room. Hey, at least she has dreams.

True Lime. Love it. I have been trying to drink more water lately, but I don't really like plain water. My neice introduced me to something she found while she was away at college called True Lime. It is crystallized lime juice. I buy it in the little packets to add to my water, though it comes in other packages and has lots of other uses. No calories. No fat. No carbs. No sweeteners. 25% of vitamin C. And, it's yummy! They have a healthy living challenge, which closely resembles what I have been attempting since January. They even offer free samples to leaders of weight loss and other health maintainence groups. How cool is that?

Oh, and this blog. You do NOT want to miss it!

Hope you find something that is useful for you.

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Anonymous mom a said...

I LIKE the jewelry; but I'm wondering just what it is that draws YOU to it. Sometimes it's just the right chemistry I guess.

Wed Feb 07, 02:00:00 AM  
Blogger Addie said...

Hee, hee. mom a is funny!

That blog you mentioned at the end, I've never heard of before. ;-) Some great links here Lor!

Wed Feb 07, 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger theresa said...

Sweet suggestions...but I have a good one to ask you. Do you know of any good "homeschool" materials to teach kids to read? Just checking...thanks!

Thu Feb 08, 06:26:00 PM  

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