Friday, February 24, 2012

Spring is coming!

Spring is coming!!! I can feel it! I am ready to get my kiddos outside and start observing nature and all the miracles that come with Spring!! Here is some ideas for you and your family!
Nature journaling ! We have started with just regular, cheap composition notebooks and we are filling them up fast! Don't forget to have watercolors, markers and more so that the kids can really draw what they see! There are so many neat websites available out there for us to take advantage of when it comes to observing and learning about nature. This is not something that just homeschoolers should do! Every family should take time to observe and be thankful for the things that our Heavenly Father has created!!

Here is a neat list of some of the fun websites to visit. I would love to hear more about ways your family observes and loves nature.. leave a comment!

The first website listed really tells more about actual nature journaling. What a neat thing to be able to save for your children! They will love to look back at this and it will look beautiful in your family library! Here is the link:

The National Wildlife Federation has the neatest things for families to do! Backyard Habitat Certification ( we are sooo going for that this year!!!), Nature watches that you can put online so everyone can see, activities to get outside and get green!
Plus it is a great resource for learning about all the things you will be seeing in nature!
Here is the Link:

This is the neatest website! This person has a very small backyard, but it is FULL of wildlife!! They also teach you how to make nature journals! The pictures are amazing!!!
Here is the link:

This site has really neat live streaming cameras and more!!!
Here is the link:

This site has lots of ways to help your kids explore nature and really great deals on planting more trees in your area!!!!!
Here is the link:

This site has a really neat tool kit for parents to use for helping their kids connect with nature!
Here is the link:

Really neat website about nature journaling for kids :)
Here is the link:

I hope these websites are useful to you... I have had so much fun going through them and finding great ideas for helping my kids to love nature!!!

Happy Parenting ! Love, JL~

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Happiest Millionaire

I love old Disney movies, and I have passed down that love to my children. Yesterday after a rough morning, we decided we needed to step back, get calm and regroup! So we all gathered in the living room ( we have christmas lights all over the ceiling of our living room, it just makes it festive and cozy ) and we read from our current literature book, The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew. We read for about half an hour, then we popped in a new to us, old Disney movie, The Happiest Millionaire. The movie is full of bright, cheery songs, and hilarious hijinks! I can’t even begin to choose my favorite part, possibly the fact that Fred MacMurray’s character, the dad, the happiest millionaire, teaches the Biddle Bible Class in the stable, which basically involves them wearing matching shirts and boxing!!!!

happiest millionaire 3

I was surprised while watching the movie yesterday at a certain line in the film. Fred’s character is sad because his daughter Cordy ( pictured above) wants to go to a college for girls. He basically says to his wife “ She won’t like it! Why would she want to leave this special world of ours?”  That hit me hard. As parents, we try hard to create a happy home, a haven for our family, and basically, a special world for them. Now, of course the special world in the movie is quite, umm…. movie special? They have a conservatory full of alligators ! The Irish servants burst into song and dance with the family. The dad decides to go on a chocolate cake diet, because he feels it has all the best “elements”. What kinds of things do we do to make our home a special world for our families? Do we concentrate to much on making sure that everything is “perfect” ? That we as mothers and fathers do the right thing all the time? Guess what folks! We are not perfect! But we can be the “Happiest Families” on the block!! One of the greatest parts of being a momma to me , is getting to be silly and laugh a lot. I get to create the dream home I’ve always wanted… nope, my house is not a mansion, in fact it’s a tiny little three bedroom manufactured home. But it has a huge yard full of nature and wonder. The living room as I’ve mentioned has our christmas lights up on the ceiling still because they just make us happy. We like to throw ‘parties’. One time we decided to watch “The Wizard of Oz” and the girls wore their red sparkle shoes and while we watched the movie and sang along, we colored rainbows and then put tape on them and taped them to the ceiling. Lot’s of people comment on them when they come to visit. I tell them to lay down on the couch and look up and tell me if they don’t smile!!!! I love to create that “special” world for my family. Another thing that is important to me in our special world, our happy home, is that we have the Gospel. At night we love to gather on momma and daddy’s new bed ( what a blessing!) and we read the Scriptures. There is always music on in the house. We love the hymns and other LDS music. There are so many ways to have the Gospel in our special world. Our home has many pictures of Christ, and pictures of our family. It is truly a happy home. So, tell me, what do you do to make your home a special world?

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Did I mention that the Happiest Millionaire has alligators in their house?? Smile