Friday, December 31, 2010

Getting Outside

Remember one of my goals for 2010 was to get outside tons. We did pretty well! Here are some pictures of enjoying nature in 2010.
I’m excited that Living and Learning is going to be hosting a new meme in 2011 to encourage families to get outside more! We’ll be participating at the end of each month.
January~ trips to the snow, Grandma & Grandpa’s Meadow, and hibernating ladybugs by the handful!


February~  enjoying our beautiful backyard, the zoo and parks

February 2010

March~ hiking, exploring, and digging a swimming pool!

March 2010

April~ This month it warmed up, and Ella’s distaste for clothing began, so I have tons of cute naked pics that I can’t share :(

April 2010

May~  A great vacation, eating carrots right out of our garden, and picking strawberries

May 2010

June~ Tide pooling, lots of fun at the beach, pool, and parks!

June 2010

July~Apparently we spent the entire month in the water, and once again Ella was naked in 99% of the pictures…

July 2010

August~ Tractor driving, camping, and lots of time riding bikes

August 2010

September~ mud, birds nests, and of course safety goggles & hammers!

September 2010

October~ Hiking, rainy days at the river, hacking at stumps, pony rides and pumpkin patches

October 2010

November ~ I only took a handful of pictures in November. But, there were the usual hikes and park days :)

family pic

December~ More fun at the beach, hiking, and enjoying our new climbing dome (Thanks Grandma & Grandpa :)

December 2010

Wow!! This post has made me really appreciate our beautiful CA weather, many fun trips/vacations, and two adorable kids that love to be outside!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas From Two Chubby Little Snowmen

A chubby little snowman had a carrot nose
along came a bunny, and what do you suppose?
That hungry little bunny, looking for some lunch
ate that snowman's carrot nose,
Nibble, Nibble, Crunch!

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!
I'll be back online next week :)


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gingerbread Week

My kids enjoyed preschool co-op’s Gingerbread Week  so much that it turned into gingerbread month!

The kids loved the gingerbread books we read:














Our focus letter was G. For our capital G the kids used stencils (part of a bulletin board border that I cut up) and painted with cotton balls. We decorated our lowercase g with gold glitter glue. Here’s a G is for Gingerbread Handwriting Worksheet.


During circle time we looked at the illustrations in our gingerbread books to compare and contrast gingerbread characters. We noticed that lots of gingerbread men have buttons, so we made a graph of how many buttons we were wearing at the time. Even the two year olds were into the graphing activity- each kid stood up for  us to count their buttons and then I handed them a gingerbread man with that number written on it. We assembled the graph all together and then talked about who had the most/least buttons, etc.


Under the graph you can see our scented gingerbread men. The kids liked trying to match the different spices. We found that several of them do not like the smell of nutmeg!

We laced and stuffed gingerbread characters. This was super affordable since we used paper bags, yarn, a hole punch and markers.


Ryan loved making a gingerbread family garland (again just out of a paperbag). I love how the second one has “Grandma’s fluffy gray hair”.


Both kids loved making life-size gingerbread friends!


All of the preschoolers enjoyed our gingerbread poem and making gingerbread puppets to re-enact the story. Since my kids like to climb in the oven of their play kitchen they’ve loved acting out all of the different versions of the story.


I found an adorable new blog, Musings of Me,  that has tons of cute Gingerbread printables! Here’s Ella sorting buttons onto her gingerbread color cards.


My kids loved creating Gingerbread Applesauce Ornaments to give a few special people for Christmas. The dough was 1 cup of applesauce, 1 cup of cinnamon, and 2T of glue. I was surprised that it actually made a great dough (not crumbly, and super yummy smelling). It took several days for our ornaments to dry. The kids put a lot of time and effort into decorating them!


Of course on the first morning of preschool, Homeschool Creations just had to post a Gingerbread Lapbook and send me into a printing, cutting and laminating tizzy before school started! (Thanks ;)

Since somehow they aren’t totally sick of the gingerbread  theme yet we worked on this mini-book, My Gingerbread Man. And, we played the Gingerbread Man game on Starfall!

It’s been a fun & yummy smelling month :)


Tuesday, December 21, 2010


family pic

Giving Up On a Clean House is officially 1 year old!! I began blogging to chronicle my adventures with my two preschoolers. I love finding and sharing ideas in the big ol’ blogosphere. But, most importantly , blogging has been a constant reminder to me to slow down and focus on what matters!

I love looking back through the blog and seeing everything we’ve done this year! It’s hard to pick a favorite, but my kids’ favorites were our sight word garden, our rocketship, Ryan’s Writing Center, and coming up with creative ways to play with our puzzles.  Looking at old posts reminded us to make  reindeer toast this week.


Even though I’ve become really good at not letting myself feel guilty when I don’t post enough, one of my goals for 2011 is to post more consistently. I would love to see this little blog grow!

With Ryan officially starting Kindergarten and Ella really getting into the swing of preschool it’s going to be a wonderfully full year!

THANKS for reading!!! I love all of your comments and links :)

[I dream about this blog growing as big as some of my favorites! Right now 3 of my favorite blogs are partnering with Target to giveaway an iPad  and children’s books!!                                                   Go to Frugal Family Fun Blog to enter to win an iPad and an assortment of children’s books courtesy of Target! I also saw the giveaway at No Time for Flashcards and The Activity Mom]

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Time for Tots Activity Kit Review

IMG_4699 IMG_4694 IMG_4701IMG_4698 

We have had so much fun the last couple of days with our Mix n’ Match Christmas Kit from Time for Tots.

Our kit arrived with 12 wonderful activities (which I selected, that’s the mix n’ match part of the kit :) The activities were appropriate for both my two and four year old. Some of the activities were consumable (the make an ornament activities), so only one child got to do them. But, there were enough so that they could choose what they wanted to make.

Ella’s favorite activities were, sorting big and small objects onto big and small stockings, and matching the candy canes. Ryan enjoyed the grid games and making a reindeer headband. They worked nicely together on the prewriting strips and puzzles.

I love that these activities took no preparation from me, yet have provided hours of entertainment (and will continue to do so all month)! I also appreciated that each activity was individually organized in separate bags, that the entire kit came securely packed in a single large plastic folder, and that the instructions were clear.

The shipping was super fast, so it’s not too late to order your kit and still have time to do these fun holiday activities with your kids!

Don’t forget while you’re on the Time for Tots site to check out other kits that can be used all year long. I’ve been eyeing their Fine Motor Skills Kit, the Everything Preschool Kit, the Color Travel Size Kit, and the Working With Words Kit. They even have Sensory Bins.

Nicole from Time for Tots generously provided this free kit for us to review. The opinions in this review are mine and were not influenced by Time for Tots or its affiliates.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Keeping My Purse Organized

Yup you read that title right, and yup I’m a self-declared dork! But, at least I’m an organized dork ;)


I have a massive amount of membership cards, reward cards, punch cards, business cards, gift cards, coupons, and other little pieces of important paper that would otherwise make my wallet bust at the seams and clutter my purse. I organize them all in a little coupon wallet that I got in a dollar bin last Christmas.

I even keep my check book and a small pack of crayons in there. It’s gotten pretty massive in size, but it keeps my even more massive purse tidy, and I always know where my cards and coupons are! It’s worked so well for me that I just had to share :)