Cupcake Craft for Toddlers

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I love toddlers, the best part about them is how busy they are. The not so fantastic part, is how busy they are, right? I have a pre-schooler who likes to be busy making things. I also love that she enjoys all my paper crafts. But the secret is, having simple crafts you can prepare quickly for them to do now!

So here, I am reviewing the letter “C” with Peanut. So naturally we have to do a paper craft cupcake. But not before we read a book to tie into the craft to make it more interesting. My book choice was Pinkalicious, it is always fun to add a silly story before a craft.

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For the craft this is what you will need;

green felt scraps

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red pom pom

pink construction paper

brown foam paper 5 1/2″ X 8 1/2″

sequins (various colors)

Scissors

Pinking shears

pencil

(I like to use a paper plate and q-tips for the glue)

Now to get started with the prep!

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Fold the brown foam paper in half.

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cut the open edge at an angle.

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Next put it on the bottom edge of your pink construction paper and use a pencil to draw a cupcake top.

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Then cut it out.

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Next, cut out leaf shapes using pinking shears for your cherry leaf.

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Now it’s time for your pre-schooler to get crafty! I like to use a plate to put glue on so my Peanut can easily use a q-tip to dip and spread glue on her craft project where she needs it. So, here she is adding glue to the wide end of the brown foam paper.

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Working hard!

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It already looks like a cupcake! But cupcakes look extra pretty with some decorations!

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So she picks where she wants her leaf and cherry and uses the q-tip to add the glue.

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Cupcakes must have sprinkles!

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we have to work on being need with the glue and sequins!

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Nice work for a Peanut!

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Almost done!

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Yes! Because everyone in my house likes to craft, the bigger kids made one too. (After their seat work.)

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They all had fun!

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I hope you enjoy this craft too!

Rosalia

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Why The Name? – The Romantic Homeschooler

Some of you may be wondering why I use the name The Romantic Homeschooler as my Blog name. Well, let me tell you the truth it wasn’t my idea. Not really. I was using another name, that my friends said didn’t really fit who I was as a hole person. My other name Little Pink Trotters was better as my cute little sewing shop name, okay. So, now what. A new name that’s what.  All this happened while at a Homeschool Convention. One of my dear friends suggested that since the Blog is about me, my adventures with my kids and many other creative things. I should change the name to reflect that. So I listened to her and my other favorite people on our 10 hour drive back home, and this is what we came up with.

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So why did I choose The Romantic Homeschooler? Well, I am a bit of a romantic. I have romantic thoughts about my family. Not just my Sexy Hubby but my kids too. “How does that look?”, you may ask…well, like this:
Before homeschooling, I had romantic thoughts of gathering my kids on the sofa with our favorite stuffies and blankets so I could read out loud. Not just story books but real literature. Of diving into Bible reading, and adventures that are 100 years old. Of reading about Christopher Columbus, and sailing across the ocean blue. Of gathering the kids around the table for some science experiments. Of painting pictures like Picasso and laughing at how far we were from accomplishing that. Of sharing in some one on one time, as we worked on a sewing projects or needle point. I even had romantic thoughts of visiting peach farms and apple farms and having picnics under the evening sun, then coming home with our bounty from the farm and wrapping our blackberries and strawberries into pie crusts and sharing them with friends. I had visions of our family playing in the sand at the beach and digging  holes big enough to bury each other in. You get the picture…
My homeschooling is really about making strong bonds between each of our family members. When they grow up and have families of their own, I want them to look back at all we have done, and smile at the memories of their silly, romantic homeschooling mother.
Romance is not just between a husband and wife. (Although, I certainly have that too.) It’s about being together, as a family as God designed. Today, I can say that all my romantic thoughts of homeschooling my kids have come true. I am in love with my kids, my husband and my life.

All the Glory goes to God, because all that I have is from Him!

Thanks for listening!
 Rosalia

Family Devotion Time – Book Recommendtion

Today, I really wanted to share with you one of my favorite family devotions. My children and I do a family devotion every morning after breakfast before we start our school day. This is a time that works best for us. The book we are currently enjoying is Devotions For The Children’s Hour. I love how it explains the basics of angels, heaven, Jesus, sin and the trinity simply yet more deeply than a storybook Bible. I love how it connects a story a child can understand to Bible principles. Kind of like the way Jesus did with his parables. It includes scripture verses to read, a simple prayer, questions perfect for young developing minds and and a hymn to sing together.  A perfectly rounded family devotional.

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Let me give you a sample of what I mean. Here is a sample of the story illustration to tie in a Bible principle (just so you know this is just half of a daily devotion);

“Long ago, when men in the army did not do what their officers told them to do, they were sometimes whipped with long, hard pieces of leather that would make their backs bleed. Of course, that hurt very much. One day a soldier living in a certain tent stole some money from the soldiers living in the next tent.

But the men would not tell which of them stole the money. The officers told them they would all be punished. Then a boy named Willie, who was really too young to be a soldier, said, “Sir, punish me so that the other men in the tent will not have to be punished. I did not take the money, but I want to be punished for the man who did take it.”

The leader was sorry, because Willie had not stolen the money and should not be punished. But the officer finally decided to whip Willie.

They tied Wille to a tree and took off his shirt. Then the officer began to whip him. The big whip cut deeply into Willie’s back, but he did not scream. Again the whip came down, and there was another deep cut on his back.

A third time it came down, and then one of the men jumped forward. “Stop, stop!” he said, “I stole the money. Do not whip Willie anymore. Whip me instead.”

But Willie said, “No. He has already whipped me, and he cannot whip you now. I have taken the whipping for you.”

And so they let the man who had stolen the money go free and did not whip him, because they had whipped Willie instead.

That night Willie died, because he had been hurt so much. Perhaps this helps you just a little to see how it was that the Lord Jesus Christ – the One who made the heaven and the earth and you and me – came down to earth and was punished so that you could go free.” (This is from page 100-101 in Devotions For The Children’s Hour)

The scripture verse they have you read from the Bible is Isaiah 53 : 1-12

1Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

I hope you can see why our family really enjoys this time together, of learning and understand of our great God. I really believe it is important for us as parents to encourage our children to have the desire to know more about our God. I know I sit in awe of how great our God is, and how Great his love is for us. If you are a new Christian, and want to do a little study with your children, this is one I certainly recommend. The target age for this is 5 to 10. But younger children and sit and listen in too. Just give them a coloring page, that way the are busy but their ears are still open.

I hope you to decided to go on this book adventure with us.

Rosalia

The Daily Practice of Patience – Even At Bedtime

It’s funny how life can throw us all kinds of experiences to be patient and practice self-control.  But for some reason being a parent makes those experiences happen all day long every single day, even just before bedtime. You know, when you want the kids to just go to bed without complaint, without asking for one more drink, or for another story, or that last minute “I’m hungry.” It’s the unexpected that leaves you bowing our head and silently whisper “God help me.” That little cry for strength and self-control.

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Yes, these are my lovely little ladies, Cupcake and Peanut!

That was me last night. It was a long day as usual and I was looking forward to quiet time with my hubby. So, we tuck in the kids and I lay down with Peanut our 3 year old. Cupcake is in her own bed in the same room. Peanut has her eyes closed and I am beginning to feel the end of the day. When Cupcakes screams “A big black spider!”  (Yay! I say to my self, I get to stay up longer.) Yup, there it is right next to her bed. Not huge exactly, but big for a little kid. So I grab some tissue, and turn on the light. I quickly discover it’s a fast mover, as I miss to two times before it is out of my reach and has taken shelter in the stuffies. Then disappears further still behind the bed.  “Great!” Now there will be no rest for a while longer. I try to suggest to my girls that Cupcake can the share Peanuts’s bed. But no, the spider can easily climb into her bed and “get” them. Okay, I understand. I wouldn’t want to sleep in there either.

So that means I get to setup camp in my room for the girls. Okay, while I explain to my Hubby why our girls are out of bed. Peanut is fervently working to remove every stuffie from her room and into my room, 2 at a time, making multiple trips back and forth. The expression on her face is priceless. A sweet expression of worry over her mountain of stuffies. I have never seen little feet work so hard. Suddenly, I am not so frustrated anymore and I laugh a little.

I finish setting up camp and ask the girls to lay down and get cozy. They refuse to sleep, saying “the spiders can come out of the room and get” them on the floor.” Ugh! Breath…”Okay, how about I close the door and put a towel under the door so it can’t come out?”

Okay, so the are good with that. They lay down and Peanut falls right to sleep. But Cupcake stays up with worry. Praise the Lord for me, Super Dad comes out and hunts the fast moving spider and saves the night! One less thing for me to deal with, and Cupcake can finally go to sleep.

Yes, life is always an adventure with little ones.

Rosalia

Why Visiting Farms is Important for Kids

Today, I will share with you one of my great loves. Farms. I just LOVE farms. To me there is something beautiful about working the earth and growing my own food. But alas, I have no great field. Just a small plot of land to grow a few choice vegetables. I always seem to over populate my garden with heirloom tomatoes and heirloom pumpkins. I never can grow enough carrots or basil or even zucchini. But that’s okay. I can visit the farmers market or better yet, a farm.

     Now why do I have such a love of farms you ask. Well, I believe that farming is one of the things God commands us to do. In Genesis 1: 29-30; God said,”Behold, I have given you every plant bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, which has seed in its fruit; to you it shall be for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creeps upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green plant for food”: and it was so. Before this God is telling us to “subdue it” and have “dominion” over every living thing. This to me means we need to care for our earth not poison it. Certainly, God did not give man the authority to degrade and destroy His earth. He wants us to tend a garden, care for it, guard it, watch over it. That is what organic gardening is to me. A love affair with the earth.
    I love knowing my kids can recognize a vegetable plant or know the difference between a tuber and a root vegetable. That they know where veggies actually come from –  a farm not a store. If you can, I encourage you to visit the farmers market. Get to know your farmer and their growing practices. I know farms that use natural methods to rid their farms of pests. That is awesome! They will sometimes set aside produce if you text them and let them know that you’re running late to the market. This is one bonus of being a friend to a farmer.

I have had the privilege of getting a group of some amazing homeschool families together to visit a few farms.  Each farm will give you a different experience and introduce you to their methods for farming. It’s amazing the excitement that comes from a child who has just pulled a carrot out of the earth. They feel pride! They think “I pulled it all by myself!” 
The kids couldn’t wait to wash them and take their first crunch. One mom couldn’t believe how wonderful they tasted. Much sweeter than what you find in the store! Then the strawberries,…they are like biting into candy.

 
At one of our local farm visits my kids and our friends got to explore a working farm and pull their own carrots out of the earth.
The moment the kids were waiting for.

I hope this encourages you to visit a local farm. You never know what you can learn by visiting one. Do it especially for the kids. They might be surprised at how big the fields are and why so much is grown. They would enjoy exploring the texture of different leaves. There is so much to learn and discover!

Praise God for His beautiful creation of beautiful fruits and vegetables for us us to grow and eat! If you would like to visit this wonderful farm it is Tierra Vegetable at 651 Airport Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403 or

      Rosalia

 
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Our Front Yard Brick Make Over!!

Our family is so happy to have found a new home! After renting for 3 years it feel so good to own again.

So here we are with out first noticeable front yard project.  The first of many to come, I can assure you our list is quite long. Some projects that are necessary like drainage, removing dry rot, and plumbing will not be to fun but are totally necessary. Or projects like irrigation that are not a total must but, can make life easier. My favorite projects are the ones you do to improve the look of your home. The ones that make your home your own and make your house stand out from the rest. Hopefully in a good eye pleasing sort of way.

     So for our first project,we worked on updating to the front of the house. So that meant changing the red brick on a budget. We are not really big fans of red brick, so we got creative!
This is the front of the house before painting the brick.
The brick just felt old and worn. We wanted a fresh clean look.

After my husband Googled images of painted brick, he was inspired to try painting it. So off to Home Depot to buy some paint. He started painting the whole surface with Behr’s Elastomeric Masonry, Stucco & Brick Paint in Desert Powder.

If paint is involved, the kids always jump in to help.
After letting the paint dry he got a long sponge that he cut down to the size of the brick. Then he dipped the sponge in paint (Behr Ultra Exterior Satin in a grey tone) and stamped it onto a card board box to get the excess paint off. Then randomly started stamping brick.  Giving the brick a stone like look.
I am loving the the way this looks!
I am so happy with the way this turned out!

                           So there you have it, our first real outdoor project!                          
       
Thanks for stopping by!
          Rosalia

Introducing Our Home – Before We Moved In

Well folks, it has been almost 1 year since we moved into our new house. A house that has not been touched in 22 years and was used as a rental home. What an adventure it has been so far. It will take a lot of work to get it to were we want it. Lots of DIY projects, that will be fun but challenging too. Her is a picture of our house when we moved in.

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Not a bad looking house but, not to impressive either. It is obvious that there was not a lot of care and up keep on this house. That is one of the things we really noticed when we moved it. There was holes in the walls that indicate someone had anger issues. The neighbors proved our guess to be right! In the master bedroom, the double doors were kicked in so we couldn’t close the doors. The mini blinds thought out the house were in terrible condition so we took them out.

IMG_20140212_123203_631Here is my hubby and farther-in-law painting Little D’s room. The wall that they are painting was painted a burgundy that was all over the chair rail and crown molding. It must have been painted by a teenager for there was no care in the painting at all. It was absolutely ugly.

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See that big opening? That opening opens up into what became the kids homeschool room. Before moving in, we decided we needed to seal up that hole. I needed to  have a solid wall so I could put my big Ikea shelf with all our school books against it.

This was our first big DIY project in our home. As you can tell by the tools we got started right away.

These are all terrible pictures I know, between rainy weather and bad lighting I couldn’t win.  Anyhow, this is my father-in-law, my step dad, and Opa working on closing up the opening.

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Thankfully my our Opa is a skilled carpenter and he helped us us with the wall.

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Here is my husband, father-in-law and my step dad helping put up the sheet rock. What a job that was!

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That’s my Bubbie. I love a man who can work with his hands and isn’t afraid to get dirty.

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(Terrible lighting I know) Here is the the view from the school room.

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  This is the family room side. Now that this is done we move to texture and painting!

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Here is our uncle giving us a hand with texturing and painting. It was such a blessing to get all the help we got to move into this house.

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It’s starting to look like a real wall!!

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The texture goes on! Can you even tell there was an opening there?

Now to give you a little tour of our home before we moved in.  This way you can see the improvements we are making on our home.

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This is the first thing you see when you walk in the door. We have big plans for that stair case.

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This is the living room and the dining room to the right of the entry way.

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The kitchen view from the family room.

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Here is a view from the kitchen’s eat in nook.

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Here is a view from the dinning room/ living room to the front door. Yes, there are terrible light fixture throughout. We already started changing them out.

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So yes, the view from the top of the steps.

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This is the girls room, before we painted it a soft pink and installed a fan

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Little D’s room that mirrors the girls room. Before we painted it gray and installed a fan.

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The master bedroom. It is the biggest bedroom I have ever had. Not to mention the huge window! That my darling husband decided to remove the blinds guaranteeing no privacy in our bedroom. More about that later!

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Okay, so I just realized I don’t have a picture of our bathroom before, but this is after we painted it Benjamin Moore San Antonio Gray.

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But that’s okay, this is still a before picture in that we plan to remodel this bathroom too. But not this year!

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I hope you enjoyed the little tour of my house and you follow the progress of the kids bathroom that we totally gutted.

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Yes, this bathroom will have a whole new look very soon. I can’t wait to show you the new look!

The kids can’t wait to use their new and improved bathroom!

Thanks for stoping by!

Rosalia