Week Two of Planet Weidknecht Sunday Hop 5/8

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Austin - The Definition of Eclectic

Early this afternoon, we headed into downtown Austin, about 20 minutes south of our town. Austin, Texas, is known as the Live Music Capital of the World and this weekend is their Old Pecan Street Festival. I've lived in Texas for 20 years and have never been to this festival, so today was the day. There is never a shortage of interesting sights to see in the Austin area, especially downtown around our famous Sixth Street. Here's a collection of interesting photos taken today. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed my bratwurst and sauerkraut on wheat from a street vendor wearing a tie-dye dress and knitted beanie cap!


A Natural Playground

Today one of my daycare boys brought a small baggie full of soil for show and tell. Now, you may think this is no big deal, but let me tell you, this kept six kids busy for 30 minutes. Each child wanted to stir the bowl of dirt with a spoon. Then they explored what was in the soil and found a beetle, two roly-polys, a tiny spider and some leaves. After the exploration was done, they carefully spooned the soil onto existing soil around my backyard trees and flowers, so the plants would have new "food" to eat. It was so good to see them sharing turns without any direction from me. During the dirt sprinkling, they also discovered a large spider web with a spider on it, wrapping up his lunch (another bug) in web silk. It was a great reminder that the best playthings are the natural things!

Join a Blog Hop!

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Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations to the following winners, chosen by Random.org. Thanks to all who participated!

Boston Legal Giveaway - Winner - Comment 4 - Amber

The Mummy Returns - Winner - Comment 55 - Karen A

Imagine Me and You - Winner - Comment 5 - Mysharona

Facing the Giants - Winner - Comment 8 - My4boysand1

The Last Kiss - Winner - Comment 6 - Amethyst Jewell

Remember, I currently have another giveaway going on and you can enter to win a $25 Kohl's Gift Card!

Happy Childcare Provider Appreciation Day!

May 6, 2011, has been designated as Childcare Provider Appreciation Day. I want to send out a special thank you to all of my friends who work so hard every day loving, teaching, feeding and diapering! Over 60 percent of American children under the age of five are in some type of childcare arrangement. If you are interested in opening a home daycare, please contact Childcare Licensing in your state. May God bless the work you do with children every day.


Thankful Thursday Blog Hop

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Feeling Scattered? Organize Your Home!

Take a look around at all that clutter! It's time to choose a room to organize. Today. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Look at every item in that room. You have five choices for each item:
  • Use it
  • Store it
  • Sell it
  • Give it away
  • Throw it away
If you're going to use it, make sure it has "its own place." If you're going to store it, put it in a box, mark the box, and put it in a storage place (attic, basement, closet). If you're going to sell it, take a picture and post it online so it's out of your house within a week. If you're giving it away, it has to be gone within 48 hours. Make a phone call to the lucky recipient or put it in the trunk of the car to drop off. If you're throwing it away, take that short trip to the dumpster and toss it out with grand liberation!

Drowning in toys? Toy boxes encourage sloppy cleanups. Instead, sort toys into small plastic boxes with snap-on lids. Stack the boxes on small moveable shelves or rolling drawer carts. Labeling boxes with words and picture labels helps children remember where toys belong and encourages reading skills. All children should be taught how to keep a room neat.

Don't forget to take care of YOU. Start or renew a hobby, spend a day at the spa, hire a babysitter for a day, or have a maid come in and clean for you once a month.

What's In The Mail Today?

YAY! A new movie came in the mail. I won this one from a Hollywood Jesus contest. Now I have something to watch this weekend! I'll let you know what I think.


Children's Software That Preschool Teachers Love

As a childcare provider, it is important to me to provide fun learning experiences every day for my preschoolers. There is only one toy in my daycare room that is not child-powered - a computer. However, it is not hooked up to internet because I cannot control web content. It is my preference to provide specific software programs for the children in my class and over the 25 years I've been doing this, very few titles have earned my stamp of approval. I thought I would share my list of winners with you.

Jumpstart Toddlers is the first program I always introduce to children, usually around 18 months of age. There are several activities on here, but the best part of this program is that the child can cause an action on the screen by moving the mouse or hitting any key. I also love the musical instrument portion of this software program.

Jumpstart Preschool is also a wonderful program and a super follow-up to the Jumpstart Toddlers software. The activities are more advanced, but very appropriate for preschoolers. The activities span across several subjects (reading, math, etc.) Our computer table has two chairs so one child can play while the other watches (and learns too).

Bailey's Book House is a game that has been around for a long time. The best part of this program is the onscreen keyboard that teaches children letters through alliteration (for example, typing the letter D and hearing/seeing Dinosaurs Dance). There are several activities on this game for children to practice their early literacy skills.

Millie's Math House teaches young children about early math concepts through games and activities. The children love matching the right size shoes to the right size monster on one of the activities. The friendly cow leads them through several games.

Sammy's Science House is another favorite around here. From learning about seasons and weather, to learning how to build using blueprints, young children can discover their inner scientist. All the Edmark games have been a part of my daycare program for over 20 years.

In like fashion, Trudy's Time and Place House teaches children about following maps, telling time, and so much more. This one is a little more advanced than the other three Edmark programs but usually by age 3 1/2 years, most children can grasp some of these concepts.

TIPS for using computers with children.
  • Choose software carefully and do your research.
  • Supervise nearby but allow the child to learn on their own by exploring the program independently.
  • Limit computer time to no more than 20 minutes at a time, no more than twice a day, for preschoolers.
  • Use a child-sized computer table and chair(s).
  • Use two chairs at the computer table so children can work on social skills at the same time, learning to work together, learning to be patient for a turn, helping when needed, etc.
  • Use a mouse with a cord so it doesn't disappear.
  • Tuck all cords up and off the floor, behind the computer on the table (against a wall) for safety reasons.

Five Giveaways Ending This Friday!

I have five giveaways that end this Friday at midnight, so be sure to get your entries in soon!


I'm "Featured" at Nicole's Random Blog Hop!

It was so exciting to get the news that I had been selected as the "Featured Blog of the Week" at Nicole's Random Blog Hop - Week 2. Thank you to Nicole! Click below to join in on the hop.

Rules for Raising Delinquent Children

Rules for Raising Delinquent Children by the Houston Police Dept. (1958)

Rules for Raising Delinquent Children by the Houston Texas Police Dept. , 1958 (as recorded in Way of Salvation, August 1958, Ed. Pervie Nichols)
1)      Begin with infancy to give the child everything he wants. In this way he will grow up believing the world owes him a living.
2)      When he picks up ‘bad’ words or ‘dirty’ words, laugh at him. That will make him think he’s cute. He will run off and pick up some other words that will blow the top off your head.
3)      Never give him any spiritual training until he is 21 and then let him decide for himself. By the same logic, never teach him the English language. Maybe when he is old enough he may want to speak Bantee.
4)      Avoid the use of the word ‘wrong.’ It may develop in the child a guilt complex. This will prepare him to believe that when he is punished later on for stealing cars or assaulting women, society is against him and that he is being persecuted.
5)      Pick up everything after him him: his shoes, his books, his clothes. Do everything for him so that he will be experienced in throwing burdens on others.
6)      Let him read anything he wants. Have no concern whatever for what goes into his mind. Provide him with lily cups for lips, but let his brain drink out of any dirty container for words and ideas.
7)      Quarrel frequently in the presence of your children. In this way they will be prepared for broken homes later on.
8)      Give him all the spending money he wants: never let him earn his own.
9)      Satisfy every craving of the child for food, drink, and everything that has to do with the sense of taste and touch, gratifying every sensual desire.
10)   Take his part against policemen, the teachers and neighbors. They are all ‘prejudiced’ against your child.
11)   When he gets into real trouble, always defend yourself and say, ‘I never could do anything with him.’

Osama Bin Laden is DEAD

A US Navy team killed the world's most wanted terrorist.


$25 Kohl's Gift Card Giveaway

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who participated. Winner announcement coming soon!

On Saturday morning I headed over to Kohl's to spend my $20 Kohl's cash I had earned online. I love Kohl's and shop there often. I bought two pair of shorts and two blouses. I paid ONLY $18.75 and the receipt shows I saved $70.85. Now that's the kind of shopping deal I like!!!

To celebrate, I'm giving one lucky winner a $25 Kohl's Gift Card, purchased by myself.  This contest ends at midnight (CST) on May 15, 2011.Earn an entry for each completed task below. Leave a separate comment below for each.

  • Publicly follow my blog with GFC.
  • Follow my blog via RSS.
  • Subscribe to my free daily emails.
  • Vote for me by clicking the We're On The Fence button.

A random winner will be selected by May 18, 2011. The winner will be emailed. Winner must respond within five days or prize will be forfeited. At that point another winner will be randomly selected and emailed, same rules apply. Click the Legal Stuff tab for disclosure and privacy policy. Prize shipped at sponsor's expense. Open to US and Canada only. Must be at least 18 years old. MSRP $25.00. Please leave appropriate contact information so I can let you know if you win!

Winner Announcements

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