This month we have focused on bugs. I purchased a Butterfly home and a ladybug home from Amazon and the Easter Bunny was kind enough to leave them with the Easter Baskets. We watched our caterpillars grow, form their Chrysilis and then emerge as butterflies. We later let them go. I can not seem to find my camera which has many of the activities we did this month.  I did make a couple printable to play Swat! One is an ABC review game for my Little Man and one is a sight word game for the Princess. Both are available in the resources/ printables tab of my website.
There were so MANY bug activities we could have done a whole other month on bugs and insects. I have a ton of great pins on my Bug/ Insect Pinterest Board. Check it out here.

Update 6/11/12 The Camera has been found!! Yay!  SO here is a mish mash of pictures of some of our bug fun.  There were many other activities but since I misplaced my camera I didn't take pictures. Check out the pinterest boards because that is where most of the ideas came from that didn't get photo graphed here. (Like the Pringles Can with the Caterpillar in the back.
Warning this post is not for the faint of heart!!!  Below is a slide presentation of the toys that have taken over our home. Yesterday I posted about entitlement. The truth is My Husband and I are guilty of this "sense of entitlement" our children have. (Although there is plenty of help from the grandparents- lol).  As you will see our children have so MANY TOYS that they don't even play with the vast majority of them. It's not their fault, how could they? There just are not enough hours in the day. Not to mention that they can't even get to some of them because they are buried so deep. Here the CHRISTMAS EVE presents are so superfluous they can't even all fit in the corner under the tree.

I feel like my children have no sense of appreciation and they have no idea what it is like for some families who have to make huge sacrifices for their children to have the basic necessities and a couple extras.  We talk abvout less fortunate families/ kids. We go through the toys and clothes and weed out occasionally and donate the surplus but they just really don't get it.  It drives me crazy when I see then standing on a book or throwing a toy. I want them to respect not only their own belongings but other people's belongings as well.

Recently my daughter made the connection that she has money in her piggy bank and toys at the store cost money. She asked why she couldn't take the money out of her piggy bank to buy more toys at the store. I was thinking to myself "What toy could you possibly want that you do not already have?"- LOL

Yesterday, Clarissa, over at 1+1+1=1 posted on her blog about her struggle to be a more Christ like parent. This got me thinking about my own struggle. In my home Entitlement has crept in and it's robbing my family of happiness and hurting our relationship with  the Lord.

Like Clarissa I "Know" the right things to say and do in my head but in the moment when the kids push my buttons my blood pressure spikes instantly and it goes out the door then words are coming out of my mouth sometimes in a very loud fashion and I am not even thinking about what I am saying. Then moments later I am hit with regret and remorse as I realize I have just said the exact things I was trying so hard not to.  To add to the guilt, my husband is a yeller and he does say ALL those things that we learn through positive parenting we shouldn't. You know what I am talking about, threats (mostly empty), name calling (stop crying like a baby), comparing (why can't you ... like your (sister/ brother) etc. I've been to a few parenting seminars and classes, I've read a fair share of books on parenting and on age appropriate development. All of this has helped to shape me into a better parent and leads me to be a more Christ-like parent BUT...sometimes it all goes out the window.

My daughter is a real mystery to me. She is SO SENSITIVE and she is seemingly always sad or mad about something. She doesn't have a large interest in her brother in less it is to boss him around. It makes my heart very heavy. Most recently I joined a parenting group at my church. Our facilitator had gone to a workshop on entitlement. The lights went on and suddenly so much made sense. I went home and purchased the book From Innocence to Entitlement a Love and Logic Cure for the Tragedy of Entitlement by Jim Fay This book has changed my whole mindset and has really influenced the way I parent more than all the other workshops, books, seminars and meetings with a parent coach. I discovered that my daughter's issues are most likely related to her sense of entitlement. The book tells us that Entitlement robs us of our happiness. It causes anger and depression.  (It's not fair.  How come he gets...? But I wanted the ... one. But it's mine, Everyone else has... etc.)

Since reading this book I have mostly done away with the empty threats and the exasperating sarcasm  (hurry up, it shouldn't take all day to...) I am using what the book calls "Enforceable statements" Mom's car is leaving in 5 minutes if you don't have your shoes on you'll have to leave without shoes on. ) Another example is instead of "Why can't you brush your teeth like a big girl? " (Because she is playing around being silly, making a mess etc) to "You have 2 mins to finish brushing your teeth and cleaning up your mess before you start using your bedtime story time".  It is working -when I remember to use the enforceable statements.

I've also assigned my daughter (almost 5) the task of putting away the clean silverware. After the third day she asked me why she had to do this everyday. I simply told her "because we are a family and in a family every needs to help each other". She then asked why her brother didn't have to do a job. I just told her "when he is 4 he will have a job to help the family also."  I want my children to feel like they have something to contribute to the family. I want them to give back and not just take.

My children are entitled. My house and back yard are overrun with toys. They want for nothing; but to ask them there is something they want that they don't have I'm sure. I don't even have any room/ space for ANY new toys. My Daughter has over FORTY stuffed animal toys/ dolls. (sorry about the lighting in the picture). My son has over TWO HUNDRED hot wheel cars and this is only one example for each child.  My Husband and I are to blame. We did this. How can my children appreciate anything when everything is always given to them or done for them? So now we are working on helping them become more independent and appreciative. Mom is NOT doing EVERYTHING for them anymore. This has been so hard on me because I am so use to anticipating and acting on all their needs and wants. I have to pause and consciously think to myself, "Is this something he/ she can do?" I have to be ok with letting my children experience being uncomfortable (struggling through a task) so they can grow and become independent. This is hard with my daughter because when she struggles she shuts down and just cries. It's a process for sure.

My daughter is still sad and angry often and I still forget and yell sometimes but it is getting better. I recently borrowed the book Too Many Toys by David Shannon from our local library. We've read it now 5 times I'm not entirely sure she has made the connection to herself but she has made a couple comments about her brother and all his toys.-LOL  We've read books about good character, especially sharing. I realize it is a long road ahead of me but I really do not want my children to have this sense of Entitlement. I want them to be appreciative, respectful, loving and most of all I want them to Love themselves in a  healthy way and know that they are perfect because God made them.

Sigh-  We did two weeks on bugs, two weeks ago and I have not been able to find my camera anywhere. I haven't posted what we've been doing since I couldn't find my camera to upload the pictures.

I took a few pictures today of The Princess doing some money activities so I thought I'd at least post about these.  She is not only learning what each coin is called and it's value we are also adding coins together to make sums and learning how to read the name of each coin.  Like the average child she is still confusing the Nickle and Quarter but other than that she pretty much has it down.  Today we did a matching activity where she had a sheet with the denominations and she had to put the corresponding coin on top. A similar activity with the words rather than the denominations and then we played a game where we put the coin cards on top of the denominations (this Carousel game came from a File Folders- Time and Money book).  The boards for the first two activities were a freebie from

The Little Man has been obsessed with "having a car wash" ALL WEEK.  We did shaving cream with paint brushes two days, cars in the bath with a scrubber and bath gel and today we had a bin full of soapy water and a bin full of clean water and a tooth brush.  He has REALLY enjoyed his car wash activities. Because I can not find my camera I didn't take any pictures.

On Friday I took a few shots on my camera phone just so I could actually put up a new post. So here is what I got on camera.

Here the Princess is placing coins on her math mat which has denominations written on it. This was a Freebie from Counting Coconuts  (Money Math from May 30th).

Similar activity but now the math mat has the coins' names and she is matching the correct coin to its name.

This is a math mat activity from the Scholastic book Math Mats  & Games Money.  On these activities there is a denomination written on a piggy bank in the center (this sheet says $0.07) Then the student adds up the coins in each box and finds pairs that add up to $0.07.

Here we were playing a money game from the Scholastic book File Folder Games Time and Money. This is a carousel theme which is great for my pony loving princess.

Here is Little Man washing his "Crazy Coupe" This was our carwash activity for today.