Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Bee Story by Miss K

Today's informative post is brought to you by none other than Miss K. I found these in her backpack this morning. I love the combination of science, writing, and art. I admire her developing thought process, the paragraph usage and her overall enthusiasm for these three subjects.  It still pains me that she doesn't spell every word correctly, but I am reminded by her 2nd grade teacher that at this age she still spells as she sounds out.

Bees by Kaybrie
(spelling errors corrected by Mom)

   A Queen bee is the boss. She lays eggs. She lays over 1000 eggs. She is very lazy. I wish she was more like a Queen.  
  The similarities  are of course they are both bees. The Queen bee and the worker bee can both fly. And both have the same body parts such as the head, abdomen, and thorax.  
  Now to the worker bee. It is pretty small. They do a lot of work for the Queen bee. And they care for the babies. 

Did you learn anything?

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Jesus Sees Us Doll & Book Review

It's no secret Miss K and I love dolls. We have quite a collection of Raggedy Ann's, Gerber, Cabbage Patch Kids, Barbie's and American Girl Dolls- some as old as 31 years. When I was asked to review the Jesus Sees Us Doll, I jumped at the opportunity. Where has this doll been all my my children's life? How great would it be to carry around "Jesus" instead of a favorite blanky, teddy bear or other doll?

"Jesus Sees Us was created by two mothers of preschool-ages children looking for an engaging and relatable way to introduce Jesus and their Faith to their children!

By the time a child turns three years old, he or she already has the capability to relate to Jesus. Children can understand that, like them, Jesus was a baby with parents who loved Him. They can understand that Jesus grew up to be a man who loved everyone and taught people to do the same. Children become excited and inquisitive when they can master these facts, ultimately making them more open to deeper conversations and ideas about faith.

The Jesus Sees Us doll is an integral part of fostering your child’s initial introduction to Jesus. Even though we talk to our children about Jesus or take them to Sunday services, they are not always able to understand the importance of the Christian message. Jesus Sees Us is a tool that makes Jesus, His teachings, and the concept of faith both relatable and positive to young children by introducing Him as the loving and forgiving presence in our lives. The doll becomes the tangible connection to the stories and lessons in the book. He is the touchable source of comfort that a child can relate to. The Jesus Sees Us doll has a soft body and a warm, welcoming face. His arms and hands are open, inviting your child to hold him, engage with him, and pray with him. The Jesus Sees Us doll allows your child to “play out” the valuable and timeless lessons of the Bible."

Obviously, I got to add not only a new doll to my collection, but a new doll and book to use with my precious friends during the day. I absolutely love the life lessons that the book teaches and have already used them several times with Miss K in dealing with issues with peers and manners. So as for being appropriate from ages 2-6+ for the doll, the book is working for even my 8 year old. I'm even thinking of ways to incorporate it in my large group time at church with my 2nd graders. 

Just in time for Easter, you can get your very own Jesus Sees Us Doll at Amazon

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Disclosure: I received this item as a promotional item courtesy of  FlyPropeller. This is not a sponsored post. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Post updated 4/1/15 to remove Amazon code. Price at Amazon reflects discount. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My Letter to the Editor Regarding Education Legislation #oklaed

Today I wrote the following letter to my local newspaper for it's Letters to the Editor column. I don't know if it will be published, and if it is, if it will receive an answer from one of our local legislatures. Word on the street is that one legislator from my city made the comment that private schools are better because those parents are engaged and know what is going on. WHAT? As parents of students in the public school system we must change the perception that parents are unhappy with the schools or are not engaged. I am an engaged parent. My children, all students, teachers, and our schools need our voices to be heard.

My letter:

High stakes testing must go!  Our Oklahoma testing system must be re-evaluated and the tests given reduced. I support SB 708 which eliminates any test that is not federally mandated. This bill passed the Senate on 3/9/15.

As a mother of two children in the Broken Arrow Public School system it saddens me when my children tell me that their school year is over after Spring Break. It is over due to testing. My best learning times were after Spring Break. My teachers became creative with their "outdoor" learning experiences. So many things can be taught in Reading, Writing, Science, History and Math when you get out of the testing environment and into the world to apply those subjects.

Why is Oklahoma spending $17 million on state and federally mandated tests? Is it okay that our kids are being used as lab rats to "test" their equipment and test questions. Thankfully our new state superintendent put an end to a few field tests this year.

Is it okay that our third graders have had a growing anxiety since the time they hit the halls of their first grade classroom? An anxiety from a pass or fail test that could potentially make them retake their third grade year? My second grader is not only worried about her future but her teachers' as well. She feels the pressure because of constant assessments to prepare for these high stakes tests. Assessments and testing that take away the valuable time she needs to be learning!

My eighth grader recently completed his 8th grade writing test. It wasn't for HIS grade. He had to write from the perspective of a Cattle Hand. Yes testing companies, all Okies are cowboys so this should be an easy writing assignment. In less than a month he will be faced with another test, this one will determine whether or not he is eligible to get his drivers permit. Because driving requires you to read words like, but not limited to: STOP, SLOW, CONSTRUCTION AHEAD, and MPH.  Weren’t many of these words taught while looking at street signs during the chauffeuring to activities?

Let our Oklahoma students be kids. Let their minds be free to explore possibilities outside the classroom. Let our teachers prepare them for the bright futures that each one have ahead of them. Let's not damper their spirits with continued tests that take away valuable instruction time. Put the resources spent on these tests into our schools vs a data file. ​​

ShaRhonda Crow, Broken Arrow
​Graduate of an Oklahoma Public School, Graduate of an Oklahoma State College, Mother of two children currently in the Oklahoma Public School System, PTA member, and Voter​

What you can do:

  1. Be informed. I get most of my information from the Oklahoma PTA, you can follow them on Facebook. The bills are hard to understand sometimes. There are parents/advocates out there that dissect these bills and explain them to us.
  2. Email/Call/Tweet your Legislatures. Don't know who they are? Click here
  3. Get involved. How involved are you in your child's education? I never in a million years thought I would have to be an advocate. Even if you never send a letter, your local schools need YOU! 
Maybe Diogenes isn't specifically referring to our "state" when he made the above quote, but I believe he is definitely talking about the stability of our country and others being based on the education and experiences that is passed to future generations. Isn't our state a part of a great country? Doesn't the future depend on future generations?

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Texas K-9 Series eBook Review & Giveaway

We have had a few snow days this week in Oklahoma. Sorry, no pics this year. Seriously, that just tells you how OVER winter I am. In fact, out of the past two weeks we have had three snow days, three doctor visits, one child who missed three days of school being sick and three dance lessons! I also downloaded THREE books to read. Love Inspired Suspenses about lawmen who solve tough cases with the help of their canine partners.

Cook. Eat. Read. Repeat. Do you feel me?

Texas K-9 Unit Series Books 1-3: Tracking Justice\Detection Mission\Guard Duty (Available at Amazon)

About the books: 
"Love Inspired Suspense authors Shirlee McCoy, Margaret Daley and Sharon Dunn will get your pulse racing with tales of Texas cops and their loyal K-9 dogs tracking down a crime ring. Enjoy three action-packed Texas K-9 Unit romantic suspense novels in one box set! When a boy goes missing from his bedroom, a police detective must assure a desperate single mother that he and his trusty bloodhound will find her son. A woman with amnesia has to rely on an officer and his border collie to stay alive when she can't remember who tried to kill her. An FBI agent is called in to protect a single mother when the rookie K-9 officer witnesses a murder and becomes the killer's target."

When was the last time you read a good wholesome book? One of my blessed readers is getting their very own copy of Book 1 in the new Capitol K-9 Unit miniseries, PROTECTION DETAIL by Shirlee McCoy (author of Book 1 in the Texas K-9 series). It released March 3rd.

About "Protection Detail": 
After a prominent senator's son is murdered, Capitol K-9 Unit captain Gavin McCord wants answers. The senator was a mentor to Gavin, and he'll stop at nothing to bring the killer to justice. With his team of elite K-9 cops and his loyal dog, Glory, at his side, Gavin discovers that a child at Cassie Danvers's nearby foster home may have witnessed the murder. He's drawn to the determined and beautiful woman, but she doesn't want him interviewing her traumatized charges. Yet trusting Gavin is the only way to stay one step ahead of the deadly gunman when Cassie becomes a target.

Be sure to check out the Facebook Page, I noticed that a few of my readers are already fans of this page!

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Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Open to U.S. and Canada only. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Miss K's Volleyball KISS Story

I love reading what my children write, and sometimes even share their writings on my blog. After all this is a blog about living, laughing, LEARNING, and loving from our nest. As my second grader prepares to become a third grader, I am seeing more and more writing prompts come home with her. Miss K is my creative one, she would rather be making something than doing what has to be done. Anyone else have a child like that? Or on another note does anyone else have a child that is a mirror image of themselves? She is definitely my mirror.

I can only imagine what she was thinking when her teacher gave the class a Hershey's Kiss and told them to carefully peel off the wrapper. Told them that the Kiss that was being given was going to turn into something....

A Volleyball. It turned into a volleyball because I love volleyball. I am not in it yet but I get about a foot away from my closet and throw the ball and it bounces away from me and so the game is against the closet. My brothers girlfriend plays volleyball and she plays for the Tigers and my brother's school. And the ball always came toward me and my family. I tried to hit the ball but couldn't. I really love volleyball. I love it. I LOOOOOOOVVVVEE itttttttttttt.

Any guesses on which sport Miss K just signed up to play?

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P.S. I am really hoping I got every O, V, E and T accounted for in the rewrite of that story. She told me that her teacher said every line had to be filled up. Oh my.