Filling the Love Tank

30 Nov

One night this past week, Lane and I were putting Troy to bed. We both said the same thing as we left the happy and content 3 year old: his love tank was filled. I mean, he usually does go to bed happy, but he was just unusually happy that night and didn’t put up a fight to go to bed. We realized that we had spent considerable amount of time with him that day and that he was just feeling so loved and secure. It made me think about a few things this week and I want to share them with you. It is so easy for me to forget that my children really do have a love tank that needs to be filled. I read this from Gary Chapman, author of the book The Five Love Languages, and he quoted a psychiatrist named Dr. Ross Campbell. “Inside every child is an ‘emotional tank’ waiting to be filled with love. When a child really feels loved, he will develop normally, but when the love tank is empty, the child will misbehave. Much of the misbehavior of children is motivated by the cravings of an empty ‘love tank.'”

I admit that it’s easy to just to focus on doing my own thing instead of engaging with my children. However, I’ve noticed a pattern. When I do something unique and special for them or just spend some quality time with them, I can tell that their love tank is filled. They are happy and content. Now I’m not saying that we should constantly cater to our children, I’m just think that sometimes we need to give them an extra emotional boost.(I promise he really is happy in this picture…he is “smiling”)

Anyway, I asked Troy what he loves to do with us and here’s what he said:

1. Go to Bass Pro Shop with Daddy

2. Bake cookies with Mommy

3. Playing Mario with one of us

4. Dance Parties

5. Going on a bike ride

I thought it was cute to hear in his words what makes him feel loved.

Here are some ideas on filling your child’s love tank! Of course I realize everyone is different and some activities are more meaningful  to some kids than others, but here’s a list of 5 ideas to fill your child’s love tank.

1. Spend some quality one-on-one time with your child and take them on a fun date. This could be for ice cream or to a pet store to look at the animals.

2. Write them a sweet note and send it in the mail to them. They will be overjoyed to receive mail and hear encouraging words from their parent!

3. Bring home a special toy or treat for them unexpectedly.

4. Give them a back rub. It’s so cute how much Troy loves this. I love watching him fall asleep when I do this!

5. Make your child’s favorite dinner.

Do you have any ideas on filling your child’s love tank? I hope you’ll try this. If you do, please share with me! Have a great weekend everyone!!


A Jolly Christmas Tree

29 Nov

I’m SO excited to announce the winner of the Barnes and Noble gift card! Congratulations to Lissa!! Hope you enjoy shopping with your gift card! Please email me at teachingmamablog(at)gmail(dot)com to receive your prize.

Thank you to all who participated!! I am blown away by your support and love.

I want to share an adorable little tree we made with just a few supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:

*styrofoam cone

*green paint & paintbrush



To start out, we painted the styrofoam cone green and let it dry. I should also note that I cut the cone smaller because it seemed too tall.

Then, I had Troy take the gumdrops and sort them by color. This was good practice for him!!

Then, I poked toothpicks onto the cone and Troy put gumdrops on them. He really enjoyed this part–look at his concentration!

And here’s the finished look! We have a ton of fake snow so I put them on the plate and laid the tree on top. It will be a cute centerpiece for the table! And now that the enormous Rockefeller’s Christmas tree is lit, the holiday season is officially here! Merry Christmas!!

Letter ‘C’ Alphabet Box

28 Nov



Happy Wednesday everyone!! Just a reminder that my giveaway ends tonight! So, if you haven’t already, please enter the contest by going to Monday’s post and clicking on the Rafflecopter link at the bottom. If you are on my Facebook page, you can also enter there under the picture “Giveaway.” Thanks everyone for your support…you are the best!

If you are new to Teaching Mama, you might be wondering what an Alphabet Box is. Basically, it is a box filled with items that start with the letter we’re working on. I just gather items around the house and fill them in the box. I add an uppercase and lowercase letter to the box. Some of you have asked how I get my letters and these are just letters I have from my classroom back from my teaching days. You don’t have to have really nice letters, you can even just write them. It just helps them visualize the letter and then associate the letter with the items. So, after Troy opens the box, he pulls out the items and we talk about them and the sounds he hears. He acts like Christmas morning when we have a new box on his desk. Hope the thrill continues!

Alright, so we are now on the letter ‘C’. See the Preschool page if you want to see the other letters we’ve worked on.

We also made the letter ‘C’ into a candy cane. I printed the letter ‘C’, cut up pieces of felt (red and white) and had him glue them in pattern on the letter. This was good for him to work on patterns.And after the glue dried, I cut around the letter and here’s how it looks!

We’ll be adding it to our alphabet book. If you want to learn how to make an alphabet look at this post.

Have a great day everyone and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!!!

The Best Scented Ornaments

27 Nov

We made the best smelling ornaments. They are made out of just applesauce and cinnamon and they are so darn cute! Here’s what you’ll need:

*1 cup applesauce

*1 cup cinnamon

*cookie cutters

*rolling pin

*cutting board


*ribbon The first step is to dump the 1 cup applesauce and 1 cup cinnamon into a bowl and mix it.

After it gets lumpy, take it out and knead it on a cutting board (sprinkle cinnamon on board before to keep dough from sticking).

Then roll out the dough. I added a little flour to mine and kneaded it some more because it kept sticking to the rolling pin (and I was out of cinnamon, otherwise I would have used more of that!) 

Cut the shapes out. I cut out 9 shapes, but the number would vary depending on the shapes you use. Make sure to poke a hole (using a pencil) for the ribbon to go through. 

Then put them on a cookie sheet and in the oven at 150 degrees F for 3-5 hours (or you can air dry for several days). 

Add a ribbon and hang them on your tree! 

Isn’t this the most adorable little tree? I got this for the boys to keep in their room and it is a huge hit. I remember having a small tree in my room growing up, so I’m hoping to keep up with tradition. Make sure you try this easy craft out this Christmas season! You won’t be disappointed!

Christmas Sensory Tub & Giveaway!

26 Nov

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had so much fun being with family. Now, I’m getting so excited for the Christmas season! We have our tree, lights and stockings up and it makes our home feel so cozy. This weekend, we switched out sensory tubs to a Christmas one. The boys really enjoyed playing with it.

So to start making it, you’ll need to die dry pasta. Here’s what you’ll need for it.

*Dry noodles (I used 4 (16oz.) macaroni noodle boxes)

*Rubbing Alcohol

*Food Coloring (I used the entire red and green one)

*2 Ziploc gallon size bags

So what you’ll do is dump the pasta in a Ziploc bag and pour alcohol in it until all the noodles are wet (about half bottle). Then pour the food coloring in. Shake until all the noodles are colored. Then let sit for 5-7 minutes.

Then you’ll lay the noodles on cookie sheets lined with parchment or wax paper. Let it dry (overnight is best).

Then you’ll fill it with fun Christmas decorations! This is what I put in ours:

*6 fake candy canes ($1 at Dollar Tree)

*2 Christmas tree ornaments ($1 at Dollar Tree)

*12 wrapped presents ($1 at Dollar Tree)

*12 bells ($1 at Dollar Tree)

And of course you could add whatever you’d like to the sensory tub! I let my kids have tongs, different sizes of containers, funnels, etc. to play with. They love  it! 

This was Wes’ favorite sensory tub. He really liked feeling the noodles and putting them in the cup.

Oh and he also really liked shaking the bell!

So there you have it…a fun Christmas sensory tub!

I’m so excited to announce that today is Teaching Mama’s 1st giveaway! I am very thankful for my readers and with Christmas being around the corner, I want to give back a little something to you! I’ll be giving away a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card. The boys and I absolutely LOVE going to Barnes and Noble. They love playing with the trains, checking out the books, playing with the stuffed animals and occasionally getting a delicious drink or snack. Here are a few things I am loving for the kids right now at B & N.

Melissa and Doug- Sort & Snap

Magnetic Wooden Letters

Eric Carle’s Animal Lacing Cards

BOB Books

And of course, you could use the gift card to spoil yourself! This is a great book if you are looking for a good read.

One Thousand Gifts

There are several ways you can enter this contest. See the click on the Rafflecopter giveaway below and enter away! (I’m currently trying to fix why you have to click on it instead of it just showing up, so sorry for the inconvenience!) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, linking up with Homeschool Creations today!

Work in Progress!

24 Nov

Just wanted to apologize if you’re looking at my blog and it looks a little crazy lately. Just changin’ up the design and seeing what I like best. I seem to keep changing my mind….so sorry if you’re confused!

I’ll leave you with a few photos from Thanksgiving!

Mom and her girls!

The whole fam! (SO hard to take a picture with all 11 of us!)

Thanks for your patience!

A Cute Thanksgiving Gift!

21 Nov

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow! I really love this holiday….such a beautiful time to reflect on the many blessings in our lives. I have so much to be thankful for, but the things I’m most grateful for is my family, good health, and Savior. What are you thankful for?

We read this book, The Perfect Thanksgiving. It’s a cute book about comparing 2 different family’s Thanksgiving and in the end realizing that as long as families love each other, it’s a perfect Thanksgiving at everyone’s house. 

We are headed up north to visit my grandma. As a thank you for her hospitality, I wanted to give her something. She loves homemade items and I thought Troy would love giving her something he made, so we came up with this craft. First, we painted some sheets of card stock. It was fun for him since he could be messy and it didn’t matter. Then we traced his hand and Wesley’s hand. So cute to see their adorable little hands! Then I cut out their hands and added eyes, beak and turkey gobbler. Next, I typed out this poem and added the little “turkeys” to the bottom. Here’s how it turned out! To get the PDF copy of the poem, click on ThanksgivingThankYou. This will be fun for my grandma to look at…in fact I think I want to make another one so I can remember those adorable little hands in a few years!

In other news, I’m SO excited to share that I’ll be attending the BEECH blogging retreat I talked about in Monday’s post. I didn’t win the giveaway, but they still had space for me, so I signed up! I am excited to learn more about blogging! 

And finally, I want to announce that I’ll be doing my first giveaway to my amazing readers starting Monday!! Make sure you stop by Monday to see this great giveaway!!

I’m so thankful for all of you. Have a wonderful, safe Thanksgiving!

Linking up with Homeschool Creations today!

Tommy the Triangle

20 Nov

We’re ending our lessons on the letter ‘T’ this week. But before we end, I wanted to do a lesson shapes, mainly triangles since it starts with ‘T’!

We read one of my favorite shapes book. The Greedy Triangle is about a triangle who is tired and bored of being a triangle, so he goes to the shapeshifter and changes into all sorts of shapes. In the end, he decides being a triangle is the best. The language in this book is too hard for a 3 year old to understand, so I retold the story to him in my own words so he could understand. Still, he could understand the concept and it introduced him to a triangle and other shapes.

Then we made Tommy the Triangle!! Here’s what you’ll need:

*a large triangle shape

*googly eyes

*other cut out shapes for a face


So to start, I gave him these shapes and had him put together Tommy the Triangle. 

And here he is!

Do any of you have fun lessons for teaching shapes?

Birthday Weekend!

19 Nov

Happy Monday!! I hope you all had a great weekend. We spent Saturday celebrating Troy’s 3rd Birthday! I can hardly believe he’s 3! Where does the time go?! We had fun with family and friends celebrating this special boy!

Troy’s little buddy. They are so goofy!

Troy has been wanting 2 specific presents for quite some time now…a football helmet and a train table. Well, his wishes were granted! He got a cute Hawkeye football outfit from his aunt and uncle. He has been playing football nonstop since then. In fact, he is even wearing it now!

He was SO shocked and surprised to receive his very own train table!! Thank you to both sets of grandparents. Both boys will spend many hours playing with this.

Check out how grown up little Wes looks! (and excuse his messy shirt!!)

And we ended the busy night with baths and story time with Aunt Kel. The boys adore her!!

Thank you to everyone who made this little 3 year old feel incredibly special!

Lastly, I wanted to share about a blogging retreat that I would LOVE to participate in. I heard about this retreat from Homeschool Creations. Jolanthe is giving away 1 BEECH Retreat ticket! This retreat is only open to 80 bloggers and it will be such an amazing experience. 6 well-known bloggers will be speaking and this will be a time will be time to learn about  social media, photography, design, leadership, time management and so much more! It will also be a time to network with other bloggers and renew my vision for this blog. I would LOVE an opportunity to go, so I will let you all know if I get chosen! If not, I’ll be signing up next year (since it’s already full for this year)!

Have a great Monday and I’ll see you back here tomorrow!

Superhero Masks

16 Nov

Troy is REALLY into superheroes right now…thanks to his dad! 🙂

Tomorrow we’re celebrating his birthday and I made these fun superhero masks for the party! We’ve also had fun playing superheroes around the house.I can’t take any credit for these masks, so if you want a tutorial, check out this gal’s blog.  It was pretty easy for a beginner sewer like me. It has been awhile since I’ve gotten my sewing machine out and I forgot that I actually do like doing sewing projects…well easy ones, that is! 

This is Troy’s Hulk face…he is off to fight the bad guys with a toothbrush!

And just in case you wondered where this little guy is, he is off reading books! Seriously, he reads this DOG book twenty times a day. He did play superheroes with us, he is just too quick for pictures!

Have a beautiful weekend!

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