Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Finally…a Solution!

To my “artwork all over the fridge” problem. Now that Garrett is in preschool and Colin is old enough to DO crafts instead of just eat them or destroy them, we have been doing a lot more.  Along with that came a big problem-what to do with all of the artwork. I brought up the problem to my husband, who came up with the system below. Simply a thin curtain rod with rings. Genius! Now when a piece of artwork needs a home, we just stick it up for all to admire, and rotate when we need to. The kids love to see their hard work displayed, and I love that my fridge is now clutter free!

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

What We’ve Been Up To

Surviving mostly. These past few weeks have definitely been a transition.  My little guy will be 3 weeks old on Monday. He has already changed so much I can hardly believe it.  Everyone that sees him says how small he is, but to me, he is already huge. Here are a few updated pictures of our new little guy.

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I’ve been trying to keep some kind of routine with the other two. Before the baby was born, I was trying to introduce a new letter every week or two to Garrett. So continuing with that, we started talking about Rr. My goal is for him to recognize all of the letters in his name. At this rate, we will get through the alphabet in about 2 years, ;-)

So in between changing diapers, potty training my 2 year old, feedings, breaking up fights, etc etc… here are a few things we’ve done. Nothing major, but enough to keep them somewhat busy.

Rainbow Necklaces
I just had them string fruit loops to a lacing string to make a necklace. Colin actually kept with it for a long time and made a very long necklace.  I gave Garrett the pattern for a rainbow and had him follow the pattern. Of course it ended with them eating the cereal.

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Ribbon Rainbow
This idea came from Mama Jenn’s blog and is based on the book What Makes a Rainbow.

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My kids love this book, especially the ribbons. (When you open each page a new colored ribbon is added to the rainbow)  I got a bunch of ribbon on clearance at Michael’s a long time ago, cut it up into 1 inch pieces,  and pulled it out for this project. First, they sorted the ribbon into bowls. Then,  I just drew 6 lines on a piece of construction paper and had them glue on the pieces of ribbon to make a rainbow.

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The finished project. Notice the 2 year olds “rainbow”  ;-) He just had fun gluing the pieces on.

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Pumpkin Counting
I never did get around to do this in October, but it was just as big of a hit in November. I found this pumpkin patch counting mat here and bought a bag of candy pumpkins. I had Garrett draw a number card and count out that many pumpkins to put in the patch. Anything with food is a hit with him. He asked to do this every night for a week, of course eating a few pumpkins each time.

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And finally…just because, here is one of my favorite pictures of the week. The older two trying to console Austin. Precious!

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Friday, November 5, 2010

TOS Review: Collectorz.com

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Are you a book lover? I’m guessing if you have children, you have a pretty big selection of children’s books. Being a mom and a former teacher, I admit I am slightly addicted to children’s books and have several bookshelves and bins full to the brim.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know which books you own and even have them digitally organized? I would! So when I heard I’d be reviewing Collectorz.com, an on-line cataloging website, I was pretty excited.

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What is Collectorz.com?

In an nutshell, it is a way for you to see which books you own, even while away from home.  You can browse your book collection, sort and search your database, view statistics of your database, export to your iPod, iPhone, or Android, and print your book data.

How Do You Add Books?

In 3 easy steps!

Step 1. Type or scan the book's ISBN
Book Collector will use the ISBN to search the Collectorz.com book database

Step 2. Select your book from the Search Results
When searching by ISBN there often is only one result, so you just have to confirm it's the right one.

Step 3. Click Add to add the book to your database
Book Collector will now download all book data, including Title, Author, Publisher, Publication Date,
Number of Pages and, when available, the cover image.

OR

Scan the ISBN with a barcode scanner (seems like this would be the way to go if you have as many books as me. Of course, you’d have to invest in a scanner.)

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Catalog books by entering author and title

Key Features:

1. You can put in much more information than title, author, publisher, etc. The website allows you to enter so much more about a book including series, volume, edition, printer, paper type, dimensions, original title, original language etc…as well as more personal information such as owner, purchase data, value data, rating, location, book characters, editor, translator, cover artist, etc… Here is an example for the book Carrie.

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Of course, there are a zillion other cool features about this website that I didn’t have the opportunity to explore. I encourage you to visit their website features page to see more pictures and examples of the depth of this program.

How Much Does it Cost?

Book Collector Standard Edition-$24.95
Book Collector Pro Edition-$49.95

My Thoughts:

I would love to have my books catagorized so that I could see exactly what I have for each holiday, season, theme, etc. The only thing that concerns me is the time that it would take to enter all of my books. Collectorz thought of this and provided a way to scan the ISBN with a barcode, but that would require an additional purchase.

I really like the features of this website; they really did seem to think of everything. I am familiar with a few other free websites that also catagorize books, but the features do not match up to Collectorz. You have to decide if you need all of those features. If so, it might be worth paying for.

Click here to see what others are saying about Collectorz.com

Disclaimer: I was given a free trial subscription to Collectorz.com in exchange for my review as part of the TOS Crew.