Teaching Heart Mom

Just a Mom With a Teaching Heart. Find fun activities to do with your kiddos and students (infant to age 10). www.teachingheart.net blog

Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm Ready for Spring... Bring on the GREEN!

O, my goodness...  Will Spring ever come?  Ugh, still tons of snow on the gound.  I can't take it anymore.

St. Patty Day is around the corner!  Let's think Green with some great links to Spring fun!

Ready for St. Patrick's Day???

NEW Free Roll for Shamrocks Games
You can print the gameboard here and watch a video of my kiddos playing the game.

Like our printables, try one of our CDROM's at:

Check here for many ideas and themes for Spring/Summer

Be sure to download you free bunny graph at:

NEW EASTER GUMMIES Graph and Sorting
Free Printables!!! I found the Gummies at Sams Club. Start looking!!!

Great ideas and printables in one easy download!

St. Patrick Day Packet

Sing For Spring Packet #2

Spring Packet #1

End of Year Packet (icecream & watermellon)

LOOK WHAT I FOUND: Off of Teaching Heart

Cute Free Printable mini book: Leprechaun Walk

PS.  Dear Snow,
I'm done...  the only snowman I want to see if one made of sand!
Love, Colleen

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Get Your Easter Bunny Gummies

I want to share this activity early.  This way you have time to find these Easter Gummies.  I found mine at Sam's Club.  They are made by Betty Crocker.

The little packs are yummy and cute.  See..


I created a sorting sheet and graph to match the gummy candy.  The sorting is for prek to first grade.  The graph can be done in first through third.  Just a fun Spring Time activity. 

Working on sorting skills and counting...

You can print these  two pages out for your classroom or kiddos!  Click here to download the word files!

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Mermaid Cake

I have to share a picture of this awesome mermaid cake made by my sister-in-law for her daughter's third birthday.  It is super creative and I think it is so great how she used the chocolate mold chips (the ones you normally melt - as seen below) to decorate the cake.  My sister-in-law makes awesome icing too. 

Notice how the cupcakes are used for hair.  She made the cupcakes Gluten free and made the icing for the cupcakes with powdered sugar, rice milk, and vanilla extract. 

I just think it is the coolest cake for a Mermaid party!

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rolling Shamrocks Game

One of my favorite holidays to celebrate with my kiddos and in the classroom is coming around the corner.  It's St. Patrick's Day and it will be here in a few days!! 

Here's a fun dice game my kiddos played today.  I like it because they both can play it together independently.  My four year old is working on her counting skills and her big brother gets to play along too. 

All you need is the printable game board (click the link to download), dice, and a crayon per player.  Players take turns coloring in their shamrocks.  First player to color in all their shamrocks is LUCKY!!!

Check out all my St. Patrick's Day Posts here...

Lots of great ideas and resources can be found here...

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Moo... It is Monday!

Okay, I saw this cartoon and had to laugh.  I have a muffin top and I hate it!  Maybe I should love my body and be positive about it like the girl in the cartoon...  I will say my muffin top is shrinking a bit and I like seeing it shrink...  Don't worry, I won't be wearing a cut-off shirt showing off my muffin top.  That is brave.  If you google muffin top in images, you will see a million women willing to wear cut-off shirts to show off their muffin top.  Grossssss....  I have one and don't plan to flaunt it and really wish others would do the same.  LOL!

So this week went pretty well in diet and exercise world. 

Weight Loss:

Last week I was happy to have not gained a pound and this week I lost a pound.  I am happy with that.  Slow I go...  but that is okay.  This is a long process.  No magic is being performed.  My grand total is 13 pounds in 7 weeks. 

I have to say that this week was hard.  I had tons of cravings for food that were not clean choices.  I am guessing that was due to my poor behavior over the weekend.  I gave in a few times.  Yet, when I did give in, I kept those foods small in portion.  My sister-in-law made an awesome mermaid cake for my nieces third birthday.  She makes the best icing and then covered that icing in chocolate wafers (pics. later of the cake).  Yep, I gave in and had some of that. 

Watch this video for some great and easy clean eating foods,


This marks the end of week 1 in a 10 week training program I am working on for a 10 mile race I will be running at the end of April.  It was a pretty easy start.
Monday - 60 min. boot camp
Tues. - 2 mile run
Wed. - 2 mile run - 1 mile walk
Thurs. - 60 min. Boot camp
Friday - 2 mile run - 1 mile walk
Saturday - rest
Sunday - 2 mile run in 21 minutes

Check out this fun article about sharing the gym!  I had a good laugh! 

One should eat to live, not live to eat. ~Cicero, Rhetoricorum LV

When I buy cookies I eat just four and throw the rest away. But first I spray them with Raid so I won't dig them out of the garbage later. Be careful, though, because that Raid really doesn't taste that bad. ~Janette Barber

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Convience Without High Fructose Corn Syrup!!!

My son loves his PB&J sandwiches.  I would often buy the kind Smucker's makes.  They are yummy.  He loves them and they even have ones made with whole wheat.  They look like this:
One problem, flip over the box and you will notice HFCS is right there as one of the top ingredients...  So I made my own P&J sandwiches.  Very healthy ones and I can freeze them and then pop them in his lunch in the am!!! 

What's in them: 

Nature's Pride is one of the only breads on the shelf that I could find that did not have HFCS in it and had only natural ingredients.

Polamer All Fruit Jelly

Naturally More PB&J (He gets some flax seed and doesn't even know it)

Cut with a sandwich cutter and you have a ready to bag sandwich.  Place in a ziploc baggie and freeze.  Take out of freezer in the am and place in lunch box.  EASY an no HFCS or other "not so good for you" ingredients!


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Turning Four!

It is hard to believe that our Cindy Lou Who is now four.  As I type she sits on my lap curled in a blanket.  It's amazing how fast children grow.  It seems like yesterday when we brought her home from the hospital.  Now she is a smiling, talking, "I'll do it myself!" kinda Gal!  She loves her big brother, princesses, playing with friends, and kicking around the soccer ball.  She dislikes food in general; unless, sugar is the first ingredient.  Yes, she is pretty remarkable and I feel so blessed that God choose me to be her mom.  I pray I can help her be a loving, kind, happy, and healthy child and then adult! 

Anyhow, I wanted to share some fun we had at her birthday...  Mostly a hodge podge of Tinker Bell, Frog Princess, and Hearts! 

The Snacks:
Homemade chocolate covered pretzels, hummus and red peppers, trail mix with popcorn, white chips, v-day M&M's, and raisins, princess crackers, strawberries, and blueberries....

The Cake:  Tinker Bell made with The Wilton Tinker Bell Cake Pan!  My favorite thing about making these cakes is the reaction I get from my kids when they see the finished product.  It makes it all worth the pain of mixing the icing colors and spending at least an hour decorating the cake in hopes it will resemble what it is meant to be.  My daughter said, "Wow, Mom...  this is so pretty, I love it!"

Party Favors:  Tinker Bell on the outside.  Inside there was a CD of my daughter's favorite songs (many our Lady Gaga songs - the girl has taste).  Also a Valentine craft, bracelets, a stuffed dog, and a few other treasurers only a child could love and a mom can't wait to throw away when they aren't looking.  Plus, my mom made yummy sugar cookies in heart form.  They were the size of the kiddos heads.

Game: Kiss the Frog.  Printed out a large frog, glued it to poster board and the children spun a round and tried to stick a graphic of lips on the frogs lips.

Crafts:  Make your own wand. Melissa & Doug Arts &Crafts Decorate Your Party Favors Wooden Princess Wand .

I love a good party and this one was lots of fun...  Added bonus was that the kids had fun without lots of expense.  At age four they just want to dress-up and play together! 

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I'm Giving Up Facebook for lent!

Giving up chocolate, candy, alcohol etc for Lent...what about that 21st century semi addiction Facebook???

I thought about it last year and blogged about it too.   I was weak then and gave up Diet Coke instead.  This year as I sat down thinking up what I should give up...  I started to think of some of my favorite things;

Diet Coke - Gave that up weeks ago to clean up my diet...
Chocolate - Really hardly eat that anyhow now that I am working on being clean.
Blackberry - Not that strong!
Magazines - Naaahhhh!!!
Swearing - Don't do that very often.
Drinking - Don't really do that either.
Hmmmm.  Facebook - on that silly site way too much.  Plus I once called it a Black Hole in my life and really it is.  I read this blog article and it made me really think and wonder what life would be like without my Facebook Vice? 

This is like a little experiment in seeing if I get more done this way.  How many times have I thought I was going to get the laundry done and ended up on Facebook???    A few too many!  It will be interesting to see if I get more done now that I am Facebook free till Easter.  I hear that giving up Facebook is a popular/trendy thing to do. People even give you tips on how to give it up!   I am joining the trend.  It will be hard for me as I do LOVE Facebook!  I will be wondering what all my Facebook Buds are up to and probably miss out on a lot of the fun Facebook chatter.  Still, It will be a challenge and a break that I need. 

Have you ever given up Facebook for Lent or just because?  Did your to-do list improve?  Was it hard?

Here's a few interesting links I found on the subject:

If we are Facebook friends, you will need to email or call me if you need me.  I'll let you all know how life without Facebook goes in a future post. 

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Moooo.... It's Monday!

This week (well basically this weekend) was a diet killer.  Clean eating out the window.  However I did get in a salad and some veggies.  Mostly I ate fattening restaurant dishes, had some very sugary snacks, and drank wine till I felt a little sick.  Sometimes spending time with old friends & family over the weekend means you let loose... and I sure did let loose in the diet and exercise department.  With that said, this week starts my second five weeks of torture, I mean Boot Camp.  I am already back to counting calories and got a hard AM workout in. 

Weight loss:

All I have to say is that, I did not gain a pound and I probably should have gained FIVE. Sunday my calories were through the roof... Coffee with creamer, Panera Bagels with cream cheese, sausage casserole, onion soup, Burchetta Chicken Sandwich with a roll that went through the fryer, meatball sandwich, potato salad, homemade macaroni... HUNGRY???

I am back on track today except I am paying for my binge with cravings again... Big red heart cookies and the icing I made for my daughters Tinkerbell cake, it keeps calling me. I am resisting, but it was easier to resist last week before I went off the track. I know it takes a week for my body to adjust and maybe I will learn my lesson that it isn't worth it to stray away from eating healthy if you get those ever so annoying cravings back again. UGH!


Moderate execise this week...  Day 1: 1 mile run
Day 2: 5.5 mile run/walk with a time of 60 minutes
Day 3: Spin class with a 2 mile run with a time of 20 minutes for the run!!!
(Throw some shoveling in the mix too)

That's it...  I lost 2 days in there somewhere...  Next week you will see the normal five days since this week begins official running training. 

For Valentine's Day my hubby let me sign on for another five weeks of boot camp.  Also, the kids picked out a new charm for my bracelet...  It was a Running Shoe Charm.  My son said, "We picked this one because you run all the time."  (O, my GOSH!!!  My kids think I am a runner!)  Daddy said he didn't help with the picking out at all except setting the price limit.  That made me feel good and motivated to get this 10 miles done in April so I can truely say I am a runner who runs big races. 
Here's to getting back on track.  Bye, Bye, Love My Goat... you are out of the picture!  Week seven!!!

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Olympic Learning!

Just a few idea to use with your classroom or kiddos over the winter Olympics!

Get black sheet paper and cover a bulletin board with it. Place a sports boarder around the board. On a computer generate a red, white, and blue sign with the title, "Going for the Gold in Room 1!" Make the Olympic Rings out of Oaktag. Make a Tourch and Flame out of oaktage. Purchase pretend medals at a party store. Make five smaller circles on a computer and place the words, writing, growing, learning, reading, and math in each circle. Place this all on a bulletin board!

Math Ideas:
- Make bar graphs for the gold, silver and bronze medals won for each country. You could also graph students favorite Olympic Sport.

-Take brain breaks to measure student jumps, throws and running speeds

Language Arts:

-Read various books on the Olympics

-Have students write a poem about the Olympics

-Have students write a speech about winning the gold medal.

-If I were Olympic Athlete...

-Brainstorm ideas of what it takes to be an Olympic Athlete. Students list and illustrate the ideas.

-Put the sports names in ABC order.

-Write a news report.

-Take a picture of each students head. Have the student cut out their head and then draw the body of what sport they would like to compete in. Make sure they include an Olympic background behind their drawing. Below the drawing you could have student write about their time at the Olympics.

Arts and Crafts

- Use pipe cleaners to have students create their own Olympic rings

-Make Olympic Torches your students can eat... Use a sugar cone and whip cream. Sprinkle yellow sprinkles on the whip cream and you have torch the students can eat.

-Have an oreo Olympics:
Oreo Stacking
Oreo Relays
Oreo Rolling
Oreo Eating

5 Free PDF Printables From Teaching Heart

KWL Olympic Sheet


Click here to see and download the rest off of Teaching Heart!

I have created this page in honor of the 2006 Olympics and due to the large volume of requests from Teaching Heart Teachers who were looking for Olympic ideas to use in their classrooms. Here you will find ideas, printables, and great links that will help you create an Olympic Theme/Unit in your classroom. A special thanks to the teachers who sent me the great links to include on this page

Links off of Teaching Heart worth visiting!

Winter Sports Coloring!

Olympic and Winter Olympic Fuse Bead Patterns

Olympic Games Worksheets

Winter Olympic games to make and play with friends

Mazes, Word Searched, Dot to Dot, and lots more!


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Saturday, February 13, 2010

First Grade is too Early to Learn About the Birds and the Bees...

My son brings home books every week. They are allowed to take out three books. My son often runs to the nonfiction section and picks out three books on the same topic. For weeks he was bringing home books on different bugs and then for weeks after that it was different forms of weather. Later, recipe books. My husband asked him the night before library to please pick books from other sections of the library. He listened and brought home a book on government, a book on Glaciers, and a book on the body. I quickly glanced at the covers and told him to go read the books. He reads independently and I have always been happy he is a good reader until this day...

He was reading The Giant Book of the Body.  Which looks like the one below on Amazon for way too much money.

He brings up the book when he is on this page below...  Full of questions!

I silently start reading; "New Life.  New human life begins when a women and man make love, and a tiny female egg cell joins with an even tinier male sperm cell...  The two cells are brought together when the man puts his penis into the women's vagina, and sperm cells are released and swim up through her womb..."    Not to mention the nice illustrations... 

Um... Sh##! I was in no way ready to even discuss this topic... I quickly took away the book (called Daddy for advice) and told my son that this is something more for older people to read about and something that happens when you are old and married. We would share more information on this topic with him when he was older. Of course my husband was even more annoyed by this... calling the author a female liberal who thinks five year olds should be taught about sex. He feels the author almost snuck this into the book.
Next step is to take the book to school and show the librararian... which I am pretty positive would not wish to have kindergarten through third graders reading without parent permission.

Another funny little part to this story is that when I told my son I did not want him reading this and then I hid the book, he found the book!  I saw him reading it one AM when he thought I was upstairs... 

Moral of this story is:  Don't judge a book by the cover!  If your child is a good reader, you may want to skim a book before you send them off to read on their own.  Even if the book came from a elementary school library!

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Moo…. It’s Monday!!!

Heading into week six of a healthy me! Had a pretty good week (week 5)! Unfortunately, no loss to report… but I had to have gained muscle this week with all the working out and three hours of shoveling  and throwing very heavy snow. I have to say, I should hurt terribly from all that shoveling… but all my working out must have paid off because my shoulder blades only hurt a bit and I can lift my hands above my head. I do recall a time after shoveling, that my arms would not lift above my head.

Weight loss:

I am not too bummed that my scale did not change this week. Four pounds last week and 11 pounds total for 5 weeks is good!! That is still more than 2 a week.   Five more weeks of this I will be 20+ pounds down!


I did boot camp three times this week. I ran five miles on Tues!!! That is a break through for me! Only five more to go till 10 miles!!!  Exercised five days this week. 

So, this five weeks of boot camp is over. I have decided to do one more five week session. It starts up on the 15th. I will miss my favorite boot camp buddy once I start again!!! It definitely won’t be as fun without her there. The run around will definitely be boring without having her to catch up with before we get out butts kicked.
Check out these links:

Friends That Exercise Together Get Better Results!

Diet Friend of Foe - Thought these were funny... I think have fitted into each of these sterotypes one time or another.

Calories Burned By Shoveling Snow!

Well, I better get off to the treadmill while my kids are still entertaining themselves.

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Help, Too Much Snow...

It started on Tuesday; the weatherman said we were going to get hit with 8 -12 inches Friday through Saturday. People in my area were rushing to the stores to buy TP, bread, and Milk. I was not one of those people, I thought the weatherman would be wrong and he was wrong. Instead of the predicted 8 to 12 inches the Pittsburgh area got almost 2 feet of snow... My husband measured 30 inches in one area.

Last time I remember this much snow was my Junior/senior year of high school. Here I am standing in my driveway after we had dug out. I was on my way to work at the Baskin Robbins in South Hills Village (which is now a candy shop at South Hills Village). This was Jan. 1993. This is nothing compared to what my parents driveway looks like today.
Here is the same driveway today.  A tree is covering it along with the snow.  The tree had now been removed thanks to help from their neighbor.

Anyhow, back to the present...  Friends were telling me the stores were so crowded...  So I decided to wait till Friday to go to the store.  Then my son woke with a Fever and we were "fever-ed" in.  My hubby did stop at the store to get milk and bread...  but bread and milk don't help that much when you wake up in the AM to about 2 feet of snow and no electricity or heat.  For lunch on Saturday we had cheese and bread.  I was out of everything... even PB and Jelly.  We finally ventured out to town on Sunday because my son had a terrible ear ache and we were hungry.  The ear ache turned out to be a nasty infection...  We do have food now.

Life is returning to normal... besides no school today and wondering what Tuesday holds.  They say more snow...  There is no place left for the snow to go.  

Here are some pictures of what it looked like here:

Ok, I am ready to get out of here...  Anyone want to go away with me???


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Printable Creative Valentine's!

I have never been a fan of the boxed Valentine's Day cards.  I love all the ideas shared on blogs and websites about creative Valentine's Day Cards.  In 2009, I shared some here.  Here are our 2010 cards for the Princess and Batman fan.  You can print them for your child here

They print four per page.  If you buy postcard paper to print them on, they will print on those and you will not have to cut them. 
The Princess one you need to attach an edible wand to it with scotch shape.  I purchased the wands in packs of ten at Walmart.  I wrote the little poem on the card to match the treat. 

The Batman one, you will need to attach a heart lollipop to it.  Your kiddos can sign the card on the line and you are done!

The issue of Family Fun for this month had some very cute and easy creative Valentine's too.  They have a ton of creative and inexpensive ideas here.  I love this one below, my son said, "No way mom!"

If you are a Teacher or Home-Schooler...  Hop here for some great classroom ideas!

Tip Junkie had VERY creative ideas.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Moooo.... It's Monday!

Hello! First I wanted to thank everyone for the kind words about my goal for 2010. Super nice of you to take the time and write to me in the comments section. My one girlfriend (you know who you are) was so funny last week… she emailed me on Sunday and wanted to know why I hadn’t posted a healthy update yet. I had to reminder her it was a Moo Monday post! Still it made me feel good that she was looking forward to it. ;)

Heading into week five of a healthy me! Had another good week (week 4)! Still it was hard in the food department because I ate out twice this week. Once for a friend’s 40th and once for my little brother’s 30th. Salmon one night and steak the next – both delish! However the exercise must have paid off a little.

Weight loss:

I am amazed that I lost 4 pounds this week. That puts me at 11 pounds in four weeks! That is more than 2 a week. I will take it! Yeah!!!! I have a feeling this week will be a smaller loss… but if I can even loose a pound then that will put me at 12 for five weeks. I am good with that!

Chugging along with clean eating… I made this Healthy Smoothie/Smoothy
after finding that I really love almond milk. It is only 40 calories a cup! Better than the Silk I was drinking. Even if you aren’t on a diet, you should tryAlmond Milk, it is yummy.

Thought I would share my typical grocery list lately… I left off the few unclean things I buy for my kids… but I still try to buy treats for them that do not have HFCS and have a small amount of ingredients (less than 5).

Fruit: Apples, grapefruit, grapes, strawberries and bananas.

Red peppers, Tomatos, onion, garlic, mushrooms, squash, baby spinach, bagged lettuce

Sweet Potatos, Oatmeal, Oroweat double fiber bread, low carb tortillas, hot multigrain cereal, brown rice, all types of beans, natural peanut butter and whole wheat flour for the pancakes, Natural Granola, Eziekel English Muffins, hummus, cottage cheese, almond milk, greek yogurt…

Tuna fish, chicken breast, ground turkey/lean beef.


I did boot camp M,T, F, and Sat. I ran three miles on Wed. and walked a mile. Thursday I had planned to go to boot camp. I went to pick up my neighbor for camp and saw the email that it was cancelled… Here’s the part I am amazed about… Instead of going back to bed (as the old me would have done) I popped in Big Love and ran three miles and walked 2 miles. I rested on Sun. I have two more weeks before I start real training for the 10 miles at the end of April.

This is my last week of the five week boot camp. I am bummed. I feel like this is working… Unfortunately, my hubby still needs some convincing due to the price tag… but I am going to go with the, “I want this as a VDay present approach!” I will let you know if it works. I just think another 5 weeks would really put this new habit in place for me.

Random Thoughts:

2 Helpful Diet Links:

Benefits of Clean Eating - http://nutrition.suite101.com/article.cfm/clean_eating_basics

Clean Eating Isn’t a Fad Diet …. It’s The Real Deal. Learn the Basics of Eating Clean and Reap The Health, Weight-Loss and Fitness Rewards.

Book Recommendation:

In Defense of Food - the author was on Oprah this week.  You can Test your Food IQ here!

Check this out from Oprah! 
Fat, carbohydrates and calories are listed on every label, but where that food comes from, what's been added and what's been removed isn't as easy to see. Michael Pollan on the truth about the food you eat.

You Tube Video

What’s in Your Milk http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=trWcqxrQgcc

Thanks for reading!!!

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