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I Am Recovering from a Birthday

Well, not recovering exactly, but still a bit shaken. This isn't one of my typical posts.

I had one of those birthdays a few months ago. A big decade birthday. Not 40, not even the decade after that. It's the one after that.  The one that starts with a six.

Honestly, a birthday has never really thrown me the way that one did. The (false) image I have of someone in this decade is not how I picture myself. (Whenever I think like that, though, it helps me to think about my sister, who at 66 is more like a 40 year old in looks, energy, and lifestyle.  She does not fit my image of someone in this decade.)

Anyway, those big birthdays always have a tendency to make me look back, with some valuable insights.

I was a young "career woman" in the early 80s, and as I was from one of the first generations of women with more options for careers, I had some pretty strong feelings about things.

Housework?  Disdainful. (Stay with me here.)  Give us "quality daycare, and let us get out there and be "career women." (I had no kids yet and actually had no idea what "quality daycare" meant, and I had no idea what the term "career women" actually meant either. I had vague images of women in business suits with briefcases.)  Women were breaking new ground.

I had always gravitated to artistic, creative types of activities, but I also saw myself in one of the "helping" professions--a social worker, maybe.  I loved kids, and I could also see myself working in education. Those aren't really briefcase professions, but the options were wide open.

Over 50 blogger
In my college dorm, drawing

Treasure Hunt Notes ~ A Reading Game

Hello all!  I hope you are enjoying these early days of summer!  If you're needing a fun learning activity for your kids at home, read on...

One of my (many!) early career aspirations was to become a preschool teacher, so I really enjoyed spending time at home with my kids (well, I usually enjoyed it!) when they were little.

We were often in the living room, singing and dancing to a Spanish cassette tape (cassette tapes, whaaat?),  playing memory games, or writing little stories to make into books created from the wallpaper sample books we'd collect. There was a little paint store, not far from our house, that always had a bunch of old wallpaper sample books to give away.  It was one of my daughter's favorite places, and the wallpaper samples were wonderful, pretty free paper.

My inner child and my inner teacher thrived.

Many of the activities we did involved letters, books, and reading. (I'm a reading tutor!)

One of the fun, simple things we did as my kids were learning to read was a treasure hunt inside the house. The treasure hunt required reading multiple simple clues that eventually led to a prize.

Reading game at

Brush Lettering with Crayola Markers

Recently, I've learned Crayola markers can be used for brush lettering. So I wanted to try it. It works!

Brush Lettering with Crayola Markers at

Now, I do have a lot of brush markers already... (Obsessed, remember?)  Maybe, though, you want to give brush lettering a whirl, and you don't have a brush marker yet.

Home Matters Linky Party #109

Welcome to the weekly Home Matters Linky Party. A great place to come, share your blog posts, and make new friends. 

Home Matters Linky Party #109!

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 Thanks for stopping by Home Matters and partying with us!

Fun Ideas for Your Fall Parties and Crafts

Ok, this Ewok costume was going to be the finale of this post, but how can I not start with it?  Isn't Sunny the cutest Ewok you've ever seen??  Even despite the fuzzy phone picture?!  And, no worries, Sunny loves it.  (We wouldn't do it if she didn't.)

Ewok dog

Multisensory Gel Bag or Board

Senora Schlatter was my Spanish teacher in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. She was amazing and was one of the biggest influences on my own teaching style. The first two years, our group was small, and we learned colors and numbers with a game called Lo Tengo (which was actually Bingo. Well, it literally translates to "I Have It.") We learned the Spanish names for the items in the room with labeled index cards--la silla (the chair), la mesa (the table), el lapiz (the pencil), etc.  It was so much FUN to learn Spanish. (Learning Spanish that early also helped me a lot in Spanish classes all the way through college.)  But, this post isn't about Spanish.

Flash forward to reading tutor me.  I have found that keeping kids engaged, the way Senor Schlatter did, is key to keeping them learning. If you have a preschooler at home, learning should be about play and fun anyway.

And this gel board is fun.

Multisensory Gel

I have seen many versions of this gel board online, and I instantly fell in love with it when I saw one.

Home Matters Linky Party #101

Welcome to the weekly Home Matters Linky Party. A great place to come, share your blog posts, and make new friends. What a week I've had! I truly hope yours wasn't as crazy.  (My computer died, but I'm back with a much faster model, so I'm grateful for that, despite all of the hassle!)  I'm so glad you're here for the party.

Home Matters Linky Party #101!

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