Tot School – Letter Ii

tottrays

Every week, I put out six tot trays out for the week and I try to be intentional with activities that correlate with each of the four Montessori learning categories: Language, Sensory, Mathematics, Practical Life.  Our Tot Trays are out on our shelf all week.  I’ll take one out intentionally for us to play together, but he can also play wiht them at any time.

DSC01886 A clothespin color matching game I made with markers, clothespins, and an old Melissa & Doug wooden box.DSC01879 A simple rainbow puzzle.DSC01877 Some awesome iiiinstrument shadow matching from Memorizing the Moments.DSC01874 Here is a slotting game with all of the letters we have worked on so far.  These are letter discs made from laminated letters and wooden discs I found at Michaels.  Check out Confessions of a Homeschooler for her letter template.DSC01873 Matching Unifix cubes  to the Igloo number cards 1 through 5.  1:1 correspondence.
DSC01872 An igloo magnet page with circle magnet pieces.DSC01869

schedule

I made this schedule to organize our Tot School time, according to the Montessori principles: Language, Mathematics, Sensory, and Practical Life.

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You can read my post about it and download the free Tot School Planning Form here.

language

Bible verse of the week:

Let my prayer be set before you like incense.  Psalm 141:2

We use the ABC bible verse songs from Songs for Saplings.  These songs are so catchy, beautiful, not “children’s music annoying,” and I find myself singing and learning and memorizing the bible verses along with John.  Carisa at 1plus1plus1equals1 has made coordinating ABC Bible Verses posters which have really helped with his memorization as well.  

Letter of the week: Ii

Our curriculum consists of 1plus1plus1equals1‘s Tot School ABC’s.

Do-A-Dot markers on his I is for Ice Cream Truck pages that I made — very simple, but you can get them here.

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And his Igloo pages.DSC01892 I presented the color cards in a new way this week and it was a huge hit.  I cut them out and put them on his tray with the corresponding colored crayon.DSC01887 John was so excited and got to work.DSC01889

Stamping an I on the Igloo.

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For our vocabulary this week, we played a match-up game.  I printed two copies and cut the cards out and put them face-down on the floor.  John loved this.  Next time I think I’ll laminate them and hide them in rice or beans : )

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Book of the week:

Mama Do you love me? by Barbara Joosse

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I looked and looked around my house for a book that has an igloo in it.  And this sweet story about an Eskimo girl and her mother is the only one I could come up with.  It is the sweetest story about a mother’s enverending love for her child.  (There is also a Papa Do you love me? book about a little African boy and his father.)

math

We did some Ice cream truck size sorting, and number counting with his Tot Tray manipulatives.
Here he is gluing his shapes onto a piece of paper with glue sponging.  He loved this!  And then he matched some of his toys’ shapes to the page on the window.
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sensory
Making the letter I with playdough.  I rolled snakes for him to create the Ii.
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We played Ice Cream Truck.  I taped a picture of an ice cream truck on one of his Monster Trucks and put a yogurt popsicle on it and drove it over to him.  He was so excited.  He loves the little truck and after eating it, he was in and out of the freezer putting them in his truck.

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Dad enjoyed an Ice cream treat too : ) (He’s super excited I’m taking his picture.)

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Here he is putting together his interlocking Letter Puzzles from Melissa & Doug.

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practicallife

John loved cutting cantaloupe this week.

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And he helped tonging our tortillas on our plates.

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Love my little ones!

I hope you have a wonderful week — I love comments — please leave a link so I can see what you are doing in your Tot School.

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Making beautiful Easter crosses

I got the idea for this simple, easy, beautiful Easter cross painting from Apples and ABCs.  We made these yesterday while my sister was visiting.

I have to tell you about my new favorite moment of all time: My son pointed to the freshly hung paintings on the window and yelled, “Jesus died on the cross for our sins! And he rose from the dead!”  And that. is what’s it’s all about.  

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I used paint tape to put a cross on white paper.

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Wrote “He is Risen!” on them and they went to sponge painting!

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They had different ideas of what artistic avenues they wanted to take.  John just wanted to make brown!

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We peeled off the tape after they were dry and put in the window to let the sun shine through : )

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Fun, easy, quick.  And Christ-centered.
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Sharing the Easter Story with Resurrection Eggs

In my babysitting days, I remember when one of my sweet girls came home with an egg carton telling the Easter Story.  She shared the whole story with those little eggs.  I want my children to know the Most Wonderful Story too, using this simple and thoughtful method, so I researched for ideas and made our own carton of Resurrection Eggs.  I found many wonderful resources around — I listed them below — but I decided to make my own printable to go along with the objects and Scriptures that I felt were the most important.

Making your own Resurrection eggs is easy!  All you need is an empty (and clean) egg carton and 12 plastic eggs (these are the only thing that I actually bought — for $1!)  Now fill the eggs with the below items from around your house!

Fill an egg carton with plastic eggs. Number the eggs 1 – 12:

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Click here for the printable that I made for the Resurrection eggs:

(At first I cut these in strips and put them in the eggs, but that seemed to distract from the objects inside the eggs, so I laminated this and keep it with the eggs.)

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Now fill the eggs with the following items:

1: Donkey & Palm Branch

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon [a donkey].” Zechariah 9:9

Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David;
 Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!”Matthew 21:8-9

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2: Bread

While they were eating Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it, and gave it to His disciples. ‘Take and eat it,’ He said, ‘This is My body.’” Matthew 26:26

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3: 3 dimes

Then one of the twelve disciples, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and asked, ‘What will you give me if I betray Jesus to you?’ They counted out thirty silver coins and gave them to him.” Matthew 26: 14-15


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4: Small string

Pilate wanted to please the crowd, so he set Barabbas free for them. Then he had Jesus whipped and handed Him over to be crucified” Mark 15:15

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5: Purple cloth and crown of thorns

They stripped Jesus’ clothes and put a scarlet robe on him. Then they made a crown out of thorny branches and placed it on His head, and put a stick on His right hand; then they knelt before Him and made fun of Him. “Long live the King, of the Jews,” They said.” Matthew 27:28-29

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6: Cross

He went out, carrying His cross, and came to Golgotha, that is ‘The Place of the Skull.’ There they crucified Him.” John 19: 17-18

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

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7: 3 small nails

They nailed Jesus to a cross and gambled to see who would get his clothes.” Mark 15:24

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” Colossians 1:20 

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8: Sign reading King of the Jews

Above Him were written these words: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Luke 23:38

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9: Sponge and spear

One of them ran up at once, took a sponge. He filled it with vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.” Matthew 27:48

“One of the soldiers plunged his spear into Jesus’ side, and at once blood and water poured out. John 19:34

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10: White cloth and spices

Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.” John 19:40

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11: Rock

Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a new linen sheet, and placed it in his own new tomb, which he had just recently dug out of solid rock. Then he rolled a large stone across the entrance to the tomb and went away.” Matthew 27:59-60

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12: Empty

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” Matthew 28:5-7

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I was creative in a lot of them, but I think it all works : )

I used a bay leaf for my palm branch, I know that’s a horse and not a donkey, but my son can’t tell,

a gluten-free roll for my bread (my son can’t touch gluten),

a piece of string,

a cut purple felt shirt and a little branch I shaped into a crown of thorns,

a popsicle stick broken and colored with red marker and a cut up sponge,

and a cut white t-shirt for the linens and spices from home – cinnamon and dried chives.

My son absolutely loves this and keeps wanting to “play Easter eggs” every time I bring it out.  He is slowly learning about the crucifixion and how Jesus died on the cross for our sins.  He gets a sad, sweet look on his face when we talk about the nails and I think he is really grasping some of it, in his innocent little mind.  I am so thankful for this hand-on tool!

I resourced this idea from Play Eat GrowWomen Living Well, and ICC Religious Education.

The Resurrection Eggs can be bought at any Christian Book store or right over line on Family Life website or you can make them yourself, I found these on Pinterest.

I hope this blesses you and your family!
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Finishing my photo album 5 years after my Israel trip…. thanks {Project Life}

I took the trip of a lifetime 5 1/2 years ago.  I traveled to Israel… aka “The Land.”  When I first saw it, from the air in the plane, I had to hold back my tears.  The Land where my Saviour walked.

I spent three months there.  I traveled alone, then took a 2-week Christian tour, then participated in an archaeological dig, then volunteered with Volunteers for Israel.

I could go on and on about how amazing this time was for me.  And I wanted to share it with my family and friends as well.  I am an avid scrapbooker and have boxes of supplies to prove it.  And when I got home, I dutifully picked through my thousands of photos and printed and organized them with their corresponding pamphlets, brochures, or other mementos that I had kept along the way.

I only completed 7 pages.  Of at least 50 that needed to be done.  Then I got a husband, a Masters, a career.  And two babies.  No time for 1 hour per page scrapbooking any more.

Enter Project Life.

This is easy. All you need is:

  • a photo album
  • an edition of beautiful cards
  • a big pack of page protectors
  • a pen
  • and your pictures!

No tape or adhesive required.  No stickers, no stamps, no brads or ribbons or crazy other beautiful stuff. Certainly you can add these things along the way, but they aren’t needed to create your album.

All of the above listed items are available at Amazon.  There are so many different styled editions to suit everyone’s tastes.  I chose the absolutely gorgeous Olive Edition. This couldn’t be any more beautiful or more “me”! I love the greens and browns and now that I have a daughter, all of the sudden I love love love PINK!

Check out Becky Higgins’ {Project Life} website and blog here.  There is a huge Home Shopping Network sale on two new editions: Blush and Jade, and if you are interested in starting {Project Life}, now is the perfect time to buy because these kits are nearly 50% off!  The sale is only going on through Tuesday.

I didn’t add any frills to my album because, again, I did this to save time.  And now it is done.  I have a beautiful Israel album that I can finally share with my family and friends.  Here is what I did in Israel!!  It took about 3 full afternoons, probably 4 uninterrupted hours, with my baby daughter sleeping on my back.  It took this long because I wrote a lot on the cards.  There is so much room to write your thoughts, and in my case, write the corresponding Bible verses for where I was in Israel.  Or you can leave the cards blank and they are so cute that it’s fine that way too. The cards that come in the editions are rounded, which I love, and I didn’t even round my photo corners, even though I have two little gadgets for it, because I wanted to get this done.  I love this system.  

I kept taking pictures of my pages because I couldn’t choose my favorite pages, so here they are to illustrate:

Jerusalem

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I added a 5×7 page protector to hold a pamphlet — I used tons of these to hold different mementos!  So easy: DSC02184 DSC02185 DSC02186

The Golan Heights, Nazareth, Tel Dan, Sea of Galilee

DSC02191 DSC02192 DSC02193  Below is another 5×7 page protector to hold a postcard — so easy: DSC02194

Masada, Qumran, Ein Gedi, Tel Beersheva in the Negev Desert

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The Jordan River DSC02190

My time with Volunteers for Israel

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As you can see, I couldn’t choose what photos to share, so I just shared a bunch : ). I hope that you have gotten a feel of how beautiful Israel is and how easy and awesome {Project Life} is!

If you are a {Project Life}-er please leave a link so I can see your pages too! (I am not committed to being a 52-week-er, that is, doing a two page spread every week, but I will never say never!)

Thank you Michelle from Delightful Learning for introducing me to {Project Life}!
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The Mom Creative

Tot School Planning Form

I have been wanting to make a planning form that fits my specific needs for my Tot School time (and all the time!) with my son.  I have been utilizing the wonderful Planning Form at Homeschool Creations (she has a second one here), in which I put down what I wanted to get done each day.  (I have found many wonderful resources from others: 1plus1plus1equals1Happy and Blessed Home, Stir the Wonder.) However, my son sometimes has other plans — and attaching specific activities to specific days (or days of the week), has not been successful.  Sometimes he loooves a certain activity or coloring material, and the next day he’ll despise it.

I wanted to make a list of all my ideas.  I certainly don’t have to get to all of them, but it is a combined brainstorm list and checklist.  I was getting frustrated with my organization and wanted to really tailor a schedule to my thoughts.  It is set up into the four Montessori categories that I have been working with: Language, Mathematics, Sensory, and Practical Life.

Since we are using 1plus1plus1equals1’s Tot School ABCs as our primary resource, this Planning Form fits her printables for the weekly letter work.  When we are done with this round of ABCs and move on, I will create a new one (or, if before then, I want to change things up, I ‘ll share that too).

You can download the Tot School Planning Form here. I hope it is a blessing to you!

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I know that everyone wants something different, so in case the above one doesn’t suit your needs, here is the blank Tot School Planning Form!  

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 photo heart_zps07fe716e.pngWe are using it for the first time this week, for Letter Ii.  I will post another update on how it is going and more insight into the categories!  So far, I absolutely love it and it has really helped me organize my thoughts and our time!

Please email me at wildflowerramblings at gmail dot com if you have questions or would like it edited in a different way!

Thank you for taking the time to visit Wildflower Ramblings!

Blessings,
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I love comments and would love to see what you’re doing with your Tot School, so make sure to leave a link!

And if you’d like to receive updates, please Like my Facebook Page!

Tot School – Letter H

We are taking Tot School a bit slower these days — so many holidays to celebrate and have fun with : )  It is nice because we are in no hurry!

These last two weeks, we have studied H — hammers, horses, hippos, hats, hands, hedgehogs, and helicopters!

language

Bible verse of the week:

Happy are the people whose God is the Lord. Psalm 144:1

(la la la la la la la)

We use the ABC bible verse songs from Songs for Saplings.  These songs are so catchy, beautiful, not “children’s music annoying,” and I find myself singing and learning and memorizing the bible verses along with John.  Carisa at 1plus1plus1equals1 has made coordinating ABC Bible Verses posters which have really helped with his memorization as well.  

Letter of the week: Hh

Our curriculum consists of 1plus1plus1equals1‘s Tot School ABC’s.  We don’t do everything that she includes in her packs, but we do most.

H is for Helicopter page that I made — very simple, but you can get them here.

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Here we are coloring with regular markers.  Coloring the little hammers on the Hh.

DSC01155 More H fun. Loved the H is for Horse pages from Carisa’s farm pack.DSC01153 Matching his horse with the horse page — I had to keep printing these out, he loves everything in this pack!DSC01152

Pounding the shapes with his HHHHhammer.

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Letter H collection on our refrigerator: I cute our Tot School puzzle and put magnets on it, we have a couple of Melissa & Doug alphabet collections, as well as the LeapFrog Letter Frog Factory Magnetic Alphabet.  This is a hit every week!  (This is $60 on Amazon right now, crazy, thankfully we got ours at a garage sale, but they have a non-magnetic one for $20.)

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We put his work on the clothesline above his bed, between two windows!

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Book of the week:

The Hat by Jan Brett

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We loved this book about Hedgie and his silly Hat.  We read it every day, about 2 times a day.  Didn’t do a whole lot with it, but he recognized the H on the cover every time : )

Mini Book of the week:

A Tools Book from 1plus1plus1equals1.  We colored all of the pages and then matched our tools with them.  He loved this!

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Review:

We always review his bible verses — and he knows them because of the awesome accompanying tunes!  We use the ABC bible verse songs from Songs for Saplings.  Here are the ABC Bible Verses posters.

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And I cut out all his previous trucks (and his beloved cat), so he could review his letters with their corresponding object.

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practicallife

Simple hammer practical life activity for fine motor practice: styrofoam (or cardboard, for more of a challenge!) egg cartons, golf tees, and a kid’s hammer.  He loved this!  I’ve also seen this on Sugar Aunts and Stir the Wonder.  (Yep, hanging out in a diaper – this kid is going potty about 5 times a day now, I have a post coming up about his progress, soon.)

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Super excited about this activity!

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I left the room for 1 minute to get some laundry done, and this is what he did to the egg cartons….

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We also “washed” our tools for some fun water play.  I set him up with two tubs, one with soapy water, and some sponges and washcloths to wash his tools.  He ended up just playing with the water — very little washing, but he had a great time.

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And shaving with dad : )

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We did some sponge painting of a Hippo and a Horse from Abeka’s Art books.

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And we traced his Hands for a simple craft.
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Thank you for taking the time to visit Wildflower Ramblings!

Blessings,
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I love comments and would love to see what you’re doing with your Tot School, so make sure to leave a link!

And if you’d like to receive updates, please Like my Facebook Page!

I was featured for Tot School!

St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Bin

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Having fun with a St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin.  I bought some green tinsel, gold coins, some glittery shamrocks, some “drinking game” green dice, with some cut up foam from our basement square foam mats, and of course, our homemade leprechaun.

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We have been reading a cute, nonsense book about St. Patty’s Day and a tricky (non-creepy) leprechaun, based on The Night Before Christmas, which I thought was cute; and it’s $2 at Amazon:stpatricksdaynightbeforeJohn loved the beaded necklaces.DSC01548-001As you can see — he put them all on, but then let me have one.DSC01551-001He is still struggling with throwing all the contents of our sensory bins after he gets bored.  He did little sorting — I had planned for him to sort the different colored green foam.  But he had fun.DSC01553-001

Thank you for taking the time to visit Wildflower Ramblings!

Blessings,
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I love comments and would love to see what you’re doing with your Tot School, so make sure to leave a link!

And if you’d like to receive updates, please Like my Facebook Page!

Just let the kid eat butter!

I just read an awesome post from Nourishing Our Children about cravings and food and … nutrition! It explained that if your child is begging for the butter or that salt at the table, just let them eat it.  Butter, for example, provides wonderfully good saturated fats that your child’s brain needs to develop.  And sea salt provides much-needed minerals too.

I always let John take the paper off our butter when I need a fresh stick (which is usually every day around here — I’m a nursing mom and I know that my baby needs saturated fat from my breast milk!)  Well, I just read the above-linked post, and thought, “why haven’t I been letting him chew on the butter?!”  (In other words, no, butter and whole milk don’t cause obesity.)  So I told him he could eat it — he was beyond excited — as you can see from his face, and he ate a quarter of the stick! …. I think this will become a regular tradition.

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Check out Sandrine’s guest post by The Mommypotamus: Cravings: Follow Your Child’s Lead for some amazing parenting and nutritional advice (namely, don’t follow the traditional food pyramid!)

Thank you for taking the time to visit Wildflower Ramblings!

Blessings,
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