Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Nights Lights+Winners

Getting ready to crawl into bed but wanted to post the winners from the giveaways this week.
We had our first game of the season tonight.
Our team won which was a great way to kick off the new season!
I am so proud of Travis when he coaches :)
The winner of the medium ad for The Vanilla Tulip is Morgan at The S'mores Life.
E-mail me and I'll get you set up!
The winner of the owl ring from Red Barn Candlee Company is Kristen.
E-mail me and I'll get you in touch with Amanda!
And if you're still interested in buying an ad for September it's not too late!
I am extending the 50% off all ads through Monday... I had forgotten it was a holiday weekend!
Just e-mail me and I'll get you set up!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


We're finishing up our second week of pre-school at home.
I've had quite a few of you ask if we were planning on homeschooling.
And quite a few of you ask what curriculum we were using.
And some of you asked what our schedule looked like.
So here it all is in one big post.
This past spring Emma began to show an interest in reading.
Somehow her not being a toddler any more snuck up on me.
We knew we wanted to keep her home for preschool.
I love having my kids home with me!
It's such a privilege to have her home with me and I know this season will be a short one.
I love being able to teach her the basics as well as watching her discover new things.
Will we homeschool K-12?
I feel pretty confident that we will not.
Will we homeschool through gradeschool?
Honestly... I don't know.
We are going to pray year by year.
Since Travis is in the coaching profession we are not always sure where we will be
in a few years or what the school district will look like.
Thus making our schooling desicion year by year and child by child.
As far as curriculum.... I'm doing a mish-mosh and making up alot of it as we go.
I had initially planned on using the Five in a Row curriculum.
I purchased the Before Five in a Row book and after reading through
it realized it wasn't the best fit for us.
The reason I didn't feel it was the best fit is because my kids LOVE to be read to.
This winter I started reading chapter books to them.
The first we read was Stuart Little.
I felt I could challenge them more by sticking to our chapter books
and saving the smaller children's books for naptime and fun reading.
So here's what I've pulled together for "curriculum" and a little idea of our routine.
I've taken pictures to give you a better idea.
We wait to begin our school time until Cade goes down for his morning nap.
This give us a good hour and a half to work.
We start our morning around the kitchen table praying together for our day.
I then read them a Bible story out of this little book I found.
I LOVE it!
It has all the basic Bible stories and makes for great conversation.
After we read our Bible story we work on our memory verse for the week.
This past week our verse was,
Colossians 3:23,
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."

I then read a chapter out of our chapter book.
Right now we're reading "The Trumpet of the Swan" by E.B. White.
It has been such a fun read!!!
With this book I've done a few activities that match up with what we've read for the day.
Here are a few examples:
-A trumpeter swans wing span is around 6 feet. So one night we had Travis lay down to demonstrate to the kids how big six feet was.  The kids thought that was hilarious! :)
-A trumpeter swan's nest is around six feet across as well. 
So one morning we built a huge swan nest out of pillows.
The kids pretended to be swans all morning...
Emma was the swan and Colt was the cob (male swan).
It was a crackup :)
-We pulled up YouTube and listened to a real trumpeter swans call.
That's kind of an example about how I "wing it" as we read.
If something strikes their interest we learn more about it.
The next two books on our chapter reading list are "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White and "Little House in the Big Woods" by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I've given each child their own notebook.
Whenever they do a great job with their schoolwork I give them a sticker to add to their book.
I've also added a pocket to the front (made out of an enevelope) to keep their alphabet flashcards in.
Each time we work on a new letter we add it to their pocket.
My sweet aunt sent me these two preschool books.
The Phonics book on the left is a workbook.
It's fabulous!
Emma has been doing a page or two a day.
The one on the right is incredible!
It gives activity ideas for whatever letter of the alphabet you're working on.

I found these foam puzzles at Family Dollar a few weeks ago.
Each day I work with the kids on their numbers and letters (sounds for Emma...recognizing for Colt).
I usually designate around 15 minutes for numbers and 15 minutes for letters.
Again, I am not using a curriculum for math.
We're just winging it as we go.
One of our favorite ways to work on numbers and addition is by using our snack for the day.
Goldfish crackers, raisins, etc. :)

My plan is to have a new letter and number each week.
I'm working with Colt on recognizing his numbers, letters, colors and shapes.
And I'm working with Emma on reading, handwriting and addition.
The following pictures are a few examples of the supplies we've been using.

Below are a few examples of letter work.
For the letter B we glued buttons to a b.
And for letter W we glued W's to Waves.
It's just a fun little way to help them remember the sounds that go with the letters.

Last week one of our Bible stories was about Noah's ark.
They learned about the rainbow and for our art project we drew our own
 rainbows talking about the colors as we went.

As far as reading goes for Emma.
I haven't been using a curriculum.
Just working with her for about 30 minutes every day.
Some days I'll write out smaller words and she'll sound them out.
Some days we'll talk about how different letters together make different sounds.
Some days we work on sight words.
I'm not sure if that's how you're supposed to correctly do it or not.
But it's what's been working for us:)
So that's a rough idea of what we've been doing.
I also thought I'd show you where we do our school work.
I have a giant picture frame that I hang the kids current projects from.
The top two rows are for Emma.
Bottom two are for Colt.
It's a fun way for them to display their hard work.
And also for Travis to see what they've been working on.
We do our schoolwork by the kitchen table.
To the right is where we hang their projects.
The left bulletin board holds words and numbers that we're currently working on.
To the far left of the table is our "book nook"...

Reading is very important to me.
I love having comfy spots located around our house where the kids can curl up to read.
We call this little area our "book nook".
Some mornings while I'm working with Emma on her reading
Colt curls up in here to read his own books for awhile.

 So that's a VERY rough idea of what we've been doing and our routine.
We work for around an hour and a half every morning.
And there have been a few mornings where our "school" for the day is being outside playing.
Learning about the world around them, discovering new things and being in God's creation
is just as important in my opinion!
If you have any questions feel free to ask them and I'll answer in the comments!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Advertise for September+Medium Ad Giveaway

I would love for you to join me for the month of September.
All the details of ad sizes and pricing can be found HERE.
Lots of different opportunities and prices.
Feature Posts, Group Giveaways, etc.
*There is just one Feature Ad space left for the month of September.*
Thursday, the 30th I'm running a one day special.
All ads are 50% off!
Claim the special by e-mailing me at
thevanillatulip (at) yahoo (dot) com
I am so thankful for the women and businesses who have sponsored my blog the past few months.
As a thankyou I am giving away one Medium Sized Ad for the month of September.
No requirements.
Just leave one comment to enter.
I'll announce the winner on the 31st.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Maternity Style+Baby Bump+Name


There the bump is... for those who have been asking for an updated picture.
My sweet photographer Emma was having a hard time holding the phone still hence the blurriness.
But I'll take it:) She was as proud as punch being mom's "photographer" :)
And to the left of the picture...that would be Cade.
Getting into the cupboard.
I think this was right about the time he opened the cinnamon and got it in his eyes.
Or maybe right about the time Colt dumped the giant carton of salt all over the floor.
Never a dull moment over here:)
The past two weeks my belly has taken on a huge growth spurt.
I realized it two Sundays ago when I was trying to find something to wear to church.
Pencil skirts... not even close to zipping closed.
Sun dresses...still fit... but my belly pulls them up to inappropriate heights in the front.
It ended with me feeling frustrated and wearing pants that were too tight.
I have gone through this stage with each pregnancy.
The "I have nothing to wear!" phase.
And then the...
"what in the world did I wear with my other pregancies?!" phase.
I'm not a fan of maternity clothes.
They're too expensive for the few months you wear them.
Plus most of them aren't that cute.
What I love most about fashion these days is that you can make
normal clothes into "maternity" wear but just going up a size or two.
My go to items are:
A comfortable pair of maternity jeans- I prefer skinny jeans for the winter so that I can tuck them into boots.
Maxi Skirts
Maxi Dresses
Long V-neck T-shirts
Skinny Belts (for above your belly)
Fun Jewelery
Basic pieces that you can still wear after baby comes.
Here are a few pictures that have been inspiring me lately when it comes to maternity fashion...
And last but not least.
Our sweet little girl officially has a name.
Eloise Claire.
We'll call her Ellie Claire.
We can not wait to see her sweet little face!
Just in case you missed it I'm having a
Lots of baby boy clothes and some women's clothes!

Shop Our Closet Sale

It's that time again!
I've gone through our closets again.
This time getting rid of all my baby boy clothes.
Even if baby #4 were a boy they're the wrong season!
Time to ship em' out:)

So here's how it works:
Prices and Info can be found underneath each item.
If you would like more info or pictures feel free to email me!
Shipping will be $5 per item and an additional $1 for each additional item.
In order to claim a piece please email me

thevanillatulip {at} yahoo {dot} com

If you are the first to claim it I will invoice you via Paypal.
Please pay within one hour of claiming.
If not I will relist or give it to the next person who wants it.

If you have any questions please e-mail me!
$10 for the Lot
Left to Right
Old Navy Orange Striped Long Sleeve Onesie: 3-6 months, Excellent Condition
Old Navy Brown Let's Get Wild Long Sleeved Onesie: 3-6 months, Excellent Condition
Old Navy White Striped Long Sleeve Onesie: 3-6 months, Excellent Condition
Appaman Light Blue Pants Onesie with Motorcycles: 6 month, Excellent Condition

Left to Right
Children's Place Striped Onesie: 3-6 months- has some fading but plenty of wear left!
Children's Place Striped Onesie: 3-6 months- has some fading but plenty of wear left!
Amy Coe Guitar Striped Onesie: 3-6 months

Carter's Pajama Set
Size 18 month
Some signs of wash but in good condition!
Cade wore these for Christmas last year.

Hunter Green Puffer Vest with brown inside
Old Navy
EXCELLENT condition... worn maybe twice.
 $10 for the Lot
Bottom Row:
Three shirts: Cherokee Brand
Size 12 month
They show wear but are perfect for outside playing!
Top Row:
The Children's Place-Green cutoff shirt: 12 months: worn twice
Old Navy Polo: 6-12 months: Excellent condition

 $8 for the Lot
Orange Striped Shorts Onesie- Carters: 12 months: Good Condition
Navy Striped Shorts Onesie: Carters: 6 months: Good Condition

 $5 for the Lot
Greendog Navy Polo: 3-6 months Great Condition
The Children's Place Striped Polo Onesie: 0-3 month Great Condition

The Children's Place Turquoise Sweater Vest
Excellent Condition

$10 for the Lot
Left to Right
Cherokee Jeans: 12 Months, Excellent Condition
OshKosh Jeans: 12 Months, Excellent Condition
George Khakis: 12 Months: Good Condition

$10 for the Lot
Top Left to Bottom Right
Childrens Place Khaki Cargo Shorts: 0-3 Months, Great condition. They were my favs!
Old Navy Khakis: I loved these. The inside of them is lined in a soft gray and white striped jersey.
Size 0-3 months, Excellent Condition
Carters Khakis: 3 months, Excellent Condition

$10 for the Lot
Cherokee Orange Gingham Shirt: 12 Month, Excellent Condition
Baby Gap Blue and White Striped Shirt (casual): 12-18 months, Excellent of my favs!

$10 for the Lot
Perfect for the Holidays!
The Children's Place Red Plaid Dress Shirt: 6-9 Months, Excellent Condition
Gymboree Khakis: 6-12 months, Excellent Condition

$10 for the Lot
Gymboree Black Corduroy Pants: 6-12 Months, Excellent Condition..perfect for the Holidays!
Gymboree Khaki Pants: 6-12 Months, Excellent Condition

New with Tags
Genuine Kids from Oshkosh Brand: Green Khaki Coat, 18 months, never worn

$10 for the Lot
Old Navy Long Sleeved Thermal T's: Navy and Gray, Excellent Condition
12-18 months..runs smaller...I would say more just a straight up 12 month size.
Old Navy Football Thermal: 12-18 Months, Good condition
Faded Glory Polar Bear Long sleeved T-shirt: 18 months, Excellent Condition

$10 for the Lot
Gymboree Light Blue Striped Dress Shirt: 12-18 months, Excellent Condition
Cherokee Blue Plaid Shirt: 12 months, Excellent Condition

$10 for the Lot
Left to Right
Amy Coe Light Blue Pants: 0-3 months, Excellent Condition
Light Brown Faded Glory Pants: 0-3 months, Excellent Condition
Light Blue Faded Glory Pant: 3-6 months, Excellent Condition
Gray Striped Carter's Pant: 3 month, Excellent Condition
Carter's Charcoal Gray Pant: 6 month, Excellent Condition
Matching Top to the above pants, Carters: 6 months, Excellent Condition
Striped Blue Onesie Faded Glory (matches pants): 3-6 months Excellent Condition
Striped Brown Onesie Faded Glory (matches pants): 3-6 months Excellent Condition
Tiger Striped Onesie Carters: 3 months Excellent Condition
Frog Striped Onesie Carters: 3 months Excellent Condition

$5 for the Lot
Carters Navy Shorts-12 months, play wear
Sonoma Red Athletic Shorts- 12 months, excellent condition
Charcoal Gray Silk Top
Forever 21
Size Small
Excellent Condition
Forever 21 Mustard Skirt
Brand New with Tags still on...never been worn
Size: Large
Chambrey Skirt
Forever 21
Size Large
Gold Shimmer Sweater
(kind of a black and gold mix...somewhat sheer)
Longer Fit
Forever 21
Worn twice

SUPER comfy dressy sweatshirt
Forever 21
Heathered gray
Worn in this post


Top/Dress (depending on how tall you are:) )
Forever 21
Size Large

Saltwater Sandals
Toddler Girl-Size 8
In Good Condition

Camel colored Sweater
Size Small
It comes with a matching tie for around your waist...
it failed to make it in the picture:)
Wool, Nylon and Mohair blend.

Super comfy and extra long
Gray Thermal-T
from Dear Lillie blog

Light Blue Trouser Jeans
Size 10
Very soft!
Old Navy last season
*there is a faint bleach spot on the bottom of both legs*