Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Math Project

For the next couple of months, my stepson is being home schooled.  It is temporary, but it is also hard work.  My husband and I worry so much that he will get behind so we are working A LOT with him to make sure that does not happen.  Home schooling consists of a lot of staring at a computer screen to learn a lesson and complete the work for that lesson.  I really want to make learning fun still for him, so I started researching projects I could do with him that go along with his learning.

I found a teaching blog that I really liked and got the idea from there!  If you want to check out the blog, you can go toAdventures of a Third Grade Teacher .

Currently, my stepson is beginning to learn his basic multiplication facts.  We do a lot of flash cards with him in addition to his school work, but we also wanted to make it fun and do a project.  When I found Amber Polk's Christmas tree multiplication project, I knew I had to do it with him!!


Construction Paper
Glue Stick


1. Have child take a large piece of green construction paper and cut a large triangle (that will be the Christmas tree.)
2. Have child take a yellow piece of construction paper and cut out a star.  
3. Have child take different colors of construction paper and cut circles.  Those will be the ornaments.
4. Have child pick a number (or choose a number that you already know they need practice on with their facts.)  Have child write that number on the star.
5. Use the cut out circles and have them write their multiplication facts starting with the number x's 1, x's 2, x's 3, and so on... 
6. Have child glue star and ornaments onto the green cut out "Christmas tree."
7. Let child decorate the remainder of their tree with crayons.
8. Voila! A fun Christmas time project that also doubles to help with multiplication facts!

Let me know if you try this with your child or stepchild and let me know what you think!  Also, please be sure to check out Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher for more great learning and teaching ideas!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Shopping

Christmas is such a special time of year!  My husband and I always try to remind Ethane that Christmas is not just about receiving, but that is is also about giving.  We each take turns taking him Christmas shopping.  We give him a $20 limit to spend on each of us, but we let him completely pick out and put his gift together, so he learns about giving from his own heart.

This past weekend, I took Ethane Christmas shopping for his Daddy.  He wanted to go to Target, so that is where we headed.  On the car ride there, I asked if he had an idea of what he wanted to buy his Dad and he already knew one thing, but wanted to wait until we got there to tell me.  When we arrived at Target, he took me to the electronics section where they also have the books, magazines, and calendars.  He right away picked out a Dilbert desk calendar.  He had gotten this for his Dad last year too, so it is cute to see him starting a new tradition on his own.  I thought that was so cute!  Since the calendar was only $12, he realized he still had money in the budget to spend.  Right away, he knew EXACTLY what section to head to... the candy aisle!  He knows his Dad LOVES dark chocolate.  He must of looked at every dark chocolate item they sold until he found the one that would be the perfect gift.  He chose the dark chocolate orange candy.  He is a smart boy... you can never go wrong getting his Dad dark chocolate!

When we got home, we took the Christmas wrapping paper out, and he wrapped his Dad's gift and wrote a Christmas card to go along with it.  When he placed his gift for his Dad under the tree, you could see the pride and happiness that he was feeling from picking out a gift for his father.  We have been doing this for years now, but this year was the first year that I could really see the satisfaction he was getting from giving.  That made me so happy to see that Ethane is learning how much joy can be brought by giving.

Christmastime is a season of giving... Teaching children this is very important!  Just the other day, we were at the mall while they were doing a toy drive in the parking lot.  He asked what a toy drive was, and I told him people donate toys to children who their parent's cannot afford to buy them presents for Christmas.  I don't think he ever realized before then that not every child is as blessed as he is. I would like to have my family volunteer somewhere during this season as well to show him that giving can go outside of our family.  Does anyone have any volunteer ideas this time of year that are good to do with kids in the Orange County/Los Angeles area?

Have a blessed Monday!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Leann Rimes

I have been a huge Leann Rimes fan for years now.  I love her music and I think she is absolutly beautiful.  Lately, on Twitter, I have been reading her get a lot of flack about her love she has for her stepsons, Jake and Mason.  That breaks my heart, because as a stepmom myself, I cannot imagine getting flack for loving a child.  I understand the love that Leann has for Jake and Mason, because I have a love for my stepson, Ethane that is SO strong.  I have a bond with Ethane that can not be broken.  That is not for me to say that my bond is stronger then the one that Ethane has with his mother.  It is just to say it is a relationship in my life that I live for and that I cherish so much.

This past week, I responded to a couple of tweets that Leann posted.  I really wanted to show her support for what she was going through with Brandi.  Yesterday, she responded!  She sent me a direct mesage on Twitter asking for my full name and told me she would leave three tickets AND meet and greet passes for me and my family at will call. NO WAY! 

Stepmoms <3

My family with Leann Rimes

We got ready as fast as we could and headed over to the Cerritos Performing Arts Center.  We picked up our tickets and passes.  We got to go backstage and meet Leann.  All three of us spoke to her and got pictures.  She told Ethane that he was "SO CUTE" and gave him a big hug.  She also told him "your stepmom rocks!"  I gave her a big hug and thanked her so much for what she did for my family and I.  I still was in shock that I was even there.


We then got to sit through her AMAZING concert.  WOW!  It was a special holiday concert, so she sang a few holiday songs as well as some of her own songs.  This girl can SING!  Everyone around us was saying "wow what a voice!"  The guy behind us could not stop saying how powerful her voice was, and I have to agree 100%.  She sings live.  She sings with passion.  She sings with emotion.  And she looks HOT doing it!!  My two favorite songs that she did were "Borrowed" and "Summertime" (Janis Joplins songs.)  Her voice can bring you to tears! I love her.  My stepson's favorite song was "Can't Fight the Moonlight."  He has always loved that song.

I gave Leann a gift when I met her along with a card thanking her for what she did for us.  I put my email address in the card and I can only hope that someday I may hear from her again!  I would love to keep in touch with her on both of our journeys as stepmothers.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy Birthday, Frank!

Yesterday was my brother-in-law, Frank's birthday.  My sister-in-law, Nuvia's birthday tradition is always to celebrate the birthday on the actual day, regardless of what day of the week it is on.  Because his birthday landed on a Wednesday, we had to make sure we could get Ethane since we do not have him on Wednesday's.  Thankfully, for the time being, things are going great communication wise between my husband and Ethane's mom and we were able to take him to his Uncle Frank's birthday dinner!

We had a really great time.  We were joined by my other sister-in-law and her family, Frank's sister and husband, and Frank's best friend and his family.  They ordered Italian food from a great restaurant in Los Alamitos.  They got chicken fettuccini alfredo, spaghetti, and garlic bread... All of which were delicious!  The fetturccini was my favorite, for sure!  The cake she ordered from Great Dane Bakery was great as well!

My husband and I love random days where we are not used to having Ethane with us but we get to.  It is great that he was able to attend his uncle's birthday dinner.  His Uncle Frank means a lot to him and I really respect Ethane's mother for letting him attend events that she knows are special for him to be at. 

Family is SO important. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.  I am so glad that there is a mutual understanding between my husband and Ethane's mother where they both see the importance of time with family and allow for Ethane to attend family events regardless of whose day it is.  I think that is SO important for blended families.  Remember: the only one who is getting hurt by not letting your child attend a family event for THEIR family... is your child.  

Feeling pretty blessed today!!!  I am off tomorrow, so I will be sharing a story of a struggle we went through, as well as some advice for the holidays.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Story

 My name is Stephanie.  I am a 26 year old stepmother of my 8 year old stepson.  I met my husband in August of 2004 while I was a senior in high school and had just moved to California from Washington.  I was friends with his neighbor, and she introduced us.  Immediately, we both fell head over heels for each other.  I knew from the beginning that he had a child (he was 7 months old at the time.)  Honestly, I think at the time I was too young to think about what would face me in the future being with someone who already had a child (you will hear plenty about that, don't worry!)  From day one of meeting his son, I fell in love.  I have had a special bond with my stepson since the beginning, which I thank God for every day!  My husband and stepson are my world.  I could not imagine life any different.

So, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog!  I decided I would start blogging about my journey of being a stepmother to my husband's son.  I plan (if brave enough!) to share my joys and tears... my hopes and fears of my life with my husband, Joey and stepson, Ethane.  My family has been through many ups and downs as a result of being a "blended" family, but as I said above... I wouldn't change it for the anything.

Here we go.... :-)