Life Update Blog – Soccer and Home Construction Updates

Crisp air and long shadows – September and October are among our favorite months.

Hello, Soccer Season

This year our boy is playing soccer while we coach the group (six children plus a tag along: little sis got a pair of shin guards and a set of hot pink cleats, courtesy Gramma).

Last year, Momma B coached for the local YMCA team (co-ed, ages 3-4) and this year I recruited Momma A. To be honest, I practically begged for help after the first practice; she obliged by registering and completing the safety and coach training and officially getting a welcome letter from the registrar.

Thank you for coming on board, Coach A!

Our first game will be mid September, against the Sharks. Admittedly, our kids vied for a different name, but our local mechanic’s shop is generous for sponsoring us and we are grateful to be Team Collision.

I can appreciate that it takes everything in Coach A’s power to not get too jazzed up about winning and crushing the competition (she’s a huge sports enthusiast and college all star athlete, so the concept of playing for fun is…there, somewhere).

We Love Soccer Season!

For now, we are dialing down on the two main rules of soccer for tots, which include: HAVE FUN and HAVE FUN. Simple drills can cause tears in an over-tired or uncertain child, and we are working with kids in a time of post-COVID lockdowns, which means some of these youngsters haven’t had much opportunity to socialize as perhaps they would have in years past.

For now, we are able to play un-masked; all practices and gatherings are outdoors in open air, with proper social distancing measures. Coaches must wear masks during huddles or during times of close proximity, but otherwise our team has shown up ready to play – and eager to run. It’s awesome to see how proud they get, and how ready they are for dinner when practice is done.

We’ve had easier meal times lately – it appears the potty training days are behind us, too.

Will I jinx myself if I go through with publishing this post? Wish me luck!

Construction Updates:

We’ve been sitting on lumber prices and land for the better part of a year – now things are finally moving, and we’re picking up steam!

Property has been graded, septic set, concrete poured, walls framed – they were even up there on a Saturday preparing for the week ahead; we should see the main trusses for the upstairs go up, next. Then we’ll really have something to look at and share with you besides a hole in the ground and a one dimensional blueprint.

Pinterest board, commence!

I will be documenting our construction highlights on our Hightower Digital Media Pinterest account.

This way, we are more effectively able to get some business for our local friends here in the Wenatchee Valley and surrounding areas. We have worked with some amazingly talented designers that we’d like to recommend. If you’re in the area, or you just like modern house construction updates, give us a follow.

If you’d like to follow us there, that will be where we post construction-related idea pins (those engaging clips on Pinterest that are similar to Instagram reels or YouTube shorts).

Until next time – stay positive and good things will come.

B

Is it Fall,Yet (again?)

If you’ve been following us for a year or so, you may recognize the cheeky title.

Every August or so, my wife and I start itching for Fall. It’s our favorite!

Here is your friendly reminder to pause for Summerween…

Our Teachers Pay Teachers store is full of downloads: free printables and preschool / tot school activities for FALL 2021!

Pp -umpkins! -izza! -epperoni!

You can also navigate to our FALL tab at MommaAMommaB.com

Happy Autumn, ahead! 👋 🎃 ☕️

These were hits last year for my (then) one and three year olds. I hope your little student(s) will enjoy them – We are also happy to whip up custom templates (generally free when time permits, or a small donation request via PayPal here on this site).

Word Wall Requests? These templates can be EDITED however you’d like!!! ^ Or, use the set we’ve created

Canyon’s Crates | PreK | Tot School | Home School Learning Kits

We made a few extra winter activity kits – available for purchase starting NEXT WEEK! 🥳

These kits reduce the need for a printer – everything you need is included…and reusable!

Customize your crate – every crate comes with enough materials to personalize your experience- or- I am happy to include the child’s name on a project for you if you add it to the notes and details section before final checkout.

Follow us on INSTAGRAM

CanyonsCrates on IG

Crates start at $29.99 plus tax – $8.95 shipping

Priority Shipping available to WA, OR, ID.

Penguins or Polar Bears? Jury is still out!
Enough fun for two!
Look a little closer… 🔍
Do you get snow at your home?

Fall Theme | Colors Game Kindle | Tablet | PreK Distance-Learning

Game changer: Boom cards for digital classrooms!

Making my first set was pretty straightforward. I recommend this for anyone wanting to create custom games for their students. Great for Zoom learning and interactive tablets.

Here’s a 14 day link to try out my latest game!

Here’s a free 14 day pass to try it out:

Beginning phonics sound “hint” buttons!
BOOM Cards: Fall | Colors | Beginning Vowel Sound
Which color sound starts with B(b)?

https://wow.boomlearning.com/fastplay/sijj

Pizza and Pumpkins | Pre-K Printable Activities

Now available at TeachersPayTeachers

Set includes:

Color-By-Number: Pizza Slice 

Use with markers or crayons in the following colors: green, black, red, blue, yellow, brown.

Color recognition, matching, fine motor, art

Pumpkin Playdough Cards: square, circle, oval, rectangle

Can your student roll out orange playdough to create shapes like on the 4 cards? Laminate for use over and over!

Shapes recognition and fine motor

Pumpkin Patch Alphabet Match

Color cut and paste the lowercase letters to match uppercase letters Aa-Ll 

Letter recognition, fine motor, art 

Shape Pizza 

Two ways: create a recipe and trade cards -or- create your masterpiece first and then count the ‘ingredients’ used. Use precut shapes from construction paper or draw and color a variety of: square, circle, triangle, rectangle, oval.

Shape recognition, counting, fine motor

Pepperoni Counting Wheel

Color cut and paste your pizza slices together, matching the pepperonis shown on each number card.

Counting 1-6, number recognition, fine motor, art

Pumpkin Pushing – Gross Motor Activity / Brainbreak

Pre-cut the anatomy cards OR number them 1-6 and roll dice for added fun! 

Child draws a card from the stack or rolls die, and moves a mini or foam pumpkin across the floor using *only* the body part shown on card.

(Black-and-white copy & color copy included)

Gross motor, counting, coloring, brainbreak 

Pumpkin Maze

Simple maze in a pumpkin shape. 

Early finishers: Color the moon and bat.

Pincer Grip Opportunity! Try using a new writing instrument, like a pencil.

Which is Big?

Find and circle which is larger between each pair of hand-drawn Fall-themed images

Early finishers: Color the page.

Reasoning/Logic, Pre-Math skills 

Suggested supplies:

Orange playdough or moldable clay

Crayons, markers, pencils

Glue stick 

Miniature or foam pumpkin(s)

Optional:

Scissors

Dice

Painters tape to mark Pumpkin Pushing start/finish lines.

Pre-cut construction shapes or other flat foam shapes, any colors, few of each: Circle, square, rectangle, oval, triangle

teacherspayteachers.com/store/mommaamommab

Is it Fall yet?

MommaAMommmaB are SO ready for back-to-school season!

Today I finally got around to creating a few quick printable pages for the TeachersPayTeachers #TotSchool account – Here are a few quick templates for you teachers to use and customize however you choose. No credits needed, but appreciate if you pin to your boards! Happy teaching! -Brandi

More Tot School and Pre-K ideas for your at-home schooling: Follow us on Pinterest!

Fall Packs available!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mommaamommab

Fall Clip Art – coming soon!

After the Storm

www.hightowerdigitalmedia.com hasn’t been completely derailed, and I’m pretty happy about that for the time being! In fact, the website and first blog went LIVE around FIVE (…P.M. P.S.T.)!

…so here we are, moving forward with our website despite the grim situation that many businesses are facing with having to physically close their doors to customers they depend on, or let go of valued employees due to financial restraints. They are in no position to be hiring social media managers, for the most part. But the need to reach and deliver to audiences remotely is real.

That’s why we decided to offer a few of our local businesses our services, for free. Hopefully, they’ll like us and recommend our work and everyone will be happy once things get back to normal.

They will get back to normal again soon…right?

Well, probably not. But we can hope that we were able to be innovators and keep our customers happy and connected during these uncertain times ahead.

You can check out our first blog at our website – if you’d like more regular updates you can subscribe to the once-monthly blog while you’re over there.

Learn about the latest news from businesses and entrepreneurs of the Wenatchee area – and maybe even a little beyond!

My favorite hashtags for our area: #ditchthelunchbox #wegotthiswenatchee and #toosmalltofail (and by ‘favorite’ I mean they make me smile even though the situation is not humorous or light – I hope they make you smile, too)!

Either way, we’ll still be updating here and mayyyyybe bringing the family vlog back some day. But right now, we’d like to focus on our local community. Stay tuned to my Instagram and see my personal account get hacked next week by a few of my loves…It’s always fun to shake things up!

Until next time,

Mama B

Snack and Meal Ideas | Tot School and Pre-K

It’s been an eventful week to say the least!

Winter snow has made way for Spring and we had just started our kids in twice a week school when bam! Schools around the globe are closing due to the COVID-19 virus epidemic and many of us are finding ourselves in new daily routines that often involve hands-on caring for our children while trying to maintain our usual money-making careers.

Even if you manage to come by the groceries and the energy and time, we often have no idea where to start, especially when it comes to feeding picky (ahem, particular) toddlers.

While many of us parents would be happy to take an opportunity to fast or diet, it’s important that young children continue to get the caloric needs that may have been provided by schools or daycares before all of these new arrangements.

In my household, we have a one and two year old who are very vocal about the things they don’t prefer to eat – a list that seems to be growing every day despite our best efforts!

Being creative with presentation, plating, variety, or mixing up the textures can make a big difference in “tricking” (convincing) a new food experience.

Trick 1: Same Foods, New Ways

This afternoon we sliced up hotdogs, speared a few noodles through the centers, and then cooked the whole lot in boiling water for about 11 minutes.

While we reserved a few and carefully diced them for the younger child to avoid choking, the older kid found it hilarious that his “big kid lunch” was so silly! I decided not to tell him it was the exact same package of dogs he refused to eat two days before, and spaghetti noodles he “didn’t like” last month – from the same box.

Trick 2: Templates or Placemats

I have already started curating Amazon gifts list for upcoming events with our kids. One thing we look forward to getting some day is educational or interactive placemats like these:

Until then, we’ve found a lot of success in creating fun templates based on popular kids snacks, and using them to teach all sorts of lessons during snack times, from counting to sorting to matching. These Teddy Graham ones were a hit, even though I didn’t realize that they have different arm positions (I just grabbed one and traced it onto my iPad Pro, so I made another sheet:

I’ve laminated a few of our favorite multi-purpose ones (such as the numbered circles) and enjoyed creating custom ones for “healthy” versions of snacks (like Annie’s Organic bunnies, etc.)

follow on Insta for more toddler food inspo

I’ll be sharing some of my snack and play ideas on Pinterest stories this week so make sure to follow! @brandi_n_hightower on Instagram @mommaamommab on Pinterest