Thursday, September 06, 2012

Thursday's Thing to Do: Cereal Necklace

Honestly, is there anyone out there that has never had a cereal necklace or bracelet?
(if so, today is YOUR day!!!!) 
 
They were my favorite as a little girl. 
However, in that transition time between little girl and mom, I forgot about them....until today
I'm thinking about how fun it will be to do.  I bet my son would even like it because it's food...
as long as every piece of cereal is either blue or green since he's realized that pink is "ewwwww girlie" and pink, if touched, will give him the plague. 
 
If you've had amnesia and forgot about this simple fun, here are the tips on what you need and how to do it:
 
 
Cereal Necklace: 
(a.k.a. The Wearable Snack)
 
Cereal (multi-colored is extra fun, and the cereal should have holes in the middle.  If you have older kids, you could use cereal without holes and have them use a thread and needle---if you trust them with such weapons while sitting in close proximity.)
 
Yarn (cut in 3 foot sections) OR thin licorice ropes
 
Development: This a a great activity for preschool age kids to practive their fine motor skills as they string the cereal on the yarn.  You can also use this as an activity with learning colors, or practicing their sorting skills. 
 
Tips: With young children it can help to tape one end of the yarn onto the table while they string the cereal onto the other end, this way it doesn't fall off constantly.  When they're done, help them tie the ends together. 
 
***And please remember, necklaces can be choking hazards if they're climbing trees, etc. etc.  So, be wise.
 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday's Things to Do: Printable Actitivities

I know there are a lot of websites out there to easily google and find what you'd like, but I thought I'd share one I recently found:
PrintActivities.com (yes this is a link)
I'm REALLY liking it.  It has activities, puzzles, dot-to-dot pages, coloring pages,.... you get the idea.  And I love how easily it's catagorized by THEMES.  And of course it's all FREE, which I always love.  :) 
 
Here's a little taste....
 
Let's say you read the story "The Three Little Pigs" today ...why not have a little extra fun and follow it with a little piggie and wolf maze such as this....


Anyway, just thought I'd share...

Monday, August 27, 2012

MOMents


Yesterday as our family was sitting semi-reverently in church, my five-year-old son abruptly said, "What's that smell!?"  he leaned toward me, sniffed, then he backed away from  me and said loudly, "Mom, it's YOU!"  Yep, I actually wore perfume...it's been ages since I've done that.  And obviously he wasn't so impressed....  I'm pretty sure what others within ear-range were thinking.  Slightly embarrassing.  My husband whisper-chuckled.  I sighed.  My son had his nose turned up like he'd just smelled a skunk...at least until his sister stole his crayon box.  Ahhh....MOMents

~Me, the Blog Author, mother of Two

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday's WORD: I Use to Know A LOT

I knew A LOT about marriage and motherhood. 
And then I got married and became a mother and learned that I don't know much.

I've been working on a major project: Organize Everything! 
I may or may not have jumped into a disaster.  You see, I've pulled out all the files from the filing cabinet, every box of papers, folders, notebooks, file boxes, and every pile of things in the house (including in drawers, closets, ...you get the idea).  Some things are recent, and others have been hidden on purpose since we got got engaged almost a decade ago when I had to quickly move out of my college apartment and in with my parents to save money for a couple months, and then there are the boxes of things my mom found in the back of her closet that are "mine".  I think she saved every picture I ever drew.  You see, when I say EVERYTHING, I'm really meaning everything.  Oh yeah, and I also have lots of printed photos from back in the day before digital cameras.  I took all these things into one room, (it use to be where my son read books and played with legos...those activities have migrated temporarily to a different area of the house), and I've banished anyone from that room until my project of overcoming my unorganizedness is conquered.  You see, I use to be quite unorganized.  I married an organized man.  I've been learning from him.  I'm glad.  But now those piles are DRIVING ME CRAZY and I want to get it ALL done.  Thrown away, or put somewhere useful.  I'm sick of the hidden but not forgotten boxes.  I'm tired of moving them each time we've moved (though we're probably in this home for a while since we bought it).  I'm wanting to DE-CLUTTER, SIMPLIFY, ORGANIZE.  You get the idea. 

So, what does this have to do with what I use to know?  It seems totally unrelated doesn't it.  But it's not.  You see, before getting married, and before having kids, and while I was in school getting my awesome possum degree, I kept a lot of things that would help me be the-most-awesome-rockin-mother-EVER!!!  And when I was in school getting my degree I learned tons of great stuff.  And then I worked for a university teaching people how to teach kids and coming up with lessons for preschoolers.... I have a lot of stuff and learned a lot and I have PAPERS to prove it.  As I've been going through things I've been reminded of all I use to know.  If only I could remember all of it each day.  If I did, I'm sure I'd never become impatient with my kids because I'd understand exactly what stage of development they're in and about how long it lasts, how to communicate with them without conflict, how to teach self sufficiency with a perfect balance of obedience, and I'd have creatively fun ideas galore coming out my ears for every minute of the day and would never hear my son say "I'm bored!".  But I guess it doesn't work that way.  Everything I learned didn't stick.  I'm human.  I get tired.  I forget.  I try to remember.  And experience is a completely different kind of knowledge than the knowledge from notes I wrote during lectures in college.

So, I think I'll be okay with not "knowing" as much as I use to.  I'm having the chance to experience what I didn't have before but dreamed about.  And experience is better.  Experience gives hugs, kisses, and a homemade cardboard-box-fishtank gift for Mother's Day.  It doesn't get better than this! 

Experience is a knowledge of the heart. 

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Wednesday's Word



"DO SMALL THINGS
WITH GREAT LOVE."
~Mother Theresa





Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday's Tidbit: Crawling


When I was in college I remember reading an interesting study done somewhere about teenagers that had problems with math.  They had found out that many of those students who were struggling with math had never crawled as a baby.  They had skipped that step in development and had gone straight to walking.  They taught these teenagers to crawl, did crawling exercises in class, and their math skills improved significantly.   I don't remember the details of the study, but the idea obviously stuck with me and I became VERY excited as each of my children began to crawl.   (Especially my little girl because of all her special therapy that began when she was only 6 weeks old.  Another post for another day.)

Now, I'm not going to say that all non-crawlers will struggle with math.  Neither will I say that all who struggle with math weren't crawlers as a baby (I crawled and am  not good at math at all...I won't mention how many times I repeated math classes.)  But I will say that crawling is a very important part of development.  And Math isn't the only area it seems to affect.  There are many studies that show how it affects the brain development (coordination, memory, etc.), and there are many theories out there including the possiblity that it's a factor in ADHD.

So, basically, don't push walking when your baby is enjoying crawling-this is an important time for your baby's brain to be getting a work-out, but if your baby skips crawling, maybe when he/she is an older child you can think of fun crawling games later in life to get them moving on their hands and knees. 

* And here's a good article if you'd be interested in learning a little more: medcentral.org

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday's MOMent

Today I went to change T's diaper & quickly discovered that it was not a pretty one. As I was wrapping it up, I decided to wrap it tightly so that none of the poop would spill out as I went to throw it away. Bad idea...it only squeezed the poop out of the diaper all over my hand. I held the diaper with my soiled right hand as I tried to catch any extra spillage with my left hand. It continued to drip into my hand as I ran downstairs only to find that I had a child lock on my doorknob to the garage that my kids would not be able to assist me with. I asked my other son to help open the cupboard under the kitchen sink so that I could get an old grocery sack to put the diaper in, but of course it was childlocked & he couldn't open it. I was trying to pry the door open with my toes when my piano student knocked on the door. Crap. Of course J couldn't open the door for her because it had a cover on the doorknob as well. I ended up throwing the diaper in my kitchen garbage can (which I should have thought of in the first place), washed the filth off of my hands & proceeded on with my day as if nothing had even happened.

~Jackie, mother of 4

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday's Food: Vegetable Pizza

That's right...a vegetable pizza.  You can hide all kind of nutrients in this sneaky pizza.  The smaller you chop the vegetables the less recognizable they are. :)

Vegetable Pizza


1 8-oz pkg refrigerated crescent rolls
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp mayonnaise
1 garlic clove finely minced
1 tsp. dill seed (or dill weed)
salt
black pepper
1/4 Cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 C. Assorted Fresh Vegetables of your choice (broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, tomato, green onion, mushrooms, carrot, zucchini, squash, etc.)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Unroll crescent dough; seperate into 8 triangles.  On a large pizza pan, arrange triangles in a circle with points in the center and wide ends toward the outside.  By pinching seams together and rolling flat, make a 12-inch circle.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until light golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool completely. 

2.  In a medium size bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic and dill weed.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over top of crust.

3.  To prepare vegetables, slice, dice, or coarsely chop each vegetable.  (Remember, the smaller the pieces the less likely they'll recognize it.)

4.  Sprinkle vegetables over top of pizza.  Grate cheese evenly over top of vegetables.  Place plastic wrap over top of pizza and push vegetables into cream cheese mixture, (this helps them not fall off as it's being eaten).  Remove plastic wrap.  Cut into squares and serve.  Keep refrigerated.

*Variation: Ranch Cream Cheese mixture.  Mix 1 1/2 tsp. mayonnaise with about 1/2 envelope of dry ranch dressing until smooth, then mix with 8 oz. cream cheese.   

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday's Word: Measuring a Happy Successful Day

I remember several years ago learning an interesting fact:
Men and Women measure success differently. 

Generally speaking, a woman has a "TO DO" list and the more things she crosses off during the day the more successful she feels.  (Have you ever written something down AFTER you did it just to cross it off simply because that swipe of the pen feels so wonderful?  Or is it just me?)  For a man, he can spend 10 hours doing one thing but feel incredibly successful because of the time he spent doing it.  If I spent 10 straight hours organizing that forgotten closet in the back of the house I would be kind of happy (if I'd finished it) ...but then feel upset I didn't also get the dishes done, Cheerios swept off the floor, letters written to Aunt Sue, Uncle Bob, and a thank you note or gift of cookies delivered to that sweet 17-year old girl who volunteered to babysit my kids...oh yeah, and dinner...I didn't get anything ready to eat and dinner-time was an hour ago! 

As in all things, it's important to remember differences are simply that--differences.  Understanding can bring more peace in relationships.... for example: Honey-Do lists from wives can take on a new light...the list is from the wife and the husband is proud of getting one thing done while the wife is still looking at the rest of the list that hasn't been crossed off.  It can also bring peace to ones self in understanding that success can be measured in multiple ways...and maybe "cleaning" shouldn't be a single item to cross off.  Instead try writing: clean toilet, clean sink, clean out fridge, clean top shelf of fridge, vacuum carpet upstairs, dust family room bookshelves, go through one box in forgotten closet in back of house,  ...yeah, that's more like it! 

I may take some fire for this, but hopefully I won't and you can just understand the basics here without a big gender war occurring, but it also makes sense why we think and feel differently about success.  A man has generally been the provider for his family.  Throughout ages he has worked at the same job long day after long day.  But can come home feeling accomplished since he's provided for his family.  A woman has generally been the one to take care of the home, and children.  There are a million "smaller" tasks to accomplish in a day from making meals, to changing diapers.  So, there are reasons.  I'll even say Divine reasons, why we measure daily success differently.  This also makes more sense as to why a man who is out of work often times feels a bit depressed, even if he's finished the Honey Do list.  And it also brings more understanding why so many working mothers feel so overwhelmed and under-accomplished after a full day of work as her list of things 'to do' seems to grow and multiply each day and she feels that she'll never make it.   And, as in all things, I think we can each learn a little from each other to balance ourselves out a bit. 

As we understand and remember that men and women measure success differently, and that it has purpose, maybe, just maybe, we can be kinder to ourselves, those around us, and can learn to manage our differences in healthy happier ways.   And have a bit more peace....we all need that don't we?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday's Food: Potato Wedges

Yummy! Yummy! Easy! Yummy!

POTATO WEDGES
Serves 4

4 medium potatoes, cut into large wedges
1 Tb. olive oil
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place cut potatoes in a large bowl, sprinkle with oil, pepper, and salt. With hands, toss gently to combine.
Arrange seasoned potatoes in single layer on greased baking sheet.
Bake 10-15 minutes, then turn potatoes with spatula and bake another 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with ketchup or other desired dipping sauce.

Thanks Katrina! 
(I stole this recipe from her here and my son asks for it EVERY day...he's extra happy on the days I cater to his craving. Healthier than french fries, but loved just as much!)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Favorite: Snack Feeder

This is made by KidCo, Inc. 
It's called the Healthy Snack Feeder.

It's dishwasher safe, yes, even the little bags.
(You can buy a pack of bags seperately so you don't have a billion handles hanging around the house and can just switch our the bags for clean ones.)

You can put whole grapes in it, or carrot sticks, or peas, or apple slices, or frozen foods for teething time, or ......... you get the idea. 

Closes securely.

Reduces choking hazards because they only get the stuff they've mushed through the netting.

***Great for teething time-- they can gnaw on something that'll give 'em a little nutrition too.

I LOVE this.  If you have a little one, I highly suggest it.  I've seen different ones made my different companies and personally love this one best though others do the same basic thing. 

I bought it here: Cotton Babies I like that it's free shipping no matter the size of order.
(for some reason they don't sell the bag packs anymore though...hmmm...)
Kidco Products are also sold at MANY local and online stores...check out their website Kidco.com

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday's Word

The most MEMORABLE DAYS
usually end with the
DIRTIEST CLOTHES


I have this quote in my laundry room.  I like it.  Lots!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Wednesday's WORD & WONDER

A MOTHER'S LOVE AND SACRIFICE

If you didn't hear this story that emerged from the recent tornado outbreak in the east, I thought I'd post it here.  When I told my husband he actually suggested that I post it...so truly, the idea was his first.  This mother, Stephanie Decker, lost both her legs in the tornado but saved her two children ages 5 and 8.  They were unharmed.  I can't imagine the whole situation, but she was determined to protect her children and to not leave them without a mother. 
The love of a mother can do ANYTHING!

Indiana Mom loses legs saving kids from Tornado 
(This link is to KSL, a Utah based news station)

Monday, March 05, 2012

MOMents

Yesterday I found a baby spider in my kitchen.  Of course I squished it.  My son saw.  He was devastated that I would kill one of his beloved insects.  He said, "Mommy, you should have let it hunt for it's food."  I explained to him that the spider was in my house and I didn't want it creeping and crawling around my home.  A few minutes later he came up to me with a diplomatic solution, "Mommy, you should have let it get it's food and THEN killed it!" 

~Amy (me), Mother of two

Friday, March 02, 2012

Friday Food: Doggie Boats

DOGGIE BOATS

Ingredients:
*Hot Dogs
*Mashed Potatoes
*Grated Cheddar Cheese
*toothpicks and paper to make sails

1.  Lightly grease cookie sheet and preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Slice each hotdog length-wise, almost cutting into two seperate pieces
3.  Spread hotdogs flat on cookie sheet, flat (cut) side up.
4.  Top with mashed potatoes (great way to use those leftovers.)
5.  Sprinkle grated cheese on top
6.  Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through and cheese melts
7.  While baking, make sails by cutting triangles out of paper and taping to toothpicks
8.  After baking, place one sail in each "boat" and serve with ketchup if desired.

*Note... I used cheesey garlic mashed potatoes so they melted over the sides, but it was still tasty.  Try different kinds of potatoes.  Also, be careful with the pointy toothpicks with young children. 

My son loves these!!!



                                                             


Monday, January 23, 2012

MOMents

Angie, thanks for sending these...quite a while ago.....

*When my son was 3 he was really into learning his ABC's and numbers.  One day he was playing in his room, I was in my bedroom, and my husband was in the living room.  I heard him say, "B S T Y M..." and continue with a long list of letters.  Then after a short pause he called out, "Dad, is that how you spell TV?" 

*Another time at dinner he didn't want to eat, so I told him if he would just take 2 bites he could be finished.  He took the first bite and said, "One." Took another bite and said, "Two." Continued on and said, "Three."  Well, I wasn't about to stop him from eating his food if he was going to do it willingly, so I didn't say anything.  After he said, "Seven" he looked up at me, his chin started to quiver, his eyes filled with tears and he said, "Mom, I don't know how to count to two."  Both instances were so sweet and soooo funny. 
~Angie, mother of five

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thing to Do: Snowflakes

Many of YOU are in the middle of a big snow storm. 
I am not. 
I do not know what kind of snow is falling for you....meaning if it's slushy, clumpy, melting before it hits the ground, or super frozen individual flakes.  But if any of you have the super frozen individual flakes ENJOY!!!!! 

Have you ever stood outside and let the snow fall on the sleeve of a dark coat or glove and been amazed at the unique beauty and design of each flake?  If not, YOU.ARE.MISSING.OUT!  A few weeks ago we had that kind of snow.  My FAVORITE!!!  My 5 year old went outside with me and I explained snowflakes to him and he also loved watching them fall on his gloves, well, for about 20 seconds and then it was snowball fight time.  But seriously, take a few minutes to admire the beauty.   Then have a little snow fun.  

OR

Make some paper snowflakes.  Do you remember how?  If not, here's an easy tutorial: 6-Point Paper Snowflake  (much easier to link it than do my own photo gallery of steps).  Tape them in your windows and enjoy.  We have some in our front window-- helps us pretend we have snow.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Favorite: Puzzle Maker

This website is AWESOME!!!  & FREE 
Which is doubley awesome!!!!!

http://www.discoveryeducation.com/free-puzzlemaker/?CFID=278695&CFTOKEN=40580503

You can put in the title of a puzzle, words you want included, size, etc. and they make it up for you.  Then you can print it off.  Use this for word searches, mazes, letter tiles, etc.  A great idea to help you be ready for road trips, baby showers, a rainy day inside activity, .....

I've used this site a lot and thought you might enjoy it as well. 

Here's an example:

MOTHERHOOD

K S Y B A B M X 
I R I E M U O Z 
W E O S M S M S 
X P D W T O P L 
G A G O E E H E 
D I Z G A M R E 
D D V I Z U O P 
B R O T H E R H 

BABY
BROTHER
DAD
DIAPERS
HOME
HOMEWORK
MOM
SISTER
SLEEP

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday's Word

"FIND THE SACRED IN THE MUNDANE"

I saw this quote in a frame next to the kitchen sink at my friend's home a few years ago.  It still repeats in my mind often.  Whenever I think of this quote my mind immediately turns to a mother who was speaking at a fireside before I had any children.  She had many children.  Honestly, I think it was 14 or 15 kids.  I remember several things she shared.  But one fits this quote perfectly.  She shared with us about hating changing diapers for so many years.  Then one day as she was cleaning the poop off her kids bottom, the thought came to her that changing her babies diapers was like the Savior cleaning her from sin through his atonement.  Just as her baby needed help and couldn't do it on his own, she couldn't clean herself from sin and needed the Savior's help.  And just as it'd hurt more the longer the poop stayed on the babies bottom, her sins would hurt more the longer she waited to allow the Savior to clean her from her sins.  It's kind of funny, an analogy like that.  But it's true.  There are things in our lives that even though they're mundane they can gave us a reason to look up, to understand more, and our perspectives can change drastically. 

Motherhood is full of mundane, repetitive tasks, but it's also full of wonderful moments that sneak in unexpectedly in the middle of the daily monotony.  Focus on those moments and find purpose, even divine purpose in the tasks and responsibilities.  It'll bring sunshine, even on a poopy day.  I promise!