Monday, July 27, 2015

How to Make a Harry Potter Wand

Like most boys his age, my 9-year-old is enthralled with all things Hogwarts and Harry Potter. We promised him that we would let him read the last book in the series this summer and he tore right through it. He also decided to go through the books and write down all the spells he could find. Of course, he insisted that we needed to make wands for him and all of his brothers.
DIY HARRY POTTER WANDS - Our dress-up box needs these!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Stock Your Kitchen For Sensory Play

It's easy to whip up sensory bins and dough when you have a selection of materials ready to go. Here are some things that I keep on hand at all times.  I can't tell you how many times these things have saved me when I didn't feel like making a craft or just needed a few minutes to get something done.
10 Things to Stock Your Kitchen with for easy sensory play!  This is a handy list to keep!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cork Painting Flag Craft for Kids

It's getting close to the 4th of July, so that means there's just enough time to do a few quick patriotic crafts with the kids. This one only takes a few moments and makes a fun flag to take with you to those 4th of July parades and bar-b-ques.
Cork Painting Flag Craft for Kids - Perfect for Flag Day or the 4th of July!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Dear Pregnant Mom at Target

Dear Pregnant Mom at Target,

I saw you walking into Target with your husband and your 4 children this evening. I know you didn't see me. I was sitting in my minivan waiting for my husband. We had just wrestled our 5 children back into their carseats and were unloading our bags when I realized something had fallen underneath the baby's infant carrier.  Part of me wanted to toss it in the bag and head home, but in an effort to always set a positive example for the kids, I sent him back in to pay for it. (Darn guilty conscience!)

Anyway, I saw you with your four children scampering around your legs and I thought, "pretty soon ours will all be walking on their own at the store, too".  Then, you turned to the side a bit to call to one of them, and I saw your pregnant belly.  I almost jumped out of the minivan and ran to hug you right there!  I probably would have if I hadn't been singing a rousing rendition of If You're Happy and You Know It" to keep the baby from crying. As it was, I felt like a stalker analyzing your family as the kids jumped and danced and raced their way into the store.  I think our families could be good friends.
Dear Pregnant Mom at Target
Family Photo courtesy of my dear friend at Brianna Lauren Photography
I wanted to tell you that your family was awesome. That you were awesome! That your kids were perfect and happy, and that I thought that your large family was amazing!

And, there were so many things that I didn't want to say to you:

I didn't want to ask you if this pregnancy was planned.

I didn't want to ask if you were done now.

I didn't want to tell you that you needed a hobby.

...or a t.v.

I didn't want to ask you if you knew how that happened.

I didn't want to ask you if you were going for a basketball team.

And for heaven's sake, I didn't want to insinuate that you were on welfare

...or ruining the environment

...or that you must be poor and uneducated.

I know what it's like to be you.  I know that with each pregnancy announcement you probably found that family and friends were noticeably less excited.  You may have even worried about what they would say when you told them.  You probably hid your happy news longer than usual hoping to avoid the questions...and the comments...and the stares.

I know that when you're out in public, people will often make comments about the size of your family.  They'll ask you questions that aren't any of their business about your reproductive habits.  (Why, yes, I do enjoy having sex and no I don't think we have plans to stop).  Some will be innocent enough (Wow! You have your hands full!).  And others will mumble things under their breath behind you at the grocery store about how the government must be funding your bill (nevermind that you may or may not have ever been on welfare).  The mean ones will even comment on how many resources your family must use and how the planet would be better off without large families.  What can I say?  Some people are cruel!

So, let me be the one to tell you this:

Your family is not a waste or a burden.  You are not stupid for having a large family. You probably do make material sacrifices to provide for your family, but you are rich beyond measure in love and joy! You, my dear, are strong, and brave, and capable, and BLESSED!  Congratulations on your growing family!!

With love and well-wishes,
 

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Friday, June 12, 2015

9 Easy First Birthday Traditions

It's birthday season in our house! Three of our five children have birthdays in June or July and I celebrate my birthday in July, as well. Over the years, we've developed some birthday traditions and since our little Ladybug is getting ready to turn one, I thought I'd share some of them with you.  We didn't start all of these with our first child, but I've come to cherish these little traditions more and more with each child since I'm seeing first-hand just how quickly these years are flying by!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Fine Motor Skill Bug Sensory Bin for Kids

For Christmas, my 2-year-old got this Color Bug Catchers Game and it has sparked his love for all things insects.  We are reading lots of books on insects and spiders and he is having a great time exploring all the different types of insects.  I quickly tossed together this Exploration Bin for him one morning and was thrilled with how much he enjoyed using it.
   

Monday, June 1, 2015

2 Rice Krispies Treat Recipes for Summer Fun


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True story: My 6-year-old doesn't like cake. Or candy. Or cookies. Or brownies. Sometimes, I wonder if we're related at all.  The one dessert that he loves and asks for at every celebration are Rice Krispies Treats. With an activity-packed Summer coming up, I've been experimenting with new combinations for his favorite treat and I am so excited to share our favorites with you!  These hearty additions are sure to keep the fun going all day long!

Cereal has become somewhat of a staple in our house.  With the added vitamins and minerals, it adds a nice crunch to the kids' yogurt and forms the basis for many of their trail mixes.  It doesn't melt in the hot Summer sun and it's easy enough for them to fix themselves. It's so quick and versatile that it makes it easy to make the most of Summer.  These treats are perfect to bring along with you to the pool, on road trips, to family gatherings, or even for the kids' sleepovers.  You can look like a star with virtually no effort!
Peanut Butter Banana Rice Krispies Treats!  So easy and so good!