Saturday, November 26, 2016

12 Awesome LEGO Elf on the Shelf Ideas

It's that time of year.  The Pearson Elf on the Shelf (Pelf) will be making his appearance tomorrow.  This year, we have five kids who are all obsessed with Legos and Duplo blocks, so I've determined that Lego will be playing a prominent role in Pelf's antics.  As always, I began scouring the internet to find some great Lego ideas and I wanted to share some of my favorites.  We'll be adding our own as Pelf makes his arrival.  (Having a 4-year-old that doesn't nap means that I've lost most of my blogging time and all of my opportunities to stage these elf photo shoots!)  I've made every effort to give credit where it's due, but some of these photos have appeared on Pinterest with no real way to track them.  If you know the original source, please comment so I can give them credit!

12 Awesome Lego Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

To the Older Couple at Chick-fil-A

To the Older Couple at Chick-fil-A:

I'm not in the habit of speaking poorly of my elders, so I'm actually glad that I didn't have a chance to respond to you. I'm glad that a smile and a nod was all the response you needed. And, I'm so thankful for the lesson you taught my family (even though you didn't mean to).

Today was a typical Saturday with our family.  We had a few errands to run (Target, anyone?), a birthday present to buy, and a trip to the library, so we inevitably found ourselves at one of our favorite lunch spots....

Chick-Fil-A Cow Appreciation Day

You were sitting across from our large family, though I'm afraid I didn't really notice you until you approached us.  We were busy cutting up grilled nuggets, opening ketchup, wiping faces, and trying to shove a few bites of salad in between requests for more crackers and fries.  You know, lunch with 5 kids!!!

You approached me as you were leaving to tell me what lovely, well-behaved kids we had.  Like other times we've had this happen, I immediately beamed at you and thanked you profusely.  Who doesn't love to hear about how great her kids are?  Then, you continued to tell us about all the times you couldn't even enjoy eating in a restaurant because of the kids running around and climbing all around you.  How loud they were.  How much they cried.  How no one had taught them how to behave in public....

I kept smiling and silently said a prayer of thanksgiving that (for today) those weren't my kids.  It could have been.  If we had been a little closer to nap time, I'm sure the baby could have started crying.  If my 5-year-old hadn't been so busy eating, I'm sure he could have been poking at one of his brothers and then all sorts of chaos could have ensued.  We've had those days.  We've had times where two kids were crying, one was pouting because he didn't want to eat anything  in front of him, another just wanted to go play, and one was determined to climb under the table.
Chick-Fil-A baby cow costume
You left with one last comment about teaching kids how to behave in public and as you were walking out to your car, my son leaned over and whispered to me:

"Mommy, those people left their trash on the table.  It's a mess."

You had asked me how I got them to behave so well and I didn't have an answer for you.  We don't have lessons on behaving in a restaurant.  We don't lecture and try not to yell.  But, we are trying so hard to teach them to have servants' hearts.

We want them to know that while we love them dearly, it doesn't make them any more important or deserving than anyone else.

That means that they're not better than the person taking our order or helping to clean up at the Chick-fil-A.

It means that we hold doors for the people coming out of a building and for those coming in after us.

It means that we help people pick up things when they drop them.

It means that we collect school supplies for those that can't afford them.

It means that we all clean up the toys (even if we weren't the ones that took them out).

It means that we make meals for our neighbors who are sick.

It means we help people financially whenever we can...

And, in this case, it meant that we help clean up after the people who were complaining about others who don't know how to behave in public.

Today, you helped illustrate a very important lesson for my children. What we do in front of our children speaks much louder than the things that we say to them.

Want more ideas for spending time with your kids?  Be sure to follow us on Facebook or Pinterest and sign up for emails to keep up with all the latest crafts, activities, and kid-friendly recipes!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

How to Throw a 4th of July Party for Kids

The Aquafresh brand has compensated me in connection with the statements made in this post.

The 4th of July happens to be my second son's birthday so we love to go all out when it comes to celebrating this holiday.  The kids are always involved with planning activities and love to make their own decorations.  We typically keep it a family event, but this year my son has requested a 4th of July party for all of his friends. As we're planning for the big celebration, I wanted to share some of our favorite decorations, activities, and party foods with you!
 photo 4th of July Party_zpscefzjf6s.jpg

Monday, May 9, 2016

Dinosaur Books for Toddlers and Preschool

With the release of The Good Dinosaur, my 3-year-old has become obsessed with all things dinosaur! Since I like to follow along with their interests whenever possible, we did a Dinosaur Theme with the daycare kids. These books were a huge hit with the kids and they are still requesting them even though we've moved on to our Flower and Garden theme!
 photo dinosaur books_zpsfrrksop5.jpg

Friday, March 25, 2016

Easy Bunny Basket Spring Treats for Kids to Make

Easter is the perfect time for sweet treats and making memories in the kitchen! As a child, I remember making all sorts of desserts with jelly beans, chocolates, and marshmallows this time of year - and now I get to share those recipes with my own children. I love seeing their eyes light up as I pull out bags and bags of Easter candy for our creations!

 Recently, we combined some of our favorite candies to create Bunny Basket treats for our friends. The kids had as much fun making them as they did sharing (and eating) them later.
Bunny Basket Treats photo Bunny Basket Spring Treats_zpspdd54p8n.jpg

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Recycled Easter Bunny Craft for Kids

Want more ideas for spending time with your kids?  Be sure to follow us on Facebook or Pinterest and sign up for emails to keep up with all the latest crafts, activities, and kid-friendly recipes!

Having an in-home daycare, I am all about recycled crafts and making the most of what we have on hand when it comes to our learning activities. We recently had a Teacher Workday which meant the big kids were home for crafting.  I don't have any pictures of the process from this craft because I honestly didn't expect them to be so adorable.  I just had to share them with you guys, so I snapped a few quick photos and I'll do my best to share what we did.  Really, this craft was all about letting the kids create some decorations for Easter using what we had in our craft supplies.
 photo Recycled Bunny2_zpsgyam9tx6.jpg

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Debt Jar Update - How We Paid Over $1,000 Off Last Month

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If you haven't been following along with our Debt Jar, my husband and I are down to our last debt (his student loans) and we are working really hard to get them paid off  down this year.  To keep me accountable, I'm sharing our journey with all of you!  February was a month of financial ups and downs for us, but we're still plugging along and we managed to pay off over $1,000 in February.  I know that so many of you are in the same boat and trying to pay down your debts so I hope that this will encourage you that we're all in this together.
The Debt Jar - How We Paid Over $1,000 Off Last Month