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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Baby Shower Gift: Growth Chart

I just made my own version of this totally cute idea that I found a few months ago. It went over great at the baby shower and I am now making a couple more for my recently born nephews & will make one for each of my kids.

(By the way, if you visit the link for the site where this idea was originally posted . . . I'm sorry! Its an awesome site & you'll probably see so many projects that you'll want to do that you won't even have time to do them all!!!)

Anyway, I wanted a cute poem to attach to it, but couldn't find any that I liked, so I made up my own. You're welcome to use it if you try this out for a gift:

Right now you are a little one

So tiny and so sweet.

And soon you will be running ‘round

On tiny little feet.

The big events the birthdays too

Recorded here by height,

To show your progress as you grow

In knowledge and in might.

The years will pass so quickly

as I mark them on this “wall”.

And I will love you more each day

As you grow big and tall.

I’ll cherish ev’ry memory

And teach you all that’s right.

And thank Him for each moment

That I get to hold you tight.

-- Kim Milius

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Great Toddler Christmas Book

When I was at Deseret Book the other day, a children's Christmas book caught my eye . . . cute cover & it was on SALE! With Chase's love for books, I bought it to add to our collection, hoping it would be as cute as it looked. This is definitely a new favorite! Adorable illustrations & a very cute story about the beginning of Santa where he used penguins instead of reindeer (boy, was that a mistake!) and the people were all scared of this guy that was going to invade their houses in the middle of the night. Santa's First Flight by Sam Beeson is a definite MUST for your toddler's library!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Book Recommendations: toddler

We've been getting lots of books from the library lately. Thank you so much to friends who gave me some recommendations & I've also been taking them from the books that the library & Little Monkey Bizness uses for their storytimes. Here's some of our favorites so far (for my 2 1/2 year old):

The Best Story by Eileen Spinelli
Easy to read Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper
Peanut Butter & Jellyfishes by Brian P. Cleary
We're Going on a Bear Hunt retold by Michael Rosen
Ping Pong Pig by Caroline Jayne Church

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hooked on Phonics Review

So, I ventured out to do some Black Friday shopping, including a stop at Borders bookstore. I had a 50% off coupon & ended up buying a Hooked on Phonics set - even though I didn't go there with that intention. I decided it was a good enough deal to go ahead and give it a try.

Chase has known his letters since he was 20 months old. Its just something he's always had a fascination with & his favorite song is ABC's. I've been trying to teach him the letter sounds but he hasn't picked up on it at all.

He LOVES this program (pre-K, level 1) and I'm sure we will be investing in more before too long. We've done 2 formal lessons - rhyming & the letter A. And he loved all parts of it, the lesson, worksheet, computer game, and the dvd. Even on the days when we don't do a lesson, I still put on the dvd for him & he watches all of it. And he's really picking up on what sounds the letters make. Today, I asked him what sound an "s" makes (since he was really singing along with that song earlier) and he was able to tell me.

I would definitely recommend this program to anyone with young children; they've made it so fun & entertaining that kids really enjoy doing the lessons. In fact, Chase begs to do them each day & wants to do them several times a day . . . I'm just not organized enough to keep up with him right now!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sneezing is Dangerous!

This morning, the sore back I had last night turned terrible after a sneeze. I was bent over washing my hands in the sink when the sneeze hit & left me unable to straighten up. I finally made it to where I could lay down & then had to call Jeff and ask him to come home from work to take care of me (and the kids). I'm still in horrible pain from throwing my back out . . . yes, due to a sneeze!

But that's really not the worst of it. When I was pregnant with my first child, I sneezed one morning while sitting in bed. It resulted in a trip to the emergency room, several days in the hospital, and a month of bedrest due to the placenta having torn away from the uterus!

Is it just me? Do I have extremely violent sneezes or is it just old age creeping up on me? Or do these kinds of things happen to other people too?

Monday, November 15, 2010

P90X Review . . . day 15 . . .

Tonight was one of the worst workouts . . . no, let me be honest, it was THE WORST workout so far. It was the "core" workout. You'd think that our 3rd time around with it (we're just starting week 3!!!) would be easier, but I think it was harder & after only a few push-ups (which I HAD been getting much better at) my shoulder started bothering me. I've had problems with bursitis on & off for years & the pain kicked in really bad tonight. I did what I could but all push-up kinds of things were out. By the end of the workout, I had a twinge in my lower back as well & now it is killing me.

Okay, lets just move on, right? At least we get to do a different workout tomorrow night . . . and its cardio which is one of my favorites.

On a positive note . . . TONS OF ENERGY LATELY! I know its due to the workouts, vitamins & healthier eating -- love the way I feel during the day!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

P90X Review . . . days 12, 13 & 14

I was sick on Friday & Jeff has been battling a back injury, so we decided to take the day off from our workout. But we got back to it on Saturday & it felt great . . . I'm so addicted to this stuff! My favorite workouts so far are the Cardio & Kenpo workouts. Overall, this week was so much easier than the first which shows how much we've improved in just 1 week. Also, the routines that were so confusing in the Kenpo workout the first time around came pretty easily the 2nd time doing it. I was actually able to do the entire workout (I sat out the X Jumping Jacks) and am so proud of myself for it!

We have a friend from high school that is following these posts & he reminded me how important the food aspect of this was, so we are trying our best . . . thanks, Farnsworth!

The first week, I had a 4 pound loss & then a one pound gain & no loss this week. It has been discouraging for me because I have a long way to go & want to see quick results for my efforts. Jeff had to remind me that gaining at the beginning means I'm gaining muscle, which weighs more than fat and that in a couple of weeks the losses will start to show up. I know he's right - that's been my experience my whole life (although usuallly, I gain about 5 to 7 pounds right off with a new exercise plan, so a 3 pound loss is pretty good for me!). Its just hard to be patient!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Our Very First Pets . . . and a Fishy Problem

First, the problem . . . because I'm hoping someone out there will have a solution for me: Despite a new, larger fish tank with a larger filter, the water in the fish tank is murky after only 1 day! Any experienced fish owners out there have a solution for us?

Now, on with the story:
After being married for nearly 13 years, we finally got our first pets! A friend called & was trying to get rid of the goldfish that her kids got a year ago since they weren't taking care of them anymore or even excited to have them. I agreed to take them (on a trial basis), feeling like maybe we could actually take care of pets since we now have a house & have managed to keep our 2 kids alive & well!

After a 2 week trial period, we decided to keep them. The only problem was that we were having to clean out the tank every couple of days, despite the filter. So, Jeff set out to the store yesterday & came back with a larger tank & larger filter & some pretty things to go inside (of course, he didn't call them "pretty"). It was at this point that I realized he had grown to like the fish even though he had given me a pretty incredulous look when he came home & saw them that first day. I also realized that it was a great time to pitch an idea!

My parents breed miniature Dachshunds and they're so cute that I've always wanted one, even though I'm not an "inside pet" kind of person & would require it to be outside. We've never lived somewhere that would accommodate an outside pet, so it was out of the question. Soooo, it was finally time that he might say "YES" to a dog, so I asked! He did say yes & in fact told me to call my mom right away & "reserve" one of their newest litter . . . a female dapple dachshund. Oh, she's just adorable & it will be so much fun to bring her home either at Christmas or later in the spring!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

P90X Review . . . day 11 . . . burned out on food

Its only been 11 days & I'm burned out on limited food choices. We ate out for both lunch & dinner today, though we did stick with the eating out choices listed in the back of the food plan. I don't know how strict I'll be from here but going to try to at least stick with the premise of the meal plan: higher protein, very limited carbs. The amazing thing is that I've been able to get rid of the junk food without really craving it because there are so many good foods that I can eat with this plan, so its been really good to get that stuff out of my system. I'm just hoping I can limit it during the holidays when it there will be lots of it around!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

P90X Review . . . day 10 . . . unofficial measurements

So, you're not really supposed to measure again after just 10 days, but we were feeling rather great after our workout tonight. Jeff measured just his biceps & had gained 1/4 to 1/2 inch . . . sweet!!! And I measured just my waist & have lost 1 inch!!!

We are feeling great, loving the workouts & surprised at how much more we can do than when we did the same workout last week!

P90X Review . . . day 9 . . . the addictions

I'm starting to get addicted to these workouts! Yes, that's a great thing! I get so excited when its time to start the workout, even though I know its going to be soooo hard & I love the way I feel when its all over, even though I know that after I've been sitting for a while it will be hard to get up!

Last night was the 2nd time with the Cardio dvd. I think its my favorite. It takes "routines" from several of the workouts so you're really mixing it up. My favorite part is the Plyometrics --- such fun moves! Very intense too, though. I don't know that I could do a whole workout of just that which is good since it hasn't been one that we're supposed to do yet.

The jumping jacks are still so tough for me, but I was able to do virtually everything else. I think I'm going to start doing jumping jacks every morning . . . as many as I can, gradually building up to where they are easier for me.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Something Fun Every Day . . . #26

Invest in some great music cd's that your kids will love. We have a few but were listening to the same things over & over again. So, we stopped by Target to check out their selection the other day & found some great Disney cd's. The one we ended up getting was music from the cartoon Phineas & Ferb - even my husband is excited to listen to this in the car since this is a cartoon he & Chase enjoy watching together. The kids & I had fun jamming out to this cd during breakfast today & I know we'll have fun listening to it while we're out driving around.

Some other music we really like: Primary Colors by Inside Out and I Have a Song for You by Brite Music

I think we'll pick up a couple more Disney cd's maybe the Imagination Movers or even some Disney classics in the next couple of months. I love the spirit that good music brings into our home!

P90X Review . . . day 8 . . . the "childbirth theory"

Okay, I'm back, which means I decided to stick it out. I felt terrible yesterday . . . lost my voice, sore throat, head cold that just left me feeling "icky". But I figured I'd "do my best & forget the rest" when we turned on the dvd for last night's workout. It was a repeat of last Monday's workout & I was amazed at how much more I could do (even feeling like I did) than I did last week.

So, here's my thinking. The premise of this workout is that you do a different dvd workout each day so your muscles don't get used to the same thing & you are continually building strength. I call it the "childbirth theory": when you give birth, you forget over time how painful it was so that you'll be willing to do it again & when you're in the middle of it again you suddenly remember that it really was like that the first time. So, last week we did our first workout & it was so hard but as the week went by it seemed like every workout was harder than the one before it & I forgot how hard that first one was. Coming back to it a week later, I realize that it was every bit as hard as the others we did through the week but I had just forgotten. If I had had to repeat that same first workout every day, I probably wouldn't have kept with it for a week, but having a week to "forget" about it, made me willing to do it again!

Monday, November 8, 2010

P90X Journey . . . Days 6 & 7

The Kenpo X routine on Saturday was fun but tough -- of course, this is P90X, so everything has to be tough! Sunday was supposed to be "rest & stretch". There's a "stretch" dvd that we put on but when we saw that it was 57 minutes long we decided that we weren't going to do it since we really try to keep Sundays as a day apart from the rest of the week & a 57 minute workout - even if it was "just" stretching - just didn't seem to fit for us.

The real difficult thing right now is that I've been fighting off a cold so I just am not working at full strength. And we've had sick kids that are up & down all night (last night I was up 6 times between the 2 kids). So, when I weighed in this morning & found myself up 1 pound since Saturday I was discouraged & just ready to forget it. So, my first official weigh in comes at 3 pounds down in our first week. And you'll know by whether I post tomorrow morning or not if I found the strength to keep going . . .

Saturday, November 6, 2010

P90X Journey . . . day 5

"Date Night" last night was spent working out while the kids slept! It was legs, back & abs last night & I can't tell you how many times I saw what we were supposed to do next & said, "you've got to be kidding me!" I mean, really . . . one legged wall squats???!!!!

Despite the hard workouts, I feel pretty good when I'm done. My lower back has been sore but a little bit of painatrate cream eases some of that pain. And by the next day I'm sore but not so sore that I can't move.

And the best news of all was found on the scale this morning . . . I've lost 4 pounds since Monday!!! I found out my sister's husband did P90X in the past & he lost 8 pounds his first week -- I was sure I wouldn't have similar results, but my first weekly weigh-in won't officially be until Monday morning so if I can keep it up & have a great weekend . . . who knows?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Our P90X Journey . . . day 4

I've done yoga before, but tonight's yoga workout was KILLER! I think its been the toughest workout so far. Really hard & even though I was pushing through my feet were cramping up and I had to take several breaks. This workout was an hour & a half long & the repeated yoga combination over & over again felt like it was lasting an eternity. About halfway through, they switched to some different poses that did more balance work, so I was grateful for that!

Really started having some carb cravings today! The diet plan that I'm on only allows for 1 carb serving a day and as I fix meals for the kids, its really hard not to give in & enjoy what they're eating. I love my bread, potatoes, and especially pasta! I'm sticking pretty closely to the diet stuff, but probably not eating the right # of servings of veggies & proteins. Life is so busy that its hard for me to keep track . . . so my next project needs to be coming up with a good chart that is easy to mark.

P90X Journey . . . day 3

Last night's workout was arms & shoulders. I've had bursitis in my shoulder on & off for years so I have to carefully build my strength here. I did lighter weight & sometimes just the motion with no weight or bands at all. Felt my shoulder popping from time to time & just didn't want to re-injur to the point that I wouldn't be able to do anything. Amazingly I'm not having problems this morning so I must've done something right even though I definitely didn't get as hard of a workout last night. However, the ab ripper workout that went with it was definitely a killer -- I've never done (or I guess I should say "attempted") such a hard ab routine in my life.

I've decided to go with a protein shake for breakfast each morning. It doesn't taste too bad when mixed with bananas and fruit & is definitely better than eggs every morning since I'm not a big egg person. And I LOVE that turkey bacon is on the list of approved proteins! Honestly, I could be happy eating 12 pieces of turkey bacon a day to fulfill my protein requirement --- but I'm trying to be a little more diverse than that & only eat a couple pieces a day :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

P90X Journey . . . day 2

Last night was our day 2 workout . . . we're doing the lean program so it was cardio time. Even though I was sore throughout the day, I was looking forward to the workout. I was able to do more of it than the first workout & it was fun, though very intense. It was also a little bit shorter (maybe 10 min or so) than the first workout which was great since I didn't get home until later in the evening.

Did our shopping for the Fat Shredder meal plan on Monday night. I remember hearing somewhere that when you go shopping, 90% of what you get should be from the outer edge of the store with only grabbing a few things from the inner aisles. Well, for the first time ever, that really is what my grocery shopping experience was. Tons of the fresh stuff with only a couple things from the "inside" aisles. As we prepared Jeff's lunch & snacks to take to work, he was skeptical and thinking that he would be hungry during the day but he came home saying, "that was a LOT of food".

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Our Journey with P90X . . . day 1

Okay, so we started out the year great . . . I lost all my baby weight & then some & then all sorts of stuff hit including my husband being gone on business for 2 months and some health problems. Fast forward to now & all of that weight I lost at the beginning of the year is back. Ugh! We've been working for several weeks to try to get back into shape but we've been half hearted about it & have experienced ZERO results.

So, while we were trying to figure out how we could both fit in workouts with busy schedules & 2 little kids, my sweet husband came up with a brilliant & sadistic idea. He had seen the commercials on tv for P90X and said we should do it together. I was thrilled with an idea that we could fit in (doing it in our own home after the kids go to bed) to our lives & even though I hadn't seen the commercials I went ahead and agreed.

OUCH! I should've seen what I was getting myself into before I agreed! Seriously, though, its a really tough workout & eating plan (which we're going to be pretty good with but allow a little leeway -- since we are of course doing this through the holidays). But I like the philosphy of "do your best & forget the rest". Day 1 of the workout was crazy intense & I definitely couldn't do all of it, but I did what I could which was more than I thought I could (if you can follow that). I was definitely sore afterwards but also felt good . . . & more of the same today. Even though I'm very sore, I am definitely looking forward to tonight's workout & to our results 90 days from now on January 28th . . . we'll keep you posted!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

FHE: "boo-ing" our neighbors

We'll be starting the treats going in our neighborhood for Family Home Evening tomorrow night. I love doing these kinds of things & we'll pick out 2 houses to get things started & hope that they'll keep it going. We're new to the neighborhood, so I'm not sure . . . but they seem pretty friendly & I can definitely see them getting into this. Here's the link where I got the printables for this idea . . . soooo cute!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

FHE Lesson: Rules & Commandments

Okay, I'm really liking the Family Home Evening Resource Book sections of each lesson for adapting for younger children. Really, I'm pretty much following that but having to come up with my own pictures. I'm not drawing them myself, just finding them out on the web. Feel free to use what I've put together for your own family, if it will work for you. This is taken from lesson 2 (page 9-10) of the Family Home Evening Resource Book

FHE Lesson: Families

I continue to struggle with holding a meaningful, regular Family Home Evening for a 2 1/2 year old & 10 month old! But I know it is important and so I've continued searching for ideas. Last night, I went to the Family Home Evening Resource Book that has been sitting on a shelf for years. I discovered that each lesson gives an adaptation for use with younger children. So, with that in mind, I put together tonight's FHE lesson.

Lesson on Families

We'll also be making ice cream for an activity/dessert. You can do the "bag" ice cream or do it in coffee cans. We have a bunch of baby formula cans that I plan to use, so its an experiment, but we'll see how it goes! To make it, just double bag the mixed ingredients (see ingredients here) -- use freezer bags & make sure all the excess air is out of each bag. Put bags into the formula can and fill up with ice & some rock salt. Duct tape the lid on and then roll it back & forth for quite a while until ice cream is firm. Note: it doesn't get REAL firm but the fun of this is making it, not getting gourmet ice cream out of it! In fact, ours turned out more like milkshakes & we just poured them into cups & drank them.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Something Fun Every Day . . . #25

Save an empty box and have some fun with it! I used my incredible artistic talent (NOT!) to turn a box into a car that Chase could sit in and drive around the house.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Something Fun Every Day . . . #24

loves trains! We had fun making our own train, just lining up the kitchen chairs, trading places so we each got to sit on every part of the train and making choo-choo noises.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Something Fun Every Day . . . #23

Dance in the rain!!! We had an afternoon rain storm that was the perfect way to have some fun. Chase likes to get out in the rain but likes to have company ;) So, I had to ignore the fact that it was messing up my hair & just enjoy like I did when I was a kid. I remember skipping up and down my grandma's driveway with my cousins, out in the pouring down rain, while we sang a favorite family song -- those were great times!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Something Fun Every Day . . . #22

Rice Krispie treats are ALWAYS a good idea! Chase liked watching them being made but also got into the fun with patting them into the pan. We used a small bowl of water to dip our hands into to keep them from sticking. If you use generic rice krispies like we did, you might need the recipe . . . here it is.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Something Fun Every Day . . . #21

The dollar store can be a treasure trove of great activities! I found a horseshoe set that we had fun playing with. Chase didn't quite get the finesse of the sport, but he sure had fun with his new horseshoes, even if it meant dropping them directly over the top of the peg.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Something Fun Every Day . . . #20

Let their imagination "take charge". I know I used to be imaginative, but I certainly don't have the imagination that my 2 year old does. He invented a new game that he calls . . . Football Hoops. So, we spent time indulging his imagination & throwing the football in the basketball hoop!

And on another day, he decided he wanted to make a snowman -- only possible since the middle ball is a squishy, bean-bag type ball. We had fun building snowmen & singing Once There Was a Snowman.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Let's make a difference with the Prayer Child Foundation!

I have a goal to donate $100 or more to the Prayer Child Foundation this week to help kids & their families with pricey medical expenses who really need our help! So, I decided to do a fundraiser of sorts & I greatly appreciate all of you who are able to help . . .

Purchase a Candles for Kids THIS WEEK & . . . 100% of Gold Canyon's profits go to benefit children in need (this is ALWAYS the case with these candles) but as a BONUS, I will personally donate $5 for each candle that is purchased! Order through me or my website . . . either will work! Fragrance options include: Apple of My Eye, No More Sniffles (my favorite!), Baby Magic, & Baby Powder.

Note: in case you're not familiar with Candles for Kids . . . they're not a candle for kids to burn, it is simply a line of our candles where 100% of the profits benefit the Prayer Child Foundation to be donated to children in need, mostly children with expensive medical conditions

Order through the website:
Order through me: 720-746-9235

I would love you to pieces if you passed this one to your friends so they can help out as well!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Family Outings . . . #1

We always try to do a fun family outing at least once a month. Its not always easy to fit it in, but we can usually set aside one weekend a month to do something fun with the family. Here's the first of my posts of a fun family outing.

We enjoyed a trip out to Red Rocks a couple of weeks ago. We tried to hike, but it was a little too difficult with a 2 year old. So, we turned around and just took the walk up to the amphitheater which was quite a workout in itself! Red Rocks is an incredible amphitheater built in the middle of these beautiful red rock formations. I would love to go to a concert there sometime, but for now, we just enjoyed the view with the family! We have this great backpack/babycarrier that makes it easier for taking Evie along on these things & surprisingly, Chase was able to do the walk all the way up to the amphitheater & back.

(We were stupid not to get a picture of the actual amphitheater. This is a just a picture of the rocks by the parking lot where we were parked! Guess we'll have to go another time to get some better pictures!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My $60 Lesson on "how to wash dishes"

I've been washing dishes for YEARS now . . . you'd think I would know what I was doing! Last week, my dishwasher started pouring water & suds out the front of it. I promptly turned it off, cleaned up the mess & called the home warranty to get it fixed. One week later, the repairman showed up to fix my broken dishwasher. He listens to what happened & said, "You used dish soap instead of dishwasher detergent." I was adamant that I didn't do that but he proceeded to tell me that the only possible way to have suds is with regular dish soap.

He went on to ask if I wash the dishes with dish soap before putting them in the dishwasher. Well, of course! That's how my mom taught me to do it . . . you don't put dishes in the dishwasher without washing them first! Well, apparently if there is even a little bit of the dish soap residue on the dishes when you put them in the dishwasher, it can cause out of control suds during the washing cycle which will then proceed to pour out of your dishwasher!

The answer: don't wash your dishes with dish soap before putting them in the dishwasher! If you do & have suds all over the place, pour a small amount (1/4 cup or so) of cooking oil into the water in the bottom of the dishwasher & start it up again. The oil will cut the suds & help them to wash out!!!

I'm just amazed that after all these years of doing dishes the exact same way there is all of a sudden a problem . . . but after a $60 service call fee, I've learned my lesson!

Something Fun Every Day . . . #19

Cook together! Pick a day when you don't have to rush through making dinner & get the kids involved. At the very least, they can watch & Chase had a great time doing just that. He was fascinated as I added things & mixed them up. He stood on a chair and watched the whole process & it was surprisingly easier than me trying to keep him out of my way!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Something Fun Every Day . . . #18

Take a walk. As simple as it sounds, I believe that this is one of the best ways to spend your time with your children of ANY age! That's probably because when I was in high school my mom & I would go walking every evening together. I really think its one of the main reasons that we stayed good friends all through those difficult teenage years. So that even when there were disagreements & I was being a snotty teenager we had a strong relationship to fall back on. I love my mom & am so grateful for that time we had together. Even today when one of us is visiting the other, we try to get out & go for walks -- weather permitting!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Something Fun Every Day . . . #17

TURN UP THE MUSIC & DANCE!!! I was tired out but Chase was still asking for more music -- you can never go wrong by taking some time out to dance around the house to some upbeat music that you love!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Something Fun Every Day . . . #16

When Dad has a day off of work & gets involved, prepare for something a lot more fun & creative! This one was too hard to explain with words so I had to capture video of it. And it was so much fun that even I took a turn, loved it & wanted another turn! Chase wanted to wake Evie up from her nap for a turn, but we had to tell him that she was too little for this one.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Something Fun Every Day . . . #15

No pictures this time . . . there was too much action to capture it in a picture, but boy did we have fun teaching Chase how to play TAG! We did this one as a family & Jeff & I even had fun chasing each other around. Evie enjoyed watching everyone run around after each other & we even got her in on the action when Chase decided to "tag" her. So she got to "run" after him us in the stroller. Anyway, a simple and easy way to add some fun to the day . . . with a game of tag.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Something Fun Every Day . . . #14

Okay, I'll admit it, I guess I'm a bit uptight with my kids . . . wanting things to be perfect & not allowing them to be a "kid" as much as I should. Its something I'm really working on but it probably comes partly from being a first time mom.

I'm learning a lot from MY mom. When we were recently visiting with my parents, my mom had a bunch of the grandkids over at the same time & when we got back we found out how much Chase loved playing Connect Four . . . well, at least putting the checkers in the slots & watching them drop out the bottom. Its not something I ever would've thought of doing since Chase is obviously too young to play as the game is intended.

So, this week, we lightened up a bit and let Chase play with a game from our game closet. Since he LOVES letters, he had so much fun playing with the little cubed letters from the boggle game and we had fun shaking it up and watching him get so excited as the letters fell into place.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Something Fun Every Day . . . #13

Work together!!! I know a lot of times I tend to just want the kids out of my way while I'm cleaning so I can just get it done quickly & right. But from time to time, I get Chase working along side me & he just loves it and its good time for us to spend together too. Yesterday, we mopped the floor on hands & knees together. I use a chemical free cleaner (Gold Canyon Homeology floor cleaner -- shameless plug, I know, but its such great stuff it deserves a shameless plug!!!) so Chase could use it & even get to spray it without me being concerned at all.

Even at any age, most kids enjoy doing some kind of work whether its getting them involved in the gardening or helping out with special projects. When my mom had different jobs with our church I loved helping her colate packets she was using for teaching or putting together other things.

The summer that I turned 12, we were each given one job for each day of the week . . . these were different kinds of chores that the typical things you'd give kids to do. I still remember that Monday was my day to bake bread & I love that I got to spend time with my mom learning how to do it & that it was a skill that was passed on to me. Anyway, the point is . . . spend some time working together!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Family Home Evening: Obedience

You can't do much of a Family Home Evening lesson with a 2 year old & an 8 month old, but we're giving it our best shot! Tonight we talked about obedience ie. when mom & dad say to do something or to stop doing something, do what you're told! Yes, he's only 2 but hopefully he got the message at least a little bit.

To re-inforce the concept, we played red light - green light using some laminated signs that I made. We got the whole family involved & Evie had a blast being rolled in the stroller. Both kids were laughing & having a great time & it was just plain FUN!

Something Fun Every Day . . . #12

Well, this one might sound a bit strange & came about totally by being spontaneous. Chase had a mouse pad that he was putting on his head & then letting drop to the floor. So, I showed him how to put it on his head and try to keep it there by balancing it & holding very still. Then we took turns putting it on our heads & I showed him how I could walk & keep it on my head which he was very impressed by ;) It might sound silly but I remember doing this kind of thing with books when I was older & having fun with it, so it might be just a fun little activity for any age.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

YW Activity: Make Your Own Spa

We did a fun activity this week with our church youth group -- a make-your-own spa. The girls got to make & enjoy as many of these treatments as they wanted to/had time for. Then, they got to take home the list of recipes & a few sachet envelopes with the milk bath recipe in them to enjoy at home. Here's the list of recipes we used:

Make-Your-Own Spa

Creamy Oatmeal Facial Cleanser

½ cup oatmeal

2 Tbs. heavy cream or milk

Grind oatmeal into a flour using a blender. Mix with cream & smooth over face. Rinse well.

Facial Steam

Boil a pot full of water. Boil for a minute or two then remove from heat. Cover & let steep for 5 minutes – if using herbs. (If desired, add citrus fruit slices &/or herbs after boiling)

Pore Cleaning Strips

1 Tbs. knox unflavored gelatin

1 ½ Tbs. milk

Mix 2 ingredients and microwave for 10 seconds until slightly warm. Apply with a clean cosmetic brush to nose & chin area (avoid delicate eye area). Rinse brush immediately. Allow mixture on face to dry for 10 to 15 minutes to form a stiff film. Peel off film.

Sweet Oil Scrub

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

2 tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar

Mix ingredients in a bowl. Apply to skin in a circular motion for a minute or 2. Rinse with a warm cloth and water. The cleanser will feel greasy but after you rinse and pat dry, skin with be super silky soft! Also great to remove eye makeup!!

Foot Spa

7 cups water

2 cups milk

½ cup sugar

2 Tbs. lotion

Mix the water & milk and heat on stovetop to as hot as your feet can take. Mix the sugar and lotion in a separate bowl. Put the milk mixture in large bowl and soak your feet for at least 10 minutes. Massage the sugar and lotion mixture in your feet to exfoliate. Rinse with clear water & pat dry. Apply some additional lotion to your soft feet.

Hand Treatment

2 Tbs. oil (baby, vegetable, olive)

3 Tbs. sugar

Mix together, rub into hands & then rinse with warm water.

Oatmeal Milk Bath

1 cup corn starch

2 cups powdered milk

½ cup baking soda (increase if you have hard water)

½ cup finely ground oatmeal

Process oatmeal in blender until finely ground. Add powdered milk & process until well mixed. Pour into a bowl, add corn starch and baking soda, mixing all ingredients very well. Add 3 Tbs (or more, if you like) to your next bath to soothe your soul and soften your skin.