Category Archives: kids

Top 5 Reasons I’m Okay with My Kids Watching Frozen

frozen

We are not big full length movie watchers in our home. My older two have been to the movie theater one time. They just don’t enjoy the loudness and the intensity of movies. They really don’t like Disney movies that are wrought with bad guys and intense scenes. I have tried to convince them to watch some of my favorites like Monsters, Inc. or Pete’s Dragon.. .but just the names of those are turn offs. I ‘ve tried to push for the tamer ones like Finding Nemo… not going to happen (unless I fast forward the scary parts).

It’s mostly Big Brother who leads the charge in this. He’d much rather read a book and imagine the pictures than watch a movie. He informed me the other day that he’s “never been much of a movie guy.” He tends to set the tone for the rest of the kids.

I’m actually really okay with all of this. There is so much out there that I don’t want my kids watching. Once you see something, you can’t unsee it! However, it seems that all of our little friends have seen the movie Frozen. They sing the songs, have the dolls and talk about it all the time. I think my girls were feeling a little left out. I had a chance to preview the movie and, finding  nothing that I really took issue with, I offered for my kids to watch it.

Now, they had already watched every song on YouTube and basically knew the whole movie at this point. They were excited to watch the movie for themselves.

Here are the top five reasons I was comfortable with my kids watching Frozen:

1. There is not an underlying evil that prevails in so many Disney movies (examples: Ursula in Little Mermaid, the Shadow Guy in Princess and the Frog, Jafar in Aladdin, etc.)

2. Love prevails… but not in the typical Disney fashion. True Love’s Kiss is not what saves the day (although there is still a love interest)! One of the main characters, Anna, learns that love is putting other people before yourself. Sacrifice is a major theme.

3. The movie debunks the whole love at first sight… the marry someone you just met that you see in Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid. In fact, everyone is shocked when Anna declares her engagement to someone she just met and another character, Kristof questions her judgment.

4. Family is elevated as important. The parents are together and involved. The sister relationship is important. There is no one running away from an overbearing father or turning mothers into bears or out on the streets to fend for themselves.

5. The comic relief is age appropriate. It is not snarky or sarcastic. Olaf, the snowman, is sweet and has an innocent humor that adults and children can enjoy. For that matter, the other characters aren’t hyper- sexualized either and they are modestly dressed.

There are a couple of intense scences… a wolf chase, a snow monster and a blizzard. These do not steal the show and are worth pushing through to the end.

I enjoy Disney movies. However, I started seeing them in a different light once I had children. I like the whole idea of a princess being rescued by a prince. I tell my kids that these movies that we watch with good versus evil appeal to a place deep inside us that longs for a hero. We long for a rescuer. We long for someone to love us and save the day… because we long for Jesus. He is that hero that all of these movies shadow.

Frozen is a beautiful example of sacrificing ones own desires to save another. That is exactly what Jesus did for us. He gave his very life so that we might have life eternal.

I’m curious… How do you decide what movies your children can watch?

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Workout Wednesday- Kids Edition

workout kids

It has been COLD and RAINY and my kids are STIR CRAZY!!!

I started looking for things to help them get out their energy. I was really please to find some fun workout videos that are kids friendly. The kids really enjoy them as well and ask to do them over and over.

Fitness Blender Kids Workout Video… about 25 minutes long.

Swamp Stomp… We haven’t done this one and it looks super cheesey, but I bet kids love it! It is about 40 minutes long.

Other options for indoor play include:

Simon Says

Red Light Green Light

Indoor Obstacle Course

How do you help your stir crazy kids when its cold or rainy outside?

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DIY Easy Bake Oven Recipes

IMAG4602*post contains affiliate links**

Big Sis got an Easy Bake Ultimate Oven a couple of years ago for her birthday. I ALWAYS wanted one of these suckers growing up. Now I get to live through my child! I have to admit, though, that I find the refill kits to be rather pricey and if I’m totally honest, gross.

I looked around and came up with a couple of simple, INEXPENSIVE, alternatives to the prepackaged refill kits.

First up:

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Easy Cake Mix: You’ll need a boxed cake mix… any flavor and zip lock bags. Divide the cake mix into individual servings by placing 3TBS in each bag. This will make TONS of little servings. I just labeled the cake mix box “Easy Bake” and put all little baggies back in. To actually make the cakes, mix the 3TBS serving with about 1.5 TBS of milk or water. Then stick it in the Easy Bake oven for about 12 minutes!

Next Up:

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Cookie Dough!!

In a bowl, combine:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine

¾ cup white sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together thoroughly. Then add:

1 egg

And beat into dough. Add:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Mix until combined.

**If you want to add something like cocoa powder, raising, m n ms, etc… feel free!!**

On wax paper on a cookie sheet, scoop out cookie dough balls (about 2 TBS per scoop). Stick the cookie sheet in the freezer and let the cookie dough get nice and hard. When they are frozen, you can transfer the cookie dough balls into a freezer ziplock and pull out individual servings when needed.

To bake in the Easy Bake Oven, pull out the dough and let it thaw while the oven is warming up. Spray the little pan with PAM, etc. and then press the cookie dough into the pan. Place in the oven for about 12-14 minutes.

UntitledThis is after we made two of the cookies and split them up into four servings. The kids kept talking about how good they were!

Do you have an Easy Bake Oven at your house? What do your kids like to make?

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Christmas Craft Round Up

My kids LOVE crafts. They get so excited when we have projects to do! In an effort to be more purposeful in teaching them the art of giving, some of these crafts will be made with the intention of giving them as gifts to friends and family.

First Up: Ornaments (the kids each make an ornament every year to add to our collection)

Icicle Ornaments from the Happy Hooligans

memory making ornament from Mommy Savers

From the Suburban Mom

Snow Globe Ornaments… how cute! From Here Come the Girls

Next Up Crafty Fun Projects:

Light Up Christmas Tree Craft
from All Kids Network

from the Chaos and the Clutter

 

Felt Wall Nativity- I keep wanting to do this!!!
From My Crazy Blessed Life

Cute Thumbprint Lights Craft
From Meet the Dubiens

 

Lastly… Gifts to Make:

Pinecone Fire Starters
From Mrs. Adventure

Hot Chocolate Stirrers
from Adventures in Savings

Kitchen Towels
from Let Kid’s Create

What are your favorite Christmas crafts?

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Mother’s Day 2013

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I wish I could wake up every morning at 5:30 AM to the sound of my 16 month old crying and have my first thought be “oh, I’m so thankful for that sweet little blessing!” I have, at times, felt so guilty when I read facebook statuses of people who sing the praises of their children and just go on and on about how blessed they are. People tell me that I need to treasure the little years because they go so quickly…. to enjoy every moment.

Every moment?

Really?

Like the moment when everyone in the house was sound asleep except for the 16 month old who was screaming and climbing all over me because she wanted to play. And then, when I gave her a waffle to quiet her down, she proceeded to grind it into my shirt, hair and the sofa we were sitting on.

Or like when my children came stumbling, sleepy eyed out on Mothers Day morning and immediately asked for food and tv instead of lavishing me with Mothers Day greetings, homemade cards, etc.

Or when, later that day, I was stuck in the bathroom of the posh country club that my parents belong to… changing a stinky (and I mean stinky) diaper with NO wipes. I texted for help as I sat there on the floor (because there was no changing table) and waited and waited and waited for help to come!

Am I really expected to treasure those moments?… covered in waffles? covered in poop?

Don’t get me wrong… I love my children. I adore my children. I can’t imagine life without my children. They have taught me so much about myself and about the love and patience that the Heavenly Father lavishes upon me. I am amazed at how they love me, despite the fact that I might be covered in waffles… and poop. I enjoy watching them play. I love to hear the games they make up. I love reading to them and teaching them… hiking with them, exploring the world with them. I do love being a mom.

I want to be a mom who, while picking up the dirty clothes from the floor or putting shoes in the shoe basket for the tenth time that day or washing dishes, again can say “I am so thankful for the little hands that made these messes.” “I am so thankful for the food that went on these plates and filled our bellies” “I am so thankful for the sweaty little feet that ran around in these stinky little shoes.”… But quite honestly… I’m just not always in that frame of mind.

I am constantly getting on to my eight year old about how ungrateful he is… about everything! Perhaps I should swallow that pill, take my own medicine and check out my own heart. You would think that being thankful would come easily. There are so many ways in which we are blessed each day… but thankfulness really is  discipline that must be practiced often.

Ok… I get it… I need to stop looking at the sippy cup as being half empty and train myself to see it as half full. I need to stop thinking about the sleep I’m missing and start thinking about the time I’m getting with my littlest snuggle bug. Stop thinking about the dirt on the floor, counters, sink and start thinking more of the ones who are behind all that tom- foolery!

After the waffles and poop yesterday, my husband took us all to a flea market… because I love yard sales… he let me loose… all by myself to peruse and purchase at will. He took the kids and let them pick out gifts from me. How can I not be thankful for that.. and check out these awesome gifts:

momsday

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Filed under children, confession, kids, life, mommy, parenting, Uncategorized

Never Say Never

I am realizing, more and more, as little sis is fully in the midst of being two years old, that many definitive statements I have made in the past are coming back to bite me.

In regards to potty training… “Once we give up diapers, we will NOT let the child wear a pull up or diapers during the day… just underwear.”… that one went out the window when little sis started potty training and went through 6 or 7 pairs of underpants before 10 am.

“I will NEVER yell at my children”…. well… that one was wiped out pretty early on

In regards to temper tantrums in public… “My children have NEVER really thrown big fits in public”…. until little sis came on the scene… where do they learn to throw themselves down on the ground and flail around like that?!?! And… then she kicked me because she didn’t like what I had to say… what in the world?!?!

“I do NOT want to homeschool our children”… that one quickly dissolved as soon as big brother was born.

In regards to feeding children and having picky eaters… “My children WILL eat what I prepare or they WILL NOT eat…. Surely if I follow what all the books say, my children WILL be great eaters.”… and then there was Big Sis… Many a night have ended in tears on my part and her’s when it comes to the dinner table.

“My baby will NOT sleep in our room for more than a couple of months. It is best for them to be in their own room, in their own bed.”… says the mom who has a four month old sleeping just a couple of feet from her bedside.

“I WILL definitely breastfeed my babies. I WILL NOT use formula”… says the mom who had a dwindling milk supply with her second baby and had to switch to formula at four months… and now again says the mom whose baby’s mouth was not formed well for nursing and has been bottle fed from the get go.

“I will NEVER cater to my children and spend tons of money finding a bottle they will use or a sippy cup they will drink from. They’ll just have to learn to use what we have.”… until Little Sis would only drink out of the expensive sippy cup I bought while on a road trip and then couldn’t find in anymore at any store so I ordered some from Amazon.

” I will NEVER bribe my child do do what he is supposed to do”… until Big Brother refuses to learn his math facts and I start paying him a quarter for each math family he learns.

“I will NOT fuss at my potty training toddler for accidents… after all, she is only two.” … but seriously, she keeps peeing on the couch… she even peed on me the other day… TWICE!!!!

So… you see… I should NEVER make such definitive statements. Statements made from my pride will always come back to haunt me. It is written in the book of Proverbs that pride comes before a fall. I shouldn’t judge other parents, declaring that I will NEVER make the same mistakes… because… most likely I will make those same mistakes and many, many more.

I suppose that the only definitive statements I could ever make and actually mean it are these: I WILL make mistakes. I WILL be in need of forgiveness. I will NEVER get it all right, all the time. And to my children: I am a sinner just like you. I WILL wrong you and hurt you, but I will NEVER stop loving you. To my husband: I WILL lose my patience and be cranky, but I WILL ALWAYS appreciate and love you.

I am so glad that when the Lord makes a statement, he sticks by it and doesn’t falter:

I will NEVER leave or forsake you… Hebrews 13:5

Linking up Today with:

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A Few of My Favorite Sewing Tutorials

I just learned to sew last year. I immediately started looking for clear, easy to follow tutorials online so that I could practice and make fun stuff! My sis in law sent me to a great site with wonderful tutorials (I’ll share in a minute) for making clothes for the kids. It’s so much fun! My kids are at an age where they think I am superwoman and can do anything. They think I can make anything with fabric or yarn… it’s great… and I love to see them wearing the clothes I’ve made. It makes me feel very accomplished. Thanks to Pinterest, I have found gobs and gobs of great tutorials. Here are a few of my favorites… I’ve tried them all, as you’re about to see, and can vouch for how easy to follow they are.

First up… The Simple Skirt from Made

I have made several of these for my girls. I love doing this because I can custom make them to fit. Big Sis is a tiny little thing… her clothes are always falling off of her. If I get the right size in the waist, then it is too short… If I get the right size for the length… then it is too big in the waist. These skirts are great.

Moving right along…

This past winter, I made the girls several jumpers… again.. custom made for their size. Below are the outfits I made for Christmas. I also made matching pants for Big Brother:

The jumpers are so easy and quick… you can find the tutorial here. I have played around with the width of the bodice, the buttons on the back, etc. I made a patchwork one with mary engelbrite and denim fabrics that turned out really cute. I prefer to not use as many buttons down the back as the tutorial suggests, but hey… whatever floats your boat.

The pants are from another tutorial found on Made… you can find it here.

Onto my newest love… Peasant Dresses! I have made quite a few of these this spring. They are so fun and you can do so much with them. You can dress them up with ribbons or pockets… you can use them for church or for play. My girls love them:

Dress up your outfit with some fairy wings, heels and a necklace and you are good to go!

Oh and did I mention… these dresses are great for dancing!

This was her Easter dress… Big Sis and baby girl had matching ones as well.

There are several peasant dress tutorials out there, you can find the one I used here.

And of course… those cute little Easter dresses just had to have matching bloomers:

Don’t you just want to eat her up?!?!

The bloomers tutorial is another one from Made (can you tell I like her style)… you can find it here.

I have a board on Pinterest just filled with tutorials I want to try. Here are a few that I see coming in the near future:

Baby Pinafore

Anywhere Chair

Busy Book Using Old Clothes

I’d love to hear back from you… what sewing sites do you frequent?

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Filed under DIY, kids, pinterest, sewing, tutorial

Celebrating Seuss Part 3- Party Time!

We’ve been gearing up for it all week… Dr. Seuss’s birthday party!!! Our friends came over for a Seuss filled morning.

There are so many great Seuss books to choose from…how do you pick?!?

We started with There’s a Wocket in My Pocket. We talked about how Dr. Seuss used his own made up language to create fun characters and stories. After we read the story, we played a game to come up with our own crazy rhyming words:

I had a few words written on cards. Each child got to take turns drawing a card and reading the word. We then made a list of words that rhymed with it… real or made up. If you want to extend this activity, you can take the list of crazy words and have your child make up a silly story. We might save our list for a rainy day!

Next Up, we read  Oh Say Can You Say… a book of tongue twisters. The kids that could read took turns reading the different tongue twisters. Then we played The Cat and the Hat, I Can Do That Came (You can buy it on Amazon or Target and I’m sure other places). This game is fun and silly and great for preschool and early elementary. It gets kids up and moving!

Next up, we read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. We headed over to the table where I dumped out a bag of swedish fish (gummy fish). The kids first sorted the colors :

Then, we made predictions on who had the most, least, etc. and proceeded to make a graph to see how the different colors compared:

After this activity we had a picnic style lunch and watched a Cat in the Hat video. When the video was over, we headed back to the table for cookie cake, grinch punch and to listen to the story, the Cat in the Hat.

Grinch Punch is simply green sherbert and sprite…I think I poured about half of a two liter bottle of sprite and scooped about half of a quart of sherbert together. (I guess I could have just said 1 liter and 1 pint..but you get the point).

 

The kids had fun.. the grown ups had some adult interaction. Big Brother is already planning for next year.

Did you celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday? What was your favorite activity? Favorite Dr. Seuss book?

My favorite book is There’s a Wocket in my Pocket.

 

 

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Pinterest Made Me Do It- Kids Bathroom

I came across this on pinterest the other day:

I thought it was a really cute idea for the kids’ bathroom. We don’t have a lot of space in our house. In fact, the kids’ towels have been hanging on a small coat rack in the hall just outside of the bathroom for the last couple of months. It’s been driving me crazy. So… I took the idea pictured above and put my own twist to it…

Instead of pictures hanging above the towels, I used names/ initials. I have scrapbooking software on my computer, but really, you can use word just as easily. I picked up the frames from the dollar section at Target. The towels are hanging from nails I raided from my husband’s workshop in the basement.

Total cost: less than $3

I am pretty pleased with the way it turned out… the kids are excited too.

Are you on Pinterest? Feel free to follow me!

 

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What Else Are We Going To Do

I have a six year old who loves school…. the only thing is that when we finish all I have planned for the day, he wants more. It’s a good problem to have, but the fact is… come afternoon, I am worn out! I am ready for the kids to play quietly and the toddler to nap so I can put my feet up for a while. I don’t want to quench his thirst for learning, but I don’t want him to rely on me for all of his entertainment and educational needs. I now have a folder and section of our school shelf for when I hear “what else are we going to do today?”

Here are a few of my extra activities for those days when the kids just can’t seem to get enough:

I cut up some letters from magazines, cereal boxes, circulars, etc. and keep them in a little container on the shelf. These can be pulled out and used to make words… spelling words, sight words, random words, etc.

Also…

Sort the letters. Put all the Bs together, Cs together, etc. Big Sis can do this one too.

Other ideas for using these letters… make a letter collage, write a letter to a friend using the cut out letters, make labels for things in the house, etc.

Every now and then, the dollar section at Target has some great school stuff. I try to stock up on the workbooks when I see them. They also have some of these at Walmart…

With big brother being able to read, I can just let him grab a workbook and do some on his own. I really like the story starter book. I don’t know about you, but trying to get my little guy to write is like pulling teeth. He has great ideas, but doesn’t like to take the time to write them out. This book is full of silly pictures. He has to make up the story to go with the picture. So far, so good with this one. He hasn’t complained once!

Other ideas for “what else are we going to do” and for rainy day activities include:

puzzles– the kids have some puzzles in their rooms that they can get any time they want, but I have a few that I reserve for just such an occassion

sorting– I have a huge box of buttons (you can get bags of assorted buttons at any craft store for pretty cheap)… my kids love to take the button box and some muffin tins to sort them. After they sort them, they usually pretend that they are baking exotic muffins. I also have a bag of assorted pasta they like to sort.

reading– Big Brother likes to take a good book out on the front porch by himself and read

scavenger hunt– send them outside with a list of nature items to collect… then let them draw pictures of what they’ve found… rainy day… give them a list of things to find inside.

I have also found some great web sites with free printables… like mazes, cross word puzzles, word searches and riddles that keep them busy for a little while. One such site is www.superteacherworksheets.com.

How about you? What kinds of extra things do you keep around for your kids that just can’t seem to get enough school?

I’m linking up with Living Life Intentionally’s First Ever Linky Party:

 

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Filed under crafts, homeschool, kids, manipulatives, muffin tin, rain, sorting, writing