Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Crafts: Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Cards 

Valentine's Day will be here before you know it. Do you need an idea? Here is one that will be fun to do and pretty inexpensive.

I did this a couple of years ago for my husband and had so much fun with it, that I thought I would share it here.  This year I'll do it for my kids too.

Get 14 cards, note cards, postcards or index cards. Whatever you can write a love note on. You can get cheap cards just about anywhere. You can also make your own cards with stickers, markers, construction paper, glitter and whatever else you have on hand.

Send one card everyday of the week or put it in the dresser, lunch pail, backpack, car, wherever you want your loved one to find it. Sending a card in the mail is great because not a lot of people get mail anymore and this would be neat for kids too. On Sunday you can't send one so hide it somewhere in the house that they can find it. Don't forget about sending them to work.

Inside the card you can say whatever you want. Be creative and have fun. Put clues on them for where you will take him or her out for Valentine's or pieces of a puzzle they will have to put together. Adding stickers, candy, small toys, pencils, pens and anything small would also be fun for anyone.

Tomorrow will be the first so start making them today.

Have fun and Happy Valentine's Day.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Celebrate National Puzzle Day

Sunday is National Puzzle Day. Here's a fun way to make your very own puzzle. 

4X6 photo
Double sided tape

1. Take your photo and put double sided tape on the backside. Affix it to the cardstock. Cut around the picture leaving about a ½ inch border.

2. Next turn your picture over and take the ruler and map out how you would like to cut the pieces. You can do a square or like real puzzle pieces? Take the scissors and cut your pieces.

Put it together with your child and talk about how God put us together. He made us special and different from anyone else.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Trip to the Pet Store

We had so much fun last weekend. We went to the neighborhood pet stores. My 5 year old loves looking at animals. His favorite is the fish.  We have two stores very close to us so we visited both of them. I’ve never seen Isaac so excited to go to a store. He was so happy. He was talking a mile a minute about the animals and running wild to each one.

On our first stop we got to see birds, cats, ferrets, hamsters, rats, fish, lizards, snakes and turtles. The ferrets were so cute sleeping and snuggling together. Fish are so interesting to watch. We got to see so many pretty tropical fish and fresh water fish too.

Our second stop was even more exciting we got to pet a couple of dogs that came to visit the pet store. We also saw fish, hermit crabs, shrimp, lizards and birds.

I only wish I would have taken more pictures. Next time I will know better.  

This is an inexpensive way to see animals and a chance for your child to see new animals and learn about them too. The staff at the pet store is always really helpful. Children can count fish, learn colors and read the names of the animals. 

We had so much fun going to the pet stores and on the way home my son said he had a fun day.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Craft: Chinese Lanterns

The Chinese New Year starts today, it's The Year of the Dragon. Celebrate by making a Chinese Lantern.


Different color construction paper

Stapler or glue
Hole punch


1. Take one piece of construction paper.

2. Fold paper in half lengthwise. 

3. Use a pencil and make lines about ½ inch a part. Leaving 1 inch to the edge of paper.

4. Next cut on each line. Make sure not to cut all the way through. 

5. Unfold the paper and make it into a round shape.

6. Use glue or stapler to hold ends together. Do this on both ends. Repeat steps to make more lanterns.

7. Punch a hole in the top of each lantern.

8. Take yarn and string the lanterns onto the yarn. Find a place to display your lanterns for the Chinese New Year.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Craft: Silly Faces

Silly faces are fun to make. Every kid loves to be silly from time to time. This craft is a silly project for kids of all ages. Be sure to check out MetroFamily Magazine to find more great crafts from Creative Parenting.

Click here for Silly Faces.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cheap Meals: Tacos and more

About once a week my family and I have tacos. It’s easy to make and not very expensive. A favorite for all of us.

1 lb. of ground turkey or ground beef
1 envelope of taco seasoning of your choice
1 can of black olives sliced
1 tomato
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 box of taco shells or tortillas

Follow directions on the envelope for meat. 
Cut up tomato and put in small bowl. 
Open olives and put in small bowl. 
Shred cheese or buy a bag. 
Follow directions on box to heat up taco shells. Heat up tortillas for about 15 to 20 seconds in the microwave to soften them before making burritos. Otherwise they break easily.

I also will make guacamole sometimes when the avocado is on sale.

1 avocado
1 tbl. spoon of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Smash avocado with a fork and mix in other ingredients in a small bowl. Serve on tacos, burritos or nachos.

For an additional side you can make Spanish Rice too. They have envelopes at the store for pretty cheap or you can make your own from scratch. There are a ton of recipes out there. My favorite so far is from

I also have made chicken tacos too.

2 frozen chicken breast
1 jar of your favorite salsa.

Add chicken and salsa into a large pan and put on medium heat. 
Cover and stir occasionally. 
When the chicken looks cooked take out of the pan and shred it up into pieces. Place back into pan and cook until chicken is cooked through. 

This will feed a family of four.

Use this to make chicken tacos, enchiladas or burritos.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Cardboard Letters

This project will make a perfect display on your child’s door or wall. Make it as personal as you like with small toys and their favorite color.


Trinkets – plastic toys
Hot glue gun


1.     1.  Print out the letter of your choice on your computer or if you don’t have a computer draw out the letter on a piece of paper. Letter should be 9-10 inches tall.

2.    2.  Take the letter and tape it to the cardboard. Trace the letter using a permanent marker. Go over it a couple of times so that the ink transfers to the cardboard. Use the pushpin to trace the letter by poking the pin through the paper and cardboard. You will need to make two letters. (If cardboard is thin)

3.     3.  Remove paper and cut out the letter. Follow your marker and pin line. Repeat with other piece of cardboard. 

4.     4.  Take the two letters and glue together. 

5.     5.  Use the yarn and wrap it around the letter until it’s completely covered. Use glue to hold down any loose yarn. It’s ok to have a few empty spots. It can be covered later. 

6.     6.  Take a couple of small plastic toys and glue them onto the letter. Cover the empty spots with them. 

7.     7.  Next cut 15 inches of ribbon. Fold it in half and hot glue on the backside in the center. Tie the top in a knot or bow. 

8.     8.Hang the letter on your child’s wall.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Give Me a Little Respect

My sister shared a story with me about two brothers who went to a video game store. The older brother was buying his younger brother a game and his father disapproved and the big brother stood up for his younger brother. You can read about it here.
It got me to thinking about my own family; my brother and the many sisters I have. How thankful I am to be part of such a great big family. I know that I could count on any of them to stand up for me and to be there when I need them.
Respect comes in many different forms but for us it is in the way we treat each other and the way we treat others around us.
My brother recently showed his respect by shaving his beard before going to a funeral. Something I never really thought would be a big deal but then after giving it more thought I was moved by his willingness to look great for a man that he only knew a little about.
My parents weren’t the best at displaying it but somewhere along the way we learned to be that way.  I hope that my children learn respect. I hope that I display what that looks like on a daily bases. Whether it’s the way I treat them or their dad or the people around us, I don’t ever want my children to be disrespectful.
Where did you learn respect?  Was it shown to you or taught to you? How do you show your children respect?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Saving Money - Bank Craft

Here's a great craft to teach your children to save money. Be sure to check out MetroFamily Magazine to find more great crafts from Creative Parenting.

Click here to find out how to make your own bank.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Days to Celebrate

Mark your calendars for days your family can celebrate together. Learn something new and make something fun.

Get Organized Month
National Oatmeal Month

13 National Rubber Ducky Day
16 Martin Luther King Day
17 Ben Franklin’s Birthday
Kids’ Inventor’s Day
18 Winnie the Pooh Day
19 National Popcorn Day
Edgar Allan Poe’s Birthday
20 Penguin Awareness Day
21 National Hugging Day
23 Chinese New Year
24 National Peanut Butter Day
28 National Blueberry Pancake Day
29 National Puzzle Day

Michael’s Craft Events
14 – Model Car Event, 10am-noon.
15 – Clay Text Embossing Set Demo, 2-3pm.
21 – Design a Tiara and Storytime, 10am-noon.
For more information click here

Crafts for Kids at Lakeshore Learning Center every Saturday, 10am-3pm.
14- Hand in Hand Flower
21 – Anchors Aweigh! Floating Boat
28 – Groundhog Puppet
For more information click here

Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinics every Saturday, 10am.
14 – Castle
28 – Build-a-saurus
For more information click here 

Print out your Janurary Calendar here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year!

I don’t know about you but I was ready for the year to be over. 2011 was not really nice to my little family. It was full of obstacles and painful journeys. However, we got the greatest little addition to our family and he is a wonderful blessing.  

I’m not one that really gets into the resolutions. I always seem to mess them up and then I feel like I failed at something and who needs one more thing to feel like a failure about.

Yesterday I was in my kitchen looking around and looked up on my wall to see a picture that I kind of forgot was there. You know the ones that you hang up and just ignore after a while because they are always around. This picture is one that I got several years ago on a trip I took to Ohio to see my sister. There is a store that I love going to and I always have to stop. It’s a wonderful home décor store. It smells good and just makes you happy as you walk through and look at all the wonderful trinkets, candles, pictures and more. This time I had more money than normal and I wanted to make sure I got something I would really love and I did. I landed my eyes on this cute apple framed picture. The words were exactly what I needed and ones that I hope would encourage others that came into my home.

Be Happy, Keep on Smiling and Don’t Worry wonderful words to work towards for the New Year. I think this is something I could actually try to achieve each day. If I keep smiling I should be happy and then I won’t worry as much. At least that is what my goal would be.

Here’s to the New Year and a new way to look at each day. I’m ready to make better choices and ready to be a better parent and maybe these little words can help me do that.  I hope that you too can Be Happy, Keep on Smiling and Don’t Worry. Here’s to a New Year!