Sunday, December 30, 2012

The New Year Times

Extra, Extra, Read all about it! 
Can you believe a NEW YEAR is almost upon us!?!
I wanted to create something special that I could do with my kids so they can start understanding what a New Year's Resolution is. I also wanted to be able to save them and look back on them over the years! I decided that I'm going to buy a 3 ring binder and add this print out for each person in the family so we can keep track of some of our Favorites, Goals, and Dreams!
Free Printable Version Below!
The New Year Times
Another great idea, if you are having a New Year's party, would be to print a bunch of these out. Then roll them up and tie them with a pretty ribbon and hand them out to your guests to fill out! Happy 2013, may this year to come be FILLED with blessings for you and your family! 
Let's make this a year to remember!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! I pray that your holiday has been blessed as you share it with your friends and family! 
It was hard to start the day because Brenden was SO EXCITED that he woke us up every hour from 3am on to see if it was time!!!! But after a few cups of coffee, we had a wonderful day just hanging out with family and playing with our new toys! It was fun to watch the interactions of all THEE kids together! Garren would have been happy with just the wrapping paper! 

Before opening our gifts we had our normal tradition of making cinnamon rolls and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus!
Jason and I decided to take on making our FIRST Turkey together! I've helped my mom before but never actually been in charge of doing it at my own home! It was so easy and it was fun putting the meal together with my man! I do have to brag, he is a great cook.... I'm telling you there's not much he can't do!
 Another highlight of the day was a "Google Hangout" with my family in Virginia and California!!! It was so much fun at least getting to SEE everyone! The next best thing to actually being there with them!
We are also lucky to live close to Jason's side of the family so it was fun to spend some of the day with them too!

I had to add this cute picture of Brenden in his new Power Ranger costume and with his Lord Of The Rings Lego spider. He actually asked santa for a REAL LIVE Tarantula.... I think he will have to settle for LEGOS! =)

I will leave you all with our Christmas card! May the New Year to come be FILLED with Blessings!!!
Love from our home to yours!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snow & Cookies

 Well, today was the PERFECT day to start out Brenden Christmas break! We woke up to 2-3 inches of SNOW!!! We hardly had any snow last year so we were all pretty excited about this! The kids were dancing and screaming when they woke up! Garren got his first feel of snow sitting in the warm house! He didn't really care the cold white stuff that we just dumped in his lap! 
   
We scooped up a bowl full of fresh untouched snow and made Snow Smoothies!
Then we warmed up the house a little by making my all time FAVORITE cookie, Peanut Butter Blossoms! I added a little "twist" to them.... Check it out and then make some for yourself! The whole family will thank you for it! Also, Christmas is so close, you can even leave one out for Santa!
What you will need:
  • One bag of Hershey's Kisses (I prefer plain milk chocolate)
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1/2 cup butter (slightly melted)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup ground carrots (just put them through the food processor)
  • 1/4 packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
As you probably noticed, my "twist" is the pumpkin and carrots! I love adding nutrition to desserts....makes it easier to have more than one!!! You with me!?!
Here is the fun part, have your kids open all of the kisses! Put in a bowl and set aside!
Turn your oven on to 375 degrees.
Beat together the butter, peanut butter, carrots, and pumpkin until well blended!

 Add your sugar and brown sugar and beat till fluffy!
 Add egg, milk, and vanilla and beat well.
 Lastly, gradually add your flour, baking soda, and salt to the mixture!
Shape your dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar! Then place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 7-10 minutes or until lightly browned! Then right from the oven press your chocolate kiss in the center!
Delicious!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas List Keepsake Ornament

Every year I get one ornament for each kid. I like it to be something that they were really into or something they really loved at that age! I remember seeing this CUTE idea last year at Christmastime but already had my kids ornaments so I remembered it for this year. Of course I changed it up a little by using one of my favorite crafts supplies, Mod Podge!
This Christmas list ornament is the cutest keepsake! It will be so much fun to look back on what your children were hoping for throughout the years! 
What you will need:
  • Large wooden spool
  • Paint
  • Little piece of ribbon
  • Paper
  • Mod Podge

Let your kids paint their wooden spool.
   
 Then once it is dry, you will want to seal it with Mod Podge. I also wanted a glittery look to mine so I used the Sparkle finish Mod Podge.
 Once dry, the Mod Podge gives the spool a pretty finished look!
 Next you want to cut out a piece of paper about the width of the center of the spool and the length long enough to be wrapped around the spool with about an inch extra. This paper should be scrapbook paper thickness. Next you just cut out a white piece of paper to fit inside your first piece, as pictured below. 
   
 Now, write you title (____ Christmas List 2012) and a few of your child's wishes for christmas with a sharpie. To make this a little neater you could also type and print this part out. Next, paint a little Mod Podge on the back of your list and "glue" it in place.
   
  Mod Podge the list around the spool! Once it wraps all the way around, let a little stick out.
   
 Next, I used matte finish Mod Podge and sealed the writing on the white paper. I could have used sparkle in this but I didn't what glitter on top of the writing! This is all personal preference. Then get a nice ribbon, put it through the center of the spool, and tie it at the top.
   
 There you have it! A cute and simple keepsake ornament that you and you kids will enjoy for years to come!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fun Christmas/Winter Games (FREE Printables)

I had to tell you all about this really cool blog I found called Criss-Cross Applesauce! Lisa has some GREAT games for young children AND the best part about it is she does most of the work for us by creating really cute & FREE printables!!!
When I saw her Decorate a Christmas Tree game, I had to try it!!!

Simply print out as many game boards as you will need and the game "cards". To get to the print outs just click on the photo above! I used a glue stick to give the game cards a backing so you don't see through the white paper! She laminates her game boards for reuse. I would recommend this if your kids are gunna play a lot!
 Then cut around your cards and put your M&M's in a bowl!
 Each player gets 20 random M&M's. Once they get them, they separate them to the right color box!
 The great thing about this game is it can be played with many kids or just ONE child!
I love that I can pull this out when my daughter is bored and she can play a fun solo game!
 The way this simple game is played is the kids pull cards till they fill up their christmas tree with their M&M's! Then you can replay the game by taking off the M&M's and putting them back in the correct color box! Lastly, EVERYONE wins when they get to eat their tree decorations!
I had to show you a few other fun Christmas/Winter printable games she has!
Stuff A Stocking is a counting game played with Hershey's Kisses!
Let It Snow is another counting game played with marshmallows!
Click on the pictures for their print-outs!
I just saw something this morning that I HAD to add to this post!!! If you have never checked out Joel's blog, you need to! He is full of great ideas! He drew a printable Nativity Scene! I don't know about you, but I'm totally coloring this with my kids!! Click on the picture below to print it for yourself!



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Video From Santa

I just wanted to tell you all about this sight! I have been doing this for a few years with my children! It is so much fun! The videos seem to keep getting better and better every year!
At the Portable North Pole website you can make a FREE personalized video to your children!!!
We don't make a HUGE deal about Santa in our family, it's more about Jesus! However, there is just something fun about your name being said and personalized pictures and information about you from Santa HIMSELF!!! I'm not gunna lie, it also gives your child more reason to listen and act sweet! =) As the song goes "He sees you when your sleeping! He knows when you're awake! He knows if you've been BAD OR GOOD, so be good for goodness sake!" My husband and I have started singing this around the holidays when the kids are fighting over a toy! =) hehe

Click on the picture above to make your own! It should only take a few minutes!

I will try and share the one I made for Brenden but since I didn't buy it I think the link only lasts 90 days! Simply click on Santa below to see if it's still there! 
Hope you are have a HAPPY HOLIDAY season so far!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Compilation of Other Coin Chart Ideas

After MONTHS of saying I'm gunna post about others who have made the Behavioral Coin Chart, I've finally got a post together! Most of what I've gotten in emails from people are of their charts and some of how they changed it to make it work for their child! Everyone has GREAT ideas and I LOVE getting photos from everyone who has made a chart for their child!

Cari, a mother and fellow blogger, Reach for Star Berries, got in contact with me MONTHS after implementing the behavioral Coin Chart System with her 4 year old daughter. This is what pushed me to get this post out because up until now I only had pictures of charts and not too much feedback on how the charts have been working for the families over time! 
Here is what Cari wrote to me: "I found this back in June and posted on here that I would come back and post images of our chart. I'm featuring the chart and how I made it on my blog next week. We've been using it for about 5 months now and love it! I took your ideas and ran with them and have told all of my mommy friends about your idea. Thanks for sharing with us."  
Below are pictures of her chart and you can click HERE to read her post!
   

Here are a few more examples of what others have done! Even if you don't follow my Behavioral Coin Chart exactly, the basic idea of it is a wonderful system to implement with ALL children! I hope seeing what others have done will help you change it up and make a chart that works for you and your child!

Emily is a Nanny for a very lucky 3 year old girl....
She made a Hello Kitty Chart and wrote about the changes she made.
"I have made some changes:

1) I have listed daily activities she must complete (getting dressed, breakfast, brushing her hair, walking to school, etc.) and she can earn a sticker for completing these tasks well (i.e. not screaming for mom, no crying, no arguing). When she earns 5 stickers in EACH task, she earns an extra sticker towards her goal.

2) She earns 1 sticker (Hello Kitty, of course!) towards her goal every day that she keeps all 6 coins, same as your chart.

3) I've laminated the whole chart so we can peal off the stickers when she's completed it and I've used dry erase markers to write the daily activities so as she grows or the tasks become too easy we can change them. 
4) I've used Velcro to hold the coins on instead of pockets, I had some around and I couldn't be bothered with making pockets hahaha. "



Ali wrote,
"Thanks for posting this! My 4 year old was in desperate help! As is my sanity! This is my version! :-)" At the top of the chart she wrote out Rainbow Rules for Good Behavior.

Ashleigh writes how she made her chart for her daughter:

"Here's how ours works: If she has ALL 5 coins at the end of the day she gets a sticker in the box. 10 stickers = goal. She also gets however much money her coins equal each day (so if she has 2 coins left=20 cents, 5=50 cents, etc). She writes that amount each day (which she will count the following morning - before we "reset" them - so that we can take a coin away if she doesn't go to bed good) and gets paid at the end of the week. Her coins can be lost for bad behavior or gained back for good behavior. IF she loses ALL of them it's a loss of ALL privileges for the day. Getting all her chores done is equal to a coin as well. Also, if she loses them ALL then she can not gain them back for that day. She starts fresh every day. 

THANK YOU AGAIN.  SO MUCH!!!"


Med made her chart all dry erase for her 2 1/2 year old son! She blogged a little about it HERE and she also writes about how she made her chart HERE!

Katie has been using this chart with her daughter since October and she has also blogged about how it works for her YOUNG TODDLER, who is only 2 1/2 years old! Check out her post HERE!

"Thanks again for your advice, we're only on day 1 so we'll see how it goes, so far she loves her coins and doesn't want to give any of them back when she makes a "bad decision"! Ha ha, almost 3 and stubborn as a mule!  Her first goal is for her toenails to be painted pink "like mummy!" :)"
~Zoë~ 


Lastly, I don't have a picture of the chart Dalia made for her daughter but I will leave you with what she wrote to me, 
"I just have to say THANK YOU!!! I was nearly at my wits end with my 5 year old daughter. I was really considering therapy for her behavior. I saw your behavior chart on Pinterest and gave it a try. I made almost an exact duplicate. Words cannot express the miraculous turn around in behavior! It is absolutely amazing. I actually overheard her say, "I'm not going to do that because I don't want to lose a coin." I was stunned. Pleasantly so. She earned her reward in 12 days and is such a pleasure to be around now. Thank you, thank you, thank you for creating an amazing behavior chart."
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