1.31.2011

Family Goals FHE


The fhe this week is very different from what we normally do. There are no cute handouts, no themed desserts and very little fluff! :) Kind of a stretch for me. However, after ward conference last week and a great combined Relief Society/Priesthood meeting yesterday, I have felt inspired to share some things with my children that we all need to work on.


We just moved a few weeks ago and the new stake we are in has listed 4 goals for the upcoming year for members of our stake. They are as follows:


1. Spend 30 minutes a day in the scriptures.

2. Make our Sabbath Day more holy.

3. Attend the temple monthly (at least!)

4. Be free of consumer debt within 3 years.


Our bishop pointed out yesterday that its kind of cool how the first goal is something we can do every day, the next something every week, the next something every month and the next we can work on for the next year and then some :) That really made it feel not quite so overwhelming to me and made me excited to share these goals with our little ones. Even though they are young they play a big part in these goals...especially numbers 1 and 2.


We are going to mostly talk about having family scripture study and how we can make our Sabbath Day more holy. I have some fun ideas about the latter that I will hopefully be sharing with you tomorrow in a throwback to "Cutting the Chaos...one week at a time!" Remember that??


Anyway, it will be short and sweet but I am excited to get the whole family on board with the goals we are going to be working on. I know these are things that will be pleasing unto the Lord, and I know He will bless us as we strive dilligently to do the things the leaders of our church have asked us to do. Hope you all have a great family night!!

1.30.2011

Dental Health Week!!




Sounds exciting...doesn't it?! Since February is National Dental Health Month I figured it was a great time to spend a week focusing on the importance of our teeth, and making it fun for the kids. Also, I am having a lot of guilt about not taking my kids to the dentist as often as I should so they have appts for next week and I think this will be a fun way to get them excited about it!

I found all of these ideas at different preschool websites and am then tweaking them to fit our needs. The first idea that I found was a really cute one, and a great memory game. On a tray, place items that promote good dental health, such as a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, a container of dental floss, a small bottle of water, and a hand mirror. Also include a fresh fruit and a fresh vegetable, such as an apple and a carrot. Sit with your children around the tray and talk about how each item helps to keep teeth healthy. Then ask the children to close their eyes while you remove one of the items. When they open their eyes, have them try to guess which item is missing. Continue the game, each time rearranging the items on the tray and removing a different one. My kids LOVE playing memory games, so I am sure this one will be a hit!

I LOVE this next one....and not just because it involves Oreo's :) Give each of your children a couple of Oreo cookies. Have them eat them and let them look in the mirror at their teeth. Then discuss with them how plaque builds up on your teeth. Next give your children some fruit and have them look at their teeth again. Now tell your children how some foods are good for your teeth and how others are not. My kids do much better when thy have a good visual to go along with what I am teaching them.

I found this fun idea for a simple science experiment to do with the kids. Put several eggs into different liquids (cola, milk, orange juice, etc). Discuss with your children what they think will happen to the eggs in the different liquids. Leave the eggs in the liquids for a couple of days. When you take it out the kids can see what the liquids would do to their teeth.

A great craft idea was to make big teeth out of 20 oz bottles. Make large teeth with your children to help them learn to brush. It is really easy. Cut the bottom off of 20oz. or two litter bottles and cover them with white temper paint. I know my kids will at least have a good time getting messy :)

Finally I thought I would use a nice scare tactic to get them motivated to brush their teeth. Ever seen this treat before? We make them every year for Halloween, but I'm thinking it could be a great "this is what your teeth WILL look like if you don't brush" kind of teaching moment :)





Hope everyone has a great week and if you have any tips for taking kids to the dentist or enforcing good brushing habits...I would love to hear 'em!! :)

1.24.2011

Manners Family Home Evening

UPDATE: Here is the link for the entire lesson, with printables!!! Enjoy!!








I was so excited when I googled this fhe and was able to find it online! I remember my mom doing this fhe for me and my brother YEARS ago...and if I remember it it must be pretty good, right?!

This cute story is all about dinosaurs and manners, something my kids love and something I hope to teach them to love :) I can no longer find the link I printed the story from so I decided to just type it up here...I am sorry I don't know where the credit goes to for this darling story, but its definitely not me! :)

Where the Dinosaurs Roam

I went to a land....not far from here where dinosarus roamed with manners I'd fear.

first of all I came across STINGY-STEGO. He's big and greedy. He thinks he should always be first in line, first one to play games, first one to eat, first one for everything. He acts like he is the only one thats important. He turns green with envy if you have something that he doesn't. He gets upset until he gets what he wants...and then he's happy. However, by then he's made everyone else miserable! But he's to greedy to realize that.

I quietly sneaked out of STINGY-STEGO's and no sooner had I left, I came upon and ANGRY-OSAURUS. Now he's okay to be around if he's happy, but if everything doesn't go his way, you better watch out!! He gets really pouty and really angry! He gets upset and angry if he has to do chores, if he doesn't get called on first in school, or if he has to share his toys. He never has any fun because he is too busy pouting and being angry. Do you know any ANGRY-OSAURUS' in your land?

Better watch out, here comes TATTLE-ACHODON! She is always on the look out for someone to tattle on. She doesn't play with others very much because she is too busy looking for people doing something wrong so she can tattle on them.

After coming across the TATTLE-ACHODON I decided this trip into the land not far from here was pretty exhausting, so I stopped for a picnic lunch high up in a tree. All of the sudden I heard a terrible noise! It was the YELL-ADACTYL, and boy was he noisy! You could hear him everywhere! He zooms and yells wherever he goes, he may not be very big, but he is very loud. Have you ever heard the voice of a YELL-ADACTYL before? I climbed out of that tree as quickly as I could!

Boy, I didn't know which way to go! No matter which way it went I seemed to come across something with horrible manners! Wouldn't you know the next one I'd see would be RUDE-REX. He always wants to be the center of attention. He doesn't think its important to say please or thank you. He doesn't ask permission and he takes whatever he wants. He doesn't have any manners, and if he's not careful pretty soon he won't have any friends. Have there been any sightings of RUDE-REX near your place?

Oh dear, up next here comes POUT-ASAURUS. Shhhh!! You have to be really careful what you say around her because she gets her feelings hurt very easily. She is always sad about something, like she can't draw as well as everyone else, or her friend can't come over to play. She is always getting her feelings hurt and nothing looks very good to the POUT-ASAURUS.

Uh-oh! I think I see BUTT-IN-BRONTO! I better hurry and talk before he gets here or else he will butt in and I won't get a chance. Whenever anyone else tries to talk BUTT-IN-BRONTO interrupts and talks louder and louder til he takes over the whole conversation. I wish BUTT-IN-BRONTO would just butt out!

Oh my goodness, here comes POKY-CERATOPS! I almost forgot about her. She is always late to everything. She pokes around until the last minute and then can't catch up. Her mother has to ask her 5 times to get dressed, and when she finally does she is almost late to school! Have you seen a POKEY-CERATOPS in your territory?

Well, it sure has been a long day. I decided to head home when I came upon the most gorgeous sight you have ever seen. I saw the most colorful dinosaur of all He had a smile on his face like you wouldn't believe. I realized this must be the HAPPY-OSAURUS!! This dino is everyones friend. He is polite and kind and never interrupts. He is not stingy and is always willing to share. He never pouts and rarely tattles or whines. Sure, sometimes he gets sad and discouraged, but then he chooses to be happy and everyone loves to be around him.

I think I know what makes HAPPY-OSAURUS different from all the other dinosaurs....he's polite, friendly and most of all he's happy! He's the kind of dinosaur you want to be around and he knows he's special too!

I sure hope your lucky enough to have lots of HAPPY-OSAURUS' living at your place. Because just like dinosaurs are extint, hopefully bad manners are extinct at your house too!!




Okay, sorry that was so long, but isn't it adorable? It really touches on all of the biggest things we deal with in our home. I am really sad because when I found this online a few years ago it included a link with dinosaurs you could print out and then bones that had polite words on them. I have colored, cut out, and laminated all the dinosaurs and we go on a dinosaur hunt and read about each dinosaur as we find them. Then we usually find the Happy-osaurus at the end with a fun treat attached :) If anyone has any luck finding this file let me know, I would love to have the link for my records!



I hope this can be useful to someone else, it is one of my kids favorite lessons and something I don't think we can reinforce enough in our home!

1.19.2011

Just in case...

I had somehow given the impression that the activities I do with my kids always turn out, I thought I would show you proof of one that didn't quite take off like I thought it would :) Don't get me wrong, the kids still had fun and we all enjoyed the yummy treat, but one look at these pictures and you'll see what I mean!

I had the brillian idea of letting the kids build their own "snowmen" with powdered donut holes. I thought it would look darling and be really fun for the kids. Well....one out of two isn't bad, right? :) They did not turn out NEARLY as cute as I thought they would, but if this picture of Britton is any proof they still enjoyed eating them!


I'm really lucky to have my girls...no matter what we are doing they always think its the coolest thing....especially once they see the camera!

Here they are in all their.....ummmm....glory?? Snowmen made with donut holes for the body, a tic tac for the nose, sour straws for the scarf and pink frosting for the eyes....we ran out of black :)


Ok, seriously, I know they look ridiculous. But if I only blogged about the things in my life that turned out perfect it would be a pretty boring (not to mention empty!!) blog indeed! :) Have a great night everyone!

1.18.2011

Manners Week!!

Ok, I hope I am not the only one, but at times I am horrified at my kids manners!! I have tried to do a good job at teaching them at least the basics, but I'm afraid we need lots more work :) I thought having the theme for the week being Manners would hopefully bring light to the importance of good manners, and of course make it lots of fun too! :)





The first thing I found in my research is that January is National Thank You Month. Perfect!! One day we will focus on saying thank you and why its important, and also make a bunch of thank you cards so anytime the kids want to give one to someone we will have a bunch ready to go.

Another activity that I thought would be especially fun for my girls would be to have a formal Tea Party. I am going to make invitations that have a set time and place and also asking for an RSVP. We will discuss what that all means and they will be responsible for being appropriately dressed, on time, and letting me know in advance that they are coming. Then we will really focus on please, excuse me, may I be excused, etc. They are going to have to much fun they will have no idea we are even learning anything! :)



Another thing I think is so important to focus on is covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough....especially this time of year! I saw a cute craft you could do where the kids decorate a paper plate to look like a face and then you trace their hands and cut them out. Then they glue one of their hands with a tissue over the mouth....a good visual for something they should always be doing!



I am really excited for this week....this is something we have really needed to work on, and I think it will be lots of fun too! Stay tuned for one of my FAVORITE family home evenings of all time....I remember my mom doing it for me and my brother when I was 8 or 9 :) Have a great week everyone!! :)

Some perspective...

A while back I did a post about putting together a binder with all of your important papers, calendars, phone numbers etc. I have LOVED my binder and find I (and my entire family!) function much better when it is updated and in tact. Today I wanted to share with you my favorite part of the binder. I tossed it in as an after thought after I used it to prepare for a Relief Society Meeting last year, but now I look at it often, especially when I am in need of some perspective.

President Gordon B. Hinckley gave a talk back in 2003 entitled "To The Women of the Church" and if you haven't read it....you MUST!! :) It is such an inspired, beautiful message to not only the women of the church, but ALL women everywhere who are striving to make the best lives they can for themselves and their families.


I printed this talk out and have placed it in the front pocket of my binder. There are many days I look at everything I need to accomplish, or think of all the things I wish I was doing better and this talk gives me a great perspective. I don't want to ruin it for you :) so I will just leave you with this little gem (my favorite quote of the whole talk):


"You are doing the best you can, and that best results in good to yourself and to others. Do not nag yourself with a sense of failure. Get on your knees and ask for the blessings of the Lord; then stand on your feet and do what you are asked to do. Then leave the matter in the hands of the Lord. You will discover that you have accomplished something beyond price."




1.17.2011

Book of Mormon Family Home Evening


Tonight we had a really fun family home evening...I don't know how effective it actually was, but fun was had by all and I laughed a lot at my cute kids :)

I decided to have a family home evening on the Book of Mormon for two reasons. One, reading the scriptures is the theme for Primary this year and now that two of my children go to Primary I wanted to emphasize this theme in our home. Also, since moving to our new place we have been VERY diligent about family scripture study each night. We only read 10 verses but the kids actually look forward to it and always sing Book of Mormon stories after we're done. It's been a big blessing for our little family and I wanted to help the kids understand WHY we actually do it.

Paul was great and gave the meat of the lesson. He spoke on the origin of the Book of Mormon, the plates, and why Heavenly Father gave them to us. It was a good reminder for me, that he simply gave them to us because he loves us and so we can apply them to our own lives. We talked about how we can learn lessons from the scriptures, like how Laman and Lemuel were always murmering and complaining, and in comparison how faithful Nephi was, encouraging our children to look to his example.

After the lesson and LOTS of comments from the kids we did a little activity. I had covered 3 pieces of cardboard in tin foil and them hid them around the house. The kids had to find the "plates", and they way they found them was by the adults singing Book of Mormon Stories. The closer they got the louder we sang, the further they were the softer. It was entertaining to say the least....just ask my brother and sister in law who joined us...good times! :)

Then once the kids had found the "plates" we gave them all paper clips and let them "engrave" things on them. At least the girls did...Britton was convinced it was a present wrapped underneath that tin foil and proceeded to rip the entire thing apart and then looked at me with a really disgusted face when he saw the piece of cardboard :)

All in all a great night with the family, topped off by a really yummy dessert. I am sure almost all of you have the recipe for this one, but I thought I would post it just in case. It is known by many names, we call it the Better Than Anything Cake :)

Better Than Anything Cake

1 Pkg Devils Food Cake mix
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 jar (17 oz) caramel topping
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 bag toffee bits

Make cake mix according to package directions. Cool cake for 15 minutes, then poke top of warm cake every 1/2 inch with handle of wooden spoon. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top of cake. Let stand until milk is absorbed. Drizzle with caramel topping. Cover and refigerate for 2 hours. Spread whipped topping and sprinkle with toffee bits.
ENJOY!!

1.16.2011

Winter Week!

Hey strangers! :) Long time, no blog....I know. But seriously, do you remember how fun this blog used to be? Lots of fun activities with the kiddos, some organizational ideas, some pics of some really cute kids ;), and more?! I do! And I have missed it! We just got settled into our new home this week and I am feeling anxious to get back to my old ways...at least for the next few months until baby Avery joins our family and I fall off the face of the earth again :) Anyway, without any further ado, here are our plans for our theme for this upcoming week....Winter Week!

One of the most fun things that we did last year was messy and kind of yucky to clean up after, but seriously so fun! Since we can't have a real snowball fight we got out some bags of big marshmallows and went at it! We pulled out the couches so we could each hide behind one, and then I put mittens in the middle of the floor. The goal was to run out and grab as many mittens as you could without getting hit. If you got hit, you had to drop the mittens and start over. We played this forever, and Skylar was getting pretty good at throwing by the end :)

One idea I saw that would be SO fun as soon as we do get some snow is to fill up squirt bottles with colored water and let your kids paint the snow. I think this would also be a good way to work on letter recognition, write a huge letter on the snow and have them tell you the letter and the sound it makes.

Last year I found a cute little poem on http://www.dltk-kids.com/ about snowflakes. The direct link is http://www.dltk-holidays.com/winter/m5snowflakes.htm and you can print out 5 little snowflakes to go with it. We laminated them and put them on popsicle sticks so Skylar could act it out with me.

Finally I found two fun things to make on Family Fun. The first is (what else?) a cute snowman treat. Here is the direct link:http://jas.familyfun.go.com/recipefinder/display?id=50093

And this next one is a fun, simple craft all my kids will enjoy. http://www.blogger.com/%3Ca