9.30.2011

Witchy October Advent!

I LOVE advent calendars! They make holidays so fun for the kids and keep the excitement going all month long! Yesterday I realized I couldn't find my Halloween Muffing Tin advent I made several years ago...something had to be done! So I ran to my local Dollar Tree, picked up a few things, and while my kids napped threw together this cute advent.




Now, if you want to do this remember...tomorrow is October 1st! You've got to get cracking! Because I have NEVER started an advent after the first day...or in the middle of the month...or 3 days before the actual holiday...;)




All you need to make this Witchy October Advent are some small cauldrons (packs of 8 for a buck), white paint, some type of basket, and a little tulle or ribbon. Easy, right?!






Now, I did say it was easy. I didn't say it wasn't a little bit time consuming :) I am not so great at doing anything freehand but I did paint all the numbers on the cauldrons. It really wasn't too bad and since it was for Halloween some of the ones I messed up on actually looked kind of cool and creepy :)





Now each little cauldron is filled with either an activity to do that day or a little treat for the kids. I set mine up as a calendar instead of a countdown...I didn't want to have to try and do the math each day :) Plus, this way if there are things I already have scheduled on our real calendar they can be our activity for that day.



Once I had all the cauldrons painted and filled I spraypainted this Dollar Tree basket with some purple spray paint and placed all the cauldrons inside.




Then I just tied some tulle around the middle and hot-glued it until I had a kind of bow that looked semi-decent :) Its very simple, so you could definitely add some more decorations to
spice it up. I like simple, so this works in our house.




So there you have your very own Witchy October Advent! Super cheap and super simple :)




Oh, and here are some activities I put in there if you're trying to come up with some:




Watch our favorite Halloween movie


Print Halloween pictures to color


Go to a pumpkin patch


Windowshop for Halloween costumes


aMake Halloween sugar cookies


Make footprint ghosts


Make spooky spiders (styrafoam balls and pipe cleaners)


Decorate Haunted Gingerbread houses


Read a Halloween book


and lots more!




Thank you so much for stopping by today! If you can't tell I kinda like Halloween so come back soon for more fun crafts for the kids, yummy treats and more!



9.29.2011

Frankenstein Caramel Apple

What a boring title, right?! I was trying forever to come up with a clever name for this little guy...but these were the best I could come up with:




Frankenstem. Ummm...that's kind of a stretch. And my kids didn't get it.







Frapplestein? Really...that's the best I've got.






But regardless of the name, he was still a pretty cute, yummy treat for the kids after school yesterday. We love making caramel apples and this one was super tasty and easy for the kids to help with.






I just dipped the top of the apple in caramel and then rolled it in mini chocolate chips. I used icing for the scar and mouth and white chocolate chips with a touch of icing for the eyes.






Please let me know if you can come up with a better name for this guy....I think he deserves one :)






Have a wonderful day everyone and thank you so much for stopping by!!

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9.27.2011

Orange Pumpkin Treats

I almost feel silly posting these...that's how easy they were! And I have to give all the credit to my 4-year old Kendall. Last week we had some of those little oranges and she peeled one, stuck it on her thumb, and said "Look mom, its a pumpkin!" I could totally see her vision, so I came up with these fun, HEALTHY snacks for fall :)




Yep, this is all you need. An orange and a slice of celery. I told you it was easy.




My kids loved having these when they came home from school today. It was nice to see them excited about an after school snack that wasn't full of sugar and empty calories (not that we don't love those ones too!:)

Thank you SO much for stopping by Blue Skies Ahead today! I hope you will come back again as I have lots of fun things planned and some great ways to enjoy one of my favorite months of the year with my kids :)




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9.25.2011

Weekend Wrap-up!

The whole reason I started this blog years ago was to document my cute kids and all the things that go on with our family. Today I wanted to return to that a little bit :) I love sharing family home evening ideas, crafts I attempt, and ways I am trying to get healthier. I ALSO love remembering the sweet times our family has together. That was what this blog was created for, so here goes! :)

Last night was the General Relief Society Broadcast. It was amazing. President Uchtdorf said SO many things I needed to hear. The thing that stuck out to me most was his message to be happy in our lives NOW. He spoke of how many of us are constantly waiting for things to happen in our life so we can be happy, and meanwhile we are missing small, precious moments that can bring so much joy. As I was looking at ALL these pictures, I thought about the small moments this weekend that brought ME much joy. Our life is not perfect, my children are not perfect....and I am not even close :) But, there is still so much joy to be found, if I can remember to look for it

Yesterday both of the girls had soccer games. Kendall is a hoot on the soccer field. Her little team is full of friends from her preschool class, and once you actually get her on the field (it takes a LOT of coaxing) she has fun.



Skylar's game was after and it was her best game yet!! She completely owned the goal...didn't let ONE get past her! I was really proud of her...she gets VERY tired but she didn't give up and ran the whole time she was out on the field.




Inbetween the girls games we had an hour break and the girls LOVED the swings. I love how carefree and joyful they are.



After the soccer games I talked Paul into taking the kids to Thanksgiving Point to go to the Harvest Festival (he wanted to be responsible and do yard work...I won :)



They had so many fun things to do: free crafts for the kids, bands playing, .50 ice cream cones, face-painting, and a giant pumpkin contest.










I have definitely passed on the Chamberlain family love of ice cream to my children. Seriously...the size of our ice cream scoops are legendary :)




I had to post this picture just to prove that we DO take Avrie out of her carseat occasionally. Extremely good babies result in extremely FEW pictures :)





My kids love having their faces painted. I think we gave the artists some beautiful canvases :)






Hope you are all having a fantastic weekend as well! I'm excited to be posting a fun family home evening idea, lots of fun farm activities for the kids, and whatever else I throw together this week :)

9.23.2011

Don't let one minute of Conference go to "WASTE!"

Every year like so many of you I love to put together Conference Baskets for my kids. I always include a Conference Activity Packet, new crayons and some yummy treats that we very rarely have in our house (partially due to trying to be healthier, but also because I am really cheap!:)

This year I happened to be at Target and found some super cute waste baskets on clearance for .75 each! I thought they would be perfect for this year's baskets.

Don't you just love the look of that blue mesh waste basket??






This is the little printable I made up....Don't let one minute of Conference go to "WASTE!"





I love how these turned out and I KNOW my kids are going to be excited to get them (I know, because they came down while I was taking pictures and started freaking out :)





I hope you all have a fantastic weekend, thank you so much for stopping by!



9.22.2011

Candy Corn Cupcakes in a Jar

I had to hurry and post this tonight since I thought it might be a TEENSY bit hypocritical to post it on the same day I do my Fit Friday posts :)



I found the inspiration for this idea on one of my favorite blogs, Running With Glitter. Yep, hers are way cuter, but I still thought these were very fun and festive for the season.



Candy Corn Cupcakes in a Jar!






These are SO simple, very tasty, and a fun way to celebrate the season.








First I mixed up a yellow cake mix, divided it in half, and added a little red food coloring to one bowl.









Then I got out my mason jars and filled them each halfway with yellow on the bottom and then the orange. Ok...honestly...FIRST I filled them almost to the top and then baked them and had cake pouring out the top all over my oven. THEN I remembered you only need to fill them up halfway...very important step :) You place them on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes at 325 degrees.


Once they are done cooking and have cooled you scoop out the top, add your favorite white frosting (I don't like frosting so I used Cool Whip) and you have your very own Candy Corn Cupcakes in a Jar!




Have a great night everyone!!

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Halloween Scrappy Fabric Tutus!

Last night I got together with my amazing friend Hollie and we crafted the night away! I LOVE getting together with a good friend, chatting, and letting the creative juices flow :) Hollie made some ridiculously cute frames with fabric flowers...seriously adorable. I wanted to make something for my girls for the upcoming holidays...and this is how they turned out!


I have 3 little girls, so naturally....I LOVE tu-tu's! However, I am kind of over the tulle ones. Not that they are not adorable, but I feel like they get worn once and then they are completely squished and deformed! Plus, I think they are cuter on babies and I wanted something for my older girls too. I decided to try something I had seen somewhere on Pinterest...a Scrabby Fabric Tu-tu!



You make this just like you would a tulle one...all you need is an elastic waistband, some cute halloween fabric and you are all set to go.




After I knotted all the strips of fabric I fit it on Kendall and then finished cutting all the strips at an angle so it would have a funky, layered look to it.



I was THRILLED with how this turned out!! You can just use fabric scraps you have laying around, and I think for Kendall we just might add a witch hat and have her costume all ready to go! :)


Thank you SO much for stopping by and let me know if you try one of these out for yourself! It doesn't get much easier than this ;)



9.20.2011

I can be a"COW"ntable Family Home Evening

If you couldn't tell from the play on words, we are learning about all things FARM this week :) This fhe was inspired by one of those books you get at Deseret Book that has family home evenings all done for you, you just have to copy them and cut them out! I have a bunch of those books that I browse through to get some idea. This book already the cows so I just cut them out and laminated them. If you DON't have the book you could just print out cows and write different scenarios on the back.


To make this a little more fun I decided to make a cute little barn we could use as a visual. We are actually going to be using this for a bunch of farm activities this week so it will get plenty of use. All you need is a empty oatmeal container, some contruction paper and a little white paint.



You simply cover the oatmeal container with red contruction paper and then use the white paint to make a little door and window. To make the top I traced a large circle and cut it out. Then you just cut a line to the center and fold the paper around to make a cone. I found the original idea HERE.

After my barn and cows were all ready to go we talked about what the word Accountability means. I explained its knowing the difference between right and wrong and taking responsibility for your actions. We asked the kids some different things that they have to be accountable for (praying before bed, brushing their teeth, treating everyone with kindness) and especially focused on NOT blaming others when you make a bad choice. This seems to happen a lot in our home :) Then it was time for our activity.

Each child would take turns coming up and picking out a cow. If the scenario on the cow demonstrated being accountable, they could put the cow in the nice, warm, cozy barn with its family. If it was NOT being accountable the cow had to go outside the barn in the cold weather all by itself.

Finally to finish off I took a bunch of scenarios that have happened lately in our house. I gave the kids cow-shaped paper plates I found at the store that I had cut the eyes out of. When I said a scenario that showed someone being accountable I told them I wanted my a''COW'ntability Cos to stand up and MOOOOO as loud as they could. If it wasn't being accountable to sit quitely on the floor. The kids LOVED this part and had lots of fun standing up, sitting down, and moooing their little hearts out :)




Some of our scenarios were:


When I went outside to play I went down the street to the neighbors house without asking mommy.

Even though I was already in bed, I reminded Daddy that we forgot to read our scriptures.

When I heard the baby crying I gave her a binky without mommy asking me to.

When I got in trouble for hitting I said it wasn't my fault because my sister yelled at me first.


I think it really helped the kids to use real-life things that had happened recently so they could understand what accountability truly means.


I hope this gave someone an idea for a different and fun way to teach your kids what I believe is an incredibly important principle. Thank you SO much for stopping by and have a wonderful day!


9.19.2011

Apples Week

Well Apple Week was a hit at our house! We started off the week by reading this fun book with Dr. Suess.


My kids thought this book was SO funny, we read it about a billion times last week. They even ran to the fridge and tried to balance apples on their head...they couldn't quite get up to ten ;)

We were lucky enough to find an apple orchard that was fairly close to us where you can go pick your own apples! Unfortunately when we got there the hours were different that what was online and they were closed. However, the owner happened to be there and was so sweet to us! Not only did he let us pick whatever apples we could find and take for free, but he also gave us a tour and free samples of their very cool Cider Press. It was fun to show the kids how apples are turned into cider and it was even more fun letting them pick their own apples off the trees.






The owner said his father (who started the farm years ago) was passionate about teaching children where things REALLY come from, showing them how things grow so they don't think they just show up in grocery stores. It was very informative for me as well and the kids absolutely loved it! I will definitely be doing business with this family farm again! :)



One day we talked all about the different ways you can eat apples. We had whole apples with our breakfast, for our snack we had apple slices dipped in peanut butter and for dessert that night everyone made their very own apple pies :) I am NOT a baker so we just used refrigerator pie crusts, cans of apple pie filling, and little pie tins I found at WalMart.


The kids loved squishing the pie crust in the tin and then spooning the apple pie on top.




They also loved pinching the top and bottom crust together (and sneaking bits of the pie filling ;)




They turned out quite yummy and the kids were SO proud that they had made their very own apple pies!




Finally their favorite activity we did involved apples and a bunch of these....




Yes, those are Mr. Potato Head pieces :) We wanted to make our very own Mr. and Mrs. Apple Heads...and they turned out adorable!




I loved Britton's...anything with a mustache usually gets a laugh from me.




Kendall had to accessorize of course...love the hat!




And this was my little guy...cute, right?! I was surprised how much they enjoyed this, they named their apples and played with them all afternoon. Yes, it was a little sticky and I did have to wash all the pieces, but totally worth it in the end! The only hard part was keeping Britton from eating his guy....:)







Thank you so much for stopping by today! I hope this inspires you to do something FUN with your kids and enjoy them just a little bit more...I know I am trying to. Later I have a fun idea for Conference Baskets for your kids and a fun way I am trying to Cut the Chaos at the dinner table :) Have a great day everyone!! :)