“Today’s a good day to change the world”

April Simply Family/Simply Parties by Jackie

dayspring.com

It’s Cool to Care: Time for yard work! Now that the weather is beginning to warm up here in the northeast, it’s time to get out and clean up our yards. Raking the leaves leftover from fall, getting the land ready for planting, picking up any trash that was buried under the snow- these are just a few spring yard duties. Grab your gardening gloves and rakes and start helping your neighbors too! Ask any older relatives or friends if they could use some assistance with yard work, cleaning out a garage, washing a vehicle, getting lawn furniture ready for the season, etc.

Happy to be Healthy: Tis’ the season for outdoor activity! Get out and walk. Walk around your neighborhood or go to your local outdoor track. Maybe take your dog for a walk or offer to take a neighbor’s dog. (Don’t forget to clean up after the pup) Are there any times when you drive, but perhaps could walk instead? Some ideas might be to the store for a couple items, to school if you’re lucky to live near by, or even to visit a friend. Time for jump roping (sing some rhymes as you jump) hula hooping (make up contests of who can hula-hoop the longest or who can use the most hoops) and bike riding (find some bikes trails to try out). Have your bikes checked out to make sure they are ready and safe for your adventures and always wear a helmet. http://www.fungameskidsplay.com/jump-rope-rhymes.htm

YOGA FOR YOU and your child by Mark Singleton page 83
smartkids101.com
teacherspayteachers.com

Family Fun: Movie Night- Some inspirational movies for the entire family to enjoy while learning about environmental issues-The Lorax, Hoot, Ferngully-The Last Rainforest, Free Willy, Spirit, Wall E, March of the Penquins, Planet Earth, Artic Tale, Furry Vengeance To find detailed descriptions of these movies and appropriate age suggestions, check out http://kcedventures.com/blog/kids-movies-about-environmental-issues-themes

how about a healthy snack such as this fruit owl while watching Hoot?

Some of the movies also are books (Free Willy by Nancy E. Krulik, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, Artic Tale and March of the Penquins -both are called companions to the movies)

Game Night: Have a family video game night. Play Wii or any other video game system that gets you up and moving about.Here’s a couple of links (one mostly for workouts and one for the entire family to play together) http://lifewire.com/best-workout-games-for-the-nintendo-wii-2498628http://halleheartchildrensmuseum.org/8-best-active-video-games-kids/

the Just Dance games will really get ya groovin’

Hooray for the Holidays: Easter– This Easter try and get your entire meal from local sources. If you’re as lucky as I am, you have easy access to farmers’ markets, food co-ops, and local butcher shops. Give each family member/guest the task of a dish, a decoration, setting the table, or cleaning up. Here’s some ideas for naturally dyeing eggs with simple ingredients-http://greenerideal.com/guides/color-easter-eggs-natural-ingredients/

found @ simplyoneden.com- Eat the Seasons in New England
fun yoga for the whole family-YOGA FOR YOU and your child by Mark Singleton page 89

Earth Day:How fun and satisfying it is to grow your own food! I’ve done small container type gardens in the past and one of my favorite ones was a “pizza garden”. We grew cherry tomatoes, basil, peppers, and oregano if I remember correctly. This was done all in a half wine barrel planter. I’ve also had luck planting lettuce in tires of all things. I’ve even seen super cute painted tires (ladybug, frog). The ideas for planting are endless! Here’s some websites with tips on getting a head start indoors. Start seedlingshttp://www.kitchencounterchronicle.com/starting-seeds/,http://getbusygardening.com/easiest-vegetables-to-grow-from-seed/

The growing seed – YOGA FOR YOU and your child by Mark Singleton page 42
A great read for younger kids. Explains how to plant bean seeds in eggshells indoors at first.

Set up recycling for your family- To begin, check out your area’s recycling rules (what and where) http://www.maine.gov/dep/waste/recycle/whatcanirecycle.html At first, recycling can seem a bit overwhelming. Learning what goes where and creating a recycling center in your home would leave no excuses for each family member to get on board. If convincing is still needed, take a look at a visual of how long it takes trash to decompose. Can be quite startling, yikes!

There are many sources online showing the time frame in which trash decomposes. Some vary, but most are comparable. I like the way this visual’s characters make us think.
Here’s a colorful set up for a family recycling center-found on Pinterest@ i.pinimg.com
More informative reads for kiddos (and adults)!

Make homemade cleaning supplies – It’s spring cleaning time! When I went on Pinterest a few years back to research making my own cleaning supplies, I didn’t know where to begin as there were many recipes/websites to choose from. To start, I would say pick one thing you’d like to try to make. You may find you don’t care for what you’ve made (this happened to me with dishwasher tablets and laundry detergent). Don’t give up, try again until you find the perfect choices for your cleaning supply liking. Here’s a basic recipe for cleaning wipes to get started and also a website for lots of other homemade cleaning supplies when ready. Happy cleaning! http://sixdollarfamily.com/natural-cleaning-recipes-homemade-cleaners-for-your-home http://naturesnurtureblog.com/homemade-cleaning-wipes/

only vinegar and essential oil, fun to decorate jars too

Arbor Day-Plant a tree – Another earth friendly activity where all can get involved is planting a tree. Talk with local landscapers and check out nurseries to find the best trees for your space. http://premeditatedleftovers.com/gardening/how-to-successfully-plant-a-tree

YOGA FOR YOU and your child by Mark Singleton page 49
YOGA FOR YOU and your child by Mark Singleton page 39
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

April Fool’s Day: Although it passed, you can still have much silly fun for April Fool’s month! Tell jokes at the dinner table and read tongue twisters at bedtime. Ask each other, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today?” They say laughter is the best medicine, and I believe it! A couple snack time tricks below-

I tell them brownies (brown Es) are on the table
A classic trick around here

Home Helpers: We’ve covered getting started with yard work and planting, creating a family recycling center, and making homemade cleaners. Some other home helpers can include making reusable lunch bags and containers. Also, make a designated spot for reusable shopping bags so they are handy to grab on your way out. When you clean out your garage, return any bottles and cans and add the money to your coin jar fund.

http://www.iheartnaptime.net/reusable-lunch-bags-sewing-tutorial/

Mind Matters: Roses are red, violets are blue. Do you know who can write poetry? Of course, it’s YOU! April is national poetry month, so get your creative juices flowing and write some poems. Hold a special event such as tea time poetry night (set out some teacups, a variety of tea flavors, and mini pastries) or comedy poetry night (poems should be silly, use fun props, or speak in different voices).

April is Autism Awareness Month. Awhile back, I looked up autism in a children’s dictionary. As I’m reading the brief definition, I said to myself two things, “This doesn’t explain much” (and yes, I’m aware it’s a kids’ resource) and “Does anyone else use a dictionary anymore?” And then I laughed at my old soul self. So maybe it’s just because the dictionary is an antique, but thank goodness there are many insightful resources out there to increase our knowledge of any topic. The more we learn and become aware, whether it be about a disability, a foreign country, a religion, an illness, a career, etc, the greater our understanding and the kinder our hearts will be. Here’s a couple websites about autism spectrum disorder, perfect for all ages to gain better awareness. http://readingrockets.org/article/pbs-kids-and-autism-awarenesshttp://kidshealth.org/en/kids/autism.html

A brief definition found in a Scholastic Children’s Dictionary
I love this pic found on Pinterest
some poetry book ideas for kids found @mommyevolution.com

Read On: The list could go on and on for springtime reads, here’s a few faves- The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, The Magic School Bus-The Climate Challenge by Joanna Cole, Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, Where the Sidewalk Ends (or any Shel Silverstein book), Rules by Cynthia Lord http://readingrockets.org/booklists/childrens-books-featuring-characters-autism-or-aspergers

springtime reading

Parents Corner: Each new day offers us the chance to refocus, refresh, and restart. Especially in the spring though, walls are covered with fresh coats of paint, flower and veggie gardens get started, and many times we focus back on those New Year’s resolutions. Spring is a fabulous time of year to recharge! Book yourself a massage or haircut, pick up a new journal to write in, and make a pitcher of detox water just to name a few ways to recharge those batteries.

simply refreshing found on pinterest avogel.co.uk

Thanks for reading my blog this month. As always, much appreciated!

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March Simply Family/Simply Parties by Jackie

MARCHing right into spring!

The end of winter is in sight! Warmer days are ahead ☀️ Let’s march into spring with loads of family fun!

Lemon bread and Hummingbird bread– both delicious https://anitalianinmykitchen.com/wprm_print/14438

https://www.alattefood.com/hummingbird-bread-with-cream-cheese-frosting/

It’s Cool to Care: Maybe you have a neighbor or older relative who lives alone. Show them how much you care by making a “heat and eat dinner”. Use a freezer/microwave save container and prepare a meal for them. Adding homemade bread is also a thoughtful and yummy idea!

So simple and nutritious, just make sure you are aware of any dietary restrictions

Happy to be Healthy: YOGA – Even if you only do a few poses each day to start, I’m pretty sure your body and mind will thank you. Take a glance at this informative website to learn about the different types and benefits of yoga. http:/kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/exercise/yoga.html

Get into your animal spirit by trying these animal poses together.

Feels so lovely on the spine “YOGA FOR YOU and your child” by Mark Singleton page 69
Kicking Mule is usually a kid favorite “YOGA FOR YOU and your child” by Mark Singleton page 67
Wonderful shoulder stretch “YOGA FOR YOU and your child” by Mark Singleton page 65

Family Fun: Movie Night- March means March Madness! Choose a basketball themed movie such as Air Bud, Space Jam, Like Mike, Rebound, or Teen Wolf. Pretend you’re at a ball game and enjoy snacks such as nachos, popcorn, or ice cream. You can even turn these snacks into a nacho bar, popcorn bar, or ice cream bar to make the evening extra fun!

Choose your favorite add-ins for popcorn
For older kiddos, I’d say 10+

Game Night: Let each member of your family choose his/her favorite board game to play. This is a great way to play some of those games that maybe haven’t been played in awhile, but someone is always asking, “Who wants to play this with me?”

Isn’t fun to play games that haven’t been out in awhile?

Hooray for the Holidays: Dr. Seuss’ Birthday– Of course we have to celebrate this day! Take turns reading Dr. Seuss books. Try making some green eggs and ham or stack some mini pancakes and strawberries for the Cat in the Hat’s hat. See who can make the tallest stack. A neat website to check out is http://seussville.com

Way too many good ones to pick a favorite
How high can you stack them?

Mardi Gras: a carnival like atmosphere with music, parades, food, how fun! To learn some cool facts about Mardi Gras, check out this website. https://www.savingssarah.com/2016/01/17/mardi-gras-facts/

Get crafty making a Mardi Gras mask or how about baking a king cake? Here’s a super easy recipe, but there are many more cake recipes if you’d rather bake from scratch. https://www.momdot.com/monkey-bread-recipe/

Get as creative as you can!

St. Patrick’s Day: Talk about the history behind St. Patrick’s Day. Locate Ireland on your globe or world map. Play some Irish tunes. Get everyone involved in the kitchen making corned beef and cabbage, Guinness beef stew, or any Irish recipe that is new to you. Set up a scavenger hunt and use green paper shamrocks to write clues on. The treasure could be chocolate coins, a pass on doing chores, extra screen time, or choosing what’s for dessert. https://www.aberdeenskitchen.com/2016/03/slow-cooker-guinness-beef-stew/

A colorful project! Add food coloring to water, start with the primary colors and mix to make more. You can also put six glasses in a circle, red water in the first, yellow in the third, and blue in the fifth, So every other one has plain water. Use 6 strips of thin paper towels to place in glasses so that red connects with each clear glass beside it and so forth. As the towel soaks up the colored water from each side, it should mix in the clear glass of water!

Home Helpers: Spring means it’s time to organize! Make it a family project not only to clear out clutter, but start by organizing one room. The kitchen is the heart of the house, why not begin there? h

Customize your organizing challenge to fit your household needs
Just an example of a 30 day cleaning challenge, you can alter it for a better fit for your family home.

Keep on adding to your coin jar! Cha-ching! $$$

Mind Matters: “Music is what feelings sound like” Have the musicians of the family put on a little concert. Listen to different types of music and see if you can here specific instruments. Let everyone speak (or sing) about their favorite kinds of music, instrument, or instrument they would like to learn to play. Check out this website for some DIY instruments you can make.https://planningplaytime.com/10-diy-musical-instruments-for-kids

Winter Wonders: Spring is on it’s way, but not quite here yet. Enjoy the end of winter by taking a walk and searching for signs of spring.

Some signs of spring’s arrival are people out on the bikes, lots and lots of mud, and the talk of gardens!

Read On: Pick out some classics to enjoy. When done with reading the book, find the movie and compare the two. What are the differences, if any? Which did you enjoy more? Would you recommend both? What are your favorite parts?

Parents’ Corner: Make time for meditation. Even a few minutes of meditation a day can really help with those daily stresses. There are many wonderful short meditation videos on youtube that boost energy levels, help with anxiety or improve sleep. Find an app that fits your needs and can remind you daily to take a couple minutes to stop for mindful meditation. https://www.mindful.org/free-mindfulness-apps-worthy-of-your-attention/

intentioninspired.com

Thanks for reading my March blog! As always, I appreciate your time. Hope you have much March fun with these family activities!

Spread love everywhere you go

February Simply Family/Simply Parties by Jackie

Here we are in February, the month of love. I hope January treated you well and this month does so also. Here’s some creative ideas to make some fun family memories.

It’s Cool to Care: Decorate a box or use a basket to make a Care Basket for a neighbor or relative. Some items to include could be a box of tissues, soup, packets of oatmeal, lotion, oranges, heart shaped cookies, flowers, and crossword books. Just a little something to brighten their days during this cold winter month.

Happy to be Healthy: Discuss ways you can help your heart stay strong and healthy. Put up red paper hearts throughout your home as reminders to eat healthy and exercise. Perhaps the hearts have family activities written on them such as having a dance party, going for a winter walk, or doing yoga. Along with diet and physical activity, give meditation a try as a wonderful way to alleviate stress. Here’s a couple helpful websites to check out http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/heart.html

Both of the above recipes I found years ago in an American Heart Association Magazine/Go Red For Women. These are both recipes that the entire family can help prepare and hopefully enjoy!

I love this meditation exercise, it’s from YOGA FOR YOU and your child by Mark Singleton (page 111). Could be a helpful activity when expressing feelings of anger or anxiety. Balloons– it’s supposed to teach you can let go of your thoughts and emotions whenever you want to, just like letting go of a balloon. With eyes closed, imagine a big blue sky around you. Relax as you breathe into this space. Think of balloons floating by representing your thoughts and feelings. As a balloon floats by, catch the string and hold it for a bit. Picture the shape and color. Is it gentle or does it pull back? Maybe there is something written on it. After observing the balloon for a minute or so, let it go. Watch it float across the sky until it disappears.

http://www.firstforwomen.com/posts/meditation-for-kids-153784

Family Fun:

Movie Night- Cook together making spaghetti and meatballs and salad. Be a little fancy by setting your table with flowers, cloth napkins and candles. Enjoy snuggling and watching Disney’s Lady and the Tramp. A couple other movies recommended for this month are Toy Story and Homeward Bound. They too happen to be a bit older Disney movies, but still remain favorites of mine. A friendship activity to go along with these movies is for kiddos to make a collage with friend pictures. Could be as simple as placing pics in a frame or more detailed using colored paper, stickers, and quotes or sayings.

Game Night– Have everyone join in for game night and play classic games such as Monopoly, Clue, Life, and Sorry. Give some of these ideas for snack food a try- Carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumbers and peppers served with a greek yogurt based veggie dip/ Grapes, cheese cubes, and a variety of nuts/ Popcorn sprinkled with parmesan cheese/ Pretzel sticks with hummus/Turkey and cheese roll-ups sliced and served with toothpicks/Trail mix made with nuts, pretzels, cheerios, raisins, and M+Ms. Here’s a neat recipe for yogurt bark to try http://diethood.com/frozen-yogurt-bark-berries/

Hooray for the Holidays:

Valentine’s Day- Make each member of your household a homemade Valentine card. Use construction paper, doilies, and stickers. Write something you find special about each person on their card.

President’s Day-Talk about what things you would focus on if you were to become President of the United States. Play a United States trivia game or quiz one another with U.S. President flash cards. Make a patriotic dessert for dinner, for example, strawberries, blueberries, and vanilla yogurt.

Chinese New Year- This year 2019, Chinese New Year Day is on February 5th and it’s the year of the Pig. Design paper lanterns, have a tasting party and make fortune cookies. http://wondermomwannabe.com/faster-homemade-fortune-cookies/

From the book YOGA FOR YOU and your child by Mark Singleton
Some pretty cool Chinese New Year traditions -Mandarin oranges symbolize good luck (usually given in pairs), decorations include lanterns, flowers, and banners, spring cleaning represents removing the old and welcoming the new, red envelopes with money may be given to children, celebrations could include the dragon dance which is said to ward off bad spirits and bring in good luck and blessings.

Home Helpers:

As you continue adding to your coin jar, play some math games that teach the values of each coin.

There are plenty of games to play with coins- you can roll dice to get a number and kids use their coins to match. Make price tags for items such as food, books, or toys and play store together. Take turns being the cashier and the customer having them make the correct change or catching you when you don’t. Maybe someday coins will be a thing of the past, but for now they still count!

Plants– add some greenery to your home. Find some plants that are easy to maintain and have the kids be responsible for taking care of them. Have little water bottles and sprayers available. http://farmfoodfamily.com/non-toxic-houseplants/

Mind Matters: Listen to classical music while working on a puzzle, coloring, or painting. Wouldn’t this be lovely to do every day? http://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/best-classical-music-for-kids/

Winter Wonders: Make birdseed ornaments to hang on trees.

Snow Fun: Play outside and enjoy the snow if you’re lucky enough to have some! Make a snow person for each member of the family. Lean back and make snow angels, go sledding, or what about an old fashioned snowball fight? Set up a hot cocoa bar when you return back in. Different flavors of cocoas with mix-ins like peppermint sticks, marshmallows, and caramel make for a scrumptious treat.

Read On: There are many great reads for kids with stories of love, friendship, and kindness. Here’s a sample of picture books that have been popular here and a few chapter books listed as well.

A few reads for older kids- Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo / Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White / Wonder by R. J. Palacio / Rules by Cynthia Lord  

As always for those who live nearby, feel free to borrow any of the books, games, or movies listed.

Groundhog Day may have gone by, but this activity is always a favorite! Read about Groundhog Day and what the legend says happens if a shadow is seen. Then have some fun learning what makes a shadow, use flashlights and have a shadow puppet show on the walls or ceiling.

Parent’s Corner: Love your feet in February. Find a lotion that you like and apply it to your feet every morning and evening before climbing into bed. Stretch your feet and toes by putting your fingers in between each toe and wiggling them back and forth. Make a homemade foot scrub. Take special care of your feet, they help keep us grounded! http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/natural-beauty-fashion/stories/4-homemade-foot-scrub-recipes

A little loving challenge for yourself.

Have a wonderful month filled with love and laughter! I hope you’re able to have fun trying some of these activities!

And so the adventure begins…

January Simply Family/Simply Parties by Jackie

It’s Cool to Care : Continue to have the giving spirit beyond the holidays. Take a box or two of food to a local food bank. Maybe you have some winter gear that is still in great condition but has been outgrown. Donate items such as boots, jackets, snow pants, hats and mittens to a local shelter, church, or school.   “In a world where you can be anything, be kind”

Happy to be Healthy : Have discussions about healthy foods and how eating impacts the way we feel greatly. Find a recipe the entire family is interested in trying and have fun in the kitchen cooking together. Here’s 3 wonderful websites full of nutritional information. http://superhealthykids.com/resources

 http://letsmove.obamawhitehouse.archives.gov

http://choosemyplate.gov

Homemade Pizza- Make your dough from scratch or by pre-made, shape into hearts, or create faces with toppings. A fun book to read on pizza night is Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig. My son who is now 25, received this as a gift when he was just a little guy and it’s been a favorite of many in our home since.

Hummus and veggieshttp://pintsizedtreasures.com/quick-and-healthy-hummus-great-way-to-get-kids-to-eat-raw-veggies/

Omelettes- http://superhealthykids.com/perfect-veggie-omelettes/

Fruit Plate with Peanut Butter Diphttp://cookingclassy.com/peanut-butter-fruit-dip/

Family Fun : Movie Night– Some movie picks for January are Frozen (PG), Snow Buddies (G), Happy Feet I and II (PG), Snow Day (PG), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (PG) Throw on your cozy pajamas and pop some corn! Check out these cute snowman popcorn cups perfect for a winter movie night. Or how about after watching Frozen, make some homemade play dough– mix 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 2 tablespoons cream of tartar, 1 tablespoon oil. Add blue food coloring to 1 cup boiling water. Combine flour/salt mixture and water together. Knead until well combined. Add glitter if you’d like. Some people are glitter people, others are not.

Found on Pinterest creativekidsnacks.com

Game Night- How about some card games? If you have a deck of cards, you’ll never get bored. Crazy 8’s Go Fish Rummy SlapJack http://todaysparent.com/family/activities

Hooray for the Holidays : Happy New Year! Talk about what it means to make a New Year’s resolution. Set some goals and dreams for the year ahead. This can be done as a family and also individually. Perhaps even make a 2019 vision board. This can be done by using old magazines, pics off the internet, or drawings. Find pictures and words of inspiration. For example, maybe your family is planning on an upcoming vacation, you could find a photo of that destination. Or maybe a goal is to read more or learn a new instrument, finding or drawing books and music would be fitting. A piece of poster board and some glue sticks do the trick. Put on as much as you’d like and display it somewhere throughout the year so you can be inspired and motivated! Talking about goals and dreams will lead right into the importance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr Day Books

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. MLK, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport

I Have A Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. paintings by Kadir Nelson

My First Biography Martin Luther King Jr. by Marion Dane Bauer

National Geographic Kids Martin Luther King Jr Level 3 by Kitson Jazynka

A great website to check out –http://pbsparents.org Search for Martin Luther King, Jr. and you will find many articles including videos, books, and crafts. I find this an EXCELLENT resource.

I Have a Dream craft-

This is an easy craft- some paper, pencils or crayons, scissors, and some yarn. Draw the clouds, write your dreams down, and make a dream mobile.

some dreams my kiddos have

Home Helpers : Start a coin jar. Try and put any loose change you get throughout the month in the jar. At the end of the month, add it up and use it for a special activity for the family, donate it to charity, save it toward a vacation or something the household needs, or just keep on adding each month to use at the end of the year. Trying to teach kids the value of money can be difficult in today’s digital world, here’s a website/blog with some helpful tips. http://daveramsey.com/blog/how-to-teach-kids-about-money

Add a globe or world map in your home this month if you don’t already have one. “We are all connected”

Mind Matters: Get your brain working out with some crossword puzzles, word finds, or sudoku. These books can be found most anywhere and last for quite awhile. Keep them easily visible with a pen or pencil handy. Offer a few for different levels of ages.

Winter Wonders: Get outside! If you’re lucky enough to have snow, build a snow fort or snow animals. Take a walk and look for animal tracks. Here’s a pretty cool winter craft- Make crystal snowflakes. A couple children’s books I recommend are Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett and The Very Best Bed by Rebekah Raye.

http://realfoodrn.com/how-to-make-borax-crystal-snowflakes/amp/

Read On! : Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson – use a large box and poke holes in the top, then place a string of lights on. Make it a cozy “cave” for kiddos to go in and read.

The Mitten by Jan Brett bake mitten shaped sugar cookies, a fun activity for toddlers/preschoolers is to sort mittens

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder Use Lincoln logs, pretzel sticks, or graham crackers to build log cabins, for the pretzels and crackers use a little frosting or pb.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis Make paper snowflakes

and my absolute favorite, Winter Waits by Lynn Plourde

Here’s a few yoga poses to try in between your reading- These poses came from the book Yoga for you and your child by Mark Singleton

This is called Chopping Wood
Use your favorite sugar or gingerbread recipe mmmm…
found on Pinterest lovethispic.com
My little loved this cozy reading cave.

Parent’s Corner : Hydrate your skin! Make a hydrating facial mask- The cocoa dream hydration mask is delightful! And remember the best thing you can wear is a smile! http://marieclaire.com/beauty/how-to/a2830/best-homemade-face-masks/ 

Time Well Spent

Hi there! Thanks for joining me for my first ever blog. As 2018 closes out and 2019 is welcomed in, I think back of moments of the past 12 months. The memories that quickly pop up are those spent with friends and family. These moments are time well spent and time I will never regret. Recently, I found some family activity packets I put together years ago. My passion for family time had me collecting thoughts and ideas for monthly fitting activities, type them up, print them out, and staple together. Not only was this for my own family to enjoy, but to share with others as well. Here it is years later, and I’m finding myself still wanting to share these thoughts. So I thought I’d give blogging a try.

A quick bit about me- I’m a kindhearted lover of life. I’m happily married living in the same small city I grew up in. I’m a mom of 3, my youngest almost 18. That means I’ll be free, right? HA. I’ve owned and operated a small home daycare for about 23 years. Still going strong, so I’ve spent much time with littles. Recently, I started dabbling with a party planning business. So far, so great. People gotta have their cupcakes. Some of my top hobbies include yoga, taking walks, watching movies, cooking, crafting, and spending time with friends, family, and my fur babies. Some interests I’d like to be more involved with in the new year are piano, wine, and traveling. Sounds pretty basic, huh? Makes me happy though and that counts big time.

We live in a time where everyone is busy. Most evenings, families are out of the house for meetings and activities. Why must we sign up for this club and partake in that activity? Don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance of extra curriculum activities and community involvement. I just think we take on too much, too often. If I had a nickel for all the times I’ve heard kids express their feelings on not wanting to go to a practice or meeting, but just head home for the night, well it’s quite a bit. We put pressures on ourselves and our children to keep up with others and be as busy as we can. Why must we glorify busy? Does it make us live a better life? Does it make us better people? Absolutely not!

The goal of my blog is simply to get families eating together at the table more often, playing board games and outdoor games, talk, talk, and talk some more, and to come together finding ways to be helpful to others. I plan on writing each month about ideas for games, recipes, crafts, books, and more in hopes that parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles will find interesting enough to share with their littles. Some topics are, “Hooray for the Holidays”, “Home Helpers”, and “Game Night”. There will even be a “Parent’s Corner” with adult activities. No, it’s not what you’re thinking! Some examples would be making hydrating facial masks and homemade foot scrubs.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading my blog and get something fulfilling out of it. Let’s get back to basics of family. Let’s get back to what matters most. Let’s get back to time well spent.