Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Number Order Activity for the Kiddos

Summer is here! We are so excited to be home together and on a relaxed schedule.  We will play, swim, travel, stay up a bit later, play... Did I mention play? 

As much as I love having my kiddos here with me, 3 months of total free time can get a little rough. At some point I start to realize that we need at least a little structure.  Anybody else feel like that?

I did a little planning. I'm not teaching big lessons or filling their day with school work. I am going to be prepared with educational activities for each of my kiddos.  I'll be sharing them as we go. I'll also tell you a bit more about what we have planned in an upcoming post.

Here's our first activity....
I used a few sticky notes and wrote numbers on them. For Noah I wrote 1-10. Kayla's were all 3 digit numbers and were completely random.  I stuck all the sticky notes to a window (each kid had their own window to work on) and asked them to put them in order from least to greatest. 

I love this idea because it's not a worksheet.  Sure they could sit down and write on a piece of paper, but you know what?  They've done enough worksheets for the year.

Another plus is that you can make it more challenging if they complete the task easily. Here's a list of ideas to get you started.

Put the numbers in order from least to greatest.
Order them from greatest to least.
Make a group of odd numbers and even numbers.
Group them by place value (all the numbers wit a 3 in the ones place, all the numbers with a 7 in the ones place, etc. When done with the ones, start over with the tens place and then again with the hundreds place).

Now tell your kid how wonderful, smart and amazing they are and smother them with hugs and kisses before you go and play store (that's what they are into right now) for the third time this week!
Feel free to ask any questions you might have!  I'll be posting more short activities you can do at home to keep your kiddo learning all summer long!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Fresh and Rustic Front Door

Hey! I'm over at The Taylor House sharing a rustic wreath that I loved. It was so easy to make and really freshened up our front door!  Head on over to read about it! 
Thanks so much for checking in!  Love you guys!

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{this moment}

{this moment}: a moment that needs no words. a glimpse into our life as it is right now. a moment that makes me want to slow down, enjoy and remember. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How I Organized My Cupboards

So a couple of weeks ago, I was getting ready for a weekend getaway to Houston. What do I do? You might think I packed. Or finished the laundry. Maybe you think I have it all together and cooked all the meals my mom and the kids would need while we were gone. (you're so kind to think that)


I rearranged all my cabinets.

I have always wanted open shelving but I'm worried about keeping it all nice and neat. It would look cluttered very quickly. Plus I didn't have all those nice looking dishes everyone displays. 

Wrong! (at least part way)

Just put the serving platters and nice dishes that you have to good use! No reason to tuck them away in a cupboard only to be seen on Thanksgiving!  Get 'em out and make those cupboards pretty!  I haven't taken the doors off yet, but I love opening them now!

Side note...I love little cake stands. I have bought two only to notice later that both of them are not level. Does that happen to anyone else?
I still love them!

Yes, it bugs this type A gal that my coffee mugs don't all match. Oh well. 

This cupboard is my favorite. I use the big mason jars for leftovers and cut up fruit. It's so nice having them ready to use when I need them!

This is Bessie. She used to pour milk on the kids' cereal in the mornings. They loved using her...until I broke her leg.
We need a new Bessie.

That Bessie would be named Daisy.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Make Obeying a Game

I hope you all had a relaxing Mother's Day with your kiddos!  I had a great time with my family cooking out and playing catch in my Mom's back yard. Today I want to share what we are doing in our home to get our kids back in the habit of obeying the first time. We used to be pretty good at staying on top of this as parents, but lately I guess we've slipped. 
There are many reasons that obeying the first time is important. Safety and respect are at the top of that list.  If you are in a situation where you feel unsafe, you will need your kids to obey and may not be able to explain why at the moment.  If obeying the first time isn't something they are 'trained' to do, they may not carry out your instruction quickly.
On the everyday side of things is respect. For us, we just think they should obey right away. Of course we are reasonable and give a warning when we can. For example: 'In 2 minutes I'll need you to put the Legos away and wash up for dinner.'
In order to get back in the habit I printed off this Obeyball game from one of my favorite resources, iMom.
The kids advance to a base by obeying and saying 'yes, mom' or 'yes, dad' and completing the task.  They can earn a home run by doing the above and doing more than expected.  Together you set a goal for the number of runs that week and what the reward will be.  We are working toward an ice cream treat.  We're doing well!
Click the link to head over there and print your own game and get started!  What a great way to make a obeying fun! 
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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe

The other day I made my Grandma Vi's Sour Cream Banana Bread.  Most people have a favorite banana bread recipe. This is ours. It is our go to recipe!  It's great for gifts, snacking, company....and it's quick to whip together.  It makes two loaves and it's a good thing. The first loaf will be gone before it even has time to cool off.  It doesn't get any better than a slice of warm banana bread with a little butter.

Sour Cream Banana Bread
Cream together 1/2 c butter, softened and 1 1/2 c sugar. 

Add in order:
2 eggs
 3 ripe mashed bananas
splash of lemon juice
1/2 c sour cream
1 Tbsp baking soda
 2 c flour
1tsp vanilla
 3/4 c chopped pecans

Mix together until incorporated. Pour into 2 buttered loaf pans. Bake at 350  for 40-50 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.    
When the bread was cooled, I packaged it up to give to our new neighbors. I wrapped the disposable pan in plastic wrap and wrapped some twine around it. The card attached has our names, phone numbers and email addresses so they can get in touch with us....and remember our names. I'm bad with names so I think this may be a helpful thing!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Quick Teacher Appreciation

Need a quick idea for a teacher you love? Here is what we did for ours to show them we appreciate them! It's perfect for Teacher Appreciation or an end of the year thank you.

All I did was make a batch of cookies and place one in a cellophane treat bag. Using a scalloped punch and some cute paper, I made a tag and wrote the phrase 'I'm One Smart Cookie Thanks to You'. Yes, this could have been done on the computer but this is just how I rolled this time around.

Have you said thank you to a teacher or someone in the school yet? Don't forget about all the staff outside the classrooms that help your school be amazing! What about the office staff or the janitors? Or what about the lunch ladies? Ours are the sweetest!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Car Seat Cover Tutorial

Sewing is something I want to be better at.  I would love to make gifts for friends and their little bundles of joy!  When Leanne shared her post for Car Seat Covers, I asked her to share it with you.
Thanks, girl!
Hello! I'm so happy to be back today to share one of my favourite sewing projects! This car seat cover has been absolutely wonderful and it is quite simple to make. Please stop by my blog, ...And Away We Go!!, to see some of my other projects!

Car Seat Canopy

Last September, I shared the car seat cover that I made for Henry, in this post. The amount of traffic it continues to receive still surprises me!   I snapped a bunch of photos while I was making a cover for my friend Shannon and her beautiful baby girl, Ayla! 

Here is the step-by-step process...

Carseat cover tutorial

To make the front panel of the cover, fold your fabric in half and roughly sketch and then cut this shape. It should be 16.5" wide (from fold) and 22" long. You will want to ensure that these dimensions work for your car seat, as they are all a bit different. 

Carseat cover tutorial

I chose to add a strip of a coordinating fabric to the front of the cover. To do this I removed a 5" strip from the front panel and replaced it with the coordinate. I cut the yellow fabric 6" wide for a seam allowance. Once I had sewn the strip on both sides, I ironed the seams flat.

Carseat cover tutorial

I used the front panel as a guide to trace and cut the back portion of the cover. For most car seats this piece should be slightly smaller than the front piece, but again, all car seats are different.

Carseat cover tutorial

I sewed the front panel to the back panel and ironed the seam flat. Then, placing the cover right side down, I traced and cut the underside of the cover. 

Carseat cover tutorial

Keeping the fabric right side together, I sewed around the perimeter of the cover, leaving a 3" opening to turn it right side out. After turning the cover right side out, I ironed the seams, taking special care to fold the raw edge of the opening in.

Carseat cover tutorial

I then added a finishing stitch to the cover, and closed the opening, by sewing around the perimeter.

To make the straps, cut two pieces of fabric 9.5" by 11".

Fold and iron this piece of fabric length wise (you want the strap to be 9" long). Open it back up and fold each edge into the crease in the middle and iron. Then fold the ends in and sew a raw seam, so that the strap will be nicely finished at both ends. This is where I made a slight change from the first cover that I made. Instead of Velcro, I wanted to use snaps. I attached these before I closed the strap, with a finishing stitch, so that the there would be no visible stitching around the snaps. 

Pin the straps to the seam on the top of the cover, and ensure that they are in an appropriate location by attaching the cover to your car seat. You will want to make sure that you can still easily carry the car seat without having to move the cover. Once you have found the correct location, sew the strap directly onto the cover with two lines of stitching (one on each side of the seam). Snap your cover to your car seat and you are ready to go!!

I was so excited to give this gift to Shannon and Ayla. The colours go well with her car seat, and even her nursery;) Ayla was really pumped to try it out... don't let her expression fool you!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Framed Fabric with Embroidery Hoops

I've been seeing these cute embroidery hoop wall hangings all over the place this year.  I even picked up a few last fall.  Today I finally dug into the stash (since I'm finally gutting out the craft room) and worked up the courage to take the scissors to the material. 
The grey fabric is from a shower curtain I've had for a while. It has just been living in the 'I'm GOING to do something with this soon' pile. The fabric in the big hoop is a dish towel from the set my amazingly talented Mom made for me this Christmas.  And the bottom hoop is from a cross stitched pillowcase that was my Grandma's.
After hanging these on the wall in the kitchen, I think this collection will be growing! They just add a little happy to that corner of the house. I'm thinking maybe some vintage sheets? Time to scour the thrift stores and estate sales!  I'm officially collecting vintage fabrics!
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