Monday, September 10, 2012

september family fun network challenge!

. I can do hard things We have a favorite family phrase around our house. It is...

I Can Do Hard Things!

This simple phrase does so much for our morale. Whenever my children start to get frustrated about something they are try to accomplish, I will ask them, "What does Mommy tell you?" And they will repeat, sometimes with some sass, "I can do hard things." After a quick talk it does not take long before they have figured out a solution and are off to take care of it. I really love this phrase. It motivates us and reminds us that we can do it!

So the Family Challenge for this week is...

The Challenge: Share (or Create) a Family Motto or Phrase


Do you have a favorite family phrase or quote you use? If so, we would love for you to share it with us. If you do not have one yet, create one! It can be short or long. Whatever works and motivates yourself or your family is your best option.

Share your Family Phrase below by:
1: Commenting right here on our blog! 2: Jump on over to our Facebook Page and leaving a comment or a link for everyone to see! 3: Or simply share your Summer Bucket List on your blog and leave the link to your post via our inlinkz tool below:  
A new Family Challenge will be announced the first Monday of every month. To find out more details about the family challenges and to receive monthly email reminders for the challenges, click here.
Brought to you by:

The Family Network



Fun on a dime spring blog button play with your family


Top photo courtesy of : Free Digital Photos

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Motherhood Journey Poem

The young mother set her foot on the path of life. ‘Is
this the long way?’ she asked. And the guide said: ‘Yes, and the way is hard
And you will be old before you reach the end of it.. But
the end will be better than the beginning.’

But the young mother was happy, and she would not
believe that anything could be better than these years.. So she
played with her children, and gathered flowers for
them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams; and
the sun shone on them, and the young Mother cried,
‘Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.’

Then the night came, and the storm, and the path was
dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother
drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said,
‘Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come.’

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and
the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary.But at all times she said to the children,’ A little patience and we are there.’
So the children climbed, and when they reached the top
they said, ‘Mother, we would not have done it without you.’

And the mother, when she lay down at night looked up
at the stars and said, ‘This is a better day than the last, for my
children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage..
Today, I’ve given them strength.’

And the next day came strange clouds which darkened
the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped
and stumbled, and the mother said: ‘Look up. Lift your eyes to the light.
‘ And the children looked and saw above the clouds
an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the
darkness. And that night the Mother said,
‘This is the best day of all, for
I have shown my children God.’

And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and
the years, and the mother grew old and she was little and bent.
But her children were tall and strong, and walked with
courage. And when the way was rough, they lifted her,
for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill,
and beyond they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. And
mother said, ‘I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know the end
is better than the beginning, for my children can
walk alone, and their children after them.’

And the children said, ‘You will always walk with us,
Mother, even when you have gone through the gates.’
And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates
closed after her. And they said: ‘We cannot see her
but she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more than a memory. She
is a living presence…….’

Your Mother is always with you…. She’s the whisper
of the leaves as you walk down the street; she’s the smell of bleach
in your freshly laundered socks; she’s the cool hand
on your brow when you’re not well.. Your Mother lives
inside your laughter. And she’s crystallized in every tear drop.
She’s the place you came from, your first home; and
she’s the map you follow with every step you take. She’s your first love
and your first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can
separate you.

Not time, not space… not even death!

Fun Activity Ideas !

* Write a story book. Have children write their own or dictate to you, then have them draw pics to illustrate. use construction paper and comp paper and staple them together!

*Make carpet drawings- Using yarn or string you can "draw" pictures on the carpet

*Make beautiful scribbles together. use a black crayon and scribble on a blank piece of paper- make sure to make lots of loops and open spaces. then fill in the spaces with brightly colored crayons. fill each space- the result will be as beautiful as stained glass!

*Discover a new country. select a spot on the globe or on a world map where there is no land. draw a small "county" on a piece of paper. cut it out and tape it to the globe or map. ask you kids to name the country, describe the weather, vegetation, people, customs, etc. you can even plan a pretend vacation to the country.

*make a flip movie. draw a face in the upper right hand corner of a stack of 3x5 cards. make the eyes roll, the tongue stick out, or a beard grow by changing the drawing a tiny bit on each succeeding cad. staple the stack on the left side, make sure the cards are in order. flip quickly through them and your drawings will actually appear to move.

*Draw with your toes

*make a butterfy- using small chips of crayon, sprinkle the tiny chips ino a folded piece of paper, keeping the crayons inside, iron the paper. when you unfold you will have a beautiful butterfly

*Search for shapes. see who can find the most shapes around the house.

*make heart flowers. cut out tiny hearts from pink construction paper, and set them aside. have your child draw a stem on a piece of paper, then glue the tiny hearts, onto the top to create flower petals.

*make faces- draw ahead about 15 circle "faces" and fill in only the nose and eyes, make sure they are all identical. then have kids add mouth eyebrows, etc see if they can make the faces look mad, afraid, surprised, and happy, etc.

*Make a paper clothesline- draw a clothes line on a piece of paper, the cut tiny shirts, socks, and pants, out of scrap material, construction paper, etc. discuss how people all over the world dry their clothes this way, to save energy, be efficient, and save money.

*Play simon says

*Make a terrarium. use a clean jar, bottle, or glass bowl. spread a thick layer of pebbles on the bottom for drainage. cover with soil and tiny plants. now arrange colored shells driftwood, aquarium gravel, even tiny figurines inside.

*make bunny puppets. hold a paper bag upside down so that you can put your hand up inside of it. the flap at the top will serve as the bunnys face. cut out bunny ears, two eyes, nose, and whiskers ( you can use pipe cleaners etc. for whiskers) glue these on the face part. ext cut out a pink oval for a tummy. a cotton ball glued tot he back of the bag becomes the tail and completes the puppet.

*make lace easter eggs- blow up and know several small balloons. dip lenths of lightweight string in liquid starch found near laundry det in most stores. yarn stores etc usually sell thin, multicolored string that works good) coat the balloons with pretty swirls of string, covering most of the surface. let the balloons dry on wax paper. tonight, pop the balloons. the dry strings will stay stiff in the beautiful swirly designs you made.

*Make a puzzle- cut out magazine pages and cut into uneven pieces so that the kids can put them back together.

*Water and Beach activities

* water table or tub- make it a beach- put sand at bottom, add water and blue food coloring, and seashells, boats, and the little squeezy water animals. have kids help the water animals take drinks, by squeezing them, have them feel the seashells and describe how they feel. hard, soft bumpy smooth sharp pointed,etc. can also add pails and small scoops with more sand and less water and rocks or green craft grass for seaweed.

*water toys- spray bottles, small sprinkling cans, soda bottles iwth holes punched in bottom, water wheel, shampoo bottles with a teeny bit of shampoo left in them., clear plastic tubes from plumbing section,

*clear water painting- give each child a small pail of water and a paint brush, let them paint the building, grass, tree trunks, benches, etc. with the water, watch the water "paint" disappear

*bathe the babies activity- baby bubble bath, towels, empty powder containers, baby blankets, doll clothes, baby dolls, etc. fill the water table with warm water, just a little bit of it, and have the kids give their baby dolls a bath. then rock the babies in a rocking chair or just standing up , and have the kids sing the babies a song to go to sleep.

* sprinkler day- have kids wear bathing suits, and have beach towels and sprinkers. make sure to send a note home with kids telling the parents that tom. is sprinkler day, have them bring their suits, etc. have plenty of chairs around , etc so kids can play in sprinkler or rest in the chairs.


daily activity ideas

* finger painting- with regular finger paint , shaving cream, etc. types of surfaces to paint on- shower mats, cookie sheets, bubble pack, etc. make sure the kids wear smocks.

*instruments and music, have a parade, clap and march, wrist bells ( pipe cleaners and bells made into little bracelets) maybe find some w/s or other activities involving music, etc.

*bird watching- take a walk and look for birds. watch what they are doing. sitting on the ground, flying in the sky, searching for food, resting in trees, perched on wires, drinking from puddles, etc have kids draw pics of birds, and use binoculaurs etc. have them imitate the different bird sounds. after you are done with walk- make a bird feeder for outside the classroom window- or just hang one you have purchased and put bird seed in it.

*plant flower seeds- flower seeds like zinnias, etc. potting soil, window box, rocks, small scoops or spoons. do this outside if possible, let each child plant a seed. put it in an untraveled sunny area. let the kids water it as needed and watch the flowers grow, check on them every few days.

special activities

*curdoroy party with teddy bear theme-

story- corduroy- read this story

song- little bear

story- a pocket for corduroy- read this story

activity- a pocket and button hunt

project- make a bear puppet

snack- bear cookies and juice

story bags-give to children as there parents come to pick them up


decorations- teddy bear theme, pictures, cups, napkins, etc.

name tags- use bear shaped paper, and write kids name on it

story bag- brown lunch sack decorated with teddy bear picture. they will have their art project, puzzle etc and maybe make a bear bookmark for them. label the childrens names on them.


see instructions for song, puppets, etc in file on big computer. they have been scanned etc. possibly, might just print these out and have in file.

reading center

letter writing center

art center

play kitchen

dress up




blocks/building center

sensory table

mommy /preschool group activities

gospel abc quiet book- enrichment cottage

recipe swap

quiet books- homemaking cottage deluxe kids crafts section

Things to do












post office with valentine cards

tea party

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Personalized Gifts for Children

Yikes! Christmas is coming up! My good friend Heather has come up with some great ideas for us parents!!! Please enjoy this guest post!! :) Happy Parenting! Love, JL

When it comes to gifts for children and you are looking for something unique, personalized gifts are a
wonderful idea. Children of all ages love gifts made just for them. They love having something truly
unique and special that nobody else has. Finding just that right gift to personalize can be easy once you
know where to look and the internet can help with that.

 One place to look is on a great website called where you can find adorable gifts for children. You can personalize all of the gifts
available on the website for any child in your life.
Using a favorite photo of your child to personalize a gift will put a smile on their face when they open it.
The website is easy to use, has instructions to walk you through each step, and has helpful tips for you.
You will be able to upload your photo, choose your personalized gifts, and pay for your order all online.
The website is safe and secure to use and you will have your order usually within 10 to 14 business days
and are able to track your order. There is also an option of sending a photo with a form in case you do not
have a digital photo you can use.

The best photos are headshots with good lighting. If there is clutter in the background, it is removed
so just the child's head is showing on the gifts. High-resolution photos are also the best option when
uploading a photo to use. The original photo is the best choice also. In no time at all you can create
beautiful and unique gifts for the children in your life.

Photo File Formats Accepted:
1. .JPG
2. .PNG
3. .BMP

Personalized Journals *
At a certain age children like to keep journals and personalized gifts of journals for them to keep their
thoughts in is a great idea. Children from ages six to 16 will be thrilled when they see their photo on the
front of their very own journal. The journals have 160 lined pages for then to fill with thoughts, ideas,
events in their lives, and anything else they want to write. You can choose from 13 adorable covers
including snowboarding and horse riding. By giving a journal to a child, you are encouraging them to
write and expand their writing skills.

A Few Journal Cover Choices:
1. Flitter Me Fairy
2. Rock Star
3. Damsel in Distress
4. Space Cadet
5. Ocean Steps

Personalized Water Bottles *
Going for a hike, taking a bike ride, heading out for a trip in the car are all wonderful opportunities for a
child to use their very own personalized water bottle. Your children will never be without water when you
give them personalized gifts for taking water along. Water bottle can be used anywhere, even at home.
Stainless steel and holding 20 ounces the BPA free water bottles are the perfect size for any outing. They
have a belt clip and screw on top. You can choose from one of eight cute characters for your child to be.

Water Bottle Characters
2. Fireman
3. Super Hero
4. Mermaid
5. Rock Star
6. Space Cadet
7. Princess
8. Moon Fairy

Personalized Wall Art *

When it comes time to decorate your child's room you can add some personalized wall art to make their
room truly their own. Imagine your child's happy face and excitement when they have personalized photo,
poster, or quality canvas for their wall. You can order photos in sizes of 8" X 10".
 Posters come in 16"
X 20" and 20" X 30". Canvas prints come in sizes of 12" X 12", 16" X 20", and 20" X 30".

wall art will work for a child of any age from baby to teen. These would also make wonderful gifts for a
new baby in a family. Parents would be thrilled to have wall art with their baby as the star.
If you choose a canvas, it is stretched over wooden frames that are heavy duty. The image will be
wrapped around all four sides of the canvas. High quality printing is used to make posters and they can be
mounted or tacked to the wall. Either way they will look great and add style to any room. You can choose
from one of 18 themes for your wall art.
Some Wall Art Options:
1. Butterfly Days with a baby in a stroller
2. Time for Bed with a baby in a bassinette
3. Princess with Dragon
4. Dino-mite Dinosaur
5. Funny Farm
6. Circus
7. Seahorse
8. Train

When you take time to make a special gift of the children in your life they will also feel special. Everyone
loves to feel special, important, and loved, especially children. Making personalized gifts for children in
your life is a good choice. Finding a character and project to create just for them is easy, fun, and quick.
The hours of happiness and joy they will get from their gift will be priceless. They will think of you each
time they see it or use it. They will also think of how much you care and how special they feel. It does not
take much to make children happy and feel special and a gift like this will do just that.

 By checking out and seeing how amazingly easy it is to make special gifts for loved ones is the first
step in making someone feel special. Following the simple and easy to use instructions will have your gift
ready to be created and shipped for your special child in no time. You will have a gift that will bring out
imagination in a child as they see themselves as a dancer or space cadet.

 Next time there is a birthday,
new baby, or any type of special occasion, think of creating a special gift for a child. Not only will they
love the special gift but also they will have a keepsake of the occasion.