Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Fun Celebration Wrap Up 2013

Well, I think it was a great celebration! What do you guys think? The giveaway was super cute... another big thank you to SARAH JANE STUDIOS  and I really enjoyed all of the guest posts! It is always good to have fresh content and other people's points of view! I know you all get tired of just me writing!!

One of the things that we did personally as a family was make a "summer bucket list poster" but we did it just a bit differently. Instead of things we would LIKE to do.... we have been keeping track of things we have DONE. For example, fish for minnows, make clover necklaces, and catch fireflies. Along with the bigger things like birthday parties and such. It looks pretty good so far!

So, we will be getting back to the regular type of articles here at LDS Parenting... is there anything in particular you guys are interested in ?? Hope everyone is having a fantastic summer and
Love, JL~

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Fun ~ A Two Dollar Date with Movie and Ice Cream ~ For the momma's and dad's!


                                                   (image via

One thing my wife and I have learned since having a baby is that going on dates becomes much more difficult with a child.  That said, there was a very enjoyable date we went on about a week ago that I thought I'd share with you.

Ice cream at Macey's, movie at BYU

To sum up our date, we basically walked down to Macey's (a grocery store in Provo) and bought some soft serve ice cream and then walked to BYU to watch a movie in their viewing rooms (basically private theaters you can rent for free).  

Going to Macey's for ice cream

The cool thing about Maceys is they give you huge cones for a great price.  For example, for about 50 cents you can get a normal sized ice cream cone and for about 2 dollars you can get an enormous soft serve ice cream/frozen yogurt cone (about 2 feet tall). If Maceys isn't in your neighborhood, you may be able to buy inexpensive ice cream at your local grocery store.

After getting the ice cream we walked to the BYU library (maybe half a mile from Maceys).  

We both got baby cones, which lasted us most of the walk to campus.   We've found that dates that including walking or jogging with our baby in our jogging stroller are much more enjoyable for our baby boy and often put him to sleep.  Conversely, our son often complains when we drive to places in a vehicle. Walking's a great way to save money, have time to talk and keep little children happy.

Watching a movie at BYU

For those not familiar with BYU- Provo, there is a media lab up one floor (on the 4th floor) where students and faculty can rent movies for free and watch them in free viewing rooms (small rooms with comfortable seating and enormous flat screen TVs.  

A tip for people who are not currently in college: Even those who are not BYU students can rent movies and watch them for free by becoming a "Friend of the Harold B. Lee Library."  I assume other college libraries offer similar services to the public. To become a friend of the library all it requires is an annual donation of $50 or more.  This not only gives you access to free movies and personal theaters  but books, computers, video cameras/equipment and a recording studio.
Don't forget to check out your local public libraries!

All in all this date cost us about two dollars.  
This is a guest post by Alex Balinski.  Alex is from Concord, NH and is finishing his Communications degree at BYU.  He is currently working to create an online resource with 1,000s of educational travel and mission prep videos for future LDS missionaries at  If you know anyone with a mission call, feel free to contact Alex through the contact page on Prepare to Serve and he'll try to put up more videos about the place they're called to serve in.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Summer Fun~ Drive-In Movie Theater ! Guest Post!

Here's an idea for summer fun: Go to a drive-in movie! Because who doesn't like watching a movie under the stars? This can be a fun date, outing with friends, family home evening, or youth group activity.

How it works: 
You drive your car or truck into the outdoor theater - usually a cleared field with a bunch of parking spots facing a gigantic screen. They may charge either per person or per car. Once you enter the Drive-in movie theater, they have you tune into a radio station that streams the audio for the movie. The radio signal only reaches within the theater boundaries. Then, once you park you can stay inside your car or sit outside on lawn chairs. My favorite way is to put a bunch of pillows and blankets in the bed of your truck, park backwards and watch it from there.

Why drive-in movies beat the regular theater:
- More comfortable. You can recline your seat as far back as you want and put your feet on the dashboard without worrying that you're blocking someone else's view.
- You control the audio. Because you're in your own car, you can turn the volume as loud or as soft as you want.
- You can talk during the movie without annoying people (when you watch it from inside your car). If its a movie you and your friends have already seen, you can make it more of a hang-out night and add commentary during the show. Or if you're just one of those families who likes making conversation during movies, you can feel free to do so.
- It's less stressful to bring young children along. Can't find a babysitter? Take the baby with you. You can tend to the needs of your baby or nurse in the privacy of your own car and you don't have to worry about bothering others if your kids are a little noisy.
- Under-the-stars awesomeness! 

Drive-in Movie Tips: 
- Bring a radio with extra batteries. You may even want to bring along earphones.
- Bring insect repellent if you're planning to sit outside your car.
- Bring blankets and jackets enough to keep warm.
- If you are using your car radio or have the doors propped open, you might want to start up your car every once in a while so it doesn't run out of battery. 

Here's a list of operating drive-in theaters where the you can find one near you:

Drive-in movie theaters used to be a lot more prevalent, but now it seems that they are a well-kept secret. It's something everyone ought to try at least once in their life. Even if it's a bit of a drive, it's worth it for the experience. Go and do it. You'll be glad you did! 

Don't have a drive-in movie theater near you?
No problem! You can still create your own fun outdoor movie experience. Get a projector and hook it up to your laptop. Then broadcast the movie on the side of your house or on a big white sheet draped over a volleyball net. Get creative. You could do it in the middle of the park, or watch it from a hot tub, pool, or while swinging on swings. Think of the possibilities!

This article was contributed by Rebecca Balinski, author of . Rebecca is a stay-at-home mom who loves cheese, chocolate, & Cafe Rio. She's a recent BYU graduate & child development enthusiast who enjoys learning new things and blogging about fun ideas, crafts, building a celestial family, tips 'n tricks, recipes, general conference, and all things LDS.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer Fun from Fun on a Dime!

My good friend Michelle is the VERY talented owner of and they are having some amazing giveaways and a very fun coloring contest!!!! The prize packs are AMAZING!!!!!

Here is the link to follow!!!!


Here is a pic of just ONE of the prize packs you could win.... pretty great prizes if you ask me!!!

Not only is it super fun for the kiddos to enter a coloring contest for summer... but they also have a neat Summer Fun free printable !

Here's the link for that!!!


Michelle is one of the women who started The Family Network ( see my sidebar!) and I am blessed to know her! Love, JL~ Happy Parenting

Here is a bit about Michelle:

About Michelle (AKA Fun On A Dime Lady)
Michelle is the creator of Fun On A Dime where she shares her ideas for having simple and affordable fun through crafts, tips, recipes, games and so much more. She lives in the sunny valley of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, 2 busy kiddos and equally energized dog!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer Fun~ Summer Reading Ideas

One of my favorite things as a kid was the summer reading programs at our local library. I was a voracious reader ( still am! ) and the thought of just reading books, which I already did, and getting prizes was like heaven to me!! Now that I'm a momma, my kids are also voracious readers and we have been doing the summer reading programs at the library since they were just barely old enough! This year instead of our local library, we bought a membership to a library in the city 20 minutes away and we are BLOWN AWAY at how cool their reading program is! So, for summer fun, I encourage you to check out your local library with your kids! In this post I'm going to also give you some resources for online summer reading programs and also fun ways to encourage your kids to read this summer! I love the thought of kids hiding in a tent outside with a flashlight reading a book!

The first link I'm going to share is from a neat blog, and she has organized all of the online summer reading programs into one neat little post, it is invaluable!!


Another great idea is to use reading book lists for ages... it gives you a great start to choosing some fun books that the kids will love, and maybe, you too! It's fun to read to your kids, even when they're old enough to read themselves!

Here is a great source for book lists for all ages!


Another idea, make a reading nook in the house. It can be as simple as a special chair in a corner out of the way with a pillow in the chair and a big basket of books. It can be elaborate like turning a closet into a little library. Or you can drape a blanket over a table and make a little fort and put pillows on the floor and lots of books. Take books outside to read! Read under a tree, or on the trampoline, or while swinging!

Whatever you do~ ENJOY it!!!! Happy Parenting! Love, JL~

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Fun~ Summer Bucket List~ Guest Post!

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School is coming to end and that means Summer Vacation.  For most of us, that means our children will be home with us all day, every day…..ALL SUMMER!!  Summer vacation doesn’t have to be boring or dreadful either.  It can be a fun time with our kids, as long as we plan fun things –things to keep them going so we don’t hear those dreadful words “I’m Bored”.

One fun thing you can do is make a Summer Bucket List.  Things you want to do during summer vacation.  If you go onto Pinterest website –you can see all sorts of ways to do this.  One fun way is writing it all out, in various marker colors, on a big poster board.  You can add a little box to each one, to check off when you have done it.  You can put this poster board up where you all can see it.

Here is a list of ideas to get you started (note: You don’t have to do all of these, they are just “suggestions”.)


1.       Water balloon fight

2.       Your driveway is an empty canvas –fill it up with chalk drawings

3.       Make s’mores

4.       Have a lemonade stand

5.       Bake a batch of cookies

6.       Go to the Park

7.       Visit the Zoo

8.       Take a bike ride

9.       Go on a nature walk

10.   Do arts and crafts (you can find all sorts of cheap things at the Dollar store, dollar sports at places like Target or Michaels Craft Store)

11.   Play a game of soccer, soft ball, basketball

12.   Sleep under the stars

13.   Go camping (you don’t even have to leave your own backyard –set up a tent in your yard)

14.   Have a relay race with the neighborhood kids

15.   Play flashlight tag

16.   Go to the movies.  Most often local movie theatres have either free or cheap movies during the summer.  Check out:

17.   Go bowling

18.   Go on a picnic

19.   Learn a new language

20.   Go to Temple visitors center

21.   Go to the Hill Cumorah Pageant

22.   Read the Book of Mormon as a family

23.   Go the Library.  Maybe take out books on one subject –something you want to learn more about.

24.   Go get ice cream

25.   Take a day trip. Pack the cooler, load up the car, and go see what adventures you can find.

This is a short list, but just ideas to get you get started.  Do some on this, do them all, add to it.  Take photos when you are making your memories with your kids.  At the end of the summer, work on a My Summer Vacation scrapbook.  Each kid can work on their own book.  They can look back at all the memories that were made.   Just remember to have fun!! 
Here's another printable background you can use to create your own :
                                           ( image via )
This post was written by my good friend Mary Rawson. She is a talented scrapbooker/artist and is involved in some neat businesses! She is a loyal and great friend and I love her! Thanks again Mary for writing this up! I think you may have a pretty great talent in writing!!
Love, JL~ Happy Parenting!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer Fun~ Rainy Day Fun~ GIVEAWAY!!

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As momma's we love being able to say to the kids " Go play outside!!" But every now and then, the inevitable happens... a rainy day. So here is some fun ideas for rainy day summer fun! Also.... check out the amazing giveaway at the end of the post!! It is NOT one to miss! It is definitely something fun to do on a rainy day!


Head on over to the link above, where the amazingly talented group at playful learning have made a neat post on how to make a family newspaper!! I remember doing this when I was younger... they didn't look as amazing as this though! Send your little reporters around the house to investigate and dig up some dirt on the family!


Masking tape and cars.... and off they go!!! Will entertain them for hours!!!



This is such an awesome idea!!! My little sister and I would play "balloon volleyball" for hours at our house... this is even better!!!



There are free coloring pages all over the internet!! The above link takes you to a few really cool pages you can print out! If your kids have favorite characters, do a quick google search and I'm sure you'll find something great!



The amazing, talented artist Sarah Jane at SARAH JANE STUDIOS has generously donated a very very cool thing for rainy day fun :

A Peter and the Wolf Puppet Theater! This would be so fun for the kiddos to make on a rainy day!!

Here are the rules folks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Family Network~ June Challenge~ BACKYARD CAMPOUT!!!


"On June 22, 2013, thousands of people across the nation will gather in their backyards, neighborhoods, communities and parks to take part in a one-night FREE event that will provide an experience for all generations to connect with nature. "

Let's join in for our June Family Challenge!
The above link takes you to the official page for the "Great American Backyard Campout" of 2013!

Here are some ideas for fun things to do at your backyard campout!

At MY KIDS MAKE   The talented blogger has created a super cute nature scavenger hunt that would be fun to do in your backyard! It could be just one of the many activities you can do before bedtime in the tent!

At I CAN TEACH MY CHILD The cutie pie blogger has an entire post full of super fun things to do for your backyard campout... invite some friends! Make it a party!!

And no backyard campout is complete without s'mores!!! YUM!!!

So go to   sign up and start planning for an amazing night of family fun and togetherness!! I can't wait!
Post a pic of your campout, tell us what you did, even if you have an indoor campout it still counts! The challenge is to spend the night with your kids!

Have FUN!!

Brought to you by The Family Network :

Fun On a Dime: Fun On A Dime Play With Your Family: True Aim Education:
LDS Parenting :

Saturday, June 1, 2013


SUMMER IS HERE!!! We are celebrating here at LDS Parenting!! Starting Monday we will have a fun filled couple of weeks with nothing but summer fun posts and giveaways!! Get ready! It's going to be awesome!!!

If you are interested in submitting a guest post on summer fun please contact me at :      YAY!!!!!