Friday, August 28, 2015

Summer Memory Books

It's our last post for Summer Fun Fridays!  It has been fun to share some fun and simple ideas for families to do to keep summer great.  Thanks for joining us-I hope it has lead to many fun adventures or ideas of your own!
  Our last idea is fitting as summer is winding down and school is starting up- Summer Memory Books!  We have done several different types of these books over the years.  All are simple ways to record fun memories, messages, and pictures of the wonderful things we did throughout the summer.  They can be simple written journals or, for younger children, pictures that they have drawn of special things they did with captions by you.  You could also make a scrapbook where kids can record and save pictures, share written memories, and keep special items.    We often will read these little books as bed time stories at night and they are wonderful ways to record history and introduce kids to journal writing.   

My youngest daughter's summer scrapbook from last year.

Written memories of some favorite things she did.

A keepsake pouch where she keeps some special collections from the summer such as stickers, a ticket stub from an aquarium, and a bird feather.

Another memory book idea: My youngest daughter's summer journal from this year.

Inside are her drawings of the things she did this summer and I caption them.  Here is a picture of our fishing trip!

We hope your summer was wonderful with many great memories of time together as a family!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Game Day Printable Banner

It is that time of year, high school sports season is upon us!
It's "Friday night lights" for us tomorrow
 as our team has it's first home game of the season
and just the second game in our new football stadium!  
To get pumped for every game day,
hang up our Game Day Banner!

You can even make this banner in your school colors and for any sport.
You'll need:
4 pieces of card stock
4 pieces of scrapbook paper
1 package double fold, 1/2" bias tape
Elmer's glue
sport sticker (optional)
scissors/sewing machine
find the Game Day Banner with the link below

First print off page one on regular printer paper.
This is your pattern for the card stock.
Print the rest of the pages on your scrapbook paper 
Note: page 6 has bonus mini pennants for long picks!
Trace and cut 8 large pennant flags out of card stock.

Cut all your letter flags and glue them to the card stock pieces,
centering and matching top edges.

Stack all your pennants in the correct order. 
Insert the "G", 7" in on the bias tape. 
Sew right down the middle.
Keep inserting each letter flag about 1/4 inch from the last. 

I found these fun glittered football stickers at Hobby Lobby.
Add a sports ball, team logo, paw print, etc.
 in the space under "GO TEAM"

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!?!

Bonus: "Game Day" and "Go Team" picks

Print off page six of the link.

Cut out the pennant diamonds and fold in half.

Put some glue on one triangle side and place in a skewer.
Fold over and press closed.

 Fun to use around the house, at a team party or tailgating with friends.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mommy Messages

About a year ago my daughter made the comment that she felt like she didn't get enough time to talk with me. At first, I felt defensive. I thought something along the lines of, "What?! I devote everyday to you and your brothers. You guys have all my time!" But, after a couple of minutes, I then thought, "She wouldn't have brought it up if she didn't feel this way. What do I need to do?" So, over the next couple of weeks, I racked my mind for ideas. There was one idea that kept coming back to my mind over and over again. I finally thought it must be my answer and that I better do it. I decided to write my children messages.

Now, these messages are not to take the place of one on one conversation. I'm still trying to be better at giving my children individual time to talk with me. These messages are only meant to send my kids love and encouragement until we can talk.

I bought each of my children a simple notebook. In their notebooks, I write notes about what I love about them, what special talents I notice in them and my gratitude for something they accomplished recently. I also write advice. Sometimes I'll have a conversation with one of my children and I'll leave thinking, "That didn't come out right." Or, "Oh, I forgot to mention this." In those moments, I'll get out their notebook and will write my follow-up thoughts. My children's notebooks are a way to share stories with them, too. All my kids enjoyed the time when I wrote to each of them about their birth story. There is something so exciting about reading when you came into this world!

My messages aren't too long. Just a paragraph or two. I write in their notebooks about once or twice a month. It really doesn't take too much time, but I've noticed the impact is huge! I place their notebooks on their beds and wait to hear their squeals of delight when they discover their latest messages.

And, sometimes my kids even write me back. This message is from my 7 year-old. "I adore you mom! Thank you mom!"

Saturday, August 22, 2015

"Cut Throat Kitchen" for Kids

My kids and I enjoy watching the show "Cut Throat Kitchen" on the Food Network.  It is a cooking game show where the chefs show their skills in making delicious dishes.  The chefs only have a small amount of time to gather their ingredients so they must think fast!  And, to make it even more difficult, each chef can buy sabotages to make the cooking hard for their fellow contestants. These sabotages can be quite funny like cooking while a wind fan blows on you or only being allowed to cook with measuring spoons!  We thought this would make for a fun activity to try at our home one day for lunch to beat the summer boredom! 

What to do:

Know your kids' cooking strengths, what they can and can't do
Pick a meal to cook for, one that everyone has skill in (we chose lunch)
Make sure you have a variety of ingredients for the kids to choose from (the kids could choose anything from our pantry and fridge, I made sure to have ingredients for some of their favorite lunches on hand)
Have some "sabotages" set aside beforehand (I chose a fan, Sriracha hot sauce, and a variety of strange cooking utensils like tongs and ice cream scoops)
Have a timer ready 
Get out some Monopoly play money for each contestant (each child had $50 to buy sabotages
Choose a "judge" ( I was the judge and gave everyone an award such as most creative, best looking, most authentic, and best bite)

I gave the kids one minute at the start to gather their ingredients- wow they moved fast!  They then had 20 minutes to make their dishes-and not a minute more so they had to cook fast and have their meal on a plate and ready to be judged.  We had three sabotages that I would administer,  the kids bid on two at the beginning and the last around 8 minutes into the game.  The highest bidder won the sabotage and then could give it to a fellow contestant!  But, that also meant that they had fewer dollars to spend for another sabotage.  It worked out pretty fairly.  The hardest of our sabotages was the hot sauce-they had to include it somewhere in their dish!

Here are their creations:

Nachos with salsa, sour cream, and diced avocados.  Made by my 4 year old, with some help from mom.  The winner of our "best looking" award.  

Spaghetti with homemade sauce- made with ice cream scoops, a wisk, and mini spoons sabotage!  Made by my 9 year old-he was really proud of the sauce.  Winner of our "tastiest" award.

Hot turkey sandwiches with......Sriracha sauce and while a fan blew on him!  Made by my 7 year old and winner of our "most creative" award.  He did well getting two sabotages- although he ended up liking the cool breeze of the fan!  It made for a spicy sandwich!

Cheese Quesadillas.  Made by my 12 year old.  Winner of our "most authentic" award.  


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Harry Potter Party Ideas

Did you know July 31st is Harry Potter's birthday? (It is also J. K. Rowling's birthday.) My kids are huge Harry Potter fans and as the wizard's birthday approached, they asked if we could have a party. I thought it was a fun idea and a great way to invite a couple families over. Here's what we did.

Instead of serving a meal, we had a bunch of snacks.  

Slugs = Gummy Worms

Nimbus 2000 Broomsticks = Pretzel Sticks with Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups 

Hufflepuff Popcorn with Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans = Popcorn and Jelly Beans 

Owl Feed = Nut Mix 

Hagrid's Veggie Garden = Lots of Vegetables 

I made sorting hats out of sugar cones and black icing. I placed the sorting hats among the food as decorations, but we all ended up eating them. 

We served our snacks from our kitchen island. I tied candles from our island's lights to resemble floating candles. Yes, you can see my white thread. Next time I'll have to use fishing wire. 

Along with the food, we had a couple of games. We played Tabletop Quidditch. Here's how to make your own Quidditch ring. You'll need a styrofoam cone, a styrofoam ring, duck tape and a shish kabob skewer. Wrap your cone and ring with duck tape. You'll want to do this to give your Quidditch ring some strength. Remember to leave a small space on your cone's top and ring's bottom without tape so you can easily place your skewer. Then, just skewer the two styrofoam pieces together and you're done!

Set up rows of plastic cups behind your ring. With a ping pong, bounce it before the ring so it then bounces through the Quidditch ring and into the cups. You earn a point for each ping pong you get in a cup.

It ended up being a fun game and quite addictive.

We also had some Harry Potter trivia. A great website to use is Sporcle. We really enjoyed the quiz where you guess what character said what using their last line in the book series.

It was a fun summer evening and my kids are already talking about what we'll do next year. Before then, you can throw a Harry Potter themed birthday party or Halloween get together.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Send some SUNSHINE care package- Tag Printable

Who doesn't like to get a surprise package in the mail? 
If you know someone who needs a little "pick me up", send them some SUNSHINE!
Find all yellow items, inspirational quotes and a note from you!  
Line your box with yellow tissue paper.  
Put in your Sunshine items and lay a Sunshine Tag on the top.

Print off your {SUNSHINE tag} and cut out. 

Sunshine item ideas:
Bath sponge, nail polish, sticky note pads, highlighter, pens/pencils, lotion, lip balm, bubbles, t-shirt, gum, candy (M&Ms, Lemonheads, Mexican candy), corn muffin mix, mascara, kleenex, Subway gift card, inspirational quotes--anything yellow.  I've sent these to missionaries, college students (great during finals) and family/friends that needed a little cheer!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Blow Art

We enjoy doing creative things together as a family.  A fun and simple twist to traditional painting is "blow art".  No brushes required!

You will need:

Paper (preferably card stock)
A little water to thin the paint

Thin a little paint and place a drop anywhere on your paper.  Blow threw your straw to move the paint and create beautiful designs and shapes.  Add different colors to add interest and contrast. 

You can even decorate with googly eyes to make a monster!  Or, allow to dry and draw over the paint with a Sharpie to create animals, silly people, and designs.  

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