Monthly Archives: July 2011

Mormon Parent Hacks: 5 FHEs in 5 Minutes for Kids 5 and Under

Sorry to everyone who read this post when it was published in very early draft form.  That’s what happens when you mess around with publishing on your phone.  Here it is in full splendor.

Family Home Evening (FHE) is a major, definable task of Mormon parenting, yet there are so many excuses for not doing it.  When kids are young, it seems almost pointless since they can hardly pay attention anyway, but you know you need to get into the habit or it will be harder to start later.  Then there’s the whole planning ahead thing: I don’t know about you, but I can barely keep up with sweeping my floor and cleaning the highchair, much less plan a meaningful, spiritual FHE.

So I’ve hacked FHE at our house.  We pretty much rotate between the following FHE ideas which can be put together with only 5 minutes of planning right after dinner and take only about 15 minutes to execute when you add a song and prayer. Continue reading

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Filed under Baby (9 - 18 mos), Family Culture, Mormon Parenting Hacks, Preschooler (3 yrs - 5 yrs), Toddler (18 mos - 3 yrs)

Saturday Links – Family Heritage and Alphabet Rocks

Theory Links

Going Against a Toddler’s Will – Can I just say that I am so happy that someone linked me up with this blog?  Her writing in consistently on par.  Excellent points about necessities vs. like-to’s and being willing to make your kid cry if necessary.  More about that later this week when I review the book on which her philosophy is based, Dear Parent.

10 Ideas for Creating a Sense of Family Heritage – I have totally been thinking about doing #7 for a while.  (And I thought I was so unique for thinking of it.)  Guess this is another hint that I should get cracking writing these books.  Plus they’ll make great Christmas gifts for cousins.

Activity Links

Spaghetti and Play-doh = A Very Fun Match – When I first saw the title, I thought about cooked spaghetti.  Totally wouldn’t work.

Activities for Melissa and Doug Lacing Beads

Alphabet Rocks – Hello!  Totally cute, nature-y, and educational?  100% there.

Footprint Painting

Icy Play on a Very Hot Day

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Filed under Discipline, Family Culture, Preschooler (3 yrs - 5 yrs), Saturday Five, Toddler (18 mos - 3 yrs)

Spreadsheet Wednesday: Food Storage Link Love

Since at the time you read this I will be on a mini-vacation with the in-laws, I’m including a little link love for this Spreadsheet Wednesday.  We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled and original programming next week.

The girls over at Food Storage Made Easy are honestly one of my favorite resources for building your food storage.  (Not sure what I mean by food storage?  Read their great explanation.)  Everything they have to say is on the ball and I love their practical approach of doing one things at a time to move towards a healthier lifestyle that incorporates food storage.

But most of all, I love their spreadsheets. Oh yes, I’m that much of a geek. My favorite is the 3 month supply calculator, which makes the project of figuring out what you need easy. But there are more of great resources available, so check them out.

One of these years I’m going to follow their baby steps emails and get my food storage in proper shape . . . But for now, visiting their website counts, right?

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Filed under Cooking & Meal Prep, Spreadsheet Wednesday, Uncategorized

Library Hits – 7/18/2011

Some classics this week, as well as a few books not to check out to teach your toddler about the country.

Top of the Pile

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson
AWESOME
Have to say I was skeptical when I first checked out this book when it won the Caldecott in 2009. I thought the poetry was a bit of a stretch, but it really has grown on me.  It goes without saying that the illustrations rock.  And it’s one of Monkey’s favorite explicitly-about-going-to-sleep books.  I need to take my own advice and buy this awesome book so my library can have its copy back. Continue reading

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Filed under Library Hits, Toddler (18 mos - 3 yrs)

Saturday Links – Plane Travel, Treasure Baskets, and Fairy Gardens

Theory Links

Plane Travel Sanity Laws: For the Insane Traveling Families – Loved this super detailed post on plane travel!  I could have written it myself.  I always forget about the bassinet thing; I’ll have to try that sometime.

Doing Everything right is an Unrealistic Goal – Just a reminder, guys.

Put your random bag collection to work by creating “activity totes” – Parent Hacks, I’m so already there.  I have a park bag (towel for wet slides, waterproof blanket, sunscreen, bandaids), a library bag, and a couple quiet activity bags for my son to pull out when Mommy’s doing chores.  Scroll to the comments for a great idea on helping the homeless (with tote bags!).

Activity Links

Treasure Baskets for Babies – I had heard of this idea before (in Montessori books I’ve been reading), and this post was a good reminder that I’ve been meaning to do this.  So much nicer to have an organized place for baby “untoys” than to leave junk lying around your house, which is what happens when we do “untoys.”  I’m actually going to make some portable treasure kits for Sailor for our road trip in August.

Is there a fairy in your garden? – Creating a fairy garden is one of the ideas I’m saving for that far-off imagined day when I have a girl.  I love the house and swimming pools.

Sidewalk Paint – There have been more recipes for sidewalk paint floating around the internet lately than, well, something very plentiful.  I like this recipe for its quick and simple ingredients.  We made some spontaneously in a leftover 30 minute period before dinner.  It’s that easy.

Fun Bubble Wrap “Exam” – Don’t let the word exam scare you.  You could use this activity to review just about any concept with a pre-writing child.

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Filed under Preschooler (3 yrs - 5 yrs), Saturday Five, Toddler (18 mos - 3 yrs), Travel

Spreadsheet Wednesday: Coupon Lists

Click to view and download a copy

I’ve decided this month is food spreadsheet month (since I’ve already shared my Summer Menu and Pantry List), and although this one doesn’t have to do with cooking, it certainly has everything to do with my grocery shopping.  So this is my coupon planning spreadsheet. I know, it doesn’t look like much, but it saves me a lot of money and keeps my head on straight when shopping.  And once printed out, it’s much more portable than my massive coupon binder. :) Continue reading

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Filed under Cooking & Meal Prep, Couponing/Money Saving, Spreadsheet Wednesday

Library Hits – 7/11/2011

Kind of a lame week for library books.  I think I was under the weather the week I checked these out, so we didn’t end up with much and much of it was a little odd.

Top of the Pile

LMNO Peas by Keith Baker
Check-out
Decent as far as alphabet books go.  Annoying verses, but the artwork with all the little peas is worth a look.  Nice puns involving peas in the jacket material. :D Continue reading

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Filed under Library Hits, Toddler (18 mos - 3 yrs)