Wednesday, December 28, 2011 - Education Website for Littles

My sister-in-law Tiffany (who was a kindergarten teacher) just introduced me to this fun website for young kids to learn ABCs and reading skills.  Brayden loves to to the "ABCs" link where we click on a letter and learn about its sounds and associated words. Anywho, it's fun if you want to try it out!  Click on the picture to go to

Thursday, December 8, 2011


So.... Steve got into four dental schools so far!!!  YEAH!  Go Steve!
 And..... We found out we are expecting BABY #3!  ... a month before school starts.  To those of you who think we are crazy... we are :)  But we love it!   
Ok, our "baby room" looks NOTHING like this.  haha! Just a picture from google :)

We are SO very excited for our two littles to have another buddy, but I am also bracing myself for the oncoming wave of "morning".... all day sickness.  So, I'm trying to get stuff in order and do some projects before it begins.  I want to devote every daily ounce of possible energy to my kidlets and hubby, so I'm trying to prepare for it.  This pregnancy (along with finding a live black widow inside my home - ahhh!) has motivated me to getting this home extra clean and organized.  And... most importantly, I want to teach Brayden to have fun WORKING HARD and CLEANING UP.  So I created this.... (after being inspired by a webinar)

Little pockets out of file folders - one that includes index cards with his chore for each day of the week and also one for the various toy items he needs to clean up.  I was going to also create a Morning and Bedtime Routine pocket but you know... you just can't do everything, right?!  I know a family who developed pictures for their kids doing each step of their bedtime routine, and each night the kids take turn deciding which order to do them in .... scriptures, prayer, pajamas, brush teeth, bath, etc...
You can see below the weekly cleaning routine I created, and Brayden gets to do a part along with me! 
I think it's so awesome how really young kids think it's super cool to clean up like Daddy and Mommy and there's so many ways you can make work FUN.  My little boy could even decide on the order of toys to pick up.

For those of you with OLDER KIDS, here are some ideas:
* set the timer, and say ok everybody if we can clean this in (a certain amount of minutes), then let's have some ice cream!
*If there's something your child really wants, maybe you could create a chart with squares and as they do certain tasks for you, then they fill in the squares and eventually earn it.
*Put on fun cleaning music that you can sing and dance to as you clean
*Teach them to look around and soak up how nice it is right after you clean something. 
*Find moments to laugh and connect with your children as you clean together.

CLICK HERE to see April Perry's (from ideas on how to make housework fun for your kids.
CLICK HERE  to see a post on teaching kids to work hard and be more independent!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Shutterfly GOSPEL ABC BOOK - ready to order!

Select directly above "Click here to view this photo book larger" if you'd like to order this ABC book to interest your children during sacrament meeting - or to teach them on any day of the week!  Next on the right hand side you'll login with your info and then select "Save this photo book." Finally, you can quickly edit anything you'd like.  You would need to add your own personalized pictures for the "E" and "F" pages.  When ordering, I selected a "hard cover" so it would last.  Just fyi, it's not like I get any money for people ordering it!  This just took me a long time to make, so I hope it may save someone else time.  Hope it helps!

To see another post about surviving sacrament meeting and Sabbath Day ideas with kids CLICK HERE!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Life-Changing Pancakes!!

You HAVE to try this pancake mix.  Other moms have told me that it changes their life and they can never eat other pancakes ever again :) I whip up a ton of mix (it has healthy whole wheat flour and oatmeal) and Brayden eats these pretty much every other day.  SO YUMMY!  I got the recipe from and we have altered it to be even more amazing... she suggests using buttermilk or a plain yogurt/milk combo, but I've tried it and vanilla yogurt makes ALL the difference.  The type of vanilla yogurt even matters... Dannon Light & Fit vanilla has been the best.  I haven't experimented with using coconut oil yet but please do share if that works well!

Oatmeal Pancake Mix
*Makes 10 cups of dry mix
*1 cup of mix will make pancakes to feed 1 adult and 1-2 kids (about 6 pancakes)

3 1/2 cups rolled (quick) oats
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup canola oil

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a mixer with a paddle (or by hand). With mixer on slow speed (or gently by hand), drizzle the vegetable oil into the bowl slowly while the mixer is running. When all the oil has been added, stop the mixer and squeeze a clump of mix in your hand. If it stays together, it is just right. If it is still crumbly, add another tablespoon of oil at a time until the consistency is correct. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature or indefinitely in the refrigerator or freezer.

To make the pancakes: whisk together 1 cup of mix, 1/2 c. vanilla yogurt (I have found that a thick constancy works well like "Dannon Light & Fit vanilla",1/2 c. milk, and 1 egg. The mixture may seem thin at first but the oats will soak up the milk as it stands - let it stand for about 5 minutes. Heat a griddle around 325 degrees and drop the batter onto it. Enjoy!!

*Some have added mashed bananas, vanilla, and cinnamon... YUM!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Creative Bookshelves for your Children!!

Yeah!  I finally found a cheap and sturdy way to make cute bookshelves... thanks to pinterest!  I love how the front covers show - this helps my boy want to read more.  I recently cut up a 10-foot long raingutter to make a similar idea, but these look a ton stronger and whew, a lot easier!  IKEA has these spice racks for $3.99 each and you can paint them any color you want!!  CLICK HERE for the link to Ikea's wooden spice racks.

Here are some other posts about making reading fun:
Making Stories Come to Life
Having a Letter of the Week
Letter Association Songs to Teach
Forts & Flashlights