Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter basket blog hop 2014

Easter Sunday is right around the corner and today I'm linking up with Sarah over at Our Journey and her Easter Basket Blog Hop. So if you need some last minute ideas, head (or hop!) on over and check it out!

My 4 year old son:
1. "Curious George's Dinosaur Discovery" book
2. "Finding Nemo" movie
3. Lightening McQueen Del Sol t-shirt
4. See's buttercream egg
5. Spiderman Matchbox car

My 2 year old daughter:
 1. "Alice in Wonderland" book
2. "The Little Mermaid" movie
3. Ariel Del Sol t-shirt
4. See's buttercream egg
5. "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" puzzle

My 2 month old daughter:
1. "Moo, Baa, La La La" board book
2. "Sense and Sensibility" board book
3. "Frozen" movie
4. Minnie Mouse snuggle buddy

Our Journey

Monday, April 14, 2014

mailbox makeover

The fact that we lived with our mailbox like this for over a year embarrasses me.
Can we still be friends?
Little secret... not really our address. ;)
One of the previous owners had quite an elaborate design of stickers on there. Then sometimes between then and now, another owner thought it would be an awesome idea to just paint directly over the stickers.
I had originally planned to scrape all the hundreds of little stickers off of both sides and repaint the existing mailbox, but the combination of paint, sun, and time made the stickers so brittle, that instead of scraping off big pieces of stickers, they were coming off in teeny, tiny flakes.
Another bonus of this mailbox? I discovered after a big rainstorm that we had that it also leaks! Fun, huh?

I finally convinced Mike into getting a new mailbox and talked him into letting us get the next size up.
And there she is, isn't she a beaut? 
I couldn't bring myself to spray paint a brand new mailbox, so there went my idea for a fun color, like navy. But I did cut out some navy vinyl numbers with Cami and peeled the address numbers off the ground post. Eventually we'll need to get a new ground post, and I'd like to buy/diy something like {this}, although {this} one is gorgeous too! But for now, a new coat of white spray paint has our old one looking good as new.

I love the bigger size! This is the one that we bought, see how it says "extra capacity" on it?

So, just how big is "extra capacity"?

Big enough to put a two month old in.
Don't worry, I'm not really sending her back, she's too perfect. :)

Friday, April 11, 2014

10 Easter egg alternatives to candy

Don't get me wrong, I love candy. I really do.
I'm definitely more of a quality over quantity girl though, I'm not a big fan of cheap holiday candy (I hesitate to mention any brands by name for fear that I'll offend someone, but I'm sure you all know what sub-par candy I'm talking about) and tend to buy the good stuff for me and mine (See's, Ghirardelli's).
So, this year there will definitely be some chocolaty goodness in our Easter baskets, and there will be Jelly Belly's in some of the eggs for our hunt this year, but sometimes enough is enough. Maybe you want to cut down on your kid's sugar intake, or maybe your child is dealing with a ton of food allergies and you just want them to have an enjoyable Easter egg hunt with fun goodies like everyone else. Whatever your reason might be, if you're looking for some other choices for your egg hunt this year, look no further; I've got several ideas in a range of both cost and age. In no particular order, here are 10  Easter egg alternatives to candy:

1. Legos: Got a kid who is obsessed with these tiny little plastic rectangles of pain (anyone who had ever stepped on one barefoot after your child leaves them out knows what I'm talking about)? This about how excited they would be to open an egg and see a new little Lego man or a few new pieces.

2. Nail polish: I have one older sister, and two younger sisters who are much younger than me, so I was still hunting for eggs well into my teenage years. I'm not going to lie, I loved it, but I think I would have been even more excited if I had opened an egg and found some new nail polish; or maybe a new ChapStick... with girls' cosmetics the possibles are endless. I think this one really covers a wide range of ages too. :)

3. Loose change: Here is one that we did get growing up and I loved it. I even did this for my son last year because I blanked on buying candy. Even at 3 years old he loved finding the "monies" and putting it in his piggy bank.

4. Temporary tattoos: I've been able to find these in the dollar section at Target or in beauty supply stores. Or, if you have a Silhouette machine you can even make your own with their tattoo paper! I ordered some a little while ago but haven't had a chance to try it out yet...

5. Stickers: Much like the temporary tattoos, they're cheap, come in a multitude of themes, and easily fit in an egg. Need I say more?

6. Hair bands/clips: This is another great one for girls that covers a wide range of ages. You can buy a big multi-pack and divide it between several eggs.

7. Gift cards: This one is probably the most expensive and might be a little tricky to carry out, because you have to find eggs big enough, and gift cards small enough. I know that Target sells the gift card "coins" that will fit in larger-than-normal sized eggs. I've bought a pack of these before and  put $5 on each one, then put them in eggs as basket fillers, but if you're doing an egg hunt with a "special" or "golden" egg, where the finder of that get an extra prize, then this might be a good filler for that special egg.

8. Puzzle pieces: Puzzle pieces are just the right size to be able to fit a few into an egg, so why not buy one puzzle and then divide it among many eggs? If you have multiple kids, you could color code the eggs so you know which one goes with which puzzle. Or just make it a fun post-egg hunt activity, to separate out and assemble all the puzzles. Dollar Tree has some great puzzles for kids with Disney characters and superheros on them.

9. Trail mix: So, these last two are going to be food, just not the traditional candy. :) Some yummy trail mix in the eggs would still be a tasty, but slightly better, treat option.

10. Fruit snacks: What kid doesn't like fruit snacks? And there are so many different flavors and characters now, you can definitely find some that your kids will be excited about!

Linked to: Craft-O-Maniac,

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

primary singing time: "the family is of God" flipbook

This Sunday I'll be introducing "The Family is of God" during singing time and I wanted to make a little flipbook with some pictures and the lyrics that the children could take home with them and maybe share with their families.

All the pictures are from (except for the picture frame on the front) and I am pretty pleased with how quickly it came together and how it turned out!
{Here} is the PDF file of the flipbook.

Update: Wow! I have had so many page views and repins of this already and I am so glad y'all like it! I'm sorry that I didn't originally include directions for how to  correctly fold this flipbook, I guess I just assumed that  everyone had a middle school teacher who was obsessed with these like I did. :) Hopefully these pictures will help you figure it out if you're having trouble!
1. First, fold in half lengthwise, "like a hot dog" (remember that term from school days?)

  2. Unfold and fold in half the short way, "like a hamburger". Then cut a slit down the middle fold line, halfway across.

 3. This part is kind of hard to explain and show, but then you want to unfold it, and refold it lengthwise. Then fold it into itself, like an accordion. 

4. Do the final fold, so that "The Family is of God" is on the front, and the final verse should be on the back. All done!

Monday, April 7, 2014

primary singing time: a special Easter activity

Last year I wanted to incorporate an egg hunt into our singing time for Easter. Then the forecast called for rain and at first I was really bummed out, but I didn't let that get me down for long. I printed up pictures of Easter eggs on three different colors of cardstock and hid them around the Primary room.
When it was time for singing time I had the kids get up and each find one egg. Once everyone had an egg, I had them split into groups and separate into different areas of the room (our Primary room has three sections that can be closed off with accordion style doors) and assigned each a verse from "Did Jesus Really Live Again" (Children's Songbook, page 64). Each group had an adult to help them and a picture flip chart for their specific verse. I gave them a certain amount of time to work on their verse, then I called the groups back into the main room. Then we sang the song through, each group singing when it was their turn. The kids had a great time "competing" against each other to see which group knew their verse the best!