Wednesday, September 30, 2009

October Visiting Teaching Handout

Here it is for all you early birds! The October Visiting Teaching message focuses on nurturing the rising generation which is a great message for me since I am a mother and serve in the Young Women's Presidency. These words are so true! Our youth need us to be strong and lead by example!



<span class=
Click thumbnail to print 4x6

Handout was created using items from Shabby Princess, Everyday Mom Ideas
(you'll hear more about her next Friday), and Kevin and Amanda fonts.


Your VT is important too! We all need to be there to boost each other up! Remember how I said my mom used my VT handout? Well my YW President told me she used it too! Woohoo! Someday maybe the Relief Society President herself will use my handout. C'mon Sister Taylor, you know you want to. ;)

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Wordless Wednesday-Rain




Nothing like a bit of fall rain to entertain!

See more Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Teaching Kids About Grandparents-Family Tree File Folder Game & Family Photo Coloring Pages

Recently, my son came home from nursery with this.


Hilarious!! I totally laughed when he handed it to me. They are learning about eternal families this year. Seeing this on the fridge everyday made me realize that I wanted to teach my little one about his family and that though he has no siblings (YET. We are planning on having more. I don't need anyone else asking when the next one is coming. How do you answer that question anyway?! Ugh.) he is part of a family that loves him. I wanted him to know that though our family is small he has a big family too.

I decided to start with Grandparents and Great Grandparents (seemed perfect since I came up with this on Grandparents day). I wanted to keep it simple at first because he has a TON of aunts, uncles and cousins. Don't worry, we love you too!

I love the idea of a family tree and helping him to know that his Papas and Grandmas are Mommy and Daddy's Moms and Dads. I made him a little family tree file folder game by altering the basic family tree found on Kid's Turn Central.

I made two different sheets (printed on card stock and laminated using clear contact paper), one that listed everyone by their relation (mom, grandpa, etc) and one that listed them by name. This way he could start with the relation one and eventually grow in to learning all the names. I printed out 2 in x 2 in pics (they fit perfect on a 4x6 photo paper) of all of us to attach above the labels (forgot my sons pic, so he pointed to where he goes). Currently, we are using double sided sticky tape, but you could use Velcro.
Click thumbnails to download 8 x 10 file folder game.
Left is blank to personalize with names. Right is labeled with relations.

We had recently celebrated Great Grandma's 85th birthday party, so this was a great chance to teach him about Great Grandmas. Unfortunately, this is the only pic we got of them together. Lighting pretty bad and the "scenery" leaves something to be desired.


Great Grandma went in to the hospital for some surgery so we decided to send her a get well card. I wanted something personalized in it, so I sucked the color from the photo, cropped, and softened it so it actually looked pretty cute. Then, I turned it in to a Great Grandma coloring page and let him color it. This was a great time to teach him who Great Grandma is.



video

video

We decided to send Grandma and Grandpa a little something for Grandparents day (a little late) and did some finger painting and sent them a card.



As one last little learning activity, I got these Todd Parr books from the library. They were so cute and he loved them! They are a hilarious and refreshing way to look at roles. "Some mommies drive minivans, Some mommies drive motorcycles."

Cover of The Mommy BookCover of The Daddy Book
The Grandma Book coverThe <span class=
Images from: http://www.toddparr.com/books/

All in all, we had a fun week learning about parents, grandparents and great grandparents!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

DIY Wall Mounted Ironing Board

My little guy decided to do a little slice and dice on his finger during his battle with the wall mounted ironing board so I am taking some PTO. Sorry no Feature Friday today.

But, as a consolation prize I will show you the ingenious ironing board that my hubs built for me one Christmas. W have a really narrow laundry room that consists of one wall of cabinets over the appliances and one wall with a shelf and rod to hang clothes. No place for an ironing board. Yep, that is totally dirty laundry on the floor. I did laundry yesterday, this stuff multiplies like rabbits!



I do not want an ironing board set up in my bedroom and I am way too lazy to actually set it up and take it down every time I use it (Can you tell I don't iron much? That is what the clothes hanging rod is for, eliminate ironing, hang stuff up with it's warm. ;) ). I would love one of those pretty ones hidden in the cabinet, but let's be real who has $150 for that? So, my hubs took the cover from my college table top ironing board and went to work.



Mind you he did this while keeping it secret from me. Isn't he inventive? At first I was like, wow... an ironing board...for Christmas. But now, I absolutely love it (accept for the whole maiming my child part). It is mounted in the 1/2 bath next to the laundry room. Oh, and the iron holder is from Ikea.

*EDIT: I asked my husband for a supply list for anyone who wanted to try to replicate it. He says...

I just made this up as I went along....

The screenshot has a good image. The hinge can be used as fence or shed door hinges. Print the picture and go to your local hardware store and you won't have trouble finding it.

Supplies: (most I had on hand)

$5 cheap small ironing board (i just bought it for the cover and cotton padding and discarded the metal frame)
1x12 (used the same piece for the ironing board and the square-with-rouded-corners base. (you could replace this with a thick piece of plywood)
2x4 - Just needed a small one, you can get one big enough for free at any construction site. This is the base that screws to the wall.
1x4 - I used this because the 2x4 wasn't quite thick enough and the ironing board would fall down
1x2 - I used this to make two runners by the hing. This is what keeps the ironing board level (otherwise the hing with just keep going down)
1 large Fence hinge
1 longer bolt and nut to use as a swivel (as I didn't buy an expense swivel bolt)
2 big sqare washers (about 1/8th inch thick. (Maybe the square washer is 1-1/2" x 1-1/2") Really it was just nice to have a filler that allows for turning for the space between the ironing board and the square-with-rouded-corners base. I had these big square things on hand.
5 1-1/2" lagg bolts for the hinge. - Mount it o to the wall, make sure that at least one row hits a stud.
2 1" bolts and nut - that hook the hinge to the square-with-rouded-corners base. Notice in the picture the nut is on the bottom.
5 3-1/2 " lagg screws to scre2 it to the wall.
4 square (i think 1/2" by 1/2") rubber feet - You can's see them, but I have 4 rubber feet that provide stability between the ironing board and the square-with-rouded-corners base.
8 washers - I used washers on the bolts with nuts and the lagg bolts.
A dab of grease.

I didn't completely tighten the bolt used as a swivel. Just snug enough you have to actually try to make the thing turn. I had a problem with the bolt loosening over time, so I actually used a clear glue to prevent that.

This was by no means under $5, but all the mounted ironing boards I found were $170 or more and I think I was around $30, but I did have some of it on hand. So I saved about $140 dollars.

Linking up with Trash to Treasure Tuesday on Reinvented.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

General Conference Activities for Kids-Temple Sewing Card and First Presidency Coloring Page

LDS General Conference can always be a tough time for kids. It can be difficult to keep them quiet and reverent during sessions for two days. We can all use some ideas and activities to keep the little ones interested and engaged. There are a lot of conference resources out there. I created a couple of small activities for the little kids.

First off, I made a temple sewing card by adding dots to a Salt Lake temple image from Mormon Share. I printed it on a piece of 4x6 photo paper so it would have some strength. Then, laminated it using clear contact paper. Then, I punched holes where the dots were.

I took a piece of 3/8 inch ribbon and rolled one end and taped it so it would be like the end of a shoelace. Then, I tied it to the bottom corner.

Then, I gave it the ultimate test with the little guy. He loved it!


Salt Lake Temple Sewing Card
Click picture above to print a 4x6 sewing card

I also wanted a President Monson coloring page. Many of the ones I had seen did not look much like him, or did not have him smiling. Many of the pictures are so serious and I wanted my little boy to see his prophet happy and full of love. I found this picture of the First Presidency from the press conference when President Thomas S. Monson was called and immediately fell in love it. I threw it in to Photoshop and played with it until it looked like something to color.

<span class=
Click thumbnail above to print 8.5x11 page

Here are a whole bunch of other great General Conference Activities and Packets:

LDS.org Friend Activities and Conference Packet

Deseret Book activity packet

Sugardoodle's Packet for 7-12 year olds

Conference Bingo

Conference Reverence Tents

General Conference Coloring Book

Conference Chase Game

I hope you have a wonderful conference next weekend!! I know I am looking forward to it!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Laminating Using Clear Contact Paper-Chore Chart & Color Matching

Did you know you can use clear contact paper to laminate at home? I had some things I wanted to reinforce to protect them from little hands. Basically, so they would last more than five minutes. I wanted to be able to laminate any time I wanted without running out to the copy shop. This works great and is easier than I thought.

I saw these cute color matching cards from Homeschool Creations and loved the nice clear photos. I printed them on card stock and then measured out and cut the clear contact paper. I left an excess of about half an inch on each edge so that I would not have to be too careful. Then, I carefully peeled off the backing, put a sheet on each side, and rubbed out any bubbles. Last, I trimmed the edges and cut them up.



I also found this chore chart template over at Controlling My Chaos. Though my little one is a bit young for chores, he loves to help out and I wanted another way to reinforce good behavior. I "laminated" it and now I can add and erase check marks each week. He gets so excited every time he gets a check mark. He signs "more" and says "more checks." Then, I tell him what he get the checks for and tell him another "chore" he can do to get more checks.



I love being able to laminate at a moments notice and it is so much cheaper! When I called the UPS store they said laminating was 99 cents a page. I bought my roll of clear contact paper at Wal-mart for just under $6 and have already laminated 15 pages. It is about half gone. Score!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Make Your Own Gourmet Caramel Apples

Every time we go to Park City we stop in The Village Candy Shoppe on Main Street to pick up a delicious caramel apple. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory sells them too. Want to know how to make your own? Here we go! I mean what is fall without a delicious caramel apple?


I taught my YW how to make Gourmet Caramel Apples for an activity. I wanted to make things super simple so they could remember how to do it and make them for their families, but you could definitely amp up the recipe with homemade caramel as long as it is a recipe that will stiffen over time.

Caramel Apple Basic Ingredients:
10 medium green apples (edit: Gma G suggests having them cold so the caramel sets up faster)
2 bags caramel bits (Love these! I bought them thinking they were regular caramels, but then opened them to find I did not have to unwrap them all. They are smaller balls so they melt easier too.)
Water
1 bag milk chocolate chips
1 bag white chips
Crisco



Optional ingredients: (these will be used for an additional coating depending on what flavor you want)
Cinnamon Sugar (used with white chocolate to make the apple pie flavor, my fav!)
Oreos
Butterfinger
Reese's Pieces
Heath Bar
Chopped peanuts
anything else that you might like to try!
  1. Begin by washing the cold apples and removing the stem. Then insert the stick where the stem was. (The sticks come with the caramels.)
  2. Spread a good amount of wax paper on the counter and spray it with cooking spray so the apples won't stick.
  3. Melt the caramel according to package instructions. I believe ours said something like add 2 T. of water and microwave for 90 seconds, stir and then melt until smooth. You want it pretty runny.
  4. Dip your apples in the caramel by tipping the bowl, holding the stick, and spinning the apple in it. (sorry forgot to take pics of all this) Cover all but about a 1 1/2 inch circle on the top. Continue turning the apple while the caramel drips off so that you have an even coat all around. Let it drip for quite a while, until it looks like a thin layer, otherwise you will have a huge puddle under your apple. Reheat caramel for additional apples as necessary to keep it runny.
  5. Place the apples on the sprayed wax paper and put in the fridge for about 20 minutes until the caramel is solid (I had them on a cookie sheet to make it easy to move them all at once).
  6. Get out two medium bowls and put each flavor of chocolate chips in each bowl. Add a Tablespoon of Crisco to each bowl. This will make the chocolate more viscous. Microwave until smooth, stirring at least once per minute.
  7. Repeat dipping step 4, but with the chocolate. Sprinkle with your Optional ingredient (oreos, butterfinger, etc.) so they stick to the chocolate.
  8. Place on sprayed wax paper and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  9. If you want to get really fancy, put the leftover chocolate in a ziploc, cut a tiny hole in the corner and drizzle over the apples.
  10. Enjoy! MmmMMmm! I like to cut mine up so it is easier to eat.

My Beehives with their apples. They LOVED this activity!

My little guy thought this was the best bedtime snack ever!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Fun Fall Decor on the Cheap

We have not quite entered in to "fall" yet here in Utah. The temperatures are predicted in the high 70's this week, but you can have fall inside! Fall is my very favorite season and unfortunately sometimes here in the beehive state fall seems to be oh so short. Sometimes like 2 weeks. It is hot, then the leaves change and there is snow before they fall off the trees.

I am praying for a good Autumn this year. When it's crisp at night and you get to pull out your sweaters for the first time. The visit to the pumpkin patch and drives up the canyon to see all the beautiful leaves. The smell of the leaves and pumpkin spice. Oh, how I love fall!

With the economy as it is and trying to be a wise consumer I have really been concentrating on using what I have and bargain shopping to feed my seasonal decor addiction. Here are my most recent displays I call an ode to fall.



I picked up this grapevine pumpkin up at Ross for $5. I loved it, but had to dress it up a bit. I remembered a scrap of ribbon I had saved from the lunch box at the Moms Who Make It conference a couple months ago. I curled it to look like pumpkin vines. The flowers were left over from the YW flip flop activity. I added a little raffia under it to give it that haystack feel.
Total cost:$5


I added more of the left over flowers to this shelf in the living room to bring in fall. Everything else was already there. That is my family motto and crest if you were wondering.
Total cost: $0


This bookshelf in the family room got the brunt of my random fall scraps. Click on the pic to get a close up.

Supplies:
  • Three bouquets of flowers from the dollar store. I was going to make flower pins and hair accessories. (I also used them for the the YW motherhood relay, which is another post entirely.)
  • Two mini pumpkins (from a set of three from Ross for $4)
  • Two sunflowers pulled out of a plant arrangement someone gave me when my little guy was a baby, that I killed and tossed a few months ago.
  • Three random candles I had sitting around
  • A fabric pumpkin from Ross ($3) that says "Give Thanks." Put it up backwards until Halloween is over, then turn it around for Thanksgiving.
  • A pathetic plant with one long vine string, revived from my hubs old apartment. It usually sits on the kitchen table all wound around itself to make it resemble some sort of plant.
  • Raffia
  • Eternal Family sign I made at a Relief Society Enrichment activity when I first moved in 4 years ago. (We have not had a super Saturday in FOREVER. Seriously, like 2 years. Who do I talk to about that anyway? ;) )
  • Digital pic frame that is always there
Phew! Total cost: $10

There you are, $15 spent for my little touch of fall. What do you have sitting around that you can use?

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Feature Friday-Creations By Kara

Howdy! (Ok, so I went to the Utah State Fair last night and that is a little residual hick coming out.) Today we have a special Utah home grown blog for you! Today's Feature Friday is Creations By Kara. Kara has so many great DIY home decor ideas and is a queen of thrift store shopping. I aspire to be like her someday! Come along with me and I will show you just a few of her fab ideas! But first, let's start off with the one-minute interview:

1. What is your favorite crafting tool or secret weapon? My favorite crafting tool is my CraftRobo cutter. I am loving it for cutting out vinyl lettering. My secret weapon is definitely spray paint. OK, maybe that's not a secret. But I soooo love it!

2.
What is your favorite season to decorate for? I love decorating for Christmas, but fall is becoming a close second. I love the holidays!!

3.
How do you keep a space for your girlyness (yep, made that word up) being surrounded by 5 boys? When we built our house my totally supportive hubby made sure I had a craft room. I don't think I could function without it! Although, right now it looks more like a tornado in a trailer park than a craft room. I need to do some serious organizing in here. It is just so hard when there are so many fun projects calling my name!

4.
What is the most embarrassing that has ever happened to you at a store? One time when my second son was about nine months old, I took him shopping with me. (Because, you know, leaving them home alone is kind of against the law and all.) Anyway, when I went to check out, he was tired of sitting in the cart, so I took him out and sat him on the counter. Don't worry, I had my arm around him the whole time. When I went to pick him back up, his wet diaper had leaked on the counter. Luckily I had sanitizer and wipes in my diaper bag, but I was sooo mortified!!!

I feel you there Kara! Just this morning we had a "potty" incident where "matter" ended up on the training seat, the toilet seat, the floor, little one's foot, and the rug. Let me tell you how ecstatic I was. No reward sticker for that one! Thank goodness for lysol wipes!

Now, switching gears before we make y'all (State Fair coming through again) sick...

This first project feeds my love for laundry. It is a sickness, I know. What is not to love about a chore that does itself? I mean you put in the clothes, do one switcheroo and they are clean! That is my type of housework! Look at this amazing laundry soap dispenser she made from a $3 thrift store drink dispenser! Be still my laundry loving heart!


Before

After

Shall we switch over to bathroom? She has TONS of bathroom ideas because she is in the middle of a complete bathroom overhaul. Here is one of my favs. This DIY towel rack born out of a $1 thrift store frame is so simple and clean. Love!


Now for a little table makeover. Take a $20 Craigslist find, add some creativity, a little elbow grease (where did that expression come from anyway, kinda gross sounding), and $45 in supplies and Voila!

Before
After
Wow! I mean wow!

One more weakness of mine, skeleton keys. They have a certain character to them. Well, Kara took them to the next level and get this, they are to hang in the laundry room!


Plate rack: 50 cents
Frames: 50 cents each
Cardstock:on hand
Canvas: on hand
Keys: $1 each at Tai Pan Trading
Spray paint: on hand
Can you believe this cost her a grand total of $3.50? Amazing!! I have a thrift store plate rack in my basement. I think I know what I am doing with it now!!

And right in time for fall decorating a no sew fabric pumpkin. Get this, made with a toilet paper roll! What a great project for that craft group I have wanted to start!!
Or how about some Halloween costume and game ideas? My hubs will die when he sees the Rubix cube! Kara shares a full tutorial on how to make the route 66 costume.Well that's about all we have time for! Y'all come back now ya hear. (Ok, I'm done now I swear. The fair is officially out of my system.)

Great ideas Kara! You are now entered in to the Hall of Fame as Tipster of the Week!


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