Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Teaching Kids About Gift Giving

Do your kids like to give gifts for Christmas?  My 5 year old loves to give gifts. It makes him very proud to do it. We do multiple crafts so a lot of our gifts are homemade.  He decided that he wants to buy gifts too.

I don't believe in handing my kids everything, and I feel like if they want to buy gifts for people then he should earn money to do that. I think it is great that he is thinking of others, but I also feel like teaching him now about money will prevent problems for him in the future in regards to his finances. I think it also teaches him responsibility and that things don't happen immediately, and that sometimes you have to save up and wait for what you want.

So I asked him who all he wanted to give gifts to. We made a list, and then we went back through it and wrote down who he wants to buy something for and who he wants to make something for. It ended up that there were only a select few he wants to buy gifts for. We established a budget of $20, and he is planning on doing chores to reach his goal.

We are making a graph to chart his progress.  After we were done planning he said "Mommy, if I have extra money after buying everybody their gifts I will be able to buy extra gifts for them!"

I think I am doing something right...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Homemade Table Tent

If you have boys, you know that tents are the funnest thing in the world to them!  One day I was browsing Facebook and came across a picture of a tent that went over a table.  I thought "wow, the boys would LOVE that, if only I could sew!"

So I emailed my mother-in-law the picture (AKA Grammie).  She can most definitely sew.  She said it wouldn't be a problem and she got to work.  I wish I could tell you how she made it, but I have no idea!  All I know is that it is one of the boys' favorite things.

It has 5 windows, all with screens.  Each window cover can be rolled up and held open with velcro straps.  The door opens up also, and there are 2 mailboxes and the boys beg me to put mail in them frequently!

All in all it is a great invention, and they will play in there forever.  They have push lights under it and always ask to eat lunch in their tent.  If you know somebody who can sew, I suggest you get them to make you one!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Kid Friendly Recipes!

I was recently asked to review a book, Kids Cooking Made Easy by Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek and in return I got the book for free.  I am SO glad I did it because we have already made multiple recipes from the book.  The recipes are very kid friendly, good, and easy.

As you know, my hubby is a chef (and no, he doesn't cook at home very often!) so the boys LOVE to cook.  It is one of their favorite things to do with me, so it was great to have recipes that they could actively help with.

Z and I went through the book and marked all of the recipes we were interested in making.  Then we went back through and narrowed it down from pretty much all of them, and picked out a few.  We started with the Chewy PB Granola Bars.  Let me tell you, these are delicious!  I have tried other granola bar recipes and they do not compare at all.  I accidentally made them in the wrong size pan so they came out thin, but next time (which will be really soon) I will use the right pan!

Next we made the Hot Pretzels!  This was really fun because the kids could dig in.  Z mixed with his hands and then we even got to practice some math with measuring the ingredients and the length of the dough ropes we made!  K was able to make his own pretzels or what he called "pancakes" and they came out great no matter what the shape was.  I have always been intimidated by making hot pretzels, but these were so easy and delicious that they will definitely be in our home a lot.

Last, for now, we made the Honey BBQ Chicken Nuggets.  These were delicious.  Easy, good dinner.

This cookbook is a must get, especially if you have kids who eat!  I have attached an affiliate link to the Kids Cooking Made Easy for your convenience.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Things I Thought Before I Had Kids!

Lately I have been thinking about what I did with all of my time before I had kids.  Honestly, I have no idea!  I worked and went to school, but that only took up a portion of my day.  Not sure what I did the rest of the time.  I do know there are some things that I thought before kids, and I am sure I am not the only one!  So I decided to share and see if anybody else has something to add!

1.  Before kids: Why are there window locks in my car?
     After kids: If these windows couldn't be locked, they would most definitely be broken from over use.  Oh, and they have prevented many shoes and toys from flying out the window because the kids were bored on the 5 minute ride to the store!

2.  Before kids: Why is that person just letting their kid scream and throw a fit in the store?!
     After kids: Just ignore their fit and they will stop!  It might take an hour and an annoying time at the store, but they will stop...one day!  Getting groceries has to happen and sometimes kids just don't cooperate.

3.  Before kids: I won't let my kids watch more than a half hour of TV a day and I will never put the TV on just to keep the kids from acting crazy.
     After kids: I LOVE the TV!  I love that there are educational shows that I can put on when the kids are acting crazy and I just need to make dinner without 2 kids running under my feet and clinging to me while whining and asking for things.  Did I already say that I love TV?

4.  Before kids: My kids won't talk back.
     After kids: I don't know what exactly I thought I would do to prevent this, but I am pretty sure I did not grasp the complete determination of a 5 year old and his attitude!  So how do I get him to stop talking back?

5.  Before kids: I will never sneak food and hide treats from the kids.  If I don't want them to have it I just won't eat it.
     After kids: First I sneakily buy a candy bar at the store while they are looking the other way, smuggle it into my diaper bag, sneak it into the freezer way in the back, and then when they are happily pre-occupied I hide and eat it!  Sometimes mommy needs a treat that she doesn't have to share with 2 kids!

6.  Before kids: My kids will take care of the pets and learn young.
     After kids: Ok kids, please DON'T feed the cat!  No, no, no....only ONE scoop....Ok, I guess I am cleaning that up before we actually get to eat breakfast...

7.  Before kids: My kids will like to sleep as much as I do!
     After kids: No, it is not even light out yet, that makes it still night time so get back in bed!

What did you think before you had kids?

Friday, October 10, 2014

How to Make a Native American Travois

I know I have been posting less and less frequently, but only because we are having so much fun with Kindergarten and learning about lots of new stuff!

I am part of a small co-op and we are using the Konos curriculum to do unit studies.  The first one we have been doing is Native Americans.  We have done a lot of things so far, but we are currently on the Plains indians.

We were reading through some things before our co-op meeting and Z got completely interested in the Travois.  It was used to transport things by being either carried on a person's back, or later by dog or horse.  I saw the picture and decided I could definitely make it!

All we needed was:

A hot glue gun
Popsicle sticks
2 longer sticks- I used 2 dowels I happened to have

First I glued my dowels together a few inches from one end to make an X.

Then I made the platform to carry their belongings on out of popsicle sticks.  I used 1 for the top and 1 for the bottom, and cut a few in half and used those to connect the top to the bottom with hot glue.

Once I had those made I used my lion (I didn't have a horse or a dog!) to gauge where to attach the platform so that it fit right.  Once I had the right spot I hot glued it to the dowels.

Then I used my twine to make it look like it was held together with it and ta-da, we are now proud owners of a Native American travois!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Homeschool Schedule

Before I started homeschooling 2 weeks ago I thought "I am going to have a schedule and we will get x, y, and z done every day!"  And 3rd week in and that has all went out the window...

Let me tell you why.

I originally thought that I could do the 'school time' in the morning for about an hour while my husband played with our 2 year old.  Which was a great idea in theory. In my post Why I Am Homeschooling my number 1 reason is so that they don't lose time with daddy.  By doing school in the morning Z lost all that time with daddy and since we normally ran over the hour time frame because we were enjoying it, he didn't barely see daddy at all.  

So after the first week of doing it that way we came to the decision that we will do school time when we can throughout the day.  I found this much easier.  Last week we did all of the sit down school stuff when K went for his afternoon nap and turned everything into a learning experience.  

Then at the end of the week I realized that I really didn't know what we had accomplished even though I had written down our sit down school time to record it.  This week we will be switching it up a little more.  

I printed out a week's worth of a daily planner to try it out.  Each day I wrote activities and the subject we would be doing.  The goal is to cover all of the topics on that day.  The first week will be the trial to see if it works or if we need to add or cut items out.  But this way I feel a little more in control and if I have everything on my list checked off for the day, I know that we are done.

So far we love homeschooling and most days Z says something similar to "we didn't do school today!" because learning throughout the day doesn't seem like school.  Especially when you are having fun!

How do you schedule your day?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Homemade Energy - Sports Drink

My husband has a love for Gatorade, Monster drinks, and other things that act like they are good for you but aren't.  So I decided to tackle this challenge and find a drink that can cut those things out of his diet while giving him the good stuff.  I found a recipe on Mom it Forward.  I followed the recipe except left out the B100 capsules because I couldn't find them where I was.  And as I was looking through other recipes I found that green tea is frequently used for caffeine among other natural qualities.

So we juiced all of the fruit (my little helper kept helping himself to it!).

Once I have the juice mixture done I put it in a pitcher.  Then I make the green tea in a separate container.  The kids like the juice and it is great to mix with water for my son at soccer.  

We bought a gallon drink cooler that hubby takes to work with him every day. I double the fruit recipe and use about 1/3 of that and add about 1/2 of the pitcher of tea.  Then I add water and ice to fill it up. He uses the agave nectar to make it to his taste and he has a great drink that he likes and is also better for him!  Hope you like it as much as we do.