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Stop and Take Notice to What Your Child can Teach You
Safety and Easy Access: Home Modification Tips for Disabled Parents
#Halloween - Happy Monster Family
Happy Pumpkin family an Easy Fun and Inexpensive #Halloweencraft
Happy St Pattys Day Enjoy some #Leprechaunmagic

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Haunted House Craft
Valentine mailbox craft - Happy Valentines House
Educational Play dates - Learn something new everyday
Kids and accountability - Teaching them to do what is right
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What we learned

#Halloween - Happy Monster Family


Happy Monster Family!

With #Halloween week in full swing the craft fun continues. This is a craft from a previous year, but we had so much fun making, I thought I would repost for all my new readers.  #Makethetime and #enjoythetime with your kids making these simple, fun and inexpensive crafts.  They add a lot of fun to your existing decorations and the time you spend making them with your kids is priceless!  All of my best, Dyan 
 
This craft started our #Halloween family and was easy, fun and inexpensive!  By the time we were done doing all of these crafts, my daughter was painting like a pro and really doing better than ever with a paint brush.   We finished with making a haunted house for all of them to hang out around.  
 
Items needed:  Paper towel rolls, scissors, miscellaneous paint colors, paint brush, googley eyes, black foam paper for mouth, hair and other add-ons, glue or hot glue gun. 
 
Cut the paper towel holders into miscellaneous sizes.
Paint using different colors - use your imagination.
Let dry. Fold in sides to make horns.
Glue on googley eyes.  Let dry.
Cut different shapes for mouths, hair and ears.
Glue on.
That's it!
 
What we learned:  To use our imagination with creating different looking monsters, colors and designs.  It was my daughters idea to do a tie-dyed one and a rainbow one.  Getting better at using a paint brush and filling in all the spaces as she painted.  Creativity with colors and shapes of mouths and hair.  Adults should do the cutting and use the hot glue gun.
What we shared:  #Halloween memories to last a lifetime, creating a family for our haunted house, quality time together and more decorations for our home. And of course lots of fun!
#MAKETHETIME & #TAKETHETIME TO #SPENDTIME

WITH YOUR KIDS!  YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID!

#TAKETIME TO #RAISEAMAZINGKIDS

Happy Pumpkin family an Easy Fun and Inexpensive #Halloweencraft

Happy Pumpkin FamilyOne of my favorite fun inexpensive #Halloweencrafts. You also are #reusing some of the items from around your house!  My favorite thing to do when making crafts.  I thought I would share again.  I love #Halloween!  I love the childhood memories of picking a character for a costume (my mother made many of mine from scratch), dressing up and trick or treating.  The memories of #Halloween have changed for me over the years and now as a mother myself, #Halloween has become fun again!  My #Halloweencraft today is easy, fun and inexpensive, Happy Pumpkin Family.  For all you moms out there that say you can't be crafty, think again.  You can with a few products and some you might already have on hand.  All of my best, Dyan
 
 
 
All you need is:  paper towel roll, scissors, orange paint, paint brush, green tissue paper, black marker, googley eyes and a hot glue gun.
 
Cut the paper towel holder in 3 parts- small, medium and large.
Paint with the orange paint.  Let dry.
Tear off green tissue paper, stuff in top of holder and twist a stem.
Glue eyes on with hot glue gun or other glue.
And make a nose and a mouth with black marker.
 
That's it!  Fun, easy and inexpensive.
 
What you learn: Your child learns to think creatively by finding items around the house, strengthens hands for writing by painting and drawing mouths and noses.
 
What we shared: lots of fun painting and creating our pumpkin faces, and making our first home made #Halloween decoration and a fun memory!
 
 
 

#Happypumpkinfamily

HAPPY PUMPKIN FAMILY is

One of my favorite #funeasyinexpensivekidscrafts for #Halloween. You also are #reusing some of the items from around your house!  My favorite thing to do when making crafts.  I thought I would share again.  As it is already October and we have already started on our #HappyHalloween decorating. 

I love #Halloween! 

I love the childhood memories of picking a character for a costume (my mother made many of mine from scratch), dressing up and trick or treating.  The memories of #Halloween have changed for me over the years and now as a mother myself, #Halloween has become fun again! 

My #Halloweencraft today is easy, fun and inexpensive, Happy Pumpkin Family.  

For all you moms out there that say you can't be crafty, think again.  You can with a few products and some you might already have on hand.  All of my best, Dyan


#HappyPumpkinFamily 

All you need is:  paper towel roll, scissors, orange paint, paint brush, green tissue paper, black marker, googley eyes and a hot glue gun.
 
Cut the paper towel holder in 3 parts- small, medium and large.
Paint with the orange paint.  Let dry.
Tear off green tissue paper, stuff in top of holder and twist a stem.
Glue eyes on with hot glue gun or other glue.
And make a nose and a mouth with black marker.
 
That's it!  #Funeasyinexpensivekidcraft.
 
#Whatwelearned: Your child learns to think creatively by finding items around the house, strengthens hands for writing by painting and drawing mouths and noses.
 
#Whatweshared: lots of fun painting and creating our pumpkin faces, and making our first home made #Halloween decoration and a fun memory!

#CutestValentinesEver - #HappyHearts to you

Heart Balloons
Heart Balloons
First step - picked up balloons
Craft supplies
Craft supplies
craft sticks, glue, paper
Craft sticks
Craft sticks
Handwritten name
Heart shaped paper
Heart shaped paper
Valentines Day cards
Valentines Day cards
Puppets
Valentines day card and gift bag
Valentines day card and gift bag
Puppets
Valentine Girl puppet
Valentine Girl puppet
Our favorite
Balloons and Valentines gift bags
Balloons and Valentines gift bags
With puppets
Boy!  What a success!!  These turned out cuter than I could of ever imagined...they really were not that much work and the #Valentine card gift bag was not that much money to put together.  I found a deal on the balloons at a dollar a piece and the craft cards were only about a dollar each with a couple of pieces of candy what a hit and definitely the #CutestValentinesEver   What we learned:  following directions, practicing handwriting, trial and error-what worked best where, creativity, uniqueness-just like everyone looks different so did our hand puppets, teamwork, using glue, counting, sorting and filling with our bags and treats.  What we shared:  using our imaginations, our ideas, creating happiness and joy, a fun-filled couple of hours. 
 
What we used:
craft sticks
glue
markers
heart shaped paper (foam, stickies or construction paper will do) pink, red or white
pom pom balls
googlie eyes
decorative valentines day bags
couple pieces of candy to fill
heart shaped balloons
 
Enjoy making your #Valentines, whether homemade or conventional, just take the time to do it!  It will bring excitement and joy to your child and create memories for you both, that you will cherish forever. 
May love, happiness and joy fill your day this #Valentines.  #HappyHearts to you!  Dyan

#Thanksgivingcraft to treasure and keep - fun easy and inexpensive #grateful craft for #Thanksgiving

This is a repost from last year...and I still love these so I had to share again.  They were such a hit last year at the dinner table every guest felt special and loved the fact that my daughter created each one especially for them!!  My daughter and I loved these so much that we are using again this year for our guest place mats.  A #Thanksgivingcraft to treasure and keep!!  They are fun, easy and inexpensive to make (my motto)...What better way to show your children's love and #gratitude for their family and friends by creating unique place mats for all of your guests on #Thanksgiving Day!
 
What you will need to create these special take home treasures:

1. Orange, brown, yellow or white construction paper.
2. Different colored pencils, markers, crayons to create their masterpieces.
3. Scissors if paper needs to be trimmed to fit your laminator.
4. Miscellaneous Thanksgiving stickers (optional).
5. Paper laminator.  Caution:  adult should always supervise this activity as the laminator gets very hot!  If you do not have a laminator, you could use a thicker paper (i.e. poster board or paper cover sheets/pre-laminated sheets purchased at any office supply store.
6. Your child's imagination.

#thanksgivingcraftsCreate each place mat unique for each guest.
 
Use your child's hand to trace to make the turkey.  Then have them decorate, color or use stickers to make as intricate as they choose. You can label each place mat and then use them as place cards too!



What we learned:  Lots of stuff!  How to use our hands to make turkeys, how to draw leaves, colors of #Thanksgiving and fall, practiced hand writing names, worked on letters and spelling, practiced writing name, creativity, strengthening hands by cutting, using the laminating machine and practiced safety lessons.
 

I love crafts that reinforce learning!
 
What we shared:  Lots of fun!  Getting into the holiday spirit, memories, useful craft that we will have many uses (a #Thanksgiving Day card, place mat, place card and take home gift for our guests), creative ideas and a fun afternoon of spending time together.




May your #Thanksgiving holiday be filled with peace, blessings and many things to be #grateful for....may you take the time to enjoy the time with your family, friends and kids.  Grab some paper and create some special memories this #Thanksgiving and make these place cmats.  They are easy, fun and inexpensive to make.  #Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours.   All of my best, Dyan

It's #ThankfulThursday - What are you #thankful for? #Flowers -

Yesterday, my daughter and I decided to take a #naturewalk with some friends.  The two girls were going crazy stopping and picking every wildflower and #flower from every bush, plant and tree they could find.   It was a beautiful fall day and I was #thankful for the moment spent with my child and friend.  My friend and I delighted in watching our daughters enjoy the #naturewalk as much as we did. 

I didn't realize that my daughter had picked so many #flowers until we arrived home and I asked her to take them out of her back pack before they all died and wilted.  She asked me for a bowl to put them in water.  She took her time arranging each and every #flower as if she was working on a masterpiece.  I guess in away she was, her masterpiece, she took each #flower one by one and delicately arranged them in each bowl.  At one point, she told me she even wanted to be a florist as well as a vet when she grows up!

As you can see, she arranged them beautifully!!  We have set them out on our kitchen  table to enjoy!  I don't think my friend did, but that is ok....this is our "thing"  making something out of something to enjoy without spending any money.  Stopping and smelling the roses of life.  Taking the time and making the time together to create memories that last a lifetime.  Making us both better, #momskidsandfriends.  

We are fortunate enough to live, where there are still wildflowers and #flowers on bushes and trees.  If you live somewhere where there are no #flowers still blooming, still take the #naturewalk and see what amazing things you can find..... leaves, pine cones, rocks or unique branches.  Take a #naturewalk, enjoy the day with your child and friend, take a moment to  enjoy life, enjoy #mothernature, enjoy each other, enjoy this wonderful place we call plant #earth. 

It's #thankfulthursday What are you #thankful for?

All of my best,  Dyan

What we learned:  About different kinds of #flowers, bushes and plants,  not to pick #flowers from someone's yard - unless you ask of course!  Spending time with friends outdoors is refreshing and fun, more about our friends and what we have in common with others, arranging #flowers is fun, relaxing and makes a beautiful centerpiece for our kitchen table, having fun and learning does not need to cost money, putting down our cell phones is not only good for us but great for our kids!!  #nocellphoneforaday


What we shared:   A wonderful day together making memories, pictures of our #flower arrangements - we sent as a thank you note (w the picture) for the day spent w/ our friends.



















Last #EasterEgg hunt of the year? Absolutely not.

Don't know what to do with those uneaten hard boiled #Eastereggs still in your fridge?  Instead of throwing them away, have another #Easteregg hunt, just for fun!  Then throw them away.  We typically do our traditional #Easteregg hunt with plastic eggs.   No one really ever eats the hard boiled eggs, so we always do an "after" #Easteregg hunt with the colored ones.  I feel at least we do get another use from all the time spent decorating the eggs, instead of just throwing the pretty eggs away.  My daughter loves it and I don't feel as wasteful.  
Will this be the last #Easteregg hunt of the year for us?  Doubtful, we do them all the time.  My daughter loves to hide them by herself and then have a pretend egg hunt.  I  hide them for her too.  It is a great way for her to entertain herself, which being a only kid sometimes gets tough for her to do.  She fills them up with different items from around the house, coins, fuzzy wuzzies, any trinkets she can find and hides them.  It is a great way to have fun through out the year and to stimulate pretend play.  So, will this be our last #EasterEgg hunt of the year?  Absolutely not!! Have fun hiding those eggs whether real or pretend and may your children have fun finding them. All my best, Dyan
 
What we learn:  Other uses for our once a year toys or games therefore instilling reuse, creativity, sizing objects...what will fit in what size egg, practice opening and closing the eggs learning patience...sometimes the plastic eggs are not so easy to close.
 
What we share:  Inexpensive fun game time, a shared activity and plain #oldfashioned fun!

Make a New Years Resolution with your kid - #newyearsresolutions


This is what I woke up to on January 1, 2016...What do you see?  I see an angel....May angels watch over you this year and be by your side.  Happy New Year!  May you be #inspired by the world around you.Hello Moms, kids and friends!  

Happy New Year to you!! 

As I regroup and get acclimated to 2016, please enjoy this repost on Making New Years Resolutions with your kids.





May 2016 bring you all you want...  
May your days be filled with blessings...
May you make #newyearsresolutions that you can keep for yourself and your kids.  

All of my best to you in this new year!  Dyan

Like many of you, I have made numerous New Years Resolutions over the years that I have never stuck to.  Last Year was the first year that I actually made one resolution and stuck to it!  Now, looking back it was an easy one and one that I should of been doing anyway...flossing my teeth every night.  That being said, I still felt a major sense of accomplishment by years end.  I was happy that I made a commitment to myself and my health and my dentist was thrilled!  This year?? Another year of flossing every night for me (which is habit by now) and for my New Years resolution for 2013?  Flossing, every night, for my 5 year old daughter.  After all, it is our job as moms to teach our children good habits in life.  As you think of a New Years resolution make it something worth accomplishing and easy for you to accomplish so at years end you can and will succeed! 
What I learned from this:  I can do something for myself and take the time to take that extra step to feel better and healthier. I can add new habits to my already hectic schedule.  I can change something small in my life and make a huge difference for my health.  
What my daughter will learn:  healthy teeth habits, taking care of herself feels great and flossing can be fun!  I already have a song written about using mouth wash to prevent cavities, next up.... a flossing song.  Good luck!  Dyan

Practice #Patience with your kid - #Baking a good learning tool

Practice #Patience with your kid - Baking a good learning tool

We all need a little #patience, right?  I think there was a song about that…. If you are lucky enough to be a #patient person, I wish I was more like you!  One way that I practice #patience is when I am #baking with my daughter.  I love to #bake!  And this time of year is the best time to #bake.  It is like a switch goes off and my oven is in use all the time.  Something to do with the fresh cool air and the holidays right around the corner and my need to reconnect with myself and my family through good old fashioned #baking.  

My daughter and I have enjoyed this shared experience since she could stand up next to me in the kitchen (she even was my audience while still in her high chair).  Every time we #bake, I come to the same conclusion… I love creating things with her in the kitchen, I am a bit of a control freak (a this is how we do it kind of person - so is my daughter) and I have to be #PATIENT! 

This past week we did all things #pumpkin.  #Pumpkin pancakes – yum!  #Pumpkin cheesecake, #pumpkin chia seed pudding – yum yum!! (See Holiday page for recipe).

Filling cupcake holders.One way to practice #patience with your kid is to #bake.  I find that when I #bake with my daughter I have to practice patience, real patience.  She is eager to learn and create.  She loves to measure, mix and pour. She has always loved to create things in a bowl making some concoction or another.  I am a good baker, I always have been.  But I know that it takes patience, correct measurements, time and having the mix of the right ingredients. 

Since she was little I had to always take a deep breath to let her do the work, pouring, sifting, folding, stirring, measuring whatever the next step was, I had to take a step back and let her do it.  This simple small step has given me the ability to teach her and grow with her in the kitchen.  Even if it means, cracked eggshells in your dish, liquids spilled on the counter, flour everywhere, licked fingers in the bowl for the second, third or fourth time. 
I tell myself she is learning, growing and one day will be a good baker and it is OK to make the mess as long as you clean it up, right?  

Having fun learning and practicing patience!Over the past several years I am finding that I am finally becoming more #patient.  I am standing back and letting her have some control.  After all, there are so many valuable lessons, learning opportunities and quality time spent with #baking (I always want this to be something fun we do together), not to mention the delicious creations you can make!

#Patience with #baking is not only practice for you, but for your kid.  My daughter is always in the hurry up and pour, create and taste mood. She also likes to have complete control.  While #baking I take the time to tell her the importance of correct measuring, mixing and the many safety rules of a kitchen.  She has to practice #patience too, which is why this is such a valuable educational task for both of you.

Still don’t think you can be #patient?

If you cannot stand to relinquish the control…you can do what one of my friends does.  She gives some ingredients to her daughter including her own bowls and measuring cups and lets her make her own in her own bowl.  A good way to mix fun and learning without having to be so #patient.

All of us could use a bit more #patience.  In this time and age we live in, it seems everywhere I turn people are getting more and more impatient.  Standing in line at a store, traffic light, school pick-up, with your kids, your spouse….the list goes on and on.  I am just as guilty as the next and have really been trying to focus on being #patient in every aspect of my life, with everyone that I interact with on a daily basis.  Deep breathing, thinking before I act and now #baking.  Grab your favorite cookbook, google your favorite recipe, get your kid in the kitchen and spend some quality time #baking.  All of my best, Dyan

What I learned:  Be more flexible, lighten up and that messes and mistakes are okay.

What we learned:  #Baking improves many skills and is a wonderful learning tool. Depending on your childs age many things can be learned and/or introduced to them.  How to organize ingredients, counting, measuring properly wet and dry ingredients, pouring, cracking eggs, stirring, reading the recipe and labels on ingredients, teamwork, textures of the ingredients, patience, creativity, an everyday task has a plethora of educational value, introducing the concept of fractions, clean-up, kitchen safety the list goes on….what a great way to be with each other, create something delicious and special for yourselves and family.

Get up and bake time - pumpkin cupcakes...yum!What we shared:  A morning of fun, good old-fashioned quality time, laughs, good food, creating memories and practicing #patience together!!

Cutest Ever #Turkeypumpkin #Thanksgivingcenterpiece- Reuse and use items from around your house

Happy #thankfulthursday!  I am #thankful for all the wonderful crafts my daughter and I make together and the quality time we spend together while making them... like this one!  So cute, so easy to make, so much fun!     Items needed for #TurkeyPumpkin:  One Pumpkin,     Glue stick or Hot Glue gun (adult supervision required-the glue can get very hot.  Glue gun might work better for you to adhere the feather hands, eyes, nose and wattles).   More items listed below.
Happy #thankfulthursday! I am #thankful for all the wonderful crafts my daughter and I make together and the quality time we spend together while making them... like this one! So cute, so easy to make, so much fun! Items needed for #TurkeyPumpkin: One Pumpkin, Glue stick or Hot Glue gun (adult supervision required-the glue can get very hot. Glue gun might work better for you to adhere the feather hands, eyes, nose and wattles). More items listed below.
We had most of these items around the house. We reused a pumpkin that we had from Halloween.
Red, orange, yellow and brown construction paper
For fun, easy and inexpensive crafts always have a supply of construction paper in the house of various colors.
Red, orange, yellow and brown construction paper
Pencil to trace your kids hands and your hands
Pencil to trace your kids hands and your hands
Scissors to cut out hand shapes to use as feathers.
Brown paint and paint brushes and large googley eyes.
Paint the pumpkin together to make the pumpkin brown to use as the #turkey body of this craft.
Brown paint and paint brushes and large googley eyes.
After pumpkin is painted and dried.  Adhere the cut-out hand shapes on the back as feathers.  It was fun to use both my hands and my daughters hands as feathers.  The size variety was a nice touch to make the feathers fuller.  We also had fun taking turns tracing each others hands both left and right hands.
After pumpkin is painted and dried. Adhere the cut-out hand shapes on the back as feathers. It was fun to use both my hands and my daughters hands as feathers. The size variety was a nice touch to make the feathers fuller. We also had fun taking turns tracing each others hands both left and right hands.
Glue the eyes on the front. Cut a triangle out of construction paper for the nose, fold in half and glue under the eyes. Cut the wattle from red construction paper and attach under the nose. That's it!
This could very well be the cutest #turkeypumpkin ever!
Love, love, love this craft! So much fun! So easy! And so inexpensive! That's my motto! Hope you have the time to make this one to use as a #thanksgivingcenterpiece for your Thanksgiving table. So much we learned and shared: fun, creativity, I even learned with the red thing under the turkey's nose is called (the wattle). Enjoy your #Thanksgiving with family and friends. Remember to be grateful and live in the moment of the day. Cherish one another and make the time and take the time to enjoy your kids. Happy Thanksgiving! All of my best, Dyan
This could very well be the cutest #turkeypumpkin ever!

#nationalpuppyday - For the love of dogs rescue one today

#nationalpuppydayFor the love of dogs rescue one today!!  
#nationalpuppyday    

This is a repost from last year, and I wanted to share again in honor of #nationalpuppyday.  If you are considering purchasing a puppy, please check with your local rescue organizations first.  There are many puppies that need to be adopted in all shapes, sizes and breeds.  Typically they will go quick, but they are available for adoption.  If you miss your opportunity for the young puppy, who knows, you might just fall in love with the older one in the next cage...senior dogs need love too!  
 
I wanted to share a link with anyone and everyone who might be searching for that perfect pet.  


Yes, it is great to go to the local pet store and see all those cute puppies barking, wagging their tails at you and asking for you to take them home.  But over the years, I have found a better way to make a pet part of your family, a way that helps your community, rescuing dogs.  There are so many dogs that need to be rescued every day, every breed and those cute little mixes too!  

Before I met my husband he rescued many dogs, his preference in breed was the Great Dane.  After we met, I rescued my first two Shih Tzu’s.  I wanted a pet to keep my older Shih Tzu company.  After much deliberation and discussion I did it!  The first time I rescued, I talked to my groomer who was pretty much an all Shih Tzu groomer and asked her if any of her clients needed a home for their Shih Tzu, low and behold they did.  A women that was heavily involved in the rescues of Shih Tzus, became very ill and could not take care of them any longer.  They were frantically looking for homes for the dogs, otherwise, they would be forced to put them down.   
#nationalpuppyday
I was so happy that we asked her and just in the nick of time!  I was only going to rescue one, but after seeing the other one waiting for a home, I just couldn’t resist and rescued two.  The dogs were so happy to have a home, one of them wagged her tail the whole way home and quite frankly I think wagged her tail for the next 8 years nonstop!   Truly, the happiest dog I have ever met!  

Our family loved them both instantly and we made our family of dogs work.  Great Danes and Shih Tzus turned out to be the perfect mix for our family.  The new additions kept my little Shih Tzu boy happy and company.  I believe it was one reason why he lived to almost 17 years old.  They helped each other in ways that I never knew existed in the dog world.  

So, after 17 years of my first real pet, we rescued again.  I called my groomer and low and behold there was a client that needed a home for his Shih Tzu.  A male, a perfect fit for my female at home.  So cute and he even resembled my 17 year old.  We love him so much and he, I believe, helped our other dog live longer and helped her get around the house as her vision started to fail her because of old age.
#nationalpuppyday
This year after the loss of our beloved Shih Tzu, we rescued again.  This time my groomer didn’t have any Shih Tzus that needed a home.  So, I went on-line and researched and researched and researched.  My husband decided to help me and he found this website that we really felt comfortable with and knew that the rescuers were true angels with a true love of dogs and their well-being.  


After talking back and forth and deliberating on the cutest Shih Tzu we again could not resist and adopted two.  One was blind and I knew if I didn’t adopt her no one would.  (I have the temperament and patience to have a blind dog.  Just a note it might not be for everyone).  But with two elderly blind Shih Tzu’s previously it was an easy fit for me.  We instantly feel in love with both of them!  


#nationalpuppyday#nationalpuppyday










This time we adopted a 3 year old as my daughters pet and the blind one we call PK is about 6, both keep our now aging 12 year old young and happy with hopes that he will live to at least 17.  

If you are considering a pet, please look at this rescue, which has affiliations that rescue and place all breeds and mixes.  There are donation fees if you are inclined to do so, but at the astronomical price of dogs these days and the need for many dogs in rescues to find a home, I am not sure why anyone would start their search anywhere else.  Good luck in your search for the perfect rescue dog, they will bring you happiness and you will literally make their day!  Bow wow for now!  Dyan


What we learned:  Take your time in researching for the right breed or mix for your home.  Do your research on the rescuers.  If you have other dogs at home make sure you find a good fit for them, you don’t want any bad feelings coming from your other pet (s).  We knew from the temperaments’ of our dogs that our males would not like other males so we adopted females, a good companion choice for them.  You will have to fill out applications and donation fees are appreciated, but the cost really goes to help the rescue with their costs.  Rescuing dogs is so important with our over population of pets today that rescues really need our help.  Dogs are a wonderful way for families to bond, with walking, playing and teaching your child responsibilities.  They bring so much happiness to our home we hope they do the same for you!

Valentines Day Mailbox and Puppet House

Make this wonderful Valentines Day craft from a box you have around the house.  Reuse and recycle!  Enjoy making this with your kids this year!  We love it and still put ours out every year.  All of my best, Dyan 
Valentines Day House/Mailbox
Valentines Day House/Mailbox
This Valentines Day House/Mailbox turned out better than I thought! We had a lot of fun putting it together and it was a craft well worth doing. Now we have a place to put all of my daughters Valentines. She was also inspired to use it as a puppet house for her new puppets she received for Valentines Day.
Back of the House/Mailbox
This was a multi-purpose craft and we will definitely keep it for next year.
Back of the House/Mailbox
Side View-we decorated the whole house...what fun!
Side View-we decorated the whole house...what fun!
What we learned: A lot with this one...patterns, sorting, counting/numbers, colors, stacking, creativity, design, imagination in creating the perfect house, lines and using straight lines to create a fence, shapes in creating windows, doors, trees and butterflies, practiced handwriting, cutting with scissors and creative thinking in a multi purpose house (puppet, play and Valentine card holder).
Top view of our Happy Valentines House.
What we shared: laughs, happiness, time together, working as a team, creativity and how to express it, crafting to brighten our home, fun and learning.
Top view of our Happy Valentines House.
Keep the imagination going...kids have great ideas too! My daughters Valentines puppet theater.
Keep the imagination going...kids have great ideas too! My daughters Valentines puppet theater.
What we used to create our craft: box-any size construction paper-red,white,pink glue tape scissors-always help your child and use safety rules stickers-regular and foam markers craft stick,gogglie eyes for person

Tag your it - the best things in life are free -#timewithyourkids

My family  and I have finally recovered  from a 10 day long, knock out, icky virus!  As, I am slowly getting back in the swing of things...please enjoy this repost, one of my favorites, in case you missed it.  The best things in life are free...if you actually take the time to enjoy them, #timewithyourkids that is... and I hope you do!  All of my best, Dyan


What a crazy day...last minute 1099 stuff, phone calls to set-up service man for our move back into our home (after our daughter's illness), health insurance needed to be renewed and waiting for a phone call from the car dealer on when my car would be ready for pick-up. Finally, I could break away for a minute and promised my daughter sometime outside. "The park or just playing in the grassy area of the park?", I ask. "Playing in the grassy area," she shouts as we get ready to go outside. We grabbed a ball, frisbee and put on our gym shoes and headed to the park. 
On our way to the park she states she wants to play TAG YOUR IT, one of her favorite games. We get to the park, throw the frisbee around for a bit, (she is still learning to catch it), so we basically just throw it and race to see who gets it first. The same with the ball and then TAG YOUR IT. As we run around the park, she screams happy screams, laughs and runs like crazy back to what she calls base - to have a break, her safe haven where no one can be tagged or be the tagger.  It is always fun to pretend like your exhausted and can't go on and then sneak a tag in and run the other direction. As we run around like crazy playing tag, I realize, my daughters coordination has improved and that she is faster than ever. I am still pretty quick even for a 47 year old mom.  I told my husband tonight at dinner that she is getting quicker or I am getting older, maybe it is both. I am happy to say though, that I enjoyed every minute of tagging and getting tagged and got a great workout in the meantime. 

The best part of my day was TAG YOUR IT and hearing my daughters laughter and excitement. THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE...running around the park hearing her say those words "TAG YOUR IT" was priceless. 

What we learned: Plain old fashioned running around is not only great exercise, but the most fun you can have for free with your child, that moms and kids can have quality time without phones or other electronic gadgets, getting out of the house even for just 35 minutes is a great way to refresh your minds, spirits and souls. 
What she learned: Mom can still run fast and play, spending quality time with her is very important and that young is all a frame of mind.

TAG YOUR IT.....all my best, Dyan

Turn your kids melt downs into positive experiences

Ok. So, we are now in our second month of school…starting to get in a groove and settled in with the new school, routine, meeting new friends and basically getting acclimated to first grade and our new school.  Everything is going smooth, exactly how I like it, (I can be a bit of a control freak). 

Unfortunately, this week my daughter had a major melt down. I was surprised as she had been telling me every day that she loves school, her new friends, her teachers, etc.

It started with a bad dream.  She woke me up about 1 hour before I had to get up to get her ready for school.  She crawled in bed with my husband and I and we talked briefly about it and back to sleep she went.  All was fine, at least I thought it was.  She then woke up on her own to start getting ready for school and she was sad and started crying and telling me more about her dream.  She didn’t go into too much detail, but I realized that the dream had to do with me picking her up after school and I wasn’t there…she was left all alone waiting for me.  She was sad and scared all at the same time.  We discussed dreams and how it was just a dream and I would be there to pick her up as I had been every day since school had started.   She seemed to be a bit better and time was clicking to get to school so, off to school we went.  Her tears had dried up and she seemed fine, until we walked into school and the tears came, boy did the come.  I hadn’t seen her cry this hard ever at school.  I reassured her as best as possible. I talked briefly with the teacher about the situation.  Her teacher consoled her and she tried to be brave and wiped off the remaining tears and walked into her classroom. I felt sad and quite frankly wanted to just take her out of school for the day.  But we all know that is something we cannot do, otherwise it could become a habit that might be hard to break. 

I started to walk back to my car and ran into a friend of mine who also has a daughter at the school.  I told her what happened.  We walked back to our cars and said goodbye.  An hour later my friend called me and suggested I come in to volunteer for lunch duty, (even though it wasn’t my day to volunteer).  She went on to tell me that it would be a wonderful way for my daughter to know that I am there to support her, be there for her and what a wonderful surprise it would be for her.  I had a million things to do that day and did not really have the time to volunteer, but thought about what she was telling me and realized that it really did make sense, a lot of sense and she was absolutely right!   I made the calls and verified it was ok for me to come in and help out at lunch. 

I arrived on time and waited for her class to come to the lunch room.  As her class filed into the lunch room, she turned and saw me.  Her face lit up, it really lit up!!  For that one moment in time, I could see all the sadness and uncertainty turn into happiness, peace and light.  I was soooooo happy that I had shared my morning with my friend and was soooooo happy that I listened to her advice!  This is one of the reasons why I started this blog, for moms and friends to share with each other ideas that work, REALLY work for their families and kids to make a stronger family bond, community bond and relationships that are filled with love, happiness and commitment. 
Moms and friends getting together and sharing ideas about kids and life!

Even though a simple idea, I am not sure I would have thought of doing it on my own.  I am truly grateful for my friend, because it made such a difference in my child’s day that I wouldn’t have traded anything else in the world to have seen her day brightened right before my very eyes. 

Many wonderful benefits to this one.  I also helped out the school in volunteering.  Today, make a difference in your kids life.  Be aware of their needs, be there to support them in every way you can and hug them/love them as much as possible.  All of my best, Dyan


What I learned:  That it is possible to turn your kids melt downs into a positive experiences, sharing your challenging times with  friends can always give you a new perspective to help strengthen your relationships within your family and how much I value my friends and relationships because they help me be a better mom.

What my child learned:  That she is not alone at school, I am there for her and care about her feelings, I will be there to support her and how much mommy does love her.

Paper chains - a simple yet effective tool for concept of time - Back to school fun!

As school approaches, I thought I would do a re-post of my favorite way of getting my child ready for school.  Have some back to school fun with these and get them ready for a no tear day of school.  I would love to hear how these worked for you, send me a comment to post and share your success!  All my best, Dyan 

Paper chains a simple yet effective tool for the concept of time in days.  We have been making these for the last few years.  We started with her first day in preschool.  My daughter had just turned 3 but yet these helped her understand how many days were left before she would start on her new adventure of preschool.  The transition was so easy for her that she barely turned around to say good bye to me!  As I turned to leave her there for the first time, the tears filled my eyes.  I was definitely more effected by the separation than her.  We have continued to make these for all exciting or important engagements afterwards.  The arrival of her cousins for spring break, planned vacations or activities that she was looking forward too and every year of school since.  They help build excitement and anticipation.  The paper chains also help with the how many more days until question.  She looks forward to taking one off every night and counting how many more days until that exciting moment of what ever we are counting down too. I am sure as she gets older the excitement of making these will wear off and as she grasps more of the concept of time she will not need them to help her understand.  But in the meantime, we will continue to make them and look forward to all the exciting firsts and other thrilling engagements in her life.  I hope you take the time to make these with your kid (s).  There are many things to learn from this easy craft. 
 
What we learned:  making lines with a ruler, practice cutting with scissors, practice writing letters and numbers, using tape, making something that can measure time in days and counting.
 
What we shared:  quality time together, fun, inexpensive craft and learning tool, creativity, sharing in anticipation of something we are looking forward too!
 
Go grab some paper, scissors and tape and try it!  It's easy and you'll have fun doing it! You might even incorporate it into your lives for all of your exciting occasions.  All of my best!  Dyan
 
 
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