Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year's Vision Boards

I'm not a huge fan of New Year's resolutions, however I am a believer of vision boards. I feel they are a great tool for focusing on a goal or goals, and reinforcing the goals on a daily basis. So despite my lack of enthusiasm over New Year's resolutions, I felt it was an appropriate time to create a new vision board, since the last time I made one was about three years ago. I also thought it would be a great project I could do with Benjamin to start off 2012.

All you need are some old magazines, glue, scissors, and some cardboard.

As you can see, Benjamin is going to work on his dental hygiene, and work on loving his younger sister more.

I'm not quite finished with mine, but I'm hoping that if I am able to see Martha Stewart smiling at me every morning, she will inspire my housekeeping efforts, like keeping up with the laundry and organization skills. I would hate it if her smile turned into a big frown if she saw the flood of laundry that usually invades our house.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids

Are you a bucket filler or a bucket dipper??

I just bought this wonderful children's book called Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. It is the winner of many awards including the Mom's Choice Award. It is a story about how everyone carries around an invisible bucket, and our job is to fill our bucket with happy thoughts and feelings and how to help other people fill their buckets by doing nice things for them. In Judaism we call that doing mitzvot; good deeds.

I love when simple stories like this have profound messages and take tangible things, like in this case a child's toy to create a symbol for compassionate behavior. It also reminds me of one of my all time favorite books, Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson. We also have WMMC for Kids. My son always enjoys when I read him this story about about making changes and overcoming fears, when two little mice and Hem and Haw can't find their "old" cheese in a maze, and what they have to do to find "new" cheese. This story had a huge impact on my life when I had to make a big life-changing decision several years ago.

Have you filled somebody's bucket today?

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Family fun during meals or on the road

A while back I bought a Chat Pack for Kids. I think I bought mine at Ben Franklin (teacher discount). They are tiny laminated slips of questions like, "If you were creating a movie about toys coming to life, what type of toy would be the main character?" These are great for restaurants, weekend nights, family dinners, and road trips and fit easily into a small bag or purse. If you have younger toddlers, you can always simplify a question or when it's their turn just make up something like, "what's your favorite animal?" They love to participate too. We have a similar game from Discovery Toys we enjoy called "Wiz Kidz." It appears they have a newer game out called Speed Wiz that looks like fun as well.

Here is another game that looks like fun in or out of the house.

For a more frugal option, you can make up your own questions and place them in a mason jar or other decorated container.

It's amazing how well these types of games and activities bring your family closer together, you don't have to worry about a winner or loser, and they can be played just about anywhere.

Sibling Rivalry for Dummies

Did this picture resonate with you?
As the oldest of NINE children, you'd think I could relate to this topic. Soooo not true. I honestly have a great relationship with my younger sibs. Most of them are ten years or more younger. But there isn't anything I find more frustrating than dealing with my own kids' sibling rivalry. Why can't they just have one big love fest?? Okay, so maybe I'm being naive. Here are some sites and tips that I find very useful in the matter.

One thing I'm learning is that you have to try and stay out of it. This site has good tips.

My local library had a copy I was able to check out.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Volunteering made easy

A couple of years ago I was looking for a way to volunteer in my community. However, having two small children at the time, made it difficult to dedicate extra time or energy. After a quick internet search, I found and scrolled through the opportunities when I saw a posting requesting volunteers to make greeting cards. It WAS the perfect match for me since I love making my own cards, could make an extra set here and there and drop them off for the ElderFriends organization which provides companionship and support for isolated senior citizens. Maybe you will find your perfect volunteer match as well.


I LOVE to share information that I find useful in hopes that it may help a fellow parent or friend. If there is a product or information out there to help my family run more smoothly, I want to know about it. If there is a way I can help my family save money while saving the environment, I want to do it. If there is news out there that piques my curiosity, I want to dig further into it. I hope that by following my posts, you may have an aha moment, feel inspired, or feel connected when there is so much out there these days to make us feel disconnected from our family and lives.