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Stay at home mom with dreams of perfecting all things mama.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Free and Easy

I found free furniture. I had a thought. It turned into a cute birthday prop for my little girl's birthday!

My kids were able to watch me transform something old into something new. Sounds like what Jesus does for us!

Here is what I got for free:

Here is what I did to it:

I turned it into a lemonade stand for my daughter's lemonade themed birthday party!

1.) I painted the furniture with some yellow paint we had left over in the garage. I didn't take time to make the paint job perfect because I kind of wanted to give it a vintage look.

2.) I looked through my craft supplies and made some cute banners from burlap and scrap material. Then I used some decorations from my house to decorate a little more.

3.) The chalkboard is a toy I got for my kids last summer for $3 at a garage sale. I used it to write a quote to go along with the stand.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy...hahah

Take Ten!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Don't trash it, re-purpose it.

We had a wedding to go to and we also have a strict budget to adhere do we go to a wedding, take a nice gift, and not break the bank? This is where one must get creative.

I recently have become more interested in re-purposing items I find at yard sales, Goodwill, etc. And burlap for decorating is becoming really popular so I like to use it in projects too. I combined an estate sale item with a little paint and burlap to create a nice wedding gift for only $4.50 out of pocket.

Here is what I did, and yes the kids can help too! (With a little guidance of course.)

1.) I bought this frame for $2.00 at an estate sale.


2.) I took out the backing, the print, and the glass and laid the frame on top of a cardboard box in the yard. Then, I spray painted it an almond/cream color. It covered up the blemishes and gave it a fresh, new look.

3.) I used about half a yard of burlap to wrap around the cardboard backing that was in the frame and hot glued it down. Then I taped it to the back also to ensure it stayed in place.

4.) Next, I stenciled in Mr. and Mrs. Est 2013 onto the burlap using permanent marker.

5.) Finally I placed it back into the frame with the glass over the top.

6.) Here it is! At first I only had Mr. and Mrs. on there, but later added the Est. 2013.

7.) This cost me an estimated $4.50--Frame: $2 Burlap $1.50 and part of a can of spray paint $1.00.

Take Ten to re-purpose something!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

paint your walk

The other day we did something out of the ordinary. We make sidewalk paint.

Easy recipe: Equal parts cornstarch and water mixed together. Add food coloring and glitter.

I didn't measure, I just eyeballed the amount of cornstarch and water, so it came out a little watery. It still worked and it was still fun!

And it is completely washable.

Take Ten!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

fourth fun!

This project was found on Pinterest and it is so easy and fun!
Fireworks in a jar:
food coloring

Fill jar with water. Fill lid with 3 tablespoons oil (I used olive). Put in different drops of food coloring and mix. Drop it all in the water and watch the show.

That's it!

Take Ten!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Learning with garlic

Did you know you can plant garlic cloves and they will grow? I just learned this recently, so the kids and I tried it!

 We buried them on Wednesday and this is what they looked like by Saturday!

Every morning the kids ask to see the garlic and every time they look at it and say "woah!" in unison. It is so cute.

Holding a plant while taking pictures results in blurriness...
These pictures were taken yesterday..can you see how much taller the garlic is from just Saturday to Tuesday?

It will take a while to be able to harvest but I think it will be well worth our efforts. I love cooking with garlic!

Take Ten!
Watch something grow.

Monday, May 20, 2013


I've been slacking on taking tens with my kids lately. Not just regular old take tens, but planned, thought out, take tens. So today I made a schedule and made myself stick to it.

Yes I wrote it on a magna doodle because it's kid friendly! ...but I also took a picture of it in case someone erased it. I showed the kids the schedule when they woke up and they were excited for it! They kept asking "what's next?" after we would finish something.

Everything on the list went smoothly except for math.

I made math worksheets and I should have foreseen the problem. I should have known the kids would get frustrated trying to do a math problem while their mom was in the shower unable to help. But I still like the schedule idea. I can see this helping for a homeschooling future.

Take Ten! Make a schedule :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pinterest math

I got this idea from Pinterest and my kids LOVED it!

1.) Get a piece of blank paper.
2.) Fold it so that when it is unfolded there are eight little squares from the fold marks.
3.) In each square write an addition problem.
4.) Show the kids how to make dots for each number. For example, if the problem is 1+2 the child would write one dot for the 1 and 2 dots for the 2.
5.) Have the kids count all of the dots together to solve the equation.

Pictures below:

Take Ten!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A little modification

Modifying things for people is not my strong point. It's hard for me to think of different, better ways of dealing with people or situations.

Today, Melanie was not making good choices. To put it simply, she was being downright disobedient.

I sent her to her room and told her to think of 2 good choices she could make today. A few minutes later I came back to hear her thoughts. She said "I can't think of any." (In a whiny voice.) I said, "ok well you can stay in here until you think of some and I'll be back to hear your answer." Next time I came back it was the same thing. Whiny voice, no answer.

This time, instead of making her voice her answers I told her to get a pen and draw 2 good choices. She loves to draw.

The next time I went upstairs to get her good choices answer she had drawn 5 pictures. Here are my 3 favorites.

The green picture is her holding my hand in a parking lot, the yellow picture is her walking nicely next to the shopping cart while I'm pushing Skyelynn, the orange picture is her saying "yes, Mom".

This little drawing modification worked out a lot better than the first option of just thinking of good choices to make.

Take Ten! Modify!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

No yelling unless there's a fire!

My kids scream when they get riled up and it's something we're working on changing. Sometimes it makes me jump out of my skin when a random squeal of delight is mistaken for someone being hurt.

I've taken to telling them that there is no yelling in the house unless there is an emergency. Yesterday, not on purpose, and not at all planned, we got to take a tour of the fire department...The place that helps us during emergencies!

We went to hang out with grandma and while we were out we decided to get new bike helmets from the fire department. Little did we know we would spend a little time there and the kids would have some fun!

Go check out your fire department. They seemed to be really happy to entertain the kids! Take a look at our pictures below!

Take Ten!

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I do not care for exercising. It has never been my thing, unless it is playing pickle ball, or some other game like dodge ball or frisbee. That is fun for me.

I want to make exercise more of a priority, so the other day the kids and I exercised...and it was fun! I taught them jumping jacks, push ups, running in place, lunges, and touching toes. We still need to work on form, but they are so cute learning.

Try it! Take ten for exercise!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Train them up in the way they should go...

Yesterday, while I was reading Skyelynn some Sesame Street books, Melanie started telling me everything Sesame Street teaches babies.

"Mom, Sesame Street teaches babies the letters, how to count, how to brush teeth, shapes, and all the things they don't know. But it doesn't teach babies about God."

Kids are awesome at observing things like this. I took this opportunity to ask her an impromptu question and record her response. Try it. It's fun to see what kids will say and you'll be surprised at just how wise they are.

Take Ten!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wear them out...

This is what I do on semi nice and nice days to wear my kids out. We race!

This activity is great because it not only encourages exercise but also helps with learning to follow directions.

Here's what you do:

1,) Tell them where to line up for the start of the race.

2.) Give them a direction (touch your nose and run, pat your tummy and walk, skip, etc)

3.) Count while they are coming to the finish line and tell them how long it took them to get there!

I promise you, they'll love it! And they'll be ready for bed time sooner rather than later. Double score!

We did this at the park one day, it started out with just my kids playing and within 5 minutes we had 8 kids playing along with us!

Take Ten!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Make it up as you go along..

Kids love to imagine, they love using things in different ways. An old toy can become something totally new and exciting by creating a new way of playing with it.

This morning the kids and I were playing catch. Easton brought the hula hoop over and I decided to make the game more exciting. Hula hoop basketball was born.

Not a super creative game, not really difficult, but different enough to hold their attention and get them moving and having fun.

The game also helps with hand-eye coordination and depth perception.

Take ten to play something new with your kids!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The simplicity project...

Sometimes keeping things simple makes life and kids a whole lot happier. We don't need complicated projects and activities to keep us entertained. Ain't nobody got time for that! :)

Easter activity #2...I haven't blogged about Easter activity #1 yet.

1.) Cut out ovals (eggs) out of bright colored construction paper.

2.) Find Easter stickers (I bought some on sale 2 years ago and forgot about them until this year.)

3.) Let kids decorate.

4.) Have fun!

Make your kids laugh...I made a crown, glued it to Easton's egg and called it "King Egg".

Take Ten!

Friday, March 15, 2013

watering it down

Melanie wanted to do an art project while her brother and sister were napping. I offered her some water colors. At first I was just going to let her paint alone, but then I decided to make it more meaningful.

I chose a word to sound out and paint at the top of the page. WATER. After spelling the word, I told her to draw a picture of it.

I expected to see a picture of waves, like the ocean, but when I came back to look at her work she had drawn a sippy cup. And it was a pretty darn good picture of a sippy cup.

Ten minutes, new word, cool art.

Take ten!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

ar, oo, sh!

Teach some new sounds and watch them grow!

I took a few minutes the other morning to teach some new letter combination sounds to Melanie and Easton.
1.) I showed them the letters on paper.
2.) I told them what they sounded like.
3.) We practiced.
4.) We sounded out some words using the new sounds.
5.) We played a game.

Easy, simple, 10 minutes of learning fun!

For the game, I had the new sounds written up on top of the paper. Below those I had a group of words using the new letter combinations. The kids had to circle all the words that had the "sh" sound in them, the "ar" sounds, and the "oo" sounds until all the words were circled. They also had to sound the words out and tell me what the words said.

See, nothing special, yet the kids still liked it!

It doesn't take much to teach your kids, just a little time!

Just for fun, here is a picture of the letter T Easton made out of cheese and a graham cracker. :)

Take Ten!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Counting on me...

It's all about counting to one hundred these days. We count by ones, we count by tens, but try teaching to count by fives and you get ignored. :) Oh well, they'll learn the other ways to count someday.

For now, we play catch on a regular basis and it is super important that we count our catches until we miss. And when you miss, you have to say "aww I missed!" It's really cute and really quite fun.

It's also important to teach the girls how to curtsy and the boy how to bow, in case there are any tricks or something cool to show mom in between games of catch.

So far the dance moves and tricks between our games have been pretty entertaining.

Our kids are counting more than numbers in their lives. They count on us to be their biggest cheerleaders!

Take Ten!

Monday, February 25, 2013


I have become officially addicted to Pinterest. I have tried recipes, DIY projects, and it has given me lots of ideas for things to do with the kids.

Below is something I "pinned" on Pinterest to do with the kids.

While the idea behind this game is really cool, I just do not have the energy, time, money to make something like I improvised!

Introducing my cheaper, less energy expending, less time taking version:

This is our muffin tin filled with little things from around the house. We went through each little muffin cup and counted the things inside and then wrote down the number on paper. Double points for mom! I got them to practice counting and writing!

I filled the tins with boy things, girly things, random things. One of the cups has an envelope I found  in a desk drawer that was covered in stickers. They had to count the stickers on it! Make it interesting!

Engage those little minds!

Take Ten!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Life's little math lessons...

I'm always looking for "busy" activities for my kids to do by themselves so I can do things like shower without a fight ensuing. There is nothing worse than being in the shower and hearing your kids fighting in another room.

The activity I made up yesterday promoted math skills, matching skills, and playing skills. The kids liked it, I liked it, and it kept them busy for the ten minutes I needed.

Pull out the blocks or legos.
Tell the kids to divide them up by color and then count each color.
When you get back to the room, have them report the number of each color to you.

When I got back I was told there were 16 red blocks. That was as far as they got before they decided to build castles and cities.

To make it a little more math worthy, I took the yellow blocks and we did some adding and subtracting with them.

Example: Place a line of 6 blocks together, take away 3 and asked how many are left.  I asked: 6 blocks minus 3 blocks equals how many? They count what is left and answer.

Take Ten!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Easy peasy ABCeasy...

I made up a game for my littlest girl. She doesn't get much one on one time with me because her big brother and sister don't always nap. On this day, she woke up before they did, so we played a fun game of Easy Peasy ABCeasy. 

Yes, I made up that name and yes, I get to name it because I also made up this game. It's not anything special, but it was fun for her and she learned some letters along the way.

Get some ABC blocks, make a "castle" and let your little knock it down. Grab the blocks that fell, and name the letters. Repeat. And repeat again. Then do it again! Get the idea?

Your little one will love it! You will love it. Everyone involved will have fun, I promise!

Take Ten!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Play dough and PJ's...

What? You don't make play dough in your pajamas like we do?

This was the first time we've made play dough and it is surprisingly easy. We chose to make a Valentine pink play dough.

Supplies: Kindle set up on table with recipe displayed, oil, salt, flour, water, cream of tartar, food coloring

Here is the complete recipe with instructions: play dough recipe

Mix it all together in a pot, cook on medium-low heat until it clumps together and looks like play dough. It took a total of 15 minutes and voila! We had pink play dough!

The kids were excited, I was excited, even the dog was excited but only because he wanted to eat it. :)

Take Ten!

Monday, February 4, 2013


My little valentinies and I made an art project this last week. It's hanging in our house, a cute Valentine decoration.

We got the idea from this website: it out!

What we used: coffee filters cut into hearts, markers, and medicine droppers filled with water.

We colored the hearts, then dropped water on the colors and watched the colors "bleed" into on another to make a cool tie dye look.

I placed a big plastic bag under the project to cut down on are the hearts!

We're still working on teaching this little girl that markers DO NOT taste She still tries them every time.

Melanie holding up her all turquoise heart.

While the kids took naps, I used a needle and thread to make a heart chain out of their creations.

Then I hung them on our mirror...

Can you find a little boy in this picture?

Take Ten!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kids busy, mommy cooks

The hardest part of the day is getting the kids to not be crazy and wild while I cook dinner. Here are two activities we did to give me some sanity and time to make a good dinner!

Melanie was upstairs at her desk with dry erase letter cards and a dry erase marker, Easton was playing on our chalkboard, and Skyelynn was coloring a picture with paper and crayons. It gave me at least 10 minutes of kids staying busy. :)

The next activity started with the kids drawing on tin foil with crayons....

And then it turned into tin foil hats, tin foil balls and other things. This activity gave me about 20 minutes! Foil is something they do not usually get to play with so you can imagine how exciting it was for the kids. :)

Take Ten!