September 2, 2014

Stop Sibling Arguments Object Lesson

My two older kids fight. A lot. More than most siblings do, in my opinion. What's worse is when the two year old gets involved. They fight with words, pokes, shoves, and general meanness.

As we try to model and live our lives in the context of a biblical worldview, this is really difficult to see as parents.  I decided to demonstrate how to stop fighting.

August 28, 2014

My Summer Reading Challenge

Early in June, I shared the Summer Reading Challenge with you all.  I challenged myself, and you, to finally make time to read that book you've been wanting to read.  I also thought it would be a good time to consider what I wanted to read with my children this summer.

August 25, 2014

Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Muffin Recipe

You know I like to bake.  I also like to feed my children somewhat healthily.  This month, I changed one of our favorite recipes to create these chocolate hazelnut banana muffins.

August 22, 2014

Literature-Based Play

I hope readers understand I value children's literature.  Not only do I enjoy reading to and with my children, I have also created some children's crafts and activities to do with them.  This summer I even created a mini literature unit (and here) for my oldest child to do with a great children's chapter book.

When I learned about a new company called Ivy Kids, I was instantly intrigued.  Four and five years ago (before Little Sister's arrival), I had a lot more time to come up with ideas and create activities to do with Big Sister and Brother as shown in what I blogged about back then.

Ivy Kits provide parents with a pre-made, literature-based activities and crafts for children ages 3-8.  Our Ivy Kit arrived quickly and the box was stuffed full.  In addition to the Jump, Frog, Jump! book, a doorknob hanger, bookmark, and more than ten activities, organized in large zippered bags were included.  The Ivy Kit included everything to complete the crafts including directions, materials, glue, and safety scissors.

August 21, 2014

10 Ways to Prepare for Vacation

We have just returned from visiting family.  We were on vacation for a week, and it felt great.  Prior to leaving for anything longer than a weekend, we have a few things we do before we leave for vacation.
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  1. Mail. Place mail and newspapers on hold or arrange for it to be collected regularly.
  2. Pets. Arrange for pet care.  If you have an indoor cat, consider using an automated dispenser for water and dry food.  We use the simple kind, but our neighbors use the fancier type that provide a measured amount at specified times of the day.  Some pets require a sitter or kennel.
  3. Hidden key. If you have a house key hidden outside, remove it.  In fact, remove it altogether and use a permanent wall-mount key safe.  (Linked to the one we own.)  It provides key access "just in case" while securing it in a very sturdy, locked safe.

August 19, 2014

Paper Towel Tie-Dyed Flowers

My children get excited when I suggest a craft (and my oldest also suggests them).  I love to do this for them, but with the age range from two to seven, it's not always easy to find a craft that excites all of them...and the time to do it.  Using paper towels, pipe cleaners, and markers, we made a few cute tie-dyed flowers.  Even my five year old son loved making these tie-dyed flowers.  Thank you to Viva Vantage paper towels for sponsoring this post.
To make your own easy tie-dyed flowers, begin by gathering your materials.

August 18, 2014

Vacation at the In-Laws

Now that Little Sister travels well, we opted to spend a week in rural northeastern Pennsylvania where we grew up (an hour apart).  We stayed with my husband's parents and had a great vacation.  We were able to visit with all of the grandparents at least twice and just enjoy ourselves.  
10 ways to have fun while on vacation at the in-laws.  #frugal #vacation
Maybe you can do the same sort of relaxing and fun family activities on an almost staycation.  Here are a few ways we had fun on vacation while staying with my in-laws (who are pretty awesome).

Ride with the top down.
(Yes, my in-laws live on a dirt road.  Can you see my son's hand waving?)