Monday, December 29, 2008


One of the ways to help our children work at something with all their heart is to help them set goals for the New Year. You might thing that only adults make New Year's resolutions. But, developing plans to reach a goal is an important part of life for all ages, and helping our children set and meet goals builds a foundation that will last a lifetime.
Keep these things in mind when helping kids make and keep their New Year's goals:
  • Set Realistic goals. Often kids give up because goals overwhelm them. Unmet goals can lead to a sense of failure, but as goals are met, confidence improves.
  • Monitor progress. Talk to your kids about how they are doing (and feeling) about their goals. Or make a checklist for the steps needed to achieve the goal.
  • Be flexible. Setbacks will happen. Don't allow your child (or you) to get discouraged and give up. Use setbacks as teaching opportunities.
  • Believe in your child (and yourself). Stay positive about the progress and don't judge the outcome too early.
  • Celebrate!! Acknowledging achievement, even the smallest ones, is a great motivation. Celebrating the achievement of steps is as important as celebrating when the overall goal is met.

As you're helping your child make goals for the New Year, why not make a few for yourself, too!

  • Help try and make the best goals for you and your family this year
  • Help to change your priorities if needed in order to reach your goals
  • Have Fun....Enjoy is too short to be unhappy...we only live once!!

My Family With Santa

Andrew, Ella, Tyler, Steve & I Visiting Santa
(Irvine Park Railroad Santa Train Rides)

Saturday, December 27, 2008


**This Contest is now closed!!**
I will be announcing the winner shortly!!

With the New Year approaching I think it is important for us to stop and reflect on all the wonderful things in our lives! I recently read a wonderful book that I loved!!

Small Blessings By Erica Becker

This book is about taking a moment to breathe in the blessings in your life. Slow down. Enjoy to moment. Take time to be Thankful for your small blessings!! It reminded me that sometimes it's the little things that bless our lives the most! It has wonderful uplifting illustrations and is a great fast read!
We will be giving away of copy of this book!
Contest Ends January 5, 2009

To Enter to win a copy:
1. Leave a comment below
2. Please leave your email address if you are not a blogger

For Extra Entries
1. Follow our blog
2. Grab our button
3. Post our Giveaway on your blog
(Please post an additional comment below for the extra entries)

Good Luck!!

Friday, December 26, 2008


Well, my son begged to have Bakugan this Christmas and I went to a million stores to track the toy down. When we opened it and read the instructions we were both extremely confused!! So, my son and I set out to watch many YouTube videos of how-to play Bakugan. It was really fun for my son to see all these kids who have made their own video's to help teach the game! Without them we never would of figured out the game. Once we mastered how to play Andrew had to make his own YouTube video ~ so check it out! (He is very excited about making it!)

The best thing that I learned about Bakugan is that you can use it to help teach your child math! I am always looking for a learning benefit from the toys that are produced today. To play the game you have to add up the numbers on your creature with the numbers on the cards. For a six year old double digit math is a challenge. So, we got out a paper and pencil and it was a great opportunity to teach him how to do double digit math! Every time we had a round of Bakugan he will write down the numbers and add them up to find the winner!! The game takes much longer....but the benefit will help them so much!!

Have fun and enjoy!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

HAPPY KWANZAA!! (The History of Kwanzaa)

December 26th - January 1st
Kwanzaa is a week long celebration honoring African American heritage with the lighting of the Kinara. Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among African American people as well as Africans throughout the world African community. These values are called the Nguzo Saba which in Swahili means the Seven Principles.

Developed by Dr. Ron Karenga his goal was to "...give African Americans an alternative to the existing holiday and give African Americans an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society." Kwanzaa was first celebrated from December 26, 1966-January 1, 1967.

Families celebrating Kwanzaa decorate their households with art, colorful African cloth, especially the wearing of the Uwole by women, and fresh fruits that represent African idealism. It is customary to include children in Kwanzaa ceremonies and to give respect and gratitude to ancestors.

A Kwanzaa ceremony may include drumming and musical selections, libations, a reading of the "African Pledge", a discussion of African history, a candle-lighting ritual, artistic performance, and, finally, a feast (Karamu). The greeting for each day of Kwanzaa is "Habari Gani," which is Swahili for "What's the News?"

Happy Kwanzaa!!


When your kids get cranky, parents often do too, especially during the busy holiday season. Here are some easy suggestions to calmly gain control and salvage the day!

  • Stop what you are doing. Sit on the floor and quietly read some books together
  • Let your child take a warm, soothing bath.
  • Play some soft gently music
  • Turn off the television
  • Turn down the lights ~ Light some nice scented candles
  • Talk in a very soft gentle voice
  • Encourage everyone to relax ~ love one another!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Reminders

May the Christmas presents remind you
of God's greatest gift- His only begotten son.
May the Christmas candles remind you
of Him who is the Light of the World.
May the Christmas tree remind you
of another tree on which He died for you.
May the Christmas cheer remind you
of Him who said, "Be of good cheer."
May the Christmas feast remind you
of Him who is the Bread of Life.
May the Christmas snow remind you
of the cleansing power of Christ.
May the Christmas bells remind you
of the glorious proclamation of His birth.
May the Christmas carols remind you
of His glad tidings which we are to proclaim to all mankind.
May the Christmas season remind you
in every way of Jesus Christ your King!

Merry Christmas~!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I have posted a no-bake recipe using applesauce and I thought some of you might be interested in this recipe as well! It is very similar, but a little easier!! If looking for a no-bake recipe then please scroll down the blog!!
Bake Cinnamon Ornament Recipe

1 cup cinnamon
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup white glue

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees
  2. Mix ingredients together, adding a little more water if dough seems too dry
  3. Roll out dough and cut out shapes with cookie cutters
  4. Place shapes in oven
  5. Turn ornaments every 10 minutes
  6. Remove them when firm

Again remind kids that the dough is not for eating. :)

Make sure and poke a hole in the top for a cute ribbon!!

Decorate with paints, glue and collage items

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I got a special request for this recipe! Be patient because this project takes time, but it will result in a beautiful crystal suspended on a string!
Have Fun!!
Crystals on a String

2 Tbl. alum
4 Tbl. alum
1/4 Cup hot water
2 Cups boiling hot water
2Large Glass jars
Coffee filter
String or Pipe cleaner

  1. In a bowl, add 2 Tbl. alum to 1/4 cup hot water, and stir until alum completely dissolves.
  2. Pour mixture into a saucer, and let stand until liquid evaporates (1-2 days).
  3. The evaporated mixture will leave a number of Crystals behind. Choose one of the longest, best formed crystals, and carefully tie a length of thread around its middle. Set is aside in a clean, dry place.
  4. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil
  5. rinse out a clean glass jar with hot tap water. (You are pre-heating the jar to prevent it from cracking during the next step.)
  6. Add the 4 Tbls. of alum to the jar, then slowly add the boiling hot water until the jar is 3/4 full. Stir until the alum dissolves. Then allow the mixture to cool
  7. Strain the mixture through a coffee filter into the second glass jar.
  8. Lay the pencil across the top of the jar, and tie the thread with the previously formed crystal on it to the pencil. The crystal should hang inside the jar, near the bottom but not touching it.
  9. Wait for a large alum crystal to form.

This is not recommended for younger children, because they tend to have trouble waiting for the end result. This is best for Kindergarten and up age children!

Send me an email if you have any questions! Have fun!!

TOYS R' US 20% OFF COUPON ~ FREE ~ Babies R' Us Coupons ~ Formula & Diapers

Hooray! I am officially done with my kids Christmas Shopping!! I have one 20% off coupon left for Toys r' us if anyone wants it! It expires on 12/24/08 and is for in-store only, so I would recommend that someone local pick it up. (Orange County).

Well I got some more in the mail today. These also expire on 12/24. If you are not local I can pop them in the mail right away if you want them!
**The 20% off coupon has been taken...the three below are still available!***
  1. Save 10% on any 2 huggies value boxes diapers
  2. Save $5 on any two similac, Enfamil or Good Start 16 oz. or larger formula
  3. Save 20% every kid upholstered chair

First person to blog a comment can have it! Please blog what coupon you want and your email so I can contact you for delivery!
First come first serve!!
Happy Holidays!!


Legacy of an Adopted Child
Once there were 2 women who never knew each other.
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother
Two different lives shaped to make you one
One became your guiding star.
The other became your sun.
The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love, the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name.
One gave you a talent, the other gave you aim.
One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried your tears.
One sought for you a home that she could not provide.
The other prayed for a child and her hope was not denied.
And now you ask me through your tears
The age-old question, unanswered through the years.
Heredity or environment.
Which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling. Neither.
Just two different kinds of love.
Author Unknown

Monday, December 15, 2008


I love to make a special ornament with my children every year for their Grandparents. This year we are going to make no-bake cinnamon gingerbread men ornaments. (This is a non-edible dough recipe).
What you will want to do is make the ornaments with your children and then let them decorate them with paints and maybe glue some buttons for eyes..etc...

This recipe will make 12 ornaments!!

1 cup ground cinnamon
3/4 cup applesauce

1. Blend cinnamon and applesauce in mixing bowl. Stir until a stiff dough forms.
2. Roll out dough to 1/4" thickness
3. Cut into shapes with the cookie cutters
4. Poke a hole in the top to tie a ribbon on
5. Air-dry several days on a wire rack, turning occasionally

(Important to remind your kids that they cannot eat this dough.....major tummy ache will happen!!)

We will post pictures of our creations after they are completed!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


One of our most favorite holiday traditions to do in our family is to make Gingerbread Man cookies! The kids and I always have a blast making them together. While they are baking in the oven I always read to them the gingerbread man story. After we finish reading the story I sneak over to the oven take one out and hide it in the house. We have a blast running around the house trying to find it!!

Here is our favorite recipe for Gingerbread Man Cookies!


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

  • 3/4 cups of mollases

  • 1 slightly beaten egg

  • 1/2 cup softened butter

1. combine all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Stir to blend together. Mix in 1/2 cup of softened butter, 3/4 cup mollases, and egg. Dough will be very stiff, so you may need to use your hands. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

3. Roll dough into 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into the shape of the gingerbread man.

4 Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven.....decorate!!


Ok, so with the holidays coming....we are all going to be setting lots of tables. Let you kids help you with the process of getting ready for company!!

Napkin Fractions!!

Make fractions fun. Fold paper towel or napkins into large or small fractions. Start with halves and move to eights and sixteenths. Use magic markers to label the fractions!

My son loves to do this with me every time we have company over!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Make fun winter scenes with snow paint. It dries glossy white and puffy.

1 cup White King Laundry soap
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup liquid starch

1. Combine soap, water and starch in a bowl.
2. Beat with a wire whisk for 3 minutes

  • Make icy winter scenes or snowflakes by using snow paint on dark black construction paper.
  • Add tempera paint or food coloring

Friday, December 12, 2008


I have two coupon checks available for the first person to comment their email on this posting!
I will email you for your mailing address...please don't post your mailing address on the blog!
There are two coupon checks. One is for $4.00 and one is for $5.00. They are good on all Enfamil Next Step Lipil Formula. They expire on January 31, 2009.


**This Coupon Has Been Taken**
I have one 20% off coupon for Gymboree available. It is good through December 24, 2008.
It is free to the first person to comment their email address below. I can either mail you the coupon or email you the promotional code to use it online!
Happy Holiday Shopping! :)


Peppermint Bark is a super fun cooking activity to do with your kids.....and they can participate in a lot of the cooking!!

1 cup crushed candy canes

2 pounds white chocolate
Dash of Peppermint flavorings

Place candy canes in a plastic bag and hammer into 1/4-inch chunks or smaller. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Combine candy cane chunks with chocolate (add peppermint flavoring at this point if desired.) Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet layered with parchment or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm. Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces.

How to get the kids involved:
Place all the candy canes into Ziploc bags. Give the kids a plastic toy hammer. Place the bags on the sidewalk outside and let them have a blast hammering the candy canes into pieces!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


So, this is my favorite playdough recipe!! Tomorrow the kids and I are going to make a huge bunch!! We will post some pictures of us cooking later this week!!
Peppermint PlayDough
(This dough is not edible)

2 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
2 Teaspoons alum
1 Tbl. Peppermint extract
1 cup of water
Red food coloring

1. Mix flour, salt and alum in a bowl
2. Add peppermint extract to water and slowly stir into dry ingredients
3. Knead until smooth
4. Add 6-10 drops of food coloring
5. Knead lightly for 1 minute

  • Remind children that this dough is not meant to be eaten
  • Air-dry for approx. 48 hours or bake on foil-lined cookie sheet, at 200 degrees for 1-2 hours
  • This dough will retain its smell even after it has dried


The Holiday season is a very busy time for you and your family. In addition, it is a time of year that offers many opportunities for learning with your child. Here is a list of some fun things you can do with your children while preparing for the Holiday!!

1. Let your child help you buy the stamps and mail packages at the post office. If you have a home scale, show them how it works.

2. Let them help with the addressing of the family cards; explain your alphabetized address book to them.

3. Encourage them to help with purchasing, measuring, and cooking of the special holiday foods.

4. Ask them to figure approximately how many yards of colored paper and ribbon you use to wrap gifts. Perhaps they could keep track of the cost of this.

5. Take them Christmas shopping with you. Explain what a credit card is and what tax is. Let them pay for your lunch.

6. Clarify just who their relatives are. Is his Grandmother Smith his Mother's or Father's Mother?

7. When buying a Christmas tree, ask their opinion of the kind of tree they like. Let them count the lights and bulbs when decorating the tree. Try to use a few of his color preferences. Explain why the tree needs water or the advantages of owning an artificial tree.

Undoubtedly your family has unique Christmas experiences. Use these to help your child learn from as well as enjoy the Christmas Holiday!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Store Hours!!

The holidays are around the corner and things are getting pretty busy around here!

Please note that production time right now is 10 days.
I will try my best to have your order out as quickly as possible.

Please order early to get your goodies in time for the holidays.~~



Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fun and Fantastic Travel Size Felt Boards!! ~ Snollygoster's

We would love to share with you a wonderful new company we found called


It is founded and run by a wonderful Mother of two young children and an aunt of five! She had been selling her travel felt boards at craft fairs. Since her products have been in such high demand she has opened her first online store!

She has developed these wonderful travel size felt boards! They have a great storage pocket to hold all your felt pieces. It all folds up and can be put right into your diaper bag!! I have never seen such a wonderful creation for being able to use felt stories on the go!

These travel size boards will make wonderful holiday gifts!

These are a must have for any family who loves felt stories!
Glitterful Felt Stories highly recommends Snollygoster's !!

Price $18.00

Link to her store:

Glitterful Felt Stories Featured!!

Glitterful Felt Stories was just featured in a Treasury of Favorite items!!
Please view our items in "Things To Do!"
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