Raising Independent Children: Three and Four Year Olds

chores

Three and four year olds are usually independent by nature. They want to “do it” themselves even though they may not be able to finish the task. They may find it harder to transition at this stage and may need to be warned of changes before hand (we are going to the store in 5 minutes). They readily accept suggestions and can follow simple directions. They enjoy helping with chores and this is a good time to start a simple chore chart for them. When giving them a choice, let them choose between two things (i.e. you can wear the red or the blue shirt today). Three and four year olds may become more picky at meal times. Decide how you best want to handle these situations. If you make a rule, such as, you must try at least two bites of everything, stick with it. Children that are three and four should be able to: Dress Use potty by themselves Learn to brush teeth (but may need some help still) Pick up toys Say prayers with help Make bed by straightening covers Make a … [Read more...]

Tips for Raising Independent Children

growing-up

What is our responsibilities as parents? Certainly we must love, nurture and protect our children. However, we must also make sure that our children grow up to be responsible and responsible adults and this means teaching them the skills that they will need as they mature and grow. In order to raise children that will be able to eventually live and thrive on their own, we must create a balance. Raising independent children does not mean an environment where there is too much freedom and not enough parental guidance. On the other hand, if you make all the choices for your children, they will never learn to be independent. Here are a few tips for raising independent children: Don’t Do Everything for Your Child I know this is hard, very hard, however, as a parent, we need to teach our children and let them try it on their own. It may be faster for me to tie my son’s shoelaces every day, but if I never teach him how and then let him try, he will never be able to tie his laces. … [Read more...]

12 Days of Christmas DIY – Organization

Organized Christmas

This is the second day of my 12 Days of Christmas DIY. I have scoured Pinterest and found so many cool and fun crafts and DIY projects just for Christmas. Today is all about Organization. I don't know about you, but sometimes I struggle with organization. There is nothing more stressful than not having things organized. This year, I tried to find some great organization ideas for Christmas. The first thing I do it print out a calendar using Word. They have many templates and themes. I write in all the concerts, parties and activities that we are involved in. Then I had drop dead dates to make and send Christmas cards, purchase or make teacher gifts and service projects. This keeps me at least on the right track for the season. Here are some of my favorite organization projects that I have found for Christmas on Pinterest: … [Read more...]

12 Days of Christmas DIY – Advent Calenders

Advent

This is the first day of my 12 Days of Christmas DIY! I have scoured Pinterest and found so many cool and fun crafts and DIY projects just for Christmas. Today is all about Advent Calendars. Its not to late to start and Advent Calendar. Over the years we have made many different calendars. Some were very simple, some were a little more elaborate. Last year I made one that feature pictures of Christ with related scriptures. Making Advent Calendars is a fun family activity and is sure to get the whole family involved. Below are my favorite advent calendars that I have pinned to my Pinterest Board. Make sure you check them out and have fun making an Advent Calendar with your family! … [Read more...]

Who Makes the Food You Eat?

fruits and vegetables

I was recently sent this inforgraphic and I thought I would share it. Did you know that only a few companies make most of the food that you find in your grocery store? Why not try out a local farmer's market for some of your food items? I just signed up for a local share program from Tagge's Fresh Fruits. This local farm delivers shares of fresh fruits and vegetables to a central point in my city. I just have to pick it up once a week starting in July. What a great way to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Provided by finances online | Chris Sibbet | Our Google+ … [Read more...]

20 Great Recipes for Cinco de Mayo

chicken-soft-taco-recipe

Growing up in Southern California made me a big fan of Mexican and Tex Mex food! There was a shop not far from our house that made hand made tortillas. They also expanded their tortilla shop and started to sell enchiladas, tacos and tamales for the lunch crowd. This was the best Mexican food that I ever ate. After moving away from So Cal, I found it hard to find great Mexican food, so I started making my own. No crunchy taco shells for me! They had to be corn tortillas, fried in a pan of oil with shredded beef seasoned just right. Over the years, I have looked for other great Mexican/Tex Mex recipes and recently I asked a few of my blogging friends their favorites as well. Enjoy these great recipes for Cinco De Mayo! Starters: Queso Fundido with Soy Chorizo Salsa de Aguacate - Avocado Salsa Mango Salsa Creamy Avocado Dip Recipe Homemade Tortilla Chips in the Microwave Mini Chicken Chimichangas Appetizer Recipe Side Dishes: Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Mexican … [Read more...]

Five Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

The Shopping Duck - Candy Bar Sayings Card

Valentine's Day is tomorrow - did you remember? This year I am way ahead of the game! I ordered treats for my older daughter and husband and bought cute gifts for my two younger kids. I am not always so prepared though! Here are some of my favorite last minute Valentine's Day Gift Ideas that are easy and fun to put together: Make a Candy Bar Card - These cards are easy to make and fun too! Make one for your significant other or for your kids. Included are a list of candy bars with appropriate sayings so you don't have to do the thinking. Love Notes Jar - Cut up strips of paper or cardstock and write down what you love him or her! Get the kids involved too. Add some treats and put it all in a mason jar. The notes can be opened up during the year making this gift last. Doughnut Holes - Grab a paper bag and add in some doughnut holes. Then print out this free printable and you have a quick and easy gift! Stud Muffin - Go to your local grocery store or bakery and buy a … [Read more...]

Valentines Treats for Kids: Lollipop Covers

Valentines Treats Lollipop Covers

Looking for a last minute Valentine's Day idea for your child's classroom? These Valentines Treats are sure to please. Four different design featuring a snail, grasshopper, ladybug and bee. Simply print off the sheets onto paper or cardstock and then staple or use double sided tape or a tape runner to glue together on three sides. Insert a lollipop, sucker or pencil and you have the perfect treat for your child's friends! You can download these cute printables here. … [Read more...]

Valentines Day Boxes: Tissue Box Craft

Valentines Day Box

This year my son's teacher emailed us and let us know that each student should be prepared to bring in a mailbox for Valentines Day. I searched for some ideas for Valentines Day Boxes and eventually came up with my own idea. This Valentines Day Box, made from a tissue box, is easy to make and can be used for treats as well. Materials Needed: Tissue Box (preferably the rectangular box that open on the top) Tissue Paper in various colors Glue (I used a glue stick) Mod Podge Foam Brush Valentine's Day Stickers (mine are from Hobby Lobby) Instructions: Cut the tissue paper into small squares, triangles and other shapes. Glue the tissue paper to the empty tissue box, overlapping the pieces as you go. You can also fold over pieces to reach around corners. Using a foam brush, mod podge the tissue box. This ensures that all the pieces will stay on the box. Let dry. Add Valentine's Day Stickers to the box. Cut a piece of tissue paper to fit inside the box. You can … [Read more...]

Give Back by Giving Blood

Donate Blood

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to participate in my first blood drive. In the past I have tried to give blood, but I usually come up a little anemic. This time, I passed the test!  I have a requested blood type (O-), so I know it is important to donate. The Red Cross set up a donation station at our local church building.  Before you are able to give blood, there is a screening process. This screening process is used to determine if there are risk factors that might prevent you from giving blood. Please be honest!  Next, your blood pressure is tested as well as the iron content of your blood (they will prick your finger!). Finally, you are taken to one of the gurneys where they insert a needle (not gonna lie here, it does hurt) and the blood starts flowing! After the blood donation, you will be given juice and cookies and asked to rest for 10-15 minutes. If you want to have the best experience possible, remember these tips before you donate: Before You Donate Drink … [Read more...]