Wednesday, March 31, 2010

*Our Family Board & Our Family System*

Okay....I am IN LOVE with OUR FAMILY BOARD project I just finished! WOOHOO!
I had so many ideas of what I wanted on this board, cause you know I LOVE organization and chore charts and behavior charts, etc, etc. So, I took my ideas to my sister and she helped me build it & bring my idea to life.
I just Love, love, love how it turned out!! These pics DO NOT do it justice... =)I have a section for each child, I made little chore magnet gems with pictures and words that they can move from "To Do" to "Done." Those are their everyday things that they need to do. I also have other gems that I can put on there for extra jobs for that day or saturday jobs, etc. The paper covered part is also a magnet board for extra jobs, school papers, b-day invites, etc. That is also where I put whose turn it is to have a Date with Mom or a Date with Dad. We switch between my hubby and I and between the kids each month. I made a special magnet for those.
Also, my smiley faces and sad faces you see is how it works:
I made the little Arrow magnets and it has each kids name on their own.
If they do something bad, not listening, hitting, etc. (whatever it may be) they get moved to the middle face (that is their warning). If they do something bad again they get moved to the Sad face and they go to TimeOut. They can also move back to the Middle (okay) face, then the Smiley Face by doing something good, in example: listening, picking up their toys, saying sorry etc.

At the End of the day if they did their Daily Chores They get 2 Point Cards (the ones with the Yellow Smiley Faces, they are worth 1 point each which it says on the back). They may get an extra point for extra jobs that they are given. If they end up on The Smiley face at the end of the day they also get 2 point cards. If they end up on the middle (okay face) they get 1 point card. If they did something extra special Mom or Dad may give them a Reward Card. (This has things like Stay up an extra 10 minutes at bed time, play the computer or video game for 30 minutes, it also says the point value of each reward, they can also buy a reward card if they have enough points, or they can save up their points to buy stuff in the family store that we have every other weekend. I got the original Reward Points Idea and Family Store idea Here
The top part of each childs section has plexiglass that you can use a dry erase marker to write messages and I put a cute picture of each kid from the month underneath. It just screws on and off so I can change out the picture whenever I want

We also give the kids an option between 3 point cards or 25 cents for doing chores each day {(they're young kids, they think 25 cents is awesome ;)} They put their money in their own individual piggy banks and once a month or every couple weeks we count up what they have and put 10% for tithing and they can put some in our big family jug for our family vacation if they would like, and they put the rest in their section of the Family Bank. Whatever money they earn from b-days, Grandpas and Grandmas or chores will eventually end up in the Family Bank and that is their money to save up or buy a little toy or treat, a jump rope from school, etc. When they want something we look to the family bank to see how much they have to spend. There is a section for each kid with their name and in the very front we keep tithing slips and envelopes.

I have thought about every detail of our family system and This board has every detail in it and keeps it all organized. It is quite big, It measures 28 inches (2 feet & 4 inches) from top to bottom and 53 inches (4 feet and 5 inches) across.
My sister made one with just 3 sections so it's a little shorter.
So, that is Our Family System and Our Family Board! Let me know what you think or if you have any questions!!
I may revise it every now and again, but
I'm loving our board and our system & I know we will use it for years!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fun File Folder Games

I am loving File Folder Activities lately. They do take some time because it's a lot of cutting out and coloring. But, they are so great to take to Church or the Doctor's office. Anywhere that you need to help keep the kids quiet and occupied =) There are a lot of free resources online, just search for "free file folder games" and you'll find some. There are many more that I want to do, but I started with the ones from HERE because you can print them out in color and they are very cute!! There are also many more links on that page. So, it is a great place to start! I also found a few good ones from HERE for my older daughter because it has some reading and math ones.
I used my trusty laminator that I got from Target for around $25 about a year ago. I love this thing, it has come in very handy for my music class and church callings, etc. {Well, pretty much any office supply item can get me very excited. I love notebooks, my laminator, my label maker, I love office supply stuff...LOL.}
Here is an example of a few of the File Folder games that I made for my kids
I put about 4 of the folders in each binder
and I used a laminated piece of cardstock for the pocket to hold the little pieces for each game. You can also just use a ziplock and maybe just put it right in one of the the binder holes with each folder.

I also used my lovely label maker to put the name of each game on the folder tab.
I love how they turned out and my kids love them also. The next ones I make I will probably take the file folders to get laminated as well just so they will last longer.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Love it! Great Organization Tips!!

I so LOVE organization {although I'm not always organized...LOL} & great ideas to make a better functioning household. I've always been sorta that way of making millions of lists, planning each step out, taking notes, I've made plenty of To-do lists for myself and charts for my kids, etc. etc.
My most favorite site lately is Meck Mom. She has so many great Organization tips and SO much more than that!
Check out the top 20 readers choice ideas HERE
Very Soon I plan on making my own kinda unique version of each of these:
There are SO many more great ideas there, I never have time to check it all out. Do you know of other similar sites with great ideas? Or what are somethings you do to keep your family more organized?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mom's Learning Circle- February addition =)

I had the lucky opportunity to meet with a wonderful group of women, to talk about motherhood and things to improve on, etc. Some of the women I only sorta know and some I don't know at all. I really hope to get to know them all much better! They are a great group and all inspiring!
I'm glad I wasn't the only one with a notebook that night, I'm such a list maker and note taker anyway, so I just had to take my notebook. I'll be taking it along with me to all our other gatherings as well.=) Such great advise and great ideas that I don't want to forget anything! =)
{A few random things I wrote down}
*Pray each day to see your children (or husband..whoever it may be) as the Savior does.
*The ordinary things in life, simple things your kids do, the simple things we seem to look over sometimes...they are a gift. Remember the gifts of an "Ordinary" day!
*When things get too hard, remember He is Laboring with us every day.
*Work on Balance*Work Smarter- be more efficient with my time in doing the things and getting the things done that need to get done...Be more effecient.
*Being a wife and mom is my JOB. Sometimes it may help to look at it like a real Job. Schedule things out, kids need that anyway. Schedule out activities you wanna do that week with the kids. Make a "Lesson Plan" like a teacher would do of your whole week.
*Respect the things your children wanna do. They feel like they have their own schedule too. {my example-They may want extra time in the tub that night just so they can play with that little boat toy that chugs around the tub when you turn its little motor wheel=)} Let them have that time, their important time.
*1 day a month or whatever it may need to be, have "Kid Day." They're so use to running here, running there, doing all the things you need to do. So, for one day a month all day you do what they want to do. Go to the Library, Go to the Park, Go have a picnic, go get icecream.... Whatever it may be, It's Kids Day!!
*2o minutes out of each hour focus your time on your kids. Play dolls with them, toss the ball back and forth, etc. Then the rest of that hour is yours to get things done (being effecient with your time of course ;). They feel happy because you gave them that time, they will be less likely to bug you when you are trying to finish those everyday tasks.
*Which do you say most often... "Good Job" or "Hurry Up"
*Let them enjoy themselves...jump in a mud puddle...etc. They are discovering, enjoying life, learning.
*Ask them, "What is something good you did today? What is something good you are going to do tomorrow?"
Don't forget to ask yourself that same question!***
Can't Wait for our March Learning Circle!
To learn More about Learning Circles go to The POWER of MOMS

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

50 Great Parenting Tips

I found these online and printed them off a couple years ago. As I was going through a stash of "important" papers I had saved, I found these. Some of them are common sense, but we need that little reminder sometimes. I really love these reminders and any advice I can get so I thought I would share =) I think this would be so great to give to New Parents. Make it into some sort of book or in any cute presentable way!

The 50 Best Parenting Tips Ever
By Diane Debrovner

1. Grant a wish. Take an hour or two each week to do exactly what your child desires without interruptions or distractions -- even if she wants to play a game you hate or build block towers and then knock them all down.
2. Start and end each day with "I love you." We often think we show our love for our children through our actions, but kids want and need to be told that they're loved.
3. Think ahead about safety. Anticipate what your child's next step is likely to be, then babyproof accordingly. If your 9-month-old is about to stand, now's the time to put up the gate, cover the sharp corners of tables, and keep pot handles turned away from the edge of the stove.
4. Praise your partner. Never finish a day without acknowledging -- at least once -- your spouse's role in the life of your children.
5. Choose child care carefully. Spend as much time researching your options as you did the last time you bought a new car. Call others who use the facility, talk with the director and the staff, and spend lots of time observing the children there at play.
6. Leave the scene. If your child is having a meltdown, pick her up from behind to carry her away. Too much face-to-face interaction will escalate the situation.
7. Don't rush to punish. Every child has a cup that needs to be filled -- and refilled -- with love, attention, affection, and respect. A rough day, a big frustration, or a harsh word empties the cup. If your child is acting up, give him a hug, listen to him, and spend time together. He'll be more cooperative, and you'll both feel closer.
8. Never take a bath break. When you bathe your baby, don't answer the phone unless there's a portable one right next to you. An infant can drown in seconds if left unattended.
9. Look the other way. Once a week, ignore one of your child's small transgressions -- bad table manners, forgetting to clean up right away -- and remind yourself that you're not perfect either.
10. Sleep when your baby sleeps. If you keep to your old sleep schedule, you'll be sleep -- deprived, which makes you more likely to be cranky and can contribute to postpartum depression.
11. Don't panic about picky eaters. They won't starve, so just continue to offer a variety of foods and small, frequent meals. Let your kids see how much you like vegetables.
12. Act now, talk later. Respond to your child's misbehavior in the heat of the moment, but talk about the incident later in a "planned discussion," in which you lay down the rules and your expectations.
13. Be your baby's favorite toy. Instead of always offering a plaything, amuse him yourself. After all, you move, you make sounds, you can take turns with him and respond to what he does, and you are warm, soft, and safe.
14. Double-check your carseat. Improperly installed child-safety seats are a major cause of injury. Whenever you put your child in his carseat, make sure it still fits correctly.
15. Be romantic. Go out on dates, kiss in front of your kids, and say, "I love you" to your partner (with your kids in earshot).
16. Keep syrup of ipecac in your glove compartment. You probably have it at home, but you may also need it on the road (if your doctor advises you to use it).
17. Make photo albums. Take two hours a month to create lasting, organized family memories. As you gather photos or souvenirs, you'll have time to reflect on the preciousness of your life.
18. Soothe your baby's dry skin. Keep a jar of thick emollient at the changing table, and massage her legs and thighs at each change.
19. Coin a nickname. Call your child by a special moniker that reflects your unique connection to him. A child with many names is a child loved many times.
20. Read all food labels. Always know what your child is eating, especially if she has food allergies. For instance, whey and casein, common ingredients in packaged goods, are really just milk.
21. Present a united front. When you and your spouse disagree about how to handle misbehavior, keep talking and reading about it until you reach a consensus or a compromise.
22. Make family rituals sacred. Once a week, do an activity together, such as reading a book out loud, taking a walk, driving to the woods, or having Sunday breakfast at the same diner or coffee shop. These are the types of memories your kids will treasure most.
23. Nip aggression in the bud. Don't ever let your toddler hit or kick you, even if you know she's angry or frustrated. Block the hits immediately, and firmly say, "No, you do not hit me."
24. Teach your child simple songs and nursery rhymes. Rhyming and playing with sounds is fun and tunes your child in to the specific skills that are needed for reading.
25. Put your baby down when she's awake. Letting her self-soothe is the key to her sleeping through the night. If you nurse or bottle-feed her before bed and she falls asleep, change her diaper one last time to wake her up.
26. Make amends. One of the most important things you can say to your child is "I'm sorry, I messed up." Admitting you're wrong also gives your child the right to make mistakes.
27. Never make your love conditional. You should love your child just because he was born, not because he plays the piano or aces math tests. Tell him often that you'd love him no matter what grades he got and that your love for him grows bigger every day.
28. Monitor yourself. You are your child's first and most powerful moral teacher, so make sure you set an example that you want her to copy. Ask yourself nightly, What did my child learn from my behavior today?
29. Trust your instincts with child care. If you have reservations about a caregiver or feel that your child isn't doing as well as he could, you're probably right. Don't worry about hurt feelings or awkward conversations. Your child's needs come first.
30. Don't be overprotective. You shouldn't try to shield your child from all disappointments, failures, or stressful situations. Kids need to learn to handle difficulty in order to cope with life's challenges.
31. Avoid vicious cycles. If your child is misbehaving in a particular way and you've told him 100 times before not to do it, don't issue warning No. 101. Instead, make it easier for your child to behave. If he always leaves his coat on the floor, for example, install low hooks in the closet.
32. Let your toddler explore. Parents often don't want their children to bang big pots or do other things that are annoying or messy, but that's the way kids learn.
33. Wake a sleeping baby. There are times when doing this is a good idea -- during a morning nap so he'll be sleepy enough for an afternoon nap, or during an afternoon nap so he'll be sleepy enough at bedtime.
34. Ban bad-mouthing. Kids aren't born to hate -- they learn it. Refuse to allow discriminatory remarks of any kind. Help your child discover the positive traits of people, and teach her to focus on the similarities rather than the difficulties.
35. Bait and switch. When your child is misbehaving, distract him with something that's incompatible with the misbehavior. For example, if your child is grabbing food from someone else's plate, hand him a glass of milk.
36. Encourage friendship over popularity. You can't guarantee that your child will be liked by everyone, and it's not your job to make her popular. Support her friendships, but don't try to micromanage her social life.
37. Wear rose-colored glasses. Your upbeat attitude is critical to your child's self-image. Change your language so everyone views him more positively. For example, instead of saying, "My child is overactive," say, "My child is so energetic."
38. Listen before you give advice. The most crucial moments in parenting are when your child is experiencing an emotion such as sadness, fear, anger, disappointment, or embarrassment. First, help your child label the emotion, and validate how she feels. Then, and only then, suggest ways to solve the problem. That way, your child will be more likely come to you for help.
39. Demonstrate differences to your toddler. For example, your child might like one kind of food (say, sweets) while you prefer another (salad). This is of endless interest to young children, who are learning that people can have different perspectives and tastes -- an important life lesson.
40. Don't be a slave to developmental milestones. Children develop at different rates. Try not to push your child -- he will let you know when he's ready to start crawling, walking, or reading.
41. Limit rewards. Help your child develop his own internal reward system so he congratulates himself for a job well done. Change your pronouns: Instead of "I'm really proud of you," say, "You should really be proud."
42. Don't help too much with homework. It's your child's obligation, not yours. If you pitch in, she'll feel she's not capable of doing it herself.
43. Make honesty a priority. Never lie in front of your kids -- for example, don't tell a telemarketer that your husband isn't home when he's really sitting on the couch.
44. Share your loves. Whether it's a favorite hobby, a wonderful song or poem, a great recipe, one of your favorite childhood memories, or a fun game, it will be remembered and cherished.
45. Set your child's sleep routine. By 3 months, your baby should begin sleeping where you want her to be sleeping at 1 year. After that, it will be much more difficult for her to make a change. If she's in a bassinet, move her to the crib; if you won't be cosleeping, move her out of your bed now.
46. Take your child's side. If you don't know what happened in a particular situation, don't play devil's addvocate. For example, if he says, "I hate the teacher! Today she made fun of me in front of my friends," don't immediately say, "I'm sure you were giving her a good reason."
47. Don't worship expert advice. Believe solely in your children, not in Mozart CDs, baby academies, or flash cards. No one will ever know what your children need or who they really are better than.
48. Be very silly. Dance, burp, laugh until you cry, and spit watermelon seeds at your kids.
49. Plan meals together. Let your kids help choose dishes to make and take part in the preparation - they'll be more likely to eat what's served.
50. Break the rules sometimes. Have ice cream for dinner, or wear pajamas all day on a snowy weekend.

*For 50 more ways to be a fantastic parent check these out. Some are similar but still great!


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