My All-Time Favorite Kid’s CD

I grew up listening to Hide ‘Em in Your Heart, Vol. 1 & 2 but had nearly forgotten all about it until my sister gave me the two-for-one CD for Christmas.

My first thought was, I’m going to be so sad if my kids don’t like it.

So, before I popped it in my CD player,  I said “Guess what?!?  This was mommy’s favorite music when I was a kid, and now we can learn the songs and listen to it together!”

Then I skipped right to my two favorite songs as a kid:  “God loves a Cheerful Giver” and “Encourage One Another.”

At first, my kids ONLY wanted to listen to those songs for the first day or two, but then as the songs played without them noticing, they eventually fell in love with ALL of the songs.

This CD has been a GREAT teaching tool because when my little girl is afraid of “sharks” and “alligators” at night, we sing “When I am afraid, I will trust in HIM.”

Or, when they are complaining, I sing “Do everything without complaining.”

It is a great way to introduce and memorize Scripture naturally and regularly which is my favorite way to do things.

My kids are under 5 so it is really appropriate for them, but I remember liking this CD as a 10 year old child.  I can’t promise that your kids will love it because I know Kid’s bop and Disney music are kid favorites these days, but it is worth a try because the content it priceless.

I hope you like it as much as we do!

riding in the car

An Elf Alternative

I have noticed that Elf lovers and Elf haters BOTH have something in common… they are happy with their own way of doing things.
Casey has great Elf ideas (that even incorporate Bible verses), and Krista is an example of someone who all of you Elf-Haters could relate to.  I am not Pro Elf or Anti Elf.

I think I might even fit into a whole new category.

I’m just kind of an observer of all things elf.  So, when I saw these elves, I bought them but I didn’t have any intention of doing the Elf on the Shelf thing.


Stuffed Elves


I actually had a few different ideas in mind:

1) To give them as gifts this year to friends, each holding Personalized Chocolate Bar with caricatures of our family dressed as elves.  (I was really proud when I came up with this gift idea!)


Elf Gift


2) To tell our kids that Santa sent us elf toys to take with us each time we go to do something special for Christmas (like picking out a Christmas tree, caroling, taking pictures with Santa, or going to parties).  If I forget to take them, we will just tell our elves all about them when we get home.  Each child gets their own elf and it is simply a plush toy – no magic involved.


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3) To decorate with the little cuties.


Decorating with Elves


4) To make boring spots of our house fun and festive…. like the microwave.  I love that their hands velcro together.


plush elves


There isn’t going to be much more to it than that for me, but this was exactly the elf I had been looking for if I was ever going to consider including Elves in our holiday traditions or household.

But maybe you do want this to be your Elf on the Shelf and in that case, CLICK HERE and go buy them. 🙂

 

DIY Rain Chain



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Head’s up!  Father’s day is THIS WEEKEND, not next like I kept telling myself.  My son had this brilliant idea to buy my husband some outdoor speakers for Father’s Day, which I really thought was a great idea (something I would enjoy too), but have you checked out the prices for those babies?  Yeah – it’s like the cost of formula for a year.  Not gonna happen.

Keep on brainstorming… Well, one thing my husband and I have always wanted is a rain chain… especially the copper ones that hang from beautiful, expensive copper gutters that we don’t have (as seen here in this video).  And those can be upwards of $100 or more… also not going to happen.

So, I decided that we are going to forego the pretty copper and make our own!  And I always say, “who can resist something handmade by kids?”  Let’s take a zero off of that $100 and make something similar for $10!

Supplies:  6 or more small terra cotta pots, 2 – 36″ extender chains for hanging planters

My kids and I picked up these small terra cotta pots from the Dollar General for $1 each.  They thought these were beautiful with the flowers painted on them… but I thought “eek!”  we can paint that… which they were ok with since I mentioned they would be the ones painting them.

 

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We bought 6 of them (because that’s what they had) and it makes a pretty decent length for a rain chain in my opinion.  We also purchased 36″ extender chains for hanging planters from the Dollar General which was $1.50… so we got 2 of them and got to work!



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Make sure that your pots have holes in the bottom because that is essential for this project for the chain to go through, and for the water to drain as well (because this is also a functional project).

The chain links are supposed to be bigger than the hole so your pots do not slip down the chain.  But how do you get the chain through the hole?

Using pliers I removed the link where I wanted my pot to rest.  I took that link and squished one side down which was the perfect size to go through the pot.



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I put about 5-6 links between one pot and the next.



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Then my kids wanted to do some more painting so I let them have at it 🙂



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This project probably took us about 30 minutes.  I will probably also get a large saucer and put some river rocks in it to collect water on the ground.  A nice little . to the !  (But then this would be more than a $10 project).

Extra:  Extra tip means extra $$.  If you want to seal the paint, use a clear matte acrylic spray paint that you can find at stores that sell spray paint (Walmart, Home Depot, Hobby Lobby, etc.).

Happy Fathers Day to all of you Daddy Teachers and to all the Mommy Teachers who play both roles!

Displaying Art Work

I took my son to see the doctor for his routine “return-from-traveling-with-a-cold” visit.  After asking the typical questions about his diagnosis, “Is he contagious?”  “What can I give him to stop the whining pain?” my next questions were, “Can I take a picture of your art work?” and “Can I blog about it?”  From the look on her face, this was the first time she had gotten asked that question at an appointment.

You see, I fell in love with how she had her own children’s artwork displayed in her patient rooms.  After she agreed to allow me to take pictures and blog about them, she showed me around the office to see all of her kids’ art!  I just loved it all!  It’s so hard to not just love a painting or drawing done by a child… even if it’s just lines and dots.

The ways that she had the different projects displayed turned simple child art into masterpieces… framed and hung as if they belonged in a gallery.  What child wouldn’t feel so special to have their artwork displayed so prominently in their home?

This is the one that especially caught my eye:



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She took her kids to a local art class and this was the project they did with water colors and crayons.  I love this because she framed the same project done by all three kids.  It’s beautiful and so cheerful!

These paintings could have easily been placed in their baby boxes and forgotten for years until re-discovered down the road when the kids are heading off to college.  Instead, my eyes were immediately drawn to them when I walked into her office.

Arts and crafts stores such as Hobby Lobby and Michaels do custom framing, but you can also just bring them an old frame and whatever artwork/pictures you want to frame.  They will cut a matte to fit (that’s the purple part you see between the frame and the picture).  The matte is what makes this look so polished.

I also love how she had each of the kids sign their names under their artwork.  Real artists in the making!

Here is my other favorite from another of the patient rooms:



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What a great idea to allow your child to use his or her own picture in his/her painting!  I can’t wait to do something similar soon!

This also made me think of my friend’s house and how she displays her kids’ artwork:



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1. I love the wall decal with one of my favorite quotes and 2. I love the fact that this is interchangeable, but still clean.  (You can purchase a similar wall decal here on Amazon and the wall mount with clips here).

These ideas are all way better than how I have most of our artwork displayed (I’m pretty sure the whole alphabet will not fit on our back doors):



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And obviously my kids now think they can stick anything on the doors since they are now covered in stickers as well.

Here are two other ideas from my house:



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Jessica also sent me these two amazing pictures and I am totally going to steal this idea because I love it so much!  Let the frame-collecting begin!



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How do you display your child’s masterpieces?  Please share with us on Facebook @themommyteacher!

 

 

 

 

Presents The Kids Are Still Playing With After Christmas

You gotta love when you – I mean, when Santa spends all that time and energy on the “right” presents (and not to mention the expenses) so your kids can play with the boxes they are packaged in, or the pillows on your freshly-made beds.

Santa is starting to think he should have given the kids a nook or an iPad as opposed to the extra plastic and clutter lying around the house, but their wish-list tricked him.

Still, many of our presents are still providing lots of entertainment.  To name a few…

My sister bought this science kit for Sean Patrick:

Learning Resources Primary Science Lab Set

And we love it.  It comes with cards to tell you how to do science experiments that are kid-friendly.  When my toddler goes down for a nap, Sean Patrick can’t wait to do his experiment.


How to make pennies shiny


Learning how to make pennies shiny!


Cleaning our science tools


Cleaning our science tools.

 

He even likes to clean the tools.   How could I not be excited about that?

My mother-in-law got us the learning tower that he stands on to do the experiments and the dish-washing.  I used to think only hippie-parents would want this and that I would never want it because it takes up space, but y’all…. I am in love, and I was wrong.  Or maybe I am a hippie?

Guidecraft All Grown Up Kitchen Helper Step Stool

Anyway, my kids stood on it for a half hour after we took it out of the box saying “This is awesome! This is AWEsome!  This is aweSOME!”  repeatedly.

And I love that they no longer try to climb onto the counter tops or pull chairs to the counters.

Sean Patrick is also loving his Jake and the Neverland Pirate Ship.  It’s been fun hearing him attempt to talk like a pirate “Ahoy matey” is stinking adorable.  AHH, I have to drop stinking from my vocabulary… help!  Sean Patrick calls me out on using a potty word when I’m not in the bathroom and it is humbling haha.

Fisher-Price Disney's Jake and The Never Land Pirates - Jake's Musical Pirate Ship Bucky

As far as Mckayla’s presents go, her pretend makeup is the absolute best, pretend makeup that exists on the market:

Little Cosmetics Essential Pretend Makeup Set

It is completely pretend but it seems totally real.  So perfect.

Finally, I made the kids some colorful ribbon streamers and it has also been a BIG hit as a dancing accessory.


dancing with ribbon streamers


 

Thanks to everyone who commented on my Facebook page about what gifts your kids are using most…. it gives me good ideas for my kiddos birthdays in 2014.

 



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