Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Free Online Job/Chore Chart

Hey you moms and dads with messy kids out there, this is a MUST read!

I've been wanting to find a new job system for my kids before summertime hits my house (yeah, you totally know what I mean)! I wanted to be a step ahead--having a good system in place so I don't have to nag at my kids when we should be making the most of our time together. I can't even tell you how EXCITED I am to share this post!

Yes, there are so many cutesy charts out there in Pinterest/blog-land that may work great for some of you. I'm not putting them down in any way. I've seen some REALLY cool, impressive systems and I think they're all great! But for me...well, I'll be honest. Most of them require too much maintenance on MY part. I'm a great starter...until it becomes too much work for me to keep up with it all. I don't like laminating charts, updating jobs, monitoring progress, flipping over magnets, sliding in chore cards, tallying up points, trying to remember who's supposed to do what on which day, trying to find a good wall for these charts to hang on, keeping track of the dry erase markers, and all the headache that goes along with paying up and trying to be consistent and fair. I have five busy kids and am in school full-time. This new system was an answer to prayers.

 Let me tell you-- this system is hands down the best one I've ever seen. (No, I'm not paid by the company--I'm just so in love with it and want to share my success with everyone!)My awesome friend enlightened me to it's magic and now I'm sharing it with you...
It's called My job chart.
It's free and so easy to use! Here's how it works:

You take about an hour or so, depending on how many jobs/kids you have (that's about how long it took me), to set it up. Believe me, it's so very worth your time.

The kids can access it from any computer, ipad, ipod, tablet, the wii, some phones, and probably other electronic devices I'm not thinking of ...maybe even from their DS (haven't tried that yet)!

It puts them in total control and is great for all ages. Even my little 4 year-old can do it all by herself!

Once you get it set up, there's very little maintenance on your part. And the cool thing is that it feels like a game to them. My kids are beyond excited and have been cleaning like crazy!

Here is an example of what their job screen might look like-->

1. The kids do the jobs, which earns them points as they check them off. 
2. They get to "spend" their points on whatever privileges or $ amount I put in there for them to choose from.
3. Once they've chosen, I'm notified (your choice-- email or text) to pay up...and I love that it's not always in money! It's wonderful!


So, there you have it! So easy, fun, and VERY effective!
Ok, parents, let's kick summer's butt! Yeah, go us!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Gory Feast

 I LOVE Halloween!

Actually, I'm pretty much a huge fan of every holiday. Any excuse to have a little party or add a little flair to your daily routine is okay with me!

But Halloween...ahhh. :) There's just something about thinking out-of-the-box and making everyday things gross, scary, and gory! I just LOVE it!

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Halloween flair-

I just prepared my spaghetti & sauce like usual, but I combined them before serving so it would look "bloody". For the meatballs, I used store-bought meatballs (yes, I roll like that these days). I baked them as directed, but in the last 5 minutes or so, I added a slice of a mozzarella cheese stick round on top of each meatball and topped it with a piece of an olive and baked it until melted. That's it! Give it a fun, gory name and your kids will think you're a rock star!

Steamed Broccoli with Halloween flair-

Yes, the stems are edible...and delicious. Probably the sweetest part of the broccoli. I admit I'm guilty of not using them as often as I should...wasteful, I know. It's easier (and faster) to cut up the tops and throw away the stems. But this time I took the broccoli (stem and all) and peeled around the outside of the stem with a potato peeler (to get rid of the stringy, woody parts). I sliced from the bottom of the stem first, working my way up to the florets in long lengths. I just steamed them as usual and gave them a fun name.

We also had breadsticks that I tied the ends of before baking to make them look like bones, but I forgot to take a picture of them before they were devoured! I found a picture at The Hillbilly Chicks blog showing how to make them:

Image from: thehillbillychicks.blogspot.com
Cute, aren't they? They didn't last long at my table.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

FREE Printable Simplified Primary Songs

I was so excited today to find these FREE, printable simplified piano songs!
My kids LOVE playing primary songs. These ones are especially great because they're FREE (take note of the copyright section and make sure to be honest in the way you use these), the arrangements sound great, and they even have newer songs, like "As a Child of God". These aren't just for kids, by the way. These are also perfect for adults who are wanting to learn to play the piano, as well. These are the songs they have listed:

-As a Child of God
-Nephi's Courage
-I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus
-I Will Be Valiant
-I Feel My Savior's Love
-Love One Another
-Families Can Be Together Forever
-I Love To See the Temple
-I Want to Be a Missionary Now
-Silent Night

I just found out from a friend that they've been printing these simplified versions in each Friend magazine recently! HERE's the link to the Friend magazines. I'm so excited to be able to print a new one each month for my kiddos! :)

How many of you recognize this book? This group of books are some of the ones I learned on as a kid! I totally loved them. I've had the privilege of passing them down to my kids now. They seriously can't get enough of them. It's so fun for them to learn these familiar songs. If you don't have any, you can order them HERE. 
 No, I'm not paid by Primary Passages. They're just so great, I think everyone should own them!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Shabby Chic Jewelry-holder tutorial

 This is such an easy and thrifty solution to hang your jewelry from. If you're like me, you want to be able to see them so you can easily choose which piece you want to wear. And like most people, I had more wall space than I  counter space, so this was a great solution for me!

I found an old picture frame at the thrift store (the one with the velvet in-lay). This isn't the one, but I forgot to take a "before" picture--and this one's pretty close to what it looked like. I paid $1.00 for it.

 Next, I bought a subtle off-white paint sample at Home Depot. It was an "oops", so I paid $.50 for it.
I painted the whole thing a few times--taking special care to liberally coat the velvet. As soon as all coats were dry, I lightly sanded the edges and detail to give it an aged look. Then I drilled 5 evenly spaced holes in the velvet part.
 Also at Home Depot, I bought the cheapest wooden knobs I could find and painted them.
 This is what they looked like scuffed and installed. Cute, aren't they?
 Then, I stretched a piece of fabric (cut 1" bigger on all sides) over Dollar Store foam core using hot glue on the back.
 I decided at the last minute to add more hooks on the bottom.
 Here's the finished product. I also made one to hold my hair accessories by gluing vertical pieces of ribbon on it.
That's it! I have been absolutely loving it! Not only is it very functional and cleared up quite a bit of space for me, but it's such a fun way to add pops of color to a drab wall!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I'm moving!

I'm so excited to announce that our family will be moving next month! We are buying an aged, lovely, spacious home in need of our love and "elbow grease"! We couldn't be happier about this move and I'm so looking forward to transforming this house into our forever home. I'll take you with me on my journey! Though my blog posts may be sparse over the next couple months, watch out, because the wheels in my head are turning! I can't wait to show you this place as it progresses!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

DIY Father's Day Plaque

I made this plaque for my husband last year. I went through my files and found some precious pictures of my husband with our kids. I used picnik (which no longer exists) to tint them, but my favorite is now Pic monkey. It's very similar to picnik.

I cut a 1/4" thick piece of wood to 13" x 16" and painted it black (any kind of paint will do). Next, I printed and cut 14 pictures to 3"x3". Then I made an 8x10 with the quote- "Blessed is the man who fills his Arms with his Children" (I personalized it by adding Happy Father's Day and the date). I cut it to 6 1/8" x 9 1/8". I layed the pictures out before gluing them down and made light pencil marks to give myself a guide. I used Mod Podge to glue them down. Once they were dry, I thinned some Mod Podge with a little water and painted over the whole plaque, leaving a light texture (I used a wad of paper to lightly pounce over the plaque). Aaaaand, that's it! When it's finished, there's approximately (it's not perfect all the way around...and that's okay!) 1/4" around the whole outside edge.

Have fun!

Father's Day Printable

Here's a coloring page I made for our primary kids to use this Father's Day.
It's nothing fancy,  but I thought it might be useful to someone else.

So, here you go!

To use image, right-click and save as (whatever you name it). Open a word document and insert image.
Happy Father's Day!