Simple Easter Bunny Wreath DIY – Made Out of Pruned Grapevines

Simple Easter Bunny Wreath DIY 

Easter Bunny Wreath DIY out of a grapevine

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A while back, I noticed that our grapevine was out of control.  It grows on the fence between our garden and carport, and it was so out of control that the boys had to push them back if they go out of Daddy's car.  It was almost like a jungle!  I enlisted the help of the Captain and D to prune the grapevine, which apparently you are supposed to do in the winter, anyway, to encourage new growth in the spring.

I taught the boys how to use the loppers to carefully trim the old vines that were growing right into the carport and our garden.  Traditional pruners would have worked too, but well, loppers are more fun to use and to say.  The Captain would prune off a few vines, then D would.  My little boys LOVE to cut things, especially big things like a grapevine!  After a lesson in where to cut, I let the Captain get a bit too comfortable and he lopped off a huge part of the vine, but hey, it happens.  It will grow again!

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All About Disney World! 50+ Tips, Tricks, Recipes and More From The Happiest Place On Earth

All About Disney World!  50+ Tips, Tricks, Recipes, and More From The Happiest Place on Earth

All About Disney World!

It has been almost a year since our first trip to Walt Disney World.  We still talk about it all of the time and cannot wait until we can go again.  

I have turned to some of my favorite bloggers and compiled an extensive list of everything about the happiest place on earth!  I even included some fun recipes and crafts that you can create at home to make it feel more like the happiest place on earth at your house!  

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Make Sure That Your Kids Get Proper Nutrition and Vitamins…Without a Fight {Giveaway, Too!}

Make Sure That Your Kids Get Proper Nutrition and Vitamins…Without a Fight

Make Sure That Your Kids Get Proper Nutrition and Vitamins Without A Fight

This post was brought to you by alternaVites. All opinions are mine. Contains affiliate link

We all face different challenges with our kids, and if you have more than one child, you know that every child is different.  We did just about the same thing in regards to feeding the boys with our older two, and somehow, D is the better eater.  He will try almost anything once, loves broccoli, milk, salmon, and kefir, and I feel like he is getting the nutrition and vitamins that his body needs to grow healthy and strong.  The Captain, on the other hand, is not likely to try new things, turns up his nose at food often, and would live off of bread and sweets if we let him.  I do not want to label him as "picky," but he is definitely a food snubber.

What happened and why are they so different?  I am not sure, so I cannot tell you, in all honesty!  We served them both pureed baby foods, both were breastfed and formula fed, both had a sensitivity to milk that they have seemed to grow out of, and they turned out completely different.  (While the verdict is still out with Baby Brother, I tried a different approach with him, baby-led weaning, to try to avoid the food snubbing as his oldest brother does.  I'll fill you in when he's 5.  ha!)

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Throw a #StickAPic Photo Party for Teens!

Throwing a StickAPic Photo Party for Teens

As an HP Smart Mom Panel member, I received products at no cost in order to host the HP #StickAPic party. The opinions expressed here are my own.  contains affiliate links, check my disclosure for more information

Throwing a Photo Party for Teens

Hubby is a youth minister and has events for the youth group often.  Yesterday, he threw a big area wide event for our youth group and five other churches.  Over 80 teens and pre-teens joined together to eat, worship, and have fun together!  Events like this are always a huge undertaking, but so much fun and well worth it.  I received a great StickAPic party supply box around the time he was planning the event, so we planned a fun photo party for the teens!  In the party box was HP ink, HP social media snapshots sticky photo paper, glue, decorations, plates, napkins, snacks, craft supplies and embellishments, and a Michael's gift card for purchasing extra craft supplies.

At first, I was not sure that the teens would be up for this idea, but it turned out great and they LOVED it!  I mean really, what teen doesn't love taking pictures?  The theme of the night was "Not Alone," about how even when we aren't with anyone, God is with us.  So the instructions were simple…find a friend or more and I'll take your picture for you.  (No selfies!)  We got a few props, which some used and some didn't:

Throwing a StickAPic  Photo Party for Teens

A friend made a vibrant backdrop out of PVC pipe, colored tablecloths, and decorations:

Throwing a StickAPic  Photo Party for Teens

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Make Lunch Special with a DIY Lunchbox Note Holder

This DIY lunchbox note holder post and shop have been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HorizonLunch #CollectiveBias

Make Lunch Special:  DIY Lunchbox Note and Money Holder

Packing cute lunches with foods that I feel good about the boys eating is really difficult sometimes.  We are not early morning people, so I like to have foods already available and lunches ready to assemble when I wake up.  I love packing lunches that the boys will enjoy, but it can be hard to find the right balance between what the boys want and what Mommy wants them to be eating.  

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Tackle The Sports Stains with ESPRO {giveaway closed}

This sports stain post has been brought to you by ESPRO.  All opinions are mine.

 

The Captain is almost 7, and L-O-V-E-S sports.  He started playing soccer when he was almost 4 and he is currently on his 5th season.  He played his first season of baseball and basketball this year, too, and loves his gymnastics class, as well.  We have found that it is impossible to slow him down!  D loves being active, too, but the competition bug hasn't seemed to bite him yet.  He played one season of soccer last year and liked it, but he says he would rather run, and that's fine with us…whatever helps keep him active and have fun.

Tackle the Sports Stains with ESPRO

Washing sports clothes has become more difficult as the boys get older.  Soccer and basketball clothes rarely are difficult to clean, but baseball clothes…oh my!  There is no telling what stains the Captain would come home with when he was playing baseball, and of COURSE his team had to have white pants! Tackle the Sports Stains with ESPRO

 The funny thing about kids' sports clothes is, to me at least, trying to decode the different stains.  Grass, dirt, clay, red sports drink, mustard from the hamburger he ate after the game….ha!  Having a stain remover that works on different stains is essential, and I'm happy to say that ESPRO sports cleaner does just that.

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Raise A Hand For Teachers

This Raise A Hand  For Teachers post has been brought to you by ThredUp.  All opinions are mine.

Raise A Hand For Teachers with ThredUp

Teachers' jobs are getting increasingly harder by the day.  Things have changed so much since I was in school, but even since I was a kindergarten teacher seven years ago.  We all know that teachers work diligently to prepare for, educate, and care for kids of all ages, but teachers also have a daunting task to encourage, love, build character, and protect.  Teachers have more and more things to worry about while trying to get their job done, all with a small paycheck and trying to take care of their own families. 

I have known of teachers that have bought their students school supplies and had to purchase their own classroom supplies.  They need specific things to enrich their classroom that their school doesn't have the funds for, so they purchase it.  It's a labor of love.  He or she sees that a student doesn't have the right school supplies and the parents don't have enough money to buy them, so out of his or her own pocket, the school supplies are bought, all while salvaging the pride of the student and family.  Quietly, lovingly, teachers take care of their students and make their classroom an environment that is ready for learning, so all of the students can succeed.  

Beyond the basics, however, there are many teachers who are buying food for their hungry students and clothes for their students who need them.  According to AdoptAClassroom.com, teachers spend an average of $500 of their own money each year to make their classroom ready for learning.  70% of teachers have purchased apparel like jackets, socks, and shoes for their students that were in need.

Fashion resale site thredUP.com has partnered with AdoptAClassroom.org to recognize and thank teachers for their hard work and the positive impact they make each day on our children’s lives.  thredUP.com has popular kids brands including GapKids, Janie and Jack, Lilly Pulitzer, Mini Boden, Zara Kids, and many more.  We have used thredUP.com in the past and have always been pleased with the exceptional quality. It's the best of the best, at affordable resale prices, up to 90% off of retail.  thredUP is a one-stop shop, with all of the top brands in one place at thredUP.com/Back-To-School or on the mobile app.  It's so convenient and stress-free!

Raise A Hand for Teachers Program:

  • Nomination period is July 15 – August 23

  • Three teachers each win $2,500 for classroom supplies and $500 to thredUP. 50 runner-up winners receive $100 to thredUP.

  • Winners will be announced on Tuesday, September 8 (following Labor Day weekend)

  • Visit Raise A Hand For Teachers to nominate your favorite teacher!

 

I'm nominating a teacher I know who brings home very little cash, because she spends so much on her students. Who will you nominate?

Raise A Hand For Teachers with ThredUp

Summer Sports and Dental Injuries

This dental injuries post was brought to you by Jefferson Dental Clinics.  All opinions are mine.

Summer Sports and Dental Injuries

We are taking a break from team sports this summer, but our kids are playing some sort of sport every day!  This helpful infographic from Jefferson Dental Clinics is very eye opening as to what dangers lie ahead for many kids' mouths and teeth this summer.  Sports injuries are common and we try to prepare for them, but how many parents plan for the best care of our children's teeth?  I am always scared that the boys are going to knock a tooth out, and yes, it would be traumatic if that happened, but there's also jaw dislocation, root fracture, or crown displacement.  Proper fitting of mouthguards and helmets is essential for the safety of your child's teeth!  Check with your child's dentist before they start practicing for any sport to make sure that their teeth are going to be protected during the season.  

Our Disney World Adventure (Including How We Told The Boys!)

Our Disney World Adventure (Including How We Told The Boys!)

Back in October, we decided to plan a trip with a homeschooling group on their Disney World trip.  Families from all over the country planned to venture to Walt Disney World in Florida the first week of March, and we were very fortunate to be able to go.  We somehow managed to wait until two days before we left to tell the boys, and we did so with a fun scavenger hunt and final reveal…a video of Daddy and I telling them we were going to leave the cold weather and go to Disney World on Monday!  We had an absolute blast and I'm sure you will hear more about it later, but first…check out this fun video of our boys learning they were going to Disney World for the very first time!!  

So many people have said to wait until the boys were older so they could remember the trip, but this was just a perfect opportunity and in all honesty, they were the perfect age.  The Captain and D both love Disney Junior, still, so they were able to enjoy that part of Hollywood Studios together, along with Baby Brother.  D was too short for a few rides, but he's also very agreeable and happily went to other rides with Baby Brother and me.  Baby Brother was very easy going and made this whole experience the more wonderful.  And yes, he won't remember this trip, but his brothers will, and we will, and those memories are ones to cherish.  We didn't like the idea of having to wait until our youngest was 8 to enjoy a family vacation.  We are SO GLAD that we went.  It was magical, fun, and such a great vacation!

Disney World

And by the way, if you insist on waiting until all of your children will remember….my husband went to Disney when he was 11 and does not remember much, at all.  ha!  So sometimes, you never know!

Have you been to Disney World or Disney Land?  I'd love to hear about it!

Kid Friendly Valentine’s Day Activities

Kid Friendly Valentine's Day Activities

Valentine’s Day is a special day of the year whether you are young or old.  It’s a day to celebrate love and friendship.  Jennifer Carver, of Spaceships and Laser Beams, is here to share some kid-friendly ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Relationships are important to children, just as they are to adults.  Allowing children to acknowledge the special people in their life is a great way to help them celebrate the day.  This can be accomplished in a variety of fun and festive ways.

Idea #1:  Arrange a Valentine making station.  Gather blank greeting cards, envelopes, Valentine’s Day themed stickers, colorful trims in red, pink and purple, buttons and scraps of paper.  Create a crafting station with printables, scissors, glue, adhesive and plenty of markers and pens.  Help the children make a list of special friends and family members they’d like to remember on Valentine’s Day.

Idea #2:  Organize a service scavenger hunt.  Children enjoy doing small acts of service to show love. Have your children brainstorm a list of appropriate tasks they can do to show love for others.  Some ideas include:

·        Making a sibling’s bed.

·        Taking flowers to their teacher.

·        Dropping off a treat on a friend’s doorstep.

·        Coloring a picture for a grandparent.

·        Giving a friend a present.

·        Making cookies or candy for a neighbor.

Idea #3:  Plan a “heart attack”.  No, not that kind of heart attack.  This kind of heart attack involves creating a copious variety of paper hearts on which the children write down favorite memories or thoughtful words to describe the individual (or family) being “heart attacked”.  Once the hearts are created and filled out, the children carefully attach them to a neighbor’s or teacher’s windshield or doorframe as a fun surprise!  The finished product looks like a bunch of hearts staged an attack.  Consider this a nicer alternative to the toilet papering days of old!

Idea #4:  Visit a nursing home.  If you live close enough to a nursing home, take older children to visit some of the residents who might be lonely.  Take a Bingo game (you can print free versions off the internet) and boxes of conversation hearts to use as game markers for a fun Valentine’s Day themed twist.  Residents will love the visit!

Idea #5:  Decorate Valentine’s Day themed cookies.  Children love cookies, especially when they are in charge of decorating them!  Bake or buy a batch of your favorite sugar cookies.  Line and fill a muffin tin with cookie toppings like sprinkles, cinnamon hearts, sanding sugar and chocolate chips for decorating.  Fill disposable frosting bags with tinted frosting.  Then, let the kids go crazy decorating cookies to eat and share with friends.  Set aside a plate or two of cookies to wrap up and take to someone of the children’s choosing.  This could be a great friend, wonderful teacher or lonely neighbor.

What are some of your kid-friendly Valentine’s Day activities?  Add your own and make it a day your children will not soon forget!