My mom always had a plaque hanging on the wall with the last lines of the poem “Song for a Fifth Child” by Ruth Hurlburt Hamilton. You probably know it as the “Babies Don’t Keep” poem. Knowing that our Pearl Girl is probably my last baby has given me a new appreciation for the sentiment behind Hamilton’s poem. Rocking her fifth child became more important than all that other busy work of keeping house.
We are a few months in to our home preschool adventure, and loving our letter of the week learning. I’ve joined 30 other bloggers for 31 Days of ABC hosted by All Done Monkey, with daily alphabet learning activities for each letter and much more. Today I’m sharing fun activities for the letter L and the word Light. We had a blast creating a DIY lightbox and exploring the letter L.
A quote hangs on the wall in my friend Betsy’s kitchen that inspires me and challenges me in this role of mother. I wasn’t able to find a source, but I love it so much a created a little free printable for you below. The statement, “Children have only one childhood” is such a great reminder that they are only little once, and then the magic is gone. I want to enjoy it, soak it up, let them be little and revel in their littleness. I want them to be free and to explore and to get messy and to be wild. I want them to run barefoot and climb and jump and discover. If there is a child in your life to love, you hold a responsibility to their childhood to let them experience. You don’t have to force it to be magical. Childhood is magical on its own. Don’t rush them, don’t overschedule, don’t make them grow up too fast. Protect them from harm, but give them freedom. Let them be little, they only get to do it once.
My sweet Pearl Girl is already one, and I just now finished her baby book. I am the Queen of Procrastination. I found a handwriting style font I love and recreated my DIY baby book I made for the Bear with the new font. You can find my original DIY Baby Book with free printables post here. I ordered an 8 1/2 x 11 scrapbook album off Amazon and printed the pages at home on colored 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock. I am happy to share these free printables with you, for personal use only. See below for more information.
Do you have a Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetie yet?
Nope, me either.
Our gift budget is tight right now and I am the queen of procrastinators. There are a million things I’d love to buy for Jed, but unfortunately they all cost money. The Cirque du Soleil tickets I’d really love to get him are WAY over our budget. He doesn’t really care about Valentine’s Day, but I want him to feel loved. I’ve rounded up a few fun ideas for last minute Valentine’s Day gifts from blogger friends to share with you with permission from the creators. Feel free to pin this post for the round up but always pin individual projects from their blog of origin through the links below. I hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with love. Check out my frugal date night ideas here for a little more V-day inspiration.
One of my favorite New Year’s Day activities is planning, praying, and dreaming through my goals for the next year. Jed and I each write down our individual goals as well as those for our family as a unit. I created the goal outline above to use for myself, but am sharing it with you just in case you need a handy dandy outline to help your brainstorming efforts. Click here to download
the sky & bokeh clouds version above or click here to download
the white background outline below. I’ve divided the outline in to 6 categories with room for three goals each as well as a section for action steps. I’ve found the action steps to be the most important step. Without them, my goals don’t happen and are relegated to the land of day dreams. Action must be taken to achieve a goal.
I’m excited to share a few of my goals with y’all, but I’m saving the big brainstorming for tomorrow because it’s our little tradition. One of my personal goals is to lose 35 pounds by the time I turn 35 in June. Actions steps for this goal include exercising 210 minutes per week and dropping processed sugar from my diet. One spiritual goal is to complete my BSF Bible study every week in full. An action step towards this goal is to get up before my kids to have quiet time with Jesus. One of my physical goals is tied to my personal goal of losing weight. I want to participate in one workout class per week. Jed bought me Zumba classes for Christmas so I’m well on my way towards this goal. One of our family goals this year is to become a fit family. We will work towards this goal by doing something active together as a family every week. One of our financial goals is to rebuild our emergency fund after it took a big hit with the great plumbing disaster of 2013. We will work towards this goal by continuing to budget every month and by me going back to work for Young Life part time from January to June.
What goals are you putting into action this coming year?
The weather outside is indeed frightful, and cabin fever may be setting in among your family members. Today I’m sharing my own version of Loteria, the Mexican Bingo style game, perfect for entertaining the whole family. My mom is a Spanish teacher, so she taught me how to play the original Loteria as a kid and I’m starting a new tradition this year with my family. If you’ve never played Loteria before, the game is incredibly easy to learn and can be played by anyone ages 2 and up, and even younger with help. Toddlers and adults alike can get in to it and it would be a great game night tradition to start during the holidays. I’ve created a set of twelve cards for you to print free of charge, as well as a call sheet. This game is perfect for family night, long days during school break, and to teach matching skills with preschoolers. Everybody loves bingo!
Everyone gets a Loteria sheet and a handful of beans or candy to mark the objects called. As the caller shouts out the object drawn, the player placed their bean on top of the matching picture on their card. The goal is to get four in a row in any direction, much like Bingo. You can also play cover all, four corners, and 4 square to mix it up. Beans are traditionally used, but I like to use little candies like chocolate chips or M-n-Ms, and eat them at the end of the game. You could have a big game with prizes for the whole family or use it as a teaching tool with your preschooler.
Click the link below each image to head to the file in Google Drive. Each image contains two playing cards. Print each sheet and cut in half to create two cards. You can leave the call sheet whole and just call objects out at random (marking them with a bean after they’ve been called), or cut it in to pieces and draw each object out of a bowl. When a player gets four in a row they yell, “Merry Christmas!” and win that round. I hope your family enjoys this fun little game and starts a new holiday tradition.
How do you keep your family entertained during the holiday season?
If you like this post, please share it with your friends on Pinterest or Facebook.
My free printables are for personal use only.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
It’s my 3 year blogging anniversary this week, and I’m celebrating by bringing you my favorite and most popular posts from the past 3 years. I’m kicking off the party with my favorite crafty posts. I started blogging to have a creative outlet, and creating fun stuff is a huge part of that. I’d love for y’all to check out my old projects and feel free to pin away if you like what you see.
(My most popular crafty post so far.)
The Picket Fence Project – Roadside Trash to Wall Decor
There they are, all my fav crafty posts. Happy blog anniversary to me!
What was your favorite craft project that you made in 2012?
We’ve all seen them. There are so many unbelievable ideas on Pinterest, but some of them really make you wonder what kind of time the creator had on his or her hands. Apparently that creative mama is managing her time a little better than I am. She is probably out making something cool right now rather than wasting her life away skimming through Pinterest. This little saying came to mind today.
After wasting a considerable amount of time on my beloved Pinterest today looking for ideas for Mini Bear’s room, I decided a free printable was in order. Click HERE for the free PDF. Just play nice and link back here if you post it.
What’s your biggest internet time sucker?