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Fun Bookmarks

Fun Bookmarks


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My kids made some fun bookmarks.  Most of them went to Grandma as gifts.  :)

Take a photo of kids pretending to hang on to something, cut out their body (the least favorite part of the project), and laminate it.  I used contact paper, but it wasn’t as clear to see their faces.  I wish I had laminated it.

Punch a hole in the photo through their hands and thread a ribbon or bookmark tassel through.  I found a bulk package of 25 tassels on eBay for a couple of dollars.

My kids gave most of the bookmarks away before I got a photo, so I’ve included some of our favorite photos we used instead of the actual bookmark photo.

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Increasing Productivity

Increasing Productivity

to-do-list Some ways I increase my PRODUCTIVITY:

1—I do the tasks I would most likely procrastinate FIRST.  When I do the tasks I don’t want to do first, I can ‘reward’ myself with doing a task I don’t mind as much.  For example, if I don’t want to clean the bathrooms, I clean them before I can sit on my bed folding laundry (a chore I don’t mind as much).   When I start with a pleasant task, I usually never make it to the less-pleasant ones that need to be done.

2—Also, for a daily task I don’t like, I have found time blocking to also be effective.  I don’t like cleaning the kitchen every day, nor do I like feeling like I spent all morning cleaning the kitchen while I have so many other things I also need to do.  I set aside 20 minutes and tell myself I only have to clean it for that long.  Usually it doesn’t bother me to clean a little longer after I got started.

3–There are some tasks or jobs that seem overwhelming that I don’t even do the task because I am stressed.  I have to remind myself to just get something started, and then the rest usually flows.  If I get out the supplies I need and set them on the counter, or make the phone call I need to,…etc… then the project seems less daunting once I’ve started my ‘baby steps’.

4–Get the small tasks out of the way.  If it is a short task, it is easier to get it done than it is to go write it on my To Do list.  If it takes just a couple minutes, do it now.

5–Also, I run my errands in batches.  On my calendar, I keep a running tally of things I need at the store or errands to run.  The weekly calendar is in my purse, so if I happen to be near a store I need, I can see what I need and take care of it while I’m nearby.  That list also helps me not forget something and have to make an extra trip back to the store.

My dad taught me to group my errands together to save time.  Instead of driving across town for one thing, I usually keep that errand until I have more errands in that part of town.


Food Storage

Food Storage


In the past, my family would acquire a year and a half of food storage and then we would not think about it for a while.  Every time  I needed to see how much food we had, it was like I had to start over on figuring out how much we had and what we needed, and if we had enough for my growing family.

  food storage

I finally made a chart where I tallied up what we had, and filled in the gaps with what we needed by hitting case lot sales.  Then I placed a chart on the door to our food storage room which was marked every time we used something from that room.  If we used a can of black beans, we would make a hash mark by that item on the list.  Now I take the list with me to the store every six months and stock up on what we use the most of instead of randomly guessing what we might need.

  food stor


Suggested amounts of basic foods for home storage (from an official letter from Church Headquarters):

Per adult for one year:

Grains: 400 lb

Legumes: 60 lbs (beans, split peas, lentils, etc.)

Powdered milk: 16 lbs

Cooking oil: 10 qts.

Sugar or honey: 60 lbs

Salt: 8 lbs

Water (2 weeks): 14 gallons

See also http://www.providentliving.com for suggestions



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I hid 40 Valentine pictures of me all around the house for the kids to find Valentines Day morning.

They found them in the fridge, poking up between couch cushions, in a jar in the pantry, tucked in a house plant, on the windshield of the car, in their homework folders, stuck on a mirror, …  They loved running around finding them all.

Marshmallow Catapult

Marshmallow Catapult

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You gotta make these marshmallow catapults!  So much fun!

Wide popsicle sticks, water bottle or soda lid glued on one stick, and a bunch of rubber bands.

We had fun launching marshmallows and trying to catch them in our mouths, or some of my children wanted to guarantee catching a  marshmallow so they launched them directly into their own mouths.



Big jumbo popsicle sticks

Lid from a water bottle or soda pop



Use a glue gun to attach the lid to a popsicle stick, leaving a little room on the end for your finger to push the catapult down before launching.

Put four or five popsicle sticks together and bind them on each end with rubberbands.

Stack these sticks:

the popsicle stick with the lid on it,

then the four or five stack–perpendicular to the top stick,

then another stick underneath that is parrallel to the lid stick.

Attach these together in the middle with a rubberband.  I made my rubberband cross over the top.

Then have someone hold those sticks while you attach with rubbberbands the ends of the top and bottom sticks.  Use multiple rubberbands if needed, and make it tight.  Get some mini marshmallows and you’re all set to launch!



Date Night

Date Night


I doorbell ditched this on my porch when my husband was home.

He used the dart to pop each balloon to find the words I had put inside the balloons–

one word in each balloon asking him on a date. :)

He loved it.

Soon I will post my list of creative ways to ask out dates, like I did in high school.

President Monson’s Challenge

President Monson’s Challenge


President Thomas S. Monson challenges all to take a personal, diligent, significant quest for an abundant life.

He talks about the ABCs —
A for attitude,
B for believe—in yourself, in those around you, and in eternal principles.
C is for courage:
-“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide on, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
-There will be times when you will be frightened and discouraged. You may feel that you are defeated. The odds of obtaining victory may appear overwhelming. At times you may feel like David trying to fight Goliath. But remember—David did win!
-Courage is required to make an initial thrust toward one’s coveted goal, but even greater courage is called for when one stumbles and must make a second effort to achieve.
-Have the determination to make the effort, the single-mindedness to work toward a worthy goal, and the courage not only to face the challenges that inevitably come but also to make a second effort, should such be required.

Jan 2012


German Pancakes

German Pancakes

German Pancakes

This is one of my family’s favorite breakfasts.

German Pancakes

½ cup flour

½ cup milk

3 eggs

1/4 tsp salt

3 Tbs margarine

Melt 3 Tbs margarine in a 9 x 13″ pan in the oven at 350 degrees. When butter is melted and bubbling, pour batter in pan and bake 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve with berries or syrup and powdered sugar.


School Papers

School Papers

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Instead of keeping everything my preschoolers and kindergarten children bring home, I take photos of their papers at the end of each school year. I spread out their papers on the floor and then stand on a chair to take the photos.   It’s usually 5-6 photos that I can put on one scrapbook page.  Then I pick my 5 favorite pieces of work to slide in the scrapbook as well.

Keep in mind these photos were scanned in and blown up, so normally it’s easier to read the papers and see the schoolwork.

Forgiveness Flour

Forgiveness Flour

You won’t forget this one:

Forgiveness Flour by Marguerite Stewart

When I went to the door, at the whisper of knocking,
I saw Simeon Gantner’s daughter, Kathleen, standing
There, in her shawl and her shame, sent to ask
“Forgiveness Flour” for her bread. “Forgiveness Flour,”
We call it in our corner. If one has erred, one
Is sent to ask for flour of his neighbors. If they loan it
To him, that means he can stay, but if they refuse, he had
Best take himself off. I looked at Kathleen . . .
What a jewel of a daughter, though not much like her
Father, more’s the pity. “I’ll give you flour,” I said,
and went to measure it. Measuring was the rub.
If I gave too much, neighbors would think I made sin easy,
but if I gave too little, they would label me “close.”
While I stood measuring, Joel, my husband
came in from the mill, a great bag of flour on his
shoulder, and seeing her there, shrinking in the
doorway, he tossed the bag at her feet. “Here, take
all of it.” And so she had flour for many loaves,
while I stood measuring.

Measuring Flour level



President Kimball wants us to put in our journals:

Our going and comings

Our deepest thoughts

Our achievements and failures

Our associations

Our impressions

Our testimony

Spencer W_ Kimball

Elf on the Shelf

Elf on the Shelf

This gallery contains 51 images.

Birthday Cards

My Amazing Mother writes cards to her children and grandchildren for their birthday.  Inside the card, she writes their name horizontally and writes some great things about the child with their letters of their name.   Often it has characteristics of the child included.

Here is an example for the name Jane Smith:

An important and  exciting
Number  is
Eleven this year for  you!
The best year of   your
Hole (whole!)   life!
Just having
A person like you in our family is
Nifty and
Exciting for us. We wish you
Such a delightful Happy Birthday! The
Most fun ever!
It’s cool how you make
The best of everything and stay so
Happy. Wow! We love you! Happy Birthday!
We love you! and Happy Birthday!
We love Grandma Z’s cards and we love Grandma Z!!
Marvelous Manners

Marvelous Manners


We had a fun way to help kids to remember good manners.  I got a little trophy and had the words “Marvelous Manners” put on it.  (~$5 total).  You can have anything you want put on it.

Every dinner, my husband and I would watch for someone who showed good manners and awarded them the trophy at the end of dinner.

They got to keep the trophy in their room for a day, until the next dinner.  My kids LOVED it!   And it really helped them to remember to be aware of their manners and chew with their mouths closed, stay in their seats, saying please and thank you, …


Minute to Win It Party

Minute to Win It Party

We had a Minute To Win It Party for my daughter’s birthday.  It was a BLAST!

We played the games, usually without a stopwatch.  We had teams compete to see who can accomplish the task first.  Get your camera ready!

Divide the participants into teams.  They all play Face the Cookie (with a prize for the one winner), then they play as teams with a few contestants to play each game.  They can take turns who gets to play and may not even know what the contest is before they volunteer to play it.

We had these games:

Face the Cookie– Using only the face, move cookies from the forehead to the mouth.

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Breakfast Challenge–Assemble the cereal box puzzle as fast as you can.  (We timed this one and just had one puzzle).

Head Bowling—Keep feet together and swing orange to tip over water bottles.


Ping Pong Race–Using a measuring tape, set at 4 feet, send a ping-pong ball into a cup.  It’s harder than it looks. You can change the measurements to make it harder.


Ping Pong Shake– Wiggle a box that is attached to your waist filled with ping-pong balls until the box is empty.


Bag This– Pick up paper bags of varying heights using only the mouth.  Nothing can touch the floor except their feet when they are bending over.

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This Blows– Player must continually blow up a balloon and expel the air from it to knock cups off of a table.


Ping-Pong Blow—Players blow off a ping-pong ball from a cup full of water into another cup.


Cotton Nose– Player must transfer cotton balls, 1 at a time from 1 serving bowl to another using only petroleum jelly on the nose.


Penny Hose– Player must remove 1 penny from each leg of a pair of panty hose using only their hands.  They cannot pull at the nylons with arms or knees.


Stack ‘Em cups– Player must stack 10 plastic cups into a perfect triangle-shaped structure. Once that’s completed, player must get the cups back into a single stack.


I made a big poster for the scoreboard.

Then we finished the party with a Saltine War.  Best. Game. Ever.   Everyone plays.

Saltine War—Thread fishing line through the center of a saltine cracker and tie.  Then tie the line to a belt loop (or around the waist if there is no belt loop) so the cracker hangs a couple of inches above the left knee (If they are left-handed, do it above the right knee).  Everyone gets a ½ water noodle sword and are instructed to only hit legs as they try to break other people’s saltines before their own gets broken and they are out of the game.  You may keep playing if you have any saltine hanging on your line.


For these games, you would need:  cookies, nylons, tissue boxes (I attached them with strips of fabric through a slit in the back), a big box of ping-pong balls, cotton balls, petroleum jelly, pennies, paper bags, big red plastic cups, bottles of water (a case), and a few oranges.   For the saltine war, you need fishing line, water noodles, and saltines.

Most of the supplies, you can reuse several times.  So far, we’ve used them for multiple parties, group dates, and a few family reunions.



Food Fear Factor


We had a Food Fear Factor with a bunch of vegetables we rarely eat or have never tried.

My kids could rate each food with a Yum, Okay, or Yuck.


I was pleasantly surprised to see my kids try everything I had brought!

They loved it and were surprised by which foods they actually liked.


Since then, my children have been more brave when it comes to trying new foods.

(My 8 year old now even tries to mix foods together.  His latest concoction was pomegranate seeds on his chicken and rice.)


Restaurant at Home

My kids LOVE to have a Restaurant at Home.  I’m usually the Chef and the kids rotate turns on who gets to be the server.  We do this about once a month, and it’s a great way to get rid of leftovers or clean out the freezer.   Another bonus: my kids seem to have better manners at our Home Restaurant. ;)

The rest of the family goes outside and then rings the doorbell. They are greated by the server who seats them and gives them a menu.

When it was my five year old’s turn, she wanted a picture menu so she could just circle what people wanted.


We usually have several main dishes and then a bunch of vegetables to pick from.


My 14 year old printed some coloring pages for the kids to color while they were waiting for their food.