How to make a “Bored” Board

How to beat summer boredom in kids is a common theme in many homes. It is not that the children are ready for summer to be over but the reality of school starting is just a bit too far away and the novelty of the freedom from structure has worn off.

Yesterday, Kerry wrote about boredom and gave you many ideas of things to do to break the “I’m Bored” mentality. Today, I am going to give you one more creative idea: how to make a Bored Board.
Here are the supplies you need:
One large frame-I bought a 16×24 inch frame (with a hard back and no glass) on the clearance shelf at Marshalls for $7.
1 bottle of chalkboard paint (any color but darker is better)
paint brush or sponge brush
chalkboard pens

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I painted the hard purple back of my frame but if you buy a frame with glass you can either paint the glass or take the glass out and paint the back of the frame (or cover the back of the frame with poster board and paint the poster board).IMG_3040

 

Paint one coat and let it dry completely. Decide if you need to paint a second coat.IMG_3045Once your board is dry, you can start writing your list and hang it in a place where the kids can see it and add to it as they come up with new ideas and erase the ones you have accomplished. Here are the chalkboard pens we use. They come is all colors and cost about $3.50.IMG_3050This style of “Bored Board” is just one idea that might be fun for you to try. IMG_3047The possibilities are endless and you can use anything from a piece of blank paper that you laminate, scrapbooking paper that you put in a frame with a glass covering (use white board pens on the glass) or even a simple bulletin board. The fun is in the designing and creating a special space to keep your “boredom buster” list.

Remember to check out the Boredom Buster Printables mentioned yesterday. Click HERE to view more details and purchase the pack.

What would be written on your “Bored Board”?

Bekah Signature48 (Ghost writer-Mom)

I’m Bored….

Summer is always one of my favorite times of year.  Sunshine, long days, a house full of laughter and non-stop activities. Although we usually had a less structured schedule during the summer months, we did have a constant flurry of sports practices and other commitments with four busy daughters but the underlying feeling was one of excited contentment. When my kids were young, summer was a time for freedom, adventure and all kinds of new experiences. Being “bored” was not an option.

Boredom is defined as the condition of being bored-tired or wearied by dullness, tedium or unwelcome repetition. In our culture, instant gratification is an expectation. We have so many ways to satisfy that need for constant stimulation because most people have a smart phone, computer, tablet, radio, or television easily accessible. But these technologies, although wonderful in many ways are a cheap substitution for real life experiences. Summer is the perfect time to learn how to use other modalities for acquiring new skills, obtaining further knowledge and discovering your hidden talents.

This summer, when the kids say, “I’m BOOOOORED!” get out a piece of paper and spend time together brainstorming and writing down all the fun things you could possibly do together before school starts back up in the fall. Use those wonderful computers, smart phones and tablets to search the web for options. The sky is the limit.

Here is a list of ideas that might help you get started:

Call your local Parks and Recreation department to find out about all the classes they offer.
Join a community pool.
Sign up for tennis lessons.
Join a local sports team or a Community Recreation league.
Vacation bible school-attend or serve at your local church.
Do “Fix-it” projects around the house together.
Check out your local library for story hour times and summer reading programs.
Organize a neighborhood kid’s club-be as creative as you want.
Volunteer as a family to do service projects for neighbors or at a local soup kitchen.
Organize your own family camp.
Set up a lemonade stand.
Check out your local craft store and be creative with some art projects.
Learning new skills-woodworking, sewing, knitting, cooking.
Have a board game-Game night and invite over a bunch of friends.
Set up an outdoor game competition-ping pong, corn hole, washer toss, bocci ball, croquet.
Do some hiking-explore all the local, regional and state parks in your area.
Plan some fun picnics.
Take some family field trips-a farm, a factory, a fort, the beach, the zoo, the planetarium.
Make homemade ice cream.
Go to a splash park with friends and take some sponge balls.
Have each child plan, shop and prepare a meal.
Remember to have some scheduled quiet time and spiritual training each day.

One of our favorite websites is offering a fun pack of creative Summer Boredom Busters printables to enhance your fun family ideas. For colorful printable chore charts, lemonade stand accessories, ways to make serving others a fun for your kids and many other great ways to enhance your summer….take a look …….

Click HERE to purchase your Summer Boredom Busters Printables.

What are your favorite ways to handle the “I’m bored!” mentality at your house?

Kerry Signature48

Sponge Ball Water Play

My first encounter with a Sponge Ball was at a splash pad. A mom and her son had brought them as a fun toy to play with in the water. They were so cool because they are made out of sponges and create fun effect when you squeeze them or throw them. Furthermore, because they are just sponges, they are soft and I don’t have to worry too much about the kids throwing them around.

I have been meaning to make them every since I first saw them, but life happened and I never got around to it. I went on Pinterest to remind myself how to make them. If you search “sponge balls” you will come across a variety of posts and activities, or you can just use my suggestions!

Materials Needed: Sponges, scissors, and hair bands

Actually, the hardest part for me was finding sponges without the hard scrubbing side. You want the soft colored sponges. I was only able to find wavy sponges at Walmart, but that just meant I had some fun wavy pieces in the sponge balls.

A three pack of sponges will make 1 ball. So buy according to how many sponge balls you want to make.

Any type of hair rubber band will do. I used goody brand “ouchless” hair bands because I had them at my house and they don’t have the metal part that some hair bands have.

What to do:

My sponges came in a pack of 3. New sponges come slightly damp so it is easy to cut them and assemble the sponge balls. I cut each sponge into 4 equal strips. Then I bunched the strips together (all 12 of them) and tied the rubber band tightly around the bunch.

DONE!

Have some fun:

Take your sponge balls to the splash pad.

Play with them in the pool.

Fill buckets with water and play water tag.

We had fun getting them wet and then making fun splats on the ground when we dropped them.

Try throwing a wet sponge ball in the air and catching it on your head.

Play catch.

Have a water transferring relay race. Dip your sponge ball in water and walk it to an empty bucket. First one to fill up their empty bucket wins.

Take them inside for bath time fun.

Have fun getting wet!!

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Have you made sponge balls before? What fun activities could you add to this list?

Rach Signature48

Blue Apron: Get a Meal on your Doorstep

Are you in a cooking rut?? Do you need something out of the ordinary to switch things up? Well I have a recommendation for you to try. The website is called Blue Apron and they send you all the perfect ingredients to create a great meal! And you get to cook the meal which makes it pretty fun! All you have to do is read the recipe, do a little chopping, dicing, and zesting, and follow the steps and voila’, you have a great meal!

BLUE APRON WEBSITE

Details:

  • Costs $10 per person per meal (But right now you can get two deliveries free)
  • Original Recipes that take avg 35 minutes
  • Fresh Ingredients
  • Flexible Meal Plans
  • Convenient: Delivered Right to your door

Sounds pretty cool right?

We got our box last week and have had so much fun trying the recipes. We received an asian lettuce wrap with rice recipe, Dukkah dusted Tilapia with eggplant sofrito recipe, and a Roasted Poblano and Quinoa Sopes Recipe. They are all things that I hadn’t had the courage to try before, but with a few simple steps and the exact ingredients, it made it less overwhelming. And it was fun!
It probably isn’t something worth while if you are looking to try a new meal on a tight budget, but if you are willing to do something out of the box, and receive a box meal, it’s worth a try. Here are some pics I snapped while enjoying the awesome experience.

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What new cooking/baking/ or experience have you tried in the kitchen recently?

Bethany Signature48

Moving On Up

Less than a week ago, my husband and I were notified that we had been placed in Southern California for his rotations and last two years of medical school! We were very excited as this was our first choice of placement! However, we knew it would be a quick turnaround to get right to work to find a place to live in a very short amount of time. Yesterday, we went to look for our new home- our first time getting to actually pick an apartment since we have been married! We are definitely rookies as we didn’t know ALL the questions to ask and EVERYTHING to look for in each apartment; however, we think we still were able to find what we were looking for! Moving can be stressful, but it really helps to do research before on the area you are moving to! Contact friends or friends of friends who live or have lived in the area, and think about what you are wanting in your new home so that when it comes down to decision time you know what you are willing to potentially sacrifice and what aspects you will not budge on!

Here are some great questions and checklists to consider when renting a new home…

1. This checklist from LifeHacker.com is a great way to remember to ask the important questions and have a clear way to record the answers. The article states…

“The checklist form is in PDF format and you can download it via the link below. Just print it out and take it with you when you’re at an apartment showing, and fill out the two pages with the answers you receive. This will provide a nice refresher when you’re going back and trying to choose the right apartment. You may also want to bring your camera along so you can take a few photos, print them out, and attach them to this checklist form for additional context.” (Click on the link below to download and print the checklist)

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2. Here is a list of 100+ questions from Degraeve.com. The creator of this list has moved numerous times in a variety of sizes of homes, areas, and types of homes. Throughout the years, he developed this list to help others know what is important to ask and look for when searching for your new home.

100+ Questions to Ask Before Renting an Apartment

3. Lastly, here is a list of 10 Things to Do Before Signing a Lease from Rent.com. Not only does this list include important questions to ask and what to look for, but also includes why it is important to develop a good relationship with the prospective landlord and the mindset you should have when doing your first look through at each apartment. Check out the lists below…

10 Things You Should Do Before Signing a Lease – Part I

10 Things You Should Do Before Signing a Lease – Part II

Apartment or House Hunting can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! I think these lists can really help in making your search much more enjoyable and allow you to feel very prepared when looking at each new place! You may not be moving right now, but these lists are great to tuck away if that day ever comes to MOVE on up! :)

 

Bekah Signature48

Satisfied

What does is mean to be truly satisfied? The definition of the word satisfy used as a verb is to fulfill the desires, expectations, needs or demands of a person or to put an end to a desire, want or need by sufficient provision. Some of the synonyms for the word satisfy are gratify, pacify, appease and please.

How are we satisfied? What brings satisfaction…..? For some people it might be when their relationships with family and friends are going well and they do not have conflict. For others it may be when their “To Do” list is completed.  Still others to be “satisfied” may be when they feel they are making a contribution to society. Satisfaction comes when our hopes or our expectations are met by people, or circumstances that we can control or events that occur in our lives that we have no control over. Often times we think of satisfaction only in terms of the fulfillment of our material wants and needs. In our culture of consumerism and materialism we get off track easily. Every where we turn there is an opportunity to to be discontent because the goal of media marketing is to makes us believe there is “more and better” of everything we could possibly need or want.

A few months ago, my husband and I read a book with a few friends called “Satisfied-Discovering Contentment in a World of Consumption” written by Jeff Manion.IMG_3014

There was a workbook that went along with this book that had some challenging tasks for us to do, to help us begin a journey towards contentment and generosity.  One week we had to count all the shirts and shoes in our closet. One week we were asked to write all the blessings we could think of that we have in our life. One week we had to go on a spending fast and were only allowed to buy food and medications. My favorite was the week we were asked to serve someone or volunteer to help someone-cleaning, moving, cooking-whatever they needed. All of these exercises helped us identify our attitudes and beliefs about contentment and being satisfied, because we were forced to actually take an honest look at our practices and behaviors.

During the week we had to count our clothes, I was relieved to be in the middle of a total house purge and garage sale preparations. I was inspired to let go of more clothes than I might have if we were not studying how at times contentment is a result of living with less. The week we had to write down our blessings was easy for me. I have so many things to be thankful for. If I were to measure my wealth in terms of relationships, I am the richest woman ever.IMG_2797 IMG_2896 IMG_2977 I love my family and friends and am always so grateful for any opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. I thought the task of NOT spending money on anything but food and medicine for a week would be the hardest, (especially since we had to do it for two weeks) but it was actually very freeing. I wasn’t really tempted to buy anything and every excuse I usually use to justify buying things I do not need did not seem convincing enough to make me break my spending fast. My favorite task was to serve someone because it gave me a fresh perspective on how satisfying it is to put your own needs aside and serve another person, just for the sake of serving. I realized how important it is to look at life from another person’s perspective who had a need that I could fulfill. I was able to bring satisfaction and have a generous heart toward her.

One of the most important things I learned was that by examining what I value, I can practice a habit of trusting God to provide all that I need for true contentment and to live a satisfied life.

Psalms 107:9 says “For God satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” and in Philippians 4:11 the apostle Paul says “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

Are you satisfied?

Kerry Signature48

 

Trash or Treasure?

I know that it is important to not hold too tightly to our earthly possessions. It can be both healing and helpful to de-clutter and organize our homes, but I wanted to share that there is value in saving a few special items.

My mom is one of those people that likes to keep things. This means that we got to be the fun house with loads of dress up clothes perfect for theme parties and high school dances. I have so many wonderful memories of rifling through our dress up trunks. Over the past 2.5 years that I’ve been a mom, she has been able to give me a few items of clothing from my and my sisters’ childhood. It has been really special to dress Ellie and Hanna in clothes that we used to wear.

A few weeks ago she brought some new treasures to share. Among the bounty was a pair of 1980s jazz outfits that Jess and I wore for a recital when we danced. The girls were so excited when I presented them with the new dress up outfits. We proceeded to have an epic dance party with lots of fun posing for pictures.

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I hope this post will encourage those of you that have a few things you want to hold on to. It might seem like trash or clutter, but one day it could be someone’s treasure!!

Rach Signature48

Bridal Shower Gift Ideas

There are so many ideas for bridal shower gifts.  You can do honeymoon theme, travel theme, date theme, kitchen theme, cooking theme, marriage wisdom theme, lingerie theme, and on and on and on… But a couple of the most creative gifts I received at showers I have tried to put my own twist on and pass along to other people. Here are some of the most recent gifts I passed along.

Frame and dry erase marker: Then you get to fill in the blanks!!!
“I love you because” frame

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“We go together like” frame

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Date Night question jar: Fill and decorate a jar with questions for the couple to ask 

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Mr. and Mrs. Mug with Tea in a mason jar. Put chalkboard paint on the top of a mason jar so they can change what they put in the jar and label it with chalk.

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Here are some other ideas that I have seen at showers

  • Letter decor of the couples initials
  • Marriage Books
  • Bible with new married name engraved
  • Apron
  • Mr. and Mrs. Pillowcases
  • Embroidered blanket with wedding date on it
  • Dress hanger with the bride’s new name
  • Movie night package with candy popcorn and gift cards
  • Date night to their favorite restaurant
  • Game night with board games
  • Personalized jewelry

Bethany Signature48

PB Snickers Cookie Ice Cream Pie

At the beginning of our blogging adventure, Kerry/Mom posted how delicious Ice Cream Pie is and how great it is for any type of celebration! My husband finished his first set of medical national boards (Aka USMLE Step 1) and I planned a surprise party with family and friends to celebrate this big accomplishment! And, I decided what better way to celebrate than with an Ice Cream Pie- A Peanut Butter Snickers Cookie Ice Cream Pie! Mmmm :)

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                    What You Need for This Pie:

Large Springform Pan

Package of Oreo Cookies – Regular, Not Double Stuf

Ice Cream: Chocolate, Vanilla, and Cookies & Cream

Bag of Mini Snickers

Peanut Butter (Any kind will do, but I used Kirkland Natural PB)

1 Small Ziploc Bag (May need more if not using food processor)

Food Processor (optional)

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The How To:

1. Take the ice cream out so that it is slightly melted once ready to be added to the pie. Use a food processor to crush about 20 Oreos. If you do not have a food processor, put 20 Oreos into a large ziploc bag and crush by hand into as small of pieces as possible. Dump the pieces into the springform pan and flatten the layer to create the crust. You can take a plastic or not sharp knife to the sides of the bag to scrape off what gets stuck and add to the bottom layer.

 

 

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2. Use a flat ice cream scoop or 2 spoons to make horizontal slices in the ice cream. Start with Chocolate and place the slices on top of the Oreos. Do this until the Oreos are covered. Smooth the Chocolate layer out to create a flat layer. DSC_6119

3. Put 1/3 of a cup of peanut butter into a ziplock bag. Snip off one corner of the bag and squeeze the peanut butter out in a zig zag motion on top of the chocolate layer. You do not need to use all of it, as you will need more peanut butter for the top. If you love peanut butter and you wanted to use the whole 1/3 cup at this point, just add more peanut butter to the bag for the top.DSC_6121 DSC_6126

4. Follow Step 2 using the Cookies & Cream ice cream.DSC_6130

5. Cut the mini Snickers in quarters and place them on the Cookies & Cream layer. Follow Step 2 with the Vanilla ice cream to cover the Snickers pieces.

6. After you smooth out the Vanilla layer, use the rest of the peanut butter on top of the Vanilla ice cream using the same method as before. Take 4 Oreos and put one at the top, bottom and each side. Take 6-8 mini Snickers and place them in between the Oreos.  In a new Ziploc bag, put 3-4 Oreos and mini Snickers and smash by hand. Sprinkle in the middle on top of the peanut butter. And…your creation is finished!DSC_6133

What kind of ice cream would you HAVE to use in an ice cream pie??

Bekah Signature48

 

Family MealtimeTable Manners

Summertime brings opportunities for extended leisurely dinners, outdoor barbecues, picnics at the park and more casual family supper time fun. Incorporating a time to practice mealtime manners can be a natural part of your family’s summer routine! My husband and I are spending the week helping our daughter, Jess, take care of her four children while their daddy is out of town. We had a barbecue the first night and the children were excited to tell us all they had been learning about mealtime manners. Their mommy had received a gift from a friend that is a cool placemat with a “roadmap to manners” design on it. imageWe talked about chewing with your mouth closed and no elbows on the table, not talking with your mouthful and making sure to thank the cook for dinner. My favorite was taking turns asking about each other’s day. It was wonderful to watch the interaction of the 5 year old and his two almost 3 year old siblings having a fun competition trying to remember all their manners they were learning.image
For more information about the placemat or other ideas for mealtime manners, go to www.mothersfriendSOS.com and have a fun summer practicing mealtime manners!
How has your family practiced mealtime manners?
Kerry Signature48