No More Coloring!

I love flannel board stories.  They bring back great memories of growing up.  We used to tell each other scripture flannel board stories on Sundays and for Family Home Evenings.  I think this is how I learned the scripture stories.  I thought that flannel board stories were pretty much extinct (at least the ones my parents had are no longer being sold).  

Anyway, I just found a couple of great website that offer downloads of all of the flannel board stories and some other activities from the Friend magazine.  Here are the links to the sites:

Pratt's Family Home Evening and Primary Sharing Time Idea Box

Idea Door

Another one of my goals this year is to start a Family Home Evening file.  So I am part of a Family Home Evening group and getting a lesson on Family Unity ready.  This is the set of pictures that goes along with the "Nephi Forgives" story that I am using to go with my lesson:  
I admit that I felt terribly lazy about coloring 9 sets of pictures for my flannel board story to trade with the other members of my group.  I can get fairly creative when motivated by laziness!  Perhaps I got my fill of coloring while teaching.  

Lightbulb Moment:  I realized that I could use Photoshop to "color" these pictures.  I simply used the Paint Bucket tool to fill the areas of the picture with a certain color.  Magnifying the pictures up to 500% helped me with the detailed areas.  I used the pencil tool also to touch up areas of the beards that didn't have clear definitive lines. 

Because I am so pleased with myself for figuring this out, I want to share!  You should be able to just click and drag on this picture to download this colored version.  But just in case, I have a document with the story (I tweaked it slightly to go with my "Family Unity" lesson theme) and the colored pictures that you can download here. (Or just grab it from my sidebar under "My Downloads.")  I hope someone else can find this useful!!  It beats hours spent coloring, right?! 

Photo Holder Tutorial

I have a great imagination.  That's a good thing.  But sometimes my big ideas don't turn out quite as stunning as I imagine them.  But I love how this wire photo holder turned out!  

The idea: I wanted some way to display 12 months with my little boy. I wanted 1 picture from each month of his life to show how he's grown up right before our eyes!

To go along with our red/yellow/blue star theme for his birthday party, here is what I came up with:

There are 4 stars, each holding 3 photos each, from his first month all the way up to his twelfth month.  So here is what I did:

I bought a package of thin wooden boards and 4 wooden stars, both at Michael's.  

I used a hefty amount of Gorilla glue to glue the stars upright on the wooden boards.  Some of them got a little tipsy and I had to lean them up against my kitchen appliances.  (I dream of having a craft room!)


Next I did my spray-painting on my third story balcony on makeshift newspaper.  (And again I dream of having a craft room!)

I don't know why I've been on a glitter kick lately, but I love glitter glue because I can apply it with a brush and it's not clumpy.  Just a nice touch of shimmer and shine.

Then it was time for Mr. Oopsey Daisy to get out his power tools.  He drilled 3 holes in the stars--1 in the very top point and 1 in each of the sides.  This is where I would insert the wire.

 The fun part was twisting the wire!  After experimenting with thin wire, I realized I would need something much more sturdy.  So I got thick wire from Ace--the stuff that really takes some muscle to cut!  After securing the wire in the hole with plenty of hot glue, I twisted the wire into funky shapes.  Every single one was different, but I made sure that the specific loopty-loop I made would hold the photo I had in mind.  (Horizontal and vertical pictures have different centers of gravity.)

Here is the final product!

So at the party, I threw out some gold tinsel-ish stuff (very official name!!) around the stars and stuck in the photos.

I seriously love how it turned out!!  

Wednesday’s Wowzers: All about cars and trucks

This one is for you, sis!  She is re-doing her little boy's bedroom with a cars and trucks theme.  So I looked up some fun ideas using cars and trucks--not necessarily recent postings, but still valuable!


Here's a whole bedroom makeover that It's the Little Things That Make A House A Home posted.  She had a cars & trucks theme, too!  There are tons of great decorating ideas.  I wish I had one bedroom in my house that looked this neat and organized!



This another cute nursery with some adorable decorating ideas from Infarrantly Creative.  I am sure you could do a "grown up boy" version by tweaking some of her ideas.



I am just waiting for a house so I can decorate my light switch covers like Ashley did at Make It and Love It.  You could easily make this a cute accessory in any bedroom, no matter what the theme!



This isn't necessarily for bedroom decor, but I love the idea for the car notebook at Nap Time Crafts.



Homemade by Jill made this adorable cozy car caddy. There is even a detailed tutorial.  Perfect!!


Maybe I still have birthday parties on my mind, but I thought this racecar birthday party was quite clever.  Executive Homemaker has a schedule you can download with details of the party!



Why not end with a cute learning game using trucks to match letters and sounds?  Thanks, Dresses and Messes!

Birthday Book



One of my favorite things that we did for my son's birthday was making him a little birthday book.

In my family growing up, we had a tradition that as we would give our gifts to the birthday girl/boy, we would tell that person why we loved them.  I wanted my 1-year-old to know why the people in his life loved him, even as a baby.  So instead of just telling him, I asked each person at the party to write down why they loved him.  



The book was a cinch to make.  I used another one of the chipboard star books I found at Michael's and mod-podged some red, yellow, and blue paper onto the stars and distressed the edges. After the party, I typed up what everyone had written.  Now this will be a little keepsake for him...
I may do this every year for my kids to flip through and feel loved.

Quiet Books

 

Writing down your goals is supposed to make them more tangible and more solidified.  Right?  So here I am writing down my goal.  I want to make a quiet book.


Although my son had a particularly good day at church on Sunday thanks to some new guidelines my sister passed on to me, we have had a series of very embarrassing Sacrament Meeting experiences with our little guy.  All he wants to do is move and keep moving, and it doesn't matter where we are.  I have finally decided that I need to find some special Sunday activities... activities that will ensure quietness and help him learn about reverence.  So I have started researching.  I don't want something too tricky.  Perhaps I could do 1 or 2 pages a month.  Baby steps, right?!  


So I have been doing my research.  Here are some sites I have found for adorable quiet books!  I will probably dabble around with many different ideas before I figure out what I really want to do!  Oh yeah, and I will probably copy a lot of the pages from my Mom's quiet book.  I loved that book growing up!



Quiet Book The pages to her book are above.  So cute!! 
Modest Maven
Homemade by Jill She even shares quite a few templates.
Naptime Journal
more from Naptime Journal
Crafty Chic
Crafting Chicks, more from Crafting Chicks, and even more from Crafting Chicks
The Thorncoks
Joe and Anna
Making the World Cuter
Mormon Chic
My Little Gems Sharla made her quiet book out of place mats! Wow!


Do any of you have great quiet book ideas??  Or other ways to keep your kiddos reverent during church?

Birthday Name Banner

This has been such a cold, gloomy winter... but this weekend was just plain miserable here in Colorado.  So we spent our time cuddling up in blankets on the couch, sipping hot cocoa and watching the Olympics.  It was lovely!  But trying to keep my now-very-mobile son contained in our small apartment is tricky.  We are going a little stir crazy.  I am going to have to get creative this week for sure!

Anyway, I wanted to share the name banner I made for the birthday bash last week.  I couldn't let an occasion slip by without creating a banner!  But this one was really fun to make!

I love the dollar bins at Michael's.  I found some chipboard stars in a stash, and knew they were perfect.  I have a crazy thing for stars.  As a teacher, my classroom was decorated with stars.  They are just plain happy.  And for the birthday, I figured I couldn't go wrong with the primary colors--red, yellow, and blue.  I found some coordinating paper and mod-podged them on the stars.

Using my trusty Cricut, I cut out some stencil circle shapes for the letters of his name.  



I glued the letters onto the stars, and couldn't resist the bling-bling of glitter.  I really wanted the letters to stand out and... well, sparkle.



Now for the fun part!  I embellished the stars using buttons and Happy Birthday ribbon.  My husband complained that this was too cutsie for my very boyish boy... next year, he insists that I make him an airplane banner!



To hang the stars, I punched holes in the top points and strung it with twine.  I had to dab just a dot of hot glue to hold the stars facing forward on the twine so they wouldn't swing.

Just one more view...

By the way, isn't my parents' mantel lovely?!

Winter Olympics Bingo

Thank goodness it's Friday!!



Let's celebrate with Free Download Friday!  All week I've been blabbing about my son's Olympic Birthday party.  Well, now let me spread some of the joy.  I would like to share my Winter Olympics Bingo game with you.  The download includes 12 different Bingo boards.  


I recommend downloading the calling cards, too.  So many of the pictures of the different Olympic events look similar (Alpine skiing vs. free style skiing vs. ski jump... you get the picture!)


You can download my Winter Olympics Bingo here and the calling cards that go with it here.

Enjoy your weekend!

Winter Olympics ~ Birthday Style

You've seen the gold medals... you've seen the torch... Now here are the details of the whole Olympic birthday party--the whole shebang!!

The birthday dinner began with an international cuisine.  We feasted on American hot dogs (my son's favorite of the moment!), French fries, Italian pesto pasta salad, Chinese green salad, Mexican queso dip, and German {Root} Beer.  (My husband thought he was so clever for thinking up that last one!)

Before the events began, each athlete had to check in.  Everyone was assigned a country to represent.  They each wore a sticker with the flag of their country.  (I chose the top-medaling nations of the Winter Olympics).  Of course my little guy represented the U.S.A. with the help of his Daddy.
Here is a run-down of all of the events in our Olympics:

We kept track of each nation's gold, silver, and bronze medals.  I was the referee of the night (that's why I am wearing black and white.)  With his Daddy's help, the U.S.A ended up with the most medals at the end of the night!

Although we honored the top winners of the night at our Medals Ceremony, the birthday boy presented a gold medal to everyone at the party as he unwrapped his presents.


We ate yummy Olympic birthday cupcakes.  I used M&M's to create the Olympic rings.  I just had to use a brown M&M for the black ring.  Not too shabby. My sister had the fabulous idea to strip down the birthday boy to his diaper and let him feast on his own cake in a small swimming pool.  My little sweetheart was a mess, but it was so worth it!


The whole party was so much fun!!  Watching my family participate in the suitcase relay was the highlight of my entire weekend.  The best part of course was watching the birthday boy!




By the way... I am so excited that the U.S.A. just took the lead in Olympic medals again with our latest gold medalists last night!  GO U.S.A.!

Olympic Torch

The Olympic flame
 

We had an Olympic Opening Ceremonies to start off my son's Olympic birthday party.  We used it to play "Pass the Torch"... which was basically Hot Potato played to the tune of the Olympics theme song.


I took a waterbottle and cut the bottom off.  Be careful if you try this... I stabbed myself with scissors.  Mr.  Oopsey Daisy's tools worked much better.  :)   Then I wrapped the whole thing in tin foil.  For the flame, I cut out orange, red, and yellow paper (although tissue paper would probably work even better.)  I just glued it inside the water bottle with good old Elmer's glue.

Doesn't my sister make a great model?!

Wednesday’s Wowzers: Olympics inspired.

I love good ideas!!  Today I was in the Olympic spirit and was also thinking ahead to St. Patrick's Day...
Make and Takes has a whole series of fun Olympic games and crafts that kids would love.  Mom's, you have to check this out!
Princess and the Frog organized an adorable family Olympics.  She featured an Olympic rings fruit pizza that I would love to make!  Yum!

Now I found myself another easy sewing project.  These ouch bags are perfect for when a little one gets hurt.  I love the Red Cross!  Thank you, This and That!

Smashed Peas and Carrots is very talented. I love the jersey-style applique shirt she made for her son.   Maybe I will attempt a very simplified version for my son!  So cute.
Curly Q Crafts had an adorable idea of making these "Why I'm Lucky" blocks.  Love it!  

I have already started making this shamrock wreath that Crap I've Made invented.  I will post pictures when I finish and hang it on my orange door!  I love myself a good wreath!

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