BEDTIME ROUTINES AND A FREE PRINTABLE

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #HorizonLunch  #CollectiveBias

 

We have been looking forward to the first day of school for some time now. Grace is officially starting kindergarten and Haddon is convinced that he too will be starting school. During our school days, we like to have a routine to keep us focused and on track. This also works well for the kiddos at night. I’ve noticed that when Grace knows what to expect, our day and our evenings, run much smoother.

Our morning routines are a little different for Grace and for Haddon. They both wake up at the same time, but they have different tasks throughout the day that are tailored to their school, their extra curricular activities and Haddon’s nap time. Their evening routines are identical, which makes things a whole lot easier for me.

I thought I’d share with you what our evenings look like and share a FREE printable for you to download and use with your kiddos.  This bedtime routine is super easy to follow and fun for the kids.  I like to print one out and use a sheet protector to slide the printable right in.  In the evenings, I let Grace and Haddon check off what they’ve done.  Giving them an opportunity to use dry erase markers always gets them really excited.

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LOVE NOTES, LUNCHES, AND A FREE PRINTABLE

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PackWithLove #CollectiveBias
 
Last week, during my fourth target run of the week, I looked up and saw the back to school section and was immediately filled with so much excitement. Back to school season always reminds me of my high school days, the excitement of seeing my friends again, the smell of fresh sharpened pencils and the opportunity that comes with a blank slate.  Oh man.. I could write about this for days. When I was in high school, my friends and I would always meet up at the same spot and walk around campus until the bell rung.  I love back-to-school season!
Grace is starting kindergarten this year and I want to instill the same love for school that I had. I want her to know that every year comes with a fresh opportunity for growth and learning. I want her to know that every grade and every subject will leave an imprint on her life and open doors to experience life in new ways.
One of the best things that I can do for her is encourage her through every step of her schooling journey. Today I’m sharing something fun that I have done in the past and that I will continue to do throughout her school year.
I am packing her lunch and sharing with her little love notes for her to save in a folder or a zippy bag.  When the school year is over, I know we’ll have fun looking back at these.
I am tweaking these based on what we’re learning in school, and today I’m sharing two FREE printables. The first one is my first week of cards for the school year and the second is a blank one, so you can customize them for your little ones!
 

Click here to download your FREE printable

We usually work though our schoolwork in the morning and are done by lunchtime.  Having a lunch bag, keeps us motivated to get our school assignments done and gives us a nice break in the afternoon. Here’s how I pack her school lunch:
  1. Brown paper bag – This is a fun way to get excited about lunch. When I pack it up in a classic brown paper lunch bag, Grace feels like she’s actually in school and it’s more fun than whipping up mac and cheese or leftovers from the night before.
  2. Add a personal touch – You can add your own personal touch to your school lunch by printing these out.  I like to tweak them to reflect a topic or encourage her based on what we’re covering in school that week.  She’s getting really good at reading and is always trying to figure out my puns, so that’s fun too.
  3. Easy lunch – I like packing a sandwich and some sort of boxed juice.  No need for plates, forks, spoons a or mess! She also likes eating with her hands so it’s fun for both of us.
  4. Fun snack – I add fun snacks to Grace’s brown lunch bags. She likes Lance Sandwich Crackers, Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels and the Snack Better Variety Pack of chips. I stock up at my local Walmart and keep them on hand to pack for her throughout the week. Having a variety of snacks keeps lunchtime fun, they are conveniently packaged and we all really like them.
 
So, that’s how I pack my brown bag lunches to make us all feel a little more structured during our homeschooling days.

Click here to download your FREE printable

Here’s a “Packed with Love Sweepstakes” that’s running from 7/15/17 – 8/28/17 where you can win the following:

  • Custom Lunchbox “packed with love”
  • (6) $2,500 scholarships
  • (6) Years Supply of Snyder’s-Lance snacks
  • (6) iPad/Tablets
  • (12) $50 gift cards for school supplies
  • (60) Swag kits – include robot keychain, chip clips, can cooler, thermos

You can purchase these snacks at your local Walmart 

 Don’t forget to download your FREE blank printable for you to customize 

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ACTS OF KINDNESS FOR KIDS TO DO ON VALENTINE’S DAY

Hey friends I want to introduce you to Julie from Happy Home Fairy .  I have been a long time reader of her blog, but it wasn’t until last year that we met in person.  The first time I met Julie was during a Sunday morning worship service at her church.  We were encouraging Grace to attend children’s church but she was very hesitant and a little scared to leave our side.  Julie was so kind to her.  She went out of her way to introduce her to everyone in the classroom and spent the service making her feel right at home. I’ll never forget that.  Julie is so genuine and kind and her love for God and for others is contagious! Thanks Julie!

You can find her here:

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ACTS OF KINDNESS FOR KIDS TO DO ON VALENTINE'S DAY

Hey sweet mamas!

My name is Julie and I blog at Happy Home Fairy. I am so excited to be blog swapping with Teresa today because I just love her heart! She is funny, genuine, and loves Jesus in a way that encourages me all the time.

Today I wanted to share with you 5 simple acts of kindness that you can do with your kiddos this Valentine’s Day season! Teaching my kids to be kind and share God’s love with others is something I am very passionate about. Because the Lord’s greatest commands for us are to Love Him and Love Others (Matthew 22:36-40), I really want to love Him well by loving others well – and I want that for my kids, too! And I believe with all my heart that this kind of others-focused living brings about true joy and contentment.

Acts of kindness do not have to be expensive or even time-consuming. As a full-time working mama of 2 busy boys, I can get overwhelmed at the thought of adding another thing to our plates! But being kind should be natural and easy. In fact, some of the best ways people have shown kindness to me have been the simplest of gestures! Just a little something to communicate, “I am thinking about you,” or, “You matter!”

 

As your kids participate with you in blessing others, you will see them learning the privilege that we have to be His hands and feet here on earth for this time we have been given.

Ready to get started? Here are 5 simple ways you can be kind to others this month!

Heart Attack

A few years ago we decided that we wanted to do something nice for our next-door neighbors, so we grabbed some heart-shaped helium balloons from the dollar store, made some construction paper hearts with encouraging notes, and took a roll of tape to their house. Without them knowing, my boys and I taped the hearts all over their front windows and tied the balloons to their front door. You can see it HERE!

My boys had a blast and the end result equaled super surprised and blessed neighbors when they discovered their decorated house later that day!

Teacher Gift

Aren’t teachers amazing? Having been one myself, I know how hard these guys and gals work! So I love to teach my boys to honor and appreciate their teachers by bringing them little goodies throughout the year. This year the boys took a box of Girl Scout Thin Mints with a note that says, “You were MINT to teach!” It was so easy and inexpensive! You can grab our FREE Printable tags for that HERE.

The Widows and Single People

In the last couple of months we have had not just one, but TWO married couples in our church lose their spouses. I cannot even imagine how Valentine’s Day is going to feel for them. I also have divorced friends and single friends who find this day to be terribly challenging. Send these precious people a card or bring them flowers or a small treat. Just a reminder for their hearts that they are not alone or forgotten.

Mail Carrier

I always think it’s fun to have my boys put a surprise in the mailbox for the mail carrier! Think about it, they are the ones always filling the box and taking our mail away, wouldn’t it be magical for THEM to receive a piece of mail one day? You can find a cute FREE Printable card for your mail carrier HERE!

Babysit

When you have little kids it can be SO HARD and expensive to find a sitter and go out on a date! Why not pray about picking a couple you know who has kids and telling them that you want to watch their kids so they can go out? It doesn’t have to be on actual Valentine’s Day (hello insane crowds), but maybe a Saturday lunch? Just have them drop off their kids at your house before they go!

What do you think? Any ideas here stirring in your heart to do with your family this Valentine’s Day?

*Want even MORE kindness ideas? I wrote a whole book spurring families on toward love and good deeds! Check it out HERE!

Thanks, Teresa, for sharing this precious space of Internet with me today! You are such a gift and inspiration to mamas!

Joyfully,

Julie, Happy Home Fairy

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ORNAMENTS WITH GRACE

Easy DIY ornaments

If you’ve followed along our IG stories, you know that Grace is a natural in front of the camera.  She’s often hosting her own “cooking show” and says things like “this cider has apple components and sparkly flavors”  Honestly, I don’t know how she comes up with these things but she loves it and I love encouraging her to be fearless and to just go for it!

Last week, we were talking about what kind of ornaments we wanted for our Christmas tree and Grace suggested we make our own! So, we went down to our local craft store and picked up materials for these Easy DIY ornaments!
Easy DIY ornaments

 

//Materials 

Clear plastic globes

Lightweight shimmer or glitter

 

//Instructions

Sprinkle some of the glitter into the globe, make sure not to overfill it, hook the top back on and give it a shake!

Super easy.

We’re hoping to get our tree up first thing in our NE home and I’m pretty sure these snow globes will make their appearance.  Until then, all of our Christmas stuff is in boxes and we are living vicariously through my friends on IG and facebook!

Easy DIY ornaments

Easy DIY ornaments

Easy DIY ornaments

Easy DIY ornaments

Easy DIY ornaments

She managed to get sparkles all over the floor and table and let me tell you, my floors never looked so pretty!

Easy DIY ornaments

Easy DIY ornaments

Easy DIY ornaments

Easy DIY ornaments

Sources: Grace’s hair bow // Grace’s shirt  // Plant 

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