Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Game Review - Labyrinth

Our boys love mazes, so when Dave saw this game he thought it would be a perfect family Christmas gift. And since Christmas I think I have played this game at least 20 times with Logan. I think this is a really fun and simple game for kids to play and adults will like it as well. It can be challenging, but it's easy enough for younger kids to pick up quickly. The fun of this game is that the maze pieces on the board are removable, so every time you set up the game you get a different maze. Each player gets five "treasure" cards and the object of the game is to be the first one to collect all of your treasures. When you take your turn you use an extra maze piece to move the maze around, so with every turn the maze changes making it easier or harder to get to your treasure. Logan loves this game and wants to play it almost every day. Some of the games go very quickly, while other times we have played it's been more challenging. We played last night for FHE and it was fun having everyone play together and seeing how the boys figured out the maze and how to get to their treasures. Logan has even set up the game before and played on his own. This is by far one of our favorite new family games and something I think the kids will still enjoy playing as they get older.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Never say never

I have said in the past that I could never, in a million years, homschool my kids. It just seemed silly to have my kids home doing school when they could be at school doing school. But things happen and sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. This past weekend we made the decision, as a family, to take Trevor out of school for the rest of the year and try homeschool. I really do love the school my kids go to and I love their teachers, but right now Trevor needs to be home. This has been a very challenging year for Trevor and I know that if he's home and able to work one on one with me that he will get stronger in the subjects he's been having a hard time with. Our goal is to work with him for the next few months and over to summer so that we can re-enroll him for 5th grade. I've felt for a long time I needed to do this and I wish I would have listened to that still small voice months ago. But I'm doing it now and I am really excited for what is to come. I've had lots of great advice from friends on what to do and I have really enjoyed these last few days setting up his room, making lesson plans, figuring out a school schedule, etc. I know it won't be easy and I know there will be days when neither one of us want to do it, but I know we need to just take it one day at a time and not worry so much about what's going to happen tomorrow.

I rearranged Trevor's room so he could have a "classroom" in his bedroom. I got a white board so we can work on math and spelling together and a bulletin board with a calendar, classroom rules and an award system for staying on task and getting his work done.

 Trevor's desk with everything he needs to start school on Monday! Maps for social studies (he's learning Nevada history this year), file folders to keep his assignments organized; jars filled with pencils, pens, crayons, highlighters, colored pencils; new notebooks

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Wedding Dress Challenge

A few years ago I got a magazine and the January issue was all about resolutions, losing weight, looking and feeling better. The weight loss challenge for that year was The Wedding Dress Challenge. Readers were challenged to do what they needed to do to fit back into their wedding dress. I thought that sounded fun so I decided to try on my wedding dress and see what I would need to do. Well, I was pretty surprised when the sleeves of my dress wouldn't even go up all the way.... how did my arms get fat after 10 years of marriage? I put my dress back on the hanger, and instead of taking that challenge to heart I forgot all about it. I'm really good at making lists and schedules and goals, but I'm not very good at following them. I get distracted or I lose interest, or I get lazy and I just forget. But I spoke in church on Sunday and the words from my talk keep running through my head. I have realized how much time I have wasted being lazy and not really doing what is most important. Saying we want to change is good, but actually making those changes is better. Saying we want to be happy is good, but actually changing our attitude and outlook is better. Saying we want to fit back into our wedding dress is good, but actually working for it is better. I've got some work to do. Not just to get back into my wedding dress, but to change my attitude so that I can be a better wife and mom, a better friend, a better sister, a better teacher, a better person. Anyone else up to the challenge?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Homemade Citrus Cleaner

My little cuties are in love with these cuties. I buy a bag every week at the grocery store and they are gobbled up. But I kept wishing I could do something  with all the lovely peels because they smell so good and I know that orange peel is full of good oils and other stuff. Then, one day while I was on Pinterest I came across this LINK for homemade cleaner using vinegar and citrus peels. I decided to try it and see if I liked it. Every time we peeled a little cutie I put the peels into a small mason jar. When I had the jar almost filled with peels (only 2 oranges worth) I filled it with White Vinegar, put the lid on and let it sit for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, I strained the liquid into a measuring cup. The liquid came out almost like a syrup. My liquid measured 1/3 cup so I poured it into an old cleaner bottle, added 2/3 cup water and got cleaning. I love the way this stuff smells! There is a little bit of a vinegar smell, but it disappears after a while and leaves behind a light citrus scent. It was super easy to make and because the vinegar/citrus liquid is concentrated it makes a lot for just a little bit of money. There are lots of different recipes for these cleaners, but so far I have kept it simple and just used the orange. It's great for an all purpose cleaner (but DO NOT use on granite or marble) and I love the way it make my kitchen and bathroom smell clean and fresh. It takes away the cooking smells and the pee from the bathroom (yes, with three little boys my bathrooms always smell like pee). It can even be used on wood floors! I use it to clean my wood table top. The link I provided has some great recipes to try for different scents and gives some great tips on how to make and store the cleaner. It also has cute printable labels for your cleaner. It would make a cute bridal shower or housewarming gift. I think I will never have to buy all-purpose cleaner again.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How does your garden grow?

 By the time Christmas is over, the decorations down and gifts put away, I am ready for Spring. I am not a winter kind of girl. I like the sunshine and the warm weather. I love swimming in the summer and cooking outside on the grill. I love when it's warm enough to open the windows and let in the fresh air. I'd take hot over cold any day. The last few days have felt like Spring to me and I've spent lots of time outside cleaning up my yard, pulling weeds and planning out my garden for the year. Last year I planted a garden and the plants all grew, they just didn't produce anything for us to eat.  I always imagine walking out my back door and going to my garden and getting fresh herbs to use in my cooking, picking vegetables to make a salad or watermelon or berries for the kids to eat. I want a garden like the ones I see on Pinterest or blogs and and I determined to have one, even if it's small and simple. The past few days I have been doing research and reading up on gardening in Vegas. I have been taking notes and making lists and sketching out plans for my garden. Today I went to Home Depot and filled my basket with soil and seeds, flowers and plants. I planted flowers our front and some strawberry plants. I'm going to get my garden beds ready these next few days so I can start planting. And hopefully soon I can walk out my back door and pick some of the food I grew.