Thursday, October 9, 2014

Frosty4Adoption - a win/win!

 One look at our family and you know that adoption is near and dear to our hearts.  Finding Forever Families for children is something I pray for regularly.  Both Jeannine and I have adopted kids into our families (Me through international adoption and Jeannine through foster care).  You can read about my family's adoption story here and Jeannine's family's adoption story here.

I love that our family was formed with adoption and I am so proud of my children!  

So, needless to say it was really easy for me to get behind Wendy’s® #Frosty4Adoption Coupon books!  I mean you pay $1 and get a coupon book full of FREE Jr. Frosty coupons!   Ninety cents of every $1 Halloween Coupon Book sold between September 13 – October 31, 2014 will benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®. Coupons are valid for use: November 1, 2014 through February 1, 2015.  It's a total win-win!  You get donate to a great cause and you also get free Jr. Frosty coupons too!  

Did you know that Dave Thomas (Founder of Wendy’s® ) was adopted himself!  It is why he has such a passion for it and created The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®

  • The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® believes that we have a responsibility to be the voice of foster care adoption, so that every child finds a family. As founder Dave Thomas said, “These children are not someone else’s responsibility. They are our responsibility.” The DTFA exist to find homes for children who are waiting to be adopted from foster care in North America.

  • I love  Wendy’s® - my favorite is the baked potatoes!   Yum!  So it was easy for me to go through the drive thru, pick up a loaded backed potato and get a coupon book too.  

  • Did you know that there are more than 100,000 children in foster care awaiting adoption?  It is easy to get behind this cause!  And for just $1 you can help! 

    • Visit your local Wendy’s® to purchase a Jr. Frosty™ Halloween Coupon Book* for $1, which benefits theDave Thomas Foundation for Adoption)®!
      *Coupon book may contain coupons for 5 or 10 free Jr. Frosty™ treats. Prices and participation may vary. Ninety cents to every $1 coupon booklet sold between 9/15/14 and 10/31/14 will benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®. Coupons valid from 11/1/14 through 2/1/15. ©2014 Oldemark LLC

    I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

    Halloween Garland that is so easy it's SCARY!

    I am so excited to be joining a bunch of other fun bloggers in the FREE Printable Halloween fun! 
    I created a Halloween garland that is so easy, even your kids can join in on the fun of making it!

    1. Print off the FREE Halloween Printables by Jen Goode, and grab some crayons.
    2. Color the pendents to look like candy corn or pumpkins or what ever halloween thing you like!  We keep it as non-scary around here!
    3. Punch holes in the corners and pull some baker's twine/yarn through. 

    The kids loved helping! Even the baby got into it! And since you can print off as many as you want every room in the house can get decorated! 
    Such an easy way add some Halloween fun! 

    Friday, September 26, 2014

    Intentional Family Time- 5 ways to spend more time as a family {#streamteam}

    In the crazy busy life we live here is the USA it is always more, more, more! Starting at a very young age it seems like it is expected for your kids to be involved in something- music, dance, sports, art... something.  Add school and church and you have a busy schedule.  Not to mention all the stuff  that parents do. 

    We were noticing that we were missing out on our kids.  I am a stay-at-home mom but between school and extra activities I was seeing my kids less and less.  So me and the hubs sat down and got intentional about our family time.  It didn't mean we had to get rid of the extra activities that kids were doing (They loved them!) but it did mean making time to spend as a family a priority.  

    It wasn't as hard as it seemed and I am here to share some of the things we do that work for our family that gets us to spend quality time together and bond as a family! 

    The first thing you need to do is decide you are going to spend time with just your family.  
    Then decide what that will look like for your family.   

    Here are some ways we spend time as a family: 

    Weekly Family Night
    we designate 1 night a week for family time.  It starts with Pizza dinner and then one of the kids get to choose the nights activities.  We have played hide-and-seek, had a dance party, made Logo creations,  had campfires, made forts, played board games and many more things.  The kids LOVE it and look forward to it each week.

    Eat Meals Together and Talk with Each Other.
    With so many different schedules it is easy to just feed the kids and eat as a adults later.  I get and have done it myself, but once we made eating meals together as a family a priority it made a difference.  At the dinner table I always make my kids tell me 3 things about their day, and then they get to pick their favorite thing.  We find out fascinating things about our kids this way.  Like the week my 4-year-old daughter only told me things about a little boy named Ryker at her pre-school.  Isn't 4 years old too young to have a crush?!

    Do Service Projects Together
    Our Church has several different service project for us to get involved in.  And at first it always seems like it would be too much to bring the kids along, but when we do we always have a great time and the kids come away with so much!  One of our favorite service projects is the "Backpacking Party" we have at our church.  In a nearby school they have a high % of homeless families that attend, so we collect non-parisable food and put it into backpacks to send home with the kids on the weekends so that they have have some food at home too.  We have different tables set up with different kids of foods (fruit snacks, breakfast foods,  soups etc) and we walk around and put in a couple things from each table.  My kids love to collect the food at the tables  and put it in the bag and I get to teach them about giving to the poor.  There are many ways to serve as a family either through your church, school or community.  Feed My Starving Children is also a great place to help out at.

    Special Family Outings/Adventures
    Going to the Zoo, Children's Museum, and Fair are great Family time!  We try to play a bigger special family event at least once a quarter.  We have a free zoo not to far away that we like to go to, and we have spent the day at the Mall of America, or gone to the special Butterfly Exhibit at the U of M's Arboretum.   A fun day out of the ordinary spent as a family

    Family Movie Night
    Our Family LOVES movies.  We make a big deal about movie nights.  There is nothing better then the 5 of us cuddled on the couch as we watch a movie!  We have Netflix and we love that we have tons of family friendly titles to choose from.  Our favorite is when we can choose a movie that we loved as kids.  We have watched Sword in the Stone, Flubber, Robin Hood, and Mulin together recently.  Our family movie nights are most successful when we have lots of popcorn! 

    How do you spend time as a family? 

    *Disclosure: I am part of the Netflix Stream team.  However all opinions are 100% honest! 

    Tuesday, September 23, 2014

    Felt Pumpkin Funny Faces (15 minute Halloween craft) ~Tutorial~

    Here is a great Halloween craft that you can do in 15 minutes!  And it works as both Halloween decor AND a toy!  Great for the kiddos!  My Kids love the Funny Faces magnet toys and I knew that they would love this too! 

    Here is what you will need: 
    Circle cardboard (We got ours from our Frozen Pizza)
    Felt (In a verity of colors but mostly orange, green and black)
    Small box
    Hot Glue

    1. Cut your orange felt circle a little larger then the cardboard circle.  Cut small slits around the circle (about every inch or so)
    2. Hot glue the orange felt to the cardboard circle overlapping the slits. 

    3. Hot glue the small box to the back of the circle.  This makes it stand up and also provides a place for all the face shapes to go.
    4. Cut out a steam shape from the green felt and hot glue it to the top.
    5. Cut out simple shapes for the pumpkins eyes, mouth, nose, eyebrows, etc.  Keep the shapes super simple like you would see on a pumpkin face.

    Test it out to make sure it works. ; ) 

    If you really feel crazy you can add some accessories!  I added a hat, sunglasses, bow, flower and blond hair. 

    And when you are done all the felt pieces can go right into the box! 

    Joining in the fun with:

    Monday, September 22, 2014

    Make your Own Barbie Doll Sleeping Bag {tutorial}

    My kids are obsessed with putting things to sleep.  Baby-dolls, Teddy Bears, stuffed animals, transformers - you name it and they will put it down for a nap!  I ofter hear "Shhhhh, mom - my transformer is sleeping" So, I decided to make a sleeping bag for my daughter's barbie dolls.  

    This is a great beginning sewing project, so you can do this! .  It also would be a great starter project  to work on with a little sewer like your daughter (or grand-daughter, niece, friends kid...etc)

    Here is what you will need:
    Fabric: I recommend felt or flannel for that soft feel, but woven knit works too!
    Stuffing/batting (just a little for the pillow)
    Sewing machine with thread and other sewing tools (like scissors)

    I used the same fabric for both the inside and outside of the sleeping bag, but you could totally mix it up and use different patterns together.

    **All seam allowances are 1/4 inch**

    1. Cut out your fabric.  Cut two 12.5X6 rectangles and two 9.5X6 rectangles
    2. Place right sides together and sew around 3 sides leaving the bottom side open.

    3. Flip both rectangles right side out
    4. In the longer rectangle put the stuffing in
    5. Push the stuffing all the way to the top to form a pillow
    6. Top Stitch across right under  your stuffing to form the pillow shape.

    7. With right sides together place the smaller rectangle on top of the larger rectangle with the unfinished edges both on the bottom.  Starting 1-2inches down on one side, sew 3 sides like below.
    8. Trim your corners and flip right side out.
    And your done... Put your barbie down to sleep and tell everyone "Shhhhh- Barbie needs her beauty sleep!"

    This would make a great add on for a girls gift!  
    And wouldn't it be fun to make it with your daughter to give to her friend?! 

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