Monday, August 9, 2010

Quote of the day

Scene: Laurels class (16-18 yr old Girls sunday school class). Topic: Exaltation. Discussion about what you need to do in this life to gain Exaltation, which includes temple endowments and marriage. The girls had a lot of questions about the endowment and what you do in the temple.

Me: "So taking out your endowment is something you do right before you go on a mission, or get married, or if you're a young adult and are spiritually mature, and not getting married anytime soon, you can go to the temple then."

Girl 1 : "How do you know if you're spiritually mature?"

Me: "If you're faithful and feel like you're ready and are serious about the gospel. Also, you go to the Bishop's office and play this video game about spirituality, and if you get to Level 10 then they let you go to the temple."

----Birds Chirping, Blank Stares---

I'm just kidding guys.

Girls: WHAT?? We thought you were serious!

Girl 2: That would be awesome. I want a game like that, then my mom would let me play computer games on Sunday.

-End Scene-------

What do you think? What would you put in a spiritual video game? Mormon version of Oregon Trail? Gospel Trivia? A soundtrack that included whispers of codes, that you had to be quiet to hear?

In other news, today I put my ABC Jumbo Dry Erase Books on Skip to my Lou's Made by Me Monday- Check out all the other craftiness over there!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dollar Store Jumbo Dry Erase Letter Books


I bought a pack of these ABC and 123 borders from the Dollar Store a few years ago. I taped them together to make a poster and hung them up in our hallway in Utah and in the playroom in Virginia. Now that I want my house to look a little more…classy (and now that my playroom is the common area of our upstairs), I didn’t want to hang them up. This morning I woke up and had a brilliant idea. Why not make it into a book??!

So here’s what you do-


1. Go buy a pack of the ABC or 123 borders from the dollar store.

2. If the border has no place to trace the number or letter, tape word strips onto the bottom or paper with Penmanship Print Font, 2-3 inches tall.(Tip-to use a True Type font, you download, then move into your fonts folder in your control panel. Then open in a word processing program. To make spaces of the lines without any symbols, you have to type the ~ symbol, it’s in the upper left corner next to the 1 on your keyboard).


3. Laminate. I used a small thermal laminator. It only laminates 13 inches wide, so I used two laminating pouch sheets overlapping slightly in the middle. Also you could go to the teacher store and have them laminate it for a small cost.


4. Cut around each piece, leaving a 1/4 inch border of plastic around the paper.

5. Bind- I used my Bind It All, with 3/8 inch bindings. I bound on the top for stability. You could pay $2 a binding to have an office supply store do it. Or you could punch holes and twist paper clips into each hole. Or use key chains. Or clip metal rings. Or trash twist ties. Or other techniques I have yet to discover. The important thing is that the binding doesn’t interfere with being able to write on the letters and numbers- so a thermal or stitch binding wouldn’t work.


Variations- Cut apart the borders to make individual letter/number pages and include more space for practicing the letter/number.

Voila! You’re done! Grab a toddler and some dry erase markers and teach a kid to read and count.

Minute to Win It: Motherhood Edition

We've all seen the show: challenges that test balance, coordination and skill, with household objects, all in a minute's time. Move the oreo from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands. Keep 3 marbles in motion with the back of a spoon without them falling off an incline table. Minute to win it. My kids love it. I love it. It's like watching 100 different versions of Jenga.

Here's the thing: I am living out that show. Everyday it seems a new challenge arises. For those of you who have not embarked on parenthood, here's a sneak peek into the ways that your balance, strength, hand eye coordination and skill will be tested to a whole new level. .

Let's hope you make it to level 10-One million dollars- which in our house is the value equivalent of our kid getting into kindergarten.

Level 1 Challenge: One Handed Wonder- Eat with your non-dominant hand while feeding (bottle or breast) the baby. You’ll need hand eye coordination to scoop up just the right amount of food, and very slowly get it to your mouth. If food falls on the ground- you’re out. For extra points, try rice or peas- brutal hard. Other Level 1 Challenges: Type to someone on Gmail chat/ Go to the bathroom/ get dinner out of the oven-- all while feeding the baby. All harder than it looks. I should know…desperate times call for desperate measures.

Level 2 Challenges: Touch Cuisine- Serve your children dinner without any of the food on their plate touching. And then let your kid use non-sippy cups to drink water at the table. Water that spills out of the cup is ok- as long as it doesn’t touch any food. If the water floods the plate- game over.

Level 3 Challenge- Patty Cake- To get your child to sleep, pat their back in a rhythm consistent with your beating heart, at the exact same frequency and pressure. Taper off the pressure slowly so the child doesn’t notice you’re no longer patting them. If the baby wakes up- game over.

Level 4 Challenge- Date Night- Find a way to get all the kids asleep at the same time before midnight, so you can have an intelligent conversation with your husband and possibly have some alone time- let’s hope you have more than a minute- at least 15.

Level 5 Challenge- Phone Tactics- Talk on the phone while changing a poopy diaper. No bluetooth allowed. This requires one hand to keep the kid from kicking you in the face, smearing the poop, and wiping at the same time. Extra points for not getting poop on the changing table and extra points for the person you’re talking to not noticing you’re changing a diaper.

Level 6 Challenge- Silent Ice Cream- This challenge requires a one bedroom apartment like we had in Connecticut. Sophia slept in the dining room. So after 8 pm bedtime, if you wanted an Ice cream sundae, we had to make one silently, in the dark. Requires finding the ice cream scoop, bowl, and opening the fridge, scooping and making the sundae without making a peep. Bonus round: Chocolate syrup without the squeeze farting noise it makes. 

Level 7 Challenge- Grocery Gamble- Carry in 10 bags of groceries, a baby, and 2 gallons of milk in one trip into the house. The gamble is in the setup- keep the baby in the car seat so only an elbow is needed, or balance on the forearm? All the groceries in one hand or distributed across? If any of the bags fall, you lose.

Level 8 Challenge- Obstacle Poop Course- Start in sitting position with a baby whose pooped missed the diaper and is coming out in every direction. Stand up and make your way to the changing table while dodging Legos, wooden blocks and barbie shoes. Duck so you don’t get in front of the Tv your kids are watching. If any of the poop spreads to the dry clean only clothes you’re about to wear to church- you’re out.

Level 9 Challenge- Car Baseball- This is a challenge of aim and stretching. Feed all your kids while driving a car. Get food 10 feet back, within arm’s reach of the target child. If the food falls below a bench or hit any kids in the eye- game over.

Level 10 Challenge- Peaceful Yoga-This is a test of all skills in the game- reflex, aim, focus, selective hearing, plyometrics, the list goes on. Start with a Yoga video. While doing Yoga, put the baby on the mat to smile at while you do downward Dog. At the same time, listen to NPR to hear your favorite movie star talk about their latest movie…or hear about politics in Uganda, whatever floats your boat. At the same time, look periodically at your 5 year old’s reading book to help her sound out the words, and ask comprehension questions. As your 3 year old does Yoga beside you, keep her and yourself from falling on the baby or pulling a hamstring in the royal dancer move. You win if you never yell during the whole exercise.  (Let’s hope the the 5 year old gets bored and plays somewhere else, and the 3 year old falls asleep next to the baby to soothing NPR poetry segments. )

The best part of all these? I’m mastered them all – did the Yoga exercise last week (enter evil laugh here). So, do you have what it takes to win a million? Or keep your kids from emotional scarring and make it to Kindergarten?

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