Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Two Free Valentine's Day Printables

My oldest is currently obsessed with fish.  He loves to fish and loves his pet fish.  So naturally, for Valentine's Day he wanted to do something with fish.  

There's tons of fish sayings out there, "you're o-fish-ally the best" "you're a great catch" ... I could go on.  But I saw this saying and really liked it "Glad we're in the same school."

I found a little fishbowl online and dragged it over to edit.  I added the saying and a cute little fish.  Then a heart right in front of those big fishy lips.  My son wrote each student's name in the top of the fishbowl and then wrote his name in the actual fish!

We grabbed the sandwich baggies from Wal-Mart and a big bag of Swedish Fish (you could do individual bags of Swedish Fish, I just couldn't find them locally) and plopped them in with the card.
I love how they turned out.  He loves them too.  So I thought I'd share them with you. 
Click here to get the printable.  I bought some blue card stock in a pack and chose the lightest one to print on.   You could print on white and have your child color them or leave them white or whatever you want.

And if you didn't see these I did a couple years ago, here's another quick and pretty cheap Valentine idea.  And this one is sugar free!  At the beginning of every school year I stock up on wooden rulers (I usually have them on display for August & September) and then use them for Valentines that year.

These were the first ones I did, I just printed "You Rule" on some red card stock)

Here is are a couple printables for ya. One is black and one is red.  They are super easy and fun.  And I like that they are not a sweet treat, but a fun tool kids can use for practically anything!


Well, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day.  Know you are loved and appreciated and special!


Monday, May 20, 2019

Summer Sanity

My oldest will be finishing kindergarten in just a few weeks and I'm desperately trying to stay ahead of the "I'm bored!" insanity.  He loves reading and learning so I'm trying to make flash cards for him to work on over the summer months.

I printed off a few at first and he read them all without I made more and am going to have him focus on spelling.  Some of them I even made definitions for the back so he can learn what they mean.

Anyway, I thought I'd put them up here for y'all to grab in case you want to use them.  There are some 3-4 letter words ones which I used with him awhile back and had him match pictures (printed some clip art from the Internet) to the words.

I've also included a telling time worksheet (download an analog clock image and use a brad to connect minute and hour hands, then use the worksheet to have your child put that time on the analog clock).

Feel free to use them if you want:) 

3&4 letter words (google each of the words and print a clip art you like for each word)

Definitions Template (this fits on the back of the "Practice Writing Words")

Full Alphabet Page (first picture on this post)

Sight Words (Colors, Numbers, Months)

Practice Writing Words (you can print your own words on here)

Practice Writing Template (you can let your kids practice writing on here)

Telling Time Worksheet  (I grabbed my analog clock face from here)

And here's one more really cute & fun subway art I actually display in my home for the fall/back to school time.  If you want to see my back-to-school themed shelf & decor, here is the blog post for some ideas.

I printed all my stuff in the font "KG Miss Kindergarten" (downloadable for free on several sites)

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

DIY Garden Stakes

I've had some wood herb garden stakes/sticks/labels/markers a few years for my herbs.  This year I wanted some for my vegetables.  I looked all over and couldn't find anything I liked.  I wanted something wood, but I didn't want Popsicle sticks that would fall apart each year.  I didn't want plastic markers that were flimsy.  I knew I wanted sturdy stakes that would be long enough for big words & still have room to actually put them in the dirt.  So I decided it would probably be most beneficial to make them (plus, let's admit I actually really enjoy little projects like this...even if they do distract me from the piles of laundry or dishes).

I found this wood at Home Depot for less than $3 and I got 5 sticks out of one piece:
Weaber 1/4 in. x 2 in. x 4 ft. S4S Poplar Board
It's called hobby wood / poplar.  It comes in a 4' stick and is 1/4" x 2".  Perfect.  I bought three pieces and cut my stakes about 9 1/2" (or about there) making 15 stakes total. 

1. Measure the wood.  I cut my stakes to be about 9 1/2" long.
(sorry it's upside down).  Measuring one end at 9 1/2"
 2. Cut all the stakes flat edged
We used the first one as the marker for the rest...way easier that measuring and marking each one 
 3. Cut one end to be the pointed/angled side
We then moved the saw blade all the way to one side (to about a 50 degree angle) and cut end, then turned it over and cut the same end, but the other side to make a point)
 4. Sand the stakes
I sanded them with 150 grit, then 400 grit (it was what I had on hand, I'm sure you don't need them to be 400 fine)
  5. Stain the stakes using a foam brush, stain, a couple paper towels & some disposable gloves
I grabbed some freezer paper I had on hand and placed them all on it
Staining them: paint with the foam brush then wipe off excess.  It says to let it sit 2-3 minutes before wiping, but I wiped immediately.  
This process was really easy & quick.  I was surprised at how thick the stain went on.  Either the wood didn't have a lot of grain or the stain was SUPER thick.
 6.  Add the lettering.  I have a Cricut which has made labeling things really easy and fun with different fonts.  I played around a little bit to see what I liked the best. I cut all the fonts at 3/4".  If you don't have vinyl, you can paint the letters on, or even hand write them if you want.  I just wanted mine all to be very uniform:)
"Cuttin' Up (Serif)" Font [white vinyl, straight]

"Opposites Attract (Opposite)" Font [white vinyl, straight]

"Cricut Classic (Tall Ball)" Font [white vinyl, crooked]

"Cricut Classic (Tall Ball)" Font [black vinyl, straight]

"Cuttin' Up (Serif')" Font [green vinyl, crooked]

"Opposites Attract (Opposite)" 

"Cricut Classic (Tall Ball)"
7. Seal them.  I had a couple cans of semi-glass polycrylic sealer so I sprayed them a couple times on each side.  This also helps the letters stick on just a little better, and it keeps the sticks safe from weather.  You could also use a can of the poly and apply with a foam brush.  I sealed the ones I didn't stain and they turned just a little more yellow than the original wood.  just FYI.
Spray each side a couple times to seal
 And there they are.  I really couldn't decide on which side I liked best, but I think I am going to stick with the white side...for now:)

 I LOVE how they are thick and sturdy (1/4").  They won't bend or break, they're definitely not Popsicle sticks!
I sanded the edges and points so they aren't sharp.  Plus I think it gives it a more "hand-crafted" feel
All stacked up and ready to go:)

I made 10 of the grey ones.  I made one for each of the plants we bought, but now I want to go buy more plants just to make more stakes:)


We're doing mostly container gardening this year as we don't have a lot of sunny garden space

And here are the unstained ones my kids picked out.  They chose their seeds, their watering cans and helped make their stakes.  They planted their seeds and gave them some water.  Let's just hope they actually live and grow:)

Add caption

I really hope this helps you if you're looking for a way to label your garden and want your stakes to last more than one year (I'll make sure to let you know next spring how they held up).

Happy Crafting:)

Total Time: 3 hours
Total Cost: $18 (I had the vinyl & sealer, but I had to buy the bigger can of stain)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Come, Follow Me This Week

I'm not going to lie, I struggled the first little bit when the new curriculum came out.  I've got three young kids at home, and knew I needed to step up my teaching moments, but struggled.  We read scriptures together as a family every night, we have family prayers, we try to hold Family Home Evening each week, but I just couldn't figure out how to teach from the manual.  My three boys (ages 6 to 9 months) are active, energetic boys.  They don't sit while we read scriptures, they don't listen when we hold Family Home Evening.  How was this new curriculum going to work with a house full of boys?

I was studying each week's lesson and trying to come up with some kind of lesson for FHE each week that applied, then try and talk about the different concepts each week, but it ended up being me or my husband opening the manual for scripture study and reading to them a sentence or two then trying to ask questions. (let me state nothing is wrong with this at all, it just felt like none of us were benefitting from it).  I guess I needed to put in more family prep time.  It just felt so overwhelming.  I was learning things, but how I didn't know how to share that with my kiddos.

A couple weeks ago I came across this Instagram account @ComeFollowMeFHE and it truly has been a game changer.  I don't know how Angie finds the time to create (young) family-friendly lesson plans, activities, detailed instructions for each week's lesson, but she does!  And it has helped me truly study and find the topics within those weeks that I can teach my family.  She creates Family Home Evening plans, she has coloring pages and activities, she has extra ideas and then gives details and more tips & help on her feed.  She has a blog explaining everything.  She puts in SO much time & energy into these.  It has helped me see the lessons differently and taught me how to look for principles that apply to my family.  Please, go check out her site, her blog, her feed.  She truly is a blessing!

As I've been following her plans and adapting them to our family, I really enjoyed one of the activities she had.  It was a different challenge every day for the entire week.  I can't even remember which week it was, but I really liked giving my kids a specific challenge and then discussing it that night.  I wanted to keep that going, to have a little piece each day that we could learn and actually apply.  I came up with the "Come, Follow Me This Week" idea.  Each day we can focus on a subtopic and hopefully apply it somehow throughout our day.  I've been studying the manual "For Individuals & Families" but also the "Primary" manual (lucky me I'm in the primary presidency so I have my own hard copy, although you can access the digital manual on  Following Angie's guide & searching the manuals for ideas or being prompted by the Spirit to teach what ideas my boys will benefit I've found that each day there is something new I can share with them, in a way they can understand.  This has been the thing that keeps coming back to my mind.  We can learn about Christ and be familiar with His teachings, but unless we truly follow Him and apply His teachings, what good does it do?  So that's why I'm trying to have small teaching moments with my kids each day.
My Outline for each week...Discussion Topic, Follow Opportunity & Activity/Quick Lesson Idea
Each day consists of a Discussion Topic, a "Follow Opportunity" and a small activity/video/lesson idea to go along with that topic.
Here's a blank one you can fill in

This is what I've been using so far and it's actually been quite helpful.  I usually study the lesson Sunday night or Monday morning and fill this out for the week.  Monday usually consists of FHE and the rest of the week goes mostly as planned.  These are simple, mind you.  Here's a quick shot of this week and what we've been trying to do:

Each morning while the boys eat breakfast I try to introduce the day's topic, sometimes sharing scriptures or a Bible video or just briefly talk about it.  Most mornings I throw my phone in front of them with a Bible video while they eat breakfast or am trying to tell them about the topic while I'm getting my baby dressed.  It's not a "let's sit down and formally discuss this new topic."  Honestly, who has time for that (if you do, then that is awesome and I want to know your secrets).  Then I share the "Follow Opportunity" with them and ask them to try it at school or throughout their day.  This usually happens in the car at school drop off, me last minute remembering as I help my 6-year-old put on his coat and backpack.  "Remember the video we watched this morning?  I want you to try and be like that little boy who was kind."  Something like that.  Again, it's not a formal thing.  Some (dare I say most) days it doesn't sink in and we get the "I don't know" or "I can't remember" answers.  But were trying...right?  When we do family scripture study before bedtime I ask them about how their opportunity went and talk about their experiences.  Most times, this does not go smoothly or how I hope it would, but we discuss it anyway and talk about they learned.  We do our best.  I truly believe that through consistency, love and compassion we can help these little warriors become the people God wants them to be.  And as I teach them and encourage them, I've noticed myself making a conscious effort to apply those same principles into my daily notions.  I am trying right along side with them.

Anyway, I don't know if this helps you or not, but I figured I get it out there anyway in hopes maybe there is one person it could help.

As most people have said (which I fully agree with) "Find what works for you and your family."  And study it yourself before trying to teach your family.  Like anything in life, it can go so much better when you have prepared the material you are trying to teach.

Here is a link to the actual document, or if you prefer to type it out each week (like I do) here's the blank one.  Hopefully it works, if not feel free to contact me and I can email it to you.

Also, the fonts I used for mine are Ink Free Font & Twiddlestix Font.

So, there you have it.  There's my simple way of trying to teach and apply the Savior's teachings in my life with three young boys running around:)

Happy Day

Oh, and if you'd like to learn more about this new curriculum, please visit  or click HERE
for the manuals.