Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bits of Blossoms

Just putting a plug in for my friend's etsy shop! She sells cute headbands for mom and baby. You can even go matchy-matchy if you want! The shop is called Bits of Blossoms you can also do custom orders on her website she has some really cute stuff. Check it out!

By the way, I am willing to put your Etsy shop on this website if you want! Let me know if youw ant some free advertising!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Magnet/Flannel Board Images

Looking for good pictures for Family Home Evening lessons, church lessons, or quiet books? Here is a link for all sorts of pictures for lessons and stories.

Flannel Board Stories

I think flannel boards are hard, but I am going to print off these pictures, laminate them and attach magnets on the back. That way I can just use a cookie sheet as the board to put pictures on. I want to get a small cookie sheet to take to church so the kids can play with these pictures during Sacrament Meeting.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Kids That Sing

I really want kids that sing. Whether or not they can carry a tune in a bucket is besides the point. I just want them to feel comfortable opening their mouths and belting out their heart and soul. Singing is a form of expression and it always makes me a little sad to see kids who don't feel comfortable singing, just barely opening their lips and mouthing the words. So here are some ideas to turn your kids into singers.

Play lots of music in your home. Add variety, some classical, some kids music, some popular music.

Sing out loud! Your kids will sing more if you are comfortable with singing. Don't be afraid to really get into your favorite song.

Sing children's songs together. My kids love it when I sing "John-Jacob-Jingle-Heimer-Shmitt" to them in the bath. There are plenty of fun kids songs to sing whenever. Itsy-Bitsy-Spider, Mary Had a Little Lamb, You are My Sunshine, etc.

Be silly! Have fun singing in silly voices. Try an opera singer, a robot, a cowboy, whatever.

Enjoy a good musical together. What kid doesn't want to sing after watching "Annie"?

There's a starting point. Have fun singing!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Pandora Station for Kids

I love Pandora.com, and they have some great stations for children's music. The kids love the music and I don't get sick of the same songs over and over again. It has also introduced our family to some kids' music that we never would have known about.

Go to pandora.com and click on genre stations. Select "Family". There you will find Toddler radio, Lullabye Radio, and Children's Folk Songs. All great stations.

I haven't checked out the "tween" station, but it is probably pretty good as well.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bubble Art

I heard this idea from another mother a few days ago, and I thought is was so good that I wanted to post it here.

Hang a big piece of butcher paper or poster board somewhere outside, on a fence or a clothesline. Blow colored bubbles onto the paper so that they pop and leave a little bit of "paint". Have fun making a piece of abstract art!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Body-Image, Beauty and our Daughters: A few thoughts

I had an interesting and sad conversation yesterday with a few other mothers. We were discussing how their daughters only in preschool and first grade were already coming home with disturbing ideas about being beautiful and living up to their peers expectations of beauty, as well as a disturbing trend in the kindergarteners to discuss calories and diets. One mother then asked "How do I raise a confident daughter?"

That is the question I would like to address today. I am not going to pretend to have all the answers, because I think every one needs to work with their own personal situation and find what is right for them, but I do have a few ideas and some resources for you to go to and get more ideas.

First things first. If you want your daughter to be confident in herself then give her a good role model! You daughter will adopt your attitudes about your own body image faster than you know. Those kindergarteners were only parroting ideas heard from their mothers. They don't actually understand calories and dieting! Take an inventory of how you feel about yourself and what you say about yourself. Then start with the easy step; stop saying demeaning things about your body. After that you can tackle the hard part and stop thinking negative things about your body.

Second. Get rid of the scale!! Or at least hide it away and only weight yourself every now and then. Reinforce the idea that weight is only a number and what is more important is overall health and how you feel.

Third, Dump the fashion magazines! Studies show that after only 15-30 minutes of flipping though one, women show significantly decreased body-image and self esteem. I would also advise keeping an eye on your teenage daughters television viewing as some of the shows today can be as bad as a fashion magazine.

Fourth, talk, talk, talk! If you see something that bothers you about the way our society views women and their bodies, talk to your daughter about these skewed images ideas and why they are wrong.

Need ideas, or don't quite understand where we get our ridiculous ideas about body and beauty from? Check out these resources.

about-face.org This website is dedicated to tackling the subject of body image and especially how it relates to the media. There you will gain the knowledge to identify destructive advertising and how to put into your words when speaking with your daughter what is so wrong about it. They will also teach you how to write a good complaint letter to offending companies. The site also has tons of information and statistics about all sorts of body image issues, including eating disorders, women's health, cosmetic surgery, etc. You will also find an extensive list of reading material if you want even more information.

Girls Will Be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters by Joann Deak
I prefer this book to Reviving Ophelia as it covers the same important topics but is a little less doom and gloom and gives more real-world solutions that you can apply in your own family. I also prefer this book because it doesn't portray the idea that women should feel ashamed of their desires to be a wife or mother. It also is up-front about the differences between boys and girls, with scientific evidence to back it up, and then discusses how to compensate for those differences (like as in spatial relationship skills with girls and reading, writing skills with boys).

Packaging Girlhood by Sharon Lamb and Lyn Mikel Brown
This book makes you take a long, hard look at the messages being sent to your daughter through everything around her. From the music she listens to, the shows she watches, to the toys being sold to her. You dn't have to agree with everything they say, but they do give good advice about discussing with your daughter the contradictory messages being sent her way.

Check out this presentation on the subject matter for a quick 30 minute intro!

Killing Us Softly Part 1
Killing Us Softly Part 2

Killing Us Softly Part 3

Monday, May 23, 2011

Loving Service

Thought for the day from The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman, Ph.D and Ross Campbell, M.D.

"Because service to a child is constant for so many years, and takes place in and around so many other obligations, parents can forget that the daily and mundane acts they perform are expressions of love with long-term effects. At times they can even feel more like slaves than loving servants, put upon by spouse, children, and others. However, if they assume this attitude, it will communicate itself emotionally to the child, who will feel that he is receiving little love from the acts of service.
Loving service is not slavery, as some fear. Slavery is imposed from the outside and is done with reluctance. Loving service is an internally motivated desire to give one's energy to others. Loving service is a gift, not a necessity, and is done freely, not under coercion. When parents serve their children with a spirit of resentment and bitterness, a child's physical needs may be met, but his emotional development will be greatly hampered.
Because service is so daily, even the best parents need to stop for an attitude check now and then, to be sure that their acts of service are communicating love."

For more, check out this fantastic book. The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Soft Chicken Tacos

This is an easy, affordable, and delicious meal that is good for any night (even the busy ones)!


2-3 Chicken Breasts, cubed
1 TBS oil
1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
2 TBS taco seasoning
1 can salsa
Tomato, chopped
Avocado, chopped
Shredded Cheese

Heat oil in pan and add chicken. Cook until chicken is no longer pink inside. Add beans, taco seasoning, and salsa. Heat through. Serve on warmed tortillas and add tomato, avocado, and cheese as desired. Roll up like a burrito and eat!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Box of Kleenex

Never underestimate the power of a Box of Kleenex on a baby or young toddler! I like to buy several of the $1.00 boxes at Walmart and hand them off the the kiddos when I need some extra time. I guess it is a wasteful activity, but pulling out Kleenex after Kleenex can keep Big M happily entertained for 15 minutes at a time. If I use that time wisely I can get a lot done in that 15 minutes!

Friday, May 20, 2011

How to Make a Tutu

Every little girl loves a tutu and whether you want one for a photo shoot, Halloween, or just the dress up box they are very easy and affordable to whip up.

You will need:

measuring tapeelastic I use anywhere from 1/4" to 1/2" wide elastic. Use thinner elastic for younger babies.
tulle I like to buy my tulle at tullesource.com you can get it on a roll there which makes cutting a lot easier. I don't recommend doing this kind of tutu with tulle straight off the bolt, the cutting is a pain in the neck! When I buy the tulle on a roll I either get 6" width, and cut it in half as I go, or 3" width and leave it that way.
sewing machine or safety pin

1. Measure around your child's waist and then measure from waist to wherever you want the tutu to hit (knees, shins, etc.)
2. Subtract 1.5-2 inches from the waist measurement and cut you elastic to this length.
3. Sew the ends of your elastic together, being sure to reinforce the seam with by going backward and forward on the machine a few times, or pin the ends together with the safety pin if you don't want to sew.
4. Double your length measurement and cut your tulle into strips of this length
5. Now tie your tulle onto the elastic waistband. I usually tie on two or three pieces at a time for a fuller tutu.
Note: there are two kind of knots you can use, one is a square knot which I prefer as I feel it allows for a fuller tutu. The other knot is kind of a slip knot where you fold the tulle in half, bring the tulle behind the elastic and bend over the top of the elastic. Draw the two ends of the tulle up through the loop created by the fold and then pull the ends to tighten around the elastic. This kind of knot lays a little flatter than the square knot, but it is bulkier so you can't get as much tulle on the elastic.
6. Continue to add tulle until your tutu achieves desired fullness

**If you want a multicolored tutu, experiment with the color ratios. You may need to use a 2:1 ratio for some color mixes in order to achieve the right balance.
**For a Layered Tutu, cut one color of tulle shorter than the other and tie onto the tutu, always being sure that the shorter tulle is lined up on top of the longer tulle
**Decorate your tulle by hot gluing on flowers or tying satin ribbon into the tutu

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Let's Play Marbles!

Do you know how to play marbles? I bet your kids will love this forgotten game.

You will need:

chalk or string

marbles (make sure to have at least one "shooter" which is larger than the other marbles)

1. Draw a circle 2-3 feet wide using chalk or a string.

2. Set all marbles except shooters inside the circle.

3. Try to knock the marbles out of the circle using the larger "shooter" marble.

4. Try and hit the marbles inside the ring by kneeling outside the circle and flicking your marble out of your fist with your thumb.

5. If you hit a marble out of the circle, shoot again. If not, it is the next person's turn.

6. Continue play until all of the marble's have been knocked out of the circle.

7. Keep the marbles you knock out, the person with the most at the end is the winner!

You can play for "keepsies", which means you get to keep the marbles you win, but younger children might not enjoy that very much.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Hat Game

This game is a lot of fun for young babies and toddlers. If you have a young baby put them in the center of the circle. Once they get a little older they can have fun putting on and taking off the hats as well.

Collect all the hats in your house (or at least a good number of them if you happen to collect hats)
Have everyone sit in a circle and put on a hat. Yell "Switch!", you can either pass the hats around the circle or all throw your hats in to the pile and grab another one.

That's it! I know it sounds simple, but young toddlers and babies love seeing their family members in different hats, especially silly ones!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Interesting Thing Box

I am putting together a travel box for my Big M. He will be 11 months when we move, and he is very curious. He loves to check out all sorts of new things. New textures are especially stimulating, as well as bright colors, and things that make neat sounds when banged together.

I want to make an "interesting things" box, so that I can just pull out one item, let him check it out and then trade him out when he gets bored and rotate through. However, I need lots of ideas of easy, relatively clean, and cheap things to put in the box.

So far I have the following

empty soup cans
beaded necklaces
box of Kleenex
pipe cleaners
something with velcro (dont know what yet)

What else would you put in?

Tocqueville And The Tube


This is a great article to help us rethink our television viewing habits. Please don't read it and feel guilty, just read it for the information and to decide what your TV rules will be.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Plate Dancing

Miss J learned this at her GG's house and has loved doing it ever since. It is a great way to get your kids moving when they can't go outside. I give each child two paper plates and then turn on some fun dancing music and we dance while doing fun patterns with the plates. It is a good way to do some structured exercise and teach movement and control. I dont know why the plates make a difference, but they definitely do!

Staying Close to Family

My husband and I have never really lived close to family and now we are moving even farther away. I have been trying to think of good ways for the kids to stay close to grandparents and cousins. Of course regular visits are essential, but there are also some fun things that you can do inbetween the visits.

Some of my ideas were to set up Skype Dates with grandparents and/or cousins. Why not start a penpal relationship between cousins. Kids love to get mail and sending letters to cousins will help forge a closeness and common ground for those visits. What about care packages? I haven't decided what exactly I would put in a cousin care package, but this could be fun too.

What are some of your ideas to keep family close despite the miles?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Talking With Toddlers

Alright folks, it is another gem of knowledge I found in Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point". In one chapter he is speaking of the success of Sesame Street and Blue's Clues. Gladwell writes about how literal toddlers are, which I think we all realize. A toddler does not understand puns, sarcasm, or word play.

Gladwell then goes on to talk about the way toddlers understand language. He calls it "exclusivity". This means that while toddlers are still learning to speak and learning a lot of the basics, they don't understand how something can have two names. Gladwell uses the example of trees. Your toddler can identify a tree, but if you then tell your toddler that this tree is an oak, they will be lost.

This exclusivity actually works really well when trying to learn language. If your toddler knows what an apple is, and then hears you also refer to it as red, the child will realize that this must be in reference to some other quality of the apple. You may later refer to the apple as round, and your child will realize that this word means something other than the item, or the color.

I have been trying to keep these thoughts in mind when I speak to my children, who are still in the exclusivity phase. When we go to the aquarium, instead of trying to name all the different types of fish, I just point to the fish and call them by their colors. "Red fish, orange fish" etc. I do the same with the bears, "white bear", "black bear". Once we get the hang of colors, we will move on to other adjectives and learn those. Perhaps you can use this idea to teach opposites, sizes, shapes, whatever you want!

Soon, your toddlers will be able to understand that sometimes there can be two different names for things (like understanding that mom has a name, or that there are certain species of bears). I don't know when this change usually happens, but as mothers we are pretty in tune with our children, and they will probably let us know when they are ready to talk about the different species of penguin!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cheap Easter Egg fun

This morning, we had eggs for breakfast. But, they were no ordinary eggs. They were plastic Easter eggs (for 5 cents at wal-mart on clearance, the bigger ones). I filled the Easter eggs full of different kinds of cereal. Then I let my boys choose a couple of different eggs and 'crack' them open into their bowl. They had fun seeing what kind of cereal they got. And they didn't even mind that it was mixed together. We had so much fun doing that, we decided to pack James a lunch in eggs. We put chicken casserole, some cheetos, apple crisp, and even some Sprite (in a plastic bag) into eggs and gave him a note that said something about being an 'egg'septional dad. It was a blast, although James thought it was a little gross. Oh well. I think next year, we'll have our family Easter egg hunt in the morning and I'll do cereal in most of the eggs. That way the children can eat all the food they get, but they don't have to be loaded down with sugar or keep candy stashed away for weeks.

Fruit Freeze

The other day, I gave each of my boys a cook book to help choose out something for dinner. Andrew chose "Fruit Freeze." We ended up having it for dessert, and it was delicious! Here it is:

Throw into a blender the following:
1 grapefruit, peeled and skinned (this made for a fun 'disecting' exercise)
2 oranges, peeled
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. sugar
1 can pineapple

Blend in the blender for 10 seconds, then put into a bowl and freeze. Then a few minutes before wanting to eat, take out and pour Sprite over it, and chop up the slush. YUM!

(this recipe is modified from the Betty Crocker cook book)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tasty Easy Meal!!!

I just made the best Breakfast sandwich. We ate it for dinner. It was so easy all you need is:

2 leftover pancakes
1 egg
2 TBLS maple syrup
1 slice ham
1 slice cheese

Put pancakes in toaster, Fry the egg to desired firmness, Warm ham while egg is frying.
Place egg on one pancake, pour one TBLS of the syrup onto egg, place ham and cheese on top of that, put the last of the syrup on that, top with the other pancake....we put ours in the microwave for 20 seconds to melt the cheese.
This was so good, so filling, and satisfying.
If you don't have leftover pancakes, it doesn't take much time to cook up pancakes for this meal...I made extra pancakes tonight so we can have this for breakfast tomorrow!!!

Chicken Breast Paillard With Grilled Romaine

I got this recipe out the Better Homes and Garden's Grilling Magazine. I love grilling. It is so easy to make something tasty for you and your husband and throw on a burger or hot dog for the kids if they don't like what you made.

I would say this recipe is a little more "grown-up" in taste. I would suggest serving your kids unmarinated or bar-b-q chicken breasts. The grilled romaine was actually really tasty! Who would've thought?

You will need:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 TBS minced shallots (I used 1 tsp of minced garlic)
1 TBS Dijon-style mustard
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1 TBS snipped fresh tarragon (I used 1 tsp. dried)
4 chicken breasts
2 heads romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise
nonstick cooking spray
Parmesan Cheese

1. Make the vinaigrette by whisking together lemon juice, shallots/garlic, mustard, sugar, and salt. Slowly add olive oil, whisking until combined. Stir in pepper and tarragon.
2. Flatten each chicken breast to 1/4 inch thick. Place chicken in large resealable plastic bag. Add half of the vinaigrette. Seal bag, turn to coat chicken. Marinate in fridge for 1 hour.
3. Drain Chicken and discard marinade. For a charcoal grill, grill on a greased rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 3-4 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once. Coat the cut side of each romaine piece with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Grill romaine, cut side down, about 2 minutes or until edges char. If you are using a gas grill, preheat and reduce heat to medium, and then grill as above.
4. Place chicken and romaine cut side up, on a plate. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and top with parmesan cheese.

Help!! I'm Moving With Children

Ladies, I need all the advice you can give me on moving with children. How do I pack, when they want to "help"? How do I ease the transition? Ideas for fun car games would be appreciated too. Please leave your advice in the comments.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Five Love Languages

Studies show that one of the greatest indicators in the happiness of a child is whether or not their parents have a healthy marriage. This means that we are more likely to reap the fruit of our mothering labors if we are sure to focus on our marriage. So with this in mind I would like to introduce you to "The Five Love Languages" by Dr. Gary Chapman.

The Five Love Languages is a fantastic book that I would recommend to everyone. The basic premise is that everyone receives love in one of five basid "languages". These basic languages are:

Words of Affirmation

Quality Time

Receiving Gifts

Acts of Service

Physical Touch

Communicating your love to your spouse in his or her love language and helping them communicate in your love language can have an amazing effect on your marriage. This book can help rescue marriages on the brink with this concept as well as just deepen an already healthy bond between husband and wife. Rob and I use the terms in this book to keep tabs on how we are doing with eachother and it really helps out a lot!

I think reading the book is your best bet, however, you can go to 5lovelanguages.com and get a healthy dose of the advice there too. At the website you will find a discussion guide anda profile to help you discover your love language and your spouses. I have also put their widget on the sidebar of this blog.

Read the book, check out the website, just start today! Let's be good mothers by making sure our marriage is in good shape!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Consignment Shopping

I suppose the fancy term for consignment shopping is "boutiquing".

If you are like me, you agree that kids clothes are way too expensive. You know they are going to be stained within minutes of being worn for the first time, and they will probably not fit in a few months. Thus, my love for kids consignment shops. I have a favorite here where we live now. Most of my kids' clothes were bought there for super cheap! But now we are moving far away. Will there be another great consignment store where we are going? Will I have to start buying kids clothes at regular price? *shudder* I hope not.

I found this great website that lists consignment stores all over the country. Not just kids consignment stores either, but also jewelry, furniture, decor, etc. They also list seasonal consignment sales, give tips on selling your stuff to consignment stores and even help you start your own consignment sale.

The website is consignmentmommies.com and if you are anything like me you will go for the sales and get hooked by all the articles about thrifty shopping! Happy 'Boutiquing'!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Turkey Wraps

These are great for lunch or dinner, I've also made them for football games.

8 oz cream cheese with chives
2 TBS dijon mustard
6 whole wheat tortillas (8 in)
shredded lettuce
12 slices deli turkey
3/4 cup shredded swiss cheese
1 tomato diced
1 avocado diced
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

Mix cream cheese and mustard. Spread about 2 TBS cream cheese mixture onto tortillas to within 1/4 inch of the edge.

Add about 1/4 cup lettuce on top of tortilla and press into cream cheese. Place two turkey slices over lettuce. Sprinkle with 2 TBS of swiss cheese. Then add some tomato, avocado, and bacon. I find it is easiest to roll up if you put all the tomato, avocado, and bacon on one end of the tortilla. Roll up, and enjoy!

To Be: Nice

So I know this is late. We had Family Home Evening on Monday, but here was our basic layout, and it was very short to keep with attention spans.

The subject was being nice.

Song: I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus
Scripture Story: Jesus heals the blind man by the pool
Game: We practiced doing things nicely. First we would do them meanly, and then nicely. We practiced walking, touching, dancing, etc.
Treats: We all pitched in (because that is nice) and helped make chocolate chip cookies.

There you go! Instant FHE!

Malcolm Gladwell Books

These books are for mom! Many of you have probably already read Malcolm Gladwell, but he is too goo not to recommend on this blog. I have already spoken about one thing I learned in his book "Tipping Point" and I have learned even more since that post. Some of it I can apply to family, but most of it is just plain interesting and brain boosting!

Malcolm Gladwell has written "Outliers", "Tipping Point", and "Blink". He also wrote for the New Yorker and you can find a compilation of his articles in the book, "What the Dog Saw".

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Paper Cup Phones

Paper cup phones are a classic kids activity.
You will need

2 paper cups
two paperclips
inelastic string, thread, or fishing line
a pencil or sewing needle

Punch a hole into the bottom of each paper cup using the pencil or needle, thread your inelstic string through the hole in each cup (one cup on each end of the string) and secure to a paperclip inside the cup. This keeps the string from falling out of the cup. To use draw the string taut. One person speaks into the cup the other person put their ear to the cup and listens. Instant fun!

Do you have older kids who want to understand the science behind this?

Sound travels as a wave. Though technically not the same kind of waves, you can illustrate the idea of waves travelling through a medium with water ripples or by taking a jump rope and having one person hold still at the end while you make a wave travel from one end to the other by jiggling the handle. ***Technically, a sound wave is a compression wave (water ripples are circular waves, and jump rope waves are longitudinal waves). A compression wave can be illustrated using a slinky stretched out across the floor, shove one end back and forth and watch the compression move from one end to the other.***

A sound wave has to travel through something because sound is a vibration and has to pass from particle to particle. This is why there is no sound in space (contrary to sci-fi shows) Sound can not travel in outer space because there is no air, there is nothing but empty space, so the sound doesn't go anywhere.

Sound can travel well enough through air, but it travels even better along a solid. This is why you can whisper into a cup phone and the sound will be heard at a greater distance away than possible without the phones. When you speak into the cup, the bottom of the cup vibrates with the sound, these vibrations (or sound waves if you like) are then passed on to the string which vibrates (if held taut) all the way to the other cup. The string passes the vibration off to the bottom of the cup which then vibrates the same way the first cup did, thus transmitting the sound from one person to another.

Once again, in order for this to work the string must be pulled tight and really shouldn't be touching anything other than the cups.

See, science can be fun!

Want to turn it into an experiment? Try different kinds of thread or string, some elastic, some inelastic. Which transmit the sound the best? Hold the string limp and then tight, which works best? Try tying another cup phone onto the string, does it work?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Broken Windows Theory

I have been reading "Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. He just discussed Broken Windows Theory.

Broken Windows Theory suggests that people's actions are directly affected by the messages we receive from our environment. Broken windown and graffiti send the message that law enforcement is lax, and nobody cares about a neighborhood. These messages tend to reinforce attitudes that lead to vandalism and continue through the spectrum to more and more violent crime. New York City used this theory to clean up their subway system in seemingly small ways, like never allowing a graffitied train on the tracks, and in turn dramatically lowered their crime rate, even during an economic downturn.

The idea that our environment dramatically affects our attitudes and actions had me thinking about my own home. What messages are being communicated in my home environment, and what affect is it having on my family's actions? In addition, I have also been pondering what small changes in my home environment to produce a desired effect in my children's behaviors and growth?

First, I think we need to decide what we want our home to be like and what we want for our children. One thing I want is for my children to love to learn and use their imaginations. To foster an environment that promotes learning and creating I decided to make a small change. We bought an entertainment center with doors that close over the TV so you can't see it. When closed, it looks like an armoire. We have only had it up for a day, I am hoping that when the TV is out of sight we will be more likely to do other things with our time. I'll let you know how it goes.

Do you want your house to be more ordered and less chaotic? Maybe installing a key and mail holder or a place for the shoes to always be kept can be the beginning of other small changes that will gradually lead to more order and less chaos. Perhaps you want children who are aware of the world around them, why not put a globe or large world map prominently displayed in the family room or play room?

Now I want your ideas. Think of what outcomes you want in your home and family. Then think of one or two small changes in your home environment that will lend to that change of attitudes or actions.

I really want to hear your ideas!