Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!

Our family night fell on New Year's Day, and we had a little beginning/ending ritual to welcome 2017.

First we wrote three things that were blessings in 2016. Then we listed one thing we want to do more or have more of in 2017, and last we wrote something we want to let go of in 2017.

The girls listed their school and friends as blessings, and of course Sophie drew a picture of Bun. (Bun always makes the list!)

I was thankful for our family trips this year and for spending time together as a family. Husband commented that it is a blessing that baby Max is able to communicate with words now and can show us what he wants.

Sophie wanted more LOVE in 2017!

After we finished our papers we burned them in the fireplace.

For our SNACK this week we had Saltine Toffee Cookies.  These were a last minute idea and came together very quickly!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sweet Orange Sugar Scrub Recipe

This family night we spent time making Christmas gifts to give teachers, church helpers, and the other people in my kids' lives that help us out on a regular basis. One of the gifts we made was this sweet orange sugar scrub. 

This sugar scrub was a great project to make with the kids because it was easy for them to pour in the ingredients and mix everything together. We then scooped the sugar scrub into small canning jars. (I purchased mine at Michael's)

Sweet Orange Sugar Scrub Recipe

2 cups white granulated sugar
1/2 cup almond or coconut oil
10 drops of sweet orange essential oil 
(you can substitute any essential oil of your choosing)

Mix the ingredients well in a large bowl. Then scoop into jars for gift giving.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Lavender Oatmeal Tub Tea Christmas Gifts

This week for family night we made a few DIY spa gifts to give to the kids' teachers, church group leaders, girl scout leaders, and the other adults that help them out in various ways each week. Our first projects was Lavender Oatmeal Tub Tea.

This tub tea was easy for the girls to make. The ingredients are simply poured together into a large bowl and then mixed.

The girls each took turns helping me add the ingredients into the bowl and stirring it well.

Then the tea mixture was scooped into small tea bags and stapled shut. These small sized tea bags were the perfect height to fit into a ziplock snack sized bag. Three tea bags fit neatly into one snack bag.

Lavender Oatmeal Tub Tea Recipe

2 cups epsom salts
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup powdered milk
20 drops lavender essential oil
tea filters, size 2

Mix the salts, oatmeal, powdered milk, and essential oil in a large bowl. Scoop the mixture into empty tea filter bags and staple shut. This recipe made 32 filters. 

For gift giving place 3 of the filters into snack sized ziplock bags. Add in a holiday label and seal.

I created small labels to slip inside of each bag so it would be ready for gift giving!
Click here for a free download of a the sheet of labels to use for your own DIY Christmas gifts. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Gratitude Questions + A Thanksgiving Movie

This week for family night we're going to go through these gratitude questions from The Apricot Tree together as a family. We love doing family dinner questions together, and this reminds me of that. 

 I think taking time to think about both the things that we are grateful for, as well as the gifts in our lives that we may be taking for granted, is very important. I think gratitude is the key to a happy life, and modeling an attitude of gratitude for kids is of great value. 

I love that this is such a minimal activity, but is a great way to learn more about each member of the family. I also think listening to the things your family members are grateful for can give insight into their love languages and spur ideas for how to spend time with them and love them better in the future. 

Click here to visit The Apricot Tree and get a free printable of all of the gratitude questions. 

We'll also be watching one of these holiday movies. I love the Charlie Brown holiday classics, but the kids told me they already watched it twice in school last week, so they may choose Miracle on 34th Street instead. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Fall Leaf Art Family Night Project

This week for family night we took a walk through our neighborhood collecting different colors, sizes, and shapes of leaves. I carried a large bag with us to stick the leaves in, and the kids searched for as many different ones as they could find. Unfortunately our leaves weren't very colorful-they were mostly just brown-but there were a few yellow ones. 

Then we used our fall leaves to create these fall leaf animals. This art project was inspired by some leaf animals I've seen on Pinterest. The fall leaf animals we created were a cat, a fish, a monster, and a wolf. This was a cute craft that took only minimal supplies that we had on hand. It took us about 30 minutes to create our leaf art animals. 

To create the leaf animals, arrange different shapes, colors, and textures of leaves into the shape of an animal. Use white glue to attach the leaves to a piece of white paper. Add googly eyes or use a crayon or marker to draw eyes, a mouth, or other details. 

fall leaf animals art pictures examples

Friday, November 4, 2016

Autumn Pictionary and Autumn Charades

I'm not sure why, but to me Pictionary and Charades always go together! For family night this week we're playing some fun Autumn versions of pictionary and charades that the whole family will enjoy. I love the idea of using these for family night because they are both free printables, so the only prep is to print them off and cut the words apart.  

Autumn pictionary is filled with all of my fall favorites like pumpkins, pie, sweaters, and more! To play, have each family member choose one of the words and then draw it as the rest of the family tries to guess what they're drawing. Whoever guesses it first gets a point and the person with the most points at the end of the game wins! We usually play non competitively and don't even keep score. 

You can get the free Autumn Pictionary printable here.

This game of Autumn charades from imom is also a free printable and only needs to be cut apart to play. I love the cute actions on these cards like "act like a turkey." You can get your own printable of Autumn Charades here

For our family night snack this week we'll be having cinnamon sugar pretzel bites. This is a copycat recipe of Auntie Anne's pretzels. 

We've made pretzels for family night before and it was a lot of fun. The kids really enjoy handling and rolling out the dough! You can get the recipe for these cinnamon sugar pretzel bites by clicking here to visit Lil' Luna. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Top 5 Halloween Movies for Younger Kids

Once a month or so we have a movie night during our family night time. This Sunday family night will fall on the day before Halloween, so I set out to find a great seasonal movie for us.

Selecting movies for my family is a little tricky. My children are still 7 and under, and my girls are both sensitive to scary or suspenseful scenes. Both my 5 and 7 year old have been known to come crawl up next to me and hide their heads under my arms during scenes from Disney princess movies, so I knew that I would have to be careful choosing a Halloween movie for us to watch together.

After looking online and asking my facebook friends I came up with a list of 5 slightly spooky, not so scary Halloween movies that would be great to watch with younger kids.

The Halloween movies we'll be choosing from are:

1) It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
2) Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest
3) Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie
4) Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Treat
5) Spookley the Square Pumpkin

I think these are a few great (safe) choices for my kids. I'm hopeful that any one of these choices will get us into the holiday mood without bringing on any tears or bad dreams.

We'll be having these pumpkin pie spiced pretzels for our family night snack this week. I made them a few weeks ago and they were a big hit! The pretzels are toasted with oil, then tossed with sugar and pumpkin pie spices and drizzled with white chocolate. Delicious! And they also made such a large batch that there were plenty of pretzels to snack on during the week and to send in school lunches. Click here for the recipe from Oh Sweet Basil and make your own batch!

Do you have a favorite Halloween movie to watch with your family? Comment below and tell me what your favorites are!