Archive | September 2013

Page-Turning Mondays: Never Mail an Elephant

Hola all!! Jenn here with your latest Page Turning Monday post!!

Today’s book is:

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Written by: Mike Thaler and Illustrated by: Jerry Smath

This is a fun story about a little boy who wants to give his cousin an elephant for her birthday. So he goes to the zoo, gets an elephant, wraps it, and puts it in the mailbox. The mailman then takes it to the post office where things do not go quite as planned….for the rest you will need to read the story!!

Okay….now the fun part, activities to go along with the story.

-Make and send cards or gifts to friends and family. My daughter loves getting mail! She is so excited to check the mailbox and find something with her name on it, explain to your little one how excited their friend will be to get a note or gift.

-Find a pen pal for your little one to write to.

-Use this book in conjunction with teaching the letter E or M.

-Do some elephant crafts!! Pinterest has lots of them.

-Teach your child about sending cards to the sick and shutins from your congregation. Make a card writing day, and once a week take time to write out and mail cards.

-Talk about how your little one would mail an elephant if they could, and who they would send it to. Pretend to mail an elephant or other types of animals.

-Mail an elephant to a friend or family member (stuffed or drawn) with a copy of the book….that would be awesome!

-Take a field trip to the post office. Talk about how some people get their mail in boxes there, talk about sending packages and how they are weighed to determine the amount of postage, talk about how you can buy different types of stamps (if you want to feel old tell them how much stamps cost when you were a kid and how you used to have to lick them). 😉

-Point out the mailman or mail woman to your little one. Explain how they travel all over town delivering mail and packages. Talk about how their cars have the steering wheel on the other side to make reaching the mailbox easier.

-Thank your mailman for all their hard work by leaving them a baked goodie in the mailbox with a thank you note. Don’t forget them during the holidays and leave them a goodie then also.

Well those are my ideas, but I am sure you can think of more.

Happy reading!!

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today…..like sending someone a card or thanking your mailman!

Until next time,
Jennifer

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One of my Favorite Things: My Wilton Cookie Sheets

Hola y’all! Jenn here with another if my favorite things!!

Today is my Wilton Cookie Sheets.

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These are mine stacked sideways to show the different sizes, and you can tell from the picture which are the oldest and the most “seasoned” 🙂
That little one on top was one of my first ones and I use it to bake biscuits and rolls so it is the darkest, the next you see is a bigger size so it is used less frequently, and on the bottom is the largest and the newest.

I was first given a set from my mom-in-law one year and I LOVED them! I used them all the time!! But I found myself needing more for baking cookies….and as luck would have it my mom and my mom-in-law gave me more for Christmas!! I know have 2 of the smallest, 3 of the middle size, and 3 of the large size. It may sound like a lot, but when you make cookies it is nice to have enough to get all the cookies on a pan and ready for the oven instead of having to reload your pans each time you take one out. And since I bake cookies at-least once a week and sometimes twice a week, this is very helpful!!

They do get “seasoned” the more you use them. You can tell in the pic of my little one the whole pan is seasoned, in the below pic you can see where a large one is getting seasoned.

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I absolutely love these pans!

-They are nonstick and do not have to be greased for cookies or bread, I sometimes do grease them with crisco when I first use them….but again not necessary.

-They are dishwasher safe, but I do not put them in the dishwasher…..I think the dishwasher messes up the nonstick finish, but that is a personal preference.

-They stack neatly together and fit great in a cabinet or the drawer under your oven.

-They are not that expensive. Mine have all been given to me as gifts, but I have looked at the price and they are very well priced for the quality….Especially if you get them at Bed Bath & Beyond and use a 20% off coupon 🙂

-They are Wilton which is obviously a top name in bakeware!! I have made a few cakes and always used a Wilton pan…..and I am kind of turning into Wilton snob when it comes to baking.

So if you are in need of some new cookie sheets I definitely recommend trying out Wilton Cookie Sheets….and the Wilton brand for all your baking needs!

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today!!! Maybe bake them some cookies 😉

Until next time,
Jennifer

DIY Days: Make Your Own Reusable Mop Cloths

Hola all! Jenn here with a new DIY day!!

Last summer I started to get tired of using a Swiffer to clean my hardwood floors. I was using the one with the throw away wet pads and it was getting out of hand how many I went through in a week. I mean seriously, it took 2 for the living room, 2 for the kitchen, 2 for the dining room, then 1 for each bedroom and bathroom! What!! That was ALOT of money each week!

So I checked out the spray mops at Wal-Mart and ended up buying a Cedar O brand spray mop. I don’t remember the price now, but it has been totally worth it! It has a convent jug that you put your cleaner in, then spray the trigger, wipe up, take off the reusable pad, wash it, move on! I loved it! I felt like I was saving money each time I mopped!! (And once I switched to mopping with vinegar and water=$$$$)

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Then I reached a downside, my mop as starting to leave streaks on my hardwood floors….NO! Well I started trying different things and realized the problem was my mop pad. Even though it was getting washed it seemed to have a film on it…..I blame the chemicals I used to use 😉 Well on my next Wal-Mart trip I looked at replacement pads, they were $7!! No thanks! I have a lot of floors to mop, that was not happening. So I made do with what I had and used dish towels.

Well, one day as I was going through boxes I found old baby towels and old cloth diapers (the best burp clothes!). So I used clothespins to put them on my mop and to my surprise they worked great! No streaks!!

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But it is hard to mop with clothespins holding your cloth on so I made them into cloths that would fit my mop. This was so simple anyone can do it!

First I laid out the cloth, put my mop on it, drew a line with a sharpie to tell me where to cut-you want to make it big enough to fold over and go into the little holes on top of the mop-

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Then you just sew up the edges so it doesn’t fall apart! Easy Peasy!

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I use the first one I made as a template for cutting out the next. I double layered the baby towels since they are thin. Now I have 4 new mop cloths that cost me nothing but some time, way better than spending $28 on new ones 🙂

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And my little girl loved it! She got to push the pedal for one whole cloth. She was so excited because she sewed!!

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I have used these a few times now and they are working great! I just bleach them after each use and they are ready to go next time!!

Well I hope you enjoyed this DIY day and that it is helpful to you!!

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today!

Love
Jennifer

Page-Turning Mondays: A Visitor for Bear

Hola y’all!! Jenn here with another Page-Turning Monday post.

Today’s book is:

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Written by Bonny Beck and Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton.

This is a fun book about a bear who does not like visitors. He even has a sign on his door that reads “NO visitors allowed!” But one day a persistent little mouse gets to stay for a visit, and to bears surprise, he finds that he enjoys having a visitor. And when mouse goes to leave bear begs him to stay, because he has realized how nice it is to have a visitor!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE having people over. I love making dinner for friends, playing games with friends, spending time together just hanging out and talking, just the nice feeling of having a friend in your home and getting to know them better. I also love being a visitor. I find it just as nice to be invited to someone else’s home for dinner, games, or just to come have a chat. It is heartwarming to know that a friend wants you to come over and hang out. Don’t you always enjoy being invited to someone else’s home? It makes you feel loved and cared about….at least it does to me….but that could have to do with the inviting family I grew up in, we were at each others houses all the time ;). I grew up with parents who would stop and make unplanned visits because we were in the neighborhood, and our friends an family would stop at our house if they were close by. I sometimes think the simple kindness of an unexpected visit to show you care and wanted to see them is the best visit of all!

I think this book is a great opportunity to teach your little one about being welcoming and inviting.

-Invite friends and/or family over. Before they come tell your little one that you are having visitors. Let them help you get things ready. If your cooking or baking let them help how ever they can. It you are making sweet tea, let them help. Let them help straighten up around the house before the visitors arrive.

-Let you little one invite some friends over. They are so excited to invite their own friends and be expecting their own visitors!!

-Talk to them about how important hospitality is in your home and out. It is talked about in the bible!
Gods people are to be hospitable!
*Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:9 NIV)
*distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. (Romans 12:13 NKJV)
*Did you know it is listed as a qualification for an elder: but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, (Titus 1:8 NKJV)
*Did you know you may entertain angels: Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2 NIV)
* Teach them the importance of inviting people to church and for Bible studies. Take them door knocking.
*Visit the sick, recovering, or shut ins.

-Discuss how good it feels to know others want you around, if they are old enough to understand talk about how they feel when a friend invites them over. Help them understand how to make others have that good feeling.

-Show them a welcoming home by making yours welcoming. I’m not saying you have to have people over everyday, but let your child grow up knowing that friends and family are always invited and welcomed in your home.

-Teach them the importance of having different people over. Don’t just invite the same people over all the time. Talk to your little one about how it can hurt others when they are constantly left out.

-I have friends who let people stay at their home when traveling or even for extended stays while taking classes at a nearby college. Open your home.

-You could also have fun acting out the story by making a “no visitors allowed” sign, then act out different scenes and end with ripping up the sign!

– You could hide a stuffed mouse in different places for your little one to find throughout the day.

Well those are my ideas, but I am sure you can come up with others!

I hope you enjoy this book and enjoy having visitors!!

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today…..like invite them over to your house!’

Love,
Jenn