Monday, June 30, 2008

We should hopefully be well on our way to Colorado by the time you are reading this! We're off for a little over a week to visit family and boy are we looking forward to it! This is going to be an old fashioned road trip with a toddler so wish us luck. By old fashioned I mean, no portable DVD player or high tech gadgets to entertain us, well that is, no high tech gadgets except for my husband's GPS.

I've arranged a few posts with some good links for you to browse while I'm gone so check back in every now and then.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Crib Recall!

Alert! Alert!

Check and make sure your baby isn't sleeping in a Jardine Crib. Many of them have been recalled including the one Luke has been sleeping in! He's in the pack and play until we get a new one!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Be Inspired

- Scavenger hunt for the needy - what a cool idea!

- Fruity playdough

- An idea rolodex is pretty nifty.

- Ideas for the fire pit!

- Good ideas for encouraging hospitality in your children.

- These treasure maps look really cool and talk about creative!

- Adorable present idea for Dads.

- Celebrate Dandelions with these activities.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Homemade Salsa

Today I spent Luke's nap chopping and mixing and ended up with a huge batch of salsa. Some went straight into the freezer to save for later! I made 7 times the recipe below!

Microwave Salsa

3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 green onion, sliced
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp finely chopped green pepper
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Mix together in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 45-60 seconds or until heated through. Salsa will keep in fridge for up to 3 days.

Recipe from Taste of Home 2001 Annual Recipes

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Look what I won!

Isn't this a gorgeous picture?! It just makes me want to reach right in there and grab a berry to bite into. I was the lucky winner of my blogging friend Carrie's contest and won this print in a set of notecards!

Wow, another unexpected bonus from blogging. The photographer is Lisa and she has a delightful Etsy shop! I love her photos!

Using your Blog as a Log

If you've been reading Family Focused Fun for awhile now, you may have noticed that I love to share great links and do so at least once a week, if not more. Well I have to admit that I am doing that for you, but also for myself!

Though it wasn't part of my original intention for this blog, it has kind of been turning into a log of fun ideas and projects that I may try someday. If you've been looking for a way to store the countless cool ideas you come across online, consider using blog posts to record them. It's really easy and keeps you from having to store stacks of papers and clippings at home!

It works for me!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Currently Listening to...

Lately while I've been working in the kitchen I've been listening to Alice in Wonderland. If you've been looking for something the whole family can enjoy, look for this book. The BBC audio version is great and would be a good one for listening to on a family car trip!

Monday, June 23, 2008


Just a reminder to go sign up for your local library's summer reading program! Sign your kids up and don't forget to check out the adult summer reading programs as well.

Also check out Barnes and Noble for their summer program. Kids in elementary school can earn a free book!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Garage Sale Brain

Whew...I just have to tell anyone who might stumble upon this post that I officially have garage sale brain. I'm not exactly sure what "garage sale brain" is, but I know it's not my normal brain. I've been sitting outside (in the sun and rain) for the past two days selling my junk to anyone who happened by us and it has taken its toll!

Now I get to decide what to do with the extra cash! What do you use your garage sale money for?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tent Camping

We just got back from a wonderful camping trip to Michigan! We were spoiled with beautiful sunny weather and had a great time at the beach. Mom and Dad had a tent and Luke slept in his own tent. We brought his pack and play which worked like a charm for naps and bedtime!

10 Tips for tent camping with a baby/toddler:
  1. Bring lots of changes of clothes and outfits for hot and cold weather!
  2. Bring warm clothes to sleep in! Let me repeat WARM clothes to sleep in!
  3. Make sure you have kid friendly suncreen, bugspray, and of course hats for sun protection. Pick your site remembering that you will want shade to protect that delicate skin!
  4. Bring a few familiar toys and books but don't bring everything you own. Nature will provide most of your entertainment.
  5. If it is really hot bring a fan to plug in (assuming you get an electric site) to have blowing on the tent to help a little one nap. As a last resort, think of taking a drive in air-conditioning for a chance to get them to sleep.
  6. Put up the rain fly just in case and to help keep the tent dark for naps.
  7. Bring plenty of kid friendly snacks and meals. Keep in mind that your little one will be outside almost all of the time burning up lots of energy! One of those chairs that attaches to a table will work with the camp picnic table for meals and snacks.
  8. Be considerate of your camping neighbors and do apologize the next morning if your baby cried a lot but don't feel too guilty about it. Leave plenty of baby items out so that people realize they are going to be camping next to a baby when they pick their site! :-)
  9. Try to stick to the same meal, snack, and bedtimes that you follow at home to prevent unnecessary crankiness.
  10. Consider putting a toddler in their own tent right next to Mom and Dads' tent. This is great if they are a light sleeper so you won't wake them crawling into the tent. Set up the pack and play right in their own tent.
Thanks to my fabulous husband for teaching me all this and much more about camping!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Be Inspired

It's short but sweet this week!

- A super long list of web sites for kids.

- Things to do with your kids before they grow up!

- I LOVE this write on/write off activity book.

Monday, June 16, 2008

An Idea for the Park

The next time you head to the park bring along a trash bag and gloves. Help your child pick up 10 pieces of trash to help take care of God's world!

Children will take pride in the work they have accomplished and it will be a great teaching opportunity for parents! After the work is done head over to the playground!

Idea shared in the Pray & Play Bible 2

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Be Inspired

- Love this summer time planning!

- A few twists on fun summer meals for kids.

- I never would have thought of using a bandanna as a baby hat!

- Ping pong without the table! Brilliant.

- Sticky tape decoupage!

- Homemade sidewalk paint would be fun to try!

- A super messy project for the brave moms out there.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fun and Frugal Craft

Here's a fun and frugal craft for kids or moms to work on this summer - make your own greeting cards!

The idea is simple, just find some pictures you like in old magazines. Cut them out nicely and then attach to card stock. Use can use glue to attach or it is even easier to use photo adhesive that you would use for scrapbooking. You can also make your own envelopes to go with the card or if you are like me, maybe you have a stash of unused wedding invitation envelopes, just waiting to be used! I first heard about this idea at The Homespun Heart - thanks to Monica! Check out her example for tips on making your own envelopes.

Visit Biblical Womanhood for more frugal ideas!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I Love You Through and Through

If you are the mother of a toddler perhaps you can relate to the feelings of frustration and anxiety that come over you while your little one is having their 10th tantrum of the morning?

Ok...perhaps I'm exaggerating a little with the 10 tantrums, but on the other hand maybe I'm not!

Want to know one solution to help Mom and toddler both calm down? For us, we use the wonderful book I Love You Through and Through. Kids love it and moms love it because it reminds them they love their little ones during happy and sad times!

If I'm having a particularly rough time with my little guy we like to get this book and just take a few moments to stop and relax! It works for us!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A New Way to Pray

Here's a cute idea found in the Pray & Play Bible 2 for praying with your young kids.

"Invite children to remove their shoes and socks. As you and your children touch each one of your toes, take turns naming one thing that God has made. If you run out of toes to count, touch your fingers as you name even more things God has created. Then pray, thanking God for all he has created, including the toes on your feet!"

Do you have any other ideas for keeping prayers fresh and fun for little ones?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mom..I'm bored

Before you start hearing "Mom...I'm bored" this summer, take a little time to plan some special activities to keep the kids going throughout the summer!

Here's an idea for those of you feeling particularly ambitious!


Some of my favorite summer memories from when I was a kid consist of my family's camps that were held at home. This included themed camps with lots of cousins, aunts, uncles, and family friends. To get you started here are a couple ideas!

1. Pick a theme - we had Olympic camp and Gym camp.

2. Plan a schedule for each day you will hold camp.
Camp could be every morning for a week, one day each week for a month, or all day every day for a few days including camping in the back yard! Have plenty of activities set for each time slot and rotate kids through them at set times.

3. Ask for help
Adult friends and relatives or older kids and teens can help you by teaching arts and crafts, gymnastics, archery, music or whatever their special talent might be.

4. Include plenty of fun activities like scavenger hunts, games, making smores by the fire, etc.

5. Have a special closing ceremony for your camp where kids perform or show of something they have created during camp and receive a special prize!
Hint - Special prize idea can be a washer on a ribbon medal of accomplishment.

It worked for us!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Be Inspired

- Make a lap book.

- Family night idea - Car theme!

- These would be awesome for a car trip - traveling felt boards!

- Tips for raising mission-minded children.

- Ever heard of letterboxing?