}

Family Scripture Valentines

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From the time my kids were very young, I noticed that the Valentines cards sold in the stores were designed for kids who are in a classroom whether it is a preschool class or school room. Since very few of my kids attended preschool and then they were homeschooled, those boxed Valentines just didn’t fit our situation. I wished that someone would create Valentines that could be given to family and neighbours because those were who our kids wanted to make Valentines for.

Family Scripture Valentines - These are perfect for preschoolers or homeschoolers. While I waited for someone to ‘invent’ Valentines that were more homeschool and pre-school friendly, we made our own Valentines cards. This year, it occurred to me that perhaps if I were wishing for Valentines for family members, there may be others wishing for them too!

I’m really excited because with the help of my friend Richele, I was able to see my wish for family Valentines come about. I came up with the wording on the front and back and she designed the cute bits. Designing cute bits just isn’t one of my strengths.

These family scripture Valentines cards are perfect for kids who aren’t yet in school or are homeschooled. They are also great for kids who want to give cards to their grandparents and cousins in addition to giving them to the kids at school.

Scripture Valentines for the whole familyOn the front, these say things like “Daddy, you’re the best” and on the back, there is a coordinating scripture. There are Valentines for dad, mom, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, and cousin. There are also a few blank ones so that your kids can make them for neighbours or friends.

To download and print off these free Valentines, simply enter your email address below. You will then be subscribed for our email newsletter (which only comes at most once a week) and you will have access to all current and future subscriber-only treasures including this one.

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Downton Abbey Tea Bag Covers

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Perhaps you’ve heard of a little show from across the pond called “Downton Abbey“.

Almost everyone I know was watching it and trying to convince me of how much I would love it. For a few years, I had resisted starting it because I just didn’t see the appeal of a show about the rich in England. That is until I finally gave in and watched the first episode! I was hooked.

There is something so fascinating about this show. The character development is incredible and it pulls you in. It gets into your brain so that you find yourself thinking “I wonder what Lady Mary would have worn to an event like this…” or “did servants really have a hierarchy?” in your everyday life!

I also find that it is quite relaxing to watch (other than the cliffhangers at the end of the episodes that ensure that I binge watch it and say good-bye to sleep)!

Downton Abbey Tea Bags...printable tea bag covers to add a bit of class (and humour) to your tea time!What could be better than snuggling under the covers watching a Downton Abbey marathon? Well, for me, watching Downton while sipping tea!

Downton Abbey Printable Tea CoversIf you would like to add a bit of Downton to your tea time, simply print off these tea bag covers, fold and glue. Your Downton Abbey tea bags will add some class and a bit of humour to your tea party, tea time or episode watching marathon.

You can download the “What is a Weekend?” tea bags by clicking here or on the image below.

What is a weekend? tea bag coversYou can download the “I’m not a Complete Stranger to Romance” tea bags by clicking here or on the image below.

I'm not a complete stranger to romanceOr if you would prefer a slightly more humorous approach, these quotes from the Countess of Grantham (Violet) may be more your taste. You can download them by clicking here or on the image below.

"I take that as a compliment" tea bagsI get a kick out of Violet’s zingers and spunk! I love the romance between Bates and Anna. I love the costumes and learning about a society that seems so foreign from the one we have now. It is easy to get swept up in the show and feel a part of something that is for the most part, lost in our current society.

I hope you enjoy these little mementos as you savour the last episodes of Downton Abbey.

Household Project Planner

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Last year, we renovated our bathroom due to some mould issues. I would like to tell you that we planned ahead and did up a budget for the project, that we thought about what needed to be done ahead of time, but we didn’t. What started as a bathroom project and a small renovation of our bedroom turned into two bathrooms (we discovered mould in the adjoining wall when we demoed the original bathroom), more in our bedroom than we had planned, the kitchen ceiling (caused by a leak when something happened to one of the bathroom pipes during the renovations), the homeschool room ceiling (to accommodate for a drain above), and a paint job through most of the main floor and the upstairs hallway (when we had to cut through the wall at the bottom of the stairs when the new bathtub got stuck)!

I know that there are things that cannot be planned for, but had we planned ahead and at least done up a budget, we would have been much more prepared for what was to come. Our two week, one and a half room renovation ended up taking three months and affecting five rooms and the hallways and entry. It also cost us triple what we had imagined.

Household Project Planner printablesI’m hoping that this simple printable set helps other families avoid some of the disasters we encountered. Planning ahead can help you foresee potential challenges and delays. It can also help you be able to purchase supplies on sale, have what you need on hand, know how much time to allot for projects, and cut down on stress.

These printable worksheets can be edited so that you can type right in them and plan for every house project you have this year from the very simple (changing lightbulbs) to the more complex (building a deck, finishing a basement or renovating a kitchen).

I suggest that you print one of the Household Projects sheets to create an overall plan for the entire year and then print as many of the Project Plan sheets as are needed.

Household Projects Planner

To download the PDFs, simply click here or on any of the images on this page. I sincerely hope this can save you some of the headache that home renovations or household projects can entail.

Household Project Plan Worksheet

Happy Renovating!

If you’re looking for other household tips and organization ideas, you may want to follow me on Pinterest.

Summer Bucket List for Moms Who Want to Engage

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Last year, I pinned many a “Bucket List” to my Summer Pinterest Board. I even printed off some blank ones and had each of the kids fill one out. We actually managed to complete most of the ideas on the bucket lists.

The thing that I noticed about our lists though was they were geared towards the kids. It may have involved me in terms of preparing activities or taking the kids places, but I’m going to admit honestly that I was not truly engaged in the activities.

Don't just watch their childhood happen…get in there and live it with them!Image Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

I have come to some realizations lately due in large part to the fact that my oldest son is now an adult. His 18th Birthday was a bit of a wake-up call for me, an awakening to how fleeting these years are. I still have many younger kids and I have the chance to create memories with them.

The way that I have been doing things is to create situations that they may remember but they may not remember my part in them. 

In being busy and working hard to gather supplies and instructions for those awesome Summer crafts and in taking the time to make the fun, creative snacks and meals, I sometimes miss out on the real moments, the kisses, the hugs, the chasing in the grass, the laughter.

I am creating this printable Bucket List for Moms Who Want to Engage for me and moms like me, those who feel like their kids’ childhoods are slipping away.

I will continue my honesty by stating that some of the things on this list will be a stretch for me. I don’t even like being outside. It will be hard for me to set aside the dishes and the to-do list and get down in the grass with my kids. But I will.

Let’s make this summer about treasuring moments and creating memories that last for our kids as well as for ourselves. Are you in?

  • Have a picnic sitting on the grass with the kids
  • Play tag in the yard
  • Sit outside and read the kids a book
  • Actually participate in a water fight
  • Take the kids to a parade and soak in their excitement
  • Hopscotch with the kids
  • Draw each child’s outline with sidewalk chalk and add positive adjectives inside
  • Buy a roll of pennies or dimes and fill the sandbox to watch the kids hunt for buried treasure
  • Skip while holding hands
  • Go for ice cream and let the kids take as long as they want choosing flavours
  • Get dirty
  • Lay on the lawn long after dark and point at stars
  • Play hooky for a day from “life” and play with the kids

Summer Bucket List for Moms Who Want to be More IntentionalImage Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

  • Swing on swings, slide down the slide, truly discover a playground
  • Build a sandcastle or let the kids bury you to your arm pits in the sand
  • Play hide-and-seek
  • Blow bubbles
  • Take a leisurely stroll through the Farmer’s Market with no agenda
  • Blast the music, pick up one of the kids and dance like no one is watching!
  • Go berry picking and learn to make jam together with the kids
  • Stop and literally smell the flowers
  • Hula hoop badly
  • Lose an afternoon in the library
  • Play “I-Spy” and actually pay attention
  • Ask the kids about their dreams
  • Colour with crayons
  • Do the hokey-pokey
  • Worry less, laugh more
  • Teach the kids to speak Pig Latin
  • Go hiking
  • Build a block tower
  • Have a games night at home
  • Create a technology free day – no phones, no TV, no computers
  • Explore our community like tourists
  • Whisper
  • Giggle
  • Build a blanket fort on a rainy day, climb inside and snuggle while you trace letters on the kids’ backs
  • Splash at a spray park
  • Jump rope
  • Create and go on a photo scavenger hunt

Click image below for full printable of 40 ideas…Summer Bucket List for Moms Who Want to Engage

(There is a typo in the printable which is super embarrassing for me, but could you do me a favour and just pretend you don’t see it or cross it out? I’d appreciate that!)

A Bucket List for a Simpler Summer