Tidbit Times

Tiny Tidbits of my Time

May Tidbits! May 31, 2013

Filed under: Pic-bits — tidbittimes @ 10:24 am

May Collage

 

 

1.  Our little Bennett turned 11 months old this month (so close to the big birthday).  He has really taken off with development the last couple of months!  He still has such an outgoing personality.  He is starting to really crawl up on his knees more often.  He loves to eat and claps his hands (meaning “more”) every time any food is in sight.  He is quite the parrot, too, trying to repeat everything.  The cutest by far is hearing him try to say cock-a-doodle-do!

2.  Will’s preschool held a Mother’s Day program early this month.  It was such a fun little program.  The kids sang songs and played bells for all the moms (and one dad).  Afterwards they gave us these gifts (a special card with a message and decorated plate).  The teacher read each child’s card aloud to the group, which was quite entertaining and sweet!

3.  We also reached a milestone at our house with preschool graduation.  It was a nice ceremony and Will received a “diploma” with his picture on it.  Can’t believe he is off to kindergarten next fall!

4.  The Oscar Mayer Weinermobile made a stop in our city and also to a church right near our house.  It was a fun little event where we toured the hot dog car, ate hot dogs and Will enjoyed a shaved ice slush!

5.  This month we had to say good-bye to my grandma.  What a special lady who lived a wonderful 99 years!  Most of all she loved to see her 9 great-grandchildren.  This is a picture of Grandma holding Bennett last summer.  He had the charm to light up her whole face even when she was so sick in the hospital.  

6.  Today we are wrapping up another school year.  This year is a different, bittersweet sort of good-bye.  My boss will be retiring after many years.  He is one of the best bosses anyone could ask for.  He is such a kind person who allowed and trusted us to do our jobs while always saying family comes first.  We wish him well on his new adventure of retirement, but know he will be greatly missed in the world of special education.  

7.  Bennett just started pulling himself up along furniture (or window sills).  He just loves his new view of the world and giggles with excitement.  

8.  Mother’s Day was a lovely day spent with my boys!  This mommy even got a little time to sneak away down to her crafting space.  This picture was taken on our outing to Dairy Queen Mother’s Day evening.  I’m so blessed to be Mommy to Will and Bennett!

 

Ironman Birthday Party ~ Part 1 ~ Invitations May 30, 2013

Filed under: Crafty Bits — tidbittimes @ 10:14 am
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Ironman invite

Ever since last year’s Spiderman party Will has been bound and determined to have an Ironman birthday party for his 5th birthday.  I really can’t believe the theme stuck especially since Transformers became quite popular at our house.  I’ll kick off a series of posts of our Ironman Birthday Party with the invitations.

I found the inspiration for these invites from Pintrest and Grace’s Scrap Attic.  I got a few tips, but really had to fill in a lot of the details to get them all figured out.  I was pretty excited with the final product.  I was thankful to have time at a scrapbook retreat to construct them, because they were a little time-intensive.

Ironman mask Collage

First, I took a picture of one of Will’s Ironman masks to make a template for the card pieces.  I downloaded the picture and put it into a Word document.  There I could re-size it so that it would fit in an invitation envelope.  Next, I cut apart each of the pieces so they could be traced onto colored cardstock.

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See — time-intensive with all that tracing and cutting!

Now for the assembly!

Ironman assembly Collage

Assemble the pieces as seen in the first box.  I printed the party information on pieces of white cardstock and then cut them out.  Make sure that the information all fits so that it hides within the top piece and you still have room to glue the jaw piece to the invite.  To assemble — glue the white invitation information piece to the back of the jaw piece (making sure that when it fits together the top doesn’t go outside of the head piece.  Last, place the front head piece on top and glue it to the back just around the edges so the jaw piece is able to move in and out.

Ironman invite

Pull on the jaw piece and out pops the invitation!

 

Summer To-Do List May 29, 2013

Filed under: Crafty Bits — tidbittimes @ 11:24 am
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summer to-do list

Here is another Pintrest project completed and ready for some SUMMER FUN!  I’m off from work for the summer and like to keep busy (I am not a homebody at all — never have been).  I thought about doing this last summer, but it just never happened (with a new baby and all).  This year the project is completed and we have already started checking off our list!

There are so many cute Summer to-do list projects out there on Pintrest.  I had a hard time deciding which one I liked the best.  I finally decided on the rainbow-themed one from Fingerprints on the Fridge.  It was actually a much quicker project than I was anticipating.

May 004

This was actually a pretty cheap project to make, too, or I have a huge craft supply hoarding problem!  I didn’t have to buy one single item.  I found a frame just the right size in our pile of pictures/art we aren’t using.  I just took out the old Eiffel Tower picture and Viola – re-purposed!  I dug in my scrapbook paper stash and found every color of the rainbow (yes, I have a paper problem!).

May 006

Next, I cut several strips of the colored scrapbook papers.  Random isn’t easy for me, but it was kinda nice to not worry about straight lines and measuring.  I love how it turned out, too!  The only  measuring I did was the width of the frame so each strip would fit into the frame.

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I laid each strip slightly on top of the other right on top of the cardboard backing from the frame.  I used scotch tape to tape the pieces together.  Nothing fancy as you can see.

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My absolute favorite part of this project was the downloadable “Happy Summer” graphic from The Rubber Punkin.  I printed that off, cut it down and adhered it to the rainbow piece.  Making the actual “to-do list” probably took the most time.  I added things I knew we wanted to do and then looked at other lists online to create our list.  I decided I wanted a really long list so I added little things like blow bubbles, get ice-cream and sidewalk chalk along with the bigger events.

To finish off the project, slip the rainbow strip piece into the frame and secure the back.  Now use a Sharpie marker to write your Summer To-Do List right on the glass of the frame.  I read somewhere that you can write in Sharpie and then clean it off with Windex when you are done (I think fingernail polish remover works as well).  I like the Sharpie marker since it doesn’t rub off when you look at the list and check things off.

summer Collage

This project has been really good for our family.  Will is SO into it.  Everyday he gets up and asks what we are going to do from our list.  Here is a glimpse of a few things we’ve done on our list already.  Looks like we’ll be busy!  Wishing everyone a wonderful start to SUMMER!!!

 

StART ~ Summer Days and Nights May 27, 2013

Filed under: Crafty Bits,StART Bits — tidbittimes @ 9:54 pm
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stArt[1]

We are ready to really begin our StART projects for the summer.  I have planned out our books and projects for the whole summer so hope we can keep up!  We started off the summer reading “Summer Days and Nights” by Wong Herbert Yee.  This is a short rhyming book that explores different summer activities for day and night.  I know we are ready for some summer after the late taste of winter we had here in the Midwest.  We even have a huge list of activities ready to be checked off (come back soon and see our list).

Summer Days and Nights

We decided to make a summer treat to give at daycare during our last week there.  It is hard to believe that my firstborn is completely done with daycare now since he’ll be going to school in the fall.  We have been blessed with wonderful daycare providers for Will (Beth, Daddy, Grandma T., Grandpa P, Brooke and Marsa).

summer kool aid

I had pinned this project on Pintrest a while back.  It came from The Crafted Sparrow (which is a wonderful blog I just started following – love it!).  It was a fun gift, although I did most of the project since Will lost interest and it was too hard for him.

May 016

Materials

Curly Straws (I found them 6/$1 at the Dollar Tree)

Packets of Kool-Aid

Printable Tags (download from The Crafted Sparrow)

Bakers Twine

Hole Punch

Plastic Bags

Tape

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This is the part Will helped me with.  We put a packet of Kool-aid into a plastic bag.  Since the bags were a little bigger than the packet we folded them over and taped the bag in the back.  This way the bag fit tightly around the packet.  I used the plastic bag so that I didn’t have to punch a hole through the Kool-aid packet and lose all the powder or chance it getting wet.

May 019

Next, I used a small hole punch to punch a hole through the tag and plastic bag.  I used the bakers twine to tie the packet and tag to the curly straw.   That’s all there is to it.

May 018

HAPPY SUMMER!!!

 

Teacher Appreciation Gifts May 24, 2013

Filed under: Crafty Bits — tidbittimes @ 10:12 pm
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Teacher Appreciation Gifts

I can’t believe it is the end of the school year!  Where did that time go?  Our little man if now a preschool graduate and on to kindergarten next year – yikes!  Here are a few of the gifts we gave his teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week.  We were so blessed to have two wonderful teachers and many wonderful helpers!

Initial/Name Cups

April_May 066

Materials

Self-Adhesive Vinyl for the Cricut Machine

Plastic Cool Drink Cup

Cups Collage

I started by cutting each teacher’s initial of their last name using black vinyl.  I adhered it to the plastic cup.  Next, I used the white vinyl and cut out each teacher’s first name and placed it on top of the black initial.  I used two different Cricut Cartridges (Black Initial – Plantin’ Schoolbook and White name – Opposites Attract).

Cup Tag Collage

I added a tag I printed out on the computer.  Inside the cup I added a gift card to The Juice Stop our local smoothie shop.

Sticky Note Stack

Sticky Note Stack

I found this idea on Pintrest which led me to the blog “The Blackberry Vine“.  I thought the printable tag was super cute!  You can find it over at The Blackberry Vine.  Print it out and tie together different sized sticky notes with a matching ribbon.  Who doesn’t love a stack of note paper? (I know I am a sucker for office products)

Cookie Tin

Cookie Collage

Will and I baked Chocolate Chip cookies using our special recipe.  Stay tuned and it may appear on the blog one day.  I found these cute hounds tooth tins in the Target dollar section.  I added a computer printed and stamped tag, plastic wrap and a ribbon.  A tasty and simple gift for hard-working teachers.

Teacher Collage

A BIG thank you to Will’s teacher this year for giving him the BEST first school experience!!!

 

 

Positive Behavior Coin Chart – IT WORKS! May 15, 2013

Filed under: Crafty Bits — tidbittimes @ 9:04 pm
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Coin Chart

There was a time this winter when this mama and daddy needed a little extra something to pull out of their pockets to help an adorable little soon to be five-year old with his behavior.  We were seeing way too many meltdowns and fits.  My husband came across this magical little plan from Life Sprinkled With Glitter.  I would recommend going to this blog to read all the background information about this program.  She really did do a nice job of setting it up and we are SO THANKFUL for the idea.

First, I’ll show you how I created the chart and then give you summary of how it works!

Valentines_Chart 004

I started with a neon green piece of tag board.  I cut off a strip at one end so that I could evenly measure out the pockets to hold the coins at the top of the chart.

Valentines_Chart 005

To create the pockets at the top that hold the coins, I cut off a small strip (about 8-inches) from one end of the tag board. I divided and cut this into two smaller strips (2-inches).   I cut each of the strips into 4-inch by 2-inch rectangles for the pockets.  After cutting the strips off the whole chart measured 24-inches by 22-inches.

Valentines_Chart 008

Now for the fun part!  Find pictures of characters your child is really interested in on the Internet.  I printed them off on the color printer and glued them to colored cardstock.  Make sure you check to make sure your coin will fit in the 4-inch pocket before you get too far (mine were 3-1/2 inches).  Will is really into Transformers so that was theme of our chart.  He loves looking at each coin and is particular about which ones get turned around first.  This is really the part where you get your kids to “buy in” to the chart and take ownership.  You can stick with one theme like we did or use a variety of characters/items your child is interested in.

Valentines_Chart 009

I also cut letters out using my Cricut machine to label each pocket (Will’s C – O – I – N – S).  For durability I laminated each pocket and coin and cut them out.

Valentines_Chart 007

Here’s the part that takes a while.  I measured out spacing to draw the grid on the chart.  [My measurements were 4-1/2 inches from the left and then ten 1-1/2 inch squares, and ending with another 4-1/2 inch area at the right.]  I just used a level with ruler markings on it.  I measured each line and used a permanent marker to draw the line using the level as my straight edge.  You want to make the squares big enough to fit a regular-sized sticker.  I also left a longer box at the right side to write in the reward he earned at the end of each row of stickers.  I cut out the letters to spell “GOALS” and pasted them down the right side of the chart.

I also hot glued the pockets onto the top of the chart.  This worked okay, but may experiment with a way to keep them on there better.  They need to be pretty sturdy with all the coin movement that happens each day.  I have tried to repair the pockets with super glue, but that doesn’t stick the best either (surprisingly).

We hung the chart up on Will’s bedroom door so he has access to it and has a visual reminder for positive behavior at the beginning and end of each day.

IMG_3492

POSITIVE BEHAVIOR COIN CHART: HOW IT WORKS!!

1)  Will starts each day with all 6 coins facing forward (charter side showing) as pictured above.

2)  Throughout the day we make a conscious effort to notice not only the misbehavior, but the positive behaviors as well.  When a misbehavior happens he is often given a reminder.  We may say something like, “Will, I asked you to put your shoes on.  If you don’t start putting your shoes on by the time I count to 5, you will lose a coin. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5”  If at the end of the count he hasn’t followed through, then we simply say, “You have lost a coin”.  At that time either Will or one of us turns the first coin around so the character is not showing. Will often gets very upset when he loses a coin (most days).

3)  At anytime he is able to earn back coins that have been turned around.  Will caught on to this very quickly.  It is funny how they will notice when they have done something good and ask if they have earned back a coin.  When we notice a positive behavior we say, “Will I really like how you helped me out by watching your brother while I had to do this or that, you have earned a coin back.”  At that moment the coin can be turned around to show the character again.

4)  The only time coins cannot be earned back is when the child has lost all 6 coins in a day.  Not only can the coins not be earned back, but another consequence is given.  In our house once all 6 coins have been lost, Will also loses all privileges with screen time (TV, i-Pad, Nook, etc.).

5)  If at the end of the day Will has kept (or earned back) all 6 coins he can put a sticker in one of the boxes within a row.

6)  When Will has earned all the stickers in a row (10 stickers), he has met his goal for that time period.  This could be as soon as 10 days, but could also take longer than that.  Will varies in the speed he earns his rewards.  I can tell you as the weeks pass, he is earning those rewards more quickly because his behavior has improved so much.

7) GOALS:  You can either assign a dollar amount to each row of stickers ($10/row) that can be turned in for a tangible reward or saved up for a larger $ amount item (4 rows = $40).  You can also do special time spent together for a reward. We do a mixture of buying toys and doing fun things together.

8) No matter what the previous days’ behavior entailed, the next day the child starts with all 6 coins showing.  Always good to start each day with a clean slate!

**Here are some examples of rewards Will has chosen:  Trip to Toys R Us to cash in a reward, Transformer toy, Bowling, trip to Cherry Berry and he’s working towards a trip to Barnes and Noble next.  You really can do whatever you feel most comfortable with.**

We have been very happy with how this program as worked in our house.  I think the best part of it is that it put my husband and I on the same page as far as behavior management.  It helped us be more consistent as parents.  It also makes behavior more concrete for the preschool brain.  It helps him pay attention to acceptable and unacceptable behaviors (self-award).  I’m not saying that we are without an occasional meltdown, but they are fewer than a few months ago and their intensity and duration have shortened (whew!).  Eventually, I’m hoping we can fade the chart and still get the positive behavior without the need for a reward.

 

April Tidbits May 12, 2013

Filed under: Pic-bits — tidbittimes @ 9:50 pm

April Collage

 

1.  Following our several April snowstorms, we were finally able to get outside and play in the snow.  We stuck to this corner of our backyard to avoid any falling tree branches.   This is the best we could do for a snowman.  It was Benny’s first time out in the snow!

2.  Bennett James turned 10 months old (yikes – double-digits!) this month.  He learned several new “tricks” this month.  He had another tooth poke through, which, of course, was accompanied by an ear infection.  He started army crawling and scooting to get places.  He gave us back the signs for “more” and “all done/gone”.  Lastly, he learned to sit back up from the crawling position.  Our little baby is growing so fast!

3.  Talk about growing up fast…we took our oldest “baby” to Kindergarten Registration this month!  We walked as a family over to Laura Wilder Elementary to get all signed up for next year.  Each of the three kindergarten teachers had something special set up in their classroom for the kids to do.  Will is diligently watching his plant waiting for the flowers to bloom so kindergarten will start!  We also had his last preschool conference and Mrs. Tams said he’s ready to go to kindergarten!

4.  South Dakota was hit with an ice storm April 9-12.  Many homes were without power (including ours) and many people lost trees and had damage to their homes.  We bunked with my parents for a couple of days until our power was restored.  Schools were closed for several days (IN APRIL!).  As I’m writing this it is May and the City is still doing tree branch clean-up.

5.  Will and Bennett started taking a bath together – which is fun for them and efficient for me!  They just love it!

6.  Ma’s Boys was inducted into the South Dakota Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame on April 13th.  My husband’s Uncle Mike plays bass in the band.  We attended the ceremony/concert.  It was very exciting and Ma’s Boys sounded fabulous all these years later!

7.  Here are the boys on our annual trek to the Lions’ Pancake Feed!  We go every year with friends.  It was Bennett’s first time.  He even ate a whole pancake!  Will just eats the sausage links.  We had a great time, although Daddy wasn’t able to come with us this year.

8.  The end of the month brought another celebration.  We held a wedding reception for Tim and Ashley (my brother and sister-in-law) who were married in Cancun last month.  It was a beautiful day and great fun to see Tim and Ashley again as well as many friends and family.  Wishing them all the best!

 

 
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