Monday, July 3, 2017

From My Journal: Happy Independence Day!

 When it is the season for celebrating our Independence I like to reflect on a couple of things:

First, I am so grateful that I have not yet had to experience war on my front doorstep as others have. 

Can you imagine being trapped aboard an enemy vessel with only a small portal to watch the perilous fight at Fort McHenry?



The very flag that flew over Fort McHenry that inspired Francis Scott Key.
Waiting in what must've been the longest, darkest night and struggling to see the outcome--would the patriots be able to hang on? The lyrics give you a glimpse into his feelings as he waited for the approaching dawn... "Oh say, can you see..."

Some of the words got cut off in the original picture, but I am so pleased to have a picture of this at all.

Second, I like to ponder on the sacrifices made by our fore-fathers. Would I have been willing to risk the lives of my family, and go without conveniences and food?

The signers of the Declaration of Independence, 56 wealthy and well-educated men sacrificed everything they had.

The Americans Who Risked Everything by Rush Limbaugh is worth the read, or you can listen to a condensed version by Paul Harvey here on YouTube.

Have a safe, and fun celebration, but take time to remember those to whom we owe our freedoms and our prosperous lifestyles.

From my journal,

Thursday, June 29, 2017

7 FUN Summertime Journaling Activities for Kids




Keeping kids engaged in fun, worthwhile activities all summer can be daunting. The novelty of sleeping in and lack of homework wears off. About now, your kids may be some of those, "I'm bored, Mom," kids. After all, it is a mom's job to fix everything, right?

Arm yourself with an arsenal of fun things to do. Keep a list of activities handy, and remain calm (and flexible).

In this post I'm going to introduce you to 7 fun journaling activities. I'll suggest some printables for the first two activities in this post and continue the next 5 in follow-up posts. There's just too much stuff to put in one post, and I really don't think you want to sit here and read all day when you can go play with your kids!

7 Fun Summertime Journaling Activities:
1.  Host a Journaling Party--This is a fun activity for Cub Scouts, Achievement Days for girls, Girl Scouts, your own kids or grandkids.
2.  Play School--this is especially fun for preschoolers.
3.  Cipher collection/I Spy Journals--I haven't met a kid yet who doesn't like to spy or decode things!
4. Travel Journals--This makes even the longest road trip more interesting, and fun to look at later.
5.  Camp Journals--skills list, basic first aid, sketch page, etc.
6.  Adventure Journals--Take a pretend African Safari, trip to outer space, or time travel to historical events. This holds more interest for older kids.
7. Young Author workbooks--Get the kids interested in writing their own stories.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg to help get your own creative juices going...

For your own kids, this is a fun book to read about journals:

This is not an affiliate link, but you can find it on Amazon.com






1.  Starting with Host a Journaling Party:
  • Provide one adult to every 3-4 children for assistance.
  • Provide inexpensive composition notebooks and supplies so the kids can design their own journal covers, and help them cover in clear contact paper.
  • Provide enough supplies for each child; tape, glue sticks, double-sided tape, scissors, crayons, colored pencils, markers, stickers, and some fun scrapbook papers.
  • Provide printables of the first three pages, "All About Me," "My Favorite Things," and "My Family Portrait," or something of your own design.



All about Me in circles or shapes.




You can find all of these in the Library of Printables.
Just subscribe to our email list and I'll send the link to the Library.
You could also make fun bookmarks if you have time or for a follow-up activity. Encourage the kids to write in their journals at least once a week.

2.  Play School
  • Use inexpensive composition notebooks.
  • Draw letters that the kids can trace or outline with stickers.
  • Draw your child's name and let them trace it.
  • Make counting pages using stickers and trace the numbers.
  • Trace shapes.
  • Use FREE printables of your choice.
Cassie at 3 dinosaurs makes a plethora of Free printables!

These are the FREE printables you'll find in my Library:




Stay tuned for the next 5 journaling activities...


Happy Journaling,

Monday, June 26, 2017

7 Tips for Journaling with Kids

1. Write in your journal while your kids write in theirs. It's just another chore you're asking them to do unless you do it with them. Pick one day a week to journal and be consistent.
2. Keep a collection of crayons, markers, pens, pencils, and stickers in a central location. Make sure these are supplies you don't mind the kids using. Some supplies require adult supervision...
3. For younger children, let them draw or scribble. Ask open-ended questions about their drawings. Write what they say, date it and note their ages.
4. For older kids, let them write and draw whatever comes into their heads. If they get stuck, let them choose between 2-3 journal prompts and watch them take off.
5. Don't read their journals without permission. This is how they learn to respect other's privacy--they learn it from you. They also need to trust that their journal is a safe place to share their feelings. 99% of the time they can hardly wait to show you their stories and drawings.
6. Stock up on composition notebooks at the back-to school sales. I can usually find tons of them at Walmart and Target for 50 cents each. Don't forget to donate school supplies to groups helping third world countries, and our own communities. Not everyone has the abundance of paper that we are blessed with.

7. Let your kids dress up their journals with covers of their own designs. Make the first page an "all-about-me" page. These two things give your kids ownership and responsibility for their own journals. Cover with clear contact paper for more durability.






Have a happy
journaling day!




Thursday, June 22, 2017

7 Benefits of Journaling with Kids


Getting kids interested in writing is as easy as setting out a notebook and a few crayons. Here are 7 benefits of journaling with my grand kids that I have found:

1. It makes a great quiet time activity. This is handy for nap times when you want to keep the older kids quiet. It also makes a great Sabbath Day activity. Journaling invites the Spirit and builds testimonies.
2. It increases reading and writing skills. Even toddlers can begin letter and number recognition.
3. Journaling builds confidence and self-esteem when someone they love sits down and spends (invests) time with them.
4. It inspires creativity.
5. Journaling helps kids take ownership and increases responsibility in their own learning. This is especially useful in Primary classes. We've had a lot of success with our older classes when they write about what they learned during the lesson.
6. A lot of summertime adventures await the kids with journals (upcoming post next week).
7. It provides a safe place for kids to express and process difficult feelings. Check out the great work of this important project:


An open book is an open door...
Invite your kids to explore.

As always,
Happy Journaling!



Monday, June 19, 2017

9 Magic Ways to Make Time for Journaling


I think we can all agree that life is messy, crazy, busy and sometimes magical. We all have the same 24 hour allotment in each day. So here are some ways I have found to make time for
my favorite things:

  • Reduce and Simplify--I bet you've heard that before. Look at your daily routine and choose where you can eliminate the unnecessary clutter in your schedule. Give yourself permission to say, "no."
  • Don't make things harder than they have to be by overthinking and worrying about stuff you can't change. Somehow it will all work out.
  • Prioritize your to-do list into must do's, should-do's and bonus time (you never know, you might just find 10 whole minutes to yourself).
  • Focus, don't let yourself get distracted. 
  • Delegate chores whenever possible. When I went back to work full-time, we taught our 5 kids, when they turned 8 years old, how to do their own laundry. This is a survival skill they will be able to use the rest of their lives! 
    This is daughter number 3 when she was 8.
    She grew up to be the daughter that shares my profile pic.
  • Make chore time fun by turning it into a game or competition.  Race against a timer to see who can finish small chores first and award a privilege or a fun family outing.
  • Save time on meal prep--use your crockpot whenever possible.   
  • Try make-ahead freezer meals. One cook day can yield a month's worth of dinners that you can put in your crockpot.
  • Plan your errands and shopping trips and group them together. This saves time and gas. Make your menu and shopping list ahead of time. Group the items on your list by location in your favorite store so you're not running back and forth (most of the grocery stores in Utah are huge and take up a few city blocks).
  • If you think of something you want to journal but haven't got the time, use a sticky note as a reminder and put it on the page where you want to post it as a place holder.
  • Always keep your journal with you so you can utilize those small snippets of time waiting at the doctor's office, or in carpool lines. You can also use your notes section on your phone if you need. And yes, you can put your whole journal on your phone.
Happy Journaling,