I love to do crafts and have cute handouts and activities for church (and school, and friends, and - well you get the idea). I don't consider myself creative, but often use the help of others' talents. I decided to share what I'm doing for others just like me. It may be a link to where I found something or it might even be something *I* created. Right now I work as a paraprofessional at my kids' elementary - in special ed (autism). I started creating items for my 3rd graders this year and can't wait to share them with you. I am the 1st counselor in YW (first time in YW is this past year). I also have ideas for cub scouts and sunbeams posted, my previous callings.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Date Night

Just because this comes up when I'm trying to write posts I figure I should just share it with you.  We have done this for several years (at least 5, but probably closer to 6) and we did a smaller version when we lived in Utah.
We have four families that participate.  For a time we had five and at times that was a little much, but four seems to work out well.  Basically what happens is that we rotate between families turns watching all four families children.  For example on the first week it is our turn to watch all the kids while the other three couples go out on a date.  Then the next three weeks we are kid free and have dating opportunities.  Since we live where the commute is awful and husbands get home late we do our date night on Saturday night.  It is four hours long.  We have switched start and end times.  When church started at 9:00 we went 5:00-9:00.  The bad thing about this is that it is almost impossible to go to the movies.  We had 6:00-10:00 at one time.  It was always a late night for the kids (and sometimes for the ones watching them).  Right now we go 5:30-9:30 and it seems to work well.
Some of the things that we worked out:  If you can't go you don't.  If it is your turn to babysit and you can't then you trade days with another family.  If we all have something the same night (usually a church activity) we skip that week and continue the rotation.  We always have a snack.  At one time we talked about doing dinner, but we don't.  Sometimes we will bring a Little Caesar's pizza home and feed everyone.  We usually have to feed our kids a snack before bedtime (another reason I like the 9:30 end time over the 10:00) after we pick them up.  When a family moves we ask another family to join.  All the families currently involved have 3 kids.  One family their oldest has never come and often my oldest goes with her friends and isn't there either.
It works out really well and gives us at least three dates a month.  Often we end up at home catching up on shows and eating Chinese food, but we have that quality alone time. The kids love it because it gives them a time to be able to play with their friends.  Our group is formed up of church friends and they often only get to see them at church (two of the families go to different schools).  I highly recommend doing this if you have young kids.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Mustache Valentines

Mustaches are all the rage.  This is actually the third year my daughter(s) has been into mustaches.  Our first mustache project I shared was for Valentine's Day 2011, last year she went with chocolate covered marshmallows and this year we are back to mustaches.  We had all sorts of fun with her birthday party last summer too.
I created a bunch of mustache themed Valentines.  Some we will use and some are just for you!  Two sets were inspired from some great Amazon deals: adhesive mustaches (you can find these anywhere, even at the dollar store) and mustache earrings.  My original plan was for Boo to give the girls in her class mustache earrings and the boys adhesive mustaches, but much to my dismay I learned that there are a lot of 8-9 year old girls who don't have their ears pierced yet.  So her class will receive the adhesive mustaches and the teen will give the earrings to her friends.
Here is what I came up with for the adhesive mustaches:

I intended the first mustache saying to be used with the mustache earrings, but work well with the adhesive mustaches.  The saying just is used a lot, but that is all I could come up with for mustache earrings.  They were less than $1 each on Amazon with free shipping.  They take a long time to get here so if you want to do this order them for next year. 

You can also use the "stick" one with a stick or package of gum. Or even a package of paperclips or staples for your teacher.

I also made one that you can just print (no earring, gum, adhesive mustaches required).  These are designed to go on the jumbo craft sticks.  These sticks can be found in any craft store.  I bought a large box at Wal-mart.

For some reason I couldn't get the chevron background to print correctly on most of them (and of course I didn't find this out until working on them for hours).  They will print from Microsoft word, but not from a PDF file.  Unfortunately if you don't have the same fonts on your computer they won't look right if you try to print for word.  I tried changing up the background for you, but I still had problems.  So I decided to take out the background and print it on colored patterned paper (it is actually cheaper this way because it saves a lot of ink).  I picked up a package of 12 sheets of paper in the Valentine dollar section at Target:

Here are all your downloads and as always: If you choose to download, please become a follower first (on the right).  I'm happy to share my creations with my followers.  If you would like to leave a comment too that would totally make my day!

If you have and questions, problems, or comments, leave me a message!
Here are a couple more downloads for the craft sticks:
I'm out of magenta ink so I haven't printed all of these.  If there is a problem, let me know.  If I was selling them I would triple check everything, but since they are freebies I'm relying on you for feedback.

Scroll down for last year's Valentines.  That post also has a link to the Valentines made the year before!

I linked with