Savvy Chic

tidbits, thoughts, and ramblings. . .with a Mormon twist

Beautiful Nativity Advent Calendar December 25, 2013

Filed under: children,creative parenting,free — savvychic @ 9:37 pm

Visit http://mormon.org/story-of-Christmas?cid=HPWE120413210 for more information. Have a most blessed and wonderfully Merry Christmas!

 

Zenni Optical: glasses for less than $15–shipping included! November 12, 2011

Filed under: children,frugal,kids,savvy thoughts,thrifty tips — savvychic @ 1:45 pm
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In case you hadn’t heard, you don’t have to pay hundreds for your next pair of glasses.  Check out Zenni Optical at zennioptical.com. I don’t know how they make the glasses for so little, but I am sure grateful!  Complete glasses start at $6.95 (as of Nov 2011).  “Complete” means: frames, 1.57 lenses (these are really thin), UV protection, lens scratch protection, a hard case, and a microfiber cleaning cloth.  For an additional $5, you can add an anti-reflection lens coating or a tint, making prescription sunglasses!!!  They can also do bifocals.

Another nice feature on the website is the ability to upload a picture of yourself so you can virtually “try on” different pairs. Pay attention to the frame width, though.  It isn’t easy to see if the glasses will fit just right.  I made sure I purchased glasses with similar measurements to what I had before.  Typically there is a flat $4.95 shipping charge for your entire order.  Right now Zenni is offering free shipping on purchases over $50.

All the information you need to order glasses is on your prescription, except your PD (Pupillary Distance).  Zunni’s website has a tutorial on how to find your PD, or you can get that information from glasses fitting at your doctor’s.

One additional piece of advice, I would not necessarily recommend purchasing glasses from Zenni for your child’s first pair of glasses–in case there is anything wrong, your child may not know the difference and you wouldn’t have the convenience of getting advice from the doctor.  Also, Zenni doesn’t presently do lenses with prisms.

My experience has been that these are high (enough) quality glasses!  Better quality than the inexpensive glasses I purchased from the doctor.  My first pair from Zenni had the wrong prescription though, so mistakes do happen.  Since then, I have not had a problem getting my glasses just right.

 

fun halloween photo October 31, 2008

Filed under: children,fun,kids,savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 8:01 pm

I saw this idea in Family Fun magazine–take a picture of your ghouls and jack-o-lanterns with a post it note over the flash.  It turns the photo the color of the post it note!  Having a light source (like the candle in the pumpkin) creates an additional fun effect!

 

Teach Me Mommy Preschool curriculum book September 8, 2008

A few years ago, when my first child was three, I started thinking about preschool. As a stay-at-home mom with a graduate student husband, a commercial preschool was out of the question. Besides, I wasn’t ready to send my little one away from home for the day. Some friends were starting one of the paid curriculum programs and I thought about it until I saw how much it was and realized that I could easily do that myself without the cost. However, it would have been time consuming to gather all the materials and to create all the lesson plans.

Fortunately, I came across a great book called Teach Me Mommy. It was put together by a mom for moms who wanted to teach their little ones. The lessons plans are simple to follow, the supplies needed are things you would have around the house anyway, and there is no need to pay monthly fees–just buy the book and use it for all your kids! There is minimal preparation for the lessons plans since everything is laid out in the book. I also use the lesson topics as ideas for lesson plans of my own.

A friend and I both bought the book and created our own preschool. First we went through the book and marked which lessons we would teach and who would teach them. We met two times a week and took field trips too. Our kids loved the interaction with each other and the special time with their moms.

One very memorable field trip we went to a dairy farm while learning about farm animals. We actually milked some cows, drank fresh milk, and watched the whole process of cow-to-milk pumps-to-pasteurization tank-to-collection in the big milk truck that took it to the factory. The farmers gave us some dairy memorabilia and we were off with a memory that we still laugh about.

I’m now starting preschool with my second child and excited to have this book with everything ready to go. I noticed that there are new resources on the Teach Me Mommy website and a new blog with ideas of activities to do with your child.

Check it out. I think you will like what you see.

 

Happy Pioneer Day! July 24, 2008

Filed under: children,kids,mormon,savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 11:52 pm

I’m so grateful for the many brave pioneer, both ancient and recent, in my life.  To those who left their homes and countries to seek out a better life for their family and future posterity.  And to those, like my father with my mother, who courageously blazed new trails in my life time.  I am indebted to them and give them my respect and love.

So, how are you celebrating Pioneer day?

To honor those of the past, there are many fun activities!  Here are a few ideas:

Make butter!  Have the kids shake a pint of whipping cream until it sounds like there is something solid in there–it will be butter!  Spread it on warm homemade bread.

Make stick horses!  Using a dowel, a tube sock filled with batting, either large googley eyes or marker drawn eyes, and some yarn for the mane, put it all together and add a ribbon/bridle/reins.  Glue the sock onto the stick for added stability.

Play some pioneer games–stick pulling, blindmans bluff, hopscotch, leapfrog, drop the handkerchief (like duck duck goose), three-legged race, gunnysack hopping race, jump rope, or tag. (Here are some more ideas)

Make a cornhusk doll.

Sing songs together.

Make a fun summer meal including corn-on-the-cob (let the kids husk the corn) and shelled peas.

Learn some survival techniques or camping skills.  Better yet, go camping!

Have a campfire and tell stories!

(Here are some more ideas)

What are your ideas?

 

Know your child(ren) and maximize their potential July 9, 2008

Filed under: children,enrichment,kids,savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 5:21 pm

Karen B. taught an excellent class on knowing our children and how to effectively work with our children to achieve their potential.  She started the class by reading from Elder Ballard’s April 2008 general conference talk about women, “Daughters of God”.

I remember when listening to this talk initially, I knew I would need to read it again and again.  But then life happened and I hadn’t read it again until just now.  (I highly recommend your reading it too!)  One thing that really caught my ear as Karen read quotes from this talk was this,

“I am impressed by countless mothers who have learned how important it is to focus on the things that can only be done in a particular season of life.  If a child lives with parents for 18 or 19 years, that span is only one-fourth of a parent’s life.  And the most formative time of all, the early years in a child’s life, represent less than one-tenth of a parent’s normal life.  It is crucial to focus on our children for the short time we have them with us and seek, with the help of the Lord, to teach them all we can before they leave our homes.” (M. Russell Ballard, “Daughters of God,” Ensign, May 2008, 108–10)

That is so true! With that perspective, I can focus on what is most important now and still have time in my life to do those other things on the not-so-high-of-a-priority list later in my life!

So, focusing on my kids. . . Karen gave some good tips.  She highly recommended PBS.org.  Go to the parent section.  There is a wealth of information and helps available.  We concentrated on developmental milestones.  Karen gave us a handout with milestones from University of Michigan.  The church also has a great list of what to expect and suggestions at each age.

Karen puts together a notebook for each of her kids.  She includes a list of appropriate milestones for the child’s age.  She also includes a chart listing the child’s “strengths,” their “reinforcements” (rewards that work for that child), “areas of focus” (a.k.a. weaknesses, but no one likes to see their weaknesses spelled out on paper), and “notes.” She can also put any thing else she needs to in the notebook.

With this information readily available, she is able to take an active role in the upbringing of her children.  She knows when they are developing as they should and is able to recognize areas of concern quickly.  These notebooks are also good for Dad to get a quick glimpse of his children’s lives.

Karen also makes a list of responsibilities (a.k.a. chores) that her children need to do in the morning before they can have their rewards, such as computer time, TV, trampoline, etc.  (Those rewards are often the same as the reinforcements on the above mentioned chart.)

Karen keeps in mind the areas of focus as she parents.  One child needs to work on handwriting, so Karen will encourage the child to write to cousins–a great idea anyway and it helps the handwriting without even mentioning it’s an exercise.

Karen takes her kids on fieldtrips–a lot of fieldtrips!  She said she likes to do one to two a week!  But before I could get really nervous about considering that option with my kids, she explained that some of these fieldtrips are to Albertson’s.  She has one child putting together a dinner menu on a budget and another child is responsible for finding a food for each food group.  Other fieldtrips ideas are walking along the river (she said that there is an exotic animal farm with llamas, ostriches, and two camels!), Dion’s Pizza tours, Albertson’s bakery (they have tours too), and of course all the museums.  Firehouses and police departments also give tours!  Use your imagination!

Karen gave the great idea of using the talents of our fellow sisters–quilting, learning about homing pigeons, art appreciation, computer skills, etc!  Maybe they would be willing to teach a class about their hobby to our kids.

When planning for the summer, Karen sits down with her kids and they work together.  She asks her kids what things they would like to do this summer that are free.  They make a list.  Then she asks what is one thing they would like that costs money.  And then she asks what projects need to be done.  All of these things are considered and plans are put on the calendar.

When calendaring, they first put church responsibilities and family events, like FHE and other activities.  Then they can fill the calendar with the other things in their life.  This way, the important items are not lost in the busy-ness of life.

Karen pointed out that it is very important to FOLLOW THROUGH on what you plan to do.  This is so important in building trust with your children.  This is even more important with young children so that they will be able to trust you when teenagers.  So, if you don’t really intend to do it, or if you really won’t be able to do it, don’t put it on the calendar!

I really enjoyed this lesson!  It was what I needed to hear.  Thank you so much Karen!  Just so you know, I made cookies with my boys today.  And I didn’t even get upset when one of them accidentally flicked flour all over the kitchen!

 

summer school links June 2, 2008

Filed under: children,fun,kids,thrifty tips — savvychic @ 10:27 pm
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Here are a list of links that I’ll be pulling from for home summer school for my kids.  I want to keep their minds engaged throughout the summer.  There is a mix of things–from FHE lessons that can be used as “values” lessons to cool web videos about money and bees.  Of course, we will be spending most of our time outdoors, or reading books from the library, or building forts out of tables and sheets.  But, these websites help with the creativity and add to the experience!

http://www.ldslivingmagazine.com/subs/show/6
http://www.360financialliteracy.org/
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/alienempire/metropolis.html   (termites, bees, and a puzzle)
http://www.youtube.com/njbeemaster (This is a collection of videos that show beekeeping–however, I haven’t previewed them yet)

http://www.ci.rio-rancho.nm.us/index.asp?nid=722 (This is a page with links that could make for some interesting lessons)
http://www.jif.com/recipes/rec_kids.asp (a collection of kid friendly peanut butter recipes for our cooking classes)
http://www.kidsafeid.com/cardmake1.asp (for making a child ID card–child safety)
http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,31-1-15-1,00.html (a huge list of family fun activity and education links)

http://www.nwf.org/backyardcampout/games.cfm (camping out is one of our themes this summer)
http://www.dltk-teach.com/books/littlecritter/index.htm (little critter paper dolls)
http://collectdolls.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxhome.com%2Fmyfairlady%2Fnot%2Fscn3%2Fpaper.htm (My Fair Lady paper dolls)

http://www.dltk-kids.com/ (a great preschool craft site)
http://www.momsminivan.com/index.html (travel games)
http://www.kidsgardening.com/ (lots of gardening info and activities)
http://guitar.about.com/library/blguitarlessonarchive.htm (free guitar lessons)

http://ac6v.com/help.htm#LIC (Ham radio sites)
http://storynory.com/ (free audio stories)
http://www.starfall.com/ (preschool–learn to read)
http://rainforestmaths.com/ (awesome math site for elementary grades)

http://www.vam.ac.uk/moc/kids/things_to_make/ (this is a great kids heritage paper craft page)

I hope you find something here that helps you with your summer plans.  Send me links you find fun and helpful!