12.29.2013

Top Ten Posts of 2013!!

 
Hello friends!  It is always SO fun to look back on the year and see what YOUR favorite posts were.  I am always a little surprised at what people look at most, but this year I was also thrilled.  I could not be more proud that FIVE of the top ten posts for Blue Skies Ahead were Family Home Evenings that we shared!  I love the idea that even one person is looking at this little blog and taking away something that could possibly help teach their children or strengthen your family just a little bit more.  

Without any further ado...I give you Blue Skies Ahead Top Ten Posts of 2013!!



Not only did the kids get to learn a wonderful scripture story about one of my heroes...but they got to make and shoot mini bow and arrows too :)



After having my 5th baby last March I once again was on a journey to get FIT!  These delicious muffins are healthy, filling, and the kids love them too.



Any fhe with a fun treat is sure to be a hit...this one also taught some wonderful lessons about the Prophet Joseph.




After talking about how courageous Nephi was in obtaining the brass plates, the kids got to complete their OWN Courage Obstacle Course.



Helping our kids remember ALL the things we can pray and thank our Heavenly Father for.



These valentines were quick, easy and perfect for boys OR girls!




Seriously...now I'm craving one!  These floats were kind of amazing :)



This project had a lot of bright, funky washi tape...need I say more?! ;)



This was a great way to do some Crazy Hair for any hair-challenged mom like myself ;)


And finally...


One of my kids favorite family nights to date, we learned all about Spiritual Crocodiles, and how to be on the lookout for them!

What a wonderful, blessed year we had.  Thank you so much for joining us on our journey to look for the good in everyday...I can't wait to see where 2014 takes us!!










12.10.2013

Family Movie Night {How the Grinch Stole Christmas}

 This past weekend we once again had our Friday Family Movie Night, this time the feature presentation was How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  This is one of our absolute favorite Christmas movies, so the kids were super excited.  Plus, my husband was out of town and I had promised them we could camp out under the Christmas tree and watch it...it ended up being kind of a magical night.

Before our movie got underway, I prepared these super easy and yummy Grinch-themed treats for the kids to enjoy.  I have seen BOTH of these ideas on Pinterest...but when I tried to look them up I could never find the exact links!  So please leave me a comment if you know where these darling ideas came from, I definitely cannot take the credit!

First up, we made Fruity Grinch Kebobs.  Just green grapes, strawberries and a mini-marshmallow make up this treat, and the kids loved sticking everything on the toothpicks.


For our drink I made up these really simple Grinch Floats.

All I did was dip the tops of little mason jars in some green crystal sugar.  Then I filled the cups with some lime sherbet and topped them off with Sprite.  After that I just threw in some festive straws and we were ready to begin our movie!


Thanks so much for stopping by Blue Skies Ahead today!!

12.09.2013

Simple and FUN Elf on the Shelf idea {PicMonkey}

 I'm curious...how do you feel about the Elf on the Shelf trend?

I personally love it.  We have never used our elf the way he is intended...as someone that watches to see if the kids are good and reports back to Santa.  Our elf is simply a cute little guy that does silly thing around the house and completely adds to the magic of the Christmas season.  My husband and I enjoy staying up and trying to think of creative things for Christopher to do.  However, I'm not gonna lie...3 years into it and its getting harder and harder to stay original and not do repeats.  

As I was trying to think up something fun I could do, I thought of editing some pictures on my FAVE site, PicMonkey.  The thing I loved most about this was it took me under 15 minutes and now I have these darling pictures of my kiddos.  I had Christopher sitting next to all the pictures with a sign that said "My best friends from the North Pole"

Avrie the Reindeer


Britton as Santa Claus


Cohen the Cute Cuddly Boy


Kendall the Snowgirl


Skylar the Elf


Too fun, am I right?!

Do you do Elf on the Shelf at your house?  If so...how do you find new ideas and PLEASE share them! ;)

Linking up HERE

12.05.2013

Printable Christmas Bingo!

 Man, I am loving the printables this week!  I mentioned yesterday, but it has been FREEZING in our neck of the woods.  This means that I will do just about anything to avoid leaving the house...and it means I am having to find some fun ways to entertain the kids :)


My younger kids, 2 and 4, are both at great ages for playing BINGO.  We played for quite a while, in fact we only stopped because my little guy had to leave for preschool.  And using M&M's doesn't seem to make it any less fun either ;)


If you are looking for a fun, simple activity to do with your kids at home, for a school party, or even Activity Days feel free to print out your own BINGO sheets and calling cards below!




I had some serious trouble figuring out how to do the calling cards...not the best at technology here ;)  Sorry I couldn't get them all on one page, just print out both pages below and you will have all the cards you need to play!


I hope your kiddos love this BINGO game as much as mine did!  Have a wonderful, WARM day! 

Linking up HERE




12.04.2013

Printable Christmas PlayDough Mats!

 Happy December everyone!  It is the beginning of the best and busiest month of the year at our house ;)

I promised myself I wouldn't get SO caught up in Christmas prep that I ignored my kids this year, so today I whipped up a few really simple playdough mats that I printed out, laminated and then enjoyed with my kiddos.  They loved decorating the tree and making their own gingerbread man.  I got in on the fun and enjoyed creating accessories for the snowman :)


The fun thing about these playdough mats is that they simply get the creativity flowing, then its fun to see where your kids take it!


Isn't my little guy cute? ;)


Here are the printables if you want one for yourself!  Just right click, save, and print away!  I laminated mine so we could use them again and again, but plain old cardstock would work for a few times too!  




I hope you enjoy these with your kiddos, and thanks so much for stopping by today!!

11.26.2013

"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" Munchie Mix!

 Hello my friends!!  Are we all geared up for Turkey Day?  I am so excited to spend the day with family and just RELAX :)



One of our favorite Thanksgiving-time traditions is watching "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving".  I remember being little and wishing I could have a Thanksgiving dinner made out of popcorn, toast and jelly beans ;)  This year I thought it would be fun to make a yummy treat for the kids to munch on while we are watching one of the only Thanksgiving movies I know of.

I give you our...

"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" Munchie Mix


This was a quick and yummy snack I whipped for the kids this weekend as we watched Chuck and the gang celebrating Thanksgiving.

For our Munchie Mix I just threw together Crunch 'n Munch for the popcorn, Cinnamon Toast Crunch for the toast, and jellybeans for the...jellybeans :)


I threw them all in a bowl and mixed up all the goodness.


Then I dished them out into individual servings and served up the kids (and the adults!) a yummy treat while we enjoyed the show.


This would be a wonderful activity for the night before Thanksgiving, or even for Thanksgiving Day when everyone is needing a little down time.

Thank you SO much for stopping by today and I hope you all have a most wonderful Thanksgiving with your families!



11.21.2013

Travels with Gannon and Wyatt book series {Review and Giveaway!!}

Reading is one of my absolute favorite things to do. When I was a little girl, my reading was the subject of many family jokes. No matter where I was, or what I was doing...I always had to be reading something. My mom always loves to ask me if I still read the back of cereal boxes at breakfast ;) 

Being such an avid reader, I have definitely hoped to pass that love along to my children, and my oldest daughter Skylar seems to be following along quite nicely in my footsteps. I am always on the look out for great books that will keep her entertained, use her imagination, and expand her mind. I was thrilled when we received the Travels with Gannon and Wyatt series for exactly all those reasons! 

Travels with Gannon and Wyatt is an adventure series written by Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet perfect for your middle-aged school kids. Twin brothers Gannon and Wyatt travel to exotic locations full of mystery and adventure.  The Travels with Gannon and Wyatt series include: 
Botswana (released May 2013) 
Great Bear Rainforest (released October 2013) 
Egypt (to be released January 2014) (and I just have to say...my daughter thought it was THE coolest thing ever that we got to read Egypt before it was released ;)

 My daughter was excited to start right at the beginning, so we decided to start our new adventure with Gannon and Wyatt as they traveled to Botswana!  


From the beginning of the book, we found a lot to keep us engaged.  My daughter especially enjoyed the format...where you have two different points of view written in the style of a journal.  My girl is also a major animal-lover so it was really exciting to read about so many different kind of animals you would encounter on an African safari.  I felt like the authors did a great job of making this a book that boys AND girls would both enjoy, and I personally loved reading it with my daughter and am looking forward to continue on with the next book, Great Bear Rainforest.  And you KNOW its a good book when you walk around the corner to yell to your daughter it's time for school and this is what you find...



If you are looking for a clean, imaginative and exciting book for your child this holiday season, make sure you check out Travels with Gannon and Wyatt.  And while you're at at, check out the Travels with Gannon and Wyatt Facebook Page.  They are giving away THREE Kindle Fires throughout the month of November...don't tell, but that's what I'm hoping Santa brings to my oldest this year! ;)

Oh yeah...speaking of giveaways...how about if we do one of our very own?!

I am so thrilled to be giving away a Travels with Gannon and Wyatt SERIES for one lucky reader!   That includes ALL three books, including Egypt, which isn't even being released until January 2014! This would make a fantastic gift for the holidays, and who doesn't want to get their kids reading even a little bit more?!

I like to keep things simple, so if you want to enter just leave a comment here :)  That's it, no sharing, pinning, or anything else.  We are busy people, am I right?! ;)  Make sure you comment before midnight on Sunday, November 23rd.  I will announce the lucky winner on Monday...good luck friends!!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.





11.12.2013

Turkey Pancakes!

 And no...I do NOT mean pancakes made out of real turkey! ;)

This morning I realized that Thanksgiving is in just 2 1/2 weeks...and we haven't done one turkey craft, activity or treat.  Unacceptable!  I guess that's what happens when your boys (7 months old and 4 years old) battle strep and double ear infections for 10 days.  Oh man...last week was one of those mommy weeks where you just want to run away from it all.  Luckily, most of the kids are all better this week and I was able to get away for the weekend and get some much-needed girl time with my mom, aunt and sister-in-law.  I came home ready to tackle life and get back to enjoying this wonderful time of year with my favorite people :)

This morning as I was preparing our breakfast (trying to console my crying kids because we had NO milk for cereal and they ONLY want cereal for breakfast EVERY single day) I thought maybe I could add a little something to our normal pancakes to start the day off with a little fun.  What we came up with were these Turkey Pancakes!


All you need to make some of your own are 2 pancakes, one a little bit smaller for the head.  Then slice up an orange and an apple and arrange the slices to make the turkey's feathers.  Finally we made chocolate chip eyes, candy corn beak and red frosting for the wobbler-thingy (really need to find out what that is really called!) and we had a darling little Turkey Pancake Breakfast.

Thanks so much for checking out Blue Skies Ahead today!  We have some fun crafts, treats and activities to share so come back again soon :)

11.01.2013

Happy November {November Re-Cap!}


Happy November everyone!  I am so excited to kick off our month-long celebration of GRATITUDE!  I have all sorts of ideas about how to teach my kids (and myself!) how to have a more grateful heart.  Today I whipped up this printable to serve as our daily reminder...



Right?!

I hope to teach my kids that EVERY day is a great day to be grateful :)

I thought it would be fun to kick off the month sharing a few things we have done in past years to celebrate the month of November!
 

The kids loved making this Fruity Turkey with pears, cantaloupe and grapes.  Super easy and healthy snack for your littles! 


We spent a week doing fun crafts, activities and making snacks all about Indian Corn!


Make sure you check out our Tom the Turkey Family Home Evening as well.  Its a great lesson about learning to control our tempers and even has a darling Turkey Cupcake recipe to go with it ;)


Finally a great way to help your children think and ACT on things they have to be grateful for...Don't be a turkey, give thanks!

There are just a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing!  Make sure you come back next week for some new snacks, crafts and activities to enjoy with your family!