8th Birthday Special Celebration!

 Even though I can still hardly believe it, a few weeks ago my daughter Skylar turned 8 years old!!

In our faith, 8 is a big deal!  We believe when children reach the age of 8, they become accountable.  This means they can now understand the difference between right and wrong, and they can choose to be baptized and become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

It is an exciting time, and I wanted to put something together for Skylar that was fun but also meaningful as well.  

For a few months before the big day, Skylar kept saying she didn't want a party...she just wanted a day at the spa with me :)  Um...YES!  Sounds good to me! ;)

The more I got thinking about it though...I realized what a wonderful opportunity this was to express something so important to my precious little girl.  Instead of spending a whole day focused on our Outer Beauty (which is fun and wonderful!) I wanted to take the day and focus on ALL of the things that make my little one TRULY beautiful.

When we got in the car, I told her to get ready for a Day of Beauty!  Then I handed her this note rolled up and tied with a ribbon.

She was SO excited, and could not wait to find out where we were going!

Our first destination was all about celebrating her Beautiful Mind!  We went to our local Children's Museum and then picked out a fun new book at the bookstore.  She loved every minute of it, and I really emphasized all the things I love about her good she is at reading, what great imagination she has, and how she LOVES to learn!

The next stop was very special.  After a yummy lunch we went shopping for the perfect white dress for my little girl to wear to her baptism!  While we were shopping we talked all about her Beautiful Spirit, how proud I was of the choice she was making, and what a good example she was to her brothers and sisters.

Yeah...I totally cried :)  

Finally, we finished the day with some good old Outer Beauty too ;)  A trip to the salon for manicures and pedicures was the perfect way to end our day.

I cannot tell you how wonderful this day was.  We are raising children in a world that will teach them the MOST important things are just that...THINGS!  I am so grateful I had an opportunity to share with my daughter was makes her TRULY beautiful.  Yes, I think she is gorgeous...but she is so much more than that.  She has a heart of gold, and TRUE desire to choose the right.  She teaches me about forgiveness and love every single day.
So I would love to know...what have you done for your childs birthday that has become a special tradition in your family?!


Last Day of School Gift!

Happy Last Day of School!!  At least for us it is ;)  Can I tell you how ready I am for summer break?! Oh the idea of NOT having to wake up my kids and get my baby in his carseat to drive carpool in the morning just makes me smile :)

To celebrate I threw together these simple, inexpensive little gifts my kids got to wake up to today.  They were so excited to come down and see these sitting at the table!

I thought my kids could use some buckets full of summer fun!

I just went to Walmart and grabbed buckets, chalk and bubbles out of the dollar section.  Then I found some inexpensive flip-flops and topped it off with our favorite popsicles.  And yes...I was an irresponsible mom and let my kids have popsicles for breakfast :)  Welcome to summer!

Of course, I HAD a cute printable to attach to the buckets...but my ink ran out :( it is if any of you want to use it!

Are you ready for summer at your house?  What fun plans do you have to keep you and the kids from going crazy?! ;)


Crazy Hair Day Ideas!

 I cannot believe how long it has been since I have posted anything!!  

Life here has been hectic, wonderful, crazy, and LOUD :)  So goes life with five kids I guess.  We have been doing lots of fun things...but I have not been able to find time to gather my thoughts and come up with a coherent post ;)  I finally had a free minute and wanted to share our fun Crazy Hair Day Ideas.

Unlike many of you awesome moms...I am TERRIBLE at doing my girls hair!  I wish I could do all those fancy ideas I see on hair blogs, but it is just completely beyond me.  I knew I wouldn't be able to create the masterpiece my girls were hoping for without some this is what we came up with!

 Luckily we still had a bunch of pipe cleaners that were sent to us from the awesome people at  They added the perfect touch to our Crazy Hair-Do's!

For Kendall I just put her hair in a bun of top of her head and then wrapped a bunch of pipe cleaners around my fingers to make them curl.  Then I stuck them through the elastic around the bun and in the center of the bun.  It made for a BRIGHT, crazy hair do :)

For Skylar's we did basically the same thing...but since she has much longer hair I did little twists all over her head and used a few more pipe cleaners.  I LOVE the finished look!  That is some crazy hair :)

Oh...and while I was busy making Skylar's hair crazy this little guy was making his a little crazier too...

The stinker got out the scissors and gave himself a nice little bald spot right up front!  He looked so sad about it I couldn't help but laugh!

Do your kids have crazy hair day at their school?  If so, have you ever used anything creative to add to the CRAZY?!


Teacher Appreciation Treat Ideas

 Yeah, yeah...I know, I'm a little late with these Teacher Appreciation Treat Ideas.  But I'm all about keeping it real on this old blog...and I did not make these bad boys until 11 last night :)  So if any of you are procrastinators (like me), or maybe just plain forgot (possibly me as well) here are two quick ideas for you!!

Our room moms this year are AWESOME, and sent out great, detailed emails telling us the theme for each day of appreciation and some of the teachers favorites.  Today the theme is the teachers favorite treats, and this is what we came up!

Skylars teacher loves Diet Mountain Dew, so we just came up with a cute tag, wrapped it around the soda and attached with washi tape.  Then topped it off with a little bit of Bakers Twine and it was ready to go.  You can click, save and print on the tag below :)

Kendalls teacher is pretty easy to please...this wonderful lady LOVES chocolate!  We just grabbed a few candy bars, stuck them in a cute fry box from Pick Your Plum, added a strip of washi tape, and topped it off with our fun printable tag.

Again, feel free to print off the tag below! :)

I have spent some time helping out at the schools musical they are putting on this week and it has been SUCH an eye opener to the truly amazing people we have working with our children!  I hope these teeny little gestures help them to know who grateful we are for them and put a smile on their faces :)


Fit Friday...Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins!


Happy Friday everyone!!  A LONG time ago, before I got pregnant with my 5th baby and was trying to lose weight after my 4th baby, I started doing Fit Friday posts.  I tried to pick one area to focus on each Friday that I was striving for in my quest to yes, lose weight, but get FIT!  Beyond losing that baby weight I wanted to really achieve some serious fitness goals, for me that ended up with me running two half-marathons before getting pregnant with baby #5 :)

Well here we are, 2 years later and I am in the same boat again!  Baby Cohen is 5 weeks old, and I am ready to get FIT again!  Yes, I really want to be able to fit into my skinny jeans again, but mostly I want to be able to do the things I had pushed my body to do before that I never thought were possible. I miss feeling that strength and endurance, so I am going to get it back darn it! ;)

Is anybody else with me??  Maybe you are like me, just had a baby, and need to lose that 15-20 pounds?  Because, we all gain 50 lbs when we're pregnant, right?!  Humor me people! ;)

Maybe you feel great at the weight you are at, but you want to push your body to limits you never have before, whether its running, biking, or just trying something new!

Maybe while you were pregnant you let ALL of your families healthy eating habits go, and you are determined to get back on track!  Again...humor me people, thats what happened at our house!

If you can relate to ANY of these things at all, Fit Friday is for YOU!!

Today I am tackling BREAKFAST!!  You know...the most important meal of the day?  I am SO not a breakfast lover.  I pretty much have to force myself to eat, but one thing I do love is a good muffin!  I mean, obviously, a HUGE Costco muffin would be my first choice, but since this is called Fit Friday I knew I needed to come up with some other options ;)  My kids love muffins too, so I hoped I could find a recipe that was pretty healthy that we could all enjoy.  

I found a great recipe HERE that sounded really yummy, and with a few changes we created something we really loved that we have already made twice this week...

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins

The original recipe doesn't call for strawberries, but I figured if I threw a bunch in I could cut some of the sugar...and who doesn't love the strawberry banana combo?! ;)

Here is the recipe:

2.5 C Old Fashioned Oats (not cooked)
1 C lowfat vanilla yogurt
2 eggs
1/2 C brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 ripe bananas
6-8 large strawberries

First up, throw everything in your blender besides your strawberries.  You are going to want to chop those up and set them aside.

Once your mix is all blended up, pour into greased muffin tins (or use some super cute cupcake liners you have laying around ;)

Then grab those chopped strawberries and sprinkle them generously on top of each muffin.  Doesn't that just look awesome?

Then you bake these bad boys at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, watching closely and checking with a toothpick to see if they are done.  Mine cooked for exactly 15 minutes and came out perfect.

I'm telling you...these were GOOD!  Plus, you have to love that they have NO flour, butter, or oil.  The original recipe said they freeze great too...we ate all of ours so I haven't tried that yet :)  I calculated these muffins to be a little under 130 calories each, and with the oats they are filling enough to get you through the morning!

Thanks for checking out Fit Friday today!  I would love to know...what is your favorite quick, healthy go-to breakfast that you and your family love?!


Fantastic Thursday Link Party with Five Little Chef!

 Hello friends!!

I am so excited today to be co-hosting the Fantastic Thursday Link Party with Five Little Chefs!

If you haven't checked out this blog need to now!  So many great recipes and crafts...and the best part of all?! These gals are passionate about allowing and teaching their kids to do all their own creating, in and out of the kitchen.

But enough about us...this party is all about YOU!!  We want to see what you have created this week, and we are ready to be inspired!  

To play along all you need to do is make sure you follow along here at Blue Skies Ahead and of course with Five Little Chefs.  Then link up your latest and greatest and check back next week to see if you and your fabulous project have been featured :)

Are you ready?  Let's see what Fantastic things you are doing this week! :)