Monday, April 11, 2016

The Quest To Find A Baby Sitter

I am often asked about babysitters.

Whether you are trying to find help for the summer time or perhaps have a young baby and need regular scheduled help so you can get out to run errands - finding a reliable sitter is always a quest.

Here are a few ways to help find that perfect babysitter!

1. One thing I did was call the local company Sitters. They help find sitters that can stay with and help care for elderly people. But they also certify babysitters for children too. Their number is 903.277.2191. I used several people from their service on occasions when the children were very young, and I just had to leave the house and had no one to keep the kids. I had several different sitters from their service and eventually found a favorite one that I requested and scheduled regularly. I would tell them what you are looking for and then ask to interview 3 people for the position. It may be pricier than if you find someone on your own. I can't remember their fee structure, but it is worthwhile to know they have done a background check and have someone with references.

2. The other thing several of my friends did was run an ad in the paper and interview candidates. That is harder because as a new mom and a working mom it is difficult to find time to schedule an ad and then interview people, but it paid off for my friends, they all found good help that way.

3.  The 3rd option, I did one time was to call my church office and ask if they knew of anyone. I was given several names that way. It is always reassuring to know that someone with your same beliefs would be watching over your children.

Finding a sitter is never easy, but if you take the time to find a good one, it is well worth the search!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Holiday Printables!

Did you love the holiday party ideas in this issue? Get the free printable and recipe on these sites!

Photo Banner, click to take you where you can add your photos to banner and print out the design!

 Click to take you to link about photo banner.

Christmas Bingo Card click to take you to and print the card for your family!
 This Christmas Bingo card was found at

Snowball Play dough click to see the recipe for this play dough!
Click for recipe from

Friday, September 19, 2014

Texarkana Family Calendar For Sept/Oct 2014

5 Ways To Increase Fine Motor Skills

1. Use Your Muscles!
Weight-bearing actives like push-ups, climbing, wheelbarrow walks or animal crawls strengthen hand arches. Stronger arches lead to better dexterity.

2. Increase Dexterity!
Have your child play with putty or play dough. Roll it into a ball shape then use both hands to thin it out into a worm. Repeat!

3. It's Slinky, It's Slinky!
Teach your children to use both hands at the same time by "slinking" a slinky from side to side.

4. Get Handy!
Do anything that involves tools such as scissors, tongs, marbles, or helping with household projects. Remember, a pencil is a tool, too! Give kids a writing or drawing exercise to encourage their dexterity.

5. Play Crab-Soccer!
Get down into a crab walk position, then kick a bouncy ball back and forth, or try kicking it into a goal. This is a fun way to exercise different muscle groups, as well.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Summer Fun (At Home!) 25 Ways

 It’s here.  It’s finally here.  The day counted down from the very first day of school.  The day that culminates in squealing excitement for students and teachers: summer vacation Cut this list out.  Put it on the ‘fridge and use it as a Summer Bucket List.  And tell your kids they can’t even think about being bored until they finish everything on it.Enjoy!

1.     Make a slip ‘n’ slide out of a big tarp and dish soap

2.     Have a picnic

3.     Make homemade scented play dough: ½ c salt, 1 c flour, 1 tbs. oil, 1 pkg. Koolaid, 1 c boiling water.  Mix together salt, flour and Koolaid.  Add oil and boiling water.  Mix with spoon until cool enough to handle and then knead with hands. 

4.     Perform a Random Act of Kindness for your neighbors:  You can deliver handwritten notes or pictures, make them a cake or give them flowers. 

5.     Make a Bored Jar:  Decorate a jar or paint an old coffee can and fill with activities written on colorful slips of paper for kids to draw out when they feel they have absolutely nothing to do.  A good tip: mix fun things with chores (like ‘play in the sprinkler’ and ‘pull weeds’) so they can decide if it’s worth it or not to have you entertain them!

6.     Have a Dessert War:  Have ingredients available in a central location (for example: graham crackers, whipped cream, fruit, sprinkles or chocolate sauce).  Each child has their own workspace and works against a timer to create a unique dessert.  Have them present it and explain what the process was.  This would also be fun with cupcake or cookie decorating. 

7.     Make a fort (you could have a picnic in your fort if you remove the chairs from a table and simply throw a sheet over the top of it and have the sides draping down for the walls.  Forts make great reading nooks!)

8.     Have a scavenger hunt: print out a list of items and attach it to a bag (you can use pictures for nonreaders).  The list might include: something brown, a feather, an acorn, a flower, etc.

9.     Make a lemonade stand:  Give the money you make to a special cause or charity or use it to spend on a Family Date. 

10.  Have a Water Olympics in your backyard  (sample stations you might have: sponge relay, water balloon toss or bobbing for apples)

11.  Hide and seek egg hunt:  You know all those plastic eggs you don’t use all year? Bring them out and hide them for an indoor or outdoor activity (when it gets too hot to be outside!).  You can even use a special colored egg as a prize for quality time with mom and dad or extra book at bedtime.

12.  Have a water balloon fight (make a contest at the end to see who picks up the most busted balloons.)

13.  Have a cooking lesson for a simple treat.  Be okay with the mess.  Eat your creation. 

14.  Make a surprise party for dad just for coming home from work. 

15.  Make your own books:  Take blank paper, fold in the middle and staple.  Younger children can draw and tell you about the pictures (you could even write in the words for them).  For the older kids, print it out and draw in the pictures or use clip art.  Read it with them at bedtime for a fun surprise.   

16.  Do a family painting:  Have everyone in the family contribute in some way.  Hang it up and enjoy your effort together.  (a tip: it’s best to let the paint from the work of each person dry before passing it to the next)

17.  Make a race track or city out of sidewalk chalk for small cars and trucks or a zoo for animals.  Large and concentrated projects will engage smaller children longer and it is fun for them to work together with you. 

18.  Make Fudgsicles: Mix chocolate pudding according to directions.  Pour into paper cups and insert wooden stick or spoon.  Freeze and enjoy! 

19.  Make bubbles:  Take one cup of water and add one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid.  Cut the top third off of a plastic water or soda bottle and you have an instant bubble blower. 

20.  Box Village:  Have old moving boxes? If not, use leftover boxes from big items or a make a trip to the back of Home Depot.  Cut out windows or doors, decorate, and group together.  Let your kids have snacks inside of the boxes and it may be a while before you see them again. 

21.  Grow something

22.  Make new crayons out of old crayons:  Gather up all the small broken pieces of crayons and put them in foil cup liners in a muffin pan about one inch deep.  Heat oven to 250 degrees and let melt (about 15-20 minutes).  After they are cool, pop them out and they are ready!   

23.  Paint outside:  Use butcher paper (super cheap at Sam’s) and make your own paint in muffin tins (flour, water and food coloring to desired consistency and color).  Hose down the mess and you’re good to go!  

24.  Have reading hour in the floor:  Each child can bring their favorite books and each one is read aloud to everyone.  An extra treat? Do the reading in a tent or fort with a flashlight. 

25.  Have a family talent show  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Perot Museum of Nature and's worth the drive!

We ventured out to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and thought it was an amazing adventure for the kids. Below are some tips and guides if you are traveling over to Dallas for a visit. And we would love to hear what you enjoyed the most.

1. Pack snacks and lunches. You have to exit the museum to the first floor to eat. There is a cafeteria and an outside area you can picnic on instead of standing in line to buy food. And it would be a good treat to eat at the cafeteria if you have older kids, but with kids ages 6,4 and 2 - I always find it easiest to have something ready to eat immediately and to their liking.
2. With small kids it worked nice to view a floor of exhibits then take a snack break. We did not get overambitious to see everything but kind of floated around to what the kids found the most interesting.
3. If you arrive early go to the sports exhibit underground first and the energy exhibit because they have exhibits that you have to stand in line for, and the lines will be shorter earlier in the day. Trust me - your kids are going to want to race a dinosaur!
4. When you reach a point and need a break, again if you are with small children, go to the bottom floor in the Children's Museum section. It is free play and you can grab a seat on a bench while they run free and have fun.
5. Don't be scared to ask a question, museum staff is floating around everywhere. In a few exhibits, my kids had questions and we located the staff - not only did they have an insightful answer, but then wanted to show my kids more!
6. Encourage Interaction. Every exhibit seemed to have different levels of interactions. Touch, feel, watch - it was engaging, so let your children be engaged!

Hand off your iphone and let your kids take the pictures. My children still talk about the ones they took, and can't remember the items in the pictures because they were the photographer. It gave us something to talk about after leaving the museum - and something they wanted to share with others! Here's a few of our favorites that my son took:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Don't miss Discovery Place Museum's Exhibit!

If you and your kids want to be a part of the dedication of the new Discovery Place Exhibit, Musical Tesla Coil, join the community July 10th at 12 p.m. to celebrate the 157th birthday of Nikola Tesla.
The Tesla Coil is named after inventor Nikola Tesla. William H. Terbo will be the speaker at this dedication. William is the closest living relative of Nikola Tesla. He is also a Founding Director, Chairman of the Executive Board, and since 1988 the Executive Secretary of the Tesla Memorial Society, Inc.
You may be wondering, “What is the Tesla Coil exactly?”  The Tesla Coil is an electrical resonant transformer circuit. They are unique in the fact that they produce extremely powerful electrical fields. This new exhibit at Discovery Place Museum will allow visitors to interact and explore the combination of music and electricity in a safe way.
The opening is July 10th, however; Tesla Days will continue through July 13th. There will be food booths and lots of fun. Hope to see you there!