Dating your kids!

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Health & Wellness, Kids & Family Life, Parenting Tips

When I was a kid I wanted to be two things when I grew up...a MOM and FAMOUS!  Yeah,  I know these couldn't be more opposite, so I decided it would be easier being a mom. Boy was I wrong.  It is an extremely challenging job to try not to mess your kids up, but I think the rewards are endless.  

I REALLY want to figure out this parenting thing before they are all out of the house, so I like to try different parenting techniques out and "dating my kids" is one of the best things that I have ever done for them.  It is so good for them to have my undivided attention, no other sibling to compete with and it always brings us closer.   If you make your child feel important, a priority, and show and teach them how special they are then I think their childhood will be a huge success! 

This picture below is of my little man Max when we were on a date...he chose lunch at The Pizza Factory and feeding the horses.  The one on one time is priceless to me. 

I'm a huge fan of chivalry, so on all of our dates I like to teach Max how to be a gentlemen.  He will open the doors for me, he gets my drink refills and he loves it and so do I!

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Article adapted from www.cbn.com

The power of parents “being there” for their kids is so profoundly meaningful that we often miss it. When kids understand that their parents are available and accessible to them, kids will often thrive during the adolescent years. Parents who are present and involved in the lives of their kids place important emotional, physical and spiritual “deposits” that will continue to influence their kids for years to come.

Many times parents look for the latest parenting fad to help their kids grow into mature adults. Yet one key component for building kids’ lives is right in front of them: investing time, energy and a commitment to ‘be there’ for their kids.

A regular, one-on-one ‘date night’ with each of your kids is a great place to begin intentionally investing in the overall health and growth of your child. Here are five tips for having a great ‘date night’ with your kids.

Choose to do something your kids want to do.  At times, when parents want to do something together with their kids, they’ll select an activity that they have interest in, but their kids have little or no interest in.  If you really want to create a positive ‘date night’ culture where your kids want to hang out with you, try doing things that the kids are interested in.  While this is a simple idea, it can reap a lot of benefits! And remember, ‘date nights’ don’t have to be complicated! They can be as simple as taking your child out to get an ice cream cone or throwing a Frisbee around in the yard.

Communicate.  Be sure to engage your son or daughter in conversation at some point during your ‘date night’.  Don’t just talk about what you are interested in.  Talk about anything and everything.  Ask your kids about their interests, opinions, and feelings.  Ask open-ended questions that can’t be answered yes or no.  (Note: if you have not had a history of talking with your kids, getting started may seem a bit awkward to both you and your kids.  Don’t let this get in your way.  Share with your kids what you are trying to do (build stronger relationships / reconnect) and start slowly with reasonable expectations.  Just keep at it!)

Listen. Don’t do all of the talking on a ‘date night’ with your child! Communication is a two way street, so be sure to work at listening. Listening is the language of love.  Through listening, you demonstrate that you value your kids. When you take the time to really pay attention, show empathy and listen – you are taking a key step in connecting with your kids.  When kids know that their parents will really listen (instead of immediately “correcting”) they will be more willing to talk.

Display affection.  Even though teenagers are in the process of becoming adults and separating from their parents, they still need the affection of their parents.  In fact, sexual promiscuity in teenage girls can often be traced back to a desire for (and lack of) affection from their fathers. Dads, be sure to offer your kids genuine affection through loving words, affirmation, encouragement, small gifts, and appropriate touch.  (For ideas on physical affection, check out our free tip sheet, “Keeping in Touch with Your Kids”.)

Never embarrass your kids in front of their peers.  It’s possible that a ‘date night’ activity might take you onto your son or daughter’s “territory” – to a place where they may run into some of their peers. Gentle teasing is one thing, but embarrassing your kids in front of their peers might be close to being an unpardonable sin in teen culture. Show respect to your kids and they’ll be more willing to hang out with you – and your ‘date nights’ will be much more enjoyable as well.

 

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Baptism Ideas – Free LDS Printables!

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Free Printables, Graphic Design, Kids & Family Life, Party Planning, Uncategorized

Free LDS Printable Baptism Ideas

Hey Guys, I've been working on putting together some baptism ideas for a little girls baptism and I thought I'd share these adorable printable baptism graphics with you! You can frame them for a cute table decoration and save them in a memory book or as a bedroom decoration afterward. I hope you enjoy these free LDS Printables, they can be downloaded below. 

If you are interested in having a custom designed invitation or graphics for your child's baptism, you can email me at: lyndi@elliebeandesign.com

baptism ideas

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Getting a little personal…

Written by Lyndi. Posted in About Me, Health & Wellness, Kids & Family Life, Life Coaching

I had a lady once tell me that she didn't think it was fair that my life was so easy, with the perfect little family and no problems.  She said this to me in a very mean, disrespectful way and all I wanted to do was roll my eyes and punch her in the face... but instead my eyes filled up with tears.  Before reacting to her,  I thought to myself that if she had any idea of the struggles that I've faced throughout my life, she would never of said that to me.  Instead, she would probably hug me, bring me dinner, fold all my laundry, rub my feet and watch my kids for a week :) .  I held back from punching her and I just smiled and said "my life isn't even close to perfect", and then changed the subject.

Although I feel incredibly blessed with the life I have been given, I could write a very long list about all the things that have gone wrong.  I could talk about these things for days and months and I'm sure I would get some sweet sympathy out of it.  Of course I would never do that because I know that negativity and complaining only brings out more sadness and more problems.  I have worked so hard to get to where I am today.  It's been a tough road, but now I can say that I have gotten past my insecurities, have let things go from my past and have deleted the desire to please others when it's not in my best interest.  I have forgiven people who have done me wrong and I've gotten to a place where I can listen to my inner voice and be guided by it on a daily basis.  I decided a few years ago that I wanted an extremely fulfilling life and mediocrity was not acceptable.  I wanted to be a positive, happy, successful, kind and loving person no matter what came along.  It's a challenge to live this way at times, but I find life so rewarding because of it.  I definitely fail over and over again, but I never think of myself as a failure.  I am very patient with myself and I try to learn and grow from each negative or positive experience that comes my way.  So today I've decided to blog about staying positive, even when things get tough and you feel there is no hope.

Through all of my trials, I have learned a thing or two or three or four...these are crucial in finding happiness and joy within yourself.

1.  Never and yes I mean NEVER say anything bad about yourself.   I don't care if it's true or not,  but do not do it!  Not even if you are joking or being sarcastic, because your body doesn't know the difference.  I promise this will change your mood, your day and your life.  You will find this very difficult at first, but just try to notice all the times that you would say something negative about yourself and stop yourself before it comes out of your beautiful mouth! I believe that if you tell yourself you are fat, then you will be.  If you tell yourself that you are a bad mom, then you will be.  If you tell yourself that you are freaking awesome then YOU WILL BE!  This is where number two comes in...

2.  I AM statements.  This is when you tell yourself "I AM happy", "I AM healthy", "I AM motivated", "I AM patient", "I AM a great runner (one I've been working on)".  Even if these aren't true, (most of mine aren't true at the time) still say them and repeat them a few times a day.  Anything that you want to do or become, say it in this order I AM...and fill in the blank.  What happens is your brain tells your body what to do, and you tell your brain what to do.  I know it sounds a little cooky, but it works!!  I do this every single day, especially before bed because if you say your I AM statements right before you are about to go to sleep, then it stays in your subconscious the entire night and therefore comes to reality much quicker.   I use this tool with my kids on a daily basis too...if they are being mean to their sibling, or if they have a bad attitude, I make them repeat after me and I tell them what to say.  For example, "I AM nice to my brother", "I AM smart", or "I AM amazing at cleaning my room".  It changes their attitude almost every single time.  Also, you can never say I AM NOT something...it can only be a positive sentence. 

3.  Take a complement!!!  When someone says "you look so nice today", you say "awww...thanks so much" or "that's nice of you to say" even if you don't feel like you look nice...It will feel awkward at first to talk this way, but you'll get used to it.   Never, never, NEVER say "No I don't...This outfit is old, my hair is dirty and I ran out of my good makeup so you can see all my ugly wrinkles, I feel fat in these clothes, and look how giant this zit is on my cheek and oh my heck look at my nails...and don't even get me started on how messy my house is!!"  We are all guilty of doing this, but the end result is sadness.  Please just LOVE yourself.  I promise this will trickle down into all aspects of your life and it WILL make you a happier person. 

4.  My mom would always say, "there is only one rule and that is Be Kind"...it seems like everything important falls under that category.  Even if it seems like someone has the perfect, ideal life...they don't.  EVERYONE is struggling with something and you never know what kind of chaos is happening around them...so be kind and patient to anyone you come in contact with.  Keep this in mind when you are driving and someone cuts you off, in the check out line behind the lady with 100 coupons, when you see someone who looks scary, or someone who is drop dead gorgeous (yes, they have feelings too), to your neighbors and definitely to all of your loved ones (which sometimes seems to be the hardest).   A smile and a simple hello is all someone might need to make their day drastically better.  When you live your life this way the kindness will circle back around to you and you will have blessings beyond your comprehension. 

blog about staying positive in darkness

I was feeling a little down as I drove home from the gym this morning, but not really sure why.  Was it because of the insane ass kicking that I had just received in my favorite boot camp class??...or from lack of sleep, or just the fact that life seems to be so hard lately.   At the same time of feeling lost and ready to give up, I looked up into the sky and saw the most beautiful dark clouds with a glorious light shining through them.  I quickly grabbed my phone and snapped this picture.  I instantly felt my Heavenly Fathers overwhelming love for me and the thought came to me, When darkness surrounds you, be the light that shines through it...for all of the world to see.  I want to be that light.  I hope to be that light.  I AM that light. 

I wish for happiness, peace and love in each of your lives.

Love, Lyndi

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First Day of School Signs {free printable download} Preschool – Senior Year **UPDATED**

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Free Printables, Graphic Design, Kids & Family Life

This is a great way to document your child's first day of school, and when your sweet kids are grown and gone these first day of school signs in the pictures will help you remember how old they were.  I created these from ages preschool through senior year!! Download for free below.  You can print them on an 8.5x11 or 11x14 (pictured).

first day of school signsI am so in love with these two preschoolers! Lucy finally (by the skin of her teeth) gets to go to preschool this year with her big sis and she is beyond excited!! Although it was very difficult to have 3 kids in 3 years I absolutely love their closeness in age now! It sure makes things fun, crazy and our days full of girly screams (especially Max). 

first day of school free printables

It took Lucy a minute to get the confidence to go in the door...as you can see Millie Kate is giving her the "get over it already and come on" look.first day of school picture
walking in first day of school

 Max started first grade...WOW! I can't believe my little side kick will be away from me all day long.  It will be an adjustment to say the least!  I love this boy and on his second day of school he said "mom, I really am starting to enjoy school".  What a stud he is! first day of school first grade

Millie HAD to come with us on his first day to wish him well.sibling love first day of school

Then there were the 12 year olds...man oh man!  How did they get this old? Jayce is my nephew, but I like to call him my fifth child.  Him and Madison are the same age and they go to school together.  Makes this mama happy knowing that Jayce is there to take care of anyone who messes with my girl :) . first day of school printable signprintable download free first day of schoolthe kids on their first day of school breakfast before the first day of school

Happy first day of school to all of my friends out there! I hope for many successful days ahead for your kiddos and lots of fun lunches out with girlfriends for all of the moms!

 

Preschool through Senior Year

 first day of preschoolfirst day of preschool bluefirst day of kindergartenfirst day of first gradefirst day of second gradefirst day of third gradefirst day of fourth gradefirst day of fifth gradefirst day of sixth gradefirst day of seventh gradefirst day of eighth gradefirst day of ninth gradefirst day of tenth gradefirst day of eleventh gradefirst day of senior year

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New Years Eve Party for KIDS!

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Holidays, Kids & Family Life, Party Planning, Uncategorized

Hello my friends!  I think my new years resolution needs to be to keep up on my blog a little better (ahhhh...life's been crazy)!  I am so excited to start fresh in 2014, and I plan on this upcoming year to be a very happy one for me. 

This New Years Eve, I decided to have a party with kids instead of adults...and I couldn't be happier!  I am thrilled to bring in the new year with them and make it an amazing memory for all of us.  I have come up with some ideas to make the night easy and super FUN!! 

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I'm letting my kids invite a few friends and this will be our agenda:

Come in your PJ's: Okay lets be honest, I am doing this first one mostly for myself!  Wearing your pj's just makes everything better...plus, you can eat more this way! 

Have Balloons with Written Times:  To make your night and schedule run smoothly, blow up balloons and add a paper with your plan for that specific hour.  When it is that time, let the kids pop the balloon and read what is next on the agenda. They will love this!!

balloons

 6:00-Make Individual Homemade Pizzas:  Making your own pizza is always a hit with kids and it gets their creative brain working.  You can make the dough yourself, or just buy the pizza crust already made (that's what I'm doing).  Then, buy pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, peperoni, olives, ham, pineapple, mushrooms, tomatoes, and whatever else you like on your pizza.  Bake them for 10-15 minutes on 375 degrees.  EASY!!

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7:00-Make Party Hats: Create your own party hats for your celebration with cardstock and ribbon! Decorate them by using pom-poms, glitter, sequins, glitter glue, ribbon, and anything else you have laying around. 

partyhats

Party hat picture from handmadecharlotte.com

8:00-Make and Decorate Cookies & Sprinkle Topped Milk Glasses

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9:00-Play Charades: Come up with topics that have to do with new years eve...a few ideas are: Sparklers, Time Square, Clock, 2014, Balloons, Confetti, Party, Crowd, Goals, Food, Midnight, Ball Drop.

10:00-White Elephant Gift Game, Write New Year Resolutions & Hot Chocolate Bar
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11:00 Karaoke & Dance Party!! Turn up the music, dance, sing and have Advil close by!

12:00 Scream, Bang Pots and Pans, Brush their Teeth and go to BED :) !

I hope you have a wonderful New Years Eve and a blessed New Year!

Love, Lyndi

P.S. If you want to go by New York time so the kids can go to bed sooner, then change your clocks in the name of your sanity.

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Easy Halloween Food for KIDS!

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Halloween, Holidays, Kids & Family Life

I have the lucky job of being Max's room mom for his first grade class this year!  I love this job because my main focus is to plan all the PARTIES!  I am currently planning the Halloween party that will happen next week, and I thought I would share some ideas with you if you happen to be doing the same thing.

Now onto food...these are a few fun, super EASY (I'm all about that) ideas that I know the kids will go crazy over.  My favorite...the bloody syringe drinks!  Yum!!  Details on each food item are listed  below.

halloween food for kids1. Delicious and Crunchy Bones: Straight pretzel, mini marshmallows on each end and dipped in white chocolate.

2.  Sweet and Juicy Pumpkins: Clementine oranges peeled with a green pipe cleaner in the middle.  

3.  Frankenstein Cups:  Pudding, green food coloring, crushed oreo for the top, draw a face on a clear plastic cup.

4.  Witches Hats: Keebler Fudge striped cookies, orange frosting, hershey kiss.

5. Vampire Doughnuts: Doughnut, vampire teeth and chocolate chips.

6.  Witches Broom: String cheese and a pretzel.

7.  Used up Bandaids: Cinnamon graham crackers, frosting and jelly.

8.  Monster Pudding Cups: Pudding, food coloring to make desired color, multicolor sprinkles to the top of each cup and draw a face onto a clear plastic cup.  

9.  Bloody Punch: Clear cups, Sprite, red punch or cherry syrup, syringes.

10.  Mummy Dogs: Hot dogs, crescent rolls, ketchup and mustard.  

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Getting your kids to Eat {Healthy Food}!

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Health & Wellness, Kids & Family Life, Parenting Tips

Like every parent, I struggle to get enough fruits, veggies and lean protein in my kids bellies!  I always try to put fruit and veggies on their plates, but it is rare if they eat it all.  Lately, I've been having a tough time getting my Mr Max to eat breakfast...I know, this kid is six years old, weighs close to 100 pounds and you would never guess by looking at him that eating can be a challenge!  I decided that the one thing I needed to do is get creative with his food.

By giving them positive experiences with healthy food and by making their food fun, will help them eat it!  It changes their attitude about eating healthy too and that makes this mama REALLY happy!!

Here are 5 tricks and tips to get your kids to become healthier eaters:

1. Let your kids help you cook!

Involving your kids in preparing kid-friendly healthy dishes will be fun and very messy, but children are more likely to eat something that they have helped to prepare.  While your kiddos are assisting you, introduce them to portions, simple fractions and teach them how to use measuring tools.

2. Get Creative

Make silly food faces-See tons of ideas below

3. Take Children Shopping

Young kids love to play grown-up. Make a special trip to the store to let you your kids pick a new fruit or vegetable to try at home. Let them weigh their fruit or veggie of choice, bag it, and put it on the conveyor belt. Once home, let them help you present it to the family.

4. Plan a Family Taste Test

Slice a variety of apples such as, Fuji, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and McIntosh.   To make it even funner, make different dips such as, caramel, marshmallow cream, whipping cream, yogurt, hot fudge, ect.   After each taste test, compare the various textures and tastes while you talk about your favorites.

5. Play Fun Games That Involve Healthy Eating

Children who have fun with healthy foods are more likely to want to taste them.  I like to roll dice at the table and whatever number it lands on is how many bites they need to eat of the certain food.  It gives them control and there is no power struggle when it comes to eating their food.  My kids love this!!

 

I made this funky breakfast the other morning...I just used what I had in my house.  Nothing fancy at all...but a silly face made with bacon, eggs and bagels made my kids day off to a great start!

funnyfacefoodThe rest of the pictures are from Jill from meetthedubiens.com.  She's obviously pretty amazing and has inspired me to do this for my kiddos!!

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