Tag Archives | kids

servant warriors. putting others first.

If you missed it, we are working in our family to be a group of servant warriors. That is the theme for our current chalkboard wall. You can find it here with some chalkboard templates to boot. As I shared, it started with something for our biggest baby, but has turned into something for the whole family. It’s a little thing we like to call… being a servant warrior.

{how does it work?}
do something for someone else… putting them first
write it down on the servant warrior card
add it to the jar
celebrate with a monthly dinner out and chance to read {and applaud!} all those servant warrior choices

Here’s what I know, in our family we can all work on being a servant warrior, like the daddy of this family. He is the inspiration for this whole family adventure. That husband of mine is the perfect example of a servant warrior, always putting others first and working to be a servant in all things. I aspire to be like him.

Here’s a little glimpse into what it looks like in our house. Maybe you will find a spot for it too?


If you are loving this as much as I am, download some copies for yourself and start incorporating a little servant warrior thinking into your own home.

{you will need}
paper and printer
servant warrior card template.
scissors or paper cutter
jar or bowl


step 1. print the ‘servant warrior.’ template by clicking {here}.

step 2. cut them out. find a place for it.

step 3. give the deets to the family about what to do. start being servant warriors.


May you find a little time to incorporate the art of being a servant warrior in your own family. It seems to me that this lil’ way of thinking could make a huge difference in our current world. A world that is so focused on all things self-serving, self-motivated and self-serving.


Won’t you follow along and join me on my mission to help my kids {and me} become people who make daily choices that think of others first? A family of servants is what we aim to be.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

want to see some other {family} ideas?
take a lookey-loo at what you may have missed.

{super threes. for the kids.}

{nightly prayer.}


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disneyland. they don’t know. scavenger hunt.

I. Am. So. Excited. The kids don’t know. It’s a surprise. Shhhh… don’t tell. We are surprising them with a trip to the magical place, otherwise known as Disneyland. {To be honest, we did surprise them, but getting this out didn’t happen until now. Oops.}

We are mean parents and we are those parents who have yet to take our kids to Disneyland. Don’t say it, I already know what you’re thinking. Meany-pants over here. But, October changed all that. They were in for a treat and didn’t even know it. I secretly packed their bags and gathered everything a family would need to make the trek to the most magical place in the world. And, they had no idea. I am just giddy thinking about it.

To make the trip even more special, I created a scavenger hunt that they got once we were in the car. Their suitcases were hidden away and they thought we were on our way to run some errands. Surprise. We are so stinkin’ sneaky. Well, at least that’s what we tell ourselves.

The scavenger hunt envelopes went a little something like this…

savenger hunt with label

Want a scavenger hunt for yourself? It’s as easy as download, print, cut and put in envelopes. Easy peasy.

scavenger hunt 1

Want a scavenger hunt for yourself? Click here to download your own clue cards.

All you need to do is PRINT, CUT, PUT IN AN ENVELOPE. Voila!
scavenger hunt clues

Traveling by PLANE click here
Traveling by CAR click here

Once they solved the clue they were given their next envelope. Seriously so fun and the cutest thing ever. Once they solved the last clue and made a guess they got to open their package, which held the book Secrets of Disneyland.

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 2.02.53 PM

So sneaky. So surprise-y. So fun. Just wait until you see all the pictures. Check out my instagram account to see some of the adventures in action.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other {kid & parenting} related posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{a new kind of nightly prayer. so worth it.}

{super three.}

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character traits. more of that super three stuff.

Earlier you heard me talk about our newest addition to the night time routine. A little something we call the {super three}. I still love it and it’s safe to say the kids are still in love with it too. If you missed it, take a hop over here and learn more. You won’t be sorry you did.

Just so as not to forget, it went a little something like this…

The gist of it is that each night you share three character-based things you saw them doing during the day with some specific examples. It has been a great way to share just how proud I am of the little people they are becoming, but I am the first to admit that at times I need a little bank of character traits to spark some great examples. So, this mama went to work hunting down some character traits that I can fall back on when my mind blanks.

character traits picture

Aren’t they perfect reminders of what we can and should be focusing on each day? I have already printed a copy for myself as a reminder of what character traits to be looking for in my kids. Want a copy for your home too? Find two different versions here. Print it. Put it up somewhere special.

Still want to know more? I found a great site called www.kidsofintegrity.com a site devoted to providing tools for growing Godly character. Seriously good.

Character traits. Love them. Now it’s time to get to work on developing some serious character traits in those three kids of mine.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other {kid & parenting} related posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{a new kind of nightly prayer. so worth it.}

{father’s day. a different type of present.}

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super three. perfect way to end the day.

Let me start my saying this… I did not come up with this. I wish I did, but sadly I did not. I will tell you that I love it and am grateful to the gal that did.

This gem of a parenting trick came from the daughter-in-law of the leader in my parenting bible study. I know, confusing. I heard it the other week from my bible study leader and it has stuck like the syrup Shadow gets in her hair. I love it. And now it is one more part of our nighty-night routine.

It’s simple. A little something called the {Super Three}. I love it. The daddy loves it. But more importantly, the kids are all over it and make sure we don’t forget the {super three} before we turn out the lights.  It makes my heart smile to see their grins and hear about what choices, words, and actions they chose that made them extra special in our eyes. No words to express how much it melts your heart.

In fact, my middle ba-bay Sawyer {aka wild child}, asked if he could give me a super three. What??? How can a mom say no to that? Seriously the cutest thing in the world and I was grinning from ear to ear. What is better than a little super love for your little one?

It goes a little something like this…

Fortunately, it’s easier than you think. You gaze them lovingly in the eyes and share three character-based things you saw them doing during the day. And, sharing specific examples makes it even more of a treat. Easy, right? Told you.

Friends, can I just say that the {super three} can be for the little ones OR the old ones? Don’t you think everyone loves to hear what made them special today, even amidst our darkest days? Nothing shines a little extra light than that affirmation of who we are and what makes us so unique from the kiddo next door.

Another great new addition to our nighty-night time. And, a chance for the kids to hear all about what makes them so special, regardless if it was a good day or a bad day. They truly are my little super-beings, but now I get to tell them why.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other {kid & parenting} related posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{a new kind of nightly prayer. so worth it.}

{hands free mama.}

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diy headboard and reading lamp. perfect for the boy.

My boy is getting big. Time for a big boy bedroom. Earlier this week, I shared our inspiration. You can read more about it here. My little man and I worked hard to get this {summer} project done and he was seriously the cutest little helper eva’. Oh, and the new piece is pretty gosh darn amazing too.

Just a few simple materials will get the job done. A little something I like to call… easy, peasy.

fence boards {total of 6}
Pine 1×4 ripped down to 2″ wide {total of 1}
white paint
red paint
stain {i used special walnut}
ruler or 2×6 to measure straight lines
first aid stencil template
sconce {optional}

bed materials

bed 1

{wish i would have… used painters tape to tape the outside and then filled it in. would have made life a whole lot easier and a little less stressful while grayson was painting away. whelp, now i know.}

Seriously adorable, right? I love it. He loves it. I love it. What could be better? Oh, I know. The entire project cost me a whopping $38. You heard it… THIRTY-EIGHT DOLLARS. Fortunately, I have a lot of goodies hanging around the house and extra paint for days, so I only had to purchase the wood {$15} and the sconce {$20} plus a little tax. Sigh. Clap. Smile.


Maybe a new piece of art or a reading lamp for your room too? Who knows, maybe these will end up all over my house because I love them so much.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

I linked up at Moonlight & Mason Jars. Won’t you follow along too? Find it here.

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bedroom for boy. new version. the inspiration.

Holy cannoli. My first born. My baby. My lil’ G is… OLD. When did that happen? He is seriously growing up before my eyes. Can you hear the tears rolling down my cheek? He officially started 2nd grade and this mama is having a few {okay, maybe more than a few} issues with that. So sad.

Well, this summer it was our goal to transform his room a bit. The little Lulu got his old bed and he got a chance to upgrade to a bigger bed and a more {mature} twist on his room. Gulp.

The room reveal will come later. For now, the inspiration that started it all. Mr. Grayson was all over helping, giving ideas and being a part of the whole process, which required some serious mommy patience. Painting with a 7 year old? Need I say more?

Step 1. New bed.
The man of the house built him a new platform bed which we stained. More the come later.
Bed? Check.

Step 2. Light issues.
G is totally into reading right now. Oh how that makes my heart smile. So, we needed a way for him to read, but also some type of headboard to offset the low platform bed. After some brainstorming we came up with an idea… a framed out piece of art that would hold a plug-in sconce.

Aha, inspiration. G and I got to work brainstorming some different options and came up with our top seven. Stop it. Too cute.


| 1 schoolhouse electric princeton | 2 world market ethan3 ikea ranarp |
| 4 schoolhouse electric radar | 5 restoration hardware industrial era | 6 ikea ranarp |
| 7 barn light electric lovell |

Let’s be real. I have expensive taste and apparently my son inherited it from me. Our first choice? Number 4. I mean, die. It is ADORABLE. That was the one we HAD to have.

But then my voice of reason, otherwise know as the husband, gave us a big fat n-o. Why is it the cutest? Well, because it is a whopping $205 buckaroos. Oh boo. The husband won again. He reminded me that our 7 year old will not appreciate a $200 sconce. Well, I guess I will just have to find another place for it where I can appreciate it.

So, we settled on Grayson’s second choice and most inexpensive. Holla.

Just a little sneak peek…

{ikea ranarp plug-in sconce.}

Seriously in love with this one-of-a kind art piece. When I walk by Grayson’s room my smile gets a little wider. Later this week, find out how to make one of your own. Get excited.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other similar posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{striped linoleum floors. amaze-ing.}

playroom floors collage

{master bath redo. on a budget.}

{mercury glass chandelier.}
mercury chand 1

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mimosa bar. hello school. goodbye kiddos.

I fully admit that I enjoy the start of the school year. I seriously heart summer, but it some kind of wonderful to get back into a routine. With that said, I thought that a mimosa bar would be a fitting way to toast to a new school year with some friends and fellow mamas.

So easy. So fun. The perfect way to wish our babies well as the school year starts. Hello, mimosa bar.




mimosa bar food

 Who doesn’t love a {free} printable to go along with it? Something that makes your mimosa bar stand out from the rest. Well, it’s your lucky day. A thank you from me to you for following along.

printable label with heading

{you will need}
thick paper
mimosa bar printable
juice label printables
washi tape or scotch tape
frame or picture stand

{your task}

step 1. print the ‘mimosa bar’ template {here} and the juice labels {here}.

step 2. cut the juice labels out of the attached template.

step 3.  cut ribbon to desired length, loop around and adhere with washi tape.

step 4. loop over juice bottles.

step 5. add the mimosa bar printable template to a frame or on a picture stand.


If you want BLANK mimosa bar labels you can find them here. Personalize it to what you will be serving. Enjoy.

Just look at how ca-ute it is. Don’t you want to host one too? I have already decided that this will have to be my new tradition. It was way too much fun.

sip. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

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chalkboard wall. school style.

It’s hard to believe, but another year is here. What??? I swear my babies should still be in diapers. But no, a little tear is shed as they head off to 2nd grade and kinder. Boo. Can’t they just stay little forever?

I’m thinking that’s a no, so I better make the most of it. A real winner of a chalkboard wall to get them geared up for the school year. Here it is…

For this month, some school inspiration and a reminder of what school is all about.

Our back-to-school chalkboard wall. A place where we get to look at those lil’ cuties all month long. 

The theme for this month? First day excitement and a {repeated} memory verse.

Part 1. Memory Verse.
I’ll admit it. It’s a repeat. Partly because I told my kids they have to memorize it and we are still not there. But, mainly because I was laze-y. Regardless, they will learn it, live it and memorize it by the end of September. That’s our goal.

Part 2. School Rocks. 
It’s official. School has started. Say, what? A little shout out to my boys as they enter into their kindergarten and 2nd grade year. And, a reminder that they must ‘go there’. Well, wherever that may be.

A little washi tape, first day pictures and some old-school flashcards make this chalkboard wall virtually effortless. Hooray.

The start of the school year is my favorite. Yours too? Wishing you a {stress-less} start to the school year and a chance to celebrate those little ones as they head off to school.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

{If you missed it, learn how you can make your own {DIY Chalkboard and Magnetic Wall}. Take a quick peek {here} to find out just how easy it is to transform an empty space into something that will make you smile.}

want to see some other {september} chalkboard walls?
take a lookey-loo at some of my past boards.

{september 2014}

september 2014.

{september 2013}


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first day of school gifts. we heart teachers.

Brace yourself. It’s the first day of school. Yikes! It’s probably the teacher side of me, but I love to acknowledge teachers on their first day of school. It doesn’t need to be anything huge, just a little something to let them know I’ve got their back.

Well, here’s an idea for you. Simple. Sweet. Perfect.  Oh, and did I mention it won’t break the bank? A few dollars and cute little gift for a teacher you know, or will get to know.

The task is simple and will take you a little less than five minutes to get er’ done, or a little bit more if you decide to tackle a painting project in the process. You can thank me later.

{you will need}
hole punch
thick paper
mix it up printable template
spoons or a whisk
tea towel
twine or ribbon

{your task}

step 1. print the ‘mix it up’ template by clicking {here}.

step 2. cut the gift tags out of the attached template.

step 3. have your kiddo write their name, or not. up to you.

step 4. hole punch the top.

step 5. wrap some twine around a tea towel and a spoon. look at it and smile.

step 6. {optional} I bought some cheap mixing spoons and painted the bottoms myself to match the tags. Totally not necessary, but a simple way to personalize the spoons to the matching tea towel.

teach tag directions

The template is {free} and just for YOU. It’s as easy as copy, print, cut. And, pretty gosh darn cute.  What color will you pick?
Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 9.05.33 AM

Give a little extra love to those teachers and help them start the year off with a smile.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J  XO

did you miss other school related posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{first day photo shoot.}
grayson goofy

{printable hope you likey tags.}

{diy notepad.}

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chalkboard wall. summa’ time.

Summer is here. Reminds me of a little song from my younger years… summa’, summa’, summa-time. You know what I’m talking about, right?

For this month, summer fun and summer scripture.

Our summa’ chalkboard wall. A place where we pour all those summer to-do’s in our BUCKET. 

The theme for this month? Our bucket list {get er’ done} and a memory verse.

Part 1. Memory Verse.
Yes, they will know it. Learn it. Live it. Well, at least by the end of summer. A little something to keep us all on track, especially with us spending virtually every waking moment together. Mama Bear says we can make it happen.

Part 2. Summa’ Bucket List. {kids love this part.}
We are working our way through the bucket list. When one task is complete we are adding it {with a magical magnet} to our bucket. It’s too cute. We have already moved a few, added a few and started our list. The best part of summer.



Love the printables? You can find them here. An ode to last years’ printable list and a quick print. Voila. Your own bucket list items. Enjoy.

Wishing you a {kind and loving} summer and a chance to bask in the sunshine with your own little ones.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J  XO

{If you missed it, learn how you can make your own {DIY Chalkboard and Magnetic Wall}. Take a quick peek {here} to find out just how easy it is to transform an empty space into something that will make you smile.}

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