How I’m Teaching My Kids Some Good Values…with a little help from Hogwarts

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Soooo…I know it’s only been 2 weeks since I said goodbye to blogging, but…I FINALLY implemented an idea I came up with back in December and I must share! So I guess that means I’m back again, even if only for today.

What is this idea that made me come back, you might ask? Well, to be as excited about it as I am, it probably would have to do with Harry Potter. And it does. Of course it does.

Hogwarts Points

I’m pretty sure it’s a law that you can’t be related to my mother and not love Harry Potter. (My husband is a law breaker, but we just pretend not to know.) Since my kids are right now quite into Harry Potter (Side note – just this morning my 8 year old asked how old you have to be to go to Hogwarts, and when I told him 11, he said “I hope I get to go!”)…anyway, as I was saying, since my kids are way into the books, I thought it would be fun to let them earn house points. I have 4 kids, so I could have easily assigned them each a house, but…I didn’t really want to make it a competition, and surely whomever ended up in Slytherin would cry about it. And then a lightbulb went on – we could earn points together, as a family team effort. For our points, each house has 2 POSITIVE traits that we can try to exhibit or practice or develop or whatever it is you want to call it. They are as follows:

Gryffindor

Gryffindor – Courage and Integrity

Hufflepuff

Hufflepuff – Teamwork and Kindness

Slytherin

Slytherin – Achievement and Determination

Ravenclaw

Ravenclaw – Knowledge and Creativity

With the whole points system, there are a few things I wanted to avoid – bragging, nagging, and having to stop what I’m doing to put points in an hourglass (because, unfortunately, I’m a muggle and they don’t just magically fall in when I say so).

So this is what we do. Two or three times a week, at dinner, we talk about house points that may have been earned in the past few days. The biggest rule is that you’re not allowed to talk about yourself. You can bring up things that you saw or know of other people in the family doing, but not yourself. Only Mom and Dad get to award points. (It’s strangely satisfying to get to yell out “Five points for Gryffindor!” at dinner.) I love that this also helps my kids (and us) to recognize and praise the good of others instead of just focusing on ourselves. Because I want to keep it positive, we cannot lose points.

The “hourglasses” sit on a shelf in the kitchen next to the giant chalkboard where we can always see them.

HousePointsShelf

When one gets filled up, we will go do a family activity that would appeal to the members of that house. So maybe we’ll go on a hike when Hufflepuff fills up or visit the children’s museum when Ravenclaw does. We’ll decide when the time comes what the activities will be. And then we’ll empty that jar out and start over again.

What I used to make the hourglasses:
Salsa jars (this is why it took me so long – had to eat 4 jars of salsa first)
Printed Hogwarts House crests, cut out, and glued on w/mod podge
Gold vinyl traits cut out with my Silhouette Portrait
Beads – I love the look of the seed beads, because they look more like jewels, but they’re small and it would have cost about $40 just to fill up each jar, so I only got a few of each of those to add some sparkle, and then pony beads

We keep the unused beads in individual sandwich bags inside of one big gallon size bag in an inconspicuous place in the kitchen.

And that’s it! Easy peasy lemon squeezey and the kids love it! (As do I, but we’ve already established that.)

Time To Say Goodbye

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Obviously, I’ve neglected the blog for quite some time now. It’s been a nice little place for me to share ideas, projects, and completely random thoughts for the past few years, but it’s time to say goodbye. As life moves along, I need to take more time to focus on my family, and seeing as how I’ve been MIA from the blog for quite a while anyway, it’s one of the more obvious things to let fall by the wayside. Thank you to those of you who have read and shared this little space on the great wide internets! It’s been a real slice.

What I Wore…

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Let me just start this off by saying I love that people are fashionable and share their fabulous outfits over the internets so that fashion-challenged people such as myself can steal ideas. And I’ve been thinking about those “What I Wore” style posts that people often share on their blogs or Pinterest or whatnot and where ever. They always look great! And there’s the sharing of room makeovers and perfectly photographed delicious meals that all children in their perfect households eat without complaining too. Sometimes, I feel like we all (or maybe it’s just me) need a little reality check. A glimpse, so to speak, into another person’s life of keeping it real. I mean, of course we all want to put our best foot forward, but sometimes those of us on the outside looking in might forget that what we see a single shot of isn’t what that person or place or family is like 100% of the time. And also, I’m just feeling a bit goofy today (and had no plans to wax philosophical – where did all that ^^^ come from?!). So, my friends, on this lovely Tuesday afternoon, I’m here to share with you that glimpse with my first ever “What I Wore” post. This outfit will knock your socks off.




What I Wore

Fabulous, don’t you think? Yes, it’s 2:30 on a weekday afternoon. Yes, I’ve already left the house once today. Also, I’m all sweaty (not that you can tell from the pics) from choreographing some new Zumba routines.

I thought about having a weekly “what I wore” style post, but y’all might get sick of seeing my pajamas.

So there you have it. Life. Unedited.

Merry Christmas!

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Hello! I hope you all have had a very Merry Christmas! At the beginning of the month, as the kids were putting ornaments on the tree, I got the last minute idea to make a time lapse video of the process. I really enjoyed doing it and shared the video with some friends and family. And then on Christmas morning, I decided I might as well go ahead and film the proceedings and do another time lapse so we could preserve a quick glimpse into our morning. I love being able to see my kids’ excitement on Christmas morning and hope that we’re instilling a love for their Savior and a sense of gratitude for all they have in the process. We try to keep things simple and provide constant reminders of the reason we celebrate this season. May we always remember and be grateful for the gift of our Savior, whose birth we celebrate with gifts and service each year.

Wanderlust Wednesday: Giraffe House Manor

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You guys. Close your eyes and imagine yourself on a safari in Nairobi, Kenya. Just think about how awesome that would be. And then imagine where you would stay during your adventures in Nairobi. I’ll tell you where I’d stay. Well…where I’d want to anyway. There is a hotel in Nairobi called the Giraffe House Manor. The unique distinguishing feature of this hotel: a friendly herd of giraffe that visit daily, multiple times per day. For. Real.

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Can you even imagine?! These gentle giants poke their heads into some of the guest rooms. They visit the breakfast room looking for their own breakfast and eat right out of the hands of staff and guests alike. Friendly as can be.

In addition to the giraffe (for real?! For real.), the property itself is said to be pretty fantastic. Reviews from those who have stayed there describe it as charming, old world, like taking a step back in time. I don’t know if they all do, but at least some of the rooms feature their own fireplace, creating a cozy, old fashion atmosphere. The food receives great reviews as well. There is a beautiful dinning room, a breakfast room, a tv room, and lush gardens to walk through and enjoy. While the cost is well beyond the reach of my pocketbook, I tell you what: if ever I’m able to swing a pleasure trip to Africa, a night at this place will be a major goal. I guess I have another thing to add to my bucket list!