File Folder Games and Flip Chute

All the kids are home today from school and I have Monkey. I was on my toes today! I knew I would need things to do with all the kids so I pulled out some activities that I had been holding on to, things I have wanted to make but just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. Plus, they had to do some extra chores, like clean up their bed rooms!

First up, yesterday I showed you a dinosaur puzzle that Monkey and I colored. While he understood the concept that it was a puzzle, he couldn’t quite figure out how to put it together. I mentioned I had further plans for it. Using another copy that we colored, with Princess’ help this time, I made a completed picture on one side of a file folder with the puzzle pieces in a bag on the other side. Hopefully this will help him learn to use the puzzle. The 2 colors of brown are because we accidentally got different shades of brown. I am trying really hard to let the little things like this go, it is a game for a toddler, it doesn’t really matter if the colors match, right? Right! I received this print out a long long time Dino puzzleago I have no idea where it came from or I would create the source. If anyone happens to know I would love to give credit where it is due.

Next, when I was looking for some shape print outs for Monkey I came across these “basic shape crafts” at  DLTK   I used the actual shapes from them in a bulletin board but set aside the body parts thinking I could make a game to help teach body parts with them. Today I used them along with a potato body shape in a file folder to made another file folder game. I will probably add some of the other printables form the body shape page later, just because they are so cute. Monkey is still taking hipotato file folders nap, but Rebel and Princess had fun playing with them. I always think it is funny when I make something for Monkey and the bigger kids like to play with it just as much.

Towards the beginning of the school year, the elementary school had a math night. At math night we were sent home with flash cards for the kids to use to practice math facts. All I could think of was hundreds of small papers all over the house. I created a multiplication lapbook to hold all of Rebel’s flash cards. multiplication lapbookI worked out great and kept all his cards tidy. I also saw something called a flip chute to use with small flash cards. This has been in the back of my mind to make for a long time but, we hardly ever have those cardboard half gallon milk or juice cartons. Last week, I ran out of milk and Monkey was not going to go down for a nap with out his milk, I got the “are you kidding me” look when I tired to substitute water. So we ran to the corner store, a little Mom and Pop type that cost a fortune but is super close and easy to get in and out of in a hurry. I grabbed a carton of milk and so we finally have one. Back to the point, the flip chute is a really easy function machine that basically turns the flash card over. In reality it is totally not necessary, yes they could just flip the card over. But for some reason putting it through the flip chute Flip Chutemakes it a ton more fun and the kids each spent at least a half hour working with their flashcards. I will be making at least one more so each of the younger kids can have one, they can be used for any subject you can make a flash card to help study. Even Rocket at some point will probably use these. Make your own Flip chute, the directions are super easy to follow and it is insane how much they like using it to practice! There are a ton of free sites online that you can use to make flash cards that work with it too.

Have a great day and remember to thrive!




Monkey and I have started Dino week! We had a busy day with tot school fun. First, I introduced some plastic dinosaurs I found at a thrift store, I brought the Lego mountain in, Monkey added Littlest Pet Shop. There were a lot of RAWWWRS!!

Then we colored a Dino puzzle together and worked on putting it together. I Have further plans for that later.


I found a great memory game at that I turned into a file folder matching game. Monkey is a little young but he liked seeing all the dinosaurs.

Lastly, I introduced scissors. Under very close supervision! Monkey is very good at finding where the kids put scissors, so I am hoping a little discovery time will help take the mystery out of them. Plus, give him acceptable boundaries where he can use them.

Busy day!

And I was still able to cut all the bars of soap!


I hope you are able to thrive today!


Grumpys and Planning

Wow! Unfortuntly today has been more about surviving than thriving. Rebel (Captian decided he liked Rebel better and truthfully it fits him better) caught a stomach bug over the weekend and was still not feeling well this morning. Princess got a blister on her heel, that had popped and she was having an extra hard time leaving me today, so she was crying and not wanting to go to school. UGH! I had Princess soak her foot in warm water with tea tree oil, then bandaged it. Since, it was such a hard day for her to leave me, she has her dragonfly “tattoo” and my dragonfly necklace and there were still tears at drop off. It breaks my heart, I just want to grab her up and take her home, even though I know I can’t.

Monkey is teething, which makes him sensitive and micheveous. If he doesn’t get what he wants he throws a tantrum, even outside didn’t make him completely happy, he gets into things he knows he isn’t supposed to touch. My usual bag of tricks are not making him happy, oh joy!

My plan was to work on some planning for next school year. I would like to put together a daily calendar notebook for Princess and a tot book for Monkey. There are many examples online and some great free downloads. I just need to decide which I want to use or if I want to do a mix. Some things others put in a notebook, I can just do on my calendar board since I will only be doing it with Princess. However, I want this notebook to be something she can do for a few minutes on her own while I am busy with Monkey. Sometimes we will do them together to give Monkey something while I am working with Princess hence, his tot school notebook.

Some of my favorite sites that I am looking at for their notebooks are:

Confessions of a Homeschooler

Homeschool Creations


Tot Time Notebook @ 1+1+1=1

In an attempt to make tonight easier for dinner, I did throw a lamb roast in the crock pot. I loosely followed a recipe from Emeril Lagasse, Rosemary and Garlic Roast Leg of Lamb. I forgot the lemon juice and since I was using the crock pot I added a little white wine in the bottom, plus I didn’t roast the veggies, I made garlic mashed potatoes instead. I think it turned out really well. The kids…well…more for me and Jeremy.

Ready for a better day tomorrow!


Welcome to my Chaos!

I would like a place to be transparent. A place to be me and share the ups and downs, successes and failures of my life. In honor of that, I will be completely honest, this is for me. I have no dreams of being a super blogger, but maybe a place I can direct others to when I want to share with them a project, recipe or pictures.

Who am I ? Good question! Mostly, I feel defined by my family even though I know there is so much more to me. I have been married to the love of my life for 17 years. We have 3 vastly different kids, Rocket – 15 years, Captian – 11 years and Princess – 7 years. We have also raised 2 of my nieces since they were 12 &13, who are all grown up now with toddlers of their own. I watch one of them during the day while his parents are working. Monkey is almost 2 and very energetic.

(Iain), (Caleb) & Princess dressed for weekend adventures.
Rocket, Captian & Princess dressed for weekend adventures.

So….How I survived the day…

Today started out with a bang! My two youngest were tired and didn’t want to wake up for school. Princess finally agreed if I made pancakes for breakfast she would get up. (Yes, bribery and bargaining are sometimes what I resort to.) Hence, my first recipe share. I found this pancake mix recipe on Pinterest and it is our go to recipe now! For my family of 5 (or 6 if Monkey is here) it makes more than enough for two breakfast (or dinner as the day might be.) Bonus, it is really easy to take camping because you just add water! *Note Captian is allergic to sugar so for the dry mix I use powdered fructose instead of sugar.

Homemade Pancake Mix Recipe

  • 6 c. flour
  • 1 tablespoon. salt
  • 1/3 cup 2 teaspoons. baking pwdr
  • 1/3 cup 2 teaspoons. sugar
  • 2 c. powdered lowfat milk


  1. Mix well and store in airtight container on cupboard shelf.

When I got to the school to drop the kids off, Princess was having a rough time, not wanting to go to school. Some of the kids are picking on her and she is just having a rough time. Sometimes I will give her a special necklace to wear that matches a dragonfly tattoo that i have so we “are connected” through out the day. I had to make something up on the spot today, so I found a pen in the car and drew a heart on her hand, then kissed it sending all my love into it. I then drew a matching one on my hand. She added a smiling face to both and off she ran.

Challenge #1 – Kids up and off to school – Completed!

Now it is time to focus on Monkey’s tot school activities. I am working on colors of the week with him, this week is purple. I am a little bare with the purple toys and activities. But I did find some purple play dough, if I can’t find a color I need I just make it. He is still a little young to really get into play dough, so a lot of times I give him plastic bugs or some such thing to press into it. Today while I went to get he bugs, I saw some glass stones in my drawer! Inspiration struck and we made mosaics. He really liked how the stones felt and he spend quite a while (for a toddler) putting stones on the dough and taking them off. He would hand me stones for mine or I would ask for some making sure to use our manners in order to reinforce “please & thank you” We had a great time.

photo 2
Mine completed
Monkey concentrating
Monkey concentrating
photo 3
Monkey’s completed

Then he went off to play with his favorite blocks, Instant Blox.

photo 4photo 5

Then outside to dig in the dirt and chase chickens!

Challenge #2 – Monkey’s Tot School – Completed!

This afternoon after Monkey was picked up and my kids were all home from school round two began. I mentioned the blog to the kids and showed them, Princess immediately wanted to make her own blog. Ah ha! What a great homeschool activity! So we sat down and started now, she can continue over the summer and into next school year. I will not post her blog publicly, but I love that she is interested in writing.

It always amazes me how activities I create for Monkey intrigue the older kids too. When they started arguing this afternoon I mentioned the mosaics Monkey and I created, showed off a few pictures and they were off and running. Captain had a hard time getting his chores done fast enough. They created for about an hour or so, Princess a little shorter.

Captain working hard
Captain working hard
Princess a little blurry
Princess a little blurry
Princess finished
Princess finished
Captain finished
Captain finished

Challenge #3 – After school activities – Completed!

Next up is dinner and home work. We are supposed to have Boy Scouts with Captain tonight but he has refused to do his homework (oh the wonderful world of ADD & ODD) so we are going to have to miss it to finish up home work.

I hope you ave completed your challenges for today. Tomorrow is another day to thrive!