Tag Archives: holidays

What Mom Really Wants

11 May

On my first Mother’s Day, I couldn’t wait to get away from my baby. I know that sounds terrible, but you just might be surprised to find that there are lots of moms who feel this way. I was working full-time, teaching, so I was surrounded by kids all of the time. Not only that, I had no idea what I was doing as a parent and I felt like I was drowning.¬†Fortunately, my husband was very in tune with what I was feeling and planned a very special day just for the two of us.

Over the years, my family has grown and we have celebrated Mother’s Day in a variety of ways but we still have many traditions. My kids always bring me breakfast in bed and as they’ve gotten older, the breakfast has gotten better! We go to church together, as a family and during the day, I take some time for myself. My favorite treat is to lay in the hammock, covered with a blanket and I read until I fall asleep. In the evening we go out to dinner so I don’t have to cook. These are such special gifts my family gives to me each year.

Do you know how the mom in your family likes to celebrate her special day? Ask her what she would like to do. Here’s what some of our moms would like to do.

Make Something for Mom

10 May

If you’ve got a mom who loves to read and has a sense of humor, she’ll love getting one of these funny bookmarks for Mother’s Day. Create a silly pose and snap a picture. It’s as easy as that. Click on the picture for the complete directions.

Pamper Mom

8 May
If you have a hard time viewing, click on the title.
This is a simple activity for dads and kids to make together for mom. Dads, you can use any shape bottle and can usually get them at the dollar store or craft store for a very reasonable price. We’ve added where you can pick up the other items to make shopping easier. This also makes a great gift for grandmas and is easy to make in the classroom.
You can click on the picture for the entire article.
– mixing bowl and spoon (kitchen)
– bottle or jar (dollar store or craft store)
– 1 cup white sugar (kitchen or grocery store)
– 1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons good quality oil (I used olive oil, but you can use any nice, non-smelly oil) (kitchen, grocery store or drug store)
– 3-4 drops of yummy-scented essential oil per jar (I went with mandarin, peppermint, and lavender) (craft or health food store)
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Place the scrub into the jar. You may need to use a funnel to get it into the jar depending upon how wide the mouth of the jar is.

Surprise Egg

6 Apr

Click here for a list of materials.

Click here to download the April Activity Calendar.

Dyeing Eggs

4 Apr

Click here for a list of materials.

Click here to download the April Activity Calendar.

Thank You Notes?

29 Dec

Your child has just received a bunch of new gifts that are tons of fun to play with. They said a proper thank you at your holiday gathering so, are thank you notes really necessary? Yes!

I’m not Miss Manners but, there are some things that I know are very important and thank you notes are one of them. I have teenagers who I have taught to write thank you notes for many reasons over the years. Now that they are getting jobs, looking at colleges, or get help from an adult for various reasons, thank you notes are essential. The thank you notes they have written have not only been appreciated, but have set my kids apart.

Your kids may think that writing thank you notes are hard and they may think they are unnecessary, but knowing how to write one could change their life.

How to Write Thank You Notes

Download our activity calendar here.

To Our Children’s Children

23 Dec

Many, many years ago, my older brother video taped our grandfather telling his stories over cake and coffee in their apartment. It was fantastic, but I really wish there had been more footage and, I really wished we had interviewed my grandmother, too.

When my parents decided to sell our childhood home after 37 years, I interviewed my siblings about their memories of the house. Because I’m so much younger than them, I had no idea of the shenanigans that went on before my time! It’s a fantastic record of the history that went on in our house.

A few years before our father passed away, I went to visit him and my mom and decided that I would take some time to interview him. I was able to spend several days, covering six hours, interviewing him about his life. It was very informal and I used the book To Our Children’s Children* as a guide for questions. At this point, I haven’t done anything with the video but, hope someday to self publish a children’s book for my grandchildren. The arrival of my grandchildren is very far off but the time will allow me to go through the videos and record my family’s history for future generations. Although this interview may seem irrelevant to my kids now I know they will appreciate it in years to come.

This holiday, when your family gets together, set up an interview station in a quiet area of the house complete with a list of questions and directions on how to turn on the video camera. Ask everyone to take some time answering the questions. Not only will you have a family history, you will have a live recording of your relatives voice and personality. What a great way to capture your family’s roots.

*To Our Children’s Children is a book to assist you in interviewing friends and family about their personal history. The book is broken down into chapters by theme such as childhood, marriage, etc. It ask questions such as ‘Who were you named for?’ or ‘When did you get your first gray hair?’ It’s a serious yet clever way to get your family to open up about their lives.

Download our activity calendar here.

Everything Tastes Better Covered in Chocolate

16 Dec

We love chocolate in our house so anytime we can cover something in chocolate, we do. Here are some of our favorite things to cover or dip in chocolate.

This recipe has information on how to prepare chocolate chips for dipping. There are fancier recipes for dipping chocolate, but we like this easy recipe and we always have chocolate chips on hand.

These can make great holiday treats to give to friends and family.

Download our entire monthly activity calendar here.

Thanksgiving Candle Holder

18 Nov

My friend, Michele, is so creative and came up with this awesome candle holder that will look great on the Thanksgiving table.


  • 1 bag of dried lentils
  • 3 bags of other dried beans in different colors (1 bag each color)
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Wooden spoon
  • Plastic cups (it can be any size but make sure it will be able to hold your candle)
  • Taper candle
  1. Pour the 4 bags of beans into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Pour enough glue over the beans so that all of the beans will be covered with glue.
  3. Mix the beans and the glue with a wooden spoon until the beans are well coated with glue. You may have to add more glue as you stir.
  4. Pack the bean and glue mixture into plastic cups leaving about 1″ from the top free of beans. Make sure to pack them down well.
  5. Twist the taper candle into the middle of the beans.
  6. Let the beans dry at least two days.
  7. When the beans are completely dry, remove the cup.
  8. Place several of these candle holders on a plate and decorate with fall leaves or share with your friends and family.

Happy Halloween

31 Oct

Have a safe and Happy Halloween! From all of us at Smart Mom University

Circa 1971

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