Thursdays With Tracie – “Mommy, I’m Bored” Jar

Summer is almost here and I am so excited!
I love summer!
I love swimming.
I love BBQ’s.
I love not having to get up and run around like a chicken getting everyone to school!
I ESPECIALLY LOVE having the kids home.

However, I DON’T  LOVE the “I’m bored blues”
that set in quite quickly at my house.

Last year we did a bucket list for the summer and it was so much fun (which I will share with you in my next post).  This year I wanted to try something different.  After spending some time in Blog Land, I came across Shabby Beach Nest’s blog and I absolutely loved  her version of a Bored Jar!!!  It was pure genius!   So I went to work tweaking it to fit my crew.

I decided I needed something that my boys would not be able to go through and pick and choose what they wanted (“You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit” – that’s the rule in this house) and something that would be appropriate for each child. Coloring might be exciting for my 3 year old but my 9 year old would not be amused.

Materials that I used:
1.  Clear paint can (Beverley’s)
2.  3 different colors of scrapbooking paper (1 for each boy, the baby doesn’t need the bored jar yet!!)
3.  Fun ribbon
4.  Glue
5.  Stickers (letters and whatever you have on hand to seal the strips of paper with)
6.  Gallon Ziplock bags.
7.  Tote with lid.

1.  Tie the ribbon onto the handle of the paint can.
2.  Glue ribbon around the bottom of the outside of the paint can.
3.  Cut a circle from the scrapbook paper and glue to the lid of the can.
4.  Using your letter stickers, add “Bored Jar” to the top of the can.
5.  Cut the scrapbook paper into strips (using 3 different colors).

6.  Add your fun ideas to the strips and seal them with a sticker (no peeking!).

Here are some of my ideas:

-For my 3 year old (his color is yellow) I did: bubbles, sock puppets, coloring, design your own shirt (with fabric markers) and sidewalk chalk art.

-For my 7 year old (his color was orange) I did: water balloons, make a paper airplane, bake cookies, clean up playroom (yes, now you see why I want them sealed!)

-For my 9 year old (his color is green) I did: origami, build a Lego ship, build a catapult, make a movie, write a play for the family and clean out the car.

For some of the slips, I wrote surprise, craft and art.
This way, it will be mommy’s choice :-).

7.  For any of the ideas that needed special supplies, I used individual Ziploc bags for each project.

Example: Origami project – I printed ideas off the internet and put those and the paper into the Ziplock bag.
Sock puppets – socks, eyes, and fabric marker into a Ziplock Bag.

I wanted to have the supplies on hand so I won’t be running all over town in 110 degrees purchasing the supplies to do the activity… by the time we would get home, they might not be bored anymore!

8.  I gathered all of my filled Ziplock Bags and put them in a tote, which will be going into my closet so there won’t be any peaking.

  I’m armed and ready for my boys to say, “Mommy, I’m bored”.
Three weeks and counting until summer begins!

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Thanks Mandy for having me, have a great week everyone!


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Volunteering With Kids and Teaching Them to Give Back

A few years ago I was on a search for something that I could do to teach my boys the value of giving back and helping others. I was disappointed to find that many of the volunteering organizations didn’t participate in children volunteering.  Not that I blame them!!! My boys are very active! ☺

Then I found “Binky Patrol”. For those of you have never heard of Binky Patrol.  “They make blankets and give them away to children and teens in need, it’s as simple as that.”  I was so excited!  We could make a blankets!! My boys love quilts – crocheted or fleece tied. I can crochet (nothing fancy), but that wasn’t something the boys could do easily. So I checked out some fleece tying tutorials online and saw that they were so easy!

I took the boys to Joann’s where they each got to pick out fleece for their blanket to make and give away. The boys were so excited and we talked about how they were going to go to a boy or girl that really needed them. We all worked together.  It was a great family activity.

When we finished our blankets we took them to our local Binky Patrol Chapter, which for us, is in Lincoln, CA. We met the most wonderful person, Terrie, who is the director for that chapter. Terrie is one of those people that you instantly love the moment you meet her! Her commitment and generosity never ceases to amaze me.  She is truly wonderful and one of the kindest people I have had the pleasure of meeting…. and she made my boys feel so welcomed!

After we delivered our blankets, I really wanted to help even more. Terrie gave the boys and I the rare opportunity of delivering the blankets to those that needed them. Binky Patrol delivers blankets to Children’s Hospitals, NICU’s, children’s homes, homeless shelters for women and children, Child Protective Services, and a variety of other places that have children in need.

I never realized how many children are really in need. It was an eye opening experience for the boys and I, especially when we delivered them to the homeless shelters.  The boys realized the kids there didn’t have a home and the homeless children were so excited about getting a blanket of their very own.

My boys realized that day that they are very blessed.  It wasn’t about them. It wasn’t about getting the next toy. It was about helping others and giving back.

Thanks to the Binky Patrol, my children have learned a lesson that is truly a gift unlike any other.

“There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.”

The Binky Patrol always needs donations!!!

If you would like to donate to the Binky Patrol, here is the main web site.
You can check to see if there is a chapter near you.

 Lincoln, Ca chapter site

Thanks Mandy for having me.

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How to Make a Chore Chart System For Your Children


I hope everyone is having a great week! It has been raining here (I hate the rain!), but being stuck in the house gave me the opportunity to look around and pick new projects to tackle.

The two things my boys detest are homework and CHORES! Over the years I have tried tons of chore charts and tons of different motivations (ie bribes) to try to get them to do their chores. My last attempt, I thought, was finally the chore chart that was going to work!!  They got chore bucks for doing their chores and then they could trade in their bucks for fun prizes, treats or money. It worked great until my oldest decided to just do the chores that had the highest value and leave the rest, his brother caught on and well let’s just say SYSTEM FAIL!

We tried the, “You have to do your chores whether you get allowance or not but if you do all of them without being told, you get your allowance.” Umm………yeah another chore system failed! What was I thinking? I have to remind them to put on clean underwear every day!

Then it hit me.  They don’t seem motivated to slowly build up their allowance by doing one chore at a time.  What if I just gave them their set allowance and if they don’t do all the chores that I have paid them for, then they will be paying ME back?  This system might just work!

I decided we needed new chore charts.  The system needed to be fun and functional but most important I didn’t want them on the fridge anymore. Here is a pic of my old chore charts, can you understand why they had to move?

If they weren’t going on the fridge, I wanted them to be cute and durable. I love my new chalkboard that I just got as a gift, so that was my inspiration.

I had some old picture frames, so I spray painted them.  I went to Home Depot and got a metal roof flashing  sheet (my husband cut the one piece into (3) 8×10 pieces to fit in the frames).  I primed and then painted them with chalkboard paint.

I purchased some chipboard letters and applied scrapbooking paper to them with Modge Podge.  Now, I just needed cute magnets!   I wanted something that the boys would like….bottle caps!! I purchased some envelope seals from Hobby lobby (love that store) and applied them to the bottle caps.  Next, I found cute clip art for all their different chores and shrank them to fit the bottle caps.  I  applied an epoxy sticker over the whole thing, stuck a magnet on the back and waa laa!!

I thought they turned out cute and the boys loved them!

So here they are, our new chore charts!

Will the new system work?? I have no idea but even if it doesn’t at least you can see my fridge now!!

Thanks so much Mandy for having me!
Hope everyone has a great week.


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Does Your Child Have An Activity Bag?

I’m thrilled and honored to inform you that my step-daughter, Tracie, will be joining me on Project Queen!  She will be featured twice a month sharing with you some ideas and tips on how she manages her life with 4 very active boys.


Thank you Mandy for inviting me! I am so excited to be here with you today and share a little bit of my crazy and wonderful life!  I am blessed to be a stay at home mom of 4 amazing boys. Yes, you read that right four!! As you can imagine, life with 4 very active little boys is never boring!! Every day is a new adventure and I am ALWAYS looking for ways to keep my little ones entertained without breaking the bank.

The boys love to visit the library (which I’m thankful for because it’s cheap!).  Besides the usual books, CD’s, computer games, and DVD’s, our library has Story Time Bags (the boys call them the “BAG”) and they absolutely love these!

A few weeks ago,  my 3 year old fell and bit through his cheek (life as a mother of boys).  I’ll spare you the gory details… let’s just say it was bad.  Thankfully my husband was home from work so I was able to rush with him (paper towel stuffed in his mouth) to the emergency room.  As I was unbuckling him from his car seat, I saw the BAG and grabbed it . Have you ever been in an ER for 5 hours with a 3 yr old??  Yes, the BAG was a lifesaver!! !

The BAG’s theme was “Dinosaurs”.  

It had 8 books inside with puppets, flannels and magnets.

It kept my busy little boy entertained and the doctors and nurses were all very impressed that I was such a wonderfully prepared mother (we don’t need to burst their bubble and tell them that the only reason the BAG was in my car is because it was overdue and I probably owed more than the bag was worth right???) 🙂

After the success of entertaining a 3 year old for 5 hours in the emergency room, I realized I needed one of these bags at all times!!!! SO I went right to work!

My first bag was a simple “Activity Bag”, which I keep in my car all the time.  I hide it in the compartment where my car jack is :-).  I purchased a zippered bag from the thrift store and the rest of the items came from the 99 Cent Store.  I added some fun printables and the boy’s favorite granola bars.  The whole BAG cost me about $7.

I cannot tell you how handy these bags have been!

Here is my latest one on “Bears”.

I found the bag and all the books from the thrift store.

I made the little flannel board, Goldilocks and the Three Bears set.
(My kids love the flannel stories)
Total cost – $10

Now, we have our own “BAG”…
and this mother of 4 energetic boys doesn’t have to pay late fees!

Thank you Tracie!
(she isn’t kidding when she says 4 ACTIVE boys!)

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