Archives for June 2012

No brats allowed for Photo Friday

We aren’t raising brats here at the HappyMom household.

In case you can’t read the book title, it is I Refuse to Raise a Brat by Marilu Henner.  You can click on the Amazon link and read the reviews for yourself. [Read more…]

Get your kids off the couch and outside

Get your kids outside and play with themIt’s summer. The kids are home, it is hot outside, and the kids are bored. No matter how hard you try, at some point the kids are going to complain of being bored.  Suddenly, mom job #1 is to GET YOUR KIDS OFF THE COUCH AND OUTSIDE. [Read more…]

My Kids Make Me Laugh: Sword Fight

kids sword craft My kids crack me up. Last week, they discovered a stash of cardboard tubes left from wrapping paper, paper towels, and toilet paper rolls.

They asked my help, and soon we were building swords. We went through almost an entire roll of bright yellow duct tape re-enforcing the sword construction. Then they wanted me to go come outside with them and take movies of their antics.

Their dialog cracked me up! [Read more…]

Laundry Wars: The Great Soap Test

Remember last week when I sent my kids out to get their socks dirty? Really Really dirty. I shared at the time that I planned to test my home made laundry soap against Tide.

I have started the test. So far, it’s a [Read more…]

Learning American Geography The Easy Way (review)

Three products I LOVE that make teaching US Geography a breeze from thishappymom.comToday’s post features THREE products that work well together to make Learning American geography easy.  Any one of the three is a great way for your kids to grasp the basics (state names, locations, major cities).  The best part is that kids think they are PLAYING, not learning.

We aren’t a flashcard kind of family, but I wanted my children to know more basic American geography than what they had learned at school (they have completed Kindergarden and 2nd grade, I’m being ambitious).  Instead, I decided to approach teaching my kids the basics using tools they already love.  Since I couldn’t find a Lego state map kit, that translated into video games, puzzles, and family board games.

[Read more…]

Road Trip Game Review: Rory’s Story Cubes

I almost always have this little gem tucked into my purse or tote.  They can keep my kids quietly entertained and content - without batteries.These Story Cubes are perfect to tuck in your bag for road trip games or to keep your kids calm while you wait.

They really are a go-to item in my no-fail boredom busting super secret arsenal of mom tricks.

“Once upon a time, there was an unhappy boy. He needed to walk across a bridge to get home. He couldn’t see a way, so he called his friends. They helped him, and he was very happy. They all played a game together. The End.” Story by GoGo, age 6.


It may not be great literature, but GoGo made it up on his own, in five minutes, while sitting at the dinner table. He did it using Story Cubes from GameWright.

I love my Rory’s Story Cubes

I keep these cubes in my purse (the box is about 3 x 5 x 1 inches in size) to keep my kids entertained when we are waiting for stuff. We take turns making up stories using some or all of the cubes.

At times, we even make the stories up collaboratively, or continue a story through more than one roll of the dice.

The boys look forward to playing, and have asked me to get the second set of cubes so we can expand our story telling. They love to hear the stories I make up, and I love the sounds of my happy children giggling and creating stories together.

They have NO CLUE this is supposed to be an educational game. They are having fun and that’s all they care about.

I recommend this highly for ages 6 to adult. It’s a great travel game for your road trips this summer.

Disclosure: Clicking on the link above will take you to Amazon. I bought the game from Amazon over a year ago, well before joining their affiliate program.

3/14/13:  Updated:

Rory has some new cubes and they are fabulous! The new set is Voyages.  Just when my kids thought they had run out of ideas, Rory comes out with a new set of cubes.  We now own ALL THREE SETS.

I mix and match to only cary NINE at a time, but each box would actually hold 12 cubes.

After almost a year of continually living in the bottom of my purse or tote, the box still holds up.  I don’t think I’ve EVER had the magnetic closure come open.

Why only nine cubes instead of 12?  Because the other three slots are reserved for math dice.

I love my math dice too.

I can fit two blue cubes and one white dodecahedron (that’s the name for the 12 sided thing).

Both of these are great road trip games.

In the car, I keep a small plastic container to let the kids roll the dice as we drive down the road.  When we use a clear container, they can shake the cubes and see them WHILE THE LID IS ON.  No lost pieces.

Thankful Thoughts: I Love Tortilla Faces

Today’s Thankful Thoughts are all about the Tortilla Face.

We have no idea when or why it started, but GoGo makes tortilla faces at every opportunity.

I have photographs of him holding a tortilla in front of his face going back almost FOUR YEARS.  He started when he was two.   [Read more…]

Scripture Art – 1 Peter 5:7

I was working on artwork for a scripture memory verse. What do you think?

1 Peter 5-7 Cast your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

Why make scripture art?

I like to make framable scripture art like this for two reasons.

First, it helps me to meditate on the verse as I’m working on the art.

Second, I like to print it out and stick in a cheap frame, or attach it to my calendar, or just use it as wallpaper. Any of these help me keep the verse in front of me.

Why this scripture art?

I tend to get wound up over all sorts of stuff.  I get busy.  I let myself worry.   There are times when I just am anxious and fearful (and probably unpleasant to be around!)

In short, I need the reminder.

Cast your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.  — 1 Peter 5:7


I’d love to know what verse you turn to when you’re anxious or filed with worry.   If you’ve got a favorite verse, chime in and let me know.


[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker has a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination for eggs, PINK, socks, and books.  She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. She is crazy in love with her family.  She serves an amazing God.   She lives an ordinary life filled with wonder. [/author_info] [/author]

Points Project Update

points project from thishappymom.comIt’s Thursday, so I’m writing about our points project. It’s an ongoing series about trying to get my kids to do more chores, establish good habits, and become financially responsible.

After a week or so, the kids started pushing back about doing their chores.  It’s summer.  I was, quite frankly, surprised that it took more than two days for the novelty to wear off!  So I was prepared.  My husband and I had talked about it in advance and had a plan.  When asked to take out the garbage, one of my sweet children looked at me and said.   “No thank you mommy, I don’t need anymore points today.”  The other child chimed in with “I’d rather watch TV than earn points today.” [Read more…]

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