Saturday, November 23, 2013

Music, Videos, Activities and Scriptures for a Christ-Centered Christmas

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Christ centered Christmas: videos, music, activities and apps from THRIVE

Each year as the Christmas decorations go up, I try and help my children focus on the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ: his life, his death, his love for each of us. I compiled this listing of my family’s favorite media—free music to download, videos and devotionals to watch, pictures to color and cards to send—and hope that you and your family will enjoy it, too. Please share!

Music, Videos, Activities and Scriptures for a Christ-Centered Christmas - choosetothrive.blogspot.com

Dozens of instrumental hymns and children’s songs available for free download HERE

Screen Captures

FREE Download: 10 Christmas Carols sung by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

10 Free Christmas Carol Downloads from The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

 

Music, Videos, Activities and Scriptures for a Christ-Centered Christmas - choosetothrive.blogspot.com

O Come, Emmanuel

What Child Is This?

O Holy Night

 

Silent Night

 

Hallelujah Chorus

 

Music, Videos, Activities and Scriptures for a Christ-Centered Christmas - choosetothrive.blogspot.com

A Gift to the World

(The birth of the Savior beginning with the angel’s visit to Mary to the visit of the three wisemen)

Wise Men Still Seek Him

The Christmas Story: Luke 2

(Reading of Luke 2 with an orchestral background)

Life of Jesus Christ Bible Video Library

Bible Videos - The Life of Jesus Christ - Watch Scenes from the Bible - Mozilla Firefox 12232012 22838 PM.bmp

 

Music, Videos, Activities and Scriptures for a Christ-Centered Christmas - choosetothrive.blogspot.com

 

Free Download: Life of Jesus Christ Bible Video App

Download the free Life of Jesus Christ Bible Video App for iOS or Android

(App link is 3rd on list, just below video)

 

Music, Videos, Activities and Scriptures for a Christ-Centered Christmas - choosetothrive.blogspot.com

Free printables from The Friend

For Families - Mozilla Firefox 12232012 21830 PM.bmp

 

12 Days of Christmas Scripture Advent: prophecies of Christ's coming

12 days of christmas link

 

eCards

Share the Christmas story with free eCards with Bible verses. Cards post to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

Christmas  Mormon.org - Mozilla Firefox 11232013 70624 AM.bmp

 

devotionals

“Seeing Christmas Through New Eyes”

“The Gift of Christmas”

“Because HE Came”

Annual First Presidency Christmas Devotionals HERE

Christmas Devotionals - Mozilla Firefox 11232013 72104 AM.bmp

 

Music, Videos, Activities and Scriptures for a Christ-Centered Christmas - choosetothrive.blogspot.com

Christmas Articles from The Ensign

Christmas Account from Luke 2

 

Wishing everyone a very blessed and merry CHRISTmas!

nike

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Visiting from Pinterest? You might also like:

christmas subway art on canvas    Make a Christmas tree skirt from a girls dress - choosetothrive.blogspot.com   Make Your Own Tin Stars From A Cake Pan - choosetothrive.blogspot.com  100_6230

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Friday, August 16, 2013

How To Make A Travel Schedule Board: Great for special needs children and road trips

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How to make a travel schedule board - great for special needs children and traveling - Choose To Thrive

Why make this?

When my oldest was diagnosed with Autism nine years ago, we soon realized how critical structured, predicable routines were. They made a night-and-day difference in my son’s behavior that he began to thrive around.  To help our son (who was three at the time) and our younger, non-reading children understand those routines, we made schedule boards modeled after the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) that allows non-verbal individuals to communicate using pictures of everyday activities.

We had a large board for our home routine (getting dressed, grooming, eating, chores, etc.) and a small, travel version that became our lifeline to handling errands. Shopping trips around town, by nature, were unpredictable and so hard for our son to handle. Using a travel schedule board in the car helped him (and our other kids) see exactly what to expect better than vague words like ‘errands’ that differed every day.

Who needs one of these?

Everyone!

While I created the schedule boards specifically for my special needs son, our whole family did better with a set routine—even our littlest kids knew what to expect and we as parents felt less frazzled and in control.

These schedule boards were a staple in our home and car for a few years until our son was able to handle his routine through verbal prompts and discussion only. The schedule boards slowly went away and I hadn’t thought much about them until I saw Nicole from MOMentity.com posting Instagram pictures for her own schedule board last week. I realized how crazy our lives have become and how those boards could help our family become more organized again.

Nicole and I decided to share our family’s schedule boards today to show how they can help any family with their routines, but especially those who have children with special needs: Autism for my son and Sensory Processing Disorder for Nicole’s son.

We don’t have special needs in our family. Can I still benefit from this?

Yes!

Schedule boards like Nicole’s for the home or mine for the car can help:

* Non-readers easily see and understand sequences and events

*  Help children track progress and assess time in a visual way while running errands or traveling

* No more, “Are we there yet?” or “Are we done yet?”

Making A Schedule Board

You can check out Nicole’s awesome magnetic schedule board using Instagram pictures with a full tutorial HERE.

How to make a magnetic routine board from MOMentity.com

To make a travel schedule board  you’ll need:

How to make a travel schedule board - great for special needs children and traveling - Choose To Thrive

I took cell phone pictures of all of the places we typically visit throughout the week: grocery stores, church buildings, post offices, parks, friends/family homes, schools, etc.   I inserted them into a Word document and printed the thumbnails off on cardstock. (You could also print them from Instagram). 

How to make a travel schedule board for special needs children or road trips - Choose To Thrive

Trimmed images were laminated for durability and got a Velcro tab on the back.

How to make a travel schedule board - great for special needs children and traveling - Choose To Thrive

Each of our pictures are stored on the inside of the file folder (use both sides of necessary.)

How to make a travel schedule board - great for special needs children and traveling - Choose To Thrive

Our schedule gets mapped on the outside.

How to make a travel schedule board - great for special needs children and traveling - Choose To Thrive

Using Schedule Boards in the Car

Before we roll out of our driveway, I list the places we’re going in order of travel on the back of our folder. As we visit each place, the thumbnail gets returned to the inside so the kids know what’s still left. If I need to change up the routine mid-route, I stop and change the pictures. Kids can then see exactly what’s changed and how the rest of our trip will go.

Tips:

* Though clip art and stock images will work fine, the most effective way to help children ‘map their day’  is to take pictures of the actual buildings your family visits. This helps children recognize and connect the sequencing and places along the way.  My kids love seeing their school, their church, their dance studio.

SONY DSC

(For internet security, I avoided showing my neighborhood schools, parks, etc., but do use those personal pictures on our boards.)

* Don’t forget the less frequented, but still regular stops like dentists, doctors, stores in other cities, etc.

* Add words to thumbnails to reinforce literacy.

How to make a travel schedule board - great for special needs children and traveling - Choose To Thrive

* Make a few blank squares that you can write on to handle unexpected stops with ease. (I use a plain marker.)

* For road trips, print off pictures of landmarks or city signs for each anticipated stop.

* If the schedule changes, change the board!

My son loved seeing exactly what stores we were going to visit on a particular trip (ex. Walmart, Maverik for gas and suckers and then the Post Office.)

How to make a travel schedule board - great for special needs children and traveling - Choose To Thrive

If for some reason I had to change the sequence (Walmart, Post Office and then Maverik) and didn’t visually make that change on the board, my son became confused and upset. Pulling into the Post Office to him meant, ‘What?? No Maverik? Where’s my sucker?!!’.

But he did much better if I would stop in the Walmart parking lot and show him, “Hey bud, there’s construction on this road so mommy’s going to go to the Post Office first and then to Maverik where you can get your sucker. Can you help mommy change our board?”

How to make a travel schedule board - great for special needs children and traveling - Choose To Thrive

All better.

 

Hope you and your family enjoy getting organized!

Be sure to check out Nicole’s magnetic, instagram schedule board over at MOMentity.com. You’ll find a full tutorial as well as great resources for women lost in motherhood who want to achieve their own personal goals while still nurturing home and family.

nike

Are you on Instagram? I’d love to connect with you and chat off-blog about Thriving. You can find me at nike_thrive.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Make Your Own FREE 4th of July Pillows from scraps and Easter bunnies!

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Make 4th of July pillows from t-shirts and old stuffed animal filling from THRIVE

 

So … summer.

It’s time to actually spruce up the ‘ol front porch for the 4th.

Turns out, though, I’m fresh out of décor for the 4th of July or porches in general.

And as usual, my budget is zero dollars and zero cents.

That means I’m left with whatever I can make out of my classy craft stash of old, stained shirts and trashy I’ve-been-through-six-kids stuffed animals.

Nice.

But with a little creative cutting, sewing and repurposing, I still managed to come up with:

3  pillows + 3 ways + 3 stuffing types

4th of July pillows8

As always I hope you can take this idea and Rock What Ya Got and make your own version without a run to the store.

 

#1 – Striped Pillow with zippered close + old throw pillow

Make 4th of July pillows from t-shirts and old stuffed animal filling from THRIVE

I grabbed two stained polo shirts, pieced together wide stripes for the front  and added a solid (red) piece for the back. Stained fabric? No biggie. Use the back side … no one cares or will notice. I added some top stitching for extra awesome points along the stripes, a zipper at the bottom and slid in an old throw pillow to finish. Done and done.

 

#2 – Blue Star pillow with button closure + fiberfill stuffing

Make 4th of July pillows from t-shirts and old stuffed animal filling from THRIVE

I ironed Heat’n’bond ultra to the back of some scraps and then cut stars on my Silhouette machine (hand cutting works great, too). Shapes were ironed on and top stitched for again—extra awesome points. Because I’m lazy I loved the wide hem on the bottom of the shirt, I used that look to finish the pillow. Fronts and backs were pinned together right sides OUT and then stitched completely shut.  How’d I get the stuffing in? Easy! I just flipped the pillow over (to the old front of the shirt) and inserted the stuffing through the three buttons that ran down from the neckline. (Yup, I totally left them attached to save time.) Once the pillow was stuffed, I buttoned the shirt back together, flipped it over and voila! Finished pillow with a sneaky closure.

#3 – Camo U.S.A. pillow + old stuffed animal fluff

Make 4th of July pillows from t-shirts and old stuffed animal filling from THRIVE

Oops, I did it again. I pulled a few ratty stuffed animals out of the ‘toss’ pile and pulled out all the stuffing to add to this pillow.  So sick of still having Easter plush around the house. Those clearance isle Easter Bunnies that are falling apart need to go bye-bye. I cut the letters on my Silhouette CAMEO, but again, scissors work great, too. The side seems were already in place from the shirt and the top/bottom edges were machine stitched closed in two seconds flat. I left a small opening along the bottom to stuff the pillow and whip stitched it closed.

So there you go – 4th of July flair no matter what you have on hand!

Now go grab those fabric scraps. Slip cover an old throw pillow or two. Use the buttons on a t-shirt for a quick closure. Put the stuffing in those unused stuffed animals to work.

Bet you come up with something flat-out-free and fabulous!

Make 4th of July pillows from t-shirts and old stuffed animal filling from THRIVE

nike

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Make Your Own Mass Rad Graduation, Birthday or Celebration Balloons

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Dress up mylar balloons with vinyl designs (Silhouette CAMEO) - Choose To Thrive

Graduation. End of the year.

It’s almost here.

Time for teacher appreciation gifts, commencement bouquets and graduation parties.

** Cue dollar store décor--that blessedly cheap haven of all things seasonal.**

Well, seasonal and completely generic.

Or not ….

I figured if I only had a few bucks to throw towards celebrating I might as well jazz it up using vinyl scraps and my Silhouette CAMEO.

Didn’t know you could dress up balloons?

Yup. You totally can.

And if you’re going to bust out the Silhouette, how cool would it look to have those balloons decked out in your grad’s mascot? Or name? Or both?

Graduation could look like this:

SONY DSC

Or this:

SONY DSC

Or this:

Dress up mylar balloons with vinyl designs (Silhouette CAMEO) - Choose To Thrive

And celebrating that college acceptance letter could look like this:

SONY DSC

Lots and lots of possibilities. Lots.

Add vinyl to mylar balloons.7

Two words, people: mass rad.

You can import the school mascot/logo into your Silhouette library and trace the design or use a shape from the Silhouette store. Wording is simple using the free download font Collegiate Bold.

Application is straight forward, but here’s a quick video on how not to pop the dang things.

And while you’ve got the CAMEO out, why not use up a few more scraps to customize some snazzy dollar store gifts to match?

SONY DSC

Cute, customized and crazy cheap.

Me likey.

Congrats class of 2013!

nike

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Recycled Easter Egg Wheat Grass Centerpiece

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Easter Egg Wheat Grass Centerpiece from THRIVE

So, it’s almost Easter. And you’re making omelets. Or cookies. Or anything with eggs.

Easter Egg Wheat Grass Centerpiece from THRIVE

No biggie.

Just crack open those white shells and toss the whole thing, right?

Wait! Don’t toss that!

Easter Egg Wheat Grass Centerpiece from THRIVE

With two seconds of prep and some wheat from your food storage, those shells and carton can double as cute, FREE centerpiece for Easter brunch.

Easter Egg Wheat Grass Centerpiece from THRIVE

These come together in nothing flat—so easy.

* Gently crack your egg shells on the narrow end, remove the egg yolk and white, and make something delicious.

* Rinse shells in hot, soapy water and dry. Dye with natural or store-bought dyes as you would for traditional hard-boiled eggs.

* Add a tablespoon-ish of potting soil to each egg …

Easter Egg Wheat Grass Centerpiece from THRIVE

… and cover with sprouted wheat. *

Easter Egg Wheat Grass Centerpiece from THRIVE

Cover with plastic wrap and make sure soil stays moist, but not soggy.

Easter Egg Wheat Grass Centerpiece from THRIVE

Wheat will start to sprout in a day or two, with 4-6 inches of growth about a week later.

Easter Egg Wheat Grass Centerpiece from THRIVE

If the grass gets too tall or shaggy, just grab your scissors and even it out.

Easter Egg Wheat Grass Centerpiece from THRIVE

The carton doubles as a display tray by trimming down the sides with your nicest dollar store scissors.

Easter Egg Wheat Grass Centerpiece from THRIVE

And you can change up the look depending on how many eggs you use:

FULL DOZEN

Easter Egg Wheat Grass Centerpiece from THRIVE

HALF DOZEN

Easter Egg Wheat Grass Centerpiece from THRIVE

SINGLE PLACE CARD

Easter Egg Wheat Grass Centerpiece from THRIVE.4

(name written on egg)

Easter Egg Wheat Grass Centerpiece from THRIVE

(name on egg carton)

And when you’re done, EVERYTHING gets composted or recycled so there’s nothing wasted.

So …

Egg shells and carton?

March 2013 BLOG

It’s What Not To Toss this weekend!

nike

* – Spouting wheat is easy and simply involves soaking and rinsing whole wheat kernels in water so that they start to germinate. There’s a great video of process HERE.

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