Category Archives: Creative Ideas

Family Night in 60 Seconds!

Here is our 2016 Hubbard Christmas Card Video! This Christmas we want to share with your our “funnest” thing we do at home!! …. which is Family Night aka Family Home Evening (FHE)! Enjoy our family in 60 seconds.

PS – See our last post for our digital Christmas Card!

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Free Big Minecraft Printable

Hey! My oldest son just turned 5 and we had a Minecraft themed week for him! We made a Mincraft Cake and ate colorful pasta. Decorated the house in green, white and black streamers. He woke up to a big creeper present in the living room! One of the presents he got was a Minecraft torch! My husband tried to make his fifth birthday super special for him. We had friends come visit us throughout the week but had the main celebration together as a family.

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I made this 13″ by 17″ Minecraft Printable. At first it was just for fun but then I used it for Primary singing time as a “Armor of God” lesson. The little guy is suppose to represent a LDS Missionary but you can create your own person here. I put magnets on mine so they can stick to a whiteboard.

Ideas to use these printable:

  • Armor of God Lesson: Ephesians 6:7 – 17D&C 27:15–18
  • Pin the Armor on the Minecraft Person
  • Teaching kids programming by creating the formulas for the armor on a whiteboard.

Download #1

Download #2

Download #3

download

 

 

DIY Cereal Box Bible Tote for Church

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Micah just went into primary as a “Sunbeam” this month and on the same day Quentin went into nursery at church! It was a good transition because I was afraid to let Quentin in nursery when there were like eight boys that were a lot older than him. Here is a picture of their first day:

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All the older boys went into primary and now our primary is huge! (Well only compared to the other wards in our stake… it’s actually only like 35 kids but our room is small and it feels like a lot of kids.)

The new kids in primary got a Book of Mormon to take to church every week. I decided to make Micah a scripture tote. I remember seeing missionaries make these scripture covers out of cereal boxes for their Bible and Books of Mormon.

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It was super easy. I just cut off the top of a cereal box and taped it up all around to laminate it. Then I punched two holes and tied a ribbon so it would be easier for him to carry. Micah keeps all his church stuff in it along with his new Book of Mormon.

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I got this Elmo Cereal at the store because Micah insisted that it was the one he wanted. The cereal really really gross but it made a cute box! (It was definitely good marketing on their part…. the cereal is way plain… it’s like dry cardboard.) The scripture tote works pretty good! I don’t know how long it will last though. 🙂

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Dallin is still in the bishopric and I’m still a primary chorister. We’re having fun! Here are two cute pictures of Micah and his friends at church.

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FHE #1 – Creating Paper Mache Worlds

FHE stands for “Family Home Evening“. To tell you the truth, our family has not been very good at preparing for family home evening. When Monday night comes around we usually ask each other, at the last minute, “What’s the lesson for FHE?” We decided that our lack of planning wasn’t working for us. We decided to set aside a time on Saturday to plan out our family home evening. We did it for the first time last week and our FHE rocked! We had time to think and plan the lesson. Then we had time to go buy supplies for our activity and also had time to plan out a treat to eat at the end.

Our church believes in modern-day prophets whole receive inspiration from God and give counsel to the church. The prophet Joseph F. Smith announced in a letter on April 27, 1915 that the church members should hold a weekly family home evening (FHE) in their homes. FHE is family time that is set aside for  “prayer … hymns … family topics … and specific instruction on the principles of the gospel.” In 1970, the prophet announce that FHE night is preferred to be on Monday nights throughout the church and asked that church/leadership meetings should not be held on Monday nights.

I believe that the LDS church sets aside time for families on Monday because we all get so busy with work, school, sports, and other activities that it’s hard to fit in family time at home. In the end, our families is the most important entity we have here on earth and I enjoy spending time with my family on Monday nights.

FHE #1

Song: My Heavenly Father Loves Me” (Children’s Songbook, 228–29)

Lesson: Genesis 1:1 & Lesson 7 in Nursery Manual – Jesus Christ Created the World for Me

Activity: Make paper mache worlds. I found this blog about making paper mache planets.

Inspired DIY Toddler Strider Balance Bike

For Micah’s two year old birthday, we wanted to get him the perfect toddler present. Micah loves cars, motorcycles,  and anything with wheels. In our neighborhood, Strider balance bikes were getting really popular for toddlers. We would see our neighbor’s kids ridding them to and from church all the time. Some of these kids would only be 1 years old and they were flying on these bikes! Every time Micah would see a kid with a bike he would say “Bike!” So we knew the perfect present for our toddler would be a balance bike. After doing some research on toddler balance bikes, I realized that these bikes were really expensive!! Strider bikes range from $89 to $109 online. That is the price of a cheap adult bike! My husband, who is super into biking and mountain biking, thought that was ridiculous. I kept on researching and found a cheaper balance bike called WeeRide balance bike for $37 on Amazon. I liked everything about it. The price was reasonable and the colors were pretty; but, as I read the reviews, people said that the bike was a little bit too big for their tall two year old. So I realized that the WeeRide bike would probably be better for kids ages 3 to 5.

As I was about to give in, I had a dream that my husband, Dallin was a bike inventor. On the same day, I was studying out of the Doctrines of the Gospel Manual for scripture study. I was on Chapter 1, page 3 when I read this quote, “Our Father, the great God, is the author of the sciences, he is the great mechanic, he is the systematizer of all things, he plans and devises all things, and every particle of knowledge which man has in his possession is the gift of God.” I realize that God could help us make Micah’s bike. After that inspiration, Dallin and I decided to make the bike. We decided that the learning process to create and quality family time spent making the bike would be more valuable than just buying a bike. And guess what?! It turned out a lot easier than we thought!

Here’s a movie I made on how Micah progressed with riding the bike:

First, I researched online if anyone has made a balance bike before. These are the sites/videos I found:

Then, we went to the DI, Deseret Industries, a local thrift shop to find a 12 inch bike that would work for our project. We also looked on KSL. This is what we found at the DI for $10!

After we got the bike, we took off the pedals and chain. With a balance bike, you don’t need pedals because the toddler sits on the seat and balance by walking the bike.  There are a lot of tutorials online that teaches you how to take the pedals off the bike.

The we took of the wheels, seat, seat post, and seat post clamp off the bike so we could saw through it.

We needed to go to the hardware store to buy a hack saw that would cut through the metal tubes of the bike. We needed to saw through the bike because 12 inch bikes are too big for a two year old. The bike frame is too tall to be a balance bike and the seat is too high for the toddler to sit on. We got this hack saw for less than 5 bucks at Lowes.

After we got the tools, we drew out a plan. We decided that we wanted to cut the who top of the bike off. Here is the bike ready to be sawed apart. The arrows are where we wanted to cut through the bike.

There were also extra pieces on the bike that we didn’t want and needed to saw off:

So here we are sawing the bike. It really was easy and it only took like 15 minutes to saw the whole thing.

We also didn’t like the handle bars on the current bike so we took it off and swapped with one of the bars we sawed off. We took of the rubber grips on the old handle bars and put it on the new handle bars.

Positioning the bike seat was the hardest part. We actually had to keep on cutting down the bike post AND seat post to make it shorter because it was still too tall after 2 tries. We were afraid to cut it too short so we only cut off little bits at a time to test the height with our kid. After we got the right height we had to cute a notch in the back for the seat post clamp.

Alright there you go. Total price of the bike was $15. We’ve used this bike for 2 months now and Micah is blazing on the bike! He loves his bike. He takes it everywhere and insist on parking it in his room at night. It works just like a normal balance bike. Micah goes so fast that I have to run to keep up with him! He even wants to go off-roading mountain biking and jump curbs… Yikes! I think it will help him eventually learn how to ride a real bike. I think it’s so cool that a 2 year old can ride a bike. We are so grateful that it worked out and that we could make him a balance bike for his birthday!

If you don’t want to put the work into a bike, I’ve recently seen cheaper smaller balance bikes or this one on Amazon but I don’t think you’ll have as much fun as we did building our bike!

Extra Tips:

  • When you out trying to find a used bike, you could find one with removable or low handle bars so you can change it up.
  • We made sure to sand down or pound down with a hammer the metal tubes so it didn’t leave any sharp edges.
  • Be safe when you cut through the pipe! Wear safety goggles and keep the kids away!
  • Always wear a helmet!
  • It just takes practice… it was hard at first but after a few weeks Micah learned to love his bike.
  • This is not really a tutorial but an idea. You’ll have to figure out some of the parts on your own or by Google. Every bike is different so there are going to be different things you’ll have to adjust on each bike. But you can message us if you have any questions!
  • We got our helmet at the thrift store DI for 2 bucks!

Disclaimer:

Use at your own risk! We are not responsible for any injury, deaths or damage during the process of making or using this bike. We did not get paid for write this post. This is just our idea that we wanted to share with you.

Toddler Balance Bikes on Amazon: I researched some more balance bikes for you if you want to just buy one. Make sure to read the reviews!

Family Pictures Wearing Handmade Clothes

My neighbor and friend, Heather has a sewing blog and I took her family pictures while they wore clothes that she made herself. How cool is that? Isn’t it such a unique idea? Here‘s the link to her post about making her clothes for the photo shoot. Also, don’t you think the cool big leaves they brought really added to the picture?

On a side note, I’ve taken pictures of a lot of little kids. Little kids are definitely my favorite to take pictures of. Here are some tips for taking family pictures with little kids.

First, use the first 10 minutes wisely because that is probably all the time you’ll have to get your little kids to pose for the picture. My best pictures always come from the beginning of the photo shoot such as the picture posted on the top.  Also, before the shoot, make sure your camera is set to continuous shooting mode so you can snap pictures fast.

Second, go the direction the kid is looking at instead of making them turn to you.

Third, poses while holding the child is best if they won’t stand still for you.

Fourth, after the child/children get restless, just capture the moment as you and the parents play with the children. Bring something that will capture their attention like a whistle or toy. Tell the parents it’s ok if their kid doesn’t want to pose. Little kids gets really upset when they are forced to do something they don’t want to and that doesn’t make a happy family picture.

Fifth, don’t drag out the photo shoot. Once the kid is done the photo shoot is over! 🙂

What are your tips while photographing little children?

We Converted a Single Stroller to Double Stroller

UPDATE 1/11/2015: By the time my younger son grew out of the carrier car seat (~12 months)… My neighbor gave us their old double stroller. It was bulky!!! I only used it for like a month until my older son preferred to walk everywhere (~3 years old). I put the basket back on the Baby Trend Expedition Jogging stroller and is currently using it as a single stroller again for my youngest and my older son prefers to walk or ride his scooter! This stroller is lasting us a long time!

UPDATE 2/4/2014: A friend suggested that you could strap on ankle weights on the front of the stroller to help with the tipping issue and to give the stroller a better center of balance. You can strap the ankle weights onto the bars next to the front wheels or onto the bars next to the base of the seat or under the base of the seat. My baby is now 7 months and I’ve used the stroller for almost 5 months now. He’s a big baby and has almost grown out of the car seat but this stroller has been a life saver for the last few months!! We also tried to put another baby carrier in the front seat. It worked great. Just remember to always put the baby in the front seat before attaching the baby on the bottom to avoid tipping issues. Also, remember to put the heavier kid in the front seat. 

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When we were in Ireland I really wanted to buy a double stroller because I knew we were going to have another baby but double strollers are so expensive! When our first child was born we spent the money to buy a new Baby Trend Expedition ELX Travel System Stroller set. It came with a stroller, matching car seat and car seat base. We like the stroller because of the big basket on the bottom and because of the big wheels. One thing that I didn’t like about the stroller is that it’s too heavy to be a jogging stroller. I’ve tried multiple times to go jogging with this stroller and the front wheel is wobbly and not aligned properly. However, this stroller is good for casual walks and is great for shopping! After baby#2 was born, I felt constrained inside because we didn’t have a double stroller yet. One day, this idea came to me out of the blue like inspiration from heaven. I felt like God knew I wanted a double stroller and he provided a way for me to make my single stroller into a double stroller.

First, we went to Lowes. The people there were super excited to help us with our project. We eventually found a 6 inch carabiner for $2.98. They hardware guy at Lowes also told me they sell them at Babies R Us as “Mommy Hooks” but they cost $6.99 each for the same thing.

DISCLAIMER: This post has nothing to do with the Baby Trend company. This is just an idea that is not covered by manufacture warranties. This stroller is NOT designed to be a double stroller and has its flaws. This may damage your stroller and or car seat. I am not responsible to any injuries, deaths or damages if you choose to try this idea. Another hazard is that this may cause damage to your car seat locking mechanism which would result in safety issues while using it with your car seat base as most manufactures don’t recommend you locking your car seat into shopping carts and ect. Using your stroller like this may also void your manufacture warranty. Use this idea at your own risk.

For this project all you need is:

Here a video on how we made the stroller:

Here are the written instructions with pictures.

  1. Take off the basket that comes with the stroller. It should snap right off the front then there are two pins holding the basket in the back on the sides. Press the pins in and the basket comes off without ruining the stroller or the basket.
  2. Put on the brakes so the stroller doesn’t move while you’re attaching the car seat.
  3. Change the car seat handle to the up 90 degree position and attach the carabiners to each side of the handles. 
  4. Hook the car seat indents to the axle of the back wheel of the stroller. 
  5. Hook the carabiners to the stroller as shown in the pictures  
  6. Put the toddler in FIRST because with the car seat attached makes the stroller back heavy so it could tip. However, it is pretty stable unless someone pushes it over. After you have your toddler in you can put your baby in the car seat. ALWAYS use the seat belts just in case the stroller tips. 
  7. To take off the car seat all you have to do is un-clip the carabiners. Pull the release in the front of the car seat and take the car seat off the axle.  Remember to take the car seat/baby off first before you take the toddler off to prevent tipping.

I’ve used this stroller for 2 months and I love it. I’ve gotten really good at attaching the car seat and detaching it. It only cost us 6 bucks to transform our stroller into a double stroller and I expect the stroller to last until my baby grows out of the car seat. The stroller is also very compacted compared to a normal double stroller. This double stroller can also get through doors.

So there you have it, a single stroller that converts to a double stroller. There are some obvious flaws to this double stroller idea because this stroller is NOT designed to be a double stroller. Here are some things to consider:

  • The tipping issue as discussed above. However, the stroller is pretty stable as long as you have the toddler in front before you put the baby in the car seat. Whenever I have just the baby in the car seat, I’m just extremely cautious that the toddler doesn’t tip the stroller over with the baby inside.
  • The brakes are harder to access with the car seat attached but all you have to do is bend down and use your hands.
  • You can keep the carabiners clipped on the car seat or stroller to safe keeping.
  • Using this idea cause casual damage/scratches to the stroller but it’s just like how any other well used stroller would be.
  • Tuck the car seat strap on the bottom of the car seat under the car seat cover so you don’t step on it.
  • The car seat does stick out a bit so it takes some adjusting before you stop hitting it with your feet but I’ve gotten use to is and I don’t kick it anymore.
  • You don’t have a big basket anymore and because you don’t have a basket don’t be tempted to set heavy things in the cup holders. Really heavy things place on top of the cup holders could tip your stroller over.
  • So far this design only works for the Baby Trend Expedition ELX version of the stroller. We tried it on a Baby Trend Expedition Jogging stroller and it didn’t work.
  • Try attaching and detaching the car seat a few times before trying to do it with a baby as it takes some practice to get the gripping right.
  • Again this could cause damage to the car seat locking mechanism which would be a big hazard while using the car seat in your car. You can also try strapping your car seat instead of using the car seat base or use a different car seat in the car to prevent issues with using a damaged car seat.
  • I also wouldn’t recommend jogging with this stroller especially with the car seat attached to the bottom.

Again read the DISCLAIMER message above before trying this idea. This stroller has not been safety test. This is just a “make it do” idea. May be someone can convince Baby Trend to make a stroller like this for me. Let me know what discoveries you find!