Saturday, January 25, 2014

Free Valentine Printable


Hey there....just wanted to let you know I have some FREE Valentine Printables that I made for especially for you!  I actually meant to post these 2 weeks ago but am just getting to it now.  I hope you enjoy them and use them for the special people in your lives.  This printable can be printed on 8 1/2 x 11 in paper/cardstock.  One big favor though before you download these...can you please TWEET, SHARE on FACEBOOK or PIN on PINTEREST????  I would soooooo appreciate it! Let me know how you like them in the comments below...come on it only takes  a few seconds ! Thanks!

DOWNLOAD VALENTINE PRINTABLE HERE!

These Valentines are for personal use only ( you may not sell these or repackage them in anyway), you may share about them on your blog but if you do please make sure to give credit to lizbarber.blogspot.com or sweet simplicity designs.  Also please make sure to have your readers come here for the download link.  Thanks!
FYI...if you try to download and print the above pic it will not be at a high resolution. You need to download the cards from the link I mentioned above! Thanks!
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

10 Fun & Affordable Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Preschoolers


10 stocking stuffer ideas for preschoolers pic

When I started looking for items to add to my 10 Fun & Inexpensive Stocking Stuffers for Preschoolers I knew that I wanted them to be affordable and fun. One of my favorite parts of holiday shopping finding great deals on stocking stuffers for my little kiddos and other little ones in our family.  It can be a challenge to make our dollars stretch at Christmas time...we have a huge family. If you can relate to having to stretch your dollars during the holidays, I think you'll like the following item. I found several of these items at the Dollar Tree here in California.  I'm sure your town has similar type place where you can find these as well. You'll also note I mention Walmart and a few online stores.

Here is my list of  10 great stocking stuffer ideas that are mostly $1 ( a few $10 ones too)! Here are some great ones to consider buying:

1. Fairytale Finger Tattoo Set- $5.95 Cool Stuff Express

These are so awesome! What a great idea to help kids use their imagination!




2.  Glow In The Dark Necklaces - $1 Dollar Tree

My boys love these things! 


3. Puzzles-  $1 Dollar Tree


4. Play-Doh Mickey Mouse Club House Stamp and Cut Set - Mickey Mouse or

Minnie Mouse Version.  $6.99 each Toys R Us



If you just want to buy some single Playdohs without the tools, a great place to buy some are at Walmart. I bought one today for only .50 cents! 
***Sidenote: you can try buying the cheap dough from the dollar stores but I think the quality of PlayDoh brand for surpasses the others. 

5.  Tumble Tower Stacking Wood Blocks  ( AKA Jenga)- $1 Dollar Tree

6.  Fingernail Friends at the Zoo (Nail Stickers) - $4.95  Cool Stuff Express

These are adorable! 

7. Disney Basic Educational Puzzles, 24 pc.-  $1 Dollar Tree

8.  Don't Break The Ice Game, Chutes & Ladders, Candyland Game, Matching Game $4.88 ea. Walmart


9.  Figure Eight Wood Train Set - 35 Pieces. $10 

Dollar General 

10.  Angry Birds - Assorted - $5 ea. Dollar General

My boys are really getting into stuffed animals right now and seeing how they love playing "Angry Birds" on our iPad I think this makes a super cute stocking stuffer!
I hope you found these helpful as you start doing your holiday shopping! Let me know below in the comments any great deals you've found at the dollar stores or other places for affordable prices!
Happy Shopping!

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Choosing Hope Over Despair

Simple thought today....there is hope for those who have felt disillusioned, abandoned, brokenhearted and completely lost in life.  The Hope of scripture is that we have Someone who loves us more than we have ever experienced by humans, someone who knows our pain, hurt and mistakes.  Someone who loves us through our lives ups and owns...He is always there, He never leaves us and He never abandons us.

Life has many unexpected turns and there are times we feel like losing hope, becoming cynical about life, or turning away from God.

Know that you're loved today, that HE loves YOU! Know that He can and will restore those places in your life that feel un-fixable, irreparable and hopeless.  There's this quote that I've seen floating around the internet and I like it because it gives a sense of hope but the one thing it's missing is to remind us that God is the true source of healing and restoration.  God does use people to help bring healing into our lives but real healing goes hand in hand with coming to Him in our brokenness and letting key people love us back to life.


How do we begin to move on and choose to walk in hope?  First off when I feel despair I have to make the conscience choice to change my mindset. How do I do that? 

  •  I take time to be alone, read and meditate on Scripture that reminds me of God's truth and character.  Scriptures like:

"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

  • I put on some meditative music like worship music.  There is some really great music out there here are a few that you may want to take a listen to:




  • Another key thing I do is to reach out to others who can pray for me, listen, cry with me, challenge and encourage me. There's something about reaching out that brings healing to our hearts. 

Make sure to share this post with someone who you know needs to be encouraged.  Let me know below in the comments how I can pray for you or if this post encouraged you today.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Dreams Unfolding


I think if you ask most people you will find that there is a deep down dream that they would love to see unfold in their lives.  Most times we think "Wouldn't be great if I could quit my boring full-time job and do what I really love?"
Yet reality for the majority of us is we need to work a mundane 9 to 5 job to meet our financial responsibilities and provide for the family.

Ever since I first met Aaron, my husband, he has had a deep passion for music and for playing the piano. His love for music started at an early age due to the influence of his paternal grandmother.  He's spent hours and hours playing songs on our piano at home and just playing his heart out and amazingly he remembers each song he's composed by ear- he's never taken the time to write down his music.
Aaron's drive to see his dream of getting his music recorded finally started to take shape at the beginning of this year... after the passing of his mom last December Aaron knew he wanted to record the songs he composed over the last 10 years and have a tangible representation of his meaningful compositions.

The first song of his album "Still Shining" was written as a tribute to his mother Judy.  The title of the song was inspired by a beautiful card we received from some dear friends after his mom passed away...
"The light your mother brought to the world is
still shining...in you and in everyone touched by her love"

Those words rang so true and Aaron quickly new that "Still Shining" was to be the name of the song he wrote for her and later on the realization that it should be the title of the Album as well.
So here is his music for you to listen to. If you love it let him know by writing a review on iTunes or Amazon MP3.  

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Potty Training Continues

Well this Potty Training Chronicle continues....we officially started July 22nd and it's been an interesting few months. Like I mentioned in the previous post I put off training the boys to use the potty due to the language delay they had.  I realize now that I was not ready to potty train them last year because I didn't want to deal with the challenge of Potty Training 2 little guys who couldn't communicate with words.  Just as it is important to begin potty training when you feel your child is ready, it is also super important for the parents to be ready to invest the time and effort to invest into getting their child potty proficient.
Potty training kiddos with limited or no vocabulary is possible.  The most important thing I've learned with my own boys is that their receptive language is on target...they understand what I'm saying to them to a certain degree.  How they choose to demonstrate that understanding is dependent on their 4 year old moods.  A visual schedule is one of the best ways to teach non-verbal kiddos the basics of potty training.  Here is an example of a schedule the boys use at school:
potty schedule

So right now they boys are pretty good at peeing in the potty but we are still having poop accidents in their underwear.   I hear from other parents who have kids with special needs and I've been told that this is what they have experienced too.

Right now my plan is to bribe the boys and purchase a special gift that they will only be able to open IF they poop in the potty.  I think bribery will work with them or at least I HOPE it will work.

At school Dylan is choosing to hold his pee until I get there to pick him up.  Dylan can be pretty stubborn and doesn't always like being told when to do something so I'm not sure how to handle his behavior.  You can only hold your pee for so long so there have been numerous days when I pick him up that he's had an "accident" and is wearing his extra clothes I packed.

Thankfully the teachers and aides in Dylan & Caden's Class are used to dealing with kiddos and potty training so they've been super understanding and positive.

So what have been some of your parental tactics in getting your kiddos to poop in the potty?  I'd love to hear. Make sure to leave a comment below. Thanks!


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