A List Maker's Life

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The M.I.N.I.O.N. Manual for Building a Super Hero Family

If you've paid any attention to pop culture in the last 4 years you know Minions as denim overall-ed, gibberish speaking, dance loving, mayhem making, Pinterest project inspiring, banana eating, yellow critters.

If you have actually enjoyed watching the Despicable Me movies you know these same endearing and energetic Minions play a significant role in helping Gru and his three adorable orphan girls become a Super Hero family.

The Minion {Mini} Manual for Building a Super Hero Family

Mix in a Moment of Magic
Something as simple and silly as a jump in the lake with your clothes, or a dance party at bedtime, might be the magic to keeping a family moment alive in your child's memory for years to come.

Involve Everyone
Make plans and start conversations where family members of all ages and abilities feel included.

Notice Preferences
Figure out family favorites and find ways to incorporate each person's wishes and desires when possible.

 Intentional or Impromptu
Some of the best family memories emerge from last minute "let's go!" moments, yet intentional tradition building fosters a live long love for "home."

Overcome Obstacles Together
Encourage one another as you weather a storm, make something creative, solve a problem, or conquer a fear.

Nibble Now & Then
Many family traditions include a special restaurant, salad, or dessert.  Enjoy!  Intentionally eat as many meals together each week as possible.

Serve & Share
Seek out meaningful ways to serve a mission or another family significant to yours.  Share time, a hug, a meal, a smile, or even a...

                                                      {M.I.N.I.O.N. Check.}

You're well on your way to building strong traditions, making a minion million family memories, and becoming a Super Hero Family!
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P.S. Our family is counting down the days until we join Mom It Forward, at Loew's Portofino Bay Hotel, for #FamilyForward '14!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Label {or Lose} It

Disclosure: kidecals provided complimentary product for the purpose of sharing their site with the readers of alistmakerslife.com.  Any opinions expressed here are unbiased and based on personal experience.

Popsicles, wild flowers, neighborhood friends, tree forts, and learning to ride a two-wheeler.  We are happy to enjoy every fleeting minute of freedom before settling into the school year (although, occasionally reminded to check the ads for necessary classroom supply bargains to tuck away in backpacks).  Last night my neighbor joked we might need two large plastic bins in the side yard to dump toys, hoodies, shoes, lunch dishes and a million other treasures into to trade back all that has been left in the wrong homes during summer play.  Evidently, I have four loves who could use a little help keeping track of their own things when they are too busy having fun! Had I discovered kidecals earlier this season, Gibson might actually still have 2 flip flops that match in his basket full of summer shoes.

When we do switch gears, and head back to the classroom, we need a system for making sure we get through the winter with a complete pair of gloves and boots.  In addition to a mini lecture on responsibility, we are giving our sweet Kinder a little advantage to keeping track of his own things.  Gibson will know which water bottle, pencil box, book, and rain suit are his at all times because they are going to be labeled with durable, washable, and waterproof labels (which just happen to be designed with our favorite team's colors in mind - Go Hope!).

Based on my own highly scientific, firsthand, research I know classroom teachers will return appropriately labeled items to their rightful owners 100% of the time.  Unlabeled items end up in lost and found - and eventually donated  - about 99% of the time.  Staggering statistics, right?! ;)

kidecal labels are printed on premium quality removable vinyl with a non-residue acrylic adhesive. Ideal for delicate surfaces. Ideal for avoiding the lost and found box.  

In addition to name labels for classroom supplies and clothing, kidecals has customizable options for organizing, canning, sprucing up a computer workstation, and decorating.

Currently their site has an offer for 15% off your order when you sign up for their emails.  Shipping is always free!
To learn more about kidecals or connect with them online visit them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

summer fun list '14

marble mazes
garage sale
orange leaf
outdoor movie
art camp
street performers
Fly in for Fun summer kick-off party
glow stick games
attend a festival
character mysteries
backyard bonfire
pick blueberries
lemonade stand
bike parade
day camp
visit a state park
Kids Rock Camp
sock bubbles
bake lemonade cookies
shaving cream bakery
public art display
farmers market
swim in a pool
build a bow and arrow
paper mache sailboat race
nature center hike
bean mosaics
exploding Coke experiments
ABC photo scavenger hunt
play date with school friends
This week we plan to cross off a few more summer favorites
as we enjoy our first full week of summer vacation!
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Important Thing About Easter

Easter is important.
It is all about God's son.
Jesus died on the cross.  He rose from the dead.
Jesus IS alive!

Since he is alive again everyone can see him someday.  When Jesus died on the cross they were all really sad and when he rose again everyone was very happy.  Even I am happy he rose from the dead.

Jesus had to die for all our sins.  When he rose again our sins are gone so now he will always be with us.  Then everybody can go to heaven.  What Jesus did makes me feel excited.  I wonder why Jesus is so big? The song at church says Jesus is wider than the whole universe. Maybe he had to be really big to cover all our sins.

~Rev. Gibson

He come'd alive!
Praise him with the rock guitar.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014


Last night as we tucked in our crew after a slightly exhausting evening, Kevin smiled as he said he couldn't wait for today.  Coming from the King of Sarcasm I was quite sure my response was appropriate.

"Oh, yeah, me too!  We have so many exciting, special things planned."

He was serious though and went on to explain he couldn't wait to have a day home with his family where the only plan was to rest and take the hours as they came.

So today we watched church in our pajamas.  Hiked the VanRaalte Farm trails. Created our version of a favorite sweet potato nacho appetizer we enjoyed on a vacation before kids. Watched as Gavin invented a birthday dessert with oatmeal, honey, sprinkles, and cake mix. Rearranged our bedroom furniture. Got groceries. Put together puzzles. Listened as the kids giggled with new neighbor friends in a circle of beach towels on the deck.  

We pulled up the van seats to vacuum out a year's worth of gunk. We reminised about where the toys came from and when we went to which restaurant.  We laughed about the way one child keeps his cup holder clear and another stores every rock and treasure he stumbles upon.  We discussed the places we have been as a family and the many memories made.

Now we are settled in listening to the Tigers vs. Red Sox on ESPN radio.  Kevin has declared this the "best birthday ever."

We certainly aren't 17 anymore, but there are many days we find ourselves waiting for the next thing. Praying for someday to hurry up and save us. Since Kev's last birthday we have aged together, let go, faced grief, held eachother up, moved on, adjusted, and celebrated new beginnings.

And the moment you let go, the faster the time goes
The darker the night is, the lighter the moon glows

Perspective alert.   
These are the good old days!

All is well right now
It's all good right now

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P.S. This in my 1000th! post, which means we have shared a whole ton of our good old days in the last 7 years!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dating Divas #Fail

"Wouldn't it just be great fun to put together a scavenger hunt for our husbands about some of the places we remember from our dating journey.  Then they can have some man time in the car, and munch some candy, and end up at a fun place to eat together and watch a game or something?  Oh, and wouldn't it be cute if we called it "the road that lead us to you" and we could make each clue a color of the rainbow with the end being the pot of gold.  Maybe instead of having to search for hidden clues we could have them check in at each stop by sending a text with a picture to which we respond with some sweet note of encouragement or a memory." (paraphrased Katie)

Yah!  That sounds so creative and fun and they will totally love it.  Right?! They will feel special because we thought of them and they won't have to hang around and help as we create a big green mess of leprachaun traps and serve frozen fries and fake chicken nuggets to 7 little kids.  Yes, perfect.  Let's do it. (paraphrased Amanda)

Well, let us save you some trouble and perhaps your marital bliss ;) by letting you know how our brilliant little plan played out...

"Guys hate scavengar hunts.  We are simple and would be much happier with chips, salsa, and lemonade than a bunch of random colored candy.  Heck no would we want to spend $20 each to eat out with dudes when we could take our wives out with the same $20. Texting is annoying because it takes forever for you to respond.  Didn't you know Michigan was playin, and it ended 5 minutes before we finished following your mixed up road to no where? Your clues are crazy and don't make sense. We travel by car all week for work, the last place we want to hang out is in our cars. Sure! Perfect night out surprise...for a group of sentimental girls. The only thing that could have maybesaved that idea was if you had rented a sweet car to cruise in. (paraphrased exacerbated Kevin and even more irritated Dan)

Ha!  Anyway, couldn't resist sharing the idea so you could try it next year on St. Patrick's Day, or maybe even better...

April Fool's Day!

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Friday, February 28, 2014

Warm Hearts

Just as it should be, February was a month long celebration of all things love! 

{Love}ly Highlights:

snow forts, winter break & more snow days

a snow flake dinner party

a frozen walk out on the lake

donut delivery 

valentine exchanges & "berry" special surprise mail

 We may still have frozen cold hands, but our hearts are warm.

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