Category Archives: works-for-me wednesday

WFMW – greatest tips/hits edition – getting kids to float on their backs


I taught swimming lessons for years in high school and college so I have a few tips for teaching kids how to float on their back. 

For beginners who aren’t comfortable in the water:

1.  Have them float on their back with their heads resting on your shoulder, like they are sleeping on a pillow.  When you have them there, point something out to them up in the air.  For example:  “Do you see that cloud up there?  It looks like a bird” or “How many clouds do you see?  Can you count them?”   This helps get their mind off being on their back. 


For kids who are more comfortable in the water, have them do this while they are on their back:

1.  Tell them to put their head back and to push their stomachs up to the sky (so their backs are arched).

2.  If their feet are sinking, it helps to have them put their hands above their heads.  This changes their center of gravity.

3.  If they are doing all of this and still can’t float, have them take a big, deep breath and hold it. 

Note:  Make sure you keep a hand under their back until they get close to mastering the skill.  At that point, you can tell them that you’re going to move your hand away.     


Good luck!  I hope some of these tips help you and your kids.  They always worked for me. 

For more helpful hints, head over to We Are THAT Family!


Leave a comment

Filed under works-for-me wednesday

A big, fat no

Sorry guys. 

It turns out the email I received was only for certain customers (although it would have been nice if it had said that).  I went around and around with Shutterfly to see if there was any way they would extend this offer to you guys.  And I basically got a big, fat no.  I tried. 

So…use Snapfish.


Filed under works-for-me wednesday

Alright, stop what you’re doing

Some people are having a hard time w/ the Shutterfly free photo book code.  Rachel tried to do it yesterday but was told that the code was expired.  She emailed them and they sent back a reply saying that the photo books were either 20 or 25% off. 

I know this isn’t true b/c I just finished mine this morning and paid $8.60 for the photo book (s&h plus tax).  Plus, when I log into my account, a pop-up usually appears w/ the promo (plus 20% off another photo book).  If you get this pop-up when you log in, you shouldn’t have any problems.  It’s the people who don’t see this pop-up that I’m worried about.

So…I have an email in to Shutterfly to see why this is.  Maybe they’re only giving the discount to certain people, which I hope isn’t the case.  The email didn’t say anything about that. 

If you left me an email on the Free Photobook post, I’m going to send you an email so you know.  I don’t want you to spend a lot of time doing a photo book if the discount doesn’t apply to everyone. 

I’ll update as soon as I hear back from them.

Thank you Rachel for letting me know!


Filed under warning, works-for-me wednesday

WFMW – Lent


For Lent I’m giving up alcohol and an extra hour of my time each week. 

A few years ago we had this great visiting priest that gave a sermon on Lent.  He said that instead of giving up the usual things (chocolate, pop, etc.) you should give up something that will bring you closer to God.  Or take on something that brings you closer to Him.  Since then, I’ve tried to go to church twice a week during Lent.  That way I’m giving up that extra hour to Him.  I think when Luke and Kenny are (both) eventually in school, I’ll try to up that number.  Right now we’re lucky just to make the one extra service.  Mornings aren’t exactly my thing. 

So, what are you giving up?  Don’t feel bad if you say chocolate or pop.  Or even tabloid magazines.

For more helpful hints, head over to We Are THAT Family.


Filed under holidays, me and only me, works-for-me wednesday

WFMW – Another free photo book



Sorry guys. 

It turns out the email I received was only for certain customers (although it would have been nice if it had said that).  I went around and around with Shutterfly to see if there was any way they would extend this offer to you guys.  And I basically got a big, fat no.  I tried. 

So my suggestion has now turned to….use Snapfish.

Seriously though, if you aren’t in a hurry to get your photo books you may want to wait and see if they send you the offer some time in the next few months.

For more helpful hints, head over to We Are THAT Family.


Filed under just because, works-for-me wednesday

Works-for-me Wednesday – Borrowing discounts from the library









I read in Parents magazine that many public libraries have a program set up where you can check out discounts or free admission passes to local attractions, such as museums, state parks, etc.  You just check out these passes like you would check out a library book.  Isn’t that a great idea?

After I read this I went to our local library asked if they had anything like this.  The librarian told me that they didn’t but she thought it was a great idea.  She had me fill out a comment card and I stapled a copy of the article to it so they would know that I was legit.  I’m hoping that whoever reads my comment will like the idea enought to get it started.  If not, I’ll just keep asking about it.  Oh, and get all my friends to do the same. 

For everyone else, I highly recommend asking about it at your library.  If they don’t already have this program, maybe you can get it started in your area.  Discounts are always nice.

This idea worked for me and hopefully it will work for you too!  Head over to Rocks in My Dryer for more great ideas.


Filed under works-for-me wednesday

Works-for-me Wednesday – toys worth buying









I am loving this Works-for-me Wednesday. 

I have 2 boys, age 4 and 18 months.  They love anything that has to do with cars and balls but here are some of the specifics:

 1.  Leapster – My 4 year old is in love with it.  We keep it in the car and he plays it while we’re driving around.  It has been wonderful during those long drives.  Who am I kidding?  It’s great during those short drives too.

2.  Trains – We have a few of the wooden train sets.  They’re nice b/c there are so many different companies that make them and they all fit/work together (or at least, that’s been our experience so far).  

3.  Letter Factory dvd– If you have young kids who are working on their letters and letter sounds, buy this dvd.  It is the best.  My son picked up those skills in record time after watching this dvd.  It was amazing.  

4.  Philadelphia Chicken and Dog Train by Sandra Boynton – She turned some of her books into songs with accompanying cds.  The songs are catchy, even after you’ve heard them 3,287,098 times. 

5.  Little Tikes Patrol Police Car – My boys fight over who gets to use this.  It’s such a cute adaptation of the original Cozy Coupe.  We’ve had so many people ask us where we found it. 

6.  Nerf Reactor –  We actually have 2 of these.  My son got one of these for his birthday and then my husband asked for one (for himself) for Father’s Day. 

7.  What’s in Ned’s Head? – This game is great.  I had never even heard of it before we received it as a gift.  Basically, the game consists of a giant pop-up head and different plastic pieces of gross things such as an ear wax covered Q-tip, vomit, spider, dirty diaper, etc.  The players all draw a card that has a picture of one of the gross pieces on it.  On “go”, everyone reaches into the head through the different body openings (his ear, nose, mouth, etc) and tries to find their piece first by touch only.  It gets a little competitive at our house.  Some players have a tendency to find the other person’s piece and hold onto it until they are able to find their own piece.  But I wouldn’t know anything about that…

These are our fail proof toys.  I can’t wait to see what everyone else is suggesting.  Head over to Rocks in My Dryer to get more ideas.


Filed under holidays, my boys, works-for-me wednesday