Category Archives: Step Ten

The Seventeen Second Miracle

While reading Jason Wright’s new book “The Seventeen Second Miracle” and after listening to President Monson’s talk on gratitude, I was inspired with an idea for my family.  If any of you haven’t read the book, then you really should.  I totally loved it.  I bought each member of my family a little notebook and made a sticker cover for it as shown below.  After reading the story in the book of Rex, Sparks, and Flick, and relating the story of his first encounter with the lady at Woolworth’s I talked to our family of the importance of taking just 17 seconds out of your day to do something for someone else.  I even had a stopwatch and had everyone be silent while 17 seconds ticked away.  To some it seemed a long time and to others it was very short.

I then challenged each one to write down an act of kindness that was given to them that day and put the date.  We each will keep track of our own little miracles that happen to us and after one month we will come back and talk about how it made us feel as we contemplated one act of kindness given to us that day.  I also challenged them to make sure they gave 17 seconds of their life to someone else each day for a month as well.  As stated in the book, the journal is only for recording the blessings given to you from someone else, not what you did for someone that day.  I then talked about President Monson’s talk and how he related that “gratitude not expressed is like wrapping a present and then not giving it”.

Challenging our family to be more grateful, I bore my testimony of how powerful 17 seconds can be.  It can even change someone’s life.

I loved conference and the powerful messages that were given from our Heavenly Father through His servants!  What inspiration flowed through chosen vessels those two days.

For those of you who are willing to take the challenge I issued to my family, let me know. I would love to see how many of you loved it as much as I did.  After 2 weeks I would like you to comment on how it went with yourself or your family.  All those who let me know will have their name entered into a drawing for a Valentine’s Love Notes Packet. I will draw out two names.  (There are 21 different Love Notes in the packet.  See a copy of it below these pictures.)

Valentine’s Love Notes Packet

Fun Friday – Good Job Jar!

The Good Job Jar is such an awesome concept.  I’ve used it for years and years and then Tricia jazzed it up for us by adding coupons!  My boys fell in love with the coupons and have a hard time choosing anything else!  As my boys got older they started asking me for some “OLDER” coupons.  One day my son Cale, asked me if I could make some teenager coupons.  Thus our second set of Good Job Jar Coupons were born.  At one point I asked our followers for suggestions of items to put on them and received some great feedback.  I even promised them I would choose one person to receive a set, of which I have yet to fulfill.


My life got slammed and I forgot all about them, leaving them half finished.  After hearing from Jenny Spilker on our facebook page about wondering what a Good Job Jar was, it reminded me that we never actually had a post describing and explaining the concept behind it.  Thanks Jenny for reminding me of my unfinished project!  (Big Smile Inserted Here)

Don’t we all have a number of those?  🙂

Rather than use lots and lots of words to describe the concept, I thought I would make a video instead, of which we haven’t had one for a long time either.  Wow, so many continuances in one post, I am feeling kind of proud! (LOL!) Click on the video to hear just exactly what our GOOD JOB JAR is all about.

Isn’t that such a great idea?  In conjunction with this wonderful idea we have a special celebration just for our fans.  (Good thing you are checking our blog regularly, huh?)  So here’s our first contest that we are having after a LONG LONG dry spell.  I am looking to fill up 12 more cards for the Teenager Set.  Give us your suggestions in the comment box.  If you want to see what our coupons look like, just click on one of the pictures below for a closer view.  I will choose 12 individual suggestions that I like the most and add them to our set.  Everybody who contributes an idea, your name will be put into a hat and 2 winners will be drawn out.  Each winner will receive either a Good Job Jar Coupon Set for Younger Children or a Good Job Jar Coupon set for Teenagers, laminated, cut out and sent to you by me!!!!

Here is the link that talks about the I Will Go and Do Tokens I used in my video: Tokens

Good Job Jar Coupons Younger Age

(This file is 22MB and has 9 pages total.)

Good Job Jar Coupons Teenager

(This file is 17.6 and has 7 pages total.)

Imagine, having the work done for you!

No UNFINISHED project on this one!!!!

You have until Saturday, November 20th, at midnight to input your suggestions.  If you think someone else would like this great prize, then lead them to our blog to enter our contest.  The more the merrier!  The Winners will be posted Sunday Evening, November 21st.  For the 3 people who were so fantastic at getting in your suggestions on time, before I extended the contest, you earned a Good Job Jar Coupon that says, “Congratulations!  This coupon is good for your name being put into the drawing a second time!  Way to be diligent and on time.” (That’s for Amy, Jessica, & Alisa)

Tricia Thursday – Toddler Charts

Now that the older kids

are in school and



It’s time for Toddler Bootcamp!

The word “Bootcamp” is mostly for the mom’s

because raising a toddler takes a lot of work!

If you have a toddler you know they are BUSY little people

and very curious, to say the least.

“Terrible Two’s” is phrase you hear often when

you have a todder, and the “Three’s” are often filled with

the same adventures.

They want to know how everything works,

what it feels like,

and how to do new things.

This curiousity and desire to learn is what

gets them into a little trouble sometimes.

I LOVE to be around toddlers. They actually want to be

wherever you are . . . doing whatever you are doing.

They love to work

and they still think they’re parents are COOL!

To them JOBS are like a game or a new adventure


they get to try something new, and once they have

learned a new skill . . . it’s fun to see

their self-esteem blossom!

This chore system is perfect for training.

They can see the pictures and they can even pretend to read them.

Each chore picture says, “I CAN . . . “

and then it will show the picture as well as the word for the action

followed by the words “CAN YOU?”

They get so excited when they can answer, “YES!”

Have your toddler pick some of the jobs he or she would like to do.

I use anywhere from 5-10 cards at a time

depending on the child’s age.



(I think they’re are about 40 different chore options!)

The great thing is that they fit into the child’s hands and can be

carried with them from job to job.

When my boys where younger,

I would point to the words,

“I Can”

and have my boys “read” them out loud.

They began to recognize the words

even if they couldn’t actually read at the time.

Then they would see the picture and say what it was.

They loved pretending to read the big words at the bottom!

(That was back in the old days . . . now days, they’re born reading!)

No Pressure!!!

To Make the Toddler Charts

You Will Need:

To print the PDF.

Cut into individual cards.

Laminate the cards.

Punch a hole in the top of the cards.

You will also need to purchase a “C-Ring”

to keep the pictures together.

That’s it . . . the rest of the work has been done for you!

Boy Toddler Chart Packet

Girl Toddler Chart Packet

Remember to work along side your toddlers.

They will love the extra attention!

It’s the perfect time to


We created this artwork “JUST FOR YOU!”

For personal use in your OWN HOME ONLY and NOT

for RESALE . . . It’s got our copyright!

If you would like to share, please refer them to THIS blog!

Thank My Peeps!

Fun Fridays – I Spy the World Around Me

I have to apologize for my slothful postings these many many weeks.  I have had something going on every weekend and Friday’s are my post days.  So in a way of saying sorry you get more than one idea for our Friday post today.  Which is actually being posted on Sunday.  Oh the irony.

Have you ever tried to play that game in the newspaper where they take very close up pictures of things around town and you have to guess what it is and where it is located?  It reminds me of an I Spy game for the city.  My sister and I came up with an idea to do the same thing for our family reunion coming up at the end of August.  We are staying at this place that has trails and hidden objects amidst the garden area.  We are going to take pictures and then place those close ups on a sheet of paper and have people try to identify where they are located.  They are scored for their answers and that score is entered into the overall score for our Family Olympics.  (I will explain the Olympics later on in the next post.)  It’s a great game idea for young children who love to explore anyway and gives them something to do.  You can do the same thing at a park near your, or even in your own neighborhood, and all you need is a camera and a printer.  For older children, you can print the pictures in black and white to make it harder to identify and more of a challenge.  Just make sure they don’t peak at the younger child’s paper when they are trying to figure out what it is they are looking at.  Have fun spying that amazing beauty around you!

Fun Fridays – Family Olympics

Have you ever thought about having your own Olympics at your family reunions?  We have done it for many many years now and it’s the highlight of the day.  My Uncle started the idea when they realized there were a lot more children now and they needed something to do more than just hang out with their other cousins.  Thus the Olympics were born.  There are 5 to 6 games that are listed on a paper with a scoring sheet for each one.  ( We try and introduce a new game each year and our tote is becoming quite full.)  Put everyone’s name into a bowl, adults included, and draw out two names to make a team.  This works so well because you are forced to get to know that individual better and it’s hard to stay distant with someone you are playing games with.  This year I have made a new game, which you will have to read about in the next post!  At the end, every team adds their score up and the winner is announced.  They receive a trophy that has the past winner’s names on it and get to take it home.  They have to put their names on it and bring it back the following year.  In the event it has people of different homes on it they have to decided who is taking it home, or even share it for half a year.  It’s become a tradition that has created many memories over the years and produced thousands of laughs!

Fun Fridays – Who’s who in the Smullin Clan?

I have a memory problem when it comes to remembering my cousins names and also the names of their children.  Add that to the fact they come to the Family Reunion every year and it stresses my memory.  To help myself, mostly, but also my children to know their cousins better I have come up with a game idea.  This year for our Family Olympics new game idea I asked everyone to email me pictures of members of their family as well as the name of every member of their family.  (Everyday pictures, not the professional kind.)  Using my computer I am making them into a card size memory game.  On one card it will have their picture and on the other card it will have their name.  The idea of the game is to match the name to the face in the fastest time possible.  You will receive a higher score if your team gets a faster time.  This works well because you have to start to identify people with names forcing your brain to remember just who that person is.  Below is a sample of what I did, it’s easy to do and a fun game to play.  You can even do this idea with your ancestors to have your family get to know them better.  You can even put a fun fact on the card with their name to learn more about them!

Fun Friday – Do you want to emphasize obedience?

Want to emphasize obedience?  Using our “I Will Go and Do” tokens will work wonders in your home.  I have totally loved my “I Will Go and Do Tokens”!!!!  They have been such a saver for myself and my family.  Going from children being slow to obey to ones that try and beat others, was a turn around for me.  This inspiration came directly from Heavenly Father 3 years ago and I am not ashamed to admit it.  When I thought of obedience, the scripture in 1 Nephi 3:7 came to mind and then Heavenly Father gave me the inspiration to use tokens to encourage my children.  I knew I needed a Nephi so I called Tricia and she worked her magic a few years ago.  THANKS again Tricia!!  There are six different colors so that each person can have a color and to keep other children from taking what isn’t theirs.

How I use them:

For every time they are quick to obey or have done something out of the ordinary they earn a token.  The tokens are like money to be used toward the Good Job Jar.  You decide how much each item is worth in tokens, in your good job jar.  They can either use that token right away or save it up for a bigger items later on.  My children go for the Good Job Jar Coupons every time.  Some weeks we highlight a positive trait in a certain child.  All during that week if someone shows exceptional effort towards that trait they can earn extra tokens.  Inspiration that came from Heaven has made my home a heaven to live in.  Not all the time, everyone has their moments, but it was like going from negative to positive.  So here they are for you to use.  Please direct people to our blog if they want to use it.  It helps us know that there are still honest people out there and that you don’t take our hard work for granted.  THANKS!!!

I Will Go and Do Tokens Packet.pdf

April Fools Day Ideas

So we are a little out of sync with our organization Wednesday, but since tomorrow is April Fools Day we thought it would be fun to give you a few more ideas.  I am actually taking these from my sister-in-law because I thought they were so funny I just had to pass them along.

Carrie Bybee Scott

“My kids are hard sleepers, so one year we switched them into different beds after they fell asleep.  They loved it.  This one is especially fun if you have a baby.  My six year old woke up in the crib and couldn’t figure out what was going on. We also enjoying swapping bags of cereal with other bagged snacks.  They look so surprised when cheez its come out when they are expecting fruity pebbles. has some great ideas for tricky food.  I ‘ve made the mini meatloafs in cupcake holders with tinted mashed potatoes for icing. They got a kick out of that.”
Thanks Carrie for your great ideas.  I am thinking the bed switching and cereal ideas are right up my alley!

Fun Friday – Are you game boxes and puzzles attacking you?

O.k. people, I just barely realized it was my turn to post! LOL!  Only half the day is gone.  So what do we have in store for you today?  I guess it’s not really a tradition but more of a way for your family to have more fun and for you to be less stressed about getting out the games.

I hated our game/linen closet.  I hated opening it up, looking inside for stuff, and then trying to close it as there were always games constantly being tossed on the ground, or falling off the shelves.  Sooooo, what did I do?  I went drastic.  Took all the games out the closet and started throwing them away.  Well, I didn’t really throw them away, but I threw the boxes away.  I was tired of dealing with all the broken boxes, smashed up ones, ones that weren’t closed all the way, you get the idea.  I found a great way to compartmentalize everything and actually gave myself MORE space in my closet.  Let me show you.  (Once again, I forgot to take before photos.)

Here is my one shelf.  I ran out of 2 gallon Ziploc bags, thus I still have a few boxes.  Then there were boards like Scotland Yard and Pictionary whose boards were too long and I need to get a bigger bag for.  I also used the clear totes for my large checkers game.  However, I separated my shelves into games for younger kids and games for older kids.  See how many I have just leaning up against each other?  So much more space and the kids can just throw pieces in the bag without worrying how each one is supposed to fit just right in the box.

Here’s all my games that are younger kid friendly.  I also took all the puzzles out of their boxes, ripped off the cover page showing the puzzle put together, put it inside the bag so you can see which puzzle it is and wahlah!  Sooooo much more room.  Isn’t this looking fun?!!

Shoe organizers are GREAT for all those card games and smaller games that tend to get hidden, fall of the shelves, or just get pushed around a lot.  We even have a designated pocket for me to put all the MIA game pieces in I find throughout the house.  Soooo much easier to slip it in the pocket.  My children know which one to go to if they realize they are missing pieces.  (Sigh of content here.)

I took all the card games and put them in sandwich size bags then slipped them in the pockets.  Are you loving this idea yet?  After doing this we no longer have games attacking us as we open the door, nor are they growing in numbers on the floor.

We would love to hear from you on any ideas you might have for your game closets out there.

Fun Friday – Valentine’s Tradition Idea

Here’s a great way to have your Webelo pass off a cub scout requirement and get a great tradition idea in as well.  When my oldest was 10 he had to make something USEFUL from wood.  We came up with the idea of making wooden hearts with wire in the top for some love note holders for our Valentine’s Day Dinner.  (I know that they look VERY homemade, but that too brings up those great memories of watching him make these by himself.  I wouldn’t change a thing about it.)  You and/or your spouse can write a letter to each of your children expressing why you love them and what qualities they have that you really enjoy.  Put them in your card holder and place them on the table at dinner time.  Then, before or after dinner, everyone can open theirs and read it aloud or to themselves while sitting at the table.  It’s a great way to spend Valentine’s Dinner with your family and bring some extra bit of love to your children.  You can even express a desire for your children to do the same for you and your spouse so that everyone can have a little something to read.



Another fun idea is to have a bucket with their names on it.  Walmart has some cute red tin ones on sale right now.  We have ours high up so no one can get in them until Valentine’s Day.  On that day they get to retrieve them down and look inside for a special Valentine’s Day treat.  This could be anything from socks, candy, gift card, coupon for a night out, etc.  Make it match what they would think would be cool.  In these times of spending thrifty, give everyone a bottle of bubbles and you can have a bubble war with the family!  Everyone will be laughing by the end and you will have created a fun and simple, yet memorable, event that they will remember for a long time.  Sometimes the cheapest ideas make the greatest memories!



CHALLENGE: Try it and see.  I would love to see your comments on what you put in your child’s bucket that didn’t cost a lot of money but was something that created a great memory.  I will be looking after Valentine’s Day to see who rises up to the challenge.  Remember part of the challenge is to come back and share your ideas with me and everyone else who reads our blog!