18 Essentials for Every Child’s Craft Supply Box

2  430x craft supplies1 18 Essentials for Every Childs Craft Supply Box
Photo By Amanda

Crafts tend to be fun no matter what your age, especially when they can be shared with your kids. Do you hear the question, “Mom, can we do a project?” Well, I think I do about several times per week. My son has always loved doing crafts, and you can only do so much with construction paper, scissors and glue.

After looking around on the internet for kid’s crafts and thinking up a few on my own, I came up with a nice little list of items that should be in every child’s craft box. With these items you have many options and variety when deciding which projects you wish to do.

  1. Construction Paper
  2. Scissors
  3. Glue
  4. Tape
  5. Writing Instruments - Markers, Crayons, Pens & Pencils
  6. Googly Eyes
  7. Paper Lunch Bags
  8. White Paper Cups
  9. Popsicle Sticks
  10. Pipe Cleaners
  11. Stickers
  12. Yarn
  13. Cotton Balls
  14. Paper Plates
  15. Ruler
  16. Washable Paints
  17. Sponges and Brushes for Painting
  18. Lace or Ribbon

These 18 items will greatly open up possibilities for your child’s imagination, as well as your own. A few other things you may consider adding to your box are simple items found around your house.

  • Empty Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Empty Paper Towel Rolls
  • Egg Cartons
  • Old Magazines
  • Coffee Cans
  • Small Boxes
  • Remnant Fabric
  • Odd Buttons
  • Don’t forget to include an old shirt or smock for painting

I keep our craft supplies in a large plastic Rubbermaid box, but there are many other ways you could store your supplies. A large plastic tool box, toy storage bins, or drawers in a small dresser would all work quite nicely as well.

Soon I hope to share with you some of the crafts that my son and I have come up with using some of these items. Until then, check out my favorite site for finding great children’s craft ideas, Enchanted Learning.

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Posted on March 6th, 2009 in Kids and Family | 2 Comments
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How to Make Your Tax Preparer Happy this Year

11  430x calculator1 How to Make Your Tax Preparer Happy this Year

Do you find it frustrating trying to get all that financial information together just to file your taxes? Well, I’ve been there, too. Furthermore, after working in an accounting office for eight years, I can tell you that you are not alone.

For this reason, I have compiled a list of several things that can help prepare you for your tax appointment this year.

If, on the other hand, you do your own taxes, this list will also help make sure you have the information handy for yourself. Keep in mind, however, that this is most certainly not an all-inclusive list. It would be impossible for me to list everything that everyone might need, but I did try to think of the more common items.

First of all, your tax preparer needs to know if:

  1. You have had a change of address
  2. You had a baby born or an adoption, during the previous year (if so, you will need to take the child’s social security number and birth date in order to claim him or her as dependent)
  3. You had change in your marital status

What to take:

Income Documents

  1. W-2 and/or 1099 statements for work wages/income earned
  2. 1099 interest statements for interest and dividend income earned
  3. 1099 statements for capital gains, or losses

Expense Documents

If you itemize your deductions be sure to have the following available:

  1. 1098 mortgage interest statement for interest you paid on your home loan
  2. Amounts of charitable contributions
  3. Amounts of medical and dental expenses paid out of pocket (this usually only applies if for some reason you had a very large amount of out of pocket medical/dental expenses for the year)
  4. Amount of real estate taxes you paid
  5. Car tag receipts

A few other expenses you may be able to deduct are:

  1. Child care expenses that enable you to work
  2. College tuition and fees
  3. Retirement savings contributions

If you are self-employed, be sure to:

  1. Include your gross receipts for the year
  2. Include any expenses related to your business
  3. Include any assets that you purchased during the year, along with the cost and date of purchase
  4. Have available the amounts of interest you paid on any business loans
  5. Inform your tax preparer of any assets that were traded, sold or disposed of during the year (along with the amounts and dates of the transactions)
  6. Inform your tax preparer of any new business loans

Keep in mind that some of these deductions and/or expenses may not be relevant to you. Likewise, for your particular tax situation, you may require additional information. You will need to discuss those things with your preparer to be sure you get the greatest tax benefit possible.

Nevertheless, I hope this listing will at least get you and your accountant off to an excellent start this tax season. Good luck on getting back BIG refunds!!

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Posted on March 4th, 2009 in Money Matters | No Comments
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My Entrance into the World of Stay at Home Moms

Since I am going to be doing an awful lot of writing about a lot of issues concerning stay at home moms and working moms too, I thought you might want to know a little bit about me and how I came to be a stay at home mom.

First of all, I am a wife of ten years and a mother to two adorable children, a 1 1/2 year old little girl, Brooke, and a five year old boy, David. Up until about 2 1/2 years ago, I had worked as a bookkeeper at an accounting office for eight years. Yes, I can’t help it, I love numbers and my adding machine.

Well, from the time my son was about one year old, I debated back and forth about whether I wanted to quit work and stay home, or whether I wanted to continue to get a weekly paycheck. Obviously the paycheck didn’t win this one. However, believe it or not, it was not an easy choice for me.

David had just turned three years old when I finally quit working. I was so afraid that because I had worked since I was 16 years old that I would not have an identity anymore if I quit, and that I would be absolutely bored stiff at home.

Boy was I wrong on both accounts.

Although, I struggled with making a decision for two years, I finally came to the conclusion that there was no way for me to make a decision based on the pros and cons method. I had never stayed at home with children before, so I had nothing to base my fears or apprehensions upon.

I realized that there was only one way for me to decide if being at home was right for me, and that was to just do it. I knew that if I didn’t try, I would wonder for the rest of my life if I would have loved staying home with my kids and if that would that have been better for the whole family.

I finally came to the realization that there would always be another job out there somewhere if I decided I was made to be a working mom, but there would be no way to turn back the clock for the time missed with my kids if I didn’t try staying at home. That realization became the turning point that joined me in the ranks of the stay at home moms.

About seven months after quitting work, I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl. So, basically, the part about being bored still has not occurred. And by concentrating my attentions on being a mother and wife, I found an identity that was much more defining than any other job I could ever hope to find.

I now know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I made the right decision by quitting my job. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. Finally, I can really focus my energy on the people that matter the most—My Family!!

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Posted on March 3rd, 2009 in Miscellaneous | One Comment
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