Join Pampers and Walmart in Supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

This post is sponsored by P&G .  I was provided with a Walmart gift card as a thank you for sharing the following information. All opinions are 100% my own.


Long ago I wrote about my belief in the power of prayer.  Today I’d like to share more of my nephew’s story.



That video was taken over 17 years ago.

Over the course of his first three years of life my nephew underwent three separate open heart surgeries to rearrange the blood flow within his heart and allow the left ventricles to do the work for the underdeveloped right side of his heart.  These surgeries offer a temporary fix, anywhere from 15-30 years.

Thanks to the doctors and the nurses at Children’s Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, Connor turned 18 this year.  He graduated high school and is starting college in the fall.

He has an amazing imagination and talent for writing.  Every day he is a reminder of the miracles Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals provide.


The infographic below was created to show why it is so important to help support the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.


How Children's Miracle Network Hospitals help kids each day



10 million kids, kids just like yours and mine, are treated in Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) each year.

Each day 16,000 kids are treated for trauma.  Over 2,300 kids, like my nephew, go in for life-saving surgeries.

The numbers are over-whelming.

And those numbers aren’t just statistics.  They are children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews…kids who deserve to have a chance at life.


How can you help CMNH save lives?


This June Walmart and Pampers donated $200,000 to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Visit for more information and to make your own donation!

  • Your support helps provide 32 million patient visits for 10 million kids every year.
  • One in 10 kids in North America is treated by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals each year.
  • Every day, member hospitals treat 16,000 children in emergency rooms.
  • Every hour, member hospitals provide surgery for 97 children.
  • U.S. members hospitals provided $3.4 billion in charity care in 2012.


Have your own amazing CMNH story you’d like to share?

I’d love to hear about it!


You can also share your story, and discover so many more miracles on the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Facebook page. 

Rainy Day Fun: Puddle Painting


We have had lots of rain here these past couple weeks.  Many of the storms have been thunderstorms, keeping us indoors, but on the days we could get out, we’ve had lots of fun puddle painting!


Rainy Day Fun: Puddle Painting


Want to try it for yourself?

First you need some puddles, either provided by rain or by the garden hose.

Then, with a bit of sidewalk chalk and creativity… you have all you need for some beautiful puddle painting!

puddle painting -- fun rainy day activity


We have used wet sidewalk chalk to decorate the driveway before, but when you have a layer of water sitting there, the chalk swirls and blends in a beautiful display of color.

The pictures really don’t do it justice.


puddle painting


This simple activity had us busy for over an hour of much needed time outdoors this week.


Do you have a favorite rainy day activity?

I’d love to hear about it!


Like this post?

Check out our other sidewalk chalk ideas!

Nature Study: Going on a Bug Hunt!


Do your kids like bugs as much as mine do?

For this week’s summer nature study, we’re going on a bug hunt!

Nature Study:  Going on a Bug Hunt!


What’s great about this is that you don’t have to go far to go on a bug hunt.  A simple trip around the backyard will provide you with a variety of creepy crawlies to check out and explore, as long as you slow down and really look.

My daughter was thrilled to find these “rainbow beetles” shortly after we started our nature walk.  A quick peek in one of our bug books verified that they are really Japanese Beetles.

My little scientist enjoyed watching these colorful bugs for quite a while.


bug hunt nature study


Our next find was actually right on our back porch.

I loved watching my 6 year-old turn to the picture index in the back of his beetle identification book to locate its name.  I have to say it was a new one to me, but he remembered seeing its picture there before.  Kids have amazing memories!


identifying bugs in bug study


When going on a bug hunt, don’t forget to keep an eye out for evidence that bugs are around!  You might find chewed up leaves on a plant, a mound of dirt from an ant hill, or even an exoskeleton!


cicada found in bug hunt


This cicada exoskeleton led to a whole discussion of how many insects molt and change over time as they grow.  We even had to stop exploring for just a bit to find some pictures online of a cicada molting. That’s the great part of a nature study — there are always more questions that come up and you get to discover those answers together.  Sometimes those questions lead to a mini unit for us in homeschool.


Finally, we found several of these brown beetles during our bug hunt; they are my son’s favorites.

beetle in bug study


After using our magnifying glasses to get a closer look, counting their legs (6) and reviewing their body parts, he decided he had to keep a couple overnight as “pets.”

My kids are always keeping bugs as pets for short periods of time.  They used to get my good storage containers out to do so, which always made me so happy.  (Note the sarcasm in that statement.)  I have finally come up with a solution:  I poked holes in lids of several old, clear, plastic Ziplock containers.  I wrote “bugs” on the sides with permanent marker and stuck them in the lower kitchen drawer next to the good containers.  Now they grab these to use for bug homes instead.

Looking for a different alternative?  Amazon has tons of bug houses for your nature explorer to use, some even come with their own magnifying glasses.


Other items that you may want to take on your bug hunt:


Liked this post?

Check out our previous  Nature Study posts!



Make a Shark Cake!


For my son’s shark-themed birthday party, I was given the challenge of creating a 3-D shark cake.

With Shark Week coming up, I thought I’d share the how-to for those interested in creating their own “jawsome” cake.


How to make a shark cake


To make our shark cake, I used 2 boxed cake mixes, baking them together in a 16 inch round cake pan.  (Definitely the biggest cake I’ve ever made!)

Once the cake was completely cooled, I cut it into a yin-yang shape (or 2 paisleys side by side).*

One paisley shape became the base of the shark.

I cut the circular end off the second paisley and used icing to attach it on top to create the shark’s head.

I cut the end off the second paisley and then cut it in half horizontally to create the shark’s fins.


how to make a shark cake

(Note: I’m not a professional baker.)


Finally, I cut a triangular piece from what was left to make the shark’s tail and another to be its dorsal fin.  (Tip:  Use a serrated knife to tapper the sides of your triangles so they are thinner on top.  Definitely helps them stand up better!)

I used icing to stick the various fins and tail onto the shark’s base.  Then I covered the shark with blue icing.  (The birthday boy’s color of choice.)

The eyes were created by slices of marshmallows and a raisin stuck together with a toothpick.

The teeth are marshmallows that I cut into triangles with a pair of kitchen shears.

The tail was a bit of a problem at first…  That’s how I first discovered that tapering the triangle is crucial!  Since I made the cake the day before the party, I used a marshmallow on both sides of the tail as well to keep it up overnight.  A bit of icing easily covered the marshmallows.  If I did it again I would just save the tail piece and some icing and add the tail before guests came to the party.


How to make a shark cake



In all, I used 2 1/2 cans of icing for our cake.  If you use a 14 inch circular pan instead you might be able to go with just 2 cans of icing.  (It always helps to have extra on hand if needed.)



  • *Pound cakes are much easier to shape.  However, my son wanted a moist chocolate cake…  I have found that freezing the cake before trying to cut it really helps!
  • A foundant icing leaves a clean, smooth look and can really cover mistakes in the cake.  Again, not what the birthday boy wanted here.


Looking for more shark party ideas?

Be sure to check out our shark party games!