Friday, April 30, 2010

Personality Plus

I've heard about the four different personality types for years.  I've read excerpts of books, listened to Florence Littauer on tape (yes tape, not CD!), and taken numerous different tests.  I know what my personality type is.  I know my strengths and my weaknesses.  I find it all rather fascinating though.  So when one of our friends gave us this book to read, we were ready to take another spin on the personality merry-go-round.  From listening to Flo on the tapes, I knew she was funny, so I was interested to read her book.  She didn't disappoint.  I actually had taken her exact personality test before, back during a teacher's meeting while I was still teaching.  But I thought I'd do it again.  (Even though I knew exactly what it was going to say).  Michael had taken it a couple of years ago too, but he took it again as well.  If you are interested in taking the quiz, you can check it out here.

So before I tell you what Michael and I are, I'll share the personalities with you.

SANGUINE- This person is the life of the party... the "popular" ones.  They are the entertainers... the story tellers.  They usually have LOTS of friends, but aren't super close with many.  They have a hard time saying no, so the over commit and don't usually follow through with anything.

MELANCHOLY- This person is the analytical one... the "thinker".  They are planners, love lists, charts and graphs.  They are considered the "perfect" ones and always want everything right.  They can sometimes over-think situations and tend to be pessimistic.

CHOLERIC- This is the dominant, strong personality... the "bossy" one.  They are good leaders and tend to get things done.  They tend to have a lot of ambition and passion and are generally right about things because they can see the bigger picture.  However, they tend to put people off by their abrasive ways.

PHLEGMATIC- This is the easy, laid back personality... the "peacemaker".  They are the easiest personality to get along with.  They are ok with the status quo and don't have many enemies.  They tend to have a dry sense of humor.  They avoid work and can be seen as lazy.

I really do encourage you to read this book, or a book that is similar.  This one is written from a Christian perspective.  I think it helps not only to know yourself, but also to know and relate to others.  Even though I've read and heard things similar before, it was good to take a refresher course.  I especially liked reading it with Michael.  We laughed.  We gave each other looks when what we were reading was describing the other.  It was just another tool to have to help strengthen our relationship with each other, but also with those around us.

So I'm sure you are dying to know what we are.......................

If you know us in real life, you probably already guessed.....................

I scored almost the same exact score for both Choleric and Melancholy.  I had a few points for Sanguine and I don't have an ounce of Phlegmatic in me.

Michael scored almost the same exact score for Phlegmatic and Melancholy.  He had a few points for Sanguine and didn't have an ounce of Choleric in him.

What's funny is, first you fill out your strengths and then you fill out your weaknesses.  Although both Michael and I scored very similar scores in Melancholy and it is a pretty good portion of our personalities, we hardly scored any of the same words.  Weird, huh?  My strengths are my Melancholy personalities, but Michael's weaknesses are his Melancholy personalities.  Funny how we complement each other even there.

The book is an easy read.  We read it in a few days, with just a couple hours read each night.  If you know what your personality type is, or if you follow the link and take the quiz, leave your results in my comments.  I would love to know!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fast Family Fajitas

Mmmm... this recipe is so yummy.  It's a Pampered Chef recipe.  I've been making this for years.  
I even use to make it for myself when I lived alone for two years.  It makes great leftovers!
It's relatively quick and easy too, which is always good.

Here's what you'll need:
The recipe calls for 1 green and 1 red bell pepper.  I just use 2 green.  It's cheaper.  
(The red is just to make it "prettier" anyway.)
2 tsp vegetable oil, divided
1 pound of chicken
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 cup of salsa
1/2 cup of water
1 envelope (Lipton's Recipe Secrets) Onion Soup Mix
tortilla's (I like to use La Tortilla factory--loaded with fiber and low in cal)

1. Cut bell peppers into 1/2 inch strips

2. Cut chicken into thin strips
Heat skillet on med-high heat.  Add 1 tsp oil and chicken.
Stir fry 3 to 4 minutes until chicken is no longer pink.
 Remove from skillet and set aside. 

3. Add remaining oil, peppers and garlic
Stir fry 1 to 2 minutes or until veggies are crisp-tender

4. Add chicken, onion soup mix, water and salsa.

5. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through.

 6. Serve on warmed tortilla.
(This is a small tortilla and a small plate.  I know it's hard to tell)

I like to eat mine with a little cheese and some reduced fat sour cream. YUM!

Michael and I decided that 1 and a half is the perfect serving size for us! (after trying to eat 2)

Also, I'll warn you.... these are SUPER messy!
I don't mind though, because the taste outweighs the mess in my world.
We hadn't had these in a while and just had them the other night.  
Michael said, "Oh yeah, I remember these.  You need a shower after eating them!"  
Then he said, "But they are good!" :)


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kids WANT structure and discipline!

Ok, so I'm sure when you read the title you might have winced or cringed a little bit.  Talking about kids and discipline isn't the most fun topic.  Truly, most people shy away from any talk of discipline.  Why is that?  Discipline isn't bad.  It's actually a very good and necessary thing.  Kids need discipline.  They crave discipline and structure. They want to know you've set boundaries for them.  Why do you think they push those boundaries?  They want to know you mean what you say.  That your no is a no.  Discipline and structure to a child gives them peace.  It helps them feel safe.  That they are loved and cared for, even if it means they don't always get their way.  When they know you are in control, they feel ok.  If they don't feel you are in control, they will start to do things (and usually not good things) to feel control.

I could go on for a long time on this topic.  It's something I'm passionate about.  Don't get me wrong--I'm not talking about spankings or beating, or being an overbearing control freak.  I'm talking about guiding your child in the way he or she should go... having good healthy rules and discipline.  When they stumble off the path, lovingly but firmly placing them back on the sidewalk.  It doesn't take much to look at society today and realize that we are in a mess.  Why?  There is no discipline.  Who is running the show?  Parents are NOT suppose to be their child's friend.  Can you have a loving and close relationship with your child?  Absolutely.  Should your child feel they can tell you almost anything?  Sure.  But you are not their best friend.  You are there to guide and direct them through life.  To teach them how to be a functioning, well mannered adult.  How many of those do we have walking around these days?  From my perspective--not many!

I came into work one day a few weeks ago and G was saying good bye to Little Man and they had a conversation that went something like this:

G: "(Little Man), what kind of choices are we going to make today?"
LM: "Good choices"
G: "That's right.  And why are we going to make good choices?"
LM: "for good desults (results)"
G: "And what happens if we make bad choices"
LM: "bad desults"
G: "and what are those bad results going to be?"
LM: "No 'tar wars"
G: "and?"
LM: "and a 'panking!"
G: "That's right.  So we are going to listen to Miss Bethany and make good choices today, right?"
LM: "Yes sir"
G: "Good.  Love you!"
LM: "Love you!"

This isn't the first time a conversation like this went down, but I sat there quietly rejoicing!!  Who do you think taught Little Man what good choices and bad choices are?  ME!  Who do you think taught him that good choices make good results and bad choices make bad results?  ME!  Who do you think told G that this is how it is being taught? ME!  What sweet victory to have my boss basically giving my lessons and speech!!! :)

And you know what-- Little Man ABSOLUTELY KNOWS what is a good choices and what is a bad choice.  He knows what it means to have a good "desult" and what it means to have a bad "desult".  Do you know when I started teaching him this?  When he was an early 3 and going through that terrible three year old time where he thought purposely disobeying was productive.  Did the light switch on right away?  No.  But was the foundation laid?  You better believe it.  I felt it was important for Little Man to see the connection.  Instead of me constantly just taking away his toys or putting him in time out, I wanted him to know and realize that he was the one making the choice!  It was up to him.   Life is full of choices and we all have to live with the consequences of our choices.  The earlier we learn this, the better off we (and everyone around us) will be.  After a few months of me consistently pointing out good choices and bad choices or asking him if he was making a good choice or a bad choice, do you know what happened?  We walked out of a soccer class last fall and Little Man said, "Man, those boys sure were making bad choices today weren't they?"  (Insert Bethany doing the freaking happy dance!!!!)  I said, "you are right, they sure were.  I am so proud of you for making good choices in there.  Even when the rest of the class was not."  Then we talked about how that makes you feel good when you make good choices.  I also promptly lavished with with "good desults".  Every few minutes I pointed out how great it was for him to be enjoying his reward.  He was three and a half.  He got it.

Nothing drives me more crazy when people say things like, "Oh, he's just a kid" to dismiss bad behavior.  Or "boys will be boys".  Or "She's only two (or three, or four, or five).  She doesn't know any better".  She doesn't know any better because YOU haven't taught her!!!!!!!  Those are all excuses parents, teachers, grandparents and caregivers say to make themselves feel better for not disciplining.

What most people don't understand as they dismiss their child's temper-tantrum under some label such as "the terrible twos" is that you have from the age of 1 to about 4 or 5 to shape how your child will behave and view you as a disciplinarian for the rest of their lives.   By the time they start school, they have their world view, their behaviors, and their attitudes figured out.  It is too late.  You will not change it.  If you have let them get away with murder from the age of 2 to 4 because it was "just a phase" or "they are too young", let me warn you now---you are in for a looooooooong ride!  It always amazed me the parents that came in and couldn't understand why their kid couldn't put his own backpack away, or turn in his papers, or behaved in my class but was a wreck at home (fill in the blank with any other crazy thing).  Almost always they were the same parents that were cutting their child's food at age 6, or carrying their child's coat/backpack/snack/ and toy to the car while their child told them what was going to happen next.  It amazed me how many times, as a teacher, I had to tell a student in front of his mom or dad (that he just disrespected) that we don't talk to grown ups that way. 

You have to discipline the most from age 1 to 5.  I promise, if you lay the good foundation, the later years will be so much easier!  You can't let them get away with murder at 4 and then expect that when they are a teenager they are going to believe that your no is actually no.  My pastor's wife said a great thing.  She said (paraphrasing) that how you let them act at 3 is how they are going to act at 13.  If it's not ok at 13, then it's not ok at 3.  What you let them get away with at 4 is what they are going to try to get away with at 14.  If you don't want them talking back at age 13, then you better not let them talk back at 3.

You know what's the greatest thing about instilling good and bad choices in Little Man?  When we are out in public and kids aren't behaving, I don't have to worry-- he calls them out! :)  How fabulous is that?  And he can get away with it because he's 4.  A mom probably wouldn't like it if I said something.  For example, last week there was a little kid at the park that was being a bully and constantly getting (ineffectively) punished by his mom.  He started picking on Little Man and was starting to pull his hair.  I got up and started going to his rescue yelling "Hey!" when the mom noticed.  She went over and grabbed her son and said the same thing she had been telling him all day, which was to be nice.  Then told him he had to sit out, which lasted all of 2 minutes before she was (rewarding bad behavior) pushing him on a swing.  Little Man said loud enough for the mom to hear, "Befany, that mean boy sure was making some bad choices wasn't he?"  I (grinning) said, "yes he was".  LM said, "I wonder why he's being so naughty.  He shouldn't be making such bad choices should he?"  :) I love that kid!  Love your kids enough to set boundaries, have rules, follow through, give guidance and discipline when necessary, and have structure.  You will be amazed at how much they will thrive on it!

(Note: I by no means think LM or myself are perfect.  I don't think I'll have perfect children either.  Actually, I'm pretty sure they will give me a run for my money.  But I do still stand by what I say and will do the same things with my own children that I have done with LM for the last two years.  This post is not meant to judge or come across as though I am "above" anyone.  It's simply to share what I have learned in my six years of teaching, two years as a nanny, and many more years as an aunt, Sunday School teacher and babysitter.  This post is not directed towards any one particular person, nor was it written in response to any one incident.  It's just something I've been thinking about lately and thought I'd share.  It's my blog, so I can! :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The best 2 dollars and 49 cents I've ever spent...

There is just something about organization that makes my heart go pitter patter!

Back when Michael and I first got married he was in charge of paying the bills.  It just made sense for us.  There was no real discussion on the matter.  All our bills are paid online.  He was sitting at a desk all day in front of a computer.  I, on the other hand, was teaching, grading papers, having recess duty, and making bulletin boards.  However, we both switched jobs about the same time.  Michael went from sitting at a desk all day, to never being in front of a computer.  I went from running around and planning my day down to the minute (including when to pee!), to having a very laid back schedule and lots of free time.  Therefore, it was just natural for us to switch and make me the bill payer.  Since I was going to be doing my bill paying while at work, I needed a plan.  

This is what I came up with.  A fabulous binder!!! :)  I love binders.  I have them for many things--wedding planner binder (yes, I kept it!! There is valuable information in there), recipe binders, and much more.

I take this binder with me EVERY DAY!  It is literally my life line.

I make sure to get a binder that has the clear thing in the front and back.
I keep the current calendar in the front and the next month's calendar in the back.

I keep all my bills in it.
Then I write PD on it when it's paid.

I've also kept all the past calendars from when I started.
It comes in handy to check and see what I was doing the year before.

I also keep my two and a half page list 'o fun in there for easy reference.

I keep papers to use with Little Man or ideas I've come across that I'll want to use.

Plus, I keep my list of 100 dreams in there to read often.

Unfortunately, after using it for 2 years, my beloved binder has seen better days.

So after two faithful years, I gave up old pinky for a new guy.
I got it at Target for $2.49 and it was the best 2 dollars and 49 cents I've spent.  It keeps me sane.

There weren't any pink ones this time, so I had to go with purple.

This binder is especially helpful since we don't have an office.
Although, I'm pretty sure I'd use it even if we did have an office.  It makes everything so much easier.

Now getting Michael to shred the papers after they come out of the binder... that's another story! :)

Monday, April 26, 2010


Michael and I have started a new business, and we would love it if you'd check out our website.

You can find things like...

No Carbs, No Sugar energy drinks!
You can't find that with Monster or Red Bull.
They are only about 8 calories and are LOADED with B12!

And GREEN cleaning supplies!
We were green before green was cool.

A large variety of vitamins and supplements.
Michael has been taking these Double X ones for a month now and swears by them.
He wants me to start taking them as well, and I will as soon as we place our next order.
Here's a brief description:
DOUBLE X Vitamin/Mineral/Phytonutrient supplement delivers a blend of essentials – 12 vitamins and 10 minerals. It features 20 plant concentrates for even broader antioxidant protection and unbeatable health benefits.

Artistry is our make up brand.
It is comparable to brands such as L'Oreal and Estee Lauder.
You may have heard of it if you watched this year's Miss America pageant.
So far I've used the foundation and powder and I love it.  I can't wait to add more to my collection.

We are also partnered with 400 of the Fortune 500 companies and have a ridiculous amount of SKU's to chose from.

There is so much more that we offer.  Every day things like shampoo, shower gel, sandwich baggies and paper towels.  You'll have to check out the store!  Let me know if you have any questions.
(Free shipping on all orders of $75 or more)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Green Monster

In my journey to eat healthier I've found some good information, a few great "food" blogs, and many yummy recipes.  One thing that I kept seeing over and over on these healthy eating blogs was a smoothie type drink called a "green monster".  This is a generic term because no two green monsters are usually alike.... though they do have some similarities.

I decided I didn't want to be left out.  I shared the idea with Michael, and at first he was a little put off.  I'll be honest, they don't always look so appealing.  But after me being a little persistent he was ready to give it a try.

One of the main reasons people drink a green monster is to get in some key nutrients and things you need in a quick and easy way.  We have been making green monsters for a couple of months now, and we both love them and what they do for our bodies.

Like I said, each is somewhat different, but have a few key ingredients the same.
One ingredient that is always the same is spinach.  That's right!! We put spinach in a smoothie.
I know what you are thinking, but I promise you do not taste it at all.
Leafy greens are so important and this is an easy and yummy way to get in one of the servings you need.
You also need some sort of liquid--nonfat milk, rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk.  You choose.  We usually use nonfat milk or almond milk.

A banana is key.  This definitely masks the taste of the spinach or anything else.

Frozen fruit is also good.  You can choose whatever fruit you want.
Berries are obviously very good for you.  I'll warn you though, if you use dark berries (like a berry mix, blueberries, etc) your green monster will be more army green than minty green.  We all know the health benefits of blueberries!!  We mix it up.  We've had many different varieties of frozen fruit.  Currently we are working through a bag of just strawberries.

Protein powder is the next essential ingredient.  It's good to mix protein with carbs.
Plus, it will help fill you up. 

Flax seed (ground) is the next ingredient you'll need.  Flax seed is ridiculously good for you!!  It has far too many benefits for me to mention in this post.  I encourage you to do some research it and add it to your daily diet ASAP.  I try to get 2 tablespoons a day.

Lastly, we use some Kefir.  Kefir is sort of like yogurt--it's fermented milk(along with other things) that can have a huge benefit to the human digestive system.  It's even more tangy than yogurt.  We put it in the shake as a way of getting a probiotic without having to eat yogurt.  Michael doesn't like yogurt and I go through phases.  You should use an unsweetened one (no sugars), but our store only sells flavored ones.  We go with vanilla.

Now here's how you make it...
Michael is the "blender master" in our house, so after trying a couple of different ways to make it, this is the method he has found to work best.

He first put's in the liquids.
We use about a half a cup of milk.
We also use about a half a cup of Kefir.

Next he breaks up the banana and puts it in the blender in about 4 pieces.

Next, add your frozen (or fresh) fruit.  You should use about a half cup to a cup.
Then blend.

While it's blending, you will want to add the protein powder and flax seed.
Michael says that by adding it while it's blending, it will help prevent it from clumping or sticking to the sides.
We use 2 scoops of protein powder and 2 tablespoons of flax seed--so when split, we are each getting one scoop of each.

Then add as much spinach as you can!!
Most of the blogs say "two huge handfuls".
Michael adds as much as can fit in the blender.
Remember, one serving of leafy greens is ONE CUP.
If you are sharing this with someone, you will want at least two cups of spinach to call it a serving.

then add some ice and

Your yummy drink will look something like this.

Ok, so I don't drink it in a wine glass on a daily basis.  I just put it in there so it would look cute and you could see the color of green that it is.

In reality, we drink it out of these.

They are 32 ounces each and get filled almost to the top. 
Green monsters are super filling.  We were having them for breakfast, but now that Michael isn't working (and isn't getting up at the same time as me), we've actually had them as our dinner a few times.  They are GREAT after a good run! :)  In case you are wondering... with the ingredients and measurements we use, I calculated that the entire blender is around 400 calories.  That means that if you are splitting it, you are getting about 200 calories.  I do think the people I see on the blogs drink the entire thing.  Although, they don't add quite as much as we do.

Other things I've seen people add--juiced carrots, peanut butter, dry oats or  cooked oatmeal, green superfood.  You can add whatever you want to help make it tasty to you.

I'm off to enjoy my yummy breakfast...

Friday, April 23, 2010


So yesterday I told you my list of goals.  One of them is to become a runner.  If you even know me for a second, you know this is pretty crazy for me.  I am not a fan of running.  In fact, I have pretty much hated running ever since I can remember.  When I was younger, I was good at throwing a baseball, catching a baseball, and hitting a baseball.  My brother would get annoyed with me that I didn't play some sort of little league like he did.  I didn't want to play any sport like that because I didn't want to have to run.  Honestly.

My reasons for wanting to become a runner are for health benefits.  I've already completed a half marathon (granted, I didn't run the majority of it), and don't really have any desire at this point to do so again.  I like the idea of being able to lose weight and improving cardiovascular health.

Luckily, my dear husband is going to start running with me.  He likes running just about as much as I do!  :)  Although, he's done much more than me because of being a marine.

Years ago I heard of a program called "Couch to 5K".  I've looked up C25K a few times over the years, but never really was committed enough to give it a try.  I am now at the place where I really want to do this.  We started to give it a try last week, but didn't get very far.  Therefore, our first week is this week.  I'll let you know how it goes as time goes on.  We'd love for you to join us if you'd like.  You can check out the program here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Goals and Dreams

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.

Nothing happens unless first a dream.

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. 
Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had been challenged to write my goals and dreams down.

Our pastor said that if you can't picture yourself in your dream, then it will never come true.  For example, if you say your dream is to own a corvette, but you can't really picture yourself owning a corvette--it will probably never happen.  This seems so obvious, but I had never thought of it like that before.  Picturing myself living out some of my hopes and dreams is hard for me.  I'm working on it.

Another source recently challenged me to write down 100 dreams.  Can you imagine?  100 goals and dreams for your life doesn't sound hard, but when you sit down to do it, it starts getting hard at around 60.  I did write down 100 though.

My list is a little different than you may expect.  Some can be checked off when accomplished, some are not quantitative, some are materialistic and some are not.  This is not a bucket list.  This list was also written with the idea that money was no option.  If you dream big and with no limits, you may actually achieve them.  If not, I can always die trying right? :)

I've decided for a few reasons that I don't want to list the entire list of 100.  First, because it would be incredibly long.  Second, because it makes me feel a little vulnerable and some things are best kept to ourselves.  My hope is that this is perceived the way I am intending it (and to not come across as materialistic), and to inspire you to write down your own list of goals and dreams.

These are in no particular order....

  • To own my dream home free and clear
  • To be able to furnish my house with furniture from wherever I want (i.e. Ballard Designs and not Target)
  • Have the most comfortable bed I can find
  • Drive the SUV of my choice--with all the extras!
  • Be a mom--the best mom I can be
  • Take a hot air balloon ride
  • Be able (financially) to sign my children up for any activities I want (i.e. The Little Gym, etc)
  • Be the best wife I can be and always make my marriage a priority
  • Send actual mail to people more often
  • Have faith to move a mountain
  • Make my children proud
  • Become a "runner"
  • Have 100 followers no my blog
  • Have a porch swing
  • Be able to be generous on every occasion--leave random huge tips!
  • Go on a missions trip with Michael
  • Start or be a part of an amazing mom group
  • Quiet myself to better hear God's voice
  • Go skiing--at least once (I'm scared to break a leg!!)
  • Mentor a teenage girl
  • Have a HUGE walk in closet with an island
  • Leave a legacy
  • Be in a TV audience
  • Visit all 50 states
  • Be able to have Starbucks every day if I want to :)
  • Be a room mom
  • Learn Photography
  • Own fancy camera for said photography
  • Give money to autism research or help sponsor an autistic kid not on a waiver
  • Be a good witness, not just by word but by action too
  • Go on field trips with my children
  • Have a huge trampoline
  • Read the entire Bible
  • Make my home a haven for my children and their friends
  • Have a dream craft room--fully stocked
  • Learn to knit
  • Financially help/support/bless a single Christian school teacher
  • Go to Australia
  • Take my sister on an amazing vacation as a thank you for always supporting me
  • Learn to forgive and truly do so
  • Go to a Broadway show at least once a year
  • Go on another African safari--this time with my love
  • Take more dance lessons with Micahel
  • Learn to garden and have a successful one
  • Take cooking lessons
  • Attend more woman's conferences
  • Eat mostly "clean" food
  • Help build my kids the  coolest tree house/fort ever
  • Go to Norway and Germany to see my roots
  • Have the freedom to send my kids to the best schools--if we so choose
  • Help out a needy child--adopt or be a foster parent if we feel led.  If not, support someone (or an organization) that does
  • Establish fun family traditions that my children will enjoy and remember forever
 Well, there you go.  That's about half of my list.  I encourage you, even if you never share it with anyone, to write down your list of dreams and goals.  Make sure you read it over often and shoot for the starts! :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Homemade felt board

I've told you many times how I love my local library.  Today I'm going to share a cool thing that I was able to get from my library.  They were having a free class on how to make homemade felt boards.  Now I mentioned to you that Little Man loves to play on the felt board at the library, so I thought making one to use at home would be great.  The session was an hour long one Saturday and everything was provided for free.

We were given a (clean) pizza box and a piece of black felt to staple on.
Here's how it looked.
(above is the inside flap)

Pretty nifty, right?
It can even stand up like a felt board.

Part of the point of the class was to teach ways to present literacy skills to kids.
Obviously, being the teacher--I just wanted the box! :)
But they did give us some packets with samples and patterns to use for felt board stories.
Then we could use patterns cut from the Ellison machine or cookie cutters to cut as many shapes out of felt as we would.

Here's some of what I did...

Random shapes

Can be used to tell a story...

We went to a class on butterflies at our local science museum recently.
We learned about the life cycle of a butterfly and are currently watching our caterpillar change.
I made a quick life cycle for use to review with.
(The only green felt I had was what I used for the leaves, so I made the chrysalis orange.  Don't judge!)

Then we used the felt board to practice our patterns.

The best part is... when you are done, it can all be stored inside the box! :)

You can make one too!  It's super easy.