What Are Your Top Five?

Hey Prior Lake, Savage, Shakopee mama’s! When looking for a daycare provider for your kids, what are your top 5 must haves? We each have them and based on our lifestyles and experiences they may be different. So here I will go first as I have had to have care providers for my children and I had some great and then some not so great… so with that said:

1. I need to know that my kids are their top priority. Done. Simple. When my kids are with you, would you jump in front of a speeding bus for them? If the answer is yes and I believe you, then move on to number 2.

2. Will they be happy? Do they connect with the caregiver? Do they enjoy the company? Does the caregiver genuine;y care whether or not the kids are having fun, if they are bored, are they taking a genuine interest in my kids happiness for the day? If my child is not happy and having a bad day, will they be concerned enough to get to the bottom of it, regardless of the age of the child?

3. Is the environment safe and kid friendly? No rusty nails sticking up in the yard, no tigers in the back yard locked in a rickety cage, ect… kidding…. hopefully no one in Prior Lake has any tigers… or rusty nails lying around!

4. If my child is ever hurt…and let’s just assume they may trip or run into something, ect…because if kids are playing or walking or breathing, even the most superior supervision can’t prevent a child from tripping over their own feet (ok, so even I do that)…will they comfort my child? Are they moved by the sight of my child being sad? When they want their mom and I’m not there, will they be able to fill my shoes and hold them, comfort them and be the next best thing to me until I get there?

5. Will they do all of the above and still give them clear and respectful discipline. I have 5 children, so I know that they can scheme up just about anything and anytime and I have been fooled by them a time or two… but I want my children to understand the value of respecting others and their property, to not know how to be a good friend, to know when to talk and when to raise your hand and wait your turn, to not own a mistake if they make one and to not know to pitch in and help when there is clean up/work to do. I want my kids to be at a friend’s home and have the parents want to welcome them back, so having a care provider that can both love and teach respect is huge.

What are your top 5? Share your top 5 with me and follow along as people share so we can all learn from each other what other mama’s want for their children.

Little Ones WANT To Learn

As I am selecting the curriculum that I prefer to use, I am overwhelmed by the choices. This summer I have already selected my weekly themes and have activities that coordinate with each week, however we will add or remove activities as time allows. It is very important that the learning continue throughout the summer, but with lots of outdoor time and play.

In the fall, it is down to business! I love the curriculum called HighReach Learning! It is not restrictive to certain ages, which I found in a lot of the other curriculums. This will give me the opportunity to have more or less challenging activities depending on the kids. It will give us the flexibility for ages and abilities. More information can be found here:

I also may add in some extras as they fit and as I find them and I found a great resource on this page: http://teachbesideme.com/ultimate-list-of-free-preschool-curriculum-resources/

Kid Approved Reward Store

Learning is a big deal to me and I want to continue to encourage this within my home and day care. However, I also love having fun. To encourage my own kids and the daycare children to be engaged and encourage learning I am working on setting up a fun reward system. I do not like nagging or constant reminding if not necessary however. So to promote some independence for the older children we are going to develop a reward system for learning, manners and good friendships. At the end of the week, the children can “shop” at a reward store that they manage. The older children can be in charge of inventory, pricing (and keeping it fair), the time of day we “shop” and ordering and requesting the rewards for their store. To keep it manageable, I found this easy organization bin on pinterest that I will make:

reward store holder


So what will be in our reward store? Check back and see what the kids pick for their inventory!

Keeping It Simple

In establishing my own rules, rates, procedures, and so on… it has me thinking about the rules we will establish on a daily basis. My daughter wanted to geta white board and list them all out. I wasn’t opposed to that however I just hadn’t gotten around to purchasing a white board for that purpose. Then while out shopping I stumbled across this sign:


That’s it! Perfect! These are the rules. Short, simple and easy to remember. After all, I am leaving a huge book of rules behind at my previous job. I didn’t need to start my own. Most everything falls under “be kind”. Og course, there will absolutely be friendly reminders of “inside voice”. “no throwing food” and “please share”… those are a given but again, I think they too fall under the big umbrella of “Be Kind”.

An interview with ME!

Q. Why do you want to provide childcare?
A. Well, there are simply so many reasons but here are the main and most important. I love children, which is why I have 5 of my own. I love spending my time reading, playing, doing art, walking to the park, and teaching them new experiences. I had an all-American childhood, full of days outside playing on the swings, riding bikes, playing in the sandbox, running through the sprinkler, sledding down the “big hill”, building snow forts, and so on…I want my children to have the same experiences and I hope your children can join us.


Q. What does a perfect day look like?
A. Having twin girls means my day starts really early as I am awoken by one bouncing up and down in the crib which then usually wakes the other. We get up and get moving.

twins hearts.15
The girls begin with their morning bottles and are changed, while I sip on a cup of coffee. The other kids begin to wake and get ready for school and that allows me to get myself showered and dressed for the day. My oldest, Morgan drives herself and Braedy, her middle school aged brother to school, while Emersen has breakfast and begins getting ready for school. Next year Morgan will also be dropping Emersen at school. After Emersen is at school, the girls and I have free time to play and read. AS kids arrive for the day, each will be greeted and will be told about a few fun activities that they will be able to do for the day. We do that for a short time and then it’s breakfast time. Breakfast is fruit, grains and a protein, such as blackberries, a cup of oatmeal and some scrambled eggs. After breakfast we have circle time, learn the pledge of allegiance, discuss how we are feeling and doing for the day and then discuss the day’s theme and activities. Weather permitting we will then spend some time outside. On a warm day we will take a short walk to the park.


On a chilly day we will stay in the fenced in back yard and play red rover, red rover or Simon says. After burning off energy, we need to refuel. So we will come inside for a snack. The snack will be a vegetable, grain and a protein, such as cheese, crackers and ham slices and carrot sticks. It is nap time for the infants at around this time and when they are ready for nap and laid down then we can pull out the art supplies and begin our creative activities for the day. After clean up and babies are awake, we are back at lunch time. Lunch time will be a colorful variety of food groups, blueberries, celery sticks, english muffin pizza’s, and milk. After lunch we need to let our food settle, so we then have some reading time. For older kids who may not want to listen to a younger book, they will spend time reading in a chapter book that we selected as our “book club” book. After story time we will do some stretching and maybe pop in a kids yoga video. After yoga we are now settled for some quiet time. Infants will be put down for a nap. If they are not ready for a nap, they will be rocked and read to and played with until they are ready for nap time. Toddlers and preschoolers will have their own sleep mat to cuddle and make their own. They can quietly listen to gentle music I play and take a nap. Older kids who have outgrown nap time, will be given quiet writing activities and journal time. After nap time, the kids will be ready for some outdoor play time, weather permitting. This outdoor time, will be free play, unless a game or activity is planned based on our theme.


We will come inside refuel with a snack. It will most likely be a smoothie that has both fruit and vegetables blended within. After snack, we will work on a learning activity such as, an interactive story, a puppet show, some pretend play, ect. By now we are close to pick up time and we will begin cleaning up and picking up toys and preparing to see mom and dad. This is a typical day, however kids can be unpredictable, so we are flexible when we need to be.

Q. What is most important to you when it comes to providing care?
A. safety and cleanliness are at the top of this obviously, however the happiness of kids is a close second. It is important to me that I get to know each and every child in my care. That’s why we start out the day “sharing”. It is important to me that I just know if your child is having a great day or is just kind of off. We all have good and bad days and I don’t want to have a child who just isn’t feeling themselves that day, leave feeling that way. It is important on those days that we work together to resolve and feel better. It may be as simple as letting that child pick their favorite book to read together, or just cutting them slack if they are not participating. My goal is that each child leave feeling respected and happy. It is my goal that each infant and toddler, leave feeling loved, silly and cuddled and rocked, and sincerely cared for.

Reese wig

Q. If you had a magic power what would it be?
A. Oooouuuuu. There are so many things, how could I pick. I would have to go with, the ability to slow down time. I feel like life just moves so fast and we really struggle to squeeze in little moments with our kids when we can and we are always left wanting more. I would like life to feel and be a bit more slow…just so I can smell more roses!

Q. If you had three wishes what would they be?
A. My first and foremost wish would be to end all childhood illness…all of them. I just can’t come to terms with why a family has to have that much hurt to watch a child battle and illness. My second wish would be to make sure all kids have warm meals and the opportunity for education. I know in the US, we can say all kids have an opportunity to an education, and they do, and the schools do a great job. It’s just some parents and families have obstacles and situations that can short change the child. I wouldn’t want a child to go hungry, unloved, or without the ability to succeed. My third wish…hmmm….probably to change the working environment here in America, to provide more vacation time, more maternity leave, and more personal time. This goes back to my super power…we just need more time as a family…life is too short.

all kids. quote. 2014

Q. What are you afraid of?
A. I want to say not a lot… but then I do have many fears. I am that worrisome mom. I am not afraid of spiders or things like that, but I am afraid of teenage drivers, middle school bullies, social media with no boundaries, and well… yes, snakes….

Q. What is your favorite television show?
A. I don’t watch a ton of TV lately because I am simply too busy, but I do enjoy Rehab Addict lately. I love that she is working on MN homes and that she is so passionate about preserving homes that have so much potential and beauty when others only see an eye sore. It is very inspiring and she is just such a spit fire. I enjoy her.

Q. What is your ideal vacation?
A. That is easy. Each summer I visit my best friend from high school at her lake cabin on Sullivan Lake. She has 7 kids and I have 5. So we are a dirty dozen. We play in the water, eat great food, relax in the sun, catch up on each other and just enjoy… It is a time we can shut everything out and let our kids just be. It is the best.


Do you have a question for me? If so, throw it my way! I am happy to let all of you get to know me better. Thanks for visiting and follow me so you can get my updates!

Contact me for more information!

I am always open to hearing from you! Questions and information are always free with no obligation. Please email me or call me! My phone number is 651-895-4932 and my email is tmmmrtn@yahoo.com . I am currently working on more pages and post’s that will tell you more about myself, my home and my family. Follow me or check back soon to learn more about me!

photo for blog

June will be full of these fun projects and games!

I wanted to start the month of June with some basic safety themes. We will always continue the talk of safety, but I thought a focus on it would be a great thing to start with. I have some fun ideas to incorporate into these themes. Of course after that, we are going into sharks, because who isn’t fascinated with sharks. Ending the month with Hawaii, because I am dreaming about Hawaiin weather right now and I hope by the end of June I will be feeling like I am in Hawaii…well, close enough!

Here are glimpse of what will be going on in June:

summer saftey

science groundwater


ice volcanos






shark cupcakes




hawaii theme


Fun with a mini market!

I love that I have a great father who is not only a great Dad, but a jack of all trades! With so many ideas on Pinterest, it’s hard not to want to spend all day everyday building something. When I saw this Mini Market, however, I knew it was what we needed. I love that when it’s not being used it can be a great piece of furniture for storage. Plus I grew up spending endless hours playing “store”. I love this and I love that my Dad is building it for us! I will show my completed photo soon. Here is the pinterest photo:
mini market

Here is the link with the complete plan:

UPDATE!!! I had my un-painted mini market delivered last weekend. Now I just need to gussy it all up and add some fun! Needless to say, the girls are enjoying it without any gusto. Follow me to watch the market transform into a fun little shopping center!