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Inspiring Olympic Athletes you can teach your children about.

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I don't know about you, but I love the Olympics! I love the national pride, the sportsmanship, the love and friendship you see between nations, and of course the awe inspiring athletic ability of these amazing athletes. I watch all of these overly talented people who do crazy things with their bodies and I can't help but think "what am I doing with my life? I'm so lame!" But even though I can't spin on ice with my knee touching my nose I have my own strengths. And even though I'll never be able to do a flip, whether on a snowboard or on a balance beam, that doesn't mean I can't take and/or teach lessons learned from the lives of these amazing Olympic athletes. These Olympic athletes are great role models for children and adults alike.

Missy Franklin

Missy Franklin

Missy Franklin was born in 1995 and is a dual citizen of Canada and America. Franklin has been swimming since she was 5 years old. She competed in her first international event when she was 14 years old and competed in the Olympics just 3 years later. Missy competed in 7 Olympic events in 2012, which is more than any other U.S. female swimmer in history.

Missy currently holds the world record in the 200-meter backstroke and various American records. Missy attended the 2012 Summer Olympics at the age of 17 and won 5 medals (4 gold & 1 bronze). While most successful Olympic athletes accept sponsors, endorsements, and prize money Missy doesn’t accept any of it. She loves competitive swimming so much she refuses payment in order to keep her “amateur” status in college so she can swim for UC Berkeley.  

Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens was the 10th of 10 children. As a young child he worked various jobs to support his family. He discovered that he loved to run but because he worked in his spare time he couldn’t attend track practice at his junior high. Jesse’s coach, Charles Riley, and who Jesse attributes his success to, allowed Jesse to practice before school instead of after. When Jesse was in high school he ran the 100-yard dash and long-jumped the same time and length of the world records of the time (9.4 seconds and 24’ 9.5” respectively).

Jesse competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics which were held in the “resurgent Nazi Germany”. Nazi propaganda promoted “Aryan racial superiority” which showed African Americans as inferior to their white teammates. Jesse Owens set the world record in long jump, which stood unbeaten for 25 years. Despite the racial perceptions that were against him both in Germany and America at the time, Jesse was the most successful athlete at the 1936 Summer Olympics after winning four gold medals.

Kerri Strug

Started competing as a gymnast when she was 8. When she was 13 she joined the US National Team and won a team bronze medal at the Barcelona Olympics when she was 14. She trained constantly during her teenage years in order to qualify for the 1996 Olympics. She made the team and was able to compete in her two strongest events- floor exercise and vault.

In 1996 the Russians had been the dominating team in gymnastics for decades and had never been won by the US. During the vault the US was in the lead but the Russians could easily have taken over the lead and won the gold again. During Kerri’s first vault she landed incorrectly which injured her ankle and because of the event and order in which she was vaulting she had to perform a second vault and land it in order for the US to win gold. Kerri successfully landed her second vault which guaranteed her team the gold medal. She was unable to walk to the podium to receive her medal and was carried by her coach. Because of her amazing performance through her serious injury she was a national sports hero.  

Wilma Rudolph

Wilma Rudolph

Wilma Rudolph was born in 1940 as the 20th child of 22. At the age of 4 Wilma got polio which caused infantile paralysis. She recovered but had to wear a brace on her left leg and foot until the age of 9 and then an orthopedic shoe for 2 more years. As a child Wilma also survived scarlet fever.

Despite her illnesses and handicaps of her childhood, Wilma was a natural athlete. Wilma played basketball and ran track for her high school and attended her first Olympic games in 1956 and won a bronze medal. At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Wilma sprained her ankle during practice, but ran through the pain and during all of her races. At the 1960 Olympics in Rome Wilma won 3 Olympic gold medals and was considered internationally to be the fasted woman in the world. Wilma’s success promoted women’s track and also civil rights back in a racially divided America.


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DIY Paper Flowers: fun and easy crafts for kids & DIY home decor project

Here is a simple DIY project for you. Jeni is going to share how to make DIY paper flowers for us today. These fun and easy crafts add a vibrant touch of color to any room. 

Crepe paper flowers are "in," cheap, and easy to make - even with littles around. I used these kits to make the flowers, but I think it'd be just easy to whip them out without a kit. Just find your own crepe paper, scallop the edges (or not!), grab some pipe cleaner, and follow the same steps below.

First, lay four sheets of crepe paper on top of each other. If you want a smaller flower - one that's "less full" - use less sheets.

Fold the crepe paper back and forth, accordion style.

Wrap a 12" piece of pipe cleaner around the folded crepe paper, and twist it till its tight

Starting in the middle, unwrap the pieces of crepe paper one sheet at a time...

...until it looks like a flower. Ta da! Pretty and easy, right?

Thanks for letting me stop by today. Cheers to creating and sharing pretty little things!

Jeni blogs about young love (her love - for her man and her daughter), real good food, real life, and how to stay not only sane as a mama, but oh so happy. Find more of her here

Image Source: Kristen Lisa Photography 

DIY Project for Kids: Recycled Cardboard Storage Box with Used Books

I feel bad throwing away old or ripped books. Books are my treasures and I can’t get rid of them just because. I found an easy DIY project for kids to recycle those old or ripped books and use them to make a cute cardboard storage box. I don’t have to throw them away and the box won’t take extra space.

Many people throw things away so easily these days. Things you can recycle are the best organizers for your kid’s room. I felt extra eco-friendly and made something cute and fun!



  • Your Hands!

  • Brushes

  • Glue (Spray Glue is better)


  • Cardboard box of an average size (Use a recycled cardboard box If you want to be extra eco-friendly)

  • Used/ripped books


Before you start, make sure that the floor is stable and find a room where you can do a fun DIY project. (The glue can be sticky. When kids touch nice furniture with sticky hands, you know what happens.)


1. Start ripping the book. (This is the hardest part. Don’t feel bad!) When you rip them, you can cut them neatly, but I just like ripping them with my hands. It gives them a nice edge.

2. Glue the box with a brush or spray glue. Also glue the corner of the ripped paper and put it on the box. Arrange them the way you like them. A little bit of layers and colors give a playful look.

3. Make sure that all parts of the box have pieces of paper glued on. You can glue the bottom of the box, but I didn’t do it.

You can have a fun DIY project for kids with things you can recycle! I hope you enjoy this DIY project as much as I did!

Image Source: Kristen Lisa Photography 

Creativity: 5 Creative Role Models for Kids

I think one of the scariest things about raising children today is that there are very few positive role models for kids. Kid shows don’t really promote good values anymore and a lot of their characters are kind of annoying and selfish. Society doesn’t really celebrate the good in people, their talents or intelligence. Society celebrates the people who are absolutely willing to do anything to get attention. I want to raise my children in a home that celebrates their creativity and to do that I want to give them really good role models. I want them to learn about people who did great and hard things and who were celebrated because of their creativity not because they’re insane.

5 Creative People in History That Can Be Positive Role Models For Your Kids:



There are many theories on Shakespeare's childhood- some say that he was not well educated during his childhood and some say that the grammar school he was thought to attend was actually very rigorous. Due to certain social circumstances Shakespeare was not allowed to attend university or start an apprenticeship so he became a playwright. 

Shakespeare is now known as one of the greatest writer in the English language. He wrote 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses. His plays are performed more often than any other playwright and have been translated into every major language.  He made up new words that we still used today including: laughable, hint, dawn, bedroom, and many more. Shakespeare never completed an upper-level education but his influence in our lives has surpassed that of a playwright. He invented part of the modern English language and his works are now taught to almost every teenager in America.

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

Franklin was a founding father and helped to form the country of America but he also invented many things that we still use today. His parents couldn’t pay for him to go to school for a long time so he only went to school until he was 10. After that he continued to read so he could learn more.

Despite his lack of education Franklin invented the: Library, the lightning rod, glass armonica, Franklin stove, bifocal glasses, and many other things. Not only was he an inventor but he studied and came up with many social innovations. He studied electricity, population, ocean currents, and oceanography. He also played multiple instruments and composed music. Benjamin Franklin did not let the limits of his formal education get in the way of becoming an intelligent member of society and successful inventor.

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Beethoven's first music teacher was  his father. He started learning music at a very young age and learned many different instruments including the piano, organ, violin, and viola. At age nine he had a new teacher named Christian Gottlob Neefe.  Neefe was the person who taught Beethoven how to compose music. Beethoven learned music composition when he was 9 and wrote and published his first composition when he was 13. He wrote 75 amount of compositions throughout his life

Beethoven started to lose his hearing when he was 26 which made it difficult to hear music. He was completely deaf by the age of 44 but he continued to write music. He wrote a majority of his music while he was losing his hearing and one piece of music, his ninth symphony, completely deaf. It was one of the most famous pieces of music he wrote. 


Galileo Galilei

Galileo was a physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher but growing up Galileo wanted to have a career with the church. His father persuaded him to instead study medicine so he could make money. Galileo studied mathematics after observing the swing of a chandelier and accidentally attending a geometry lecture. He convinced his father to let him switch his studies to math and philosophy because he found what he was passionate about.

Galileo played a major role in the scientific revolution and attributed a lot to the modern study of these sciences. Galileo confirmed the phases of Venus, discovered the 4 largest moons of Jupiter, and led the theory of heliocentrism- the idea that the earth revolved around the sun as opposed to the belief of the time that everything revolved around the earth. Galileo invented and improved upon many inventions including the telescope and the thermometer. Even though Galileo was such an important scientist he was imprisoned by the Catholic Church because his ideas opposed the doctrine of the church.  He was held under house arrest from 1633 to his death in 1642. Publication of any of his works, past and future, was made illegal. Even though he was persecuted for the truth he discovered he continued to study and become the father of modern science. He has been referred to as the father of modern science by both Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. 

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci

There is very little known about da Vinci's childhood. He was born an illegitimate son, his father was a Florentine notary and his mother was a peasant. Leonardo's education was informal and consisted of Latin, geometry, and mathematics. Da Vinci at the age of 14 started as an apprentice to one of the finest painters in Florence where he learned many other advanced subjects.

Leonardo da Vinci studied and excelled in many fields. Over his lifetime he was a: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist,cartographer, botanist, and writer. While da Vinci lived in the 1400’s he conceptualized many things we use now: flying machines, tanks, solar power, adding machines, and many other modern technologies. Leonardo has painted some of the worlds most beloved and famous paintings including The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. Da Vinci also drew many popular sketches used in the arts and in science. Da Vinci’s contributions on modern society are innumerable and his creativity made him a visionary man, almost predicting what the future would bring.

Why are these positive role models for children?

All of these people went against the norm and created something new. All of these people had creative minds. All of these people are talked about in text books and are discussed in classrooms across America. All of these people had to do something hard or had some disability to overcome. Some did not have extensive formal education, some had physical disabilities, some were born in an era without enough technology, and some had to give up what they knew was correct to save their own life. All of these people were creative in some way- they all thought outside the box and against what society taught them. I have to believe that all of these famous people in history attribute most of their success to creativity but also to the trials they had to overcome. Instead of having children look up to Disney Channel stars who have everything handed to them why not give our children positive role models who will inspire creativity. Children should grow up having to overcome some difficulties, that's what will make them successful. Children should also have role models that also had to do overcome some difficulties, this will help children remember that only the best things come from hard work.

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