Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy Birthday M!

My oldest turned 9 yesterday!  9!  Ugh, it's going way too fast!  It's been a busy week needless to say, I hope to be back to blogging tomorrow.  Thanks for being patient!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What We're Reading Weekend

I finished Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls for bookclub on Monday.  Great book, liked it better than The Glass Castle.  Now it's on to March's book Unforgotten by Laura Hillenbrand
It sucked me right in, it's a tough one to put down when you actually have to do something like laundry, cook, keep the children alive, etc.  Can't wait to have some time this week to read more of it.
M is continuing with her Roald Dahl fascination.  She's reading James and the Giant Peach.

I know that I read that way back when, but can't remember the details, can't wait for her to fill me in!
Happy Reading,

Friday, February 18, 2011

Preschool greatness

Today concluded teacher appreciation week at E's preschool.  Remember the heart and hands garden I told you about?  Here it is!
With this poem hanging above it-

The moms that put it together did such a great job!  I also took some pictures of the dramatic play center in E's room.  This month the center is a hospital.  Every month the entire room changes!  The amount of work that goes into this undertaking must be immense!  But I'm so glad that they do it.  I get just as excited as E about the day after room change!  Here's the hospital-
The waiting room, looks like one of the babies is getting impatient.
The hospital room, with a bed (housekeeping had been there already and stripped the bed for the day), sink, and my favorite, the blood transfusion bag (shredded red paper plays the blood).
The computer corner with computer x-rays, gowns, charts and there's even a walking "cast" boot!
Here's another center from her last year at preschool, at the open house.  E LOVED this one, she's washing a plastic turtle with a nail brush, soap and "real water!"  Santa ended up bringing a turtle and washing accessories that Christmas.
E and M "painting" their nails (colored water) at the same open house-genius!

Here's the pet store dramatic play center from earlier this school year.
More pet store...
and more...
and that's all.  That's a real rabbit (Winston) in the cage!
Looking back, I wish I had taken pictures of every month's theme.

Hope that gave you some inspiration for pretend play at your house!
Here are some creative blog posts with great pretend play ideas:

Happy Pretending,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Teacher Appreciation

This week at E's preschool we had teacher appreciation week.  Two moms organized a huge "garden" display in the front lobby using the kids handprints (with their pictures on the front) cut from colored paper overlaid, on a heart, with a flower stem and leaves.  There is green grass too!  And the cutest poem.  I'll have to take pictures tomorrow to post.
Each day this week parents provided treats for the teachers, flowers, chocolate, balloons and pastries.  Tomorrow is my day to give them a treat!  I've been wanting to do this project for a while-
It was not super simple, but was  definitely worth the effort!  E goes to the absolute best preschool in the whole world (I'm not biased at all!), so I didn't mind the extra work and patience needed to make nine of these.  Here are all nine, packaged and ready to go.
Here's what you need:
  • Canvas bag (I used the Medium size-14"w x 13"h x 3"d)
  • Doilies (I used 10")
  • Fabric paint
  • Spray adhesive
Here's what you do:
  • Spray the back of the doily with the spray adhesive and follow the instrustions for a TEMPORARY bond.  I waited 4 mins before adhering.
  • Put a couple of sheets of newspaper in the bag to prevent the paint from bleeding through.
  • Position the doily on the corner of the bag and firmly press in place.
  • Now the tricky part...I used a foam brush to paint over the doily and I tried to gently dab, or else it just bleeds through and under the doily, making a big, globby mess!
  • After you paint all the way around, remove the doily, mine came up very easily.  Let dry.
  • For the initial, decide what size and font you want and print out the intial or cut freezer paper with a Cricut.  I didn't do the whole freezer paper thing this time like I did here for the snowmen shirts, but I went old school and rubbed a pencil on the back of the printed letter, then positioned it on the bag and traced over the front of the letter, leaving a pencil line drawing of the letter on the bag. 
  • Then I painted in the letter, let it dry and I was finished!

This cool idea was not mine!  I found it a long time ago here at under the sycamore
Can't wait to give them away tomorrow!

Here are some other neat things for teacher appreciation:
Hope you find something that you can use to thank the teachers in your lives!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

What a happy day it is!  The painter is here starting on the dining room and hall, the sun is shining and it's going to be WARM, I've received several messages from friends who have completed recipes and Valentine's projects that they saw here, and get a look at this!
Can you stand it?  This is Coco, my friend's new addition!  He's only about 2 pounds!  He's snuggling with a blanket that I made him.  I'll share that later, but for now just bask in his cuteness on this Valentine's day!
Enjoy your love day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Our annual trip to Great Wolf Lodge was last weekend, so I think waterpark...water...mermaids?  Right, don't you?  Another Christmas present that I made for E were these super cute mermaids...
I assembled a Mermaid Lagoon in a Box for her four clothespin mermaids.  Most of the lagoon contents and critters came from the dollar store-small stone gravel, shells, plastic sea animals and of course pretty glass gems-mermaids love pretty things! 
And here's a close up of the four bathing beauties
I love that it's self contained in the plastic bin and stores away so easily.
I found the idea here at Pink And Green Mama and just went from there.  I'll post a detailed tutorial soon!
And here are my super cute mermaids at Great Wolf Lodge...

Have a great weeked!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

S'mores on a Straw

Busy, busy month! 
We were at Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos for a long weekend and I haven't stopped running since we got back on Tuesday.  Until now...ahhhh.
So a quick idea before I need to go look at my To Do list again. 

S'mores on a Stick Straw!  I saw the idea here at Skip to My Lou a while back, but I didn't have enough lollipop sticks.  I did have plenty of straws though.  Sorry I didn't take a picture, it was that kind of day, but here's what I did:
  1. Insert straws into marshmallows (I used bendy straws and put the non-bendy part into the marshmallow).
  2. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave-30 secs at 50% power, stir, repeat until melted completely.
  3. Use food processor to crush a couple of graham crackers into crumbs.
  4. Dip marshmallow about halfway into melted chocolate (I scraped the excess chocolate off the bottom of the marshmallow before the next step).
  5. Press bottom of the marshmallow into the graham cracker crumbs.
  6. Set on wax paper to harden (can put in the fridge).
They were a big hit with the preschool crowd yesterday, and we're sooooo easy to make!  It's going to be my new go-to kid dessert!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What We're Reading Weekend

I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done. - Steven Wright
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's
too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
I have written a book. This will come as quite a shock to some. They didn't think I could read, much less write. - George W. Bush

Hee, hee, I love the last one.  We've had great weather for curling up with a book lately.  But I felt like I had so many other things to get done that I've been slacking a little.  I'm in a bookclub, we meet once a month, and February's book is:

Good so far, but I gotta get reading!  "M" just got two books from our town's library yesterday.  She's long finished her school library books that she checked out weeks ago.  The snow and ice seems to strike on her library day!  Here are her picks:

I think the second one looks really cool!  She's really into the Allie Finkle one right now.  She says it's like an older Junie B. Jones.
I'd love to hear what you and your kids are reading this week!
Happy weekend,

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Can't wait until Gnomeo and Juliet comes out!  Have you seen the trailer?  We've been getting into the gnome thing a little bit over here (even before the movie trailer) after I discovered this awesome tutorial on wee folk art.  She has beautiful stuff!  So for this past Christmas, I made E a set of math gnomes (with their good friend pink gnome).

I gave her two bags of glass "gems," from the dollar store, so that the gnomes can find the gems in the forest and we can tell math stories!  (Yellow gnome has a multiplication sign on the front)  I learned to make their hats "bendy" (okay-bendable) here at Wabi-Sabi Wanderings another beautiful blog!  Gnomes love mushroom I'm told, so I painted two wooden knobs and then coated them with this great version of Mod Podge!  I think we should make a proper forest like here at Frugal Family Fun Blog for them to explore and hide in. E loves playing with her gnomes!  I can't wait to see her perform Shakespeare with them after we see Gnomeo and Juliet!
Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Valentine Ideas

There are soooo many cool Valentine ideas out there right now.  I'd love to hear what you're doing for your kids' Valentines and any Valentine decorating that you have going on in your house.
Here are some some inspirations around blogworld.
Last year we made these for E's class after being inspired by Skip to my Lou!

Another cute one with a pencil (love the candy alternative) at Skip to my Lou!

And from Family Fun Magazine, another candy alternative!

Jac o' lyn Murphy was brilliant with these rulers (I think we'll do this for M's class) and also wiffle balls!

Pittypat Paperie has a really cool s'mores Valentine.  This would be great for a teacher gift!
Teach Mama (one of my favorite blogs!) has a super easy one the older kids could do all by themselves!

These handprint hearts at Roots And Wings Co would be perfect for Valentines for grandparents.  They are also really cute in a simple black frame.

Hope those gave you some good inspiration!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Paper stuff

Today is yet ANOTHER snow/ice day!  What to do, what to do?
After seeing this SMASH video that my friends Kim and Steph, The Scrapper Bees shared, I was inspired to help my girls create a journal of their own.  A trip to the dollar store for the composition books was completed before "The Big Storm."  And I have just a few paper scraps from scrapbooking.  So off we went!

And the finished products-

Then they were off to write in them!  "We found a good writing spot, Mommy!"

Now maybe I won't find tiny scraps of paper with "really important" things written on them all around my house.  They can all be glued in their book!  I'll let you know how that fantasy pans out.

We also used paper (and tons of stickers) to make the Zhu Zhu Pets comfy little houses.  A K-cup box was just the right size.  I covered it with printer paper.

Then M (E made one a while ago) got out their sticker stash and did some decorating.
And the finished products-

The critters nestled all snug in their houses-
Hope you are staying as snug as the Zhu Zhus!