Friday, April 6, 2012

Making carrots

I decided that it'd be fun for the kids to make a small Easter basket for my parents since we won't be here to celebrate Easter with them.  So the kids helped make these super cute and super easy carrots!  I saw these online somewhere, but don't recall where. 

Here's what we used:

plastic sandwich baggies
green yarn
Goldfish crackers (num num!)

We started off by putting some Goldfish into the baggies.... not much.  Get them into the corner of the bag.

Next, twist the extra part of the bag and shape the Goldfish into a carrot shape as best you can.  It's not perfect, but everyone will get the idea. Tie a piece of yarn around the top of the carrot to keep it closed.

Then I trimmed most of the extra plastic off the top (the zipper wasn't too pretty). 

Next, I cut pieces of yarn.  Ours were about 6 inches long, but you can make them however you want.  I would guess I used about 20 pieces on each carrot.

I tied the bundle of yarn pieces around the top of the carrot and voila!  We have carrots!

I plan to make some of these for the kids Easter baskets.  They don't REALLY need any more candy.  There will be some in the baskets... don't worry, but anything I can put in there that is not sweet is a bonus!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Theme days

I  LOVE things with a theme.  Parties with a theme, activities with a theme, rooms with a theme.

I like to come up with different activities for the youngsters that all tie in together... so we basically do lots of stuff around the same subject.  Here are a few of the theme days that we've had and the shenanigans that went with them. lol!  I had to throw that word in there.

Owl theme day
  • Talked about owls and the sounds that they make.  My son went through a phase where he liked to pretend that he could hear an owl outside so that's what started this theme for us.  We got out a book about owls and looked through it. 
  • This day occurred shortly before Valentine's day so we made Valentine's day cards for the grandparents using the heart owl craft found here.  We adapted it a little by letting the kids finger paint some card stock, used that as the "card" and then glued our owls onto that.  I thought it gave it a cool artsy look :-)

  • While I prepared the pieces for the heart owl craft, the kids colored this page The Letter O is for Owl
  • They ate "owls" for lunch.  I just used whatever I could find to make the body parts and cut the sandwiches free hand.  Beautiful, I know!  lol

  •  We finished off the day by watching The Fox and the Hound.  Only because there is an owl in the movie.  I was grasping a little on that one, but its the first movie I could find that had an owl in it.  ;-)

Fish/ocean theme
  •  We started the day off by making an ocean sensory bin!  I read about the idea on this awesome blog Inner Child Fun.  I have to admit theirs looks a heck of a lot cooler than mine, but I wasn't going out and buying anything special for this.  It was fun... and that's all that matters!  My son actually played with this thing lots of other times.  My daughter ate the "rocks"  so she didn't get to play with it much after the first time. lol.  We used assorted pony beads for the rocks, and threw in anything else that reminded us of the ocean!  Filled it with water and we were good to go!

We even had seaweed!!!
Hard at work!  I think finding stuff to put in was his favorite part!

  • We read The Rainbow Fish
  • Decorated a "Rainbow" fish.  I drew a fish on card stock, cut it out, the kiddos decorated it and we glued them onto craft sticks (the wide Popsicle sticks... I am not sure the technical term for them). :-)

  • After nap time/lunch, the fish were dry enough to play with while we watched Finding Nemo. Finding Nemo is the perfect end to any day.  Love that movie!  :-)
 We'll leave it at that for now.  We have a few others that we've done, but I don't wanna give you an overload!  Plus the itty bit is up from her nap now!  Have a great day... make the most of what's left!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Houseplant up-do!

Last week, on the first day of Spring (yay!), we did a little rock art.  My son wanted to paint... he LOVES to paint.  So we switched it up by finding some rocks to decorate.

We now have pretty little decorations for our one and only house plant!  It is the only plant that has survived my BLACK thumb.  

These are my two rocks.  I just used a sharpie to add some words.  My sons rocks are a bit more colorful.  He used every color we had on each rock lol.  

Easy, fun little project to liven up your plant and keep the kids entertained for a bit.  :-)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Brand new day

It's been an heart wrenching, and heart lifting day for me.  During church this morning I came to the heartbreaking realization that I have never accepted Jesus into my heart.  I did that today.  I prayed that God would open my heart, allow me to accept His gift (of salvation) that he has freely given me, and to take away the heavy burdens I carry.

This song was sung... and it was exactly what I needed:

I went back and forth about writing this post... part of me didn't want to write something so personal... but I think someone out there may come across it just when they need to. Plus, I hope you can be happy with me!  I warn you.... it is long. lol

I am not positive, but part of me wants to say that it is almost as dangerous to grow up in church as it is to have never been exposed to God, church, Salvation.  It may be more dangerous... this is a deep subject and I'd have to give it more thought.  I'm sure people would argue either way.  I'll just start out with my story....

For as long as I can remember, I have gone to church.  Many people share their testimonies and can give an exact time when they first heard of Jesus and salvation.  They have a life altering moment where they turn their lives over and they never look back.  I never had that.  It seems that I've always known. 

I was baptized when I was around 9.  I barely remember the experience and I'm pretty sure I only did it cause I wanted to be baptized like everyone else.  In all my years, I don't think I've ever believed that I was baptized for the right reasons.

When I was 15, my friend, her brother, and I went to a Christian summer camp.  It was awesome.  During one of the events we all gathered around a huge campfire... people shared their hearts, people gave their hearts to Jesus, people stood to be prayed with.  I didn't stand, but I clearly remember wanting to.  I have always been self-conscious... and during this campfire time I realized that God is all that matters.  No one else's opinion matters in all the world.  Nothing else matters (in the end) except God and an individuals relationship with him!  I felt great.  I felt free and open.  I acted differently, because for a while I really lived like that was all that mattered. This is the time that I have always believed that I was saved.  That was my testimony.

Then, enter the real world when I left the shelter (figurative) of home.  Through high school and college I strayed.  Besides my own admission that I was a Christian, no one would have guessed.  I will not go into detail, because all that is not important.  I will only say that I acted in ways that only God and I know.  I lost my way in college.  When I think back on my college days, I honestly don't think I was in my right mind.  I pretty much quit college, and was forced to go home and tell  my parents that they would not be seeing me graduate.  It was all very traumatic.  During a church service after I was back home, the pastor gave a message on being a cracked clay pot.  The potter must break down the clay, moisten and remold the pot.  That was me, I cried as I did a lot in those days.  I thought, "That's what has happened.  God had to break me all the way down and now he's building me back up.  I strayed so far, this was the only way he could fix me."

From that time on, I was convinced I was changed.  I really got into church, being active and serving. I listened to only Christian music.  I stopped doing things I had done in the past.  I really was trying to be a good Christian.  It wasn't an act.   I have struggled with being myself though.  Around my church family, I would struggle between just letting go and being myself and being secure in the fact that I was saved even if I didn't say all the right things.  I felt I had to act and be perfect.  I wasn't of course, and I was constantly letting myself down.  Every Sunday, when our pastor would give the invitation, I would say the prayer silently.  Just in case.  One day, as I was talking to my husband (obviously years have gone by at this point :-), I told him this whole story.  He told me that I needed to be saved.  I told him he was crazy....but inside I thought maybe he was right.  But I was saved right?  How could I not be?  Sometimes after that he would nudge me during the invitation, but I would smile at him and nudge back as if he were joking.  What would everyone think if after all this time I wasn't saved?   What will my parents think?  Don't judge.... I'm just telling you the truth!  This is how my mind worked!

Right now we are looking for a new church since we just moved back to NC.  We tried out  a new one this morning.  We decided to try this one because 1) they looked as though they had recently expanded their building which means they were growing and 2) it was close to our house.  Before church, I looked up their website really quick and it reminded me of the last two churches we tried since we've been here and I decided I didn't want to try that church anymore.  However, through a series of events we ended up going to this church anyways.  I got out of our van still not wanting to go.  It was only a few minutes into the praise and worship that my mind started reeling thought after thought after thought.  Until my ultimate realization.  I needed Jesus IN my heart, not my mind.  That is the reason I am never satisfied.  That is why I am constantly exhausted.  I try to control everything and when I can't I break down.  My load was TOO heavy and I needed to give it all away.  I wanted that joy that comes from knowing that I am redeemed.  ALL my sins are washed away and I don't have to think back on what might have been, beating myself up for bad decisions.  Jesus is there waiting for me to just let Him love me!  I just had to finally let go!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring is here!

Spring started off with a bang this morning.  Booming and showering.  I actually wasn't disappointed though.  Had the kids put in Happy Feet 2 and we were poised to begin our day inside. 

It soon stopped raining though, so we ventured out to find some rocks for a little project.  There were of course puddles... and the tiniest went straight for them!  I figured why fight it??  


The day has cleared  up.  The skies are bright.  Birds are singing.  It's just BEAUTIFUL!  lol!  Can you tell I love spring?? ?  God gives us so much to enjoy.... He is a Great God!  He provided rain early in the day to help wash away some of the yellow stuff and now we can enjoy the first day of this new season!   

Excited! Planning lots of fun activities for us to do.  What kind of things does your family do to enjoy the warm weather??  Give us some ideas! :-)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Taking it a step further....

I am weak!  lol  

I have given in to the hype and made my own laundry detergent.

It wasn't even two months ago that I told my husband, " I've never had any desire to make my own laundry detergent".  I remember the conversation.  We were in the car.

BUT EVERYONE'S DOING IT!  Could I sound any more like a tween?  Obviously, not everyone is doing it, but it's becoming more and more common.  Supposedly it works well, and saves a TON of money.   I saw a breakdown on how much money you save by doing this and if I remember correctly, after making six batches you save around $70.  We spent that much getting into the circus this past weekend.  Buying laundry detergent in the store OR going to the circus with my family and watching my little girl have the time of her life???  There's no contest!  Even if the store bought stuff smells heavenly.... lol

I used the recipe that I found here, however I used Fels Naptha soap.  I didn't have the time or patience to order any special soap online. 

Right now, my detergent is sitting on top of the washer doing its cooling thing.  We'll see how it turns out tomorrow.  I'll post after I've used it and let you know how it worked.  My plan is to use this detergent, but still use the fabric softener (I like Downy) so hopefully our clothes still smell nice and fresh.  

Alright, I can't let myself go without showing you where they break down how much you will save.  If you care to have a look, here it is!

Happy Wednesday!  We're more than halfway to the weekend! :-)

Sorry, there are no pics.  I was rushing to get it made during naptime.  Mission accomplished.  I really am finished now.  

P.S Because no one else warns you... my eyes are burning from the melting soap!  Open a window or two if you attempt to make this! :-)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I Spy with a Twist

Got a child and need some entertainment for said child???  Here's an idea!  I'll call it I Spy with a Twist.  It's super easy, doesn't cost anything, and will provide entertainment for hours.  Literally.  My son wanted to play it over, and over, and over....I'll stop there, but I could keep going.  :-)

How it works:  The little one gets a color card, then they run to the other side of the room and pick an object that matches the color on the card.  They run back to you, give you their item & card.  They get a new color card.... and repeat.  Simple!  

How I prepared: I cut small "cards" out of different colored card stock and wrote the name of the color on the card.   I then gathered all kinds of items that were the colors we would need.  I tried to mix it up and get objects of different sizes and materials.  I just chucked all of these into a big pile on one side of the room and we were ready!  Easy, easy, easy!

I handed the cards to my son (his lil sis played too, but he had to help her) and then cheered him on as he ran to the other side of the room and picked out his object.  Then I cheered him back over to me.  This was good because it also allowed him to get some energy out before naptime!  I made sure that there were multiple items to choose from for each color.  He actually did awesome with this game.

As I write I imagine you can you do variations with this game depending on where your child is developmentally.  My son is working on his colors so this was perfect for us.  For older children you could put letters on your cards and make them pick objects that start with the letter. Or use numbers and let the child get that number of objects.

Happy Playing!