Saturday, September 10, 2011

So many great ideas...

I have been rolling through my Twitter roll the last couple days and have come across SO many great ideas from my fellow bloggers that I finally decided I just needed to share some of them on here for you to enjoy too!

The first is a re-purposing idea for organization from Beechem Bright Spots blog

(Picture from Beechem Bright Spots blog)

Second are some VERY thought provoking questions about the book of Ecclesiastes from Rachel Olson's blog (she is from Proverbs 31 Ministries).

Next up (and one I will be trying TODAY) is Homemade French Vanilla Coffee Creamer from Mrs. Happy Homemaker. And oh while you are there check out her Prosciutto Egg Cups Recipe! It looks SO yummy!

And this last thing isn't an idea but a reminder: If you are participating in Beth Moore's Living Proof Ministries Siesta Scripture Team then it's officially time to sign up for the 2012 Celebration Event!! Here's the link: CLICK HERE

That's all for now! Have a wonderful Saturday :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cute laterns for any occasion!

About a month ago I found this cute craft idea in a magazine. It was for the 4th of July and had the cutest star patterns on them but since I found it AFTER the 4th of July...I let my kids just have at them!

Start by filling two aluminum cans almost full of water and put them in the freezer (remember to remove any paper before doing this).

Next pick any pattern you like, or in my case just freehand it, since this was a quick project to keep the kids busy for a bit anyways! Take a nail and a hammer and nail holes to make your pattern in the can. The ice keeps the can from denting or folding under the pressure.

I highly recommend holding this freezing cold can between your bare feet. It felt fabulous! (Just in case you didn't pick up on the sarcasm in that...note now that I was being saracastic and please do not follow my example)

Once you are done nailing your pattern leave out in the hot sun until all the ice melts. You may need to hammer the bottom back in if it popped out due to the freezing.

Once all the ice is gone dry it very well! On the outside! Do NOT stick your hand in the can - the nail holes are extremely sharp! My husband found this out the hard way when I was busy and asked him to please dry the cans.

Next get out some paint and have at it! Again if you want a 4th of July do red, white or blue with star patterns or fireworks perhaps. For fall time or Halloween do a pumpkin shape with orange and black get the idea.

But remember this was a project for me to keep the kids busy and entertained so they just went at it with all kinds of colors!

Obviously this was my boy's.

And this was my girl's. Isn't it funny how they naturally pick those types of colors??

Then when the paint is dry, place them on an outdoor table or by a fun family game inviting guests to play by a soft warm glow!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Silent Sunday

Friday, September 2, 2011

My impromptu KIDS DAY! (I highly recommend it)

I had my first teacher training workshop as a full-time teacher a couple weeks ago. The guest speaker was The Ooey Gooey Lady - which if you haven't heard of and you have toddlers or young children then you NEED to look her up! She is absolutely hilarious. A little sporadic but great! So I spent the whole day being inspired and finding fun fabulous things to do with my little toddlers in class and all the while thinking of my own babies. Granted they aren't babies, but you know us moms ALWAYS call them "our babies". You see a couple days before this my mother-in-law decided she was done fighting. She had battled (and conquered) cancer however the tolls it took and were still taking on her body were horrible. She decided that she knew where she was going and she would rather be there then living this kind of a life. So needless to say my husband took the first flight he could be on back home. My little ones didn't really understand daddy leaving so suddenly and they were also stuck in babysitting at my school all day because we had thought hubby would be home to watch them. I felt bad and really wanted to give them some one-on-one time to let them know we were STILL there for them no matter the chaos around us.

So that's exactly what I did. I made up my mind driving home that I could push everything on my "To-Do List" aside and I would declare tonight "KID NIGHT"! Which meant all fun and crazy activities JUST for my babies and no distractions allowed!

Yep it started out like this! Now granted they DID begin with making yummy Ice-Cream Sundaes, however in my rush that morning I forgot to turn the thermostat back to A/C so our house was in the high 80's when we got home! I thought ICE CREAM would be perfect cool-me-down. But in hindsight with it that hot it wasn't the best of ideas. However the kids loved it! Once it melted it turned into their own soup creations! Haha - they even named them and yes they drained all my syrups.

This picture came soon after. As we were putting the ingredients back from our ice-cream (what was left anyways) it began to rain. Now we live in southern Texas where we've been in some crazy abnormal drought this year so I was Ecstatic! So of course I yelled at the kids "Get your crocks on - let's run in the rain!! After their initial shock and questions of disbelief at what mom had just stated, they quickly obliged. Gracie was a little reluctant so I gave her an umbrella to begin with.

Stop right here for a moment. I also realized reflecting back on my evening that several things had biblical meaning as well. Such as the umbrella. When people are going through things in life and you are trying to help them along or trying to get them to understand a concept that is a little stretching for them - you must remember to be graceful and tactful in dealing with them. Find ways to make them comfortable and allow them to baby step into it. Like giving my daughter an umbrella. Of course she soon ditched it and ran in the rain with the rest of us crazies. But it gave her enough comfort to try it in the first place.

Okay back to our story. So after sword fighting my son with closed umbrellas and twirling with my daughter we came back in the house, wet, but satisfied.

Next upon entering the house and getting in dry play clothes, (Which if you're a mom you know means cruddy dirty clothes you really don't care if they get messed up clothes) my son found an empty box from a package I had received that day. He asked if he could use it to play with. Now this is Kid's Day so I had to respond "yes" instead of a "no, I need that for later". Being a boy he collected all his colored pencils and began stabbing it making accompanying sounds of course.

Which of course triggered another idea - one of those "I never let them do this but they always want today is perfect for it!" I gave my kids hammers and nails!! *GASP* Yes. I said that correctly: I GAVE MY KIDS HAMMER AND NAILS!

Break Time: Another lesson here. Boys innately want to build, to hunt, to create and conquer. Why do we give them cheap little toys when sometimes they just need the real deal so they can learn REAL things?! My son always wants to build with wood. So obviously he has a passion in him somewhere for it. As parents its our job to encourage them to discover themselves and what they are good at and enjoy. So if he wants to build with wood and nails - then we need to give them opportunity to LEARN safely under our supervision while the "WANT" is still in them.

And my boy was SO creative when I let him do just that! He hammered a smiley face in the first box - naming it his robot. He of course then needed another box for the robot's body so once again obliging he nailed a straight line to connect the two boxes. He even got scissors and cut out a square minus one side to make a flap to be able to put his robot's batteries in! He really thought it all through and I was so impressed!

Now I said I was at a teacher's workshop so of course I had picked up some new recipes! I gave my kids a choice and they picked the funniest sounding one: OOBLECK! Yep, like from Dr. Seuss.

And sorry I didn't get good pictures - when I had the chance to take some it was still too watery. It usually is really sticky ucky stuff! Which it did turn into eventually for us!

Okay RULE of a Kid's Day: YOU MUST NOT BE AFRAID OF A MESS! Because let's face it, kids are messy and you can't have a true kids days without mess.

Which brings lesson #3: When wanting someone to try something, or maybe you want to try something yourself, be prepared and UNafraid of the mess that COULD result. It's a learning experience after all.

Okay wrapping up our night couldn't be something small after all we did so we made a fitting fort ,in mom's room of course, for the kids to "camp out". When I say we made a big fort I wasn't kidding:

And it's hard to judge from pictures but we have a fairly large room and this stretched across almost the entire way! Want to recreate it - just get some sheets and tie them onto your curtain rods as so:

I think it goes without saying that my kids had a BLAST! They asked if every day could be kids day, lol. And of course God always has perfect timing for about two hours after they drifted off to sleep after a good story and bedtimes kisses - I got the call that their grandma had passed away.