Wednesday, December 31, 2014


This post could also be called "a brilliant plan for parenting while sick."

 So as the kids were watching their special movie from Redbox (we are having a very low key New Year's party since I have pneumonia) I was looking through Pinterest and other random blogs and found THIS idea!
A craft "bomb".. no literally.  ;)

The stack of them so everyone could have one.
 Actually, I could make them fast enough just sitting on the couch while my kids ran back and forth throwing the "bombs" and bringing the pieces back for me to hand them another!
Hence, why this is a brilliant idea for when you need to sit on the couch, yet the little ones need to run around.  Totally will wear them out without wearing YOU out.. well, maybe your fingers will get tired, but seriously, that is so much easier than what we normally do, right?
My almost 9 year old worked hard to finally make her own!  Not an easy thing when you start out.
  I remember making these as a kid!  And here's a little video of what they look like upon impact!

Someone is excited!!!
 And they kept asking what a "New Years" was... so we talked about how we'll count down and all throw the "bombs" and say "Happy New Year" and tomorrow the calendar will be new!
The 3 year old was running back and forth so quickly to throw her "bombs" that she could hardly stand still for this picture.  Incidentally, she fell asleep REALLY fast tonight!  I mean, once I got her to sit still for 10 minutes.  ;)
 We've done something different every year so far.  One year we did a balloon drop and other times we've just done noise makers depending on what I had on hand or what I could get.  This time I didn't have anything special, BUT we already had the craft sticks!  Guess what I'm going to do for 2 hours tomorrow?  Why yes.. resting and making more bombs while my children get all worn out and I sit on the couch.  ;)  Oh by the way.. the way this works is that they have to bring back four sticks to get the next bomb.  That's so you can always be making one while someone is throwing one.  This would NOT work if you just kept making them and they didn't bring back the four sticks each time!  Who wants to clean that up?
Some day my 6 year old might not like it that she crossed her eyes on purpose almost every time I took her picture, but there you are.  Goofball.  ;)
 And we did it!  We counted down and threw 14 "bombs" and said "Happy New Year!" ---- at 8:30..... (Do not say a word.)  ;)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Oh yeah... "O week"

"Olivia observes the ocean an owl on an octagon and an orangutan holding an orange and an onion wearing overalls."

It's extremely hard to write clearly in chalk.

And the girls chalk designs. 

The 3 year old's Christmas quilt with a snowman.
 When I was in Washington my Gramma gave me a lot of fabric so that I could make Christmas quilts for my kids.  I've been wanting to make them some for a while now since I had a Christmas quilt for the Daddy and me (made our first Christmas together.)
8 year old with her blue icy Christmas quilt.
 I wanted to finish these for "Q week" but we had some things happen that stalled the letter-a-week progress and I wanted them done for Christmas, SO I stayed up too late a few nights and then I ended up getting the little ones done on Christmas (hand stitching the binding) and then the blue one the next day, and finally the pink one yesterday!  The hand sewing was the most fun because the couch was comfy and we watched Elsa and Anna episodes of "Once Upon a Time" that my husband bought on amazon for me for Christmas.  :)
The 6 year old was so excited to have this on her bed!  She said she was going to faint.  ;)  It's actually sideways because I folded it to fit on her bed better (she doesn't like to tuck it in on the edges.
My mother-in-law's Jamberries.
 We went in the hot pool at our apartment here the day after Christmas.  There aren't many advantages to living in a tiny apartment, but we do enjoy this sometimes.  The girls thought it was weird and unnatural, but when do you get a chance to do this right after Christmas?

My jams in the water.  There's a few days left in the month to order "First Frost" in case anyone is interested!  Each month they have an exclusive design only available for that month only.  Whenever there's been one that I really love I'm never sorry that I get it before it's gone.  :)

She wasn't sure this was a good idea, but was okay with it.
 The hot pool felt very hot actually, so it wasn't a big deal to be in it.  It was just a little bit of a shock to be out of it.  Also, getting too hot was part of it too.
The other two girls enjoyed this a little longer, but they were ready to get out before the grown-ups.
 The pool really helped my back.  All that sewing on the quilts was really killing me.
Sometimes several times a day my 3 year old will take a piece of paper (all different sizes) and scribble on it and then fold or roll it up and put it behind her back and come and tell me that she has something for me and when I open it she says, "It says 'Mommy loves Gracie!'"  Every time.  So so cute.  My stocking was full of her notes as well.

 Cookie day!  Gingerbread cookies to be precise.  They are finally old enough to do this with less help from me.  I mean, I still had to mix and roll out the dough and clean up and all, but I didn't have to stand next to the little one the entire time so that was restful.
And the goofy face just for good measure.  ;)

I found this candle that smelled exactly like how I remembered my favorite page from a Christmas scratch and sniff book from when I was a kid.  So, random favorite thing.  :)

Little one sucking on a Popsicle when she had a fever and was sick.
 Oh right... so why did "O week" take longer than I thought?  It was because we all got really sick.. flu type thing, but not stomach flu.  We had fevers and just couldn't do anything.  It didn't last super long, but the energy level got totally sucked away from it.
Random project that she came up with.
Okay, so "O Week" had little to do with anything "O" ... we talked about words that start with "o" of course and the chalk boards were up, but the sickness and Christmas and all kind of pushed school back a bit.  Still, they are learning all the time and pick up on the rich learning environment around them.  We've been reading a book called "No Children No Pets" which is about some kids near an Ocean so it sort of fits.  I'm having to switch up our school a little bit as the oldest is growing out of some things and the youngest is growing into some things, but that's a never ending project.  Clothes, toys, books, projects, basically everything we do and use all around us is in a constant state of flux and I'm here to adjust it all to help everything fit each child's development.
No pressure or anything.  ;)
I'm having a sickness re-laps right now so don't feel great, but I have a week to take down Christmas stuff before my oldest turns 9!  Crazy to think that she's almost 9 already. 

Sunday, December 07, 2014

"N week" and decorations for Christmas

 Because we were decorating for Christmas we talked a lot about "Nativities" and "Noel" but primarily we live and learn all the time and the letter of the week is just a way to focus on some specifics. 
 These are the trees in my girls room that they got to decorate themselves.
 Their Nativity of course.

 This is the Christmas quilt that I made 10.5 years ago when my husband and I enjoyed our first Christmas together as husband and wife.  I'd started it years before and just chose then to finally put it together!  The other colors in our room don't really match but whatever.  I was leaning back over our half wall in the loft to get that picture!
 Just a random morning with pancakes and tea for breakfast.
 We made "grinch" snacks this day while watching the Grinch.  And of course talked some about the "n" sound in the middle of words.

 One Christmas quilt is almost ready!  I need to do the other two before "Q week"
 I hung up snowflakes that I'd cut out a few years ago.
 Little tiny village that I have.
 More decorations...
 Our "years of Christmas past" -- I still need to do last year and this year.
All the stockings hung with car and it JUST so happened that in the cartoon this picture was up right when I clicked the picture.  I thought it was funny.  ;)
 My oldest enjoyed drawing the Nativity at the bottom there and they all put the snowflakes on the window and drew on it to look snowy.

 Another Nativity
 Another view of the snowflakes
 And our "N" chalk board!  I was going for abstract thoughts that we could talk about and also a way to make it faster for me to draw.  "New" and "Nothing" and "Numbers" are all abstract concepts so how do you draw these things?  Anyway, that was my thought for the "N" theme.
 The girls drew concrete concepts for "N" week. 
 Our Thankful picture that we usually do every year.  We just make it differently.  This time we did fingerprints instead of tracing our hands.
 And this would be what happens when you are trying to take group pictures with a timer and the camera falls over.

 I wanted to get a purple ornament of some kind to commemorate starting the Jamberry business and went to the dollar store and came out with a full mini tree!  Best $5 I've spent in a long time.  :)
 I'd wanted to make a sign of some kind that said "Noel" as well and so getting this ornament was just right.
 Over Thanksgiving the girl's Grammy gave them some "magic nuudles" to create things with and that worked well for "N week" too.  They made ocean related objects to start getting us into the "O" mood for our next letter.
 Random NAP on Thanksgiving day.
 After Thanksgiving we decorated our tree!
 Don't forget "Nails" for "n week" -- I decorated the house and then decorated my nails.  ;)
 Random decorating project of glitter glue on ornament balls.

 Another project we did was the travel mugs.  The girls chose what they wanted to color to put in them for decoration.

 We also made our ornaments for the year.  This time they are all snowmen made out of baby socks.
 The 3 year old and I worked on hers together so we have a double selfie to commemorate it.
 She chose the buttons and colored the hat and all.
 Grammy made one as well, but hasn't put a face on it yet.
 The Daddy asked the older girls to finish his for him.  They added buttons and colored the hate and gave him pipecleaner arms holding a computer "It looks just like you daddy!"
Mine, wearing "Jamberry" with a basket to collect things from nature.  And wearing turquoise and purple.  Totally me.
 The 8 year old made two.  One of her and one "Olaf" just because.
 The 6 year old chose everything for hers, but I helped some with the sewing.
Our advent tree just to keep track of how many more days till Christmas.  I'm reading through some books with them as well and stuff.
One day was warm enough that we did our school reading outside by the pool at our apartment complex.  It was nice, but very loud.

 My Mother-in-law and I've been enjoying doing Jamberry every week or so and getting to see what the other person chooses.

 First Fondue of the season!  It was a big hit.  This is our yearly Holiday tradition.
 My 3 year old's nails.  She chose hearts and unicorns.
 The 6 year old's nails!  I did their nails while we watched "It's a Wonderful Life" -- my youngest kept saying "this is so fun!"
 My oldest wanted to match me.  I want to wear the snowman one later too.  :)
 And this morning my 3 year old got all dressed up to match her nails.
She was so excited.  Can you tell?  ;)