Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sticks, Stripes, & Tetanus Shots- Getting Ready for Labor Day

If you’re going to work with me, make sure you’re up to date on your tetanus shots.  Check out this fine saw I used for this project:
Tetanus, anyone?
Don’t worry, I didn’t cut myself.  There’s no gore in this post- only sticks, paint, twine and a flag. 

I thought this project was going to be a quick one since, well, it just looks simple.  I only started with 3 materials- sticks, paint and twine.  I was able to find the sticks really quickly around my house.  Then I laid them out.  (Dun, dun, duh…)   They weren’t as straight as I thought.  So I had to go on another stick finding mission.  

Sawing them to be close to the same size was another time sucker.  This didn’t take forever, but it took longer than expected.  Perhaps it had more to do with making two of these flags at the same time so I needed 30 sticks instead of 15. (I also did the prep work for my 7 year old.)

When I finally had the prep work complete, we laid the sticks out in the order we liked and painted.  My son did one with me and also made himself into an American flag with all of the paint he got on himself… on purpose. 

"Just call me Betsy Ross," he said.  I wish I had a bad cell phone image of him at that moment like I do of the layout below...

The white is primer.  (Why not?!)  The red and blue are craft paint we already had.  

After it dried I moved the sticks onto two others that would be the back support.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep these together like I liked, so I decided to bring in the glue gun.  I glued the sticks to the supporting ones so I’d be able to tie the twine without losing my mind. 

I just did a basic crisscross with the twine to secure the sticks and make this into one final piece rather than 15 pieces.  This took some time too, but it was kind of therapeutic since it was repetitive and I was able to get into a groove with it.  

Originally, I thought we’d paint stars on after tying the twine.  Obviously- Wait. Not so obvious, huh?  (Side note: My camera was dropped into the kitchen sink this week, so my cell phone is all I have right now...) Well, we decided against it.   I love them both.   

Actually, I think I like Betsy Ross Reincarnate's better because he didn’t worry about covering the sticks completely as he painted.  It goes with the natural, rustic look.  I think we’ll hang his in his room while the larger one hangs out on the back door. 

What are doing for Labor Day?  Shopping for a camera like me?  Any suggestions?
I'm linked up with Tip Junkie,  Savvy Southern Style, Be Colorful, Between Naps on the Porch, Home Stories A2Z, Nap Time Creations, and Today's Creative Blog!
TDC Before and After

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Help a Teacher Out

Back to School time is here.  School is really starting. It’s a fact, not just a marketing ploy that started months ago.  I know because I’ve seen really cute and crafty back to school themed projects all over the internet.  Amongst them have been many back to school themed gifts for the teachers- school supply cakes and pencil vases and pencil wreaths and survival kits and Astrobrights everything, and ____ (you fill in the blank with the crafts you’ve seen).  
back to school gift basket :)
What's Scrapping
Back to School Arrangement
Jonathan Fong Style
Pencil/Cork Wreath
Organize & Decorate Everything
You get the idea.  

A back to school gift is new to me.  I haven’t seen these gifts at the middle school level, and I certainly haven’t been giving them to my sons’ teachers either.  Good news? While these are incredibly cute and extremely thoughtful… they’re not the only thing you can do during this wild start to the school year.  There are LOTS of ways to help out in your child’s class and school.

If you have time to donate… I know, who has kids and time?!  Seriously, please consider donating time to the school or teacher (new one, former one… who cares?).  The days leading up to the “Grand Opening” of a new school year can be likened to running a marathon at a full sprint- without water stations- in extreme weather- maybe without shoes- DEFINITELY without sleep.  Any help someone can offer is greatly appreciated.  Maybe the teacher would love for you to:
  • put books on a shelf
  • make name tags
  • help hang posters and bulletin boards (Or they may need help making them!)
  • organize all the packets of paper that come home those first few days (Oh, how I wish someone would do this for me.)
  • make copies, copies, and more copies
  • paint a classroom wall or improve something in the school

If donating time, isn’t your thing…
  • Does your line of work or expertise go hand-in-hand with the curriculum? Let the teacher know at the Open House or Back to School Night just as a heads-up.  Planning a year’s curriculum takes, well, lots of planning.  If you can start a ball rolling early, hopefully it will be able to come to fruition and benefit the kids when it’s most pertinent to what’s going on in the class.
  • Food is always appreciated.  Really, who doesn’t like some good comfort food during a stressful time?
  • Gift cards to Target, Barnes & Noble, Office Max, Staples, etc. are wonderful so the teacher can get what he or she needs for the classroom and it will help with the inevitable out of pocket expenses teachers incur.  Don’t worry about the amount either.  I don’t know a single teacher who doesn’t appreciate the $5 ones as much as the $20 ones.
  • Coffee or Tylenol PM or both (Used in the correct order, these work.)- I wasn’t kidding about not getting sleep at this time of year.  I often wake up around 2 or 3am and can’t go back to sleep because of everything running through my mind.  I’ve heard many others talk about it, too.
However, if you’ve been meaning to do a Back to School themed craft, have at it! Use any of the ones I found for inspiration because they’re awesome and will certainly be shown off all over that school! (Seriously, can I please teach one of their kids?!)
Funky Polkadot Giraffe
Creative Itch

I'm linked up with Home Stories A2Z & Savvy Southern Style!

Just the thoughts today...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Marshmallow Shooters/ Critter Catapults- They’re Fun with Either Name

This has to be one of the easiest and best activities to do with a kid.  I think it took me all of 2 minutes to make both… including walking around the house to gather the scissors and balloons.  No joke.  I’m so glad I found this activity on Laura's blog so I could try it with my boys. 
Here's what you do:
  1. Cut the bottom out of the yogurt container with some sharp scissors. 
  2.  Tie off the end of the balloon. 
  3.  Cut about a ½ in. off the top of the balloon. 
  4.  Stretch the balloon over the top of the yogurt container. 
  5.  Have fun!
Step 5 wasn't a problem.  At first we shot marshmallows at the play set (5 points for hitting the green part, 3 points for the wood), but our dog kept eating them.  We weren’t sure about how many he could safely eat…   

So we turned the marshmallow shooter into more of a "critter catapult" using little plastic Halloween ring toppers I had left over from last year.  We knew how many of those our dog could safely eat.  I'm kidding... Although, it was a great way to refresh his memory on the “leave it” command.  

Making a target to aim at turned out to be fun, even though I lost.    The boys are still practicing with these days later so I doubt I’ll be showing them up at our next face off either. ;)

I'm linked up with Tip Junkie,  Savvy Southern Style, Be Colorful, Between Naps on the Porch, Home Stories A2Z, and Today's Creative Blog!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Balloon Jets turn into Balloon Archery

I’m still working through the Alphabet Challenge (read more here, here, or here).  Letter J was supposed to be for jets- balloon style.  I thought we’d blow them up, stand behind a line, and *try* to launch them into or near the empty flower pot. 
 While this did make us laugh, it didn’t work. 
At one point, my son even tried throwing it in as it deflated. That didn’t work either. 
What did work?  Aiming the balloons archery style.  Just pull it back, and let it fly.  This was much more effective, but it just didn’t make the cut for J Day.  I’m not worried about it.  It gave us about 30 minutes of fun outside.  Plus, it’s another example that things don’t always work out, and that’s okay.  
What’s your favorite balloon activity?  Watching your kids turn red trying to blow one up?  Yeah? Me too! :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cardboard is the Next New Thing- Easy Mat for Greeting Card Art

What do you do when you buy a greeting card that makes you smile?  
Decide to frame it.  What do you do when you realize it’s not a standard size?  Paint cardboard.  Yes, that's the obvious answer that took me a few months to realize. 

I used an 8 x 10 frame from Goodwill I had already spray painted a glossy black and decided to paint the cardboard my dining room color for a mat.  (I still had my dining room wall paint out from the chalkboard I made.It took all of 2 minutes to do and no special equipment was needed.  I used a foam brush and it couldn’t have been simpler.
I’m happy with it! Now I just need to take pictures without a glare decide where to put it- by the back door or near my work space?  Don't worry, I fixed the spacing and moved it to the center after snapping this picture!

I'm linked up with Tip Junkie,  Savvy Southern Style and Today's Creative Blog!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

We’re fired! (Take Your Kids to a Paint Your Own Pottery / Ceramics Place Soon!)

Yep, really.  The kids' pottery was sent to the kiln and fired.  And it turned out better than I expected- really a great before and after.  If you haven’t done this with your kids, do it.  I was holding off, waiting for my youngest to get a bit older.  However, with the power of grandmother reinforcement, even 4 year old boy attention spans are suited for paint your own pottery endeavors!  Here's what you may see when you go:

You don’t even have to have kids with you to go!  There were all kinds of chances to let your creativity flow.  I like that they sprinkled some completed projects in with the bare ones to help spark your creativity.  I love this person’s bird DIY masterpiece.  Doesn’t it look like something you’d see in stores?

There were a lot of kid-focused items there: cartoon and comic characters, banks, animals, etc.   I swear my kids have radar for snakes, lizards and any other creature I prefer to only see on TV. 

That’s where you start- picking out your piece.  The cheap-o in me wasn’t real keen on the $17 and $20 price tags for the snake and frog they picked out, but I had a coupon and really, you’re paying for the experience here.  I ignored the little voice in my head and went with it.  I’m really glad I did, too.  As an added bonus, my mother-in-law actually treated for this experience.  I was really glad I could at least offer a $8 coupon. ;)

My kids loved the work space.  But first they picked their colors and then they had to give the piece a sponge bath. (Sorry for any hospital images that sentence created.)   Finally they were off and painting… and painting… and painting… 3-4 coats are what they suggested.  My little one lost interest and asked me to help him out with all the blue. (I really do try to keeps a hands-off approach to their crafts.)  Then he put a random blob of black in the middle, but it’s faint in the finished product.  

One week later, here’s what we have after picking it up!  They turned out better than I expected. Now I’m worried they’ll drop them…  

Have you tried your hand at ceramics?  How about your kids' hands?  Have you ever been fired? Kidding, don’t share those stories. ;)

I'm linked up today with Be Colorful, Keeping It Simple, Between Naps on the Porch and  Nap Time Creations!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Finally Getting Ahead on the Alphabet Challenge- A starting list for letters F-Z

Managing to do a letter a day for 26 days is turning out to be quite the challenge! Organizing my ideas for each letter was the biggest hurdle, much less actually doing them! So far, a whopping 3 days in, I do think it’s helping a little with the craziness that comes with my boys having too much together-time the past two months. Hopefully, it'll make the transition back to school a little easier for them too.
I finally sat down and hashed out a few ideas for each letter.  I’ll update this list as I think of more ideas and get closer to the days that are a little sparse on the ideas. You could always check the blog where I got the inspiration for this challenge. She was smarter and more organized having spread it out over the whole summer! (I’ve posted a list for letters A, B, C,D, or E.) Here’s my work in progress:


  • Finding Faces- Look for them all over: cars, tree trunks, clouds, etc...
  • fruit
  • figs
  • Frankfurters, French Fries
  • Fish- Eat them in stick form... so fancy for a day about F! ;)
  • Frisbee
  • Invite Friends Over
  • Footprint Art- This is so cute and easy to do.   Get a canvas and paint it whatever color you want, leaving it white is a cute option too.  Then paint the bottom of your kids feet and place their foot on the canvas.  Do it haphazardly and it’ll turn out adorable.
  • Fire Station Tour- They’ve always been accommodating to us when we’ve dropped by if we see they’re not on a call. You could always bake something or bring something to the firefighters.
  • Funny Faces- Take pictures!
  • Flashlight Tag
  • Go fishing! 
  • Float in the pool
  • Flags- Maybe make this one:
American Flag


  • Garlic
  • Gatorade
  • Graham Crackers
  • Grapes
  • Golf on the Greens (or Putt-Putt with a fancier term for today)
  • Games
  • Gifts- Make some for a neighbor or friend.
  • Glue


  • Hula Hoop
  • Honey
  • Hot Dogs
  • Hide and Seek
  • Horses- Go see some and feed them hay.


  • Ice Cream or Italian Ice
  • Italian foods & Italy
  • Initial Art


  • Jelly or Jam- Make some or just eat it!
  • Jewelry- Fancy or Macaroni works just the same.
  • Jello
  • Jokes
  • Jog
  • Jump
  • Juggle
  • Jets (the balloon variety- post coming soon about this)
  • Journal- Lots of schools have incentives for kids to keep one over the summer.  It doesn’t matter if you’re starting it in the last half of August.  You could also start one between you and your child where you write each other notes back and forth.  Decorate a composition book today for this.


  • Kick Ball
  • Kites
  • Kettle Corn
  • Kabobs
  • Kindness- What projects can your family come up with for this?
  • (Putty) Knife- This art by Katie Bower looks fun and a small canvas would be fun for a kid to do!


  • Lunch
  • Loaders- Go to a construction site to see them, build them out of Legos, etc
  • Laser Tag- Get some friends together and go for it.
  • Lavender- Is it even in season right now?


  • Mango
  • Mohawks- Here’s another to get a picture of!
  • Magic- Learn some tricks.
  • Mud Factory-  I have boys.  This will be easy for them.
  • Marshmallow Shooters- Post on this coming soon!
  • Mother May I
  • Marbles


  • Nature Rubbings- I think kids always like these.  I like that they’ll be outside and focused on something other than fighting with each other!
  • Nuggets- Gold, chicken, it doesn’t matter!
  • Noodles- maybe alphabet ones to eat or pool noodles to play and craft with?


  • Obstacle Course
  • Oranges
  • Orangutans
  • Orange Sherbet
  • Ocean
  • Octogons


  • Pinatas- water balloon style (Hang water balloons as a pinata.)
  • Parachute
  • Perry the Platypus- Watch “Phineas and Ferb” or read a book about a Platypus.
  • Pineapple
  • Peach
  • Peppers
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Popsicles
  • Politeness and Please- Say it often! Earn Points for each time you catch them doing these things!
  • Puppets


  • Quiet game- Please can my kids get really competitive with this game while we’re in the car?!
  • Queen
  • Questions- Kids ask a lot of questions.  As frustrating as it can be for us, it’s a great thing.  Encourage it on Q day.


  • Raspberries
  • Read
  • Rubbings of Nature again!
  • Rose
  • Rowing- Kayaking, anyone?
  • Roosters


  • Soap carving with a plastic knife- let the kids create whatever they want.
  • Simon Says
  • Shop!
  • Sharks- Get some books or watch the Discovery Channel
  • Sand
  • Serve a volleyball or tennis ball-  Go to a local park.  They probably have a volleyball net


  • Tag, you’re it!
  • Tacos
  • TV
  • Twister- Have you painted the board on your lawn, or do you play on the mat from the box?
  • Toe Puppets- Just draw funny faces on the bottoms of their toes and listen to them giggle!



  • Vase- Kids could paint or decorate one
  • I’ll have to get back to you on this one!


  • Worm hunting
  • “What if?”- How many silly “what if?” questions can you think of?


I feel sorry for this letter.  It only ever gets credit for xylophone and being in words like extra.  We may have to come up with something with that thought in mind.


  • Yogurt
  • Yodeling- This may be too much for me…
  • Yo-Yo


  • Zoo
Yikes, now that I took way too much of your time… Wait, is anyone still reading?!... These are my starting thoughts for this crazy rushed project I started.   Projects every day for 26 days?!  What was I thinking?!

I'm linked up with Keeping it Simple, Between Naps On the Porch, and Nap Time Creations.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Constantly Crazy- Letters C, D, & E-

C could stand for Committed (not the crazy kind) to the alphabet challenge  because despite how busy we were for B day, we still had an official day for it.  The kids even showed their commitment to blending B and C days by driving me bonkers and crazy a few times.  Unfortunately we didn’t get to do a lot of activities, but we did talk about the letter B quite a bit.  My youngest was still pointing out the letter B while we were out in a store.  Who cares if one of the ones he pointed out was a number 8?!  It was cute and I was proud of him.  There were a few times that he said something was “b-b-b-busted” or the like. :) 
Image Ref: 2001-29-3 - A to Z, Viewed 6338 times
Starting with C:
  • Creativity!- Give them a box of who knows what kinds of supplies and trinkets. See what they come up with.
  • Camp Out- (under a fort to play, for the night outside in a tent to sleep, etc.)
  • Card Games
  • Candy or Candyland… or make a Candyland Cake!  I’ve seen some cute ones from a Google image search, but haven’t tried our own yet.
  • Ceramics- Have you ever taken your kids to a paint your own ceramics place before?  I’m working on a post from when we recently did.  It took about 1.5-2 hours.  If you’re unsure about the attention span for your kids, bring reinforcements (another mom and her kids or a grandparent).
  • Carve a bar of soap with a plastic knife-  Adorn it with anything you want.
  • Cars- Watch the  movie, race some Hot Wheels, make a tape-line track around your house and over the couch.
  • (Roller) Coasters
  • Cloud Watching- What a great opportunity for creativity!
  • Can Phone- Make sure the string you tie is tight so it will work.
  • Clay
  • Costumes
  • Crab Races
  • Catch- Just go outside and play catch… simple and fun. 
  • Corn Hole
  • Count Cash- This is something they worked on in 1st grade and it won’t hurt to review it.  Do it while playing store or something.  Gather up your play money after renaming your kitchen to give it a restaurant name and charge the kids for snacks/ lunch. 
  • Construction Site- Go visit one or use their toys and run one in the yard.  My boys could do this for hours.
  • Catapult- Make one out of sticks, foam pieces, straws, whatever!
  • C Foods- Cookies, Cantaloupe, Corn, Cucumber, Cereal, Cinnamon, Cinnamon rolls, Cobbler
Don’t think you’ll get to all of those?  Yeah, me neither.  Here’s what I’ve come up with for D: 
Image Ref: 2001-04-1 - Letter D, Viewed 15620 times
  • Doughnuts
  • Dinosaurs
  • Dig- Combine dinosaurs and dig by buying one of those dino eggs at Michael’s Craft Store for $2 each.  They’re awesome.  Be prepared to do them outside because they’re messy and take a bit of time.
  • Draw- Draw dinosaurs? Draw diggers?  I’m on a kick with the alliteration.
  • Dust- Yes, dust the house. Of course, this means you can’t use the dust to practice writing the letters. ;) They’ll hate the letter D forever. I'm okay with that
  • Dance  
Hmm, D is pretty short.  I’ll keep thinking on that one.
Image Ref: 2001-05-4 - Letter E, Viewed 16597 times
And to get you through the weekend, let’s end with E:
  • English Muffins
  • England- Throw in a little history lesson or count the medals they had in the Olympics.
  • Exercise
  • Envelope- Learn to address it properly.  As an 8th grade teacher I can tell you that email and texting have eaten this knowledge up.  If you have older kids, test them on it.  Can they do it?!  I was floored when I realized this one day at school.  They didn’t know what went where or even what went on it at all.  I’m still surprised by that.  The best part of this tangent… they were a group of kids being tapped for the Jr. Beta Club… smart kids who didn’t know how to address an envelope.
  • Ears- Play a listening game where you close your eyes and have to guess what the other person has in their hand just by listening to the description.
  • Elephants and Elephant Ears (Yum! Plus, you’ve already exercised so eat up and enjoy!)
  • Ears of corn
There ya go!  Those are my ideas, what do you think?  Please share any other ideas you have in the comments to help me out!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A is for Awesome, B is for Busy, C is for Closure

Did you have a letter A day yet?  How’d it go?  It went great here.  Keep in mind, it wasn’t a full day of “all A, all the time,” just a little here and there.  We did almost all of the things from the A-list (even a few bites of asparagus).  The ones we didn’t do, I’ll try to squeeze in tomorrow as a review of A!  Ahh, just go with it and it actually all works out. :)

The boys actually added to the list and I liked that too.  For instance, on their own, they made letter A’s out of sticks and mulch while we were outside.  I love that awareness (appropriate word for an A-day too!) and self-directed activities came just by giving them a theme for the day.
Image Ref: 2001-28-2 - A to Z, Viewed 10198 times
Let’s move on to B, shall we? Here’s the bullet list for B:  (Did you just roll your eyes at my alliteration?  It’s okay. I did too.)
  •  ABC puzzle again- I think it set us up to work together and review the ABCs for my younger son. It may get old, but it isn’t yet.
  • "B" Scavenger Hunt- This went great today, so I’m rolling with it. My older son ran around looking for items that started with A and my younger son roamed around looking for both capital and lowercase A’s.  I wrote the letters on the kitchen chalkboard and kept an overall tally of how many times they found something. I did tallies as a team type thing even though they were working individually.
  • "B" foods- broccoli, Breakfast of bananas, biscuits (too bad they ate the last ones today and I don’t do those from scratch), bagels, blueberry muffins (I love a quick mix in a box!) or bacon
  • Bubble gum chewing and maybe some bubble blowing?  That should be funny.
  • Bike riding
  • Bendaroos- We just happen to have an unopened box someone gave us. I ’ll see if the kids want to do them.
  • Blowing big bubbles- I’m going to try to string together drinking straws with yarn or pipe cleaners to make large shapes to place in store bought bubble solution.
  • Baby Book or any book donation to a new baby, a friend, a church nursery, library, day care, etc.
  • bouncing birthday- We just happen to have a birthday party to go to at an inflatable place, but you could always do a birthday cake for the letter b,  take your kids to an inflatable place, or just bounce around the yard doing relays or just plain silly stuff.
  • Back to School Shopping- It has to be done sometime...
  • Be nice, Be polite, Be silly, Be ________ - Insert whatever you need for your family!
  • Brothers, Best friends and maybe a little Brain-washing- Though I know my boys love each other, they don’t always show it.  Recently a lady told me that she went to a parenting class years ago and she learned to just tell her kids they were best friends.  Say things like, “Don’t talk to your best-friend like that” or “Best friends don’t do that to each other.”  I’ve bought into it and am trying it.  I don’t really think it’s brain-washing, just helping kids understand things they aren’t old enough to understand yet. Yeah, let’s go with that. :)
How’s that for a list to help you begin your B day?  You could hop over to Angela's blog to see what she did and even ask your kids what ideas they have- kids are pretty creative.  They haven’t let themselves grow out of it yet.  I’m sure we won’t get to everything on this list and that’s okay. I give you permission not to try and do it all also. ;) 
C is for Closure.  Remember that from the title?  I’m letting my teacher-self come out a little.  Close out the learning your kids do when you can.  Wrap it up and put a bow on it, figuratively of course.  We’re all busy and closure doesn’t have to be fancy, just help them process what they learned.   Closure is like putting a lid on the firefly jar so they (the new ideas) don’t fly out.  For example, after my preschooler made his "A" out of sticks, I asked him how he did it.  He had to tell me and re-think his process about how you form the letter with two leaning lines and one straight across. We did a little tonight by reading The Sleepy Little Alphabet and talking about all the letters as we went.  Closure is something I think I’ll always be working on in my classroom and I need to remember it at home too. 
The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Town
I love this book. My kids giggle every time at the letters O,P, and U.  Read it and you'll see why.  (No perks for this endorsement, it's just a great read.)
I was serious when I asked if you did letter A day.  I want to know what else you did.  I have dreams of being more organized and maybe doing a more structured version next year!  Help me out! Give me your 2 cents, please.
 I'm linked up again:  House of Hepworths
                                       The Brambleberry Cottage


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Slacker Mom Olympic Gold: ABCs of August

There’s a major slide in kids’ learning over the summer months.  It just happens.  I always have grand ideas in June that I’ll incorporate informal learning into our summer. Of course it will result in my kids reaching genius status.  Then the summer is really here and to an extent I do incorporate fun and informal learning… but not enough. 

Now it’s August and while my almost 2nd grader has been reading here and there this summer, it hasn’t been much. I’ve been even more slack with my preschooler.  That ends now.  No, I’m not starting a home school mini-session prior to school, but we went to the library and my oldest agreed he should read more often to get ready for school.  I think we checked out every children’s book about sharks, snakes, frogs, fish and reptiles in general.  (My kids really like nonfiction. It surprises me.)   

Yes, I made the August to do list and we're working on it, but I wanted to do more. I stumbled on this blog as the inspiration for my own balloon wreath. I was just perusing the posts and saw that she’s been doing an ABCs of Summer series with her kids.  (Oh, this made me feel like a serious slacker mom. Instead of dwelling on it, I’m taking action.)  I quickly counted on my fingers did the math and there are EXACTLY 26 days before the start of school for us.  Oh, sometimes I get lucky! There will be no slacking on the weekends or taking a day off around here!  (I’ve typed it; now I have to do it. Thank you blog-world for making me accountable.)  Wait, there may be slacking in the actual activity department, but I WILL have a letter day each day.  I WILL.  This is NOT going to be like a diet or fitness plan that never works. (Who am I trying to convince?!  You or me?!)
 Here it is.  I now proclaim it to be Letter A Day.  It really is.  It’s currently after midnight (12:11am) and “A” can stand for Astute observations from the sleep deprived.  I’ll run that by the kids when they wake me up.

Agenda for A day:  (See what I did there?  Impressive, I know. I’ve totally embraced this now.)
  • abc puzzle- Gotta start somewhere!
  • Airplane lego building
  • Address memorizing- Do they know it?!
  • Eating “A” foods- asparagus (and they're going to like it), apples
  • Call our Aunts
  • “A” scavenger hunt- How many A’s are around our house?  How many objects can you find that start with A?
  • Addition
  • Arm Yourself! Nerf Gun Battle
  • Annoy, Antagonize, and Aggravate your brother (Really, it's inevitable.)
Whew, I’ll see what else they come up with as they find things around the house that start with A.  We’ll do those too. :)   What do you do to help your kids get back into school mode?  Are you willing to commit to this too?  Please?  There’s strength in numbers… be my numbers. Please.   

Ready for letter B? Go here.

I'm linked up to Savvy Southern Style  and Home Stories A to Z today!

August (fun) To-Do List

It’s August. Already. The milk in the fridge’s sell by date is actually after the first day of school. I know the end of summer is coming quickly now. I want to make sure we get all we can out of the last bit of summer. I don't want to miss out on having fun with my boys before we go back to the school and work routine.  In order to do that, I made a list (shocking!) of ideas to keep us in more smiles and less fights.
You know what?  They're all activities to do on the cheap- no credit counseling needed!
 I’m sure I’ll do a few posts on some of these.  Wanna try them with us? Which one looks best to you?  My kids have never played "Mother May I"... weird. What do they do in preschools now?!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Making a Child Silhouette

I remember seeing silhouettes in friends’ houses growing up and I always liked them.  They looked something like this:

So, now I have kids and wanted them in my house.  But I didn’t want the old-fashioned 1800s style.  Four pieces of scrapbook paper fixed that for less than a dollar a sheet.  I really like the texture in the brown paper.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  First I needed my kids’ silhouettes (and help from my sister with her Photo Shop skills).  We had the kids stand mug shot style next to a wall that had a lot of natural light for an initial photo. Yes, just like Matthew McConaughey but without the rap-sheet: 

Learn from my mistake: Place tape on the floor where you want them to stand so their silhouettes will be consistent.

From here my sister took the photos and worked some Photo Shop magic and we printed a version of the photo similar to the 1800s style to cut.  You could just play with the zoom and print the photo out in the size that will fit your frame.   

Cutting this was stressful! (My son’s nose isn’t quite as pointed as the lower silhouette shows…) After cutting, I used double-sided tape to attach the silhouette to the background paper and placed it in the frame.   

Now, I have cute silhouettes of my kids at ages 5 and 2 to see at my front entry. And, the most expensive part of the project was the frames. :)
Have you ever tried this? Or did you have them done at a fair or something where they don't cut the tip of a kid's nose off? 

I'm linked up today with the Thrifty Decor ChickBetween Naps on the Porch  , Home Stories A to Z, My Romantic Home, The Shabby Nest, Be Colorful, Nap Time Creations, Keeping it Simple, and Today's Creative Blog!

  all crafts Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours! {8 7}