Monthly Archives: October 2009

Household Bingo!

I love this idea from From Pigpen to Paradise, making Bingo sheets for household chores:

Cleaning can be boring, tiresome, and just no fun. But who says it has to be like that. I figured out a way to do my daily chores with a little fun, by playing, House Cleaning Bingo! What I do is I generated some Bingo cards and wrote my daily chores on them, scrambled the words, print out the sheet then it’s off to clean have fun. I look at my card and decided which chore I do first. Now for each Bingo I get, I reward myself with 15 minutes of computer time

I went to the template site the author recommended and plugged in my own items for the kids.  Some are chore related, some are educational, some are charitable, some are health and fitness and the last row are miscellaneous.  I made sure to make some of them just plain fun in each category too! 

We’ll give them a try once we’re all recovered from the flu and I’ll let you know how it goes.

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All Better!

I’m back from my adventures with swine flu and feeling fabulous once more.  Our little timetable here was…

Friday through Sunday:  Anna (9) had the flu (mainly a stomach ache and headache, with some throwing up on Saturday)

Saturday through Tuesday:  I had the flu (mainly severe muscle aches, headache, fatigue, sore throat, uncontrollable coughing and fever)

Tuesday through Wednesday:  Jack (6) had the flu (mainly headache, sore throat and fatigue, with moderate fever)

Tuesday night to present:  Alex (2) has/hadthe flu (mainly higher fever and irritability)

So hopefully we will all be done soon!  (I am fairly sure Victoria had this for quite some time last summer and hopefully she’s got immunity.)

On Tuesday, my shipment of elderberries arrived and a homeopathic flu kit from Oscillo.  Victoria and I made up a batch of the elderberry syrup and we dosed everybody up with that and Oscillo.  It could be coincidence or the placebo effect, but I felt better right away and the boys seem to be recovering quite quickly.

Yay for immune boosters and herbal remedies!  Yay for flus that eventually end, and yay for dear hubbies that keep us all fed and cared for while we moan in bed.  🙂


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Out Sick

I’ve got the flu and am on break!  I’ll be back soon.  In the meantime, feel free to leave your own suggestions for how to make the day magical in the comments!

Talk to you soon…..


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Virtual Pumpkin Carving

Here’s a fun little virtual pumpkin to carve.

Here’s a higher tech one with some additional features.


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Halloween themed Fun

Here’s some fun and easy activities with a Halloween theme…

~ Make a large paper jack-o-lantern and play pin the nose on the pumpkin.

~ Tie a white tissue over a round sucker to make mini-ghosts.  Use markers to add a face.

~ Go pumpkin bowling, using empty plastic bottles for pins and a small pumpkin for the ball.  If you like, make ghosts out of the pins with scraps of white cloth and a tie (like the suckers).

~ Make child sized scarecrows from the kids’ old clothes.  Here’s some scarecrows that kids have made.  Another way to make an easy scarecrow is to stuff clothes with plastic bags, newspaper or rags and sit the scarecrow in a chair with a pumpkin head.  Add a wig or hat to the top and you’re all set!

~ Make paper plate spider webs:  Have kids cut notches all around a paper plate.  Cut a length of black yarn and have them thread the yarn back and forth between random notches until the plate is covered with a web.  If you want to make it permanent, let the kids paint over the yarn with glue.  Once dry, the web will be hard and can be removed from the plate.  Cut out a spider out of black construction paper to finish it off.

~ Cook dinner in a pumpkin.  Good fillings include rice casseroles, mashed potatoes or mixed vegetable casseroles (the pumpkin just cooks up like squash).  Alternately, serve dinner or soup in individual mini pumpkins.

~ Here’s pumpkin carving stencils from Hershey, along with instructions.

~ Make your own tape of spooky noises to play on Halloween.  Have everybody moan, groan, shriek and more while running the tape recorder.  Use it for background noise at supper time and on Halloween night.

~ For very little kids, cut out shapes from black paper (triangles, squares, circles & mouth shapes) and cut a large circle from orange paper tomake a pumpkin.  Let them choose the shapes to use for eyes and a nose and glue them to make a pumpkin face.

~ Mix some WASHABLE black tempera paint with a little dish soap and let the kids use their  hands to stamp bats on the windows.  For each bat, use a round sponge to stamp a body and then use one hand print for each wing (fingers going out).  Prepare for a mess.  This cleans up easily with a wet sponge after Halloween is over.  To make it easier clean-up, take the kids outside and stamp the outside of the windows.

~ Give the kids a couple of rolls of white toilet paper and let them make mummies of themselves.

~ Here’s a great dress up game to do with classrooms or groups of kids.  Fill a bag with all sorts of wacky costume parts (wigs, hats, tutus….) and pass it around a circle while playing music.  When the music stops, the child must reach in and grab something to put on and then start passing again.

~ Make counting books by folding several sheets of paper together.  Let little ones press their fingers on washable ink pads and make fingerprints– one on the first page, two on the second and so on.  Show them how to draw 8 legs on each fingerprint to make a spider and add a face, then write the number beneath each.

~ Trace your child’s foot on white paper and let her or him cut it out and decorate it as a little ghost.  Cut out lots and tape them up as decorations.

~ Catch a real spider web.

~ Check out the fun Halloween decorations here.

If you have any more to share, please add them!  Have a great weekend!

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Scratch & Sniff Halloween Painting

I’ve posted before about how I stock up on Kool-aid when it’s on sale for crafts like kool-aid playdough and scratch & sniff watercolors.  Yesterday I pulled out the orange and the purple flavors to do a craft we stumbled on years ago here….
Scented Halloween watercolors

Just mix one packet of unsweetened drink mix with about one tablespoon of water and paint! 

Grape looks like black when it’s this concentrated and the orange and nice and bright.

It’s completely nontoxic, of course, and makes the house smell quite artificially fruity!

But it doesn’t taste so great!

The kids had a blast experimenting with making foldover prints, dropping drips and blowing on them and other paint techniques too.

It was cheap, fruity Halloween fun.  🙂


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Elderberry Extract Helps Treat and Prevent H1N1 and Other Flus

Like much of the world, I’ve been anxiously watching the H1N1 outbreak and researching like crazy to keep my family safe.  One remedy that came up again and again was elderberry.  The research is really impressive and reassuring.  I’ve ordered elderberries for a recipe I found online and will make up a batch as soon as they arrive, but you can also just purchase the extract.  If you’re interested, I put the information I found here with lots of links for sources and information.  Knowledge is power, and I feel much more prepared with this information. 

For more information about symptoms and when to seek medical attention, see this article.


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Halloween Humor

Victoria wants you to know she was attacked by a bull.

That’s right… She was gourd.

(I know!  I know!  Blame her father for her humor!)



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A Less Than Disney Day

Today was one of those days.  The kids were in such dreary moods that it was as if they had been drugged.  And not in one of those fall-asleep-on-the-couch ways, either.  They were supernaturally grumpy.  Egads.  And it was contagious.

I wish I could say that I dressed us all in costumes and we danced down the streets with musical instruments to chase away our blues. 

Not even close.

I tried.  I got us milkshakes and tried to be perky.  I tried to be comforting.  I tried to empathize.  And then I went and took a bath and had a wine cooler and watched junky TV.

Some days will never be Disney.  Disney is overrated.  Some days the best you can hope for is bedtime coming and an occasional break.

There’s always tomorrow for costumes and musical parades.


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On the First Day of Halloween…

Here’s a great Halloween carol to sing to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" 
(author unknown)

On the First Day of Halloween, my Swamp Thing gave to me:

A hoot owl in a dead tree.
Two trick or treaters,
Three black cats,
Four skeletons,
Five Snicker bars,
Six goblins gobbling,
Seven pumpkins glowing,
Eight monsters shrieking,
Nine ghosts a-booing,
Ten ghouls a-groaning,
Eleven masks a-leering,
Twelve bats a-flying.


Today’s a good day to start doing some of those fun Halloween crafts, songs and activities!

Wear black and orange or serve black and orange foods, make some spooky decorations, wrap the kids in toilet paper and call them mummies… 

Happy Tuesday!

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