Monthly Archives: July 2010

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  I’m still on hiatus but had to bop in for a quick list.  We’re off tomorrow morning for a quick trip with friends who are moving away soon, and then off the next day for another trip to Nebraska.  In between, there are dental visits and other to-do items, but we’re focusing on the fun bits!

Here’s a few ways to make some fun memories this week…

1. Gather up some nut halves and make some darling little creatures like these from Sunshine Daydream.

2.  Get some bags of water balloons and have a massive water balloon bash.  We especially like to throw them super high above our own heads and then run close enough to get wet when they crash down.

3.  Bring your child flowers.

4.  Put some decorative treasures in the yard or garden and move them every few days so the kids can have fun discovering them anew. We have colorful mushrooms that we move all over the yard, tucking them in out of the way spots as a sort of a garden treasure hunt.  The kids love to take turns helping me hide them, too!

(Photo by Victoria Bayer)

5.  Try making some Aussie camping food — damper on a stick!

6.  Buy or make several sets of wind chimes and put them up in the house and garden.  Ask them to help you make up a meaning for what it means when they clink– maybe the wind just blew them a kiss, a fairy entered the room, or someone’s wish came true.

7.  Make some lavender sugar.  Put a dozen or so lavender heads in a jar of fine sugar and leave for about two weeks.  Use in tea, cookies or any other recipe where you want the delicate flavor.  You can also use lemon verbena leaves and other delicious herbs for other flavors.

8.  Cut an old sheet into large wings, have the kids color it with markers, and pin or stitch it to an old shirt.  Have the kids run around as butterflies.

9.   Paint masterpieces on your toenails.  Boys too!

10. Introduce the kids to something you loved as a child….. cross-stitch, “Black Beauty,” Malomars, roller skating…. start a new tradition and enjoy it all over again!

And with that, my dears, I’m off again for a bit.

Kiss your children, count your blessings, and don’t forget to take care of you!


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Break Time

I’m taking a little blogging break.  I’ll be back soon!

In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves and have chocolate.  😉


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Make Your Own Canopies!

I’ve coveted these canopies from expensive children’s stores for years and never dreamed they could be made so easily.  It’s basically a hula hoop, some fabric and trim!

Family Fun has the simple instructions.

Happy Friday!

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Make a Pom Pom Shaun the Sheep!

I love this craft!!!!  You can make these adorable sheep from wool yarn, and even shear them!

You can make a whole little flock for the kids to play with.  You can even make them out of recycled bags.

Head on over to dad can do for all the instructions and printable patterns.

Happy Thursday!


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Victoria loves to take pictures.  Alex does not always love to pose for them.  When he is in the mood for the papparazzi, he tends to act completely goofy.

Here’s a few pictures my oldest took of my youngest recently.  They make me smile.  🙂

Happy Wednesday!


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Ten Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  Here’s a few ways to make some memories this week….

1.  Throw a costume party picnic in the park or back yard.

2.  Go rock climbing — the old fashioned way.

3.  Wash the car together.  It sounds like work to us, but it’s great fun for children!

4.  Bury tiny treasures for the kids to find in the sandbox.  Good choices include dragon tears (those flattened colored glass marbles florists use) and rocks that have been painted gold.

5.  Buy a pack of old fashioned clothespins and make clothespin dolls.

6.  Make a customized crossword puzzle for your child.

7.  Alter a set of the kids’ sheets.  Take a light colored, older sheet set and give the kids permanent markers to doodle, draw and otherwise personalize.  This is the perfect way to give new life to stained or worn sheets!

8.  Leave tasty treats for the squirrels and then hide somewhere and watch to see if they come snatch them.

9.  Paint chalkboard paint on something unexpected so the kids can draw on it.

10. Have afternoon tea.  Brew up a pot of something tasty, get out some wonderful china cups and cookies, and sit and be fancy together.

Have a wonderful week!


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Colored Water Busywork

Here’s a simple way I keep my boys happy when they’re bored and I need a few minutes to finish supper.  Fill an ice cube tray or muffin tin with water (half full) and add a few drops of food coloring to about half of the cups (put a towel underneath for little ones who are prone to spills).  Then give them eye droppers or medicine droppers to mix and match the colors.

This is surprisingly fun for kids and very calming for my boys.  They love to make a rainbow of colors and shades.

They can also drop the colors onto coffee filters, newspaper, light colored construction paper or other absorbent paper to make patterns with the colors.

It’s simple fun, with a little color theory tossed in!

Want to add to the fun?  Tint white vinegar instead, and then give them each a little bowl of baking soda with a baby spoon afterwards.  They can add a tiny scoop of baking soda to each cup and see what happens!  In color! 🙂


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My dear friend (and very magical mama) Nancy uses this delightful alternative to “Because I said so”when kids keep asking why.

She tells her son, “Because I love you.”

Isn’t it better?  I love it!


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Crazy Hat Girl

Victoria has been in the Wilder Pageant for 6 years now.  Every summer, she dresses up in an old fashioned dress, pinafore, braids and bonnet, and helps reenact life from the time when the Ingalls Family lived nearby.

Until this year.

This year, she is wearing an old fashioned dress, pinafore, braids and… this hat.

She wasn’t supposed to.  Her dad brought it as a possible costume change since he plays two characters, and she seized it and wore it for fun during dress rehearsal.  The director told her to go ahead and wear it, much to her delight.

This came as a surprise to many of the other bonnet-clad girls, who repeatedly asked her if she was really going to wear that hat.  She would tell them yes, sometimes they’d give her a look, and that would be the end of it.

Except for one girl.  This girl (whom I’ll call Pageant Girl) just could not get over the fact that Victoria was really, truly going to wear that hat in the Wilder Pageant.  She asked Victoria about it repeatedly.

The conversations went like this…

Pageant girl:  You’re not really gonna wear that hat, are you?

Victoria:  Yes

Pageant girl:  But you can’t wear that hat!

Victoria:  But the director said I could.

and later…

Pageant girl:  You’re not really wearing that hat though, are you?

Then the next day, after the first performance, when Victoria did in fact wear the hat…

Pageant girl:  Why are you wearing that hat?

Victoria:  Because the director told me to.

and later…

Pageant girl:  Why are you wearing that hat?

Victoria:  Because I want to.

and later…

Pageant girl:  Why are you wearing that hat?

Victoria:  Because it’s so awesome.

Pageant girl:  But it’s not awesome!  It’s weird!  And it doesn’t look good on you!

Victoria says, “We were next to The Bench of Teenagers and they all stood up and said things like It’s okay and It’s a cool hat and Hey, she looks fine.”

But still, later on…

Pageant girl:  That hat looks so weird.

Victoria:  Thanks.

Pageant girl:  I feel sorry for you, because there’s no way I’d wear that hat!

Victoria:  (Jumping onto a bench)  I feel sorry for you because you’re not daring enough to!

I have grown to love that crazy hat — and my kid for wearing it.  🙂


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On Miracles

(Super tiny baby grasshopper spotted by Alex, age 3)

“There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

~ Albert Einstein


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