Monthly Archives: October 2010

Knock, Knock….

Knock, Knock…

Who’s there?

Wanda Witch

Wanda Witch who?


Wanda Witch you a Happy Halloween!

(Happy pumpkin by Victoria)


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Go Take a Hike

We’ve done a lot of hiking lately, something we don’t get to do too much of in our flat little town surrounding by cornfields.

I have to say that it feeds our souls like nothing else.

We have had a habit for years of stopping by libraries of whatever nearby towns we travel to in our library system, in order to check out piles of new books.  I’ve decided from now on to also try to find hiking spots (even little and unusual ones) on our errands from now on.

Some things are just worth the effort.

Happy weekend!

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Sort of Wordless Wednesday

I love the idea of Wordless Wednesday but I’m too yappy to possibly go without speaking in a whole post and there are too many pictures I love from the past few days to narrow it to only one.

So this is my (not really, kinda) Wordless Wednesday entry, but with extra pics.  I’ve never been very good with directions!  🙂

A few magical moments we’ve found lately…

Happy Thursday!


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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  We’re off to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for some language classes, some time with fun folks and then a science conference for the girls.  And since I’m dreadfully behind on getting us out of here, I’m recycling a list from this time last year.  I suppose you could call it a “gently used” list….  🙂

1.  Dress the dog up for Halloween and take him on a walk.  Count the smiles you get from passers by.

2.  Carve jack-o-lanterns together.  If you like, put a different spin on it by carving aliens or monsters like these.

3.  Gather some nice leaves outside and bring them in.  Have the kids write messages (inspirational quotes, jokes or just silliness) on the undersides in permanent marker and then return them to the wild.  Imagine together what people will think when they find a leaf underfoot that’s speaking to them!
4.  Gather some old buttons, beads, ribbon and doodads and make homemade necklaces together.  Get creative about what you can string — rocks with holes, bits of broken toys, you name it!

5.  Smash acorns!  Magical Mama Shari says her kids had a blast collecting acorns and smashing them with a hammer.  I know my kiddos would love that too.  For goodness sakes, make them wear protective eyewear though.  ;)

6.  Get some oranges and cloves and make fabulous pomanders like this guy.

7.  Play the sliced banana trick on your kids.

8.  Have a laughing contest.  Participants can do anything they can think of to make the others laugh.

9.  Take a cue from these folks and work on a really big scale chalk project.  Also take a cue and use real chalk pastels instead of cheap sidewalk chalk.  Think of the vibrant colors!
10. Head outside and leave some natural art for folks to discover.

And with that, chickadees, I’m off randomly throw things in a suitcase…

Have a magical week!


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Magical Landscaping

We’ve been lucky enough to go visit at Magical Mama Lonni’s house the past couple of weeks when we’ve been in her neck of the woods and I was so delighted by her whimsical, wonderful, child-friendly yard that I asked if I could take pictures.

Of course she said yes, because she’s nice like that.  And of course I only got half the pictures I wanted to take because I got distracted with the kids and then my camera battery died, because I’m flaky like that.  😉

But I got enough to show you some of the things that made me smile, from the rescued slide with no stairs (you have to run up it from below or have your mother put you up there!) to the pink painted tea party table hidden behind the corn to the marble-covered bowling ball decoration.

Here’s a peek…

There was also a trampoline and giant tires and a golf cart and other fabulous stuff… but sometimes all you really need is good friends and a good pile of leaves.  🙂

Happy weekend!

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More Halloween Fun

Are you getting into the Halloween spirit with your kiddos?

Here’s a few more Halloween activities…..

  • 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 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 a spider out of black construction paper to finish it off.
  • For very little kids, cut out shapes from black paper (triangles, squares, circles & mouth shapes) and cut a large circle from orange paper to make 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 some 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.  The dish soap helps this clean 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.

Simple Kids also reminded me of this fabulously fun cutting paper story that reveals a fun surprise at the end with the Halloween house.

And there’s always the favorite here at our house — putting the baby in the pumpkin.  🙂

What Halloween fun are you stirring up at your house?


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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…


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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  Welcome to a whole new week to make some magical memories.

Here’s a few ideas on how to do that…

1.  Add water balloons to your child’s bath.  No, you don’t throw them, but they’re fun to play with!

2.  Eat dragons for snacks.

3.  Carve mini jack-o-lanterns out of orange halves and use for bowls for snacks or desserts.  Just cut the oranges in half, eat the oranges out and then have the kids draw pumpkin faces on them.  Cut them out with a paring knife, fill the bottom half with something fun, and put the top half back on like a lid.  (Sorry, I can’t find any pictures from when we’ve done this!)

4. Jump in leaf piles!  Throw them, roll in them, stomp in them and be a total fool in them.  No autumn leaves in your part of the world?  Make up a whole slew of them from all different kinds of paper and toss them around.  Afterwards, use them as window and wall decorations.

5.  Gather together outgrown and extra coats, sweaters and other winter items to donate to clothing drives.  Take time together as a family to mend any holes and add some fun decorative accents like big buttons, decorative trim, etc. to make them more special for the recipients.

6.  Have a pajama party with another mama friend and her kiddos.  Everybody camp out in the living room or head home at bedtime.  Pop popcorn, watch movies everybody loves, play games and be silly.

7.  Play Musical Costumes.  Gather some kiddos and sit in a circle.  Fill a bag with all sorts of wacky costume parts (wigs, hats, tutus….) and pass it around while playing music.  When the music stops, the child with the bag reaches in and grabs something to put on.  Keep going until all the costume bits are on the participants!

8.  Serve soup or dinner in a pumpkin.

9. Make homemade dolls.  Challenge the kids to be creative and use all sorts of found materials– acorns, corn husks, socks, tennis balls, scrap material, plastic bottles, spools, you name it.  If you have boys who care about feeling manly, call them people instead of dolls.  😉

10. Make your own recording of spooky noises to play on Halloween.  Have everybody moan, groan, shriek and more.  Use it for background noise at supper time and on Halloween night.

And with that, my dearies, I’m off.

Have a magical week!


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Surviving Alex

Last week, we stopped in front of the town drugstore to peek at a sidewalk sale going on.  I saw a delightfully whimsical watermelon serving dish with a leaf-handled spreading knife and checked the tag — on clearance for $4.99.  I have no use for watermelon serving dishes but I loved the look of it.

Daryl could tell and he bought it for me.

I was in love with it.  So in love with it, as a matter of fact, that I had him drive back home to drop it off before we left for grocery shopping, lest it get broken during the day’s trek.

At the grocery store, I indulged in spreads and cheeses and organic crackers to make a lovely appetizer feast for us to christen the watermelon bowls with.  I picked out a mascarpone cheese to mix with real maple syrup for one bowl, planned dips and spreads for the others.

All week I have protected my dish.  I am not a fan of putting things away to use “someday” and I know the risks I take in using things with four children in the house.  I happily put my colorful treasure out, but watched it like a hawk.

All of the children watched out for it.  They knew how special it was to me and they treated it with extra care.

Except one.  Of course.  Three year-old Alex has no concept of words like breakable, no matter how many times he has real world experience with it — and he has a lot.

And of course, you know what’s coming.  He broke it, tonight, while my girls were helping to decorate for a friend’s wedding reception and the boys were playing playdough at the table.

He didn’t just accidentally knock it off the table or anything innocent like that.  He put his playdough in it and stabbed it repeatedly with its own little leaf-handled spreading knife, while I was in the next room.  The sound registered too late.

So much for whimsical watermelon serving dishes.

He apologized a lot.  I know he’s sorry.  We cleaned it up.

The children were all very upset on my behalf.  They gave me hugs.  They offered to glue it.  They glared at Alex.

I have learned so much from parenting each of my children.  We tend to learn the most from the hardest times.  And there are some times that don’t teach us anything new and we just have to get through.

I usually try to find some lesson in the times that make me craziest.  I look for bright sides and deeper meanings.  I put a spin on it. I come to deep realizations.  Yadda yadda.

Tonight there was no deep message.  This child tires me out.  He is more exhausting than any child I’ve met, and I’ve met a lot of them.  Heck, I’ve had a lot of them!  😉

Sometimes you just have to hang on till bedtime.

Someday I’ll have a quiet house and I can fill it with watermelon serving dishes.  Alex owes me one.

In the meantime, at least I have a leafy spreading knife.


Filed under the little stuff

…And Now for Something Completely Different!

Have you seen Your Morning Adorable yet?  This fun feature highlights a different darling video or photograph each time, from a miniature horse foal playing with a giant ball to baby bunnies twitching their noses while sitting in paper cups to the kitten who hasn’t quite got the hang of playing yet.

What a lovely way to get some grins!  🙂

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