Monthly Archives: November 2010

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Hello magical you!  So sorry for being a day late (and a dollar short?).  We went on an impromptu mini-trip to visit Grandma and Grandpa and help put up their tree on Sunday, and while I could have sneaked off to post a list I was too busy swimming and playing.  🙂

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving (for those who do Thanksgiving) and that the winter storms are missing you.

Enough yapping, though.  On with some magical suggestions for the week…

1.  Serve snowmen for supper. Make some mashed potatoes and scoop out three mounds per plate, stacked flat like a snowman lying down.  (Mash in some butter beans if you want to up the protein.) Put out all sorts of veggie props to decorate the snowman — steamed carrots for limbs, peas for eyes and buttons, black olive slices and so on.  Try some steamed broccoli trees for background too!

2.  Make a wreath for the door together. It can be made of anything — grapevine wreaths decorated with ornaments and ribbon, pine boughs wired in a circle with a big bow, or simple colored paper hand prints.  Do it together and hang it proudly.

3.  Got snow?  Bring some pans inside and spray paint it. When it’s too melted or colored up, dump it and get new!  No snow?  Try crushed ice!

4.  Decorate something silly for the holidays. Hang ornaments on the chandelier, stick bows all over the refrigerator, or hang garland in the car.

5.  Take time off with each child to give each other manicures or pedicures. Boys too, if they like!  My Jack is secure enough with his 7 year-old manliness to have painted toes quite often.  😉

6.  Dress in a holiday theme. Put everybody in red and green or silver and blue, add curling ribbon to hair, don jingle bells and so on.

7.  Make jeweled princess bracelets. Crafts by Amanda shows you how to use cardboard tubes, felt, craft glue and some baubles in this child-friendly craft.

8. Leave silly notes in hiding places all over the house. It may take months for somebody to stumble on all of them, but it’s a wonderful way to break up an ordinary day to suddenly stumble on a note that says “Mama loves you” or “Kisses!  You must come give your grandma 18 kisses immediately upon finding this!”.

9.  Assemble a feast for the birds and beasties outside, and leave it where you can watch them nibble. Ears of dried corn, peanuts in the shell, berries, seeds and sliced fruit are all favorites.

10. Learn a song together and videotape yourselves singing it (as flamboyantly as possible!). Send the clip to loved ones and spread some smiles.

And with that, chickadees, I’m off to do the not-so-magical task of cleaning the living room and washing 85 loads of laundry.


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A Little Holiday Art Request

Would your kids be interested in making some art for a little boy who could use some smiles?  Friends of seven year-old Joey are trying to get lots of cards and pictures for his hospital room.

Note:  The following letter is from the family organizing this card drive.  While I do not know Joey’s family, I have known the mother who wrote this letter for many years through an online homeschooling group.  You can follow Joey’s progress online here.

Attached is a picture of Joey pre-diagnosis and then after his surgery.  He is 7 years old.  Three weeks ago he was able to fully participate in an one hour gym class.  He started experiencing some vomiting and a couple of other symptoms.  His mom and dad took him to the doctor, they thought it was a virus going around.  He didn’t get better, then he couldn’t walk.  Fast forward three weeks, and they found out he has a brain tumor on his brain stem and going down his spine.  The cancer he has is so aggressive it can double in size in 24 hours.  He has emergency surgery.  The doctors are able to remove 98% from his brain stem, but the masses going down his spine are inoperable.  He is scheduled for radiation for 5x a week for the next 6 weeks, with chemo.  Joey is fighting for his life.  He has a long road ahead of him.  His family’s only request has been prayers for Joey.
My children are friends of Joey.  They are wanting to do something that will help Joey through this time.  That is where TEAM JOEY has come from.  Together we can let Joey and his parents know that Joey is NOT ALONE, that there are people everyday praying for Joey, that people are thinking about Joey and that Joey has a TEAM of people supporting him and his recovery.
So here is the request.  Will you please consider sending a card or a quick note to Joey with get well wishes?  Do you have children who enjoy drawing?  Will you have them make Joey a card.  Will you ask your family, friends, neighbors, churches, etc and collect the cards to mail for Joey?  If you would like please include a 4 x 6 photo of yourself, family, and/or children.  We will be putting together a scrapbook for Joey so that he can look at the pictures of all the people are thinking and praying for him.  On the back of your cards, please put your city and state.  If your children are drawing pictures please put your children’s names and ages too.
Please consider this request, it would mean alot to my children, but it would mean the world to Joey and his family.  Please mail your cards, notes, postcards, drawings, pictures, etc to:

11715 Fox Road, STE 400-124

Indianapolis, IN. 46236


Filed under the big stuff

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!

Here’s a few ways to make some memories with your kiddos this week………

1.   Make a fun family message on the answering machine together.

2.  Head to a pet store and spend some time with the fishes, birdies and beasties.

3.  Have a fashion show with the silliest fashions you can think of (courtesy of Victoria).

4.  Go gather some pine cones (or whatever is similar in your part of the world) and bring them home to craft with them.  Cover them with glue, glitter, sequins and multicolored paint to display them all over the house and as ornaments.  Nothing is more fun to your average small child than getting to make gluey, glittery, multi-colored messes!

5.  Have a board game night (No need to go broke doing it –we picked up Cranium, Jenga and Don’t Spill the Beans for under $2 each at a thrift store last week!).

6.  Make some of these lovely glue suncatchers, from tales from a corner house.

7.  String cranberries and popcorn for the birds.

8.  Head outside to do a photo shoot.  Put the kids in charge of choosing how and where to pose!

9.  Do the polka, hokey pokey, macarena or another silly dance together.

10.  Got Friday off?  Instead of spending it in crowded stores, stay home and spend the day together.  Watch movies, pop popcorn, bake treats, make crafts, whatever.  Start the holiday season doing something you love with people you love.

Whatever you do this week, make sure to find some ways to treat yourself.

Hug your kiddos, count your blessings and don’t forget to take care of you!


Filed under Ways to make today magical

An Impromptu Ball

The other night, Annalee announced that she would be holding a ball the next day.

We had the whole day to prepare.

In the morning, there was a tea party with tiny sandwiches and fancy water.

Later, there were invitations and party plans.

When the time came for the ball, I brought out my wedding dresses (Daryl and I get married anew every year around our anniversary in a new way with a new theme, so I have a few!) and I let the girls try them on.

Jack wore a button-down shirt and looked very handsome.

Even Alex got into the action, in a velvet jacket.

And Daddy wore a kilt.

There was much music and much mayhem.

Most balls don’t involve that much hooting or spinning, I’m pretty sure.

And definitely not that much falling down.

But still in all, it was a wonderful ball.

We should have them more often!


Filed under activities, happy stuff, Ways to make today magical

Coloring Fun (Even for the Big People!)

I happened upon this delightful free coloring page (art really!) at Beauty that Moves and instantly fell in love with it.  Isn’t it wonderful?  Head over for your free download to do one with your kiddos (or yourself!).

Happy Wednesday!


Filed under printables

Got Snow?

We got our first white stuff of the year this weekend, whether we were ready or not.  The kids had a fabulous time having snowball fights and playing with it, though you really can’t tell from this picture of Alex!  Victoria took it, and apparently his siblings forgot to find him a hat, poor boy!  🙂

It generally takes a while for kids to ever tire of good old fashioned playing in the snow, but if your kids are looking for some new things to do with it, here’s 10…

  1. Spray paint it with colored water.
  2. Pack it into recycling bins to make giant bricks for forts.
  3. Make snow aliens and snow beasts.  Don’t forget extra eyes and antennas!
  4. Make snow ice cream.
  5. Bring it inside, packed in a plastic box or cake pan, and let the kids color it with dried out markers.
  6. Scoop up some very clean stuff and drizzle it with slightly diluted fruit juice concentrate for homemade (healthy) snow cones
  7. Make watercolor snowballs.
  8. Pack it in pie pans and give the kids colored water and eye droppers to make beautiful designs in it.
  9. Bring a big pan of it into the bath.
  10. Or do all of these snow related activities that require no snow at all!

Now, who’s up for some cocoa?  🙂


Filed under activities, crafts

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  Here’s a few magical ways to start the week…

1.  Head outside for a nature scavenger hunt.  If you like, make it an alphabet hunt and try to find items that start with each letter of the alphabet (this little wooly bear caterpillar could count for W!).

2.  Let the kids pick out your clothes for the day and style your hair– with complete freedom!  Go to at least one public place, if possible.

3.  Have the kids draw with markers or crayons just using their feet.  It may help to tape down the paper on the floor.

4.  Tape a length of string at net level, blow up a balloon, and have a family game of volleyball inside.

5.  Make a felt no-sew playhouse like this one to slip over a card table.  Isn’t it the most fabulous project ever?  Hey, even I can tie knots!  😉  I absolutely love it.

6.  Plan a talent night one night a week after supper where every family member (yes, you too!) has to do something to entertain the others.  If you like, have everybody vote which act was best and use a silly hat as a crown for the nightly winner.

7. Make some photo puppets from toilet paper tubes like these from No Time for Flashcards.

8.  Tape strips of crepe paper (or toilet paper) from the ceiling in part of the kids’ room (or the living room!) to make a mini hideaway for a day.

9.  Make some lovely hand and scrunched tissue trees like this from Paper Crafts for Children.

10. Get outside and enjoy the changing of the seasons, whichever seasons you happen to be in!

And with that, I’m off to snuggle a small boy with a bad dream.

Have a wonderful week!  Don’t forget to take care of you!

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Rolling, Rolling, Rolling…

We painted our bathroom recently, and when I was finished with the mini paint roller I knew just what I wanted to do with it.


We coated some cardboard with aluminum foil and made palettes, and then I squirted various colors of tempera paint for the kids to roll — sometimes onto paper plates and sometimes right onto the “canvas.”

Alex loved it.  There was color mixing, mushing, and plain old messy fun.

Jack and Anna loved it too, especially with Q-tips to draw on the palettes.

Jack even took the opportunity to practice his cursive, tracing and copying his name after I wrote it out for him.

I highly recommend it!  Even if you don’t paint your bathroom first.  🙂

Happy weekend!


Filed under crafts

Sole Searching

You know how there are mothers who have a place for everything and always know exactly where things are?

I am not one of those  mothers.

I am one of those mothers who usually knows where most things are, even in the midst of clutter and chaos, except in one big area — shoes.

Despite the fact that we have somewhere near 80,000 pairs, my children are almost always either barefoot or sporting amazingly inappropriate footwear (Jack is prone to wearing Uggs with shorts, for instance, or Anna’s cleats or cowboy boots).  We simply never can find the things — or two that match, anyway.

The other day, we were running very late and I sent everybody scrambling to locate Alex’s shoes.

We found four…

None matching.  Of course.

It took another 10 minutes to finally find a match.  Except…

They were way too big.

So socks were in order.

So then, of course, we all had to look for socks.

Who says socks have to match?  😉

Someday I’ll know where all the shoes are.  Socks too.  I’ll be organized and everything will be tidy.

Okay, probably not, but I can pretend!

In the meantime, I’d much rather do an art project about shoes!

Here’s a few…

Shoe drawings and shoe autographs at TeachKidsArt…

Customized shoes with Sugru and spray paint at Instructables (Okay, we’d scale these down a bit I think but I love the basic idea!)…

Unicorn Hoof Shoes at Cut Out and Keep

Kimono Baby Shoes and Matching Onesie from Omiyage

And last, but not least, easy removable flowers to add to toddler shoes at happy together…

Happy Thursday!


Filed under crafts, neat stuff elsewhere, the little stuff

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  I hope you and your darlings had a wonderful weekend.  Here’s a few ways to make some magic this week….

1.  Find someplace wide open and go where you can make noise, run around, be silly, climb and play freely.

2. Log onto your library’s interlibrary loan search and order a bunch of children’s books that feature characters with your child’s name.

3.  Play one of these 15 games you can play with a blanket.  Pitch a tent, bounce stuffed animals or balls off it like a parachute, drag your kiddo around on it…

4.  Make some salt and glue paintings.

5.  Put together a box of clothes to donate and let the kids use it for a fun fashion show ahead of time.  Tell the kids to go for over the top!

6.  Make a cardboard loom to weave a gorgeous hot pad like this one together.

7.  Use leftover Halloween face paints or makeup to paint designs on the kids’ faces before running errands.  You can do simple pictures like flowers, snakes, butterflies, stars or smiley faces, or you can use small stencils for no-fail designs.

8.  Send your child a card listing the things you’re thankful for as his or her parent.

9.  Look at the moon through binoculars.

10. Play an old fashioned game like charades, jacks, marbles or 20 Questions.  Have an old fashioned snack along with it and make it a lazy, fun time together.

And with that, Chickadees, I’m off again.

Please be especially nice to yourself this week.  And be especially silly.  Combine those, and it’s sure to be a good week!



Filed under Ways to make today magical