Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas everyone!


Here are the Christmas cookies I made this year.
From the top going clockwise starting at the top:
Peanut butter blossoms (PB cookie w/kisses), buckeye, thumbprint cookies, date pinwheels, sugar cookie, oatmeal butterscotch chip, and in the center is a butterball cookie.
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Friday, December 22, 2006

Snowman Present

Since we moved south this year and it is unlikely to snow at all, let alone for Christmas, the kids and I made a snowman friend. We wrapped my husband's
present, which has multiple parts, to look like a snowman.
Rolling a strip of cardboard made the base for the corn-cob pipe. The kids made a carrot out of construction paper, while fabric trim made the smile. Buttons, a ribbon/scarf, and cotton fluff finished the look. From top to bottom the "snowman" is over 5 feet tall. I just hope my husband is as amused once he opens the present.
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Sunday, December 17, 2006

End of Semester

Well I made it through my first semester of college. As you can tell I lacked time to update this blog. I'm taking classes online this coming semester, so hopefully I will have more time to maintain this site. I did do rather well in school, I got straight As, which was well above what I expected. Unfortunately I'm no under my parents' roof (wow thought I'd never say that) because my dad used to give me $50 for every A I got. Oh well.

As I am about to make all my Christmas cookies, I reflect back to the first website I ever made. It was a recipe book of all the Christmas cookies my family traditionally made. http://fr8dog.tripod.com/ There is a link to the second website I made, but I don't think I ever finished it.

Well this week is my insane cookie baking week, so if I'm really good I'll take pictures of the cookies I make with a copy of the recipe.
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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Turkey Cake

I've made a turkey cake this year for the guys on my husband's boat that have duty on Thanksgiving. It is so funny how much it really looks like a turkey. I got the idea from FamilyFun.com, but I added my own touch. After icing it in brown icing, I sprinkled it with brown sugar. Then I used my kitchen torch to melt the brown sugar so it gave it the "baked" look. Then I added scraps of the cake to make it look like stuffing coming out.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Removing Oil from Hair

My daughter always has dry skin. So when she got a batch of really dry skin I usually have her take an oil bath, and it clears right up. Well this whole scenario happened this weekend, only I was so rushed I forgot to tell her "Don't Wash Your Hair" Thinking she would know from prior oil baths I didn't think much of it. Oh was I wrong. Her hair looked permanently wet. Well I came up with a solution (literally) to get oil out of hair.

Dawn dish soap - to repel the grease
Oatmeal (ground in food processor) - to suck up the oil
Rubbing Alcohol - to dry out the hair

I washed her hair in the kitchen sink with the spray. I put a towel underneath her and I rolled up paper towel for her to put on her face (to avoid getting that concoction in her eyes). It worked rather well. There is some slick spots left, but the overall look is normal.
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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Great Halloween

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We had a very nice Halloween. We made up little goodie bags to pass out and there was just the right amount. There was a couple extra, but we gave them to a friend. We didn't have the coolest house on the block this year, but possibly the most high tech.

We had a Halloween party for my son. We bobbed for apples, the kids made a scarecrow out of hay and some old clothes, then we made a scarecrow craft, and we ended with a hay-find (I hid goodies in the leftover hay from making the scarecrow).
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Monday, October 23, 2006

Cub Scout Campout

This weekend we went camping with the cub scouts. Everyone seemed to have had a great time. Our den is the Bears den, and I thought I'd share the activities we did.

Set up an old tent and take it down, this was great, the boys really did a great job.

Make trail bags and filled them with hiking essentials:
first aid kit (bandages)
flashlights (found them for a quarter each)
trail mix (our den loves making their own trail mix)

The pack had some planned activities. They did the rain-gutter regatta, which was fun. One of our boys won most realistic boat. They also did a craft where they made a vest.

We went back to our dens and Ray took them out with the GPS and went geocaching. Ray hid smores stuff for them to find.

They came up with a skit all on their own, which was really cool. The boys hid behind a tree and the siblings (two girls about 5) with myself said "Oh what a wonderful evening for camping" the boys growled. "Oh what is that noise? Oh well it is still loving evening" boys growled again. "Oh dear" the boys growled and come out running "OH NO Its the Bears!".

The boys also got to go fishing, look at stars, and they dug a big hole (which wasn't exactly great). But the boys had a great time.
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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Update

Ok I didn't get far on my clothes challenge. I got a couple of dresses and a few outfits, but nothing like I'd hoped for. I am however doing great in school. I have a B average, which I'm happy with.
We have started our 12 month count down to moving again. This time to Georgia. Hopefully we will be able to buy a house there. My nephew celebrated his first birthday, which is such a miracle because he was born so premature (25 weeks). That just amazes us that he made it to a year old! I haven't had much time for crafts, so there isn't much more to post. I'm planning our Halloween party now for Neil. More details to come on that.
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Monday, October 02, 2006

Craft Challenge

Craftster.org has a monthly craft challenge. This month's theme is Bears, Robots, and Zombies. Everyone makes something in one of those categories and votes. I did a robot, whom I've named Chalky the Craft Bot. He is made from chalkboard fabric and sparkly vinyl. I think it turned out well, but as always others have come up with better crafts. In the end everyone votes on which they think is the best.
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A little luck

I got a really cute outfit for my birthday. This would be my bit of luck trying to get together a new waredrobe. So far it hasn't been very good because I can't find a good thrift store. Most of the local ones want $4 per article. I'm going to search for more this Friday. Anyways, here is my new outfit
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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Challenge Week #1

Well week one doesn't look so good on my challenge. I have already spent half my budget, but only have a couple of the items.

I made a blue paisley print dress that looks awesome on me.

I bought a the rest of the items at the thrift store that just need a slight tweaking. I got a pair of green pants, a pretty brown dress, three shirts, and three yards of green floral fabric.

So I have 7 of 22 items from my list, and only $25 left. It doesn't look good.

My husband is out of town with the camera, so when he gets back I'll post pictures of my great finds.
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Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Challenge

Going back to school with a bunch of kids I really am self conscious about my wardrobe. Not having a lot of money, esp. since buying my books, I've got a plan to get what I want for my budget. The budget....$50! Sounds unreasonable, but I have a couple of things on my side:
1. I'm lucky
2. I'm very frugal
3. I have no problem shopping second hand
4. I can sew
5. I can knit
6. I have an amazing talent to make the unreasonable happen

Ok that being said, I'll let you in on my technique. I've drawn up a complete wardrobe. Most taken from ideas in catalogs, so these are what I'd get if I had unlimited money. Then I online and printed up fabric swatches of what I think would work for the styles I picked out so that they'd all go together well. Now I need to evaluate the fabrics I have, and acquire new fabrics to make what I want. If I'm lucky I will be able to find whole articles similar to my sketches for cheap. My wardrobe will consist of:
9 shirts
3 dresses
4 pants
1 sweater
2 skirts
3 jackets

And if I'm lucky I can get a pair of boots too!

I'll keep you posted on my progress.
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Friday, September 01, 2006

Early Start

Now that the kids start school next week, it is time to think about Christmas shopping. I know, it is way to early for Christmas shopping. Let me tell you though, a lot of toys will be on sale right NOW in order to make room for the new season's toys. I always find it is better to get my kids something they've wanted for a long time than something they think looks cool on an ad.
As for family and friends, I've already started making my list. Unfortunately for you guys too many of them read this, so I can't share.
This week was my first week back at college. I think it went very well. I feel silly being so old, but everyone seems really nice. Even if the giggly clique behind me in history is annoying.
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Friday, August 25, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Today is my son's birthday. We are having a Gross Theme to the party. We are watching the movie How To Eat Fried Worms. His cake will be a brownie/chocolate cake layered dirt cake. For his present, my mom bought him a Gross Science kit. I'm not sure I'm up for all of this.

Since his birthday is in the summer, right before school starts, it isn't always practical to have a big birthday party for him. We do little parties with the family and then he gets a Halloween party. That way he can invite his friends and classmates. It is a big popularity booster for him, which helps when you move so often.
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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mystery Flower Revealed

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Well since we moved here there has been a bunch of tall flowers growing in my back flower bed. It looks almost like a corn field, so I was rather curious what in the world was growing there. Today I saw the flower of the plant for the first time. I believe it is a White Butterfly Ginger. It smells really good, and is a strong smell. From what I can research online this describes the Butterfly Ginger very well. I can't wait for the forest of these to all bloom.
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Monday, August 14, 2006

Too Much Fun

Ever had so much fun that it hurts. This weekend I think my daughter phrased it right when she said "Mommy, my everything hurts!" The weekend started with a friend of ours coming to town for the weekend. He temporarily works out of state, while his wife lives here. So, Friday night we went to their house and played darts, Foosball, and the timed basketball shoot thing. They did a barbecue, and it was just a grand time.
Saturday my husband had to work, however, the kids and I went to the beach with them. We spent about 6 hours at the beach, most of the time buggy boarding. That is why my arms and shoulders hurt, as if they didn't from the night before.
Yesterday was the perfect day for boating. Our friend had to go back, so we took another friend boating with us. The water was awesome, not to choppy but good for a few bounces. The kids took turns driving, the water was big and open, and the sailboats were beautiful as usual. We went over to see the lighthouse, and ended up seeing dolphins as well.

These are my last two weeks of summer before school starts for me, so I plan on having more fun this week.
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Thursday, August 10, 2006

2 Weeks til School Starts for Me

I can't believe that in two weeks I will be going back to college. I am so excited and nervous all at once. I'm going to be taking day classes, so I'm afraid my classes will be with a bunch of young kids. During registration I was constantly surrounded by kids and their parents. I think I am all ready, I just need to buy my books. I have a friend that is going to watch my kids, because their school doesn't start for a week after mine. I'm taking English, College Algebra, US History, College Prep, and Business. That is a lot to take on, so hopefully I'll be able to handle it all.
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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mexican Lasagna

This is a great dish that is easy to make and a real crowd pleaser. It is also a vegetarian dish, which comes in handy nowadays with people's different diets.

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Ingredients:
2 packages of tortillas
1 large jar of salsa
3 to 4 cans of black beans
1 bag of cheese(cheddar or Mexican blend)

Layer the in the following order:

Tortilla - may have to cut to shape
Salsa
Black Beans - I use a can for each layer
Cheese

I just keep repeating until it is done. I cover with foil and depending on how you like your last layer uncover it for 15 mins before done.

Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees. I serve it with tomato rice, which is just rice with 1/2 a can of tomato paste and a few shakes of basil, cilantro, and cayenne pepper all to taste.
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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Star Wars Party

Yesterday all the kids in the neighborhood got together for a Star Wars party. One of the moms found a Star Wars cookbook at the library, and ironically I had the sequel. So she made all sorts of foods from it like Wookie Cookies, Light saber hot dogs, Yoda Soda, ect. I made a game that was a lot like Pin the Tail on the donkey. I made a felt board and drew different shaped circles for planets. Then I made the same shape circles in a different fabric. I put velcro on the back of the fabric planets so it would stick to the felt. They had to pin the planet in the right shape with their friends help. Since there was no winning or losing they did the hot and cold game. The party ended with playing with water, which was nice on such a hot day.

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Montessori vs. Public School

My husband and I had a meeting with the Montessori school. She spent an hour and a half being a sales lady for her school. Then when it came to talking about the price she put the ball in our court. She told us to come up with an amount we would be comfortable paying.
So with money no longer being the main concern, should we send her? She will only be there for a year.

My biggest concern is that with the Montessori teaching style is so different, will she have a hard time going back to public schools.

Pros
Learn Spanish for a year

Have a fun time learning

She will understand what she is learning and not just learning the anwsers

The teacher is very picky about her students, so there is no trouble makers (in therory)

She may have a friend in the class with her

She will learn to be more independant and think for herself (once again in theory)

She will learn cursive

Cons
It is only for a year, is it worth all the money for just one year

She already has friends in this public school

There could be a big problem transistioning back to public schools

We would have to dip into her college fund to help pay for it

My understanding is Montessori style works best from beginning to end, not just a year in the middle

Why change schools when you don't have to, sounds silly but my son has already been in 3 schools and he is going into second grade

Schedule conflicts with me going back to college

Will she really retain the spanish at such a young age
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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Winners Circle

Last week everyone in our family won something. The YMCA had a family BINGO night, and Lexi and I won. Lexi won twice and got a basket of bath stuff and stickers. I won and got Lexi a kids purse because there wasn't any boy prizes. My husband got a call yesterday and got told he won some movie tickets. Finally my son won, well sort of. He got a Jr. Mints pillow out a "The Claw Machine" on his first try. He was so excited.
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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Great Oppurtunity

Yesterday was a very eventful day. It all started with taking my daugther to summer camp. She picked a spanish camp at a Montessori school. The school itself is bi-lingual, one teacher is fluent spanish and the other is fluent english. Well, when I went to pick up my daughter from camp yesterday the teacher was very excited I was early. I'm a little scared because my daughter has a tendency to say the most unapproapiate things at times. I really starting getting worried when she asked my son to go into the library room while we talked. My first words are "Is everything ok?" It did not help that she said "Yeah, I just want to talk to you about your daughter!" She went on to tell me that she thinks my daughter is very well suited for the Montessori school. I expected this, you send your kid to a private school for camp and they try and suck you into going to the school. I told her that there is no way we could afford it, esp. since I'm going to college this fall. She then offered me a partial scholorship for her to go. Now I'm not sure how partial this scholorship is, but I'm certainly going to find out. I think it would be neat to have her go to a biligual school.
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Thursday, July 13, 2006

My Sewing Room

Just got done reorganizing my sewing room. I also wanted to show off a dress that I recently made.

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Left side of the roomRight side of the room

And now for my dress
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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Long time no type

Well it has been a long time since I've posted here. I got sucked into the MySpace site for awhile. I'm back now! Lets see, what have we been up to this summer. We basically be hanging out at the pool. The weather is 90+ degrees here, so it is about the only thing that sounds appealing.
I have enrolled to go back to college in the fall. I'm very excited. I've been studying for my placement test. I finally figured out enough of the math that I think I'll do fine. 10 years ago I could do pre-cal without thinking twice, now I'm struggling with the basic concepts of Algebra. I've obviously finished my daughter's summer waredrobe, and it turned out great. I'm working on some clothes for myself, as well as drawing sketches for things I'm going to make the kids for the fall. If anyone is interested Fabric.com is having a sale and they have denim for $1.95/yard. That is a great deal because usually I can't find demin cheaper than $5/yd. They have a lot of great fabrics for $1.95/yard.
I am going to go back home for two weeks this summer. My mom is moving and needs my help. I seem to have moving on my resume since I do it about once a year. She is getting an office space to run her business, and her new house is down the street from her new office space.
That is about all for now. I'm going to try and keep this updated more often.
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Monday, June 19, 2006

The Melt Down

Our first science experiment of the summer. Now I must say my kids are 6 and 7, so they are by no means 100% accurate. They are just for fun. My husband thought is was hilarious that I got the kids to watch ice melt, he thinks paint drying should be our next experiment.

Name: The Melt Down

Purpose: Try to keep ice from melting in the hot sun.

Materials:
Paper towels
Ice Cubes
Salt
Baking soda
Rubbing alcohol
soda
different colored construction paper
cold water

box
3 cups
Sunny area
Shaded area

Rocks to hold things down
Masking tape
Pencil
Ziploc bag

Procedures:
Lay out the paper towels, one in the shade and the rest in a row. Cut up the construction paper into small squares just bigger than the ice cube. Take the three cups and label them soda, water, and rubbing alcohol with the masking tape and pencil. Fill the cups with the appropriate liquid. Spread the construction paper over the paper towels. Put some baking soda in a Ziploc bag. Place rocks on anything that may blow away in the wind. Put one ice cube in the Ziploc bag and shake it around, making sure it is coated with the baking soda. Sprinkle salt on another ice cube away from the paper towels. Place them on the paper towel a couple inches away from each other. Working quickly, put an ice cube on each different colored paper, in each of the cups, on in the shade, on in the box. Then place one on just the paper towel, this is your control.

Hypothesis:
Lexi thought the one in the box would last the longest and the alcohol would melt first.
Neil though the rubbing alcohol, soda, and salt would last the longest and the box would melt first.
I thought the ice cube in the shade would last the longest and the salt would melt first.
Results:
In order of which they melted:
Water
Alcohol
Soda
Purple paper
Cream paper
Brown paper
Salt
Blue paper
Baking soda
Yellow paper
Pink paper
Control
Shade
Box
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Sunday, June 18, 2006

100 Things To Do

I know I've seriously neglected my blog lately. The last couple weeks before school got out was very stressful. I am back, and I have a list of 100 things to do during the summer. I made the list for my kids because my daughter is always bored. She doesn't know how to play by herself. So I told them if they can't find something to do on the list they have to clean their playroom if they bother me with being bored.
100 things to do

1. Blow bubbles
2. Draw with Sidewalk chalk
3. Make a comic book
4. Draw or color pictures
5. Make puppets and put together a puppet show
6. Feed the turtles - we have pond across the street
7. Play in sprinkler
8. Hula Hoop
9. Make a treasure hunt
10. Dance
11. Plan a picnic
12. Make a board game
13. Make ice cream
14. Watch a movie
15. Write in a journal
16. Get a pet rock
17. Go to the aquarium
18. Watch and listen to the birds
19. Write a letter to your grandparents
20. Make up a song and/or sing to some music
21. Play hide-n-go seek
22. Ride your scooter
23. Have a water balloon fight
24. Go to the library
25. Have a tea party with your teddy bears
26. Play yard games
-croquet
-badminton
-bocce
-soccer
-volleyball
27. Make paper airplanes
28. Go to the park with the cool playground
29. Read a book or magazine
30. Find a spider web and try and make your own web with some string
31. Catch bugs
32. Watch the squirrels and try and figure out what they are doing
33. Pick flowers in the yard
34. Find a four leaf clover
35. Pull weeds out of the flower beds
36. Make a self portrait
37. Make a watercolor painting
38. Work out by doing 10 of the following 3 times:
-push ups
-squats
-sit ups
-run in place for 10 seconds
-jumping jacks
39. Build your castle(s) and knock it down
40. Work in your summer bridges workbook
41. Play school with a class of dolls
42. Make a Fruit Loops necklace
43. Practice spanish
44. Cut up a catalog and make a collage
45. Make your own instruments and play some music
46. Learn some American Sign Language
47. Set up a tent out of blankets and pretend to camp
48. Practice a magic trick
49. Set up or plan an obstacle course
50. Turn a box into something fun
51. Make the alphabet with your body
52. Hopscotch
53. Keep the balloon from touching the ground
54. Protect a water balloon from braking when dropped
55. Play lazer tag
56. Make a sculpture
57. Plan our menu of meals for a week
58. Walk around the mall
59. Practice yoga
60. Make bread
61. Make up a dance routine to your favorite song
62. Think of a business to start and everything you’d need for it
63. Pretend you’re in a circus and make up an act or show
64. Dust the house
65. Make the tallest LEGO tower you can before it falls
66. Organize a Kids Olympics for a play date and make winners medals
67. Have a science experiment
-Think what you want to test
-Figure out the best way to test it
-Guess the results
-Do the experiment
-Compare results with your guess
68. Find shapes in the clouds
69. Practice gymnastics on floor mat
70. Stare at a patch of grass for 15 minutes and see what bugs do
71. Practice blowing bubbles from bubble gum – outside of course
72. Come up and draw a crazy creature with special abilities
73. Do a leaf/grass/flower/coin/ect. rubbing
74. Make something out of popsicle sticks
75. Make and do a scavenger hunt
76. Make a paper mache craft
77. Make a mask
78. Decorate a box to put personal stuff in
79. Sink-Float Game
80. Learn to draw something from the Learn-To-Draw books
81. Play with the parachute
82. Listen to music CDs and/or tapes
83. Run around the house
84. Wash my car
85. Practice origami
86. Find how many things around the house that are
___ (Pick a color) ___ or starts with __ (Pick a letter) __
87. Make a graph of common things you see around the house or yard
88. See what you can make with scraps of fabric
89. Be a cowboy/cowgirl and try and lasso something outside
90. Make cards for a Memory game
91. Go to the park across the street
92. See how high you can count
93. Make and play with a felt board
94. Practice writing your letters and numbers
95. Make shadow puppets
96. Make an art gallery – make sure to frame your art
97. Make a paper quilt
98. Color a black and white photo
99. Set up dominos to knock down
100. Trace your body on big paper and color it in


If you still can’t find anything to do after going through this list, then you will have to clean your room or playroom.
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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Playhouse

Yesterday, my husband went out and bought a pressure washer. It was his Father's Day gift, which was a little early. The thing is, the one he REALLY wanted was on sale for about $60 off. Besides he had to pick it up eventually because there is no way it would have fit in my car.

Anyways, as with all big items that come in a cardboard box, my kids begged for the box. As my husband assembled the pressure washer the kids used it as a boat. Then they both came running to me asking if I'd make it into a playhouse.

To turn a huge box into a playhouse all you need is to cut the corners off the top side two flaps. Cut the corners off the flaps by cutting a right triangle off the first corner. Use it as a template for the other three corners to have some consistency, don't worry it doesn't have to be perfect. Now, tape up the flaps so they look like a roof. I always like to leave a hole at the top so there is light and room for my kids to stand up. I use duct tape, but packing tape would work as well. To make the door you just need to cut out 3 sides of a rectangle. Where the fourth side would be is a long side to work as a hinge. You will need to seer this edge by running your scissors or utility knife across the length. It helps to reinforce the door by adding tape to both sides. Finally, you just need to cut a small hole in the door as a handle. I finish it off by taping all the exposed cardboard to prevent the kids from getting hurt and to make it last a little longer.

I'm going to let the kids paint it later today. I'll try and remember to take a pic and post their final creation.
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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Children's Mystery

There is a little boy who comes over for a play date every Tuesday. I usually come up with a fun activity to occupy the kids. This week I came up with a cute little mystery game. I took a bunch of bath toys and spread them across the yard. Then I printed up a clip art crab onto a sheet of labels. I would give them a clue and they'd have to find the next toy to get the next piece of the sticker. I gave them each a sheet with a grid for the labels and numbered both the labels and the grid to correspond. I kept the labels, although I did cut them out into individual stickers. I would then give the kids a sticker one at a time as they found the necessary toy. So here was my mystery, and you can change the story a little to go with toys you have:

Sally was going to the beach to collect sea shells for her sea shell stand. Everyone on the beach knows that Sally sells sea shells by the sea shore. Well Sally saw a couple of very pretty sea shells by the waters edge. Not wanting to get her new sandals wet, she took them off and put them next to the life guard stand. She wouldn't be gone very long, and they should be safe next to the life guards. Buy when she returned...they were gone.

Who took Sally's sandals?

The life guard said he thinks that a surfer might have taken them by mistake and put it near his beach towel. (I put a beach towel with sandals on it)

When Sally talked to the surfer he apologized for the mistake. His sandals were on his towel after all. He did say that he thinks a turtle might have taken off with them into the water dude.

Sally got to the turtle in the water and he confessed he took them on accident. They got tangled up on his tail. When he finally shook it off a fish took off with it.

After swimming around looking for the fish, Sally found the fish that might have her sandals. She asked the fish as nice as she could where her sandals were. The fish was a little helpful when she said she dropped them on a whale.

Sally spotted the whale quickly, because whales are hard to miss. She asked the whale if he had seen her sandals. He said some fishing boat pulled them up in thier nets.

The men on the fishing boat told Sally they tossed them aside on the beach when they hadd their BBQ. (This clue lead them to our grill)

At the BBQ was a big party. Sally was getting really frustrated and yelled "Where are my sandals!!!" One of the guys told a wild story about how some alligator took off with them into the water.

Sally found the alligator and took a deep breath. Now is not the time to lose your temper she thought. So Sally polietly asked the alligator if he knew where her sandals were. The alligator said that once he realized they weren't food he dropped them. He then added that he saw a dolphin playing with them later.

Sally tracked down the dolphin, and she was tired, dolphins are very playful and swim faster than Sally could. The dolphin told her that he lost the sandals in a game of Duck Duck Goose, with a duck of course.

The duck told Sally all about the game he played with the dolphin. He thought the dolphin was silly for thinking he could win a game of Duck, Duck, Goose with a duck. The duck later said that once he realized that the sandals won't fit his big feet, he dumped them in a bucket on the beach.

Once Sally got to the bucket she saw the bucket had been dumped. There were foot prints though, and they led Sally to the crab, who had her sandals.
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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Peace

Finally things have settled down. Although it is just temporary because the kids get out of school in 2 weeks. The party went very well, and we did have some fun at the Strawberry Festival. They had these wonderful things called strawberry tacos. They were waffles cones shaped like hard taco shells, then they put strawberries on the bottom and whipped cream on top. They topped it off with jimmie sprinkles. Yummmmm!
The party went well. I did a really good job on the cake, and it was really easy to make. I used my kitchenaid mixer bowl as the cake pan to get the bell shape. Then I stuck the doll head on top, which I got at the craft store. Then I just made the dress out of various decorating tips and added some butterfly sprinkles.
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The party itself was really good as well, but not many people came. We had a game where the kids had to find little glass slippers in a Rubbermaid tub of packing peanuts. Then they did a craft, which was make picture frames. We had some little tea cookies followed by cake and ice cream. Then we went outside for a treasure hunt. We ended it with presents.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Crazy Week

This week is going to be very stressful. I have a list of 8 things going on, each is challenging on its own, but they all need to be done this week. Obviously there is the cleaning of the house for my daughter's party and the party itself. That isn't so bad, but my sister and mother are making a 10 hour road trip to come. They can't stand to be in the same room with each other for 5 mins, so imagine how cranky they will be after a day together. On top of that I volunteered to help out with Field Day at the kids school on Friday, which I am secretly hoping it rains. I still haven't gotten a gift for my daughter, and I really don't know what to get her. Then my husband has a friend who is moving cross country, and being a good friend my husband said he'd help him unload the U-haul. I have to make my daughter's cake, which involves figuring out what to make it as. To add to the stress, my son's teacher called and said she thinks he should be held back. I am pretty frustrated with that because she said that he knows everything and can read and comprehend at grade level, he is just a little slower at it.
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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Brave Girl

There is a carnival in town this weekend. We went last night because it was fireworks night. Ever since she heard we were going to the carnival she wanted to know if it had a ferris wheel. She wanted nothing more than to ride the ferris wheel. Luckily for her not only did they have a ferris wheel, but she was 1/2 inch taller than she needed to be to ride it. Seeing that she is only 5, and my husband and I are both scared to death of heights, we weren't sure if her riding the ferris wheel was a great idea. Fortunately for me, my husband took her and she had a blast. My husband didn't care for it much, but he managed. I just found it humorous that out of the 4 of us, the youngest is the bravest. I am just worried when she hits the 48 inch mark and wants to ride the really crazy rides.
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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sweater

I just finished knitting a cute summer time top. I think it turned out really well, and I've had all sorts of nice comments on it all day. I included a picture of the pattern so you would know what it should look like.
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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

I wanted to share the sweet things I got for Mother's Day.

Neil gave me some plants he grew in school. He kept them hidden in his backpack all weekend. Lexi gave me an address book she made in school and a bookmark. Then I got a plethora of cards and pictures.

Neil had a fill in the blank page he gave me, here are my favorites:

I love my mom because she helps me HAVE FUN
I love my mom when she makes me laugh by TICKLING MY SISTER
I love my mom because she finds time to PLAY WITH ME
I know my mom is smart because she LEARNS AFTER ME

Lexi wrote me this letter:

Dear Mom,
Thank you for loving me and vacuuming. I love you.
Love Alexis

As a note, I don't know why she put vacuuming, but she is know to come up with bizarre things.
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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Invitations

My daughter and I made her invitations to her party yesterday. I think they turned out nicely. I like to stick with a very basic layout. She did all the stamping, which isn't perfect, but hey it was fun to work on a project together. Besides not many people are actually going to keep them. Remember, if they are going to throw it away in less than a week, then it isn't worth spending a lot of money on it.
I found a pack of cards on sale for $2, which had 25 cards and envelopes. The paper was 59 cents each, it took 5 pieces. The stamps I got in an ebay auction from somebody who had a Cinderella party and had leftovers. The left overs were all stamps, crayons, stickers, and other stationary type stuff. That will be perfect for our craft during the party.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Party Games

Well here are the games for the party:

We have a life size Mega Blocks castle, actually we have two of them. My kids love them, and it will be very handy for the party. As the guests arrive they will walk through the castle. Then we will take each guests picture with the birthday girl in front of the castle of choice, pink for the girls, gray for the boys. While they wait for the other guest's they will do a coloring page.

The first game I still haven't planned just yet, but I have a great one I've done before. I have all the guests sit in a circle. Then I read a princess story book, usually just very short and brief. Every guests gets a package, on has something special about it (one year I did Princess and the Pea and the special package had a pea). As I read the story every time I say the a specific word like PRINCESS, everyone rotates or switches packages with someone. At the end of the story whom ever has the special package wins a prize.

While we are doing the storybook game someone will be helping in another room. They will be printing out the pictures we just took. Then they will set up for the craft, which is decorate picture frames. I got some picture frames that have a sticky backing, so once they are done decorating they just peel and stick their picture to the printout.

From there we will go on a journey, which is basically a treasure hunt. Throughout the journey they will get things they need to become a princess or knight. The first station will have tiaras and knights helmets, the next has costume aprons, and the last has a shield and something else for the girls ??? They will then go on to finish their quest to find the family treasure, which is a big treasure chest full of their goodies bags.

We then go back inside for a tea party which will have cake and ice cream, possibly tea cakes, but we will see how much time I have.

That is my party. I will show more details as they come together.
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Monday, May 08, 2006

Birthday Party Budget

Ok I have now gathered everything I need for my daughter's birthday party. Lets see how well I did on my $150 budget.

$10 for blue plates, napkins, plastic ware, and some streamer
$30 on fabric for a game
$60 in general party supplies, including the remaining games and party favors
$5 for cake supplies
$10 on ebay for left over party supplies from a Cinderella party, it was crayons and stamps which will be great for the craft and prizes for the game
$5 remaining craft supplies including blank cards on sale to make invitations
$10 at Walmart for misc. things such as spray paint
====================================
$130

That gives me $20 to rent a table and chairs. I will go into more details on the party as I figure them out. Basically they will have a picture frame craft, a treasure hunt, another game of some sort, and a tea party. The kids take home a goodie bag/purse made from scrap fabrics.
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Friday, May 05, 2006

Loose Tooth

My son finally has a loose tooth. He is in 2nd grade, and most of his friends have already lost some by now. I was a very late tooth loser lol. I lost my last baby tooth when I was in high school. My old friends still joke with me about that.
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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Ruined Rug

Every once in awhile even I screw up a craft project. This happened to me yesterday. I was a little stressed out, and I thought doing a fun craft I've been wanting to do for awhile would help. Since we moved here I've been wanting to paint my living room rug. I have canvas slip covers on my couch with painted leaves I stamped on. The carpet here is a very light color as well, so my cream rug looked silly. So I started, and all went well. I added the fabric paint and some water to dilute the color, and went at it. I let it set in the nice sunny day. I then went to rinse any color that didn't stick with the hose, and lets just say my rug is ruined for the moment. I forgot the most important thing you should do before dyeing anything, check the fiber content. Well it is no surprise NOW that 90% of the color ran off the rug, NOW that I know it was Olefin (a new high tech fabric used in rugs and outdoor patios design to be impervious to stains, mildew, and a bunch of other stuff). Luckily it should go back to its beautfiul cream self after a couple hours of sucking up the paint with a shop-vac.
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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Homemade Clothes

I've been working on my daughter's summer wardrobe this week. I plan on starting mine next. It got me thinking about how it really costs the same to make our clothes as it does to buy them on sale at the mall. I do it because my daughter is tall and skinny, skinner than the slims I can buy. I can't ever find anything to fit myself right after having kids. So I was curious, what would your appeal to having custom clothes? The style? Or the fit?
Why would you want custom clothes?
Fit - I never can find clothes that fit right
Style - I'm tired of looking like everyone else

Free polls from Pollhost.com
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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Summer Clothes

Every summer I make my daughter her summer clothes. I have started already with some capris, a dress, and a skirt. Here is some pics of what I made.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Fishing Craft

Yesterday my daughter had a play date. I made a craft up for both of them to do together.

Supplies:
dowel rod
yarn
tape
magnet strip
paper clip
print out of a fish
scissors

Before you have the kids start the craft you need to set up the fishing poles. You take the dowel rod, tie a string at the top and tape around it so it doesn't slide. Next you put the magnet strip at the bottom of the string.

Have the kids color the fish print out. Depending on their age you can have them cut it out or cut out the fish yourself. Then you put the paper clip in or near the fishes mouth, you may want to put two paper clips on for smaller kids. Now the kids have fun fishing for their fish.
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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Girl Scout Leader

Well I have added a new line in my job description this week. I am going to be a girl scout leader. I've been trying to get my daughter back into girl scouts since we moved here. I found out the problem is there isn't enough leaders. So unless someone steps up to the plate, then my daughter has no troop. So, I decided it would be a good idea to lead a troop. Now there are several problems I see with this one:
1. I was never a girl scouts, I was actually a tomboy growing up
2. I'm still not very girly
3. I really don't like the idea of doing the admin side of the troop
4. I'm going to be knee deep in cookies once a year
5. I have my hands full with my own daughter, why would I willingly add 9 more to the mix?

Despite all my cons, I really do think it will be a fun experience. I start my training Monday, so hopefully I'll have some of my issues resolved at that time.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Saving on Party Supplies

While planning my daughter's birthday party I am constantly comparing prices. Some people spontaneously buy things a little here and some more there, but they don't realize how much they have actually spent. I have a budget of about $150 for the party, this includes cake, party supplies, games, prizes, and anything else for her birthday minus the gift. Now I could spend $120 and get all the prepackaged Disney Princess themed stuff in a box, $25 for a cake, and $5 for a tub of ice cream and I'd be set. However if you look at what is included you think to yourself..."What am I going to do with the kids for the next 2 hours?" So where do you decide where and how to spend your budget, well here is some tips to help you decide.

First and foremost remember you are spending your money on an experience, not just a party. Think of the things that will be looked back and remembered. Party favors is a big one for people. They want a cool party so they buy all the cool party favors. When the fact of the matter is they are all just cheap toys that get thrown out in a week regardless if you spent the extra dollar a dozen for the "deluxe" favors. If you want to spend a little extra on favors, then spend it on the bag. Don't go for a cheap plastic bag, go with something that ties in with the theme. For me I'm making little princess purses out of some cheap fabric.

Utensils and plates are another area for unnecessary spending. You don't need the character of choice plastered all over your plates and napkins for guest to figure out your theme. Instead buy the cheap solid colored plates, cups and napkins. You can take the $10 to $15 you save and buy a background banner. Take your guests picture with the birthday boy or girl and send it to them after the party as a thank you.

Activities and games are hard to find, and a little pricey when you do. Instead come up with your own games and crafts. If your child is into a character then you can find its website and if you hunt really well there usually is party planning ideas and print outs. Disney for instance has Princess coloring pages, bookmarks, door hangers, mobiles, and greeting cards that you can print up and make. They also have party planning ideas and tips.

Check back later to see just how I spent my budget.
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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Easter Eggs

We dyed Easter eggs last night. I found some neon food coloring at the grocery store. I liked it better because it came out the color I expected. Sadly I think the kids did a better job than we did.
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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bad Spring Break

My poor kids have had the worst spring break. I know we still have Friday and the weekend, but gosh it has been a horrible week. Monday my mom was visiting and all was good. Tuesday she had to fly home, so the kids were upset. My daughter also had a horrible fever of 103.8, so we spent most of the day at the doctor's office. The doctor didn't do anything except say if it gets worse come back. Wed. she woke up and couldn't hold anything down. So we spent all of Wed. at the doctor's office. She ended up being dehydrated. They tried to give her an IV 5 times and none of them took. They gave her a popsicle and some soda, why they couldn't have started with that I have no idea. Then the doctor said she had a bad infection so she needed two shots of an antibiotic on top of taking some at home. I had to go back today to do a check up on how the shots took. Thankfully she is feeling much better, but man I feel bad there spring break was miserable.
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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Necklace and Earrings

I haven't posted awhile because my mom came to visit. She came to babysit so that my husband and I could go to a ball. I made myself some beautiful jewelry to go with my blue satin gown. I made these because I fell in love with the flower beads.
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The kids love it when grandma comes. They love going out to the little pond by our house and having a picnic. Then they would feed the turtles in the pond. They were sad to see her leave this morning. She will be back at the end of next month for my daughter's birthday. She wants a Disney Princess Party. We came up with lots of ideas for that, so check back for party planning tips.
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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Pie Crust Tip

When rolling out your pie dough it is hard to say how big you need to make your circle. All you need to do is take a piece of parchment paper and trace your pie plate with a pen. Now make another circle around the pie plate but add an inch or two depending on how deep your plate is. Now turn it over, making sure the ink side is down, and begin to roll out your dough. The larger circle is the bottom and if you are adding a top use the inner circle afterwards. Using the parchment paper makes it easier to transfer the dough to the pie plate. You just put the paper and dough where you want it and peel off the paper. Easy as pie.
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Monday, April 03, 2006

My Daughter's Sandals

We were shopping at the mall looking for sandals for the kids. I buy the kids sandals every summer so their feet don't get hot and sweaty. We were in the shoe store and my daughter finds these sandals that are cute...but very unpractical. We tell her that those aren't a good idea, she won't be able to run in them. They have a strap across the front of the foot to hold them on with a big flower on top and they have a pump heel. She starts acting like a teenager (she is only 5) trying to convince us how these are the sandals that she needs. She then parades around in the with her arms going with her words saying how comfortable they are. There was two people next to us, on was a lady who worked there, and they were just laughing their heads off at her. "Like common, these are the coolest. They would so be perfect for the beach, ya know." We ended up getting them for her so that maybe she will listen to us next time. Only I know this will back fire because she will find a way to make it work just to prove her point.

As a side note my faux pizzas were great. My son was all excited I made homemade pizzas for lunch. After one bite his face was horrified. My daughter on the other hand realized it and didn't say a thing. There was white chocolate on it, so she was trying to eat it as fast as she could to get her sweets fix.
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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Faux Pizza

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For April Fool's Day I am making my kids a faux pizza for lunch. I got the idea from Family Fun's website. I added some extra details though. I painted the edges of the crust with some brown gel food coloring and applied it with a toothpick. Then after adding the melted white chocolate for the cheese, I grated some white chocolate and added it on top for texture. I then made some pepperoni out of Laffy Taffy, although I added some brown and red food coloring give it a better color.

I can't wait to see their reaction to it once they eat the "pizza".
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Thursday, March 30, 2006

LOL I WON....Again!

Wow how ironic I was just writing about how lucky I am. I actually won something this time worth noting, no stupid jar opener this time.
My mom calls me today telling me I have a huge box that arrived at her house. I had to reassure her it wasn't anything embarrassing. She was hesitant but she agreed to open it. She called me back telling me how shocked she was opening the box. Having no clue what I ordered to be sent to her house I was a bit worried. She then said the first thing she saw was Congratulations 2nd Place Winner of the Centrum Daily Essentials Sweepstakes. I apparently won a huge box of pots and pans from Farberware.
Here is a picture of them on Amazon for reference:


Anyways, my mom was in more shock when I told her how I won. Centrum has a daily email they send out to remind you to take your vitamins. I subscribed just for that, I have a bad memory. At the bottom of the email it asks if you took your vitamin...yes or no. If you click on either you get one entry in a rotating sweepstakes. Currently they have a cruise as the grand prize, and fruit of the month as the 1st prize, and an indoor George Foreman grill as the 2nd prize.

I had a feeling I was due to win something big, but I didn't expect this. I didn't put much thought in the "Entering the Sweepstakes" part of the email, I just needed a way to remember to take my vitamins.
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I Won!

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I was at Curves today doing my workout, and I won something. They have a game where you toss a quarter on the Twister mat and each circle has a "prize". It used to just be either a raffle ticket or $1 Curves Dollar (not sure what they are good for). Well this week they added something...A Small Curves Prize. My quarter landed on it, so I got a jar opener. Yeah Me!

See the thing is I always win, not to be vein, it is just true. When I called my mom today I started off by saying "Mom! You will never believe what happened today!". She responded with "What did you win?" She then proceeded to make fun of me for winning so much.
So then my husband gets home and I tell him. Not much better of a response. Unless it is big, then my winnings usually just get laughed off. I haven't won anything BIG for awhile. I'd have to say it was when I lived in Washington State. Friends of mine where going to play BINGO in the beginning of Nov. I was a little hesitant to go because we were saving money for Christmas. My husband insisted I go because I needed time with my friends, and he added "besides you'll probably win some money anyways." I laughed and told him that was impossible. I won the last time I went to play BINGO a few years ago, I can't possibly be lucky enough to win again. We made a bet, and well I ended up winning $300. That was a bet I didn't mind losing, but he made me change my screen name to ladyluck. I get the funniest responses when I give out my email address.
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Monday, March 27, 2006

Ball Gown

My husband's work is having a ball that my husband wants to go to. He really just wants to see me all dressed up, and it is the only excuse he could come up with. My mom is flying in to watch the kids, always nice to have a free babysitter.
I was making a ball gown today for this ball. I was making it out of a cheap, less than $1/yard, fabric to make sure the pattern was going to work. Good thing I did, come to find out the dress made me look pregnant. Not the message I want to send. Although I love my kids to death, I don't want anymore. So I'm going to try another pattern probably tomorrow. I need to figure out what dress to make so I can order the fabric soon.

So my tip for the day: If you are sewing something out of really expensive fabric, always make it first in the cheap stuff to make sure that you will look as good as the picture makes you think you will.
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Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Perfect Day

Today has been a near perfect day. Today is picture day at school, and my kids actually looked nice with little effort. I got my son's cow-licks in order, which is a miracle. I had a good workout, I didn't feel exhausted afterwards. I come home and find a package on my door step, which was some fabric I ordered. Later another box of fabric came in. My daughter had a nice play date after school. Then the mailman came with everything else in the world I've order in the last 2 weeks. Gosh I ordered a lot of things online. Well anyways the mailman brought some other great mail. Our insurance bill came (cars and rental), and it is $30 less a month but we get more coverage. My cable bill came, and it said I had a credit of $35. Who knew getting bills would be a good thing. My husband says he gets the day off tomorrow. I talked to a lady about getting my son in Cub Scouts, which meets on Friday evenings - which is great because there is no worry about homework then. I don't know how this day could get better.

Well aside from all my good fortune, I wanted to share a website I came across. It is called BebeReviews It is a great resource for mothers with babies and toddlers. It is a fairly new site, but it has great potential. They review everything from the latest baby products to places to take your little ones.
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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Spring Bulbs

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Spring is always exciting for me. I love it when the bulbs start coming up and blooming. It is always a surprise what will come up, since I move so frequently I rarely see any of the bulbs I plant. I assume I'm alone on this, because most people plan their garden out, and I am merely at the mercy of the prior tenant. For those of you who can, try and plan your flower beds so they have flowers from spring to the end of summer. There is about 3 phases bulbs go through, Early Spring when your Daffodils and Crocuses come up. Mid Spring is best known for its Tulips, which is my favorite flower. Then Late Spring you get your Lilies and Dahlias. Although, I have been noticing some hybrid bulbs in the stores nowadays that sell late blooming varieties of bulbs. This would be nice, so I could have tulips around for awhile. Once all the bulbs have died your annuals will be blooming, which should bloom all summer.

This time of year reminds me of when we lived near Seattle. They had a big Tulip Festival. It was so amazing to see fields of tulips growing everywhere. My favorite part was the Tulip Flag. Yes those are actually tulips.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Solution to Messy Kids Tooth Paste

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Living in a rental has a lot of inconveniences. Right now our kids bathroom doesn't work for them. The counter is to big for them and the sink faucet is to far away. So this causes big messes when it comes to brushing their teeth. I finally got fed up with cleaning toothpaste from EVERYWHERE, so I came up with a solution. It is the Tooth Paste Station. They have to put their toothpaste on the brush while it is on this station. Then they rinse their spit down the drain with the cup. If everything stays on this station area, then there shouldn't be much of a mess (or at least not on the carpet down the hallway).
I simply traced each item and colored a border with sharpies. I cut the paper to shape with decorative scissors. Then I taped the paper down with packing tape. I pretty much laminated the paper to the counter with the tape. It won't prevent water completely, but that is why I have a back up image on the computer.

I will definitely let you know how this new system works, and if it keeps the toothpaste from going everywhere.
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Saturday, March 18, 2006

How to Make a Layered Cake

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These are some of the things you will need to make your layered cake:
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A cake pan, parchment paper, scissors, decorative scissors (optional), cake mix, icing, pudding pack and cool whip. It helps to have an icing spatula - it is long and flat perfect for spreading, a cake spatula - great to move the cake, a Ziploc bag, a serrated knife - I use my bread knife, and a cooling rack.

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Take a piece of parchment paper and trace around the cake pan. Cut a quarter of an inch on the inside of your trace mark. Make sure none of the line remains on the paper. Spray the cake pan with non-stick spray, place the cut out parchment paper at the bottom, and spray again with non-stick spray.


Follow the directions to make the cake. To test the cake give it a little giggle in the oven. If it looks like jello it is not done yet.


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I like to put my cake in a display case, so I trace out the size of the lid on parchment paper. I then cut out a quarter inch on the inside, but this time with my decorative scissors. It is a good idea to cut out some parchment paper for the cake so that it is easier to move, regardless of how you store the cake afterwards.

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Place the cake on top of the decorative parchment paper.

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While it cools, I make the filling for my layers. I make a very basic filling made from pudding mix and Cool Whip. A small tub of Cool Whip mixes well with a small box of pudding. The final mix tests just like mousse.

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Use the serrated knife to cut your layers. You can do this by using the cooling rack as a guide. It is a good idea to cut off the dome from the top of the cake as well. The extra top is great to test for quality control. Image hosting by Photobucket


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Putting a border around the cake with icing helps prevent the filling from spilling out. You can do this by taking the icing and putting it in a Ziploc with a corner cut out of it.

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After you are done stacking your cake you can ice it. It is better to have to much icing at first and just take it off, than to have to little and constantly trying to add more. Just try and keep your spatula level with the cake to get that smooth look.

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Now you can add some sprinkles for a finishing touch.
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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Precious Lawn Chair

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The previous tenant came by yesterday. Seemed like a very professional type man, well dressed, nice car, ect. He came by to pick up something he had left. He wanted to retrieve his lawn chair. Now this chair is the kind that is a dollar at Walmart. The metal frame with plastic tubing as the seat and back support. Whats worse is this thing was OLD. It looked bent, rusted, and just overall in bad shape. We put it to the side because we didn't think it would even support a person. I just find it humorous that this guy would come back 3 months after he moved out to pick up his stupid lawn chair. It wasn't important to take with, but obviously important enough to come back for....3 months later.

I guess one man's trash is anothers treasure.
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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Nutella -- The Addiction Begins

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A couple of years ago my husband made me buy a jar of Nutella. I had never heard of it, so I figure why not, lets try it. My husband assured me he had tried it and it is delicious. When we got home he started eating it with a spoon, something he does with peanut butter too. The kids then joined him and fell in love with this stuff. Seeing how addicting it was I decided not to try it. It wasn't that I was afraid that I won't like it, oh no on the contrary, I was afraid I'd fall in love with it. The kids and my husband have been eating this stuff constantly since then. I have to have at least 2 jars of it in case we run out. Knowing how good it seems to be I encourage others to try it to see if maybe it was just my family. All of my friends fell in love with the stuff as well. I was more determined not to try it.

Well today I was making my daughter a Nutella and peanut butter sandwich (my kids favorite way to eat it) and I got some on my hand. Without thinking I liked it off. OH!!!! I'm in trouble now. It is wonderful! I ended up making myself a PB and Nutella sandwich as well. So now the addiction begins.
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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Art Class Butterflies

My son brought home some butterflies he drew in art class. I thought they are pretty cool, so I wanted to share. I'm probably going to frame them and hang them up in my daughter's room.


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