Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Travel Games Website

Many of you will be traveling for the holidays. I came across some nice travel games on the Coca-Cola website that I thought might help someone looking to occupy their children during a long trip.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Card Layout

Just made another card that I thought I'd share. It is just a basic die cut of a 3 part flower.
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Eyeball Cookie

I made these cookies last night for a Halloween party/potluck. I had these gummy eyeballs that were completely round. I cut off the bottoms so they would lie flat on the cookie. Then I baked regular sugar cookies. When the cookies came out of the oven, I placed the eyeball on top of the warm cookie. The gummy stuff melted a bit on the cookie which made it look cool and helped attach itself. These were quite a hit with the kids and moms.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Halloween Party Schedule

Ok I have firmed up my activity plans for the Halloween Party this year.

I purchased a Haunted Gingerbread House decorating kit from the store for kids to do as guests arrive.

Craft - Make your own trick or treat bags. I purchased plain white paper gift bags and I have all sorts of stamps and rub-ons (which I bought all on clearance last year) to decorate them with

Bob for apples - be sure to have plenty of towels and encourage the kids not to backwash in the bucket with the apples

Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt - I found sponge pumpkins on clearance last year, so I bought a ton. I came up with a scavenger hunt for the kids. Each pumpkin will have a word and a number. I'll think of a cool Halloween saying that will be said if they fill it out properly. (#1 Have #2 a #3 Happy #4 Halloween) Then I'll hide all the pumpkin sponges and when they can tell me what the phrase is they get a small prize.

Food - I always have some cool food, usually cupcakes and popcorn balls. If you don't schedule time to eat, then your food won't get eaten and you wasted your time making it. Don't go overboard though, there are so many cute recipes online now, limit yourself to only a few.

Hay-find - take a bale of hay and scatter candy and make the kids find it

Pumpkin - our Halloween version of Torpedo - Name on side of the yard Trick and the other side Treat. Tell the kids to run towards whatever side you call and when you yell PUMPKIN, everyone must touch the ground. Last to touch the floor is out. This is a great game while waiting for parents to come and it wears out the kids pretty good.
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Friday, October 12, 2007

$50 Halloween Party for kids

Every year I host a Halloween party for my son. He has a summer birthday and with all our moves it seems like there isn't enough friends for a birthday party. As a kid my parents used to do the same for me and I loved it. Since I have almost a lifetime experience at hosting a Halloween party I have it down to under $50.

$20 - 2 bales of hay
$5 - Tableware

$5 - bag of apples
$2 - outfit at a Thrift store
$10 - candy
$5 - craft supplies
$3 - Misc. stuff

The hay is used for two activities, but if your budget is tight you can reuse the hay from the first activity. The $20 estimate is based on $10 a bale, which is the most expensive I've found hay.

Depending on the size of your party, you have two options. For a small party go to the dollar store and pick up a tablecloth (paper), plates, napkins, and cups. You can usually find them in a Halloween theme. For a larger party you will need the same supplies, but go with the plain black and orange tableware because you get more for your money.

Craft supplies
Every year I change the craft, but I try and stick with something cheap. The craft will probably go in the trash eventually, so no need spending $5 per kid on some knick-knack. There are some exceptions to this, but as a general rule don't go overboard on the craft. Oriental Trading has a lot of great craft kits. You can purchase one or just use the site for ideas.

Misc. Stuff
There isn't really anything I buy extra, but I find it is good to have some extra money in the budget to cover unexpected details. Perhaps you could use it for a bag of chips and kool-aid. Typically I have my parties at 2pm so I don't have to worry about feeding people. For $3 you could buy a box mix of cake and icing, make cupcakes, and still have some change left over for kool-aid.


My formula for good parties is to have: 2 games/activities, 1 craft, and a means of getting mass amounts of candy/toys/misc. at the end.

After all the guests arrive I start with the classic game of bobbing for apples. The best way to play is to have a plastic tote that is long, and only fill half way up with water. Also make sure you have towels lining the floor and a wipe off towel available for the kids.

Next we go outside and I show the kids the bale of hay and a pile of clothes. It is their job to build a scare crow. Usually I have a chair outside for the scarecrow to sit on. For the head I use our jack-o-lantern, but if you don't have you can get an orange plastic trick-or-treat pumpkin for less than a dollar. It is nice to have the kids build a scarecrow for my front door, makes a great decoration for trick-or-treaters.

When they are done I have them come inside for the craft. As I said earlier, I vary my crafts, so this gives you some freedom.

While the kids are working on the craft, I have another adult (usually my husband) go outside and scatter half of the second hay bale in a big pile. Then they toss candy all over, sometimes I add some goodie bag toys I've collected over the year and sometimes pennies too. Then the other half of the hay is scattered on top. I give the kids grocery bags or brown lunch sacks to turn them lose to find stuff.

If time still remains we play a game to run the kids energy out. The original game is called Torpedo (in case anyone has heard of it), but we change it to suit our needs for every party. For this purpose we will call the game Pumpkin. You tell the kids the left side of the yard is the trick and the right side is the treat. You will shout out directions (either trick or treat) but when you yell Pumpkin everyone has to touch the floor. The last person to touch the ground is out. The last person standing gets to be the caller.
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Monday, October 08, 2007

Awesome Sand Castle

Hopefully I can start posting more regularally now that we have finally settled in. Here is a picture of an awesome sand castle we found on the beach. There was a big festival about a week before we went, so I assume they had a sand sculpture contest.

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Friday, August 31, 2007

Expecting Card

Here is a card I made for a friend who is expecting. I finally got settled down enough from this last move to start crafting again. I thought this card turned out rather well and I wanted to share.
On a personal note, our move went ok, well at least its over now. We are planning to buy this house, closing date is the first of October. Hopefully this means we can settle down for awhile and stop moving, but I know better than that.
The kids are both involved in scouts. I somehow found myself as Cubmaster at a new pack. Amazing how that title follows you around. I don't see how, but I guess I have a big neon sign floating above my head.
Well enjoy the card idea and hopefully I'll get to posting some more craft ideas during September.
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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We've Moved.....again

Ok for anyone keeping up, we have moved yet again. Currently we are living in Georgia, but that could change in a month or two if my husband gets promoted. Hopefully we can stay here for longer than 3 months, but it is hard to tell.
Although it is rather warm and humid in Georgia, we seem to like it here a lot. The kids have made friends, and they start school tomorrow (yeah they start REALLY early down here). I have found another Cub Scout pack to join. They found out I was Cubmaster at my last pack, so guess what they want me to do....be thier Cubmaster. Apparently that is a hard vacancy to fill.
When I get some time, and high speed internet, I'll post a picture of the diaper bag I made for a friend. It is too cute and very simple to make. Hope everyone enjoyed my 12 Weeks of Summer posts. My summer is over now, so we will see what kind of fun crafts and ideas I come up with in Georgia.
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Saturday, July 07, 2007

12 Weeks of Summer - Week 11

Mad Scientist

Field Trip: Science Museum
Try Something New: Science Experiments; Hypothesize and Prove
Library: Easy kids experiments you can do at home idea books
Crafts: Science lab diorama
Kids Cook: Rock Candy
Rainy Day Fun: Experiments
Outdoor: Egg Drop Experiment -build a device that will prevent an egg from breaking when being dropped from various distances
Movie: Jimmy Neutron
Craft Challenge:Who can make the coolest lab jacket from a t-shirt
Weekly Challenge: Plan your own experiment, whoever best (planned) experiment gets to try it
Additional Info: Constantly explain safety
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Saturday, June 30, 2007

12 Weeks of Summer - Week 10


Field Trip: Merry Go Round
Try Something New: Learn a magic trick
Library: Clowns
Crafts: popsicle stick Big Top tent (use a paper towel for the top)
Kids Cook: Snow cones
Rainy Day Fun: Face paint and act like clowns
Outdoor: Practice lion taming
Movie: Jo Jo’s Circus videos
Craft Challenge: Make a flee circus
Weekly Challenge: Create a circus act
Additional Info: There are many merry go rounds across the country, but if you have a hard time finding one type in your location and carousel and again with merry go round. You are bound to find something nearby.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

12 Weeks of Summer - Week 9


Field Trip: Zoo
Try Something New: Backyard Safari, give each kid a disposable camera and go for a walk around the neighborhood or local park. Have them take pictures of all the animals they see. Get them developed and compare pictures.
Library : Animal books
Crafts: pom-pom animals, paper plate lion
Kids Cook: Snake Sticks, buy a can of bread stick dough and let the kids shape them out like snakes. Then take disposable cups and fill them with food coloring and water. Give the kids watercolor brushes to decorate their own snakes. You may want to do this outside or put newspaper down to prevent the food coloring from staining. Alternative is to bake the bread sticks after the kids shape them and let them decorate them with food coloring markers found in the cake decorating section of any craft store.
Rainy Day Fun: Animal puppet show, make your own animal puppets and put on a show
Outdoor: Setup a sprinkler Oasis
Movie: Jungle Book
Craft Challenge: Animal masks
Weekly Challenge: ROAR! start off roaring quietly, then gradually get loaded. Then see who can get the loudest, but only in little increments, no jumping form
roar to ROAR!!!!!
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Thursday, June 14, 2007

End of Year Party - Luau Crafts

My son's teacher asked me to do some crafts for the End of Year Luau. We made a paper cup tiki and crepe paper hula skirts.

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For the tiki just take a solid colored paper cup, found in the party supply section of any superstore, then have the kids decorate it with foamie stickers, markers, ect. I used glue dots for the googly eyes and the crepe paper hair.

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To make the crepe paper (party streamers) hula skirt you just cut a long strip of butcher or craft paper. Then take a large hole punch, in this case it was a square, and cut along the strip of paper. Have the kids tread the crepe paper through the holes and with a glue stick glue the crepe paper onto itself. When they are done wrap it around their waste and staple it. You can staple a lei around their waste as well.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

12 Weeks of Summer - Week 8


Field Trip: Aquarium
Try Something New: Get two pairs of tongs and use them to pick up and move things like a crab
Library: Undersea books
Crafts: submarine out of plastic bottle, paper plate aquarium
Kids Cook: submarine sandwiches
Rainy Day Fun: Give each kid a bowl of water, with a tablespoon of oil added to the water, and a spoon. Tell the kids to scoop out the oil with the spoon. This is a great lesson in water conservation. They will find it impossible to get all the oil out. You can let them use a paper towel at the end, but they will find it takes away much more water than oil.
Outdoor: Beach themed scavenger hunt, make a list of things that can be easily found throughout the week, give each kid a sand pail to collect the goodies in. If you don't live near the beach, then you can scatter bath toys around the yard and have them hunt for them.
Movie: Little Mermaid or Finding Nemo
Craft Challenge: Sea shell critter, get a bag of sea shells from the craft store and how many different sea shell creatures you can make
Weekly Challenge: Who can crab walk the farthest
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Friday, June 08, 2007

12 Weeks of Summer - Week 7

Wild West

Field Trip: Visit a local Farm
Try Something New: Pan for gold, paint some small rocks gold and mix them with some mud and dirty. Give the kids foil pie pans to sloosh for the gold.
Library: Wild west or cowboy books
Crafts: create an Old Western town out of old paper milk cartons, make a prairie wagon out of cardboard
Kids Cook: Pulled pork (or meat of choice) BBQ sandwiches, have the kids pull the meat apart with two forks
Rainy Day Fun: Make up a new line dance
Outdoor: Stick Pony Rodeo
Movie: Fievel Goes West
Craft Challenge: make a teepee out of sticks and an old sheet~let the kids decorate it with washable markers
Weekly Challenge: Lasso challenge, who can lasso the most and farthest
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Monday, June 04, 2007

12 Weeks of Summer - Week 6


Field Trip: Zoo to look at the spiders and other insects
Try Something New: Watch bugs, take a hula hoop or sting and circle off a small patch of grass, observe for 15 minutes what all the bugs in the area are doing
Library: stages of a butterflies life
Crafts: tissue paper butterfly, clay caterpillar, paper plate lady bugs
Kids Cook: Ants on a log
Rainy Day Fun: Bug Hunt (Buy dollar store bag of bugs and hide them throughout the house)
Outdoor: catch bugs
Movie: Bugs Life or Antz
Craft Challenge: Make a litter bug using trash found outside
Weekly Challenge: Display a Bug Zoo
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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Fiesta Birthday Party

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Fiesta Birthday Party

My daughter turned 7 this week, and we had a Learn Spanish Fiesta for her party.

As we greeted the guests, they were given a scavenger hunt of a list of Spanish words. They had to go around the house finding the sticky note with the Spanish word on it and write down what the English word. Once completed the kids got a package of Mexican jumping beans.

We then sat down for a taste testing. My husband, who grew up in Texas, was able to find some Hispanic food for the kids to taste. They were cookies which we split up into halves or fourths and some unique soda (like coconut soda). The parents also enjoyed testing the goodies out.

After they got a bit of sugar and soda in their system, we had the kids dance to some Latin music. They ended up forming a Conga line on their own.

When they tired out a bit we sat back down for a craft. We made worry dolls (quita dolls) out of wooden clothes pins--the kind that don't pinch shut--and some fabric we tied around with a ribbon. I also got the kids little wooden boxes, from the craft store, for them to decorate.

As they finished with the craft they went to dance in the other room. Once they were all done we set up for cake and ice cream. I find rotating kids between two rooms works nicely so they are moving around some and are settled for the next activity. It also helps having someone set up the next event while somebody occupies them in another room.

After cake we did presents and then we had a pinata outside. We ended up finishing a bit earlier than expected, so my husband came up with a game to fill the last 15 mins. He named it Pinata, which is just a version of Torpedo. First the boundaries need to be set so kids don't run too far away. Then you define which side is the left (izquierda) and the right (derecha). The caller tells the kids which direction to run izquierda/derecha, then they switch. The kids run from one side to another at the will of the caller. When the caller yells Pinata everyone touches the ground. The last person to touch the ground is out. The last person out gets to be the caller. *For the game Torpedo the caller yells Port (left) and Starboard (right) and Torpedo (hit the deck).
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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

12 Weeks of Summer Series - Week 5

Winter in July

Field Trip: Find an ice cream factory to tour or just go out for ice cream
Try Something New: Make Ice Cream in Ziplock bags - put ingredients in a quart size freezer bag and seal. Then put the quart size bag in a gallon bag with ice and rock salt. Flip the bag by taking the bottom corners rotating the bag forward. In about 10 mins or so you'll have soft serve ice cream. Make sure the kids don't get to carried away cause the bags will break and ruin the ice cream (won't set and tastes like salt).
Library: Discover how animals survive in the cold
Crafts: marshmallow igloo, ice castle (fill sand castle things ½ full w/water and freeze), snow globe (baby food jar and glue stuff to inside lid)
Kids Cook: Snow cones
Rainy Day Fun: Make Ice Eggs (freeze water balloons filled w/water and a drop of food coloring – small ones freeze faster)
Outdoor: Melt Down Experiment
Movie: Ice Age
Craft Challenge: make a snowman with whatever you can find around the house
Weekly Challenge: snowshoe walk - strap tennis rackets to your feet and try and walk
Additional Information: My ice cream in a bag recipe is as follows- 1 egg, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 cup whipping cream, and 1/2 cup milk. This makes plenty for 2 kids which works great if you want to pair up to flip the bag around.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

12 Weeks of Summer Series - Week 4


Field Trip: Local garden with tropical plants
Try Something New: Take a pool noodle and lay it on the floor, then take a small board and lay it on top of the noodle. Try to balance on the board as if you are surfing. This is best done outside so you don't knock down things or hurt yourself.
Library: Photo books of Hawaii
Crafts: paper lei, decorate flip flops, sand art, sea shell picture frame
Kids Cook: smoothies bar (cut fruit up and let them make their own smoothies)
Rainy Day Fun: Make up a hula dance routine
Outdoor: Limbo
Movie: Lilo & Stitch
Craft Challenge: Make a volcano (do baking soda/vinegar when done)
Weekly Challenge: Hula Hoop Contest
Additional Info: Lesson from my daughter – Don’t stick your head above volcano as it “erupts” because it puts out CO2 which makes it hard for you to breath
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Thursday, May 24, 2007

12 Weeks of Summer Series - Week 3


Field Trip: Maritime Museum
Try Something New: Talk like a pirate ye scallywags arrggg…
Library: Pirate and sailing books
Crafts: decorate treasure chest, newspaper sailor hats, make a treasure map of backyard
Kids Cook: sunkin’ treasure jello (blue jello with gold fish and other goodies at the bottom)
Rainy Day Fun: Learn various knots
Outdoor: Treasure hunt
Movie: Peter Pan
Craft Challenge: Make a sailboat from a block of balsa wood and a dowel rod (balsa wood can be shaped with a potato peeler)
Weekly Challenge: create a pirate look (costume) of your own using old clothes
Additional Info: Learn knots at animatedknots.com
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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

12 Weeks of Summer Series - Week 2


Field Trip: Find an Air & Space Museum near you
Try Something New: Explore NASA Kid’s website and find video clips of launches
Library: Space and constellations
Crafts: Solar system from construction paper balls, alien masks, frozen juice container planetarium – poke holes at the top of constellations and put a flashlight at the opening
Kids Cook: Flying Saucers Sandwiches (Pitas)
Rainy Day Fun: Make constellation poster with glow in the dark puff paint
Outdoor: Explore gravity by dropping different things of size and weight from different heights Movie: Treasure Planet
Craft Challenge: Build a spaceship or space station out of boxes
Weekly Challenge: Collect the most space rocks (space rocks must be painted or decorated to look like they are from space)
Additional Fun: Let the kids stay up late (after dark) and look for constellations.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

12 Weeks of Summer Series - Week 1


Field Trip: Mexican Grocer or Restaurant
Try Something New: Mexican Hat Dance
Library: Learn Spanish or Cultural Books
Crafts: tissue paper flowers, TP roll maracas, weave placemats from construction paper strips
Kids Cook: Make your own quesadilla
Rainy Day Fun: Label Spanish name from things around the house
Outdoor: Pretend to be a bull fighter
Movie: Learn Spanish videos
Craft : Make a piƱata
Weekly Challenge: Who can count the highest in Spanish
Additional Notes: Learn Spanish Post-It notes can be found at Wal-Mart near the flash cards and grade level workbooks
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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Cub Scout Bears Family Camp

I know it has been awhile since I've posted anything, but I have had a very challenging semester in college. Anyways, I'm preparing for a family camp out with our Bears den. I thought I'd share some ideas on what we planned on doing.

Soap/Wood Carvings - Since the boys have earned their whittling chits we are giving them some soap and blocks of wood to carve throughout the camp-out. This way in between events they don't get bored.

Make Trail Mix - This is a favorite with our den. Just gather a bunch of stuff for the boys to make their own trail mix. I put the ingredients in ziplock bags and I have plastic measuring cups in the bags. I have 1 cup for cereals, 1/2 cup for dried fruits, 1/3 cup for nuts, and 1/4 cup for sweets. They can mix whatever cereals they want so long as it is in this ratio (or whatever ratio you prefer).

Craft - Since we are camping on Cinco de Mayo we are gluing tissue paper on pinatas. The boys can bust them open before they leave camp Sunday morning.

Egg Drop Experiment - This is a pack event which every boy gets a brown lunch bag. They can fill it with whatever combo they want (10 different things to choice from). The goal is to protect an egg from breaking when it is dropped from a good height.

Field Day - Another pack event where the boys play tug-o-war, 3 legged races, relay races, sack races, ect.

Ice Cream - Take a quart size ziplock freezer bag and fill it with ice cream ingredients (only half full). Then take a ziplock freezer gallon bag and fill it with ice and rock salt. Put the quart size bag in the gallon bag, making sure both are zipped tight. Flip the gallon bag around for about 10 mins, and you have ice cream.

Plant a Tree - Each boy in our den will be planting an oak tree

Make a Shelter - While we are out in the woods, the boys will learn to make a lean-to (sp??). You take a large fallen branch and prop it up against an old tree stump. Then you find sticks of various sizes to lean up against the branch, going from longest towards the stump to smallest towards the ground. When you added enough sticks that it looks like it can handle a pile of leaves, start finding and piling leaves on top. This is for insulation. The goal is to pile enough leaves so that the pile is as deep as your arm. Take a stick or two away so you can enter, and there you have an emergency shelter.

Animal Tracks - While walking around the woods we are going to look for animal tracks. I have a set of flash cards that has a picture of tracks on one side and the information of the animal on the other.

That is my plan, hopefully it will go smoothly.
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Space Derby Game

2 t-shirts (size Large)
Newspaper (optional)
Giant roll of duct tape
Shiny duck tape (optional)
2 sets of dish gloves
4 soup ladles (2 blue and 2 green ~colors can vary)
2 small baskets in coordinating colors with ladle sets
2 Sharpies in coordinating colors (optional) ~ to label gloves for each team
Construction paper

Take the t-shirt and cut it down the center, this will be the front of the jacket. Trace each side in newspaper and cut the newspaper 1 inch short of line. This set is optional it just adds some weight/stiffness and crunching sound to the jacket. Tape the newspaper in place and start duct taping the outline of the t-shirt. Cover the t-shirt in duct tape (oh the duct tape guys would love this huh). When you are done then you can decorate the jacket with the fancy shiny duct tape if you wish. Also it is fun to print up patches to place on with clear packing tape, but again completely optional.

Take the soup ladles and wrap with either shiny duct tape if you have it, regular if you don't, and go up to the top but not in the scoop itself. Take the sharpie and color coordinate the gloves so the teams don't get confused which glove goes to which team.

Lastly you will need to make the "space rocks" which are balls of construction paper with a duct tape band around them to keep them tight.

The relay game is simple. Form 2 lines with Team A (green) and Team B (blue). The first players have to get their astronaut jacket and space gloves on. They take the space tools (ladles) and try and scoop up the space rocks which are scattered across the floor. They bring the space rock to the basket and pass off the gear to the next kid. I made the rule if they dropped the rock they have to go back and get another, but that rule is optional.
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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Race Car Frisbee Game

March is Pinewood Derby month for our area cub scouts. Somehow I've gotten suckered into being the Cubmaster, so I came up with a cute game we did at the end of our pack meeting. I took two boxes and made them look like cars, you may need some imagination for this. The game is simple, each boy gets two tire frisbees, paper plates skillfully colored by my daughter, and try to get one in the car.
I just took a cardboard box and covered it with wrapping paper, I had two cars to accommodate our large group. I cut a pool noodle in half and holes through the box to thread the noodles through. Then I simply added paper plates with holes in the center for tires. I went the extra mile to hold the plate tires on with screws, but this took a lot of time and I'd probably skip it if I were to do it again. I took 2 more plates colored similiarlly and used them as frisbees. The kids had a great time trying to get the tire frisbees in the cars.
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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Years Savings Plan

I'm not the type to make New Years Resolutions, I think when you want to make a change in your life you should do it now instead of wait for the New Year. So many times I hear, my diet starts Monday so I need to pig out now while I can.
Well this year is a little different, I want to start investing in stocks. The timing of when I can invest just happens to fall on the New Year. My husband gets almost a $75 raise in cost of living, so I'm taking all $75 and investing it. I've always been nervous about stocks, I feel like it is gambling. I tend to be a lucky person, but I hate pushing my luck. Anyways, I finally opened an account and today is the first day I officially invested. By the end of the day I have $75.13. I'm excited about my 13 cents. I know it is petty, but it is exciting to me!
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