Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!



The cutest little snow princess you will ever see!!!  She LOVED being all girly! 


BATMAN!  He absolutely loved this as well!  He would run really fast and say he was flying!  This was just the perfect costume for him!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Squeeze Bottle Painting/Drawing Dough

I found this idea from a couple different sites.  So after seeing this twice, I decided I wanted to do it!  The Family Fun website called it Toddler painting, but after doing this activity, I think it can be for anyone!

I did find the squeeze bottles at Michael’s.  They are in the cake decorating section.  I was searching all over, then decided I better ask.  I mixed up 6 different colors.  I know the picture is sideways, but you get the point! :)  It seemed to me that the measurements on the site above were a bit off.  So I kind of just mixed together what I could to make it the consistency the was called for.  You mix flour, salt, water and tempera paint together to get a consistency that is still pourable, but not runny.


I then got out some heavy scrapbooking paper/cardstock and let the kids go to work.  This activity was a ton of fun and we will for sure be doing it again! 

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Getting busy on their artwork!

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Josie’s on the left was a picture of her and then she was writing her name.  Jayden’s on the right is a picture of him as a rock star.  A guitar in hand, and on a stage. He also is sporting a mo-hawk. There are blue lights on top, and the two dots on the bottom are the peoples’ heads with their hands in the air!  HAHAHA!  I love seeing his creative imagination!  He is blossoming very well in his first year of school!  Josie is almost there.  Most of the time you can make out what she makes, but this was a little more challenging to make a picture!  And yet again, the pix are sideways.  Maybe I’ll have to have my other half fix this for me!

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Jayden drew the one on the left.  This is of a house on fire.  And the fire truck has it’s ladder and hose out!  Totally awesome!  Josie drew te one on the left.  Another self portrait with some flowers!  Love it!

Can’t wait to do this activity again!  It wasn’t messy and it was something new and fun!  Try it out and let me know what you think!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Our Very Own Haunted House

Okay, so it’s not much on the haunted side, but to a 6 and 4 year old, it’s scary enough!  This week we put together our haunted house in the basement.  Last year we made a pirate ship.  This year it is a haunted house.  I had kept most of the decorative stuff from our pirate ship from last year to decorate for this year.  Plus I had gotten some Halloween stuff on clearance last year for 50-75% off.  So we had some new stuff to use too!  The kids spent a lot of time in the pirate ship last year.  I was hoping for the same this year!


I went to Lowe’s and got a couple big boxes.  I ended up putting them side by side and wrapped some bungee cords around the top to keep them together.  I cut a door they have to crawl in to enter the house.  I cut two square doors on the inside to go between the boxes.


I got some black plastic table cloths at the Dollar Tree to cover the outside.  I made some peak out holes too so there is some air movement in the house and places to look out from.

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And this is our finished product on the outside!!  It was a ton of fun to decorate.  The kids helped me put things where they should go.  I love the “welcome” sign on the door!  We had this on our pirate ship last year, too.  Most of the other stuff is new this year.  Spider webs, fake bloody gauze, magic potion sign, haunted house sign, etc.  So much fun to decorate!

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These are from the inside.  We hung up some more webs. See the big spider!!! (first picture).  The pumpkin is hanging from the ceiling and lights up.  We also have a string of Halloween lights hanging up as well.  They have done some more decorating on the inside.  I don’t fit so well on the inside so I am not quite for sure what all they have done.  It’s so much fun to see their imaginations grow and learn!  I also got a cd of Halloween Party music.  They can play and listen to it while in their house! 

It’s amazing what you can make out of a couple boxes.  What great memories we will have! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

The years still pass, but you are always in my heart.

17 years ago, I was an innocent Sophomore in high school.  It was a typical fall day in Iowa, when my family changed forever.  It still feels as if it were yesterday.  Those couple days will never leave my mind.  I miss your laugh, I miss your spirit, I miss your craziness, and I just miss YOU.  Your life was too short.  You had so much to look forward too.  God had a special plan for you.  I may never understand why it had to happen. I will see you someday and that will be great.

This is one of the only pictures I have on our computer of my brother and my whole family.  I was about 7-8 in this picture.  It was a fun family moment!  We loved to joke and still do!  Just wish you could be joking with us.  Until we meet again…..


We miss you Cory Lee!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

11 years ago

11 years ago I took a summer job as a co-site director for Campfire USA.  I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, or how much of my time and heart was going to be consumed by camp, but I will always cherish all the memories those awesome 3 summers. 

11 years ago I met some amazing kids.  Some I grew to love and had a very special bond.

11 years ago I met this girl.  The farthest one on the right.


Last night, she got married!!!


Camp was awesome.  Camp stamped a big ‘ol stamp on my heart.  I will never, EVER forget the fun, the tears, the kids, the adventures, the hot sun, the rainy days, the smiles!  We had some amazing days.  I loved watching the kids grow and learn and just be kids.  I loved watching them come in the morning all nice and clean and leaving in the afternoon a complete mess!  Oh those days were fun.  Memories to last forever.

The bride was one of those kids that LOVED camp.  She wanted to be there, she had fun.  She didn’t like when it was hot and she often said she was tired!  She could run with the best of them.  She could be a friend.  She was an awesome kid to have at camp.

Last night when I walked in and saw a beautiful, young woman standing there in a beautiful wedding gown, it made me want to cry.  Janel, you have grown from that little girl, into an amazing young woman!  I wish you the best and hope more of your dreams come true!  Thank you for letting me be a part of your special day.  (But to me, you will always be that little girl in the picture above!)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

At the Drive-In!

I think Family Fun magazine should give me something for doing/testing out their activities that they have in their magazine.  I’m a sucker for a lot of them!  I can’t find this project on their website for some reason.  But it was in last months issue of Family Fun.  It was called “Create Some Cars” on page 32.

If you have a boy like mine, who LOVES anything with wheels, then this project is for you!  My daughter also enjoyed it so that is a double bonus!

I found a couple medium sized boxes that both kids could sit comfortably in and have room enough to move around.  I cut off the top flaps on them to make the “car” more open.

I gave them some paper plates to paint black.

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Then we made a license plate for each one.  Jayden’s said, “Hot Rod”. and Josie’s was “Barbie Car”.


While the paint on the wheels were drying, we decorated the cars. This was the fun part!  They both really got into it.  Josie had fun sticking foam stickers on the outside of her car.  Jayden was more into the details. 

He had to make the grill on the front.  And also had to have double exhaust with flames!  We also made headlights and break lights out of foam.

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He also had to put the brake and gas pedal inside.  That’s what the white duct tape is for.  And a seatbelt, cup holders, mirrors, ect.!  It was soooo much fun to see his little mind work and get creative!  In the picture with Josie, she is pulling her seatbelt on!

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All done with our masterpieces!  We added on a smaller shoe box on the side of each car.  These are hooked on with binder clips.  Now they can have their snack and have somewhere to put it while they are at the drive in!

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At supper, we ordered some pizza.  We let the kids eat their pizza in their cars while watching a movie!  They LOVED this.  Jayden did not move the entire time.  He was very comfy in his car.

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They already have other uses for their cars.  Last night it was a truck.  Today it has been a camper.  We added a feature to our cars.  Most of us have one when we are out and about!  A cell phone!  We gave them two of our old cells phones and it is making for some great imagination!  I am sure these will be well loved and used greatly in the next few days.  Can’t wait for our next movie time!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mod Podge and Masks

I like Mod Podge.  I have used it in the past for many different things.  I have never done a craft with the kids using it though…until now.  I had found these masks at Michaels for 2/$3.00.  I had to think about how I wanted the kids to decorate them. I decided to buy some Halloween Scrapbooking paper.  Which I found at the Target Dollar Spot.  An 8 pack for $1.00!  Can’t beat that!  I cut some of this paper up into little squares. 

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I set everything out on the table and let them go to work.  At first,they had a bit of a hard time working the mod podge and making the paper stay where it needed.  After a few minutes they caught on and were having a good time!  They actually covered more of the mask than I thought they would.  So, all in all, it was a good project!


We set them aside to dry.  The kids wanted the “teeth” painted white so we did that as well.  I bought some elastic at Wal-Mart for $1.00.  I used this to allow them to wear the mask.  We poked holes on each side of the mask and hooked some elastic on it.  Now they can wear them!  I have a future use for these on my next Halloween creation that we are working on!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Kitchen is Complete!

Okay, I think I’m ready to say that my kitchen is done.  There a few spots I need to touch up or add something too, but it’s good enough for now!  I am proud of all my hard work to get this done.  It really changed the look of the kitchen.  I feel like it’s not as dark as it was.  So hopefully I can enjoy it before something gets spilled on the floor or I manage to get food coloring on the wood work!  I am known to not handle food coloring well!  I couldn’t find a picture of the kitchen before I did the makeover.  I forgot to take one last week when I started this fiasco.  But, most of you know what my kitchen looks like. So here is the finished product!

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Recap of what I changed: I took the doors off and cleaned all cabinets inside and out.  I added some hardware to the doors and drawers.  And we cleaned up the grout on the tile, backsplash and floor.  And I added a paint/sealer to the grout that would brighten up the room.  I also got to take the “plate jail” off and have a nice open space for “pretties”.  This is shown in the second picture to the right of the sink.  I’m so glad to see that gone!  So there it is.  I am happy with what I have done.  Now to move on to the bathrooms!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lovin’ the Pumpkin Patch!

Since Jayden was a year old we have been going to the same pumpkin patch!  It’s kind of one of those patterns.  Why change it?  Howell’s Pumpkin Patch is our favorite!  If you roam around their website, you will find pictures of my two kids that they have used for their website!  How fun is that!?  Yes, there are other places we could go.  Yes, we gave the kids a choice to go to Howell’s or somewhere else.  And it always comes back to Howell’s!!


Today the kids didn’t have school.  Kevin took the day off and we headed out.  October, this year, has been way warmer than normal!  So why not spend an 80 degree October day at the Pumpkin Patch!  What was even better? It was a weekday!! Less busy, less crowds, no lines!  We spent four hours today roaming around and just letting the kids play and explore!

We started off the day in the Kid play area.  The kids played in the corn.  Josie made a “corn angel”.  Jayden had fun with the duck races.  They played on the pedal tractors.  Jayden had a hard time picking what one he wanted to use.  Josie gave up and used the tricycle.

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They climbed on the bails, went on the slide and played on the various swings!  We could not keep up with them!

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Josie was loving all the things you could stand behind and take your picture.  She LOVES the camera.  So everything we saw it was, “take a picture of me, mom!”  Here are a couple of my favorites!

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After our picnic lunch we played with the animals.  First they road the pony’s.  Which is new at Howell’s.  This was a big hit, as they were REAL!  You didn’t have to put a quarter in them to make them go!  Josie road Ruby and Jayden road on JJ.  We also fed the goats and sheep. 

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We headed out on the tractor ride to go through the corn maze and play on another new attraction!  They have pedal go-karts now!  And they have a track through the corn to go through.  Totally fun and worth the laughs.  Jayden was bummed that he couldn’t quite drive it himself.  The corn maze was good too.  Josie actually made it through the whole thing without wanting to be carried.  I think that is a first!  She’s not one for long distances on her own feet yet!

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We were a little bummed looking for a pumpkin in the fields.  It’s our normal tradition to find one out in the field.  But whether it be the torrential rains we had all spring/summer, or the fact it has been so nice that a lot of people have picked pumpkins, but there weren’t a lot to choose from.  Jayden was really, really bummed!  But we ended riding the tractor back in and picking up a few pumpkins that Howell’s had already picked.  We let them pick out a couple smaller ones so that we can just decorate them and leave them as a centerpiece on the table.

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The best part about getting pumpkins this year, was that we got to wash them in the “Punkin warsh”  The kids absolutely loved this.  And we didn’t have to take dirty pumpkins home!


We let the kids go back into the kid area and have some more fun before we were going to leave.  This involved the corn pool and dumping the corn on our heads!  Let’s just say when we got home, they had to go straight to the bathtub!  Jayden was filling his hat and putting it on his head. Josie found a pot in the corn and used that!  The giggles made it all worth it!

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Another year of laughs, another year of fun, another year of living through our children.  It’s great to see them so excited and not have a care in the world.  I will be sad when some year the kids say they are “too old” for the pumpkin patch.  But until then, we will enjoy it!  We love Howell’s and all they have to offer.  I’m sure next year when we ask the kids where they want to go, they will say, Howell’s!

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