Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Fun corkboards

Wanting to dress up some ordinary corkboards? Try zentangle!

Here are mine. They are going behind my kitchen door on the wall. I know, why would anyone do this beautiful thing and then put it BEHIND a door? !?!?

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

HP wands!

My kids have recently discovered Harry Potter. They run around screaming out spells and incantations and picking up anything that remotely resembles a wand to do it with. ( feather duster anyone?). So when I saw this adorable wand tutorial on pinterest, I couldnt resist making a few for them to play with.

All I needed was chopsticks, paint and hot glue. I printed out a list of spells for the kids, and everyone was happy!

I started with the chopsticks and the hot glue..  I tried to make each one unique in it's hot glue pattern
Here's a closer look at them.
Here's little man painting 'his' wand.  He picked which one he wanted and which color he wanted it to be.  
Here are a few of the wands as they are drying.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

New daily chore chart.....

Our weekend family chore chart is working out quite nicely, but I am still left with the day to day tasks that we need to do.  For quite a few months, the ipad YOU RULE app has worked well for us, but the kids don't seem to be paying it any attention anymore.  As usual, I am off to find something else that will work.

Here's what I came up with.  I have two kids, and there are three different types of chores I want/need them to do.  Morning chores, after school chores, and I can help out chores.  The morning and after school chores are specific to each child and the I can help out chores are general.

Using publisher, I created little cards for each chore I wanted done.  (keep in mind that where it says Little Lady and Little Man, the original file has their actual names on it!)

These business sized cards were printed out, laminated and a hole punched where the circle is on the card.

 Obviously, the sun represents morning chores and the moon represents after school chores (evening chores)

 I decided to award them electronics time (that's still going very well for us) for doing their chores.
Each chore that they do in the morning and evening list awards them 1 minute.  Each "I can help" chore awards them the number of minutes on the back of the card (I hand wrote them in based on how much I thought that task would be worth).

Since this sits on the same magnetic whiteboard as their electronics time, they have visual reminder to add their points.  I'll post a picture of it once I'm done with it.

Oh, yeah!  What are the holes for, you ask?

Well...The cards have magnetic tape on the back of them, so that the kids can see all of their chores in a given time.  I put 3M hooks on the magnetic board, and when the kids have done their chore, they hang it on their I'm Done hook.  This way they can quickly see what they've done and add their time to the board.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

We caved...

The kids finally have a 'family computer' to use. I had been procrastinating because I wanted it in a central location where I could monitor it, and in the setup of our house, one didnt exist.

At this stage, they are coming home with so much computer, ICT, and typing homework that it just makes sense to give them one of their own.

I wanted to use as much of what we already have as I could, and in essence all we had to buy was a small computer table. We used my old laptop, a spare keyboard, mouse and monitor and set it all up.

Now they each have their own accounts ( monitored of course) and are happy as can be!

Now daddy and I can have our computer back! Yeah!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

DIY display of artwork

I was inspired by a pinterest pin that showed picture frames with clothes-pins on them that displayed kids artwork.  In my typical fashion, I didn't have any extra picture frames around in the size I wanted, so I set out to see if I could DIY something that would work.  Here is what I came up with.

I started with a 11x15 piece of cardboard.  I cut 4 of these.  
Next, I found some really nice linen 12x12 paper in colors that I liked.  I needed two sheets of each color. Using modge-podge, I glued them down to the front of the cardboard.  
I had this fabulous Duct tape lying around ( I knew I'd find a use for it when I bought it!)
and taped all the sides and the seam.  
Here's my corner.... I didn't want bits of lines in the front, so I always folded backwards.
Here's the front of my board, when the tape is added.
Lastly, I hot glued down some wooden clothes-pins in the spacing that I wanted.  I put my tape on the top of them, and used an exact-o knife to cut around it for a nice edge.  

(not shown...I hot glued down a picture hook onto the back of the board before hanging)
Here is my finished product, on my wall and ready for my kids artwork!  

Monday, 17 September 2012

table rules

We have been having trouble with the Little Man not wanting to eat his dinner and complaining no matter what I make him to eat.  We have always had table rules, and while we would say them, they were never actually written down for him to see.  This is a work in progress, so it may change; but these are not printed and hung near the table for him - (us) to refer to.

Here is what we came up with:

Table Rules:

·    Be happy at the table.  No fighting, whining     or crying
·    Clear your dishes from the table:  if asked to, please help set and clear the table
·    Use your manners!  Please, thank you, mouth closed, no electronics or toys
·    You will try at least 2 bites of your food before politely asking for something different.
·    If we say YES to #4 you may make yourself a sandwich or a bowl of cereal.
·    Eat all your food in order to get dessert.
·    If someone else serves you, eat what you can.  If you serve yourself, eat what you take.
·    Stay seated, or ask to be excused from the table.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

The mouse paved the way...

Remember tickles? The mouse our cat tried to eat? The kids rescued it and tried to nurse him back to health. While he was with us, he was poked, prodded, carried around in every container that he could fit in, and carried all over the place.

Now, it appears, its the chicks turn!

Little lady used our base ten blocks to to make this little chick lady a home. Then she tested to see if chickie firl would fit in the doll house bed.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Bringing home the chicks

So much fun!  We brought home the chicks!  I let the kids hold one each on the way home (luckily it's a short distance, as the males were desperate to jump!)
10 chicks in a brooder.... they like to huddle under the light.
Foot to foot and let the chicks have a run.  To late!  they are still full of baby poo!  The carpet suffered a bit.  won't do that again!  

Isn't he adorable?

On a side note, our butterfly's hatched today out of their cocoons and the kids barely gave them a glance.  Poor babies.  They were excited for about 4 minutes..... until the chicks peeped.   Sad day for a baby painted lady butterfly.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

A note on sickness

My little man came home with a fever from school yesterday. He complained of a headache and sleepiness, as is usual for him with a 102+ fever, but had no other complaints.

I thought.. Oh no, here we go again!    I say this because every month (EVERY single month! for a year!)  he has had this fever... unexplained....  His fever followed the same old pattern:  102+ fever, sleepiness, headache.

Only this time, when I took him to the doctor they found something!  He has tonsillitis!

Tonsillitis!  ?  !  He's never complained about sore throat, difficulty swallowing, or any other issues with eating or his throat.  But sure enough, they are all swollen up and white balls are on them.  !  Ok !

Maybe his immune system is good, maybe his pain threshold is high, maybe I wasn't looking in his throat well or often enough.  Have we figured out the source of the unexplained fevers?   We shall see...

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Which came first?

For us?  The Eggs of course!  The Living Eggs lady came and brought these lovely supplies, and 10 fertilized eggs this morning.       Here is the brooder, the posters that she supplied, and all the 'chick' stuff like bedding, feeding and watering bowls, manuals and other things.
She was kind enough to supply us with a candler and a egg heartbeat monitor so that we can do some more in-depth science stuff with our eggs!  

Now.. the question is, do we keep them here, at the house, or do we send them into the kids school so that we're not the only ones having fun?

Monday, 10 September 2012

Letting go...of my OCD

You know that moment when inspiration strikes? When something that has been bugging you suddenly presents a new way to tackle it? I had one of those this weekend with my daughters bedroom. It suddenly occured to me that I am organizing for her and expecting her to follow it. The problem is... She doesnt organize the way i do!

So... I put aside what I wanted, and asked her what she wanted an why. The why was only important to me so that i could understand her better.

I began by asking her if keepin her room neat and tidy was easy for her or difficult.  She thought about it for a minute (obviously thinking it was a trick question!) and then slowly said... difficult.  I then asked why... she launched into a whole tirade that I had heard before, but never truly listened to.  As this was the first time that I was actually listening to her, I had to back track her, slow her down, and ask more pertinent questions.
The desk....  She complains that it's hard to keep it tidy.  That she can't find anything in it.  "Do you ever use it?"  I asked?  No...  "Then, lets get rid ot if?"   Great!  One less thing in the room! And now I have enough space to do a cartwheel in here!

I like window sills.. What great places to set things... books; magazines....  they all look great here!  Little lady disagrees... I don't want anything on here.. I want to sit on it and look out the window!  Listening mommy, said.. ok!  Off it goes.  Now, where shall we put these things?
We took a 'spare' Ikea drawer rack (that we had shelves for) and make a bookshelf for her.  All of the things that were on the windowsill now sit in the book shelf.  

The dresser and closet....  the bane of mommy's existence!  She can't find anything, screams for hours about what she can't find, and then picks anything from the floor that looks like it'll do..
The problem:  The dresser drawers don't pull in and out easily.  They get stuck and this frustrates her.  She finds it difficult to sort and put away things in the dresser.  The closet...  She doesn't like to hang most things.  She likes tubs and easy looking to see.  

Our solution?  put toys in the dresser (and the nightstand) and use the hat boxes that we were storing dolls clothes in to store underclothes on the closet floor.  This allows for easy visual and putting away.  Hang up on the necessary dresses and coats.  Everything else goes in hanging cubbies that sit on the left and right side of her closet.  School stuff on one side and other clothes on the left side.  

Her toy closet  - we got rid of 1/2 of what was in there.  The other half is tidy, but is waiting for a proper go through.  This'll have to be another day, as I'm worn out!  

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Autumn Show

The town where we live had its Autumn Show this weekend. Can you believe it? Autumn show already!!

Here are some pictures from our time there. The kids had a blast, and it was good fun.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Frisbee golf

This morning we kicked off our trial of idea for dates! We began by making daddy breakfast in bed. He was not aware of our plans, and got out of bed! :). We shooed him into the living room where Little Lady and I presented him with his coffee and a toasted bagel with egg. We had written "I love you because..." notes.

Later in the day we tried out frisbee golf! It was a success and the kids are already asking to play again! Hubby helped me set it up and we played for the treats that we could get at our movie date this evening. We are taking the kids to see Brave in 3D.