Friday, May 28, 2010

Border's Free Book Program

We did this last year.
C & E both got a free book!
E wasn't reading yet, but I just read to him and still got the free book.
The website lists several free books to choose from,
but last year there were way more choices in each age category.
I'm thinking that when we get to the store, they will have more choices.

*p.s. if your kids like reading, check out your local library.
they may have a similar summer reading program.
we have done one with our local library for several years.
they get lots of prizes, coupons and a free book every year.
E even did it when he was only 2 years old.*

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


A gal I knew from Jr. High and High School started this blog.
Any recipe I've used from it has been wonderful.
Thought I'd share a few recipes that we'll be making sometime soon.

Check out these delicious looking cookies.

We'll be looking for one of those pans.
But, for the time being, we'll just bake them the regular way.
I just liked how she put the candies right on top of the dough.
Usually, I mix them into the dough.
I know, I know, it tastes the same. But, don't they LOOK awesome.

Here's a really easy one.
Only 3 ingredients and we LOVE peanut butter around here.

p.s. Her blog has lots of recipes. Not just desserts.

Monday, May 24, 2010

All Boy Weekends

C & E went camping with Dad last weekend.
They cooked tinfoil or hobo dinners and attempted to fish in the lake.

The next weekend we were lucky enough to have my in-laws take us to the lake for some boating fun.

My husband brought his SUP (stand up paddle board)
Anyone who knows him, knows he loves any sport that involves a board.
And, since we no longer live near the ocean, this is a great toy for him cause you can use it on the lake.

Can you tell we're trying to enjoy the beautiful spring weather before the dreaded summer heat hits!

Excuse the pics. They were taken with my husband's cell phone.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Teacher Gifts

Didn't we just get done with Teacher Appreciation week?
Time flies.
Well, now it's time to find a little something for my kid's teachers to say thank you for a great year.
Teachers are worth it though, right?
I think it's so much more meaningful when the kids have to contribute to the gift giving process.
So, we went to the store and they picked out a few items that they knew were their teachers' favorites and then thought of appropriate sayings that went with each one
(with a little guidence from me of course).

We wrapped each item in a bow with the "quote" and then put them all in a plastic summer tote that I found at Walmart for about $1 each.

Here are the quotes that we put with each one.
The possibilities are endless.
• You are a wonderfully SWEET teacher!
(Sweet & Salty granola bar)

• Thank you for your SOFT touch!
(Softlips chapstick)

• All of my preschool days were SUNNY with you!
(Sunflower seeds)

• I’m a little bit NUTTY! Thanks for your patience!
(Planter’s Nuts)

• You are an EXTRA special teach, who made me feel EXTRA special too!
(Extra gum)

• Thanks for MOLDING & STRETCHING my mind!
(Silly Putty)

• Thanks for LIGHTing my way through preschool!

• You deserve a long, indulgent summer BREAK!
(Reese’s Fast Break candy bar)

• You’re such a great teacher. I’m just BURSTing with gratitude!
(Starbursts candy – I think I left out of the picture)

• Thanks to you, everything I learned in preschool is CRYSTAL clear!
(Crystal Light drink package)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

See! Minivans ARE cool!

Saw this on a friend's blog.
If you have a minivan you'll appreciate this.
The dad cracks me up.

Monday, May 17, 2010


This is a great game.
All you need is some music

Turn on some music and let them dance!
(which for boys usually means karate chops, jumping off the couch, front rolls, air kicks...)

Then, when the music stops, they freeze!

We did this a lot last year when I did a co-op preschool with some other moms.
It was a good way to kill time constructively while we waited for their moms to pick them up.

Variation: Take turns being a leader. Everyone has to copy your dance moves.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Websites for Kids

Thought I'd share some websites that my boys frequent.
Some are just for fun and many are educational.

Reading for all ages
From learning letters to reading independently.

For Power Rangers Fans
Not so educational, but they love it. They especially like to design & print out their own Power Ranger masks like these:

Fun Games with 2 Characters Named Boowa & Kwala
We've been visiting this one for years. My kids think it's hilarious. It's also somewhat educational.

Fun Learning Games
covers: opposites, keyboarding, real vs make believe & tons more

PBS Kids
My 5 year old really likes this one. "Super Why" is his current favorite character.

Nick Jr.
Again, for the 5 year old. But the 2 year old like to sit and watch.

This one's for the 7 year old. He picks a character and then goes on an adventure.

what websites do your kids like?
any you'd like to share?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Have you ever made OOBLECK?

This substance is pretty cool.
We were amazed at how it transforms over and over again with just a touch!

What You'll Need:
2 parts cornstarch
1 part water
food coloring (optional *my son's hands are still a lovely light green color*)

(this also turned out to be good reinforcement of primary colors
& how they turn into secondary colors)

Just mix it together.

Then watch as it changes from liquid (or like a liquid)

to a solid when pressure is applied.

Try this with it:

-  Smack it! If you hit the mixture really hard, it might even break.
- Pour it from hand to hand. If you go slowly, it will pour freely.
- Roll it into a ball. If you keep rolling, you can roll it into a nice ball.
Of course, as soon as you stop rolling, it will ooze and turn back into a puddle.
- Bounce it! If you get the right consistency, you can even bounce a ball of this goo!
* I also saw a video of someone who was walking in a big container of "Oobleck".
If you walk fast enough, you can stay on top of the goo.
That looked fun, but I wasn't up for that today. Maybe another day. *

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Batman Birthday Party

I have a hard time spending $ on birthday parties. People just go waaaay overboard when it comes to decor., cakes, party favors, food, etc...
Hundreds of dollars later...
It's just not my thing.
Maybe I'm just too lazy and too cheap.
Whatever the reason, I keep it as simple as possible while still celebrating and making it special for my guys.

A few months ago we had a great birthday party at the house for my second born who requested a Batman party.

Thought I'd share some the games we played.

1) We started off with a game of Batman Charades. I printed small pictures of Batman characters from the internet and put them in an envelope. Each child took a turn picking a picture card and acting out that character. They especially loved when someone picked Cat Woman and had to act like a girl!

2) We also played "Shoot the Villains". I pritned out several Batman villains's pictures onto cardstock, taped them to popsicle sticks, and stuck them in the ground around the yard. Each of the boys got to run around the yard and shoot the villains with a Nerf gun.

3) Last, we played Dodgeball. All the boys had to pretend to be Batman villains while the boy that was "It" tried to hit them with a volleyball that had Batman symbols all over it.

Everyone had a fun time and it wasn't too much work, or money for me!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mom Jeans

Maybe you've all seen this a million times.
It just never gets old to me.
I crack up every single time!

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

a little work = LEGO Rock Band!

For Christmas we got Rockband. The boys love it! So do my husband and I.
But, it feels a little strange when your innocent little boys are belting out songs about say, their alcoholic father or their old girlfriend, etc...
Then, some friends introduced us to LEGO Rockband. The songs are kid friendly and you can set any instrument to a "super easy" setting, which makes it more fun for them. So, when I saw it on sale, I snagged it up.
But, I have a problem just giving my kids somethin' for nothin'. So, we made a list.

C (the 7 yr. old) had to:
-learn to play a song on the piano
-do yardwork

E (the 5 yr. old) had to:
-read me a whole book by himself
-do yardwork

M (the 2 yr. old) had to:
-just look cute with his bedhead hair
-jump up and down in the trash can while we did yardwork

They have LOVED Lego Rockband!
They always argue over who gets to be the singer (even M)
and they always choose Ghostbusters and Kung Fu Fighting.
I highly recommend it for your kids... and your inner rocker!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Fried Ice Cream

Our friends used to have an annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta every year. We haven't lived close enough to do it for a while, but I always remember her yummy "Fried" Ice Cream dessert.
To be honest, I've never had this actually fried except at a restaurant. But, it's still delicious and not frying means that the kids can do this more independently.
Check out her scrapbooking blog called Summertime Designs!
She designs really great paper & accessories.
And, they are free to download.
Here is one that she made for Father's Day!

2 cups Frosted Flakes
2 cups Granola w/out raisins
1 container Vanilla Bean ice cream
1/3 cup brown sugar
Caramel Ice Cream Topping
Whipped Cream
(all of these measurements are approximate - no need to be exact)

Here's how she does it:
Scoop your vanilla ice cream into balls (I only do Vanilla BEAN....and generic is fine of this) and place on a cookie sheet or pie pan, whatever fits in your freezer.
Transfer the ice cream balls back to the freezer while you...
Crunch up the cereals (pour them in a large Ziploc bag and smoosh with rolling pin)
Then pour into a mixing bowl.

With the smooshed cereals in a mixing bowl, I sprinkle a single layer of cinnamon over the top and then add the brown sugar and stir the mixture.
Roll your ice cream balls in the cereal mixture until well coated.
Freeze until hard.

I never deep fried mine for the Cinco de Mayo party because it was too many people and I didn't have a big enough pan to fry them in.
But, if you plan on deep frying, make sure the ice cream re-freezes overnight so it is totally solid, and then you just need to use tongs and do it for a few seconds.

To serve, just take them directly from the freezer, and top with caramel ice cream topping as well as whipped cream.


Sunday, May 2, 2010


In honor of Cinco de Mayo
(no, I'm not Hispanic, but it's a fun that PC?)
we decided to make homemade pinatas.
You could do this for any holiday or celebration.
We still have a little work to do, but here's the project so far.
This can be very messy.
I recommend having everyone wear an apron or old clothes,
and doing it outside!

duct tape
toilet paper or paper towel rolls
lots of newspaper
treats or novelties to fill the finished pinata

First, blow up balloons to make whatever animal or shape you want.
We taped on paper towel rolls for legs, wings and a beak.

My boys decided to go with a        


Cut 1" strips of newspaper... lots of it.
Mix your paper mache "glue" using flour and water.
Make it the consistency of pancake batter.
Dip the strips of newspaper into the glue.
Run your fingers along the strip to remove any excess glue.
Lay the strip on the balloon.
Do this until the entire creation is completely covered in SEVERAL layers.
Let dry completely, probably an entire day.

Or some decorate by gluing on bits of colored tissue paper.
When it's dry, cut 3 sides of a square out of the creation.
This is to allow you to fill it with treats. Tape it back down.

To hang, poke a small hole in the top.
Tie a string to a pencil, insert the pencil in the hole, and hang by the string.