Monday, March 30, 2009

Getting the Table Ready

My children never ask me to paint. Never. But, I want them to like arts and crafts so I lead them to water, so-to-speak. When they go down for their naps, I put out some sort of creative activity for them to wake up too. It's amazing how quickly they sit down and get to work on an artsy-craftsy project that has been laid out for them. I guess it's hard to resist once it's right in front of them!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Meet the Egg People: Growing Grass Inside Eggshells

For this project you will need:
  • eggs
  • egg carton
  • grass seed
  • soil
  • markers and scissors


1) Very carefully cut off the top of an egg. (Put the eggs aside to make omelets later.) With warm soapy water, gently clean out the eggs and allow to dry.2) Carefully, fill the eggs about 3/4 full with soil. Add the grass seed. Then cover with more soil.

3) Add water, then place in the sun and wait patiently for about a week, watering as needed. Once the grass has started to grow you should still wait a little longer until you have a good head of "hair".4) With a damp cloth, wash all dirt and debris from the egg. Draw a face.
5. Start to "trim" the "hair".6. After receiving their hair cuts. Put them back in the sun and allow their hair to grow back.

7. Repeat steps 5 &6.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Meet the Wood Family

Remember back many moons ago when I mentioned that finishing these little wooden dolls were on my to-do list? Well 10 months later, I can finally cross these little guys off my list. I finally finished the little details and applied the last coat of varnish (after my children had already played with them, hence the scuffs). It is without hesitation that I introduce you to my family. Yes, that's Dennis, Sharleen, Eli and Sadie: This little family was made to represent some good friends of ours. This is Michelle, Gabriella, Robert and Alexey:
The BV Gang:And the whole Wood Family:

Yes, I got a little carried away making little wood friends for my little wood children. But, it was well worth it as these little wood people were well initiated today. They were buried in the dirt, tossed for hopscotch, passed from one neighbor kid to the next and held in grubby, chocolate laced hands. This is a good lesson in attachment for me. I'm trying to let it all go, but I think I'll apply one more coat of varnish after scrubbing them clean!! Then, I'll feel better.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Instant Gratification Sunday

Sadie has really been into accessorizing her outfits lately. She loves purses, belts, extra layers, tights, jewelry, and special hair thingies. She is such a girly-girl which is a good thing for me because she keeps me crafting. A new headband was desperately needed to keep Sadie's ever-growing hair out of her face which is probably driving me more crazy than her. I purchased the pattern off of etsy from deidrewicks and I found the instructions immediately in my inbox. Gotta love the instant gratification in that and I had all of the materials that I needed in my house! So, I got started right away and sewed while watching The Rage in Placid Lake on Hulu (which I thought was an excellent movie, by the way). I made the headband reversible and I shrunk the pattern down a little to fit Sadie's head. I just love the feeling of accomplishing whatever you want to accomplish without having to leave your house. Sewing and movie watching instantly? It feels so gratifying.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lemondade Award!

Hey all! I was just given the Lemonade Award from Becca over at Chocolate Eyes. The Lemonade Award is an award given to those who inspire. Aww, shucks, thanks. I'm touched, so I'm going to pass it along.

Here are the rules:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.

2. Nominate blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude

3. Link to your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link this post to the person from whom you received your award.

Here are my nominees:

5 Orange Potatoes: An Ohio homeschooling mom inspires with her creative activities for her children.

'Tis a Good Life: A crafty Canadian mom who finds inspiration in the everyday.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Skin Deep

Today was the first 70 degree day of the year. We met our playgroup friends at a park for a little romp. We had a blast, but I noticed when we got home that we all looked a little pink-cheeked and somehow my freckles have quadrupled. I forgot the sunscreen. Rats!! I sort of thought we were safe, but I guessed wrong. That sent me to Skin Deep a data base of research on the safety of cosmetics and skin care products sponsored by the Environmental Working Group. There they have a list of all of the sunscreens they tested and how the sunscreens were ranked for safety by measuring toxins in the sunscreens themselves as well as how they actually protect you against the sun. This list is a little intimidating because the ones that ranked the best are a) hard to find and b) expensive. But, after going through the list I found that CVS has a moderately hazardous ranked sunscreen, as does Trader Joes which are both easy enough for me to find and inexpensive. Last year I used the CVS sunscreen with zinc oxide 45+, but I can't find it on their website this year. I can only find the sunblock +30, but I'll check in the stores and see if they have it.
I got a little long-winded just trying to tell you to check out your family's skin-care products at Skin Deep to see how they're ranked. It might just surprise you at how toxic your child's shampoo might be. (Darn that "fragrance"!)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tie-Dye Cookies

We made tie-dye cookies yesterday and they were a real hit. You can find the recipe here where they are called play-dough cookies, but I like the name tie-dye cookies a whole lot more. These were really simple to make and I didn't even have a freak-out mommy moment when we made them. The dough is really easy to work with and not sticky at all so the kids were able to make the balls, then roll them into snakes, then coil them into snails with little assistance.
**edited to add: Thanks Jennie for the heads up. The link to the cookie recipe has been changed!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Low-Carbon Lent

In case anyone else wants to follow along with the Low-Carbon Lent, here are this weeks:

• Monday – Share this week’s Low-Carbon tips with a neighbor, coworker, or friend.
• Tuesday – Turn down your thermostat down by one degree.
• Wednesday – We are asked to give up meat on Friday’s during Lent. The average American diet contributes an extra 1.5 tons of greenhouse gases per year compared with a vegetarian diet.
Consider giving up meat an extra day this week.
• Thursday – Climate change isn’t a distant threat – it’s affecting poor communities now. Pray for those helping vulnerable communities adapt to the changing weather.
• Friday – Give your dishwasher a day off or promote it to an Energy Star rated appliance.
• Saturday – Unplug your mobile phone charger: it uses electricity even when it’s not charging.