Thursday, September 30, 2010

Give a Hoot

The Diva and I started this project on Monday. We had to let the paint dry. We finished today when I had her for a few minutes. This was a relative easy project and super cute. Directions are found at Crafts by Amanda.

I don't know if anyone has been watching the previews for the Movie, Legend of the Guardians, but this project reminded me of it. The book series for this movie is by Kathryn Lasky and book one is called "The Capture." The movie covers the first 3 books in the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. I haven't read this series with my boys but it looks very interesting.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I love it when a plan comes together

I wanted to show you have I have used some of my crafts in my wall/shelf display. I love to decorate for the seasons. You never know what will show up on these shelves. It is feeling very fallish here and I am not quite ready to pull out that Halloween stuff. An earlier cleaning frenzy with Mrs Epi (thank you) got the creative juices flowing. So, I just pulled out some of my fall decorations. The pumpkins are of the dollar store variety. The glass pumpkin is a sweet gift from Mrs Epi.
Remember the tissue flowers. Well, I paired them with some felt inspired Princess Lasertron flowers. I heart Princess Lasertron. I think it looks very cute.

I loved making the name art in Photoshop so I did it for our last name. Those name things were a little addicting. I colored it in and put it in a dollar store frame. The "r" was Target store clearance from a couple years back. I don't think I ever displayed it before.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Frog I Spy

Can you figure out how many frogs are in the above picture? It seems like this fall we have little frogs everywhere. We usually have quite a few as we live next to a rainwater retention pond but it seems like more this year.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

15 years

Today is our 15th Wedding Anniversary. I can't believe it has been that long. The Giant Man Child is the love of my life and wouldn't do this journey with anyone else. He gets me. (sometimes even when I don't get myself)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

90th Birthday

This weekend was Pappy's 90th Birthday. As some of you may recall, we went on our Alcan Adventure for his Birthday Present. This weekend, we took him to our friend house who has a full pipe organ in his house. Yes, I will repeat that he has a full pipe organ in his house. I don't think many people can say that.. He also has 7 grand piano's plus a double harpsichord and many organ's. Our friend generously played him Happy Birthday on his concert grand and then played us some organ music on the pipe organ. I can't tell you how amazing it was. We had lunch and a cake. The cake was made to look like a hamburger with cake fries.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How to drive a Cat Crazy

My one cat, Boots, loves Nerf darts. We have to hide them or he carries them around. The other cat, Puss, could care less. He is our Garfield. So, we stuck a dart to the outside of our window. That should drive him crazy for a while.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back to School Do Over

Chuckles (8) 2nd Grade and #1 Son (12) 7th Grade
Yesterday was the first day of school. It arrived at last despite the delay to the strike. Some of us were more excited than others. I now have a 2nd grader and a 7th Grader. I got this sweet note on my speech bubble.

Note from Chuckles - I love you - See after School

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Flowery Good News

The teachers and administration on Saturday reached a tentative agreement in the Strike! School will resume on Tuesday or today. We all are relieved that the strike is over.
Yesterday, I had Big E and The Diva in addition to the Two Man Wrecking Crew. The Diva and I experimented with Tissue Paper Flowers. The stem is a pencil. I thought these would be cute to give your teacher. I haven't quite convinced the boys this was a good idea, yet.

Chuckles and Big E with Tissue Hat

These were a little addicting to me. You know me and crafts. (If one is good, then a dozen is even better or GREAT)

Big E was caught wearing one in his hair.

Directions for tissue paper flowers found here.

September Book It 2010

I ran across a list of books recommended for medical interns and residents that was recommended by Michele Au from the the underwear drawer I was unable to link directly to her post but it is on August 11th. I chose to read The House of Hope and Fear by Aubrey Young that someone recommended in the comments . This is another Pacific Northwest book as the Author tells about her experiences at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. I thought it was well written with interesting stories involving the least likely population able to pay for health care, the homeless. It gave me new respect for the challenges that Hospitals face providing care for all regardless of the ability to pay. It also highlighted the enormous strain our hospitals are in under when disasters happen.

I also have had a chance to read The Blind Side and see the movie. I know I must be the last person to see the movie. The book was somewhat a hard read for me as reading about football was hard. This is one time the movie I thought was a great addition to the book. I admit I did skim some of the detailed football logistics in the book.I think that seeing football, the visual, is what makes the movie better for this part. The book goes more in depth of Micheal Other story but the movie did an excellent job of summarizing. I love Sandra Bullock in this movie.

In addition, I also saw the movie Eat, Love, Pray with Book Club and I had really mixed feelings. The movie seemed to suck the soul out of the book, the spirituality out. I think I agree with my friend, Carol that it was too neat. The loose ends are never wrapped up like that. Life is messy. I think the book was better. Our book club was 50/50 on the book. Here was our review.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 3 of No School

*** This is my little editorial on the current teacher strike in my district. Skip if you don't want to hear about my feelings about the strike. I still support the teachers but I kinda feel a little bit like my kids education is being held hostage. The argument that striking is what is best for the kids isn't working with me. It would be best if my kids were in school learning. I am very disappointed in my district officials who I don't think are doing a very good job of working towards a solution until yesterday when they seriously started negotiations. They should of been doing this from the beginning perhaps this summer. Evidently this was a surprise to us, parents, not to the DISTRICT or the TEACHERS who knew a strike was a real possibility this fall. There is no school on Monday regardless if there is a contract or not.

Worked on Day 3 of the Lego Study. #1 Son didn't expend much energy on the activity. Chuckles was all over the activity. We made our own mosaics. #1 Son did his name which I won't show here. Chuckles on the other hand made a person on a skateboard with a sun. Later he added the Danish Flag from Day 1 activities.

Later #1 Son brought me an article in Nintendo Power Magazine about Sean Kenney, artist and LEGO master. He had built a big Nintendo DSi. This Lego replicate of the DSi stands over 6 and half feet tall and weighs something like 250 lbs. The study directs you to view some of his art work featured at the zoo in Philadelphia. So, #1 Son really had been listening/participating.

Apple Banner

I thought it would be fun to have a back to school banner or in our case an almost back to school banner. Here is the apple template for the apple banner. I simply made a cardboard template of the apple, stem, and leaf. I then traced it to construction paper. I made the stem double so I could thread the string through to hand the apples. I experimented and made of the middle of some of the leaves with green tissue paper in the middle. The Diva helped me put it together. It looks cute hanging up in my dining room.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 2 of the Strike

I've got to stop reading the local paper comments on the Strike. People are getting polarized over this issue. I still support the teachers. But I can see the other side(district) too. Though in my honest opinion, the district is doing a poor job of representing their side. They aren't exactly the greatest communicators in my personal experience. At the heart of this issue is the money. It is not about the extra planning time though all of us agree it is needed but how to pay for it. Updates can be found at Ferndale Education Association and at the District Negoiation Site. There is no school tomorrow.

***I guess this is technically day 3 of the strike and day 2 of missing school

This morning came too early (5:45 am). You know it will be a long day when you have trouble making coffee. It took me three tries. It is truly a sign, a sad one at that. Once I got my coffee life got better. Nothing earth shattering happened today. It was a good day. MY chores got done. My children played and maybe learned a little something. That is good enough for me.

I have a lot of worries about school starting. I have one child who has anxiety and not starting school is really increasing his anxiety Being in limbo is sure not helping. His anxiety is adding to my anxiety. It just is a vicious circle. I know it will pass. This is life and teaching him to be flexible is part of it. I have to trust it is going to all work out. I just hope school starts sooner than later.

One Last Hurrah!

Tuesday was suppose to be the last day of Summer vacation for us. You got to do something special. I had the whole crew(The Diva, Big E, Chuckles, and #1 Son) It was a wild time, literally. The Diva took my picture above.

We ate donuts. Hey don't hate on me, I've got to work a donut in my day.

We crafted. The Diva and I made this apple banner out of construction paper.
We acted silly. (yes that is Chuckles acting as a dog and The Diva holding the leash)The sign says pet me.

We took (lots of) photos. Chalk Speech Bubble directions here. I really suggest using foam core over cardboard. The cardboard is a little bumpy to write on. Next time, I think I'll get some dollar store foam core. It worked though. I was to think of funny things to write.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 1 of the Strike

Today is the first day of the teacher strike in our district. I find myself without a plan. I muddle through the first part of the day. It seriously feels like groundhog day. I had PLANS. Yes, plans with a capital "P". I am finding it hard to change gears. I know I am terribly lucky to be a SAHM(stay at home mom) but I had certain expectations about the first day of school. We went to the library for inspiration. We met with friends at Mickey D's for lunch. I found out that I am not the only one in need of inspiration and plans. We all support our teachers but we need to keep our kids learning. At this moment it is frustrating because it seems everything is in limbo.

With some unplanned down time this afternoon for the two man wrecking crew, I decided to copy Baker's Dozen and check out this Lego Unit Study. It was all laid out for us by "Walking the Way". I simply downloaded the PDF and followed the links. We made Lego Denmark flags. We read about the inventor of Lego's. It was pretty fascinating. Hey, I learned something, too. Did you realize the original Lego's were made out of wood? #1 Son worked mainly on the activity sheets. We didn't make the taxi from the directions provided on the link. But rather #1 Son made an alien taxi and Chuckles a limo. Chuck and I had a spelling discussion about words Taxi and Limo. They seemed excited to do this. They are looking forward to Day 2 of Lego Unit Study the activities as it appears that tomorrow is a strike day, too. At least my kids are learning something.

***I was reminded too, that kids had certain expectations about school too. They are having a hard time wrapping their heads around the concept of what a strike is. We discussed what a contract is. Does anyone have some kind of suggestion how to discuss this with kids in terms they understand?

Lastly, I hated a little today. Sorry Lord. The Coach teaching the little girls to shriek during soccer . I had to say something. You are right up against my fence and you make more noise than the other 3 other teams practicing combined. Teach them to yell not shriek. SERIOUSLY. I am so use to the school noise but the SHRIEKING is wrong, wrong, wrong. Dear Soccer parent I know I live next to a school but technically I was there way before the school. You are playing next to some houses. Use some manners. I am sure your girls can engage in normal yelling. I am definitely(100%) they need no help in the Shriek department. Your team is practicing in the buffer zone between the school and my property and NOT a field. FIND A REAL FIELD!

Back to School -Almost

Chuckles (1st grade) and #1 Son (6th Grade)

Chuckles (kindergarten) and #1 Son (5th grade)

Chuckles(preschool) and #1 Son (4th grade)

Chuckles (preschool) and #1 Son (3rd grade)
#1 Son - 2nd grade
Chuckles and #1 Son (1st grade)

Today is officially back to school for us. But our Teachers are striking so even though this the official start we won't be going. Thought I would give you just a little flashback of all our previous 1st Day's of School. You know a stroll down memory lane. I can't believe I have a 2nd grader and a 7th grader. I will post with an official back to school photo when they actually go.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Our school start has been derailed. Our 1st day of school should of been tomorrow. The teachers are striking. Little did I know that #1 Son 's speech bubble would be an indication of things to come today. #1 One Son was the only one excited by this strike. The other kids were more worried that they wouldn't know who their teacher would be but more importantly wouldn't get a popsicle.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Boys of Summer

The summer days are winding down. Big E spent the day with us on Monday. We went down to one of our local school playgrounds. They played in the woods and in the playground. OF Course, we had donuts earlier in a day. Life is good.

Chuckles(green), Big E (black), #1 Son (gray)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Name Art

I saw this idea for Kaleidoscope Name Art on TeachKidsArt. I had a hard time with the tracing process so I could only imagine that the kids I take care of would have some difficulty with this. I made this in Photoshop and then colored in the empty spaces.

I hope to do everyone's name. I will let them do the coloring. I think this is a fun graphic coloring project. This is going to look great on the front of my older son's binder.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Trash TV

photo at local appliance recycle center - sculptures are made mainly from washing machine tubs

My hubby and I have been really enjoying watching the show American Pickers. I had never heard the term picker before this show. A picker in this case is a person who buys and seeks out antiques in unusual places by going straight to the source. The source is usually a old barn where they get farm fresh finds. But I am betting we all know someone who is a picker or collector of junk. I love Frank and Mike who they follow in this show. They run Antique Archeology(Mike Wolf's website). It is all about embracing what is one man's trash is sombody elses treasure.