January 27, 2015
by sarah
0 comments

SNOW

candels

The candles are ready!

Most of New England is preparing for Juno – The Blizzard of 2015. I stopped by our local hardware store today and they said that they had a line of people waiting when they opened at 8:00. Of course the grocery stores have been nutty since Saturday. I thought I would make one of those lists of how I prep. The mom prep list!

What if the power goes out?!?! I have done the usual organizing candles, make sure flash lights are working, and bring in fire wood. I have been doing other things too:

1. Vacuum: I have procrastinated on many chores recently especially vacuuming. If we are inside for two days I don’t want to be playing boardgames in a nest of dog hair.

2. Laundry: The amount of laundry that builds up around here on a daily basis is amazing.  I don’t want to face the pile on the other end. So I did as much laundry as I could.

3. Dish washer: Ran it!

4. Garbage disposal: I have forgotten to do this in past power outages and it is YUCKY!! I am a bit obsessive about clearing it out when a storm is coming.

5. Grind coffee: I like to grind my coffee beans every morning. I just ground a bunch of beans just in case. I’m the only one who drinks coffee so I like the manual-pour-hot-water-over-coffee-technique. We have a gas stove so if the power does go off I can still boil water. I heard on the radio this morning that someone suggested that if you have a coffee maker, make coffee now and put it in the fridge just in case.

6. Bathe everyone: If we have no power the water will not stop running, but it will be cold.

7. Filled bags with water: If my freezer isn’t totally full I fill the spaces with zip locks full of water that freeze and then keeps the freezer stay cold.

8. Glue sticks: Make sure there are some available art supplies. Is the glue all dried up?

What do you do to prep for a big storm?

 

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January 23, 2015
by jenny
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Dangle Earrings

A few years ago I bought tools and followed online tutorials to make rosaries. The techniques took a little practice to make perfect, but were not difficult. I’ve been waiting for my oldest daughter to be capable and interested enough to make her own bead and wire jewelry, since she enjoys the aesthetics, art and wearing that sort of thing much more than I.

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Over winter break, the time came. She’s been making dangle earrings using earring hooks, eye pins, jump rings, charms and beads ever since. She is 10 years old and required very little instruction. I My 8 and 6 year old have tried as well and required some help to make them look a little more professional, but also enjoy designing earrings!

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This is another great, simple, quick craft for the older child and they can wear (or gift) the results. Buying the supplies might be a wonderful gift for kids this age as well. For tools, you’ll likely want pliers (small round nose and flat nose depending on what you are doing) and wire cutters to get started. You may already have them in your tool box!

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January 21, 2015
by jenny
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Snow prints

My kids and I wanted a dog long before my husband bought into the idea of getting a dog. He had a bunch of reasons behind not wanting a dog. His biggest tool in trying to throw us off the dog hunt was to look out the window during inclement weather and say “who is going to walk the dog in weather like this?!”

A couple years of having a dog and neither of us really mind walking the dog in any weather. Honestly, our dog finds cold, rain and heat more torturous than we do. In general, I really enjoy walking the dog. I listen to audiobooks and look around keeping an eye out for changes, mysteries and new things, or I walk with neighbors out with their dogs.

There aren’t so many flowers or leaves to look at these days, but something I really enjoy trying to figure out is who crosses our path. It’s oddly fun for me to figure out the prints and make up stories as to what was going on.

There are a finite number of crossing paths on an early morning dog walk in my neighborhood, but I always love the idea, reminder and proof that I am just small piece of this world.

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January 12, 2015
by sarah
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Reinventing LEGO boxes

ducktape LEGO

Yesterday we moved around the furniture in my sons room. We have lived in our house for more than five years and hadn’t adjusted anything in his space. When we moved his bed and book shelf we found all sorts of treasures. Including many LEGO creator boxes. With a little duck tape we have reinvented the boxes to house other treasures. I’m hoping they will keep crayons organized.

 

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January 8, 2015
by jenny
1 Comment

Easy Sew Project: Swiffer Covers

I have a few friends who gave their elementary age kids beginner sewing machines for Christmas. Since none had much sewing experience, I had fun fielding some questions on machines, notions, and general tips. I had fun because I remembered how fun it was for me to explore and learn to use my first machine, and I imagined the kids getting to do that all over again.

As with most new things, you learn by doing, so I suggested a couple started projects for one friend’s daughter. Today I sewed some reusable Swiffer covers – a few for a Swiffer duster and a couple for a Swiffer Sweeper.  I thought this might be a great project for a new sewer. It’s super simple. The sewer could practice a few stitches and techniques on forgiving fabric and if there are mistakes, the final project it more about function than aesthetics. The result is usable and (in my opinion) would make fantastic gifts for parents, grandparents, or whoever. A couple yards of fleece might make a dozen covers to give or keep (I cut up some microfiber cloths I found in my basement, but think fleece or flannel might be better.)

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You can search for “Swiffer cover sewing patterns”, but here are some good looking tutorials:

While my machine was out, my 8 year old made a blanket similar to this reversible receiving blanket almost entirely on her own. I won’t say it was 100% smooth and easy, she needed help calming frustration a few times and suffered from many pin pricks, but skill wise, this is another very easy project. If you don’t have babies around to make receiving blankets for, consider Project Linus!

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January 6, 2015
by jenny
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Coloring Books for Big Kids

My kids’ grandmas find coloring very relaxing and therapeutic. They have always enjoyed coloring with my kids, but as my kids are getting older, activities include more read, games, complex crafts, lots and lots of school and not as much social grandma time coloring. That is until this fall.DSC_0001

Our A.C.Moore store usually carries nice coloring books with complex designs and crisp white pages perfect for colored pencils and markers. Older family members have been enjoying the activity of coloring probably more than the kids. My kids, Granma and myself all got new coloring books and colored pencil sets for Christmas and spent much of vacation working on them.

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Some of our favorites of these coloring books are the mandalas. Mandalas themselves are pretty a fascinating art (read about them sometime). With their history, meaning and symmetric design, coloring mandalas is known as a very meditative and relaxing activity. These coloring books might be a great gift idea, maybe for someone who is sick, stressed, older kids who like art, longer waits or flights, or for a family get together.

(Amazon affiliate links!)

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December 29, 2014
by sarah
3 Comments

Climbing Slides

climbing up the slide

I was very excited to send this picture of my youngest to her Physical Therapist this fall. Climbing up the big slide at the playground meant to me she could navigate the physical world. Her struggles and delays were behind us. Last week I found [ this article ] that encourages climbing up the slide. I realize it is very controversial. Slide climbing is OK with me when the playground is mellow and no one is waiting at the top. What do you think?

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December 25, 2014
by jenny
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Happy Wishes

Last week I helped out in my third graders classroom for a “Celebration of Celebrations.” The class had spent a couple weeks researching and learning about many of the winter holidays across a number of different cultures and religions and it culminated into a morning full of crafts and activities. They studied Hanukkah, Christmas, Dawali, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year and Winter Solstice. A few of these celebrations, I didn’t know much about, but after a little research and listening to some of the kids, I learned that the focus of all them was based on celebrating light with family and friends.

So no matter your faith, culture, family or traditions, Sarah and I hope that you spend time this week celebrating and rejoicing with whatever brings you light. Enjoy!

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