Thursday, June 30, 2011

Woven Watercolor Placemats, an age-appropriate craft for VBS

Age appropriate crafts for Vacation Bible School is a hard one. The gap of ages, from pre-kindergarten to sixth grade make creating a craft that engages all of the children in attendance tough.

In keeping with my desire to create a craft that is worthwhile, I had the children make placemats.  Now I realize that most will probably hit the trash sooner rather than later, but... I can say that the majority of the kids, no matter the age, learned something during this project.

First off, the kids painted two different papers. On one they painted "cool" colors while the other was "warm" colors.  I explained to them about thinking of the "warm" as the sun and the "cool" as the ocean.  Given that we are in Texas with 100+ degree heat, even the smallest children understood the concept.

Another teaching moment came quickly with the Lots of Color... Little Water hand motions.  I taught them about using a brush and loading the brush with paint, not water. And then we painted.  Some children painted quickly and some not so much...

I then let the pages dry for a day or so and then we cut on into strips and the other into the base.  Amazingly, there were many fifth graders that did not know how to weave!!

When we had the woven paper finished, we glued it to the construction paper and the children colored the edges.  Finally, we laminated all of the projects.

And here they are...the great thing about this project is the end result looks good and works, no matter the level of ability!

Next up? Napkin rings.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Beaded Utensils and VBS

A year or so ago I found a blog about an adopting mom selling beaded utensils to make money to help pay for the adoption.  I bought a couple. (Those picutured above are NOT hers... hers are MUCH better..) I'd post where to go buy some, but she's not selling them anymore.  However, if you would like to puchase a beaded utensil, give me a couple of months, but my girls and I are going to make some and send them to Orphan Wares, so you can help feed the African orphans and buy our pretties...) but I digress.

As I might have mentioned, I am heading up crafts for VBS.  I am determined that the kids will get to make something worthwhile and that we won't make trash crafts... you know, the kind you throw into the trash the moment you get home.

Yesterday, the kids watercolored a couple of papers and tomorrow they are going to weave them into placemats that I will laminate. Today we worked on the beaded utensil.  Let's just say that one session into the morning, I punted.  Remember, I teach high school art and my children at home are used to my craft instruction, so I didn't really think about a "typical" five year old and his ability, or lack of ability at putting beads on a wire...  So, some of the kids glued their beads to the spoon. We will make their glued spoon into a picture frame.

The biggest win of the morning?  Only 2 of the bead bowls were knocked over.  With two hundred kids using bowls with beads in them, I'd say that is a good day.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Can McDonald's Be a McDonald's without a Diaper Changing Station?

I thought I might tell you about our Colorado Family Trip starting at the very begining, but I know that you don't really want to know that we made our first stop of the more than 1000 mile drive at mile 30... or that on our third stop only 2 1/2 hours into the trip it was 114 degrees outside. However, I decided that there are some things moms just need to know.. so here is one very important thing.

The McDonald's in Childress, Texas does NOT have a playplace NOR do they have a diaper changing station ANYWHERE in the restaurant!

How can you be a McDonald's without a place to change a child's diaper?

I don't think you should be able to call yourself a true McDonald's if you don't have a place to change a child!

It's bad enough they didn't have a place for the kids to play.. but I had to change Kylie's diaper in the middle of the restaurant on a bench!

So, let that be my warning to all of you parents out there.  Just because the McDonald's has a nice billboard that says "Remodeled" and it looks all nice and pretty.. it doesn't mean it is a McDonalds....

No Pre-Packaged Crafts!!

VBS starts this morning.

I'm in charge of crafts, and nope, we are not using pre-packaged crafts.  I decided to do something useful, or at least worth doing.  I hate it when my kids bring home those pre-packaged crafts that I have to either find a place to put them or throw them away while no one is looking.

So, yes, it's more work, but I'm hopeful that the kids will enjoy making the crafts and that they might learn something too.

Pictures to follow.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Where to start? hmm...highlights? New car? Colorado?

So much to report.  We got back last night from vacation in Colorado!  It was great and I have lots of stories to tell.

I so wanted to post as we went along, but since I didn't have anyone staying in our house, I didn't feel comfortable broadcasting to the world that we were away!
I've decided to do a review of our trip and let you all know the good, the bad and the ugly!

So stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


 Moving is hard. And it has just about done me in! But here is a glimpse at Kylie's room.  Yeah, it is done.  Well, it's not decorated or anything like that, but all cardboard boxes are emptied, it's been cleaned and her toys are put away!

Yay!! Having one room finished helps give me hope that soon the rest of the house will be clean and box free.

Heck, I may even put a picture on the wall just to do it!

The bedrooms are large in this house and it is so nice to get the girls toys put away in their rooms.  If only they toys would stay there.

Over the last few years we have been spoiled having two living areas, and now the girls (and us) are having to adjust to keeping their toys off the couch so that we can sit down.

We have been in the house a week and I am hoping by Friday (today is Tuesday) that I'll have every room put away.

Thanks for giving me a forum for my moving misery. :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Going Mobile

I'm going mobile.

So, now, if you are on your "mobile device" you can check out my blog in a better format for your phone!

Now, if only I would update my blog more often!

As to the move, we are getting settled, slowly!  Hopefully I'll have an update soon complete with a few pictures :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Precious Moments


Life is busy.
I know, shocking.

But in the midst of the everyday nuts, sometimes was have to stop.

Today was one of those days.
Last Thursday we moved out of our house.  Towards the end of the day, I made a frozen strawberry lemonade run and on my way back I passed my mother-in-laws car on the side of the road.. next to an ambulance, a fire truck and two police cars.  I quickly made the block and was able to be there with her just a couple of minutes after she had been hit by another car.

Thankfully she was okay.  Very, very sore and bruised, but okay. 

Today, while we are waiting for our move to the rent house tomorrow, we just rested and talked to Nana. 

Those are truly special moments for us all.  And in the face of all of life's uncertainties, moments like these are truly precious.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Oh my poor sore body!

We loaded the truck yesterday. 

This morning I have to finish cleaning out the house.

Then I'll have the weekend to recover and we will  move everything into the rent house on Monday and Tuesday.

What a way to start the summer.

I'm beat.

But so glad to have loading the truck behind me.

We are currently house-sitting for my parents.  They are in Costa Rica on vacation. 

I am so thankful that I have vacation to look forward to in a couple weeks.

In other news.  I'm going to get me hair cut and highlighted and styled.

This is BIG NEWS! I typically get my hair cut once a year.  With highlights, I'll have to go like regularly or something.

I've decided that I'm ready for grown up hair.

Now, what style? hmm...

If you have any ideas, let me know.  My hair is a little past my shoulder blades, no bangs.