Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving Thankfulness

We had a wonderful time visiting with family and friends during the Thanksgiving holiday. Grumps always smokes a yummy turkey and Grammie fixes the best dressing ever (from a recipe handed down for generations) and other delicious sides and pies. Her chocolate maringe was the best ever this year! I think I gained 5 pounds just thinking about the food again! Yum! And I'm thankful for the baggie of leftovers in my freezer! :)

***I totally fell down on the job this year and didn't make my pecan pie. Really, this is only the second time I haven't made a pecan pie in the last 19 years!!! What's worse, is that I didn't even have a good reason for it. I just went shopping! (The first time I had a good reason...bed rest while expecting Matt!) Oh well!***

I have to admit, that I actually love Black Friday shopping...until I'm there. But, I did get some great pre-Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales and now have one person left to buy for! This made me laugh and I just have to share!

Grumps, Matt, and Michael went hunting Thursday night through Saturday. It was Matt's first time on an overnight hunting trip and I have to admit that I was (more than) a little nervous. They all had a great time! Matt got the only "kill" which turned out to be Grumps' duck decoy! He shot it and it sunk! (It's ok, you can laugh!) Grumps had him target practicing and didn't expected him to be such a great shot...or that a duck decoy could sink.  (Oh how I wish I could have seen the looks on both of their faces!!!) They also roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and played Go Fish and War. As for the rest of the trip, Matt said, "We just did man's stuff." :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bows to Headbands

My four-year-old is a girly girl. She has always loved bows, but she has recently discovered a love for headbands. In an attempt to dress up the headbands, I came up with this solution.

I wrapped a soft hair tie (a small rubber band would also work) around the headband and then slid the bow through. :) Simple as that! And I have a little girl who is tickled pink!

I love that the bows can be easily changed out to match different outfits!
Got any cute/clever solutions for Moms? Please share! :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fall Festival

Tonight was our town fall festival and trick-or-treating. The school puts on the festival as a fundraiser every year. I think the kids enjoyed this year more than they ever have before! This year they started with the costume judging parade.

 There were tons of games including launching Angry Birds, paintball shooting ghosts, barrel rides, duck match, cake walk, basketbone (ball), One Fish, Two with the Cat in the Hat, and several others!

This year, my two wanted to enter the Cupcake Wars. A minimum entry is 12 cupcakes and they are only judged on looks. The entries are divided into several categories. After judging, everyone can buy the cupcakes.
Matt wanted to enter School Spirit and decided on a blue and white (bullyseye) with signs saying "Go" and "CHS". He won 2nd place!

Megan wanted to make Angry Bird cupcakes. She won 1st in her category and 2nd place overall!

They were so excited and proud! :)
They also carved a pumpkin with (my dad) Grumps! They really wanted to carve an Indian and it won 2nd place!

They did a great job and really had fun together!
And Halloween just isn't complete until you Trick-or-Treat, your bucket is full, and everyone is exhausted!
This year was filled with many fun memories! So blessed! :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Crafts + Math = FUN!!!

What started as a fun craft idea morphed into these amazingly fun math games! You could also make the hand print into the traditional turkey, but we chose to make Indians.
Materials for craft:
3-6 pieces of construction paper (depending on hand size)
6 colors of paint
paint brush
Step 1: Cut construction paper in 1/2 or 1/4 depending on hand size.
Step 2: Paint child's palm and one finger. (Are you surprised that Megan is doing it herself?)
*Note: You could also paint the palm and no fingers to introduce the number zero.*

 Step 3: Press onto paper. Make two prints with palm and one finger.
Step 4: Repeat Steps 2 and 3 adding an additional finger each time. (You'll have two Indians with one feather, two Indians with two feathers, two Indians with three feathers, etc.)
Step 5: Allow to dry. Draw on a headband and face. (See pics below.)
(That afternoon, Megan got sick. You can see the next day was a jammie day. She wanted to play, even with a fever!)
Memory Materials:
All Indians from craft
Step 1: Turn all cards face down.
Step 2: Take turns turning over 2 cards. Keep both if they match.
(This game is a great way to practice counting, memory, and get kids ready for the other games.)
 Number Match Materials:
Indians from craft
Numbers cut from construction paper
counters (We used bears. You can use beans, beads, goldfish, Hershey's kisses, etc.)
Step 1: Ask child to place feathers in order from 1-5.
Step2: Let child match counters to the number of feathers.
Step 3: Let child match number to the number of feathers.

Feathered Friends Materials:
All Indians from craft
Numbers cut from construction paper
counters may also be helpful
We followed up Number Match with this game, so all materials were already out. 
Goal: Use the feathers to introduce or practice addition.
Steps for Introducing Addition
Practice for less than 5 minutes.
*Don't skip steps. You want the first introduction to be super easy and fun! This will build confidence and understanding.*
Step 1: Choose two Indians. (If introducing addition, begin with small numbers.)
Step 2: Ask how many feathers each Indian has. Count together.
Step 3: Say (and point), "This friend has two feathers and this friend has three feathers. Let's see how many feathers they have altogether." 
Step 4: Count feathers together.
Step 5: Say, "2 feathers plus 3 feathers equals 5 feathers."
Step 6: Repeat using other numbers. (If after the first 3-4 your child is not "getting it", STOP. He or she is either not ready or uninterested. Find something else fun to do together.)
Steps for Practicing Addition
Practice for 2-5 minutes or until child wants to stop. 
Follow Steps 1, 2, and 3 from Introducing Addition.
Allow child to answer. If child is correct, repeat using other numbers. If child is incorrect, follow  Steps 4, 5, and 6 from Introducing Addition.

The goal of this craft and the games is to learn while having fun. If at any time you or your child are not having fun, stop, and do something different. Our kids are only little for a short time. Enjoy them and make tons of happy memories together! :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Month of Thankfulness!

I think it's important to always be thankful. I love how last November, and now again this year, my facebook page is flooded with things my friends are thankful for. First off, I'm thankful for a God who is always there, never changes, and always loves us.

So, for our month of thankfulness, Megan created this painting. I should have taken pictures along the way, but I was too busy enjoying the moment. :)
This picture was inspired by a beautiful picture posted by a dear friend. Here's how to make our version:

red, orange, yellow, brown, and green tempera, craft, or finger paint, not watercolors
paint brush
watercolor paper, copy paper (that's what we used), tag board, or canvas

Step 1: Paint a tree. (I told Megan to paint a tree. I just wanted to see what she would create. :))
Step 2: Dip a finger, of your child's choice, into paint and make fingerprint "leaves" of various colors.
Step 3: Add words. (I wish I had either printed them or (even better) let Megan write them herself.)

Crafts are about what the kids can do, fun, and discovery, not about being perfect! It's taken me a long time to get that through my head. But, I enjoy them so much more now...and so do my kids!