Mermaid Song

This is a song my daughter has been working on for a few days. She made it up herself. The lyrics (if they are hard to understand) are:

There was a young mermaid on her Mother’s lap.
When she was a baby, she had a boyfriend.
And they swam together. And the mermaid fell in love.
The scuba diver was going to live with them and her father said “no!”.
And there’s nothing to it. Nothing to it.
Now this song is done.

Refrigerator Pads

The kids did so many drawings throughout the year, I thought it might be nice to share a bunch with family and friends (beyond seeing them on my walls or on this blog occasionally)  With the kids’ permission, I scanned in some of their artwork, shrunk it, printed it out, and made pads of paper with the drawings at the bottom.  I think they came out looking nice πŸ™‚

Here are the images I used: 

Here is the process:

<A href=";

Now I Know Why Waldorf Dolls Cost So %&^%* Much

I decided to make a doll for my daughter after much asking on her part for me to make her a doll or a teddy bear for Christmas.  (I am making both-the bear will be crocheted and the doll I am making is from a Waldorf doll kit)  Anyway, I have been putting in small chunks of time over the course of the last few days getting the doll started.  Last night, I wound up working hard on it fueled by some late night coffee induced insomnia and nursed along by some lame made-for-TV Christmas movies.  I went to bed around 5:30 and still have yet to sew around the arm holes, attach the hair, and stitch the eyes/mouth.  What I learned is that this type of doll is very time consuming and that it is tricky to make look smooth and professional.  I also learned that I am an atrocious hand sewer even though I tried to force myself to go slowly and carefully. In the end I settled for “obviously homemade”…there will be no mistaking the fact that a mother’s love when into making this baby, LOL.

Here she is in progress.

Snow Day

The kids and I had a great time outside today which is saying a lot because I am generally not the biggest fan of winter… or ice… or snow.  The air was pretty warm and the snow was perfect for packing.  We went on a walk around the neighborhood, built a snowman, and had a snowball fight.  Then we followed it up with hot chocolate when my mom came in the afternoon πŸ™‚  She came to pick up my daughter to spend the night at her house.  Hopefully all will go smoothly for them…

2 Down, 3 to Go

We had our Christmas celebration with my mom, step-dad, step-brothers and their families on Monday night, after postponing due to the snow on the weekend.  It was nice to see everyone, but we didn’t stay very late.  The kids got new presents and they have been enjoying them.  The HUGE winner in terms of usage so far is the easel from my mom.  I didn’t take any shots of family, so I don’t have any to post.  Hopefully I can get some from those who did.

The next day (easel and art pics):

Snake Pit

I decided to make a nice version of the game I printed out for my kids for their cousin for Christmas.  I printed it out and mod-podged it to wooden squares from Pat Catan’s. Here is the process:

Then I made a really soft sack to package it in and to use for drawing the tiles during the game.  I laminated the instructions and tucked them in.

I am a little nervous about giving it to him because I heard his mom say he has a snake game with colors.  I am assuming that she probably means “Hiss” and this one plays differently, so hopefully he will still like it..

Sauerkraut Balls

One of my absolute favorite traditions as a kid was eating sauerkraut balls at Christmastime in my Grandma’s house.  The grown-ups would send us kids downsatirs to play and keep us down there while they chatted by sending down plates of food.  The best of the offerings were Chex Mix and sauerkraut balls (at least to me). The sauerkraut balls were supposed to bring good luck according to an old German deal about eating pork and sauerkraut before New Year’s Day. 

Eventually, I learned how to make them with my mom from a recipe book put together in memory of my Great Grandma.  After I finished college, I took up the tradition of making them for my family/friends to eat as appetizers and for gifts.  The only trouble with them is that beyond taking an incredibly long time to make, they also require freezing (or at least major chilling) between steps.  For me, this means I need SNOWY weather to get them done because my freezer isn’t big enough for the job.  I bought ingredients a week ago hoping to get them done well ahead of time for once.  Well, Mother Nature laughed in my face and sent us nothing but rain…I wound up freezing the meat.  Then finally, last night, the snow came.  So, with that, I decided to make them and wound up working on them until almost 3:00 in the morning. I was looking forward to giving them to my Grandma who spent so many years making them for me.

Well, today, the snow I had wished for just kept coming.  It came and came and is now blowing like crazy.  My mom decided to postpone her Christmas celebration until tomorrow.  And my Grandma is no longer coming.  I will need to stop by and see her with the kids this week.

The recipe we use is fantastic and almost more of a meatball than a sauerkraut ball as it has 4 lbs. of meat in it as well as 4 lbs. of sauerkraut, plus onions, beef stock, and parsley…then it all gets breaded and fried…yum.  In the end, I made 230 balls. 

Lazy Sunday

Now that my mom’s celebration has been moved to tomorrow, we are enjoying a lazy day inside. 

My son brought out the battle game I made for him a long time ago and we spent lots of time this morning drawing up characters and then playing the game.  It is based on D&D play with hero characters having hit points and battling monsters on their way to a castle.  The goal is to make it to the castle without dying.  It uses different kinds of dice and lots of imagination as well as some cards we made out of old cut up cereal boxes.

My kids are very into worrying about who gets to spend how much time alone playing with me lately, so I tried to even things out a bit with some game time with my daughter.  She picked “Rumikub” which we haven’t played in a while.  We don’t play competitively, we just try to use up all the tiles.  Whenever you lay down, you pick up that many tiles for your hand…it moves the game along at a decent clip.  We used to play face up so I could help her if she needed it.  Today, she played her own hand and knew what she was doing.  Really cool!  Here she is hamming it up.

<IMG src=";


My son likes to use my sewing machine and has been learning how to thread the bobbin, change the feet, and choose different stitch patterns.  He decided to make some gifts for people he cares about and sewed some bookmarks using some colored cardstock.

He put a great deal of thought into who they should go to based on those folks he knows who read alot.  I am happy to say- I am getting one!  πŸ™‚


Soup Mix

The kids and I made up layered soup mixes today to give to the aunts and uncles.  I put out all the ingredients and the kids measured and poured them into the jars. They had a fun time making them and I think they came out pretty nice.  We used this recipe with a few substitutions.  I made a batch for us today and it was gigantic, so I put half in the freezer immediately.  I will have to warn the recipients πŸ˜‰

We packed them up with a bag of red, white, and green spiral noodles and cans of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. 

After making up the gift jars, the kids wanted to make their own concoctions and mixed up all kinds of ingredients for their sensory exploration.  Smashing food stuff and smelling it.  Hee hee.  It also bought me some time to finish packing up some of the other presents for my mom’s celebration tomorrow.

Bath Salts

My daughter made up bath salts for the cousins today.  I put baking soda, Epsom salts, and sea salt into bags for her and she added food coloring and scent and squished them up.  Then she scooped them into the washed out containers from the boullion cubes like those layered sand art bottles and decorated them with colored hearts.

We each tried them out in the bath later too.  It smelled good, but the colors didn’t really show up.


On Saturday, I went down to my mom’s house with J.’s sister to make cookies, a holiday tradition πŸ™‚

They came out beautifully and it was really nice to get a chance to spend some time with my 3 sisters-in-law, my mom, my nieces and nephew.  We came home with a HUGE amount of cookies.

On Tuesday, I made ginger-molasses cookies with the kids for a cookie exchange at a friend’s house.  I made up the dough and scooped it and the kids rolled them in colored sugar.  They came out pretty tasty if I do say so myself! They remind me of my grandma’s molasses cookies when I was a kid.

Here is a plate of ’em:

The exchange was a terrific night out. We had a good turn out and lots of yummy appetizers and cookies.  I wound up staying out late and didn’t get home until after 2:00 AM.

Natural History Museum

J. took the afternoon off today and we met up with a bunch of families from our local homeschool group at the Natural History Museum.  It was fantastic! My only memory of the museum was from when I was 17 and somehow I only remembered it having 2 rooms, LOL.  We all enjoyed it and since admission is now free with our reciprical museum membership we will be going back often. 

The Dunkleosteus was especially cool as we just finished reading this book:

Here are some pics:

Early Christmas

My mom came up today for an early Christmas with the kids so that she could give them some presents ahead of time.  It worked out great!  They really enjoyed getting time with her and were excited about each present they got.  It was nice to see them get to try on the costumes she got for them and they spent the afternon using the art kit she brought up

Here is part of the ninja outfit on my son and the flapper dress/boa on my daughter.  (this picture was taken later and I should add that the dress is going to be loved till it is shreds)