Black Friday


We didn’t shop for Christmas. We didn’t rush around.  We just didn’t.  We basically took it easy and enjoyed the fact that J. didn’t go to work today.

J and Em went to the hardware store for some screws for the snowblower.

My son and I played some crazy restaurant game where he made menus and magic items and set the table with the hand-drawn “orders”.

Then we hit “Max and Erma’s” for dinner.

Then we came home and I finished up my daughter’s room by putting up the clouds she has been asking for.

More “Headsprout”- online phonics

Both kids have been staying up late playing “Headsprout” lately.  After my daughter started playing again, my son decided he would too and was determined to get to the end of the first 40 lessons.  He got all the way from 34 to 40 in one night and then he asked me to order the next 40.  After marathon sessions the last 3 nights, she is up to episode 15 and he is on 54!  They really like the characters and have been printing out stories to color and read.  It is nice to see them enjoying themselves so much and it is so nice that there isn’t any need to push any of it on them.  They just decided they were ready.

Theoreticaly, if they finish all 80 episodes it takes them to mid-second grade in terms of school reading levels


J.’s sister is hosting Thanksgiving this year and between her and my MIL the food is covered.  I still want to bring something from us and cookies seem like the perfect way to get the kids involved.  Here are some pictures of the yumminess  on a very limited decorations ration.  (Iwill need to buy stuff for future cookies!)  Apparently we ate most of the good sprinkles on our oatmeal 🙂

Headsprout and Slippers

My daughter has recently decided that she wants to learn to read and has been working her way through the “Bob Books” and sounding out things as I read at night.  A long time ago, I purchased a program called “Headsprout” for the computer which is a phonics based program that adjusts as your child plays it.  She decided she would like to play that too, so I have been hanging out in her room doing busywork while keeping her company as she plays.

Today, I decided to try my hand at making slippers based on a  pair she got from my MIL at the Polish Festival.   They seemed prety simple from looking at them, just double crochet.  I figured I could come up with my own pattern.  Each slipper is basically a “T” shape (made ribbed by crocheting in the back loop only) which forms the top of the slipper and the part that wraps around your ankle.  After you stitch the ankle closed, you follow around, decreasing rounds to form the sole.  She loves them 🙂

Oh Those Lovely Cereal Boxes

I was reading someone else’s blog a few days ago and she found lots of uses for cereal boxes in her kids art and play.  We have always saved them here too and used them to make game pieces, toys, and more.  Her post came at just the right time though, when my daughter was asking me to make her a frame.  She had colored some pictures in one of her workbooks and wanted to display them.  I wanted to keep her from taping them to the walls 🙂  So, she asked for frames.  I pulled out the cereal boxes and wallah- a frame she could decorate!

While I was at the mom’s night out tonight, my husband made her a second one.

Our Winter Groove

It seems we have already fallen into a winter groove of playing outside, playing board games, and crafting, along with some computer and video games.

My son’s new mittens held up well to the cold, but the snow stuck to them a bunch.  If anyone has tips on how to make this less, please let me know. 

We played Clue Jr. and our homemade battle game today.  (The hand-drawn pictures are my son’s heroes and their hit points)

I also started working on a new crochet project, a spikey ball toy.  Here are some of the completed points.

Here is what it is supposed to look like when done.

New Mittens

The kids played outside a bunch today and had lots of fun.  However, it seemed like every few minutes one of them needed help with mittens or the doorknob or zippers (which are impossible to do with mittens on).  My  son kept getting snow on his wrists and taking off his mittens and trying to get the snow off.  Sometime during all of this, I decided to make him a pair myself.  I pulled up a pattern on Ravelry and used some of the wool yarn I was saving and whipped up a pair. 

Here is today.

Snowball Fight.

The yarn and a silly model…

The finished mittens.

ETA: the birds (or some other animal) did take our treats from yesterday 🙂

Craftiness at Night

The kids got into more crafting last night after seeing how much I was doing.  They decided to give me an early Mother’s Day and made me jewelry and flowers and a book.

Necklace and bracelet.  My son got creative and used wire, a fake flower and a jack for the necklace 🙂 :

Paper and pipe cleaner flowers in a homemade paper vase:

A book all about the fun things we do together:

It was pretty cool.  They were all lovey and talking about making things.

Good times.

Snow Day

We didn’t go to gymnastics today as my son was still recovering from being sick.  We had a pretty laid back day.

My daughter was concerned about the animals getting enough food outside and wanted to put stuff out for them.  I helped her make some seed ornaments out of bread, PB, and seeds and we hung them in our front tree.  Hopefully some birds will come visit and snack on them.

She also got to play in the snow a bit and we made a tiny snowman before things got too blustery to stay out.  I actually had fun outside which is saying a lot!  I have been doing more than my share of whining about the cold and the darkness lately and it did me good to go out and play.

My son stayed inside where it was warm.  He worked a bit on “Scratch” today, coming up with some new characters.

Oh, and he watched 2 hours of “Little House on the Prairie” with me

Sick Day

My son had a great time at his Grandma’s house and the sleepover went well according to all 🙂  That is the good news.  The bad news is that shortly after he got home, he started acting incredibly lethargic and spiked a fever.  He wound up crawling into bed shortly after and slept a good part of the day away.

While he was sleeping, I worked on more felt folk with my daughter and spent quite a bit of time on adding projects and pictures to my account.  For those who don’t already know, Ravelry is a social networking site for knitters and crocheters that lets you post and search for patterns, keep track of your works in progress (WIP’s) and join groups to discuss your craft.  I joined a few months ago and hadn’t done much with it.  Thanks to a reminder on a local group, I am now spending way too much time on there 🙂

Thanks also to a local mom that gave me a $%&^-load of yarn last week which apparently allowed me to pass over my hoard yarn and don’t use it threshold.  I am now working up a storm…

Here are some pictures from the day:

My daughter was way into adding beads and creating clothes.

Here is a mushroom home I am working on.  It will eventually have buttons on it for a closure and for decorative “spots”.  There is an empty Tomato Paste can in the bottom of it for storing felt folk goodies and to make it a bit more sturdy.

This is a sketchbook cover I am working on.  It has a pocket for colored pencils and will eventually have a zipper and purse-like straps for carrying it.

Extra Lovin’

My mom took my son to her house for a sleepover with his cousin tonight and my daughter stayed home with us.  She was a bit jealous because she wanted to go too so we tried to make sure she got a little extra lovin’ today.

Playing cooperatively at “Drops and Co.” in the morning while waiting for Grandma:

Making pictures in the bath this morning with our craft foam pieces:

After dinner, we went to see “Madagascar 2” which was pretty good.  She liked getting to go out to the movie theater again.

This shot is just beacuse she asked/

Making a cat toy for our kitties.  She needle felted the colors onto the wool felt pieces before I stitched them together.  She also built a gear “CD” player and sang songs from it while I worked.  It kept “breaking” and needing to be fixed and endless imaginary people came by to see us while we were busy.  One man kept insisting he was going to buy our house.  Luckily, it was not for sale.  Then my daughter moved into the attic (the couch) and continued the drama until the toy was ready to be tried out.  The link for the pattern is here:

Then she made crowns for most of the stuffties in the house.  Then she made one for me and took pictures.

I know this post is mostly about my daughter, but I did get some cool shots of my son’s foam creations too.  He had really elaborate descriptions for each character.  They were made up bosses and regular buillies from his imaginary game “Super Mario Goes to the Moon”.  There were also different worlds including Halloween World, Christmas World, and BK World.  The characters changed appearance when they went to different worlds.  For example Bee Bee Bot wore a ghost costume in Halloween World and a Santa hat in X-mas World.  S-head wore a hamburger mask in BK World and looked like a present in X-mas World.  Other characters were Professor Pepper, Mee Mee, and Jack(with a candy cane for an arm).  J. and I both think it is really neat how he uses the letters for their shapes and doesn’t think they are only for making words.  The “A”‘s turned into great claws.  In the end, he stayed in the bath for over an hour.

It is past 10:00 now and no phone call so I am assuming the sleepover is going well.  We will see him in the morning…

Full Day

We didn’t go to swiming today because I needed to run an errand.  While we were home, however, we had a great day! 

The kids both got new Webkins this week becasue I lost the tag to the goldfiish J’s sister bought my son for his birthday.  He picked out a gecko he named “Liz” and my daughter picked out a lamb she named “Little Lamb”.  The kids played with their stuffed animals for almost 2 hours after declaring it “Stufftie Day”.  They hid out under the waterfall of my son’s bed and played and played. 

At some point they decided on “Story Time” and then a short (fake) “Nap Time”, complete with heating pads.  My son read a whole book for us today which was really cool as he usually gets tired after a bit.  “Fox Makes Friends” is a really sweet story for anyone who hasn’t read it yet.  Then they each read a “Bob Book” before we settled in.

Eventually, we got up and registered their new Webkins and they played online for a while, visiting each other in their Webkin homes and sending packages to each other.

After that, they took turns playing “River Crossing” and “Rush Hour”.  My son really liked making up his own situations and then seeing if he could solve them.

After dinner we played with the Eyetoy games for the Playstation2.  They are fantastic little games that use your body as the controls via a USB camera.  Here are the kids burning off some crazy energy.

Next,  my son played “Super Mario Galaxy” while my daughter and I played a few board games.  Then we got out the pattern blocks and a set of games that came with them from “Hearthsong”. We decided to play a game that has you roll dice and create Mandalas cooperatively.  Below are some of our efforts.  My daughter stuck with it and made an extra all on her own.  Oh, and my son lost another tooth this week…  and it is still not going to the Tooth Fairy.  His new plan is to save them all up and then give them to the Tooth Fairy when he is older and then he will be RICH 🙂  You can see the gap in his picture.

Then they were off and creating necklaces and bracelets in my daughter’s room from a cool kit she got for her birthday.  After making new stuff, my daughter decided to put on most of the things in her jewelry box and pose (like a hippie?).

Then my daughter decided to work on making more Pokemon cards while I tried to get my son settled in for bed.  He played a little bit of “Animal Crossing” on the DS before finally snuggling in for the night.

It was a long but really nice day.  We got to play with lots of stuff we don’t use all the time and spent a lot of time together.

I am Determined to Catch Up

I have been pretty bad at keeping up with my blog, thus the 14 or so posts I entered today (even if I did backdate them).  This will be the last one, hopefully bringing me up-to-date enough to move on.  So without further ado…the rest of what was in my camera:

My daughter has been dressing up her dolls and stuffed animals.

A few of my son’s Lego creations.  Hours.  Everyday. 

Cuisenaire Rod puzzle pictures.

My daughter decided on her own to skip count by 2’s with the red rods.  She had counted by 10’s with the orange rods already.  Cuisenaire rods are fun 🙂

I found neat whale dot-to-dots online.

My son wanted to look up words in the dictionary.  We figured out first letters and looked things up.

Birthday word search.

Gymnastics at home.  The kids pretend the couch is a balance beam.

One of our books from the thrift store.  After we read it, the kids had fun naming all the adjectives they could come up with for different items around the room.

I am officially caught up :)</

Home Alone

The kids slept at my dad’s last night and J. is still out of town, so I was home all alone for the night.  I went to the fabric store to get supplies for some projects I am working on, got a nice hot bath, and crafted 🙂

Then I missed everyone at bedtime. 

Today, I had lunch by myself and did a bit more crafting before picking up the kids and heading over to gymnastics

It was a really nice break and the kids had a blast!</

Election ’08

The kids stayed up to watch the election coverage with me while J. was on a business trip for a few days in Columbus.  What an amazing night!  Here is a post I wrote on a local board about the goings-on here.


I cried.  I honestly didn’t think our country had come this far!
My kids got a bit of a history lesson last night.  My son has been interested in genetics lately and has been using it to make his sister feel better about her having blue eyes in a family with all brown.  He was helping her by saying how special she was and how they came from Grandpa and Grandma.  Well, last night he asked me if someone with brown skin marries someone with light skin, can they have babies with brown or white skin.  I told him yes, and lots of other shades.  He thought it was wonderful.  Then he asked me if people with brown skin were allowed to marry people with light skin.  I told him yes, but expanded on our country’s past and that it was not always legal.  That people were treated differently just for having different colored skin.  That even when his grandparents were little kids, there were separate drinking fountains and seating areas and schools.  We talked briefly about slavery.  He said he hoped that none of our ancestors had ever done any of those things because they were horrible.  I got to tell my son that I didn’t think they were part of it and that the family members he had alive today had done what they could to help Obama win and that we had all voted to make this day possible and that that was why I was crying- for joy.

Emma ran for markers and made her own flag to wave and celebrate Smiley

They also really enjoyed McCain’s speech and I said he was doing the right thing and he was an honorable man.  I wanted to make sure they knew J. and I didn’t dislike him as a person.  We just had different ideas about some things.

And apparently they listen to me because my son asked if this meant the soldiers could come home now and if everyone would have health care.  (He just turned 7)

This will be quite a year!


The map getting filled in:

My daughter’s flag:

To amuse herself while we watched, my daughter made a replica of me out of a basketball, my hat, a jumprope, 2 pool noodles and some pillows.  It looks just like me 🙂