Thursday, August 27, 2009

Arts and Crafts Fun

At the recommendation of my mom and sister-in-law, I have subscribed to Family Fun magazine. I had never heard of it before they mentioned it, but what a gem! Each issue has tons of easy and cheap craft ideas, as well as loads of imaginative games.

Every time I read it, or see cute craft ideas on-line, I wish I had a day care or something so that I could do these ideas. For some reason, it seemed to me like I needed a group to do a craft. After I got out of that absurd mind-set, I decided to have little art sessions for my very own adorable Quinton.

Here is a picture of Quinton stamping from his very own stamps. They are made of (clean) foam meat trays. You just tape 3 or 4 squares of it together, and then with a ball point pen draw in your design. The pen creates a relief drawing, so when you stamp, it inks everywhere but your design.

He had great fun; granted, it was a little messy, but what art/craft isn't??

Another day we did the "Foamerator." Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures. Quinton had some friends over and they all had a ball. You cut the bottom off of a plastic bottle, then cut a piece of old terry cloth (I used an old robe) and rubber band it to the bottom. Lightly wet the cloth, and dip it in a dish of liquid dish soap (aka Joy, or something like that). You blow into the bottle, and this foam snake forms. The kids had contests to see you could get the longest snake. Very fun, and, of course, very messy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Can a Black Thumb Turn Green?

Anyone who knows me, knows that I cannot keep a plant alive. At least, that has typically been me. That is one of the many reasons that I love cut flowers - they are already dying, so no pressure to keep them alive!

Anyway, 5 years ago the realtors who helped us find our house gave us a housewarming gift of an exotic (indoor) tree. Miracle of miracles, it is still alive today. Although it's future is questionable if Roman continues pulling all the leaves off.

Well, over the last few years, I have slowly started venturing into gardening. Wait, let me clarify. I have cried defeat on all landscape gardening and replaced all the flower beds (read: weed beds) with pine straw that I spray every few months with plant killer to keep anything from growing. What I meant to say was that I have slowly started venturing into food gardening. It started with just a few herbs that seemed to survive no matter what I did to them, and then it has grown to the point where I actually have a thriving herb garden. This is the first year that I have planted more than just a few tomato plants. Everything is doing well, in large part due to the beautiful raised beds my Dad put in my backyard. Moral of the story: I am only willing to put work into plants that I can eat!

Boosted by my recent successes, I decided to try and sprout some avocado pits. And believe it or not, they did sprout!!!

See the proof below:

I have since transplanted them into large pots since they cannot survive the cold, and I'll need to bring them indoors to winter. I'm excited to see if they will produce fruit, assuming of course, that I don't kill them first!

Back-to-School Deals

It is hard to believe how much kids LOVE tape, markers, paper, staplers, etc... Oh, and glue sticks, too! For some reason, kids (or at least Quinton) prefer markers to crayons, so a while back I went to the store to buy him some washable markers. (because that is another thing, not only does he prefer markers, but given a choice of markers, he'll go for sharpies every time. NOT my favorite choice for him!) Anyway, I soon learned that washable markers cost more than I expected - I mean, he leaves the lids off half the time, pounds them on the paper so hard the tips get smashed - who wants to spend money on expensive markers???

So, when I started seeing the back to school sales at places like Office Max and Office Depot, I was thrilled!!! We are now stocked up on all sorts of school supplies: protractors for 5 cents, compasses for 10 cents, markers for 50 cents, 1 cent rulers and notebooks. He is in heaven!

Here is a picture of a his school supplies box, yet another use for all the scrapbook paper I collect!!!