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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bathtub Body Paint

I found this in the Razzle Dazzle Doodle Art book written by Allison Weston.

I haven't tried this, yet, but I know my girls will absolutely love this when I get my act together and turn them loose.

What You Need:

Opaque white liquid soap, such as Ivory

Several squeeze bottles with small openings such as the picnic condiment bottles that can be purchased at the dollar store.

Food coloring

What You Do:

1) Pour about 1/2 cup of liquid soap into a squeeze bottle.

2) Add about six drops of food coloring. Shake to mix. Keep adding coloring until you get the color you want.

3) Make several different colors.

4) Fill the tub with about 2 to 3 inches of water.

5) Let the kids climb in and 'paint' the tub, the shower walls, themselves, each get the idea, right?

You might consider making a set of paints for each child to avoid the inevitable fights over ownership. You might also be prepared to make more paint when the first set runs out.

When the kids are done painting, give them each a washcloth so they can wash their paint off the walls. You get clean and happy kids PLUS a clean shower - THAT makes Mom happy.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Kira's Going on a Date

Kira just left for a very special date with her favorite guy. I spent about an hour getting her dressed up and curling her hair just so she would be all prettied up for her guy.

Here's a couple of pictures for your enjoyment.

For those of you wondering who might be special enough to be taking my four year old daughter out on a date, rest assured that she's only allowed to go on dates with her Daddy until she turns 35.

(Well, Daddy thinks 35 is reasonable - Mommy says 16 or so... I'm sure Mommy will win that particular fight, but for now Kira's dates are only with her Daddy.)

Be Thankful

Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary
Because it means you've made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~

Taken From: Quotes To Live By

Friday, May 29, 2009

Outside Time

Here in Georgia, it's the perfect time of year for playing outside. The sun is shining most days, but it isn't too hot to be outdoors. Kids absolutely adore playing outside, so now is the time to let them get out and play.

If you give your young child a small shovel, a small rake, and a bucket, she will entertain herself indefinitely with many very important tasks.

It's important to avoid discouraging your child with your own preconceived notions. For instance, Randall hates slugs. He thinks they're gross. Kira and Marisa are fascinated by slugs. Randall took the girls outside one afternoon to play. Both girls promptly began collecting as many slugs as they were able to find. I wasn't home, but I hear that there was a slug party where the slugs were the guests and the arms of my children was the venue. Poor Randall was horrified at just how many slugs the girls found. Apparently both girls had both of their arms covered with slimy little critters. If Randall were to be obvious and outspoken about his distaste for these creatures, the girls would quickly decide that slugs are gross and would lose such a valuable experience. So Randall wisely chose to keep his thoughts to himself and let the girls play with their slug friends. Of course, he did make them return the slugs to the ground before coming into the house to be bathed.

Let your kids be kids and play how they choose to play. Enjoy their ability to look at the world without prejudice. Before too very long, they will learn the art of timidity and the days of playing with worms and slugs and other critters without concern will be gone.

(I wonder now how in the world I was ever able to swim in the ocean without worrying about all the dangers.... I wish I still had the innocence to enjoy such activities without being overcome with the fear of danger. The same holds true for your children. This is the only time in their lives that they will be able to enjoy the the world without concern for the dangers that may present themselves. Encourage that freedom. )

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Frozen Pencils

I discovered this new idea in the book Razzle Dazzle Doodle Art. I picked this book up at the library and started browsing to see what new ideas I might be able to come up with for the girls.
This is one of the ideas that struck me. I haven't tried it, yet, but I will be doing this very soon.


Get one of those frozen juice cans that the concentrated juice comes in.

Fill the can with water and freeze.

After the "pencil" is completely frozen, peel away the paper a little at a time to "sharpen" your child's pencil. Let them use this pencil to draw on the sidewalk, the side of the house, or whatever they want to draw on outside. The pencil will be large enough that it won't melt too terribly quickly.

If you want colored pencils, you could always add food coloring before you put them in the freezer.

You could probably use plastic freezer bags instead of juice cans. I'm not sure. I'll be doing some experimentation with this one for certain.

If anybody has ever tried this before, or if you decide to try it now that you've read about it here, please let me know how well it works.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bits and Pieces

I'm up late tonight. I can't sleep, so I've been playing on the Internet. Here are a few quotes that I came across while enduring this particular night of insomnia. I can't really give you references because I can't recall exactly where they all came from. There were many different sites that I visited tonight.

I hope reading these quotes will bring a smile to your heart today.


Boy, n.: a noise with dirt on it. ~Not Your Average Dictionary

(To this I have to say: Not my boy!!! Gibson has rarely had any dirt on him. But if they want to substitute that and say it's the definition for a girl, they would have both my girls figured out.)


A characteristic of the normal child is he doesn't act that way very often. ~Author Unknown


A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer. ~Author Unknown


A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm. ~Bill Vaughan


Children seldom misquote. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said. ~Author Unknown


It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. ~Frederick Douglass


Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands. -Anne Frank


If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much. -Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis


"Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them." Richard L. Evans

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Disney Family Parenting

I was cruising along the Internet lines today trying to find some inspiration for writing when I came across the Disney Family Parenting website. The section that I found is an encyclopedia of topics from A to Z. After browsing the topics for a few minutes, I realized that this really is a very thorough resource for parents because it really does cover every possible topic from A to Z regarding parenting.

If you're looking for something specific, or just have a bit of time to spare, check it out. You'll find answers to questions you didn't even know you wanted to ask. The site also gives you an opportunity to include your own input on the various topics.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


It's no secret that kids love to paint. My girls beg me nearly every day if they can paint. I don't really enjoy this, because it's messy and time consuming. However, I've found that giving in to their desire to paint puts them in a good mood for hours even after they have finished painting.

I have learned a few tricks, though, to make this whole messy mess a lot easier for me.

First, I buy washable paints. Really, that is the only way to go. Crayola makes a wonderful washable poster paint that cleans up very easily.

Second, I provide them with several paint brushes and paper so that I don't have to keep washing their brush or giving them more paper.

I strip the girls down and dress them in clothes that aren't important anymore. That way if the clothes get messed up, it's no big deal. Depending on the time of day and whether we're expecting anybody to be here, I might let them go without a shirt - but they are still relatively young so it's acceptable to do so.

The most important thing I do, though, is leave the room. Yep... that's the key to saving my sanity. I don't stay and watch. They have an area that is set up specifically for their art work. If they paint their benches or work table, it's no big deal. If they paint themselves - or each other - that's not really a big deal, either. If I hang around to watch, I have this almost overwhelming urge to tell them not to do these things that they find to be so enjoyable. It's just best for everybody if I leave the room and just poke my nose in every so often to be sure they are still doing okay and not getting quite too out of hand with their - ahem - experimentation. It's just better for everybody this way. They have fun. I live in peaceful oblivion.

DADDY GIVES THEM THEIR BATH AFTER PAINTING TIME!!! (That really is the most important part of this scheme...)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Make a Difference

"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."

John Wesley

Check it out -

Friday, May 15, 2009


Welcome to my new and improved website.

I hope you weren't too terribly surprised when you came in to visit today.

If you were unlucky enough to visit during the construction phase, I apologize for any confusion. It was quite dusty for a couple of hours, but everything is all cleaned up and put back in its proper place now.

Have a lovely visit, and be sure to let me know what you think of my new appearance.

Library Time

Did you know that your local library is a wonderful resource?

Libraries are not just for books anymore. There are movies, software programs, and music CDs to go along with all those many books. You can check these items out and save a bit of money.

So instead of going to your local movie rental place, just head to your local library and see what they have to offer. You may be surprised to find a large selection of movies and other items available for your use without costing you a dime.

And to add to that, if you find that you have extra books and movies hanging around the house that you no longer want or need, consider donating them to the library.

Be sure to take your little one(s) with you and let them meet the people who work at the library. Teach them how to ask for assistance when they are looking for something specific. Remember to also teach them to show their appreciation for any assistance they may receive by thanking the library employees and bidding them to have a good day.

More of Me

Hello to all my favorite visitors. Some of you will be thrilled to know that I've started yet another blog. (Some of you will just think I've lost my mind, but don't worry about that. I never had one to begin with.)

I decided to start a new site to document our home school learning experiences. If you are interested in following along with our daily learning, feel free to visit this new site.

Kids Choose What to Learn

If you aren't interested in home schooling, or reading about what we learn each day, then feel free to disregard this post and just move along. I won't mind. Heck, I won't even notice...

MySpace Graphics
MySpace Graphics

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I don't get it...

Why is it that people think it's crazy to spend large quantities of time with your children?

If you've been reading, you're aware that I'm planning a pretty lengthy road trip with my kids. They will be 7, 8 and 18 at the time that we set out on our travels. As part of my planning, I'm taking into consideration the needs of them, and me, with regards to travel in a car for a long period of time.

Everybody that I've discussed this trip with - including my dear husband - thinks that I've lost my mind simply because I expect this will be a fun adventure instead of a horrible trial of patience.

Now, don't get me wrong. I understand that a trip of this nature can be very taxing on everybody involved. However, I really expect this will be an amazing adventure for the kids and me. I think the time will allow us to strengthen our relationship in a way that we would otherwise miss out on.

Never be afraid to take on a challenge just because other people think it's impossible. Planning and taking into consideration the needs of the kids will make this trip the amazing adventure that I picture it to be. It doesn't have to be a horrible experience for any of us. It's all about the attitude that you have when you begin and the time you invest in considering the realistic needs of those who will be along for the ride.

I'm also taking into consideration those who went before me. How many families walked clear across the country with their children back in the day before there were luxuries such as cars and air conditioning? Surely if those people were able to survive their cross-country journeys without modern day conveniences, then I can survive (and enjoy) a cross-country journey with my car, my CD player, and my comfy tent!!!

If all else fails, I can just make the kids walk a while... After all, that's what the parents did in the old days.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Free Lesson Plans

Hello fellow home schoolers. I stumbled across a wonderful resource today and felt the need to share my find with you.

The American Quarterhorse Association has a great website for lesson plans and activities regarding horses.

Check out this link for lesson plans that are tailored to whatever grade level you need.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ordinary Miracles

This is one of the most important lessons I think we, as parents, should teach our children. Please take a few moments to watch this video.

Give It Away - Teaching Series - Promo from Howard Koepka on Vimeo.

Happy Mother's Day - Glitter Graphics

Friday, May 8, 2009

Scrapbook Tip

Okay, Okay - so it isn't EXACTLY parenting related, but it's useful information anyways.

I love to scrapbook and make cards. It's my newest obsession, really, but I never have quite enough money to get all the cool things that are available. I try hard to find cool embellishments for less money so that I can really decorate my stuff without spending a whole ton of cash.

Last night when I went to the Dollar Tree - my all time favorite store in the history of EVER - I realized that the solution to my biggest problem was right before my eyes.

FLOWERS!!! Tons of flowers.

You see, I love those little flower petal things that you can use to assemble your own flower brads, but I don't love the price of those little flower petal things. They are way too expensive for my budget, so I stare at them and pine over them and then walk on by without ever buying them.

Last night at the Dollar Tree, I had an epiphany. I could have my flower petals without breaking my bank. No, I haven't lost my mind, and I'm not speaking in riddles. All I had to do was buy a few sets of those fake flowers that were at the dollar store, then bring them home and take them all apart. HELLO FLOWER PETALS - for practically nothing, I might add. If you get the right kind of flowers, you can disassemble them and then layer your petals and add a pretty brad to create your very own layered flower brad for whatever art project you may be working on.

I figured if my new idea didn't work, that I had really only lost about $5.00 on the flowers, and we could always use those in some other project. When I got home last night, I tried my new idea and - guess what - IT WORKED!

(Did you really doubt? After all, I'm telling you about it today, and if it hadn't worked I would not be sharing, now would I?)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hippo Face

Have you ever been at the doctor with your child and had difficulty getting your little one to open her mouth for the doctor to see her throat?

I have a solution.

Teach your child how to make a hippo face. Practice often with your child so she can make her wide mouthed hippo face without any trouble at all. Then, when her doctor wants to see her throat, all you have to do is instruct her to make her hippo face. The doctor can get a good view without a fight, and your child gets a good giggle from making her funny face for the doctor.

This works great for dentist visits, too. I should also add that your child's doctor or dentist will get a real kick out of your child's hippo face, and be thankful for how easy you make their job.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Places of Interest

I've been doing a bit of research to plan for my lengthy cross country trip, so I've been in tourist mode lately. I've been checking out what each city has to offer along our planned route. My work is your gain. I've decided to write about local tourist attractions for kids.

I'm going to start with Atlanta, since that's in my own back yard. Here are a few of the best places to visit if you happen to be in the Atlanta area.

I'll start with the Georgia Aquarium. The aquarium in down town Atlanta is well worth your time. It will take more than one day to fully enjoy the exhibits of the Aquarium, but if you're only able to go once, I recommend the Cold Water Quest exhibit and the Ocean Voyager exhibit. The Tropical Diver exhibit is good, too, but if you are limited in your time then the first two are the most important.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History
is another wonderful place to visit here in the Atlanta area. They have several permanent exhibits, such as A Walk Through Time in Georgia and the Children's Discovery Room. They also have special exhibits that change frequently and focus on a large variety of topics. This place will take a few hours of your time, but it's fun and educational for the entire family.

Stone Mountain Park is one of the better outdoor locations for family fun. There are hiking trails that you can use to walk up to the top of the mountain and explore the face of the rock. When you get to the top, you can walk all over the rock and look out over the city. It's a beautiful view. For those who aren't really into hiking up a huge rock, there's a lift that you can ride to the top. Stone Mountain also has a laser show that begins at dark. The show is cast on the face of the mountain using laser technology. I couldn't even begin to accurately describe the laser show. It's something you just have to see to fully understand. It's an amazing experience. Though I do have to recommend that you avoid the park on July 4th. It's just too insane there on that particular day.

Next week I will hit Nashville, TN. That will be my first stop along my journey across the country.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Inside Play

I'm writing this post from one of the most amazing inventions I've ever come across for children. Near my house there is a place called DAC Kids. I'm sure I could post a few photos, but they wouldn't do justice to the scene that lays before my eyes. Apparently today is a busy day here, with several birthday parties underway. I see before me about 50 or so adults standing by watching as the nearly 100 kids immerse themselves in the wonders of the enormous indoor sandbox. Yep - you read that right - there's a sandbox inside. It isn't just any sandbox, either. It's HUGE. And right in the middle of the sandbox is a wooden jungle gym, playground thing. What are those called anyways, the swing set things that people put in their back yards for climbing and jumping and stuff? Well this one is as big as the sandbox and has rope ladders, benches, pirate flags, and cannons that shoot spongy balls. It also has about 50 occupants right now jumping, climbing, shooting, yelling, and screaming, two of which belong to me. Actually, my two are on the ground in the sand.

If that wasn't enough, to add to the confusion there are also several inflatable bouncy things here for the kids to romp upon. Basically, it's totally awesome. We can come here and play when it's too cold outside - or too hot - or too rainy - or just too boring. (I bought passes today so we can come every day if I so choose. I'm sure there are a couple of monsters around here who would thoroughly approve of that idea.)

The one thing I like most about this particular indoor playground is the security. There is one door for people to enter or exit. Oh, I'm sure there are other doors for safety purposes, but they are not generally in use. My kids can not possibly get out of the building without me seeing them (usually...Today might be different considering the large volume of people standing between me and the door.) That isn't all, though. When you come in, you get arm bands. Of course the bands are intended to show proof of payment, but they have numbers on them, too, and the parents are required to wear a band to go along with the kids' band. On the inside of my arm band there are two numbers written. Those numbers correspond to the number on the bands that Kira and Risa are wearing. On the inside of their bands is a number, too. You guessed it - it's MY number.
And when I get ready to leave, we have to remove our bands and show that we belong together before the employees will let us out the door. How cool is that? So even if you happen to come stalk me here - now that you know where I'll be spending a large portion of my time - you couldn't possibly leave with my kids. (Ha! Ha!)

Oh yeah - one more thing.... Adults without children are not allowed. My husband came one day to join us and I had to tell the owner that he was with me before they would let him in. Too funny.

I'm sure your local area has something similar to this. If they don't, and you're inclined to open your own business - this is SERIOUS business here. At $8.00 a head, these people are rolling in the dough. Few parents spring for the $85.00 per child annual passes and opt ot pay as they go. This is only our second or third visit and I finally had the available cash to make it possible to spring for the passes. I know we'll be here enough to make it cost effective in the long run. So if you don't already have a place like this - go open one. Hey, then your kids can play for FREE!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Random Act of Kindness Day

In honor of Marisa's birthday, I would like to declare this the Random Act of Kindness Day. You see, I have the most amazing power to make such declarations and have them become law. (Just allow me my delusions, okay.)

Today I would like all of my readers to perform at least one random act of kindness in honor of my baby girl's birthday. For those of you without inspiration, I've listed a few options.

1) Feed the stray cats that you would normally ignore. (If you're like me, you don't normally ignore the poor stray kitties, but sometimes there are those who are afraid to feed them because they just might keep coming back...)

2) Clean up your street, a parking lot, or a park. Take the kids along for this one. Be sure to tell them you're doing this for Marisa's birthday, of course. Grab a few trash bags and pick up the random bits of garbage.

3) Feed the birds.

4) Bake cookies for the local fire department and take them to the fire fighters while the cookies are still warm from the oven.

5) Pull weeds from the neighbor's yard. (Just be sure it is actually weeds you're pulling...)

6) Watch a neighbor's kids so they can go out on a date. Do it for free - no charge.

This is just a few ideas. The world is filled with possibilities for kindness. Be sure to have fun and sing Happy Birthday to Marisa while you're out doing your good deeds.

Thank you so much for celebrating with us.

Happy Birthday Marisa

Today is a sad, sad day. My baby girl turns 3 years old today. I think the reason this is so sad is because she is my very last baby. There will be no more babies, and she just insists on growing up.

Well - though it saddens me - growing up is a good thing.