Sunday, May 29, 2011

Spring activity: Meet some animals

My best friend's son just had a birthday. In honor of his party and all the little kids that attended, they hired a petting zoo. I have to say, I was just as excited as the little kids. The variety of animals ranged from bunnies to an alpaca. The animals were so well behaved and docile, and the people who ran it were very informative. I definitely learned quite a bit that day!

The first animals that Logan gravitated toward were the sheep. He was nervous of the bigger animals and the sheep really didn't do much beside chow down on their hay the whole time. I think he felt comfortable to test out the petting zoo with them. Once he saw how soft they were and learned their names, he wanted to meet all the animals.

He loved playing with the bunnies and petting the chickens. He visited with the donkey, but refused an offer to sit on his back. I was a little sad, because how great was that picture opportunity? But I asked a couple of times throughout the day to see if he changed his mind, and his response was always, "no thank you."

It wasn't until he went in with the alpaca that he found a friend. He hugged him probably a hundred times.

Look at the joy on that kid's face. It pretty much sums up the day.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pine cone painting

As I mentioned the other day, we have an abundance of pine cones around these days. I decided to use up the last of them, by having the little one paint with them. At first, I had him dunk them in bowls of paint and then wiggle the container around. That didn't really work well, since the pine cones didn't get enough paint on them. So, we squeezed a couple of drops of paint directly onto the paper. This led to a much better result.

Once we got the hang of it, I had Logan shake,
and shake some more.

His favorite part was when he made them "jump" around in the container. We had a couple of run away pine cones, which he thought was hilarious.

The finished product was quite colorful. 

We handed a couple out to the grandparents, and we also have a couple displayed on our fridge. This makes me wonder what other found materials we could paint with. I have a couple of ideas that I can't wait to try!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My first award!

Imagine my surprise when I was left a comment from my new blogging friend, Michelle, saying that  she had given me an award! It is my first award, so I am super excited and so thankful! It's so rewarding to know people are reading my blog and enjoying it! Michelle's blog, Michelle's Charm World, is a blog that I recently discovered. She is one of my newest favorites. You should definitely check her out! She is full of good ideas! And I am completely envious at her ability to find awesome thrift store items!

Here are the official rules:
•Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
•Tell your readers seven (7) things about you.
•Give this award to fifteen (15) (7) Seven (I am cutting this down so I can finish it today!) recently discovered bloggers.
•Contact those bloggers and let them in on the exciting news.

So.... here are seven random facts about me:

1. All through high school and college I worked as a cashier at a grocery store.
2. My favorite colors are pink and green.
3. I have two cats, named Smudge and Scout. They are humane society rescues and they are some of the sweetest, most loving cats in the world.
4. My husband and I went to kindergarten together. We are right next to each other in the class picture. He moved away to the next town over and we met again in high school.
5. I am afraid of spiders.
6. I've never flown in a plane.
7. I want to drive cross country in an RV someday.

7 Blogs that I pass this award to:
Each of these are blogs that I have recently discovered, and I am SO glad that I did! The creators of these blogs are so creative and inspiring. I always look forward to reading their posts! Check them out, and follow them too if you aren't already! You'll be glad that you did!

6. Sun Hats and Wellie Boots
7. Toddler Approved!

Thanks again! This made my day!

Wordless Wednesday- Sticky toes

Sticking stickers to paper is fun. Not quite as fun, however, as sticking them all over your body.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Resolutions, revisited

Since it has almost been six months since the beginning of 2011, I wanted to take a moment and revisit the resolutions I made. I figured I would share any progress I have made on each one (if any). The actual resolution is in bold.

1. Venture out more into blogging. This means writing more often, including some new topics that I'm passionate about, linking up to parties, and leaving comments. The last two are a little scary, cause I'm kind of shy sometimes. Hey! I did this one! I'm so glad I have, since I have been meeting some pretty amazing people!

2. Continue our voyage into attempting to live more frugally. I want to make use of more free and wonderful resources that are available in our area. I'm contemplating making my own cleaners (which goes hand in hand with my desire for a healthier, greener living). I plan to start utilizing meal planning and coupon clipping more often. I want to save more money in order to continue to stay at home with my little boy. I have tried my own cleaners. And I have started getting into coupon clipping. I have been saving money, and hope to get even more organized and continue to maximize my savings!

3. Live healthier. It's really a nicer way of saying that I want to lose weight. I'm hoping to include more new recipes that are healthy and yummy into our diets. I'm on a mission to try new fruits and vegetables, be more active, and feel happier. And I might just buy the Thirty Day Shred with some of my birthday money. I feel a little afraid after typing that last sentence. This is the one I'm most struggling with. I understand why I am, but it doesn't make it any easier. But on a positive note, I have tried to make lots of new healthy recipes. We have also been eating meatless a couple of days a week. I also bought the 30 day Shred, but I have yet to use it. But I still have six more months, so here's hoping for some more progress!

4. Become an organization princess. The Martha Stewarts out there leave me in envy. I'm just like them, in believing that everything should have a place. BUT sometimes while cleaning up, I end up with stuff that doesn't have a designated place, and someone is ringing the doorbell and I will *cough*cough*cough shove said homeless stuff just anywhere it will fit for the time being. By "anywhere" I usually mean the computer armoire that I never use. It is one of my shameful secrets. But this year I'm making up for it. In my mind this means restarting (and sticking to) my cleaning schedule, purging, and organizing even those areas that I don't often address until it is too late. Helloooooooo kitchen pantry, and closet o' mystery in the basement. I'm coming for you. Hear the crickets chirping? Yeah...... well. I'm using the second half of the year to complete this one, once and for all.

5. Make my house prettier. I've been inspired by all those in blogland who live on a budget but manage to make their houses beautiful by using their creativity and imagination. I have a couple of new things that I want to attempt. Perhaps even BY MYSELF..... WITH TOOLS. So what have I done? A lot of planning and figuring out what I actually like. We built a shed, which believe it or not, helps to beautify the yard and make more room in the house. I think the next step is to redo our master bedroom. We have been married for five years and have had the same two bedding set the whole time. They are looking kind of beat up these days. Hopefully, there will be more updates on this in the near future!

6. Be brave. Try at least one new thing every week for a whole year. It is easy for me to get stuck in a rut and have one week blend into the next. I'm going to make a conscious effort to do something that may or may not be enjoyable and may or may not make me comfortable. But I,  am bound to learn something. Hopefully about myself. This one was hard. BUT....... I have been doing this one. Maybe not exactly every week, but pretty close. Woohoo..... go me!

7. Continue to try and be the best possible parent that I can be. With extra kisses. I think I'm doing this one. But seriously, I don't think I could ever kiss my adorable little guy enough. He a completely cuddle bug and super smooch-able. Have you seen this picture? Seriously? He melts my heart. Constantly.

So did you make any resolutions or goals for 2011? Did you stick to them? Do you remember them? I'd love to know!

Stuff my kid says #9

After a afternoon of playing outside, I put my hair up when we came in. I also put a head band in. After about an hour, Logan starts crying for what seems like no reason. I ask him what's wrong and he says, "I don't like that rubber band in your hair. You look too yucky."

Saturday, May 21, 2011


It has rained here. Non-stop. For seven days. We barely left the house. We tried to play briefly outside, but it was also thundering and lightening much of the time. So we were left to our own devices. And those devices found two Pampers boxes. We reassembled what we could, and then promptly turned them into a mailbox. The husband, Logan, and I painted the mailbox. And the husband used an exacto knife to cut through the cardboard for the door to the mailbox.
There was a little slot left in the top to slip letters and mail in. If I was ever redo this activity, I would reverse the flaps on top. But one side was ripped, so I had no choice.

The back slot was cut so the "mailman" can collect the mail and deliver it. We decided to make the back a little more colorful. So far it has been getting lots of use to hold blocks and the numbers from his floor mat. Over the next couple of days I'm going to add more mail related stuff, such as envelopes, stickers for stamps, and some junk mail (which we always seem to have plenty of).

Have you ever had a mail center? What have you created with a cardboard  box? I'm always interested in other ideas!

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Puffy Paint

The other day I was over at A Pocketful of Posies blog and I saw that she had made her very own puffy paint. The words puffy paint conjure up images of a grade school version of me decorating t-shirts. I only used neon colors, because my motto at the time was the brighter the better. I knew I had to make this paint with Logan. I should have put something down before starting this project. That was my nice way of warning you that my dining room table is really messy in the following pictures. But I believe that messiness is usually part of the fun.
All our supplies and one eager little boy
The recipe itself is pretty simple. Just add one tablespoon each of flour, salt, and water to each container. Logan did this four times since we made four colors. Next I added a couple of drops of food coloring to each container.

The little guy stirred the colors up.

And then I let him create his masterpieces. I used the back of a cereal box. The paint is thick so I don't know how well it would work with thinner paper.

Once he was finished, we moved the piece of paper to the microwave. We microwaved in 15 second intervals. Most of our pictures only needed 15 seconds. Once hardened and cooled, Logan had a lot of fun feeling his paintings. He declared them, "my bumpy paintings" and immediately hung them on the refrigerator.

Of course, I had to join in on the fun. I created one with his name. This activity would have been fantastic for when I was teaching special education. I think this would be a great way to incorporate a multi-sensory approach to practicing some of those commonly misspelled sight words for older kids.

Have you ever made puffy paint? If not, I definitely recommend giving it a try! 

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A friend is a wonderful thing

One of my close friends was pregnant the same time as me. Her gorgeous daughter was born almost exactly a month before Logan. Ever since they have been babies, we have gotten them together whenever we could. Last week they had another play date. It was a play date for the mommies as well.
Waiting patiently to head outside

There is no secret. These two adore each other. 
Logan handing her some flowers he picked for her

There is something very special about a childhood friend. Logan is very lucky to have a friend who has a kind and loving heart. She is just like her mama.

I hope they always stay friends. A shared history is something that is irreplaceable.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Outside Playtime (May 13 -May 19)

This week the weather was beautiful. We have been spending a lot of time outdoors as a result. One of Logan's most favorite things to do is play on our swing set. He spends as great deal of time swinging and sliding down the slide head first. A daredevil, this little boy is.

And he likes to help water the plants. (This is before we did any sort of gardening this spring). His shirt was off because he thought it was funny to "accidentally" spray himself with the hose. It was an unseasonably hot day, so we let him go shirtless.

Another favorite activity is using chalk to draw and color. There is something so cheery about seeing his colorful little drawings all over the sidewalk. He often asks me to draw pictures too. Unfortunately I do not have a talent for drawing, so most things end up looking like stick figures, bears, and sometimes cats.
Coloring in the planets on our solar system

Being true to the nature of a boy, he loves to climb. And climb. And climb. And then sometimes he will try to jump off. Well most times, he tries to jump off, but usually it is into my arms.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bird seed treats

Logan had a play date with his favorite friend the other day. We went for a long walk and were able to enjoy nature, pick lots of flowers, and take lots of pictures. You know, so we have lots of pictures for their future wedding slide show. (Just kidding, of course). Logan and his little friend found lots of pine cones and we brought some home with us. He asked to make bird treats with some of them. We gathered up our materials and headed outside. First I tied string to them, and then we covered them with peanut butter.

Next I let my little nature lover spoon and roll birdseed all over the pine cones.

They are now hanging on our back stairway so we can watch our feathered friends, and the occasional squirrel, come to visit.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Stuff my kid says #8

Logan ran up to my husband's friend and said, "I'm having a rough day today. Tomorrow will be better."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Daddy's little handyman

Things are changing in our backyard. See those posts? They are the beginnings of our new shed. It will house all of my husband's junk. Some might call said "junk" tools and plumbing stuff, but all I know is that it is taking up precious room in my basement, side yard, and occasionally, my backyard.

Here is a little backstory. The fact that we are even able to build a shed in our teeny tiny backyard is a feat in itself. See the sparse grass covering the ground? Last year it was a dirt lot. And the year before that? The year we moved in? It was virtually unusable. Rocks as tall as I am (a whole five feet) were sticking out all over the ground. What wasn't covered in rock was filled with overgrown sick trees, moss, and the occasional weeds that were able to grow without any sunlight. So as you might imagine, this backyard was a lot of work and hours of physical labor. It now is almost completely level and ready for a storage solution. And Logan was completely enamoured with every step of the process.

I kept a careful eye on him the whole time, since there were dangerous tools being used. When that happened, we watched from afar. But when it was quiet for a couple of moments, I would let him sneak in and check it out.

He insisted on staying outside for much of the day. We would do other activities, but he was always eager to return and check out the progress and visit with the guys.

I supplied the food and drinks, and Logan provided comedic entertainment. He made up jokes (which he cracked up at), sang songs, and danced.

And he even "helped" a little.
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