Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer fun Day 21! Bird feeders :)

Hello friends!! Today is day 21, and we had a fun, yet super simple project. The kids had fun making these, and I'm sure the birdies that we see in our yard every day, will be thanking us.

All you need is:
toilet paper tubes
string or yarn
peanut butter
bird seed

I put two holes at the top of each tube, and tied some yarn to each one. The kids spread some peanut butter all over the tubes, and then simply rolled them in the bird seed.

SO EASY! They had fun talking about all the birds that are going to enjoy these, and I think they are right.

We had 4, so we hung them in different places. Only one made it on an actual tree! LOL! Out tree's have super long branches, so we really could only find one spot on all 5 of our trees!

They are really cute, and I think it made the kids feel good to do something for our little birdie friends. We have lots of them flying from tree to tree (including some new baby birds that just learned to fly!), so it will be fun to see them eating away at the bird feeders.

I hope you all try this activity out. The kids were excited to hang them outside, and now we wait to see them be eaten from.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!!!





Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer fun Day 20!!!!! Sun catchers!

Hi friends!! It's SATURDAY!!! Perfect for crafting with the kiddos. :)

Today's craft was easy, and CHEAP! This one is another favorite, so far! I love when the kids craft something that I can put around the house.

All you need is pony beads, and a cupcake pan, or round cake pan. I just used a basic cupcake pan. I picked up pony beads from Walmart for just over $4.

Since my cupcake pan has 12 circles, each kid got to use 3 slots. Perfect....I love when things turn out even like that. No arguing! We put the beads in each slot, in one single layer. Making sure they were all laid out nicely.
The kids had fun creating their own designs.

We made smiley faces, and patterns. Laura and Katie both wanted the first letter of their first name, so I helped them arrange the beads into the shape of their letters. William kept putting handfuls of beads into the pan, so I helped him do his 3 spots, and then gave him our mini cupcake pan to play with. That kept him busy for a while!

It took a while for the kids to get their beads into the PERFECT designs, and then we put them carefully into the oven. We baked them at 400 for 25 minutes. I have read different temps and times, but I checked every 5 minutes and it ended up being 25 minutes, until they were completely melted.
I took them out of the oven and let them cool, then popped them out of the pan. They came out with ease. I will add that the smell was pretty gross. I opened windows and doors, so the smell really only stayed in the kitchen, but to make sure the kids were safe, we played outside while they were baking.

I asked Nick to drill a small hole in each one so we could easily hang them. I couldn't wait to get them up! I hung 4 in my kitchen window, with some stretchy beading string. I put 4 in the kids bathroom window, and then the boys have 2 in their bedroom window, and the girls have 2 in their window as well.

These were so easy to make, and a lot of fun. The kids had to concentrate a lot to make sure their beads were right where they wanted them to be. They turned out awesome!!! I LOVE how they look in my kitchen window, and we can't wait to make more! Next time we will be using cookie cutters to create shapes!  
I hope you all try this one out, you won't regret it!

A screaming toddler, and my heavy heart.

Good morning everyone. Ahh, it's finally the day we have waited for....SATURDAY! I love this day particularly because it's the only day I get to sleep in! Nick gets Sundays :)

I woke up to my children playing in the backyard, and William screaming in the back yard. This has officially become a problem in my home. He screams all to often, and I think my ears are about to leap off my head, and run for the hills.....or maybe I will?!

I've raised 3 other toddlers at this point. I've gone through the screaming phase with Laura (timeout worked like a charm for her)....Nicholas and Katie never did this scream fest stuff. William seems like an entirely different breed! He gets to the highest of high pitched scream, that it literally shocks my brain, and makes me paralyzed for a minute.

What do I do?

I'm a mom of four, who cannot for the life of me figure this one out! I've done it all!!! I've ignored it.....while my anger builds up in my chest because he simply wont give up. I've put him in time out. I've talked to him softly about why it hurts our ears, and that our voice is for singing and speaking nicely. I've even resorted to spanking....which, most of you know, I'm on the fence about. I was spanked as a child but in my honest opinion, THAT was not spanking, that was crossing the line. I didn't feel respect for my father because of this, I felt fear and that is something I don't want to instill in my kids. There HAS to be a better way right?! Well help me find it because I've done all the nice, pretty routes with William, and his screaming is only getting worse.

So I spanked him yesterday. Sigh....I can't believe I just typed that. It hurts my stomach. Now don't get me wrong, I am probably not even spanking the right way? Who knows. I simple walked up to him and swatted his booty once......but it still makes me feel like I did something to betray his trust in me.

This makes me a little upset though. I've tried it all and yet the screaming continues in all it's awful glory, and so I resort to the only thing left....a swat. It certainly got his attention, but why am I the only one left stewing over it? Shouldn't he be? Oh yes, he's only 2 and a half......he can't think past 10 second intervals. ;)

This is my thing....I won't judge other people when they spank, do what you need to do. Some kids probably NEED that type of response from their parent to get it to click in their brains. I don't know. I certainly judge myself though. I try my hardest to be a calm, sensitive, understanding mother, and now I feel like all of that just came crumbling down around my feet.

I will say, he didn't scream at me......until 30 minutes later when he found something else to be upset about. I didn't spank him again though, because I feel like it's too much, but then I go back in my mind, with that awful screech running through my body.....and wonder if maybe that's what THIS child needs. A swat each time he screams at all of us.

I'd honestly love to hear your insight. Did I just ruin my mommy status? Do I need to turn in my mommy badge? Sigh.....Lord please make this child either stop screaming, or maybe lose his voice long enough for me to regain my hearing.


Disclaimer: No children were hurt before, during or after this blog was written. A swat won't ruin a child. It will just make my heart heavy. :(

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer fun Day 19! Splish splash!!

Hi everyone!! It's 10pm, and this feels like the first time I've been able to sit today. These kids had me running circles, and I will just say that it ended with a few kids being grounded. :/ Sigh.....some days are good, some are amazing and some are crummy. Today went from, great, to good, to crummy. That's ok. I know my kids went to bed knowing we love them, but hopefully a few of them will be thinking about making better choices tomorrow. Life lessons already happening here.

Today we wanted to go to the sundial bridge. That was the plan, but it got so hot out that there was no way we were going to drag 4 kids in the heat. We switched it up and took the kids to grandma and grandpa's house to swim! It's fun, and we would be in a nice cool pool! PERFECT!

I took William on a playdate this morning, so we planned to go swimming after 'quiet time'.....nobody napped so we said screw it and went to gma's around 2:30. We brought our dinner (BLT's) with us to make it easy.

We love swimming at gma's house. Its quiet (until my kids get in the pool!!) and the kids would swim for hours and hours, if we let them. William fell asleep when we got there, so I stayed in the house and read a book while he napped, and Nick and the kids cleaned the pool.

By the time we all got lathered up with sunscreen, (which if you know me, you know I'm crazy about sun screen. If my kids are in the sun, they have sunscreen on) was so hot out and perfect to be in the pool!

We played lots of games as a family, threw kids in the water over and over, splashed, and had a great time.

Three of my kids are full on swimmers now. Katie learned this summer in about two weeks. As soon as we let her have her floaties off, she went for it. Nicholas has been swimming since he was 5, Laura has been swimming for a few summers now, and we are even starting to work with William! He loves being in the water, and wants his floaties off all the time! I believe by the end of the summer or beginning of next summer, William will be a swimmer too!

I had a good time watching my kids play together (and of course fight.....but that wasn't as fun to watch lol!!). When they are sweet to each other and helpful, my heart just lights up. We enjoyed our time as a family in the pool today. It's nice to let the kids be free to splash and swim around. I really need to get a pool in my back yard!

I hope you all enjoyed your day as well, and had lots of reasons to smile....even if your kids acted like mine did a couple times today. ;)

Stay tuned for tomorrows activity for DAY 20!! :)


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer fun Day 18!! Making stained glass candle holders.

Hi friends!! Sending lots of big hugs to you all tonight. I have read lots of bad news from so many people on my facebook today. I didn't have the best day either, but I don't have anything to really complain about.....just kid's being kid's. I hope everyone who had a hard day can sit back and relax tonight, with no stress at all! (((HUGS)))

Today is day 18 of our daily summer activities! I have gone crazy coming up with all these ideas for each day, and I will be honest got a little overwhelming. Coming up with ideas that won't break the bank and will be interesting to all four of my widely age ranged children, is a real job. So far, we've done something fun every day, and we are still going!

We had other plans for today, but some other thing's come up that ran into the time of our plans, so we will do today's plan some other time. :)

I had to think on my feet. I dug out the small vases I bought from the dollar store, for our painting project from last week. I didn't want to have the kids paint them, because that is exactly what they already I got to thinking. I have seen lots of people make stained glass vases with tissue paper and I knew my kid's would love it.

I cut up lots of different colored tissue paper, into small squares, and then put some school glue in a dish, with a couple sponge paint brushes. We were ready to craft!

I helped the two youngest paint on a thin layer of glue in small sections, and then placed random pieces of tissue paper on the glue, overlapping so to cover every inch of the glass. You want to work in small sections, so the glue doesn't dry before you get to it. We made sure each piece was as flat and smoothed out as possible. My older kids did this on their own.

We worked our way all around the vase, making sure to keep it all very smooth. The kids were deep in concentration, and my house was quiet! Ahh.....just what I needed today!

I had to help remind them to smooth out the pieces of tissue paper every once in a while, but all in all, they did this on their own. That is a big thing to me. I love finding things for them to do, that they can do on their OWN! The only thing I did was put a second thin layer of glue coating the tissue paper when they were finished. That is definitely for an adult to do, because it's a little tricky keeping the pieces all smoothed out when coating it. I got it done, and we let it sit for a few hours to dry. It's been about 5 hours since we did this project, and it's still drying in some places. They turned out wonderfully though!! I plan to put them around the house with candles in them. I can't wait to buy some small candles and see the beautiful stained glass affect with the fire inside.

This top pic is right when I finished coating the entire vase with glue. So they were still pretty wet.

This bottom pic is several hours later...almost dry!! I'm so glad we did this craft today. It gave them something to do quietly, and now I get to have some beautiful handmade candle holders around the house! YAY!!

I hope you all give this one a try....I think you will have lots of fun, like we did :)