Monday, September 1, 2014

Our House in August

Here they are -- the kids' quotes from August -- the things that made me scratch my head, laugh out loud (and occasionally into my hand), and wonder where do they come up with this stuff, anyway?

L {while riding in the van}: "Someone honk-ded their tooty horn."
Keep reading for more education on the dual definition of the word "toot."

M: "Are there cookies that haven't been invented yet?"

M {explaining to her brother why they should pick up toys}: "Mama likes it when we do this, so let's keep doing it!"
Why can't this type of conversation (and subsequent cleaning frenzy) take place more often around here?

L: "Hey!" {after she had pulled his ball cap off his head}
M {putting it back on his head}: "If you wear it backwards, you look cool."
I wonder where she heard that?

M: "If you see me stare, I'm looking at air. Got it?"
Um, okay. If you say so.

M: "I don't like it when people ask me questions out loud."
I can't say for sure but maybe I questioned why she was staring into space -- or air. Duly noted. Next time, I shall use my powers of telepathy.

L: "Look at those flat trees!"
He noticed the vines growing up the sides of a brick building at MSU, which did, in fact, look exactly like a flat tree. And I never would have noticed.

M: "Mom, the dog smells like graham crackers."
Is it bad that I looked around for evidence that a certain little girl had been feeding her graham crackers?

M {while eating mixed nuts}: "Where do almonds come from?"
L: "Cactuses!"
Honestly, this is one of those times when it's just simpler -- and funnier -- to keep my mouth shut.

M {crying}: "I want to stay little forever!"
Me: "What do you mean?"
M: "I want to stay a kid forever, but I can't!"
I so LOVE that she feels this way. Gonna have to remember it when she's about fourteen.

L: "The tub is still drooling." 
On closer inspection, he is correct. The faucet is still running.

M: "This is how you speak lion, 'ROAR, ROAR!'"
L: "Well, how do you speak jaguar?"
M {quieter}: "'Rawr, rawr.'"
Couldn't have explained it better myself.

L: "There's two kinds of toot. Toot is from a whistle and toot is from a bottom."
Oh, yes, he is such a BOY.

M: "When I'm bored, you can just tell me to do my homework."
If you say so...

L {popping into our bedroom before 7:00 AM, fully dressed -- in an interesting plaid combination}: "Hey, guys, did you know today is my birthday?!"
You don't say? I guess he figured out that we already knew that when the coveted two-wheel "big kid" scooter was waiting for him downstairs.

{Mad for Plaid and No Stopping Me Now!}

Monday, August 11, 2014

Painting with Magnets

This was a project that Logan did a few weeks ago at the library with Mrs. D., and I am so in love with the cleverness of it! If you have followed my blog for any amount of time, you probably know that I love kids' painting projects, and we have done many, many, many of them, but this was completely new to me. I love that it mixes art and science, too!


  • round metal cake pan/pie plate
  • white paper (card stock works well)
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • magnet
  • paper clips
  • paint (tempera works well)

  1. If planning to make more than one of these, you will want to first make a round template for tracing. Place some paper inside your cake pan/pie tin and draw around the inside. Cut out this circle and use it for tracing all your other paper circles. Cut them out.
  2. Place a paper circle inside of your cake pan or pie tin.
  3. Add some paper clips (Mrs. D. had everyone use two large, plain, metal clips).
  4. Next, pour in a little bit of paint. Mrs. D. let each child select two colors. Logan chose yellow and blue.
  5. Give your child a magnet (preferably one that is not small enough to be swallowed! Ours were wand-style and were perfect for this.) and show him how to move it around on the bottom of the cake pan or pie tin. (You might need to help hold the pan, too.) This will move the paper clips around. Tell him to move the clips into the paint and then spread them all over the paper, using the magnet. (Help as needed, and make sure that magnets are nowhere near his mouth.) Talk about the process. What do you notice happens? Logan saw that the two colors mixed together to make green.
  6. Once the painting is complete, allow it to dry before displaying.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tool Box Stamping

Do you ever find yourself so far behind that you don't even know where to begin? That's how I feel about blogging. I know I want to, but... It's just so long since I have done these things that I wanted to write about. Anyway, hope they make some sort of sense, because I felt it was worth sharing, once upon a time. This project was something that I found for our Sunday school kids to do as a wind-up for our VBS, which took place ages ago, right after school got out in June! (Don't even get me started on how fast this summer has flown by. I swore that school seemed like it was NEVER going to end, and then once it did... Oh, boy!)

So, I found the inspiration for this craft here. The main difference is that she has used paint and I wanted something less messy for our Sunday school kids (for reasons I am sure you understand). My solution? Stamp pads. We have plenty in our resources at church, so I had my two kiddos test it out at home with assorted nuts, bolts, screws, and nails, and it worked splendidly.

{Finished Tool Box Prints}


  • paper (we used white card stock)
  • stamp pads in assorted colors
  • various nuts, bolts, screws, nails (careful about ages of children and whether or not you allow sharp points)
  • paper trimmer/scissors (optional, for cutting paper smaller)
  • something to clean up with: damp towel/paper towels/baby wipes 

  1. I used a paper trimmer to cut our 8 1/2" x 11" card stock into quarters, making the pieces about postcard size. This is not necessary.
  2. Set out paper, assorted tool box items, and stamp pads.
  3. Have kids press nuts, bolts, screws, or nails (flat side recommended, although Mia did discover that the threading on a screw makes an interesting design if you twist it over the paper) onto a stamp pad and then onto paper to make a print. Repeat as desired.
  4. Allow ink to dry completely before displaying your projects. These would make fun greeting cards or wrapping paper, should you choose to stamp them on say, a roll of Kraft paper (which can be found at Dollar Tree).

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July at Our House

Two whole weeks since I have last blogged?! Wow, that just tells you how busy it's been 'round here. My brother just got married last Saturday and that definitely kept me going, going, going this month with planning. Hopefully August will be a better month for me to get more writing done. In the meantime, please enjoy the goofy things the kids said this month.

July 2, 2014
L {discussing hair}: "Are your bumpies hair, too?" {points to Brett's stubble}
Makes me glad I shave my legs often enough to have never had this particular discussion.

July 12, 2014
L: "When we're all grown up will we still have the same names?"
Me: "Yes."
L: "So I'll still be Logan?"
Me {laughing}: "Yes."
L: "But I want a nickname!"
Well, good news then, junior high is coming... hopefully, not for a really, really long time, though.

July 14, 2014
L {noting my plaid shorts}: "Are you wearing Daddy's swim trunks?"
No. Just no.

July 15, 2014
M: "M-o-o-o-o-o-m, he drank water off the driveway!"
Oh, well. At least he's drinking water, which he really never seems to drink enough of, in my opinion.

July 18, 2014
M: "It smells so much better in the basement!"
I had gotten distracted and walked away from the grilled cheese sandwich I was making, so it got quite blackened and the entire first floor stunk. It happens. Not often, okay, but every once in a loooong while.

July 28, 2014
L {seeing bird poop on his side of the van as we were getting ready to leave}: "I don't want our car to have purple poop on it!"
It will all be okay. Really.

July 29, 2014
L: "Don't get white feet." {said while stepping in between the lines of the crosswalk}
Earlier in the day, he had seen the men painting the center line, so he was worried that the paint might be wet outside of Sam's Club.

July 31, 2014
L: "I wanna do my Bigfoot."
Me: "What do you mean?"
L: "I wanna ride my Bigfoot."
Me: "Oh, you mean your Big Wheel?"
L: "Yeah!"
He just bought this today with his own money at community-wide yard sales. Brings back memories.

July 31, 2014
M: {after reading Henry and Mudge books}: "Now I feel like eating crackers."
Not happening, sister. I am totally on to your bedtime delay tactics. Nice try, though!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Boy's World

Some days I think that I will never truly understand this kid. I really just do not know what goes on inside his little head. One thing is for sure. He often brings a smile to my face just by being himself. For example, today's snack time turned into a creative activity. The dinosaurs all got new shoes made from grapes and Goldfish crackers. (I am guessing this was inspired by yesterday's trip to the shoe store for new sneakers.) It's pretty ingenious, albeit impractical. But really, what's the point of always being practical? This life lesson brought to you by my four-year-old.

{Perhaps even dinosaurs need new shoes.}

Sunday, July 13, 2014

3-Ingredient Homemade Shaving Cream: Update

I posted this recipe over a year ago, and decided to do an updated post now. I am still making my own shaving cream and loving it! I have made a couple of minor changes that I thought were worth noting for the past couple of batches, though. I think my first changes came in March, and I just made another batch this week using these methods.

#1 I decided to experiment with almond oil in place of extra virgin olive oil. I wasn't sure if this would make a difference. The olive oil is probably cheaper, but I figured it was worth trying since I had it on hand anyway for my homemade face moisturizing oil. This changes the color slightly, but at first glance, it is pretty much the same. For a trial, I shaved one leg with the new batch of homemade stuff and the other with my old can of Skintimate. For me, there was a clear winner in the smoothness department, but just to be fair, I asked my hubby to do a "blind test" asking him to feel them and tell them if he noticed a difference -- without telling him why. Not surprisingly, he decided that the leg shaved with my homemade version was softer and smoother. Yeah!

#2 Shea butter. So, when I went to order more on Amazon, I actually ended up getting African shea butter for whatever reason. I must not have paid attention very closely. Is there a difference in how they work? Not that I can tell. There is a difference in color (more yellow) and smell. The African one seems a bit more chocolate-y to me, and trust me, that is not a bad thing at all. Hence, my newer batches are more yellow and smell different than my previous batches, but otherwise they have had the same skin conditioning qualities.

#3 My old hand mixer bit the dust last June, which you may have recalled if you happened to read this post about how in love I was with my new stand mixer. So, the old hand mixer worked pretty well for whipping up shaving cream, but it was messy and my hands did get tired doing it. Since it is no longer in the picture, I put my shaving cream block (more on that in directions below) in the stand mixer bowl, and whipped it up with the wire whisk attachment. Strangely, this takes about twice the amount of time than doing it by hand (6-7 minutes versus 3) BUT it's hands-free and definitely less messy. The only suggestion I have is to stop it a couple of times and stir the mixture by hand to get the solid chunks down from the sides of the bowl and back into optimal position for proper mixing. Easy.

{Here's a new batch after it "settled."}

Why homemade shaving cream? I wanted to eliminate chemicals! I like knowing what I am putting on my body. Also, my last batch lasted just over 4 months -- take that store-bought shaving cream! (There is no way a can of that stuff would have made it that long.) Here is how to make your own natural shaving cream. (Organic ingredients are always a plus, but I wouldn't say they are a must.)

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup shea butter (mine is African)
  • 1/4 cup almond oil (or extra virgin olive oil, if you don't happen to have almond oil)

  1. In a sauce pan over low heat, melt the shea butter and coconut oil. (This takes between 5 and ten minutes -- a bit longer with African shea butter than with plain shea butter, which I don't remember as being as dense.)
  2. Pour the melted contents of the pan into a container. (I use a plastic bowl.) Add your almond oil (or olive oil) and stir to combine.
  3. Allow the mixture to solidify in the refrigerator. (I still can't tell you how long this takes. More than an hour, but it will certainly be ready if you let it set over night, which is what I tend to do since I seem to always be making a new batch after the kids are in bed.)
  4. Remove the block from the bowl (or other container) and place it in your mixing bowl. (Mine have always slid out easily once I tipped the bowl over, so this shouldn't be hard for you either.)
  5. Whip the shaving cream. This used to take about 3 minutes with my hand mixer. Now, it takes a bit longer with the stand mixer (as mentioned above).
  6. Store your shaving cream in air-tight containers. Labeling them is suggested. I like to just use masking tape and permanent marker to write the contents and date made.
  7. To shave, I use my fingers to remove a dollop of shaving cream and spread it on my skin. It liquefies once you rub it in, and I love this. It never runs down my legs and gets wasted like commercial shaving creams or gels have a tendency to do. Also, the moisture gets locked into the skin. I know this because I see the water bead up where I have applied my shaving cream -- so it does two jobs in one. It works in all the usual places: underarms, legs, bikini area, and although I have not personally tried it, a man could also shave his face with this stuff. Note: Use caution if you like to shave in the shower since it may make the shower floor a teensy bit slippery at times.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Creative Monster

Just when I think that I am not being much of a writer this month -- or anything creative, really --inspiration strikes. I empty the vacuum canister into the trash can, and what do I see staring up at me but a grinning "creative monster." He has just one eye, a straggler left over from some odd craft project. (This is fairly typical at our house, to step on a sequin, bead, pipe cleaner, or googly eye. Brett is always threatening to throw them away and then the kids grab them and find temporary hiding places for them.) All except for this eye, which apparently could not escape my vacuum cleaner's appetite. I think my creative monster is encouraging me to go create something!

{You see it, too, right? Or am I losing it?}