Do people celebrate groundhog day besides those in Punxutawney, PA? The boys love making shadows and we were in need of a downtime activity on Sunday, so I pulled together this little craft and book to read. All you need is dark colored cardstock, popsicle sticks or dowels, and tape! Then we just drew, cut, and they were ready to go! After some initial shenanigans of trying to take a picture, then we made lots of shadows! A determined that the groundhog will always see his shadow, and J determined that the groundhog was nice in the story and the pig was not nice. Good lessons. HA!
This past weekend myself and two of my friends hosted a Halloween extravaganza for A’s class and his BFF’s class. They did the bulk of the decorating and work, I was mainly in charge of cupcakes and games, so I felt like I had the much easier end of the hosting responsibilities! Here are all the great decorations and some of the fun!
A quick pic of the hostesses and A’s wonderful teacher:
B and I were Where’s Waldo and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego:
I originally borrowed a terrific red coat (because Carmen Sandiego is usually in red), but it was so hot, I had to go with my thinner black coat. Almost 80 in October!
So on to the decor:
We did a pin the spider on the web, a candy corn guessing game, a ring toss, and a pumpkin run with spoons. I learned some things if we ever do another party (number the spiders, get smaller pumpkins for the spoons, and make sure the kids don’t pick all the same number for guessing the candy corn). The kids had a lot of fun, but the saving grace of the games was three tubes of glow bracelets that one of the hostesses brought. Genius!
All I did was paint the canvases white and then let it dry for about two hours (you can do this in advance, like a day or two before). Then I applied painter’s tape (I actually ran out and had to use masking tape for A’s) to the canvases:
You can find the framed print here. The canvases are a cute & simple way to celebrate the holiday!
This is a reason to browse the 1-3 dollar section at Target:
My sister clued me in to the great single alphabet stamps at Target’s dollar section. For less than 15 dollars you can get a great little stack of note supplies, perfect for a teacher appreciation gift, a kiddo who loves creating notes with office supplies, or just to have on hand for your own notes. So fun!
When thinking about Easter baskets this year, I did some matching items, but I also got coordinating things that were not exactly the same. I also did hardly any candy, because while searching for their Easter buckets, I found this:
With that idea in mind I bought only three candy items for each boy:
I thought of what A and J’s interests are and then created the bucket items accordingly:
J: Bubbles, funny socks, stuffed bunny, DVD Springtime for Roo, seeds to plant, 3 candy items.
A: Bubbles, little Minecraft set, funny socks, tennis balls, seeds to plant, 3 candy items
And I got Star Wars mini figures (an idea I snagged from my sister) to fill their eggs:
I feel like our extra bay in our garage is that closet in Monica’s apartment on Friends, that nobody really knows about, but then when they find it our true messy nature comes through. HA! We don’t have a lot of storage in our house and I have seriously maxed out every space of our available in house storage. And our attic is filled with boxes upon boxes of old baby clothes, toys, etc.
I usually clean out this area once a year during the spring, but it has clearly gotten way beyond what I can clean without some massive overhaul.Insert B, who has taken an interest in helping me organize it since he figured out he cannot reach his lawnmower or any of his yard tools.
He has been planning and budgeting of what we can do to make storage easier and more efficient. I had one request which was that we had some sort of project table that I could use for canvas drying and wrapping paper storage.
So here is our storyboard as it stands now…
You can reach each of the items sites by following the numbered links, however here is a bit of commentary on some of the items:
More wall organization to get a lot of the yard tools from being stacked in the corner (1-4). We like the fast track system because it is very durable and can hold anything from yard rakes to bicycles and ladders.
A project area with outdoor friendly containers (5-9). I am planning a DIY for the project table because the bedford inspiration is not in our budget. My main concern is finding bins that will work with the cubes, but are also sealed (I don’t really want to reach into a box for tissue paper and find a spider, yikes!).
New and coordinating tool storage for B (11 & 13). B has a small tool box, but it is full. A coordinating lower storage box and a wall peg board will help to make tools easily accessible (though I’m not sure why he minds having two jump over two cardboard boxes, a lawnmower, edger, and lawnmower bag to get to things…).
Sturdier outdoor products and paper product storage (12 & 14). We have several hand-me-down plastic storage racks that we will probably still use, but would like to upgrade with a few sturdier pieces. I would especially like a locked storage cabinet for items that need a bit more temperate climate and we don’t want out in the open garage.
*As a side note (and as always) I’m not endorsed by any company for these products. In our searching for items we have found the greatest variety of storage items at our Lowe’s, however your area’s home improvement store may have similar items.
Our first step is getting the entire area cleaned out of all the random items, and then we will move on to start re-organizing it. It’ll be several months, but I’ll be sure to share when we finish re-organizing it!
Happy Valentine’s Day! For a Valentine’s extra here is something we baked today….
Inspired by these cookies.
And A created yesterday at his Valentine’s party (but you could easily put it together today!):
Inspired by this craft.
When I asked A how he wanted to decorate his Valentine mail box he said he wanted to paint a Minecraft and hearts theme. Since J wanted to participate as well (and did not have a mailbox to paint), I got out a blank canvas for him and my homemade heart “stamps” for painting.
After looking through these pictures to post them on the blog, I couldn’t believe how grown-up the boys looked. I also could not believe how impossibly straight the lines were of the hearts J was creating. Don’t worry, eventually his true Pollock nature shown through and he didn’t leave it like that:
A and I spent yesterday afternoon in a little assembly line getting his Valentine goody bags ready for “mailing” at school. I always make sure that any goody bags we do are ones that A can help fill. Here is our assortment for this year:
1. Push up pencils (A’s favorite), 2. Small sticker sheets, 3. Lollipops that are certified nut free (for allergy purposes), 4. Cellophane bags (we actually found heart printed ones). All of our purchases were from the Valentine or dollar section at Target. And of course each bag had A’s little Minecraft cards slipped in.
After A filling and me folding the bags over and stapling them, an hour later we were all done! Sorted, stacked and ready to “mail”.
This is the simplest of banners, it just takes a little bit of patience. I made one for A’s birthday and he loved it so much he wanted it in his room after his party. I then ended up making one for J’s circus birthday and even though I was planning to get red and white stripe the boys convinced me to go in another direction…
As I said before this is a really easy banner to make, however, I have developed a little strategy to make it easier to put together and it all has to do with folding the tape.
The first time I tried to make A’s banner I first pulled all the tape I needed and then tried to fold it in half and it was a huge disaster. Then I wised up. If you fold it exactly in half to begin with and then slowly crease it as you pull the tape, it is MUCH easier. It takes a little bit of patience because if you try to pull out too much tape at once it will mess up the fold, and duct tape does not un-stick easily.
Once you have the length that you want simple snip the end and then I usually go back through and try to get rid of any air pockets. Then fold each end and make a small snip with your scissors and you can hang it on a command hook like I did for the boys’ birthday parties…
And then after the party I transferred it to their rooms using pins, but you could also use command hooks.