Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
So this is my youngest. She's three. She can do so many things - get dressed, set the table, get on her coat and shoes, write her name, and throw an epic tantrum... it certainly seems like she should be able to clean her room! But I'm facing the fact that she actually still needs my help, and this summer I came up with a way to get it done that she (and my other kids) absolutely love!
We call it "Double Thumbs Up," and here's how it goes: I sit on the floor with two thumbs up. Claire comes up and taps one of the thumbs, and then I say the job that goes with it, like, "Put your clothes in the hamper." When she's done the job, she comes over and pushes my thumb down, then taps the other thumb to listen to the next job. She finishes that one, pushes that thumb down, and then both thumbs pop back up with new jobs. She continues tapping and pushing the thumbs down until her job are all done, and then I sing a little celebration song. Simple and easy, and my other kids love it too. My 6-year-old begs to play Double Thumbs Up when it's time to clean his room, and once I even caught him doing the thumbs for Claire (awwww....).
I think pushing my thumbs down gives them the same sort of satisfaction as I get crossing things off a To-Do list, and incorporating the movement is more effective than them just listening to me blab about what to do next.
I'm sure the novelty of this trick won't last forever, but it's been working for us this summer! Try it out and let me know how it goes!
Friday, July 19, 2013
Nature Scavenger Hunt
*a dead leaf
*a leaf with smooth edges
*a leaf with rough edges
*a leaf that is longer than 4 inches
*a piece of bark
*a tiny blue flower
*a rock that is LONGER than 2 inches
*measure the car tires _______________ inches
*a flower with 4 petals
*a smooth rock
*at least 8 DIFFERENT leaves
So we had three boys and three girls, so we split them into teams. They worked together to find, measure, and record everything they found. I included measuring a few items, just because I thought it would make it more interesting for my kids.
The kids had such a great time running around the yard, and there was even a lot of helping each other out!
This was a fun, easy idea that all six kids really loved! Try it out!
Monday, July 8, 2013
So lately I've been feeling completely and totally in love with this place I'm living. Probably because we had several weeks of record-setting, uninterrupted sunshine, which made me feel like life absolutely could not be any better. But the past week (or two?) have been nothing but cloudy, and I'm still loving it. I've been thinking for a while about adding some posts on here about what it's like living in Alaska, and I guess I might as well start before winter makes me grumpy again.
|This is my kid running around like he doesn't have a care in the world. Love it.|
|The little raft: Bringing hours of enjoyment to its third generation of kids|
|Love this shot of Parker on the kayak.|
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
I'm happy to have a guest poster here on Simply Clean Living today. Lynn, from Lynn Spin, always amazes me with her cute crafts and her fearlessness in using power tools! So take a minute and check out her blog, especially her cute Shared Boy/Girl Bedroom post, and her Basement Car Track. And now, on to some holiday decor and Lynn's tutorial!
I was tired of wreaths that fall apart in storage. I wanted something for my door that would last me a few years. So, it was time for me to bust out some power tools!
Here is the tutorial for my wood star spangled plaque and some tips for using a jig saw.
A hand held jig saw is a perfect way to get yourself comfortable with power tools and wood working. The best thing to do is to just go slow. Keep the power pressed all the way, but move your hand and the saw slowly around the wood piece you are cutting out.
I started my plaque by drawing a design on a piece of paper, then traced it around the wood board so that it was even on all sides.
After it was traced I began to cut. Some times when you are using a jig saw, you will have to back out of the wood and come in from a different angle to cut out sharp turns or curves. Just keep practicing. :)
After it was all cut out I wasn’t sure how to lay it out.
A quick picture text to some trusted friends confirmed that the bubbly part up top and bottom would look better. It looked like a clown silhouette the other way. No thank you.
First, I painted the whole thing white. Paint your lighter color first, it is easier this way. Use blue painters tape on to paint stripes. I tried it with red and white stripes and then blue and white. Both look cute. After I painted, I sanded the edges and distressed it a little too.
I then cut out a star with my band saw (you can also use a jig saw for this). I painted it and glued it down to my plaque with liquid nails. I set a can of food on the top while it dried.
I used my staple gun to attach some wire to the back then hung it on my front door with 2 3M hooks. I think it looks pretty stink’n cute!
A jig saw
Paint- red, white, and blue
Liquid nails glue
Picture hanging hardware or wire
It will take about 15 mins or less to cut out your pieces. But, plan for about 3-4 hours for this project including painting, glue, and drying time.
Enjoy! Get crafty with your bad self!
Thanks so much, Lynn! I love the idea of a wreath that won't get squished or ruined! And I'm completely jealous of your cute front porch!