Week in Review: 9/22-9/28

It’s been a whirlwind of a week.  I find myself saying every Sunday “This week I’m going to stay at home every single day.  No errands.  Nothing extra-curricular.   Just a nice, calm week at home.”  And then something like this happens:

Strep

Needless to say, we spent a good deal of time this week travelling between doctor offices and pharmacies. And even more time was spent trying to take care of a coughing child late at night. Thankfully things seem to finally be somewhat under control (except my sleep cycles).

Even though our week obviously didn’t happen quite as smoothly as I’d hoped, we did manage to accomplish most of our goals.

We’re enjoying our studies on ancient Egypt very much. I think the Pharaoh would have probably had us thrown into the Nile as crocodile bait when he saw our first attempt at a pyramid, though…
Pyramid 3

Ahem. Moving on.
Susannah’s sugar cube pyramid turned out much better.   At least until she started licking it (gag)!
Sugar Cube Pyramid

Madeline was studying the letter “B” this week, and we’re focusing on serving others so she made some brownie bites for little Billy.
Brownie Bites

She also made a (very interestingly colored) bug and both girls helped make banana muffins.

B Lessons

I participated in my second Package Pals craft swap and was paired up with Angela from A Mamas Two Cents Worth.  It was fun getting to know her and she sent me the most amazing box jammed full of crafty goodies!  She crocheted an awesome autumn-y wreath that I just love (and desperately need to buy another wreath hanger so I can put on my front door!), a pretty personalized mug, and a dry erase easel with interchangeable papers.  She also made the girls crocheted pencil cases which I’ve yet to remove from their clutches since we opened the box.  They ADORE them.   Seriously, Angela is one talented lady.

Swap Box Collage

In case you missed it earlier this week, be sure to check out the delicious lemon and raspberry layer cake I posted here.

Lemon Raspberry Cake 3

And finally, I’m preparing myself for my third year of participation in the 31 Days Blogging Series, which the Nester hosts every October. (See my previous series here and here.)  Since I have several other blogging obligations in October (more on those later) I chose a topic that will be easy for me to write about:

bigger 31 days button  Oh yeah!  Can’t wait.  I’ve totally re-kindled my love affair with books this year.

So…how was your week?  Any sick kids?

31 Day Challenge: Day 24 (Jello Cookies)

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I’ve had these cookies on my to-do list for ages.
I thought it would be particularly fun for my rainbow-crazed girls to help out with.

Jello Cookies
(found here)

3.5 cups flour

1.5 cups salted butter, softened
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
4 boxes (3 oz) Jello (any flavors)

Cream the butter, then add the sugar, beating until fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla, mixing well.
Combine the flour and baking powder seperately, then add gradually to butter mixture.
Divide the dough into four parts and add 2 TBSP of Jello to each (different flavors/colors).
Form dough into balls, then roll in remaining Jello granules.
Flatten with bowl or glass.
Bake on greased sheets at 350 for 10 minutes.

Want to see more of the projects in this series? Check out the other posts here.
There are over 1000 bloggers linking up to the 31 Day Challenge! View all of the links here.

31 Day Challenge: Day 22 (Make your own glitter)

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Today we made non-toxic glitter out of salt and food coloring.
I’ve had this pinned for several months and was excited to try it because my girls are constantly asking me for glitter to use on their art pages.
I wasn’t super impressed with this glitter, because it wasn’t sparkly – and that’s kind of what I love about glitter.
The girls didn’t complain, though, because they were allowed to use as much as they wanted and had a lot left over for further use.
It may not be quite as nice as regular glitter, but it’s a safe option for little kids to use, and it costs next to nothing!

Non-Toxic Salt Glitter

Mix 1/4 cup of salt and several drops of liquid food coloring into a bowl until well combined.


Spread on a foil-lined baking pan and bake for 10 minutes at 350.

Cool, then let the kids go crazy.




Idea found here.

Want to see more of the projects in this series? Check out the other posts here.
There are over 1000 bloggers linking up to the 31 Day Challenge! View all of the links here.

31 Day Challenge: Day 21 (Homemade Play Dough)

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This is going to be lame.
Because I don’t have a single picture to share.

Here’s the deal.
We made play-dough a few weeks ago, and I planned to make more at some point this month and blog about it, because it turned out awesome!

But the girls were gone all day today (with the grandparents), so I had no chance to do anything with them.

Which left me with two choices:
1) Skip the day entirely (very enticing, but that would make me feel like a failure).
2) Post something that we’ve done recently, without any photographic evidence.

I’m going with choice #2, but I will do my best to make another batch and post photos at some point this month.

So here’s the lowdown.

JELLO PlayDough

You will need:
Flour – 1 cup
Warm water – 1 cup
Salt – 2 tbsp
Cream of tartar – 2 tbsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Jello – 3oz pkg

Mix everything in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Keep stirring until it forms into a thick ball of dough and will no longer stir.
Remove from heat and place on a floured surface.
After it has cooled begin to knead flour into it until it is no longer sticky.
We added glitter to ours at this point (optional of course).

That’s it! Repeat for as many colors as you want and store in refrigerator.

Next time I make this I think I will cut the recipe in half because it makes a LOT of one color.

I don’t remember where I originally found this recipe because just about everyone has made this as one point or the other, but check out this blog, if for no other reason than to “oooh” and “aaah” over the perfect photos.

Want to see more of the projects in this series? Check out the other posts here.
There are over 1000 bloggers linking up to the 31 Day Challenge! View all of the links here.

31 Day Challenge: Day 20 (Pumpkin Patch)

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Yes, finally, after three years of trying and miserably failing, I took my kids to a pumpkin patch.

Yes, we had to drive over an hour to get there.
And yes, it was insanely crowded.

And no, it was nothing like I remember from my childhood school trips.
The pumpkins didn’t actually grow at this patch.
It was more of a DIY kind of thing. 😉

But it was fun!
There were hay rides, mazes, bounce houses, tons of fun photo opportunities, and of course, loads of pumpkins!

The patch scored major points when one of the first things my girls saw were…..

Fancy meeting you here!

They seriously love their Strawberry Shortcake friends.

No, Mad, you can’t take her with you…



On the hay ride:

“I like her bangs” ~ Pedro

After leaping like a wild animal off the top of the hay stack

Want to see more of the projects in this series? Check out the other posts here.
There are over 1000 bloggers linking up to the 31 Day Challenge! View all of the links here.

31 Day Challenge: Day 19 (Lace Crowns)

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Wow, this month is flying by.
NOT!

Actually…it really is.
But you won’t find me crying in my Coke Zero when November 1st rolls around and I’m not obligated to complete an activity and then blog about it on the same day.
I know, I know, it would have been smart of me to plan ahead and have a few already completed activities for the unexpectedly crazy days when I really don’t have time to craft, take photos, and write, but again…that would require planning ahead.
I’m not exactly known for that.
Plus, I forgot about the whole challenge thing until about September 28th.

But enough rambling.
This activity actually took us several days, because there was a lot of drying time involved, but it was simple and the crowns turned out so cute!
They’d be cuter if they were embellished, but don’t make me go into the whole planning ahead bit again…

Supplies needed:
Crocheted Lace, cut to 18″
Fabric stiffener
Hot Glue
Embellishments (if desired)

Completely soak the lace in fabric stiffener.
Lay flat to dry on wax paper (overnight is a good idea).
Repeat until the lace is completely stiff.
Paint the lace if you like the idea of colored crowns.
Spray paint is easiest.
I used Krylon Glitter Blast for the pink one – this stuff is amazing!
For the silver crown I used a can of spray glitter that I bought way back in 1998. I remember because I bought it at Ben Franklin’s the first time me, Reb, Josh, and Caleb went shopping on Black Friday, the first in what’s become one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions. I bought it for the twelve million angel costumes I made for the Christmas play that year. I have no idea how it’s lasted this long.
Or how I remember all that, for that matter.
Anyways, not as superior a product as the Glitter Blast, but it’s pretty on the crown.

After the paint has dried, bend the lace into a circle, matching ends, and glue together.
Embellish if you have your act together.





P.S. I know what my kids hairs look like. In my defense….I’ve re-done their braids three times today already. It’s hopeless.

Want to see more of the projects in this series? Check out the other posts here.
There are over 1000 bloggers linking up to the 31 Day Challenge! View all of the links here.

Parties I link to: Craft-O-Maniac, Lines Across My Face, Sew Can Do, Sew Chatty, C.R.A.F.T., Making the World Cuter, Skip to My Lou, The Southern InstituteChef In Training, Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Vintage Wanna Bee, Sugar Bee Crafts, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Todays Creative Blog, Tip Junkie, Mandy’s Recipe Box, the Sasse Life, My Girlish Whims, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, Sew Much Ado, Polka Dots on Parade, Ginger Snap Crafts, Southern Lovely, House of HepworthsThe Crafty Blog StalkerSomething Swanky, A Glimpse Inside, Delicate Construction, Simply Sweet Home, Tidy Mom, Thirty Handmade Days, Tatertots and Jello, Bacon Time, Flamingo Toes, Six Sisters Stuff, Naptime Creations, Crazy for Crust

31 Day Challenge: Day 18 (Picnic @ the Park)

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Is this considered a cheat day?
I get that it’s not original, but my kids LOVED our picnic and play time at the park.






Want to see more of the projects in this series? Check out the other posts here.
There are over 1000 bloggers linking up to the 31 Day Challenge! View all of the links here.