100th Day of School!

Every year, about mid-January, I start hitting Pinterest for 100th Day of School project ideas.¬†Am I alone? I can’t help but think I’m not! ūüėČ

Last year, we lucked out and there were no at-home 100th Day projects for my kiddos, but this year my kindergartner has to make a shirt to wear.

In 2013, my Oldest Daughter and I made this shirt for the 100th Day of School.

100th Day of School shirt

So adorable, so easy, so fun!

So stubborn! She won’t¬†release the shirt nor the rights to the idea to her little sister! “It was MY idea, she can’t copy!” (Technically it was someone-on-the-internet’s idea, but no time for arguments now, I have pinning to do!)

‘Tis alright, Middle Daughter, there are loads of new, fun ideas floating around!

100th pin board

Click here to see the ideas I’ve collected on Pinterest. I think my favorite is the shirt with the 100 felt hearts! What cute ideas do you have? Please share them! ūüôā

Baby Girl’s 1st Birthday, and Memorial Day Weekend

We’ve had a busy weekend here at Greene Gables (as I’ve nicknamed the new house – not sure it’s really catching on, though, haha)!

Margaret turned ONE YEAR OLD on Friday! To think that during her pregnancy, we weren’t sure I’d carry her to term. All those worries. And now a year and a half later, we are celebrating the first birthday of this beautiful, perfect baby girl.

We kept her birthday simple. Cake and balloons. She had a blast, and especially liked her first official taste of cake.

I made her cake myself, and it was so simple! I used a Wilton 1M tip and followed the rosette techniques I searched out on YouTube. Crazy easy, I think the hardest part was getting the ombre¬†colors right (I may have gone too subtle, but overall I think the look is there). Personally, my family isn’t crazy about homemade butter cream frosting, they just find it too rich. So I have started using store bought tubs of frosting and adding powdered sugar to get it to the desired thickness for piping. It’s still super sweet, but not as heavy so it’s a little easier to eat.

In other exciting news, the neighborhood pool opened this weekend! The kids have been counting down the days, they were so excited to put on their suits and head down for a swim. We love love¬†love our new neighborhood and it’s beautiful pool. We can’t wait to use it OFTEN this summer!


(don’t mind the iphone pic)

And lastly, we spent the day of Memorial Day getting a little yard work done. Buying an older home, there’s been all sorts of little surprises in the yard. Pretty flowers and shrubs popping up that we didn’t expect. One of these has been dozens and dozens of daylilies. I like daylilies, but these were old and haven’t been maintained, so they’ve spread randomly and just made our front flower beds look messy. So I dug many out yesterday and I’ll start fresh. Before I dug them out, I let the girls walk around and cut the existing flowers so the plants weren’t a total waste!

When I cut flowers, I usually will take my vase straight out into the yard to put cut flowers into. That wasn’t really an option for the girls, so I looked around and saw this milk jug in the recycling bin and thought Perfect! I cut just the top off, leaving the handle, and I filled the bottom with some water. This made an easy-to-carry and unbreakable container for the girls to gather flowers. It worked so well, I put it in the cabinet in the laundry room for another time rather than putting it back in recycling.

So that was our Memorial Day weekend! I hope yours was a good one as well!

woolly letter M

Just because I was away from the blog for months doesn’t mean I wasn’t busy!

Here’s a little something I did for the baby’s nursery. I knew I wanted to incorporate her first initial into the decor somehow, but I wanted something a little different. We decided to nickname the baby Mary, and the first thing my then 4 year old said was, “just like Mary had a little lamb!” Indeed! So a theme for the nursery was born, and the best way I could figure to make the initial was make it look woolly like a lamb.

woolly letter M

For this easy little project, I used a wooden letter M, a sharp pair of scissors, a skein of Bunny Tail yarn (I dearly love this stuff!) and some white school glue.

bunny tail yarn

I didn’t take photos as I went along; I worked on mine late at night as I watched TV. But I’ll try to recreate the events for you. ūüôā

First, I cut all the little “bunny tails” off the string.

cut off the bunny tails

I don’t have a before photo of my letter M. It’s¬†a large capital M that came primed from Michael’s. For the purpose of recreating, I’ll use this smaller, non-primed wooden letter. If your letter isn’t primed, it might be best to brush on a coat or two of paint in the color of your bunny tails so that the color of the wood doesn’t peek through.

put bunny tails on the letter

Now I just smeared white school glue onto the wooden letter and positioned the bunny tails onto the letter. I worked in sections, making sure to smoosh them together as close as possible. The bunny tails are longer than they are wide, so I was sure to alternate their positions, putting them this way and that so there wouldn’t be any apparent pattern and it’d look more fluffly like real lamb’s wool. I covered the front and sides, but left the back unfinished so that it would lean or hang flat against the wall when I used it in my decor.

the finished woolly M

And voila! A woolly letter M!

Mary's M

Boredom Buster #1 – Pumpkin Pal

My 3rd grader attends a year-around school and therefore tends to have longer than average school breaks throughout the year. ¬†These breaks are sometimes challenging, and I’ve found the best bet for survival is a list of Boredom Busters.

A week or two before break begins, I sit down at the computer and research. I look for local activities, craft ideas, science experiments and just anything fun we can do at home. I type them all up into a word doc and when the “I’m bored!” or “There’s nothing fun to do!” complaints start, I’m prepared!

Today is Week 1, Day 3 of fall break here, and I had to pull out my list and get them busy with their first Boredom Buster – Pumpkin Pals! I found the idea over at LessonPlansPage.com. I liked this because it’s fall themed and because though it’s listed for grades 3 through 6, I knew I could simplify it enough so that my 4 year old could also participate.

Prep: I made a few notes to myself about how they could develop their Pumpkin Pals… names, ages, personality traits. I collected craft supplies in a basket, and I cut pumpkin shapes out of orange construction paper.

To start, I gave them paper and pencils and had them start jotting down who their Pumpkin Pals are.

developing the Pumpkin Pal

writing details

I did the handwriting for my 4 year old while she dictated, and then I asked her to draw where her Pumpkin Pal lives.

drawing the pumpkin patch

Next, I gave them their pumpkin shapes, and following the instructions on the lesson plans site, I suggested the pumpkin be their Pal’s head and for them to use their imaginations with the rest.

craft supplies

My 8 year old did great with this, he’s a big fan of free style craft time. He went to work at creating a Star Wars Clone Trooper pumpkin. My 4 year old struggled a little with making some of the supplies work the way she wanted, so she had some Mommy help.

making pumpkin pals

This little project took around 45 minutes from the time they sat down to the time they taped their “biographies” and Pumpkin Pals to the wall.

And without further ado, I’m pleased to present Clone Trooper Pumpkin, age 45, and Sally Pumpkin, age 12 1/2. ¬†Clone enjoys weapons, gear and pizza. He’s not a fan of various types of Droids. ūüôā

clone trooper pumpkin

Sally likes pizza, pretty dresses (as seen in the photo), flowers and sunshine. Her dislikes are rain, bees and flags. Haha!

sally pumpkin

Homework Hide-away

Back to school!¬† We’re on a year-around calendar, so my oldest has been back to school since July, but lots of kids are going back right around now.¬† Back to school means back to homework!

I don’t know about your house in the afternoons during the school year, but my house is c-h-a-o-s starting at about 3:30 pm.¬† The dynamic of the kids when Justin gets home is crazy, everyone’s excited, a little tired, ready for a snack… and then it’s homework time.¬† It’s hard to settle in and get focused for my 7 year old, he’s always complaining about being distracted by his sisters.¬† So when I saw the Homework Center idea in Family Fun magazine I thought it was the perfect solution!¬† He can sit at the kitchen table, near to me as I start dinner incase he has a question, while still having a bit of privacy.

Homework Hide-Away

Homework Hide-Away

I made it 2nd grade friendly, so no calculator or anything too advanced.¬† I started with a large tri-fold display board and added all the things to make homework easier.¬† I wrote important dates and meetings into a desk calendar and attached top and center with large clips…

Homework Hide-Away - desk calendar

Homework Hide-Away - desk calendar

I mounted foam frames to the board, leaving the top backs of the frames free from adhesive so that I can easily slide photos into the frames.¬† I used some of his favorite photos from our summer vacation to get him started, and I’ll switch them out as the year goes on and he has new favorites.

Justin brings a sheet of spelling words home every week and has assignments using those spelling words every night, so I cut up a folder and mounted the pieces onto the board to use as pockets.  These hold blank paper on one side for his assignments, and the spelling words on the other.  They can also be used to hold any other worksheets or study sheets he may bring home.

Homework Hide-Away - paper pockets

Homework Hide-Away - paper pockets

I mounted a small plastic sliding box to hold pencils, pens and highlighters…

Homework Hide-Away - pencil box

Homework Hide-Away - pencil box

And some large paper clips to hold any fun extras or small notes.¬† I stuck a RecycleGuys.org trading card in one of them to get him started…

Homework Hide-Away - paper clips

Homework Hide-Away - paper clips

I left the entire bottom center of the hide-away empty so that he can add his own personal touches… tape up his art work, add stickers, whatever he wants to make it his own.

As you can see, it’s a hit!¬† He likes to call it his “office.”

Homework Hide-Away - his "office"

Homework Hide-Away - his "office"

kitty kat’s room – a home decorating project

So the project has begun.  Okay well actually, the project technically started when I got the bright idea to use the yellow trimmed quilt and buy berry pink paint.

BUT, I have put brush to wall and there’s no turning back now!

Here’s my “before” shot.¬† Please don’t mind the mess, I pushed stuff out of my way and was about to get started when I remembered I needed to take a picture, so I didn’t bother tidying up.

kat's room

Here is my paint choice.  The lighter pink is just the primer.  That darker pink there is the actual paint color.

kat's paint and primer

And here’s about all I was able to get done last night before Jason and the kids came home from playing at the neighbor’s house.

kat's room trim primed

I fully intend to continue to document the progress.  The good, bad and the ugly.  Okay, hopefully there will be no bad and ugly, just good and pretty!  Anyway, stay tuned!

as seen on tv

So the kids are watching Sprout this afternoon.  Jag likes Zoboomafoo.

The tv gets quiet, so I glance around the corner and I see Jag’s paused it.¬† Then he runs in from around the corner with a pen in his hand and yells, “I need paper!”¬† He quickly snatches a piece of paper off my printer and goes running back into¬†the family room.

I followed him, and found him carefully copying this down from the tv…

800 number

Apparently, he thinks we need spacebags.

I couldn’t help but laugh.¬† I asked him, “are you going to call?”¬† He replied, “no, I have to be 18 years old to call.¬† I’m going to save it in my room until then.”