Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Easter Eggs No One Has to Boil

The other day as our family of four were riding along in the phillips' family station wagon, Isaac inquired, "Mommy, why do we celebrate Easter?"

As I again cursed the hospital for not sending us home with some sort of kiddie question/answer book for these type situations when they handed us over our newborn babies, I searched for the answer.

Because let's be honest, there was no Easter egg hunt on the day Jesus rose from the tomb.

Here at casa de phillips we recognize both religious and secular meanings of holidays, attempting to be mindful of important seasons of the year. We try not to let the fun (Santa Claus) completely overshadow the true meaning of particular days on the calendar (celebrating the joyous birth of our Savior), yet we also strive to let our kids enjoy being a kid (running around like crazy attempting to find plastic eggs stuffed with candy while dressed in expensive church clothes).

In the recognition of the secular celebration of Easter, we made our own batch of Easter eggs on Monday. I am not big on the boiling and dyeing off eggs (mainly because I cannot bring myself to eat a tie-dyed egg nor throw it away), so I thought this craft would be a great replacement (however, I might give in to one of those cute dye kits in Target if Easter does not get here soon...)

For this egg craft, one needs the following materials: *Paper Plates

*Ice cube trays or empty cups/containers

*Food Coloring


*Condensed Milk (yes, milk....stick with me.)

*Paint Brushes

Pour about 1/2 teaspoon of milk into an ice cube tray (these make a great reusable paint container) and mix in a drop of food coloring to make desired color.

Cut the centers of the paper plates into oval egg shapes. Allow children to decorate their eggs with the milk paint. Be sure to NOT use the shiny side of the paper plate, because the paint will not adhere to that side.

Miss E. artfully decorating her eggs

Isaac carefully creating a masterpiece
(I know this picture appears to be edited funny. Isaac had removed his shirt because some of the food coloring used to make his paint was not washable. I did not feel comfortable putting such a picture of him on the Internet. However, I also did not want to leave him out of this post. So, funny editing was my solution.)

Allow the eggs to dry for 24-48 hours. We got a little crafty with ours and sprinkled on some sugar sprinkles while they were still wet.

Once dry, punch holes in the tops, fasten with ribbon, and hang from a desired location. Ours are currently displayed above the kitchen table

This is a really great craft to teach younger children about how primary colors can be mixed together to make secondary colors. Isaac was quite intent on instructing Evelyn on this process. It is also a great craft for younger kids who like to paint because the paint is completely non-toxic (loaded with sugar...but non-toxic). One can also use light corn syrup rather than milk if desired. Just be warned that if allowed to get too hot (by either the direct heat from a light bulb or from the house heater) the corn syrup paint will melt.
Happy crafting!

I did answer Isaac's question, telling him that we celebrate Easter for two reasons. The first being that we recognize the death and Resurrection of Christ and the second reason is to eagerly welcome Spring. I did not tell him the Easter bunny was just the result of some sneaky marketing ploy to make money for big businesses. I figured he needed to hold onto some sort of childhood innocence.

Monday, March 30, 2009

And She Will Be Called "Rocket"...

The children here at casa de phillips are pretty hilarious at times.

Lately, their newest "joke" is to switch words around on songs. Isaac was the inventor of this newest craze and Evelyn eagerly jumped on board. The two were about on the verge of hysterical tears (the good kind as opposed to the meltdown kind) yesterday morning at the breakfast table as they attempted to see who could create the newest lyrics to the old standard "Pea-nut, Pea-nut Butter...and Jelly!" song.

(Sorry if you have no clue as to what song I am referencing...guess you'll have to create your own tune)

It seems that Evelyn won the contest on the way home from church yesterday, when she belted out " Pea-nut, Pea-nut Butter...and Jesus!"

I was glad I had the foresight earlier that morning to apply waterproof mascara, because the tears were just rolling down my face from laughing so hard.

Simply because this story really isn't that funny unless you were riding along in the phillips' family station wagon yesterday, I thought a little video of Miss E. would at least make you smile. For someone so delicate looking, that girl is loud. And funny. And Loud.

Oh yeah...and apparently named "Rocket."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lazy Saturday

Yesterday evening the wind picked up around casa de phillips and by 10pm and I thought we might possibly lose the roof, or at the very least, another pear tree.

Wind is not my friend, which makes my choice to attend college in West Texas a bit confusing.

Anyway, we are enjoying a peaceful Saturday around here....the first one in months were our calender was completely empty.

Here are a few pictures from our trip to the zoo on Thursday:

I imagine we will have several vacation pictures in upcoming years that greatly resemble this shot...Isaac reading a map and Evelyn heading in the opposite direction.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Life Lessons

This past week at casa de phillips I had to address a new issue, that of being careful not to have a boastful attitude.

I overhead Isaac bragging to Evelyn one particular morning that he had secured the latest prized toy before she had opportunity to lay hands on it (I do not remember exactly what the prize toy is at the moment over here...likely a discarded rubber band or the coveted empty dried oats container. It is never anything we actually purchased at a store.). I pulled him aside and discussed the importance of having a gracious attitude and of not bragging about things or traits that we may possess and others do not.

Apparently God thought I needed to hear a bit of my own Mommy sermon because He did some instructing to me as well in this area these past few days.

Tuesday mornings are a bit crazed here at casa de phillips, as I rush home from the gym, attempt to cloth myself and two children, whip up a tasty breakfast, pack two backpacks and one lunchbox, grab needed items, and get all three of us out the door on time for preschool and bible study. I thrive on a system and on busy mornings such as Tuesday's, the routine of our morning is what gets us out the door before 10am dressed in something other than pajamas.

On this particular Tuesday, I noticed that we were beating the clock just a bit. Children were getting dressed with minimal complications, breakfast dishes were being stacked neatly into the dishwasher, and my voice had not yet had to resort to "Drill Sargent" levels. I patted myself on the back, secretly praising my obviously fine-tuned Mommy skills. About 15 minutes before time to walk out the door, I happened to glance at my reflection in the mirror.

My make-up-less reflection.

I am a good Southern gal who rarely leaves the house without some make-up on to perk up my features. I was taught a bit of face powder and a touch of lipstick can be a redhead girl's best friend, especially in the pale winter months. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I had somehow skipped the crucial (in my opinion) step of "putting on my face." I hurriedly swept some color on my face and loaded everyone into the car, shaking my head at the arrogance I had displayed not more than a half hour earlier. I said a quick prayer of thankfulness when we arrived at preschool for the very end of the drop-off line.

Today the children and I had to run a quick errand before meeting some friends for lunch. The errand involved three of us making a quick run into a store to pick up a few items. Before we unloaded from the car, I gave the standard "This is the type of behavior expected" bit I typically give before we exit our vehicle. Our excursion through the store was uneventful...peaceful and hassle-free almost...and again I patted my own Mommy back for a job well done.

Twenty minutes later found me with a angry three year old upset about seating arrangements designated at lunch. After one trip to the restroom and some loss of privileges later (his, not mine) we were able to finish our lunch date in semi-normalcy. Again I was a bit quick on the praise of my Mommy abilities.

Good thing we are learning about not being boastful over here at casa de phillips.

What lessons have you learned lately?


The zoo went well yesterday and a post about our adventure should come soon....once I download and edit pictures!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Picnic Table

The picnice table is already being put to good use on a rainy evening.

Bargain Shopping

Yesterday, the children spent all afternoon outside running around the backyard.

As soon as naptime came to an end (the naptime in which Isaac chose to construct a library in his bedroom rather than actually sleeping), they put on their play shoes and scurried out the backdoor. They returned briefly to eat supper and then went back out until called in for bath.

I am trying to make the most of our outdoor time these Spring days, before the temps crawl into the 100's and fun outside is limited to the hours between 7pm and 8am. Last night as I scrubbed the dirt off twenty little toes and twenty little fingers, the kids were all abuzz with talk about the games they had invented outside.

I think most of them had to do with putting as much dirt/grass/sand/wood chips on one's body as possible, but it sounded like great fun.

Some of this great fun is because of a few outside toys that live in the backyard of casa de phillips (the other 78% of the fun is a result of two very active imaginations) We currently own a log cabin, a climber/slide, a sand table, and a wheelbarrow. All of these items (minus the sand table) were purchased from a local lady who resales such outdoor toys in her backyard. Evelyn and I visited this lady just this morning to pick up a folding picnic table (it is going to live in our garage and be pulled out when needed).

The lady shared some events that have happened recently in her life and told me that she is really wanting to sell off her inventory to make some money. I told her I would get the word out about cheap, gently used toys up for sale. Not only does she sale some great outdoor items, she also sells indoor toys as well such as play kitchen (she has about 45 right now), train sets, tons of Little People stuff, and a variety of baby toys. I *heart* a good bargain and this lady's backyard is an excellent place to find one.

Sooooo...if you live in my general area (not just my specific 'burb) and are interested, please email me and I will pass along this lady's contact information. If you have a MOPS group or a Mommy group that would be interested in knowing how to contact her as well, please let me know. I can be contacted via the email address on the left side of this blog or through my personal email address.

Happy Shopping!

**Yeah, these are old pictures but sometimes I have to dig back into the photo archives.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Preschooler's Staycation

Last week was Spring Break in our area and it seems everyone read the same "Staycations are Fun!" memo. All local attractions resembled madhouses, with the zoos and aquariums reporting record-breaking visitor numbers (17,000 anyone??).

We stayed far away from such places, because crowds and curious preschoolers are not generally my cup of tea. We also stayed away because our schedule is still quite flexible due to the fact "school" only occurs two days a week here at casa de phillips.

In light of the Staycation's new-found popularity, I thought I would provide a list of potential free/cheap activities one might find in their area that would be entertaining to the preschool crowd.

*Local library.
Storytime at the local library is a big draw for the preschool and parents crowd. It provides a engaging and educational scene for one’s little tike and a chance for mom or dad to socialize with fellow parents. However, the library also holds great possibilities during its quieter hours. Hours when the aisles are free of other patrons, when computers are vacant, and when all the best plush seats are itching for someone to come and read a book there.

*Local Farmers Market
As Spring has come upon us, I cannot wait for the Farmers' Markets to begin opening their doors (stalls? Tents?) in a few weeks. Visiting a farmers' market is a great way to introduce your children to new and exciting produce and to also teach them about the man/woman behind such delicious treats.

*Museums on Discount days
Museums are great ways to entertain one's brood, but they can start to become quite costly when having to pay for four or five family members. Check their websites for discount or half-price days at local museums. Also, consider purchasing memberships if planning on frequenting a particular museum on a regular basis.

*Free Children’s Workshops
Lowe's, Home Depot, and Michaels all hold free workshops for children. Most of these are designed for children ages three and up. This is a great way to spend some quality time with one's child on a Saturday morning learning a new skill.

*Free first time class passes
Several local kiddie gyms, such as Gymboree or My Gym, allow parents to bring their children in for a free class. Because joining one of these gyms can be pricey, it is nice to have the option of trying them on for size before buying a package of classes

*Off-Hours Attractions
Try to visit "hot" kiddie spots, such as kid themed restaurants or indoor play areas, during off-hours times. We have found that hitting up the mall play area at 9am is a great way to enjoy all the fun slides and attractions without the 11am crowds. Do your kids love visiting Chuck E. Cheese or similar eating establishments? Some of these restaurants open early (again...9am) and can be enjoyed without having to fork over the money for entertainment and food.

What places do you love to visit that are fun for kids and friendly to your wallet?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Zoo TV

Our little family is heading out to one of the local zoos later this week. Despite the fact we live in a large metropolitan area with two great zoos, the children of casa de phillips have never visited one in their short little lifetimes..

Before you call in CPS over the fact we have been depriving the children of a fun animal experience up to this point, allow me to explain.

Getting to either zoo is a feat, one that requires plotting rush hour traffic and adjusting nap times. The children are just both now at an age where changing a nap schedule for one day is not a huge deal. Also, we have to plan around the nine months of the year our little area tends to experience summer. I *heart* me some giraffes and elephants...but not when it is 102 degrees in the shade and I am pushing a double jogging stroller. We also have waited until Tobe can come with us, making this a fun family outing for the four of us to share together.

Then there is my whole uneasiness about the captivity of animals and caging them for public viewing, but that likely is due to a disturbing documentary I once watched about how animals were acquired for American zoos in the 1950's and should be shared in another post on another day...

So...we are going to the zoo! The children are excited about our upcoming adventure. In preparation, we have been discussing aspects of the zoo, speculating what types of animals we will find there, and expanding on our knowledge of animals and their habitats.

Isaac taught us all a lesson last night over supper when he informed the table, "You spell zoo 'Z.O.O." Tobe and I learned another random word Isaac can read and spell and Evelyn has been chanting, "Zoo..Z.O.O.!" since then.

This morning we did a zoo craft in preparation for our trip.

I unrolled a large portion of packing paper (the type used to wrap packages to be mailed) and taped it to the kitchen floor. I then drew a lovely little path on the paper and set out the crayons, markers, and glue. The children had a blast drawing in animals in our phillips family zoo and placing them along the path. I found a random coloring book of ours and searched the pages for potential zoo animal pictures. Those were cut out and pasted along the path as well. After all the coloring and gluing were complete, we hauled out the matchbox cars and drove them along our little zoo path.

My original plan was to do this craft outdoors by hanging the paper on our fence and allowing the children to paint a zoo scene. 40+ mile per hour winds today prohibited such outdoor crafting so we opted for the kitchen floor instead.


I had to include a few shots of E.'s haircut because it warms my heart so. Her little bob is looking quite nice after the trip to the kiddie salon last week.


Although I haven't blogged specifically about my grocery shopping experiences since completing my four week series, I am still sticking to my $100/week budget. This past Saturday was a shopping day for me and I saved $82.26 using coupons and store sales. Whoo Hoo!

This savings was hard won due to the fact that I had to put up a bit of a fight at our local Kroger's over a discrepancy in their store ad prices and the price that came up at the register. In the end, I won and was able to gracefully handle the situation without screaming at the poor 21 year old store manager that I was not leaving until I was given the right price on my paper plates. There was a $13 difference, so the matter was quite deserving of my attention.


As I type this post, my oldest child has set the Time Timer on my dresser (we have had a little girl in Time Out some this morning) and informed me of how much computer time I have remaining until it is his turn to play some computer games. After a discussion of "Only Mommies and Daddies Make Rules" I have agreed to relinquish the computer to my three year old who took a very, very short nap this afternoon.

See You Later, Alligator...

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Kiddie Salon

This week has been Spring Break week here at casa de phillips. I say "Spring Break" loosely because Isaac really only attends preschool two mornings a week, so there is not a lot of school to "break" from. However, the children have enjoyed a bit of a laid back week and not having to rush out the door to be anywhere at a specific time. The two have been BFF's this week, playing nicely together and keeping the toy battles to a minimum.

Yesterday the children and I loaded up and headed west to the local kiddie hair salon (by west, I mean five minutes down the road). I am pretty picky about keeping Isaac's hair clean-cut and he was starting to resemble an adorable shaggy dog on top. Besides, what says "Spring Break Fun!" like a trip to the barber shop.

Recently we changed kiddie hair salons because I was not getting good results with our original hair cutting location. Also, the stylist were quite intent on "encouraging" parents to buy special shampoos/conditioners/products for children's hair. We find Suave Kids products work just great and we do not have to dip into the children's college funds to be able to afford them. Long story short, I switched salons because I could not take the sales pitch pressure anymore.

Our new place is quite lovely, with a nice train table and craft room for the kids to enjoy and a wall of magazines for parents to browse. Kids watch movies on plasma screen televisions while feasting on a cup of animal crackers. It is quite the pleasant atmosphere and I secretly wish the children and I could just hang out there all day.

Many of you might be wondering why someone as money-saving conscious as myself would spend $15 on a child's haircut. Sure I could cut their locks at home, but I am quite fearful the end result would resemble something like a Edward Scissorhands wannabe would have crafted. I struggle cutting paper in a straight line (seriously) so I can only imagine what I could possibly do to one's hairline. I would like for my children to go through life with as few emotional scars as possible and I believe the "My Mom Who Can't Cut a Straight Line Cut My Hair" scar is one we can consciously avoid.

I imagine there will be some withdrawals when we reach the age of being too big for the taxi cab shaped barber chair and Wonder Pets on the television and the children will find themselves in the normal environment of the local $uper $avers Hair-o-Rama where there is no treasure chest to choose a prize from when the haircut is finished...until then, we are sticking with the kiddie salon.

So...haircuts...yesterday...kiddie salon...

Isaac is a pro at the whole haircut experience and happily ate his lollipop while watching Curious George as the stylist trimmed his hair.

Evelyn is a newbie to the whole haircut experience and pulled out the dramatic tears as soon as it was her turn to take a spin in the chair firetruck. I have a master plan for her sweet hair (chin length bob, a style every little girl with straight hair should have at sometime in life) and the stylist is working with us as we slowly make our way towards hair that is long enough for such a cut. Thankfully, we were only charged for a bang trim even though our "bang trim" consisted of trimming the back of E.'s hair and not the front.

After the cuts were given, we wistfully bid the train table and stacks of US Weekly good-bye and paid our bill. Fortunately I was toting a $5 off coupon (per cut!) so the damage was not horrible. As I was paying, a lady signing her child in next to me inquired as to where I found the coupon. I told her it had come in a mailer to my house. The coupon actually had two coupons on it, to be used at separate visits. I offered her my other coupon because it was going to expire before our next visit and because we all need to share the coupon-love.

Can I just say that the lady got a bit emotional over my extra coupon, saying that her husband had just been through a layoff and every penny counted all of the sudden at their house.

I wished her best of luck, said I would keep the husband's job situation in our prayers, and herded my crew out the door. Evelyn was again intent on displaying to the general public why two might be described as terrible as she wailed about leaving the train table.

We finally made it to our car, loaded up, and headed home. On the way, we were able to have a mini life lesson about sharing and I told the kids my coupon story (they know how much Mommy loves coupons). Isaac began naming all the things he could share with others and Evelyn decided she could share her waffles with a friend sometime. All in all, it was a good trip.

Who knew the kiddie salon could hold such life lessons?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

my so-called suburban life

Ever feel like you are having a totally cliche sort-of day?

Like perhaps you once found yourself walking through the campus of a college, spirit wear donning your body, backpack full of books, autumn leaves swirling around you; as if you just stepped off the glossy pages of the school's advertising catalog?

Or perhaps you have looked up in the Starbucks you are visiting and noticed everyone else happens to be checking their Blackberry like you, sipping their venti non-fat vanilla latte with two equal like you, and wearing a navy shirt and tie combo that looks frighteningly like yours?

Around 12:32pm today I realized I was having a cliche sort of day.

This morning, my alarm clock went off at 5:00 am.

I attempted to get some writing done and pour two cups of coffee down my throat before greeting my 2 children for the day and sending my husband off to work with a kiss.

I fed the children eggs and toast (okay, I fed Isaac eggs and toast. We all know E. only eats waffles and yogurt. Every. Single. Morning. Yes, I totally allow it.) and filled sippy cups with the special mommy concoction of 2/3 water and 1/3 part juice.

I dressed the children, brushed their teeth, combed their hair, and sent them to play together in a bedroom while I dressed myself.

I put on a crisp white t-shirt, a cardigan, khaki pants, and sensible non-athletic tennis shoes.

I fastened my hair back with a clip and attached some sensible silver earrings to my ears.

Breakfast dishes were loaded in the dishwasher, appointments were scheduled via various phone calls, and children were herded to the car.

We stopped at the park, the children's clothing store, and the post office.

One child completely fell apart in the clothing store over having to leave the Lego table and the general public was again reminded of why age two is often described as being terrible.

The other child was wearing an orange safety vest and carrying walkie-talkie, informing said general public he was a Police Officer.

Upon completion of errands, the two children and I met the husband for a light lunch of sandwiches and soup at a local delicatessen.

Lunch was eaten, good-byes were administered, and everyone (minus the husband) loaded back into the family station wagon to head home for naps.

Today, I was the walking billboard for the stereotypical image of The Stay-at-Home Mom, right down to my cardigan sweater and screaming toddler.

Anyone else experienced a cliche sort-of day they wish to share?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Run Like the Wind

Scan the latest headlines on any website's news feed and one will be bombarded with the problems of today. The economy is struggling, the drug lords are fighting, everyone loves and hates the President all at the same time, war is looming in some region while it terrorizes another, droughts plague particular areas while flooding devastates others, their is not nearly enough food in some countries while others are experiencing soaring obesity rates, fingers graze the triggers of nuclear weapons while .

It is enough misery, discontent, and plain ol meanness to make one stay under the bedcovers for the next 57 years.

Before such depressing thoughts weigh your mind down, let me share with you the solution of my children, the way to combat such depression, the way to end tensions with one's enemies, the way to find true inner peace.

Their simple solution is to run.

Run until their legs ache and their lungs burn from shrieking shouts of glee.

Run until the wind has made one's face red and one's arms feel wobbly from pumping along with one's stride.Just think if during the middle of some strategic bail-out plan talks, all the adults in the room paused for a moment, stepped outside, and held relay races for twenty minutes.

Don't you imagine they would all return with lifted spirits and refreshed minds?

Imagine that if during the next Peace Summit all foreign leaders removed their ties or panty hose (cause who really can run in support hose, my friend?) and just darted across some lush green lawn. I think it would be pretty darn hard to consider annihilating one's foreign neighbor after running around wildly with them in the warm sunshine.

Just think, The Cold War could have come to an end much sooner had President Regan and Mr. Gorbachev met at an area park and burnt off some of that excess tension by running side by side in the wind.

Just a thought....


Speaking of running and parks and being outdoors on the 17th of March....note to self to NOT take one's children to a large, busy park on a day that all children happen to be wearing various shades of green.


These two had a major head-on collision as one was running into the kitchen while the other was running out. Tears flowed freely over that impact.

Once emotions had resumed to a more stable level, Isaac decided he need to recuperate in our large overstuffed chair. Being the myna bird that she tends to be around her big brother, Evelyn decided that was just what she needed as well.

Here are brother and sister, recovering from their head trauma this morning:

Attempting to capture this moment of them sitting quietly in one spot, I pulled out the camera. They in turn decided to make their saddest of faces.

If running can't soften the world's heart...these pouty little faces sure can.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hello, Blog....It's Me, Lynley

Thought I might check in briefly before all readership of this blog is lost. For various reasons, my to-do list has seemed to be three miles long lately and quality blogging keeps slipping to the bottom.

Perhaps someday I will have a deeper thought other than, "Look! Here's a picture of my kids!" to share.

Until then, check out a few shots of what I like to call "The 1017 Kids", otherwise known as the children of my college roommates. Saturday evening we hosted a Roomie Reunion here at casa de phillps. We were missing one roomie, who was being all intellectual at a conference in San Francisco, but fun times were enjoyed by all.

Ten years ago "dinner parties" with the roomies would have either involved Bisquick pancake mix (we were big fans of the pancake) or some sort of processed cheese and rotel combo. On Saturday night the fare was not any more gourmet than those college days, but the atmosphere with five little ones running around was quite different.

The kids played quite well together, which is lovely considering they likely will be hanging out at various times for the rest. of. their. lives. ***
The children and I met up with a fellow blogger and ACU alumni today at the mall. Everybody greatly enjoyed themselves. I am contemplating marking today's date on the calendar as the day Isaac and Evelyn greatly enjoyed each other's company with very few screams of "Dats My Toy!" or "Mommy! Evelyn's bothering me!" It was nice.
Hopefully tomorrow will be the sequel...

Friday, March 13, 2009

And The Winner Is....

Sorry to keep everyone waiting. Our washing machine broke yesterday...with a load of wet linens inside it...and today has been all about cleaning the house and praying the repair man comes soon. Today has not been about dressing my children, as they are both still wearing their PJ's at lunchtime. This is a rare, rare event here at casa de phillips so they think it is some sort of holiday.

Anyway, on to the winner of the Pampers Diaper Giveaway...

Isaac displaying the coupon for a FREE pack of diapers.
(note the hat/pj combo)Evelyn holding up the names to be drawn
(Note the look of excitement on her face) E. mixing the names
Isaac drawing the winning name from his cap
And the winner is.....
Jordan...email me your address and I will drop the coupon in the mail today!

The children modeling the onesies that are being donated to our local pregnancy crisis center

Thanks for participating everyone!

Now I am off to see if there are any blogs out there hosting a give-away for a free washing machine...

PS. As I type this my son is sitting on the potty singing "Barack Obama Pinto Beans" I don't even really know what that means...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Can You Tell Me How to Get...

One knows the economy is bad when Sesame Street begins laying off people.


As mentioned before, we are huge fans of Sesame Street and of the Sesame Workshop. They have made incredible strides in the arena of children's programming around the world. In fact, I plan to read this book over the summer because I am fascinated by the stories behind the creation of Sesame Street.

Perhaps we should have purchased the $10 balloon a few weeks ago. It might have helped save a few more jobs.

Several online articles have addressed this particular layoff, in part because of the angle of Sesame Street being hit by the recession and in part to joke about what career options Big Bird really has after his stint is done on the Street. My favorite article about this topic ended with this genius sentence:

"This story was brought to you by the letters S, A, and D."

Hard economic times, my friend.

Speaking of hard economic times, don't forget the diaper giveaway ends tonight! Leave a comment here to have a chance at winning!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Works for Me!: Eternal Spring Flowers

In the early days of Tobe's and my courtship...early, early, days when we were "just friends"...I once told him that I thought fresh flowers were a bit overrated.

Little did I know that he had already planned on delivering six roses to me the next day.

Fortunately, he has not held that comment against me and arrives home from time to time with a bouquet of flowers just for me. Those flowers make my week and I certainly don't find them a bit overrated anymore.

The only problem with fresh flowers is that they must eventually wilt away and then be tossed out in the trash. I try to take great care with my flowers, googling ways to keep them fresh longer and constantly changing the water in the vase. Despite my best efforts, the day always arrives when said flowers must go out with the day's trash.

Always being on the lookout for a fun craft, I decided the children and I needed to make a bouquet of flowers that can reside on our kitchen table through the entire course of spring. This craft involves paint and water, which can be a bit tricky with a three year old and 22 month old (not as tricky as the crayon shavings...which I am still finding on a daily basis), but is quite the enjoyable activity.

Materials needed to make spring flowers include:
*paper coffee filters
*assorted shades of paint, diluted with water (about a 2.1 ratio of water to paint works well)
*medicine droppers

*pipe cleaners Another useful ingredient is two excited children ready to get their craft skills on....

After assembling the paints, the kids simply dropped the diluted paint onto a coffee filter using the medicine dropper. We made a few flowers like this for a bit and then started attempting to make patterns and designs by folding the coffee filter before dropping the colored water onto it. Isaac was pretty impressed by his ability to make a pattern simply by folding a piece of paper.

We made about twenty different "flowers" (the joy of extremely cheap coffee filters) and laid them all out to dry.

After they were all dry, I placed them in groups of three and stuck a green pipe cleaner through the center to serve as a stem.

Viola! Pretty spring flowers for our table that won't wilt anytime soon.

Today was the first day I attempted the small ponytail placed on top of Evelyn's head. I believe this hairstyle is a rite of passage in a toddler girl's life. The bow is a bit severe, but I figure there is no better time for extreme hair accessories than when one is a little girl.


Don't forget about the chance to win a free pack of Pamper's Diapers! Be sure to leave a comment!