Archive for September, 2009

Leaves from Upcycled Milk Jugs

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

It’s fall leaf time!

We went on a long walk yesterday and Makenna picked up every colored leaf she could find (ok, that’s an exaggeration…only every other leaf)  and proceeded to come home and dump them all over her bedroom floor.

Next it was time for, “what can we do with them mom….?”

So we did some leaf rubbings.   Then we cut them out.  Then we strung them on string.

They looked quite pretty, but Alexandra kept ripping them which led to much angst and whining on the part of the twins. We needed leaves durable enough to withstand a destructive two year old.

Enter the milk jug.

We took our cut leaves and traced some on the milk jug with permament marker. (The leaves can go around the corners of the milk jug because the plastic is bendable, so you can bend them flat once they’re cut out.)

Next we cut them out and drew the veins with colored permanent marker.  (we chose green, burgundy and orange).

After that the kids colored them on both sides with colored pencils and crayons.

Then all that was left to do was string them using a needle and thread. 

Now the twins each have a pretty fall leaf garland that their little sister can’t destroy.

Liberty’s Kids DVD

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

While hunting through our local Southern Lehigh Library for some educational videos we were lucky enough to find the series Libertys Kids about the beginning of our great country.

There are six DVDs for a total running time of 19+ hours….19+ hours;  do you know how much I can get done while the kids are mesmerized by the tv (and learning without realizing it) for that long…it’s a beautiful thing.

The videos are split into about 7 short stories on each DVD about different events in America’s history dating from 1773 to 1789, and told through the eyes of two young ‘reporters’, one from England and one from America.  ‘The Boston Tea Party’, The First Fourth of July, Across the Delaware and Deborah Samson — Soldier of the Revolution are just a few of the great stories kids (and parents) learn about with fun animation and music. 

They’re recommended for ages 7 - 12, but even my two year old gets excited when I say we’re going to watch Liberty’s Kids.

We’re only on disc two so far, but I highly recommend them…I’m learning alot.

So if you’re looking for something the kids will love and learn while they’re doing it, hopefully you’ll be able to find Liberty’s Kids at your local library too.

Sunday Scripture

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

No one has ever seen God;

but if we love one another,

God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:12

Things to do.

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Apple season is upon us here in Pennsylvania and soon it will be time to make lots and lots of applesauce; but for now, this idea for baked apples from Me and Lu looks like a great way to eat some!

This  scripture book is a beautiful idea for a gift for our children…or anyone for that matter.  The twins are asked to learn bible verses at their classes each Wednesday and this would be a wonderful way to remember them always.  Now if I can make them by Christmas; and we may have to make a few as Christmas gifts for family and friends too.

Since we’re always trying to get ‘greener’ (and thriftier) in our household, I’ll have to be trying this homemade dishwasher detergent recipe.

I love this blog for it’s name, Someday Crafts, as much for all the links to great projects. I bet I’m not the only one who has a whole list of bookmarked favorites and ripped out magazine pages of crafts that I’ll do…someday, and this site just adds to my list.

Homemade Flubber

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

This was a fun little morning project/science experiment to keep the kids entertained for hours.

It sounds messy at first, but actually isn’t too bad.  Although I will admit, and you’ll see by the pictures, that we chose to do this project in the bathroom, nearby water and towels, just in case.

It only took us about 20 minutes to make all the ‘flubber’ you see, and then it was hours of good clean fun…unless you get it on fabric or rugs….please stay away from such things.


Borax (found in the laundry section of the store),

White craft glue (a cup which is 8 oz),

Glass jars (large enough to hold 5 cups and one to hold 2 cups)

1 cup and 1/4 cup measuring cups

Acrylic paint or food coloring for color (we used both, and they both worked well)

Mix 4 cups water and 1/4 cup Borax in a glass jar and stir till dissolved.

In another jar mix 1 cup water and 1 cup glue.   Shake till thoroughly mixed.

Pour one cup of the Borax solution into another container.

Add plenty of the food coloring or acrylic paint and stir.

Measure 1/4 cup of the glue solution into the borax and stir with your finger.  

It will immediately pull together into a clump.  (Lots of the liquid will be left)

Take the ‘flubber’ out of the liquid and knead it for a few minutes to get out the air bubbles and the stickiness.  Then it’s ready to play with.

You can reuse the colored borax solution that is in your bowl or dump it out and make a new color.

You can make two 1/4 cup pieces of flubber with each color of solution.

Store in a plastic bag or container.

Now my problem is getting them to stop playing with their science experiment to do more schoolwork.

Recycled Stuff - Free Fancy Wastecans

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

We needed wastebaskets for two rooms in the house.
So I priced them, and I guess it had been a while since I bought a garbage can, because they seemed a bit expensive for a container that was going to hold some trash.


Looking around the house I noticed we had alot of containers that would work as wastecans they just needed to be dressed up.

**  5 Gallon Buckets (less than $3 at the local home improvement store if you don’t have one on hand)

**  Food Buckets.  Buckets that large amounts of food come in that they use at any place they serve lots of food and they usually throw the empty containers away. (Ask around if you know anyone who would have access to some…we have a cousin who works at a nursing home and can get dozens.)

**  Large Plant Containers that Shrubs or trees come in from a nursery. (they are usually black)

For the ‘makeovers’ we just used some spray paint, ribbon, fabric modge podge and upcycled princess wrapping paper (because Makenna strongly believes in the theory that there is nothing that can’t be made prettier with the addition of princesses.  (see the tissue box here))

These were so quick and easy (and free!) to make that now we’re going to make more just to fancy up some other rooms in our house.

Sunday Scripture

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

The world and its desires pass away,

but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

1John 2:17

Random Mommy Thoughts.

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

1.  The laws of mowing.   After 2 weeks without mowing we finally got our riding and push mowers back from the shop and it rained.

2.  You have to wonder what game your kids are playing when one comes to you saying her brother stuck a pencil up her nose, and the point broke off and is lodged way up in her nose.  (We eventually got it out.  No emergency room visit necessary.)

3.  My 7 year old daughter came up behind me today and pushed me Then she started laughing saying, “your butt is really squishy mom.”… I love having kids.

Recycled Newspaper Beads

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Until about a month ago, when I read this post at a Storybook Life, I had no idea that you could make something this pretty out of old newspapers.  

So we had to try our own.

We cut newspapers into small pieces (even Alexandra had fun doing that).

Pour boiling water over them to cover them and let sit one hour.

Squeeze out as much water as possible and then add clear drying glue till it sticks together in a ball.

Roll into whatever size ball you want and place on a cookie sheet to dry for several days.

Roll the beads around a few times while drying so they don’t get flat on any one side.

Once they’re dry drill a hole through the center of each bead.

(For smoother beads you can sand them gently with sand paper, but we didn’t do that for the beads you see pictured.)

Paint with acrylic paints.  Let dry.

Put on a coat or two of lacquer to make them shiny and scratch proof. 

The kids made about 40 before they were tired of rolling them into beads.  The hardest part for them was waiting the several days till the beads dried so we could drill holes in them and paint them.   

We want to make more of these soon to try some different ideas.You can make them bigger or smaller and we want to try different shapes.

For now we strung some together for a necklace, and painted some white for a little snowman ornament.  

I see lots of interesting paper bead Christmas ornaments in our future this year.

Sunday Scripture

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

When God gives any man wealth and possessions,

and enables him to enjoy them,

to accept his lot and be happy in his work –

this is a gift of God.

Ecclesiastes 5:19