Thursday, October 27, 2011

Toddler Time: Letter of the week: Ii

Several months ago, I started spending some time doing activities that centered around a letter.  It eventually developed into a Letter of the Week time in our home.  It usually takes place in the morning while Weston is down for his morning nap.  Ethan loves this time.  He calls it "craft time" and begs for alphabet activities.  It brings me great joy that he has a love for learning.  

We are making a letter book.  This week our I looked like an ice cream cone.  I didn't take a picture of it, but here for some ideas.  

We are also  using some of the letter of the week activities from Confessions of a Homeschooler.
We did this activity:

source: confessions of a homeschooler
 We also made this inchworm.
and this igloo. 

We also read the Bob Book for I.  We are using these books to help with our reading skills:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

{Cookies} Heath Bar

I don't have a whole lot to say today. I' started this post last week. . . yes, last week!  I guess I have been kind of a slacker. . . oh well. I am allowed.  The baby is teething (2 on the bottom) so sleep is slightly overrated right now (although I am totally not complaining. . . he's almost 9 months and Ethan was close to 4 when he started).  It's also the week before Halloween, so we are knee deep in pumpkin activities, including a trip to a local pumpkin patch and IHOP for some "scary" pancakes for Ethan (I am so hungry for French toast!).  Plus, this weekend is Ethan's last Soccer game (Hooray!!. . . okay, so we have really enjoyed the entertainment of 3 year olds running around on a field breaking all the rules of soccer.  But, we are done.  Even more so, Ethan is done.  He's all about the tunnels, snacks, and his new friend, Jacob.)  So I am going to leave you with this amazing cookie recipe.  Heath Bar Cookies. . . you won't be able to eat just one!   
Here's the recipe:

Heath Bar Cookies
adapted from

1 cup room temperature butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 bag Heath Bar pieces
3 Heath Bars, crunched

Cream together sugars with butter for about 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time.  When they are all blended, make sure you scrape the bowl so everything gets mixed together.  Add dry ingredients together.  (I just realized after I was typing them all that I totally made these wrong. . . . but they still turned out great go here to see her recommendation.)  Add Heath Bars and mix until combined.  Spoon (or scoop) onto your lined baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Eat 1. . . or 2.  Share some. . . they are delicious!  

Have a great week!  I hope that I get on here soon, if not. . . I am still here, just busy having fun!  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Toddler Time: Color Matching Game

My son is completely in love with games.  He is also completely in love with learning.  So, I started making file folder games for him. . . he loves them!  A few months ago, we were at Home Depot getting some paint picking out paint colors for our Master bathroom (we still haven't picked a color) when Ethan noticed the Disney samples that were in the same shape as Mickey's Head.  We grabbed a few, but not 2 of the same colors for him to play with, and he started trying to match the colors, but couldn't.  So . . . back to Home Depot we went to get matching colors.  I stuck 1 of each color on with clear contact paper and covered both sides of the matching card with contact paper and we had an instant game. . . and the best part. . . didn't cost us anything (we already had a pack of file folder games and the contact paper). 
Here's the game. . . cool, huh?
Ethan matching the Mickey Mouse Heads. 

I am having so much fun watching my 3 year old learn.  He just soaks everything in. . . like a sponge.  It makes the teacher in me very proud!   Have you done anything creative with Paint Chips?  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Button Love

Have I mentioned my new love (and maybe, addiction?) for Pinterest?  (side note: you can follow me if you are interested in seeing what I am inspired by or just think is plain cool if you want).  I am finding all sorts of inspiration there. . . it's great.  Plus, I can just pin things to save the ideas for later so I don't have to try to remember where I saw a cool idea from.  It's great, really. . . it's great!  

So, for my friend's wedding (my son was the ring bearer!), I saw this card and decided to try it out.  I grabbed my jar of purple, pink, and red buttons (you can buy small bags of coordinating colors of random buttons at JoAnns for a couple of dollars), a bottle of modgepodge, and a red marker.  I layed it out to see if I could even come close to arranging the buttons in a heart shape.  Then, I slowly glued each one on to my cardstock.  I wrote love in my prettiest handwriting . . . I was so sure I was going to mess this up! And finished it off by rounding the two right side corners.  

I think I like how it turned out. I've seen a lot of ideas with buttons. . . . some great gift ideas out there.  I'm thinking I am going to have to try some out. . . after my year commitment to not overcommiting is over. 

And since, I am on the topic of how cool Pinterest is. . . here is a link to an amazing breakfast recipe for one. . . it is awesome and quick. . . Apple Pie Oatmeal.  Doesn't that just sound wonderful?  It is . . . it really is!  Plus I wasn't hungry an hour later, which is a BIG problem for me. 

Have a wonderful day!  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Autumn Salad

Fall officially hit last week with a wonderful shower of rain.  I love this weather because I can finally pull out the pumpkin and sweatshirt and just be cozy!  Here is a amazingly tasty salad. . . just for fall.  I've made it several times in the last 2 weeks and it is so yummy!  
Autumn Chopped Salad
adapted from Espresso and Cream

1 to 2 heads of Romaine Lettuce, chopped
1 to 2 pears, chopped
Handful of dried cranberries
candied walnuts
sliced, chopped bacon (I recommend fresh, pouched kind gave it a funny flavor)
feta cheese to taste
Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
Baslamic Vinaigrette*

*70 percent poppy seed to 30 percent Basalmic Vinaigrette.

What are you doing to bring in the fall?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A new banana bread recipe

These warm days and bananas just don't mix.  Ethan has been asking for banana bread for a few weeks and we had the perfect amount of bananas just crying out to be used for some banana bread.  Unfortunately, I was completely out of sour cream so I had to look elsewhere for inspiration.  Have I mentioned how much I have enjoyed using Pinterest?  I am finding so many fun ideas and recipes that it will probably take me years do them all.  But, it was a great place to look for a new recipe for banana bread.  All I did was type banana bread and hundreds. . . if not thousands of pictures came up with links to different recipes.  One of the first recipes I tried, was this recipe with a yummy streusel top.  Who doesn't like a crumby top?  mmmmm. . . it was good! I highly recommend it.  It was quite tasty.  I still like this recipe best, but this one was fun and tasty and completely worth baking. . . more than once!

You can find the amazing recipe here

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Toddler Time: Apple Week, part 1

The past 2 weeks have been spent filling our home with apple-y goodness.  The last weeks of September are perfect because they think Johnny Appleseed's birthday lies somewhere around Sept. 26th. We have been having all sorts of fun, that it took 2 weeks to do everything  I had planned, and even then we still didn't finish everything.  

 Check out these apples, made with paper plates.  The one on the Left is finger painted and the one on the right is paper scraps glued on.  Both projects, Ethan had a blast doing.  
Apple Prints:  We cut an apple in half and dipped it into paint.  He had fun "stamping" the apple all over the page.  

 We went here and found all sorts of free apple activities to do.  There was a really fun sorting game that I made into a file folder game.  

We read these books:
The story of Johnny Appleseed by Aliki
Little Apple: a book of thanks by Brigitte Weninger and Anne Moller
Apple Picking Time, by Michele Benoit Slawson
Apple Trouble by Ragnhild Scamell and Michael Terry
Apples Apples Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Big Red Apple by Tony Johnston
Max and Mo Let's Go Apple Picking by Patricia Lakin
Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss
A Apple Pie bny Gennady Spirin
Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson and Nancy Carpenter

Monday, October 03, 2011

Ethan and Abi turn 3

My son, Ethan, and his very best friend turned 3 last month.  I absolutely love planning his birthdays and this year was so much fun because I joined forces with Abi's mom (one of my best friends!) to throw a joint party.  Both kids love monkeys. . . especially Curious George, but we really don't like commercialized themes. . . it's just so blah.  We went with a turquoise and yellow color scheme that really accented our brown monkeys nicely.  And our friend Chris, let us borrow a her monkey cartridge for the Cricut.  Here are some of the highlights:
 Parade of Balloons. . . so much fun and so easy.  We threw the party in Stephanie's backyard and used this cable wire that stretches the length of their backyard (typically it's an annoyance to them, but it was perfect for hanging these balloons.  How to: blow up balloons with air (not helium).  Take needle and thread and string together.  We strung about 10 at a time. . . easier to transfer up there in smaller batches. Tip: Our party was in the evening. . . we hung them up around 2:30 and had to redo it all right before the party because it got a bit warm, the sun was at it's height and they popped. . . most of them. . . kind of a bummer, but really, it didn't take too much time to redo it.  
 This was them, before the tables got set up. . . . most of these one's actually popped.  It looked just the same when we redid it. 
 We had blow up monkeys scattered around the backyard. . . hanging from the trees.  It was really fun.  This one welcomed everyone to the party. 
 I made cute signs that we hung from the tree marking their gift tables.  
 Here's Ethan's.
 The favors:  We did banana candies and small monkeys in a jar games.  
 Ethan had to have a 3 shirt, of course.  I had some sock monkey fabric laying around.  He was quite festive. 
 We had a chalk station.  So much fun!
 The banner. . . I used cardstock from the DCWV Citrus Stack.  I loved the way it came out!
 More of the banner.
 Some more of the banner. 
 Photo Booth. . . palm trees and monkeys.  Fun times!
 The birthday cake (made by Stephanie)
 Cake balls
The cake table.  

The party was so much fun!  I really think everyone had a great time.  We had a craft table that the kids got to make picture frames with monkeys on them, too.  I am already starting to gather ideas for Weston's first birthday. . . 4 months away. . . I can't believe it!  

But first I am going to go to bed. . . I am tired. . . Have a great night! 


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