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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Goldfish Cracker Carrot Snack Bags for Easter

I've seen these carrot-shaped treats done before, filled with orange jelly beans or orange M&Ms, etc., but I wanted at least one non-candy snack for the kids' Easter baskets and thought of using goldfish crackers. Just a fill a cone shaped cello bag. I made some washi tape twist ties to close them up, but anything green would do.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ellen's Valentines, 2014 Edition

We had a bunch of these stretchy bracelets in our party favor box:

So I printed out some little cards with a picture of Ellen dressed in a princess costume, cut slits in the side, and she put the bracelets onto the cards like a necklace:

(I made these in a rush, so I didn't notice that the font I chose apparently didn't come with punctuation marks until after they were printed. I would have tried to find a more suitable apostrophe and exclamation point. But then, these are for six year olds. Ha.)

We also had some bubbles in the party box, so the boys in her class got these: 

I didn't make those cards; I found the free printable here.

One Dollar Valentine's Day Garland

1. Buy a pack of heart doilies from the dollar store.
2. Stitch them together on a sewing machine, leaving long threads on both ends for hanging.
3. Hang it up.

My pack had 20 6 inch wide hearts, so it made a 10 foot long garland.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

In Case You Were Wondering If She Likes Her Little Sister

I was taking pictures of Ellen and she was giving me that pained camera smile:

So I said, "Show me how you feel about Baby Kate":

(Oh yeah, by the way, we had a baby. Her name is Kate.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Adam's 2013 Jedi Valentines Recap

Never got around to posting these last year, but these are the valentines Adam gave out in 2013, our take on the glow stick light saber valentines we've seen around the Internet. Took a picture of him against a white background wearing his jedi robe and holding his lightsaber hilt and added some text. We cut a slit for a glow stick which we slipped in and taped onto the back.

We got the star wars style font here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Once Upon A Time There Was a Road Trip to Lake Pend Oreille

Alternate Title: So Long, With So Many Photos, Only The Grandmas Will Read the Whole Thing

My dad's wife Helen has a little house on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille in the Idaho panhandle, and last July when I found out my sister Susanna was heading up there with her kids and my brother Andy and his wife Christina, I finagled an invitation for myself and the kids to tag along. We'd been once before three years earlier and knew the two days of driving would be worth the three days of Lakeside Magic.

When you give your phone to your kids to entertain themselves on the drive, you're rewarded with a bounty of blurry photos and shaky video footage upon its return. Here's a snippet of the song that Adam and Ellen sang variations of over and over (and OVER) again once we crossed the Idaho border. I'm glad I have this bit of documentation of the soundtrack to our trip. I'm glad I deleted the 20 other videos featuring the view out the window and more variations of the song. 

Transcript: "I love Idaho. Rollin' on the Ran-co!"

I don't know how they came up with the word "Ran-co," but man, we were rollin' on that Ran-co for hours.

And here's Adam's video introduction of our ship's intrepid crew:
(Don't miss Zuzu's fuzzy hat's cameo. She went through a phase when she wore this hat that her Grandma Kathe crocheted for her whenever possible. We call her "Thing One" when she wears it.)

Transcript: "Meet our Second Captain, Ellen. She loves this Ran-co ship, and she wouldn't DARE for it to crash. Meet the Captain, me. If you can't see that well: Here. The Captain. And the other person: my mom. She will be conducting . . . I meant, not conducting, doing the controls on the ship, kind of. That, in that chair that you can't see, actually, that girl with that fuzzy head, she, um, she will, . . .  Zuzu, what do you want your job to be on the ship?" (Zuzu: "What?") "She doesn't know what she's doing yet, 'cause this is kind of our first mission. She just likes to take over if, she wants to take over … She over there, Jane, she wants to take over if my mom doesn't, well, gets in a crash or something with the controls. And, Zuzu, in case Ellen gets in a crash, when she's taking over 'cause I got in a crash, then she takes over Ellen, Captain."

After a day's drive, we arrived at the lake house. Here's the view from the front porch. Sigh.

Most of our time at the lake is spent jumping into the water from the dock across the road. And taking pictures of each other jumping into the water:

Jane, Zuzu, Adam, Mary, Ellen
There was a trip to the City Beach, where it's sandy:

Jane, Adam, Zuzu
Cousin Molly and Jane
There were fun cousins, aunts, and an uncle:

Cousins Ben and Molly, Aunt Susanna
The smooching newlyweds, Uncle Andy and Aunt Christina
There was a lot of hanging out in the water and on the dock:

Jane and Cousin Molly
Self portrait with Ellen
Cousin Ben and Zuzu
There was some catching up with the beautiful Cindy and Natalia, my step-sister and her daughter, who live nearby with their family (and manage the house for Helen):

There was plenty of brain melting time:

Cousin Ian, Adam, Cousin Ben
There was plenty of paddling:

Lovely Christina

There was piracy on the open seas:

Transcript: "Freedom! Heh heh ha! Crash! Crash. Crash. Heh heh! I'm taking over your ship. Heh, heh."

There were kids so sick of having their picture taken by an annoying mom that they resorted to hiding under towels:

There was also some chilly weather and some drizzle, but that could not stop my kids from getting in the water.

On our last before-bed swim session the night before we were to head home, somehow jumping off the dock turned into cart-wheeling off the dock:


I got it in my head that if only I could come home with a video of me cartwheeling into the water, I could surely impress this guy named Peter that I'm crazy about. I'm not going to tell you how many times I practiced on the grass or almost went off but chickened out at the last minute before I did it.

Suzy cartwheeled off too, but she's not an old lady yet, so it's not quite as impressive.

Thanks, Helen and Cindy, for letting us use the house, and thanks Suzy, Ian, Molly, Ben, Andy, and Christina for letting us crowd into it with you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012: Jane as Flapper

Good gracious -- my 11 year old is getting to be waaaaay too grown-up looking. 

Wish I had taken a "before" picture of the ugly jumper and jacket set from Saver's we cut down to make her dress.

Friday, October 26, 2012

First Snow of the Season

Ellen (literally) made a new friend. Meet Emma, the Snow Girl:

Ellen says that Emma is Charlie's big sister. Here's Ellen with Charlie, a snow friend she made last January:

The Making of Charlie, January 2012:

Monday, October 22, 2012

Crazy Hair Day

We've felt deprived for years, but this year our school had a crazy hair day!




Monday, June 11, 2012

Delicious Vegetables and an Entrepreneurial Venture

One day, walking into the store with Ellen, I had a flash of inspiration.

Me: "You can choose any vegetable you want, and I will buy it for you."
Ellen: "Any one I want?! Yay, yay, yay! I want broccoli! Broccoli! Broccoli! Broccoli! Yay, I love broccoli!"

(I know this wouldn't work with every kid. It's some fluke of crazy luck that it worked so well with mine.)

Today I remembered my little trick again. Adam chose baby carrots:

And Ellen chose baby bell peppers:

They shouted exuberantly as they were digging them out of the bags and ripping into them as soon as we got into the car.

When we got home, I said, "Adam, please help me bring in the groceries."
Adam: "You bring in the groceries all by yourself, and I'll let you have some carrots."

Then Ellen came to me holding a little red plastic bin. She said, "I'm going to have a pepper seed sale!"
Me: "You're going to sell pepper seeds?"
Ellen: "Yes, so people can buy them, and plant them in their garden! Do you want to buy some, mom?"
Me: "Well, I think it's a little late to start peppers from seed this year, and I'm not sure those would grow. And we already have some pepper plants in our garden."
Ellen: "I mean, to save them for next year! It's a great time of year to buy pepper seeds to save to plant next spring."
Me: "How much are you planning to sell them for?"
Ellen: "Four quarters or one dollar."
Me: "For how many seeds?"
Ellen: (Holds up six fingers.)

The product:

Harvesting more product:

Waiting for customers:

The empty bin is to hold money. ("Mom, I am going to make so much money!") I can hear her out there calling, "Pepper seeds for sale! Four quarters or one dollar!"

I almost forgot to add: while we were in the store, I overheard Adam say, "Ellen, you're what's called a 'sidekick.'" And, "If I die, you take over driving the ship."

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Phone Camera Scenes

Ah, Lazy Sunday Afternoon, how I love thee.

Why hello, hot stuff.

Feel free to serenade me. 

Oh, OK, OK. Yes, I'll stop taking pictures of your daddy and take one of you.

Yes, OK, one of US, then.

OK, OK. Yes, I'll pretend to bite your leg again, and yes, I'll take a picture of it, if you insist.

I am, after all, nothing but a camera slave to a six year old.