Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Love

We love going to the library. Something about all those books stacked together and they’re all FREE! Every time I check out I feel like I need to pull out my wallet. After the girls make their selections they settle in at the craft table while I continue to browse. Jack enjoys the smells and sounds of the library too.

Today our library basket held:
Bringing up Girls by James Dobson  
Healthy Family Meals by the American Heart Association—always looking for new recipe ideas
This Book Made Me Do It by DK Publishing—planning activities for our days
Ed Emberley’s Great Thumbprint Book –not the first time this one has come home with us.

Each of the girls pick out four books and one movie. Kendall found a cute one called Scuba Bunnies
 and Kate chose Little Ballerina Dancing Book.

 I usually go around and pick out a children’s book or two as well. I like to pick from the award winners, the list of 100 best picture books or, most commonly, based on the illustrations.  As much as I love a good story, or the cadence of a well written book I think the illustrations are what help a child to loose themselves in that different world. It never hurts if the pictures will inspire a project at home.

The best part of going to the library is seeing books strewn all over the family room, seeing my girls looking at them, and anticipating time with my own stack.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Amazon Wish List

I wanted to take a quick minute to share with you one more thing that makes life flow a little more smoothly. In the past I have faced a holiday or a birthday with absolutely no idea what to get my kids and no idea what I wanted either.  I know that throughout the year there are things that we come across and want but when it comes time to get them I can't remember! Recently I started using Amazon.com's wish list. I downloaded the little button for my tool bar (see below on the top left of the screen shot it says "wish list") and now when I come across a cool gadget or toy I can just click that button and it adds  to our wish list.  Now when I face a birthday I can browse through the items that I marked through the year and either load up my Amazon cart or make a list to carry to the worlds most fun place...Target.

Fun things you would find on our list would include:
Pottery Barn Daily System
See the picture, the sun is shining down on it and the angels are singing, can't you hear them? 
Even I could be convinced to drink milk if I could have it out of this glass:
Anything that would make grocery shopping easier:

I'm curious, what's on your current wish list?

Pass the Meatballs

So we're a little mixed up on our crafty days but today we painted with spaghetti. The girls LOVED it and I loved the results. We may cut these up to use as our artist trading cards.

We found that it works better to drizzle paint over the cooked noodles instead of dipping the noodles in the paint. The spaghetti noodles were fun to fling around on the paper or roll under our hands. Next time we may try penne or other curly cue kinds.

Here are the finished masterpieces.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Cheap Cheep Chicks

Monday's grump deterring activity was a success. The girls had fun, they were able to do all steps on their own, it was fairly quick and managed to transition them into solo play without the usual post preschool grumpiness.

I think I may have shown this before but here is a closer look at how I use Google calendar for meal and activity planning. In Google you can create different "calendars" that all show in your main page (shown in different colors). I have one for each: general (appointments, school events...), activity, meal, and Brian's travel schedule. You can create reminders that either pop up on your screen or email to your account--could be used to send a reminder to yourself a few days before a birthday so you get a card in the mail on time (I get a great big FAIL for this). Every month the preschool sends home an outline with important dates, I input show-and-tell dates with reminders that morning.

So there you go. Tomorrow we get to go to Kindergarten screening for Kendall, she is SO excited! 

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Planning on Fun

The girls have a hard time transitioning from school to home, they are tired, grumpy and quick to argue. I've found the best solution is to have a little activity planned each afternoon during that first hour home. After that they are more likely to go off on their own playing (and getting along) which allows me to work on dinner. In order to prepare I spend a little bit of time on the weekend planning and then putting it on my Google calendar. In Google you can set up email or pop-up reminders for earlier in the day so you can get any supplies that are necessary.

Tangent- I also use a Google Calendar to keep my dinner plan, I have it set up to send an email reminder for preparing--an early in the morning email for a dinner that goes in the crock-pot or late afternoon reminder for something that requires less time. This way at 5:00 when the kids are starting to get hungry I'm not surprised by a meal that requires a two hour cook time.

Here is our activity plan for the week.
Monday: We're working on our artist trading cards (see below post).
Tuesday: These cute Spring Chicks, idea from this blog.
Wednesday: Fancy hats from newspaper
Thursday: We're supposed to have some warmer weather so we're planning to make a chalk drawn city on the driveway.
Friday: No school for us on Friday's so I try to plan the messy, bigger projects then. This Friday we are going to paint with cooked spaghetti and maybe some other shaped noodles.

Do you have any fun activities planned this week? Do you have a good planning system that works for you?

Our Favorite Game

This was one of the games we played at Kate's birthday party. The girls have been playing it a lot lately. It's just five little pails we found in the Target $1 section and tiny beanie babies that Aunt Lorie gave us a long time ago. Before the party we just used some of our old tupperware as the buckets.

Brian and Kate have gone to get their hair cut. I've authorized a big chop for Kate and can't wait to see it!