Friday, January 20, 2012

The first few weeks

Our family has jumped full swing into a very busy schedule. We are frequently out of the house for 10 to 12 hours a day. This kind of schedule is all new to the kids. Here are some of the results:

  • My youngest will dose off and at any sound, jump up, and say "go nigh night?"
  • My oldest (who is 6) had many boyfriends at school. She dumped all but one...
  • She dumped the final boy telling him that once she is old enough to date she will find him again and date him until she finds the man she wants to marry. Then she will dump him and marry her husband.
  • My youngest enjoys coloring but wonders why I do so much of it. Each night as I sit down to work, grab a pen and paper, he looks at me and says in a confused voice "Coloring again momma?"
  • The best part of the day is when I finish coloring.
  • My oldest does not mind being an early riser as long as we spend time talking.
  • My youngest has become a bed-time nazi and tells me when to go to bed. He has also determined that if he is in trouble it is because I am crabby and need to go to bed.
  • At the end of a long day all snack food WILL end up on the floor.
  • Hitting is not a solution but no one seems to agree with me.
  • Even if you think you are going to bed at a good time 5 am is still too early.
  • Dinner tastes so much better when someone else makes it.
  • I can be traded in at the sitters house for apples, cars, tv, chocolate milk, friends, trains, thomas, blankets, or just about anything.
  • When it is -22 degrees outside everyone should just stay home!
It is going to be a long semester but we are finding and cherishing the good moments. I think we might just make it!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Let the Confetti fall..(New Year's Eve part 3)

Our balloons were ready to fall and the races were over. Now what should we do? Confetti poppers seemed like the perfect solution. The was a great project! It is simple to do and yet would be acceptable for many different age groups.  To make our poppers we used a tube from a roll of wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, construction paper, cardstock, a hole punch, yarn, beads, tape, glue and other random craft supplies. This is a great project to use up left over craft items. If you put it on the table someone will find a way to use it!

We started by cutting our wrapping paper roll into quarters. Toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls would also work well.
Cut paper to fit the size of your rolls and glue in place. Once your paper is covering the tubes the fun begins. You can now unleash the crafty ones...or let the kids use the craft items. Either way will get the job done. Decorate your tubes however you like, but don't place anything so it hangs over or from the bottom.
Once you have made your tube glamorous it is time to make the bottom. Trace around the bottom of the tube onto cardstock or other heavy paper. Cut out a circle a little bit smaller than the one you traced. 

Glue the cardstock circle onto a 4" (estimated) square of tissue paper. Poke a hole through the center and thread yarn through the hole. Tie a bead (or 2, which worked even better) onto the yarn. Make sure the bead is on the side of the tissue paper with the cardstock showing. Cut the yarn however long you are going to want your pull string to be.

Now you can glue your tissue paper around the bottom of your decorated tube. Put a line of glue around the outside of the tube and attach the tissue paper square so that the cardstock circle acts as a stop for the confetti that you will be putting inside. Hole punch a hole in the top of the tube on either side and thread yarn through to hang your popper.

You can make a cap for your confetti popper by cutting out a circle about 4 inches in diameter. Cut a slit in the circle from one edge to the center.

Fold the circle into a cone or maybe hat shape? Glue the edge down and cut the tip off to provide a small hole to thread the yarn through. I put a bead on both pieces of yarn first and slid it down on the string so that it would help support the cone. Slide the cone down onto your tube.

Add the confetti.  We just cut up  pieces of construction paper and filled our poppers with those. A few added beads were a nice surprise when the string were pulled. The noise they made when they hit the floor was really exciting for the kids.

You are now ready to hang up your creation. We just taped ours to the ceiling but then we had to put a little pressure on the tape when it came time to pull the string. It worked and the kids did not mind a bit but there is probably a "proper" way to secure things such as this.

We were now ready for midnight. We only had to wait...and wait...and wait. We made pizza, watched a movie and waited. My 2 year old, J, was just about done. At about 10 he was tired. By 11 cranky! By 11:30 he was telling us all to go to bed. At 11:50 he was climbing into bed no matter what! We convinced him to come back out into the livingroom and the fun began! (again of course, since we had fun earlier too)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Off to the Races...New Year's Eve Continues

Once we had our balloon drop ready to go we had to take some time to play. We decided to have a good ol' round of balloon races. If you have never done this get ready, you are in for a treat.

Step One: Find some yarn/string and tape it somewhere. (The table, wall, staircase) We used the table it was a good height. You will want the height of the string to be at a comfortable level. so everyone involved can easily reach it.You can attach the other end of the yarn to an alternate surface at the same or slightly higher height. We opted to just hold ours but at times the balloons came off the yarn.

Step Two: Blow up the balloons (do not tie them) and attach straws or pen casings. We had a few pens around the house that came apart easily and the casings worked great for this activity. You should attach the straws/tubes to the outermost part of the balloon so it does not rub on the yarn. A little packaging tape will do the trick. (Getting different shaped balloons might make this easier)

Step Three: Slide the tubes onto the yarn or string, blow up the balloons and let them fly. You will be off to the Balloon Races too.

* A word of caution after a few uses the balloons may pop while you are blowing them up. Trade out balloons often or just be careful.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year's Eve Spectacular

Our family took a trip to New York a few years ago and I believe a part of that city somehow attached itself to my daughter H. She is in love with the city and everything that goes with it. For that reason, the New Year's Eve ball drop is a big event in our house. This year may have been one of the best! Our family decided to plan and execute "A New Year's Eve Spectacular". (Said in your best announcer voice) We shopped, gathered supplies, crafted, settled disputes, crafted some more, used scissors a ton, settled a few more disputes, ate, played games, and crafted and came up with a great evening.

We started our evening off by designing our very own balloon drop. We used balloons, craft supplies we dug out of the abyss that is know as the closet, rings from canning jars, yarn and a bit of duct tape.  
Blow up your balloon and begin to decorate. We used glitter, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, pom poms, sequins, buttons, and anything else we could round up.
To help stabilize the balloons while they were being decorated and give them a nice perch to dry on, we wrapped pipe cleaners around the knot on the balloon. We then threaded beads onto the pipe cleaners and folded the ends over to hold the beads on. We then put the pipe cleaners into large glasses and jars. They weighted the balloons down just enough to keep them in the jars and allow us to decorate.

We tied yarn around the knot on the balloon and cut the tail really long (almost 16 feet). Taping canning jar rings to the ceiling and then treading the yarn through the rings worked as a great way to set up our balloons. We pulled the balloons up to the ceiling and then taped the bottom of the yarn off until it was time to drop the balloons. The weighted pipe cleaners were perfect to help the balloons drop.
Balloons decorated, hung and ready for the "balloon drop" at midnight!