Friday, November 30, 2012

Lazy mommy suppers

Do you ever feel this way??  I totally do, every single day.  Here's a secret: I don't really like cooking.  I love eating, just not cooking.  Two reasons 1. I am tired and 2. my kids wont eat.  It's very discouraging to make a delicious, home cooked, from scratch meal, just to have three peas give you this face:

That's the "I'm not eating this sh*t, no matter how long you make me sit here" face.  Thanks kids!  I appreciate your willingness to try new thing! {grrrrrr} 

I plan my meals out for a month, in pencil, so I can change as needed.  I sprinkle some crock pot meals, lots of pasta dishes, some family favorites, some new dishes and then some "lazy mom supper".  A lazy mom supper is just that: I'm lazy, don't feel like cooking, so let's just make something that I know everyone will eat and call it a day.  A lazy mom supper preferably will be prepared and served in less than 15 minutes, 20 min max.  A lazy mom supper is also not take out.  With three kids, take out is usually more trouble than it's worth and expensive.  Sure, I'll grab a pizza every once in a while, but lately since all our extra money is being diverted to Christmas, I'm trying to do less of that.  I don't make a lazy mom supper when Mr. Pea is home, he usually likes a full meal.  Lastly, I will pair each lazy mom supper with a fruit and veggie and serve with milk; makes it healthier ;)

*Please note, a crock pot meal, to me, doesn't classify as a lazy mom supper because I would've had to been thinking of dinner, WAY earlier, and I don't do that when I am lazy.

Here are my top 10 lazy mom suppers. 

1. BREAKFAST for dinner!  Yummy, many variations here- pancakes, french toast, kids will eat them all!  Frozen or homemade, each takes just a few minutes.

2. Pizza eggs- on the same theme as breakfast, but eggs are the main piece.  After the eggs are done cooking, sprinkle some mozzarella cheese and mini-pepperonis in them, serve with toast.

3. Soup and toast

4. Sandwiches, any variety.  Want to spice it up??  Put that crap on a stick, my kids will eat ANYTHING on a stick! 

5. BLT.  Different than a "sandwich" since you have to cook the bacon! 

6. Crescent dogs: hot dogs rolled in an uncooked crescent roll, bake for directed time.  Can be served with french fries or tater tots.

7. Pizza rolls: just like the crescent dog but with pizza!  Roll each with cheese and pepperonis.

8. Bagel or english muffin pizzas

9. Baked mac and cheese cups: make a basic cheese sauce (make a rue, which is butter and flour, cook till golden, 2-3 minutes, add in milk, salt, pepper, turn heat off, add in shredded cheese, mix till smooth, can also add in some chicken stock to thin) pour over cooked noodles, bake in greased muffin cups for 10 mins.  If your kids are adventurous you can sprinkle some bread crumbs on the top before they bake. **this one may take 25 min, but they are really good!

10. Pasta.  Make with jarred sauce, butter and parm cheese, cheese sauce (see above), or a lemon sauce (chicken stock, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper)  The lemon sauce is good and really only takes a few more minutes.  It does take a min or two to chop the garlic, so you can use the food processor like I do, or if you are REALLY lazy, just use garlic powder! :)  Can serve with garlic bread or bread and butter.

Ok, so there you have it.  My top lazy mom dinners.  What are your favorites???  Share with me below!  One can never have too many lazy mom meals up her sleeve :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mission semi-impossible: more pics WITH my kids

So I was reading the Scary Mommy blog the other day and she wrote a post about the lack of self in all her pics with her kids!  As I am reading, I am realizing that I always do the same thing!  I have oodles and oodles of pictures OF my kids, but not as many of me WITH them.  Mostly, it's because I am the one behind the camera, or sometimes it's because I feel like I look yucky that particular day.  I have plenty of pictures of my kids with other people, like Daddy, or aunts/uncles/cousins...when we visit with my family I make sure to take lots of pictures with each person, so that they will remember everyone. 
After my mom passed earlier this year, my brother, sister and I went through all her pictures dividing them up so we each had some from when we were younger.  I noticed that I guess my mom did the same thing because the pics of her WITH us were few and far between.  She hated us taking her picture, but I made it a point to have some of her with each of my kids, so that they can always remember Mimi.  Someday, my peas will be sitting around going through all my "old" pics, and I've decided that I want my face everywhere!  I know they will appreciate that when they are grown and have peas of their own.
One benefit of posing with your kids, is that you can use them as a blocker to your "less than flattering" sections!  Bonus!

(I hate this pic of me...yuck!  It's a good thing Hannah is so dang cute in it!)

So I am making it a goal of mine to make sure I am taking more pics WITH my kids, individually and as a group.  I encourage you all to do the same :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pet Peeves

Do you have any pet peeves?? I do.  I have LOTS.  I also have lots of things that piss me off...but this is about pet peeves, so these need to be more "annoying" and less "life-changing". 

Here are my pet peeves about my peas:

1. Abby: Always licking her finger and rubbing her eyes, especially when she first wakes up.  WHY?? Who knows, but I think it's gross.  She's only had pink eye once so I guess it's not really a PROBLEM.  I still love her.

2. Jacob: Always covering his ears when I talk to him in a "mom" voice.  Ok, yea, I have been known to yell from time to time, but this kid covers his ears when I'm only using my mom scale #2 voice!!  C'mon!  You know I can get louder than that!  The ear covering makes me irritated and also feel guilty at the same time, like I'm always yelling or something..which isn't true!!  I also still love him, but quit covering your ears, dude.  It's annoying.
3. Hannah-banana: She usually doesn't bug me, but her constant asking for band-aids gets annoying.  Abby did the same thing, but Hannah's the baby, so anything she does is always less annoying, just because she is. You know it's true mom's, don't deny it ;)
4. Mr. Pea: This sh*t on the counter.  Ok, a little back explanation.  I'm a neat freak, I probably have undiagnosed OCD.  A place for everything and everything in it's place.  Years ago, I bought this cute little two sectioned basket that I keep on the book shelf where I have all my other "command central" items.  One section is for me and one is for Mr. Pea.  It's plenty big for keys, ipods, IT band straps, and miscellaneous doo-dads (as my mom would've said).  This is where this crap is suppose to go.  In the basket.  Mr. Pea comes home with all sorts of nonsense in his pocket: car keys, work keys, wallet, pens, note cards with all to-do list (which I've already explained is NOT a good organizational system!) and then lays it on the counter EVERY NIGHT.  It's exactly 4 human steps from the counter to the basket. Really??  I've asked him a million times to put it in the basket, but, I am blogging about it.  I suppose though that after 12 years of being together, if this is my biggest pet peeve we are doing alright.  Oh, and the cuddling.  I hate cuddling.  Mr. Pea loves it.  I find it annoying.  I still love him, too.

Misc pet peeves: improper use of grammar (like "lose" and "loose"), not responding to a text or email (in this day and age, there is really no need for this), not RSVPing to something (really? come one! it's not hard to say "yes" or "no"!), dirty dishes in the sink, crumbs on the floor, hand prints on the stainless fridge, and granola bars (too crumbly).

What are your pet peeves??  Comment and let me know!  I am always looking for more things to find annoying :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sh*t that happens when you have 3 kids

One kid is easy.  I'm sorry, but it's true!  Now, if you have one kid, you won't realize how easy you have it until you decide to have a second.  Two kids are a bit trickier, but still not too bad. Two kids, two hands to hold them from running into the street.  Two car seats can easily fit in most cars. It can take a bit getting used to having two kiddies, especially if they are close in age, like mine were.  Now, three kids is a whole different animal.  On one hand, you are a seasoned pro.  No un-needed trips to the doc for mystery fevers or rashes, you know they will just probably go away.  No fussing about the kids not eating or pooping, you know they will eventually.  With three kids, however, you are outnumbered.  With or without your spouse, you are out numbered.  Three kids car seats do not fit side-by-side-by-side in most cars, hence why the third row or min-v is almost a necessity.  Taking three kids to the store is VERY challenging (taking one kid can be hard, too)!  One kid fits nicely in the basket of the carriage.  With two kids, one can sit and one can walk, if they are big enough, or is they are babies then you can "wear" one.  Now, THREE kids can be a conundrum.  I almost cried tears of joy when Target came out with those glorious three-kid carriages! I won't shop without it :)  It's harder to remember things with three kids too.  I know what time Abigail and Jacob were born but I can't remember Hannah's birth time (I do have it in her baby book, but I always forget).  With three kids, the laundry basket is ALWAYS full, even if you just finished washing clothes.  You fold the last shirt, turn around and BAM, it's full again!  "How did that happen?!?" I often say, then I realize I have three kids, and all is explained.  With three kids, I have to replace the toilet paper almost every day.  With three kids, you go through a package of yogurts, granola bars and box of waffles in two sittings.  It gets expensive.  With three kids, things happen to them and that I have no explanation for: cuts, bruises, mystery bumps.  And then the best so far I've seen:
Hannah's missing half her eyebrow.  How did it happen?  No idea.  When?  Not sure. I don't sit around all day either, with my children running around like animals.  I DO watch them, but this is just what happens when you have three kids.  If she were my only, I'm sure my mommy guilt would be through the roof! But, I'm not worried.  It'll grow back :)  She's still a cutie.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanks for making me feel guilty, old Asian lady

So this weekend was one of those weekends.  You know the type: not enough sleep, caffiene or "me" time...too much craziness from the kids.  Not my favorite type of weekends, but, alas, they happen.  I love being a mom, don't get me wrong.  I'd gladly throw myself in front of a train for any of my peas.  But that doesn't always mean I LIKE my kids.  That may sound harsh to any "non-mom" but I don't really care because it's true! I always LOVE my kids, consider them my blessings, but they sure can make me crazy at times.  I really hate all those facebook posts other moms say like "oh, my kids are all throwing up but I just love all this quality, snuggling time we are having." WTF??  I'm sorry, I love my kids, but I don't love snuggling with them with puke all over my shirt.  I just don't.  Does that make me a bad mommy?  Maybe, time will tell.  If a mom tells you that "every day is the best day" with their kids they are either a) full of sh*t, b) crazy, or c) on drugs.  If the answer is "c" then I want some of those drugs please.
So I'll set the stage: We are at mass at church.  It's about 40 minutes in and appears to be going long due to the 8 minute video they showed in the beginning about some pregancny outreach center.  (To St. Pius: I'm sure this is a lovely cause, but please don't show this at the beginning of the children's mass.  First of all, I don't feel like explaining to Abigail what an "abortion" is, and secondly, it was just WAY too long).  The kids have been slowly and steadily getting noisier and noisier.  They always tend to be the loudest when it's a "quiet moment".  Our church is great though.  The chidren's mass is sped through at a quick pase, it's spoken directly to the kids and gets them involved and it's always sort of noisy in there because of all the kids.  Normally, we just blend right in, but today, Jacob and Hannah were being unusually onery.  So, the younger two peas were arguing about nothing with one another.  The usual "here's a book" move doesn't work. So I give my phone to Hannah, hoping to quell her just a big longer, but that back fires because they start fighting about it, LOUDLY.  So I quickly take it away because kids aren't suppose to be playing with iphones in church, right??  What kind of mother am I??  I am becoming visibally more stressed and angry.  I whisper in Jacob's ear to knock it off RIGHT now or I'm telling Hermie AND no more cheese for today!  Now it's time to give peace to everyone and here comes this little, old Asian women who says to me "It's ok, mom, you should relax.  Soon you will be old like me and your heart will be breaking everyday."  Then she gives me peace.  Christ.  Seriously???!? Thanks for making me feel guilty for being stressed at my kids' poor behavior. 
I get that "time goes fast" and that "I'll never get these moments back" but it doesn't make them any easier!!  Ha, I'm sure she is correct though, someday my heart may be breaking.  I plan on being an awesome Nana some day though, always traveling around with Papa, being super cool and good looking.  Dropping in with my grandbabies whenever I see fit, saying whatever I feel like because I'm old and can do that sort of crap.  I know I should revel in the small things, focus on the happiness, which I usually do; but aren't I allowed a stressful day every now and again?  I think so.  Maybe I just need some more peace to be with me.  Or more peace and quiet.  Or more wine.
So here's to you, little Asian lady: I'm sure you are an amazing mother, and thanks for making me feel guilty, like no one but a mother can make you feel.  I drink to you this evening!  And here's to hoping for an easier week ahead! Ugg!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

teacher christmas presents :)

Ok, so other mommies be prepared to be jealous.  I am hand making all my teacher presents this year.  Normally, since there are multiple teacher's at the preschool, I try to do something that will not cost me an arm and a leg to make and that is also awesome.  I usually do something baked, like cookies, or chocolate dipped pretzels, but this year since I am on a wreath kick, I thought I'd make some for Abby's teacher, Jacob's three teachers and the preschool director. ((Now, I went back and forth about actually posting this because my fellow blogger/runner friend and ALSO one of Jacob's teachers read this blog..but I really wanted to share my awesome wreath, so SURPRISE Ms. Courtney!  This is your Christmas present.  I hope you like it!))

I wanted to make a simple Christmas wreath, not knowing quite sure how everyone decorates for the holidays.  I made a candy cane-esk wreath.

To make this wreath, you will need:
-foam wreath
- red and white sparkly yarn
- red and white felt
- bead decorations
- hot glue, scissors, wire cutters

Wrap the yarn around, alternating red and white.  I wrapped each section and then went backwards and re wrapped it, helping to make it thicker.  Hot glue each end before starting the new color.
I made two folded felt flowers for each wreath, one red and one white.  To make them, cut 6 felt circles for each color.
Hot glue them in half.
Then hot glue them in half again.
Do that to five of the six circles.  Then hot glue four in a circle on the unfolded circle, then one on top of them to make a flower.
Here are the beaded flowers I used.  I cut one sprig from each for each wreath.
Hot glue them down first, then the leaves.  A trick I learned was to tie a piece of yarn to help hold the heavier pieces down.
This way, they will remain steady under the flowers. Glue down the flowers on top and you are done! 
Hopefully they all love them as much as I do!  As soon as I am done with these, I plan on making a Christmas one for me too! :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Elf on the Shelf

So I finally got myself an Elf on the Shelf.  My mom had actually told he about these like 4 years ago, when they weren't even sold in stores, only on this special website.  I thought it sounded like a cute idea but they were expensive so I decided to wait.  Well, fast forward to four years later and they are everywhere and still expensive.  I tried to get one on sale last year after Christmas but never could find one.  I was forced to pay full price (:/) but oh well.  Since I wanted to put my decorations up today, I decided to think of a cute way for him to come to our house. 
I wrote this cute note from Santa in cursive (which took me forever!) and addressed it to the kids.

Then I slid it in the book and put it outside the front door.
I hid our friend in a plant and then rang the doorbell.  The kids were down the hall so I pretended I was busy and asked Abby to get the door, which already freaked her out because I have never asked her to do that.  She looked out the window and saw no one so now she didn't want to get the door.  The dog starts freaking out now too because everyone is by the door!  Jacob finally says he'll open it and they find the book.  We sit on the couch, read the note and the story.
The kids were excited that Santa had come to visit us!  Then we had to find our Elf.  No one could find him so I finally did.  Then we had to name him.  Hannah said "Splashy", Jake said "Worker".  I said no.  I suggested "Henry", which Abby replied with "Herbie", which now seems to be either Herbie (Abby) or Hermie (Hannah and Jake).  So I guess it's actually Hermie now.  Who knows.
The Elf on the Shelf is actually quite genius. It's an easy way for parents to make their kids behave without actually having to do much work.  If they misbehave, just kindly remind them that the Elf is watching. I think there should be one for every holiday.
Welcome to the family Herbie/Hermie.  We are happy to have you :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A homemade foot soak

While I am sitting outside watching my kids play, and NOT pushing on them on the swing (I never push them, it's annoying and I don't do it, ok, maybe I will push Hannah for like 2 minutes, BUT that's IT! if you want to swing, learn to pump.  Abby and Jake learned when they were 3) I shall share a quick foot soak recipe with you, because I plan on doing one tonight.
Before I decided to transition from working mommy to stay at home mommy, getting pedi's was one of my favorite things to do.  Now, that's not in the budget, so instead, every few weeks, I treat myself to this and sometimes even have a new nail polish to paint on my piggies.  This is a quick and easy foot soak that makes your feet feel great. Can you keep a secret??  My husband LOVES this, he's on his feet the majority of the day so he says it makes his tired feet feel great. 

Detoxifying foot soak
Big bucket/tub of super hot water, the hotter the better!
1/2 c baking soda
1/2 c epsom salts
a few drops of tea tree oil

soak and enjoy :)  best served with wine

Monday, November 19, 2012

The bedtime dance

I love bedtime!  I have figured out, over my 7+ years experience as being a mama, that I have exactly 12 hours of patience for my kids.  I can go-go-go all day: clean, tend to three kids, cook, bake, entertain, homework, help in classrooms, iron, yadda yadda. As the evening comes to a close, however, my patience quickly comes to an end.  I LOVE how early my kids go to bed.  I hope they NEVER want to go to bed later, even though I know they will someday.  I will revel in every day with a 6:30 bedtime, cherish every moment.  Staying up late occasionally is fun.  Especially on a special occasion or event.  For our day-to-day lives though, in bed early works best for the kids and mommy. It works REALLY well for mommy :) Early bedtimes began from when Abby first got on a schedule when she was about 6 months when I read that babies need 12 hours of sleep.  We had to be up for me to work by 6:30, hence the 6:30 bedtime.  I tried once or twice for Abby to go to bed at 7, haha, it did not work.  They just need that sleep.  Then, since they all stopped napping early (around 2 1/4 yrs old) they REALLY needed that sleep!  Abby and Jacob went to bed fairly easily, most nights, but now with three kids, we usually spend about 40 minutes doing what I like to call "The Bedtime Dance".  This sounds better than the i'm-going-to-pull-my-fricken-hair-out dance. Abby is usually out cold by 6:32, Jake may come out once or twice, but HANNAH, whoa, a TOTALLY different story.  She probably could go to bed at 8 and would be fine, but obviously I am not going to allow ONE child to stay up late!  That would be hilarious! Why on earth would I do that?!?

Here's a typical expert from The Bedtime Dance:
6:10- read stories
6:30- tuck kids into bed, give kisses and say good night
6:32-close doors, pour wine for mom (I don't need to "tidy up" like some moms because I have learned to get all that crap done before bedtime so I can RELAX afterwards!)
6:35- grab phone, computer and laptop to work on my blog, check emails and read the news of the day.
6:36- Jake comes out asking for water, I remind him his cup is already full by his bed and tell him to go to sleep (I learned long ago to give each kid a sippy of water in bed so they don't have to ask me for a drink!)
6:37- head back to couch, almost sit down, Hannah comes out asking for (fill in the blank) stuffed animal, help her find it
6:39- head back to couch, sip wine, almost sit, dumb dog whines to go out, let dog out
6:41- head back to couch, sip wine, open ipad, Hannah comes out again, asking for (fill in the blank) book, get it for her, tell her "no more after this!" Let dog back in.
6:45- take a LARGER sip of wine, sit down, Jake comes out to remind me of "something" (who the heck knows what) I tell him THAT'S IT, in my mean voice.  This will probably be it for Jake for the evening.
6:48- Sitting now, Hannah will come in and out 4-5 times, I won't get up, tell her to GET IN BED.  She will ask for random toy #1, #2 and #3, random book #1 or #2, or her blanket.  I will be sipping my wine this whole time and sitting, now tired and annoyed. Dog wants to go out again, I say "Biscuit, are you f*$#ing kidding me?!" May or may not let her out.
6:56- She may stay in her bed for 5-6 minutes at this time, giving me a false sense of security.  I may or may not need a refill on my wine, probably will have gotten through a few emails, maybe started my blog. I don't dare watching a show yet, not quite yet...
7:01- Hannah reappears, now with the phantom boo-boo.  Its always in a different spot, always fake.  If you even ask her, "is this for a fake boo-boo???" she will respond yes.  I've learned it's just easier to get her the damn band-aid because if not, they she will SCREAM, which wouldn't bother me if she didn't share a room with Abby.  I get the band aid and tell her THIS IS IT!  ONCE MORE AND I'M CALLING SANTA! Yea, I said it, Santa.  I use the Santa card from September through December.  Sometimes I even get on the phone and fake my convo with him.
7:05- Take a GIANT sip of wine, hope she's asleep. 
This may be it, but sometimes this goes on for another 10 minutes.  Eventually she will FINALLY fall asleep and sleep all night, thankfully. I'm sure Super Nanny would cringe.  Oh well...time to pour more wine...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thomas Family Mountain Fun!

 Today since David was off (since it's a weekend, this is rare) we decided to go up to Mt. Lemmon for the day.  Mt. Lemmon is one part of Tucson I really like going, probably since it is the least like Tucson.  It was a yummy 40 degrees when we got up the mountain, so the kiddies wore their animal hats :)
The kids all found walking sticks.  Don't mind the blurry spots, my lens was dirty :) 

Dad acted not his age.

Even Hannah hiked!  Some of the way, at least.


Nanni came with us.  Jake told her to "stick with him" and he'd help her on the trail.  He said he's an expert since he's been "hiking since he was two".

Nanni and her dolly.  She was tired from the hike ;)

Mama and Daddy even got in a few pics!  Don't we look nice.
 Daddy and his girls.

After our hike, it was time for lunch!
We packed a yummy lunch and everyone was hungry!  Even Hannah ate, shocker!

Daddy and the peas.

Mama and the peas.

Afterwards, we drove into town and got some cookies and hot cocoa from The Cookie Shack.

Then we drove up to Ski Valley and walked around some. 

This view is to die for.  Reminds me of home :)

 What are those?!?!  Oh yea, trees.
The peas had a GREAT time on the mountain. It's always fun to see the leaves and actually feel what fall is SUPPOSE to be like :)  It's an added plus for Daddy to be home too.  Best of all, no one fell off the mountain, which is a genuine concern with my kids.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A delicious bean dip recipe

Ok, so I have some friends coming over in a few minutes to craft and celebrate my birthday, so I have about 5 minutes to blog!  My friend Wendy is making some delicious homemade tortilla chips, guacamole and bringing LOTS of margaritas, so I am making a quick bean dip.  Here is my recipe:

2 cans refried beans
1 c sour cream
1 8oz package of cream cheese (softened)
1 packet of taco seasonings
2 cups of Mexican blend cheese

Preheat the oven to 350.  Mix all the ingredients together and place in a baking pan.  Cover with the cheese.  Bake for 25-30 min and serve hot.  YUM.  It's good :)

Now, to get ready for my crafting/margarita celebration!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

S-P-E-L-L spells spell!

Last week Abby got on the "challenge list" for her spelling, and boy are these words hard!  For example, this week's words are shadow, shield, shoulder, squash, anguish, unleash, tornado, afford, be, and try. Yikes! On the other list, we could practice them 1x or 2x a week and she'd be fine, but these require MUCH more focus, which I guess is a good thing for her.  I have been researching other fun ways to practice spelling words and want to share my list with you all that have kids with spelling words, or soon to have some! Abby has a spelling menu she has to choose from weekly, a few of these ideas, I got from there.

The key to getting a 100% on spelling is to practice them at home, A LOT!  I know when I was teaching, I didn't do too much isolated spelling practice, besides a center or two, so I know the importance of studying at home!

Two tricks I use with Abby is to always keep a list in the car so that we can practice every time we go someplace.  This way, she's getting more exposure.  Also, I'll write the more difficult words on the bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker.  Every time she goes in there, I tell her to spell them to herself.

Here are some other fun ways to practice:
1. Play "roll and spell": use a dice and each number corresponds to a way to write the words.  There are endless ways to do this, but two that Abby likes are "Rainbow words" where each number corresponds to a different color (i.e roll a one, write the word in red, roll a two, write the word in orange...and so on) and this way: 1- write the words with your opposite hand, 2- write the word fast, 3- write the word with your eyes closed, 4- write your words the "fancy nancy" way, 5- write the word in all caps, 6- write the word with teeny letters.
2. Write the words with rainbow letters
3. Write the words 3x, BIG, medium, and small
4. Write the words on a white board
5. Use play dough, pipe cleaners, or yarn to make your words (one piece per letter)
6. Use letter stamps
7. Type the words on the computer
8. Pour sugar, salt or shaving cream on a tray and write the words in that (fun and messy)
9. Use chalk outside to write the words
10. Use letter tiles or magnet letters.
11. Paint your words
12. "Hidden Words"-write your words with a white crayon on white paper and then water color paint over them it make the words appear.
13. Cut and paste letters from magazines to spell your words.
14. Draw a flower with a petal for each letter of the word.
15. Make ABC rocks and spell your words
16. Make ABC clothespins and spell your words by clipping them on a "line" or on an index card.
17. Use scrabble tiles to spell your words.
18. Make a free word search using your words.
19. Have mom or dad mix up the letters and the kid has to unscramble them.
20.  On paper or a white board, mom or dad writes the word a bunch of times with one ONE being correct, the child has to circle the correct spelling.  Write it more times for older kids, less for younger.
21. Use to practice them online.
22.  We downloaded the "super speller" app on the ipad.  You type the words and also say them, recording your voice.  There are 4 different ways to "practice" and then an option to take a test.
23. Bounce a ball outside while spelling your words, one bounce per letter.
24.  Set a timer, see how many times you can write your words in 3 minutes.
25. Write your words in silly sentences.
26. Make a picture and "hide" your words in the picture.
27. Write your words and circle all the vowels.
28. Put your words in ABC order
29. Write your words with your finger on your parents back. (this one is HARD, Abby and I can never tell what each other is writing, lol)
30. Take a written practice test. Remember to correct any unnecessary uppercase letters, if that's an expectation for your child.  Abby will be marked wrong if she does this so we are very vigilant on this.

Good luck "spicing it up" with your kid's spelling routine!!
May you all be blessed with happy spellers :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Quick Thanksgiving Wreath

So today, I felt like making a quick Thanksgiving wreath. It's not super fancy, but I like it :)
To make this, you will need:
Foam Wreath
coordinating fabrics, as many or as little as you want
hot glue
felt for the flowers
paper for the "be thankful" medallion

Cut your fabric in rectangles long enough to go around your wreath, about 2'x 5x.

Hot glue the strips one at a time.  I wasn't too worried for them to be completely flat, a few wrinkles adds some character ;)

Continue gluing until the whole wreath is covered.

I made 3 felt mums (see previous posts) and hot glued a button in the center for something different.  To make this "medallion" I glued a piece of scrapbook paper on a thin piece of cardboard and just hand wrote "Be Thankful".  I hot glued wooden beads around the edge.  If I had thought more ahead, wooden letters would have been cute, but I didn't have any handy.
I hot glued the medallion and flowers on the side, tied a ribbon, and called it a wreath!  I'll hang it on our front door for a few weeks, until I make a Christmas one :)
Happy Crafting!