chocolate pretzel glory

            chocolate + pointer finger = terror :)

if you ever need a giant mess...an activity that will fill your fridge with pretzel covered goodness...and a delightful smile on your kids face...try these...these rock.

green ocean

empty glass jars with lids
glitter. lots of glitter.
old junk from your junk drawer
food dye

cheap. fun. easy. now that's my kind of project.

oh, and we sprung a green leak the first time around...fyi, hot glue your lid shut :)

marshmallow huts

we built towers and pillars and barns and houses and cars and roads and snakes and pokers. and we ate wayyyy too many marshmallows :)

the best kind of busy

i have known the worst kind of busy...in fact, i know it all too well. the kind of busy that creeps up on me...the kind that steals the joy out of life...the kind that makes me look back on the day with regret because i missed it. i was un-present. i was distracted.

this past week, i made conscious efforts to war against the busy. i embraced the good busy...the kind that keeps kids entranced in a world of play and encourages them to explore. entertain. be present.

don't get me wrong. i still scurry around. a one woman ball of frazzled at times. the blog world doesn't show that part. my frazzle-ocity doesn't quite make the blog-worthy cut...but believe me, it's there. i'm pretty darn good at frazzeled. i've nearly mastered it. so i'm looking onward to un-frazzeled. maybe someday i'll achieve it.

in my quest for un-frazzled...in the midst of the lifelong search for balance, i breathed.
and forced myself to forget, for a moment, the mounting things on my to-do list.
but it's not easy. some of the to-do items are actually important things...like homestudy update paperwork, and I-800A forms and fundraiser details and orders i need to respond to and my car registrations that is 4 months expired - yikes! not to mention daily things like meal planning and homeschool curriculum and laundry and getting the oil changed in my car (again 4 months overdue), my packing list for china (yes i've started making my list...it's 3 pages long...still in editing :), etc.

but, are any of them really more important than the two little ones in front of me??? does it really matter what my ever long list says? i need to choose what's in front of me more often and put the list aside more often.

i believe there are plenty of times that we just plain need to get stuff done to help our homes to run smoothly, make a meal for a friend who had a baby, clean up a recent craft disaster, or just plain sit in silence for a few moments, etc.
there are times that i turn "cat in the hat" on the tube, and my kids vedge. i scurry. counting how many more minuets the cat in the hat knows a lot about that and how much more scurry i can squeeze in. how many loads of laundry. how much of dinner can i prep. how many forms can i fill out. how many times i can run up and down and all around...but never really getting things done.

but when it becomes the norm...the scurry and the frazzled...things fall apart quickly.
balance goes missing.

last week, i planned ahead. something i've been planning on doing...it's been on my to-do list :) and finally found precidence over all of the other things.

so i'm sharing a few of the good busy things that we've done. google and i found these easy, cheap DIY projects.  there are a bunch more...maybe next week the blog will make a to-do list appearance and i will get to literarilly breathe for a few fleeting moments.

let's try it together. embrace the good busy. get a little messy. have a broom and dust pan nearby :) and put the cellphones down. build something tall. glue on googlie eyes. and make stuff up using the stuff we already have :)

i feel less frazzled already.


clay boys

salt dough made these:

my "please smile" made these:

me saying something about boogies made these:

boys who love projects:

made these:

and these:



1 part cornstarch...2 parts love

if there is anything boys love, it's goop. ok, not all boys. one boy wanted nothing to do with this. and one boy was in love.

mix: 1 part water with 2 parts corstarch = really really messy and wonderful goop


i'm not biast...it's the truth

i have a friend who writes a delightful blog...she effortless photographs the meals she features...i seriously want to invite myself over to dinner every night so i can (1.) eat amazing homemade goodness (2.) find out how she gets such lovely perfection when she photographs her ingredients. mine are never so clear or sensational. and i'm sure mine don't taste so delicious, either :)

i practiced at lunch...and was continually frustrated with the so-so photog results...

but found i was even more in love with these little buddies...

who each made their own type of mac and cheese...

...and continually sampled each other's choices.

it was lovely perfection.
geeze i love them.
they're crazy awesome kids...i'm not biast...it's the truth :)

by the by, i noticed that it was lunchtime when i shot these, and my kids are still in their pj's. and then i looked down at the mom typing this blog post, and she's in her pj's too...we may have fun making mac and cheese, but we are way too lazy to put on real clothes :)

kit-kat coupon

for christmas i made each of the boys a little coupon book with fun little coupons like "go get ritas ice cream with mommy"  or  "stay up late with mommy and daddy." it's pretty cute, if i must say so myself.
i want them to know we value special time with them. i want to them to remember staying up late snuggling on the couch. i want them to remember time spent one on one with their mom or dad. i think it's vital. i remember often having special time with my parents when i was growing up and it meant so much to me. my parents made it a priority, and i want to do the same.

today foster chose his coupon... "pick a treat and help make it"
when i asked him what he wanted to make, he didn't hesitate. "KIT-KATS!!"
i looked at him with dismay. i was expecting "pudding" or "jello." seriously. how do you make kit-kats???
i still don't know where he got this idea...we've had kit-kats maybe once or twice in his entire lifetime...but he was sure that's what he wanted, and i wasn't about to do anything but make kit kats.

google and i managed to find a recipe that included all ingredients we had on hand.

it was the perfect kid-friendly recipe. there was plenty of cracker arranging while i was melting and mixing things on the stove.

and seriously...they were way too tasty. i schlepped half of them off to stephen and lauren as fast as i could, for fear that more of my clothes wouldn't fit after consuming them :)

oh, and this is what i get when i say "smile"...

and this is what i get when i say "boogies"...


it's not impossible to be rejuvinated.

i literally want to run upstairs and wake up my kids. i cannot wait for tomorrow to arrive. this project is going to knock their little socks right off of their cute little toes.

just as i began to tread water at the thought of monday morning project mayhem...feeling the weight of overwhelmed and anticipating the morning scramble....i opened my inbox to find my sweet friend forwarded me a link to Made by Joel and i've spent an hour ooh-ing over his clever and lovely designs. i haven't seen anything quite so simple and astonishing in quite some time...something totally free and full of the promise of inventive play. i'm in love.

 and if i can figure out how to use my husbands drill all my myself, i'm going to add this to the ensemble.

my boys have been loving any type of family role play and are intrigued by doll houses and little people and little play things. they always include a baby sister into the mix and i nearly cry 12 times a day as i watch them tenderly carry around a random stuffed animal which has been transformed into "sister." they pass her back and forth, and make little cribs and take her for rides on helicopters. hilarious and heart melting.

paper-ville will also suit us well, since we often break into a wrestling match at any given moment. a dainty dollhouse just won't do. at least this kind can be squashed and re-taped, or quickly remade if a monster truck decides to bust into town and wreak havoc on our village.

as i type, i am currently going a bit overboard and even adding a few accents to my printouts...and leaving the rest blank for creative little boys to create

then the day after we're going to make this....and this...

and the day after we're going to make these because they're easy and cute, oh, and they're free...and i think our town and it's inhabitants are worthy of some pizazz...i can already invision them strung up and running amuck in the boys' room...colorful and messy, just as they should be.

and maybe, just maybe, my hubby can whip one of these up on his lunch break this week...it would surely turn a cold snow day into a delightful competition of brotherly delight.

join in. and please, pretty please, tell me the clever ideas you are doing this week. i need something for thursday and friday for fear that i might lapse back into mayhem :)

thanks linds. i needed inspiration. i needed my dear friend to remind me that it's not impossible to be rejuvinated.


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