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Posts Tagged ‘parenting’


Projects and Recipes

I have wanted a laundry room counter with storage and enough space to fold clothing with this many kids.  The hubby and I hit a place in Grand Rapids named, “Restore”. It is a store attached to Habitat for Humanity and they resell items removed or not used in building new homes.  They make a bit of money to be able to build new homes for people and they also have some awesome deals on things. I found a bunch of old kitchen cabinets and told Macgyver I had to have them.  Next I told him he needed to grab a piece of plywood for my counter top and he didn’t understand why I didn’t just let him get me a normal counter top.  Normal? Me? sometimes I just don’t know who this man is.  I had the image in my mind of what I wanted and refused to tell him other than how the build should go.  I wanted something functional but also a keepsake for me.  Everyone is working on wood with stains and making beautiful pieces of artwork.  They blend stain colors to create flowers and such.  However, that sort of art is way out of my reach. So, I got to thinking how much I love my kids and the age ranges they are right this moment are priceless. I wanted a way to preserve them, something useful, doesn’t need dusting and could live on long after I am gone in the house.  Here is what I came up with…

Here is what I started with.

Here is what I started with.

I recruited help from the 5 year  old, Minnie Mouse.

I recruited help from the 5 year old, Minnie Mouse.

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She insisted we use her left over bedroom paint a seafoam color, it is pretty though.

She insisted we use her left over bedroom paint a sea-foam color, it is pretty though.

All 3 cabinets together, painted and a plywood top srewed down. I gathered all the girls.

All 3 cabinets together, painted and a plywood top screwed down. I gathered all the girls.

Pulled out an old dogfoord bag and smeared paint on it. By this time they were looking at me very strange.

Pulled out an old dogfood bag and smeared paint on it. By this time they were looking at me very strange.

Have them one by one, step in the paint, lift them to the counter and walk down it.

Have them one by one, step in the paint, lift them to the counter and walk down it.

Once everyone but the manchild walked the counter top, I had him dip his hands and put his thumbs together, spread out his fingers like a butterfly would look and he stamped one set of his hands in the corner. It does look like a butterfly but you can see his hands nicely.

Once everyone but the manchild walked the counter top, I had him dip his hands and put his thumbs together, spread out his fingers like a butterfly would look and he stamped one set of his hands in the corner. It does look like a butterfly but you can see his hands nicely.

Next I took a darker stain and brushed over the whole thing. Let it set for about 20 minutes and wiped it down with a cloth. The prints look old antiqute-ish.

Next I took a darker stain and brushed over the whole thing. Let it set for about 20 minutes and wiped it down with a cloth. The prints look old antique-ish

After drying I put 2 coats of polyurethane over it.

After drying I put 2 coats of polyurethane over it.

Then I called it a day.  My new, recycled laundry counter with storage and keepsake footprint top.  Love it!!!

Then I called it a day. My new, recycled laundry counter with storage and keepsake footprint top. Love it!!!

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Projects & Recipes

We have been making these Jolly Rancher suckers for years, and if you have little ones they will love making a rainbow.  These are super easy to make and very cool looking.

What you will need:

a bag of Jolly Rancher candies

sucker sticks or coffee stir sticks(that is what we used)

Doing the deed:

Pulled out a cookie sheet, cover it with parchment. Unwrap your Jolly Ranchers and lay 3 in a line.  Mix your colors and flavors some, don’t be shy. Put in and oven on 200 F for 10 minutes or so. They will melt into a stripped pool. Remove from the oven and then lay your stick in each pool.  let them cool completely and enjoy!

A tastey rainbow on a stick.

A tasty rainbow on a stick.

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Everyday dose of Reality

For a little while now I have been using one of the old chalkboards in the living room as a “Jobs for Hire” board for the kids.  The board is used for jobs around the house or yard that are things not included in their normal chores.  It lists the job needed to be done, what the pay for that job will be and the person who wants the job, writes their name next to the job.  Living in an old school, let me tell you there is never any shortage of things to do around here.  This gives the kids a chance to earn a little extra money to save for a dance, going shopping or whatever they want to save it for.  As the jobs are completed they come get me and I approve or point out things they missed before a payout is made.  So far, the board has worked well for them and me 🙂  If you are considering a Jobs for Hire board, it can be on paper, poster board, a white board or anything you can come up with to post for the kids to see.  Good luck in your hiring process.

Sorry for the horrible picture, clearly I have had too much coffee.  Is that even possible?

Sorry for the horrible picture, clearly I have had too much coffee. Is that even possible?

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Everyday dose of Reality

Sometimes the things you see as a parent are strange and scary.  We have a boat load of kids so rest assured I have seen more nakedness than any strip club in the world.  There are times that not only what children say makes you shake your head, but what you see forces you to do a double take.  The other day I was standing out in the kitchen doing dishes and walked out into the dining room to get a forgotten cup on the table.  Amethyst, our deranged fairy came into the living room playing with her remote control car.

The deranged fairy loves her remote control car and plays with it a lot. Once again I had a "moment".  I never thought to question the contents of the car and after all these years, I should have.

The deranged fairy loves her remote control car and plays with it a lot. Once again I had a “moment”. I never thought to question the contents of the car and after all these years, I should have.

Look real close at the car.  Can you see what doesn't belong?

Look real close at the car. Can you see what doesn’t belong?

Yeah, it's not every day you see a toad drive by in a neon pink & yellow car in a living room is it? I can only hope our daughter will get to expeirence the joy of toads driving in her house one day :)

Yeah, it’s not every day you see a toad drive by in a neon pink & yellow car in a living room is it? I can only hope our daughter will get to expeirence the joy of toads driving in her house one day 🙂

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Everyday dose of Reality

I opened an in-house candy store yesterday.  Trying to teach little kids to save or how to spend their money wisely is extremely hard with older kids.  The other day at the grocery store I notice how the kids flocked to the candy machines at the front of the store, before we even shopped.  An idea came to mind!  I bought a bunch of different kinds of candy in bags for the house.  Once I got home I pulled out this cabinet thing I had in one of the rooms.  I filled it with different candies and put it in my office along with my change tin I keep.

I rotate candy or add new stuff, you know to make it exciting for them.

I rotate candy or add new stuff, you know to make it exciting for them.

I was tired of giving them an allowance for their chores and the money just being wasted or flat-out gone.  So the idea is that now they can buy a gumball for a penny or a sucker for a nickel at home.  The money collected from the candy store goes into the tin and is reused for their next allowance … or into their bank accounts split evenly among the kids.  I am hoping that by doing this, when we go to the store they are dulled to items there.  I have noticed over the past few days of running the store, they think more about what they want to buy.  Next trip to the grocery store I will let them pick out the types of candy to put in our home store.  Maybe that will also help, we will see.  So far it has changed them and how they look at money.  You just never know when I might put 2 chocolate bars in the store and they will have to save fifty cents up for one.  At least they are being a bit more strategic and there had been more sharing happening.  This is a good thing 🙂

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Everyday dose of Reality

I can’t believe the sun is out and it is warm, maybe I should call CNN.  Don’t get me wrong I am a Northern gal but come a certain time of year I do expect the snow to be gone.  Now, normally that would have been in the middle of last month, but it seems Mother Nature has a sense of humor this year.  She is just so darn funny that I woke up Saturday morning to fat snowflakes coming down and I don’t mean just a few.

Up here in Northern Minnesota fishing opener was this past Sunday.  I have no clue why they decided to make it on Mother’s Day, but they did.  Don’t get me wrong I love my kids as much as any mother can, but think about it for a second.  Mother’s Day is made to look as if the mum gets pampered and ravished by love from her kids.  Now, in a child’s mind it’s Mother’s Day, so you need to go to mum for every little need or desire the child wants.  Same as any other day, but this one is not the normal week day name 🙂

So … people come up here from all over the place to go fishing.  I guess the state motto, “Land of 10,000 Lakes” implies we also have a butt load of fish and the best angling.  At any rate, I ran the kids down to the little store down the road, and the parking lot resembled Walmart on Christmas eve.  Well, minus the snow and these guys were all in pick-ups dragging boats behind them.  The owner of the store and I had been placing bets over the past 2 weeks.  Let me make it clear, I’m not really a gambler and don’t want to get confused for my Great Grandma.  She was a Vegas/Laughlin staple as she schlepped from slot to slot in her velour joggin suit, green see through visor propped on her head and the trusty plastic margarine tub hanging from yarn around her neck.  Oh yeah, that’s how my Great Grandma rolled.  Fearless and she was packin heat in that margarine tub.  Nickles baby, all nickles!

The question about opener was, do people bring boats or ice augers?  In truth it was a valid question, especially with the knowledge that the ice just melted off the lakes TODAY.  I went with the option of: bring the boat with a plow blade welded on front, wear a life jacket and ice auger hanging off the edge of the boat.  Needless to say, all these fisher-people (yep being politically correct), came, they saw, and they cursed the ice-covered lakes.

A true fisher-person never gives up.

A true fisher-person never gives up.

Today the sun is out, all the way, no hiding behind clouds teasing you.  It is 82 at this moment and I bet this weekend the people pile on the lakes like bees on honey.

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Everyday dose of Reality

You might think not a lot could go wrong when you have jumbo marshmallows, but you would be wrong.  See at our house some people might take the chance to issue a challenge.  Now, I won’t say who, but the rock was thrown.  It just happen to be also on a weekend that our 11 year old was having a slumber party.  Which means, EVERYONE got involved hahahaha

From front to back and holding up their number packed in their mouths, we have: Minnie (our 4 yr old), left is Breanna, Sierra (our 7yr old) and Ida.

From front to back and holding up their number packed in their mouths, we have: Minnie (our 4 yr old), left is Breanna, Sierra (our 7yr old) and Ida.

Olivia and the manchild (our 12 yr old son)

Olivia and the manchild (our 12 yr old son)

Left is Isabelle (our 11 yr old) and Breanna

Left is Isabelle (our 11 yr old) and Breanna

Here we have more of our pack of kids: the deranged Fairy left, manchild, Minnie & Sierra the drama queen

Here we have more of our pack of kids: the deranged Fairy left, manchild, Minnie & Sierra the drama queen

Comming in at 1st place is Macgyver with a total of 5 packed in his mouth. Proof that he has the biggest mouth in the house. OK, I had to take the pictures so I bowed out of the challenge :)

And in at 1st place is Macgyver with a total of 5 packed in his mouth. Proof that he has the biggest mouth in the house. OK, I had to take the pictures so I bowed out of the challenge 🙂

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