Monday, November 30, 2009

Do you want your own library?

This site will not be good for you. And their fiction books (except for their kid's fiction books - Boo.) are 50% off for the next few days.

It's a site that sells books at closeout prices - sometimes, if you hit a good sale, for pennies. The problem hits when shipping is added. If you've spent $100 (don't judge) on books and gotten 61 books for that amount of money, you're feeling pretty smart - until shipping for those 61 heavy books hits. *gulp* (still, $133 for 61 books isn't bad - especially when they're quality books)

So, here's the point of this post. BookCloseouts.com is having a Free Shipping Sale. From now until the end of December, you get free shipping if you live in the US (including Hawaii and Alaska) or Canada.

Catch-up - one for the archives.

Crafts we've done that I want to save. This one's for the archives, so feel free to skip over.

Pop bottle butterflies (and dragons). Found here via Mountain Pulse.

Not great for littles. We did this when my cousin's kids were here and they had a lot of fun, so I'd say it's good for seven years old on up.



I'm definitely saving this one for when they're older.




Classic pasta pictures.

Cleaned out the pantry and found pasta I haven't used for years. I was more comfortable having the girls do art with it then testing it in the kitchen. So lucky we have enough money to make that decision.

Ains got frustrated fast and just told me where she wanted me to put the glue and she dumped the pasta.







Magazine Christmas Trees

Hannah picked the livestock equipment magazine over the hunting magazine because "Hunting's not my style, Mother. What kind of a girl do you think I am?"


Hannah's went to Daddy's work, Ains' is in their room.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The past few days ...

have been spent reconnecting with cousins over balloon tying (how I missed a picture of the enormous 'pet shop' that resulted from this, I'll never know), reading,

and ornament making.

There was then last trampoline jumping of the season,

and searching in the mountains for the perfect Christmas tree.



We'll have our tree up earlier than usual this year, but I'm ok with that. I'm ready to start listening to Christmas music and watching Love Actually once a day until the season is over. Colin Firth, Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, and Emma Thompson .... it doesn't get *any* better than that.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dr. Dropo

A few weeks ago, Matt took the girls to a restaurant where a local college student was earning money by folding balloons for kids. Both girls came home with a kitty. Hannah stuck hers on a dresser where it would be safe ...

but talked Ains into letting her 'see how yours works'. Then Ains had a snake and Hannah was hooked.

The next time we went to town, we checked out "Dr. Dropo's Balloon Sculpturing" from the library and bought a big ol' bag of balloons and a pump (I am not signing up to blow up all of those balloons, thank you very much).

When we got home, we went to work.

Hannah wanted to make her daddy a dog. She worked and worked at it, and after seven minutes of frustration - we were still working the kinks out - she told her daddy "I think you get a worm."

But then it clicked, and she had it.

Her first balloon animal.

I was having to hold the twists for her while she made the next twists in the chain, but she was following the pictures herself and doing all of the work.

Then it was a squirrel.

Then a swan.

We got stuck on swans for awhile.

By then, all I was doing was blowing up and tying off the balloons.

Then she made her sister a giraffe - which was well-received the next morning.

And the easiest of all - swords.

These were also *very* well received by her little brother the next morning, but I don't have a picture of that. If a child moves even slightly while I'm taking a picture, it's blurry, and folks, that kid holding a balloon sword was moving more than slightly. He had his sisters on the run.

It's been a week now, and Hannah's used up the first bag of balloons and is working through her second. She's made flowers, fish, planes, lots of swords, variations on different four legged animals, and wants to do a parrot on a swing next. Ainsley made a collar for a cat. We had to have a talk about that one. Cygnus has learned that balloons pop if you bite them - as did Grayson. Mother has learned that a popping balloon isn't the end of the world (my leaning six inches away while she twisted the balloons was a never-ending source of hilarity for Hannah until I learned that). Father has learned to relax about finding balloon creatures everywhere and Hannah has learned to work with a trash can beside her for popped balloons.

And, thankfully, Hannah has Dr. Dropo to learn from - because I couldn't do more than a fish when we started.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

All she wants for Christmas.

Hannah's been wanting to lose her 'two front teeth' before Christmas so that she can sing "All I want for Christmas" more authentically.

This meant that she was extra excited this morning when this happened -

It's not one of the top teeth, but it'll do.

She spent thirty minutes with Seymour Skinless learning more about her teeth. We love Seymour.

Then we made a pillow for her tooth to sit in while it waited for the tooth fairy.

She sang "All I want for Christmas" the whole time.

Now she's asleep and the tooth fairy's already come, collected the tooth and the note that she left, and left a note, a bit o' money, and an extra special present (it *is* the first tooth, after all) by her toothbrush.

The tooth fairy's very excited to see how she likes it tomorrow morning.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thankful.

Today was a long, slow day filled with lots of crafting and giggling. Hannah crafted around me while I cleaned in the craft room. When she was done, she showed me her vases full of flowers.

After she started messing around on the paint shelf and found the face paints that I'd picked up on Halloween clearance, I got no peace until I agreed to make her a butterfly.

Then Ainsley wanted something simpler - a heart and a rose.


Grayson wanted nothing at all, but I was on a roll by then.

Starting in on Thanksgiving week, we did our Thanksgiving tree tonight. Hannah helped me cut the leaves and got them all organized in a bowl with the pens.

During dinner, we wrote what we were thankful for on the leaves.

Hannah put a lot of thought into her 'Thankfuls'. Last year was constellations and books. This year was her dog, crafts, her pony, and balloons (her latest obsession). I made the cut both years. It's nice to see a thankful leaf with 'Mother' on it.

Ainsley picked out her 'Thankfuls' this year like she did last year. "I tankful for..." (looking around) "pizza. And pens. And leaves." And on and on it went. Cats, her horse, and Smurf cartoons made her list also.

After dinner we put the leaves up on a tree I'd put on the wall.

We have a lot of leaves on our Thankful Tree this year.


That seems right.

After Thanksgiving, I'll pick a few leaves to put in their keepsake boxes.

And I thought it was bad when the *kids* got ahold of the scissors.

It's much worse when their father does.

"It can't be that hard to cut boys hair," he said before I went to my book club.

"It's getting long," he added. "Besides, I have guides on the razor."

"Please don't cut his hair." I said.

"It just had to be evened up," he said when I got back. "But then it kept getting shorter and shorter. Cutting hair is harder than it looks."

"Sigh," I sighed.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Collecting craft supplies.

A few days ago we went to the foothills about an hour a way to collect craft supplies. Another fifteen minutes would have gotten us into pine-tree territory, but my sister and I had hungry kids and meltdowns are measured in minutes at that point, so I pulled off at the first likely looking campsite.

After lunch, we started to explore and it turned out to be a beautiful little place. Rocks to climb, logs to look under, a stream to play in.



Lots of craft supplies to be found. Leaves, twigs, seed pods, moss, rocks ...



We had enough time to play until the kids got cold, and they took advantage of it.






It was a beautiful place and now my sister and I have visions of camping trips next summer. Sister camping trips (hint, hint Cindy and Theresa).

And we're also stocked up on nature crafting supplies, though Hannah wants to go to a place with more pine trees for some needles. Who knows what she has in mind for those.