A List Maker's Life: March 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday Tackle: The Sewing Machine

I have a beautiful, antique sewing machine that my Gram & Mom bought for me.
I love hand made items.
I collect links to great sewing projects.
I especially want to try this, this, & this.

I found a pair of jeans with holes in both knees in Gavin's dresser.
I think Anne Hope would look adorable in the clever bandana dresses I have been admiring.

I really don't know how to sew!

I am determined to tackle it!

I hauled out my machine.
I dusted it off.
I put it in the middle of the living room.
I called Gram for needle & thread advice.
I started with the knee-hole jeans.
I cut off the legs & pinned up a hem.
I made big G a pair of shorts.

I'm feeling a bit more confident.

I pulled up the tutorial.
I dug out the bandanas I bought in anticipation of "someday."
I changed the thread color (this quite possible took more time than any of the other steps)
I followed the instructions.
I made a dress.
I cut the ribbon & threaded it through the "casings."
{I sound so knowledgeable, don't I?}
I turned it inside out.
I tried it on Anne Hope.

She likes it.
I do to!

I can sew (a little).
I am off to find more fun ideas!


Teach Me Tuesday

Don't Forget:
Today is the last day to leave your comments to be entered in the giveaway drawing!

Egg Hunt Skill Builder

This activity is an entertaining way to review any skill you have been working on.

Learning Objective:
The kids will review identification & the labeling of numbers 1-9 and letters A-Z

~plastic eggs
~egg inserts with printed questions on them
~a recording form

~Print up questions* you want to review with your children on small slips of paper
~Put one question in each egg
~Hide the eggs around your home (we only hid them in one room to keep the focus on the review & not the egg hunting)
~Send your child out to search for 1 egg at a time.
~Return to the table with the egg they found
~Open the egg & read the review question found inside
~Figure out the answer & record it on any time of recording form (I drew a page full of eggs.
One answer fit in each egg on the paper)
~Check the answer for that question with your child. If it is correct trade in their egg for a
small treat (we use 1 jelly bean per answer). If it is incorrect work together to fix it until they
can earn their treat.
~Continue hunting, thinking, recording, and correcting until all of the eggs are used.

I put a foam letter or number inside each egg, instead of a question. My kids were responsible for copying the symbol correctly on their paper. However, the ideas for possible questions are endless.

Here are some questions suggestions:
~Math Problems – What is 8x4?
~Science Questions – Name three things all living things need to survive.
~Social Studies Questions – Draw a compass rose.
~Spelling Questions – Spell check this word: lern
~Grammar Practice – a plant or an plant?
~ Fill in the blanks – An_e Ho_e

Happy Hunting!


Monday, March 30, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Monday - Mushroom Quesadillas
Tuesday - Cheeseburger Joes
Wednesday - Spaghetti Pie
Thursday - Turkey Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes
Friday - Pork BBQ
Saturday - Dinner Out!
Sunday - Pot Roast with Potatoes & Carrots

To find more menu planning inspiration check out Org Junkie, the home for Meal Plan Monday.


Mom Fit Challenge

3 Kids and Us is hosting Mom Fit Mondays.

This week is week 1 & a good chance for me to re-visit my "fit mama" goals.

This week's "challenge" is to take down our weights and measurements. This is actually helpful to me. I usually focus exclusively on the scale numbers. However, with my new "jalking" (jog/walking) routine, I am hoping that inches will fall away.

What are my goals?

My goal is to lose 5 lbs. a month through 2009. So far I have been on track...
Jog 20 minutes+ 3x a week.
Walk outside with the kids 2 days a week.

"No Sugary C's" : cakes, cookies, candy, coke, etc.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Salads

Welcome to the first edition of Saturday Salads! I am looking forward to lots of great new salad recipes to try this spring & summer.

Kevin's Favorite Taco Salad :

1 lb. ground beef (browned, drained & cooled)
1 pkg taco seasoning (save 1 tsp. for dressing)
1 medium head of lettuce (rinsed & chopped)
1 can kidney beans
4 medium tomatoes
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

8 oz. Thousand Island Dressing
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. taco seasoning
1 tsp. taco sauce

Layer all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Refridgerate until serving. Before serving, add dressing and 1 bag of taco flavored chips.

Shelby - 5 Minute Southwest Salad

Heidi - BBQ Chicken Salad

Katie - Taco Salad


Friday, March 27, 2009

In Case of Fire...

...consider this before you call our station!

Yesterday the kids were dressed up in full "fire fighter" gear. They had on their rain boots, slickers, hats, badges, and plastic tube hoses. Yes, they looked the part.


"eee, ooo! eee, ooo! (that is supposed to be the siren sounds)Gavin, we got a call. There's a fire. Let's go!"

"Okay, Anne Hope. The fire truck is leaving the station in 2 minutes. Get ready to go. Don't forget, we have to brush our teeth first."


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

That Was Then

Notice her purple hippo drowning in the bubbles!

This Is Now!
Wordless Wednesday is hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom!
They are also hosting The Ultimate Blog Party. Want to read my party post?
Have you entered my Artsy Giveaway!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Teach Me Tuesday: Predicting

I have a budding young scientist in my home. He loves to experiment and watch for fun results. However, he is not to fond of making a guess (hypothesis) before seeing the outcome. He doesn't want to be wrong....hmmmmm...I don't know where he could have gotten that trait. Anyway, we came up with a fun activity to practice predicting, do a little scientific experimentation, and celebrate Spring hatchings!

Learning Objective: Gavin will make a prediction and "write" it down.

~Note paper
~Plastic Easter Eggs
~Magic Growing Capsules

1. Pick a capsule
2. Put it inside a plaster egg
3. Fill the egg with very warm water
4. Clasp the egg together & give it a little shake, rattle, and roll.
5. While the egg sits a minute, predict what might hatch
6. Write the prediction on note paper
7. Hatch the egg and see what has grown inside.

BTW, his predictions were Lion & Tiger.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Passing On Some Honest Scrap

Read my UBP post
Enter my newest giveaway

The Lemons to Lemonade Award

Thanks to Amber @ Just the Nanny for the Lemons to Lemonade Award. I have really enjoyed finding ideas on Amber’s blog. It is evident that she goes above and beyond to provide great experiences for the kids she is watching. It is also fun to hear things about kids from a different perspective. Although she calls herself “Just the Nanny” it is obvious there is so much more to her than just nanny-ing and “I bet she is much more to her little charges too.

The award goes to blogs that show “great attitude & gratitude.”
Thanks again, Amber!

Honest Scrap

Heidi from Blue Eyed Blessings passed this award along to me. THANKS! Heidi is one of my blogging friends that I talk about to Kevin as if I have known her and her family for years. When I read her posts I find many things I relate to or agree with. It has been fun to get to know a kindred spirit! The Honest Scrap award is another good way to get to know each other a bit better.

The rules of this award are simple:

1. Write 10 honest (and hopefully interesting) things about yourself.
2. Pass this award onto 7 bloggers who you find brilliant in content and design.

So…here is my list.
Here are 10 honest things about my day.

1. I had a great weekend of time out with my friends visiting, stamping, shopping, and playing. I loved it...but I felt very guilty about leaving the kids.

2. I've spent much of today with tears in my eyes praying for Stellan, a dear baby boy , who I have yet to meet.

3. Although I am so thankful that he has a job, I did not want Kevin to go back to work today. I'd much rather have him home to enjoy his company & share the time with him.

4. After I posted my letter to the garbage man I felt really ridiculous about it. After reading Heidi's comment, I felt even more ridiculous about how little we recycle...yikes!

5. I love to sleep! I haven't done that yet today, but I am looking forward to it! If I really want to get honest, I will admit that I will probably bring our sweet baby into bed to curl up next to me tonight until Kevin gets home.

6. I enjoy having lots of things scheduled each day. Today was no exception. I was thrilled when I was able to cross off the errands for each day of this week by the time I picked Gavin up from school today.

7. I rarely say "no" when I'm asked to take on new opportunities or responsibilities. In fact, I usually take them on with full force. Today I worked on a stack of recommendation forms for summer employment for a sweet baby sitter of ours. It was fun to heap on well deserved praise in the form of reference comments.

8. I love to organize toys - almost to a fault. Whenever the kids ask me to "just play" I find myself lining things up in color or shape order. Yikes! It's fun for me, but not for them. I had to control my little organizing obsession today as we enjoyed a couple hours together playing in their rooms.

9. I am not a perfectionist. In fact, sometimes I wish I could say I was. I love when people have the drive to see a project to it's perfection. However, I have more of a "Get 'er done" philosophy. I do however get a bit frustrated with myself when I notice the errors of my ways later.

10. I never really watch movies. I love to rent movies so Kevin & I can sit together in one place with a "common mission." However, I rarely pay attention & usually miss the main idea. I typically pile up a few projects to get me through the 2-3 hours. I wasn't watching a movie tonight, but I did "watch" Dancing With the Stars while I worked on this post:)

Between UBP '09 & the launch of ABC and 123 I have recently found many "brilliant" new blogs. I'd like to pass this award along to the following bloggers:

~Chronicle of an Infante Bibliophile
~Thrifty Craft Mama
~Life of a Modern Mom
~Ramblings of a Crazy Woman
~I Blame My Mother
~Casa Camacho
~Teaching Heart Mom


Artsy Giveaway!

UPDATE: The winner of the Artsy Giveaway is Heather from A Spare & A Pair.

The Ultimate Blog Party has me thinking celebration!
I would love to celebrate YOU, my long time & newly discovered readers, with an artsy giveaway!

"Cute Card Kit" from Crayola's Big Yellow Box

"Oh, the lucky recipients of these cards! Playful, 3D characters POP off the pages, framed in trendy-printed borders. It's the mixing and matching of encouraging phrases, plaid with solid colors, and that 'just right' embellishment that make your cards the coolest!"

The kit includes:
~step-by-step instructions
~8 cards
~8 envelopes
~5 sheets of paper punch outs
~2 sheets of phrases
~1 glue stick
~1 package of adhesive foam dots

You will receive 1 entry for each option listed below.
Please leave separate comments to ensure optimal entries.

To Enter:
1. Leave a comment -
~Tell me about a specific post you have enjoyed.
~Do you have a favorite Listmaker's Life feature?

2. Add a link to one of my Mister Linkies this week - Leave a comment on this post when you do!
~Teach Me Tuesday
~Think It Through Thursday
~Saturday Salads

3. Become a follower

Entries will be accepted until March 31st.
I will announce a winner on April Fool's Day.
Good Luck!

Thank you Shelby from Schweri Stories for donating this fun giveaway!

The Stories Our Trash Has Told

If you've come to party, check this out for an introduction to "the List Maker," who for today has turned into "the Letter Writer."

Dear Waste Management Professional (a.k.a Garbage Guy),

I bet you are just as excited as we are to see that we have successfully potty trained the second of our three small children. We are so proud of Anne Hope. I supposed you appreciate her taking a load off (literally) your load ‘huh?

I guess because we aren’t buying diapers for two, I thought it would be okay to throw out $$ elsewhere. Seriously, I didn’t mean to do it!!! It was a mistake. So, if you happen to run across the book of stamps, that Kevin so kindly made an extra trip to the post office to pick up for me, feel free to throw them back our way or make good use of them yourself. I hate to think that 20 perfectly good “Forever” stamps will spend eternity in a compost pile.

I see you noticed the significant lack of my crafting and cropping scraps in our can. It’s very un-usual I realize, but I have been spending my free minutes on the computer lately instead. Never fear! I will start tackling my pile of paper projects again soon…I hope!

Yes, there were 2 boxes of infant cereal in the container this week. Can you believe it! Our baby is 4 ½ months old already. He scarfs down the rice cereal as if it is going out of style. However, it really isn’t. Don’t expect any of those little fruit and veggie containers from our house for a couple more months…Dr.’s orders.

Please, please, please take away the cap-less markers, broken umbrella, and Match Box cars with only 3 wheels. I swear I’ve tried everything. Maybe you thought it was a mistake, but I very intentionally put them at the very bottom of the canister under the used coffee grounds. While I appreciate your willingness to sacrifice your cleanliness to pick through and save our toys I really don’t want to find them back in bed with the children. Wait…What? You think my little hooligans are to blame for the reappearing treasures?

Thank you for doing one of the dirtiest jobs! You certainly have an impact on our kiddos who wait at the window to watch you lift our trash into your “side loader.” (Although, if you could drive a rear loader by some day that would provide the ultimate thrill). My 4 year old son dreams of the day he will follow in your footsteps. He is quick to declare to most anyone who asks that when he is a “daddy” he will be “a singing garbage collector!”

Thanks for cleaning up after us all,

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Soup-er Saturday

If you are here for the Ultimate Blog Party sorry about the link! Try this!

Tortellini Soup

3 can chicken broth

(9-oz.) packages refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini

14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained

4 green onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. minced, fresh basil

8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms

Garnish: fresh shredded Parmesan cheese

Bring broth to a boil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add tortellini and the rest of the ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minuts. Garnish.

Here in our corner of the world the weather is starting to get a bit warmer. With warmer weather my meal planning thoughts switch from soups to salads. So, this week will be the last edition of Soup-er Saturday until September rolls around.

Instead I will be hosting "Saturday Salads!" Start thinking about your favorite salad and/or dressing recipes and be ready to link up next Saturday!


Friday, March 20, 2009

Party Time!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009
The Ultimate Blog Party at 5 Minutes for Mom is in full swing!
If you are visiting me here for the first time, welcome!

Hello! I am Katie. The wife to my dear Kevin for the last 9 years, and the "momma" to three small children: ages 4, 3, and 4 months. Here at A Listmaker's Life I share about my daily adventures in making memories, capturing moments, and organizing messes! I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, baking, crafting, teaching, and more. Many of those hobbies are reflected in my daily ramblings.

I hope you look around a bit and enjoy one of my lists, crazy interviews, crafts, debates, organizational suggestions, learning activities, pictures, or reflections.

Want to know more about me? Check out a few of my favorites & a few of my quirks.

A Listmaker's Life is also home to Soup-er Saturday, soon to include Saturday Salads!

If you are a parent or teacher you might also enjoy my other site, which I work on with my good blogging buddy Katie! Everyday is a party at ABC and 123: A Learning Cooperative. Right now we are in the midst of a two week kick off with daily giveaways!


Thanks for stopping by! If you haven't already joined the party, why don't you?
You've been invited!

There is a list of the great party favors . I'd love to leave the celebration with one of them!


Starting Them Early

It’s no secret that I love to scrapbook!
If the kids are napping, this mom is scrapping (Well…in theory…)
Anyway, Gavin got a new digi camera for Christmas. For the first time he has pictures of his own that he is excited to scrapbook. So, I decided to set up both kids with a mini-album of their own. I set the kids loose with my prized Creative Memories tools – after giving them the same tutorial I used with my second grade recess club kids.

The steps to scrap booking:
Select Photo
Back (Pick a favorite color paper)
Mount (Only use tape in the corners…)
Embellish (Stickers!!!)

They got it. They did it. They enjoyed it.
I’m so excited! Now, after napping the kids are scrapping!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Think About It Thursday

After reading the simple suggestion here for practicing scissor skills using hardware store paint samples I wanted to come up with an activity that would use the scraps. Here's what we did...

Learning Objectives:
Gavin will write numbers 0-30 and the count by 10's to 100.
Anne Hope will recognize number matches
Gavin and Anne Hope will learn the names for numbers to 100.

~paint chip samples

1. Cut apart each color chip from the strip of 3.
2. The adult should write a number on one paint chip.
3. The learner must copy the number on the second paint chip
4. Label as many of the samples as you would like, according to the numbers you are practicing.
We used the numbers 1-30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, & 100. (Anne Hope is practicing numbers 1-30; Gavin is working on "count bys")

5. When all of the number pairs are ready play memory.
6. To keep our young children from getting frustrated with memory we play a bit differently. On each turn the player turns over 2 cards and leaves them face up. As turns are taken if 2 of the same cards are face up the person whose turn it is gets to claim the match.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Michelle posted a fun interview with her son Jackson. I was curious about what my little ones would say in response to the same questions. So here it is!

1. What is something mom always says to you?
Gavin: Go to bed
Anne Hope: You’re Cute

2. What makes mom happy?
Sitting in the corner (I'm a bit confused by this one)

3. What makes mom sad?
When we are hitting

4. How does mom make you laugh?
Saying funny words like “Gavin time to do a project”
“Ha, Hee, Hee, Hee, Ha” (She answered quite literally)

5. What was your mom like as a child?
She went to school
I do not know

6. How old is your mom?

7. How tall is your mom?
This tall (one hand above his head)

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Watch TV

9. What does mom do when you're not around?
Play with Anne Hope
Play with daddy

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
For singing tobyMac

11. What is mom really good at?
Doing her computer
Tucking me

12. What is mom not very good at?
Maybe she is not good at shoveling

13. What does mom do for her job?
Your job is to take care of us
Makes something

14. What is mom's favorite food?
Hot dogs (For the record, I HATE hotdogs!)
Chicken nuggets & fries (No sweetheart the question wasn't, "What is Anne Hope’s favorite food")

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
I don’t know, did you spell I don’t know?
She’s tall

16. How do you know mom loves you?
By when she gives me a kiss


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Something Green

While getting dressed today I realized that I do not have ANY green clothes in my closet. YIKES! To avoid getting pinched I decided to show my love for all things Irish (or green) by listing a few favorites.

~U2 - this is one of the groups that Kevin taught me to like
~"Football" - my favorite sport to watch and play
~ $$$ - I can always find something to spend a little green on
~St. Patrick
~Castles - they are magical & mysterious to me
~Limericks - a fun way to play with language
~Clovers - their little leaves look {love}ly
~Claddagh Rings & Celtic cross jewelry
~Tea Time - the best when spent with my Gram
~ Anything mint flavored
~Patrick Dempsey - did you know he is Irish?
~GreenCo - because we depend on it
~potatoes - mashed, hashed, baked, or fried...yum!
~Kevin & Gavin - a couple favorite Irish origin names
~Irish Blessings

May the roads rise to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

St. Patrick's Day is also a great day for each of us to reflect on our own luck!

Teach Me Tuesday

The kids checked out the book, The Pie is Cherry by Michael Rex, on their last library visit.
The pictures are very colorful and inviting. I was excited about the opportunities the book presents for a few learning activities. Each sentence in the book has a noun & an accompanying descriptive word (adjective). The book includes many shapes, sounds, textures, colors, and more!

Idea #1:
After reading the book together, work with the kids to create their own book of adjectives.
Cut interesting pictures from magazines.
Glue the picture into a small paper book or notebook.
Looking at each picture ask your children to create a sentence that follows the book's pattern, "The cereal is colorful. The freezer is chilly. The fork is pointy." Etc...
Write the sentence under each picture you have added to your book.

Brainstorming adjectives with my kids was an opportunity for expanding their vocabulary. Eventually this will enhance their conversation skills and writing. This activity could be adapted and appropriate for elementary age children. Descriptive writing was always a focus for instruction in my second grade classroom.

Idea #2:
After reading the book, work with your children to create a list of all the descriptive words they remember from the story. On a large piece paper sort the compiled adjectives into 5 groups that reinforce our senses. Ex. Descriptors that explain how an object feels, looks, tastes, smells, or sounds like.

Learning the 5 senses is a learning objective for Kindergarten/1st grade students in many district's science curricula.

Idea #3:
Use the book as a spring board to talking about nutritious and non-nutritious snacks.
After reading the book, dig out a collection of play foods from the toy kitchen. Sort the foods into different groups based on food groups, healthy or not, and more.

This activity is appropriate for children of any age. It was especially timely for my children who continue to tell me that they want "treats" not "snacks." They are also convinced that chicken nuggets and ice cream "are good for my body!"

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Wee Bit O' Green

Enjoy many other "green" photos at i {heart} faces


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Books from the Easter Basket

Today's warmer temperature & sunny sky has me thinking about Easter.
It will be here before we know it.

Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile has a great compilation of childrens picture books perfect for Easter. Check out the list before your next trip to the library. The site is also hosting a giveaway where you could win two of the books featured.