Tuesday, June 30, 2009
She is the winner of the JumpStart 3 month membership.
Chosen by random.org - Result:6
"Mike and Adrianne said...
My boys loved this website. It's really awesome.
June 21, 2009 4:42 PM "
Thank you to everyone who entered!
If you didn't win this one, there is still time to enter the Bloem and Grow giveaway!
Monday, June 29, 2009
I've never been famous for my decisiveness. In fact, if you ask anyone who knows me well they will probably tell you that I am great at throwing out the suggestions and letting someone else make the final decision.
Indecisiveness is not a good thing. We all know how long the meetings last when everyone keeps brainstorming and nothing is decided...
“It doesn't matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.” ~Rohn
“Indecision is debilitating; it feeds upon itself; it is, one might almost say, habit-forming. Not only that, but it is contagious; it transmits itself to others.” ~Hopf
Lately, we have been weighing several issues. Lots of pros and cons have been considered. I've had to remind myself that all of these "earthly concerns" (as small as they are or as big as they may seem right now) really have very little eternal significance. Therefore, they really shouldn't be taking up this much of my time and thought energy. Decisions are necessary in order to move on!
Cruise: To go? or Not to Go?
School: To send? or Not to Send?
Hair: To grow? or Not to grow?
Swimsuit: To try on? or Not to try on?
House: To sell? of Not to sell?
What are you weighing?
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." ~ Proverbs 3:5-6
Saturday, June 27, 2009
As we were driving home I couldn't help but grin thinking about what a steal that was. Man, we could probably have had the whole shebang (2 pony castles, 2 pony cars, 2 beauty salons, 2 bakeries, 2 carnivals... for like $20!). I couldn't stop thinking about the ponies and Pollies left laying in that front yard. So, after the kids' nap we went back to the sale and bought another pile. We filled a plastic grocery sack with Pony gear for $5. Now, that is one serious deal!
Saturday morning, as I was driving past the same sale on my way to the grocery store (sans kiddos) I couldn't stop myself from taking another peek. Feeling very sheepish I approached the Polly Pocket collection thinking, "I'll just tuck these things away until she is a little older and we are bored on a rainy day." I decided on a few little pieces and dolls.
"That is part of that big amusement park kit. You might as well take the whole thing instead of breaking up the set."
"Oh, I guess I really shouldn't buy that whole big set..."
"How about I pick through and find all the pieces for you. You can have it for $2."
Another deal I failed to resist.
"I promise, I won't be back again today," I told the generous seller. She assured me that I was more than welcome to come back and unload more of their no longer loved treasures.
I headed home to hide the Polly Pockets away for a later date. But, I wasn't sneaky enough and Anne Hope spied the whole ensemble. She and Gavin were so thrilled with the set they spent most of the afternoon figuring out how to put it together. When we had a few left over pieces we didn't know how to add to the set, I did a quick Google search to find a picture and/or instructions to follow.
We found our picture and instructions, much to our surprise, on an Amazon.com listing for...
are you ready for this...
That is what I call amusing!
1 small french vanilla pudding (mix with 1/2 cup milk)
2 - 80z. Cool Whips
4 apples, cut into bit sizes with the peel left on
4 snickers bars, cut into chunks
Mix together and let set in the refridgerator
Saturday Salads will be on vacation for the months of July & August. I'll have to use my Saturday time to actually make some of the fantastic salads you've suggested for our summer family festivities. Thanks! See you again with your soups & salads in September!
Shelby's "Mom's Pasta Salad"
Friday, June 26, 2009
(Sounds so official 'huh?)
For those of you who love to find a great blog giveaway...
are hosting a fun giveaway right now...
or are trying to figure out how to drum up some traffic for a future giveaway listing...
let me introduce you to Friday's Gracious Giveaways at Our Homeschool Fun.
Each week you will be able to link up your current giveaway at Friday's Gracious Giveaways. The link will also be a great resource for you to check out and enter all kinds of fantastic giveaways, related to teaching, learning, playing with, and growing, intended for: moms, families, kids, babies, and teachers. Susana is currently featuring the 3 giveaways I have running: Mahalo, Jump Start, and Bloem & Grow, as well as several others! Take a look & try your luck!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
However, I wouldn't want to miss out on the picnic table fun. I dug up this great article on Dads by Erma Bombeck. You may have read it before, but I think it's worth reading again.
When God Created Fathers...
When the good Lord was creating Fathers he started with a tall frame.
And a female angel nearby said, "What kind of Father is that? If you're going to make children so close to the ground, why have you put fathers up so high? He won't be able to shoot marbles without kneeling, tuck a child in bed without bending, or even kiss a child without a lot of stooping."
And God smiled and said, "Yes, but if I make him child size, who would children have to look up to?"
And when God made a Father's hands, they were large and sinewy.
And the angel shook her head sadly and said, "Do you know what you're doing? Large hands are clumsy. They can't manage diaper pins, small buttons, rubber bands on pony tails or even remove splinters caused by baseball bats."
And God smiled and said, "I know, but they're large enough to hold everything a small boy empties from his pockets at the end of a day...yet small enough to cup a child's face in his hands."
And then God moulded long, slim legs and broad shoulders.
And the angel nearly had a heart attack. "Boy, this is the end of the week, all right," she clucked. "Do you realize you just made a Father without a lap? How is he going to pull a child close to him without the kid falling between his legs?"
And God smiled and said, "A mother needs a lap. A father needs strong shoulders to pull a sled, balance a boy on a bicycle, and hold a sleepy head on the way home from the circus."
God was in the middle of creating two of the largest feet anyone had every seen when the angel could contain herself no longer.
"That's not fair. Do you honestly think those large boats are going to dig out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries? Or walk through a small birthday party without crushing at least three of the guests?"
And God smiled and said, "They'll work. You'll see. They'll support a small child who wants to ride a horse to Banbury Cross, or scare off mice at the summer cabin, or display shoes that will be a challenge to fill."
God worked throughout the night, giving the Father few words, but a firm authoritative voice; eyes that saw everything, but remained calm and tolerant.
Finally, almost as an afterthought, he added tears.
Then he turned to the angel and said, "Now, are you satisfied that he can love as much as a Mother?"
The angel said nothing more.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Because, when I saw them I thought you would
Love the opportunity to participate in a bit of a sitewarming
Openhouse & at the same time discover a handmade gift appropriate for
Every baby shower, bitty birthday party, or room decorating project on your shopping list.
Monogrammed toy blocks! Made with love
& attention to design, style, and safety!
Get a customized set of 6 blocks for only $15 or 13 blocks for $30.
Really affordable, really adorable, and really useable!
Order today by visiting Kate at Bloem and Grow's shop ~or~
WIN a free set!
Kate is offering a set of 6 customized blocks to one of my lucky readers. The winner will be able to pick one of the sets featured on Bloem and Grow's site or choose a paper set from the offerings and Kate will put those blocks together. The winner will also be able to choose which letters they would like added to their set.
~Visit Bloem & Grow to take a look at the lovely sample sets Kate already has made up, as well as many other paper choices. Come back and leave me a comment mentioning your favorite of the sets shown.
Additional Entries: (Please leave a separate comment for each entry to be counted)
~Leave a comment or suggestion for Kate on one of her blog's posts.
~Follow A List Maker's Life. If you are already a follower, please remind me with a comment.
~Tweet about this giveaway and let leave the URL of your tweet in a comment (You may do this once each day for many extra entries)
~Subscribe to A List Maker's Life
~Follow Kate at Bloem and Grow
This giveaway will close at midnight EST on Sunday, July 5th.
I will announce the winner on the 6th of July.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Ramen Noodle Salad from Stephanie
~Added salami to make it a meal
~A pleasant mix of sweet & sour
I wish I had a picture of this salad to share. I ran out to a meeting just as I finished it and when I got home it was all but gone.
Shelby's Pepperoni Pasta Salad
~Easiest to put together
~Kid friendly choice
~Easy salad to transport and count on for a picnic
Viv's Strawberry Spinach Salad
To be fair I must admit that we had already dished several plates full of this salad before I remembered to grab a picture.
~"Tastes like doughnut"
~FAVE dressing!! LOVE it! We will be stocking up next time we are anywhere near a Trader's Joe. Thanks to my personal shopping assistant for grabbing it for me this time:)
~Pricey for a family dinner, but would feel good about taking this to an event
~Chevra cheese has an interesting texture
~Needs to be eaten right away upon assembly
Which was our favorite?
Who will I be voting for?
Well... that is still my secret! In the mean time, I think you should give each of them a try and cast a vote of your own!!
It is officially summer! Hey, the weather in Michigan is finally even catching up with the calendar. It's a great time for outdoor activities and summer photos. You all know how much I love to capture the moments, so I am excited to announce that UPrinting.com is a new sponsor of A List Maker's Life.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Chicken Waldorf Salad
2 cooked skinless chicken breasts
3 medium tart apples, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
2 Tbl. honey
1 Tbl. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 head lettuce, torn
Optional: grapes and 1/4 cup walnuts
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I was really excited when I recently ran across some fun lists of "Keep 'em Busy" ideas in Parenting magazine. They were even on nifty little pull out papers to be added to our "on the go" bag.
30 Second Distractions
Freeze Frog: You are the frog. When ever you stick out your tongue, your child has to freeze. The spell wears off when you say "ribbit."
Thumb Vote: Name different foods, shows, games, toys, and more. Have your child vote with a thumbs up or thumbs down.
Body Map: Using your fingers, or a toy car, give a narrated tour of your child's body. "We are zooming past Elbow Ridge. Making a U-turn at Belly Button Bridge." Might get a little noisy with all the tickles and giggles involved.
2 Minute Hold
Feelings Charades: Act out an emotion and have your child try to guess which one. After each pantomime ask your child questions about what makes them happy, sad, angry, etc.
Food Mystery: Play "What will we eat today?" by giving your children one clue at a time. Once they've guessed the correct food, give them a chance to have you guess.
Robot Dance: Pick a "button" on your child's back. When you press their button he/she will turn into a dancing robot. Add a button for sound. Don't forget to add an off button.
5 Minute Fun
Just Like the Other: Find 2 objects in the room. Ask your child to name the things the 2 objects have in common. (Ex. They are both spheres) Once they've mastered the comparison of 2 objects at a third and fourth object.
One, Two Wiggles: Have your child follow your wiggling instructions. Ex. Wiggle six times. Hop three times. Or assign a number and a body part. Have your child decide which action to perform. Ex. Hands, five. Your child may wave, clap, snap, or tap five times.
Animal Rescue: Hide a stuffed toy very near by. Ask your child to rescue the toy without waking "the sleeping giant" (you) or he/she will get a tickle.
10 Minute Games
Sit on it: For a one person game of musical chairs, have your child circle a chair until you call out a body part. "Foot!" As fast as he or she can have your child touch that body part and take a seat.
Something's Missing: Dump a few of the objects out of your purse. Have your child study them for a minute or two. Then, when your child's eyes are closed remove an object. See if he/she can figure out what is missing.
Hot Potato: Pass whatever you have - sock, shoe, watch - between you while singing a simple nursery rhyme song. If you're not the one holding the potato when the song ends, you pick the new song for the next round.
I thought this list had a few fun, new ideas. Hope you find one that proves to be the perfect distraction.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
For more Works for Me Wednesday posts visit We Are that Family!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The amount of “screen time” the kids are exposed to is a concern for me as a parent. I diligently try to limit their time with the time to the expert recommendations of less than 2 hours per day. Personally I believe this screen time applies to both TV, Wii & computer usage. I also think that exposure to any TV or computer time before the age of 2 should be zilch. (No offense intended to the Baby Einstein fans…It’s just my opinion).
To read more about the WHY? Behind that, you may be interested in the following article on Screen Time written by the Mayo Clinic.
Like many children my 5 & 3 year olds are constantly asking for tv and computer games. In an attempt to Make the Most of Every Moment, we spend screen time on quality shows, games, and sites for developing creativity, inquiry, and exploration skills. For example, I’d rather have them learning the scientific process on Sid the Science Kid than watching the goofy Flintstones (can you tell I don’t even know what children’s cartoons are popular right now?). Perhaps the time is even better spent on interactive games. I’d rather have Gavin and Anne Hope involved with quality learning games on the computer of Wii. Instead of Nick Jr. Games I’d prefer them to play Jump Start.
What is Jump Start?
I’m glad you asked!
I was recently contacted by Jump Start to try out their new 3D virtual world, write a review, and offer you a great giveaway.
This virtual world is focused on developing academic and logic skills. The online environment is safe and secure for kids as they interact, learn, and enjoy! There are different levels to explore based on your child’s age.
Storyland: 3-5 year olds
Adventure Land: K-2
Future Land: 3rd – 5th grade (Coming Soon)
As they complete missions the kids are rewarded with JumpStars. This system offers opportunity for positive reinforcement for learning, as well as an education in economics.
There is a fine line in educational software between being entertaining enough while still providing interacting opportunities for developing thinking skills, logic, and fact knowledge. Gavin and Anne Hope were very entertained as they learned. They especially loved creating their own Jumpee, similar to the process for creating a Wii Mii (say that 5x fast).
I enjoyed browsing the fantastic collection of articles on the JumpStart blog .
I especially liked the Craft Corner posts and an article on Brain Boosting Exercises for children. I also briefly interacted with the discussion board option for parents available on the site’s homepage.
Several features of the JumpStart virtual world are open to anyone. However with a $7.99 membership fee everyone in your family will have access to the full site.
JumpStart has offered one of my readers a three month membership! To enter, head over to JumpStart and tell me a feature of the game or site that you appreciated. Come back here to leave a comment.
This giveaway will be open until 10 PM EST on June 21st. I will announce the winner on the 22nd. UPDATE: The giveway has been extended. I will take entries through the week. Closing at 10 PM EST on June 29th. Thanks!
Monday, June 15, 2009
...a Paper Plate Kite
Decorate the white side of your paper plate with tissue paper squares, collage them as a mosaic and attach with glue. Add jewels as desired.
Tie 1 short piece of yarn through each hole punch on the plate. Tie the 4 pieces together in the middle and attach them to the 1 long piece of yarn.
Staple on the red streamer. Tie the curling ribbons around the streamer at 4 different spots.
Head outside to fly your kite!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
1 pound thick-sliced bacon
2 large heads romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and chopped
3 large ripe tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup whipped salad dressing (such as Miracle Whip)
1 tsp. salt-free seasoning (Mrs. Dash)
Cook bacon until crispy. Drain, cool, and crumble. Put 1/2 of the lettuce in a trifle or salad bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the tomato pieces and 1/2 of the bacon. Press to compress these ingredients. Repeat the layering. Keep out a little bit of bacon and tomato to garnish the top.
Sprinkle the top with seasoning. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Shelby's Chicken Nugget Caeser Salad
|1. Katie's Mom's Pasta Salad|
2. Heidi's Baby Spinach and Chickpea Salad
Powered by...Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
This month's challenge is monograms. Heidi has inspired us to look for all the different ways we could capture and display our important letters.
A monogram is defined as a design composed of one or more letters, typically the initials of a name, used as an identifying mark.
I put together 2 different projects for this month's challenge:
I have posted this monogrammed print of 6 month old Gibson as a sample on Beauty in Backlight . I will develop this particular print as an 8x10 for framing. I know this isn't a typical silhouette shot, as it has more definition instead of just an outline, but I do like the way it turned out.
My second project was inspired by Holy Craft!
I crafted a set of monogrammed blocks for each of the kids. Since it isn't a lot of fun to play with just 3 blocks I made extras in each pattern set for stacking. For extra learning fun the ambitious mama could put together blocks with every letter of the alphabet. These would work well for practicing spelling, letter sounds, and name identification.
I searched a few garage sales for discarded sets of building blocks. The blocks I used were 1 1/2 inch square. Ideally, the blocks would be at least 2 inch square.
Using modge podge, I attached squares of paper to each side of the blocks.
For the letters I used 3 different sets of Creative Memories alphabet stickers.
I added an extra layer of modge podge over the top of the paper/sticker combo.
I am still on the search for a waterproof (and non-toxic) finishing spray so the blocks are safe to play with and chew on...not just to look at!
If you like the way these look, but don't want to take on the project for yourself, please come back. Later in June I will be hosting a giveaway sponsored by Bloemer's Blog. She will be offering a set of handmade blocks.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I had the priviledge of reviewing the creative Kid Kits from And Then. The kids and I really enjoyed the fishy craft we finished. Enter to win a Kid Kit of your choice when you check out the review.
This month I am a guest judge for the Iron Chef Challenge.
The challenge: Picnic Salads!
Viv's Spinach and Strawberry Salad
Stephanie's Ramon Noodle Salad
Shelby with Pepperoni Pasta Salad
In the next 2 weeks I will be trying each of these recipes, giving them a rating (with some fancy system I'll have to come up with), and casting my official vote! In the process it looks like I'll find some more great contributors for Saturday Salads.
Thanks to Jenny from Our Nifty Notebook for this fun award! When I was first navigating the waves of html codes Jenny graciously came along side and gave me some pointers. Since then I have really enjoyed getting to know her, and her sweet daughter Abby, through her blog and her faithful (much appreciated!) commenting on both A List Maker's Life and ABC & 123. She does have a fabulous blog you will enjoy checking out if you are ever in need of tips for mom, suggestions for teaching your children at home, and more.
To accept this award I've been instructed to make a list of 5 of my least favorite things. So, without repeating myself with trivia from past posts, and trying not to sound like I'm complaining, here we go.
2. People who say they are "So/Too Busy!"
So, I know there are an awful lot of very busy people out there. I have this philosophy though that we are in charge of the commitments we make. If we take on more than we can handle it is our own issue and we need to deal. Besides, what good does it do to say how busy we are? Everyone is busy, get over it!
Okay, off my soapbox....
3. Furry, Slimy, Crawly, Scaly, and Prickly Creatures
4. When my kids hurt each other on purpose - breaks my heart!
5. When the polish on the tips of freshly painted toe nails wear down in running shoes.
I'd like to nominate the following friends for this fabulous award...
~Domestic Diva's Fancy
~One Pink Fish
~Smart Bottom Enterprises
~This Little Project
and YOU too, if you'd like!
Monday, June 8, 2009
He kicked off the celebration with a Pirate party with his grandparents last Thursday. For this event he chose a giant cookie cake. We decorated it with a pirate-y landscape. The gold nuggets were mini Reese's Pieces & the sand made out of "gramma" crackers. Thank goodness for Little People for easy, peasy decorative figurines.
On Saturday he had his first "big kid" party. Gavin was allowed to invite 5 friends to come to his "no parents" party. We had such a great time enjoying our littlest friends at this robot themed party. Our inspiration for this party came from a visit to the artistic genius that is Dappled. Once I saw the free downloadable birthday invites and thank you notes I knew I had to find a way to work them into our celebration.
The favor bags were stuffed with melted down & re-molded crayons, hard candy wrapped in tin paper, a hand made memory game featuring digitally designed robot pictures, and shrinky dink robot key chains. The shrinky dinks were a very fun pre-party project.
Nuts and Bolts
The table is wrapped with white wrapping paper. We drew robot bodies around tin serving trays in the middle of the table. Our tins were filled with "nuts & bolts" aka peanuts, pretzels, cheerios, and cheetos.
The cupcakes are the amateur version of a similar set that I saw on The Hostess Blog. Ours didn't look quite as slick as hers, but the kids enjoyed them. Instead of fancy frosting for our bot bodies, we cut up pieces of Fruit by the Foot.
For one of our party activities the kids decorated their own Glue Bots. We used tin foil food containers with lids to make robot faces. Each table had a big bottle of glue and muffin tins full of metal-ish robot face parts: sequence, nuts, bolts, safety pins, buttons, silver pipe cleaner, silver stickers, paper clips, and more. The kids made many cute faces, but by the time they were ready for pictures my fingers were too sticky to touch the camera. Missed that moment...
The teacher in me insisted on having stacks of robot themed books for the kids to look at during the party's transition times. Believe it or not they actually had fun checking out books from the kitchen table as if it was their personal library.
Build a Bot
As the kids arrived they dove into a pile of Legos to build their own robot creatures. Before the party Gavin made up several model robots as samples. We took pictures of them for the non-Lego-lovers to copy instead of coming up with their own ideas. Everyone seemed to enjoy building and it was a nice way to get them all involved right away.
The most active game was the Bot Boxes. During the week before the party, Gavin and Kevin carved arm holes and faces out of several cardboard boxes. They covered them in shiny tin foil. During the party the kids gave the Bot Boxes a tune up using their imaginations and several fun tools: wrenches, pliers, spray cans for "oil", funnels, hammers, and more. Once they were tuned up each child put on a box for a little robot freeze dancing & robot musical chairs. We used fun tunes from the Wall-E soundtrack and the tune Robot #1 from Hi-Five.
Overall, this turned out to be a really interesting theme and Gavin loved the opportunity to use his imagination, exercise his creativity, and enjoy his friends!
If you are interested in throwing your own robot bash, you may want to take a look at Cookie Magazine for more robotic inspiration.
Sunday was Gavin's actual birthday. We spent the afternoon partying with more pirates & more grandparents!
Gavin wanted a cake shaped like a boat.
He wasn't impressed...
I will be researching frosting tricks for the future.
Gram and Grampa brought the kids a treasure hunt in a box. The box was fun of sand; they dug through to find coins, jewels, and other treasures. Gavin also dug for hidden chocolate treasure in the sand box.