Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's 2013

o "fish" ally the best idea from eighteen25.
I formatted my own, but she made a printable you can use. 
And a great compilation of valentine ideas at simply kierste.

ah-MAZE-ing valentine printable from balancing home
This is what S* & K handed out to their classes.  K* wanted to add hearts to the pencils to make them look like arrows {like they do on balancing home} but I was feeling a bit lazy, so we just did plain pencils.  I did happen to have 4 boxes of 12 pencils already in my office supply stash, so no running to the store was necessary to make these.
And some more fun Valentine decor my mom made:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chore Card booklets

During January, we talked with S* & K* a lot about being responsible.
{I deleted a long winded few paragraphs here.  It felt good to type some thoughts out, but then I decided to keep them to myself so this post wouldn't be so long and boring.  Mainly, the classic struggle of parenting and that I don't want to disservice my children by not letting them learn to be responsible and motivated in life.}
So, I made up these chore card booklets for them.
I thought it would be helpful to have down what is really expected of them each morning, afternoon, evening, daily, weekly, etc.... I also thought that they might like to have a place listing various activities they have, what time they need to be ready so we can leave and what they need to have with them to be prepared.  I don't have to tell them, they can look ahead and know.  Hopefully this will mean I won't be "nagging" or "refereeing" as much.  And that I will have to let the natural consequences of not being prepared teach them lessons instead of me always trying to make it all perfect.  This of course assumes they will even look at the booklet and want to mark things off.  The booklet lists several things in certain areas because I want them to feel like they are making progress each day by being able to check things off.  Who doesn't love checking things off on a "to do" list !?! And hopefully in the future, they'll do these things automatically out of habit{most of the time anyway}.

With some of the leftover paper scraps I made these bookmarks with my silhouette and a Patty Young bookmark file.

Which, I then placed in these Valentine's mailbags{another item found in storage!!} that I made previously.  I tie them on the backs of S* & K*'s kitchen chairs at the beginning of February and they have fun putting little notes in there for each other. I try to put little things in there for them to find after school most days.  I just LOVE Valentine's Day.

Activity Days: To Do Jars

We made" to do" jars back in the Fall of 2012 for activity days, but I just got around to finishing some for S* & K* in January.  I hope that they are sort of a "fun" way to mark off chores for the day, but I know they can't cover it all {so I have something else new for chores too}.  I think these "to do" jars might be better suited for the summer when there's no homework and less activities going on.  They would be great for drawing extra chores for extra $$, I'm bored ideas, or fun activities to do.  There are all sorts of ideas for craft stick to do jars on pinterest.  The website I came across first with the idea was cinnaberry suite.
For activity days, we used a rainbow of colors of scrapbook paper, Elmer's glue, mason jars and markers to write the to do's on the craft sticks.  The girls just traced the craft sticks onto squares of paper I had cut out ahead of time {so that everyone got the exact same colors and amount}, cut the paper out and glued it on before writing some "to do's" on them.  We also glued cute white ribbon with multi colored polka dots around the jar to make it cuter.
For my kids' to do jars, I used the same rainbow colors of paper and vinyl for the "to do's"{pea faith dots font}so that if I want to change them, I can just peel the words off.  I hope my kids don't pick at them though.....

Monday, February 4, 2013

Lab Work Sleepover Pants

During Christmas vacation, K* and I picked out some fabric at JoAnn's for her to sew S* some pajama pants.  On Saturday, January 19th, she got started by cutting out the pattern pieces and fabric.  We then spent a couple of hours taking our time sewing the pants before it was time to call it a day.  We used the sleepover pajama pants pattern from Oliver + S.  So this was not a "beginner" pair of pajama pants in that the bottom cuffs and waist band were out of a contrasting material.
Monday, January 21st, there was no school, so while S* was in their room playing we finished the pajama pants up and made a tee shirt to go with them.  Well, we didn't actually make a tee shirt, we found an orange one at target and stitched a rectangle of fabric to the front.  I think the fabric is called Lab Work and has fun lab and robotic things on it.  S* loves science. 

I'm pretty proud of K*. She really did the bulk of the work. She cut the pattern and fabric out herself. I would iron one pant leg to show her what to do and she'd do the other pant leg. She guided the fabric through the sewing machine 90% of the time. I helped with the peddle depending on what part she was sewing. I did do the top stitching on the orange contrast cuffs and to make the elastic casing for the waist. She worked hard and did her best and they turned out fantastic for a first real sewing project. And I think her brother felt pretty special that she made them for him