Monthly Archives: October 2013

Our Costumes This Year

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My husband and I are your Saturday Morning Cartoons:

Voltron and I’m Lady Jaye from G.I. Joe

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The older girls as Weeping Angels and their little counterparts…

both adorable and terrifying.

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A note on parenting aimed at the Halloween Hitler in Fargo

A note on parenting aimed at the Halloween Hitler in Fargo

This story has gone viral.  A woman in Fargo, SD has taken upon herself to dole these cards out to the trick-or-treaters she feels are moderately obese.   Other kids get something else.  You can find the story here: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/web/kmgh/news/u-s-world/woman-plans-to-give-obese-children-letters-instead-of-candy-on-halloween

One of the first hiccups in my parenting journey was sitting in a WIC office, being told that my 6 month old was too skinny. They were so concerned, they suggested adding entire sticks of butter to her diet. It worried me as, as a first time parent I was doing everything by the book and that seemed not only disgusting but horribly unhealthy. Being starving students didn’t matter… At the risk of high medical bills, I took my daughter to the pediatrician to see what was “WRONG” with my baby.

We were told that she was just tiny. She had been growing and developing consistently and was right on track in every way. For years, this weighed on my mind. She was such a little peanut and was consistently in the third percentile all the way up into 2nd grade. Every check up, exam, or sick visit I asked and they showed me her growth chart. Right on track. Now in 5th grade, she’s in the 25th percentile for weight, still a skinny minnie.

Now,…About this moron in North Dakota. I cannot imagine, worrying over a child who was borderline over weight, hearing doctors tell me I wasn’t doing anything wrong, or knowing there was an issue and trying to fix it while kids at school made comments or bullies tormented away at my baby’s self esteem. I imagine the break of a holiday with the family going door to door, getting a treat and being complimented on costumes and looking cool or cute and then hitting the door of a woman who says: You’re almost too fat. You don’t deserve to be part of this holiday.

Ick. It makes my skin crawl. This isn’t done out of love. It is done out of a need to control. A need so strong, it doesn’t matter who it hurts, as long as she plows her ideals into the public.

Now, a word on parenting “helpers” with good intentions:

No one knows what is in the heart of children and parents, what the reality of issues are or if there really are issues your five seconds of introductory judgments hint at. What ever the reason, put on some big girl panties, mind your business and keep your own back yard tidy.

When I grew up people worried about children’s health, gave out fruit and veggies or toothbrushes, pencils, spider rings, etc.. instead of candy.

Anyway, I guess my over all sentiment Here is: Yes, it does take a village, but every village has an idiot.

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by | October 30, 2013 · 9:44 pm

Halloween Party on a Budget

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This year has been very busy.  I have an 8-year-old and an 11-year-old that have birthdays just about a month apart.  Like children do, they reminded me well after both birthdays had passed, that I had promised them each a party the year before and we had only done family celebrations.

I could have told them to deal, but we’ve never really had a reason to have an October party before.  Fun!  So, I decided to plan a party, that would entertain loads of giggling 7-12 year old girls.

The 11-year-old told me she didn’t want cake or cupcakes…  She wanted Fondue.  So, on the invite, we gave simple food assignments for a Bewitching Fondue Soiree.  I tweaked this gorgeous invite you can find here:

http://serendipitycreative.blogspot.com/2011/10/freebie-you-are-cordially-invited-to.html

One pot of cheese Fondue, and one of chocolate.

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Every child invited was assigned Fruit, veggies, or bread to share.

Later, for the “birthday cake” we dipped angel food cake into the chocolate.

Time for games.  I went to a party store and got a roll of carnival tickets for $2.  For each game, I doled out tickets.  the same amount for each participant and extra for the “winner”.  Then, at the end of the party, they got prizes Chuck E. Cheese style.

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Some of Our Party Games:

Witchy Races.  Two girls, one broom, no hands.  They had to “fly” from start to finish.

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Ghost-Busting: It is a carnival game.  You get three shots to knock down the TP ghosts.  We went through a few rounds.

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courtesy of girlsvsblog

courtesy of girlsvsblog

The Making of the Mummy:  This one I was too busy helping with to take a pic.  With the TP from Ghost busting, you have a mummy wrapping contest.

Balloon-pop Charades:  Place charade ideas inside of balloons (i.e. Ghost, Ghoul, bat, vampire, etc.) and the kids take turns sitting on the balloon until it pops, and then playing charades normally.

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Paranoia Party Hats:  We had a hat making contest, using foil and scotch tape.  Let the kids be creative and do their own thing.  We gave awards to each kid.

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The Vampire Count Game: We found this at a kiosk in a mall in Denver over a decade ago.  The kids love it.  You can find the game here:

http://www.amazon.com/Daves-25-Anytime-Family-Games/dp/B000FEW3QA

It is like hide and seek and murder in the dark combined.  The kids each take a card and secretly look at it.  one of them will have the Vampire count and the rest a gravestone with a funny name on it.  Everyone, including the vampire goes and hides in the dark.  After a few seconds, the vampire gets up, starts shuffling around as silly as possible, trying to make everyone laugh so he can find them.  No one runs, they have to stay put.  once touched by the vampire count, they become one too until everyone is shuffling around acting silly. Then the lights go on.

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Filed under Budget, Children, DIY, Family, Food and Drink, Halloween, Holidays, Motherhood, Party Planning

Halloween – 5 Fun Facts

Fun facts about  HALLOWEEN!

1. Did you know Halloween was started in Ireland by the celts roughly 2000 years ago, and didn’t become popular in America until the beginning of the 1900’s. Originally Halloween was called Samhain (last days of summer) and was actually the end of the pagan calendar. People lit bonfires and celebrated in costume to greet the coming new year.

2. Black cats were considered bad luck for many decades because of a belief in the Dark Ages that cats were demonic familiars. They were thought to be found at the houses of witches. Now, black cats are considered good luck in Ireland especially if they cross your path!

3. The tradition of carving Jack-O-Lanterns also found its origins in Ireland. Celtic folklore tells the story of the Drunken Farmer Jack who tricked the devil into promising never to take his soul. Unfortunately Jack lived a sinful life and couldn’t get into heaven either. Lost in the darkness Jack asked how he would find his way…the devil then jokingly tossed him an ember from hell that would never go out…jack placed the ember in a carved turnip (later would become a pumpkin) and used the lantern to light his way as he wondered the earth for eternity looking for a place to rest. Later people carved the lanterns and set them on their stoops to help light the way for lost souls/ghosts and carved scary faces to ward of unsavory devils looking to take advantage.

4. Witches – originated from the Pagan Goddess “Earth Mother” or “The Crone.” She was meant to symbolize wisdom and the changing of the seasons. She was considered good and was worshiped (respected)…she later morphed into the symbol of evil and dark magic as cultures and religions changed in the region.

5. Dressing up as Ghouls and Goblins on Halloween…Celts believed that by dressing up on Samhain (when the veil between the world of the living and the dead was thinnest – and spirits could walk the earth) as a ghouls or goblin would trick the evil spirits walking the earth into thinking you were one of them; there by preventing them from capturing you and stealing your soul.

 

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Halloween!

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by | October 23, 2013 · 1:45 am

Porcupines and a Memory

At least once a week, my girls and I visit my husband’s grandma who has reached that point where she can’t leave her house and gets rather depressed.  her mind is fine, but her body is failing.  I want my girls to be able to understand that caring for someone is more than cleaning or just sitting.  It is realizing what they need.  When we talked about it, we decided Grandma misses being in charge of anything.  People take care of her and visit, but she is losing the ability to make decisions and plan out what to do in situations.  One of her favorite things to do was cook, but it is hard to lift or handle hot things.  So we found one of her old recipes that she could handle and had her help the girls make it.  I haven’t seen her this happy in a while.

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Porcupines– Think Rice Crispy Treat wrapped around the marshmallow instead of mixed with it.

I have her recipe card which has her handwriting on it and the woman she got the recipe from.  I love that she has the box still with all of that delicious history and labors of love.  A grandmother’s recipe box is a treasure chest of memories and tastes of childhood and culture.

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Add everything but the Mallows and Crispies:

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Melt in microwave and stir well.

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Use a fork to roll a marshmallow in caramel.

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Roll in Rice Crispies and place on waxed paper to cool.

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It made for a fun memory for the kids and Great-Grandma.  She perked up and was able to go through a recipe guiding the girls.  No oven needed, no stress and the mess was easily handled.

Oh, and they are fantastic… and addictive.

 

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Filed under Children, Family, Food and Drink, Motherhood, Recipes

DIY Weeping Angel Wings

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I looked everywhere for cheap wings to spray paint gray.  The cheapest I could find that weren’t fairy wings were $50.

I have four kids that need wings.  There’s no way in heck I’m paying $200 for one part of a Halloween costume!

Sooooooo–I sat and stared at my Costco Milk box and took out my roll of Duct Tape:

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I drew an outline of a wing, free-handed.  Then cut it out.

I chose the handle of the box to be where it was originally so I could fashion straps easier.

I ended up taping over them anyway though.Image

I toyed for a while between having a solid piece with the handle holes for straps, or

what I actually did, which was to keep the natural bend in the box so the wings moved and

would work better through doors and such.

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Then I began with the Duct Tape.  I started with the middle.

After stabilizing the two pieces together, I began with the actual wings,

choosing which side looked the best facing out.  I really

wanted to support the middle to avoid ripping with the kids’ wear and tear.

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After doing one long strip up and over the wing and down again, I lined up the strips and

carefully pressed them together, using my hands to get a nice groove around the curve of a “feather”.
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It continued on like this until the wings were covered.

Then I begs making small-ish strips with the ends folded over for feathers.

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Place folded end downward where you want a feather and carefully cut out the

shape of a feather.  Repeat until it looks right to you.

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Voila!  Now for the straps.

I made two strips of tape folded over itself.

Make sure it can go over their shoulders.

Adhere to the inside of the wings and stabilize the straps.

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Filed under Budget, Children, Crafts and Gifts, DIY, Family, Halloween, Holidays, Motherhood, talents

Rose twist/ponytail

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Take a princess twist into a ponytail. Twist sections of ponytail around the hair tie, pinning it into place. Leave a section.

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by | October 14, 2013 · 1:45 am

How to: Grout Tile Flooring

How To: Grout Tile Flooring

Step 1: Pick out the type of grout you need for the space you are using (we used sanded grout for flooring). Decide on color and then mix in a large bucket per manufacturers instructions. Make sure to wear proper protective equipment while mixing as the grout dust will fly up and get into your eye’s, nose and mouth if you don’t (yuck!). Once the water is thoroughly mixed in allow the grout to set up – it should be about the consistency of damp beach sand when it is ready to use.

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Step 2: Begin work in the corner furthest from the exit door, and work your way out of the room. Using a tile float (looks like a tile trowel but the base is rubber or foam instead of metal) scoop up a large amount of grout and begin to work it into the seams between the tiles. If you have smaller tiles you can drag the grout all the way across the tiles in sweeping patters to push the grout into all of the seams. We are laying larger tiles here and so we focused around the seams. You do need to work the grout in using multiple directions in order to force as much grout into the joint as possible. This will help to create a strong bond and keep your floors in great condition for years to come.

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Step 3: Allow the grout to set up for approx. 30min depending on the manufacturers instructions. Once it has had the initial set up time using a damp sponge begin to remove the excess grout from the top of the tiles.

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Work in a circular motion with a lite touch to ensure you don’t pull grout out of the seams. There will still be a haze over the floor, this is okay. Allow the grout to set up another 2 hrs or so (again refer to manufacturer guidelines) and then go over the tiles again with a barely damp sponge or cloth. Wipe up the haze and then go over it with a dry cloth after. Once the tiles are clean allow the grout to cure for a few days.

Step 4: Step back and admire your newly grouted tile floor. Allow floors to cure for a few days before moving onto sealing.

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Step 5: If you have made it this far in your floor improvement project…Congratulations you are only one step away from being done! With the commercial sealer of choice in hand start once again in the back corner of the room and run a thin line of grout sealer over each joint. Do not wash over tile with sealer…stick to the grout! Allow first coat to sit for 20 minutes and then go over the grout again. Then allow the sealer to sit overnight and vowalla…you are done! Clean out the tools, repaint your walls, put your floor boards back up, and start using your lovely new floor!

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One very cheap and easy Halloween decorating idea

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One thing I like to do every holiday is paint the windows.  It razor blades right off and is a very frugal way of being festive.  I use tempera paint and free hand it, but you could use a stencil as well.  It takes little to no time at all and adds some flair.

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