prayer rock

My son came home from church last week with this craft. He has already misplaced the polished rock decorated with cross stickers, so we've been busy making more painted prayer rocks at home. I found sealing with Modge Podge worked well to make an ordinary outdoor rock smooth and polished. We'll place them in a little wooden prayer-rock box on top of his dresser. If you decide to make a one at home with your child, remember to use a Sharpie to write their name and the date on the bottom.
(what a great childhood treasure to keep forever!)

(Author Unknown)
I'm your little prayer rock and this is what I'll do.
Just put me on your pillow 'til the day is through.
Then turn back the covers and climb into your bed,and, whack!
your little prayer rock will bump you on the head.
Then you will remember as the day is through,
to kneel and say your prayers as you intended to.
Then when you are finished dump me on the floor.
I'll stay there through the night time to give you help once more.
When you get up next morning,clunk!
I stub your toe,
so that you will remember your prayers before you go.
Put me back upon your pillow when your bed is made,
and your clever little prayer rock will continue in your aid.
Because your Heavenly Father
cares and loves you so,
He wants you to remember
to talk to Him, you know.

healthy placemats

Here's a fun idea to get your kids thinking about healthy choices. I gave my boys a few old cooking magazines to flip through and pick out all the healthy foods they love. With Nana's help N. was able to find fabulous foods for each family member that made his mouth water. We also flipped through to find appropriate words to match the theme. We glued them on large construction paper and made name labels for everyone. Laminating at Kinkos wasn't cheap, but the final result should last through many dinners to come! Now everyone has an inspiring place to put their plate!


toddler house painting

My little guy loves to paint, so I thought of a great mess-free way for him to artisticly express. He loved getting a bowl of water on a warm sunny day to "paint" the brick walls of the house.

clover cupcakes

Here's a quick idea for St. Patrick's Day cupcakes. Use kitchen shears to cut slices of a gumdrop candy into 3 circles. Use the remainder of the gumdrop to cut a stem.
Add rainbow sprinkles to the edge.

roy-g-biv (-i) Jello

Here is a fun St Patrick’s Day treat that will be made tradition in our house. Yes, once a year is plenty to be making this Jello. You’ll be in the kitchen at least 3 hours for this one, but the end result is so worth the time.

Spray a 9 x 13 glass baking pan with baking spray. I don't like using this stuff, but I think it's necessary to have Jello that separates from the pan in the end.

Place the rainbow flavors of Jello in 6 separate bowls. Use 2 small boxes of Jello per bowl. Work with one flavor at a time. Don't try to make all the flavors at once as the Jello will solidify as you work. (personal experience) Mix 1.5 cups boiling water into the first bowl. Stir 2 minutes until dissolved. Pour 1/2 the red mixture into the prepared baking pan (it'll be a very thin layer but should cover the bottom) and refrigerate for 15 minutes. I found setting my oven timer for 15 minutes helped me keep track of all the 15-minute intervals. While the first layer is chilling in the refrigerator add a heaping Tablespoon of Cool Whip to the remaining red Jello. You don't want too much Cool Whip as your layer will be too pale, but you do want enough to make the layer opaque. I found the heaping Tablespoon to be sufficient. (note: you can also use lowfat vanilla yogurt or sour cream instead of Cool Whip to make your layer opaque)
The more room temperature your Cool whip the smoother the layer will look. This Cool Whip started out frozen so I whisked it for a few minutes to make it look less chunky. (I rarely plan ahead enough to let things thaw before baking with them) As I worked on each layer the Cool Whip thawed and became easier to work with.
When the first layer is chilled enough to be firm but still tacky, pour the red Cool Whip layer to the top. 2 notes: 1)Don't leave the layers in longer than 15 minutes. This will cause the layers to be so firm that they won't stick to each other and will cause the layers to slide off each other in the end. 2)Pour the mixture onto a spoon to elimintate the stream from breaking the surface tension of the privious layer. This will eliminate a hole being created into a layer.

When the opaque layer is added to a color and put in to chill for another 15 minutes this is the time to mix the Jello for the next color. This gives the Jello time to cool down before adding it to the next layer. If the Jello is too hot when pouring it will melt the previous layer.
After you repeat these steps for each layer (12 total...see I told you you'd be in the kitchen all day) put the final product in the refrigerator to chill at least 2 hours. I left mine in overnight covered with plastic wrap.

This is what it looks like when you cut into it.
This it the end result.

pure mischief

The boys created their first Leprechaun trap last week. They were very into the story That's What Leprechauns Do, by Eve Bunting and wanted to catch one of those mischievous tiny men.
We set up our trap the night before St. Patrick's Day and N found a toy ladder to help the Wee One out.
We did attract one to our trap that night, and he did cause some havoc! Chairs toppled over, beaded chains hanging around, golden coins strewn over the house, he even painted the toenails of the boys scarlet red while they slept! The toilet was colored a shade of blue which magically turned green as N pottied on it! (cute lesson on color mixing)
"Wee Freckles" as we came to know his name even left a note for the boys upon waking. The magical wonder was almost as good as Santa Claus for the boys. They bought the whole shebang! I'm having so much fun being Mommy, and think it's so important to foster little ones' imaginations.


microwave puffy paint

Easy peasy microwave puffy painting
How to:
1 T. self rising flour
1 T. salt
a dash of food color

Use small cups to make a variety of colors. I used snack sized-applesauce containers. Add enough H2O to make a smooth paste. Use card stock (I used the backside of paper plates) to paint on with a Q-tip. Pop in the microwave for 20-30 seconds
(watch to see when the "puff" begins)
We hung the paper plates in succession on the refrigerator.

sky jello

Our sky Jello did not turn out quite as pretty as
but none the less they were fun to make and even more fun to eat!



Back in the day for one of my early childhood classes we created an elaborate shadow-puppet theater and preformed for young children in the Pontiac schools. I remembered the mesmerizing effect it had on the kids and how enjoyable it was for them to watch the shadow play. A few months ago I saw a shadow puppet demonstration on Martha Stewart and thought that it'd be fun to do that with the boys. Well...when I saw the Styrofoam packaging that was going in the trash from the new computer, I thought it was the perfect form to create a TV-like craft. N and I taped some waxed paper to the back and made theater curtains with a Sharpie...and that is how our shadow theater was born. We haven't made puppets yet...(will do someday...or just buy from http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=19511293 ) but had fun collecting small objects around the house which we used to stump the viewer...daddy.