Tuesday, November 29, 2011


What do you do on the second day of rain? Pull out the sponges and have some fun!

Sponge sheets I got at the schools "garage sale" recently.

I cut them into shapes for my class and...
gave my little guy the scraps!

I should note that these are the sponges that are flat, but once you add water they grow. He giggled and giggled. He spent about 20 minutes playing in the sink with them. He put them in the cup, dumped them out, and watched them twirl around in the sink. He did this all while singing and laughing. It was contagious.

Have you played with sponges? If so what did you do?

UPDATE: Big brother has joined in the fun after school. It has been at least 30 minutes of fun!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Animals in the Winter

This week I am discussing animals in winter with my friends. I have a great set of books I purchased from Costco, First Library Animal Picture books. We are focusing on the Polar book.

There are several other books you can use:

Our craft is focused on polar animals as well.
  • Animal Painting. I have several different animals you would find out and about during winter. I enlarge the animals and will have the children paint the pictures with a mixture of white paint and  corn syrup. The corn syrup makes the paint shiny, which to me looks more like snow. 

I also pulled out the infamous purple sand, and yet again it was a huge hit!

Getting Crafty On A Rainy Day

When we woke up today it was raining, and guess what 7 hours later it still is! I declare today a craft day.

We started by putting up our Christmas tree. I have a "treasure chest" of ornaments  that my boys can play with, which I hang on the bottom of the tree. They are either soft plush toys or ornaments my oldest has made in the past.

Next we moved on to making snow people for my class this week. I have a cute poem about Five Little Snowmen, and I needed puppets. I was going to make snow people out of construction paper, but my oldest reminded me we have foam snowmen. He went to town decorating them. I love that he did not use just foam; he used markers for faces (and made them all have different expressions), wiggly eyes, and of course tape. Tape is way over used in our house, but I will let that be another post.

Finally I had him put up the magnet advent calendar my mom gave the boys. It is a great tool to practice counting. They love that it goes on the fridge; it allows for fun time while mommy is making food.

Sorry for quality, it just would not turn out well with my phone. 

By the way, the puppets are a huge success; my oldest is putting on a play right now for me. I cannot wait for little brother to wake up from nap to see the stories they will create. 

I have so many rainy day winter crafts spinning in my brain. What is your favorite winter time craft?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Today I am thankful for so much, but most of all family.

Today we will spend the day at my parent's house with about 25 people. Tomorrow we will go to my husband's Aunt's house and enjoy time with them.

We all have our assigned meal to make; mine being sweet potato casserole. You know the one with the marshmallows. Mmmm.

My mom makes this awesome cranberry jello with banana's and walnuts. It is one of my favorites. I am not a big fan of turkey (sorry) so I fill up on salad, potatoes, veggies and of course pie.

What is your favorite dish on Thanksgiving?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I love to cook!

I love food. I love to eat it. I love to cook it. I am not sure which gives me more pleasure. My mom loves to entertain and I got the cooking bug from her. She is Polish and my aunt and her make up the Polish Princess catering company. Not really, but that is the name they gave themselves when they do a big family event. It works, and they are great.

Continuing on in the Polish Princess way, I love to cook. Today I picked up 2 chickens from Costco and made chicken noodle soup, chicken enchiladas, and two chicken casseroles. I keep one for dinner and freeze the rest. The soup is for lunch all week.

My dinner masterpiece.

I love the web site, Skinny Taste. Gina, the blogger, creates recipes that are healthier and assigns the Weight Watchers points to the meals. I use several other sites as well, but this tends to be a go to for me.

What are your favorite web sites for meal planning and recipes? Do you involve your kids? You should, don't be afraid as it is a great learning tool.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

We Did It; The Royal Oak Holiday Parade

Well, we did it. We survived our first parade. The Royal Oak parade has come a long way baby. This year there were 79 participants and we were one of them.

If you have never been involved in a parade, it is a hurry up and wait day. We had to be there by 10:15 and the parade started at 11. We were 39th in line! We waited for a bit to start and once we started it was over fast. I hardly got to hand out candy, pencils and coupons.  If I missed you, I apologize.

We got to watch the last few bands, kids, and floats arrive after we finished.

A big shout out to my sister and my nephews for their help; without them we would have been lost. Here are a few pictures. I wish I would have thought of getting some of the crowd.

Arriving at the parade meeting site.

How cool is this? A monster truck in front of us!

The gang; family rocks.

My rock star sister and me.

Did you go? What was your favorite thing about the parade?

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I was super excited to roll out my plan for our construction themed class. My boys are into anything that moves dirt, fixes things, blocks; in general anything to do with construction. It was an easy topic for me.

  • Tonka Construction Zone - allows children to press the trucks and buttons that make noise
  • Usborne First Picture Trucks
  • The Home Depot - My Hammer (this is the one I read to class due to simplicity)
  • Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day?

Fine Motor: 

My favorite fine motor/sensory thus far! You take dry spaghetti and stand it up in a play dough ball. Then you offer cheerios or other O cereal to thread on the spaghetti. I also offered foam shapes. The kids loved it and spent a good 15 minutes there, which is a good length of time for 2-3 year olds to focus.


Shape construction. I cut out triangles, rectangles, circles, and squares from various colored construction paper. I had the kids glue them on a white piece of paper. It is so simple, yet it got a great response. One of my friends spent about 10 minutes on it and he was very particular on placement.

  • block center - wood, paper and plastic blocks
  • dress up center- I had hard hats, vests and tools available 

It was a popular them. The lesson I learned; every child loved hammers and two hammers was not enough for a class of 8! Mental note to get more hammers. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Feather Rubbing Craft

I know it sounds weird, right? 
I was on my way to meet my in-laws, who graciously took my boys all weekend (big smile), and was browsing all my favorite preschool blogs. I found a great craft - I am searching for the blog now to give it credit. 

You take glue and make a feather outline. Let it dry. Then have the children place the paper over it and rub it with crayons. I made 6 of them on heavy duty file folder paper. Of course since I was gluing, both my boys had to get into the act. Thank goodness they woke up at 6:30, that way we got a craft in before the oldest goes to school. 

Sorry about quality - trying to get boys to school!

We will be doing this craft with my 2-3 year olds this week. We will take the feather rubbings, cut them out and glue to a brown circle (the turkey body). My friends will then add a face to their turkey. 

My 1-2 year olds will be doing the handprint turkey, with the help of their parents of course. I will post the finished results after class. I am super excited.

Drum roll...here are the results.

A work in progress; Turkey with the feather rubbings

Suggested books: 
Thank You Thanksgiving is a simple book with a great message.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Oh What a Week!

It was one of those weeks. A week that reminds you that you have to go with the flow that life brings you. My oldest son had no school on Tuesday and a half day on Friday. It threw me way of schedule. I thought Wednesday was Monday, and it went down hill from there. 

On a good note:

The Robot Garage was a huge hit; score points for mom. 

We scored some awesome deals at the Royal Oak Schools Garage sale! If you missed it, they plan on having another one. The schools are getting rid of items from storage; filing cabinets, desks, chairs, chalkboards and more. We scored 2 cabinets and a ton of construction paper for only $13. Wow. 

The Holiday Parade is Saturday! Come see us and score some treats and a lucky few will get 10% off coupons! *New families to register for one of our 6 week classes. 

and the best for last...

My husband and I had a no kid weekend! My in-laws called and asked to take the boys. We have had the best time together. It has been much needed. We really need the time to reconnect and remember why we fell in love. Marriage is work, kids are work, and life is a work in progress. I am typing this while enjoying coffee, baking french toast, and peace and quiet. ahhhh. 

That's all this week. I will try to get some cool links up for the fabulous crafts I found.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Robot Garage

Today, since my oldest did not have school, I made a trip to the ultra cool Robot Garage in Birmingham. If you have not been, I highly recommend it. They have Lego's® galore, for all ages. 

Today we were lucky enough to attend one of their free open play sessions. Normally there is a small fee to play, design and explore. They had Lego® Duplo's for the younger ones and the smaller Lego's® for the older kids. Rows and rows of Lego's®, as modeled by my oldest son.

The staff was great; always asking how we were doing and if we needed help. They also supplied the Hex Bugs, and the kids went nuts. 

We stayed for about an hour and a half, when my little engineer declared he was done. All in all, it was wonderful and I cannot recommend it enough for your little (or older) builder, engineer, or future robotic builder child. 

Where do I start?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Family Craft

I am a huge fan of any craft or art activity that involves the entire family; often dad gets left out. This project is easy to do and I am glad I came across it on Creative Carmella. I search for inspiration daily on blogs that I follow. Many times I take a craft and make a few changes, but not this one. 

What is your favorite hand print art work?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Santa Wreath

When I went to Genesis Church last night for our Moms Night In, we had a craft. Make a wreath with felt, buttons, and ribbon. I knew Aidan would have a blast doing this, therefore I brought it home. 

I wanted to do a fall theme, but he had other plans. He instantly saw Santa and his beard. We worked as a team. 

This is the result.

Santa in all his glory. 

The Mommy Myth

I went to Moms Night In at Genesis Church last night. It was wonderful to spend time with other moms on a Saturday night, enjoying food and coffee.

Our guest speaker, Karen Brumm, LLMSW, spoke of the Myths of Motherhood. Gosh, where was this when my oldest was born?

Myths such as:
breast feeding is easy
the baby will sleep
you sleep when the baby sleep
if you have read the book you can do it
you will have family/friend support
good moms are stay at home moms
you are bad if you go back to work
you have to make dinner from scratch
you have to be Super Mom!

Just to name a few. It was so refreshing to hear the mix of myths we all shared no matter if we stayed home or not. I worked for the first few years of Aidan's life and have stayed home for most of Sam's. I know both sides.

What myths did you find were applicable to your life?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Royal Oak Holiday Parade

I cannot believe I just typed that. Where did the year go? 

We will be participating in the Royal Oak Holiday Parade this year. I am really excited to support our community and the various functions for children that they host. 

We will pass out candy and a free pass to come check us out. Spread the word, it should be exciting. It keeps getting bigger and bigger each year.

Playing in the Kitchen

This week our theme is Playing in the Kitchen. We had a lot of free play today; letting the children explore the play food, kitchen, and the sensory bin filled with flour. 

I kept the craft simple. We mixed glue and cinnamon. I had the kids paint the glue mixture onto construction paper and top it off with dry pasta. This craft is more about the sensory than the final project. 

It was a hit, but I probably won't do the flour again without putting a drop cloth under the sensory table. 
In true form, my child took his clothes off because the flour was on it. I shook it off and managed to get him back into his clothes. He also put the flour on his head. He loves to get messy but must do it with little clothes on. Oh boy!

Anyone else have a child who loves to take their clothes off? If so please share your stories, as I could go on and on about his knack for taking off his clothes at the "perfect" time. 

Playing music with our kitchen instruments. 

Our pasta craft.

How was your Halloween?

Well Halloween came and went so fast. I was not ready for it this year after being really sick. I never picked up pumpkins to carve; by the time I could they were all gone. Bummer. My five year old was great, he did not mind that we did not carve pumpkins or put up lights. We kept it simple. 

I am wondering how many trick or treaters did you get? We have lived in our house for 8 years now and we hardly get any. This year was the worst and the neighbors confirmed it. I wonder why?

Is it all the events we go to prior to Halloween, making the actual day less of a big deal? This year we had my 5 year olds Trick or Trunk at elementary school, and we went to downtown Royal Oak's Spooktacular. We never even went to Greenfield Village or the Zoo Boo. 

By the time Halloween day rolls around my kids have worn their costumes at least 3 times! At least I got my money's worth. 

What are your thoughts? It seems that many people I have talked to that live in Royal Oak said the same thing; very few kids out. Not even teenagers. Wow. 

My boys passing out candy. Pardon the red eyes.