Monday, February 23, 2009

While the Electricity was Out

We lost power for about an hour this afternoon. We had plans for a different project but without a glue gun it wasn't meant to be.

I had prepped this project to do with the kids from Oliver during our downtime in the greenroom but we never got around to it so it was a perfect spur-of-the-moment time-filler for Cali.

I already had cereal boxes painted green (on the backside). I traced 4 hearts on a piece and then cut a square out around each and gave them to Cal. Her little scissors proved to be a little weak for the cardboard so I held the heart square while she cut them out with mine. She tried it alone but I was a little anxious so I convinced her my help would make it so much easier!

Once they were cut out she glued them together at the points to make a 4 leaf clover. Then I gave her an outline of tacky glue and a tin full of buttons and set her loose. When she finished one outline I did another and she began again until the whole shamrock was to her liking.

We added a small green ribbon for hanging and a pipe cleaner stem. It is currently residing as a door hanger but I think I will move it soon so it doesn't get knocked around too much.

Cali took the picture above herself while telling me, "Mom, you can blog about this if you want to." I fully expect she will want her own blog as soon as she can spell-maybe before!
It's a great addition to our St. Patrick's Day decor.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Opening Night.
The girls are orphans, then they are citizens in the street. Cassi is a boy while she is an orphan.

I can't take pictures while they are on stage because my flash is far too weak. I did get pictures taken of them but I heard the guy had trouble with his flash too so I am waiting to see if his come out.
Cori was being difficult tonight so I took this of her during warm ups, in her orphan costume.

These are a couple from the green room where the girls reside while waiting to go on stage. I took many but I am not sure about posting pictures of other kids in the pictures.

Here Amber was fixing Cassi's hair for me since I am hair challenged. I count Amber as one of the many blessings of my life!

Here they are wearing their bonnets for the street market scene.

And Cali has gotten quite comfortable with back stage and makes her way around fairly well. I am not sure what next years show will be but if there is a chance she can do something, she will be trying out. She has made it VERY clear. Amber curled her hair tonight during some down time. Don't they look cute?

If you are interested...

This very cool site is having a celebration of giveaways. Go check it out and Good luck!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pairs~ A Fun Game We Created

At least I think we did. :)
I remember years ago at my bridal shower, my friend Holly had us play a game. When everyone walked in the door, a tag was stuck on their back with a famous wife's name written on it. You could only ask yes or no questions to guess who you were. I 'wink wink' was Princess Diana whom I adored and I guessed it right away.

Anyway, it was a fun game then and I tried to incorporate it into something older elementary kids would like, for Cassi's Valentine party.

Here's what I did.

I cut large hearts out of red and pink paper. I cut each heart in half and wrote a pair on each set. We used chicken and egg, salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly and so on.

I split her class into two teams (red and pink) with an even number of players on each team. I stuck half a heart on each kids back. Each team had to walk around each other looking at each others tags. Using the words they saw as clues, they had to ask yes or no question to find their pairs.

It was more challenging than one would first expect(but not too much so) as the pairs were not a certainty. If you saw chicken they might ask, "Am I egg?". And even though one person got their answer I might take the other half longer to figure out who they were. Even though they already knew that person was their mate. They might be thinking they were 'bacon'.

Once the pairs figured each other out they had to go to their teams' base. The team to match all their pairs the fastest, won.

I think it turned out well. The teacher even got involved and really enjoyed it. I thought it might be too difficult at one point but they played a second time by switching team colors thereby having different pairs to figure out.

I think you could do this anytime. And if you don't have a older elementary kid who thinks couples are gross, you could do it using famous couples. I wanted to do that but my girl was having none of that!

If you play, let me know how it works out. It really was quite fun!

Getting Ready for some Lucky Green Fun

For as long as I can remember, St. Patrick's Day has received the same 'gotta get ready for it' commotion that any other holiday has.

Growing up it was always a must to have your St. Patrick's Day outfit picked out. I am certain we ate corned beef and cabbage and all that goes with it.

In fact as I got older and started having my own children I felt like I would be letting my own family down if I didn't teach my children to honor the holiday with great excitement.

So, today Cali and I got things started. She wanted to 'do' something. I dug out an old hotplate I found at a garage sale a few years ago. (We only use this for crafts) I warmed it up and gave her a box of crayons. We made stained glass shamrocks. I know I've done this with her before but I guess it's been a while.

She really had fun although she wanted to make pictures rather than filling up space. Either way, they're cute enough. It's a good start.

Is St. Patrick's Day a big deal at your house?

Happy Birthday Grandpa

Grandpa's birthday was Monday. We had a small (and quick) get together. We decided to meet at McDonald's which kept the little bit busy while everyone took a minute to catch up.
Holly, Wren and Barry were in town so they dropped by before leaving for Anchortown one more time. Scott and the girls were there for a bit but had to leave to get to Oliver practice and set building.

We surprised Grandpa with a unique present this year. Because what else do you get for a guy who has everything.

We made him turn around since you can't really wrap a fish.

Then we told him to turn around...SURPRISE!

I think the fish was a little frightened because Grandpa had a hard time locating him. He must of been hiding.

Cori and Cassi thought Grandpa would LOVE a fish. Cali and Wren picked out a blue one.

I think Wren dubbed him Steve. Cori told Grandpa to call him Dirt 'cause he's older than dirt. :)

I still haven't heard what his actual name is. I'll keep you posted.

Valentine's Day Round Up

Since we spent the day at a cheer competition we didn't do much Valentine-like stuff on valentine's day. Regardless, I thought you might like to see a little of what we did in honor of the holiday.

The girls celebrated with friends at school on Friday. Cori was really specific this year about what she would and wouldn't give to friends. We ended coming together on stress balls which we've made before. Since she shares her class with 5th and 6th graders, I thought it would be a safe bet. She insisted however that we NOT make the tag saying "Have a Ball on Valentine's Day". Instead she chose "Have a stress-free Valentine's Day". These were a HUGE hit with students and teachers alike.

In Cassi's class, since we had more of a party, we actually made the stress balls in class as a project. We made fun candy necklaces too.(See below) And we played a really fun game we called pairs. I will tell you how to play in another post.

For Valentine's gifts Cassi made these. They had a blow pop, kit kat and a few chalk hearts in them.

They were super cute however the boys quickly made beaks, clown hats and so on with them. It was funny and they seemed to enjoy finding new uses for them so I suppose that makes them a hit, right? As they get older, it is certainly hard to think of cool things to do. I will have to start thinking now for next year!

On Valentine's morning the girls woke up to treats in the hotel.

They took pictures of each other while I got started making candy necklaces for the cheerleaders. I should have had it done but I had so many commitments earlier in the week it just never got completed. Fortunately everyone decided to help and it became a family affair. Cori cut ribbon, Cali piled the ribbon near me for tying. Cassi and Daddy rolled the candy in the saran wrap and Daddy even helped tying ribbon when he was done. I took them with me and while we were waiting to get in the venue my friend Michelle helped me curl all that ribbon. Whew, we managed to get them done just as they opened the doors. The girls all loved them and they looked great in red for Valentine's day. We make these a lot in their team colors for other competitions.

Cali also made this cute little guy earlier in the week at her preschool group. She was very proud of wrinkling those legs. It took a her a long time but she hung in there.

All in all, it was a super week with lots of love-ly things to do and celebrate. I hope yours was equally as wonderful.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What We Have Been Up To

We have been running our tails off for the last couple weeks. Most of you I've talked to occasionally but less than normal. I feel like this is the last week of pure craziness and next week should slow down, I hope.

This is our third year participating in the the yearly production of the Kenai Performer's . This year there is a new Director,Laura. She's been great. The costumes are easier than last year, Thank Goodness! The girls have been having a great time getting ready. Even Scott has been really involved in set building and design this year. It's been a family affair. :)

The show opens Friday and while I thought for a bit it might not come together, It looks like it is going to be phenomenal!

Here is your personal invitation. Please come! You are going to LOVE IT!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Grateful & Proud

I thought so much about what to title this post.

I could have written so many things. "Go Cassi", "Great Job Cassi Raye", "Wow, What an Awesome Cheerleader" but what I want to convey is that I am SO GRATEFUL and SO VERY PROUD!

Sometimes I think you, who live so far away, don't often know my children very well. And it is hard for you to really know *who* they are. Because of that, I'd like to tell you a little about Cassi's character.

Around the middle of January her coaches (Kayla and Jen) decided that if there were cheerleaders who'd like to participate in individual competitions at the competition, they could. 3 girls chose to do so; Cassi was one of them.

The last week of January her music and routine came in. She had 2 weeks to learn it! She has cheer two nights a week and that is for her team practice. This year, rather than going in for a private lesson the learn the basic routine, she received a video and the music. The girl who wrote the routine walked through it in the video. Cassi was very stressed and I admit it looked like it would be hard to learn this way. We received it at 8:00 pm on a Monday, less than two weeks from the competition.

Because Cassi was stressed and it was so late we decided that Cassi would learn the last 16 counts of her routine which was her cheer section and go to bed. It was the best we could do and I was afraid she would make herself sick over it.

The next morning I came down stairs about 30 minutes after she did. I thought she and her sister were getting ready for school. She JUMPED into my arms and proclaimed she had learned her entire routine! I tried really hard to explain that once she was on the spring floor and not in our kitchen she would likely have to adjust things to meet her count. But I was very proud of her and amazed at her determination.

After school that day, I took her to practice. I pulled her coaches to the side and told the what happened. I was a little concerned that Cassi would be disappointed in herself if she was off which I figured was inevitable.

When I picked her up, the coaches were grinning and Cassi was screeching that I had to watch! She did in fact, HAVE IT!

This leads me to why I am so grateful. Not because she had it but because she works so hard that when good things happen for her it fills my heart. She is incredibly determined; almost to a fault. She expects a lot from herself and you never wonder whether she is giving it her all.

Now, lest you think I am boring you with details, (which I probably am) there is an ending here.

And that ending went something like this:

Announcer: Junior division, individuals
Cheerleader A, receives a medal for recognition!

Cheerleader B, receives a medal for recognition!

Cheerleader C, receives a medal for recognition!

Cheerleader D, receives a medal for recognition!

Scott and Christie look at each other with a small amount of panic and wonder aloud, will they give everyone who doesn't place a medal?

Announcer: Cheerleader E, receives a medal for recognition!

Cheerleader F, receives a medal for recognition!

Again Scott and Christie look at each other and start to figit their seat!

Announcer: And 5th place goes to cheerleader G!

4th Place goes to Cheerleader H!

At this time Christie expresses pure panic and nauseous stomach.
Scott: It's now or never!

Announcer: 3rd place goes to Cheerleader I

Christie: turning to her friend Michelle, Certainly they are going to give my daughter something!

Announcer: 2nd place goes to Cassi Raye!

Scott screams like a madman, Christie starts crying, So very PROUD of how hard she worked to get what she wanted AND so very GRATEFUL that she ended up earning recognition for it!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

More Valentiney Love...from Grandma

Ooooooh, what a happy day it was today! We ended the day with a very special box arriving all the way from Alabama. Grandma sent lots of love packed in a very heavy box.

The girls were so excited when they saw it. I wouldn't let Cori and Cali open it when it arrived; Cassi was still at cheer practice. Finally we made it home at the end of a very busy day and the girls dug right in!

There were giggles and squeals and cries of "I know that's for me". Cassi was amazed Grandma found things SO different but still SO special to each girl individually. Maybe I coordinate too much. :)

Cori loved this mermaid. It suits her (and her room) perfectly.

And light up blankets; who knew there was such a thing????
No joking, see the light at the bottom of the 'I" in Tink. Crazy!

Cali had no trouble figuring out whose gift this was.

Can feel the excitement oozing from these pictures? Cori, Cassi and Cali, you received a fabulous box from Grandma, what are you going to do now? We're going to TARGET!

Contain yourself! :)

I Love, Love, Love These Girls

During the summer, the girls and I started occasionally having muffin tin lunches. We don't do it all the time but when we do, the LOVE it.

Last week while we were shopping (and passing some cute little heart shaped muffin tins) Cori asked me if I would bring her a muffin tin lunch at school. Of course I said "yes" at which point she coerced me into buying Valentine muffin pans.

They have field trips tomorrow so they will be eating on the run. I decided to surprise them today with Valentine themed lunches.

Cali wanted to help so she cut tiny little heart cheese. I put those in a pocket with pepperoni. In another I put Ritz crackers and added a couple red bell pepper hearts. I used mixed berry yogurt in one and raspberries in another. We also gave them teeny tiny peanut butter and jelly heart sandwiches. And 1 really beautiful yummy Valentine cookie.

Since I had to get them to school somehow I wrapped them in red cellophane tied with pink curly ribbons and gave them a pink Sobe life water in the cute new bottle. (Not to worry, we are recycling them for something because they are so fun.

I realize a lot of kids don't attend a school like my kids do; where parents are encouraged ( and almost required) to be an active participant but it really made my kids' day to have such a special lunch brought to them. They were glowing! You can always ask your principle or administrator if you can be cleared to do something like this.

We are also even considering making this a school wide activity once a quarter, having each student bring their own muffin tin and one item that will fit in the pans, to share with their class. Bringing 1 item times 25 makes it fairly simple for parent to plan but having 25 students participate almost guarantees a variety.

Hope your day is rosy pink and all Valentiney too.

*****(And in case your thinking your child would sooner beat you with a stick than have you bring a lunch like that; Think again. If I was asked once today I was asked a bazillion times if I would do it again for everyone!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's Really Working

Cali has been doing preschool with friends once a week. It's sort of a traveling preschool; we go to each others houses rotating amongst 4 friends. It's much like a play date with structure.

Most of the time we incorporate a letter into the days activities. In addition to that, I have been really working with Cali on the letters of the alphabet at home too.

As a Valentine's surprise I have been working on some fabric magnet letters for Cali. I had some scraps left over from a few of the letters that are finished so I stuck them on the fridge the other day. I didn't really mention them to anyone but I thought Cali might decide to make some pictures from the shapes when the day came she noticed them.

Today is that day. Although she didn't make a picture, she spelled her name. She was so excited and so was I. It makes me smile seeing how much she is learning and how thrilled she is with herself when it happens. Doesn't it make you smile too?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Too Cute not to Share

OK, once again I really should be making Valentine's that didn't get finished this weekend, gathering more donations for our school carnival, and WASHING clothes, since we are all going to have to go naked here shortly. Instead, I am sharing with you this darling birthday gift we made for Cori's friend from school.

As you might know, I have NO sewing skills, really, NONE! So this project was right up my alley.
This darling purse is made from fabric, staples and duct tape. Whoo Hooo!

Come on, pretty dang cute isn't it?