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Monday, October 31, 2011

Come on November....

I am so glad Halloween is over with. I have to say this was one of my worst ones ever and it had nothing to do with the crazy snowstorm this past weekend. Well I guess it does in someways since if we didn't get the snowstorm Steve would have been home to help during my minor crisis. Since he was working, I had to call two neighbors to come over and help. Our little kitten escaped while I questioned teenagers on what they were dressed as besides just teenagers. Their response was "Strangers". It amazes me how many people come from the neighboring city (which is neighboring on the other side of our town so not really close) to trick-or-treat here. Of the 100+ pieces of candy I gave out today I literally recognized four or five families from our neighborhood. And if you are going to come to another neighborhood to trick-or-treat at least wear a costume!

Also I don't understand the adults who carry their own trick-or-treat bag and ask for candy. We had several of these. There was a bag for each child and one for the adult (who most often is not dressed up). Hmmm...you are an adult, go to the store and buy your own.

So our dear sweet Fluffy managed to get out tonight and was out for about 15-20 minutes. I was frantic since I couldn't really look and watch Hazel. I called my good friend and neighbor and she walked back since her husband and sister were with the kids as well, but since she was walking (she lives 1/2 mile away) it was taking too long and I freaked when I saw Fluffy heading towards the corner and street, so I called our neighbor across the street. They got here at about the same time and one stayed with Hazel and one went to help me look at which point Fluffy decided to come home on her own.

Oh, and did I mention Hazel did not nap today since she was so excited about Halloween. We went to the story time at the library and Steve took her out to play this afternoon. Apparently they built a snow fort--I'm not sure how since we really didn't have that much snow, but that is what they told me. Hazel has been wanting to play in the snow. She keeps asking to build a snowman and I keep telling her we have to wait for more snow. Then I took Hazel trick-or-treating while it was still light out. We went to the few neighbors we know. Besides candy Hazel got a backpack from our new neighbors. Their nine-year-old is wonderful with her. Hazel keeps wanting to invite her over to play. Then we came back to have dinner and give out candy. I realized pretty quickly that she wasn't going to go down until the trick-or-treaters stopped. I turned the light off at 7:45 and got her asleep by 8. Not too horrible all things considered.

Now I have to do my pumpkin fairy duties. We put all the candy she was willing to part with in a bag in the hallway. I have been saving a few needle felted projects for her. One is a cat that looks somewhat like Fluffy and the other I made last night, my first attempt at a flat needle felted picture of a fairy. For the fairy I was inspired by this post at Softearth's World. The cat I followed somewhat the directions in Little Felted Animals by Marie-Noelle Horvath. I changed the colors to match Fluffy. The cat is not perfect, but I made two attempts and decided it was good enough. My plan had been to make a wet felted jack-o'-lantern following the tutorial on Woolpets. However, I never got around to getting the balloon, so it didn't happen. Maybe next year.

Well now that Halloween is over I am going to look forward to the next major holiday. For me it is Thanksgiving. I wanted to create a countdown of sorts for Hazel, but wanted it to have more meaning.

Some of our coffee filters
My idea is to make the coffee filter leaves from Frugal Family Fun Blog. One for each of the 24 days until Thanksgiving. So today we painted 12 coffee filters and by we I mean Steve, Hazel and me. This is going to be a family affair, so I wanted to start it as a family. I'm going to cut out the leaves from them. Then I'm going to put a clear sticker with I'm thankful for typed on it and each day we will fill it in naming things each of us is thankful for. I'm hoping this will teach Hazel a bit about Thanksgiving and being thankful. Then we are either going to make a leaf garland adding each one each day or I may use the idea of the tree out of brown craft paper to have specific places for each leave to go so it is more of a countdown.

For the labels you can download them here. I used clear Avery labels 5160 for the formatting.

I will add more pictures of the leaves when we cut them out and write on them tomorrow. Now, I'm going to relax and get the stress out of my body from my crisis tonight. I hope everyone had a safe and warm Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I will admit I really do not like Halloween. As a Christian it feels strange to celebrate it. Yet I see how fun it is for the children, so I celebrate it. I do love seeing the kids dressed up. Though I do have to admit since getting married and living in a neighborhood where the kids gets bussed in to trick-or-treat it has lost some of its appeal. (Literally we see people we have never seen before with cars following them through the neighborhood and go through at least 6-7 bags of candy before we turn off our light. Last year we gave out the candy Hazel had gotten because we ran out.) I find it even stranger that so many people put so much time and money into Halloween decorations. Hazel is still just beginning to get the idea of Halloween. She still does not like wearing her costume much, but at least this year we got her in it.
My Little Spoon
Craft at Party
Saturday we went to Hazel's school for their Halloween Party. It was a fundraiser for the eighth grade class trip. For a $5 entrance fee we got drinks and a snack and to play some games for prizes as well as do a craft and hear a story. Hazel refused to wear her costume when we got there. When we finally got it on her and got a picture of the two of us in our costumes and the party ended. However we had seen just about everything without the costume, and she had a great time.
Craft at Party
The craft was very easy and very cute. They had orange jack-o'-lanterns pre-cut out of paper so they would fold in half with a front and back. Using a glue stick they had the kids spread glue on the orange paper and then glue a piece of tissue paper (pre-cut in circles the a bit smaller than the pumpkin) on. They were given the choice of colors for tissue paper and could use two colors (one on each side). Hazel chose orange and yellow tissue paper.

Sunday we went to church. We skipped the Boo Breakfast due to the snow and a bad night of sleeping, but made it to church. Then we came home and had lunch and tried to get Hazel to nap, but she refused. Then we took her to some friends' houses and my mother-in-law's for trick-or-treating. She wore her costume somewhat to the first two houses, but refused to put it back on after that.
Then we came home and carved Hazel's first jack-o'-lantern. She helped me scoop out the seeds and goop. Then she used the scoop as a pretend knife and pretended to carve it. She looked so serious while she did this--I couldn't resist taking pictures.
Add caption
Today we have a busy day. Hazel is going to my mother-in-law's for their Monday playdate. Then I'm picking her up to take her to the special Halloween story time at the library (where costumes are expected since it ends with trick-or-treating at the various desks). Then after lunch and a nap I will take her to a few of our neighbors' houses. Since Steve got stuck working nights because of the storm again, I will than have to be home to give out the candy. Not sure how it will work to get her down with all of that going on, but we shall see.
The dish and the spoon!

What are your plans for Halloween? Hope you have a happy and safe one!! Remember to have your kids leave their candy for the Pumpkin Fairy!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Going Pink



I decided to join the other bloggers to Go Pink today. Personally, I have a good friend who survived breast cancer, but lost all of her sisters and her mother to it, and my best friend since I was 6-months-old's mother is a recent survivor. So I'm dedicating this post to each of them.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for this post or what I would have time to do. I finished Hazel's and my Halloween costumes just in time to go to the Halloween party at her school today. So I visited Susan G. Komen for the Cure, American Cancer Society and more to get some facts, statistics, etc. I source each thing I have borrowed from the sites to pass the information on to you. Each of the sites I checked out were full of information so if you want more details, please visit them!

Well after gathering all this information to share with you, I sat down to relax and began to needle felt an angel for the angel swap I'm participating in. Instead of an angel for the swap, however, I made a breast cancer guardian angel.

Facts and Statistics
Women
In 2011, it is estimated that among U.S. women [31]:
  • There will be 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer (includes new cases of primary breast cancer among survivors, but not recurrence of original breast cancer among survivors).
  • There will be 39,520 breast cancer deaths.  

Age and breast cancer

All women are at risk for breast cancer. The two most important risk factors for breast cancer are:
  • Being female
  • Getting older
The risk of getting breast cancer increases as you age. Most breast cancers and breast cancer deaths occur in women aged 50 and older. Until more is known about preventing breast cancer, early detection and effective treatment offer the best defense against breast cancer mortality.
No matter your age, you should become familiar with how your breasts look and feel. If you notice any changes, see your health care provider right away. Learn about the warnings signs of breast cancer.

Men
Breast cancer in men is rare, but it does happen. In 2011, it is estimated that among U.S. men [31]:
  •  There will be 2,140 new cases of breast cancer.  
  •  There will be 450 breast cancer deaths. 
Rates of breast cancer incidence (new cases, including new cases of primary breast cancer among survivors, but not recurrence of original breast cancer among survivors) and mortality (the rate of death) are much lower among men than among women [31]. For example, in 2007 (most recent data available) [32]:



 Ok, so what I take from that is as we get older we are at higher risk (especially if you are female). Hmmm...that is all of us women.

Symptoms
Early breast cancer usually doesn't cause symptoms. But as the tumor grows, it can change how the breast looks or feels. The common changes include:
  • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area
  • A change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling or puckering in the skin of the breast
  • A nipple turned inward into the breast
  • Discharge (fluid) from the nipple, especially if it's bloody
  • Scaly, red, or swollen skin on the breast, nipple, or areola (the dark area of skin at the center of the breast). The skin may have ridges or pitting so that it looks like the skin of an orange.
You should see your health care provider about any symptom that does not go away. Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer. Another health problem could cause them. If you have any of these symptoms, you should tell your health care provider so that the problems can be diagnosed and treated.
Source: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/breast/page5

Risk Factors:
Studies have found the following risk factors for breast cancer:
  • Age: The chance of getting breast cancer increases as you get older. Most women are over 60 years old when they are diagnosed.
  • Personal health history: Having breast cancer in one breast increases your risk of getting cancer in your other breast. Also, having certain types of abnormal breast cells (atypical hyperplasia, lobular carcinoma in situ [LCIS], or ductal carcinoma in situ [DCIS]) increases the risk of invasive breast cancer. These conditions are found with a breast biopsy.
  • Family health history: Your risk of breast cancer is higher if your mother, father, sister, or daughter had breast cancer. The risk is even higher if your family member had breast cancer before age 50. Having other relatives (in either your mother's or father's family) with breast cancer or ovarian cancer may also increase your risk.
  • Certain genome changes: Changes in certain genes, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2, substantially increase the risk of breast cancer. Tests can sometimes show the presence of these rare, specific gene changes in families with many women who have had breast cancer, and health care providers may suggest ways to try to reduce the risk of breast cancer or to improve the detection of this disease in women who have these genetic changes. Also, researchers have found specific regions on certain chromosomes that are linked to the risk of breast cancer. If a woman has a genetic change in one or more of these regions, the risk of breast cancer may be slightly increased. The risk increases with the number of genetic changes that are found. Although these genetic changes are more common among women than BRCA1 or BRCA2, the risk of breast cancer is far lower.
  • Radiation therapy to the chest: Women who had radiation therapy to the chest (including the breasts) before age 30 are at an increased risk of breast cancer. This includes women treated with radiation for Hodgkin lymphoma. Studies show that the younger a woman was when she received radiation treatment, the higher her risk of breast cancer later in life.
  • Reproductive and menstrual history:
    • The older a woman is when she has her first child, the greater her chance of breast cancer.
    • Women who never had children are at an increased risk of breast cancer.
    • Women who had their first menstrual period before age 12 are at an increased risk of breast cancer.
    • Women who went through menopause after age 55 are at an increased risk of breast cancer.
    • Women who take menopausal hormone therapy for many years have an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • Race: In the United States, breast cancer is diagnosed more often in white women than in African American/black, Hispanic/Latina, Asian/Pacific Islander, or American Indian/Alaska Native women.
  • Breast density: Breasts appear on a mammogram (breast x-ray) as having areas of dense and fatty (not dense) tissue. Women whose mammograms show a larger area of dense tissue than the mammograms of women of the same age are at increased risk of breast cancer.
  • History of taking DES: DES was given to some pregnant women in the United States between about 1940 and 1971. (It is no longer given to pregnant women.) Women who took DES during pregnancy may have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. The possible effects on their daughters are under study.
  • Being overweight or obese after menopause: The chance of getting breast cancer after menopause is higher in women who are overweight or obese.
  • Lack of physical activity: Women who are physically inactive throughout life may have an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • Drinking alcohol: Studies suggest that the more alcohol a woman drinks, the greater her risk of breast cancer.

Hmmm....things we can control...our weight, our diet, our physical activity and drinking alcohol. Here are some more interesting factors to consider:

Can a healthy diet help prevent breast cancer?

A nutritious, low-fat diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. A high-fat diet increases the risk because fat triggers estrogen production that can fuel tumor growth.

Is there a link between oral contraceptives and breast cancer?

There is an increased risk of breast cancer for women under 35 who have been using birth control pills for more than ten years.

How often should I do a breast self-exam (BSE)?

Give yourself a breast self-exam at least once a month. Look for any changes in breast tissue, such as changes in size, a lump, dimpling or puckering of the breast, or a discharge from the nipple. If you discover a persistent lump in your breast or any changes in breast tissue, it is very important that you see a physician immediately. However, 8 out of 10 lumps are benign, or not cancerous.

How does menstrual and reproductive history affect breast cancer risks?

Women who began their menstrual cycles before age 12, have no children, or had their first child at 30 or older, or began menopause after 55 are at a higher risk.

How Often Should I Go To My Doctor For A Checkup?

You should have a physical every year. If any unusual symptoms or changes in your breasts occur before your scheduled visit, do not hesitate to see the doctor immediately.

What Kind Of Impact Does Stress Have On Breast Cancer?

Although some studies have shown that factors such as traumatic events and losses can alter immune system functions, these studies have not provided any evidence of a direct cause-and-effect relationship between stress and breast cancer. An area currently being studied is whether or not stress reduction can improve immune response and slow progression in women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Source: http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/About-Breast-Cancer/FAQs.aspx

Do we know what causes breast cancer?

Many risk factors may increase your chance of developing breast cancer, but it is not yet known exactly how some of these risk factors cause cells to become cancerous. Hormones seem to play a role in many cases of breast cancer, but just how this happens is not fully understood.
Certain changes in DNA can cause normal breast cells to become cancerous. DNA is the chemical in each of our cells that makes up our genes — the instructions for how our cells function. We usually look like our parents because they are the source of our DNA. But DNA affects more than how we look.
Some genes contain instructions for controlling when our cells grow, divide, and die. Certain genes that speed up cell division are called oncogenes. Others that slow down cell division, or cause cells to die at the right time, are called tumor suppressor genes. Cancers can be caused by DNA mutations (changes) that “turn on” oncogenes or “turn off” tumor suppressor genes.

Inherited gene mutations

Certain inherited DNA changes can increase the risk for developing cancer and are responsible for the cancers that run in some families. For example, the BRCA genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) are tumor suppressor genes. Mutations in these genes can be inherited from parents. When they are mutated, they no longer suppress abnormal growth, and cancer is more likely to develop.
Women have already begun to benefit from advances in understanding the genetic basis of breast cancer. Genetic testing can identify some women who have inherited mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 tumor suppressor genes (or less commonly in other genes such as PTEN or p53). These women can then take steps to reduce their risk of developing breast cancers and to monitor changes in their breasts carefully to find cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage. These are discussed in the following sections of this document.

Acquired gene mutations

Most DNA mutations related to breast cancer occur in single breast cells during a woman's life rather than having been inherited. These acquired mutations of oncogenes and/or tumor suppressor genes may result from other factors, like radiation or cancer-causing chemicals. But so far, the causes of most acquired mutations that could lead to breast cancer remain unknown. Most breast cancers have several gene mutations that are acquired.
Tests to spot acquired gene changes may help doctors more accurately predict the outlook for some women with breast cancer. For example, tests can identify women whose breast cancer cells have too many copies of the HER2 oncogene. These cancers tend to be more aggressive. At the same time, drugs have been developed that specifically target these cancers.

And that is where I'm going to end this. If you need more information please visit the sourced sites and visit your doctor. Also check out The ArtsyGirl Connection for more blogs Going Pink today!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sharing Saturday #3

Thank you to all the fabulous links shared this past week! I hope you will share more this week!

Here are some of my favorites from last week. It is a bit Halloween themed, but I guess that is to be expected this time of the year.

From Monkeys and Mudpies: Jar-O-Lanterns. What a great playdate!!
Monkeys and Mudpies
From I HEART CRAFTY THINGS: Candy Corn Inspired Lunch. Something to serve on Halloween!
I HEART CRAFTY THINGS

From Mom On Timeout: B-Witchin' Pumpkins. How adorable are these!!
Mom On Timeout

From the craftingfiend: I LOVE you the Mostest Pillow. How cute is this!!
the craftingfiend
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Now onto our third sharing Saturday. The rules are simple, please link to a specific craft or activity for or to do with a child (or to help with parenting).  And please come back and visit others to see what creative ideas you can use and share the blog love by leaving a comment. And please (pretty please) grab a button and link back so others find us. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful ideas!! Oh, and if you have book ideas please go visit My Book Sharing Thursday (separate lists for children and adult books).

Pumpkins with a Toddler

Hazel's white pumpkin
This morning we painted our pumpkins. We also painted pieces for a few future crafts. Hazel is at the age of loving to mix the colors and use one brush for the entire project. Needless to say our colors often look blackish, but we had fun. We each painted a sugar pumpkin and a white pumpkin.
My Sugar Pumpkin













Since she is not quite 3 yet, I didn't want to attempt to carve (though we will carve one on Halloween together). She is at the point of wanting to do everything I do by herself which of course is not possible, so I figured if we only have one pumpkin to carve it will be a joint project.

Last year we used stickers. I bought foam stickers at the Dollar Tree just for jack-o'-lanterns and we had her older friend over and the two of them decorated sugar pumpkins. It worked and was where she was at then, but all the stickers for the most part ended up on top of one another on her pumpkin.
Painting for future crafts
Hazel's collection finished



















Even Fluffy wanted to get involved but I pulled her chair away from the paint, so she took a nap. She always wants to be where we are.

Overall, I'm happy with our pumpkins. I will cut one of the white pumpkin open after Halloween to save the seeds to plant next spring. We are excited to try to grow pumpkins next year.

Hazel's sugar pumpkin
Hazel's sugar pumpkin
What are you doing with your pumpkins this year?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Book Sharing Thursday

Some great things to check out:
1) A new blog hop to meet new friends and see new ideas/blogs. It is hosted by  Happy Go Lucky, I Heart Crafty Things, Joy in the Jumble and Keeping Up With Kristi. They will feature one blog each week. Go sign up your blog and/or visit new blogs. It is really amazing how many great ideas are out there!
I Heart Crafty Things
2) Go Pink October 30th! Over 50 blogs are going pink on Sunday. Check it out at The Artsy Girl Connection.

Book Share:
Children's Books
I know I'm always looking for good books to read to Hazel. Have any to share that you have been enjoying with your kids? Ok, I was trying to get a linky tool that you didn't need to enter a website, but it didn't work. I linked to the book on amazon, but you can just use your blog if you want.

Adult Books
What are you reading for yourself? Any good novels? Good craft books? Good parenting? ...


Thanks for sharing!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Trick or Treat for America's Toothfairy

I received an interesting email today asking me to help promote this charity event. I do not know anything about the National Children's Oral Health Foundation and I tried to find them on the various charity ratings, but could not find them. It seems they are relatively new. Looking at their annual report (page 16 shows the financials) it looks like roughly 71% of the money goes to programs directly involving kids. I also did not know the person from whom the email came and he/she is not a follower. That being said, I am going to state a few facts I found on their website and share some of my stories.

  • Pediatric dental disease is 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever.
  • 44% of American children will suffer from pediatric dental disease before they reach kindergarten
  • 73% of preschoolers and 48% of primary school age children who have experienced cavities currently have unfilled cavities
  • While the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD) recommends that every child establish a dental home by their first birthday, only 1.5% of 1-year-olds have had a dental office visit compared with 89% who have had an office-based physician visit
  • 4.5 million children develop pediatric dental disease every year
  • Left untreated, pediatric dental disease can lead to malnourishment, bacterial infections, required emergency surgery, and even death
  • Dental disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia, poor pregnancy outcomes, and dementia
  • More than 51 million school hours and 164 million work hours are lost each year due to dental disease, leading to increased educational disparities and decreased productivity.
  • Approximately 43% of Americans lack dental insurance, including more than 20 million children; this is almost 3 times the population lacking medical coverage.
  • For every $1 spent on oral health preventive measures, American taxpayers are saved as much as $50 in restorative and emergency procedures for the under- and uninsured.
Source:  http://www.ncohf.org/why

With Halloween next week, I think it is important for all of us to remember and think about our children's oral health. I know I have been building up the story of the Pumpkin Fairy. You can find my version of the Pumpkin Fairy on this past post. There is also a wonderful book, All Hallows Eve: The Story of the Halloween Fairy by Lisa Johnson, that has a similar story of collecting candy for a fairy and she will exchange it for a toy. I have also heard a version of a candy witch that visits a few days after Halloween. Anyway, I am planning on only letting Hazel keep a small amount of her candy and then sending the rest to work with Steve.

I also know we are lucky enough to have dental insurance and be able to take Hazel to the dentist. Hazel got all of her teeth early, so if felt like the first two years she was always teething. We also are lucky to have a pediatric dental group near us. I also grew up with dental insurance so going to the dentist was a must in my house. Even as an adult without the insurance (not all school systems offer it), I always went to the dentist twice a year. So I do feel this is an important cause. I also know that some children are more prone to cavities and problems than others. My nephew for example has many issues and needs to spend about 5-10 minutes a night taking care of his teeth. My sister does it with him and when he stays with my parents, they are well versed on what needs to be done each night. Apparently this runs on his father's side of the gene pool, but it still needs to be dealt with.

So I'm letting you know about this charity and also asking you to think about your own children's teeth in this crazy season of Halloween candy going right through to our New Year's parties (or in my case my daughter's birthday party since New Year's Eve and her birthday are the same).

Oh, no, I feel like one of the stores with my Christmas stuff out too early

I hate how all the stores already have their Christmas stuff out. It is really crazy. Stores around here have all their Halloween costumes marked down 50% already. One of them has had all fall decorations and costumes marked down 50% for a month. What is wrong with this picture?

Hazel in her new house for a tea party
Anyway, we decided to do a few crafts last night and this morning. One of the first things we did was to make a thank you note to the wonderful family who gave us their Waldorf playstands (which an uncle had made for them). (Please note that the link for the playstands is to illustrate more what they are for those of you that may not know than to advertise any specific store or playstand.) Now Hazel can make a "house" without using every chair in the room. We use large pieces of cotton flannel and smaller silks and large clips that I found at Michaels on clearance for 50 cents each. They are not as nice as the Waldorf ones, but much cheaper. Well anyway, Hazel and I made them a card today to thank them for the playstands. I still cannot get over their generosity. The mother keeps thanking me for taking them since she was worried about what to do with them. She even delivered them to us since she didn't think they would fit in my car. Needless to say I used this as a lesson in gratitude and we made them a nice thank you using construction paper, crayons, stickers and a rubber stamp. Plus I included the picture above so they could see Hazel in her house.

We also made some lollipop spiders. I saw these posted on a few blogs and thought they would be fun. Hazel loves lollipops and has a good friend with severe nut allergies, so I thought we could make some for him to make his Halloween special. I bought organic lollipops at Trader Joes and used some pipe cleaners, a pom pom and googly eyes and glue. Hazel had some trouble with the concept. I went out last night to a talk at Hazel's school on the math curriculum and left Hazel and Steve to make a few. This is what I came home to:
Well at least they are decorated.

Now for my Christmas ornament crafts. I got this idea from Sesame Street Parents Christmas Holiday Projects for Parents & Children. I picked it up at Ocean State Job Lot for $2.99 last year when we were still letting Hazel watch some tv and she loves Elmo.

I of course did not read the directions first. If I had I would have seen that you should glue before painting, though I don't think this would be as much fun for Hazel since she would have to wait to decorate. Having them painted ahead of time worked well. Needless to say we glued the pasta together and then glued on decorations (mostly pom poms). I still need to tie strings to them so they can be tree ornaments. And we have more painted pasta to work with, but this at least gives you the idea.
Our Tree

Hazel's Tree

Our Wreath
My Tree





































Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Family Visiting = Little Break

My parents came to visit us this weekend. They came early on Saturday and went with Hazel and I to a Holiday Fair Craft Making Get-Together at Hazel's school. My mother and I attempted to help knit small gnomes while my father played with Hazel (and some other kids and her teacher) in our classroom. Hazel was so excited to show my parents her school. I have to finish knitting my gnome and then bring them back for the hand works teacher to help me finish them. We didn't completely understand her "pattern" that she wrote down off of seeing one done.  My mother got the body put together but wasn't sure of the size of the head and couldn't figure out how to put the hat together (it is knitted though).

For those interested in Waldorf Education or wanting to know more about it, check out this NY Times article.I love that so many high tech experts do not think their children need technology in the elementary grades.

Well for the most part I have been working on our Halloween costumes. Hazel's is almost done. I just need to add the velcro to close the hat and the dress. Mine on the other hand is still needing much work. I will be working on it today hopefully, though I'm hoping to go to a talk at Hazel's school on the Waldorf Math Curriculum and tomorrow I tutor, so if not, hopefully I can finish it Thursday. I will post pictures once I get Hazel to keep it on.

Today Hazel wanted a hot dog for lunch so we had the mummy dogs that Beth from Living Life Intentionally posted on our first Sharing Saturday Link Party. Our Second Sharing Saturday is still open. Please link up any activities, crafts, etc. for children or to do with children. My goal for this blog is to make it a place for parents to share ideas and get help when needed.

Finally, I don't know about you, but I'm getting sick of all the Halloween decorations and crafts being thrown around. I'm not sure when Halloween became a holiday where we decorated so much. Nor do I want to store so many decorations for it, so I started thinking about Christmas. My preview for our next craft are the following pictures. I did some prep work on it by painting the pasta. If Hazel wakes up with enough time to do the crafts and we finish them, I'll post some pictures later and if not, hopefully it will be tomorrow's post.



To paint them, I used the plastic bag method. Put the pasta in a ziploc bag.

Add paint. Shake and rub gently until covered. Then pour out onto wax paper. Let dry. You get your hands a little dirty trying to make sure the pieces are not sticking together on the wax paper, but besides that it is relatively a clean method. The next steps will be posted soon with pictures.

Have a great day!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sharing Saturday #2

Thank you to everyone who participated in our first ever Sharing Saturday last week. It was so exciting to see everyone's ideas and have a place to share. Our Book Sharing Thursday is still open if you have children's books or adult books to share.

Some of our most popular posts last week were:

From Life as this Mommy knows It:: Glitter Gourds

From we bloom here: Halloween Lanterns

From Living Life Intentionally: Mummy Hot Dogs





From One Artsy Mama: Features from her Fall Kids Craft Challenge




From Toddler Approved!: The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything Craft




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And now for our second Sharing Saturday. Please link up to crafts and activities to do with and/or for your children. I can't wait to see what everyone shares this week!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkins, Leaves, and Halloween

Today has been one of those days. I knew Hazel would crash and it was just a matter of when. She woke up at 3 a.m. and would not go back to sleep for anything no matter what we tried. It threw us all off for the day. Sure enough I finally convince her to get dressed and go run errands around noon and she falls asleep about five minutes away from home. Needless to say the errands did not get done. So far she has been sleeping for two and a half hours and I slept for about an hour as well. But before she slept we did some crafts.

First we finished up a craft we had started the other day. Hazel wanted to do a craft when I was leaving so I suggested to Steve to paint coffee filters with her watercolor paints. Then we cut them into leaves. I saw the idea at Frugal Family Fun Blog.Then taking the idea from 1+1+1=1, we glued them onto a spiral to look like falling leaves. We also hung some of the leaves on the window to look like stained glass leaves. I love how the light shines through them.
Trick-or-Treat, Smell My Feet!

Hazel as Delia

Next we did some foam activities I had found in the discount bins. Frames and magnets for Halloween. Nothing too exciting. Then we did a cutting activity I saw on Mer Mag.  We started with pumpkins and then did ghosts and witches. We decided the two witches were the witch twins from Trick-or-Treat Smell My Feet! by Lisa Desimini.

Then we cut open our sugar pumpkin. Well we tried to cut open two, but one was not ripe and wouldn't cut. Hazel wanted to see if it had a star inside like the apple. She didn't want to touch all the strings, but loved putting her hands in the bowl of seeds.

We have been reading books about pumpkins. I posted about some from the library previously. We also bought two at a library book sale. The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons which goes into the biology behind growing pumpkins as well as the significance of them in Thanksgiving and Halloween. This book is written so a young child can understand it but also so an older child can get more from it. It includes how to plant pumpkin seeds and how to dry them from your pumpkin to plant them next spring, which we plan to do. We also bought Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington. This is about a young boy planting seeds and caring for the plant until he can harvest his pumpkin and have his parents help him carve it to be a jack-o'-lantern.

The Pumpkin Book
Finally another book to check out is All Hallows Eve: The Story of the Halloween Fairy by Lisa Sterlazza Johnson. It is another version of the pumpkin fairy. Although I like my version better, it is nice to have a story to read to Hazel at this age.