August 19, 2014

Paper Towel Tie-Dyed Flowers

My children get excited when I suggest a craft (and my oldest also suggests them).  I love to do this for them, but with the age range from two to seven, it's not always easy to find a craft that excites all of them...and the time to do it.  Using paper towels, pipe cleaners, and markers, we made a few cute tie-dyed flowers.  Even my five year old son loved making these tie-dyed flowers.  Thank you to Viva Vantage paper towels for sponsoring this post.
To make your own easy tie-dyed flowers, begin by gathering your materials.

August 18, 2014

Vacation at the In-Laws

Now that Little Sister travels well, we opted to spend a week in rural northeastern Pennsylvania where we grew up (an hour apart).  We stayed with my husband's parents and had a great vacation.  We were able to visit with all of the grandparents at least twice and just enjoy ourselves.  
10 ways to have fun while on vacation at the in-laws.  #frugal #vacation
Maybe you can do the same sort of relaxing and fun family activities on an almost staycation.  Here are a few ways we had fun on vacation while staying with my in-laws (who are pretty awesome).

Ride with the top down.
(Yes, my in-laws live on a dirt road.  Can you see my son's hand waving?)

August 13, 2014

A Mouse Called Wolf Enrichment and Extension Activities {Free Printable}

Last month I shared with readers the great book A Mouse Called Wolf and the critical thinking questions I created for my daughter.  Today I want to share suggestions for enrichment and extension activities for A Mouse Called Wolf.  I am not a homeschooler and no longer have my own classroom, but it's still important to inspire and teach my children.  It takes a bit of time and effort, but it's always worth it, especially during summer months.  

August 11, 2014

Keep Flies Away {Easy. No Chemicals.}

Last winter I read that some restaurants use a simple trick to keep flies away from their patrons who like to sit outside.  Using a baggie, water, and pennies was supposed to make this work.

I put it to the test.

August 6, 2014

Canning Jar Gift Labels {Easy}

This was the first year I thought to make a simple decorative label to go with the canning jars when we gave peanut butter sauce as a gift.  To make the label, I traced the outside of the canning ring on scrapbook paper and cut inside the circle I drew.  

The scrapbook paper provided the nice touch these needed and couldn't be easier to do.
Decorate canning jars with scrapbook paper when giving as gifts.
Strawberry jam, peanut butter sauce, and even homemade applesauce have been nice gifts.  I must say, I had the greatest feedback when we gave the peanut butter sauce to teachers this year.  I was even asked for the recipe.

Do you give food gifts?  What is your go-to?
~ Annette
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August 4, 2014

Science Experiments at Night

Eager to introduce my own children to the "night hike" experience, I gathered the needed supplies for the nighttime science experiments before going to family camp this summer.  

The evening rain kept us from walking to the special spot that we had chosen during camp.  It was a bit disappointing, but my sister, nephew, and friend came to visit the next weekend, so the children were able to stay up late for some fun science experiments.
 At dusk, we went to the backyard.  It wasn't a hike into the woods, but it was a night of fun.  Ideally, take the group at dusk (or later) on a short walk into the woods using no flashlights.  Sit in a circle.  (Well, most of us were in the circle.  Little Sister, age 2 went to bed at regular time.)

July 30, 2014

Lending and Borrowing Inventory Printable

Our home is overflowing with STUFF.  I have been trying to give away and sell more and more of our things.  Books are at the top of my list for sharing with others.  Baby items lend easily and get extra use instead of gathering dust in storage wondering if they will be used again.  My husband lends and borrows tools for projects.   Borrowing is ideal if an item is needed for a short time.