Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Word Hunt

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week. I have no idea where November went. The kids are super excited because they love turkey (and the two days off of school don't hurt either!). I thought I would try a Thanksgiving themed Word Hunt with Bernardo this year.

I have some of the words we came up with at the bottom, but I'm sure there are plenty more! I also let him add an 's' to the end of words to come up with new ones, as well as names.

To Print:  Right click on image, Save As/Save to Computer. Open or Right click, Print.

HINTS: Break the words down and put the letters in alphabetical order. Use rhyming to help come up with more words!

Possible Words:





Friday, November 7, 2014

Identify This: Part 71

Do you know what it is?

Brussels Sprout plant! We tried growing two plants this year since hubby and Higgins love my grilled brussels sprouts recipe. We got a decent yield, but it took forever for them to grow. Next year, I think we'll just buy them at the store.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Coloring Page

To Print:  Right click on image, Save As/Save to Computer. Open or Right click, Print.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Links

It's getting closer to Halloween! We carved our pumpkin last night and roasted the seeds (so yummy!). If you need any last minute Halloween ideas, here are some ideas :) 




Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Maze: Pumpkin Time

It's time for another Halloween themed maze! This time I made the kids a pumpkin shaped (more or less) maze.
Work your way through the maze from Start to End.
To Print: Right click on image, Save As/Save to Computer, Print.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Sloppy Joes

I wanted to make something themed for dinner, but something quick and easy. I had already made Haunted Shepherd's Pie and wanted something else. I had sloppy joe mix and since it was a little chilly out, it seemed like an easy dinner.  I love cheese on my sloppy joes, so I used a pumpkin cookie cutter to cut out a pumpkin face and placed that on top of the sloppy joes! Maybe I'll make Haunted Parfaits for dessert...

You will need:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween Maze: Monster Time

The kids asked for another maze, so here is a Monster themed one!
Don't get caught by the monsters!
To Print: Right click, select Save As/Save To Computer. Find on computer, Print.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

My Drink Is Staring At Me!

I found a pack of gummy eyeballs at the store and wanted to do something with them. I had frozen raisins in ice cubes to make ants or spiders, and wanted to try the same thing with the eyeballs. I filled the ice cube trays and added in the gummy eyeballs. I froze it overnight and then at lunch gave the boys a drink with the eyeballs in them! At first they just had water, but them I gave them fruit punch, which gave it a creepier look. They melted faster than a regular icecube, so I wouldn't add them to the drink until you are ready to serve them. The kids had a blast with these.

DM TIP: If the eyeballs keep floating to the top, fill about halfway, add eyeball and freeze. Once it is frozen, fill the rest of the way and freeze again.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Spider Suckers

The boys made these at a Halloween party last year, and they are a super easy Halloween party craft or a goody to give out!

You will need:
  • Suckers/Lollipops
  • Googly Eyes
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • Glue/Glue dots

1. Glue on the googly eyes. I like to use glue dots to attach the eyes because you don't have to wait for the glue to dry.
2. Bend the pipe cleaner in half and wrap around the stick to create 2 legs. Repeat to get 8 eight legs.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Homemade Tombstones

I wanted to do a graveyard theme in the front yard, but nothing too crazy. When I went to the store, I couldn't believe how much they charged for a small plastic or styrofoam tombstone. It was nuts! I decided to make my own, and it was pretty easy. I used cardboard, so you will need to bring these in if it rains. I had a few styrofoam signs and a plastic tombstone that I added in as well.
You will need:
  • Cardboard (DM Tip: Check Costco/Sam's for boxes. Other stores will usually be glad to let you have their empty boxes if you ask.)
  • Dowel rods, Paint stirrers (ask at Lowe's and Home Depot and they will usually give you free paint stirrers)
  • Paint. I used a black spray paint as the base layer. I then sprayed a textured spray paint over top.
  • Hot Glue/glue gun
  • X-acto knife

1. Cut out 2 shapes for each tombstone.
2. Hot glue the paint stick in between the two pieces. I also glued around the edges of the tombstones to help keep them together. Let set.
3. Spray paint the base color.
4. Optional: Cut out RIP, a skull, etc. out of cardboard and glue onto the tombstone.
5. Lightly spray with textured spray paint.
6. Optional: Use red craft paint to add blood splatters.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Toilet Paper Craft

Higgins made this last year at school, and it is super cute and easy to do! It makes a great decoration too. We kept it in the the guest bathroom for while before Higgins snuck it back into his room for safe keeping.

You will need:
  • A roll of toilet paper (per pumpkin)
  • Orange tissue paper
  • Green pipe cleaners
  • Brown paper bag

1. Wrap the tissue paper around the toilet paper roll and tuck the ends into the open center of the roll.
2. Roll a brown paper bag to create the stem and stick into the open center of the roll. This also helps keep the ends of the tissue paper in!
3. Wrap the green pipe cleaners around the stem to create leaves/vines.
4. Enjoy!

DM Tip: You could even glue on googly eyes or cut out pieces of construction paper to create a jack o'lantern face.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Monster Time

Higgins loves crafts around Halloween, especially monsters. This was an easy craft that he could do pretty much by himself and make it how he wanted to. We started with one made at school but now we now have several of these he made at home decorating the fridge too!

You will need:

1. Cut out a square or rectangle from a piece of construction paper. This is going to be the base.
2. Cut out legs, arms, body, mouth, horns, etc. from pieces of construction paper.
3. Glue down the body and the arms/legs. Glue on horns, wings, etc.
4. Next spread glue around the body area. Place down the shredded/crinkle paper. 
5. Glue on mouth, eyes, etc.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Witches Potion

Makes about 4 servings.

You will need:
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 2 Tbpn honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Blender
  • Food coloring, optional
1. Add all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Add food coloring, if desired, to make drink look spooky. I added about 6 drops green, 4 drops blue, and 2 drops red.
2. Enjoy!

  • We liked the flavor, but for younger kids, you may want to cut the cinnamon and nutmeg in half as it is somewhat strong.
  • If you want more of a milkshake, try adding in ice cubes to thicken it up.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Monster Eggs

We like to try different styles of Easter eggs each year. Last year, we bought a monster egg kit ($3.99). However, this kit was so easy to make on our own!  

Why am I posting about Easter eggs in October? Because these Monster eggs and the Crackle eggs fit in great for a Halloween breakfast or lunch! DM Tip: Use a orange or black dye on the Crackle eggs for a Halloween spider web effect. Dye another egg black and use black pipe cleaners to create a spider to go with it!

You will need:
  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Egg dye (It can be hard to find at Halloween, but check out my post on homemade egg dyes for ideas!)
  • Glue/Glue dots
  • Googly eyes, Pipe cleaners, Pom Poms, Stickers (for eyes, hair, etc.)

1. Make hard boiled eggs. Let cool.
2. Dye eggs and let dry completely.
3. Use stickers or glue/glue dots to attach pipe cleaners/googly eyes/pom poms to create your monster.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Halloween Maze: Candy Time

The boys have really gotten into mazes lately, so I thought I would make some Halloween themed mazes. They enjoyed them and I hope you will too. Here's the first one!

Work your way through the maze to get to the pail of candy!
To Print: Right click on image, Save As/Save to Computer, Print.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Easy Fall/Halloween Themed Pumpkin Snack

I love surprising the kids with fun snacks, and I especially love it when it is easy for me to do. The leave are changing and Halloween decorations are coming out, so I wanted to do something Halloween themed. I had clementines and green peppers, so I made orange/pepper pumpkins!
I carefully peeled the clementine so that it stayed intact. I then cut a little sliver of green pepper and stuck it in the middle to create a stem. It was a huge hit and super easy to do.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chalk Board Table*

*After seeing a few old school desks at garage sales, I thought I would repost this older craft post.

Do you have a kids table that is so well used with marker and crayon all over it that it's in the donation pile? Did you see a cute kids table at a garage sale or flea market, but the top was ugly? You did? Stop! Get the table out of the donation pile! Drive back and buy the table! I'll wait....

You're back? Great!

I saw a really cute idea at a local children's bookstore for a chalk table. I wanted to try it, but didn't want to ruin the kids perfectly good picnic table, so I was on the look out at garage sales. I came across this little school desk and got it for $5!

Here's how I turned it into a chalk table:

1. Bought the desk.

2. Took desk home and sanded off some of the small rust spots.

3. I also sanded the top of the desk to get rid of any finish that was left.

4. I used an enamel spray paint for metal and painted the legs and drawer area of the desk. I wasn't sure if it was going to live inside or outside yet and wanted it to be protected against rusting. I already had the spray paint, but you can get it at local hardware/home improvement stores. Sometimes a Meijer type of grocery store or Wal-Mart will carry it as well. It usually is about $4 for a can.

5. I let the paint dry overnight. (I think the can said it can be handled in 8 hours.)

6. I bought the Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint. You can buy it at or local hardware or paint stores often carry it.

7. I put on 3 or 4 layers of the paint and let dry (letting the paint dry between each coat). The paint instructions said to let the paint set for 3 days before using!

If you don't want to do a desk, you can also do an old mirror, back of the playroom or bedroom door, or even their wall! If you are going to do an upright surface, like a door, you might want to use the Magnetic Primer! That way they can stick magnets to their door and use chalk. Rust-Oleum also sells a Dry Erase Paint (from what I read, the Dry Erase paint only has a shelf life of 2 years. If you buy an older can, it won't work as well. The date is on the bottom of the can). I haven't tried the Magnetic Paint or Dry Erase Paint, but they did look super neat.

Chalk table at bookstore. Has a hole
with a basket insert for the chalk.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Friday is Johnny Appleseed Day!

Johnny Appleseed Day is celebrated on March 11 (possible date of death) and on September 26 (birth date of John Chapman). To celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day, make crafts with apple stamps, eat apples or applesauce for snacks, maybe even plant an apple tree!

Here are some ideas to celebrate:

  • Apple Stamp Art
  • Visit an apple orchard/Go Apple Picking
  • Try different kinds of apples
  • Make apple shapes out of clay. Place a small stick in the top to form the stem. Once dry, paint red.


Johnny Appleseed Festival
About Johnny Appleseed

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cherry Compote Filled Cupcakes

I've filled cupcakes before, usually with my peanut butter, strawberry, or chocolate buttercream icing. I love trying new things, but for some reason "compote" just sounded a little intimidating. After our cherry tree harvest, we made a cherry pie but we still had a lot of cherries left over. They were sour cherries, so not exactly the best cherries to munch on. I decided to finally try making a compote and found it was a lot easier than I had expected! I made chocolate cupcakes and filled them with the cherry compote. I topped with a buttercream and they were delicious!

You will need:
  • 4 1/2 cups cherries, pitted (*see tips for help)
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup sugar


1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to boil.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until cherries soften and release juices.
3. Remove cherries with slotted spoon and set aside.
4. Continue simmering the juices until thickened (about 15-20 minutes). DM TIP: I used this as a cupcake filling, so I let the juices get pretty thick so the cupcakes didn't turn to mush. However, if you were using this as an ice cream (so good!) or pancake topping you might want it to be a little runny still.

1. We only really deal with pitting a lot of cherries once a year, so I don't want to buy a cherry pitter. However, we tend to have those wood chopsticks from sushi or Chinese food laying around. Pitting cherries can be a pain, but if you have a chopstick, it can be easy! Break apart the chopsticks, place one end of the chopstick in the center of the cherry and push through to pop the pit out!
2. Filling cupcakes is pretty easy. I had bought a cupcake corer, but found it didn't work as well as I had hoped. If you have an apple corer, I found it works a lot better! Place on the middle of the cupcake and push down, but make sure to not go through the bottom of the cupcake since you need a bottom to the cupcake so the filling doesn't fall out. Twist and pull up. The cored part should be in the apple corer and make great little snacks for "helpers".

Friday, September 5, 2014

Homemade Sandwich Bread

I've been making homemade bread for awhile now, including sandwich bread for boys lunch. I also bought a bread slicer, which works well for making the sandwiches. I made it based of Arthur's recipe and used half white unbleached flour and half white whole wheat flour. I have used regular whole wheat flour instead of the white whole wheat. It did change the texture and make the bread harder to cut into sandwich slices.

  • 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½  white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 packet active dry yeast, dissolved in 1 tablespoons warm water
  • ½ cup skim or 2% milk
  • ½ to 2/3 cup hot water, enough to make a smooth, soft dough
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • Misc.: loaf pan, non-stick spray, plastic wrap
Makes 1 loaf

  1. Mix together the cold milk and ½ cup of the hot water.
  2. Combine all ingredients together and mix until the dough starts to come off the sides of the bowl. Slowly add more water if needed to form a smooth dough, but not sticky.
  3. Transfer the dough to a silicone mat or a greased surface and knead for 6-8 minutes. You want it to be smooth.
  4. Lightly butter the inside of a bowl and set dough inside. Cover and let rise until doubled (usually 1-2 hours).
  5. Shape the dough into a log that will fit into the loaf pan, about 8” long.
  6. Lightly spray a piece of plastic wrap and cover the dough, oiled side down. You want the plastic wrap to be loose, not tight. Let rise about 1 hour, or until domed above the pan.
  7. Remove plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. The bottom of the loaf should sound hollow, or an instant read thermometer should read 190 degrees F at the center. 
  8. Remove and let cool on wire rack.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

It's Almost Labor Day!

I can't believe it is almost September already! Of course, the first holiday is Labor Day.

When is Labor Day: Labor Day falls on the first Monday in September. This year Labor Day is today, 9/1/13.

What is Labor Day: Presently it is a day off of work and is seen as the last day of summer. However, it began as a day to celebrate different labor organizations' achievements and contributions to the economy and the nation.
  • "Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country. All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation." ~ Samuel Gompers, American Federation of Labor founder

History of Labor Day: Labor Day was first held in 1888. In 1894 it became a federal holiday. There are two people who are credited with beginning Labor Day; Matthew Maguire and Peter McGuire. There has been some documentation that leans towards Matthew Maguire starting Labor Day. September was chosen for a few reasons; one of which being that there was no holiday between the 4th of July and Thanksgiving!

How To Celebrate With Kids:
  • Attend a parade.
  • Talk about why we celebrate Labor Day.
  • Plan a family outing, BBQ, or last summer event.
  • Ask your kids to name all the jobs they can think of. 
  • Ask your kids what they want to be when they grown up and why. 
  • Make a few crafts:
    • Make your own bricks. Mix a little water with dirt in a bowl. You want to add just enough water that the dirt holds together, but not enough to make mud. Press the wet dirt into small containers (small juice or milk cartons, ice cube trays) and let dry for 10 days in a warm dry place. Once they are dry you can build your own houses and buildings.
    • Make your own candles. You can buy a candle making kit at local craft stores or at Amazon (Beeswax Kit).
    • Bake your own bread. Check out my Soda Bread recipe for a super easy to make bread!
  • Make thank you notes and give them out to your teacher(s), garbage person(s), mail delivery person(s), etc.f
  • Have the kids dress up like their favorite profession.
Department of Labor

Here's a Labor Day themed Word Find in honor of today.