Tuesday, January 31, 2012

100 Days of Kindergarten

It is hard to believe my little guy has been in kindergarten for 100 days! He has really learned a lot and matured a lot in the past 100 days. We made a shirt for him to wear on today. He told me where to glue every one of the 50 googly eyes on the front, I used 50 more to put "100 Days" on the back of the shirt. He said all of his friends thought his shirt was cool!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Friday Science: 100 Days of School

We have tried to do a fun and educational science experiment/demonstration/study here at home every Friday. Jonathan doesn't get very much science in his kindergarten curriculum. I must admit we had let it slip during the busy holiday season, and Jonathan has been asking to have his science Fridays back.
Tomorrow is the 100th day of school, so Friday's science was planned with this in mind.
First, he counted 100 ice cubes into a big bowl.

Putting the 100th cube in the bowl!

Exactly 100 ice cubes
Next, we used a 2 cup measure to see how many cups of ice cubes we had.
We had approximately 14 cups of ice. Then Jonathan went to school and we allowed the ice cubes to melt, which took all day! When he got home, we measured the water in the bowl to see how much the 100 ice cubes melted down to.
We measured approximately 6.75 cups of water. We concluded that water will expand to roughly twice its size when frozen. Of course, our measurements weren't scientifically accurate, but close enough for a fun 100 Day of School science lesson!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Frugal Valentine

Valentine's Day is just over two weeks away, and we are already starting to prepare our Valentine treats for school. I am gathering my leftover supplies from last year, such as these rose petals from Dollar Tree. They will be used as fillers in small treat bags for the office staff and specials teachers, such as music, etc.
After Christmas, the holiday bags of Hershey's Kisses were on sale at Kroger for $1 per bag. I purchased several bags and separated the red and silver ones from the green. We will use these for Valentine's Day and save the green ones for St. Patrick's Day.
Are you thinking of Valentine's Day yet?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sharks!! More Library Fun

Once again, our fabulous library had a super cute and super fun party for the kids! This one was a Shark Party, and I loved all the special details. Lots of fun games and treats for the kids. I have to share pictures of the party with you. If you ever plan to have a shark or ocean themed birthday party, or just a fun party for kids, here's some great inspiration!
Cupcakes with foam shark fins

Ice shark fins swimming in the punch. A beach towel was the table runner.
Take home treats were shark water guns in a foam cooler, love the presentation

One of our talented library employees made this 9-ft cardboard shark

The shark's mouth
Here are some of the activities.
Each child was given a felt covered cardboard shark fin

A fun cardboard boat to play in

A pool of balloons

Each child drew a shark face on their balloon, then it was tied to their leg

The object was to pop the other balloons while protecting yours. Jonathan was the last man standing!

Feed the shark game: throwing fish in the shark's mouth

Shark's teeth buried in the sand
One of the most clever ideas: pool sharks! a table was covered with ocean patterned paper and cues were made from pool noodles. This was a hit with the boys!

Another game was "Find the Shark Food". Fish were hidden throughout the children's department in the library and the kids had to find them. The child with the most fish won a prize.
The cardboard shark made a great photo booth when the feeding game was over.

This Sunday afternoon is a penguin theme party. I can't wait to see what Miss Janet comes up with for this one! These parties are free, fun and full of good ideas. We have the best library!



The new sign on Jonathan's bathroom door. The privacy gene has kicked in and I am banned, except during bath time. That is because he still needs help with washing his hair.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Look What I Got!!

Remember this beat-up, 10 year old, used-when-I got-it laundry basket? It has been replaced! Last Friday I was in Wal-Mart and they had a prominent display of these just calling my name! At $5 each, I bought two to replace the two ancient, cracked yellow ones that pinched me every time I carried a load of laundry in them.
Simple things really do make me happy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January Progress

It's hard to believe the month is more than half gone! While I have not accomplished a whole lot, I have made some progress.
We've had some very unusual weather this month: days in the 60's, thunderstorms, ice, and just about an inch of snow. I took advantage of the warmer days to work in the garage. I have a long, long way to go, but I have spent several hours sorting through things and properly packing away Christmas ribbons, wrapping paper, etc. A bag was filled for Goodwill and several for the trash. I also took a walk on each of the warmer days, not a long one but 15-20 minutes each, a start.
On Friday the 6th my grandson spent the night. It was wonderful having him here! The boys get along so well. Lots of Nerf basketball and Nerf guns, movies and popcorn. Nerf bullets were everywhere, like this one on up high on the ledge between the kitchen and living room.
 The next night was my granddaughter's turn to stay with Grandma. She brought along her American Girl dolls, too. We did lots of crafts: posters, greeting card and more!
Jonathan worked on his own poster while Eva created hers. She also wanted to cook, so Sunday we made Rice Krispie treats, one of her favorites, and banana bread. She took home the fruits of her labor to share with her family.

It is wonderful to have them so close! We have been treated to lunch out with the four of them, and they have all spent several hours visiting since their return to the area.
I have kept track of every penny I have spent this month (ouch!). Doing this will help me to identify where I can make cuts and to see where the dollars are going. I've made some phone calls to compare rates on insurance costs, etc.
I have removed everything from the pantry to clean and organize it. I'd like to get a few thing to organize it a little better as I figure out what would work in there. I wish it had wood shelving instead of wire, but I'll work with what I have. Any ideas?
We spent last week-end in Lexington visiting my sister, a nice little break! I am working on eBay and Jonathan continues with basketball, karate and school, which keeps both of us busy!
Overall, I am pleased with the progress made in the past two weeks. I plan to continue with my small steps!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Are You On Pinterest?

I have, of course, heard all of the buzz about Pinterest, but I had never really checked it out. A couple of weeks ago, I spent a little time looking at it and asked my friend Roxanna to send me an invitation.
I haven't had too much time to spend on it, but it is really fun! I like gathering ideas from the internet and often I will forget where I saw something interesting. Now I can put them all in one place, organized to suit me, and find them when I want them.
I know I am late jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon, but if you haven't done so either, I'd be happy to send you an invitation. Just let me know!
You can see some of the ideas I like by following me.

Friday, January 6, 2012

2012: Starting Small

We are already six days into January, and I am still contemplating what I hope to accomplish this year. I am trying to be realistic and not just list a bunch of things I'd like to happen. When I do that, they usually don't.
This year, I am starting small. I am going to try to make a few positive changes and take a look at where I am every month or so. We'll see if that works better for me!

Like most everyone, I would like to see some improvement in my finances. If I am honest with myself, I think I sometimes use my situation as an excuse: I'm old, with an active 5 year old, he takes all of my energy. I don't have a partner who helps by bringing home a paycheck, working overtime, or getting a raise. I have to pay someone to do the things I can't do. I can't use these excuses anymore. Even though all of that is true, I have to work with what I have in my unique situation. I can't eat out because I am too tired to cook. My income doesn't increase while prices continue to do so, so I have to get creative with cutting costs and making a few extra dollars. While most home maintenance and repairs I will have to pay someone to do, I can do some things, such as paint, etc.

I use the same "tired" excuse when it comes to my health. I do have some legitimate problems (knees, etc), however, my inactivity doesn't help matters. My eating habits are terrible.

I am messy and disorganized. That is a trait I just have and need to work on.

So, I am starting small.  Financially, I am writing down every penny I spend, so I can see where the money goes. I am going to try to be more aware of getting things to consignment stores early in the season. I have found a consignment store for women's clothing and will take a few things of mine as I can. I am going to watch the grocery budget carefully, use coupons and start a price book. When it gets yard sale season, I want to have a few more carefully planned sales. While I don't spend very much money on myself, I do tend to overspend on Jonathan, so I need to be aware of the difference between needs and wants. I am referring here to what I want for him (clothing, etc.) and not the type of things kids are always asking for.

From a health standpoint, it goes without saying that I need to lose some excess pounds, but that is not my immediate focus. I need to begin by incorporating more fruits, vegetables and water into my diet. I need to reduce the amount of diet soda I drink and cut back on the sweets. I need to get moving. I can't afford a gym membership (and honestly, probably wouldn't go if I had one), so I want to walk more. I did take a walk yesterday. My feet and knees were hurting when I got home, but hopefully that will improve as I do more walking.

I could spend all year organizing my house! eBay is a messy business, you have to put that stuff somewhere! I have a tendency to leave things lying around and not put them back where they belong. I want to work on that, and I want to work on purging my home of excess, things we no longer need and things that are no longer a part of my current lifestyle. I don't need to hold on to a lot of things from my "former life".

This is just a beginning of changes I need to make, and it seems a little daunting. I am trying to not become overwhelmed and just do the best I can. Every negative habit changed will be a step forward!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year's Eve

I have never been a party person. I think I may have been out on New Year's Eve maybe twice in my life. Jonathan and I had a nice evening at home. We had a few snacks, watched "Cars 2" and enjoyed some sparklers.
Sugar cookies with edible glitter

Pajamas, popcorn and a movie

Welcome 2012--a little before midnight
I am thinking about some goals I'd like to meet this year, some changes I'd like to make, some things I'd like to do. Not resolutions, exactly. I want to focus on my health, my finances and organization around the house. I am hoping I can make some positive changes and will share when I get everything clear in my own mind!
I'd love to hear your goals for the coming year!