Thursday, March 19, 2015

winter boredom busters II

You may be wondering why I am still even thinking about winter boredom busters in March.

If you lived as near the North Pole as what I do, you would probably understand.

We really aren't guaranteed warm spring weather in these parts until the end of April or beginning of May. 

We do have occasional warm days and the daffodils begin to bloom and then we get more snow.

We pack away our winter coats just because we're so anxious for spring only to end up pulling them out again.

You may understand too, if you know what it is like to go from this

to this

 in about 12 hours.(How I ended up in Florida for 24 hours is another story for another day)


If you're of the race that knows Joseph, you'll understand why sometimes a woman must resort to these winter boredom busters.

1. Draw a tubful of water. Put your babies in the water. Give each of them a lollipop.  Grab your book and take a seat on the toilet (make sure the seat is DOWN since this will be a rather long sit). You may be surprised how long water and a dumdum will keep the kids entertained.  I have noticed that my mere presence in the bathroom usually keeps the tidal waves at a minimum. The minute I leave, the bathroom floor somehow becomes mysteriously flooded.

2. Brew a cup of coffee and chat with a good friend online. I am not advocate for online relationships unless there is a real life relationship in place which you are building upon. (Truly. You do not want to get me started on this) I have 2 very good friends that I chat with on a regular basis who bring lots of cheer and joy into my life. I have no intention to spread my web of online chatting much further without having a very good reason to do so.  Call me old and boring or whatever you wish. I am 33 years old after all and I can't be expected to stay up with all the latest communication trends. Especially not when I have issues with them.

3. If all else fails, go to Florida. Don't plan ahead too much or it surely won't happen. And don't cry too much if you only get to stay for one day. One day in the sun is better than none.

In which the daffy family had dinner

I was right.

Setting the table for our dinner required much thought and much talk and much time and much strategizing for my 5 chill'uns.

In fact, the preparation probably took triple the time of the actual dining.

They even planned a little game to determine where each person would sit.

Drama is the key to a successful daffy dinner. I mean, really. Don't minimize the difficulty of eating your dinner with salad tongs. Play it up, for goodness sake.

What fun.

a princess portion setting

have fun trying to eat peas from a bunt pan with a ladle.


remember, always be dramatic

Dad drinking from a sippy cup was utterly hilarious to his little fans

This feels all too good and completely natural for Mr. Pooh Bear

more drama, please.

no comment on the size of the veggie portion.

Christopher keeps asking: "When will it be next year so that we do that daffy thing again???"

Thursday, March 5, 2015

winter boredom busters

So. We're all going a little bit stir crazy, eh??

Well. I thought that I would share a few ideas of what we've been doing to keep ourselves at least semi occupied during this long winter.

Only a few of these ideas are original with me. The majority come either from one of my creative friends or my creative kids or from pinterest. I copy other's ideas shamelessly, especially when it makes me popular with my kids.

I will admit up front that I have more energy before and after  the completion of these projects than what I do in the moment of execution. I often fall faint by the wayside.

1. Painting has become a favorite activity on days when school is cancelled due to inclement weather.
 I found this recipe for making our own paint from scratch. This is super awesome because typically I don't want to go out and buy paint in vicious winter weather. This supplies hours of fun and huge mess to clean up afterwards.

2. Have a picnic on your living room floor. My kids actually planned and pulled this one off by themselves last winter as a surprise for me. I was impressed and it was a great way to ward off the winter blues. They carefully planned and prepared a summer picnic menu of hotdogs in a blanket, salad, fresh cut veggies, salties and s'mores in the oven for dessert. They had so much fun planning this and we all had a delightful time imagining away winter.

3. Here is another very fun and messy project. Mix equal amounts of Elmer's glue and shaving cream in a bowl. Use your fingers to create winter scenes. The glue/shaving cream will dry puffy. We used cardstock to add details to the snowman. You may want to plan this craft right before bath time because I can promise that any artistic child will have this mixtures smeared everywhere. It's either a bath or 211 wet ones. It's your choice.

borrowed photo because I failed to take any of my own

4. Plan a Valentine Party with your daughter and invite all your female relatives. Shoo the guys out of the house for the evening.  Fun.  A little chocolate, actually...I mean, a TON of chocolate and red tulips do wonders for the feminine soul. We threw in a fun photo shoot for the evening that induced lots of good belly laughs.

we introduced our daughter to the cool poses of the '90's

This gal has some obvious affection for chocolate 

p.s. I have the most awesome family ever. Do not argue with me.

5. Disguise yourself and go scare a few neighbors. ( I would highly recommend parental involvement)

6. Find a good book to read aloud as a family. Our children enjoy working on a puzzle while listening to the story. This is one of my favorite evening activities since it generally has a calming affect on our family.

7. Plan a daffy supper. You might think that your kids are too young for this, but I bet they would love it.  As for me, I find it more enjoyable to eat my dinner with a huge dipper in front of my kids rather than my peers. This is actually pretty simple to pull off. (we're doing it tonight!) I'm making spaghetti and salad. I'll throw in some bread and applesauce. The kids will gather the tools for eating and set the table.(this by the way, will occupy them for at least an hour) Then I'll take pictures while we're eating and we'll all giggle ourselves silly and the kids will mark this down as one of the best days of their lives.

8. Create a dream pinterest board. My kids loved this. We created their dream home complete with an indoor pool, a winding staircase with a slide, a big game room, a room with a real tree growing in it, a bathtub shaped like a canoe and so on and so forth. They were totally wowed by the ideas and photos. I am thinking you could dream about vacations or pets or just about anything. I wouldn't want my kids on pinterest without my supervision, but it turned out to be a super fun activity for us to do together. I don't think it is an activity that you would want to do multiple times in one winter.

9. Visit some local {indoor} attractions. I am all about local, low cost activities  For those of you who are local to Meadville, we visited the Tom Ridge Environmental Center last Saturday with our family. Admission is free. We did pay to watch an educational film in their big screen theatre. The children really enjoyed browsing the museum and climbing the tower. They also have a very cool activity center for toddlers.

While we were in Erie we visited the lake to show the kids the ice dunes that form when the lake freezes over. It's pretty awesome to feel like you're walking over snow covered mountain ranges.

10. Make your own butter by hand. Even the most energetic child will find himself panting a bit by the time the cream forms itself into butter.
11. Make snow cream.

12. Make soft pretzels. Invite some friends over to help eat them.

Now a few ideas just for Mom

1. Snuggle with your little darling. She'll be off to school and growing independent of your arms in no time flat. I say snuggle now, work later

2. Borrow a good book from a friend's library. It comes in handy to have some good reading material when you need to spend extra time snuggling the sick darling.
3. Plan a casserole exchange.
4. Offer to teach your Ladies' Sunday School class.
5. Crochet a hat. (Learn to crochet if you don't know how)

6. Join the community choir

7. Plan your garden for the upcoming spring and order seeds. Try something new. Hobby gardening is so much more fun than traditional "need it, grow it" gardening.

8. Come visit me. I would love it. There isn't anything that beats the winter blues down into the ground like inspiring, vigorous, real life conversation.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

spring fever


Waiting patiently for warm weather and bare ground. This little outdoor girl does not enjoy the snow! She cries to go out and then cries when she goes out because she doesn't know what to do with all the white fluffy cold stuff.

                                        {that puffy pink coat and those little stripy gloves}

We are all going a little stir crazy at this house these days.

 Day after day after day of subzero temps. + Ice + Snow + 7 people trapped into our 1560 sq. feet of house + more snow + cancelled plans due to bad weather + numerous stomach bugs + more snow = insanity

                    Little sick people can be very endearing, that is, when they're not puking all over the place.

A little fresh air and some sunshine does wonders to the human body, both physically and psychologically.

Coming up next:
Winter time boredom busters, especially for a houseful of energetic youngsters.