Tag Archives: crafts

Schooooooool’ssssss out…for…SUMMA!!

It totally snuck up on me.  I’ve had a lot on my mind lately & completely didn’t realize the end of school was upon us, until looking at the calendar one day & it was like “Oh, the last day of school is in 3 days.  Wait…whaaa??!”.  Anyway, now I’ve got all these random thoughts, tips & ideas floating through my head & taking up too much room.  So I figured well hell, why not blog about it?!  So here we go:
(This list may or may not evolve as I think up new crap…feel free to leave your own ideas in the comments!)

*Make ice cubes out of whatever non-carbonated drinks you have on hand, that way your drinks won’t get watered down in the summer heat yet will still be cold! For example: kool-aid cubes for kool-aid, lemonade cubes for lemonade, etc.

*Set up a lemonade stand & get your kids to “work” it.  It’ll teach them all kinds of great, valuable life lessons as well as earn them some summer spending money (plus 10% for yourself for raising them) & give them something to do to keep them out of your face for awhile. (PS: I have a great homemade recipe on this blog!)

*Water.  When it’s hot outside water is a great toy.  If you’re like us & don’t live somewhere that is flat enough for a cheap-o pool, give the kids water to play with.  Some people would worry it would run the water bill up too much but it really won’t & the few cents extra that it may cost will be worth it to keep those kids busy…trust me.  Invest in a slip & slide maybe.  Or water guns.  Or even just some water in one of those athletic type water bottles that you can squeeze & it streams out.  Hell, fill up a Rubbermaid tub & let them splash each other in the driveway.  Water amazes kids.

*Utilize your crock-pot & outdoor grill.  Grills are a summer staple but a lot of people tend to view crock-pots as being more of a winter time thing.  Not at all!  Using your crock-pot will save you time in the kitchen, therefore giving you more time with the family.  It will not turn your kitchen into a sauna, like the oven will.  Doesn’t suck a lot of electricity, which is important during the summer if you use central air & your bill is higher.

*At the risk of sounding like a Martha Stewart rip-off, try to plan 1-2 things to do with your kids every week.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be a craft, but summer is a great time to keep in tune with your kids…they’re not gone at school all day & quality time is extremely important.  Something as simple as a walk or weeding the flower bed together counts.

*Two words: MOVIE.  NIGHT.  We do movie night pretty much every Friday & Saturday during the school year, & then during summer it’s usually every night.  Sometimes we do family movie night (self-explanatory) & sometimes we send the kids off to their room(s) to do their own movie night.  A lot of times we pop popcorn (from the kernels!) & have other snacks.  It’s just a cool yet cost effective way to get the kids out of your face watch a movie.

*Go to the local library.  At the risk of sounding like a complete After School Special (remember those?!) I highly recommend the library.  It is free(!), they usually will have at least 1 free(!) summertime kids program/event, & nurturing a love of reading early on provides soooo many benefits I won’t bore you with them all here (just think on it a minute & you’ll see). 

*Invest in bug spray.  Lots of it.  I don’t know about you but bugs irritate the living shitballs out of me.  Also invest in some itch relief cream/gel, sunscreen (wear it/put it on the kids every sunny day!), sunburn relief & it wouldn’t hurt to grab one of those to-go “boo-boo” kits….places like Hellmart Wal-Mart used to have them for, like, 98¢ but they’re probably $4.99 nowadays.  You could probably just build your own from stuff you already have.

*PoPsIcLeS!!  Up until this year I was totally one of those popsicle Nazi’s that despised them because when it’s hot out (of course) they get everything within a 2 mile radius drippy & messy & sticky.  Blegh.  However I have seen the light!  You can get a box of 100 (I think) for $3.80 at Hellmart Wal-Mart, the childhood-reminiscent Pop Ice brand.  They taste great & there are lots of them & they’re basically frozen sugar water.  Sure the kids may get a little hyper but in my opinion it’s a fair trade off for a little extra mopping & a chunk of time that I don’t have to hear “I’m bored”.  I’ve even stepped my game up to letting my kids have more than 1 in a five minute period.  I mean hell…it’s not like they’re filling or something, like a T-bone.

*Cook-out time, bitches!  We love feeding people (must have 1/4 Italian in us) & having a cook-out is awesome.  It’s relaxing (well…more so then preparing a regular dinner), you can have friends/family over, you can keep the menu relatively cheap, and everyone can just hang out & enjoy summer….coated in bug spray of course.  If you don’t have a grill just grab a bag of charcoal & go to a local park & utilize one of their built in grills.  If you don’t have a lot of budget then decide on cheap stuff & split the grocery list with whoever is coming (who said you had to be the one to always provide everything?! Plus true friends/family should be more than happy to pitch in, in my opinion).  All in all it’s a good time & one of our favorite things.

*Chores.  As a stay at home Mom I keep a pretty usual, mundane schedule of daily crap to do.  The kids have one or two chores to do regularly but during the summer they get a couple extra.  Why?  Because they’re there & perfectly capable of helping out.  Because there are more dishes to wash, clothes to launder & mess to continually clean up.  Because they can earn money.  Because it teaches them responsibility.  Because they’re good kids & usually don’t mind helping out.

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There went Peter Cottontail, half-assing it down the bunny trail….

Easter has come and gone, and I’m relieved.  When the hell did Easter turn into a spring Christmas extravaganza??  I don’t know if it was my dread of having to spend money or the ever continuing after effects of losing my mom or just plain laziness but I could not get in the holiday spirit this year.  Sure we made some homemade Pinterest crafts to decorate with a little but we didn’t even bother getting our other decorations out.  We didn’t even get the kids’ baskets out of the closet until “Easter eve”!

When I was a kid our Easter tradition was to go to my nanny’s, along with my aunt, uncle & 2 cousins.  I remember it being so cozy & exciting & fun…all of us getting together, catching up, dyeing eggs, watching TV, the kids being silly, squeezing in quality time with my nanny…the feelings & smells (eggs boiling, Easter dinner prep, my nanny’s house) & memories I have are hard to put into words.  Family time.  Togetherness.  Relaxation.  I loved it and now I miss it so so much.  First, in 2008, my nanny died.  And it felt like that threw so many things into chaos, including holiday traditions.  What do we do now?  Since my husband, kids & I had moved in to help care for her, we were still living in her house.  So our first Thanksgiving without her consisted of us & my mom at this huge dining room table where countless Easter & Thanksgiving dinners had held court.  It was completely different yet eerie remnants of familiarity remained.  Then, we didn’t even get another Easter with my mom because she passed away the following February.  It rocked my world & still does to this day.

I had thought maybe my aunt would take over the family get together responsibilities but she didn’t, except for once when we had it at her house because we were staying there for awhile.  Essentially, after losing my nanny & mom, the responsibility fell to me.  Which I have mixed feelings about…on one hand I love it because I’m a control freak & it makes me feel special to reign our family in and force quality togetherness down their gullets.  But on the other hand…I constantly question if I’m doing things the right way (aka the way it’s always been done in our family), I question choices that my mom would’ve made, and I miss them & the old traditions so terribly bad it gives me a lump in my throat.  I feel like a total let down in the Holiday Manager department, yet just like the whole birth right storyline in the Lion King it’s as if it’s fallen to me to do it.

This post was totally depressing.  And I can’t decipher an actual point.  It’s more of a deluge of words & feelings.  Thanks for listening.

As your reward, here are some Easter pictures of my amazing family.  Hope you & yours had a good holiday!

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Working on Easter cards for Great Grandma.
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Pinterest craft experiment #1

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Let them dry, pop balloon.
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End up with candy magically inside!
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My kids & nephew working on Pinterest craft #2.

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Wa-la! Stained glass decorations.
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Pinterest craft #3/childhood church craft: hollowed eggs.

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Why yes, that IS my husband's sexy arm. Rawr. 😉

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And yes...I *did* make a blood of christ egg. I had to.
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Unfortunately I didn't write it to be very readable.

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I am obsessed with taking pics of easter eggs. I apologize for the overload.

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Only at our house. Happy Easter!!

PS~  We had my sister & her family (husband & 2 kids) over for egg dyeing & easter dinner, I was just so busy I didn’t get a chance to take any pics.  Boo!  But that is our new tradition, 2 (maybe 3??) years running & I’m so grateful for it.

There’s nothing better than family.

Pinterest rant #2

Okay, so in preparation for Easter I thought some decorations and/or projects for the kids to do would be nice.  This year we haven’t had our decorating hats on so all of the stuff we usually put out is still lost in the closet.  While browsing different amazing looking craft ideas on Pinterest, I came across one where you wrap yarn around a balloon with candy inside.  Hubs liked it too & we figured what the hell, doesn’t look too difficult.  WRONG.

We went to Hellmart & got the supplies: balloons, 99¢/bag; yarn, $2.??; glue, 34¢/each, candy, $16/bag (not really but it might as well be, huh?).  We went home & organized all the supplies on the kitchen table then called the brood in.  Utilizing the barren, no words instructions on the Pin (people are so thoughtful aren’t they??) we set about putting candies into balloons, blowing them up a little (supposed to be egg shaped), tying them off, cutting off a length of yarn we figured would fit, running it through the glue, and stringing it around the balloon in different directions.  I think I forgot to mention the point of this craft is to pop the balloon when the yarn is dried & the candy is magically inside.  Anyway…this proved much harder for all of us than we’d figured.  Our 5 year old said screw this when he found out he had to touch glue.  Then there were 4.  Our 10 & 9 year olds tried their best but couldn’t get the yarn to stay put so we ended up having to help both of them.  Which really put a delay in our production line of cranking these babies out to pimp our house out for Easter.

For those of you that are still awake, it ended up that the girls finished theirs & after the kids went to bed husband & I sat up till midnight working on these monstrous lovely balloon eggs.  The next day when we went to pop the balloons things didn’t go as imagined either.  The balloon stuck (especially on the smaller ones) so that basically as you’re trying to get the balloon unstuck you’re pulling too much on the yarn & it’s losing it’s shape. So you end up with this:

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Hhmmm.  Totally defeats the purpose of the entire craft.  There’s gonna be candy falling out of that bitch everywhere if I can ever get the balloon out.  The larger ones actually worked better because you had more room to work the balloon:

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However some of our big ones aren’t exactly up to par on the bottoms; we kind of left some big holes because we’re lazy fucks & were tired of doing children’s crafts at midnight.  Soooo…as long as we stand it up you can’t tell a thing.  I’m sure people would still look at it & exclaim “My my, how beautiful and unique!  However did you get that candy in there?”

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So I’m on the fence whether this was a hit or miss.  It worked, granted; but not like we’d hoped.  I don’t think it qualifies as a #PinterestScam though.