Monday, April 29, 2013

Ball Birthday Party

We had a ball playing with balls.  (Yes, I know, too punny.)

The cake. 

I made the smaller balls by warming Starburst candies in the microwave for 3 or 4 seconds then rolling them into balls.  The dashed lines are flattened Starbursts cut into strips.

I learned to make cake balls just for this party.  You bake the cake balls then bake them inside the cake.  Surprise!  

I love how pleased he is with his cake.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Festival of Trees 2012...Ornaments

Each ornament was handcrafted with a vat of glue, my trusty drill press and a lot of love.  I'm not going to describe each ornament.  If you'd like more detailed info about something you see, just ask.

We filled the interior of the tree with ball pit balls.  I drilled a hole in each one then glued a bent eye pin into the hole.

The chess pieces are cheap plastic spray painted in gold and silver.  Again I drilled the tops and glued in an eye pin.

We wired the etch-a-sketch to the tree.  I tried drilling it and released tons of aluminum powder.

Yes.  I, and my husband, drilled hundreds of scrabble tiles.  We painted the backs festive colors and sprayed them with glitter.

I love the bright colors of the game pieces against the green backdrop!

I took the houses from The Game of Life.  Spray painted half of them red.  Then painted them with glitter snow paint.  I drilled a hole in the top and glued in an eye pin.

I traced the outline of the globe on large Christmas balls then hand painted them.  

I took Rummikub tiles and heat embossed the backs with Christmas colors.  The images are hand painted.  Drill a hole, add a wire hanger, done.

I got the idea for the Tinker Toy Star from Better Homes and Gardens.  I enhanced it.

I think these game picks are genius.  I was staring at all these odds and ends pieces.  I didn't have any concrete concepts for them.  Then my eyes fell on some pick up sticks.  Hmmmm.  So I drilled holes in everything and we randomly put them on skewers.  The picks sticking out of the tree added another layer of dimension.

The wheels of Monopoly money were made by punching holes in the middle of the money and putting an eyelet in.  Then I fanned the money out into a wheel.  I painted them with modgepodge, to make them last longer, then sprayed them with glitter.

Okay, so now that you've seen many of the ornaments close up.  This is what the the tree looked like in sections.  There are a lot more ornaments that I didn't show close up.  Some neighbor boys used the instruction booklets and paper money to make origami ornaments.  Some girls in my church made ornaments out of cards. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I love the way the maid in "The Help" encourages the little girl to repeat affirmations of self-worth.  "You is kind.  You is smart.  You is important."

My plan was also inspired by this youtube video.

I have Rachel look herself in the mirror, punch her fist in the air and say, "I am beautiful!  I am capable!  I am intelligent!  I am resilient!  I am important!"

I use intelligent instead of smart because my doctor said that if a kid thinks she is "smart" she might think she shouldn't take risks.  You know... Play it safe.  Be smart.  Sometimes I have her say  "I am worthy!  I am loved! I am funny! I take risks!  I can do hard things!" 

So using short "I am" statements, what are some others that would infuse strength and confidence into a child's soul?  Ideas?  Anyone?  Anyone?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"Big Sister" Training

We have done all we can, I hope, to help Rachel during this transition.  We bought books to help her learn about babies and being a big sister.

She loves the books and reads them most every day.  

We bought her a baby boy doll so she can practice being a big sister.  We rock him, hug him, feed him and love him.

We've also been teaching her how to help with tasks around the house.  She's been practicing letting the dog in, shutting doors and drawers, putting toys and books away, getting diapers, moving laundry from the washer to the dryer and then to the basket, and how and when to climb.

I think we've given her every chance to become acquainted with the idea of being a big sister.  Now only time will tell.  I think she is going to love it.  Either way her new role begins on Monday.

This was two years ago.  Rachel loved her brother from the moment he came home.  Our biggest problem was she wanted to help TOO much.  I was always told that two kids are easier than one.  I'll be honest.  After bringing home baby number two, I began thinking that everyone was lying.  For the first 3-4 months it was exponentially harder to take care of two children.   Now they are the best of friends.  Don't get me wrong, they still have their squabbles.  I once read that "the best thing you can give your child is a sibling." This is true for us.