Bits and Pieces: Putting it all together

Just another weblog

Make your own 4th of July Shirts June 21, 2008

Filed under: 4th of July,child crafts and activities — 5peasinapod @ 3:31 pm
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In my pursuit of getting into the whole summer thing with my kiddos, I figured what better than to make our own shirts for the 4th of July! They were soooo easy to make, the kids love em (they’ve worn them for 2 straight days now)…but they are messy! Which I think added to the fun factor for the kids!!!



Fabric Paint

Squirt Bottles (I used condement bottles from the dollar store)


Rubber bands


Step 1:

Mix fabric paint with water in the squirt bottles for a runny consistancy.


Step 2:

I used rubber  bands to mark where I wanted to put different colors. This is basically a guide. Younger kids may ignore the rubber bands and just squirt the paint where ever they want (including their baby brother…btw make sure it is non-toxic).


Step 3:

Allow the paint to dry a bit before removing the rubber bands. Remove rubber bands and hang to dry. As some of the paint will still be wet, use caution as your hands will get some paint on em!


Step 4:



I was hoping that this would produce more of a tie-dye effect, but the paint was a bit too thick. The more you saturate the shirt with the paint, the more bold/dense of a pattern.


Have fun! If you make em, I would love to see em!


Kid sized greenhouse June 17, 2008

Filed under: child crafts and activities — 5peasinapod @ 3:30 am
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What says summer like a sunflower? Just the name alone implies the bright skies and beauty that fills the summer! To kick off our summer activities, we made our own little greenhouses (out of recycled materials) and planted sunflower seeds.

First we (I say this loosely, cause I actually did it) cut the top off of 3 plastic jugs. We used two mild jugs and one 2 liter bottle…just happened to be what I had handy.


Then we grabbed some dirt…Maddy decided to hit up the “bald” patch we have in our yard! Really made hubby realize that something needs to be done about that!

Now the seeds…I suggested that they space them out…but I think Benson stuck em one on top of the other!

Give it a good pat a bit of water…stick the top back on it and pop it in a window. For the mild jugs, I just covered the top with celophane.

Fingers crossed! These are mamoth sunflowers, or so the pack of seeds said…could grow up to 10 feet! With the left over seeds, I am going to glue them on the bottom of a sheet of paper and have the kids draw what they think will come out of their “magic” seed! I’ll post pics of that project later!

***Mom confession: When the kids went to bed, I drained the soil as it was WAY over watered.

Bye for now!


Family Fun Boredom Busters Bit of a Book Review June 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — 5peasinapod @ 2:26 pm

I have gotten the Family Fun magazine before and really enjoyed their quick and easy children’s crafts and activities.  So when I saw it on Amazon’s Market Place for about $5, I figured how could I go wrong. I just recieved it yesterday in the mail and I am soooo not disappointed! You can find my book review here.


Seriously, our summer is going to be filled with so many fun projects and activities I don’t know who is more excited…me or the kids! I am going to be taking pictures of some of the projects from the Boredom Buster book and post them on my blog…so be sure to come back and see how things turn out after my kids get their hands on some glue…I got my money on “pretty sticky” and “glitter in places it wasn’t meant to go!”



I so totally caved and a bit of a book review… June 10, 2008

Filed under: Thoughts on Parenting — 5peasinapod @ 3:03 pm
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Ok…so I sounded all big and bad in my last post about putting my foot down with the neighbor kids. Well, it only lasted for about 48 hours.


I lost my resolve when the little girl was talking to my dd from the side walk (cause she couldn’t be in my yard). She told my daughter that she was going to her grandma’s for 2 weeks (yippy!!!) and that she is going to miss Madelynn. She asked if it was okay to give her a hug…it was too much to take…my heart strings were being tugged to hard…


I told them that they could play over at my house, but I set em down and laid down the law. I did not mix words and I was very clear about the behavior I expect and that if they do not want to follow my rules then they can play at their own house.


They did a great job…however, Madelynn kept asking if they could eat dinner at our house and wanted some towels for them (as they don’t have any). Okay, first of all I just let them back in my yard. Now they want dinner and towels.  Ummm… no! True these kids probably don’t have any towels or food at home. True I will probably cave and get them their own set of towels for when they are at my house. True I will probably end up feeding these kids through out the summer. True I am a big softy and can not turn a child away.


Handling the neighbor kids June 9, 2008

Filed under: Thoughts on Parenting — 5peasinapod @ 4:40 pm
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Even though I work with 1,300 kids every year…I am often left to wonder how to handle situations at home. One of the most recent adventures pertains to two of the neighborhood kids that have just recently began playing with my kiddos.


It all began innocent enough…we were gardening in the front yard. They rode by on their bikes and asked if they could play with my kids. They are a bit older (g 7, and b 9), but they seemed nice and my kids love playing with older kids.


They played great together for the first few times. But then I started noticing little things and then the little things turned into big things. First they would spray water from the hose at my 3 year old and my 21 month old even when they cried and said to stop. The 9 year old would just spray everything down in my backyard if I didn’t tell him to stop.


Then the behavior esculated. I went into the house briefly and when I came out the boy and the girl were holding up a boy and girl barbie (undressed) and were making like they were kissing each other. Possibly harmless, but just the same my kids are not around that type of behavior or images. Sure my husband and I are affectionate around each other, but this was not even close to a friendly smooch! Then there were other things like messing with the back of my dd bathing suit and daring them to jump off the back of the picnic table into our inflatable pool!


So I decided that we would take a break from them and tell them “sorry, no company today”. Well, guess what? They still tried coming over about every hour! I felt horrible continously telling them that we are not having company. They even went so far as to hide in the bushes and spy on my kids.  After my daughter told me that the girl dunked her under water twice and it hurt her…that was it.


The next time they came around I told them that we were tired of them not following the rules and that we should not have to remind them over and over. I also told them that they were a bit too old and big to play with my kids and that they were too rough with them. Once again, they proceeded to come back 2 other times that day! I couldn’t believe it.


They come from a very troubled family. I have no doubt that they are told to “get out of the house” and probably to go play with the neighbors. I have never met the dad…he has only come by to tell the kids “get your f-ing a** in the house” although he doesn’t say “f-ing”. I really wanted to be a good influence on these kids. But the chances are they will be a negative influence on my kids more than we can be a positive one on them. In the grand scheme of things, I need to be a mother to my 3 kids and if that means monitoring who they play with, then so be it.


I picked up a few supplies

Filed under: child crafts and activities — 5peasinapod @ 2:23 am
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Okay, so I know that I am about ready to jump out of my skin to get this summer going!!! I took my dd (5) and ds (3) to the carnival, ds (21 months) stayed at home with hubby. We had a great time, but it made me long for this next week to be over so we can officially welcome summer vacation!

So in my desire to be a Type-A personality, I grabbed a few books. I haven’t been able to shift through them all yet. Just basically scanning through and getting some ideas for now. I hope to come back and give a review of the book with pictures of some of our completed projects.



Needless to say I will have my hands busy shifting through and sorting out what activities will go onto our summer “to do list”. Well, I hope to be back soon with some reviews…off to go read!


Kids need structure June 7, 2008

One thing that will make or break your summer or your sanity for that matter, is providing your kids with some type of structure for the day. Kids thrive on predictability. There is a sense of safety and security knowing what to expect.


This is not only true for the days activities but also for consequences for behavior. If a child is only disciplined periodically for misbehavior, well then guess what? They are more likely to roll the dice and try to see if they can get away with what ever the offending behavior of the day is…


I speak from experience on this topic. If there is any type of loop hole then my kids will find it. They can sense when my hubby and I are at our weakest moments, when we are frazzled, and when we are likely to cave and give in. Sometimes I feel like I live with mini-terrorists. They take over my house and have a list of demands! Well, I refuse to give into terrorism!!!


In an effort to ward off the ambushes and plots to foil my sanity, I am going to intiate a heightened alert. I am going to establish a routine with outings, activities, and books. Of course there will be plenty of time for my kids to have “free play” where they can explore and play on their own. But hopefully, by planning out part of their day I can limit some of my husband’s and my casualties.


To assist my efforts in staying organized and my kids on task, I googled “free calanders”. I couldn’t believe all of the choices out there. I saved a jpeg (or picture file) and edited it with Photo Shop Elements 5, a photo editing program. I have printed calanders for both the month and the seperate weeks. Here is what I have so far for June.