Thursday, March 28, 2013

Big Kid Sleep Overs - Oatmeal Bar

I've posted before about enjoying having my kids have their friends come over in my post about being the “Hang Out House”. One thing about kids….boys in particular… is that they like to eat. I’m trying to sway my kids away from the processed cereals for breakfast. I switched to the ones I believe are healthy a long time ago, but organic or not, high in fiber or not, they are still boxed processed cereals. We try to eat a lot of Old Fashion Oatmeal for breakfast. My kids love it, so I figured it might work for sleepovers too. It was a hit. I was actually told that I made the best oatmeal ever! What Mom doesn’t love to hear that? Granted, it’s oatmeal and I can’t take any credit for it…still.. I’ll take a complement when it comes. It was all in the presentation.

 This was our selection for the morning:

Cut bananas and strawberries
canned peaches  ( a huge hit!)
brown sugar
almond slivers (my favorite)

That's it. Super easy. All I had to do was cook the oatmeal and the kids did the rest. I like the easy part. My son had 3 friends over and I really didn't feel like making a million pancakes...because when you have 5 hungry boys that's how many pancakes you need....a million. Oatmeal...much easier:)

Edit:  One of my favorite blogs just posted an amazing amount of information on ways to make oatmeal. I wish I had seen it a long time ago:)  You'll want to see this. Check out Modern Messy Kids at

Is breakfast ready yet Mom?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Preschool Flower Lesson - Sizes

I love to use crafts and craft supplies for learning. I found these flowers on one of my favorite sites Fave Crafts at this link:

What little girls don’t love flowers? Not mine...they draw them, piece them together, talk to them, and put them on headbands. We love flowers. My Moon Princess is very good with her shapes and is now past this learning activity, however she’d make them every day if I had it set up for her.  She is getting better and better with her ability to cut and place tape. 

You know this is a skill if you have ever had your little one stick half of roll of tape to itself when they are unrolling it! Little E is mastering her sizes and following directions….OK, she isn’t really mastering the directions part…but we are working on it.

The pictures tell the story. They loved this craft and had many cute flowers that I will use in a future project for them. I hope your little ones (and you) enjoy this.


Felt  or construction paper of different colors – prep the shapes a head of time.

Double sided tape ( I use the kind I use to make headbands)  or glue sticks with the paper

About an hour of free time. Really, it took us that long to play with all the color combos before they taped them together.

I like to have the trays prepared for them.

They usually find it easier to work at the table, but I like the trays because they can take the whole project over to their mat if they wanted to.

The finished flowers all sorted by shape....Little E did the Felt (3 yrs old)
 Since my girls surprised me and did the opposite tray than I thought they would, the felt was actually left unattached. My 4 1/2 year old could have done the double sided tape, but not my 3 year old. They wanted to keep them so they could continue to play with them and didn't want them put together. They really really enjoyed this!

I made up the same project in paper because I thought it would be easier for Little E.

My Moon Princess actually choose to do the paper shapes..she liked the glue stick:)
 They did want the paper flowers put together. I think we are going to have paper flowers everywhere soon:) They really loved playing with the shapes and sizes. I had Little E line them up and go through and tell me which one was bigger or smaller. (or the baby ones and the Momma ones as we say in my house) I highly recommend this project. Simple, yet she mastered her size variations.

We did finish one up so we could keep it and to use for the example. I sewed a bead in the center and secured a pin to the back....I love it. I'm putting it on my coat today.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Being the “Hang-Out” House

I’ve been called “over protective” and it’s never hurt my feelings. My kids have been called “nerdy” a time or two and I take it as a complement. I’m not trying to raise the “cool” kid here. I’m trying to raise kids that are secure and proud of themselves. It’s not easy, and I sure don’t have a fool-proof plan I’m working from.  Most days I founder around praying that I’m not going to mess this up. Some days I feel that it’s too late…they have many sessions of therapy talking about me in the future. There are days though,  that I look at them and find myself feeling that I must be doing something right. These are the days any Mom lives for. 

I had one of those days when it hit me that my son’s friends enjoy coming to our house. We have a modest and messy house. We do have an awesome yard and we have worked hard to make our basement “fun”.  I have never liked my kids going to someone else’s house unless we really knew them. I’m not even thrilled with them going to cousin’s houses when they can end up who-knows where.  I’m not going to rant here, but there have been a good number of times when my son is nowhere to be found because they wondered off to someone else’s house who is a stranger to me. He was 9. I’m sorry…but I find that very upsetting. If I let my kid go to your house I expect them to be there and under your watchful eye. 

I love that they invite people to our home. I can get to know the kids they are hanging out with better and it always helps to see my own child when he’s with his peers. I also get to hear all the gossip from the kids talking and take mental notes of who I may not want my kids to hang out with in the future. It pays to know some things. I would have never known about the recent drug bust in the middle school if it wasn’t for the gossip around the chip bowl. There have been times when I’ve felt the need to influence a friendship one way or another. Is that controlling? Maybe, but you know what? That’s my job. 

I’d rather have a house full of kids and supply them with snacks and entertainment and know they are safe. I let them play, but I take the responsibility for other parents’ kids very seriously. It becomes my complete duty to make sure that they don’t get hurt. I do let them climb trees..and that makes me crazy nervous..but we all know we have to let them be kids. Buying an Air Hockey Table and a big TV for the basement is a small price to pay for my piece of mind. I believe with all my heart that keeping my kids close will help ensure at least a measure of parenting success. So, yes, I’m over protective.