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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Crafts for 2012!

I have been searching for a new art project for the kids to do this year for St. Patrick's Day. Because we are all Irish, St. Patrick's Day is a fun holiday for us. This year I wanted to do two projects, one for our Catholic Faith and one just for fun. A fellow home schooling mom suggested this first craft...

Silly Leprechaun Face:

Supplies-
White Paper Plate
1 piece of green construction paper
1 piece of red construction paper
Scraps of pink, blue, white, black and yellow construction paper
Pencil
Single hole punch (for the eyes and to punch a hole in the top rim of the plate for hanging)
1 Quarter, nickle and dime for tracing
Scissors
Elmer's Glue
Strip of String

First, use your hole punch to put a hole in the top rim of the plate. Cut a strip of string long enough to hang your Leprechaun from a door or wall. Put it through the hole and tie it. Now lets make the hat. Cut a square out of the green paper, any size you want. I used a Bob Book for our square pattern. Next cut a long rectangular strip from the green paper, about an inch and a half thick, and a half inch longer than the square, on both sides. This will be for the brim. Next, cut a long black strip that is the same length as the square, about an inch thick. This will be the belt across the hat. For the buckle, cut a 2 inch rectangle out of the yellow paper. Fold it in half and cut out a small rectangle. Open it back up, this is your buckle for the belt across the hat. Glue the green strip to the bottom of the green square, the long edges at the bottom should match up. Then glue your black belt about and inch or two above the brim, to the green square. Center your yellow buckle to the black belt and glue that down. Once that dries, glue your hat to the top of the paper plate. (Make sure the plate is right side up, as if you were eating from it. Be careful not to get the string stuck inside the hat and plate.)

The next step is to make the eyes. First, use a quarter to trace two circles with the black paper. A penny to trace two circles with the white paper. A dime to trace two circles in the blue paper. Use your hole punch to punch out two holes in the white paper for the pupils. These circles get glued on top of each other to make the eyes. Once dried, glue them to the paper plate, however you'd like!

Next is the nose. Use the pink paper to cut out an oval shape. A perfect size would be to use the handle of your scissors as a pattern for tracing. If you don't have this type of scissors, be creative!! Center the nose on the plate, just below the eyes. Glue it down. We're almost finished!

Next, the mouth. You can go the simple route and use a black marker to make a silly smiley mouth, or cut out a mouth using black construction paper. You could get really creative and cut out two teeth with white paper. Which ever use choose will look great!

On to the beard! Take a piece of red paper, length wise, and start cutting strips, about 1/4 wide. When your done, cut them all in half, to make them smaller. This also gives you twice as many strips for a fuller beard. Take each strip and roll it tightly around a pen or pencil, leaving about a half inch straight. This makes the curls. Glue each strip, starting at the bottom, to the bottom edge of the plate, going up each side until you reach the brim of the hat. It should look something like this....

Let it dry for a few hours. When its ready, use the string on the back of the plate to hang it to a door or wall. A cute and fun project for you and the kids!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Taking the BOB Books Challenge

I've come to the conclusion that Cian needs extra help with reading. Both Seton's and Time4Learning are a little too advanced for him. I even tried the I Can Read books, level 1, and they are too advanced for him as well. He does know all his letters and the sounds, but he isn't ready for blends and vowels yet. He doesn't quite grasp the "silent e" at the end of a word and what it does. Letters like M, N, TH and F give him trouble because he has a slight speech impediment. He also tries to read words that aren't even on the page. He'll look at the picture and decide what he thinks it says. He has a really hard time sounding out words and gets frustrated, so he just guesses. It's so difficult to watch him struggle, so I had to find a new program for him. Several of my friends are teachers and homeschooling Moms and have suggested BOB Books.

There are 5 different book sets and each set has 12 little books inside. I purchased set one. This set has simple 3 letter words like sat, mat, hat, zap and zip. He read the first book this afternoon in school. He was so proud of himself for finishing his first book. He actually understood the story and enjoyed it for the first time. The words were easy for him to sound out. Instead of taking 10 minutes to sound out a word, it took him 10 minutes to finish the whole book!

Each child learns at a different level. Just because Declan was a whiz at reading doesn't mean Cian will be too. As a parent, we see our children every day and learn to look for their struggles so we can help them overcome these challenges. If Cian had been in a public school, he would have been lost in the system and left to fail. With the over crowded schools in our state, the teacher would not have the ability to give him the extra help he needs. Every day I thank God that I am able to stay home and give my children a proper education in a safe and loving environment. I am so pleased that there are programs like BOB Books and Time4Learning that help with children who are just starting to read or need a little extra help. We think we've have finally found the perfect readers for his level and best of all, they grow with him and his progress. So, this homeschooling Mom is now one very happy camper!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WARNING.....DON'T TRUST YOUR SD CARD!!!

I am so upset, to the point of tears. Yesterday afternoon, I restarted my cell phone because it was running slow. When it came back on, ALL my pictures were GONE!! Over 1200 pictures saved on both my SD card and the phone itself. I FREAKED OUT! Sean is an expert with all things cellular, and he came to the conclusion that my SD card corrupted. It just happened out of nowhere. It's not something I did, they just don't last forever. So many pictures that I can never get back, gone forever. I did email a lot of them to my Mom, so they are saved in my sent folder, and a lot of them are here on my blog too. Thank God for Blogger! However I lost a lot that weren't saved. Memories we can never get back. I should have backed them up on Lookout or the Cloud, but I didn't think that it would ever happen to me. Sean ran into it all the time when he was managing corporate stores. In fact, it happened to him as well. So you would think I would have taken the hint....NOPE! So, Sean installed Lookout on my Android device. All pictures and videos are now backed up! So my advice to anyone that has lots of precious photos on there cell phone SD card....BACK THEM UP or UPLOAD THEM TO YOUR COMPUTER!!!

On a happy note, we had a wonderful Valentine's Day with the kids. Sean bought me this beautiful flower arrangement. 12 white roses, some lovely orange flowers and little purple flowers too! It smells so nice and came in a beautiful purple vase! He also bought tuns of candy and chocolate covered strawberries...my favorite.

For the kids, he bought the candy and a Star Wars Lego Xbox game. They played it all afternoon until they made little pizzas. Sean forgot to buy mozzarella cheese, so they used Mexican cheese...YUCK! They didn't really like it either...lol.

I put the kids to bed at 6:30pm (I know, terrible parents) with little bags of candy. They didn't seem to mind. Sean left to our favorite restaurant, Canyon to order or dinner. We both had the fillet in port sauce with portobello mushrooms and spinach, soooo yummy! We also had spare ribs as a side.

While he was gone. I quickly wrapped his Home Sweet Home Boston Celtics sigh. Got out the crystal candle holders and white dinner candles. They looked so pretty with my flowers and Sean's gifts. I had our song playing over dinner. It was lovely! The food was wonderful as always. After dinner we were going to watch a movie, but Sam woke up to be fed, so we fed him and then played with him. By then it was 9pm, so we went to bed. Sean had to be up early for yet another meeting in the morning. Despite losing all my pictures, it was a nice family day. I'll end this with some photos of the kids eating their pizzas.



Mary with stringy cheese.

Lizzie took a bite out of the middle of her pizza.

Fionny and his "cheesy" smile.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!



 I am so excited for Valentine's Day!!! This morning I got up and cut out a red heart and wrote in glue and glitter "I AM MOMS VALENTINE" I stuck it on Sam's back and took him to see Sean. He laughed at me.

We have some fun things planned for the kids today. First Sean took the car for its 10,000 mile check up. He has only had the car for 7 months and has already racked that much miles on it. After that he was is headed to the mall to buy a few things for me! I told him to pick up some candy for the kids as well. We are letting them make personal pizzas for dinner. Sean bought a pizza stone to make it easier. We bought Lady and the Tramp on Blu-ray and are going to have a fun family movie afternoon.

We are putting the kids to bed super early tonight to celebrate Valentine's Day. Sean bought filet's to grill and a really nice bottle of wine. Its going to be a quite evening with a candlelight dinner!

Yesterday, Sean took the boys to see Star Wars 3D. So Mary and I had a fun cookie day. I had a box of sugar cookie mix from Christmas that we never used, so I dug out my cookie cutters and found the heart shapes. Mary and I made pretty heart cookies for everyone. She had so much fun and was such a big help! Here are a few pictures I took of the fun!

Left over Christmas cookies.

All ready to make cookies.

Pouring in the cookie mix.

Adding the flour.

Adding the eggs!

Attempting to mix the dough.

Spreading the flour out.

Rolling out the dough.

Ready to use the cookie cutters.

Making heart cookies.

Painting them with egg whites for the red sprinkles.

The finished product!

She did a great job. The boys and Daddy ate them all up!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!!

















Friday, February 10, 2012

Our "First" Valentine's Day!

I cannot believe it's almost Valentine's Day already. Where does the time go???

Anyone who knows me, knows I have NEVER been a fan of Valentine's Day. It goes back to my early 20s', when I made a lot of mistakes in my life. One being, getting married, ON VALENTINE'S DAY to a man I neither loved nor was attracted to. He was more of an excuse, or a defense in my life. Marrying him put me into a deep depression. For nearly two years, I stopped caring about myself. I let my appearance go. I stopped hanging out with friends and my family. What was worse, no one except my coworkers knew we were married. I had to lie to my family, especially my Mother. It broke her heart when she found out. Little by little, I was dying inside. Until I met my husband. He pulled me out of my depression and gave me the strength and courage I needed to end that farce of a marriage. More then anything, he was a friend and I fell in love with him.

So, even though I was divorced from that man, every time Valentine's Day came around, I wanted nothing to do with it. It would always bring up bad memories, which wasn't fair to Sean, since he had nothing to do with them. He just wanted to do nice, romantic things for me, on the most romantic day of the year. I wouldn't let him. He use to get mad, telling me to forget about the past. Valentine's Day has nothing to do with my marriage to him. I wanted to believe him, but just couldn't bring myself to except it....until this year.

I don't know what changed, but I don't feel that resentment anymore. In fact, I had this overwhelming excitement for the holiday. I wanted to find something special to get Sean this year. After all, this is actually our "first" Valentine's Day...so to speak. So where did I go to do my research....where else but Pinterest. There were so many great ideas, but one stood out the most.

Sean is from Massachusetts, and our first home together was in a small beach town named Hull. (It's actually a dump) Despite having very little money there, we both have fond memories of the little town. We brought home our first child there. Bought our first car there and I even made some wonderful friends whom I am still quite close with. (Love you Malia!!) So what better idea would I choose then a message in a bottle. This website is awesome. There were so many different bottles to choose from. The picture on the left is the one I chose. The rolled up scroll is on antique paper and you can choose to have the edges burned. They have pre-written messages or you can write your own message. I wrote him a poem! You can also have items inserted. I went with the shells and sand. It was packaged in a lovely gold box, tied with a white ribbon. I am so excited and can't wait for him to open it. He even took Tuesday off for me. We are going to have a nice three day weekend with the kids and then put them to bed early Tuesday night for a romantic dinner. I even bought crystal candlesticks and 10 inch white candles. Its a little surprise! I also bought him some cool Red Sox sunglasses and a wooden Celtics sign that reads "Home Sweet Home" for our front door. I know it's a lot for just Valentine's Day, but I have 10+ years to make up for...lol.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Upity wives should learn to keep their mouths shut!

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Patriots. So you could imagine my upset when they lost in horrible fashion to the f****** Giants AGAIN!

I know how hurt I was, so I could only imagine how Welker, Gronk and even Hernandez felt. Each of them missed or dropped an important play, all at key moments in the game. How awful each of them must have felt, blaming themselves for the loss. As if that wasn't bad enough, here comes Gisele Bundchen (Bradys' BITCH wife) and her RUDE, UNCALLED FOR comment, made to several Giants fans after the game.  "My husband cannot f—ing throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can't believe they dropped the ball so many times."  

I cannot believe she was dumb enough to let the fans get to her. Not only did she make a fool of herself, but she also made Brady look bad in front of his own trusted teammates. She broke the "code of brotherhood". Which I am to understand is a cardinal sin in any sport organization.

I would really like to see her scrawny butt on that field making the plays those AMAZING receivers do everyday. She has no idea how hard they have trained to get where they are. Welker was in tears after the game over his missed catch. That one comment she made just made it all the worse.

I never liked her to begin with. She has given Brady a hard time for years about his job. Come to think of it, they haven't WON a Superbowl since she's been in his life. What does that tell you??


I'm sorry to be so negative, but I love the Patriots and anyone who publicly insults, degrades or humiliates the players for their own satisfaction leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Especially the WIFE of a key player!