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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bunny & Chick Easter Basket Craft

Here's another easy and fun craft to do with the kids from Oriental Trading Company. This project can be done with either a glue gun or Tacky Glue. I chose Tacky Glue for mine. (Too many small children running around in this house for a glue gun...lol.)

The parts included in kit:
1 white paper plate (Bunny)
1 yellow paper plate (Chic)
1 pink cardboard handle (Bunny)
1 orange cardboard handle (Chick)
Bunny foam parts
Chick foam parts
Bag of Brads

As with all crafts from Oriental Trading, the directions are very confusing. This craft was exceptionally bad. I'll try my best to dumb down the process...lol.
I started with the bunny.

1. The paper plates are pre-cut with little holes for the brads. First, fold all four sides of the paper plate up toward the center. That should make a flat bottom for your basket to sit.



2. Two of the four sides have three holes punched in and the other two have two. Using the sides with three holes, match the two end holes with the sides that have only two holes. Stick a bard, from the outside, through the holes and fan out the ends. (See image) Repeat on all four sides.



3. There should be one middle hole open on two sides. Those are for the handle. The handle has a pre cut hole on either end. Match each hole on the handle with the remaining two holes on the basket, from the outside. Push a bard, from the outside, through the two holes. Fan it out from the inside of the basket. Bend the handle and repeat on the other side.




4. Next, glue the pink foam nose and pink strips to the bunny's head and ears.(or chick). Let it dry.

5. Glue the aqua bow-tie to the bottom of the bunny's head. Let it dry completely before moving on to the next step.

6. Glue the entire head to one side of the pink handle. (See image) Let that dry completely before moving on.

6. On the bottom front of the basket, (same side as the head) glue the end of the feet to the basket. The two paws should be sticking out. I would recommend putting something heavy inside the basket to help glue down the feet. I used a full water bottle. Let that dry completely as well.

7. Finally, glue the tail to the other side of the basket handle. Glue the bottom of the tail just under the handle. Make sure the entire basket is dry before stuffing it with Easter grass and other goodies!!

So there you have it, another quick and easy Easter craft to do with the kids, that only cost about $5 (12 included in pack) from Oriental Trading Company!!!

HAPPY EASTER CRAFTING!!!!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Easter Craft #1 Bunny Magnet Craft

OK, so this year a have three really cute crafts from Oriental Trading Company for Easter. Since I have a lot of teachers and homeschooling parents that follow my blog, I thought I'd select a few Easter crafts to build and review for those of you who are looking for inexpensive and easy projects to do with the kids! Let's start off with an easy one...

First, Lay out all your parts.
1. Two ears
2. Two arms
3. Two feet
4. One face
5. One stomach
6. One purple bow
7. One tiny pink noes. (glasses required to see it...lol.)
8. One clothespin
9. One small magnet.
10. Tacky glue

 The only thing you will need for the kit is glue. I have never worked with foam before, so I used Elmer's glue. Live and learn, it doesn't actually work. Use Tacky glue!!!
Be careful, I almost threw away the tiny pink nose. I suggest gluing that on the face before doing anything else. That ensures you won't lose it!

Once the nose is dry, (and I strongly suggest waiting for it to fully dry) glue each ear to the top of the head, from the back, pointy ends down. Make sure the two ears are the same length and touching. I know that doesn't sound very clear, but I couldn't find the right words to describe it. Just use the picture as a guide. Let those dry completely as well.

Once the ears dry, glue the completed head onto the tab at the top of the bunny's body. (The tab should be up)Make sure the writing on the back is facing you. Again, let that dry completely. Before it does dry, turn it over and make sure everything is centered. I made that mistake, so mind is a bit lopsided...lol.




Next we're going to glue on the arms. Each one needs to be glued on the front of the bunny, just under the face. Make sure to leave plenty of room in the middle for the bow.

Elmer's glue does not work for gluing on the bow, so I just jumped onto Amazon and bought a bottle of Tacky glue. In the mean time, I tried to glue the bow between the two arms, just under the chin. Let those dry before moving on to the next step.

Now for the feet. If you notice, there is a small arch on each foot. You want the arch to face inside, toward the bunny's belly. Glue each foot under the arms, on the front, making sure they are overlapping the body. The heals should just touch each other at the bottom of his body. This was a little tricky, since I used the wrong kind of GLUE. (Lesson learned, thank goodness there were 12 in a pack.) Let those dry completely because we will be flipping him over to glue the clothespin next.


While we're waiting for the feet to dry, lets glue on the magnet to the clothespin. First, you want the mouth of the clothespin to face down. (Not the pinchy part) Next, test your magnet to see which side is the magnet side. (I didn't do that and glued the wrong side to the clothespin...lol.) Glue the non-magnet side to the clothespin above the wire. Let that dry.

Last, but not least, glue the clothespin to the back of the bunny. Do this carefully, in case the body and bow aren't fully dried. I would suggest putting something somewhat heavy on top of it, unless you have the time to sit there and hold it down until it dries. Wallah....you're finished! A simple and cute craft to stick on the fridge that will hold all those cute pictures your kids draw you. If you're like me, your fridge is camouflaged with all sorts of crafts and drawings....lol.

HOPPY EASTER!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Shadow gets spaired!!!

As I had mentioned in a past post, we have been having problems with Shadow doing his business on the kids beds and recently ours. Well, Sean was literally out the door with him yesterday, on his way to the pound. Since there aren't any no-kill shelters in our town, that was our only option. I was pretty upset. Despite his flaws, he's a really sweet cat. He loves attention and will lick your arms and legs any chance he gets. Sean doesn't like cats, but he doesn't want to see him put to sleep because we were irresponsible in not getting his mother fixed. (She's in heat again, BTW) It wasn't his fault. So, Sean told me to find the vet our next door neighbor recommended. Maybe they could give us some advice on what the problem is or how to fix it. They were awesome. They recommended getting him snipped. That would stop the spraying. The problem is, he's not actually spraying, he's just using the beds as his cat box anytime his mother uses it. The vet said that is actually common in male cats. He doesn't like to share his litter box with other cats. He recommended placing two boxes for him and one for his mother.

We did actually let him neuter Shadow. Since he was trying to "mount" his mother. He got him right in and we were able to pick him up at 4pm. He's 7 months old and weighs 12 lbs. His mother isn't that big...lol. He's doing great. He's on an antibiotic, Amoxicillin, which I am highly allergic too, and a pain killer, twice per day. I'm really hoping this takes care of the problem. I hate to see such a sweet cat have to be put to sleep just because he's a little picky. I guess time will tell. Have a great Tuesday!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Partick's Day!!

What better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than with Cians 8th birthday!! OK, maybe it wasn't actually on St. Patrick's Day, but close enough. It was actually yesterday. We had a nice day. Sean had to work until 2pm, and since we took Tuesday off from school for Seans birthday, we had a lot of catch up work in school. After school we opened presents. The reason Cian is laying on the cough in front of his gifts, on his stomach is because he can't sit. He still has a boil on his butt and is in a lot of pain.

This years theme was of course, Star Wars. He received a Star Wars poster for their room, a bunch of action figures, baseball plates and balls for out back, die cast Star Wars ships, some Star Wars plane, a sith light saber and a new game for the Xbox. The game was the hit of course.

The kids are all obsessed with Costco pizza, so Sean had to drive 20 minutes to our nearest Costco just for pizza. (It was Friday, so burgers were out...gotta love Lent.)

The cake was super cool! It was baseball themed but it was so yummy, filled with Boston cream!!! Its really huge, we'll be eating it for at least a week. Right when I was putting the candles in it, Lizzie picks up a dirty, wet dish rag and throws it onto the kitchen table, landing right on the side of the cake...UGH!!!! It was only on the lower left corner, so I just cut that part off. What would a birthday be in this family with out some sort of mishap....lol.

I recorded Cian blowing out his candles with my phone. OMG, it was hysterical. He couldn't blow them out, he just kept spitting on the cake. Sean was horrified yet laughing at the same time.

We put the little ones to bed right after cake and let Declan and Cian spend the rest of the evening playing their new racing game. Here are the rest of the pictures...
Opening his poster.

Action figures.

Die cast ships.

Baseball bases.

Joy Ride Xbox game.

Darth Mal light saber

Star Wars ship.

Blew out the candles!


One last disappointing note, Sean did not get the LDP position. He feels he bombed his second interview. His boss basically said he had the utmost confidence that Sean is a born leader and able to preform this position well, but 6 months just wasn't enough time to be in the position and qualify for the program. He did say he was the front running for the program next year. Sean was pretty pissed at himself because he knows the position in and out, but his brain just wouldn't work that morning. He said he couldn't answer the "question behind the question" whatever that means. He's not upset about losing to the other lady, because she is more than qualified and deserves it. He's upset because he didn't do his best, and doesn't feel that he gave a good enough challenge. It's hard to explain, you have to know Sean and his personality to understand what I am trying to say. He's a natural leader and is not accustomed to failing. He will beat himself up over it until he wins. In the end, this will only make him work harder to prove he is the best.....lol. Like I said, you just have to know him to understand.

So, where does that leave us and this town....not sure yet, but we do know it will probably be another year here, unless something changes between now and then.....sigh.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Bear Wreath

The boys and I made this really cute Saint Patrick's Day Bear Wreath for our classroom door. It turned out so cute, I thought I'd share the craft!

Materials:

Cardboard (we used an old pizza box from Kirkland)
Construction paper (green)
1 large dinner plate
1 small plate (like the plates you put under a tea cup)
scissors
glue
crayons (Brown, green, yellow and black)
pencil
Bear cut outs
wiggly eye (optional)

Instructions:

First, cut out a fairly large piece of cardboard. We used the box from a 3 pack of pizza from Costco. Use a dinner plate to trace a circle. Place a smaller plate (tea cup saucer) in the middle of the larger circle and trace that.

Cutting out the center circle was a little tricky, but it doesn't matter if it looks a little rough around the edges, no one will see it.

Now for the time consuming part, you'll need several sheets of green construction paper. You're going to be cutting strips about 1 1/2 inches wide by 4 inches long. You can use a ruler if you're a perfectionist like me...lol. Once all your rings are cut out, start gluing them together. Let the glue dry for a bit before gluing them to the wreath, or you'll have a gooey mess.

Once those are fairly dry, place your wreath on a sheet of news paper or something you don't mind getting glue on. (I made the mistake of doing it on my kitchen table. Now its a sticky mess.) You're going to start gluing the rings onto the wreath. You will be making two rows, so you will only need to put glue on half of each ring. Place a small line of glue where you glued the rings together and overlap it onto the wreath. You're going to do this all the way around your wreath. This can be pretty tricky, so be patient. You may need to make a few adjustments here and there. Let the rings dry for an hour or so.

While the rings are drying, this is a good time to have the kids color the bear and shamrock. Instead of coloring our shamrock, I traced it onto green construction paper. I used wiggly eyes for my bear to make him look silly. The kids loved that. Once you have colored all the parts, cut them out.

Here's the fun part. You're going to glue the head, hat, bow tie, shamrock and two paws on the front bottom of the wreath. I would suggest picking a section that you think didn't turn out as well, because the bear is going to cover it up for you! Glue the two paws to the bottom back of the bears face, just under his chin, so there is about a quarter of an inch between the two paws. Glue the bow tie onto to the bottom of his chin and paws. Glue the hat to the right or left ear. Let that dry for a few minutes.

Once the paws and head are somewhat dry, glue the top of the shamrock to the back of the bears paws. Let that dry while you move on to the tummy and feet.

Glue the small oval to the bottom middle of the large oval, making sure its centered. Glue the two paws to either side of the lower tummy. It's kind of hard to explain, so just use the picture as a guide. Once those are dry, you're ready to glue them to your wreath!

We're almost done, now glue the bears head to the front of the wreath, making sure the shamrock is hanging well below the bottom of the wreath. Glue the bears body to the back of the wreath. This is a bit tricky. You need to make sure its centered with the rest of the body. The bottom of his tummy and feet need to look like he's hanging on the wreath. I would suggest gluing the top front of his tummy to the green rings, not the wreath itself. (I made that mistake, you can barely see the green in his tummy or paws.) Once that is done, lay it flat and let it dry for an hour or so before hanging. It's light enough that masking tape will do the job nicely for hanging on a door or wall!

This was a fun craft, but better for older children. Have fun making it!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Sean!!

Yesterday was my husbands 38th Birthday. He's not the least bit thrilled about it, but then who is....lol. We didn't do anything special, played Xbox (Borderlands), watched Major League and hung out with the kids.

I had done a bunch of surveys on Opinion Outpost to collect enough money to buy him a gift. Unfortunately, the money wasn't credited to my account until the day before yesterday, so I was a bit limited on what I could get him. I had ordered him a cool beer mug with flowers in it. I wanted to get him a baseball gift basket, but they wouldn't be able to deliver it until tomorrow. So I went with the mug of flowers. Then, while Sean was out, I got a call from 1-800 Flowers. The women, who spoke very little English, left a message that I could not understand. When I called back, they said they didn't have the mug I wanted and had substituted it with some ugly vase. I was livid!!! The whole point of the gift was the beer mug, not the stupid flowers. So I cancelled the order and they told me my credit card wouldn't be credited for 5 days. So I couldn't even get him another gift. I was so upset. I broke into tears and demanded to speak to a supervisor. Of course, they did NOTHING!!! They didn't even offer to trey an fix it. That is the last time I use their service.

All the kids made him special Birthday cards while he was out running errands. They turned out cute.

On Monday, Sean rented a Rug Doctor so we could clean the boys carpets. I am so sick of the infection that has consumed my childrens lives. I have tried everything. We even bought special covers for the mattresses. I went over their carpets twice and they were totally black. It was so discusting!!! The girls room wasn't that bad. I did the living room carpet too, but yesterday it still wasn't dry. Now my house smells like a basement filled with mold. I think we'll leave it to the professionals next time.

On an exciting note, Sean and I are in the beginning stages of looking to buy a house. I strongly emphasize "beginning stages". We are looking at different areas of our state. We know we don't want to buy a house in this area, but more North might be nice. We can't really do much else until we know where Sean will be working. He received an email this morning informing him that two of the three interviews for the LDP position will be tomorrow morning, starting at 9am. WOW, talk about no time to prepare. He never did get a suit. So he is going to ask his boss if he can work a half day to get his resume and things together. He was headed to Men's Warehouse this morning to see if they had something in his size that wouldn't need to be altered. His chest is really wide and his legs are super short, so the chances of that are pretty slim.

He's really nervous. His weak point is, his brain doesn't fully wake up until noon or 1pm. He's just not a morning person. Since the first interview is at 9am, he wants to wake up at 6am just to get a few Cokes down and try to get focused. His other disadvantage, one of the three other candidates has been in her position for a long time and she's really good at her job. He doesn't see them picking a guy who has only been in the position for 6 months over someone who has been doing it for several years. His advantages are that he interviews really well and this is the first year this program has been offered to his current department, so none of the other people really know what it is or how big of an impact the program is on promotion within the company. Since Sean was in corporate retail for three years, he has seen the program and knows how amazing the opportunity is.

Whatever happens, he will still be up for promotion in 6 months or sooner. Oh, I forgot to mention he went for his yearly review last week and got a small pay raise. (Small because he is already above the pay scale for his position.) It's not much, but it helps! His boss had nothing but raving things to say about his performance and again insured him that a district level position is in the near future. Very encouraging to hear!

UPDATE: Since I wrote this, Sean called to say Men's Warehouse CAN help him with his clothes! More details to come!!

UPDATE FOR TODAY: Sean went to his two interviews this morning. He sent me a text just before the first one saying he felt like he was going to "hurl" from nerves. Of course he didn't. He feels the first interview went well, but the second he feels he tanked because he wasn't himself. I'm sure he did find though. We may know who gets the position as early as tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed for us!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Windows 8 Review, LDP and Random Crazyness!

Last weekend, Sean installed the new Windows 8 onto my computer. We were already familiar with it since Sean has the first Windows Lumia phone and the Xbox 360. However, on my computer it's completely different. First, we made the mistake of not signing into my Hotmail account when we installed it. BIG NO NO. If you don't sign in, you will not be able to access anything like Mail, Messaging, the App Store or your calendar. Nothing worked right. Once it's installed, you can't uninstall it and start over. We did find a cool new feature that lets your "reset" your computer, kind of like a factory reset on your phone. You won't lose any files and or previous installations. It's actually really cool. Sean did this and was able to start over again and sign me in with my Hotmail account. Walla! Everything works!

I love all the cool tiles on the home screen. They are totally customizable, similar to apps. You just find your favorite websites and "pin" them to your home screen. It's actually designed for tablets, so swiping isn't very easy using a mouse pad, but it's still pretty cool. Since this is only a Beta version, you can't take advantage of all the cool features, but you get a good feel for what it will be like. The coolest feature, if you want to go back to the original Windows, you just click on the "desktop" tile and it brings you right back to the original Windows screen. So far, we really like it. It sure beats Chrome and their privacy violations.

On a cool note, last week Sean got pulled out of a meeting by his boss and her boss. They wanted to congratulate him on being their candidate for LDP (Leadership Development Program). It's basically a program for the "best of the best" to get a crash course training in all departments of the company. It's about 6 months long, usually 2-3 days per week and very intense. The people chosen for the program have to be within their current position for at least 6 months. They made a special exception for Sean because his 6 month mark wasn't until a couple days after the application cut off date. The candidates that are chosen are usually up for promotion and will be promoted shortly after the program is finished.

Sean is one of three selected for the program in our state. Only one is selected. He has to go through 3 interviews, 2 very intense, before they make their decision. As part of the process, he has to have an updated company profile, with a recent photo of himself. In nearly 4 years with the company, he has never filled out his profile, nor added a photo. He HATES having his picture taken, so he wasn't thrilled when his boss told him it needed to be done by this past Friday. We didn't have any pictures that were appropriate for work, so I took this picture of him before he went to work. Of course he hates it, but what can you do. He also has to buy a suit for the interviewing process. We haven't been told when it will start, but they are anxious to get the program started this year, so it will be soon. I will post an update after the interview process.

Life has been the usual crazy, busy around here. We just finished term 2 in school, although I have had to put a hold on Math with Declan because he had to go back and memorize all his multiplication problems. It has been such a pain with him because he is lazy and doesn't want to memorize them. The nice thing about home schooling, I can stop his daily lessons to go back and review or in our case, relearn a concept. It's been two weeks and he's got all but about 13 memorized. For some reason, he has a mental block with 6x7, 8x6, 8x4, 6x4, 7x7 and a few of the 11's and 12's. I'm hoping to take one more week with this and then finish the term.

Cian has done wonderfully with BOB Books. He is on his 5th book, Dot and Mit. This one has given him a little trouble, but we worked through it today. He gets frustrated when he mixes up letter sounds, like M and N. He also looks at the picture before reading and makes up his own words, rather than reading what is on the page. My biggest concern was if he was comprehending what he was reading. Its one thing to read the words, but to actually understand the plot is another. Surprisingly, he recaps the stories well. He read to Sean last night and he was just so proud of himself. Sean was thrilled to just see him reading. It has been such a struggle with him. I cannot express how happy I am to have found these books. When you have a child that needs extra help, it can be very discouraging to not find the proper materials needed. Like I said in a past post, I had tried several different beginning books, none of which he was ready for. It wasn't until my friend Michelle posted a blog about her daughter reading from the BOB Books that I decided to try them. I am so greatful for these books. They are perfect for him.

A couple of days ago, I came into the living room to find Sam standing in his play gym. I broke down into tears. It dawned on me that my baby boy was growing up and he might be our last baby. He is only 8 months old and already so active. Just today, I noticed two more teeth coming in on the top. That makes 6 in total. He rolled over early, crawled early and now pulling himself up and standing. Declan had him walking around the living room last night. This is all happening too fast for my taste. It seems like just yesterday I was bringing him home to meet my Mom and our neighbors. Now he's got 6 teeth, his hair sticks up and he's standing on his own. What's next, high school by 2? Why can't they just stay little babies forever. It figures the sweetest age is the shortest and the worst is the longest. I guess all we can do is treasure the moments we are blessed with and take lots of pictures/videos.....sigh.

On a rather annoying note, during school yesterday morning, Declan and I heard a crack, like pottery breaking. I looked out the window and saw Bear standing near the faucet out back. This is what we found. The stupid s*** chewed the hose off the faucet and I guess, was pulling at it and snapped the pipe in half. So now we can't turn on the water out back. Of course he snapped the pipe that goes underground, so it's going to cost a fortune to fix. Not sure how we're going to explain that one to our landlord, since she doesn't know we have dogs. I swear, he has been nothing but trouble since Sean brought him home.

We have another animal that is a huge headache as well. If you remember awhile back, my cat Dee-dah got herself knocked up and had two kittens. One we gave to the ladies next door and the other I kept. Well, I picked the dumb one. Shadow likes to do his business on the girls beds and recently our bed. Last night he left a huge package right in the middle of the bed. (I had just washed the bedding too.) Sean found it when he went to put Sam down for the night. He about killed him. I had been telling him for months that we needed to take the cat to the local shelter, but he has been reluctant to do so because it isn't a no-kill shelter. (There aren't any non-kill shelters in out county.) This was the last draw. We just bought the girls new beds and don't want them ruined. What's weird about it, he has a litter box and uses it, but once his Mother uses it too, he won't use it anymore. Very annoying!

We've had a minor infection go through the house, which caused all the kids to get boils. It's actually been floating around here for months, but we only recently found the source. A bacteria was found in our dirt out back, most likely caused by stray cats doing their business. Of course the kids love to play in the dirt, so that's where they contracted it. (The kids have since been banned from playing in the dirt.) Sean hired a company to remove an old dog house that a previous tenant left behind. Stray cats and dead rats were found in it...gross!!!! We also removed some old crap from us as well. (We may be moving in the near future) Liam got the brunt of the infection along with Cian getting a huge boil on his stomach. Sean said it looked like he grew a third nipple....so not funny. Poor Cian has been in such pain for the last week. I finally got it to drain and it is healing nicely.

That my friends, is our crazy month in a nut shell. Stay tuned for further details......lol.