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Showing posts from 2013

Christmas Ornaments

I had a hard choice to make.Either I could get this blog up before Christmas so it would be timely fun for all, or I could spend the week playing Monopoly and Crazy 8’s with all the family visiting.If you are looking at the date this was posted then I guess you already know I made the selfish choice, so hang on to this idea another 12 months so I don’t feel so bad, eh?
For Christmas Stephen and I like to entertain ourselves with a homemade ornament. It’s not about pretty, so if your tree has to look like it belongs in Macy's, then perhaps you can add a suction cup to your string and let it be window art.We like to hang our polymer clay ornaments along with the pretty store bought ones.  As we pull them out we read them and remember the good times of previous years.
                                               One year we made a circle that said Stephen's brother Aaron bought his first car, his sister Nikki was in the Honor academy and Stephen had a week long sleep over in Alb…

Entertaining them all the way to the hospital

Last week my son and I made homemade gum.  I didn’t get any pictures- and you know how I just love fiddling with pictures- so my husband said, “Why don’t you write about the playhouse we’re building?”

“Why don’t I?” I responded, “Because that's way off-topic.”
He said, “Yeah. Like you've never been off-topic before.” 
With no comeback in sight, that pretty much settled it. 

Aside from being off topic I also (secretly) worried that anyone reading this would think I was being very irresponsible in my parenting.  I felt like I was saying, “Give them power tools.  They’ll entertain themselves all the way to the hospital.”
Stephen, somehow sensing my need to fool everyone into thinking I am Little Miss Perfect, rose to the occasion.  With joyous cries of, “Look at me! You’ve got to take a picture of this!” He promptly jumped off the top of the ladder in dare-devil fashion.   Not once, but Five Times.  Fool that I am, I took those pictures.  Thank you, son. Now would…

Make Up Tag

Today is the first day of school for Houston ISD which means I am finally back to getting things done (...hopefully...once I get in practice again...it could happen...)! Saturday we attended Open House at Stephen's school and had a quick 'meet and greet' with his new teacher.  She passed out a "getting to know you" questionnaire, asking us parents to catch her up on our child's strengths and desires.  One of the questions was: What makes your child laugh?

My pen hovered over that question as I looked up at my husband who was busy reading over my shoulder.  Our eyes met and simultaneously we both blurted out, "Make up Tag!" 

So that is today's shared entertainment.  Stephen and my husband Eric started this game when summer began.  It started out humble, with only one rule.  You had to call your tag, then call out of the game - and fast!  I personally called the game I WIN TAG.

It started with something simple, a stuffed dog toy, I thi…

Old Fashioned Taste Test: IBC or St. Arnold?

Stephen can't wait until school starts and his teacher asks the students what they did over the summer. He insists he is going to stand up, pump his fist in the air, and proclaim, "I went to a BREWERY!"


The Parent of The Year award is always just outside of my grasp.



When Grandma came to visit, my husband Eric made arrangements to amuse her. One of the things on the list was to take her to St. Arnold for a tour on brewing. It IS educational, so we brought Stephen along, and I was amazed at how many others came to the same conclusion. There were more kids on that tour than adults! Which may be why they served root beer free, while charging (on a 'chip' system) for their other brewed items.  


So that's the setup for how we decided to do this week's activity. While trying out their root beer, Stephen decided it was the best he had ever tasted. Eric said IBC was still his favorite, and Grandma and I were undecided. So, we simply had to know: wer…

Guaranteeing a Vampire-Free Week

This week's mention isn't really a FUN thing to do- but it is an important thing to do.  Teaching your children how to run their own household isn't something that happens over the weekend.  Bit by bit, year by year, we help our children acquire the skills they will need to be successful when they venture out on their own.  Some of it can be subtle, like teaching them money management though an allowance program.  They think they are getting money, but really they are getting a lesson on spending vs. saving.  But some lessons are harder to disguise.  Like laundry.  I still haven't figured out how to make it look like more fun than it really is.  Any tips are welcome.

The reason I am mentioning this today is because we all make mistakes when learning to do laundry.  It seems pretty simple, yet somehow almost all of us have managed to bleach our dark's at some point, or forgot to check the pockets and found things cooked into the clothes, s…

Fishin' at the Creek

Many will disagree with me, but fishing is GROSS!  So when Stephen wanted to go fishing with his big brother Aaron I devised a string on a stick in the hopes of NOT catching anything.
Too bad you can't fool them forever. It didn't take long before Stephen realized everyone but him caught something, and that everyone but him had an actual rod and reel.
So even though it meant upgrading to poking a hook through a wiggling, slimy worm, then catching a fish and trying to disengage the hook from their lips, or worse, their throat, then argue about releasing the fish, or having it for dinner, then losing the argument and having your kitchen stink like..well, dead fish...well, even though it meant all those things, I bought him a nice rod and a tub of fat worms.

And it slowly turned into into relaxing afternoons by the lake with him fishing, and me sitting nearby with a book in one hand, and a wet wipe in the other.  (He often needs help getting those worms on the hook- as I may hav…

Fairy Gardens

When I heard Alspaugh's Ace in Kingwood was having gardening classes, I said, "Sign us up!" Stephen loves gardening and has several plants growing around his club house that he bought with his own money.  His real pride is his honeysuckle that cost him $20 of allowance, and has grown twice it's size since he planted it.  (He has grand plans of hanging out in his club house, lounging on his beanbag and reaching out the window to feast on the sweet liquid in the blooms.)  So gardening is a good choice of entertainment for him.

When they called to say the next class was coming up and mentioned it was 'Fairy gardens' I became a little concerned.  My son may like his hair surfer-boy long, but he is 100% rough and tumble, trouble-making male.  Fairies?  Ugh.
Turns out, he is also very open minded.  He said, "It sounds fun and I'll just leave the fairies to fly off into your garden." 
The above picture is his garden.  He had two master gar…

Meet Tom Watson, author of Stick Dog

This is a blog about things to do for bored kids, and I know it's not fair for me to say, "Hey, go find an author and drag him home!"  That could cause a bit of embarrassing paperwork down at the station.  So I won't.

What I will do instead is simply brag that I did.  And there was no paperwork following the incident. 
Meet Tom Watson.  He is the author of Stick Dog, and is awaiting the October release date for his followup book, Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog.  While patiently waiting, he has been touring around, interacting with the kids and signing copies of his books, and, as it shows it the picture above, he also signed any artwork the kids bought him.

He was definitely not stingy with his autograph (which is a work of art on it's own!), and I worried he'd have no strength left in his wrist for my own copy of his book!   Let me dispel any tension this may be causing you- he was still in top form and signed through three grades worth of books and p…

Fun in the Kitchen

Not all fun is provided for us.  Sometimes it's just a day of board games, patio chalk art, or cleaning house.
 What- who said that?!  Sorry, I forget my idea of fun is a demented form of torture for most. 
For mother's day, I was in a funny mood and really didn't want to leave the house to spread that joy.  But darn if mother's day doesn't inpire you to be a better mother.  Maybe it's because chocolate and flowers really are a good bribe, but whatever the reason, when Stephen wanted to do something different with me, I couldn't refuse. 
Like so many children, Stephen is thrilled with the idea of making his own food.  There is a rumor around our house- admittedly, one that he started- that he makes the best omelets in the free world.  I don't put a stop to this rumor, because one, his omelets really are good, and two, anything that encourages him to wean himself from the maid services that I provide is A-okay with me.
Now when Ste…

Ceramic EmPOURium

This weeks adventure all started with a book.  As all good stories should.  My son Stephen read Stink: The Ultimate Thumb-Wrestling Smackdown by Megan McDonald where she describes several thumb wrestling characters.  Stephen fell in love with them and created cards for each of her four characters, and then added five more of his own.  He used my digital sketchpad and then finished the cards in Adobe. Then we sent them off to good old Walmart to have them printed as 2x3's.  So now he has his own trading cards and has even developed a thumb wrestling game to use them with. 

Seems that wasn't the end.  He then read another book -I have no title to give credit to- about real wrestlers, and he was suddenly inspired to make a ring for his thumb wrestling game.  His prototype was a cardboard cut up for the base, four corks for the poles, and my elastic hairband for the ropes.  But he wanted to go pro with it, so we had to get help.

I stumbled upon a wonderful lit…

The Harbor View Concert

The Tribune newspaper hosts the Harbor View concerts and offers door prizes to those who sign up.  This past Friday it was  a mommy and me kit- sweet! And my books were amongst the sweet things locals could win while enjoying a free night of music and community gathering.
I am excited to say that the event went wonderfully, even though the weather was chilly. The woman in charge of the door prize just contacted me to say that my books were a huge hit. She said so many people stopped at the table to look at the items that would be awarded that night and they picked up my books, read them, and commented that they loved, loved, loved them and didn't realize we had such beautiful books made here in Houston.
Okay, that DOES sound a bit too amazing, and she may have laid it on a teensy bit thick for my benefit, but oh, what a nice thing to hear so early on a Monday morning!

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