Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Choice

My home was already 63% demolished when the tiny 5-year old and 3-year old demolishers descended the stairs this morning.  In a fort building effort, we demolished the rest.  So, this morning, amidst rain and headaches and a desire to only see this:

I choose to see this:

A day is filled with so many little moments in which I must make a choice; a choice to see what is good in the middle of what seems to be the worst.  I fail at this more than I succeed, but by God's grace, I hope to see that reverse.  Every time I choose to see good over bad, every time I choose gratitude and thankfulness over ingratitude and bitterness, the scales start to tip the other way.

And now, I have to choose to clean.  But, I get to clean while listening to the happy sounds of my kids playing together and for that, I choose to be thankful.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Turkey Snack Cups

I saw this really cute idea on Pinterest and had to do it.  Here's our spin on Turkey Snack Cups:

I started by stacking five pieces of multicolored construction paper so that I could cut five feathers at the same time.  Once stacked, I cut out a feather shape, fanned out the feathers, and got this:

A piece of tape on the front and a piece on the back did the trick.

Then it was time for the face.  I used a circle punch to get a brown face and then put on eyes using a black marker.  Googly eyes would have been cute (like in the original picture), but we didn't have any.  I then cut out little yellow triangles for beaks and pieces of red yarn for the red, stringy, turkey thingy.  What is that called?  I don't know, but I am pretty sure it's not called a turkey goiter, which is the only name I can come up with.  Here's how I put the face together:

After some deliberation, I decided to use one bigger piece of tape, putting the beak and turkey goiter on it first.  The whole big piece of tape then went onto the face, with the excess tape being wrapped to the back of the face.

Putting it all together:
One piece of tape secured the feathers to the back of the cup and then another piece for the face on the front.  I did not use any glue, only tape, for this project.

Done. We filled our cups with raisins, but anything brownish would do.  We have, however, "stuffed" our turkey cups with goldfish, animal crackers, cucumbers, water, and orange juice and they still look pretty cute.  I did realize, after the fact, that these could be made with brown cups, which I do think would work nicely.

In an ideal setting, I would have drawn feathers on the construction paper and my children would have cut them out, using those fine motor skills.  We would have discussed shapes, while we happily worked away together...circles for the face, triangles for the beaks.  We could have made patterns with the feathers or read books about turkeys.  We did not do any of this.  Since I was making these for Eli's class, I was in mass-production-turkey-cup-mode.  There was no time for learning, teamwork, or collaboration, and, 18 turkey cups later, I knew it was the right way to go.  Sometimes, kids crafts are a little easier to do when there are no kids involved.  The kids did get to use them, however, so I don't think they felt cheated in any way.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Who's Your Mama?

In a recent Parenting magazine, I read an idea of a game to play to help children learn to consider the places from which food comes.  Ideally, though far, far, far from perfectly, we try to eat food that comes from a real, natural source:  the ground, a plant, a vine, a tree, an animal.  My kids love bacon and the first time they realized that it comes from a pig, it took some time to sink in.  

Sorry, Olivia.

Back to the game.  Select a food and ask your kids who the "mama" of that food is.   It might look like this:

Me:  Milk...Who's your mama?
Kids:  COW
Me:  Good or not good?
Kids:  GOOD!  (generally accompanied by a THUMBS-UP)
Me:  Now, let's talk about if this cow is grass fed or if it's pumped full of hormones.  (Just kidding, I don't really say that...we'll save that for another day, little Eli and Abby.  Cow is good enough for now.  And standard cow is pretty much what mommy and daddy can afford, anyways.)
Here it is, for your viewing pleasure, Who's Your Mama:

 (You get it twice because I had to actually embed the video code into the blog to avoid having creepy thumbnails of other videos appear when this one is done.  Now I can't figure out how to get the second video out.  I have decided to just leave it to spare you having to see a really weird thumbnail of Heath Ledger's Joker holding weaponry.) 

((I also can't figure out how to get it centered when embedding the code.  Math people are bothered by stuff like that.  The left-justification of the video is really irking me.))

Our goal is playing this game?  Finding food that has a NATURAL mama instead of a FACTORY mama.  Again, we are not perfect (Who could possibly live without Oreos?), but we are trying to make strides away from the factory. 

All this to say, Who's Your Mama is a favorite around here and, by request of the kids, we play it a lot.  Plus, it's just the cutest thing to hear your two-year old say, "Who's Your Mama?"