Archive for » January, 2018 «

Arts and Crafts

This winter The Goblin Child has discovered “projects”. From making homemade play dough, to paint, to slime, she wants nothing else. Every day she asks if we can do a project NOW?

She and her father got out a birthday present she got, clear back last summer. It has been great. They put together a robot out of wood blocks and pipe cleaners. They built a robot rabbit that follows a path they built out of foam paper stuff. The path gets rebuilt over and over again in different directions. We, and she I hope, liked it so much we got the subscription. every month now, the next three at least, she’ll be getting a box like it in the mail. Anybody we know with children may be getting Kiwi crates, or their proper age group equivalent, in the mail for future birthdays and Christmas presents.

Slime is apparently pretty popular right now. That makes me think we should find other things. But we’ll keep doing it, one in a while. It’s easy enough, glue, water, borax, who doesn’t have that on hand. They love mixing it. It last quite awhile to play on. There are so many variations to try, we’ll probably never get to them all. We’ve done regular slime and glitter slime. We haven’t done Fluffy slime yet.

Play dough was my favorite. We would make more but it lasts so long that we don’t really need anymore yet. It was quick and easy and softer than store bought. It has been interesting learning the things we should always have on hand to be prepared for this kind of thing, salt, baking powder, and food coloring are essentials. We also made salt dough, to bake into Christmas tree ornaments and the like. The difference in ingredients was small, they were both fun to play with despite their very different outcomes. Also in the play dough group should be my new favorite project, fizzy play dough!! Again small differences in ingredients major difference in outcomes. Back the the essentials again with baking soda. I misjudged our need of it and we were almost out, until I remembered the stash in the fridge. It needed replaced anyway. It was the simplest to make, mix baking soda with water, and food coloring is desired, until a doughy consistency is reached then play with it. When they’re done playing let them squirt vinegar, mixed with a drop or two of soap, over it. Squirt and squeeze until all that remains is foamy goo. What’s not to love?

We’ve done some others. We have a few books with science projects in them. They work with varying results, some good some not so much. Putting water in a bowl, sprinkling with pepper, then touching with a soap rubbed finger is pretty fun. Mostly because it is quickly and easily repeated. Filling a tray with milk, dropping in some food coloring, then dripping soap over, not so much. Not worth the wasted milk, messy and over with quickly.

I also finally managed to find the recipe for water color paint. It was a fun one that we used for the summer camp art class. It involves baking soda, vinegar, and food colors. Everything but salt. I like projects that take a long time to make, keeping the kids occupied for quite a while, and things that I don’t have to be hands on for the whole time. This is pretty hands on, I don’t get to get anything else done while we do it, but it does last for a very long time afterwards. I just threw away the paints from the last time we did this. they take a long time to dry but they painted with them wile they were still in liquid form and once dried the paints last forever.

This whole thing may have actually been an excuse to get all my links together in one place but we are enjoying the projects. It is snowing out and cold, I foresee another project coming up soon. I need to start looking for something.

Winter Walk

The day started warm and moist. The snow that fell over night spent the night melting. It was mostly ice, kind of slush. To nice to miss out on. With the children bundled up against the wet more than the cold we set out to use up energy and enjoy the warm weather.

Out through the corrals we played mountain goat on the piles of manure pushed up away from the feed bunks. Up and down and back and forth. I hadn’t intended to go any farther. But the ground was open season for being eaten by crocodiles and we leapt from poop pile to poop pile trying to stay safe until we wound up at the gate. Up and over we went, up between the feed bunks, into the pasture.

I wanted to follow the tree row back to the buildings. My opinion was vetoed. Out here the grey skies hung heavy, the wind was picking up, blowing the damp air, turning cheeks pink with the chill. But on we went. Over the hill and to another set of gates. They were still going pretty strong. Home was looking a long way off though. I checked my phone, it wasn’t working. With a quick reboot, it was soon chiming at me. Our loving husband and father was worried about us. Where had we gone. Pausing a moment I let him know where we were.

We trudged onward. 8 tripped and fell in the wheat stubble coming up with sand burrs in his gloves and coat. I picked them out but soon we were in sunflowers over his head. Both children were stumbling over the weeds and vines. The distance between us and home was looking daunting. When around the corner came our hero on his four wheeler. We all happily hopped on with him, including Daisy who had been enthusiastically ranging along beside us until we hit the sand burrs in the wheat. She had been reduced to slowly and carefully picking her way along behind.

The trip home was much shorter and easier with a ride from our loving father and husband. Once home we settled in for hot chocolate, marshmallows and lunch. Clothes dried in front of the fire. By afternoon the wind was no longer gentle but whipping through the trees and the temperatures dropped. Luckily we had adventured while it was still nice out. We’ll have to do it again, when oit’s warmer.

Christmas Letter

This has been a busy year. It’s also been a great year full of fun exciting things and so much growth for the children. Looking back I can’t believe how much they have changed since last year!

January: The Goblin Child got to go with her loving father and experience Ice fishing. They caught tons of fish. She loved it! Gus learned how to climb out of his crib, he got to graduate to a toddler bed. My hard working husband plowed all the snow in the driveway from the Christmas blizzard into a great sledding hill behind the house. It provided great entertainment until it melted.

February: Most of the snow melted and I have pictures of the kids playing out side in only a diaper, 8, and no coat, T.G.C. Then it snowed more. We celebrated 8’s birthday at the bouncy houses.

March: The Goblin Child was loving preschool. I started serving on the library board.

April: We got the potatoes planted in the garden! We also went to Missouri to see Grandma. The Goblin Child and 8 loved it, They’re crazy about their grandma. We all loved Silver Dollar City and seeing Grandma, Grammy and Different Papa, and playing with their cousins. T.G.C. got her first driving lesson from her brave father while we were hauling cattle to pasture. Everybody survived!

May: We got baby chicks for the kids to raise. They spent lots of time playing with them trying to get them calmed down and made into pets. It may have backfired, the chicks were terrified! T.G.C. was a big hero, she found our cat with a baby bunny she had just captured and saved the bunny. All by herself, what a good girl. We finished planting the garden. And discovered that rats had eaten the entire inside of the combine!

June: With school out for the summer and the pool open the children and I spent most days swimming. If not at the pool then at my personal favorite, the lake, wading in the warm water. The garden was growing by leaps and bounds, we documented the pumpkin vines growing six inches overnight!

July: The summer really started to get busy! The library started our summer reading program. Once a week the library filled with children for reading and a craft. It was great but exhausting. My hard working husband spent the early part of the month frantically reconstructing the wiring in the combine. One hundred and seventy five connectors and what seemed to be miles of wire later the combine ran on the first try and made it through wheat harvest! My whole family made it out to visit us. We camped at Fort Robinson with my parents then spent the fourth with my brother and his family. It was good to see them all!

August: We celebrated T.G.C.’s fifth! Birthday at the bouncy houses. Notice a trend here? She’s getting so big. We went to a little rodeo with a friend, T.G.C. and 8 both participated. T.G.C. a little more enthusiastically. 8 wanted to play on tractors. They both did well and had fun. Their loving father received a much deserved thank you for all the help he gives at school and around the community in a slight roast from the PEO. It was fun and funny and he was caught totally unaware by it. It was perfect.

September: The Goblin Child started back to her second year of preschool. She loves it and was so excited to get to go and play with her friends again. 8 and I enjoyed riding out to meet the school bus on the horses to bring her home afterwards.

October: Both got to go through their first haunted house. They loved it! No nightmares here, kids after my own heart. We had our usual pumpkin carving party, kids and pumpkins everywhere! When Halloween finally came we went trick-or-treating a few different times, can never have enough of that. The Goblin Child was the most beautiful vampire ever, or princess, or whatever she decided she was at the last minute, while 8 made a wonderful ghoul.

November: Once again we hiked into the back woods to pick the perfect Christmas tree. This years is wonderful. It may also be bigger than our house. We got all got to travel to Kearney with my hard working husband for work. We took advantage of the hotel swimming pool, saw Fort Kearney, and explored the archway. It was so nice to be able to go with him.

December: We went with friends on a little winter vacation up to Rapid city to see the lights at story book island, eat, shop, and, of course, swim! We also ended up ice skating downtown, which turned out to be the, my, favorite activity on the trip. The kids liked the slide at the hotel pool best. we got to enjoy T.G.C.’s preschool Christmas program, She made a wonderful mother choosing a Christmas tree.  The Goblin Child also made a wonderful Mary at the Christmas eve service at church this year. She and Joseph had been practicing hard and did a wonderful job of remembering their lines. 8 had been vetoed as the Christmas dragon and made a wonderful wiseman instead. He sauntered jauntily up the aisle and also did a great job in his roll. We were lucky to be joined for the Christmas eve service by my second cousin who was in town for Christmas to see her in-laws. We are always happy to see her when she’s around and it was so nice to have her come with.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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