Friday, March 5, 2010

William the Artist

I've been trying to do more craft projects with the kids lately, especially since I got a big box of projects from the Oriental Trading Co. co-op that I participated in. We got lots of craft projects and supplies!

William made the above poster using Crayola Color Wonder paints. These paints come in a tube that you push out as you paint with the brush, so they are self-contained. They also do not color anything except the Crayola paper, which is a plus. See the proud smile!

Another fun project that we did recently were construction paper scenes using stickers. Both William and Violet completed this one, and it was a lot of fun putting all the stickers on the paper to make a fun picture (although there were way too many stickers, if that's possible!). Both kids did a great job on this one, and here is William's finished picture:

So far, William's favorite project is using watercolor paints, which he is currently requesting to do several times a week. Usually he paints a rocket ship. He is actually very neat with the painting!

We're looking forward to doing many more projects out of the craft stash!


My head is spinning from all this couponing

I went grocery shopping (Jewel) 3 times this week, but there were so many good Catalina deals going on lately that I couldn't resist. A Catalina is also known as a check-out coupon; for example, "Buy $30 in select Kraft products and get a $10 Catalina good on your next purchase." In this example, it would be a $10 coupon that prints out after you pay, which you can spend on whatever you want, on your next order/shopping trip.

So, I took the kids out yesterday morning bright and early (well, they do sometimes wake up at 5:30am! lol, we didn't get out of the house until 8:30am though). I did 2 transactions that were exactly the same. Five bottles of Wesson cooking oil, 2 Nesquik chocolate shakes, and 2 Lean Cuisine margherita pizzas (who knew microwave pizza could be so good?). My total before coupons was $20.35. Total after coupons $1.75 cash out of pocket. I left the store with 18 items, spent a little over $3, and still had over $30 in Catalinas in my pocket. I believe my savings were close to $100, but I would have to double-check on that one.

This is just one example of the types of purchases I make when I go to the grocery store, Walgreens, or Target. Of course, not every time am I able to make out this well, but I don't do too badly. You might be asking what I am going to do with 10 Wesson cooking oils, perhaps. If you're not familiar with couponing, it works best when you have accumulated a stockpile. Meaning, that you buy in bulk when the price is cheap/near free/free. Then, you never buy at full price. So, as another example, right now I have probably 20 different types of cereal in my stockpile. I continue to eat my free (or maybe it was a quarter or 50 cents per box) cereal, only buying more when it is on sale. Because I have a good supply in stock, I am able to keep this trend going, only buying when there is a good sale that I can pair with my coupons.

I've had a hot couple of weeks at the grocery store, but hopefully there will be a lull sometime soon so I can get to work eating through some of the stockpile. ;-)

William's First Kiss

Looks like our little Superman had his first kiss today! Today in tumbling class, before the class had officially started, I was playing 'Tag William's Mama' with William and a couple other kids in class. One of the little girls, who is 4, was trying to run after me, and both times William started crying. I guess he didn't want to share me. However, at the end of class, out of no where, he went up to this same little girl and gave her a kiss on the cheek! All the other moms went, "Awww!" I was really surprised. As we were getting our shoes on, he kept telling her goodbye!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

At the Nature Center

Last week, we went to the Nature Center with Oma. This is a nature preserve on a river that has an outdoor area with caged animals (a skunk, fox, a couple of owls, and a bald eagle). The animals have all been injured and repaired, but they are permanently disabled, and so cannot be released back into the wild. For example, the beautiful bald eagle only has one wing. We usually run past the skunk cage first, as it is usually a bit...musty. :-)

After checking out the animals outside, we went into the building. On the left side of the building is a great area for kids, and everything is local animal/nature related. William's favorite is a fishing area, where you can fish for plastic and cardboard lake and river creatures. There is also a bald eagle's nest in a loft, with a fox den underneath. Violet likes climbing the stairs to the eagle's nest a million times. They have a cute puppet theater with birds and other wildlife, but the kids are not usually interested.

On the right side of the building are all the indoor animal exhibits. There is a black squirrel, a small hawk, an owl with one eye, two different snakes, tanks with local fish, a bee hive (which is really hopping during the summer), a tortoise, frogs, turtles, tadpoles, and a mouse. I like the squirrel the best, but he is usually asleep in his hammock. But on this visit, he was awake and running around! One of the workers said he's usually not that active, because he's an older squirrel, but he appeared spry that day!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dress Up Day

Today we broke out the dress up box. Even though it's sort of William's claimed costume (he wears it to bed sometimes), Violet picked up the Spiderman suit with the muscles (because of course he has more than one Spiderman suit) and wouldn't let it go. She wore it for a couple of hours, repeatedly touching her muscles.

Since William had been wearing his Superman suit all day (he wears it as pajamas, but sometimes I let him wear it during the day over his regular clothes), he was already in costume. He really likes the yellow 'belt' (he usually tells me several times during the day that he's wearing a belt, heehee!).

Next, Violet changed into a Cinderella costume, which was very cute on her, although probably a little itchy with all the glitter, which is why I let her keep her clothes underneath. She liked it, but not as much as the Spiderman suit.

William put the dinosaur costume on for about 5 minutes. I think he just wasn't feeling the hood. Violet also tried it on, but she wasn't crazy about it either. After she'd had her look at herself in the mirror, she promptly asked for it to be taken off.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Snow Day

Right before the weekend, it snowed nearly a foot over here. The kids finally got to try out their new sled in the yard! William and Violet got in, with Danny pulling, but they seemed a little dubious about it. So instead, they ran around the yard throwing snow, crawling around like puppies, and jumping on Daddy.

William had a blast, and Violet more than anything just wanted to walk around (she tried to get me to walk down the block with her, she waved when she saw people coming home in their cars). I thought William was going to make a snow angel with Danny, but it seemed like he was enjoying Daddy get snow all over his jacket and jeans more.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Crafts

I know it's just about Thanksgiving, but today we got a gingerbread kit at Target and made a train. William is feeling a little under the weather with his cough, so I thought something fun would take his mind off being sick. He was a great helper, if a little impatient to frost the thing himself, and Violet watched patiently from her chair.

It was a little difficult to keep upright at first since the frosting was still warm and the sides wanted to tip over with the weight of the candy, but we managed pretty well. William is a wonderful decorator (and Violet is a good candy-eater; yep, those are her green, candy-stealing hands in the picture). He put the main train car together himself after I frosted it, and he also put on most of the candy (with Daddy's help).