Snow Sculptures

A family of snow creatures created by our girls.  They include a deer (antlers and all), an owl with green eyes and a turtle with pinecone legs.  There is also a dog that is not pictured, but was quite cute.  All you need is some packing snow, sticks, rocks, leaves, pinecones, and a little imagination!  A perfect activity for a sun filled snowy day…IMG_0622IMG_0623IMG_0625turtle

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Our Maker Shelf (and more)

We have a special shelf dedicated to little things our kiddos make.  Right now on display are: rubber band powered rockets, a solar car, catapults, and a little aluminum and paper boat, all of which were made in after school clubs.

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Our goal is to post as many of the things they’ve already made, or that we’ve made as a family, as well as all the new things we have in the works.  This blog will be our virtual shelf and a great way to keep track of all the cool stuff they’ve done.

Grandma and grandpa (Pop-Pop) have also helped make many things with our kiddos that include the bird house, pillows and rock climbing wall below.  100_2083

The bird house was a kit Pop-Pop made and brought out, for our then 7-year old, as a birthday project they could do together.  She loved it and was impressed that he actually made the kit!

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The pillows…years ago we needed a new shower curtain and our kids were young (or not even born).  When I saw this cute dog and cat shower curtain in the store, I knew it would bring a smile to their faces.  When we moved almost two years ago, to a house with glass shower doors, we decided to bring the curtain with us.  It was a fond memory of our little bathroom and kids growing up, counting and picking their favorite dogs and cats.  Last winter Grandma transformed the shower curtain into six wonderful pillow cases and we enjoy them every day!

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A work in progress…We all love climbing and started this rock climbing wall in our great room (really more of a rec. room) last summer.  There is a slant to the wall on the right.  So behind the plywood we built a platform that the kids can climb up to and read or hang out. There are storage hooks and another shelf also behind the slanted wall that hold climbing shoes, more holds and other gear.  We hope to expand the wall and will post more when we do.  It has already provided loads of fun and exercise for us all.  In this photo you can see the safety pads that we hang up when the wall is not in use.  Safety first!

Easy Humming Bird Feeder

Our family has always been a big fan of humming birds.  Our wonderful local Starsmore Discovery Center has programs that teach children and adults all about these amazing birds.  I have to say we’ve attended these programs at least ten or so times over the many years we’ve been going there with our kiddos and every time we have fun!

One of the cool things we learned in these classes is how to make our own humming bird feeder.  All you need is a clean baby food jar (glass works best) , a hammer and nail, some red spray paint, red yarn and a little wire.  First take the lid of the baby food jar and spray paint it red on the outside.  Once the paint has dried, take a large nail and hammer a hole in the center of the lid.  Next, flip the lid over and hammer the edges of the hole flat (on the inside of lid) so the hummers don’t cut their tiny tongues.  Twist some wire (safety wire works) around the neck of the baby food jar and twist to make a loop for hanging.  Add red yarn to help the humming birds find your feeder, and decorate as desired.

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To make humming bird food simply mix 1 part white sugar with 4 parts water.  Stir the mixture to get the sugar to dissolve and fill your feeder.  NEVER add red food coloring, this can harm the birds.  Don’t use raw, brown or turbinado sugar or sucanat, these less processed sugars have too much iron for the little birds.  Also be sure to change your feeder every 3 days or so.  There’s nothing like discouraging them from visiting with old, moldy or syrupy food.  Keep the extra food in the fridge for about a week to make refilling easy.  Note: If you have bears in your area please take your feeders inside at night so not to attract the bears.  They love the sweet food and will learn bad habits even if they only find one feeder.