Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Two Months Old

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Just for fun!

We do our weekly grocery shopping on Saturdays, and it is also the only day in the week we eat store-bought bread. (My darling husband loves to bake and he blesses us with a freshly-baked loaf on all the other days of the week!)

When I passed by the bakery section in the supermarket this morning, the sight of fresh, wholewheat hotdog rolls reminded me of something I spotted on Pinterest this week, and I decided to treat the family to some fun and yummy Banana Dogs for lunch!! Lashings of peanut butter, a peeled banana and strawberry jam!

(I really just did this on the spur of the moment, so no great photos, but mmmmmmmmm, they were delicious!!)

This totally cute idea is from The Villiage Cook. I think her Spider Web Pizzas are next on my list of fun lunches for the bambinos!!

Also, my dear friend Linnie's lovely daughter, Heidi-Mari, runs a fortnightly baking challenge on her blog, Heidi's Crafts. This week's theme is Something for a Child, and I thought Banana Dogs fit that description perfectly, so I'm linking up!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cardboard Tree House


   When I first saw the instructions for making a cardboard tree house in the October 2011 edition of Family Fun Magazine, I just knew my little ones would love it. So while they were having afternoon naps last Monday, I quickly printed the templates (you can download them here) and constructed our tree house in about 45 minutes. The original had three stories, but I had enough cardboard for only two AND I was just not up for adding the paper towel chutes. I think ours came out pretty cute all the same!

    The following afternoon, while the bambinos were napping, I set it up on a piece of green felt and added Sweetpea's Sylvanian Families. They woke up to find some sweet, real-life friends visiting us, and around here friends are always better than any toy, so they didn't pay too much attention at first. But when we were on our own again, some serious playing got underway!!

    Sweetpea gave the whole set-up one look and declared that the  tree house was on a farm and that the Sylvanian Families daddies are all farmers. I was asked to fetch the plastic farm animals from the toy closet while she went off to her brother's room for play planks, which were immediately turned into corrals and paddocks for the animals (who were neatly arranged according to breed!) She added a bridge, and one of ArrowBoy's cars became the preferred mode of transport for the Sylvanians.

    Arrow waited until his sister was done playing and had packed away her 'props' before he moved his wild animals into the tree house!

   My children can be quite unpredictable in what they like to play with and what not, but when Sweetpea thanked God for the lovely tree house during family devotions that evening, I was so happy to have taken the time to make it for them!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Drawing butterflies

   This morning Sweetpea wanted to make a gift for her daddy, and we decided to decorate a blank wooden key chain for his house keys. We talked about what she could draw on it, and she asked if I'd show her how to draw a butterfly. I did a simple drawing and handed her the pencil. She did a good job of the head, but when the oblong for the body came out square, she got really upset and wanted to throw in the towel straight away. (She's a bit of a perfectionist that way, and I often have to guide her gently towards taking her time and practicing something if she can't do it perfectly right from the start.)

So I showed her that I don't think a rectangular body is such a bad idea...and when she tried again, she actually did beautifully. This gave her the confidence boost she needed and she promptly flipped the paper over and began covering it in butterflies.

We chatted about how colourful butterflies are and I offered her the felt tip pens, again just gently guiding her towards using different colours for the different parts of the butterfly, as she generally tends to pick only one colour and do the whole drawing in that. She was so taken with her drawings, that the rest of the morning was spent drawing butterflies and flowers!

Here is the key chain she decorated: (the ink bled a little into the grain of the wood)

She was so proud of it, and her dad loved it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Masking tape roads on a stay-inside-day

   When a rather cool spring day kept us indoors for the most part, I remembered a photo I had seen on Pinterest last week of a very clever mommy who used masking tape to map out roads for her son's Hot Wheels on their living room carpet and furniture. (I could not find a blog/site to see where the idea originated, but you can click here to view the picture I am talking about).

  Sooo.... out came the roll of masking tape, and here's how Sweetpea and ArrowBoy spent the morning!

If you look closely at the photo above you can see the road going up and over the armrest of the couch!! It then turned right across the seat to connect again to one of the main roads on the carpet.

See the airport above in the bottom right hand corner? And opposite that is the site from where various (tiny) construction vehicles are dispatched to new building sites all over Carpet Town! And in case anyone is really studying the details of these pictures: Arrow is wearing a rather garishly shining nurse's outfit over his clothes - he found it in his sister's dress up box and when we were reading Nurse Nancy prior to 'building' our roads, he wanted to play the part! (Really need to order Doctor Dan  for him a.s.a.p!!)

Friday, October 7, 2011

She is Loved

Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister? - Alice Walker

There can be no situation in life in which the conversation of my dear sister will not administer some comfort to me. - Mary Montagu

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. - Marion C. Garretty

Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply... - Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, 1814

To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. - Clara Ortega

Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet. - Vietnamese proverb

{Photo above: A few weeks ago at his grandmother's house, my sweet boy tripped and skinned his knee...the first time ever...For days after that everyone he met had to look at the scab. 
Today I placed his baby sister on a blanket on the living room floor and he went and laid down right beside her. He kissed her cheek and gently stroked her head...and then he showed her the place where the hurt used to be...made this mama gulp at the big ol' lump in my throat as he so tenderly shared his 'treasure'.
 In  a way it reminded me of "The Little Drummer Boy", bringing to the Baby Jesus not expensive gifts or anything tangible, but a song from his heart...}

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Milk Rainbows

We had SOOOO much fun making these Magic Milk Rainbows after reading about it on Our Best Bites!! Quick, easy, and oh, so pretty!!

You will need:

  • milk
  • food colouring
  • a toothpick
  • dishwashing liquid

Pour some milk into a shallow bowl or dinner plate and add a few drops of food colouring in different colours.

Now dip the tip of your toothpick in the dishwashing liquid, and then into the milk. The soap will disrupt the surface tension of the milk, making the colours explode into lovely, bright kaleidoscope-like designs!

Pretty, pretty!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fresh from Heaven

We have a new little gift, fresh from heaven, as pink and as pretty as the most perfect rosebud that has ever been created.She is
and is flourishing under the tender affections of her siblings. Oh, the wonder as sweet toddler hands gently unfurl the tiny, tiny fingers, faces awash with amazement at their perfection...gentle kisses on a downy head...standing on tiptoes for just more peek at her sweet, sleeping face.

   It reminds me of this story I read years ago:

Soon after her brother was born, little Sachi began to ask her parents to leave her alone with the new baby. They worried that like most four-year-olds, she might feel jealous and want to hit or shake him, so they said no. But she showed no signs of jealousy. She treated the baby with kindness and her pleas to be left alone with him became more urgent. They decided to allow it.
   Elated, she went into the baby's room and shut the door, but it opened a crack - enough for her curious parents to peek inside and listen. They saw little Sachi walk quietly up to her baby brother, put her face close to his and say quietly: "Baby, tell me what God feels like. I'm starting to forget."
Dan Millerman
From: Chicken Soup for the Soul

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Meet Little Rosebud...

It is my great privilege to visit  Grietjie's blog and share with you the birth of her little Rosebud! The newest addition to her already beautiful family was born yesterday afternoon, she is a gorgeous, healthy, perfect little girl and we thank our Lord and Father for keeping both of them safe during the delivery.

Congratulations to both Grietjie and Mike, may God bless you and your beautiful little girl!  Congrats Sweet Pea and ArrowBoy on a gorgeous new  baby sister!

Loads of love
Trudie {Fun with Little Mouse}

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Using what we have: Junk mail 'I Spy' Pictures

Our weekly community newspaper usually arrives stuffed with ads from the major supermarkets. These are my two-year old son's favourite reading matter!! He loves to 'read' the pages with me, excitedly identifying familiar products and asking me to name the ones he doesn't know yet.

Last week's offering included two supermarket pamphlets for toy and sweets specials. After we had raided them for pictures of Lightning McQueen for Sweetpea's mini book, ArrowBoy scanned the leftovers and discovered pictures of his favourite - Mickey Mouse (or, as he says it, Meee Nouse..!) He got really excited about a teeny, tiny Mickey on the packaging of some game or puzzle, and this gave my the idea of using these minute little pictures for a simple, inexpensive I Spy page.

This was our first page:

The largest picture measures about 3cm x 2 1/2 cm, and the smallest is a mere 4 mm x 4mm!

I printed some clues for a few things to look for, laminated the sheet for durability and gave it to the children with a magnifying glass - it was a hit! So much so...

... that when I was clearing out some magazines this week, I held on to a catalog from a baby shop, and used it to create an even busier page!

Play and Learn with Mama: Trip to the Fire Station

One of the mothers in a local online homeschooler's group I belong to, recently arranged a trip to our local fire station, and the Little Joyful's had a ton of fun there! Here are a few highlights from the very chilly, but super-exciting morning!!

He was fascinated by the friendly fireman demonstrating how the jaws of life work!!

If you've missed any of my previous posts, be sure to also check out the Fire Fighter Lapbook we made, and our fun Fire Truck snack!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Play and Learn with Mama: Fire Truck Snack

This was such a simple, sweet little treat - way more sugar that they are ever allowed, but hence the word 'treat'!! This is our version of a Fire Engine snack I first saw here.

We used a lovely home-baked bread that my husband made the night before, as well as..
Strawberry Jam
Mini Shortbread cookies for the engine's window
Chocolate covered cookie rings for the wheels (the original used Oreos)
A glace cherry for the red light
Pretzel sticks for the ladder

I had prepared an example beforehand, and placed all the little bits and pieces on individual plates for the Little Joyfuls to build their own engines.



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