The Most Shocking Easter Decoration Of All

The past few weeks my kids and I have been busy making Easter decorations and decorating the house in an attempt to make it feel “Springy” inside despite the amount of snow still outside.

I instructed my kids to make me lots of Easter pictures to decorate the walls:


We also made an Easter Egg by gluing string to a balloon and after it dried we popped the balloon (My Mom painted the Easter Bunny next to it several years ago for me!) :


I gave the kids some felt and told them to make me Easter Eggs. In case you can’t tell, my daughter’s is the sweet one with the flower and my son made a “weird guy” Easter Egg.


We also made paper chains of bunnies and Easter Eggs. I had just purchased some really pretty “Springy” paper but my son still opted to use our 4th of July themed paper!?


I really thought we had covered all of our bases with our Easter decorating, especially with our Easter Egg decorating we did here! However, my daughter thought we clearly missed one more important decoration. She really thought we should have some….SNOWFLAKES! I gave her a puzzled looks and said, “Really? Do you really think we need snowflakes?” She was absolutely sure about this. So yesterday, we added the final detail to our Easter decorating decor! It truly is complete now!


Hundreds of Tiny Squares

It seems every winter I find myself doing some sort of mind numbing project to take my mind off of being cooped up in the house.

Even when I was a teenager I made my own Monopoly board. My original board broke and instead of buying a new one I just decided to recreate one:

My homemade Monopoly board

My homemade Monopoly board

When my first daughter was little I decided to turn a crawl space in our house into a “Super Secret Hideout.” I brightened up the walls by applying magazine pictures:

Iris & Bency playing in the hideout in 2009

Iris & Bency playing in the hideout in 2009

A close up of the Super Secret Hideout walls

A close up of the Super Secret Hideout walls

Now Cesar plays in the Hideout

Now Cesar plays in the Hideout

Then a few years ago I took puzzle pieces and painted and glued them to an old drawer:

The puzzle box

The puzzle box

There was also the year that I bought a used coffee table at a rummage sale for $1.50 and decided to paint it:

The painted coffee table

The painted coffee table

This coffee table sits in our living room and also serves as a stage for our kids. They stand on here and do their dancing. I’m pretty sure it’s on its  last leg. I’m not going to replace it until they are a bit older and have grown out of dancing on tables (that happens right?) So instead I decided to sit down this past week and do this:

The coffee table redone

The coffee table redone

I glued 1 inch squares cut out of magazines all over the table and then put varnish on top. I did this while watching television and usually surrounded by the kids or being jumped on. My 5 year old Bency kept tearing out pages from magazines that he wanted me to add to the table. One was an advertisement for Breathe Right strips and another one was for kitty litter. I unfortunately had to over rule him on those selections.

Like I said, the table is not going to last much longer but at least it kept me busy this past week while we were all confined inside!


Hundreds of tiny squares

Hundreds of tiny squares




Personalized Kid’s Plates

My brother recently told me about a fun project he had seen using Sharpie markers. Basically, you can write on porcelain using a Sharpie marker and then put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Of course I was intrigued and just had to give it a whirl!

I bought 3 plain white plates at the Dollar Store.

Plain white plates from the Dollar Store

We had a basket full of Sharpies already but if you don’t have a basket full you need to buy some of these too! (You do not need a basket full…I have no idea why we have this many!)

That’s it!!

My kids and I sat down and drew away on our blank plates to personalize them and make them beautiful!

Iris drew herself and a unicorn on her plate, Bency drew himself and a zebra and I made a plate for my youngest son!

Afterwards we put them in the oven and fired them and we were done!

A few notes on this project:

  • Sharpies say they are non-toxic but I’m not sure you can actually eat off of them. I am only going to use these plates to serve cookies on or something like that.
  • I put these in the dishwasher to see how they held up. Everything was fine except for the red. It turned orange. Also the silver Sharpie came off on some places. The green, blue and black were perfect.
  • My kids absolutely LOVED this project!

The kids are proud of the plates they made all by themselves!

Rainy Day Fun

Here in Wisconsin it’s raining today! A welcome gift for the farmers…not always great for mom’s and kids! I thought I would share this idea in case the kids are driving you crazy!

Besides the obvious activity of playing in the rain on this unusually rare occasion this summer…..


Playing in the rain!!

Here is an indoor activity to keep you and the kids busy and promotes a LOT of laughing and learning!!

Do you remember Mad Libs as a kid?? I LOVED them! Hours of fun at sleep overs! I haven’t ran across one of those books in stores in years so we make our own. In case you’ve never had the pleasure of a Mad Lib marathon, the rules are simple. Write a story then omit key words throughout the story and ask the other person to fill in the blanks with only the suggestion of “noun,” “verb,” “adjective,” etc. Don’t let them know what the story is about…this is where the laughter comes in!

In case you’re not up for writing your own story there’s a much simpler way! Take one of your child’s story books, write down a few pages from the story and then take out some of the words. Ask your child for the nouns, verbs, adjectives that will properly fill in the story!

Today we did a portion from The Poky Little Puppy’s Naughty Day by Jean Chandler and Elvis Presley’s Love Me Tender story book.

Here was our outcome from Love Me Tender: (the italics indicates their input!)

Love me silly, love me exciting

In a second, let me go.

You have made my life complete.

And I love you so.

Love me colorful, love me plain,

All my lunch ladies fulfill.

For, my cutie pie, I love you, And I always will.

Love me cool, love me boring,

Take me to your Snowy Mountain.

For it’s there that I belong,

And we’ll never part


Our Mad Libs!


I hope you have fun on this rainy day!!

What do you like to do on rainy days? I’m always looking for more ideas!!!


Tin Foil Art

My children like responsibility and “jobs.” They like to help and feel they are making a contribution to our household. They are 7, 5 and almost 2 so I’m assuming this is a pretty common factor among children this age. I have a few things you can do with the kids that fit in the categories of “quick and easy” and “very little mess”…..once in awhile we do things that are more involved but easy is really my style!!


This is super simple! Give each kid a square of tin foil and some crayons. Now draw away! I used this opportunity to teach them how to draw the American Flag and fireworks because we did ours around 4th of July. We discussed the 13 colonies and 50 states. The only problem was then they asked me how fireworks were made. I just threw big words at them about chemical compounds and reactions and hoped they pay better attention in Chemistry class than I did. Anyway…..once you are done tell the kids they have just created you the most wonderful “bowl covers”


Image Bency and Iris’s Tin Foil Bowl Covers

Make Instant Pudding

Now, you’re probably thinking…”Wow, Melissa, what a novel are a genius (in a sarcastic tone). When I have only one child I do more in depth cooking with them (my 7 year old is a whiz in the kitchen and can be trusted to make cookies from scratch on her own.) When you have two, it’s harder so I keep it simple but it’s the “tool” I use. I have an old hand mixer that you have to crank by hand. They still sell these things for about $10 but I got mine at an estate sale. Any estate sale that belongs to a woman in her eighties will probably have one of these for a quarter. My kids love this along with my vintage cheese grater. Anyway, let them make the pudding and “crank” away. Let them choose the additions to the pudding…Pistachio pudding with banana slices anyone?? Now you can use one of those tin foil bowl covers and put in refrigerator. Use the pudding as an incentive to eat all their supper. This works like magic in our house…all their broccoli quickly disappears without a fight!


Making Pudding

Freezing Blueberries

Yesterday I bought 6 pints of blueberries. I cleaned them and told the kids to put them in storage bags for me so I could freeze them. I told the kids to do them one by one as blueberries are very delicate. This bought me a lot of time to do dishes and clean the kitchen. Every once in awhile I would do a small squeaky voice pretending I was a blueberry saying “Ow, someone squeezed me too hard.” The kids thought this was hilarious!

I hope this has given you some ideas you can do with your kids to make them feel they are contributing to the household and are important because frankly Kids are important!!!!

What kind of household jobs do you do with your kids? I’m always looking for more ideas!