Normally, I encourage the artisitic process around our house.

Yesterday, not so much.

This looks like a crime scene.

Fortunately for my two year old, I didn’t turn it into one.

We will be renting a steamer very shortly since she decided to paint the carpet which is ONLY ONE YEAR OLD as well.

I was cleaning up a room and thought my husband was watching her.

My husband was sitting with our son during his piano lesson and thought I was watching her.

There was some crying involved afterward and a discussion about how painting is only done on paper.

Apparently the message was not enough for any of us.

The next day I discovered her hiding behind this board…painting it.

Again, my husband and I both assumed the other had her.

We are idiots and she knows it.

When my husband questioned her about painting, she said, “I paint on paper.”

She’s really right.

It was hard to get angry with her when I realized there was a silver lining to all of this.

Her clothes stayed clean.

She worn an apron both times.

Thankful Turkey

This was originally posted last November when only 3 people read my blog – I will have our turkey ready for this Nov 1st as the kids have come to expect it now that this will be our third year sharing our thanks this way.

With the upcoming holidays I find my kids increasingly thinking about what they can get – i.e. video games or enormous toys. Therefore they have not set foot in a toy store since August and I hoard all toy catalogs that come to the house. I’ve been trying to really make it a point in the last year or two to help them think of others and be thankful for what they have.

Last year I made “Tom the Turkey” to help remind us that we are indeed lucky in many ways. I made Tom out of brown bags from the grocery store (yes I know cloth bags are important but sometimes you just need to have the brown bags for projects). Then I cut out feathers from construction paper that we had.

After dinner, everyone gets a feather and writes down what they are thankful for that day. Then we use a glue stick to put the feathers up. The boys seem to really enjoy this activity and won’t let us leave the table without filling out our feathers.

I included a picture of Tom from last year since this year’s turkey has tons of feathers covering his face.

thanksgiving turkey

A sampling of feathers from this year:

From the 8 year old:

I am thankful for….our car…having enough food on the table…going to Gramma & Grampa’s house for Thanksgiving….the Saints winning the Super Bowl.

From the 5 year old:

I am thankful for….Jesus & God…..the shepherd watching over me….going to Gramma & Grampa’s…..eating turkey (in reality he won’t touch the turkey or mashed potatoes with a 10 foot pole….Wyoming and Montana.

What can I say… the boy loves geography.

What are some of the ways your family shares what they are thankful for?

Todays Creative Blog Tuesday To Do Party

A Thought & A WINNER!

Here’s a random thought for you and then I’ll announce our giveaway winner.

Is it written in stone somewhere that moms are the only ones allowed to change the toilet paper roll?


Now onto the Creative Paige Christmas Card Design giveaway.

Someone is about to win a wonderful design from Paige and get to share it with their friends and family.

This is so exciting!

And the winner is…..

Who is that you ask? Why it’s …...

Congratulations Kerry!

Hey since you won a giveaway from my blog can I come visit you in Australia?

Totally kidding. Mostly. A bit. I’ll be there next week.

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway and thanks to Paige for giving everyone this opportunity.


Guest Post – Christmas Boxes

When I read through this post from Miss Maggie’s Place I knew it would be a great one to share with you. It allows children to be active participants in the giving process in a very simple yet important way. I was probably also drawn to the post since Jennifer is a Girl Scout leader. I have very fond memories of singing at a retirement home and helping others as a girl scout. Please take a moment to find out about this important program Jennifer works on with her troop and her family.

Hi my name is Jennifer. I’m thrilled to be doing a guest post today. I really appreciate Jen inviting me over to her awesome blog. I’m in my 5th year as a Girl Scout leader and I absolutely love working with girls. My blog is called Miss Maggie’s Place and you’ll find kids crafts, recipes for cooking with kids, Girl Scout ideas, and you’ll get to see a few of the sights around Georgia and South Carolina.

I wanted to share with you some information about Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child is an outreach of Samaritan’s Purse. The Samaritan’s Purse organization was founded by the Graham family over 40 years ago. They help those around the world who are affected by war, drought, disease and help them to break the cycle of poverty. They have several programs and one of them is Operation Christmas Child. You can check out this youtube video here:

At my house we love Operation Christmas Child. It teaches my kids to think of others and it makes them feel sooo good to help another child who is the same age as them. OCC is a shoebox ministry that provides a tangible gift for children living in desperate circumstances. With the shoebox also comes a program written in the child’s own language to help them understand God’s love for them. We have participated in this awesome ministry for several years. My kids love it and my Girl Scouts love it too. Last year over 8 million children in 130 countries received shoeboxes.

You will need a shoebox like this. You can also purchase a plastic shoebox from Wal-mart for about $1.

At Girl Scouts we’ll make 2 boxes. The girls make a list of what items they want to include and assign everyone what to bring. At home we do 1 girl box and 1 boy box. Since we have one of each.

1) Decide if you want your gift to be for a Boy or Girl 
2) Choose an age group – 2-4 yrs old, 5-9 yrs old, or 10-14 yrs old
3) Fill your shoebox with small toys, hygiene items, school supplies, hard candy, t-shirt and underwear.

The dollar bin at Target is a great place to find cute toys, stickers and socks. We also go to the Dollar Tree and we have been know to save Happy Meal toys for our boxes. You can also find t-shirts on clearance. Please don’t include any used items, liquids, chocolate, food or any war toys/soldiers.

You can print out a coloring sheet for your kids to fill out all about themselves and put inside the box check it out here

After your box is packed go to print out a label. Tape it to the top of your box. You’ll need to fill out the form & include a $7 check for shipping. If you decide to pay for shipping online they will track your shoebox and let you know what country it went to. I think that is super cool.

Write a short letter to the child and include a picture of your family. You can also include a self addressed stamped envelope and you just might get a letter back. My Girl Scout troop got a letter back from a little girl living in an orphanage in India. They girls were very excited to see who received our shoebox.

Collection week is November 14-21. To find drop off locations in your area call 1-800-353-5949 or visit the website. If you are interested in your group, organization or Sunday school class making boxes as a group you can request a packet & DVD by calling the 1-800 number or checking the website.

This is such an awesome ministry and it makes YOU feel so good to help a child in need.

Miss Maggie's PlaceJennifer, thanks for sharing with us a wonderful way to help others!

Remember to enter the GIVEAWAY today – the winner will be announced tomorrow

Mrs. Know It All

I was lucky enough to meet a woman who knows everything.

As in lucky, I mean she made me want to stab my eyes out as she spoke.

Being the only two token parents on a committee, we were seated next to each other while  ten teachers and two administrators looked on from other tables.

When introductions were required I stated that before staying home I taught special education and math at the elementary level.

Her credentials composed of currently being on six different committees in the community. With a flourish of her wrists, she added, “Giving back is what I do…I volunteer everyday of the week…My schedule is completely full…I just run from one place to another helping others who are less forunate than me…I don’t have any free time and I’m just exhausted at the end of the day….Volunteering, it’s just what I do.” Imagine this going on for another four minutes and my eyes rolling back in my head halfway into this speech.

You should have seen the look on the teachers’ faces. Utter disgust and complete apathy.

I wanted to crawl under a table since I know realized they were looking at me in same way. Given the proximity and the title of “parent” I am now guilty by association.

During the course of a break out session I learned from her that: 1) All standardized testing should be thrown out since it is worthless 2) Parents just need to make their children do their homework 3) Children should be scared of their parents to ensure discipline and 4) Her daughter would never do anything wrong because she has raised her right.

Good thing she has this parenting thing completely figured out.

Oh, did I mention her daughter is in kindergarten?

Mrs. Know-It-All and I have to meet three more times this year.

Just super.

Our next meeting focuses on the school budget. I am excited to find out how Mrs. Know-It-All will fix the budget concerns. It probably involves throwing out all of the district accountants because they’re worthless and maybe she’ll throw in the thought that teachers should just take a pay cut since it’s an 8 to 3 job.

Can’t wait for that meeting.

Monster Food & Mummy Wraps

We had our second annual Halloween party over the weekend and for the second time I forgot to take any pictures. I set up these photos after everyone had gone home and right before I crashed on the couch. In addition to the new food below, I also served the same food from last year.

Marshmallow Pops: Place stick through marshmallow, dip in chocolate, add sprinkles, thank husband for wonderful marshmallow holder he created, place in refrigerator for 20 minutes

Marshmallow Holder : spare wood with holes drilled into it

Food on a stick is always popular and these were no exception.

Chocolate Witch Fingers – Use a paint brush and melted chocolate to paint the fingernails. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for ten minutes. Fill up remaining space in the mold with different colored melted chocolate. Lay pretzel sticks into the chocolate and cover with more chocolate. Place in fridge for 20 minutes.

Chocolate Grave Stone: same idea as the fingers minus the pretzels

Halloween Cookies (known in our house as the Christmas cookies despite the shape of the cookie or the time of the year)

Alex and Andrew named and labeled all of the party food. Dracula’s Skin was banana bread slices while the Monster Teeth were Rice Krispie Treats. They had a lot of fun creating these…let’s just say the Marshmallow Pops above were labeled Frankenstein Poop. Yes, we through classy affairs around here.

Along with our party boards, there were games and crafts to keep the kids busy. A big hit with the 3 to 7 crowd was my Halloween Bingo, I gave plastic spiders to the winners.

The fourth grade crowd primarily ignored my games in favor of a football game but did decide to stop to play the “Mummy Wrap.”

Kids got into groups of two with a roll or two of toilet paper and wrapped each other as mummies.

That WRAPS up (Ha!) another edition of our Halloween party. The left over Rice Krispies have been eaten by me (about 20 in 2 days – NOT A JOKE!) and the games put away until next year. Hope your Halloween is filled with lots of sugar and dressing up.

Halloween Giving

As a parent, I am always trying to find ways to help instill “giving” and “thinking of others” in my children. My kids are very blessed and I would like them to view themselves that way one day, even now. I think it can be a delicate balance to try and keep kids innocent while at the same time allowing them to be informed people.  I try and choose opportunities which allow them to make some choices and feel ownership in their giving.

I was reading the paper a week ago when I came across this brief news item.

Kids Hospital Seeks Halloween Costumes

I instantly felt this was a project my kids could be involved in. This was the same hospital we had visited only a month earlier. Honestly, I hadn’t thought once about the kids at the hospital in October. I always thought about families celebrating Christmas at the hospital but never Halloween.

The costumes needed to be new and in a bag to limit germ exposure. They were looking for costumes in size 10 and up and 2 and under.

I showed the kids the article and asked them if they wanted to participate. The catch was that I asked them to donate $1 of their money to help cover the costs, I would pay the difference. My six year old immediately said yes while my nine year old was hesitant. After a little pressure from his brother he agreed.

After school one day I took them to the Halloween store and let them choose a costume to donate. They examined the costumes for fifteen minutes, discussing each one in detail.

They finally settled on a Clone Trooper costume from Star Wars. Caroline and I settled on a ladybug costume as our choice.

We paid for the costumes and left.

I was extremely proud of my children. Not once did the boys ask for a costume or an accessory and not once did they complain that their costumes were made from Goodwill clothing.

The kids went with my husband to the hospital to drop off the costumes. They left them at the front desk for the child life specialist to pick up and bring back to some deserving child.

Hopefully two ill children or their siblings will enjoy dressing up and being a kid in those costumes. More importantly, I hope this is a giving tradition our family will continue for many years.


Halloween Party Boards

Today I am sharing with you Party Boards I made for our Halloween party. These boards make great photo ops and the kids just love them, especially when the adults participate.

Here are the supplies you will need: wooden board, paint, tracer (although you could free hand it), chunky blocks
, and a photo of the image you want to create on your board.

Place the image under your tracer and use as much of the space as possible.

I used a red sharpie here to trace my lines but a black one would be even better. You will cover up your lines with paint in the next step.

Paint the sections of the image with your desired colors. For this Super Girl board I used paints I already had in my stash.

Once the entire piece is colored you will question whether the end product will turn out well. Do not worry. Forge ahead with your black paint pen or thick Sharpie. This tool will make all the difference in the world.

Cut two large blocks for legs and cut slits into their middles.

The large board then slides into the ground blocks in order for the structure to stand.

Cut out a hole for the face and you are ready to party!

Here are some other party boards we have made for parties.

Have fun creating your own party boards!

Remember to enter the GIVEAWAY for a free personalized Christmas card design – ends Friday

Becolorful Remodelaholic

A Creative Paige GIVEAWAY!

I’m so excited to introduce you to Paige from The Creative Paige. Her blog is new but quickly becoming the place to go. I was originally drawn to her site because I believe it is visually appealing (no wonder she’s a graphic artist) but then stayed around because it is filled with so many crafts. Paige has graciously agreed to give away a very special prize to one winner, one that your family will treasure for a long time. Take it away Paige!

Hey Big D and Me readers, I’m so excited to be here today to introduce myself and to share a little giveaway!

First off, I’m Paige from The Creative Paige. I’m a graphic designer/stay-at-home mom of two adorable little boys. We are currently living in Mexico and it’s been a great adventure so far. I have, however, had a hard time keeping up my craft habits. It’s hard to find supplies here and when you do find them, they are EXPENSIVE. So, I’ve had to find new, creative ways to continue my craftiness.

I really love creating printables because I don’t have to go driving around this crazy city looking for supplies…I can do it from the comfort of my own home. I love having inspirational words around me, so I use quotes and scripture for a lot of my printables. And of course, they are always free to download! Here’s a sample of some of my favorites:

Stop by and grab a few…print them or use them as your desktop wallpaper. And keep coming back, because there will definitely be more. I’m working on some Christmas printables…but it just doesn’t seem right to focus too much on Christmas at least until after Halloween!

However, in the spirit of Christmas…

I’m giving away a custom Christmas Card design to one lucky Big D and Me reader! I love creating Christmas cards…it’s a super fun time of the year for me to see so many great family pictures and help people make something special to send to their friends and family.

One winner will receive a custom card design file with their family picture that they can take and print at any local printer.

To enter: (leave a separate comment for each entry, 4 entries max)

1. Leave a comment on this post answering the question “Do you save people’s Christmas cards? How long? Do you display them?

2. Follow The Creative Paige on Google Friend Connect.

3. Follow Big D and Me on Google Friend Connect.

4. Follow The Creative Paige on Facebook.

One winner will be announced on Friday October 28th (you have until Thursday October 27th to enter)

Thanks Paige – I can’t wait to see the lucky winner’s design

Hurry up and enter! And remember to stop by The Creative Paige!

He Will Never Learn

My husband will never learn.

We’ve been married 14 years and he still doesn’t get it.

Maybe it’s the fact that he grew up in a family with only two children. He doesn’t have the hoarding tendencies that those of us with many siblings learned.

Whatever the reason, he is still dumbfounded to come home to this.

When there is a bag of Oreos open in our house, EAT THEM RIGHT AWAY!

I tried to tell him. “Dear, I opened a bag of Oreos in the pantry. They are hiding on the top shelf so the kids don’t see them. You need to go ahead and eat some before I eat them all.”

TWO DAYS LATER he goes to look in the pantry and is stunned to find the cookies gone.

I mean, two days later? When I say you need to go ahead and eat some, I mean RIGHT NOW because I am heading to the pantry as we speak.

I know he thinks I should feel bad but I don’t.

I mean, I TOLD HIM.

But, I will try again just like I always do … Derek there is a candy bar hidden on the top shelf of the pantry…go eat some NOW.