Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our Art Center

It all started with those 4 terrible crayons and a coloring sheet they give to me at restaurants... oh, and my love for coloring.  Evidently, I get it from my mom.  She decided if it was fun to color at restaurants, why can't we do it at the home dinner table, I guess.  Here's what it turned into:


It's got just about everything I could possibly want to create art.  The basics of course are: paper, crayons, markers and coloring books.  You could simply put those items in a basket and keep them in your dining room, but not my mom...she takes it a few steps further.
 
Our art center is a complete with a wide assortment of how to draw books, construction paper, coloring and activity books, crayons, colored pencils, markers, pens, pencils, a variety of scissors, erasers, glue, glue sticks, crayon sharpener, stapler, ruler, protractor and a stamp with my name- to mark my creations.  In the drawers, you will find play-doh, stencils and other odds and ends (just because I am sure I am forgetting something).  It's awesome!

Mom's Note:  The whole thing really happen by accident.  We have so many art supplies and they were always tucked into some drawer where we couldn't easily get to them.  One day, I brought this "magazine rack" (bought at IKEA) home from work and didn't know what to do with it.  We also just happen to have the lazy suzanne that Tanner insisted we get (from the IKEA bits and pieces section). We bought some fun colored cups in a variety of sizes to put our utensils in and there you have it.  It just started becoming the dumping ground for all of our art supplies. Now everything is right at our fingertips for creative fun. If you have any questions about it, please don't hesitate to email me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ornament Collection

One tradition we do every year that is easy to start at your house is an ornament collection.  You can make one every year or pick a certain type to get every year.  We are a little crazy over Christmas at our house, so we have a few different collections... my mom collects angel ornaments... and if she only gets one new one every year... based on her collection she is really, really old (but, please don't tell her I said that). 

My grandma started a collection for me that I call starflakes... they are beautiful ornaments made out of crystal and each year they create a new snowflake shape.  I call them starflakes because they sparkle so much and look like snowflakes. 

I have always loved trains, so my mom also started collecting train ornaments for me when I was little.  She also saves the ones that I make. 


An easy and fun way to start this at your house is to make an ornament that works as a picture frame and take a picture of your family each year to put in the ornament you make... you will have a fun activity to do together and a picture as you grow. 

Here is one of ours from a few years ago:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Learning on a SNOW DAY!

Snow, snow, snow and more snow.  It's got to be my most favorite part of this season.  That's all I need for an excellent day.  Throw in a friend and it's fun with no end.  Well, until mom tells us it's time for him to go home.  I put in a full day playing in the snow.  Building forts, sledding- and repeat and repeat and repeat.

LATER...


My mom and I went to enjoy another one of the best parts of this season (other than snow). Time with friends-- cooking!

Or in this case, learning to cook.  It was an extra special treat that Maureen would teach us how to make something that is a tradition for her to make every year.

All of Maureen's friends and family look forward to receiving her was English Toffee.  Yummy!  It was really fun to hang out with everyone and take turns stirring, while telling stories, sharing memories... while making some too.

ALL IN ALL.... Really great day!  :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tell me about your day...

[This entry is from mom.]                     

Each evening at bedtime, I talk with Tanner about his day.  There are 3 questions I ask every night. 

1.  What was the WORST part of your day?
2.  What was the BEST part of your day?
3.  What are you MOST THANKFUL for today?

Today, he didn't have a worst part (which happens more than you would think).  I tend to ask a few more times:  Well, what was your least favorite part of the day... tell me about something you would have liked to have happened differently...etc.  I think it's important to confront the bad stuff, deal with it and move forward. 

To the Best and Most Thankful parts.... they almost always surprise me.  We parents think we know what our children find most important, but these little conversations have taught me so much about what really impresses Tanner, what means the most to him.... it's not new toys, tv shows, etc.  I believe most children would have similar answers. It's important to give them a chance to express themselves.

Today Tanner's best part of his day was getting to play in the snow with his friends at school, again afterschool at G'ma and G'pa's and again, at home with mommy.  He was thankful to have warm clothes that made it possible for him to play in the snow for so long.

The final part of our nightly ritual is prayers and praises... today I took the lead.... I praised God for giving me an incredible little boy that reminds me how to enjoy life, especially on the days when I forget.  We prayed for all the people who have to travel in this weather; to please keep them warm and get them where they need to be safely.

Here's our snow versions of us:



Monday, December 7, 2009

The snow is coming, The snow is coming.

Great news isn't it... that we are going to get some great snow.  Last year for Christmas, my mom gave me a snowman kit.  It has a bunch of different stuff (mom calls it an assortment of items) to put on the snowman once I have rolled him all up and put him all together... there are foam pieces to use for eyes and buttons, with close pins to hold them in place... hats and scarves, sunglasses... all sorts of fun stuff.  I will have her post pictures later in the week.

Tonight, I pulled out my sand toys and created what I could with the little bit of snow still on the ground.  You can use your imagination and grab some stuff from the kitchen (ask a grown-up if it's okay) and see what you can create.  Feel free to email us pictures-- we'd love to see your creations.

 Here's mine:                         



Here's a close-up of the creation I made with the sand toys:

                     

     

I like Mike!

Our first two followers are both named Mike.  So, I've decided... that today is "I LIKE Mike" Day.  Thanks, Mike(s).  We are glad to have you following us.... and hopefully many more, both Mikes and non-Mikes are welcome.  Right now, we really seeem to have an "M" theme going.... :)

  We also want to know if you have blogs... so, we can follow you too!  :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The World is just AWESOME!

One of my favorite channels is Discovery-- from Cash Cabs and Dirty Jobs to Mythbusters, Smash Lab and Time Warp and don't forget When We Left the Earth... all of it!  So, everytime this commercial came on I wanted her to see it... that finally happen tonight and she liked it (or like that I like it) so much, she went and found it on YouTube and now I want to share it with you... cause I know you will love it too!

(If you double-click the picture, it will take you to the youtube page and it's bigger there!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thinkin' about great people....

Tonight my mom and I wrote notes to people in our lives we are thankful for.  Thank goodness she didn't make me write them to EVERYONE I am thankful for... so, if you don't get one don't feel bad.  I still don't write that fast and I drew a turkey on the bottom of each one with a speech bubble that said, "gobble, gobble".  It was fun.  We are lucky to have lots of great people to help take care of us.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Come Say Hi or sign up for a shift

I'm so excited!  I'm so excited!  I'm so excited!  I get to ring the bell again this year.  My mom and I will be at Sears Essentials on Riverside on Black Friday, November 27 from 4-6 p.m. to Ring Bells for the Salvation Army.  We have so much fun... we put on our Christmas hats and sing songs..... and tell everyone who passes through--  MERRY CHRISTMAS!  It's like the official kick-off to the Christmas season.  Then, we get a Christmas tree... a real one, of coarse.. right there from the Christmas tree forest in the parking lot and take it home and decorate it.  Don't worry I will get my mom to post some pictures. 





Come say hi or go to http://www.ringbells.org/ to pick a shift to ring some bells.  Here's my mom to tell you why she likes it.

MOM's NOTE:  It's two hours of community service where Tanner gets to use all of his energy and his fabulous skill for making noise for a good cause.  It's really hard to say no to this one. 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lights Festival on Chicago's Magnificent Mile

Earlier today my mom and I drove into Chicago to meet our friend Wendy.  She lives in Chicago and knows how to get to all the fun places.  She took us downtown to the Lights Festival...

We got to see a concert, a a couple of free Cuties (clementines--they are super yummy), I got to make a snowman out of marshallows from Whole Foods, ....so much fun stuff and it was all free--which my mom says is really important right now. 



One of our favorites parts was accidentally catching the Holiday Train-- my mom and I had never heard of it.  We were waiting for the train to come and I was looking down the tracks.  I told my mom and Wendy that I thought a medical train was coming because the lights were different colors and it looked like there were lots of lights.  I had no idea it was the CTA Redline Holiday Train.  What a treat!


The best part of all was getting to meet Ralph Covert (right).  He is a great musician.  We have loved his music for years.  I must admit.  I didn't really know it was him.  We listen to him, so much more than I see him... but, he autographed a bookmark for me and when I saw the pictures on the bookmark I knew EXACTLY who it was and started singing one of my favorite songs of his.... well, I was going to have my mom post a link here, but we were having trouble picking just one.  We will make another post about Ralph's World til then, feel free to check out his website: http://www.ralphsworld.com/ there's lots of music to listen to there... try to pick a favorite, I dare ya.. it's really, really hard.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This, that and the other on the internet...

The blog I do with a little help from my mom.  There are a few place she lets me enjoy on the internet on my own.  A couple of my favorites are StarWars.com, Cartoon Network online, Club Penguin, I still check out Webkinz every now and then, when I'm not tending to our Farmville farm, Restarant City or Roller Coaster Kingdom on Facebook.  There are also a bunch of cool Christmas websites, we had fun with Elf Yourself tonight, check it out.....


Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Monday, November 16, 2009

Operation Christmas Child

This is our Operation Christmas Child collection of shoeboxes from 2008.  Each year our church collects, decorates and fills shoesboxes to children all over the world. 

They send this boxes to give the kids items that they don't have that kids like me, just have... like toothpaste and a toothbrush, socks, sometimes we even send shoes... we also include notebooks, pencils, pencil sharpeners, washcloth with soap... and then, we fill the boxes with other stuff they will enjoy like candy, stickers, toy cars (and dolls for the girls). 


My church packed over 1000 boxes this year.  It was tons of fun to pack all these little presents.  This Saturday we will take them to be shipped to the kids, so they will arrive in time for Christmas.  I feel really lucky to get take part in something like this-- even if you don't pack Christmas boxes you and your family can do something else to families in need.