Saturday, November 30, 2013

one of my favorite Christmas traditions

25 Days - 25 Books
Tomorrow is December 1st, where did the time go? Honestly, it feels like we just celebrated Christmas a few months ago and here we are doing it again.
With the beginning of December on the horizon, I'm sharing one of my favorite holiday traditions.
We started doing this a few years ago and have been doing it ever since.
Gather all your children's Christmas or holiday related books
If you don't have very many, visit your local library and borrow some.  Every year, we have been buying new ones, so fortunately, we don't need to borrow as many.
Wrap them in some festive paper.
If you use a countdown to Christmas or an advent calendar, this makes a fun activity for your whole family. 
You can incorporate crafts or activities (such as light up night, or your town's Christmas parade, a family movie, baking cookies, etc.) and share some great story time with your children.
Each night have your children choose one book to open and read it together. 
Even though my children are old enough to read on their own, we still enjoy this little ritual.

Need some ideas for fun activities or crafts, check out the Kids Arts and Crafts page.
'tis the season!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

turkey day + science fun = cool project

As you all know by now, I am a college student.  My major is early childhood education (pre-k through 4th grade).  This semester, one of my courses is a field experience class.  I was assigned a mentor teacher and classroom to observe for 30 hours.  I loved every minute of it.
I got to observe an awesome teacher in a third grade classroom. 
While I was observing the class they were learning about fingerprinting, rubbing and wicking in science class.   They did a lot of cool projects.  They played a fun fingerprinting clue game, rubbed various objects like lace, leaves and other neat things and they also did a really neat wicking project, which I will blog about one day when me and the boys do it. 
To celebrate Thanksgiving and to tie in all their lessons, the teacher came up with this cool turkey project.  She had a body of a turkey printout that she had the kids rub while coloring the body.  It was fun seeing what they chose to rub...most of them chose to use their chairs, while others used the bottom of their shoes, the side of a basket and even the air conditioner/heating vent.
Next, she used a red ink pad and had the students stamp their fingerprints on the turkey as the gobbler.  The children wrote down the words "rubbing", "wicking" or "fingerprinting" on their turkeys.
Then, she had them color a few lines on some coffee filters and the kids used water droppers to make the colors wick together in a super cool design.
And the final result were these really beautiful, colorful, fun turkeys.
What an awesome way to tie in all those cool science lessons!!
I'm going to miss 'my' kids now that my observations are finished....luckily I get to do it all over again next semester - only this time I will be observing a preschool class.
May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving full of family, joy and food
from our family to yours.

Monday, November 25, 2013

made these tonight....

Harvest Pumpkin Cupcakes
(from 101 Gourmet Cupcakes in 10 Minutes)

1 box spice cake mix
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
½ cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips

Mix together cake mix, eggs, milk, vanilla, pumpkin, chocolate and butterscotch chips. Pour the batter into paper liners, filling ¾ full. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes until the cakes are light golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

*Frosting Suggestions: Chocolate Ganache, Chocolate Buttercream, Cream Cheese or Vanilla Buttercream

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 ¾ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and light. Stop the mixer and add sugar, and vanilla extract. Start mixer on slow and gradually increase the speed until frosting is fluffy. Frost and refrigerate. Sprinkle with grated nutmeg for added flavor and presentation. 

I used white chocolate chips instead of the butterscotch and chocolate, because I didn't have any....I know how shocking, huh? My baking supplies are dwindling.  Note to self: must restock supplies with Christmas baking coming soon.

I also didn't add the nutmeg for garnish and opted for leaf shaped sprinkles.
These cupcakes are so delicious and moist...super yum!
I have the recipe posted on my recipe page.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I Want My Mommy (Book Review)

I Want My Mommy is a sweet story about a little guy named Arthur.  The book is about Arthur's first day apart from his mommy and how much he misses her.  Even dressing up in his dragon suit and playing with grandma's stuffed dragon doesn't help to cheer him up.  He is one grumpy, grouchy little guy who jumps and runs to the door each time the doorbell rings, thinking his mommy is coming back to get him.  Each time he is disappointed by the visitors, until his grandma gets a special delivery...this leads them to a fun adventure of play until his mommy comes home.
Arthur learns that spending the day with grandma can be fun after all, but nothing beats hugs and kisses from his mommy.

This book reminds me of when my children were little and I had to leave them for the first time - it's just as hard for mommy as it is for little ones.  I loved this book, it is so cute!
The book is written by Tracey Corderoy and illustrated by Alison Edgson.
I Want My Mommy and other great books are available at Tiger Tales.

*Disclosure: I received this book for review purposes only, I was not compensated in anyway.  The opinions herein are my own.