Friday, September 27, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

Just when I start to feel sad that summer is over, it hits me...I LOVE Fall too!  There is so much to love about Fall.  

Apple picking
Putting on a big, warm sweater when the air becomes crisp and cool
Pumpkin everything - lattes, bread, bagels, cookies, pie...
Hot chocolate and s'mores 
Going to the pumpkin patch over and over
Carving pumpkins
Halloween is right around the corner...
...And then Thanksgiving...
...And then Christmas!

So much to look forward to!

We had really nice weather last weekend so we headed over to Rombach Farm and Pumpkin Patch for their grand opening weekend.  It was Clara's first visit to a pumpkin patch!

If the pumpkin patch that you visit sells pumpkin butter you have to buy it.  As much as I love pumpkin-y treats, I can't believe that I had never tried pumpkin butter before.  It is AMAZING on toast!  It's become my new favorite breakfast.  Yummy!

If you live in the St. Louis area, Pumpkinland at Thies Farm and Eckert's Millstadt Farm are both opening this weekend (September 28th)!!

If you live outside of St. Louis and want to find a pumpkin patch in your area, visit Pick Your Own.

Happy Fall!

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Thankful Pumpkins

At the beginning of fall last year, the girls and I made our Thankful Turkey to help us remember all the things we have to be thankful for.
We hung the Turkey on the refrigerator and added "feathers" written with our thankful messages throughout fall.  I had to come up with a new idea this year because Clara can pull herself up on the fridge and eats anything that we have hanging on it!  Many of the girls' school projects have ended up in the trash because Clara got a hold of it hanging on the fridge.  That girl sure does like eating paper!

So this year, we are making Thankful Pumpkins!
I'm starting to get ready for Clara's pumpkin-themed 1st birthday party so the Thankful Pumpkins that will double as party decorations!

Here are the supplies that you need for one pumpkin:
- 2 sheets of orange printer paper
- 1 sheet of green paper
- 2 brass fasteners
- 1 green pipe cleaner

Here's how you make the pumpkin:
1.  Click here to download the "I'm thankful for..." file and print it out on your orange paper.
2.  Cut the orange paper into 2 inch strips and write what you (or your child) is thankful for.
3.  Cut out two leaves from your green paper.  I used a black Sharpie to outline the leaves.
4.  Puncture both ends of the orange strips of paper and the ends of the leaves.  To do this, I laid the paper on a piece of cardboard and used the tip of a sharp knife to puncture the paper.
5.  Secure the end of the orange strips of paper furthest from the "I'm thankful for..." writing with the brass fastener.  This will be the bottom of your pumpkin.  Don't load the strips of paper onto the brass fastener in clockwise/counter clockwise order or your pumpkin will be lopsided.  Does that make sense?
6.  Thread the brass fastener down through the green leaves.  Then bring the ends of the orange strips of paper up to form a pumpkin and thread the brass fastener through (remember to NOT go in a clockwise/counter clockwise order).  See pictures with leaves above.
8.  Before securing the brass fastener, loop the green pipe cleaner around and under the top of the brass fastener.  See picture with leaves above.
9.  Curl the pipe cleaner with your finger or around pencil.

I can't wait to start making some pumpkin treats!!  I love this time of year!

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Independent Play with Purpose

For some reason I thought that my days would be a bit easier with Ava in full day kindergarten and Sidney in preschool 3 mornings a week.  I'm down to one or two kids at home most days so that should be easier, right?  Somehow it feels much harder. Sidney is having a tough time adjusting to Ava being gone all day.  She misses her playmate. I've become her new playmate which means I'm not getting a whole lot done.

I've been trying to find some good educational activities for Sidney that she can do independently AND that don't require a ton of preparation or clean up.  Here are some ideas that I found through Pinterest:

Sensory Bag (Kids Activities Blog)

Dry Erase I Spy (All Our Days)

Matching Blocks (All Our Days)

Muffin Tin Sorting (All Our Days)

Pom Pom Stuff (All Our Days)

Scissor Exercises (Happy Hooligans)

Some other activities that always seem to keep my kids busy:
- Puzzles
- Making cards for family members (The only thing my kids love more than mailing cards is getting cards in the mail!)
- Stringing beads
- Cutting up pieces of paper and decorating a picture from a coloring book by gluing the paper scraps to the picture
- Gooey Gunk - A fun alternative to Playdough without the messy clean up!

If you are looking for some fun toys that are also educational, these are a few of our family favorites:
- Imaginets

- LeapFrog LeapReader

- High Five Magazines

- Symphony in B

Feel free to share your ideas too!

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

St. Louis Groupon Deals for Families

Hello St. Louis Friends!  

I found a couple of great Groupon deals that I wanted to pass along.

The Wiggles are coming to the Peabody Opera House on Wednesday, September 18th at 6:30pm.  Here's the deal:

$15 for the rear side-orchestra sections (up to a $32.60 value)

$22 for the rear center-orchestra sections (up to a $45.90 value)

Click here to purchase tickets.  Hurry! The offer expires tomorrow (Friday, September 13th)!

If your family is planning on visiting Eckert's Millstadt Farm before October 4th, you can buy a Groupon for half off admission for up to four family members.  The regular price is $10 per person ages 2 and up.  Click here for the deal.  You have 5 days left to buy this Groupon.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Gooey Gunk (aka: Space Goop)

My in-laws bought the girls this fun DVD:

The DVD shows how to make the concoctions step by step.  There is also a booklet with the instructions.

We've only made one so far - Gooey Gunk (which my kids have renamed Space Goop).  It was a big hit.  It's super stretchy too!

It's very easy to make.  Here's what you need:
Solution A Ingredients:
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbsp liquid tempera paint or 7-10 drops food coloring (See Note below)
- 1 cup (three 4 oz bottles) white glue

Solution B Ingredients:
- 1 1/3 cups warm water

- 4 tsp. Borax laundry booster

How to Concoct It:
1. Mix ingredients for Solution A together in a medium bowl.
2. In a second medium bowl, mix the ingredients for Solution B together until the Borax is completely dissolved.  I used my hands.  The solution was a little bit grainy but mostly dissolved.
3. Slowly pour Solution A into Solution B.  Do not mix!
4. Using your hands, roll Solution A around in Solution B 4 or 5 times.
5.  Lift Solution A out of Solution B and knead for 2-3 minutes.  As you knead it, it will begin to dry.
6. Store Gunk in and airtight container or zip bag.

I used at least 10 drops of McCormick red food coloring and our Gunk turned out pink, which was perfect for my girls.  However, if you need a specific color, you may want to try using Wilton food coloring instead.  I didn't try the paint so I can't say how the color will turn out.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Grandparents Day Card

Grandparents Day sneaked up on me this year.  It has been a busy past couple of weeks with Ava starting school and TODAY is Sidney's first day of preschool.  I am just treading water right now.

I did manage to do some Pinterest research over the long weekend and made this cute little card with the girls.

Click here to download the printable file (there are different versions for however many thumbprints you need).  I printed the file on regular white printer paper and then double stick taped it to red card stock.

I also found some fun ideas on Tip Junkie for other Grandparents Day gifts and activities.

And click here for a link to our 2012 Grandparents Day gift.

Grandparents Day is on Sunday, September 8th!  
Have a good one!

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