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Showing posts from November, 2012

Weekly Kid's Co-Op: Ice Play-Babies Thru Pre-K

I have a confession. I love seeing all the great Christmas and Holiday Arts, Crafts, Baking, etc. everyone is doing, but still have not put up any Christmas/Holiday decor at our house and only just today did a Christmas craft with Wild Thing whose excitement over the Christmas tree up at the community center when he has play group finally got me in gear.

Don't misunderstand, it is not that I do not enjoy the holidays and getting into the spirit, but I am one of those people who finds it hard to get going with it before December. So, while lots of great Holiday activities/Christmas crafts jumped out from the activities linked-up with the Co-Op last week, in the end I decided to highlight the great Colored Ice Play from Octavia and Vicky -- mainly because Ice Play is such a hit at our house with both Caterpillar (for several months now) and Wild Thing.

What is so great about this post on Colored Ice Play is not only the variety of activities they do with the colored ice, but also the…

Still Got Turkey? My Favorite Turkey Leftover Creation - Chili!

Chili may not be an obvious choice for turkey leftovers, but it is a yummy choice. I drew my inspiration from White Chicken Chili (rather than your traditional dark chili that includes tomatoes). I have made White Chicken Chili before using shredded chicken and chicken sausage. It is always a hit.

The recipe I used for my leftover turkey drew inspiration from this recipe by Ree at the Pioneer Woman Cooks, but I improvised a bit and did not strictly adhere to the recipe. Here is my ingredient list and step-by-step.
Basic ingredients: butter or oil, onion, garlic, turkey, chicken stock, green chiles (fresh or canned), bell pepper (optional), cornmeal or corn muffin mix, cilantro and spices - I like chili, cumin, red pepper flakes, red pepper (cayenne), black pepper and salt. (White beans are a great addition, I just did not have any on hand). 
Once the pepper and onion had simmer a bit, add 3 chopped garlic cloves and let all of that simmer for awhile before adding some chicken stock…

{Ten for Giving Tuesday} Things That REALLY Go!! Giving That Goes the Distance...

This Tuesday should be all about Buses and Boats...that was the plan, post #4 in my Things That Go! Series. However, this Tuesday is not just a typical Tuesday. It is Giving Tuesday, and the first Giving Tuesday ever. If you follow my blog at all, you will not be surprised  to discover that I am taking a break from my transportation Ten for Tuesday series to focus on this important day -- a day for us all to pause from the spending/shopping frenzy that started with Black Friday, continued through Small Business Saturday and peaked with Cyber Monday and take a moment to focus on a different type of giving -- giving that really goes the distance.

Today, I support No Kid Hungry, an organization committed to ending child hunger in the U.S., where 1 in 5 children still struggle with hunger (that is 16 million), an organization that can turn $1 into 10 meals for a child in need. 

I would be hard pressed to find any $1 gift I could buy that could have such significance. I invite all of you to …

Teaching Gratitude #5: Grateful for 21 Days of Gratitude

The wonderful 21 Days of Gratitude Challenge from Inspired by Family Magazine has, technically, come and gone with over 1,000 people from around the world taking part in some way or another. I have gained so much from this practice, through focusing on Appreciation rather than I Wants...

...Midway through the challenge, I shared 11 things I was grateful for (in response to the prompts that Mari from Inspired by Family Magazine laid out at the beginning of the challenge). I also shared some of my favorite posts from other bloggers during the challenge. 

Now, I want to come full circle by sharing my responses to her last 13 prompts:

12. An experience you had - This one is really difficult, since I am grateful for so many experiences that I have had, but since I have to pick one, I will select the experience of having lived and studied abroad in Egypt (13 years ago). Though there are many reasons that I am grateful for this experience (which could fill a post or two), I will focus h…

Weekly Kid's Co-Op: Wild Thing Picks (#2)

Since I love art and play activities that use recycled materials (as any regular reader knows), my initial instinct was to feature the many cool art activities and holiday items from the co-op last week that were made from recycled materials. However, Housing A Forest already did that. (Yeah!) So, I encourage you to check out her post too. 

(If you love creating art and play experiences from recycled materials, check out my Recycled Play/Art post featuring many of my favorite activities from the blog using recycled materials, any of the posts in my Simple Baby Play Series, and any of the three posts in my Things That Go! Series, all of which highlight lots of ways to use recycled items to create cars, trucks, trains, etc.)

In terms of features from the co-op last week, I decided to (again) let Wild Thing (my 3 year-old) pick. He must have been hungry because 2 of his 4 favorite ones were fun snacks. Here are his picks (and his commentary).

"Wow! Look at that!!" (AKA Monster S…

Black Friday Confession

Yes, I have a Black Friday Confession and my confession is not that I have a Black Friday obsession Nor do I wait for Small Business Saturday to splurge or Cyber Monday to grab all the amazing internet deals that emerge
My Black Friday Confession is that on Friday I stay home In fact I cannot remember the last time that on that Friday I did roam out to the stores to find some amazing deals I found that family time at home had much more appeal
This year I plan to keep this tradition that is now so special to me staying at home with my precious family I do plan, however to add a new spin and to do so with a big grin, grin, grin
You see after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are through a new dawn rises this year for me and for you to give in a new way and celebrate the spirit of the season through Giving Tuesday, and this is my reason
When Wild Thing got his birthday money this year his instinct was to give and to share not to buy a new toy or candy or train gear He wanted to give hi…

{Ten for Tuesday} Things That Go Series: Week #3 - Cars!

If you have been following the series, you know that we have done trains and trucks so far (in order of how much Wild Thing preference). Cars are definitely a close 3rd for him. You will also know that we share 10 ways to learn/play/read/create/eat, etc. with our favored mode of transportation for that week. Please enjoy this cars activities round up! 

1. Reading + Learning with Cars - The Pleasantest Thing says that Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry is a hit at her house and shared a fun activity that she did with the book (her activity uses real food, but you could also do it with pretend food and/or playdough). In Lieu of Preschool recommends I Can Draw: Cars and Trucks by Terry Longhurst, though I think Wild Thing is not quite ready for this one, My Little Bookcase highlighted Who's Driving on her site (a Leo Timmers book that looks fantastic) and Teach Preschool recommends My Car by Byron Burton and shows how she had students make cars after reading the book

{November Virtual Book Club} Coulda Woulda Shoulda!!

Every month since I joined up with the Virtual Book Club for Kids, I have posted pretty much right on time with the linky/blog hop.
Today, though, I will not be sharing the ways that we move, draw, eat and learn with a Tomie dePaola book. Instead, I am sharing what we coulda, woulda and probably shoulda done and why we have not (yet). We coulda read The Popcorn Book and eaten popcorn (special pop it in the microwave right off of the cob popcorn that we got from our farmshare), moved up and down pretending to be popcorn, made a popcorn craft and learned that some corn on the cob will pop and some will not. That is what we coulda done. Or maybe we woulda read The Art Lesson and done a big mural painting that encouraged gross motor skills (moving), another art project inspired by the book, made some edible art using frosting and sugar cookies and learned about different types of art. That is what we woulda done. Or...we shoulda read The Quilt Story and moved like the caterpillar on one …