Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Easter Egg project!

It's only 2 weeks until Easter, and I'm sure many of you are thinking about dying eggs. I love to get creative with my eggs, so I asked my friend Stacy if I could repost her ingenious egg decorating entry from her blog, Enjoying Motherhood.

Silk Tie-dyed Easter Eggs Tutorial

Few things scream "EASTER" as much as dyeing Easter eggs....let's face it...what other time in the year do you care what color the outside of an egg is?!?! In the event that you want to mix up your dyeing process this year (or you're like me and don't want to have to run out to get colored tablets) try this fun way to spruce up your eggs.

You'll need some pretty simple things:

Eggs, silk pieces (ours are an old tie that we cut up), twist ties or short pieces of wire, and plain cotton simply has to be undyed.  You also need a pot of water with 3 tbps vinegar added.


Next you take your silk piece and wrap the egg with it. Secure the ends with the twist ties.



Do the same thing with the cotton pieces, placing over the silk piece.  Place the eggs into the pot of water/vinegar.

 Then place on the stove. Bring to boiling.



Once you hit boiling turn it down to simmer. Let simmer for 40 can go longer if you want.  Then use the scraps to play. :)

 When they've been in the allotted time unwrap and enjoy!


 Rub with vegetable oil to get them to shine!

Thanks to Stacy for this Fabulous project! Happy Easter everyone!

About Stacy: Stacy is a stay at home mom living in Minnesota on her 4th year of formal homeschooling (she says, "But let's face it...ALL families homeschool to some degree, right?") who started her blog because I wanted to ENJOY, rather than SURVIVE motherhood. "The blog was a way to keep myself accountable to that goal while encouraging other Mommies (and Daddies!) to do the same." Stacy's is raising her children in a Christian life to "KNOW that they loved by their Savior and live out His love to others" through values such as creativity, honesty, humility, servant-mindness and love for others.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Colorful Life

I grew up with white walls. And, for some people, there's nothing wrong with white walls. But I am not a white wall person. I LOVES me some color.  So, like I was saying, my first 18 years were spent with white walls. Then I lived in dorms or apartments with more white walls, where painting was not allowed. Twenty-nine years of my life, I lived with white walls. But Then we moved to Ithaca and bought a house.....and I went a little crazy.

My favorite color is orange.  I'd dreamed of having an orange kitchen.  That was the first room we painted. I heard somewhere that if you want to make sure contrasting colors will look good together, find colors that go together in nature. Like, if you look at a flower or a piece of fruit, it will have many different colors in it. I took this and ran with it. 

The next big room I tackled was about 2 years later when the nesting urges came with baby number 2.  This was the family room.  This room is a large open space that acts as our play room, as well as one of the main entrances to our house.  I wanted a fun but classy feel to the room. After thinking about the color for what seemed like forever, I kept coming back to our daughter's play table and how much I loved the lime green color. I found the EXACT same color in Lowe's Olympic Premium low VOC paint and figured it must be a sign.  Our family room has some beams that I didn't want to get paint on, so I created a white boarder all along the top of the room.  I taped out "frames" to keep white and hand painted the murals. I painted some of our mismatched furniture off white to match the couch and chair.

We had these beautiful couches and after much contemplation, we decided to paint the living room and dining room red and tan.  This is the only room I can find before pictures of. What a difference some color makes! If only we'd known to use a tinted primer.  That red took over 5 coats.

Finally, I wanted our entry way to be warm and inviting and flow with the living room and the family room.  I found this color combo on a piece of clearance fabric I had purchased a year earlier. If you look closely at the pillow on the living room couch and the top of the shelf in the entryway, you'll see the fabric. It contains the red, the green and this entryway coral color.

By the way, I used that Olympic Premium low VOC paint in every room except the kitchen (and also in rooms not pictured). Its fabulous color has held up well.  The green gets visible scratches and prints more than the other colors, but I'm very happy overall. 

Looking at these pictures made me laugh at how bare all the rooms feel.  They were taken soon after the painting, and before the rooms had been well lived in.  I doubt my house will ever be that clean again, but that's okay. Our rooms are filled with toys and papers and shoes and clothes and messes; but most of all, they are filled with love and happy memories.  And that's what makes a house a home. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kindergarten Registration time

I recently received an email from a friend with Ithaca School District Kindergarten registration information.  I've copied it below.  I'm looking into registration for other area school districts and will post them as soon as I have that info.  If you have information on Lansing, Dryden, Newfield, Trumansburg or other area schools, please post it in the comments section. Thanks!

Parents/guardians living in the Ithaca City School District who plan to send their children to kindergarten in September must register them in the schools to which they are assigned:

Belle Sherman (274-2206):  April 25, May 10 and May 11
Beverly J. Martin (274-2209):  April 23, May 3 and May 10
Caroline (539-7155):  April 26, May 15
Cayuga Heights (257-8557): May 31, June 1 and June 4
Enfield (274-2221):  May 11 and May 18 (11 am to 2pm)
Fall Creek (274-2214):  May 8, May 9
Northeast (257-2121):  May 1 and May 3
South Hill (274-2129):  April 17 and April 19

Parents/guardians who have not already been contacted by the school should call their school immediately to set up an APPOINTMENT to register their child for kindergarten.  If you are not sure which school is your home school, call 274-2201.  Parents/guardians should have the following information at the time they register their child for kindergarten:
- Proof of residency (lease, utility bill, bank statement)
-Proof of birth (birth certificate or passport)
-Proof of required immunizations including a copy of the most recent routine physical examination
-Relevant health and development history
-Other important information related to previous pre-kindergarten schooling

Parents/guardians who are open enrolling their kindergartners:  Since open enrollment decisions will not be made until after kindergarten registration (early summer), you must register your child in your home school.  You may call 274-2201 to learn which elementary school your child is assigned by residence.  If your child currently attends pre-K in the ICSD, he/she is already registered and you do not have to make an appointment

Monday, March 5, 2012

Best Purchase Ever

Perhaps the best $20 I have ever spent in my life was used this January, when I purchased a Dirt Devil Versa Power Stick Vacuum.

Nora is now nearly 4 ½ and the preschool drive for “a place for everything and everything in its place” is especially strong at this age. She’d been tossing her jacket and boots right where everyone walks in from the door, but the second I hung hooks at her level and designated a shelf for her boots, she’s been putting them away ever since. I’ve taken advantage of her love of “grown-up jobs” by giving her special chores around the house. She is hopeless at sweeping, but enjoys folding washcloths and small towels, matching socks, putting away her clothes, etc.

This being said, I’m an inconsistent cleaner and thereby inconsistent with designating tasks. And picking up toys must be considered a “kid job” because it is far less appealing to Nora than setting the table. Every corner and spare countertop in my house is covered with my piles of papers, and toys and crafts and books often live on the floor instead of their designated shelves and bins. To make matters worse, even when the floors are free of debris, both kids think that the vacuum is too loud and scary and flee to the farthest corner of the house should I think to turn it on.

One day I was grumbling over popcorn crumbs all over the floor of the just-cleaned-yesterday living room, Nora suggested she vacuum them up with our older-than-dirt-can’t-hold-a-charge dust buster. She and Finn then proceeded to vie for turns with the silly little thing until it wouldn’t run anymore (approximately 3 minutes). They then took turns pretending to vacuum with their toy Dust Buster vacuum that I had purchased 3 years ago for 5 bucks on after Christmas clearance. I thought to myself, probably for about the hundredth time, “Gee, I wish I had a real vacuum that Nora could use, because then all that pushing would actually also clean my house.”

Well, that day I decided it was enough. I was ready to stop wishing and take action. After some internet searching, I decided on this little Dirt Devil, as it got decent reviews and only cost 20 bucks. (Twenty, by the way, was also the pre-sale price of our toy vacuum). I was hesitant at first because it wasn’t cordless, but thinking about my useless cordless dust buster that hasn’t held a charge since the first 6 months I owned it, and seeing how much more expensive the cordless options were, I decided to give it a shot.


Since buying this vacuum just over a month ago, Nora has pushed it around various rooms in our house at least 20 separate times. She asks me if she can vacuum. She picks blankets and books and toys off the floor and puts them away…so that she can use her vacuum. Have I mentioned yet, that I love this vacuum?

Now, I’m not claiming this is perfect. My house is still often messy. And the Dirt Devil is really just a small hand vacuum on a stick, so I still need to get out the REAL vacuum too. This said, my son doesn’t run screaming out of the room when we pull the little red one out. I look forward to the day when he too will want to use it for more than the minute at a time he is currently investing (he is only 2). Between Nora and Finn, I’m pretty sure mommy will be getting years of help around the house though. Like I said, best $20 I’ve ever spent.