Thursday, September 30, 2010

Marshmallow Constellation

Here is another simple idea for creating a constellation.

You need:

1.  Connect marshmallows with toothpicks to form a constellation.

If you want a completely edible creation, try using regular-sized marshmallows and pretzel sticks!

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Invent a Constellation

Usborne Spotter's Guide: The Night Sky With Internet LinksThe girls don't get to see the stars very often (they're usually already asleep), but they've had several opportunities recently.  Thankfully, the stars are pretty bright and clear where we live, so I've tried to point out some constellations.  We've also looked through Usborne's The Night Sky Spotter's Guide to see the many different constellations.  Then, we used this activity to invent our own.

You need:
Star stickers
Black paper
White crayon

1.  Place star stickers in random places on a black piece of paper.

2.  Make a constellation by drawing lines to connect the stars.

If you're feeling creative, you could even brainstorm a name for your constellation!

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yoplait Splitz Winner

And the winner of the Yoplait Splitz package is comment #19 - ruthhill74!!

I will be contacting you for more information via email!  Thank you so much to everyone who left entries! 


For those who didn't win, stay tuned for October 7th!  I am so excited!  I have the cutest giveaway (perfect for your daughter, granddaughter, niece, or other little girl)!  Go here for a little sneek peek!!


Monday, September 27, 2010

"Starry" Apple Prints

Use this activity to find a star in an apple!

You need:
Apple corer
Black paper

1) Core an apple.

2) Cut the core in half. Remove the seeds.

3) Dip the "star stamp" in paint. Make star prints on the paper. Add the sandpaper crescent moon from last week to make a starry night scene.

We just used a white crayon to color our sandpaper moon. You could also paint it!

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Linking up to Kid's Get Crafty at Red Ted Art

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spirited Sunday: Compassion International

In honor of Global Compassion Sunday, I wanted to share with you my journey with Compassion International.  It began over 13 years ago!  I was a college sophomore attending a Christian concert, and my heart was moved as the artist shared about his experience with the children helped by the ministry of Compassion International.  I ended up taking home a packet and sponsoring a little boy from Bolivia named Caeser.  I have since sponsored two other little boys (my first two moved out of the sponsorship area), and it has been such a blessing to me and to my family. 

One of my top priorities as a mom is to encourage and pray for my children to have God's heart for the nations.  I so desire that my children would hear me speak about sharing God's love with people all over the world, and then actually see me doing it!  Sponsoring a child through Compassion is a great way to do just that.  Through our monthly contribution, our child receives food, medical care, clean water, educational opportunities, life skills training, and an opportunity to hear and learn from the Word of God.  We get to pray for our child.  We read letters and receive pictures from him.  We send letters and photos.  Maybe someday, we will even visit our child.  For us, poverty is not just a distant reality.  It has a name.  It has a face.  God has graciously allowed us to share in his life and be changed through the experience.

Would you consider sponsoring a child today?  Wouldn't it be amazing if you found a child with your little one's birthday and sponsored him or her?!!  You could even wrap up the packet and give it to your child for his/her birthday or at Christmas!  I know times seem tough.  And yet, if God calls you to sponsor a child, I believe He will provide.  As a college student and then a young wife helping my husband through school, there were many lean months.  I wasn't always sure where we would find the money.  Though far from perfect, we tried to be good stewards of what we had, and God always provided.

If you would like more information, please visit Compassion.  They also have a special program designed to meet the basic needs of mothers and babies at Compassion International's Child Survival Program.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Savings: Halloween Costumes

I'm still debating what to do for Halloween.  Should I make the girls' costumes?  Should I buy them?  I just don't know.  So, I've been looking at a few online stores to see what, if any, deals are happening. has 20% off ALL Halloween costumes and FREE 2 Day Shipping.  Use the code SPOOKYSALE (expires 9/27).  I love this Smiley Cow costume from Carters!

While I'm thinking about it, I also saw that has 30% cash back on diapers.  The cash back can be used on items from and


Costume Express is running a promotion on clearance costumes.  Enter the code 20EXTRA at check-out to get 20% off clearance costumes and free shipping (on orders over $75).  I found these cute Jack and Jill costumes for $5.99 each!
Jill Toddler/Child - Fairytale Classics Costume - Toddler (2-4T)Jack Toddler/Child - Fairytale Classics Costume - Toddler (2-4T)


Oriental Trading has some inexpensive costume ideas.  They offer several hat and vest costumes (like this kangaroo priced at $2.99) as well as complete costumes.  Check them out for other Halloween party and craft ideas as well.  They currently have free shipping on orders $49 or more.

Have you seen any great deals, or do you have any homemade costume ideas you'd be willing to share with me?!!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Moon Phases Crayon Rubbing

Papa, Please Get the Moon for MeI began this activity with a reading of Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle.  This delightful story features fold-out pages (so Papa can climb a ladder to get the moon) and a nice introduction to the waxing and waning of the moon.  After finishing the book, try this activity to explore the phases of the moon. 

You need:
Black paper
White crayon

 1)  Trace a circle (3-4 inches across) on sandpaper.  Cut out.

2)  Tape the circle to the work surface.  Cut a piece of black paper in four sections.  Cover the circle with black paper.

3)  Remove the paper from the crayon.  Make a rubbing of the circle.

4)  Cut the circle in half.  Repeat the above steps.  Cut the half circle into a crescent.  Repeat the above steps.

Using a very rough sandpaper creates a nice "crater" effect for the moon.  After finishing the crayon rubbings, we labeled the moon phases and stapled them at the top to make a little booklet.

Make sure to save your crescent moon!  We'll use it next week during our "Star" theme!

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pretend Play: Space Suit Oxygen Pack

This goes perfectly with our helmet and moon shoes!
You need:
2L pop bottles (2)
Duct tape

1)  Cut two pieces of duct tape about 2.5 feet long.  Fold in half to stick together.  These will be the straps.

2)  Cut two more pieces of duct tape about two feet long.  Place one piece under the pop bottles (sticky side up).

3)  Place the straps on top of the bottles.  Secure the tape around the straps and bottles.  Repeat process with the 2nd piece of tape near the bottom of the bottles.

4)  Cut a 2.5 inch piece of duct tape.  Hook the ends of the strap together.  Repeat for the other strap.

Here is our finished pack!  (Yes, she's still in her pajamas!  That's just how our morning went!!)

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Experiment: Making Moon Craters

Here is an easy way to explore how meteors make craters on the moon!

You need:
Dish or tray
Small, round objects (marbles, jawbreakers, ping pong balls, etc.)

1)  Place flour in tray and smooth.  Drop round objects (we used jawbreakers left over from a parade) from various distances in the tray.

2)  Carefully remove the round objects.  Talk about the differences in the depths of the "craters".  Smooth and try again if desired!

We had fun making a mess after our experiment!

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Yoplait Splitz Prize Pack Giveaway!

I recently received the opportunity to try Yoplait Splitz.  We usually make our own yogurt, but I decided to give it a try. 

I liked it, but I still prefer a tangy and not-too-sweet yogurt (I like kefir for goodness sake)!  If you like a sweet yogurt, you would probably enjoy this.  It was pretty delicious frozen!  Also, I like that it doesn't have high fructose corn syrup.  Of course (as you can tell from the pictures), my sweet-toothed girls loved it!

Yoplait Splitz is available in three flavors:  Strawberry Sundae, Strawberry Banana Split, and Rainbow Sherbet.  You can print a $0.75 coupon for any flavor Yoplait Splitz here.

Now it's your turn:  Yoplait through MyBlogSpark is offering a great prize pack to one reader!  The pack includes a coupon for a free sample of Yoplait Splitz, an insulated carry tote (would be wonderful for a picnic, tailgate, or car travel), and a roll-up fleece stadium blanket! 

We haven't taken ours on a picnic yet, but the girls have enjoyed "playing" picnic!

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment telling me what flavor of Yoplait Splitz you would most like to try:  Strawberry Sundae, Strawberry Banana Split, or Rainbow Sherbet. 

Extra entries:

*Retweet this post or share it on Facebook! (Leave a comment)

*Follow via RSS, Facebook, Twitter, or E-Mail Subscription!  (Leave a comment for each way you follow)

The giveaway will end on Monday, September 27 at 11:59 PM CST.  The winner will be announced Tuesday, September 28!

Disclosure:  MyBlogSpark provided me with a prize pack and information about the product.  As always, the opinions expressed are my own!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Eat Like An Astronaut

Make and eat your own "astronaut" pudding!  For more information about eating in space, check out this video (for kids), this video (lots of information), and this NASA site.

You need:
Instant pudding mix
Plastic bag

1)  Pour two tablespoons of instant pudding mix into a plastic bag.

2)  Add 1/3 cup of milk to the bag and seal.

3)  Squish and shake the bag for several minutes.

4)  Insert straw and drink!

If the pudding is too thick to drink, add a little milk and mix it up again!

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Quick Update: Melissa and Doug Wooden Block Set

Melissa & Doug 60-Piece Standard Unit BlocksI was doing a little Christmas shopping yesterday and ran across a bargain!  I have had this 60 piece standard unit block set from Melissa and Doug in my shopping cart forever.  We already have one set of them but another set would allow for more elaborate creations!  Plus, I love natural toys -- especially ones I consider "heirloom" to pass on to my children once they grow up!

I wanted to share this with you before Amazon's price changes.  I haven't seen them priced below $44 since I've had them in my cart for the past year (sheepish grin -- I wanted to buy them last Christmas)!  The regular price is $59.99, but they are on sale for $37.15 (a 38% savings)!!

Don't forget to use your Swag Bucks Amazon gift cards if you have some!  I have been saving up for Christmas, so this works perfectly!!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Pretend Play: Making Helmets and Moon Shoes

This week, we're exploring the moon!  One of my very favorite books on the moon for preschoolers is from the Usborne Picture Book series.  I tried sharing several different moon books with my little ones, but I couldn't seem to hold their interest.  There was just too much information in them.  Then, I read On the Moon.  They loved it!  The illustrations are captivating, it shares enough information without overwhelming them, and it got them thinking about making their own spaceship!

After reading the book, we began brainstorming ideas for making our own spacesuits and spaceship!  We began with a SIMPLE helmet and moon shoes!


You need:
Paper grocery bag or gift bag

1.  Place a paper bag or gift bag (we used an old one from my used gift bag container) over your child's head.  Locate their face to plan where to cut the hole.

2.  Cut a hole for the face.  Decorate if desired!  


You need:
Two large sponges
Rubber bands

1.  Place a rubber band around the sponges and your child's feet.

You could always use snow boots for your spacesuit if you don't have sponges!

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Spirited Sunday: You Are Not Invisible

I attended a women's conference this weekend, and one of the sessions was entitled, "I am invisible...God sees me."  How often my heart cries out:  Do you see me?  Do I have value?  Is anyone even noticing me?

What struck me during the teaching is how freeing life becomes when we know God does see us.  We find our value and worth in Him, instead of looking to people.  In the Bible (you can find the whole story here), a maidservant named Hagar flees to the desert.  She is alone and dejected, pregnant and probably dealing with some crazy hormones, and wondering if there is anyone who sees her plight.

Guess what?  God meets her there.  He speaks with her.  He sees her!  Later, out of her gratitude, she gives God a name that had not been given to Him previously - El Roi (the God who sees me).

Amazing!  The Creator God, the God of the universe, is also El Roi.  And not just for Hagar, but for you and for me.  Meditate on that for a little bit.  God sees you.  He knows your strengths.  He knows your weaknesses.  He knows what trials you face.  He knows the joy in your heart.  He knows the pain in your life.  He SEES you.  You are not invisible! 


Along the same line, I wanted to share this video with you.

If you are viewing this via e-mail, you can view the video here.

What a great reminder that, even though we may feel invisible, God truly sees us.  We are not invisible to Him!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Savings: Groupon

I'm not sure what took me so long.  I've been seeing advertisements for Groupon for a while, but I was worried that it wasn't legitimate.  A few weeks ago, I finally gave in when I saw that Crystal from MoneySavingMom had given it a try.  Oh, peer pressure!  :)

I'm glad I signed up!  If you live near a major city, you can find all kinds of new businesses and great deals (many 1/2 price off or more).  Simply sign-up to receive an e-mail for a special bargain each day.  If it's something you're interested in, you have one day to purchase it.  Past bargains in my area include the zoo, bowling, restaurants, and more.

If you're planning to visit to a major city, I bet you could find some great deals for vacation too!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Leaf Frame

This works wonderfully to make a frame for fall artwork!

You need:
Contact paper or packing tape

1)  Gather an assortment of leaves.

2)  Place the artwork on a piece of Contact paper (cut several inches larger than the piece of art), or line the artwork with packing tape (sticky-side up).

3)  Press leaves to the tape.

4)  Hang in a window!

This would make a great frame for the Leafy Splatter Paint project or the Apple Pie Tree artwork!