Monday, January 31, 2011

Shadow Activities for Groundhog Day

With Groundhog Day coming up February 2nd, I thought I would share a few of the shadow activities we did many months ago!

Play a fun game of Shadow Stomp.

Make a Shadow Snack!

You can find the rest of our shadow activities here.  There are also Groundhog Day activities over at Kaboose!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Savings: 20% Off All Things Red at Discount School Supply!!

Okay.  So by now, you know I am a sucker for school and craft supplies.  I know, I know -- I'm kind of strange that way! 

When I saw this sale at Discount School Supply, I just had to let you know!  It is perfect for supplies for Valentine's Day!  Simply order any of the red items here, enter the code WREDSALE at check-out, and receive 20% off!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

True Treasures: Book Review

I was so excited to find out I was accepted as a "Gabby Mom" for Teach Magazine (now called Eternal Encouragement magazine)! I had to laugh though, because I definitely do not consider myself (or my blog) "gabby". I think I generally write to-the-point -- but I could be deceiving myself, I guess!

Anyway, as a Gabby Mom, I am fortunate to receive a new product every month and share my thoughts and opinions about it! This month's product is True Treasures, a compilation of the best of Teach Magazine!

What I appreciated most about this book was the brevity of the articles! If you're like me, you don't have a lot of time to sit and read without interruptions. While the book itself is not necessarily short in length (103 pages), the articles are short enough and work well to read during my quiet time or other break in my day.

There are six different sections to the books -- each focusing on a different area of life. From articles like "Do your Children Rise and Call you Blessed, or Grouchy?" (That one was convicting for me! I'm not a morning person, but I'm working on it!) to "Hope for Hurting Parents" to other articles about marriage, homeschooling, and parenting, I found myself encouraged and inspired in my role as mom, parent, homemaker, and wife.

The six sections include:
  • Jewels That Make the Heart Sparkle
  • Marriages of Solid Gold
  • Parenting Pearls: Practical and Priceless
  • Homemaking That Dazzles Like Diamonds
  • Homeschooling Nuggets of Wisdom
  • Godly Living That Glitters
If you're looking for encouragement and guidance, you'll find it in True Treasures!

You can find True Treasures at Enter code GabbyMom to receive $4 off (code valid until May 31, 2011).

*I received this product for honest review from TEACH Magazine as a part of The Gabby Moms blogging program. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Bread-in-a-Bag

Kansas is sometimes known as the "Wheat State" or the "Breadbasket" because of all the wheat grown here!  In this activity, we'll make our own wheat bread in a plastic bag!  I found this recipe through the Kansas State Research and Extension program

Mix these ingredients in a heavy-duty large plastic bag:
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pkg. yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
1)  Put ingredients in bag, seal, and smoosh until it is mixed!  Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.

2)  Add to the bag:
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (or use 1 cup whole wheat and 1 cup bread flour)
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
3)  Seal and mix well in the bag.  Add flour if the mixture is too sticky (but not too much or you'll have a tough, flat bread).  Then, turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5-6 minutes.  Add more flour if it is too sticky. Divide dough into half.  Cover with plastic bag. Let rest 10 minutes.
4)  Press dough out onto floured board.  Roll like a sleeping bag and pinch the top together!  Put in 2 greased, small bread pans.

5)  Cover again with the bag and let rise 45-60 minutes.  Bake for 30-35 minutes in 400 degree oven.  Allow to cool.  Eat!!

You can find a printable copy of this recipe here.  It's the first search result!

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Kansas Day Lapbook for Kids

Image:A sunflower Edited 5134.png

I know many of my readers are not from Kansas, but Kansas is a very special state to me (and it's almost Kansas Day)!!  So, in honor of Kansas' 150th birthday on January 29th, I've put together a special lapbook all about Kansas! 

I found several of the printables at the Kansas Historical Society.  I also put together a Kansas symbols book, acrostic, and song sheet on my own (I'm pretty excited about it, because I finally figured out how to upload PDF files so you can print them)! 

If you're from another state, you can easily adapt this idea and find some printables for your own lapbook!

File folder
Crayons/colored pencils
Sunflower seeds
Construction paper
Kansas capitol printable (page 1)
Kansas symbols, acrostic, song page

1)  To make a lapbook, fold a file folder as pictured above (there are many ways to make a lapbook--you can find more information at Homeschool Share).

2)  Color the Kansas Flag and glue it to the front of the folder.  Allow to dry, and then cut down the middle to separate the sides.

3)  Color and cut out the sunflower.  Add a blue background, stem, and sunflower seeds (if desired).

3)  Fill out the Kansas symbols book (you can find the complete list here -- some preschoolers may feel more comfortable coloring the book found here -- rather than drawing their own symbols).  Write an acrostic for Kansas and cut out the state song!  Glue on the inner flaps of the lapbook. 

This is our almost-complete lapbook!  We still have some room up in the left-hand corner, so after we make bread, I'll put a photo from that experience!  On the back, we glued the capitol!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Savings: Butterfly Garden

Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden

One of the things we really love to do in the spring is to watch caterpillars turn into butterflies!  We have this Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden, and it is really fascinating to watch the process.  Since many of you are teachers or homeschoolers, I thought I'd share it with you!!

It is currently marked down to $14.31 (from 24.99) on Amazon, so I thought it was a pretty great buy (I haven't seen them much cheaper)!  It comes with a coupon to receive five larvae (shipping is $3).


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Making Patterns in the Snow and More...

Here are a few simple ways to turn a snowy day into a learning experience:

Cookie cutters
Sticks or icicles
Toy rake

1)  Create a pattern in the snow with cookie cutters!

2)  Texturize the snow with a rake or whatever object you can find!

3)  Practice writing in the snow with an icicle or stick.

Do you have any fun, easy learning activities to use in the snow?!!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Snowman Cracker Snack

By now, you know I often substitute items I don't have/can't find when I'm doing a project!  This snowman snack is no exception!  The ingredients in parentheses are the "official" ingredients!

You need:
Crackers (or vanilla wafers)
Cream cheese (or frosting)
Chocolate chips
Red candy (we used part of a Starburst)
Carrots (or pretzels)

1)  Spread crackers with cream cheese.  Place in a snowman shape.

2)  Decorate the snowman.  We used chocolate chips for eyes and buttons, candy for mouth and hat, and carrots for the arms and nose.

"Use what you have!"  That's my motto!  It does seem like a strange flavor combination, but it was actually pretty good.  No one complained anyway! 

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Coffee Creamer Snowman

This morning, we attempted to make snowmen out of recycled coffee creamer containers!

Rinsed coffee creamer container
White paint (depending on brand of container)
Permanent markers
Scrap material/ribbon

1)  If your coffee creamer container is clear, pour some white paint and a few drops of water into it.  Replace the lid and shake, shake, shake (you'll shake it quite a bit to get the insides covered!.  Some containers (International Delight) are already white, so you don't need to do anything!

2)  Decorate a face and buttons with permanent markers.  Queasy about permanent markers?  Glue on wiggly eyes, use stickers, cut out a paper smile, etc.  The options are limitless!

3)  Extra idea:  Add a scarf from ribbon or a piece of scrap cloth. 

(I'm supposed to point out to you that the tall one - made by my oldest daughter - has on a skirt)!

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Fun on a Dime!

I wanted to let you know about a feature I've added to my new blog called Fun on a Dime!  Every Thursday, I'll be posting simple and inexpensive ideas for families, kids, and parents.  I also hope to highlight ideas from other blogs and readers, so if you have an easy, frugal project, send me an e-mail at motherhoodonadime @ gmail . com!

My first post was 5 Simple Activities for Kids on a Snowy Day!  Feel free to check it out!  :)

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snowman Soup Relay

Crescendo Gal, a Facebook reader, shared with me the idea of "Snowman Soup" -- hot chocolate with melted marshmallows.  I added the idea of a relay for a fun little game with a warm treat at the end.

Mug of hot chocolate

1)  Place the mugs on one end of the kitchen (dining or any other room).  Place a marshmallow on the spoon, walk carefully to the mug, and place the marshmallow in the cup.  Repeat with as many marshmallows as desired.

The perfect treat after a morning out in the snow!

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowy Snowman Painting (With a Marshmallow Paintbrush)

Painting with marshmallows?  Sounds good and messy!

White paper
Blue paper
Cup or other circle template
White paint
Toothpicks (if desired)

1)  Trace three circles onto white paper.  Cut.

2)  Glue the circles onto the paper in a snowman shape.  Add a hat, if desired.

3)  Draw on a face and any other decorations.  Dip a marshmallow in paint, press onto the paper, and enjoy the "snow'!!

If you choose to poke the marshmallows with a toothpick (and use as a handle of sorts), supervise carefully!  Also, make sure your little ones do not eat painted marshmallows!!

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Super Simple Snowball Fight

I have so many activities and ideas for a snow theme -- the problem is, we've had NO SNOW!!  The girls were really ready for some fun outside, but with none of the white stuff in sight, we decided to have our own snowball fun inside.

Cotton balls

1)  No need for jackets -- but gloves are a must for an indoor snowball fight!! :)

2)  Open a bag of cotton balls and let the fun begin!!  Throw, scoop, repeat, repeat, repeat...  After the fight, save the cotton balls for an upcoming craft project!

No one got hurt with these snowballs -- which was good, since I was the main target of the ambush!!

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My New Blog!!!

You know how I love a great bargain, right?  And I love to share them?!!


I've wanted to do a bargain blog for quite some time, so I've decided to give it a go.  I will officially begin sharing coupon match-ups for Apple Market, Dillons, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Walgreens, and Walmart on January 10th (although I'm posting a few things already).  You'll also find frugal tips, limited-time deals, coupon basics, inexpensive ideas for family fun, and more.  You can find out more about it here.

With that said, I will still be posting to The Amazing Mess.  I love sharing fun, easy ideas to keep the little ones involved.  Since I've been posting for almost a year now, there is a pretty good selection of themes and ideas, so I'll be posting three times a week (on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday) instead of daily.  Feel free to browse the themes (located in the sidebar) for seasonal and other ideas!

I welcome your input.  If you have ideas for either blog, or you'd like to guest post, send me an email at theamazingmess at hotmail dot com.

Into the Sun*I also want to give a shout out to my sister!  She has worked tirelessly to help me get Motherhood on a Dime ready.  If you are ever in need of web or other graphic design, look her up at Ink Media Design!  I highly recommend her (she's also going to help me make-over this site)! 

She's a very talented singer/songwriter as well (find her website here).

I'm not biased at all!!  :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Happy 2011!!

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!  I'm so glad to be back, and I'm ready to start anew!  My break was great -- not really a break -- but a time for reflection, fun with family and friends, and planning for the new year.

I've noticed several of my fellow bloggers sharing their resolutions goals for 2011, so I thought I'd share some of mine with you.

Blogging Goals:

*Clean up and simplify The Amazing Mess design.

*Post 3-4 activities per week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and maybe some Fridays.

*Sponsor a link-up for other craft/idea blogs called "Make-And-Do Monday" (based from one of my favorite craft books as a kid)!

*Move all my bargain posts to my new blog!!  It's not quite launched yet, but I'll be sharing details soon!

In the months to come, I'll be working hard to accomplish these goals!  If you have any suggestions or ideas, I would love to hear them!!