Monday, February 28, 2011

Dr. Seuss Paper Bag (and Plate) Hat!

Here is one more Dr. Seuss idea before his birthday celebration on March 2!!

Craft sticks
Crayons or markers
White paper lunch bag
Paper plate

1)  Color jumbo craft sticks red.

2)  Glue the "stripes" to the paper bag.  Allow to dry thoroughly!

3)  Cut out the inner circle of a paper plate.  Cut up the open end of the bag about 1.5-2 inches in each corner.  Fold the sides up.

4)  Glue or tape the bag to the plate (we had to do both to hold it)!  Hole punch one hole on either side and attach a 10-12 inch length of string through each hole.

5)  Tie on the hat!  Go read some Dr. Seuss!!

She's just a little cheesy, huh?!!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

3 Redbox Rentals for $1


Just had to share this great deal with you from Groupon! Through March 1, you can buy a voucher for 3 rentals for $1 from Redbox!!

I foresee a family movie night in our future!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Savings: Standard Shipping for $2.99 (Any Size Order) at Oriental Trading

I shared this on my other blog yesterday, but I wanted to let the teachers (and moms) out there know about this!

Oriental Trading Company is one of my go-to places for party supplies, crafty things, and more! Through March 1, they are offering $2.99 standard shipping on ANY SIZE order with the code WCE1543. You can get FREE delivery if your order is over $49 (do not enter a code -- it should be automatically applied at check-out).

Also, make sure to check out the special items on SALE! Tons of crafts, teaching supplies, birthday items, and wedding supplies are marked down!


Saturday Savings: 2 Mini Photobooks for $4.99 Shipped!

Here is a great deal from -- buy 2 mini photobooks for the price of one AND get FREE shipping!  In addition to making a nice book with family photos, you can also get creative and make a book about colors, shapes, numbers, etc.  You can see my idea for a color book here and an "All About Me" book here!

Here's how to do it:
  • Make a mini photobook (look under photobooks: mini photobook).
  • Use the promo code minibook-4 to get 2 for $4.99 and free shipping!

Offer expires 3/2/11.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ooey-Gooey Oobleck!

Bartholomew and the Oobleck: (Caldecott Honor Book) (Classic Seuss)I don't know -- can you celebrate Dr. Seuss birthday without making Oobleck?!! 

Well, I can't :) -- so, we made this classic recipe!! Be forewarned though --  this can be EXTREMELY messy.  I would recommend dressing your child in a paint shirt or old clothes!

If you've never read the book, I recommend it!  And if you'd like a more in-depth explanation of the non-Newtonian properties of Oobleck, head over to the Imagination Station!

1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water
Green food coloring (if desired)

1)  Pour the cornstarch into a bowl.  Allow your child to feel it.  If desired, compare with the consistency of flour.

2)  Add the water.  It will be difficult to stir, so an adult may need to do most of the mixing.  Add another tablespoon or two of water if it is too difficult to stir.

3)  Add food coloring, if desired (the Oobleck in Bartholomew and the Oobleck was green)!

4)  Explore the Oobleck!  Push on it.  Hold it.  Let it drip.  Is it a liquid?  Is it a solid?


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Giveaway: Progresso Soup Prize Pack

If you're interested, check-out my other Motherhood on a Dime blog for the Progresso Soup giveaway I just posted!  The prize pack includes a coupon for free Progresso Soup, yoga mat, exercise bands, water bottle, and head/wrist bands.  Just leave your favorite kind of soup in the comments to be entered!!

Just What I Needed to Hear: Encouraging Moments Newsletter

One of the things I've found as a mom with little ones is that it is easy to become discouraged. On a regular basis, I have these thoughts running through my head: Am I doing this right? Is my child going to grow-up to be a well-adjusted person? How could I be such a terrible mom? Why did I just yell? Can my house be any messier?!!  I'm too tired, I can't do this anymore!

I was having one of those days, when a very special message arrived from God! It was actually in the form of an email -- the Encouraging Moments Newsletter! The opening reflection was written just for me -- well, that's what it felt like when I read it!

Spiritual strongholds are sinful ways of thinking that have probably been part of our personality for so long we hardly even see them. Maybe they're wrong ways of thinking about the opposite sex, about depressing feelings in your life, or about a relationship with someone who's hurt you, maybe it's lust, or depression, or bitterness, or self-pity. But God declares, "We can take captive every one of those wrong thoughts to the obedience of Christ"....

....D. L. Moody said it so well, "When you think sin - think Scripture." I like what my mama wrote in my Bible, "Either sin will keep you from this book, or this book will keep you from sin." Now you have a weapon that can tear down a stronghold of sin and tame the most sinful of thoughts.


See what I mean?  It was exactly what I needed to hear!

Chick Flicks For Mom Button
And then, as I read on, I found something else that caught my eye: Chick Flicks for Mom! These little video clips are short and sweet tips from Lorrie Flem (the publisher of Teach Magazine). This week's clip was a little rhyme to teach your child as you are training their little hearts and minds to be obedient. I was truly delighted by these little videos -- I had not heard Lorrie speak in person, and she is just the sweetest lady! But beyond the sweetness, there was also wisdom in what she was sharing. I watched several of the videos and found them encouraging and helpful.

At the end of the newsletter, there was a fabulous story about one mom's journey to make a budget and live within it (Of course, that is something near and dear to my heart as I started my other blog to help others learn to spend wisely, save faithfully, and give freely)!

I just was so inspired and amazed at how God used a simple newsletter to speak to me where I was that day. If you're looking for some encouragement, you can sign up over at to receive this free newsletter. Just look in the upper-right hand corner for the box that says "Sign up for our email newsletter".

I would've never signed up for the newsletter had I not been a part of The Gabby Moms -- because I wouldn't have known about it!  I'm glad I get to tell you, and I hope you'll take a minute to sign up!  Who knows how God may speak to you through it?!!

imageDisclaimer: I am reviewing Encouraging Moments as an official member of The Gabby Moms blogging program for Eternal Encouragement magazine. I did not receive compensation for this post and all opinions are solely my own.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration: Cat-in-the-Hat Snack

Because March 2 is the birthday of Dr. Seuss, I wanted to share a few ideas with you!  The first activity I have is a delicious snack!

Ice cream
Fruit by the Foot
Ice cream cones
Skittles or M&Ms
Pretzels or thin licorice

1)  Chill a plate in the freezer.  Wrap an ice cream cone with a red piece of Fruit by the Foot.

2)  Place a scoop of ice cream on the plate.  Add the ice cream cone on top for the hat.

3)  Add eyes and a nose (Skittles or M&Ms).  Use pretzels for the whiskers (or cut small strips of Fruit by the Foot or use licorice).

You can use whatever flavor of ice cream you want -- we used Braum's Brownie Batter -- and it is soooo delicious!  I'm blaming it (instead of myself) for keeping these last few pounds on me!!!  I didn't even get to eat one of the snacks, but I gained a pound just by looking at it! ;)

*I found and modified this idea from the 2003 Feb/March Kindergarten Issue of The Mailbox Magazine.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Masterpiece Monday: Silhouettes

In honor of President's Day, we made silhouettes.  Though I could not think of a silhouette "masterpiece" off the top of my head, I did find some information about August Edouart and a whole website devoted to silhouettes!

Black paper
White paper
Bright light source

1)  Discuss the presidential faces on the sides of coins (the US Mint is a great resource -- they also have a special site for kids).  Discuss what a profile shot looks like and share photos of silhouettes (there are several here).

 (She's very happy to be doing this project.  Well, not really...but she was cheerful by the end!)

2)  Tape a black piece of paper to the wall.  Stand your child in front of the paper and shine a direct light onto them.

3)  Trace the profile.  Have your child cut it out. 

4)  Glue the silhouette to a sheet of white paper.

This project requires pretty good scissor skills, so it works best for ages four and up.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Simple Coin Sort

After exploring coins, this easy activity gives little ones a chance to improve their sorting skills -- and the older children can begin to associate monetary value with each coin.

Marker or pen

 1.  Draw four circles on the paper.  Label with 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, and 25¢.

2.  Demonstrate how to sort the coins.  Discuss the value of each coin.  Allow your child to practice!

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Coin Exploration

With President's Day coming up next Monday, I thought a few coin activities would be appropriate!  Please make sure to discuss coin safety (i.e. don't swallow them!!) with your little ones and do not leave them unattended with the coins!  Consider using plastic coins if your child has a tendency to put things in her mouth! 


1)  Spend some time observing and discovering coins:  What president is on each coin?  What is on the back?  What color are the coins?  What coins have ridges around the edges?  A magnifying glass would be fun with this activity!

2)  Fold a paper lengthwise and then in thirds (so you have six sections).

3)  Do a coin rubbing in four of the sections.  It may be easier to cut the paper apart first.

4)  Add a title page and staple the booklet together!

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Book Review: Unto the Hills by Billy Graham

For the past month, I've been using a devotion called Unto the Hills by Billy Graham.  I have to tell you that I deeply respect and admire Billy Graham, but I wasn't sure if I would like this devotional!

Unto the Hills: A Daily DevotionalI should've known better!  Each day I've read this, God has used it to speak to me right where I am.  My thoughts have been overwhelmed with death and suffering lately, and I've found incredible wisdom and insight in these brief little devotions.  Obviously, a devotion is no substitute for actually reading God's Word, but I often find it helpful to read someone else's perspective on the Scripture.

This devotional is really written for those who are "in the valley" -- those who are struggling and need a respite and refreshment from the hurts and storms.  It is an encouragement to keep our eyes lifted "unto the hills" for our help and hope.

The format of this book is typical for a devotional:  each devotion has a verse at the beginning and ends with a short prayer. More verses are woven into the actual devotion, and each devotion is dated (January 1).  I would recommend this book for all ages (I actually have read several of the devotions to my little ones although not all are appropriate for them). 

I think this is an encouraging book -- and if you're looking for a new devotional to try, it would be a good place to start!

*I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own!


Valentine Holders from Recycled Cereal Boxes

It's Valentine's Day!  Happy day to you! 

I turned the girls loose and allowed them to design their own Valentine's Day boxes!  These are simple to make but kept them entertained for a while!

Empty cereal boxes
Paper and scraps
Stickers, doilies, other embellishments you have on hand

1)  Cover the box with paper.

2)  Add embellishments!

3)  If desired, use a hole punch to add ribbon to the top for a handle (we haven't done this yet)!  We also added their names at the top with stickers.

Each side looked different, and it was interesting to see how each girl's box fit her personality!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday Savings: $12 for a $25 Voucher at Creations by You!

Back when I was teaching, I made several of the books from Creations by You, and I was always pleased with how they turned out. It's sort of like making your own yearbook or creating your own storybook -- and they turn it into a hardcover book. They have several new products since then (ha, ha -- big surprise since it was seven years ago!!) including the ability to make some of the items online!

My teacher self thinks this is a fun deal, but I can also see it working well for birthday presents, baby memory books, saving children's artwork in a bound book, etc.

Eversave (a daily deal site like Groupon) is offering this deal through midnight tonight (2/12): Buy a "save" for $12 and receive $25 worth of products from Creations by You! To get this save, visit here. You'll receive an on-line code which will be available for use in two days! It expires August 10, 2011. Shipping starts at $5.

*This link is my share link, so if you're not comfortable buying through it, go to Eversave and look under Kansas City to find it!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Schoolhouse Expo Winner!

Thanks so much to everyone for taking the time to enter (I wish I could give all of you a prize)!  Comment number 18 was generated at -- and comment #18 belongs to Echo!  I'll be contacting you soon with details on how to download your prize!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Final Call: Enter the Schoolhouse Expo Giveaway before 6 PM!

Head over to this post to enter to win MP3 Downloads from October 2010's Schoolhouse Expo -- just leave a comment!  I'll pick the winner at 6 PM this evening (Friday, February 11)!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Heart-Shaped Pizza

These are perfect for a kid-friendly Valentine's Day dinner!

Pizza Pan
Rolling pin
Pizza dough
Heart-shaped cookie cutter(s)
Pizza sauce
Sliced cheese
 1)  Roll out the pizza dough and cut a heart shape (either free-hand or with cookie cutters).

2)  Spread with sauce.  Add pepperoni or other topping, if desired.

3)  Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut a heart shape from the cheese.

4)  Place the cheese on top and follow the baking directions for your pizza crust!

We made these for dinner the other night, and the girls really enjoyed having their own special pizza! 


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Schoolhouse Expo AND a Giveaway!!

I absolutely love to go to teacher conventions. It is so fun to learn something new and meet-up with other educators. Now that I am teaching my own little ones at home, I feel much the same way about homeschool conventions.  I find them truly inspiring and filled with so much helpful and practical information.

Coming up May 16-20, a very special online convention is taking place! If you aren't able to attend a conference in person or you just have an insatiable appetite to learn all you can, The Old Schoolhouse Expo is for you!  Not only is the speaker line-up excellent (including Susan Wise Bauer, Jim Weiss, and many more), but when you buy a ticket, you'll get access to a downloadable MP3 for every workshop (available mid-June).  I love this because you can listen to your favorite workshop again -- or any workshop you've missed when it's convenient for you.

Plus, you will also have access to a virtual goodie bag valued at over $200 (there are so many great items available!), door prizes, and a virtual vendor hall offering freebies and specials!

Here is the great news -- tickets are just $19.50. BUT, this is a special "Early Bird" price set to expire tomorrow (January 9th) at 11:59 PM.  This is a great deal, because on February 10, the price goes up to $29.00 and the bonus freebies will no longer be available.  The regular price of $39.99 will be in effect on February 27th.

Go visit the The Old Schoolhouse Expo to find out more!  (I'm heading over too, so I can find out more about their Entrepreneur/Work-at-Home Track and the special track for High School students!)


This is really fun!  The Old Schoolhouse Expo is giving me an Expo-to-Go to give away to one reader!!  You'll receive access to MP3s from last October's Expo featuring Diane Craft, John Taylor Gatto, and many more!

To enter:  Leave me a comment letting me know how you follow The Amazing Mess (RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or E-mail).

Optional Entries: 
Make sure to leave a separate comment for every entry and make sure to leave a way I can contact you if you win!  I will pick the winner using  Entries close at 6 PM on Friday, February 11th.

Disclaimer:  I am receiving an Expo-to-Go from the sponsors of the The Schoolhouse Expo, but rest assured -- all thoughts and opinions are my own!   I think very highly of The Old Schoolhouse Expo and The Old Schoolhouse magazine!  I was delighted to be contacted by them and able to share this opportunity with you!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Valentine Match Game (Using a Deck of Cards)

I was looking through the closet, and I found this old deck of cards from a kid's meal (somehow we always seem to be missing a card or two or more from each deck)!  I remember seeing this idea maybe 10 years ago (I have no idea where -- so if it is your idea, let me know), and I thought this would be a fun Valentine's game!

1)  Separate the hearts from the rest of the cards.

2)  Cut the cards in half.

3)  Have your child match the cards!  For a more difficult game, turn the cards over and play a variation of Memory!

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