Thursday, April 28, 2011

This past weekend I took R and a couple of his cousins to the park while their parents were busy working on something that required most of their attention.  While we were at the park we decided to play “Grounders” which is apparently a very popular tag-like game for a playground.  While we were playing we had many other children ask if they could join us.  Within about fifteen minutes we had about eight additional children playing.  It was a blast!
One person was IT and if he/she tagged someone, the tagged person became IT and the tagger became a regular player.  The IT person was only allowed on the ground while the players could run anywhere on the play equipment.  The IT person was only allowed to be on the equipment if his/her eyes were closed and as compensation, if a player was seen on the ground by the IT person he/she could call out “Grounders” and the player would then automatically become IT.
Although the basic rules were the same for all children some of the children from different schools had slightly different rules for handling different situations.  For example, some of the children were telling us that when someone was tagged and the IT was exchanged, the tagger could call, “No Tag Backs” which would allow the person time to get back to the playground and into play without being tagged.  Some of the other children stated that there was automatically a time limit, which was counted out loud by the newly tagged person, for the tagger to get back to the equipment and to have a free pass so to speak.  If he/she wasted that time though, the rules would apply as normal and even be called on with “Grounders”.
I had a fantastic time playing this with the children and even got a little exercise in the process.  The children all dreaded when I was IT as it was a lot easier for me to get them and I was a little craftier than some of the five and six year olds playing with the nine to eleven year olds yet somehow the younger children always seemed to surprise me and tag me easier than the other children were able to.
Have you played a version of this game with your children?  How was your version different?

Take Care,
D

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wow...Ok....Give me a moment to catch my breath. That was incredible. I got the audio version of this one because I REALLY enjoy listening to Phil Gigante bring the men of this book to life. Natalie Ross does a great job for the women, but JZB knocks my socks off!
I don't want to give away too much of this story but man did Mac have her work cut out for her. There was a lot for her to deal with in less than a year of being in Dublin and a lot of change she had to go through to get to where she is and to do what she wanted to accomplish. It was an amazing roller coaster  leaving me feeling exhilarated and breathless.  Like any great ride, the first thing I thought was “Let’s do that again!” and honestly... I think I'm going to listen to the whole series again just to see if there's something I missed and to review the clues that were throughout the whole series about the end to come.


For your convenience, this book can be searched for in the Amazon search widget to the left.  Check out this great read and others.  Enjoy!

Take Care,
D

P.S.  This review is based on my opinion and any similarity to other reviews or expressed opinions are simply coincidence.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I had an amazing Easter.  R was so excited about Easter this year that he woke up at 6:30 and was trying to convince us to get out of bed.  We tried to get him to go back to sleep for a while so that we wouldn’t wake C up too early because we knew she was tired.  Then at 8am we finally gave in and had R wake his sister.  Then sounds started going off and the treasure hunt began.  The Easter Bunny must have been watching.
Both children were excited to hunt for their clues and collect their chocolaty treasures.  Their joy and laughter was so contagious.  Of course then we allowed them to have chocolate for breakfast as we often do on special holidays.  After the excitement wore off we all got ready for the day, doing our usual things.  C and I then baked some mini cheesecakes and gluten-free strawberry muffins (thanks to the Gluten Free Goddess) to take to Easter dinner at our friend’s home.  Time for friends and family what more could we ask for from the Easter Bunny.
What was your Easter like?  What does your family do to celebrate?  Tell me all your favourite Easter stories.
Take Care,
D

Friday, April 22, 2011

As I was perusing the various blogs I follow I found this amazing craft on
and went over to check out the blog it originated from My Kids Make…
I love this blog!  The ideas are creative yet simple and well detailed.  I really enjoyed looking through her posts and finding fantastic ideas of things to do with my kids.  I love that she posts pics along the way so that we can see how the product comes along.  Anyway, enough about this blog (you should definitely check it out) and onto the craft, spring string flowers… click on the link below and enjoy!

Take Care,
D

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have read all of Cassandra Clare’s works that I could get my hands on (there are still a couple short stories I haven’t read) and have adored them all. When I heard that she was continuing the Mortal Instruments series I was ecstatic. “City of Fallen Angels” did not disappoint. I loved the various points of view that were presented as well as how each character’s story developed. Clary and Jace seemed to steam up the screen of my ereader while my heart broke for their unresolved issues. Poor Simon’s struggles seem to only be beginning yet he goes through so much. His learning curve about his kind is definitely taking more turns than the average vampire’s. The past can cause many doubts in various parts of one’s relationship, there is a lot to be discussed and resolved between Magnus and Alec before they can move forward. Speaking of the past, it rears its ugly head for Maya and we’re even getting to know Isabelle better. So much is going on with so many characters I just can’t fill you in on all of them without writing a book of my own. And I’m afraid to tell you, dear readers, in the end… there are more questions than answers. I LOVE it! I can’t wait for City of Lost Souls!

BTW-I am now listening to the audiobook and highly recommend it. Love that the narrators took the time to give the characters the proper accents I imagined!

Search for it in my Amazon search box to the left to purchase your own copy!

Take Care,
D

I was not compensated for this review in any way and all opinions expressed are my own.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I find my life seems to go easier when I’m organized.  I feel less stressed and I get more accomplished when I make and follow a plan.  I sit down on Sunday evening and plan the week.  This seems to work for me.  I have it all on my electronic calendar (which I sync to my smartphone) and make sure reminders are set for things which require specific times.  Any appointments for the rest of the family are placed on our calendar posted on the fridge.  I feel like I may be going overboard but this seems to be the only way I get everything with minimal items falling through the cracks.  I do not, however, find making and sticking to said plan easy.  Some people are fortunate enough to be able to change their plans and rearrange their days for unexpected events easily and it doesn’t seem to faze them in the least – this is not one of my skills.  Then the stress sets in.  Am I alone in this?  If not, what do you do to counter that stress?
Take Care,
D

Friday, April 15, 2011

Once upon a time, a long time ago (like 8 years), I thought it would be fun to learn to knit.  I began to knit scarves and found I truly enjoyed it but our family only needs so many scarves.  So I thought I’d make C (who was only 5) a sweater.  Well, not only are sweaters more difficult than scarves, they are also far more time consuming.  I was working full-time outside of the home at that time and C’s sweater was put at the bottom of my yarn bag not to be seen again until a couple months ago.  Needless to say, the pattern no longer fits and she now HATES pink  (which is the main color of the yarn).  So I needed a new pattern and a new person because I still have quite a few balls of yarn that I purchased and need to use it up.  I thought of my niece, who is only 2, and found this pattern for a fuzzy lamb stuffed toy by Barbara Prime from Fuzzy Mitten.  I fell in love with it and am now working on it.  I only have its legs completed but I thought I’d share the pattern with you.

Take care,
D

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I love making things fun for kids either by including them in the cooking/baking or by making fun foods.  Here’s a great one for a fun Easter or Spring brunch that I found on


It’s a crescent roll carrot filled with egg salad!  Doesn’t it look scrumptious?  Click on the pic for the link to the recipe.  Bon Apetit!


Take care,
D

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mom’s Corner
In reviewing my posts and reading other fantastic blogs I’ve realized that I’m quite long-winded.  So I’ve decided to break up my posts and rather than having one long post, I’ll have several short ones and post more often.  With briefness in mind I wanted to send you to a fantastic post on how to thank a blogger by
Maple Leaf Mommy's Blog
Maple Leaf Mommy: How to Thank a Blogger...: "If you're like me, when you're out in the real world you tip folks for the service you receive.  If you hear a street performer play a ..."

 
Take Care,
D

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1)The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kelly Armstrong's "The Gathering" was an incredible read. I loved the reference to the "Darkest Powers" series connecting the two stories with Project Genesis. Maya's story is similar to Chloe's in the sense that neither of them knows what they are but that's where the similarity ends. Maya is a headstrong and funny teenaged girl who is comfortable on her own and comfortable in the woods. Maya has been through a rough time lately and is learning some secrets from her past that are surfacing and her ability to deal with the secrets, her grief, and just life in general is admirable.
Now who doesn't adore a little love triangle between the bad boy and the best friend. I'm thinking this will explode more in the next book and hope that Maya will start to see herself a little more like others see her. We saw hints of that in this book but I think her story will truly blossom in the next.
The characters seemed so real and it almost felt like this could be something that is actually happening in a small town nearby without anyone knowing. I can't wait for the next book to see what happens to the characters now that Maya and her friends are suspicious of what is going on in their town.

For your convenience, this book can be searched for in the Amazon search widget to the right.  Check out this great read and others.  Enjoy!

Take Care,
D


View all my reviews

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mom’s Corner
I am so proud of my girl, C.  Last night we went to her school play of “The Pied Piper of Hamlin”.  She was the Pied Piper and she was amazing.  This was her first play and I could not believe she was the same girl who left our house an hour before that performance.  She was in character, focused, well-spoken and did not let any errors bother her.  This is the same girl who stormed off stage after her Piano Recital last fall because she couldn’t remember the rest of the song although no one would have been the wiser had she not huffed and puffed her way back to her seat.  I am very impressed at her emotional detachment and her ability to laugh at herself afterward when she told us of the error she made.  I really should give her cast mates, crew, and especially the teachers who volunteered their time to make this happen their own kudos because it was very well put together and it even kept the children in the audience entertained.  R was very proud of his sister too and kept saying how C was now famous.  We had a little party happening when C got home and R was playing Pied Piper with his cousins.  C even mentioned how she hadn’t realized how “influential” she had been.  I could spend the day telling you of how wonderful a person she is growing into but I think she’ll probably be angry that I posted about her at all so I’ll cut it short (although I think, secretly, she might just be a little boosted by an internet review).
Sanity Check
There are a lot of things I like to do for myself and find it not only allows an escape but also gives me an avenue to release some extra energy and tickles my creative funny bone.  Things like digital scrapbooking, knitting, crochet, card making, and other practical crafts.  I must admit, I’m not so talented that I could sell my things but it’s the process the helps me.  My friends and family haven’t complained about the things I’ve given them yet…although they probably wouldn’t just so they don’t hurt my feelings – they’re awesome like that.
Looking through some blog posts this morning, I found a couple things that peaked my interest.  First, a freebie.  Who doesn’t love a freebie?  The people over at CraftGossip.com have found digital scrapbooking freebie of 4 layered templates.  I love the versatility of this template.  You can use them as is or rotate them for whole new looks.
MamaCrafts.com also posted about turning an old towel into a bathmat.  I’m so excited about this idea.  We often use our old towels as bath mats but before company comes over (or as they come through the door) I race into the kids bathroom to replace their ratty towel on the floor for a nicer bathmat.  I find that towels work better at keeping the floor dry and are easier to wash but they’re U-G-L-Y.  This little tutorial is a way to keep the better functionality of the towel as well as reusing (good for the environment) and still maintain a trendy look.
Time for Kids
Yesterday my son, R, asked me when the worms come out.  We still have some snow on the ground but with milder temperatures during the day (we’re getting to 12 degrees C today!) the snow is quickly melting away.  It will still be a while until we see some worms but I thought this might be a good time to do a Caterpillar/Butterfly unit in our home studies.  We can learn some springtime words in French like printemps (Spring), chenille (caterpillar), and papillon (butterfly).  We can read Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” which R loves.   Now that R knows the story so well, I can substitute the French words for the characters to reinforce the vocabulary.  We can make some caterpillar and butterfly crafts while we discuss the various stages of the caterpillar lifecycle.  Look for some of these crafts in upcoming posts.
The first craft is the beginning of the cycle…we created a caterpillar plant ornament so the caterpillar can lay its eggs on the leaves of our plant. We used various sized pompoms and glued them together with the largest one being the head with the rest making up the body, then we glued on the eyes.  We chose to use little pompoms but you could use googly eyes if you have them.  We then took some bamboo sticks (for making kabobs) and I hot-glued them to each end of the caterpillar body.  R played with the caterpillar for a while because using the bamboo sticks, he could make it move and wave and that was so much fun.  He even acted out several parts of our story with it.  Now it is spending time in our plant so it can lay its eggs on it.  I also found a little poem that R had a lot of fun acting out when he was very little.  I’ll leave you with the poem and his video.

Creepy Crawly Caterpillar
Creepy crawly caterpillar that I see.
Makes a chrysilis in a tree.
It stays there and I know why.
Soon it will change to a butterfly!


 

Take Care,
D

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fellow Canadians, check out this blog hop just for Canadian Bloggers!

Click on the link to find out the rules then hop on over to some great blogs but don't forget to pass it on!

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