Simple Healthy EASY Family breakfast you can make the night before KID MUESLI and the kitchen stays cool in the summer!



My children get in breakfast eating ruts.
The whole winter they had the same two items:

Toast with butter (blaise)
Cinnamon brown sugar oatmeal (finn)

It got old.
For me.
SO. I started searching for simple and healthy breakfast ideas and thought about Muesli!
There are SO many recipes and ideas on the web but here is what we do:

basic recipe:
rolled oats (organic if you can)
liquid- (milk/juice/filtered water) anything here- we like whole milk.
Add Ins (think nuts/honey/dried fruit/fresh fruit/yogurt)

in a small bowl add some rolled oats (not quick kind)
top with liquid
let sit overnight in the fridge (bowls with lids are great)
top with yummy ingredients
EAT!
Seriously.
This is so simple.

The great thing is the kids can prep it the night before and all you need to do is toss on the toppings and you are ready to eat.
It is the easiest ever!

AND my kids LOVE it.
AND my kitchen stays cool.
AND it's healthy.
AND it's kinda fun to create.
(and my kids want it for a snack even!)

here are some fun ideas for add in ingredients:

Dried fruit Chips
Fresh or frozen fruit
Dried dates
Dried figs
Karob or dark chocolate chips (go easy)
Nuts
Seeds
Flaxseeds or flax meal
Wheat germ
Oat bran
Raisins
Currants

How about you?

is hidden away in a memory's bouquet

originally posted last year on BOXING DAY! Enjoy!









Thank you cards are terribly important to me.

I am behind on my own birthday thank you notes now and it makes me feel prickly, but with the kiddos I like to get right on it while the memory is still fresh. My parents made me sit down at the wood table and take pencil in hand at a very young age and express gratitude. I can remember that it was a bit taxing as a child and somewhat annoying as adolescent, but I think it has made me a better person.

I think it taught me two things:


Yr time is love- a phone call is quicker- but yr time and effort show love & the handwritten word is sacred.



So- I make my kids think about taking time away from play and the drama of the day to say thanks and I also plan on keeping a small writing center this year for Finn to explore the lost art of letter writing.



(INSERT MAJOR DREAMER HEAD HERE)Someday I want to hold a letter writing workshop and travel the country in a silver Airstream and show people how delicious is is to write love letters again.

I love texts and little words floating in and out of computers, but the sound of pen to paper makes me most delirious.

The way letters bend and sparkle across a page cannot be rivaled by even the greatest font foundry. The way "I love you" looks in bold black sharpie or the backwards wonky letters of a preschooler can buckle my knees and break my heart...

Write letters.

Love Letters.



***Here is a simple and fun way to make thank you notes for those little ones who cannot yet write a proper thank you.



1. Take a photo of child with gift.

2. Ask the child how the gift makes them feel.

3. Write that sentiment on the blackboard along with thank you.

4. Print photo and include with simple handwritten child signature or scribble scrabble.









How sweet of a thank you is this?

And for those truly against having to send thank you notes or super eco friendly - you can email it although I think you know what I think- mail it mail it!!





Happy Boxing Day!

This is my husbands favorite day.

It is the day of true sloth like behavior for this family.

(Leftover food and drink and feet up-like all day)



^^^^^^^^^^Some other cool chalkboard links:



Here and Here and Here

xo











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Until the last drop of sun burns its sweet light/Plenty revolutions left until we get this thing right

repost
last year this week- a good one though...we are doing it again


We made a pendulum paint machine today. That is what Finn named it. He actually named it a pen-din-din swing machine. Anyhoo, we experimented with tying several paint bottles and other bits from the recycling bin filled with paint upside down under a tree branch with twine and letting em swing!!! We had a blast with our trial and error art lesson. It was a bit of expansion from the Pollock lesson- more "out there" art. We found that water and paint mixed in a milk jug works well but can be very messy. We don't like soda bottles, but we like paint bottles! We used some of dad's old paint canvas and then some kraft paper. I think these would make excellent wrapping paper for upcoming birthdays! I might even use it to wrap some of these in for the etsy shop.

We didn't go into much science with the lesson- more fun that anything...but for older kids you could talk about pendulums and science. I recall going to a science center each year with my school and they had a giant Foucault Pendulum and it was mesmerizing. It was in the main lobby and sometimes I would wish to not even go into the building, to just stay and watch it swing. To just stand and organically learn Newtons 1st law of motion. To open my eyes wide at the thought of rotation. I would love to see that exhibit again.

Is that a poem in yr pocket?



(Originally posted on March 1 &April 1,2008)

I met Kenneth Koch once.

"Rose, where did you get that red?"
I love this book so much. It is tattered like no other book I own. When I worked with elementary school kids through the arts council I used this book religiously. I also used it in classrooms and after school programs. It is a beautiful rare book.
Koch used great poetry to teach children how to be poets...how to harness what already lived inside their endless imaginations. He taught kids to soar and through his books I was able to teach poetry to even the very young kindergartners. This book should be in yr house because poetry is accessible to all of us. We all think and we all process and if we can learn the road from the mind to the pen, then we will soar. I have been reading Finnian poems for a long time and just now I am starting to create poems with him. I am teaching him that words are powerful and can help him express his feelings. I am giving him small gifts for the future. Gifts that might not unfold themselves for decades, but one day he will hear the lines from a poem, perhaps a Blake poem:

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
in the forests of the night

and his mind will twist and stretch for a bit
and he will think back to the home he grew up in
and he will smile and remember that his mom said it was true
poetry makes you feel


This poetry prompt is from another of Ken Koch's books that I love - "Wishes, Lies, and Dreams".

Third Eye Poems
The third eye can see what regular eyes can’t or is only open when the regular eyes are closed. It is a magical eye.
We made third eyes out of paper and taped them to our foreheads. We wore them through breakfast and then "wrote" our poems. The best way to unfold this lesson with older kids is to encourage them to imagine ANYTHING! In school I always told kids they could see ANYTHING! Tell them that they can be serious or funny or sad or scared. Give them freedom. Give them power.
With younger children just allowing them to ramble on about what they can imagine is great! I let Finn spin a whole story and then we sat down and I prompted him by saying, "My Third Eye Can See..." and he just filled in the poem. His poems were so funny and charming.

Here are some of the examples from my old school. A simple lesson like this was a very powerful tool for my elementary kids. Power is king. In the neighborhood where my school and recreation center stood- there was much violence and worry. It was powerful for the kids to be in control of their daily life...if even for 15 minutes in a poetry workshop.

B. Age 9
My third eye can see the teachers underwear
and Teddy Johnson dancing
and the whole school upside down
it can see candy floating all around us

L. Age 8
My third eye can see me that is scared of the shots at night
it can see my mom and she is happy and not sad

T. Age 10
My third eye can see all the way down Hallidon Ave and Kiya ain't dead anymore
it can see the bad people and it stares at them till they run away
down Monroe St and don't bother us
they disappear and it is summer every day

One more thing!


I am going offline Thursday.
Yahoo a day without work!

Anyhoo...I wanted to leave you with a really cool and important charity event that I hope you will participate in- My buddies Aimee & Amy are hosting the 2nd annual Kid Art Auction for Earth Day! It is wicked cool and benefits The Nature Conservancy. It is their mission to "preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive." All donations are tax deductible.

It is so easy to help out and have fun with yr wee one!

Visit the Kid Art Auction For Earth Day 2009 Pool and check out the art! You can bid on the treasures or add a photo of your child's artwork to the Kid Art Auction For Earth Day 2009 Pool for others to bid on! It is for a really good cause and you can make a lovely Earth Day lesson out of the experience.

All of the details are HERE!
*** I will give a rocking felt bird to a lucky person! Just leave me a comment and tell me that yr playing and I will choose someone on Earth day!!! Please play!
I will see ya Friday with something cool.
xo

"She's a loaded pistol who likes piña coladas and getting caught in the rain."


This book came from my Gran's house. It must have been read to my father, but it is much older as it has the name of a long deceased relative. Garnet. (Love that name)
I love the complete breakdown of the book, the age and the fragility and the illustrations make me curl me toes.
Anyhoo. Mondays are co-op kinda preschool at my house. We have our friends over and do a lesson. It was my turn and we did fairy tales. It was simple enough- we just read the old book and then turned to the new Disney version book and compared.

We then did a quick counting and sequence lesson by lining up all the shoes in the house from smallest to biggest.

The really fun part was having the kids be interviewed by me.
(fairy tale Oprah on the FT network)
The kids got to pretend to be Cinderella and were asked questions like:

What do you do with all of yr time now that yr not cooking Euphronia's dinner and sweeping the floors?
How romantic is the prince?
What do you spend all yr money on?
Do yo cook yr own food now?
Tell me about yr castle?
and so on.
The answers were funny.

It was a really simple and fun lesson that kept the kids engaged for over 20 minutes and that my friend is called kicking ass on a Monday morning when all you want it to mainline caffeine.

title post- Shrek 2001

"Nobody's looking for a puppeteer in today's wintry economic climate."






I fell in love with these kinda freaky masks before the holidays and bought a few to play with and I figured they would eventually hang on the wall. Blaise loves them and is not afraid of them so they are in his room now.

Me and the wee one played around this morning in his room and I aged the photos here.

I love decorating the boys rooms with random stuff. I like the way they look on the walls.


I am off to www.chickswhoclick.com and I am super excited. I will send ya some love from Boulder tomorrow night. Me and Legs Bell and Greeblemonkey and tons of others will be tearing it up!

title post- Being John Malkovich 1999

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Eve took a train, eve took a train/Went to see her man




Ice Luminaries are so fun to make in the winter.

Kids love them and they are a great way to use junky old decor you have around the house. We made our holiday ones with leftover tree trimming and other assorted junky holiday bits and bobs that grandma probably bought at Target simply because of the color motif and 19 cent price tag. Reuse. Recycle. Right?

So all you do is find a large bucket or container and fill it mostly up with water
then- find a plastic bowl or the bottom of a milk jug or something and place in the water. You have to weight the smaller bowl down. I used a few coffee mugs and some duct tape. Then you simply cram the sides of the larger container with anything you want frozen inside of yr luminaries.

I like glitter too. It makes for a major wooo factor.

Just let them freeze over night and then use some hot water to pop both pieces free.
(If you live in some warm place- well screw you and use a freezer)
Add some simple tea lights and line yr sidewalk for a party or make a circle of light for yr kid to dance inside of and sing with glee...
Summer isn't the only time to have fun.
Kiss Kiss

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Well I know what I’ve been told/U gotta work to feed the soul



Simple and Easy Halloween Game...The Boo Bag! Finn is asking more and more what certain words "starts" with so we made a sweet little game called the Boo Bag today.

I asked him to name some items that meant Halloween and he came up with witch, pumpkin, leaf, candy, and so on.. I made some quick paper cut outs and added some cards that said BOO and grabbed a bag to put them all.

We took turns grabbing out a paper shape and the object of the game is to be able to name and identify beginning consonants.

Pumpkin! Pumpkin starts with a P
Yeah! You get to keep the card you identify.
The person with the most cards wins.
BUT! If you draw a BOO card you must scream BOO and run around the room like a maniacal Halloween terror!

Seriously, it is fun!

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The world was moving and she was right there with it (and she was)

> photo via Oh Happy Day>

I was smitten with her before I met her in real life.
She is delicious and darling and now she has went and made me swoon over her little baby Moses and his closet room with this amazing photograph that I stared at and then looked up and then went wild wondering why I was so artdumb and did not know of this man before.

I heart Jordan and now I heart Robert ParkeHarrison.
Thanks gal- I love finding all the new in the world. Kiss Kiss.


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and I bet/ and you exploded into my heart


All the talk of art yesterday made me realize that it was time for a new art lesson for master Finn. I have been making a list of all the places I want to take the boys. I want to be the first to show them things. I want to cover their eyes next year and then say, "open" and the Eiffel Tower will be there. I want to show them the London Bridge and the Grand Canyon and point with my finger to the ocean for Blaise like I did with Finn. I want to see the wonder fly across their eyes. I think this is one of the true joys of parenthood- the unlocking of the world's treasures.

Anyhoo, we talked about art and I remembered a lesson plan we did with the after school program over at Sawyer Recreation Center. Each year we studied different artists and the lesson plans were always unique and engaging. When we studied Michelangelo we made our own fresco's on the bottom of art room tables. We would set the kids up with paper taped on the underside of the tables and give them supplies. We would pass around images of the Sistine Chapel and then we would have them lie under the table as we told the story of Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel. We asked them to think about painting the same painting for four years! The kids were then asked to create their own masterpiece under the table. It was always a great lesson as paint would drip in their eyes and they would equally complain and praise the lesson. It was always a favorite.

Today Finn and Blaise and I did a small scale Sistine Chapel art lesson. Just as suspected Finnian loved it but said his arms ached after about two fresco's. He was shocked when I told him about the four years it took Michelangelo to create the Sistine chapel art. He made that funny perfect circle with his mouth. I wonder what four years means inside of his head?
T.S.Eliot wrote

Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons

What about you Finn?
crayons?
fruit snacks?
kisses from mama?

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With my own two hands/I can reach out to you

You know those framed art pieces that sit dusty in thrift stores or in yr own basement?
The inspirational quote with majestic mountain backdrop or that Monet Starry Night from yr college apartment?
They always look so sad to me and sometimes I buy them for a quarter just to do things like this:


We took Styrofoam meat trays and made some prints
(
like these ones from valentines)
simple simple
Just carve yr image with a toothpick in Styrofoam!
(We used some of daddy's old blueprints for paper)
Then we took a sad little Rosemary poem print picture and decoupaged Finn's prints right over the glass. It is drying nicely and for gift giving you could go over the top to make sure no bubbles were trapped, but for a four year old he did a great job!
We also had some cool prints left over in the Finnian organics series to give as cards.
It was a very productive morning and Finn learned to recycle and upcycle and think about art beyond perfect crisp new supplies!




Too bad the rest of the day is looking kinda like this:
AGHHHHHH!

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My whole life was like a picture of a sunny day




We love to make paper crafts here and Finn is collecting a little scissor collection. He loves to cut! When we go to the craft store he heads right to the cutter isle as he calls it.
(HELP-should I be buying left handed scissors for him? He is a lefty - am certain)

We made recycled lanterns this year (check it out) and it was fun, but Finn had trouble helping me then, but now he is like Edward Scissorhandhole.

Daddy sometimes has leftover blueprints and plans from work and we like to recycle them into art. Today we made giant lanterns to hang outside tomorrow night for our 4Th of July festivities. (It is our first real firework and such night- Joe the Brit and young kids ya know?) It was Joe's idea though, to let em stay up late and watch the fireworks! I am so excited!

You can make lanterns with any size paper and the simplest way to make them is to fold over the paper and cut on the fold. Make a bunch of slits but do not go all the way across the paper- leave an edge at the top. Unfold the paper and staple the short edges together. Cut a strip of paper for yr handle and VIOLA! It is good fine motor practice for the little guys and I can't believe how gorgeous they look hanging from the trees. If I were a real fancy pants I would string fairy lights through them too!

It rained on a few of them today, but the rest are safely tucked inside for Friday night. They look amazing against the green lush trees. I cannot wait to see what 20-30 of them look like in the backyard with some luminaries and sparklers. They are really simple, but make a major statement!


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And the white knight is talking backwards

Over the weekend we made some lacing cards. Last summer Finn discovered my old set from my childhood and loved them and we thought it would be fun to make some. We used an old storybook and cut out the images and took them to Kinkos to be laminated. We used a hole punch ( A new toy Finn loves) and made holes and then took some string and taped the end up and presto...the kid sat for 25 minutes quietly today! It also peeked his interest in Alice in Wonderland. Hello! We are so reading that this week!



I can't believe that!' said Alice.

Can't you? the Queen said in a pitying tone. Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.

Alice laughed. There's not use trying, she said: one can't believe impossible things.

I daresay you haven't had much practice, said the Queen.

When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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I can hear the music playin'/I can see the banners fly


I saw this book at the library this morning and liked the lesson on Tibetan Prayer Flags.
I read about how Tibetans improve themselves and do good for others by making prayer flags. They dye cloth in colors that mirror nature and write prayers and wishes on the flags. Tibetans believe that the flags represent the voice of God and need to be high in the sky for the wind to carry the messages into the world.

I like this.
I have lots of messages, wishes, and wonders that I would love to put out there. I figured Finn would be into this and after making plans with sweet P, I decided it was a Park Art day.
We played up a sweat, met a cool family from the UK, and made some prayer flags. We left them all guerrilla art/ephemeral bad ass style at the park, hanging from the old wooden wishing well-like a reminder to the wind...

Directions:

1. Cut out some square cloth (we used painters canvas) about 15 by 15 inches (pinking shears make it non fray)

2. Paint/dye/marker yr squares and write yr prayer or message ( sharpie here)
(Tibetans link flags in color patterns of blue, white, red, green, and yellow)

3. Attach to a string or rope ( we used a stapler) so the flags hang

4. Hang as high as you can for the wind to find and release!







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