Friday, June 29, 2012

Big Summer Fun, $0

What do you do when you have a houseful of kiddos who need to run off energy and the temps outside are at the 3 digit mark and the budget says there's no extra $$$ for a trip to the water park?

Create your own Water Arcade!

We drew a target (note the rainbow colors - art and science lesson right there. Can you say 'Summer School'?) on a piece of poster board. Tape to a plastic deck chair. Dunk splash (foam) balls into a bucket of water, and then . . .

"Step right up! 3 throws per customer, please! Test your skill! Who can hit the Bull'sEye?!"

Splash Ball Target Practice kept them busy for a couple hours. Time enough for Mom to kick back with an Iced Coffee and a good book. Gotta love summer!

A Trip the Big Fancy Waterpark=BIG BUCKS.
Making Fun Memories in the Backyard=PRICELESS.

Linking this post up with Big Family Friday at Holy-Spirit Led Homeschooling.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Easy Birthday Centerpiece

One would think that being a larger-than-average family, we would have birthdays spread out throughout the year.

But, no. We have grid-lock birthday season, and then a couple more here and there. We've just survived yet another jam-packed birthday season, 1 Mama, 2 sons, 3 daughters and 1 daughter-in-law. In 5 1/2 weeks. And this year we threw in Luke's High School Graduation Celebration. Whew! I'm tired just reading that!
There are upcoming posts 'in-draft' to document some of these events more properly, but today I'm going to share how to make this fast and festive, frugal, fun and fabulous table decoration.

You'll need:
paper (any size, any color, the more you have the more you can make. I used 8.5x11 colored printer paper)
scissors (or some type of cutting tool)
pencil (used as a wrapping tool)
cellophane tape
and something to use for the 'stems' or stick-holders (we used chop sticks but straws, dowels, pencils would work)

Cut several strips, 1/4" wide or so, from each color of paper. Then wrap each strip, individually, tightly around a smooth pencil. (see picture left)
Release the paper strip and you a beautiful ribbon-like curl. (see picture right)

Tape one end of each curl to your chopstick or straw (see picture below).

 Place in a vase or glass, and VOILA! Instant, festive, centerpiece. Kiddos made this for Dad's birthday a couple months ago. It was recycled for recent birthdays and re-vamped with more blue and orange for Luke's graduation party.

You'll find more tips and ideas over at:
 works for me wednesdays

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Hidden Art of Homemaking - Chapter 11

Creative Recreation

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines 'recreation' as "(1)Refreshment of the strength and spirits after toil; amusement; diversion.  (2)Relief from toil or pain; amusement in sorrow or distress. (3) A forming anew."

The New Oxford American Dictionary gives the origin of the word:
"late Middle English (also in the sense [mental or spiritual consolation] ): via Old French from Latin recreatio(n-), from recreare ‘create again, renew.’"

I prefer the third definition. And that seems to fit with the spirit of this chapter.

In the 9th grade, I learned the old hymn "Morning Has Broken". To this day I enjoy hearing it and singing it. I can still recall the sweet words and melody. The last line says:

"Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day."
(lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon, music a traditional Gaelic tune) 

Our choir director had us pronounce the word 'recreation' as 're - creation'. After all, God has already created the very first day. And so each new day is a re-creation. That thought has stuck with me ever since.

I have watched over the years as my young children have spent nearly entire days re-creating, using the imagination, exploring and discovering. It energizes them. And one thing leads to another and they are off in a whole new world.  Is that what God intended recreation to do for us? To energize us? To inspire us to create more?

What is it that refreshes and rejuvenates and renews you?

Tennis, anyone? Boating? Badminton? How about a ballgame? What is your favorite recreational activity? 

Or maybe it's a walk in the park? an afternoon at the museum? an evening out with friends? Time spent at a favorite hobby might do the trick. 

Honestly, though, we live in a culture that seems to thrive on leisure and recreation. It is so easy to put these first, and skimp on the 'work' part of life. Around here we are trying to learn better habits - work first, play after. Work hard and reap the rewards. Hard work makes down-time so much sweeter.

Throughout Edith Schaeffer's book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking, she shares many ideas to inspire creative recreation. I've enjoyed re-reading her book, and am gathering up ideas to implement in the months and years to come. 

You can read my thoughts on previous chapters by clicking here and browsing through earlier posts.

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul,'Therefore I hope in Him!'
Lamentations 3:22-24

Photo Credit:  Daughter Caitlin snapped this one of Son Luke, after an exhausting photo shoot for his senior pictures.  It was Luke's way of saying, "Sorry, Sis. I'm DONE."

This post was originally part of a group book study on The Hidden Art of Homemaking, but I'm also linking this up with the Wise Woman Link Up.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - 6/25 to 7/1

Things have been hoppin' 'round here this summer season. We've now wrapped up birthday season, graduation, and dealt with a number of unexpected household crises. We are looking forward to a few relaxing not-so-busy days before out of town friends stop in for a visit, followed by the Third Annual Movie-Making Weekend Caitlin and Luke host here each summer.

And so, once again I'll say it. I'm so very happy to have a menu plan!

Monday -- b'fast-homemade donuts
                  lunch-tuna salad
                  snack-celery&peanut butter

Tuesday -- b'fast-oatmeal
                  lunch-ramen w/ veg&meat
                  snack-graham crackers
                  supper-Italian Open-Faced Sandwiches
Wednesday -- b'fast-ww toast, fruit
                  lunch-Mom's Chicken Soup
                  snack-chips w/ hummus
                  supper-sweet'n'sour meatballs over rice

Thursday -- b'fast-burritos
                  lunch-mac n' cheese
                  snack-granola bars

Friday -- b'fast-waffles
                  supper-Chili Mac

Saturday -- b'fast-cereal, bagels, yogurt, fruit
                  supper-Taco Salad for a Crowd

Sunday -- b'fast-cereal, bagels, yogurt, fruit
                  dinner-Pulled BBQ Chicken (favorite crockpot meal, easy for a crowd)

You can check out more great menu plans at OrgJunkie's Menu Plan Monday

You Might Also Enjoy:

these related posts