40 ideas Num 16 - Cardboard Art!

 My boys love any reason to use "real" paint so I knew they would get a kick out of this project.
All you need is cardboard, paints and brushes.

Want to make some pretty art? 
 I started by cutting the cardboard into squares.  1in by 1in squares, the 2in by 2in all the way up until we had a square for every color of ROY G BIV.
 Next we painted.  One color at a time.
 At some point I thought some smocks would be a good idea...
 Once all the squares were painted we went and ran errands while they dried.
 When they were dry I let Moses draw a heart on each square (I think this step adds a whole other layer of adorable to the project).  I drew hearts for Aaron since he isn't quite to that stage of skill yet.
 Then I cut the hearts out using my kitchen scissors. 
 I let Aaron glue his in order...
 And then they dry again!
 So pretty!  I think the cardboard adds a nice texture, don't you?
I just LOVE the one Moses did...those skinny little hearts are so cute!
 When the glue was dry I punched a hole and added some yarn to hang them.
 And that was it.  Even Aaron stayed for the whole project, which is rare for him.

I think this would be a cute method to make some clouds or stars too!

Thanks to "A Little of Learning" for the inspiration.  She makes hers a little differently.

Have fun making some pretty art!


patience and stitching.

One of my words to pursue for the year is "patience".  I'm not really the most patient person, with people or projects.  I want a project done in a few hours MAX and people to just moooooove over so I can do it myself.  But I have the "want to".  I want to be patient.  I have patience to be second nature to me.  So I have been praying for patience.  And don't you know...I'm pretty sure that God hears that prayer above all others and answers it with dump trucks.  You pray for patience and He gives you ways to grow it.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Try it, I dare you.  
Along those lines, I believe that if you want to obtain something, you must pursue it.  Sometimes you have to run after it.  It won't just fall in your lap.  Unless you are pursuing apples and sitting under an apple tree. 
So, a small part of my pursuit is this little project.  It will take a year to complete.  That's about 11 months and three weeks longer than I would normally choose for myself but...I thought it would be a good challenge for me. 
It doesn't hurt that it is completely adorable.  At the beginning of each month you are emailed a new pattern to add to your sampler. 

The process has been very therapeutic.  I feel like working on this in the evenings is my reward for working hard all day. 
I truthfully almost didn't do it.  I originally bought it (and all the materials needed) for my mother in law for Christmas.  Then thought it would be a good product to build up a little patience endurance. 
I've never really cross stitched in my life.  It's very simple to learn and do.  You just have to know how to count. 
You can do this with me...it's not too late to start.  Visit The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery to get the pattern, gather up your materials and get started!

Additionally some reminders:
Don't forget to enter the giveaway by Moen to winn $100 to Home Depot! :) 
And check out my post about saving for college with T Rowe Price! 
Chime in about sick days to win $100 CVS giftcard!

won't you "bee" my valentine? {free printable}

I made you something for Valentines day! :)

Actually, I made something so the boys would have a little something for their teachers for Valentines Day...and I like you enough to share with you, too!

Do you love Burt's?  I love Burt's...the only chapstick that lives regularly in our house...stashed everywhere so I can always find some.  Inspiration for these Valentines wasn't far from me... 

Want to see what I made?
I wanted to do something a little special for the teachers...but these would be great for friends too, don't you think?  Or your mail lady...or a neighbor...whoever needs a little love.
These take just a minute to whip up...all you do is print (on cardstock) the free printable I've made for you...trim and staple to a treat bag you can get at Michael's or Joann.  I found Burt's at Target but I'm sure it's everywhere.
And there you have a sweet little gift.  It doesn't get better than Burt's does it?
Do you love it? 
If you want to make these...just follow this link to download the printable. :)

Have fun making some! :) Be sure to pin it! 

Sick days {and $100 CVS giftcard!!}

So friends, what did you for January?  Us? Well, we spent most of it passing a nasty cold back and forth.  First, Doug, then the boys, then me and then me again.  It was one of the longest and most lingering colds we've ever had as a family.  Aaron ended it with the grand finale of a double ear infection.  Fun times were had by all.  I forgot what it was like to sleep through the night since each twilight we were guaranteed at least one visitor complaining about a certain ailment or another.   

It was, however, perfect timing a way though as I was asked by Children's Mucinex to participate in a series that deals with just that...cold and flu season and how to come out on the other side with a smile on your face.  Nothing like a fresh experience to provide some good writing inspiration, right?

In our house we do all we can do to prevent colds...lots of OJ, multi-vitamins, hand washing, eating well and just a hint of hibernation during the worst of the season.    When are boys were really little, we hibernated a lot more but as they've gotten older we've done that less and less.  Now we just make the most of sick days.  With both boys in school, any little scrap of extra time we can get is a bonus and as long as vomit is not involved we can usually have a good time, the boys get some extra time together and we use it as both an opportunity to slow down a bit and be thankful for the colds that they have.

Yes, thankful.  The boys being sick always makes me thankful.  Thankful for little problems like passing fevers, coughing and just enough sickness to slow us down.  Why are we thankful for those things?  Because in our case, it's the worse we ever have to deal with.  The worst we have ever had is a bad cold.  My boys don't spend days in the hospital, have only had a small handful of non-well child visits and have never come close to anything that was life threatening.  Their illnesses are short lived and soon enough their lives go back to normal.  They rebound quickly and pick up where they left off.  My boys being ill makes me thankful for their health and help me to remember and pray for those who aren't as fortunate and spend days and lives in a hospital.

It also makes me thankful that I can go out and get them whatever they need to bring them comfort.  Like that OJ, or gatorade, or juice, or blankets, or tissues, or medicines like Children's Mucinex.  I can get them whatever they need and I don't ever want to take that for granted.   

A lot of times the boys are just sick enough to keep them home but not so sick they can't still have a fun day.  Thankfully with medicines like Children's Mucinex Multi-Symptom Cold they can still make the most of their days with symptoms like a stuffy nose, cough and congestion tamed enough to allow a little fun in their day.

I'm looking forward to sharing some the ways we fill the sick day hours and I can't wait to hear how you do the same!

Wanna win a $100 CVS gift card?  Let me know: What activity makes your child smile when under the weather?  Here?  It's usually something that I pull from my secret stash of goodies that I keep hidden away for days like these...a new puzzle, a fresh box of crayons or a new book.

Children's Mucinex Multi-Symptom Cold is also offering a $2.00 off coupon to use on your next purchase.

When your child has a bad cold, you both can feel miserable. Children's Mucinex is the #1 children's brand for relieving congestion* and provides fast acting relief from your child's worst cold symptoms. Try Children's Mucinex Multi-Symptom Cold if your child needs relief from stuffy nose and chest congestion. Always use Children's Mucinex Multi-Symptom Cold as directed. (*Based on IRI unit share data for the 52 weeks ending November 2012)

No duplicate comments.
You may receive 1 total entry by leaving a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 1/30/2013 – 3/31/2013

Be sure to visit the Children's Mucinex Multi-Symptom Cold page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

February's HUGE hoho {and a couple of reminders}

Just wanted you to meet someone today...February's HUGE hoho (The little guy is in the photo for scale but not included in the raffles).

So far this year we've already raised $1095 to give 54 people clean water!!!  54 people have changed lives because of YOU GUYS!  That is so awesome!  I can't wait to see what the year holds! :)

Thank you thank you thank you!!
As a reminder, each entry is just $10!  Every month I'll make a new HUGE hoho!  You can make your donation HERE on my Hohos for Jesus page! :)  Or you can visit this button over on the right. :)

Don't forget to enter the giveaway by Moen to winn $100 to Home Depot! :) 
And check out my post about saving for college with T Rowe Price!

Now go go go! :)

Happy Sunday everyone!

a little of lately.

Well...January is over.  Can you believe it?  January was a month of finding rhythm.  And I think I found it.  Most weeks I make hohos on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are for "other".  Weekends are for fun.   At least that's the plan.  Interruptions include snow days and sickness but overall we are making the most of 2013 so far.  How about you?  Are you making the year happen or letting it happen?  Here's how we're making it happen so far...
I've been making pancakes for the boys on Monday mornings...makes breakfast for the week and the boys love it.  WIN.
Child labor is not a crime in this house.  Work together play together, right?
Moses is unofficially in charge of the artwork in the bathroom...
Cake making for one of Doug's employees.  You never outgrow a good cake.
These are our favorite daily devotionals.  You can buy them all on Amazon.
Everyone still gets treats each week...teachers, directors, coworkers and even my mailman. 
Aaron loves dalmations.  He's getting a life sized one for his birthday this month.  He may die of Joy.
The weather here has been very Virginia.  Snow one day, riding bikes with no jackets the next.  I'm OK with that. 
Went to my first concert in years and years.  Zac Brown Band was awesome.  We had lots of fun.
Finally decorating the boys room. :)
A favorite activity on a cold day?  Bath, jets, bubble and bathroom heater. :)
Love day is coming.
Winner of January's HUGE hoho!  A new one coming! :)
I made 161 hohos in January. :) You can get on the waiting list...right now it's into mid-March.  Email me at ricracandpompoms @ gmail.com to get one!
Because I can't just watch TV...I've been working on this. :) Pattern from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.
 Every Saturday we work together to reset the house and bring it back to spotless and together.  A great way to start the weekend. 
 Family portrait collect started.  One of two I have so far from Newspaper Balloon. :) Go get one for you! :)
Everyone makes snowmen...how many people make snow-Jabba?

I hope your weekend is wonderful.  :) Time to go get on that cleaning!

Saving for College {a sponsored post}

Are you a parent, like me, who thinks and wonders how you'll be able to pay for college when the time comes?  I don't know about your household, but in ours, further education of some sort is a non-negotiable.  There are just too few opportunities to succeed these days without some sort of degree or extended education program.  Having a college degree is now a mainstream thing; most job offers won't even look at or consider you if you don't have one.

I want the world to be wide open to my boys.  When I applied to go to college, I was a woman on a mission.  I had been told from a young age that I was TOO DUMB for college, despite good grades all through school.  True story.  Apparently my parents had so little faith in my ability to succeed in college that they denied me their tax information come time to apply for financial aid.  Do you know what that meant?  Instead of getting a FREE RIDE because my parents were so poor, I had to take out student loans to pay for college, on top of having several jobs.
I'm still paying for my parents cruelty. I did, however, graduate Magna Cum Laude. So there is that. :)

I want the opposite for my boys.  I want them to run forward into their futures with their only worry to be WHERE to go to college (Virginia Tech, of course).  The how-to-pay is on my shoulders as a parent (along with Doug).

Since this is something I have thought about since the day Moses was born over six years ago, I was excited to be approached by T. Rowe Price to look over their savings options for just this purpose.

After becoming more familiar with what they have to offer, I'm excited to get started, to start SOMEWHERE (because honestly, isn't the thought of saving thousands of dollars completely daunting?!).

I breathed a sigh of relief when I learned that you could start with as little as $50 a month.  I can do that.  I could even do that PER child.  Not only that, but anyone can contribute... aunts, uncles, grandparents.  What do they need with another toy when that money could go towards their education instead and provide a lasting gift?

Some other aspects I liked included tax-free benefits, nationwide choices in colleges (if for some crazy reason they don't choose Virginia Tech) and you can get the account fee waved if you sign up for an automatic payment plan (because I honestly don't need another thing to remember anyway).

And just in case they get a full scholarship somewhere, the money can also be used for things like books and housing and other fees.

They offer a very user-friendly, down-to-earth plan to help parents like us get started.  I like that I can read what they are talking about and understand it.  Plain and simple.

Take a look and see for yourself; maybe you need someplace to start like me.

The T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan is offered by the Education Trust of Alaska. You should compare this Plan with any 529 college savings plan offered by your home state or your beneficiary's home state and consider, before investing, any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in the home state's plan. Please read the Plan's Disclosure Document which includes investment objectives, risks, fees, charges and expenses, and other information. Earnings on a distribution not used for qualified expenses may be subject to income taxes and a 10% federal penalty. State tax laws and treatment may vary.You should read the Plan Disclosure Document carefully before investing. For other important legal information, please read the Plan's Privacy Policy. T. Rowe Price Investment Services, Inc., Distributor/Underwriter.

Visit the T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan site to learn how to get started.
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