Friday, February 25, 2011

Quin's Heart Shaped Crayon Valentines

A few of you asked either how Quin's Valentine crayons ended up turning out, or wondered how I made them. (Thanks for asking!)

I started them way back mid January. I always buy enough crayons before school starts so that I can replace them half way through the school year. (Crayons are MUCH less expensive before school than now!) I always feel guilty throwing away the crayons, but my students really have no interest in using them once they are broken or dull, and I hate the crayon sharpeners (I usually give the end of the year crayons away to summer type camps...).

Quin asked me a couple months ago how crayons were made, so I thought this would be a great project for the two of us to do together with all of the old, gross crayons from my room!
We started with these!
And then sorted them by color.
After sorting them by color, we peeled them. Okay, I peeled them! Quin tried, got frustrated and gave up very easily. The peeling was by far the most time consuming part!
Quin and I broke the crayons into little pieces and placed them into like colored heart spaces. I bought the heart shaped silicone ice cube trays on clearance last year for $1.
We baked them in batches, for about 8 minutes at 300 degrees.
The process of baking and cooling takes a long time! It isn't hard, just time consuming (like laundry!). We would have to remember to take one 'load' out, let it cool, dump them and then start another 'load'.
We put various colors of the crayons into plastic bags and tied a heart onto each one. I wanted to write 'Will you be my valentine, for crayon out loud', but Jason didn't think it was very threeschool-ish. We settled on 'Crayon you be my valentine?'.
Quin loved passing them out to her friends, and she was able to keep a set for herself!
We made a large rainbow heart crayon for her teacher, and the classroom aide. It was so much fun to watch the colors run together!
Overall, I don't think I spent more than $8 (I bought the trays, ribbon and paper). Not bad... I would probaly have spent more than that on cards and candy.

Happy {Very Belated} Valentine's Day

I have no idea where the last two weeks have gone! Well, actually I do... Most of it was taken up by screaming, whining, coughing, nose wiping, antibiotics... you name it :( I am so happy to report that we are over all of it, for the moment anyways.
(Okay, maybe not the whining, we always have a lot of that - ugh!).

Unfortunately, because of the cold/ear infections we didn't spend a whole lot of time 'feeling the love' of Valentine's Day at our house. The kids all started to get colds a few days before Valentine's, but really started to lose their battles the day before. I saw a picture on line of cinnamon rolls shaped like hearts, and thought they were adorable. I used my regular monkey bread recipe, and rolled them instead of balling them. (We love a good butter/cinnamon/brown sugar weekend treat!). Not even these yummy creations could keep smiles on their faces for long :(
Well... the cinnamon rolls were the one and only thing that we did that day. I had a few more ideas (heart shaped pancakes, pink playdough...) that I wanted to do, but we never got to them :(
It took the kids over a week to get over their colds/ear infections. Oh well, there is always next year!

I did, however, want to get pictures of them in their heart shirts. I had to take the morning off this past week to attend one of their speech therapy appointments. We had an extra hour or so together, so I was able to snap a few shots.

Quin got into her dress up clothes before I could get a picture of her just in heart shirt.
Easton, in action!
Gianna had no interest in a picture. She kept blowing me kisses instead :) She was too busy playing with Quin's little hand held game thinga-ma-jig.
I couldn't resist posting this one of Ellery. She comes across very serious, but once she warms up there is a silly side to her!
We hope that you all had a fabulous Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snowday(s) Snapshots

We had an unplanned mid-week break due to the 'blizzard' this past week. We got around 18 inches of snow in a very short amount of time, coupled with lots of blowing and very cold temperatures. All of these together equalled two snowdays - yay!

By the afternoon of the first day, Quin and Jason were out trying to shovel/snowblow the driveway. Quin loved it, although I don't think her little shovel made a dent in all that snow!
This is the view from our front door. The area on the porch is covered, and snow doesn't usually accumulate there. The wind blew tons of snow on the porch - you can't even tell that the porch floor has a checker board pattern on it!
In my book, Snowdays = Food+Crafts+Fun
We started out the morning with gorilla bread (aka - monkey bread on cream cheese steroids) Double Yum!
We made heart shaped apple and strawberry pies.
I love this picture!
And, snow ice cream!
We put 10 cups of *fresh* snow in the bowl, a can of sweetened condensed milk and a tsp. of vanilla all together - and mixed. (note to anyone who wants to try - I would refridgerate the condensed milk for a few hours before hand, so it wouldn't melt the snow so quickly).
All of the kids loved it!
There was a whole lot of dancing throughout the two days. (Thanks again Uncle Nate for the Yo-Gabba-Gabba CD... not sure if I ever want to hear that one again! ;)
Quin and I made good ole' fashion heart suncatchers (crayon and wax paper melted with an iron)
She and I also spent most of the second day finishing up our 'heart crayons' that we have been working on. She will be giving these away as Valentine's to her classmates later in the week.
I was also giddy to have had some extra time to start organizing my sewing supplies! We have been slowly working to refinish our basement into a playroom/sewing area (it has been painfully slow!). My sewing machine was covered with a few inches of dust, and I found fabrics that I had forgotten all about. My old sewing room/guest bedroom will soon become Easton's bedroom. I can't wait until it is all moved and organized!!!
I was telling Jason last night that I think the last two days are what weekends should really feel like! Our weekends are so often filled with running errands, making meals, cleaning and lesson planning that I forget to spend REAL time with my family! I am so thankful for the two days that the blizzard gave to us!

Winter/Valentine Art

I had a life lesson when putting together our latest footprint art.
I thought it would be adorable to have a set of footprint snowmen decorated 'perfectly' by me (on our front door, facing the road) and Quin's version (facing inward on the door, towards our living room). While working together on the snowmen (I was drawing on my own, and she was copying on hers), I had to go to the kitchen for two minutes to do something with dinner. When I came back, all of the 'scarves' and 'faces' had been drawn on both my paper and hers. My gut reaction was to quit, we were done - they didn't look anything like I had intended! After looking again though... I saw the most adorable snowmen! They are so much cute-er than if I had instructed her step by step...
So, my lesson for the day... It is the process, not the product. (Although, the product is pretty cute too!) Thank you to Quin for reminding me of that!
We also worked on handprint penguins, but those too went a little awry! After cutting them out and decorating them, I realized that all of the fingers should have been black - with just a white belly. Oh well... they are still cute!
The woman who watched the kids last year put this adorable Valentine's Day foot hearts together, and I had hoped to do a replica of it for this year so that we could compare the foot growth in the past year.
Unfortunatley, we didn't get to it over the past few days, so chances are it won't happen. Maybe next year!