Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Paper Plate Snowmen and Homemade Play-doh

Jorja and I made homemade Play-Doh today. Here is the recipie we used. It worked pretty well:
  • 3cups flour
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 7 drops food coloring

Mix dry ingredients with oil. Add food coloring to water and mix
together. Add water to flour/salt/oil mixture slowly~about 1/4 cup
at a time and mix together with a spoon. Once you've added all the water,
knead the dough with your hands.

Jorja enjoyed making big cut out necklaces for her teachers out of it. We'll see if it hardens in a few days.

Afterwards she made this paper plate snowman all by herself. The broom is a pocket and there are two candy canes in it. She wants to give this to her teacher as well.

Stockton's Cake

Today is Stockton's birthday. He is now a big nine year old.

This week, Stockton and I finished his Cake animation video for his school's reflections contest. He was pretty excited to get it done.

Happy Birthday Stocky Boy!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Spyro on the Wii

Maysen has gotten me addicted to Spyro on the Wii.

We had a lot of fun tonight taking turns and trying to defeat some pretty hairy bosses. First we got past a band of pirates.

Maysen did a great job jumping across the jellyfish forest and ridding the world of a few bad dudes inside a tree trunk. Then we had to take on this huge tree monster named Arborick. Crazy crazy.

Now we've been captured by pirates and are being forced to battle giant scorpions in some kind of gladiator arena.
Let's hope I don't have nightmares over this!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Butterfiles from Bottles

Jorja and I made butterflies out of an old 2-liter bottle today. We found the instructions on how to do it here:

If there's one thing Jorja likes to do, it's painting!

She is quite handy with a pair of scissors!

Jorja made the big blue butterfly and I made the smaller orange and brown one. We still need to make the bodies--so far we have only made the wings. Next time I make a run by the craft store I'll need to pick up some polymer clay so we can finish these off.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Let them make cake

UPDATED: We added music and finished the animation over the past couple of days...

The kids' school is having a Reflections contest, and the students can enter any kind of art projects they have made. The theme is "wow". Stockton decided to make a stop-motion animation of a cake making and baking itself for his entry. We worked on it tonight. Here is what we put together so far...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Remodeling a Groovy Tent Trailer

We bought a 1970's StarCraft tent trailer a few months ago for $500 from some friends of ours. So far we've only taken it out once but I'd like to use it more often.

It sleeps 5 - which is one short for our family, and it's decorated in true 70's style - mustard colors, dark wood, yellow linoleum, etc. A bit too retro for my taste. It needs quite a bit of work mechanically as well. The lift mechanism needs to be redone, as raising the tent up is a real chore, and it's got a 2x4 holding part of the tent to the roof.

Lately I've felt the urge to do some remodeling. We've decided to take out the odd fold-up closet and some of the drawers in order to make a second bench/table/bed combination so that it can sit and sleep our whole family. I have left over wood flooring from the bowling alley we made in the basement and that should make quite an improvement. My Home-EC-major sister-in-law volunteered to help sew some new covers for the benches and beds.

I took two-year-old Preston outside to spend some quality time with tools. We're in the process of dismantling everything so that we can redo the floors, replace the dark wood paneling, and rebuild the cabinets. Preston enjoys taking out screws and putting them in a jar for safekeeping.

Here are some additional pictures of the "before". Stay tuned for some "after" in the near future...

Holy 70's flooring batman!

Preston and Stockton exploring the trailer...

There was a old in-wall cooler in this hole. I plan to replace it with a working mini-fridge. Also seen above is a plank of wood flooring to cover up the sins of a past decade.

These cushions are in really good condition, but I think recovering them will add a really nice touch. It will also help make the place smell better...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Board Games of Greece

Maysen is big-time into mythology. Today she started making a mytholology board game where you pick a hero, do battle with mythical creatures, and draw cards to gain favor from ancient greek gods.

Can't wait to give it a try when it is finished!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sugar Cookies with the Porge

Jorja chose to make sugar cookies today. She sure does love that new arpon and chef hat!

Friday, January 9, 2009

When I see an Elefun Fly

Years ago we bought our kids an Elefun - a toy elephant that blows little "butterflies" into the air that you try to catch with a net. The problem with this toy, as most people discover, is that it just doesn't have enough oompf to make the butterflies come out without a little coaxing. Thus, we ended up throwing ours out.

A couple of weeks ago I saw one at a thrift store and decided it would be fun to give it a bit more juice by replacing the batteries with a higher voltage power supply. Preston and I decided to work on that today.

What two year old doesn't like using a screwdriver, playing with batteries, and snipping wires? Well, Preston certainly does...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Making Movies With Maysen

Maysen decided to make a baby-einstein-style movie for Preston using his favorite toys, stuffed animals, etc. It will be a combination of stop-motion animation and live video with music when completed.

We shot a few scenes of her bouncing around on a big hippity-hop ball and me scooting along on a wheeled horse, and then moved on to some stop-motion animation of his toys.

When completed, she wants to surprise Preston with the video during a road trip. We'll post it here when done.