Sunday, March 28, 2010

Balloon Bubble Bath

I found a quick way to entertain the girls today. I blew up a ton of balloons (less than 100, because there are still some left in the package) and filled up an empty laundry basket. Then they dove right in!

For added fun, we tried to stick them on from head to toe (fleece jackets helped a lot in this department). And we had a balloon 'snowball fight'. Not bad for about 65 cents worth of balloons!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Taste a Rainbow

Have you ever wondered what a rainbow tastes like? Now you can find out.

Just be prepared to spend a lot of quality time with your Pyrex measuring cup, because you'll be using it over and over as each layer needs to be prepared and allowed to set up individually.

First, gather up all the flavors of your rainbow. Mine was a sort of Franken-jello assortment.
Then choose a CLEAR vessel for your jello rainbow to take form. You definitely want to be able to SEE the layers if you are going to go through the trouble of creating them. I chose 'Clear Cut Crystal' cups from Chinet, but the mega-rainbow in a trifle bowl I saw today on 4 Crazy Kings is perfect for a large group (and less toil in the kitchen), not to mention a show-stopping centerpiece on anyone's St. Patrick's Day dessert table. Find it here:
After blending color #1 in the first cups of boiling water and cool water, pour the first color evenly amongst the cups. I started with blue at the bottom, and worked my way up to red. Allow to set up (at least one hour) in the refrigerator. Then repeat with the remaining jello mixes. To speed up the solidifying process a bit, add ice cold water (minus the ice) for the additional cup, not just cold water from the tap.

One point I picked up from another blogger was that her red and orange layers bled so closely in color that she was not able to tell them apart. So to set my red apart, I added a few drops of red food coloring before pouring to make sure the red was deep and vibrant.

When all the layers are set and all your little leprechauns are ready for dessert, top each cup with a big whipped cream cloud and for a wee bit of extra charm, tuck in a chocolate gold coin. As an alternative, for those with milk allergies or lactose-intolerance issues, you can use mini marshmallows or Fluff to top your rainbows instead.

FYI: These five boxes of jello mix filled nine 9 oz. cups to the BRIM. I am sure you could fill ten if need be, but the layers would be thinner of course.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Counting Down the Days 'til Dad Gets Home

My husband has a trip out of town. A BIG trip. A LONG trip. And he's not just going out of town. He's leaving the country. Fourteen days in Beijing, and 4 days in Tokyo.

To help my girls better grasp the idea of how long he'll be gone - better yet, how soon he'll be back! - I took the idea of an Advent calendar countdown paper chain and turned it into a "Countdown 'til Dad Gets Home" project. Every morning while he's away, they get to snip off one ring of the chain.
Also, to give the girls a little cultural lesson and to specify where their Dad is, each link is designated, somewhat, with the characteristics of his host country's flag:
a yellow star added to solid red cardstock for the flag of China,
a red circle centered against white for the flag of Japan,
and red, white and blue ribbons for the USA (days of his departure and arrival).

We plan on working our way to the top, and we look forward to reaching that final ring on March 31st!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wet Snow = Indoor Time

A new (half) blanket of the white stuff came to Georgia again today. It stuck on the grass, rooftops, and parked cars, but not much else.

There were several hours of rain before the snow arrived, so even the snow that accumulated was too wet to play in. My two little ones are a bit under the weather anyway, so we took advantage of our time indoors and read some of our favorite snow-themed books.

Snow, by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
A quick read and appeals to anyone with a deep, nostalgic appreciation of snow (it spans a generation of snow-appreciating rabbits):
The Snowflake Sisters, by J. Patrick Lewis
Twin sister snowflakes, Crystal and Ivory, take in the sights of New York City. The poetry in this book has an unusal flow - in a good way - and by that, I mean if your book stash is heavy on Dr. Seuss material, you will enjoy it.

Snowballs, by Lois Ehlert
The most creative parts make up this snowman - pieces from nature, fabric/cloth from different parts of the world, and other recycled materials.

Then for lunch, I made the girls a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup. Did I say make? Uh, between you, me and Mr. Campbell...

I have one child who is fond of soup (well, at least the carrots and 'doodles') and the other, not so much. So I always try to provide a little selection of accoutrements that they can dunk or crunch on along side their soup. Today we had biscuits, crackers and pretzels on hand, but I often offer toast triangles, croutons or Goldfish.

Maybe your kids would enjoy corn chips, bagel rounds, itty bitty pita triangles or Shirley Temple's favorite - animal crackers. Another must: be sure to add an ice cube or two so they can stir their soup to their preferred temperature.