Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Now that all the gifts have been opened, I can show you the brown sugar scrub the kids made for the special people in their lives. Papa, Grandma, Aunt Kathy, their teachers and babysitters all got a jar of it, and let me tell you, it's wonderful. I had to test it. I mean, I couldn't give away untested scrub, now could I. What if it didn't work? Luckily, I works really well and it was a perfect gift for a three year-old and a five year-old to make. Actually, the hardest part (for me) was getting a hold of the supplies. There isn't much call for exotic oils on Mackinac Island, though now that I've tried this stuff I'm going to have to keep a jar of it on hand all the time.
If you'd like to make a batch, you'll need:
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup sweet almond oil
- any kind of essential oil or similar to scent the scrub (if desired)
Mix the sugar and the oil, put in a tiny bit of smelly stuff (we used a very small amount of almond extract), put it in jars and you're done. One batch made just about three cups of scrub, which for us was three jars - so we ended up making three batches. I wish I could remember where I saw this recipe originally, but I do remember them saying that the recipe was basically a two to one ratio of sugar to oil - and that you could use different oils; olive, and coconut should work as well. In the end I went with the sweet almond oil they used because I try to stick to the original recipe the first time I make something...
We jarred our scrub in pint-size canning jars; dressed up with a pretty fabric circle, a direction label and a coordinated beaded spoon. The spoons were Kitchen Aid measuring spoons which had the "Kitchen Aid" part removed thanks to the help of a Mister Clean Magic Eraser. (I'm still in awe of how handy those little things are.)
The best part was watching the kids' faces as people opened the gifts they made. It was priceless...
Friday, December 25, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
They were really easy to make! I just printed out the names onto nice textured card stock and then trimmed it to the right size. The kids picked out the crayons they wanted to use, I hot glued them to the paper, and then I used double sided scrapbooking tape to attach the card stock to the back of the frame. The frames are about 3/4 inch deep collage frames, so those crayons are under glass. (I thought they would be easier to dust that way.) The kids made gifts too, but that's another post...
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
- glow in the dark bracelets
- two chocolate coins
- two stickers
- new pens and a note that says "write your name"
- a note saying "go to Turtle Park"
- bath confetti with a note saying "tonight is bath night!"
- two Beanie Babies with a note saying "snuggle with your new friend and watch a show"
- two small stuffed animals
- a note saying "play a game after dinner"
- new colored pencils
- two pair of snowman socks and a note saying "go jump on the bed!"
- a note saying "make a special project with Mama"
- two new cups with snowmen on them
- two little McDonald's stuffed puppies
I've had so much fun this December watching them take turns opening a present each night after dinner and then eagerly handing the note to their father or me to read. The Present Plate has been good for S and K; it has helped reinforce the lost art of taking turns, the importance of being happy for another's good fortune, remembering to say "thank you" (even when the gift isn't your favorite,) and of course - keeping track of how many days remain until Christmas (since they know we'll open the last one on Christmas Morning.)
I think this is going to become one of our family traditions...
Sunday, December 13, 2009
First, gather your supplies: square sheets of paper (I just use regular printer paper that I square using the paper cutter at school,) a pencil, scissors and a protractor. Take it from me, protractors are handy little tools to have laying around. Go ahead and get everything. I'll wait...
Monday, December 7, 2009
I thought you might like to take a gander at the island's downtown - at night. I just love how everything looks this time of year when it is all lit up.
Christmas lights just make me smile...
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Snowmobile season started on the perfect day because this weekend is the island's annual Christmas Bazaar. Lost of people brave the winter weather for this annual event.
Today we'll all go back to the Bazaar for lunch and to see Santa. He arrives at one - on a fire truck...
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I'd love to get to it sooner but Mackinac Island life is just crazy right now! The Christmas Bazaar is this weekend, DARE graduation is next week and the Christmas Program* at school is the week after that. Throw in the fact that my students and I are making light up cards for their parents and gingerbread houses between practices and I'm surprised we all have time to breathe!
*We may be one of the last schools left to actually have a "Christmas Program." I love how our entire town comes out for it - regardless of whether or not they have kids in school.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Last weekend my husband spent some time cleaning out the basement. (Hooray.) I was surprised when he brought his collection of Star Trek, excuse me - new and still in the box Star Trek, action figures upstairs. In the 13 years A and I have been married I've seen those things out of their trunk once. I was really surprised when he started opening them and giving them to the kids to play with. Apparently, they aren't particularly valuable so hubby decided he'd give them to the kids.
According to my son new "guys" to play with is a good thing. I think it's a good thing the basement is a wee bit cleaner and, of course, that my son now knows what Klingons are. Qapla!*
(For you non-Star Trek fans out there, Qapla (pronounced k-PLAH,) means "success" in the Klingon language. They use it as a salute in a greeting or farewell.)
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
A rock on Mars.
A rock on Mars named Mackinac Island...
I know, I know, right now all of my friends are giggling and remembering how I earned the nickname "The Nerd Magnet" all those years ago. It was bad enough that my dad, yes my own father, had a Nerd Magnet name tag made for me. I wear it with pride, though I don't think my husband appreciates it very much...
Saturday, November 21, 2009
A while back a friend called me. The conversation went something like this:
"Hey Liz, did you know that you can stand a broom on its bristles today?"
"You can! Really! The equator is aligned today. It won't be again for a few hundred years I heard. So just today you can actually balance a broom. We've had one standing up in our kitchen for, like, three hours now." I'm thinking, isn't the equator aligned every day? But instead I say,
"Yes, but you have to line up the bristles so they are facing north and south. That's the only way you can do it. It is so cool Liz - you've got to try it."
"OK, I'll give it a try. I don't know about the "aligned-equator" thing, the science teacher in me thinks that sound like a bunch of hooey, but I'll go give it a try."
So the Doubting Thomas in me went off to try it. After finding my compass (you know, because I wanted to do it right,) about 35 tries, and about 20 minutes I was able to do it. That broom stood there for a little over two hours - until the cat knocked it down.
Now, I don't think for a minute it had anything to do with equatorial alignment, the alignment of the planets or anything else other than the laws of physics. I think I, along with countless other people, would never stand in the kitchen and spend valuable time trying to get a to balance a broom unless the power of suggestion told me / us it was possible. Though I must admit that I actually had fun trying to get my broom to stand by itself and was quite proud of myself when I actually got it to work.
Now I just need to get the darn thing to sweep by itself and I'll be all set.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I know I'm late with this post, but I just had to share what our local American Legion did this year on Veteran's Day. It is one of the neatest things I've seen...