Sunday, January 27, 2013

More Mother Bears

I made a couple more bears for the Mother Bear Project this year.  Last year, I had said I wanted this to be an annual tradition, making 3 bears (one in honor of each of my children).  This year, I pooped out after the 2nd bear.

The truth?  Charity knitting/crocheting is super fun, but this particular pattern is not one I enjoy working up, especially not three times in a row.  So I'm reneging on my intent to do bears every year.  Let's just say that maybe I'll do some more some day?

Regardless, these two bears are off to some little kids in need of a hug.  They go with prayers for comfort and peace!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Wrap Up: A New Coat for Anna

Before Christmas we spent a week with the Five in a Row book A New Coat for Anna.  I just love this book.  In it, Anna and her mother barter some of their nice things for the materials they need to have a new coat made for Anna.

We played bartering one morning.  Jono was a doctor, Charlie was a dad spiderman with kids, and Hazel was a farmer.  Hazel needed some vet care for her cows, but didn't have any money, so she offered Jono some of her fruits and veggies from the farm.  Charlie needed milk from Hazel's cows for his children, and offered one of his cat's kittens to chase mice in her barn.  We created some other scenarios, too, but they escape my memory at the moment.

In the book, Anna and her mother dye the yarn for her coat red using ligonberries.  We dyed some wool yarn with Kool-Aid!  Such a fun and simple process.  

On our long road trips over Christmas, I knit their yarn into something of their choosing.  Charlie chose a hat for him and a matching hat for kitty.  Hazel chose the same (haven't done her kitty's yet), and Jono asked for a small stuffed alligator.  

We read some wonderful go-along books that had similar plots.  I highly recommend:
Charlie Needs a Cloak by Tomie DePaola
Blackberry Booties by Tricia Gardella

We also took a trip to the WWII museum here in New Orleans, since Anna takes place in worn-torn Europe after WWII.  That museum is amazing, and I can't wait to go back, but I'll go next time without my kids.  It was over their heads, which I expected.  And while they certainly enjoyed seeing the planes and tanks and things, I felt somewhat disrespectful with my rowdy excited 4 and 5 year olds in such a somber environment.  Plus, it was recommended by the curators that we skip the entire 2nd floor due to extremely graphic images in the exhibits on the Asian front of the war.  So, note to those thinking about taking children to a war museum.  Don't. 

I'm sure we did other things with Anna, but frankly, I didn't take good notes and Christmas happened between then and now.  That's all I remember, folks! Thanks for reading!

Gumbo Parade

We had an Elf on the Shelf for the first time this year!  I had so much fun staging his antics every night after the kids went to bed, and managed to snap a picture of most of them.  So, here are the 2012 activities of Gumbo Parade, the elf!

photo graffiti
board games with the reindeer
riding the toy fire truck
sipping syrup
switched out the kids' stockings for their underwear 
"snow" angel
weighing himself in the bear balance
pretending to be a pet rat
superhero, zip lining
roasting marshmallows
spelling his name
nativity scene
pirate Gumbo
reading a cat book to the cats
hanging upside down from the mistletoe
hiding among the reindeer
"snowball" fight 
"toilet paper"
the last night! he used streamers and tape to trap the kids in their rooms so they couldn't peek at Christmas early!
Christmas morning! 
I endured a lot of teasing from my friends about being an Elf on the Shelf overachiever, but really, pinterest makes it EASY.  Almost none of these were original ideas.  I made a master list of 40 or so ideas from pinterest at the beginning of the month, and then just picked one that would be easy to pull off every night after kids went down.  Totally worth it!

See you next year, Gumbo Parade!