Saturday, December 20, 2008

First Snow Day

Friday was our sons first Snow Day ever, the first one where his school was closed for the day. He ended up playing computer games and watching T.V. all the time asking if he could go out and play in the snow.

Now you have to understand that this was not just a snowstorm, this was a huge snowstorm that actually caused Hamilton to shut down. Even the Bus system stopped running. It was cold and not actually a safe time to be outside, and yet that is all he wanted to do.

Eventually the weather calmed down a bit and we went outside for maybe 20 minutes to a half hour before a weather warning flashed on the T.V. telling everyone to get inside. Just as we started in the wind hit again so we were actually quite lucky that we went out when we did.

This is what it looked like trying to look out our windows, and he still wanted to go out into it.

Here is the snowstorm calm enough for us to go out into. Yes this is what it looked like when we were out in it. Can you tell this is a street with houses all down it, oh and a large apt. building just past the tree. What you see is a street full of snow and that is about it.

Here we are out playing in a snowstorm. It is in the middle of the day, and it is dark and well kind of hard to see. What makes this picture fuzzy is all the snow falling.

We came in and what do you think the first thing he asked was? “Can we go back out and play in the snow?”

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas light walks

This year as long as the weather in mild enough we are taking our kids out for Christmas light walks. Today was our first real snowfall and the kids enjoyed playing in the snow and looking at the lights. Here are the pictures of the wonderful Christmas lights we saw. We are going to go out again and take more pictures until Christmas. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed the walk.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A family tradition; Gingerbread house 2008

Someone once asked me what my favorite family tradition was and at the time I did not have one. Now I do. This is our third year of making Gingerbread something at Christmas time. We tend to do a mix of whatever kits the kids pick that year. However we do plan to start creating our own design’s, as the kids get older and more creative.

Every year we buy a gingerbread house and gingerbread train kit and then spend the good part of a day making them with our kids. This year our son picked the gingerbread house and our daughter picked the princes castle made with vanilla cookie.

Out of the box every thing comes, all the candy on plates and the icing bags all ready to go. So the fun part is getting everything to hold together. It did not work so well last year, but this year it was perfect.

Then Mom and Dad put the icing on and away the kids go, putting candy every place they can, including inside themselves, lol.

As always we have a lot of fun creating these, however I did notice that for every candy that went on the princess castle one went into our daughter. Can anyone say – sugar high! We went for a walk once we were done just to burn off all the candy our kids ate. They had way more then they are used to. I think the gingerbread house and princess castle look great.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas craft to do with kids - egg carton bells for the tree

I always like making Christmas decorations with my children. Fist it is fun, second it gives us positive memories, and third it is usually less expensive then buying a bunch of decorations.

This year we had a lot of fun decorating plastic Christmas balls and other ornaments. However last year we made paper egg carton bells, and they look a lot better then expected on the tree. Trust me, I was worried when we were making them, but we had fun and that is what counted, and the kids remembered that they made them last year.

You will need:

Egg cartons. We used the paper ones but the Styrofoam ones might work just as well.
Scissors. We used plan ones but there are some cool shaped ones out there that could make interesting edges to your bells.
Paint and brushes. We used poster paint but almost any paint will do. Just find what is easy to clean up and does not take forever to dry.
Glue and glitter. We used glue and loose glitter last year. This year I invested in Glue glitter – glue that already has glitter in it. I found it easer to work with and clean up, but not as much fun for the kids as loose glitter.
Plastic string, ribbon or even pipe cleaners. This is to tie onto the bell and hang it off the tree.

You cut the egg carton into “bells”. You can clean the edges up for smooth looking bells or just cut the egg carton and leave the shape as is. It is all up to you and how quickly you want to give them to the kids to paint. If your kids are older and you have the funky edged scissors you may want to let them shape the bells.

I used the tips of the scissors to make two little holes or slices into the top of the bell that I will eventually put the string, ribbon or piping into. Then the kids get to paint their harts out. Once the painting is done we put them aside to dry. We actually spent several days painting, a little bit each day.

Once the bells are dry then you have fun with the glue and glitter. I put glue into little bowls and the kids used paintbrushes to put it on and then we held it over a bin and added glitter. We had several different colors of glitter, but eventually we had a bin of multi colored glitter. Some of the bells only have on color others multi colors.

Again we did this for a couple of days. We only did a few bells a day, it made it fun, but because we only did a few each day the kid’s attention was easy to keep. Once they became distracted or frustrated it was easy to stop and put things away until “tomorrow”. It also took all the pressure to finish what we started, or to get them all done by some deadline away. When the time was right we worked on them, and when other things were of more interest we left them alone.

The end result was worth the time and effort, and I am not just talking about how nice the bells look on the tree. The kids enjoyed it; it gave them an inexpensive way to create something special for Christmas. I put the plastic string into the bells, it was a task a little to difficult for a then 2 and 4 year old, but they got to put them up on the tree as I was quickly tying the string.

This is a fun project.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I played the Deal or No Deal game and a five year old put me to shame

We were at a 5 year olds birthday party at one of those pizza and game places. There was a Deal or No Deal game where you could win tickets for the prizes. It looked like a lot of fun as I watched a 5 year old play. She won 70 tickets, not bad when the big prize is 200 tickets.

Then my son played and won 68 tickets. Not bad. I went and got some tokens to try. There was large group of people at the game when I got back with my tokens so I waited my turn. Well the pizza arrived before I got to the game so I went to dinner and listened to everyone talk about how many tickets they got and how much fun the game was. I had to play. So as soon as dinner was done me and my tokens headed to the Deal or No Deal game.

The five year old girl was playing again when I got there. I cheered her on as she won 150 tickets this time around. The last two cases were the 100 and 200 ticket ones, and she took the deal. Smart move the one she had picked held the 100 tickets.

Then I was up. I picked my case and off we went. To make a long story short the last two cases were for 1 or 10 tickets. I won 1 ticket. I could not believe it. I had to try one more time. Lets just say that I did good taking the 6 ticket deal because this time I picked the 2 ticket case. I am not playing that game again. But it was worth the laugh knowing that 5 year olds can kick my butt on that game.

(Picture is not of the ticket I won, but you get the idea, lol)

Just wish we had taken pictures of my face when I won my one ticket.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The $350 and $450 Mystic Spa prize packs or gift basket contest is up and running

TALK 820 AM has the Mystic Spa contest on their website now. If you are interested in entering her is the link to the contest page

I wish I could win one of these actually. They are wonderful glass bowls full of candles, incense, an incense holder and several hundred dollars worth of gift certificates, even one for $40 for product on Medieval Magic.

I wish everyone luck with this contest.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Interview on TALK 820 AM December 5, 2008

I will be interviewed today, Dec. 5, at 11am on TALK 820 AM radio. Several of us will be interviewed; myself (Lady M) and Poppy, Franco and Unity will all be on-the-air being interviewed about December’s Mystic Spa. As many of you know I will be doing readings at the Mystic Spa on Dec. 13, 2008.

TALK 820 will have a contest for five prize packs of goodies from Mystic Spa participants. There are two valued at $450 each and three valued at $350 each. They are worth winning. They include product from the White Flame Candle Company (candy bowls, votives and glass jarred candles and a crystal votive holder) and Medieval Magic (incense and incense holder/ash catcher) as well as a $40 gift certificate for Medieval Magic online store. There are also gift certificates for readings from Lady M, readings from Poppy, readings by Franco, services from Spirit Awakes, for $40 at the upcoming Mystic Spa, Dec. 13, 2008 to be used with any of the talent there.

Listen to the show live online or catch us on the radio, and make sure you enter to win one of these great gift baskets.

I am so looking forward to the interview and the Dec. 13, 2008 Mystic Spa in Burlington.

Monday, December 1, 2008

You know, Santa can see us!

We decided to go out for dinner tonight, a very rare treat for our children. They were very excited but for the most part behaved very well as we waited for the bus. Once we got on the bus and were actually on our way our three year old started to misbehave.

She was singing and jumping around on her chair, not the thing to do on a moving bus. Then she decided to bite the bus, a place where people put their hands. I gave her the “ONE, don’t put your mouth on that!”

She did it again, and so she got, “That is a two” and a stern look to let her know I was watching her. Clear as a bell you could hear our 5-year-old son tell her, “You know, Santa can see us!” That was it, she sat back on her seat with all the intent of a three year old to be good as gold. You could tell the parents on the bus, they were all laughing very hard.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Child Abuse: When to become “Involved”

When do you report child abuse and to whom? It is not our job to determine if child abuse is taking place. It is our job to speak for the children who may not be able to speak for themselves or get anyone to hear them.

What about all the horror stories about families and lives being destroyed by false accusations? If you have concerns for a child’s safety or well being it is not a false accusation. Truth be known, more child abusers slip through the cracks then innocent people are found “harmful” to their children.


If you think there is some type of abuse going on – proof or no proof – go with your gut on this one, call children’s aid and let them know how you feel and why. It is their job to determine if there is abuse or danger to the child. An abuser is going to hide what they are doing so you may only have hints and small incidences to go on. If something feels wrong it probably is.

If you see abuse – then you call the police and report it so there is a record of the abuse, time and date. The police will bring in Children’s Aid but you may want to call C.A. as well.

If a child is in severe danger – call the police. Bring attention to what is happening. Get as many people as possible to intervene for the safety of the child.

If you saw a baby or a child locked in a hot or freezing car you would do what you had to to rescue the child. Why should it be any different if someone is beating a child or abandoning their children for days on end, or “just” hurting them in ways that don’t leave marks?

We are the adults and it is time we placed innocent children before strangers, friends and even family.

There is nothing worse then looking into the eyes of a child you could have saved but did not. Unless it is knowing a child died because you did not want to get involved.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Christmas Does not have to be expensive #1

My kids love to make things and money is tight this Christmas so instead of spending money on fancy ornaments this year we are buying the less expensive plastic and foam ornaments and having fun making them fancy. Please note that my kids a 3 and 5 so their idea of fancy is not the same as most people, but I can live with that.

One of the first things we did was buy some plastic balls and stickers at the dollar store. We were able to find stickers for all the big name cartoons our kids love, and by putting them on the balls we now have Dora, My little Pony, robot, whinny the pooh and more ornaments for way less then a $1.00 each, and on top of that my kids feel pried because they made those ornaments.

We also bought glitter glue from the dollar store and Wal-mart and used it on the ornaments. It is a good way to go from nice to wow in a kids eyes; let them add sparkles to it. Lets just say I am much happier with the glitter glue instead of glitter and glue. It is harder to put the glue on and then put glitter on with a 3 and 5 year old. You end up with glitter and glue all over everything. With the glitter glue there is much less of a mess, and you don’t have glitter permanently in all your things, and you. Lose glitter has got to be one of the hardest things to clean up.

Over all we had fun, some unusual ornaments made with the memories of making them that we will think of every year we put them up on the tree. I don’t care if some of them are downright odd looking, my kids made that. Also, they make good Christmas gifts, handcrafted ornaments to Grandma.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sick day turns into a fun tent day

My kids were both sick with colds so I kept them home just to be on the safe side. However I was not expecting to enjoy the day at home, trapped in a house with two kids not feeling very well. Then the cold medicine kicked in and I had two grumpy kids full of energy.

My kids decided all on their own that it was tent day. We pulled in the chairs from the kitchen and just about everything else the kids could get their hands on and they built a fort (with a little bit of help from Mom). The kids spent most of the day building and rebuilding the fort. The rest of the time was spent in the fort playing with each other and watching TV. They even made rooms for each of them to hang out and a living room that fit both of them, right in front of the TV. The only problem we had was when a blanket knocked down the bowl of chips. But the mess was soon cleaned up and they were off again.

The funny part was other then having me help out a little bit they did not want my attention, the tent was just to much fun. I kind of missed it, but at the same time did not mind that they were playing so well together for two grumpy sick kids. What could have been a difficult miserable day turned into a pretty good day simply because I let the kids do what they wanted to instead of worrying about the mess they were making.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Dealing with Holiday Money Stress

The last few days (or weeks if I want to be honest) have been stressful. I know the holidays are coming and I am worried about being able to give my kids a good Christmas. I know in my hart that they will love what ever they get for Christmas, but I also feel bad knowing I am unable to get them what they want.

This year it is different. Last year we put ourselves in DEBT to give them a wonderful Christmas, and we still have not gotten out from under it. So we don’t have the credit to use. This year is going to be tighter then ever and it is kind of hard to deal with as a parent. It is a combination of the economic downturn, our retail website is not making sales right now and the fact that both of us are going back to school so that we can try and get jobs next year simply because we cannot make a living off of our retail site right now. That may change eventually, but it is going to take a lot of time and some big changes in the economy.

We made the mistake of going to the mall with the kids this weekend. It was hard because we had to keep telling the kids no, we cannot buy that. We don’t have the money. Usually we try and pick them up something small, maybe $5.00 or even $10.00 each, but this time we just could not do so. They watched people filling their carts up with the toys they wanted and you could see the confusion on their little faces and they tried to understand why other people could get the toys but they could not. We will not be taking our kids into the stores again, if we can help it, until we do have a little money set aside for them.

We are going back in a week to get a Christmas picture of them with Santa, even though that is going to be about $30.00. We will try to make sure they can pick up something small on the same day, but it is going to be difficult. What is harder is knowing out kids have been asking for the same toys over and over again, and we know that we cannot get them because they are all over $30.00 each. We are going to see what we can do about getting them each one of the toys they want. We have been explaining to them that Santa can only fit so many toys in his bag, so they may only get one or two of the toys they ask for.

The truth is that they don’t need any more toys; they just want the newest ones. Also we have been buying small gifts all year, so they actually have a lot of things to go under the tree, just not what they are asking for right now. So we are not doing that bad, IT JUST FEELS THAT WAY! It is just hard when you cannot give them what they ask for; no matter how many toys you actually have under the tree, because all I thinks is Oh, I cannot buy this and I cannot buy that forgetting what I have already gotten them.

We are signed up for a Christmas basket from the Salvation Army this year and it is going to make a difference. Each kid will get one big toy and one little toy and a few small stocking stuffers. They would like to be able to do more, but the demand is way too high this year. There are way too many other families in the same situation we are in. I am going to be writing about how to have a good Christmas on a tight budget over the next few weeks.