Snow day experiment- bath bombs

When my kids tell me they have NOTHING to do, I tell them to find something or else I will find something for them which is usually chores. I am not sure if I am more annoyed or just down right jealous that “they have NOTHING to do.” That must just be such a nice feeling. I try to explain to them what a blessing boredom is because it is the base of creativity. Boredom= the freedom to do anything- write a book, make a puppet show, play outside…or pretend you are on an impromptu baking show with your mom teaching people how to make bath bombs.😜

Bath Bomb recipe:

1 cup unscented epsom salt

1 cup baking soda

1/2 cup citric acid

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Essential oil for scent

Soap dye for color

Mix together ingredients.

Form into balls or use molds such as muffin tins and press in the dough. I do NOT recommend using a cookie scoop.

Let the bath bombs dry for about an hour so they can harden before use.

Enjoy!

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Having spontaneous fun with the kids on St. Patrick’s Day

One thing that helps balance our family out from the daily grind is to come up with spontaneous skits like this. So many people are so concerned about their image on social media and what people think of them. We have found that acting silly like this keeps the kid inside of us alive and reminds us not to care so much about what others think.

Do something crazy and spontaneous with someone you love today.

Creative punishment for kids

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The boys couldn’t get along playing basketball. So instead of playing ball, I had them write reports on presidents and present them to us today. They learned about the history and hopefully how to play nicely with each other. If not, there are still 41 presidents for them to write reports about. Ironically, not one fight broke out when we made Mabry Rushmore.

DIY No Sew Fleece Nap Mat Cover

Let me say this simply…the last couple days I have been struck with a case of “mommy meltdowns.” One minute I am fine and the next minute I look around at all the home projects piling up and I start to weep. Any other moms suffer from this?!? My car is a victim of post road trip nastiness. The garage/art studio has turned into a junk yard. Our landscaping is so overgrown it looks like a Bengal tiger should be pouncing out at any moment. The list goes on and on. My kids can help with some of the chores but honestly sometimes it just makes more work for me when they “help.” I keep reminding myself that school starts very VERY soon. Within the next couple of weeks all THREE of my kids will be going off to school. Yes, that is correct. I said all THREE kids. Whoop, whoop! I have graduated to a new stage of motherhood. Sawyer’s preschool is only for 10 hours a week, BUT that is 10 hours a week to check things off my to-do list…KID FREE.
I am channeling my focus on back-to-school prep and choosing to ignore my home “to-do” list until my new-found freedom arrives. So with that being said, I decided to make Sawyer a DIY no-sew nap mat cover for preschool this morning. This was a project that I could get done with the “help” of my kids…and let’s just say I had A LOT of help. We ventured out to JoAnns to pick out all of our supplies.  There was no shortage of no-sew fleece! The options were endless.  Sweet Sawyer was so excited with her choice of Frozen themed fleece.  Her joy made me smile.

Can you cut? Can you tie a knot? If so, you qualify to make a no-sew nap mat cover!

SUPPLIES:

-1 nap mat  (I bought mine at Target)

-1.5 yards (length) of no-sew fleece to be used for the front and back of the nap mat. (JoAnns had a great selection).

-1 yard (length)of no sew fleece to be used for the blanket.

-Scissors

DIRECTIONS:

1. Cut the 1.5 yards of fleece into two equal sections.  Stack on top of one another.

2. Lay nap mat on top of the stacked fleece. Trim fleece so there is 4 to 5 inches of fleece bordering the mat.


3. Place nap mat in between to two layers of fleece. Cut 1″ fringe, 4 to 5 inches deep, all around the stacked fleece except for the top part. Cut corners out.


4. Tie the top piece of fringe and bottom piece of fringe together along the length of the sides and bottom.

*Ignore the top of my mat.  I didn’t trim it before I took the picture. However, this picture shows what the sides and bottom should look like once tied. I guess I am my own rule breaker.

5. At the top of the mat, cut the top piece of fleece straight across. Do NOT cut the bottom piece.


6. Tuck the bottom piece over the nap mat and under the top piece of fleece. This step is to make it easy to slid the mat out for when the cover needs to be washed.img_5106-3

 

7. Poke the fringe out of the side knots and tie to a piece of fringes.  Do this on both sides of the mat. The cover is finished!img_5107

8. Flip the nap mat over so the bottom piece of fleece is now on the top.

9. Lay the remaining 1 yard of fleece on top of the covered nap mat. Leave 4 to 5 inches of fleece hanging off on one side and the bottom. On the other side of the nap map, trim the remaining fleece so that 6-12 inches are left.

10. Cut 1″ fringe along the side and bottom 4 to 5 inches deep. Cut the corner out.  You only need to fringe the bottom part until you reach the end of the covered nap mat.  Once you reach that point, cut the fleece as if you are cutting out a corner. See picture.


11. Tie the “blanket” fleece fringe along the one side and bottom to the nap mat cover’s fringe to attach the blanket. See picture in step 4.

12. Covered nap mat COMPLETE. ✔️ Good job!

I think it’s safe to say that Sawyer LOVES her new nap mat.  Hopefully she will be a good napper at school.

As for now, my case of “mommy meltdowns” has subsided. My to-do list CAN wait until the kids are back to school. Until then, I will wear pretend blinders while in my post-roadtrip car, junk yard garage, or jungle-like front yard and hope that no tiger pounces at me.tiger-in-the-grass-jane-schnetlage

 

 

 

Don’t Lose Your Marbles!

*This post is for mommas who are looking for ways to reward their kids for good and helpful behavior.
Larson got a marble in his jar!!


What’s a “Marble in a Jar,” you ask?
It’s the reward/discipline system I use for our kids and they LOVE it. It’s amazing how powerful a bag of @dollartree marbles can be for motivating these kids!
How it works-

1. Each kid gets two jars. I recommend two different shaped jars so they know the difference between the two. I have found it helpful to write my kids’ name on their jars so they don’t get mixed up.

2. Fill one of each kids’ jar with 50 marbles. This jar will serve as the ‘bank.’

3. For every good, positive, helpful deed they do, they can earn one marble to put in their ‘earned’ jar.

4. Marbles can be taken away and put back into the ‘bank’ for disrespectful, rude, or negative behavior. (The kids do NOT like when they lose a marble!)

5. Once all 50 marbles are moved from the ‘bank’ to the ‘earned’ jar, I give my kids a $5 bill. So, each of the 50 marbles equals $.10 each.

6. When the kids have earned their $5, simply transfer the marbles back to the ‘bank’ from the ‘earned’ jar and start over.


What you will need:
– 2 jars for each kid. I recommend transparent jars so it is easy for the kids to see their progress. Glass jars look nice and can pass as home decor.

– 50 marbles for each kid

– Dry erase or permanent marker to write their names on the jars.

– $5 bills

Got Strawberries?

GOT STRAWBERRIES?🍓🍓🍓
Every Spring we look forward to picking strawberries from our strawberry patch. What started out as a potted plant several years ago ended up dominating our whole garden. I had no idea strawberry plants multiple! Most Mabry plants don’t live long enough to reach their full potential due to neglect or abuse.  


Our kids love picking the strawberries…who am I kidding, so do I! With so many strawberries what’s a person to do? Make Strawberry Fruit Rollups. It’s so easy!
STRAWBERRY FRUIT ROLLUPS
* 1 pint fresh strawberries, diced

* sugar (enough to sweeten)

* fresh lemon juice (optional)
Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees F.

2. Line a large baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.

3. Place strawberries in food processor until blended.

4. Add enough sugar to sweeten and a splash of lemon juice( if desired).

5. Pour into prepared pan and spread out into a thin, even layer.

6. Bake for 4 hours or until the center is set.

7. Remove from oven and let cool.

8. Carefully peel up the fruit roll-up and place the sticky, smooth side on parchment paper.

9. Cut to size so that you have an even rectangle to work with. (I usually cut off the edges of the fruit rollups since they are usually crunchy and uneven.

10. Cut into 2-inch strips and roll-up firmly.

11. Store in airtight container.
They are BERRY🍓easy to make. 
#strawberry #diy #greenthumb 

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but these words change the world

Remember the old saying our parents told us to recite as kids when someone said something mean to use: “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me?” This phrase was reportedly first published in March 1863. And since then, everyone who has said it, or believed it, was wrong. The words we use, whether positive or negative, have a measurable impact on our lives and how we view ourselves and the world around us. This can have major implications on how lives are shaped, especially for those raising kids. Here is a simple experiment I did with my kids that confirms the undeniable truth that words (and thoughts) create our perception of the world around us.

We planted a sunflower seed, took half an apple and placed them each on their own plate labeled with words. One plant and apple had nothing but positive words like: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The other plant and half of the apple were set on a plate where we wrote negative words like: hopeless, chaos, disgusting, liar and confused. We also added color and fun stickers to the “good” cup and purposefully left the “bad” cup plain and boring.

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Several times a day we would walk up and say nice, loving things to the good plant and apple and said nothing but negative, harsh words and phrases to the not-so-nice plate. It went a little something like this…

After 10-days here are the results of our experiment.

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The one on the left is the bad plate and the one on the right is the good plate. As you can see, the bad plate just has a small stem coming up and the apple is half gone (I’ll explain that in a second). Notice how the good plate’s plant is well on it’s way to sprouting a real sunflower and the apple is fully intact. It should be noted that when you think, act, or talk negatively, the rules of quantum physics (and common sense) dictates that bad things are more likely to happen. That’s exactly the case in this experiment!

The reason the stem is barely visible in the bad cup is that Austin ended up breaking it. Although it wasn’t as big and healthy as the good plant, it was a little longer originally. Additionally, the reason there is only half an apple is because our house cleaner ended up setting the bad plate down on the ground and put the dog food bowl on it. It only took a few seconds before our dog Finley scurried over to eat what he could before I caught him. The house cleaner could have easily set the good plate down that the dog could have eaten and Austin could have just as easily broken the stem of the good plant, but that wasn’t the case. The natural laws of the universe confirmed that destruction and bad karma is more likely to come to those things surrounded with negative energy.

Do you ever feel like you’re caught in a rut in one or more areas in your life? I challenge you to look beneath the surface to see if what you’re telling yourself, or what others are telling you, come from a place of love and compassion or hatred and jealously. I can definitely see that there have been times when I have stunted my own growth by all of the negative self-talk I was doing.

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In conclusion, applying the simple principles of this experiment to your daily life can have life-altering effects. Whether you’re planting a garden, trying to get pregnant, mending a relationship or dealing with a chronic health issue, the power of positive reinforcement, love and self compassion can, and do, play a large role in the ultimate outcome. Try showing those around you and, especially yourself, more love and compassion and watch how things come to life.

Change your words; can change the world!