Saturday, December 18, 2010

Water-Only Christmas Paintings and a Fancy Snowflake Curtain!

Found a cute and easy-peasy way to bless my kiddos with mommy-made "Just Add Water Mini-Paintings" they get to complete thanks to Ucreate.  Picasso, I am not, but practical I can do!  This fits the bill.  The goods include: watercolor paper, watercolor pencils, and a permenant marker.  The watercolor paper and pencils are available on the cheap from Tesco!  I used a black CD/DVD pen for a Sharpie as they're just as permanent.  I'm thinking these could make nice little over-sized Christmas gift tags that double as a little bonus gift for some nieces and nephews of mine.
While the authors over at Ucreate ran their watercolor paper through a printer to get their pics, I decided to just draw my pictures with the permanent marker and then used the watercolor pencils to heavily color just the inner edges of the black lines.  The kids then go over portions of the painting with a wet paint brush to spread the color around and fill in the painting.  I'm thinking this will also make for good on-the-airplane creativity, as you just add a bit o' water to make the magic happen!
For those of us who aren't the greatest of drawers, it's the abstract stuff that really makes one feel accomplished!  Before the sick season started, I found this post over at Poppytalk and dreamed of giving it a whirl.  This represents the start of a very grand snowflake curtain to hang at our kitchen window! These aren't the 6-pointed snowflakes, mind you, but who's really counting?!  My kiddos enjoyed cutting, and it isn't much to tape the edges together to create this delightful Christmas curtain.  

I'm off to join the hubs in making some delicious Czech Christmas cookies!  He makes them every year, and it's his signal that the Christmas season is finally really here at home.  Now that the kids are taken care of, it's the grown-ups' turn for some Christmas-making!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Have Been Forced to Receive!

My kids are basically (what's a bitty cold to me) healthy!  Ah, just in time for Christmas!  I, on the other hand, am very much still in recovery mode.  Let's just say I'm getting to know my way around my local Czech hospital quite well.  In the midst of the drama, I've had to submit to a whole lot of loving from friends and family who have given their encouragement, time, and food (get a load of all that tupperware)! It's not always easy being on the receiving end at a time when I have nothing to give in return. But, I know this is what's at the heart of the Christmas season and I just need to let it be and welcome it with a very thankful heart.
My hubby's been doing a whole lot of giving lately - taking up much of my slack and stepping in Dad-style with the kids!  Happy children spending time with Dad: priceless.  Sawdust all over the floor in the kids' room: ehh, I can deal with that.
Good, homemade carrot soup from friends (with homemade bread to boot).  Of course my 3-year old didn't want to eat the free, hearty, healthy fare that I (very thankfully) didn't have to slave over - until she got to sip it with a straw.  At this point in time, I contemplated blending all her meals and just serving them in liquefied form with a choice of straws.  Yeah, it was that easy.
My oldest takes showers independently now. Yay for the both of us!  We let the shower time stretch a bit with some shaving cream play on the shower doors.  He loves it.  I get a few more minutes of rest.  And the doors get pretty clean after a quick rinse down!
Spending quality time with the Bear that doesn't require burning a lot of calories has been eye-opening.  Found out the little guy likes Let's Go Fishin'.  I'm thinking there has got to be some kind of hand-eye coordination skill he's learning here - these fish move around pretty fast while he tries to grab them!  Join me on this one!
More tactile love for the little guy.  A mini-sensory box with hidden animals in some dyed pasta the kids and I made a while back.  The bear enjoyed the sound and feel of the pasta and sat with his bin for about 20 minutes.  Low-key fun that brought big smiles to my little guy's face and blessed my heart.  

For all the presents that don't go under a tree - I'm thanking God for these gifts given and those not yet received.