The Hungry Family

Feeding My Family Body and Soul


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Christmas Gift Tag Printable

Can you feel the crispness in the air?

The promise of a while Christmas?

The anticipation?

I feel it all the way down to my bones! If you’re missing that special feeling that only comes around once a year, try playing your favorite holiday music or looking for new artists and songs to liven up the holidays. (Celtic Women Christmas is one of my favorites and it never fails to bring that swelling of the heart.)

Another way to bring the holiday cheer is to read stories that center around the Spirit of Christmas, like Christmas Kisses, Blue Christmas, or North for Christmas. Each book has a sweet romance, some have some rock and roll, and they all have a special Christmas message.

If, after all that, you’re still not in the mood for egg nog, try taking a plate of Christmas cookies to your neighbors. One of the best ways to bring the feelings of love and joy into our lives is to create them. Don’t sit around and hope holly and mistletoe fall into your lap, get up and make it happen. AND, to help out with that, I’ve created a beautiful gift tag to help you spread joy to the world. ūüôā It can be used on presents under the tree, goodie plates for neighbors, or office gifts.

Gift Tag

To print a page of tags (9 tags in all) simply click here.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


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Ah, Sumertime

I am always looking for ways for my kids to be creative and stay away from the TV during the summer. Projects that keep them interested without my supervision are all the better. That’s why, when the local library sneaked¬†a “Build a Robot Contest” flier into my library bag, I was pretty happy to hand it over to Mr. 10 and let him go.

Mr. 10 has what we call an “engineer brain.” He learns visually which can make some parts of school more difficult; but, he can also read schematics, plans, and graphics like a champ. He can put things together because somehow his brain just knows what to do. When it came time to assemble the new basketball hoop for the front yard, he was right there with the tools and know-how to get it done. I love how his brain works – it’s like a super power.

He spent a full day drawing out ideas. I wish he’d saved a few of the early plans because they were pretty awesome. In the end, this is what he came up with.

DSC_4649

 

Meet Rover the Robot!

Rover has some pretty cool options. For example, he has a computer screen on his belly where you can type up your homework assignment.

Homework Screen

He also has jet packs so he can go where ever you need him to and get there fast.

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Check out the propeller.

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All in all, he spent over a week planning, gathering materials, and actually building the thing. I have to admit, I helped with the spray paint and the hot glue. There are a few things I wasn’t ready to turn him loose with yet.

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Once we got Rover to the library, Mr. 10 had to say goodbye. He’ll get Rover back at the end of the summer. They were so excited that they put him in the front display window. You can drive by and check him out. Mr. 10 wasn’t sad to see him go because he made Rover with the intent to put him in the contest. I’m happy the library wants to keep him all summer because that means I won’t have to find a place to store him for a few more months. All in all, it was a wonderful week for Mr. 10 and he was truly pleased with the outcome.

Now I have to ask, what are we going to do for the rest of the summer?!

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Sewing Room Makeover

Once you see the room I used to sew in, you’ll understand why it needed a makeover. Are you ready? Here it is!

Before:

Craft Room BeforeCraft Room Makeover Needed

I’m not complaining too loudly. It was functional. But, the car on the wall, leftover from when I had a two-year-old in the room, was a bit out-dated. I also found out that the shelves in the corner weren’t nearly enough storage space for all the little things I needed to store. And, without staking my claim on the space, I was allowing it to become a catch-all room where we’d toss stuff – there was just a bunch of stuff. I don’t create well in a pile of stuff. Stuff. Stuff. Stuff. All that stuff needed a place or it needed to go away.

So I went nuts! I pulled everything out and put it in my bedroom for storage. It was totally uncomfortable to have all that in my bedroom and worked as a huge motivator to get the craft room done.

With a little help from Miss 5 1/2, who loves to paint, I painted the ceiling a lighter color and changed the walls to Bahama Sea Green.Every time I brushed the paint on the walls I cringed. It went on a much bluer and lighter color than it dried. Now that it’s all done, I love it. The room is bright, fresh, and full of possibilities.

Painting Helper

I also put up three sets of shelves and added a set of drawers. The thread organizer not only adds a splash of color to the room, it keeps my threads out of the drawers where I can see them. I used storage containers on the shelves to put like items together. The bottom right has a box of envelops and blank cards. The bins on the shelves on the left hold things like zippers, buttons, snaps, elastics, and bobbins. Most of the miscellaneous tools are stored away in the drawers. They aren’t pretty nor would they look good on their own so they are tucked away.

Craft Room Shelves

On the other side of the room (you can see the car is gone) I have one set of shelves and a blank space. That space is for my ironing board when I pull it out of the closet. It will also be the place that we set up an air mattress when guests come.

This set of shelves has scrapbooking supplies. Even though I don’t scrapbook anymore, I find the supplies good for school projects and entertaining kids for an afternoon.

Aqua Blue Craft Room

I decided to keep the sewing table in front of the window so I would have plenty of light as I worked on my projects. It also allows me a great view of the kids as they ride their bikes or play in the yard. I’m already planning my first project – fascia curtains! I think they’ll look beautiful against the aqua green. I’ll be sure to post a picture when I get them done.

Craft Room

I would love to hear your thoughts! Do you like the color? Would you keep the curtains white or go with the fuchsia? Feel free to let me know.


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Simple Children’s Step Stool

One of the best ways to get your children involved in the kitchen is to provide them with a way to get on your level. If they can’t see what’s going on, they will lose interest. If they do want to cook, being higher will help prevent messes, allow them the right angles to cut and roll, and the stool can help them stay put.

 

This Simple Children’s Stool took less than an hour to assemble and cost under $10.00. It took a bit longer to stain and paint because I had to wait for the stain to dry before I could paint it. I have three spread throughout the house; one in each bathroom so the kids can reach the sink to brush their teeth and one in the kitchen.¬†

 

  

What you’ll need:

(This couldn’t be easier.)¬†

 1, 2 x 4 

1, 2 x 6

14-18, 2″ screws

A saw

a cordless drill

drill bit

 What you do:

 Cut your 2 x 4 into the following lengths

4, 9 1/2″ boards (legs)

2, 16″ (long side of frame)

2, 3 1/2″ (short side of frame)

 Cut your 2 x 6 into  the following length

2, 18″ (tops)

 You should have a pile of wood that looks like this.

 

 Step 1 Build the frame

 The shorter pieces go inside the longer ones as seen below. I used one screw on each side, drilling a pilot hole first. 

¬†I did one side toward the bottom of the board and the opposite side near the top. That way the piece in the middle doesn’t twist.

 Step 2 Attach the legs

 Lay the frame on a flat surface. Set the leg up next to the frame. (When you are done attaching the legs, you will flip the frame over so it sets on the legs.) Insert one screw for each leg; drilling a pilot hole first. Then, check to make sure the leg is level before you insert the second screw. 

¬†The legs go outside the frame. If you try to put them on the inside, the stool won’t be as sturdy.

 Step 3 Attach the top

 Once you have all the legs on, you are ready to attach the top two pieces. 

Mark the center of each side of the frame.

 

Set your top board against the mark. Screw it down with 1-2 screws. Be sure to space them evenly.

¬†When they’re on, it looks like this. Now you’re ready to paint and stain.

 Step 4 Paint and stain

¬†The possibilities are endless. I had a friend who put her child’s foot prints on top. It was adorable!You can paint/stain it all one color or do two like I did here.

To get the finish on the top, I stained it the same color as the rest of the stool then painted it, let it set for 3 minutes, and wiped off the paint. I love how it turned out.

 


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Valentine’s Box Ideas

Every year the kids make cute boxes to take to school to hold their valentines. When I am busy, we cover a box with stickers and call it good. When I have a few minutes, we make something good. 

Here’s a¬†link¬†to the ones we made last year and here are a couple pictures. It can be hard to come up with a good Valentine box for a boy. They don’t want anything too cute or frilly.¬†

This year they came to me with visions of what they wanted. It wasn’t easy (took us an entire weekend) but here they are.

<–The Toilet Valentine’s Box

The Toss Game Valentines Box–>

 

I was so pleased with the way they turned out. The toilet is a little rough around the edges. I could even it out with some sandpaper (and I do love my kids) I’m just not willing to spend 45 minutes sanding a toilet for them. ūüôā

¬†Toss Game Valentine’s Box¬†

Let’s talk about the toss game first. We took a paper box – you know one of those boxes that paper comes in when you buy it in bulk? – and pulled one of the long sides down so it laid flat. Then we cut the remaining sides at an angle that would support the front¬†panel. We covered it in red tissue paper and added hearts. So festive!



¬†¬†We poked holes all around the particle board and inserted Christmas lights for bling-bling. We also used glue and painter’s tape to make a white, glitter boarder before inserting the lights. As you can see here.¬†

We added the cutouts and glued on the words and shapes (I’m aware the s’s are on backwards. It was done for a bit of¬†whimsy as this is¬†supposed¬†to look like a carnival game.) Anyway, glued the front of the board to the box with hot glue, plugged it in and we were done.¬†¬†

Third-grader LOVES it!

 

Toilet Valentines Box

 When sixth-grader said he wanted a toilet that would flush I about died. I mean, flush? Come on! 

Turns out it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. We used white elastics to create tension to both hold the flap up and pull it down. We hid all the elastics and such in the box on the back. What would a toilet be without a tank?

 

 

So here’s how it turned out. You lift the lid, put your valentine inside. (Notice the heart shaped seat? Cute right?)

 

Pull the handle.

 

¬†And – PLOP goes your valentine. (See you can see how the flap drops down and then so does the treat.) When the handle is released the elastic¬†pulls¬†the flapper back up for the next person. I’m pretty sure no one else will have a box like this.¬†

 

 

Sixth-grader LOVES it!

¬†I want to put his name on the top of the tank before he takes it to school. With such¬†outrageous boxes I’m thinking of driving them in the morning. Good luck with your boxes this year. Let me know what you come up with – I still have many more years of Valentine’s boxes to make.