Graham Cracker Houses

It is a holiday tradition and even the 18 year olds are willing to jump in. This year we tried some new items for decorating and here is the consensus…

Colored twizlers… great idea! Used as supports, branchesn and to outline windows, they brough color variety beyond past years.

Pepermint M&Ms… yummy, but the red and white colors were limiting. Better used to eat along with a broken graham cracker.and holiday marshmallow.

Target brand gummy animals… too cute! A very welcome addition as a pet in the house or more often grazing outside the houses.

Captain Crunch holiday… fail. Unlike the box shows, these cereal pieces look nothing like little trees, stars, and Santas. The kids will love to eat themfor breakfast, though.

Skittles… a staple. Must have for the color variety. They make great ornamrnts too.

Starlights… classic.

Hersheys bar… we got one and broke the squares to use as doors.

Holiday Marshmallows… cute trees and stars. The stars were the bigger hit.

Canned Frosting… I got whipped which was a mistake. It needed to be doctored up with powdered sugar to hold walls together.

Starbursts or Tootsie Rolls… I forgot them this year, but they were missed. With a few seconds in the microwave, they can be molded into anything.

What do you use?

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Fun and Free..>

I’ll be adding  to this post, but we are on a search for fun things to do that cost nothing.  I’d love your ideas, photos, and links!


For the Holidays there seem to be a lot of activities./  Today the zoo has a free “Christmas with the animals”, a local church has “Journey to Bethlehem” a historical reenactment of Christmas, and tomorrow a local church has their Christmas program.  We’ll see how many we can hit   😉

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What is the most fun you have had with next to nothing?

In the new apartment construction is going on all around us.  I have been pleasantly surprised at how much the kids love to walk through the partially built buildings.  And this week the item of most interest?


A dirt pile!


Yes, the kids played for hours.  There were archery games, and slides to be made.  The ditch provided cover when Mom was calling them to come in.  They even willingly took baths when they got home.

I guess that rates right up there with boxes as a timeless kids’ toy.

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Doing it again.. gosh I hate moving. No matter how much time or how prepared I think I am… I’m not.

Old place.

New place.

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Healthy Halloween? Is it possible?

I get to go into Curious Girl’s 2nd grade class tomorrow to help with Halloween activities. The teacher will be out, so I need to make it substitute friendly and not too messy. What am I planning? SLIME!

Well, in the Science museum community it is technically called Gak, but for tomorrow it will be green slime. Our Science activity will be chemistry. You need borax (look in the laundry detergent aisle), glue (Elmer’s clear school glue looks especially cool), food coloring (Green for us!), cups or bowls to mix in, craft sticks to mix with, measuring cups, and most importantly ziplock bags (splurge for the good ones that won’t leak). Here are the directions on Kids in the Kitchen:

If you plan to make this with a whole class or large group (like Family Science Night), just pre-mix the glue and borax solutions and have the kiddos measure each one as recommended here:

I have decided to do a combo. I will have them mix the glue and water with food coloring so they can get just the right shade of green – whatever that might be – and I’ll premix the borax solution.

For Math

Cyberchase has a great math game that you can print out, they can color if they like, and each child can play it on their own. It is made for simple 1 digit addition, but you can change it up to make it harder with the additional spiders included. Check it out here:

cyberchase addition

Finally we need snacks…


This is the plan. The new Smart Snack standards have made this harder than in the past. If you have any Halloween snacks that pass the standards, please share!

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We saw the Meaning of Life last week, so this was our pumpkin art…



Also, to ensure the non-living grandparents do not end up in the land of the forgotten (ugly, huh?), we have listed their names to be read at church.

Have you seen the Meaning of Life? If so, what did you think? Did it spark questions in your family?

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Where have I been?

It has been a busy Fall.  I have neglected my blog, but for good reason.  Besides working to get my Masters in Education, just for fun I have been organizing one of these:

Expanding Your Horizons.  A conference for 7th and 8th grade girls to expose them to opportunities for women in Science and Technology.  And the experience of organizing it has been amazing.  I am amazed by the number of outstanding women in science right here in Smalltown!

We also had 2 birthdays this week, Cosmo Boy’s and mine, and lots of little commitments (I still help with Science club, Chess club, and volunteer with Curious Girl’s class).

We are also moving to a bigger apartment and the move date has been postponed twice, so our living/dining room looks like this:


I got part way through packing before I found out about the delay, and I have had to re-open packed boxes to find things we needed.

Too much fun – I know!

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