Monthly Archives: October 2014

WILW – Oct. 29th – Sharing Childhood Memories

I love sharing favourite, silly and nonsensical memories of my childhood with my own children. It’s like passing on a little bit of history, folklore and culture to the next generation.
Recently it was all about Rhino horns and love predicting daisies; “He loves me, he loves me not.” What favourite childhood memories do you, or would like to, share with your children?

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When Canadian Tragedy Teaches a Lesson in Humanity

In the wake of the horrific and tragic events in Canada this past week, many eyes and hearts are focused on the Country’s capital. The nation recognizes a hero, and mourns the loss of a soldier, father, husband and friend. But with most traumatic events that involves a nation comes much controversy…and/or just a group of people enough to tarnish the name of the rest. For example, what happened at a Cold Lake Mosque in response to the shooting was inexcusable and disgusting (See also Edmonton Sun). Someone or some people felt the need to oppress and ostracize another group of people based on their Religious belief which they felt was in direct connection to the criminal offenses in the capital. Offending graffiti “Go Home” was sprayed over the door posts and across the front of the mosque; hatred toward a group that had no connection with the Ottawa gunman. However, other Canadians in the area who obviously did not hold this same belief, began to band together and help. Instead of words of hate, they created posters of love stating “You are Home” and helped to remove the vandalism.

As I shared this story at the dinner table, Little Man was curious. How can I as a parent explain the faults and frailties of society to a 4 year old? I carefully formed my words. I explained that a group of people did something not so nice because they had different beliefs. “If someone looks different, believes something different from you or even says something that may hurt you, does that mean you should be mean to them?”

“No” Little Man said.

“Right. And even if they don’t believe it, God still loves them and God wants us to be kind to one another.”

At that moment, Little Man put his head down to the table and folded his hands. He was very quiet.

“What are you doing?”

LM: “Praying to God”

“What are you praying?”

LM: “I’m praying for good people and not bad people”

My heart started to swell. I was emotional with his innocence and his caring heart. He saw the destruction left by callous individuals filled with hate, saw that there were caring, helpful people in the world who displayed love in a time of need and inspired this momma that maybe what this world needs is a little more innocence. Hearts that care for one another, who break down walls of prejudice and segregation based on race, religion, or preferences. Humanity showing love for the simple fact that we are all human and we should all have the deep-rooted motivation and desire of being good and to do good. If only humanity could be as innocent as a child, with childlike faith, and the inherent desire for people to be good.

-RFM

“What I Love…” Wednesday, October 22nd

Ahhhh! Those teaching moments that make this momma so proud.
Today Little Man made his bed for the first time. So, here’s to continued success…and less things for a momma to do in a day.

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8 Autumn Crafts for Kids

Fall is officially here which marks my favourite season of the year! The air is crisp, the trees are aglow in hues of red and gold, it’s not too hot, not too cold, perfect for your favourite sweater and PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte for you non-coffee drinkers). AND awesome and fun activities and crafts that both my kids and I enjoy together. So in this post I would like to share a few with you.

1. Thanksgiving Turkey

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Using simple materials like scrapbook paper or coloured construction paper, glue and markers your child’s hands are now the “feathers” to this Thanksgiving wall art.

2. Autumn paper chain decorations

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Cut strips of cardstock or construction paper to 1 1/2-2 inch widths and glue or tape together. Alternate Fall colours and use for decoration over doorways or the mantel. Use grey or black to look like old prison chains for Halloween decor.

3. Autumn Napkin Rings

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This craft has to be my favourite for so many reasons! a) cheap materials b) my 4 year old loved making them and c) they look gorgeous for a Autumn/Thanksgiving table. We recycled toilet paper rolls (yep!), collected birch bark from wind-fallen trees and the ground (don’t harvest from the live tree because this can cause damage or even kill the tree) and used fake foliage bought at Dollarama and created something completely beautiful and unique.
First, cut the toilet paper tube in three equal sections (approximately 1.25 inches). Then cut a strip of birch bark to size, enough to wrap and overlap on the toilet paper roll ring. Using stick glue, paste the birch bark in place. We also used a paper clip to hold the bark in place while it dried. After this step it looked like we had a bunch of sections cut from a birch tree on our table.

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Little Man used his safety scissors to cut the leaves off of the fall garland we bought for $1.50. Then, using hot glue (I did this part) I glued the leaves and a few embellishments to the front. I actually covered the seam/overlap of the bark which hid it nicely. The result was better than expected and Little Man is so proud of his craft. In total we made 10, some with wood buttons, some with added berries that also came on the garland of Fall leaves. You could also use fake flowers for use if your napkin rings all year round or use rings made of a more durable material like PVC pipe.

4. Give Thanks Banner

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I made this banner last year out if recycled blank envelops and coloured cardstock, string and glue. Something so simple and pretty that kids can enjoy doing. This is the type of craft that you can make really fancy using glitter or high quality materials or you can make more child-like with scribbles, stickers and the use of your child’s own handwriting. Whatever you do, just make it a fun time with your kid and try not to have high expectations or a picture perfect image in your head. Which brings me to number 5…

5. Fingerprint Tree

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My inspiration for this craft comes from the recently popular in-lieu-of-a-wedding-guest-book idea. I bought an art canvas and paints at the dollar store and started by painting a large tree sans leaves. As you can see, my children and I created the leaves using our fingerprints. I had an idea in my head how I wanted it to look and was mortified when Little Man started applying green dots with a cotton swab to the area that shouldn’t have leaves. He told me it was the leaves falling. I had to remind myself that perfection means beans to a 4-year old. This was an art project we were doing together; it didn’t matter what it would look like in the end, it’s the time we spent together. So…I went with it and even added more. It didn’t turn out too badly either. I even added red and gold glitter because everything is better with glitter.

6. Halloween Treat Bags

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These treat bags are made from coloured paper bags which you can buy at a variety of dollar stores. I used black paper and permanent markers to decorate. These would be so cute for Halloween treats at the door or for your child’s classroom. Little Man was excited to draw the circles for the Ghost’s eyes and mouth. If I had known he would draw that mouth that big I would have cut it out with black paper and pasted it on like I did with Frankenstein’s monster’s hair (would have kept down on the Sharpie fumes).

7. Halloween Candle Jars

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We had loads of fun creating these candle jars! It can get a little messy so prepare your space beforehand. Recycled mason jars, glass pasta sauce jars and baby food bottles became a hit when we used a little Mod Podge and a lot of imagination. First, cut strips or squares of tissue paper in the colour of your choice. We used white for a ghost, green for Frankenstein’s monster and orange for a Jack-o-Lantern. You could easily use green for a witch’s face, or white for a mummy. Then we used a paintbrush and “painted” on the Mod Podge onto the glass jar. We then overlapped the tissue paper strips and sealed it with another layer of Mod Podge on top. Once dry, Little Man helped cut out shapes for the faces and we glued them on. We let the jars dry overnight and then added a tealight. They are now on my mantel and look great!

IMG_4626.JPGSo easy, a 4-year old can do it. Seriously, Little Man made the little pumpkin and the little ghost ones all by himself and helped cut the eyes and mouths for them all. I thought of adding raffia around the mouth of the jar but because I used a real tealight and not a flameless candle I decided against it in case it caught on fire. By all means, dress it up if you wish.

8. Dried Leaf Collage

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One of our favourite things during the Fall season is going on nature walks through the park or the trails in the woods. Along the way we collect pretty leaves, flowers, bark and pine cones. This year we dried and pressed the leaves at home and created a collage. Arrange leaves and other things on cardstock or paper and glue or tape in place. Or place inside a frame or shadow box. Little Man bought me a keepsake photo box last year that you can paint and decorate yourself. I haven’t painted it yet but I added a few of our dried and pressed leaves and flowers to make an Autumn themed box. Voila! Autumn art!

Enjoy these Autumn crafts and remember, it’s not what it looks like, it’s the time you spend together.

Cheers!
-Kathryn

Wednesday, October 1st

I love that my children inspire me like I never thought they could. Little Man and I like to make up bedtime stories when his quota of 3 books before bed are read but there’s still a little energy left. He chooses the characters and I spin them into a story of adventure (and, of course, morals and virtue). Just recently I had the idea to type up one of these stories to keep as a hard copy equipped with various stolen clip art images from the Internet that I would probably be fined thousands of dollars for violating copyright laws. He was overjoyed to see the result; our very own story “just like a real story” with pages and pictures. We have read it over and over and just seeing his enjoyment inspires me to do more. A children’s writer perhaps? Award winning novels? I thought it was the parent’s role to instil big dreams and aspirations to their children, not the other way around. In any case, I love being a mommy today for the inspiration my children give me. I may never be a nationally acclaimed writer, but to my children…I don’t think it matters.

-cheers!
RFM