Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Play Cooking with Real Ingredients

Here we have: ranch dressing, baby food peas, cherries, ketchup, peanut butter, sprinkles, cocoa powder, chocolate syrup, regular syrup, pepper, salt, water, colored rice, flour, brown sugar, vegetable oil and sugar.

Here we have a whole ton of cooking bowls, utensils, cups, plates, spoons and platters.

 Let the fun begin!

 I made Mercedes play in another room while I set this up for her so she was surprised when she walked in the kitchen.

 She wasted no time getting down to business...tasting all her ingredients to make a plan. =-)

And the cooking began! She said she was making me a pie.

Cupcakes for Mommy. =-)

Mercedes spent at LEAST an hour on this activity. This is Mercedes in her element. Having the time of her life. This is what she loves. I love giving her a chance to imagine, learn, be creative, and explore her universe.

 Idea originally from: playcreateexplore.com

Monday, January 28, 2013

Marble Letters

Lately, Mercedes has been loving tracing letters with marbles. I just draw big letters with a marker on construction paper and Mercedes fills the lines in with flat marbles. First step to learning to write!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

To My Dad

Daddy, I remember when...

You prayed with me every night so I would not have nightmares.

You took me on Dairy Queen "dates".

You read me The Secret Garden and Treasures in the Snow.

You took me for walks around North Lawrence with Lucy. We found a caterpillar and you told me how butterflies were made.

You sang goofy songs to us on the way to church.

You read us The Chronicles of Narnia series...more than once.

You sang "here she comes, Miss America" to me and Elizabeth whenever we first woke up in the morning. Pretty much our entire childhood.

You picked me up from ballet class and we went to the feed store and bought two ducklings.

You came home from work while I was pouting about being bored and played Uno with me.

I always knew I was your favorite kid. ;-)

You shared candy with me during church.

 You took me on a dinner date for my 10th birthday.

You took us out to eat for lunch every Sunday after church.

You went tubing with me at Turkey Hill. 

One Sunday during church, I went through the Bible and wrote down how many chapters were in each book to add up how many chapters were in the entire Bible (or something equally as nerdy). After church you showed all your friends.

One Father's Day you came home with presents for all of us kids. You said we deserved them because we made being a father so much fun.

You brought home flowers for my 7th birthday.

You taught me how to make the BEST scrambled eggs. I still make them that way. 

You took me to buy seeds for my garden. You helped me till the land and plant my seeds. You did this every year for 4 years.

I made you malt o' meal. And toast. And bagels. And pancakes. And you always ate them.

I fell down and hurt my elbow. You wrote me a note (that rhymed and with pictures) telling me you hoped I'd get better soon.

You taught me how to play softball in our yard.

You took me to a KU baseball game.

You took us to a KU women's basketball game.

You got me a ticket to go to basketball camp.

You took us fishing.

You told us stories about your childhood.

You told me stories about a sweet, beautiful princess named Rebekah, and when she sang gold, silver and jewels came out of her mouth.

You stuck up for me when Elizabeth was mean to me.

I knew I was valuable and precious to you. 

Whenever I asked you to play a game or read a story, you never ever ever said no.

You told "The Dairy Queen Story" to the entire congregation when you spoke at church.

You always sang to us, but only the first line of the song.

I made you tea and when I poured the honey in, the cap fell off. I gave it to you anyway. You tasted it, then asked me if I could add a little tea to your cup of honey.

You drove me to Kansas Bible Camp two summers in a row.

You gave me earrings and a watch for my13th birthday.

You taught us how to study the Bible.

I always called myself a Daddy's Girl. Still do.

You gave me a teddy bear for Valentine's day when I was 14.

You drove me to school every day of high school until senior year. We talked about life.

You took us tubing in your boat at Clinton Lake. I fell in and you could not stop laughing.

You let me take modeling and acting classes in Kansas City. You drove me there every week. We always ate lunch together.

I sat on your lap and felt safe and loved. I was 15.

You left a gold and opal necklace on my bed on my 16th birthday.

You taught me how to drive.

You bought me my first car.

You got me a job at Mcgrew Real Estate.

On my first day at Sheridans, you came to visit me and waved from the window. You asked to talk to the manager and asked him if I was doing a good job.

You always came to visit me at Sheridan's and ordered two scoops of vanilla ice cream with strawberries and pecans on top.

You stood up with me in front of the whole church and told the congregation that I was going to Haiti, and prayed for me.

You drove me to the airport in Chicago to take me to Haiti. When I came back to America, you were at the KC airport waiting for me. On the way home, you missed our exit. We got to visit for an extra long time.

You told me I was not allowed to date a guy with a lip ring...and wrote Ben a LOOOONG letter telling him why. =-)

You gave me away at my wedding.

I worked as your secretary and whenever I got off the phone with you, you'd end with "I love you". I felt like the luckiest employee in the world, having a boss who loved me.

You asked me to hold still in your office one day while I was working so you could take a picture of my pregnant belly.

You bartered with a customer for the world's best rocking chair. I rock both my babies in that chair.

The moment you fell in love with Emerald.

All the times you have told me that you're proud of me. 

You have always made it easy to believe in a Heavenly Father's love, because I have always understood the love relationship between a father and daughter.

I love you, Daddy. You are the best.

I gave this letter to my dad a couple of months before he passed away after fighting a vicious battle with cancer. He was 59 years old.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Squishy Glitter Bags

 These were sooo pretty and fun to play with. Plus they only took about 2 seconds to throw together. Just (approximately) 1 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup water and as much glitter and food coloring as it takes to make it pretty, all thrown into a gallon ziplock bag. Then let the "squishing" begin!

Both girls loved these! So did I. So shiny and squishy!

We will be making these again...and again, and again.

Note: Please remember to completely supervise this activity, especially with smaller toddlers or babies, since the bags can leak and spill oily glitter everywhere. It can easily get into tiny eyes or mouths if not watched carefully!

Idea from: http://www.playcreateexplore.com/2013/01/baby-oil-sensory-bags.html

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Catching Snowflakes

Last time it snowed, it was warm enough for Mercedes to go outside and play as it fell from the sky. I brought a couple of pieces of black construction paper out with us to catch the snowflakes. Unfortunately it was not the best snow for this since the flakes were super tiny, but it was still fun. Mercedes kept running up to check on the papers as we played. By the time we were done outside, the papers were full of snowflakes.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Glitter Glue and Sequins Art

Mercedes made her Grandpa a beautiful art project with the glitter glue and sequins she received in her stocking for Christmas.

She made one for our art wall too.

Duct Tape Collage

Mercedes was entertained for a good 15 minutes with polka dotted duct tape and a piece of construction paper. Easiest art project ever!