Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"A Long, Long Time Ago..."

This phrase, said in a low, whispery, spooky voice, is repeated all day long lately at our house.  The new favorite past-time is making up stories (a girl following in her momma's footsteps, apparently), and it's a family affair.  I snuggle up with Reed on my lap, and Lilah and Grady climb onto the couch too.  Lilah usually begins, with her oft-repeated intro, and then passes the torch to me when she gets stuck.  Grady contributes too - mostly with dramatic facial expressions, and occasionally repeating a word his sister or I say during the story.  Reed just giggles at his siblings, trying to grab at their hair (or their snacks, as the case might be.  The boy has barely started eating oatmeal and sweet potatoes, but a bag of Pirate Booty looks awfully appealing to him).

Most of the stories follow the same plot line, usually with Lilah and Grady as the key players, and are anything but scary in the end.  Here is, as close as I can remember it, a transcript of one of our impromptu "ghost stories" from today:

Lilah: A long, long time ago, on a dark and stormy night, some little children decided to go trick-or-treating.  They dressed in their costumes and went outside.

Me: What were their costumes?

Lilah: The little boy, who was named Grady, was a cowboy.  And the little girl, Lilah, was a princess.

Me: Ooooh, good costumes.  Then what happened.

Lilah: They walked down the street with their trick-or-treat bags and got lots of candy.  But then!  Momma, you tell it.

Me: But then, they saw a house they hadn't visited yet.  It was at the end of a long, crooked driveway.  It was very dark and spooky.

Lilah: It was a haunted house!

Me: Yes, it was a haunted house.  They climbed up the steps to the porch and knock, knock, knocked on the door.  No one answered.  So they rang the doorbell, ding-dong!  And no one answered.  But the big door creaked open.  Then what happened, Lilah?

Lilah: They saw a big, big, tall stairs that they had to climb.  And at the top - oh no!  There were great, glowing eyes shining.  They didn't know what they were.  So they climbed the creaky stairs. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12.  There were twelve stairs.  And when they got to the top, they turned on a light.

Me: Oh no!  What was there!  A scary ghost?

Lilah: No, Momma, it wasn't a scary ghost.  It was just a little, teeny, tiny black cat.

Grady: Meow!

Lilah:  It didn't know where its mommy and daddy were, so Lilah and Grady decided to take it home and help it find its mommy and daddy.  And they lived happily ever after.

Me: That was a great story.

Lilah: It was.  Can we tell it again?

The best part is Lilah's dramatic storytelling voice.  I seriously have to hold in giggles the whole time we are telling the story.  She's always a drama llama, and it really comes out when we are telling stories or playing imaginary games.  I really wish I had a video camera, I would love to record these moments to show them when they are surly teenagers who don't want to talk to me anymore.

This proves, once again, that it really is the simple things that provide the most entertainment.  Whether it's a cardboard box, a paper towel roll, or just an active imagination, you can truly create magic with little ones with minimal effort and basically no cost.  Try it today, and I would love to hear your collaborative stories with your children!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pinterest Project Friday: Double Feature (sort of)

I've been a bad, bad blogger my friends, and I am sorry.  Between being sick twice in one week, three sick kiddos, a wedding reception, and some general craziness happening in our household, I just haven't had the time or the inclination to sit down and write a post.  But now I'm (fingers crossed) healthy again, the kids are tucked in bed, it's raining outside, and I am about to have a little treat and a cup of tea.  I missed Pinterest Project Friday last week, so I'm going to make up for it now, although this project kind of went off in a different direction than originally planned.

I told you all I was working on something for one of the boys' rooms, and my original inspiration was this pin of a DIY trellis lampshade.  It was done on a drum shade, and used grosgrain ribbon for the trellis design.  My lampshade for Reed's table lamp is a barrel shade (I think?), and I ended up not liking the color ribbon that I had to use for the project, so I put it off until I could take a trip to Michael's and pick out new ribbon.  That trip never happened, but I came up with a different idea for the shade, and then went even a step further to create a totally new DIY project.  I'm not quite finished with it yet, so I'll do the step-by-step tutorial sometime next week, but here's a peek at where I'm at so far:

Isn't it cute?  I'm pretty proud of myself, as I drew that elephant freehand, and I am no artist.  You can tell that it's an elephant, right?!

So, my second Pinterest project for the week is another super simple one, as long as you can find the right supplies!  I would have done this one ages ago, but I had a hard time tracking down a stepstool, believe it or not.  I checked Michael's, JoAnn's, TJMaxx, and Target: no dice.  Finally, on my third trip to Target of the week, I found the perfect little white stepstool.  It's something I have been in desperate need of, both because I wanted to do this project and because I'm short and always have to hoist myself onto the counters to get things from the top shelf in my cabinets.  Here's a link to the original tutorial, at Prudent Baby.

Since I wanted my stepstool for the kitchen, I looked through my scrapbook paper collection to find one that would work with my new paint color (which is Behr Toasted Nutmeg, by the way, and I am in LOVE with it).  I found a pretty printed one with the right color tones, plus some nice words about being thankful on it.  Here is my finished product:

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, although I will admit that it is quite off-centered due to me having a six-month-old strapped to my chest in the Moby wrap while I was Mod Podging.  Reed was quite intent on grabbing the paintbrush in my hand, so my paper went a little crooked.  I kind of like that, though, because now every time I look at it, I'll remember my little goober trying to grab at the glue.  This was a very quick and easy project, and very useful too.  I'm going to scout for more stepstools everywhere I go, as I think this would make a great Christmas gift!

Ciao, my dears, I'm off to drink tea and read my book!  Pinkie promise I'll post more regularly next week.  At least I hope so!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Day in Photos

Today, since I've been up since 4:30 a.m., I'm being lazy and just giving you some good stuff to look at.  We took a little half-day trip to Connors Farm last week, mainly to get pumpkins, but also because they have tons of stuff for little ones to do.  It was loads of fun, we had perfect weather, and came home with gorgeous pumpkins (mine is white!), yummy cider, and a carrot that Lilah took a bite out of at the farm stand so we had to buy it.  We will definitely go back there again!

Daddy and Grady on the jumping pillow.  Lilah was a wimp and didn't like it.

The spiderweb was more her style.

This is just quintessential 'boy' right here.  I had to keep corralling him away from mud puddles.

The girl means business in the duck races.

In amazement that he's allowed to play with something so cool.

Can't leave this guy out!  He was loving the fresh air, but not so much the sun in his eyes.

"Whatchoo lookin' at?"

The one pic of me from the day.  Taken by Lilah.

Taken while we waited for Daddy and Grady, who were on the hayride.  Sister was too chicken for that, too.

Pumpkin tether ball!  She would have played with this all day if we'd let her.

I wish I had all of these in my house.  I think I have a pumpkin addiction.

The hayride.  It went probably 2 mph, and Lilah was scared of it.

So there you have it!  Hopefully I will get a little more sleep tonight.  Check back tomorrow for Pinterest Project Friday!