If you have stairs and you have children, chances are your staircase looks something like this. Or maybe not. Maybe you actually carry the stuff upstairs where it belongs-- or maybe even your children do this themselves! I'm going to assume you don't because I know you're all way too busy doing much better things, and hey so are your kids right? Exactly.
Enter the bucket. You may have seen these here or over at soulemama. Disclaimer: There was a time in my life (ok so I'm still kinda in that time, but working to get past it) that I considered using anyone else's idea to be copying. Copying, as in the annoying thing little sisters do, as in never to be done. Being creative involved creating everything--every idea, or so I thought, from scratch--or at least making it my own as best I could. Now in the world of crafting blogs, and homeschool resource sites etc. I'm realizing people share their ideas because they are good ones! Because they know you will like them too and want to make them for yourself. So, here is this bucket. I did not make it up. I copied it, and I love it (and so does Kale, can you tell?).
This one is actually Juni's. All of the stuff to be returned to her room goes into the bucket and when she heads upstairs she takes it with her to empty and return. At least in theory. The boys have some coming as soon as I can find the time.
And viola! Clean stairs (at least in theory).
* Juni and I put together this little "Mr. Gumpy" set for Kale's Christmas present. "Mr. Gumpy's Outing" is one of Kale's all time favorite books. This is reminiscent of a project I learned as a preschool teacher, we called them Coffee Can Stories, and kept all the props for telling the story in a coffee can. I made a set similar to this for my nephew's 5th birthday. He has since outgrown it (he'll be 9 next week!) and it was returned to us last summer, but promptly lost. So, here is a new one. It's just a felt boat, plastic farm animals and some tiny wooden people. But it has been a big hit. It's so sweet to hear him reciting some of the pages almost word for word in his tiny baby voice. He is saying so much now--6 and 7 word sentences with pronouns and everything but his voice is still so sweet.
* I made these granola bars the other day. They don't look like much but they were really the best granola bars I've ever had, except maybe a little too sweet. I made them with gluten free oats, but I'm still skeptical about the gluten naturally found in oats. I ate several anyway, as soon as they were cool enough to cut. A word to the wise however (and most likely all of you already know this): wax paper is not the same as parchment paper. Oops. Fortunately I used an all natural wax paper, so I didn't mind too much that parts of them were coated with the wax that melted to them. We ate the entire batch in a day so I made another using rice flour and rice puff cereal in place of the oats. These were also really yummy, but not quite as good as the first.
We'll definitely be making these again this week, with few substitutions: honey or maple syrup in place of sugar, and less of it. In the first batch I used some condensed milk I had kicking around in place of the corn syrup and it was great, I'm guessing just a bit more honey would do the trick as well.
* We finally got a bit of snow the other day, but have really been enjoying the clear ice for skating this year.
* This morning Wylie said, "how come Juniper can knit and I can't?". Well, he tried and he could! He's finished two tiny scarves (for Duck Duck and Boris) and has started on one for himself. Here he is sporting his new Mama made hat. I can already tell Kale is going to need a pom-pom hat too.
*Big raar, num you up! (Kale's good idea, inspired by "Olivia")