Thursday, October 20, 2016

Painting Christmas Ornaments (A Kwik Stix Review)


We had a little dose of Christmas early today as we crafted some ornaments with Kwik Stix paint sticks, and some ceramic stars. I was contacted by Kwik Stix to see if we wanted to do a holiday themed review with a new set for the upcoming gift giving holiday season. I happily said yes as we really enjoyed the first set that we received while I was on the homeschool review crew.
The Pencil Grip, Inc. is proud to announce that
Kwik Stix are now available on


We received both the Neons and Metalix packs. These are both unique and fun colors to try, and different from the original set we received. The Metalix come out kind of shimmery as you can see in one of the stars below. The Neons are bright, and spread on a little thinner, but still look great.


They come in great little packages with plastic caddys. All organized and nice and neat. They look so inviting. All my children are drawn to these when I pull them out.

They come in tubes similar to glue sticks, and twist up just like glue sticks. There is quite a bit of paint in that little tube! We still have quite a bit left in our first set of Stix from a few months ago. They glide on the paper so smooth, and neat. No mess! Usually. Some kids can manage to push a little to hard and squish globs onto the paper, just like glue stick. But, it doesn't happen very often, and my kiddos have figured out how to get just the right amount. If any gets on the table I have found that it wipes right up.


I started out with some little ceramic stars that I picked up at Michael's earlier this week. One for each kid to decorate for an ornament this year.

They painted the stars however they wanted. Some used neons, some used Metalix, some used a combination. It was fun to see what they would create.
I loved how nicely these went on the ceramic stars. The colors stuck nicely, and they were bright. 


I encouraged them to cover the whole star, and they could easily do that and handle parts that they had already covered because this paint dries so quickly. It dries in about 90 seconds!

Even the teenager loves these. She got pretty creative with her star. These paint sticks are fun to use for the whole family, all ages. I even enjoy using them! They make a great addition to your artist's Christmas wish list. I am thinking these might be the gift of the season for some friends and family for us!


The end result was some beautiful, colorful stars. I plan to get some vinyl letters and put each of their names on them, and possibly the year. I think they will make a great keepsake for my children's ornament boxes, and they were so easy to make. This project took less than 15 minutes for the actual painting time. These are great for many surfaces, paper, wood, ceramic, poster paper, and canvas.

Also, beginning November 1st, 2016 Kwik Stix 6 packs of Basic and Metalix colors will be available in
Target stores!
Be sure to check them out. They will go fast!

 *Disclaimer: This product was provided free to me for my honest review.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

52 lists: Family Traditions (week 41 make up week)

52 lists with Chasing Slow

This week is "make-up" week for 52 lists. I might make up quite a few lists, but the one that I really wanted to get to was family traditions. I love family traditions, and would love to do more. My kids are always suggesting family traditions that we should start. Sometimes they say we don't have any, but they don't realize some of the simple things we do are traditions. But, first before I share my list of traditions, I want to share this book. I picked it up at our Deseret bookstore on a whim one day. I like to look through it and try new things. There are some great and simple little traditions to do. It is called The Book of New Family Traditions. It has fun ideas for almost any occasion, daily, weekly, yearly, even one time events like a girl starting her period. I know odd, but it had some great points and ideas to make her feel special at a time in her life when a lot is changing.


Anyway, great book. Just wanted to share if you aren't sure where to start in your family traditions, this might be the book for you!

Now for my list of family traditions!

Our thankful tree from 2014
Fall traditions:

  • We pick apples every year, and do various things with them including apple sauce, apple pie, apple cookies, etc.
  • We take back to school pictures with the kids' grade number.
  • We visit a pumpkin patch
  • We go on a fall nature walk (school)
  • We make a fall thankful tree
  • We usually go on a fall camping trip, but had to cancel this year.
  • We attend our church's trunk or treat and carnival 
  • We don't have any thanksgiving traditions except that we eat a dinner somewhere. Sometimes at home, sometimes with family.
  • Celebrate Mom's birthday (this year it's ON Thanksgiving day!)
Alex's Birthday tree for his 4th birthday.

Winter traditions:

  • We usually have a countdown to Christmas of some sort.
  • We draw names as a family and make or buy a special gifts for the family member drawn.
  • We have a glow light dance party on New Year's eve. 
  • We celebrate Alex's birthday. Sometimes we decorate the Christmas tree for him if it is still up.
  • We go see Christmas lights and go caroling with friends.
  • We try to go to the snow at least once
  • For Valentine's day I write a reasons I love the children, one for each year, on hearts and tape them up on the wall. (This is a new one from last V-day that I plan to keep doing)
Making Mother's day baskets for gifts.

Spring traditions:

  •  Many activities involving Easter
  • Celebrate Aaron's and Dad's birthday
  • We kick off the camping season with a camping trip on Memorial day weekend, or early June.
  • Mother's day celebrations
Aric's 8th birthday breakfast on the birthday plate.

Summer traditions:

  • 4th of July family camp
  • Aric's birthday is celebrated
  • April's birthday is celebrated

Some other more frequent traditions include:

  • Birthday person gets their choice of dinner out, and we all go out as a family
  • We have the missionaries over for dinner each month
  • General Conference: I make buckets for the kids with stuff to eat and do while listening. The kids also enjoy making beds on the floor, and having a space of their own.

That's all I can think of. This was a great list. It was good to think about the traditions that we DO have because sometimes it feels like we don't have many. I always start out with the greatest intentions, but sometimes I just can't keep them going. It's nice to see that we have a few things that have stuck around.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: cat and bird

Poor Sony (the bird). She has no idea who this big black thing is that keeps attacking her cage. Salem (the cat) sits and stares at that bird with his tail flicking, then he jumps!


Sunday, October 9, 2016

52 lists--my daily routine (week 40)

It probably comes as no surprise that I haven't done a 52 lists posts in several weeks. But, I think it would be nice to make it these last 12 weeks! I'm going to try to remember to do it every week just to see if I can do it, and Sunday will hopefully be the day!

Ok, onto the list...

This week is my daily routine. I am just going to list things I like to include in my daily routine. No two days are alike, and I usually don't follow a time schedule unless we have something to be at a certain time on a certain day.

  • Take April to seminary
  • Read scriptures
  • Shower
  • Morning meeting to start school
  • Mid-morning snack
  • Finish up school
  • Lunch
  • Quiet time

  • Exercise
  • Chores
  • Lessons or classes (most of them happen in the afternoon)
  • Dinner
  • Family time
  •  Bedtime for kids at 8
  • Me time: Blogging, or TV/show watching with hubby or April, or reading
  • Bedtime for me sometime later
This is an ideal day at home, and of course very basic in detail. I think it would sometimes be nice to have a more specific plan each day, but really that's not me. I am a more go with the flow kind of person. Some days we end up spending more time doing chores or life skills because it is necessary. Some days we end up out all day because of errands that need to be taken care of before classes or lessons. I guess that's about it! It looks like next week is a make up list. That's great for me!

52 lists with Chasing Slow

Friday, October 7, 2016

Bauman Farm's pumpkin patch

I don't have much of a weekly wrap up post this week, but we did get to the pumpkin patch, so we'll just call this the weekly wrap-up--our visit to the pumpkin patch!


We had 2 opportunities to go with 2 different groups of homeschoolers this last week. One didn't work for April's schedule, so we chose the 2nd one.  It was kind of a bummer because we didn't really know anyone from the 2nd group, so the kids weren't thrilled about not having any friends to run around with. That kind of set the tone for the day, so I had a lot of pictures like this...


and this... (see the frumpy faces?) The only one excited was Alex.


Although he was rather grumpy later on in the day too!


I don't know if it was just the friend thing, or if they are just plain bored of Bauman's, but it wasn't all peaches and cream at the pumpkin patch.

We did have some fun moments though. We always enjoy seeing the fun haystacks throughout the place. There were tons more cute ones that I didn't even get pictures of.


We took a group shot, but since we didn't really know anyone else from the group I opted to get one of just my kiddos. They did a little better for this picture.


At least someone was smiling! Or something...


Despite all the grumpiness there was much fun to be had. Lots of mazes to run through, and yes the kids did laugh and smile at some points during the whole outing.


We spotted at least 2 ninja turtles.


We slid on some really fun slides.


We got excited for our cool colorful corn.


We took a thrill ride on a super fast hay ride.


And, got pictures to prove it!


It was a fun day at the pumpkin patch. I think it's time to venture out to some new patches though. I think my kiddos have "been there, done that" with our most local place. Time for something new next year!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The 3rd grader

Now it's time to meet the 3rd grader!


Aric is my little knowledge seeker. He will try to find out something if he doesn't know the answer himself. He is excited to be in cub scouts this year, and looks forward to going to meetings each week. He also likes to work on his own to get his achievements done. This is the kid who will get all his work done in a timely manner, and knows how to get through it quickly if he wants to get to do something else fun or have free time.

Goals: writing, penmanship, and grammar. I would love to see him do some more notebooking this year.

Likes/dislikes: Aric loves science. I didn't realize that until the beginning of this school year when he declared that he loves science. He also loves EvanTube, and playing on the computer. He loves to cook, and wants to try new things in the kitchen all the time. Some of his dislikes are... writing and reading. It's like pulling teeth to get this kid to write anything, and reading is "boring." We are working on that.

Curriculum: He will be using Sonlight level D for his history, language arts, and science curriculum. For math he is still in Horizon's 2, but will move up to 3 hopefully this school year. He will use Homeart studio third grade for his art lessons. That will be the bulk of his homeschool. He's also doing a writing class at the charter school as well as cello lessons at a local homeschool organization called Village Home.


The science book mix-up. He now has 2 different Usborne science encyclopedias. I ordered the one on the left, but it turns out that wasn't the right one to go with his curriculum, so I had to order a really cheap copy of the one on the right which is the one he is supposed to have. We both really like the one on the left, so we'll keep it anyway. He is excited to have both now.


Evan-Moore Grade 3 readers' theater. I ordered this for him because he had a lot of fun last year with our co-op when they did a few reader's theaters. He was very excited to get this. We have yet to do one because we need more people. We might just have to double up on some parts to do it. It should be fun.


Hot Dots Let's master math 3. This is just a fun supplement I ordered for Aric. I thought it'd be something he'd enjoy. Not a lot of their curriculum is "fun" this year because it's a lot of books from Sonlight, so I thought this might be a fun addition.


That about sums up our 3rd grade choices for the year. Here's to a great 3rd grade year!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: King of the castle!

Yes our cat thinks this castle was built just for him.



 Okay, maybe it was built just for him. Meow!
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