Easy DIY Kids Crafts: Treasure Jars

Decorated Mason Jars.
DIY Treasure Jars

If ever I was going to post kid activities, this is the time!

I’ll be posting a bunch of ideas for the next few weeks.

Camp visiting days are an opportunity for kids to show and tell. They’re also a great source of craft ideas. I was particularly excited about the Treasure Jars so I included them in a previous Highlights article, 12 Ways to Reboot Your Summer.

For this crazy, quarantined time, why not find treasures on a hike? I see “treasures” every day when I walk Lucy. Acorns, variegated pebbles, petrified wood, leaves, new blooms and, my favorite, feathers! I’ve found blue jay and sparrow feathers, a large, wild turkey feather, and a tuft of raccoon fur! I’m always on the lookout for interesting objects and coyote pups. (Last spring, a coyote pup peeked his head out of a conduit to say hi!)

Another DIY Treasure Jar Idea? My daughter said her camp provided glow-in-the-dark paint. Turn out the lights and let  the memories shine!

Supplies:

–mason or mayonnaise jar

–any combination of stickers, pom-poms, paint, paint markers, permanent markers, colored tape and feathers

–craft glue that adheres to glass

Directions:

–Decorate jars.

–Add keepsakes such as seashells, pebbles, acorns, feathers, souvenirs, movie stubs, show stubs, etc.

–For a personalized touch, label with name and year.

Highlights Article and Easy DIY Summer Treasure Jars

Decorated Mason Jars.
Decorated Mason Jars.

DIY Summer Treasure Jars

Camp visiting days are an opportunity for kids to show and tell. They’re also a great source of craft ideas. This year, I was particularly excited about the Treasure Jars so I included them in my Highlights article, 12 Ways to Reboot Your Summer. My daughter said the camp provided glow-in-the-dark paint. Turn out the lights and let summer memories shine!

Supplies:

–mason or mayonnaise jar

–any combination of stickers, pom-poms, paint, paint markers, permanent markers, colored tape and feathers

–craft glue that adheres to glass

Directions:

–Decorate jars.

–Add summer keepsakes such as seashells, souvenirs, movie stubs, show stubs, cards, letters, etc.

–For a personalized touch, label with name and year.

Party Favors or Take Home Party Activity:

How fun would these DIY Treasure Jars be as a take-home party activity for ages 8 and up? Or, decorate smaller jars, fill with candy, and hand out as party favors. Come to think of it, that’s just what I did a few months ago. Check out Quick and Easy Candy Jars to see how I carried the middle school musical, Little Shop of Horrors, theme through the candy jars. Hon, you know I love a theme!

Colorful tape, stickers, paint markers, paint, pom poms and thread were used to decorate these jars.
Colorful tape, stickers, paint markers, paint, pom poms and feathers were used to decorate these jars.

 

Highlights Parents Memorial Day Ideas

Me, Hubby and two daughters. Lucy looks winded from our walk along the Hudson River in Manhattan.
Me, Hubby and two daughters. Lucy looks winded from our walk along the Hudson River in Manhattan.

Top Ten (plus One) Ideas of What to Do Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is coming up and I have ideas of what to do.  Eleven, in fact.  Here’s a link to  my 1st article published in Highlights Parents online magazine titled 11 Crazy-Fun Ideas to Make Memorial Day Weekend Special.

Have a nice holiday, hon!

19 On The 19th (Happy Birthday to My Triplets!)

Happy 19th Birthday to my triplets!

Senior Prom Pic of Baby A, B and C, 2012
Senior Prom Pic of Baby A, B and C, 2012

My Plus One, also known as “Tween Daughter” says it’s a magical birthday when your birthday falls on the date you were born. Guess what? Baby A was born at 11:19 am! Baby B followed at 11:20 and Baby C showed up at 11:24. Quite a productive five minutes, wouldn’t you say hon?

Sonogram at 9 weeks.
Sonogram at 9 weeks.
Baby A
Baby A
Baby B
Baby B
Baby C
Baby C

In honor of my “babies” turning 19, here’s a list of 19 fun facts about their childhood.

1.  When I was pregnant, Baby A was so squished she punched and kicked like crazy.  Baby B sat up and hung out, and Baby C frequently got the hiccups.

2.  Baby A weighed 2 lbs, 9 oz and came home after 6 1/2 weeks in the NICU.  Baby B was the biggest at 4 lbs, 12 oz and came home after 10 days.  Baby C weighed 4 lbs, 4 oz and came home on day 12.

3.   Our 2 year-old son climbed out of his crib and by the next day, his sisters did, too.

4.  All three woke up at the 6 am every morning no matter what time they went to sleep.

5. When the kids were toddlers, if one child came in our bed, all three would end up in our bed by the end of the night.  We called it “Triplet Radar!”

6.  During the week, as soon as the kids heard Daddy’s car in the driveway, they’d line up.  When he walked in the door, they’d take turns running towards him so he could pick them up and swing them high.

7.  I once entered the kids’ bedroom and it seemed, well, shiny!  Vaseline had been smeared across dressers and in hair.

8.  Another time, two of the three kids had stepped in a giant tub of diaper rash ointment and created white, gooey footprints on their bedroom rug.

9.  The kids knocked a tall dresser down so we bolted it to the wall.  We got rid of standing lamps.

10.  Baby gates didn’t stop the little monkeys from coming out of their bedroom so we put one on top of the other.

11.  I came in the kids’ bedroom to find ALL of the audio tapes with recordings of their first words shredded like confetti.  Stacking boxes, they reached the top dresser drawer where they found the tapes.

12.  After exploring the fireplace, they jumped up and down on they couches until they were covered in soot.

13.  Two siblings always ganged up on the third sibling–it didn’t matter which two.

14.  There was so much fighting about car seats and bath time, I created car and bath charts to determine who sat where and who took the dreaded “first bath.”

15.  When the kids melted down in restaurants, I called it live “Dinner Theatre.”

16.  They lasted about 1/2 hour in their first movie (101 Dalmations) and were more interested in the candy counter.

17.  The kids had combined boy/girl birthday parties through third grade when one boy playfully stabbed a girl with a foam noodle and broke her finger.

18.  There were only two classes in each grade of elementary school so the kids were in the same class until 5th grade when two were in one class and one was in another.

19.  In evenings and on car trips, we read books out loud together.  I started reading the Harry Potter series to them when they were in 2nd grade and we read all of the books, in addition to classic literature, together until senior year of high school.

Bonus Fun Fact:  When the kids were toddlers, some people insisted that the redheads were identical even though one’s a girl and one’s a boy! My response:  “They can’t be identical if one has something the other one doesn’t have!!!”

Dressing up in grocery bags but one is windowless!
Dressing up in grocery bags but one is windowless!

Gutter Mouth Part 2 (or the Top Ten Things I’d Rather Talk About Than Gutters)

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In my last post, I described how our leaky gutters and a self-described gutter expert led to 6 months of drama in our house.

Hubby became obsessed with both Al (also known as Gutter Mouth or G.M.), his excuses and our leaky gutter/ crumbling plaster ceiling situation.  Hubby and G.M. exchanged countless e-mails in that time.  An example of a typical text thread:

Hubby, “So the weather forecast says sun for the whole week.  When can you come by?  I’d like a specific date.”

 G.M., “I’ll be by Monday, for sure.  You can count on me, Pal.  No hard feelings?”

But, Monday would roll around, then Tuesday and Wednesday, with cockamamie excuses from G.M. about why he couldn’t make it.  Hubby had had enough.  He asked for our money back and wanted to take action.  I said to wait, since he lives in our town and all.  As the months flew by, Hubby went from irritation to anger to incensed until Gutter Mouth was just about all he talked about.  The whole affair made Hubby cranky, and a cranky Hubby makes a cranky wife!

Top Ten Things I’d Rather Talk About Than Gutters:

  1. Is there life on Mars?
  2. Is Pluto a planet or not?
  3. Will aliens who previously lived on Pluto emigrate to Mars?
  4. Global warming’s effect on the North Pole.
  5. Smog in L.A.
  6. Celebrities who are famous for doing absolutely nothing.
  7. Why the concrete in a parking garage being built in my town is defective and how much money it will cost the taxpayers to rip it out?
  8. Why a member of the Historic Commission wanted to know what kind of nails we would use when we did work on the house.
  9. Is Times Square truly gentrified when the Naked Cowboy, Naked Cowgirl, Naked American Indian in feathered headdress and Naked Hippie who hangs a bra from her guitar are running around willy nilly?
  10. Football, Curling or Golf.  (Okay, that’s three things but they’re under ONE category!)

Gutter Mouth Part 1(or the Top Ten Excuses and Lies of a Gutter Mouth)

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My family wasn’t a cussing family.

That’s not to say tempers didn’t flare.  There was plenty of hollering in my home, accompanied by stomping feet and slamming doors.  I just don’t recall swear words worse than damn and hell.

Then I went to college, where curse words found a way into my vocabulary.  Along with everything else I loved about college, I loved the freedom to speak any which way I liked.  The summer after freshman year, my mom heard my newfound trash mouth and commented on it.  I tried to curb my gutter mouth while at home.

I recently encountered a different kind of Gutter Mouth, a man who is either a pathological liar, a con artist or both.

This winter, part of a plaster ceiling started crumbling, a sure sign of a leak.  Enter Al who from now on in will be referred to as G.M., a so-called gutter expert from our town.  He came recommended by a neighbor who also lives in an historic house and has introduced us to some wonderful people.  My neighbor’s recommendation was all I needed.  I’d come to find out later that G.M. had been flagged on a local online network as someone to avoid.

G.M. started work on our leaky gutters in December.  He said the job would be done in a few weeks.  After showing up a couple of times, climbing a ladder and assuring me that he was going to fix everything and more, he asked to be paid up front.  Stupidly, we did.  We thought that since he lives in town and has a kid who graduated with our kids, he was as good as his word and the contract spelling out the work and cost.  After we paid him, he never showed up again.

The next six months we tried to pin him down or get a refund.  Finally, under threat of the sheriff’s office, he taped a check to his door.  Hubby made sure it didn’t bounce.  It didn’t and now we’re through talking trash!

Top Ten Excuses and Lies of a Gutter Mouth:

  1. It might rain.
  2. It rained yesterday.
  3. It’s too cold.
  4. It’s too hot.
  5. I’m at the beach.
  6. There was an emergency at the beach.
  7. I’m in D.C.
  8. I’m busy with “the wife.”
  9. My son’s sick.
  10. Check’s in the mail.

Moral of the story:  Don’t believe a Gutter Mouth, don’t talk like a Gutter Mouth and, for goodness sake, don’t pay the balance until the job is done!

The Top Ten Things I Lose

frequently lost things featured in my wheel thrown ceramic bowl
Frequently lost things featured in one of my wheel thrown ceramic bowls.

One of these days I won’t forget where I put my phone, my keys or my “to do” list. I’m not sure when I’ll be patient the whole day or when it’ll feel like someone hit the “refresh” button on my brain.  Here’s to hoping it’s sooner rather than later.

Hon, what do you lose?

  1. Phone—-as in, “Is it in the car or house?”  “Can someone please call it?”  “Oh shoot, it’s on ‘silent’!”
  2. Keys—-as in, “I had them when I unlocked the door so where could they be?”
  3. Lists—-as in, “I have to have my list. I’m lost without it!”
  4. Socks—-I seriously have a bag of single socks.  They go on Match.com in an effort to hook up with their soul (sole) mates.
  5. Earrings—-as in, “I took them off last night and left them on the dresser.” Maybe the sock thief took them, too.
  6. Coupons—-as in, “I know I have a coupon for a million dollars off at…(whichever store you are going to now).  Don’t leave until I find it!”
  7. Recipes—-as in, “I have a great recipe for (fill in the blank) but it’s lost in my Bag O’ Recipes.” One of these days, I’ll actually organize that bag and I’ll find a ton of great dishes to make.
  8. Necklaces—-see post titled, “Material Girl Metaphor”
  9. My patience—-okay, this isn’t an object but it might as well be
  10. My mind? I believed that when the triplets went to college, my head would open up, fresh air would rush in and my brain would be rejuvenated. Instead, I’m still trying to reach the cobwebs crowded into the corners of my mind. Some days, my brain feels like the door to The Lonely Mountain in The Hobbit; you have to be able to read ancient runes in order to decipher the specific day, key and way to knock if you want the door to reveal itself. And then other days, there’s a glimmer of clarity. Sigh.