Friday, March 5, 2010

Painting with Shaving Cream

I love to get messy and so do my kids.  I think finger painting with shaving cream is the best!  On a day when we are bored, we will cover the countertop with plastic trash bags and get out the shaving cream.  We use the cheapy, aerosol, white foam kind (you can pick up at the dollar store or at Wal-Mart or Target).  Each child gets a massive squirt either directly on the plastic or some butcher paper.  I then give them several drops primary colored tempera paint, but any washable paint will work.  Then the kids just get to mixing.  And this time I gave them a bunch of toy cars to drive through the foam.  It is a ton of fun.  Even my little one gets into painting the paper and herself.  I think it gives new meaning to "God's work of Art". 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cream Cheese Chicken

I don't know about the average person but when I have to prepare dinner I look for what I have in the house and hope something inspires me.  I usually don't have a dinner plan set up for the week.  Tonight I had baked chicken breast left over from last nights dinner and a container of cream cheese.  I also had several tubes of crescent rolls.  From there, I searched (which is one of my favorite sites) for chicken, cream cheese & crescent rolls.  Here is the recipe that I found and I thought my family would like it.  I did pretty well (especially since my  kids are super picky).  I had a 4 out of 5 vote for yummy!

3 oz. cream cheese (but you could put up to 8 oz. if you want - that is a whole pkg.)
4 tbsp. butter, melted
2 c. cubed chicken
1/4 tsp. pepper
dash of salt
dash of garlic powder
4 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. onion (I used dried onion from my spice cabinet)
8 oz. crescent rolls
1/4 c. parmesan cheese or bread crumbs or stuffing mix (I did a combo of parmesan cheese & italian breadcrumbs)

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

In medium bowl, blend cream cheese & 3 tbsp. butter until smooth.  Add the rest of the ingredients except rolls & parmesan cheese.  Mix well.  Seperate crescent dough & use 2 triangles to make a rectangle.  Place 1/4-1/2 c. chicken mixture in center of rectangle.  Fold over and pinch seam shut.  Brush tops with extra butter & sprinkle parmesan cheese or bread crumbs on top.  Bake 20 min. or until golden brown.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Silly Putty

1/2 c Elmer's glue
1/2 c Starch -- liquid
Food coloring

Do NOT substitute any other glue for Elmer's glue! Slowly add starch
to glue and knead with fingers. The more you work with it the better
it jells. Add food coloring if you want.

Sidewalk Chalk

1 c Plaster of paris (do not pack)
About 1/3 to 1/2 cup cool water
Liquid tempera paints, any color

Pour plaster into a disposable container (i.e. margarine container or
large paper cup.) Stir in most of the water. Add 2-3 tablespoons of
liquid tempera, mixing well, especially at the bottom. Add a little
more water as the mixture thickens. Stir well and pour into
containers. Three-ounce paper cups work well. Peel paper off when the
chalk is dry.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spaghetti Casserole

This recipe is from Gooseberry Patch (Laura Strausberger, Cary, IL was the contributor). It can be made ahead and refrigerated before baking.


1 c. onion, chopped
1 c. green pepper, chopped
1 tbsp. butter
28 oz. can tomatoes, undrained
4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
3.8 oz. can sliced, black olives, drained
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
12 oz. spaghetti, cooked and drained
2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
10 3/4 oz. can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese


In a large skillet, saute onion and green pepper in butter until tender. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, olives and oregano. Add ground beef and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Place half of the spaghetti in a greased 13x9 baking dish. Top with half of the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with one cup of cheese. Repeat layers. Combine soup and water; stir until smooth. Pour over casserole. Sprinkle with parmesan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes or until heated through. Makes 12 servings.

Peanutty Dip


2 oz. cream cheese, 1/3 less fat, softened
1 tbsp. peanut butter
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. milk
Ritz sticks crackers
apple, cut into slices
pear, cut into slices


Mix cream cheese, peanut butter, honey and milk in a small bowl until well blended. Serve with crackers and fruit for dipping.

Microwave Play Doh

This recipe can also be found in Anja's Pinkalicious Lesson Plan.


6 tablespoons cream of tartar
3 cups plain flour
4 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 cup salt
3 cups water
food coloring/powder paint/or Kool Aid packet

Combine all ingredients in microwave proof dish and beat until smooth. Cover with cling wrap and microwave on high for 7 minutes, stirring half way through cooking. If the mixture is still gooey, microwave for another minute. (Since all microwaves are different, be sure to watch the dough while cooking). Cool and store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

Mexican Cheese Dip

This recipe is very large so you may want to half it! My kids gobble up this dip.


2 cans shoepeg corn, drained
1 jar salsa (we prefer medium, but use whatever degree heat you like best)
1 c. mayo
16 oz. mexican cheese
2-3 pickled jalapenos (optional)
frito or tortilla scoops


Mix all the ingredients until well blended. Serve with fritos or tortilla scoops.

Homemade Playdough


1 c. water
1/3 c. salt
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
10 drops food coloring
1 c. flour
1 tbsp. cream of tartar


Over medium heat, add water and salt. Stir until salt is dissolved. Add vegetable oil and food coloring. Remove from heat and add flour and cream of tartar. Mix well. Mixture will thicken quickly as you mix. Knead to a smooth texture. Cool and store in an air tight bag or container.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pinkalicious Lesson Plan for Preschoolers

I know that this sounds like a girly lesson plan, but the boys in preschool class also got into the book Pinkalicious. It is a silly book about a little girl that eats too many pink cupcakes and turns pink. What a good lesson to teach your kids...anything is okay as long as it is done in moderation. And the key to making pink cool for boys is to do hands-on activities and running activities during playtime. If you have some die-hard boys that refuse to have anything to do with pink...give them green. Green is the antidote to pink in the book.

What to Wear:
Pink! From pink tutus to pink wands, pink socks, pink t-shirts, pink hats.


(Sung to: "jingle bells")
Cotton candy, fat pink pigs
girls with socks and bows
That is how it goes
Bubble gum, valentines
these are all pink too
Pink icing and pink balloons
We can spell can you? YES!

What is pink? List as many pink things as everyone can think of: Ham, Flamingo, Ice Cream, Pig, Tongue, Rose, Tulip, Pajamas, Princess Dresses, Bows

1. Pink Beaded Bracelets: Have kids string pink pony beads onto a pipe cleaner or stretchy string. If using stretchy string and you are not familiar with it, here is a video to help you get started:
2. Pink Paper Chains

3. Fingerpainting Letter P: Let the kids mix red and white paint on a plate to see how they create pink. Then paint in a letter P printout:
4. Frost Pink Cupcakes: this can become part of their daily snack. You can also provide pink sprinkles for extra fun.

Play with Pink Playdough (bring Ziploc bags so can go home with kids).
Here is my favorite recipe for playdough (and it's super easy):

MICROWAVE PLAY DOH: (scented, if use Kool Aid)
6 tablespoons cream of tartar
3 cups plain flour
4 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 cup salt
3 cups water
food coloring/powder paint/or Kool Aid packet


Combine all ingredients in microwave proof dish and beat until smooth. Cover with cling wrap and microwave on high for 7 minutes, stirring half way through cooking. If the mixture is still gooey, microwave for another minute. (Since all microwaves are different, be sure to watch the dough while cooking). Cool and store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

1. Pink Streamers: Make a simple dancing streamer with a dowel (can be purchased in a pack in the craft section of Wal-Mart) and birthday streamers.
2. Pink Balloons: Blow up a bag of pink balloons and give each child a balloon to run around with or play a game trying to keep the balloons up in the air.

Pinkalicious pictures printed from Elizabeth Kann's website:

Pink cupcakes, pink frosted sugar cookies, pink wafer cookies, pink whopper candies and pink lemonade. I also added grapes and strawberries to have something healthy.

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

This recipe is from Betty Crocker. My kids love this dish when we use tortillas and they assemble their own creations.


8 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or 4 boneless breasts)
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 - 1 c. salsa
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (11 oz.) whole kernel sweet corn, drained
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro


Sprinkle chicken with salt. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil about 4 minutes, turning once, until brown. In a slow cooker, mix salsa, beans and corn. Top with chicken. (Tip: Use slow cooker plastic liners for easy clean up.)

Cover and cook on low heat setting approximately 5 hours or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (180 degrees F).

Sprinkle chicken thighs and vegetable mixture with cilantro.

Serve as is, over rice or in tortillas with your favorite toppings.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Taco Soup

This taco soup was served at a craft show where the school hosting the fundraiser opted to feed the crafters. I was one of the lucky crafters to get a cup. It was to die for and I had to ask for the recipe.

Now, just so you know, I have extra picky, finicky eaters...probably my fault because I tend to cater to them. I am always worried that they will starve to death if I don't get something in them for dinner because I do have the "no dinner, no bedtime snack" rule. I can't say this meal will be a favorite for your kids, but it is truly one of my favorite meals and I do think it is very kid friendly. It's topped with tortilla could a kid resist (mine excluded, of course)?

2 lbs. ground beef
1 sm. onion, diced (I go for the already chopped onion in the frozen foods section)
(2) 4 oz. cans chopped green chiles (I get mild in case my kids do try a bite)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
1 1/2 c. water
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans - rinsed & drained
1 (15 oz.) can lima beans - rinsed & drained
1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans - rinsed & drained
1 (15 oz.) can white hominey - drained
3 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
Shredded Cheese
Tortilla Chips

Brown beef & onion. Drain. Add all other ingredients except cheese & chips. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer 30 minutes. Top with cheese and cover with crushed chips. Freezes well.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ladybug Lesson Plan for Preschool Children

Not every child likes bugs, but I have not met a child yet that does not love ladybugs. Here is a great lesson plan for preschoolers, age 2-5 to learn about ladybugs and to maybe discover them first hand.

Ladybug Facts
  • Ladybugs are a kind of beetle. Beetles are insects.
  • There are more beetles on the Earth than any other kind of animal.
  • Ladybugs were named in England more than 500 years ago, when they were called beetles of Our Lady or Lady beetles. They may have been named after Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was called "Our Lady."
  • In many countries, people think ladybugs are good luck.
  • Ladybugs come in many colors--yellow, orange, pink, and red. Some ladybugs are black with red spots. Some have no spots at all.
  • Birds don't eat ladybugs because their bright colors are a warning that they don't taste good.
  • Ladybugs don't chew up and down the way people do, but side-to-side.
  • Ladybugs also smell with their feet.

Five Little Ladybugs
5 little ladybugs climbing up a door
One flew away and then there were four
Four little lady bugs sitting in a tree
One flew away and then there were 3
Three little ladybugs landed on a shoe
One flew away and then there were two
Two little ladybugs looking for some fun
One flew away and then there was one
One little ladybug sitting in the sun
She flew away and then there was none.

Math & Science:

Ladybug Counting

Buy a bag of large dried lima beans. Spray paint the lima beans red. This is optional, but really adds to the effect...use a black Sharpie marker and add the black head and dots to the beans. Use an Egg carton and label each section with the numbers 1-12. Have the children sort the right number of ladybugs into each of the sections. ex. 1 ladybug in the #1 section, 2 ladybugs into the #2 section, and so on.

Examine Live Ladybugs

If it is spring or summer you can take an excursion outside to look for ladybugs. But when I did my lesson plan it was early winter and all of the ladybugs were gone. I turned to Ebay and found a wonderful vendor selling live ladybugs as organic pesticide control. I contacted the vendor and asked if I could purchase about 200 live ladybugs for my preschool class. The ladybugs arrived 4 days later and I was able to hand out recycled glass jars (spaghetti sauce and baby food jars), with holes punched in the lids, full of ladybugs. The kids were super excited to examine and touch the ladybugs. Then the children could take the ladybugs home and set them free in their own garden.


Ladybug Crown

Make a ladybug crown for each child so they are a ladybug for the day.


Reptile Lesson Plan for Preschool and Homeschool 2-5 year olds

I can't think of a preschooler, girl or boy, that is not fascinated by slimy and scaly creatures. What a great way to work in an educational and fun lesson plan all about crocodiles, alligators, snakes and turtles.


1. Reptiles and Amphibians
2. The Very Greedy Python

Teasing Mr. Crocodile
Five little monkeys
(5 fingers held over other arm (4 for next verse, etc))
Sitting in a tree
Teasing Mr. Crocodile,
(teasing faces, hands up to face like moose antlers or one hand in front of nose)
"You can't catch me."
Along came Mr. Crocodile,
(finger up to mouth like SHHHH)
Quiet as can be
(Both hands clap together like a crocodile's mouth)

Four little monkeys
Sitting in a tree
Teasing Mr. Crocodile,
"You can't catch me."
Along came Mr. Crocodile,
Quiet as can be

Three little monkeys
Sitting in a tree
Teasing Mr. Crocodile,
"You can't catch me."
Along came Mr. Crocodile,
Quiet as can be

Two little monkeys
Sitting in a tree
Teasing Mr. Crocodile,
"You can't catch me."
Along came Mr. Crocodile,
Quiet as can be

One little monkey
Sitting in a tree
Teasing Mr. Crocodile,
"You can't catch me."
Along came Mr. Crocodile,
Quiet as can be

No more little monkeys
Sitting in a tree.

Math & Science:

1. Snake Shapes worksheet: Twist 2 pipe cleaners together to make a snake. Use the snake to make the shapes on the worksheet.

2. Count to 18 Turtle worksheet:

Turtle 18 Worksheet (1)

1. Squishy Snake Painting: Purchase a bag of stretchy (squishy snakes as my children call them) at your local Wal-Mart or Dollar Tree. Put washable paint on a plate in front of each child & hand them 3 snakes each. Children can put the snakes in the paint & use them to make an imprint on the paper. You could do this as a group mural, on a large piece of paper, or as individual projects.
2. Alligator Puppet: Print out an alligators/crocodile image on construction paper or white printer paper. Have the children color the alligators if it is printed on white paper. Glue the head to the top of the paper bag and glue the mouth to the bottom part of the paper bag, under the flap. Place your hand inside the bag and curve your fingers over the fold to move the puppet.

Alligator Puppet Template

3. Lizard Bracelet: Print out lizards on construction paper or printer paper. Cut the lizard shape out. Let the children color it. Wrap the lizard around the child's wrist tape the tail to the head.

Lizard Bracelet Template

John Lennon

"I get by with a little help from my friends."

Mama Made It

Colossians 3:17

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."