Monday, January 28, 2013

Cabin Fever Help

Here are a few fun ideas for keeping entertained during the winter months.


Go stargazing.

Winter means nightfall starts earlier in the evening, so you can stargaze without sweating bedtime for the little ones. Wrap yourself in blankets and cuddle together on lawn chairs, or bundle up and take an adventuresome night walk in a more remote locale. (Don’t forget your flashlight.) Some easy-to-spot winter constellations are Orion and his dogs Sirius (the brightest star in the winter sky) and Procyon. Also, the Big Dipper shines the brightest during this time of year.

Tell tales.

In many Native North American cultures, people gather around the fire for a time of communal storytelling. Jane Drake, author of The Kids Winter Cottage Book, recommends creating your own fireside experience. Start with a traditional Native American “story stick,” which could be a chopstick, wooden spoon, or a piece of wood your kids decorate with paint or permanent markers. “Whoever holds the stick gets to speak; the others must be quiet,” Drake explains. “My family likes to tell memories around a topic, for example, stories about a special event or person with a birthday. If you’ve had a loss of a pet or a grandparent, you can each share about that loved one. It’s very cathartic.”
To give the night a comical twist, tell a story in true Mad Libs fashion. Drop into a paper bag 10 to 20 random items, such as a bird feather, toilet plunger, and toothbrush. Ask each person to pull out an object, which she will use as the basis for her part of the narrative. The sillier the story, the better.

Channel your inner Indiana Jones.

Host a winter scavenger hunt. Ask each participant to collect 5 to 10 of most interesting natural items they can find, such as dried seed pods, empty birds’ nests, feathers, and pine cones. Then return home to identify and discuss the items over a cup of hot cocoa. If your kids need an incentive, award prizes for the most creative, unusual, or beautiful specimens. And, to prevent those treasures from eventually landing in sock drawers, dedicate a space, such as a card table or end table, to display the items for a designated period. “A nature table encourages collecting and helps children connect with the outdoors,” says Drake.

Race boats in the tub.

When it’s too cold to frolic outside, a little warm-water play is just the ticket. (Bonus: Your kids might jump for bath time.) Start by creating your own fleet of motorized boats using empty cardboard milk cartons, bendable straws cut so the bendable part is in the middle, tape, and empty balloons. Cut the milk cartons in half and lay them on their sides. Next, poke a hole in the carton’s bottom and push the straw through it, with the straw bending at the hole. Place the empty balloon inside the carton and stick the straw into the balloon, securing it with tape. Now blow up the balloon through the straw. When you remove your mouth from the straw, the air from the balloon should make the straw spin like a propeller. All systems go? Fill up the tub, and it’s off to the races!

Pack a picnic.

On the next snow day, delight your kids with an indoor picnic. Spread a blanket on the floor and set the mood with some ambient sounds of the beach or woods, or your favorite summer tunes. Consider turning up the heat for an hour and dress in shorts and t-shirts for extra fun. Cook up a summer-style menu that will shake away the winter blues: fried chicken, hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, and popsicles. Or, roast “campfire” s’mores in the fireplace (or over the gas stove).

Serve up sweets.

Children love to help in the kitchen, and there’s no better time to warm up your home than a dreary, winter afternoon. Gillman suggests making something warm and sweet like a pie, since most people already stock the ingredients (butter, flour, water, and any given fruit). Keep your kids entertained with tasks such as rolling the dough, peeling the fruit, and decorating the top with cut-outs made from leftover dough. Drake’s tradition involves making sheets of gingerbread with which her family creates houses, boats, or whatever strikes their fancy. “It doesn’t have to look perfect,” says Drake. “Just have fun picking a theme and figuring out how to create it using things you can find."
Thank you to http://www.goodhousekeeping.com for these fun ideas

Friday, January 11, 2013

Baby it's Cold Outside

As temperatures drop and snow piles everywhere, I know that I like staying inside. It is not fun to be cooped up inside, but might as well come up with some fun games to keep your family going.

Harry Potter Marathon
-Watching a movie doesn't seem very active, and with little ones it may even seem boring. This is where the fun comes in. Every time someone on the movie says the name "Harry" you either stand up or sit down. You realize how much the name is said through out the whole thing. With Allie, she started giggling when ever mom and dad kept on moving and she would do it right along with us. (We did splurge on treats though and made some chocolates shaped like frogs and some Butterbeer http://www.ourbestbites.com/2012/12/butterbeer-with-salted-butterscotch-sauce/)

Twister
-I didn't realize till recently how much the game of twister takes it out of me, and how much it strengthens all your muscles. This has been really great for my 2 year old while she is learning her colors, and it a good work out for both of us.

Making soup
-I use to be a big recipe person, and have finally stretched my mind to the possibility that I do not need a recipe for everything. Allie and I have been making soup lately. Make sure you have a lot of different vegetables  Start with a chicken broth and then sample all of the different veggies. Allie usually pulls up a chair in the kitchen. She then gets to choose which ones go in our soup. We also put pieces of chicken in their also. It is really yummy, plus they snack on vegetables, and they eat their soup since they are the ones that made it.

Have any suggestions of what to do in these winter months. Comment and I will add them to the posts!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Water for Your Family

Drinking water seems to be the hardest for me. I am not really a fan of the taste of just regular water, and adding flavor just adds sugar that isn't needed. My family is now drinking plain water and drinking the right amount also! Here is my tricks...

First off, how to know what your minimum amount of water you should be taking in is. Take your body weight divide it in half, and that is how many ounces you should be drinking.

Example: A child might be 42 lbs. divide by 2 = 21 ounces of water they should be drinking

Drinking out of a special cup that you will only use for water. Allie has a cup that has a straw that sticks in it, that she can only use for water. She loves the cup so much that she often finishes it and asks for more.
This also works for adults. I realize if I have a water bottle that is slim and closes up tight that I will carry it around with me all day. Also, with me I have to have it a bright color so then I can easily spot it in the craziness of the house. Mine is an orange color that I got from ISU, and it has a straw that collapses down so then it doesn't spill and I can even drink it while keeping my eyes still on the road when driving.

If you have any tricks that your family does for drinking water let me know and I will update this post with more ways!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hot Cocoa Alternative

I have to give credit to the Bischoff family for this one.
When I had Allie I was not able to have anything with dairy because it was causing health problems for Allie.  

Hot Chocolate 

is one of my two weaknesses  so the winter time was super hard until this family.

Take orange juice, a nice mug full.
Heat it up in the microwave.
Add about one spoonful of honey or brown sugar.

That is it! It makes a sweet citrus drink that still warms you up!
Enjoy!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Winter Carnival at Clear Springs



Fishing Derby will be hosted at Clear Spring with registration at 6:30 am, door prizes and and fishing from 8 am - 4 pm, two fish included in $20 registration fee ($5 for children 14 and under), prizes for largest fish.For more information call Jerry at 208-547-2310 or Tony at 547-4722.

Snow Machine Fun Run in the Trail Canyon Recreation Area from 10 am - 4 pm. Brought to you by Caribou Mud Racers, Inc. and the City of Soda Springs. For more information call Dale or Sue at 208-547-3911

Free Movie at the Idan-Ha Theatre! Show times are 9:30 am, noon, and 2:30 pm.

Geyser Bowl and pizza will give you One FREE game of bowling with the donation of canned goods for the Food Bank. Call 547-2695 to reserve your game spot.

Enjoy free gifts and lunch for children ages 0-14 at Enders Hontel after each movie showing.

For those who wish to get an early start, stay over Friday night! Local motels and restaurants are offering special rates just for the Winter Carnival.



http://www.sodachamber.com/annualevents.htm?eventId=412177&EventViewMode=EventDetails

End of Year Fun Runs

If you are a runner or just want to volunteer, these are fun events to do as a family!!

YMCA Christmas Run - Boise

http://www.ymcatvidaho.org/programs/races/fun-runs/christmas-run

Resolution Run - Idaho Falls

http://www.pb-performance.com/events/new-years-resolution-run-2012-13.html


01/01/2013 New Year's Day 5K Run

http://www.ymcatvidaho.org/programs/races/fun-runs/01012012-new-years-day-5k-run



This website keeps me updated, plus it shows who you can contact for questions and ask them about volunteering.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Free Admission into National Parks


Free Entrance Days in the National Parks

Yosemite National Park, Photo by DanNg
NPS/DAN NG
Yosemite Falls can be seen from numerous areas around Yosemite Valley. A one-mile loop trail leads to the base of Lower Yosemite Fall.

America's Best Idea - the national parks - is even better when it's free!
Mark your calendar for these entrance fee-free dates in 2012:
  • January 14-16
    Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend
  • April 21-29
    National Park Week
  • June 9
    Get Outdoors Day
  • September 29
    National Public Lands Day
  • November 10-12
    Veterans Day weekend

Here's a tip - 264 of your 398 national parks NEVER charge an entrance fee. So start Planning Your Visit!