A Craft for Little Bookworms

These cute bookworms caught my eye and I just had to share! I know the knotting might be tough for little hands, but with a slight method change (glue on some legs or use pipe cleaners) it will be accessible to even the youngest crowd.

One of Claire's favorite Christmas gifts this year was a butterfly kit and we're getting ready to send off for our caterpillars. I think we'll try and make a few of these first, what a nice tie-in!

Head over to Impress Your Kids for the full tutorial.


In Praise of Mud

The day after I blogged about Claire amusing herself swinging from vines and sculpting with mud I read this article:

Young girls who play in the mud tend to end up healthier than those who don't, according to a researcher at Oregon State University. (AP Photo)

A dirty tub is the least of my worries at this stage and we've made trips to the park for the sheer purpose of puddle jumping (our local playground gets the best puddle located just near enough the "parent bench" for me to watch but not get spattered).

I year or two ago, I met up with my girlfriend at the park and we were letting the girls enjoy some puddle jumping. Parent after parent came up to us warning us the girls were up to no good. I wonder (as the article above suggests) if there really is such a bias to "dirty" play for girls.

Or perhaps they didn't want to say yes to their own kids. Who knows.

Around 2 years old in the driveway's muddy puddle.

 And here's Claire in August of 2008, I can't believe how LITTLE she is and how much her voice has changed since then!

And here is a picture of my cutie all cleaned up! Just found this on my computer, these digital photos seem to play and hide and seek on my hard dive at times!


Claire of the Jungle

We've been in brush clean up mode these past few weeks, hauling the old, dead cedar trees over to the fire pile and waging war on the wild thorn bushes on the side yard. The weather has been indescribably gorgeous and I'm so glad to have the chance to spend all this time outside during the day with my little munchkin!

Of course the "pick up sticks with Mommy" game gets old quickly but Claire has kept herself busy (and fit!) swinging on grapevines and playing in a giant mud pit. The [really] dirty laundry has been worth it. The yard is nearly cleared and ready for planting! Can't wait to share some before and after pictures once we get our landscaping in!


The chickens seem thrilled with the warmer weather too -- they're constantly on the hunt for green sprouts (eat those weeds, girls!) and the grubs and slugs don't stand a chance. Claire has started gathering the eggs in the morning on her own and I love watching her weave her way up to the barn jumping over logs and then carefully walking back down to the house with the chickens trailing behind. When she runs, they run. It's a pretty funny site to enjoy while I drink some coffee