Homemade bouncy balls

Bouncy BallsWe came across a post for making your own bouncy balls. We just had to try it.

  1. Here’s what you need:
    – Glue (either white or clear)
    – food coloring
    – Borax (you can find this by the laundry detergent at the grocery store)
    – a small bowl and craft sticks to use for mixing
  2. Put 1 Tablespoon of the glue into a small bowl.
  3. Mix in few drops of food coloring.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon of Borax.
  5. Stir Borax and glue until you can’t stir it anymore (about 30 seconds.)
  6. Then squeeze and roll it in your hands, shaping it into a ball (about 1 minute.)

Bouncy BallsBouncy BallsWe found that the white glue made better balls than the clear glue. They were easier to form into balls, bounced better and held their shape longer. But the balls made with the clear glue were brighter and more colorful. Try for yourself and see which one you like.

We weren’t able to make perfect balls, which was actually better because they bounced in crazy directions.

One final note: if you make these with small children, make sure they don’t ingest the Borax.

Stuffed up noses

Rosemary Steam BathI think it’s time to clear the snot.

Whenever we have stuffy noses, I clip some fresh rosemary, peppermint or thyme from our garden and put it in a pot full of boiling water. These herbs smell wonderful and have natural decongestant properties. We inhale the steam. Oh, it smells so good and helps clear up the snotty stuff. For adults, it’s best to put a towel over your head and position your face to about a foot above. But I wouldn’t suggest that for kids. Instead, the kids and I gather around the pot and try to catch the steam with our hands and breathe it in that way. It may take a little longer, but it still works.

I sure hope our noses clear up soon.

Bike rides and Milkshakes

Bike ride and MilkshakesDoodle stayed home from school today. He wasn’t feeling well, and I didn’t mind staying home and snuggling with him all day. We needed a break from the TV as well as some fresh air, so we went on a little bike ride.
Bike ride and MilkshakesI thought we should get a cold, special treat to help his throat feel better, so we stopped for a milkshake. Bike ride and MilkshakesMilkshakes make everything better!

Prayer Circle

Prayer circleI came across this photo of a prayer circle the kids made last summer. After they made this, we sat down around it and said a prayer for our friends and family and thought about all of the many things we had to be thankful for. We may not go to church every Sunday, but we do believe in God and make sure to say our prayers and count our blessings every day.
Prayer circleWatching the kids make this circle and say a prayer together was such a sweet sight.

Ham Chowder

Ham ChowderWe had some leftover ham from Christmas that I used to make Ham Chowder for dinner on New Year’s Day. It was delicious. Give it a try if you have any leftover ham.

Ingredients:

1/2 onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
4-5 large potatoes, diced
5 cups water or ham stock (see note at the bottom)
2-3 cups chopped ham
1 can cream of broccoli soup
2 1/2 cups milk
6 tbs flour
salt/pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Put ham stock in a pot, add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer over med heat until veggies are soft, about 20 min.

2. While veggies are simmering, mix soup, milk and flour in a mixing bowl until smooth.

3. When the veggies are tender, add the soup mixture and the ham.

4. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, depending on how mushy you like your potatoes. I like mine pretty mushy, so I simmer mine for longer, about 30-45 min. Taste it and add some salt and/or pepper if you like.

Tips:
To make the ham stock, put your leftover hambone in a large pot and add an onion, a celery stalk, a bay leaf or two and some parsley. Cover with water, bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer it for several hours until all the meat has fallen off the bone. Remove any white foamy stuff that forms on top of the water. Strain out all the cooked bits and reserve the liquid. That’s your ham stock.

If you don’t like Cream of Broccoli, you can use another flavor.

Try adding some sweet potatoes in addition to white potatoes for a flavor variation.

You’re trying to what?

You're doing what?“Hey Guys, whatcha doing?”
“We’re trying to get on the roof.”
“Do you think that’s a good idea?”
“Yeah! It’ll be fun. We can play with the squirrels and maybe touch the clouds.”
“Can we use the ladder?”
You're trying to what?