Here’s a fun and easy craft you can easily give a July 4th twist: Wind Twirlers! They’re an entertaining and colorful addition to your yard. Hang them on the porch, from a tree, anywhere the wind blows! The kids will enjoy making them and watching them go. Here’s what you’ll need to get started.

Wind Twirlers Supplies

Supplies:

  • Plastic lids
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Nail
  • Marker
  • Art supplies (Optional)

Directions:

  1. Remove the lip of the plastic lid with scissors so you have a flat, round piece of plastic.
  2. Wind Twirlers 1

  3. Use the nail to punch a hole in the center of the lid.
  4. Wind Twirlers 2

  5. Optional: Decorate the lids. We had three white plastic lids, so we painted one blue and one red (and left one alone) to add some patriotic flair. If you have colored lids, you could easily skip this step.
  6. Wind Twirlers 3

  7. Use the marker to draw a spiral that starts near the hole in the center of lid and gradually extends outward to the rim. The thicker your spiral, the shorter your wind twirler will be.
  8. Wind Twirlers 4

  9. Cut along the spiral line
  10. Wind Twirlers 5

  11. Thread a piece of string through the whole in the center and knot it on the underside.
  12. Wind Twirlers 6

  13. Hang it and watch it spin!
  14. Wind Twirlers 7

A few tips:

  • The age of your child will determine the amount of the drawing and cutting you’ll need to do. My two-year-old painted her lid and I did the rest. My six-year-old was able to complete all the steps with supervision.
  • You can use different size lids and cut spirals of varying thicknesses to create wind twirlers of assorted shapes and sizes. The lids we used were approximately 4.5 inches in diameter.
  • Don’t have any plastic lids? Try paper plates instead.

Originally written for and posted on the now-defunct My OH! Momma website.

The Simple Things

by Leslie

playing in the dirt

They have a playset,
a Barbie Jeep, countless toys…
they prefer the dirt.

People often say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I agree with that sometimes, but sometimes not. For instance, if the not nice something you have to say is something you wish to say to me and the choice is not speaking to me or speaking to me and airing your not nice feelings, I say, share that not nice thing. I’d rather know what’s stuck up your butt than be ignored. Unless I already dislike you. But in that case, I won’t care what you say anyway. See? Win-Win!

There are times when saying nothing is the wrong choice. Sometimes you have to say something not nice to solve something. And sometimes, I screw things up and I didn’t even mean to. In fact, there are few things in life I’ve intentionally screwed up. I usually try pretty hard NOT to screw up.

And while we’re talking about screwups, you should know that I’m pissed at Norton.

I’ve been using Norton Antivirus, Internet Security, Anti-Spyware – you know, the whole gamut of services – pretty much since I’ve been on-line. The ONE TIME I went ahead and tried a McAfee free trial, I got a virus that took my laptop out. Never with Norton. It’s safe to say, I think Norton is a good product. But, dude, Norton. Your customer service is not so great.

The last time I renewed my Norton subscription, I was strong-armed into signing up for the auto-renewal, which is fine, I guess. I was sold on Norton. I was a customer for life. Auto-renewal is A-Okay with me. I don’t want my coverage on my computer to lapse. Of course, I’m not so great at remembering things and I didn’t write down the auto-renewal date, so when that big chunk of change slipped out of my bank account, I was like, “Wow. That sucked.” Still, I had signed up for it. A reminder from Norton would have been nice. I hadn’t planned for that money to be gone just then, but everything was cool. I adjusted and said to myself, “Well, at least my computer is safe.” Because if my computer went down, I’d be in a world of hurt. If you hadn’t noticed, any of the small change I bring into our household pretty much comes from what I do on my computer and sometimes small change makes the difference between paying bills and not paying bills.

So, it turns out that my computer wasn’t covered. You see, Norton wanted me to click to verify my new subscription, somehow. So, my Antivirus, Internet Security, Anti-Spyware – you know, EVERYTHING – was not turned on. It didn’t seem to matter that I had paid for it. I had to click to verify it, which is funny because paying the money for the service seemed like enough verification to me, especially when it was paid before the original subscription even expired! But it gets worse. When my dumb butt finally clicked to verify – too late because I realized my Norton wasn’t on until AFTER I GOT A VIRUS – those days my Norton wasn’t activated were still deducted from my subscription time.

NOT COOL, DUDES. NOT COOL.

So, my good laptop, the one with all my favorite settings and images and important information is out sick right now. I’ve tried to fix it, but it’s going to be a long job and when will I find the time to throw a day away fixing it? The computer won’t stay on for more than five minutes. I’m working on my old cracktop, which, Thank God for the cracktop, but here’s a secret: it doesn’t work so great. And that makes me feel stabby.

But, oh, that feels better!

See how easy it is to share your not nice feelings? Go ahead and share’em if you’ve got’em in the comments. The complaint department is open. Get something off your chest.

My birthday was yesterday. Julia’s is tomorrow-no, it’s today. Okay, it’s after midnight which technically means it’s her birthday right now and my birthday was two days ago, but I haven’t gone to bed yet, so to ME, it’s still yesterday. The thing is, I’m about to go blow up about thirty helium balloons that I will tie in bunches to random stuffed animals and distribute in my daughter’s bedroom so when she wakes up in the morning she’ll feel very Happy Birthday-y.

This is just one reason having kids is so great. My birthday? Kind of no big deal. Grown-up birthdays just aren’t as fun. But when you have kids, you get to have big deal birthdays all over again. Because for kids? EVERY BIRTHDAY IS A BIG DEAL. Waking up to a room full of balloons? BIG DEAL. If you did that for a grown-up, they’d be like, “That’s cute and all, but what do I do with them now, Big Waster?” But I guarantee my kids will play with those things all freaking day. Probably to the point of extreme annoyance and irritation. It’ll be worth it, though, to make her feel special. Because I feel special on her birthday. It’s sort of my birthday, too.

Six years ago today, Julia was born. And so was a mother.

Julia and Mommy

There’s nothing like ice cream on a hot summer day. But did you know you can make your own with just three ingredients in three easy steps? We made this at playgroup last summer and I’m still not sure what the kids liked better – making it or eating it! Here’s what you’ll need.

Homdemade Ice Cream Supplies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Half & Half
  • 3 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Place the above ingredients in a quart-size plastic food bag.
  2. Homdemade Ice Cream 1

  3. Place the sealed bag in a gallon-size plastic food storage bag and layer with ice and rock salt.
  4. Homdemade Ice Cream 2

  5. Shake for approximately ten minutes and enjoy!
  6. Homdemade Ice Cream 3

*Yields about two scoops of ice cream.

A few tips:

  • You may want to take Step 3 outdoors. Rock salt is pokey and plastic food storage bags don’t like it. Last time my kids and I made this in the kitchen, my counter was covered with a salty film when we were done thanks to a little leak. Save yourself the mess and get shakey outside.
  • Ten minutes is a really long time when you’re shaking up ice cream. Especially if you’re hungry. Or 4 years old. The kids may start step three, but you will probably finish it. Don’t worry, though. They’ll still be there when you’re ready to serve it. It’s ice cream, after all.

Homdemade Ice Cream 4

Originally written for and posted on the now-defunct My OH! Momma website.


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