A few days ago I posted that I wanted to do some of the items from an old list of 10 ways to make the day magical.  One of the items was:

Have the kids decorate the bottoms of each other’s feet with washable markers (or do it with your little ones). This can be delightfully tickly. When they’re all done, take a picture if you like and then assign them the task of running around in puddles till they’re clean. To extend the fun, mist a large piece of white paper with water and let them stomp on it and leave foot stamps of their designs.

The kids and I all headed into the backyard and decorated like mad.

It was quite a lot of fun!


It took some experimentation to find which brands of markers bled best and what method created the best stamps.  By the end we had a whole printing press system set up!


We learned a lot of things, like not to let the paper get too wet or wiggle our feet at all or the paper would rip.  Too much water and it washed off the marker.  And some of the brightest colors on our feet didn’t show at all on the footprints.

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 It was a quick and easy craft, and the kids and I all had a lot of fun.  🙂



A note about the photos…

I’m not sure what’s going on lately, but my photos seem to be magically changing every so often!  I post a batch of them and then a few days later one or two of them will be photos from other folders on my computer.  They still look like the originals on my screen and I only found out because Daryl checks my blog from his computer and he asked why I had an odd picture up.  Since then I’ve been checking regularly and it keeps happening.

I’ve run a virus check and can’t for the life of me figure out what’s going on.  They’re getting scrambled on my end too, but what’s especially odd is that I’m uploading pictures to my blog and then days later they are swapped with pictures that weren’t even taken that day.

Most queer and perplexing!

Anyway, if you see random odd photos that seem to have nothing to do with an entry, that’s the deal!  In the meantime I’m going to see about uploading via Flickr.

Jack's Personal Parade

This weekend our little town is having its annual festival and the kids and I headed out to walk to Main Street and watch the city parade.

It was raining a bit but we don’t melt so off we went!


Truth be told, I’m not a fan of small town parades because of their preoccupations with throwing masses of cheap junk candy at the children watching, and often throwing it right onto the street so small children run out amongst the fire trucks, oxen, motorcycles, tanks and fire equipment to scramble around for stale penny candy.

(Is this a midwest thing?  I don’t remember ever having candy flung at me when I went to parades as a kid in other parts of the country.)


By the time we got to Main Street it was not so much drizzling as pouring and there was no parade in sight.

We waited.  And waited.  And stood under the eaves of the tire shop and waited some more.

Then I suggested heading home and I volunteered to make my own parade for the kids and fling candy at them myself.  We actually did that once, when we all (okay, mostly me) got fed up with the heat and crowds and mosquitos one 4th of July and I told the kids we could walk back to Grandma and Grandpa’s for their own personal parade.  That one had been a huge hit with lots of laughter.

Much deliberation ensued, until finally it was pouring so much and there was no sign of a parade anyway that the decision was made for us.  Off we ran home!  Or rather, strolled, since even in the pouring rain Jack can be a dawdler!

We got back quite wet!  I sent Victoria in to towel off my camera and she tried it out as Alex and I popped in the back door.


I readied myself for making a parade and told the kids we’d have it later that afternoon.

A little while later we heard the parade starting at last and Anna decided she wanted to go to their parade instead.  Off she went.  Then Victoria decided she wanted to go too and off she went.

Only Jack ended up staying home for Mama’s parade, so we all put on a parade just for him!  I went up to the store and got a bit of better candy and I invited the girls to take part.  Even Alex joined in!




 We had a few costume changes and banged on instruments and such too.  Daddy provided the marching band music from YouTube via his laptop.

Jack loved his parade and Victoria asked if I’d throw her one and toss the candy she got at the city parade at her.  Maybe, but first I need a rest.  🙂


10 Ways to Make Today Magical


When I am less busy and less of a deadbeat, I put out a newsletter to go along with my web site, A Magical Childhood. One of the traditions I’ve developed is to end it with 10 ways to make the day magical.

I’m swiping a list from an old newsletter and am going to try to do at least a couple.

10 Ways to Make Today Magical….

1. Go tree climbing together.

2. Have your child write up a letter about who she is, put it in a jar and bury it in the back yard.

3. Conduct an experiment together. Develop a hypothesis and a way to test it, and then carry it out and record the results. Possible experiments are setting up a taste test of different brands of snacks, comparing reaction times for adults and kids (use a stopwatch and a ruler– have the person hold her finger and thumb open and then drop the ruler between them and say go, record how many inches pass before she can grab it) or making up concoctions to add to garden plants to see if any grow bigger.

4. Have a bubble race! Each person makes one bubble and tries to blow it across the room or yard. If your bubble pops, start over. Everybody who reaches the finish line wins!

5. Have the kids decorate the bottoms of each other’s feet with washable markers (or do it with your little ones). This can be delightfully tickly. When they’re all done, take a picture if you like and then assign them the task of running around in puddles till they’re clean. To extend the fun, mist a large piece of white paper with water and let them stomp on it and leave foot stamps of their designs.

6. Go to an “Art in the Park” exhibit together.

7. Each of you make a list of 15 things you want to do before your life is over. Take steps (no matter how small) towards making one come true for each of you. Does your daughter want to sky dive? Check out a book and find out the basics she’ll need to know. Do you want to go to Europe someday? Look up tour rates online to see how much you’d need to save up. Resolve to do something towards one of the goals once a month together.

8. Go on a sprinkler walk. Take the kids and head to a neighborhood where lots of sprinklers spray onto the sidewalks. Try to get as wet as possible.

9. Invent your own soda pop together. Mix carbonated water with different fruit juice concentrates until you get the perfect taste.

10. Go swimming under the stars. Kiddie pools count!

Media Night


Tonight was media night for the Wilder Pageant, so Daryl and the girls had to be in full costume and ready to pose for newspaper photographers and such (this picture is from media night two years ago!). We did a grocery run in the afternoon and got home just in time to dash about getting everybody ready and out the door again.

My part in it went about like this….

Herd everybody in with groceries, unpack cold groceries with Victoria quickly while Anna goes potty and grabs her costume, direct Jack putting away groceries, put Daryl’s shirt in the dryer and check to see if his pants are dry enough to wear, brush Anna’s hair and help her put her pinafore on, have Victoria unbraid her hair and start brushing it, direct one kid after another to stand in the driveway and watch the sleeping baby so we can get ready without my holding him, apologize to Daryl for giving him a wet shirt to wear, throw together pistachios and dried cranberries for a snack for the car, quickly brush and part and braid Victoria’s hair since she says they’re too rough when they do it at the site, find black socks for the girls, help Daryl get his socks and shoes, button Victoria’s dress in back, tell Victoria to pause her tomagatchi and leave it at home, get the sleeping baby out of the car and the girls into the car with Daddy, blow kisses, holler “I love you” and then … breathe.

The boys and I hung out while they were off being famous. We spent our time getting covered in plums and bathing, or at least some of us did.

Approximately 30 seconds after Daryl and the girls got home, Anna and I practiced her teenaged years again. We survived. I mention it only in the spirit of full disclosure.

We finished off the night with a moonlit walk. I invited Jack to go walking with me and Victoria heard and asked him if she could come. He’s a sweetie and said sure. He asked if he could bring his lantern and I said sure, so we headed out with his little camping lantern down the quiet streets.

On our second trip around the block, Anna came running out and asked to join us. We said sure and we did another loop. We took turns holding the lantern and holding hands, talking about everything from the short story Victoria is writing with her pageant friend to Jack’s new fear of ghosts.

We finished the night watching a DVD about the hidden wonders of Hawaii. It was an IMAX movie from Netflix and was beautiful and interesting. There was a crazy botanist who paddles dangerous waters and climbs up a rock face every year to fertilize some poor plant that is becoming extinct because its natural polinators have disappeared. Who would have thought botany was so dangerous and exciting? We saw plants that looked like bad special effects, oozing lava, wild pigs and a whole lot of incredibly beautiful scenery.

Jack fell asleep cuddled up to me, no doubt dreaming of lava and wild pigs.

The day had some mayhem, some drama and some magical moments. Hopefully we’ll remember the latter most.

The best laid plans


(Photo by Victoria)

And we didn’t get to any of the outside crafts yesterday!

The kids made their own fun anyway. They filled the back yard pool and then the girls collected fallen rose petals to make a moisturizing rose petal spa! They insisted their skin was much softer. 😉 I don’t know about that but the hot pink petals did make it look pretty.

It’s been hot and muggy here and we don’t have our window a/c in yet, so I’ve been a bit of a slug.

I did have our “mom and me” time with Jack. I’ll post with pics later. It was just simple fun with a simple craft. We made him a piggy bank. We didn’t get to it until after dark so he took half last night and saved half for today in daylight for some outside fun he wanted to have.

The city is spraying for mosquitos today so we’re heading out of town for grocery shopping. I much prefer bats and birds for mosquito control but the city doesn’t see it our way.

Anna and I have started reading her pocket Declaration of Independence. It leads to a lot of vocabularly lessons! She asked me to read it so we’re doing it bit by bit with discussions.

On the agenda today… stop and collect rocks. Boring rocks. More on that later too.

Oh yeah, and learn something. Smile