Leprechaun Traps and Merry Mischief

Have you ever created a Leprechaun Trap?!  A friend of mine shared this idea with me last March, and I will forever be grateful!  I have always enjoyed St. Patrick's Day, but the mischief and fun in this tradition has literally turned my St. Patrick's Day thoughts upside down, inside out, and sideways!  I LOVE St. Patrick's Day now!  Check out our Saint Patrick's Day 2011:
STEP ONE:  In the weeks before St. Patrick's day, have your kids start gather materials to build their traps.

STEP TWO:  Start theorizing the components and strategies those merry makers might apply!  Collin used old coasters we'd picked up at the fair, pipe cleaners, the mesh bag our clementine oranges came in, etc.  His goal was to lure the Leprechaun in with his one-way doors ~ and trap them inside!

STEP THREE:  A day or two before, if you need to, glue the foundation of your trap.  Collin glued his walls and doors ahead of time, so he could decorate his trap and apply the attractions the next day.

STEP FOUR:  Get together with friends to build and decorate your traps!  Apply your theories and test Leprechaun strategy!  Tip:  don't let them know they are "traps!"  Layer disguise and create "attractions!"

Kate got into a little mischief herself as she created her trap!  She painted green fingernails:  :)
Isaac created a stick maze:
Eli created a Leprechaun Park:

Kate used corks and gold paint, paper clovers, yarn, and green glitter paint ... and lots of glue:
STEP FIVE:  Set your traps before you go to bed March 16!

  Owen put his favorite XBox game, Madden NFL, inside his trap to lure in the Leprechaun!
STEP 6:  Let the mischief begin!!  The Lephrechans tracked in gold glitter with every step, left a green footprint trail, tipped over nearly all of our furniture ~ even topsizing our shoes! ~ decorated our living space and left chocolate gold coins and a note!!

STEP 7:  Enjoy the Memory Making!!
Miss Natalie was still helping us get out the door back then (our lifesaver!).  What a perfect morning to share our lives!  (We love you!) 
Green Milk!  How about Green Hair?!
Hee Hee!
Happy Saint Patrick's Day, Everyone!!  I hope this post inspires YOU to join in the fun!  Rumor has it that those Leprechauns have quite a few new tricks up their sleeves this year ... things like spray painting sleeping kids' hair and green water in the faucet!  Have more ideas!  Please DO SHARE!  And  have fun!

Here's a link to a page I found on Pinterest that has loads of cool ideas!  She is a Super Mommy!


Balancing my Posture

As I think about Balance, posture is an inevitable subject.  I have terrible posture.  I hunch over everything, and I HATE that habit!  And when I try to correct my posture, my lower back starts to hurt (can you say weak?!).  I just stumbled upon this most excellent advise for those of us poised before our desktops all day:

Pretend there's GUM stuck to your butt!

I love it!  Sitting here now ~ mindfully pretending ~ I am sitting straight with much less effort than usual.  Try it!

*Right now, I'm thinking silly things like:  I wonder what brand of gum would hold best?  Which refreshing smell would last longer?  Which gum would you choose to be stuck on?  : )


January Snow Adventures

When the snow hadn't hit by the last day of Winter Vacation, Kevin and I decided to take the family and seek it out!  We packed the sleds and headed up to Mt Baker for a day of fun!  Turned out we were super lucky!!  It was nearly 48 degrees and as we loaded up to head home, it started raining.  But, although warm, we had an awesome time in the (melting) snow:

 Kate turned out to be our sledding maniac!  She quickly moved up to the steepest slope, ditched her sled (smart because it was easy to bounce off them and since it was so warm, you could sled just as easily on your bum), and went from bum to tum and head first.  Freaked me out!!

 See the steep hill the boys are mountain climbing up?  See that little purple thing at the bottom?  Kate went down the steep hill face first and on her belly, laughing the whole way!

 Eli slept in the car much of the time at Baker.  But he awoke in time to work on a snowman and get a couple runs in with me!

Turns out we were destined for snow afterall though!!  Last week we had a fantastic snow storm that left us with 11 inches and a whole week of snow days!

 Apple cider and hot cocoas were huge hits with the neighbor kids.  Kids were outside from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. every day!!

 The first night, amazingly, Collin and I ended up outside - just the two of us.  What a treat!  We caught and examined snowflakes, had a snowball fight, ate snow, and made snow angels.  It was so fun!!  I can't remember the last time I laid down and make my own snow angel.  We both laid in the snow and looked up as the snow fell above us.  It was truly magical!  One of those moment I will always cherish.

Here's my snow angel:

 After everyone warmed, the crowd returned:

 We even stayed out late!  (It was the first day, and we weren't about to miss a single minute in fear that the snow would melt while we slept!)

 Me and my neighbor Barb:

 It did not melt overnight though!  Instead, it accumulated like crazy!

 11 inches
 Collin borrowed a pair of skis and showed me that he's absolutely ready to hit the real slopes!  (*Unfortunately the boots were too small, so he only went down twice, and this is the only picture that I captured.)

 Brannon caught a ride nearby and hiked in to play:

 The boys built fortresses and had snowball fights.  (except, Collin, that wasn't really a snow"ball"!!)  Then Eli snuck in and Collin's crew declared that he was a decoy and part of their strategy:  Don't Hit the Baby!

 These geese flew overhead.  It was awesome!

Mahonia Snow Bunnies 2012:

 Brannon dumped a sled full of snow on Collin as they were working to build a snowfort!

 Kate made snowballs to stash inside the fort while Brannon and Collin created the walls.

 Eli's first solo night sled: