Nurturing Creativity

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Ali and I wanted to hike during our Michigan vacation. And who can blame us? Have you seen those gorgeous forests and irresistible scenic views? But we had a problem: the girls. We knew ahead of time that our hike was guaranteed to be interrupted by three things: whining, more whining, and someone getting hurt after the whining didn’t have the intended effect. But we were determined and so we set about problem-solving. Threats never work, bribery works only unreliably, and indifference leads to exponential bad behavior. But, distraction might do the trick. (more…)

Popsicle Stick Bird Feeders

Maddie has taken a big interest in birds. She loves to spot them as we drive and has enjoyed watching two nests produce a gaggle of baby birds – one at home and one at my parents’ house. For a little while, we had to stop going to the park because Maddie wanted to take every bird home as a pet and would stage a sit-in in the middle of the park when I said no. Luckily, the intense love has slowed down, and learning about different birds with her has been fun. (more…)

Valentine’s Day Dream Catchers

In this week’s post, I told you all about our Valentine’s Day week of celebrating all of the love around us, but truly our celebration started the week before Valentine’s Day with our holiday craft. I accidentally told the girls that I had a craft planned for the occasion in January and survived a few cold weekends without giving in to their insistent cries to do the project. But finally, I broke and gave in. We did the craft about a week and a half early. It turned out to be good timing since Riley had a string of bad dreams and the craft I had planned was a dream catcher. I didn’t quite know the story of dream catchers at the time, so I told Riley that they were to catch bad dreams and keep them away but also to catch the good ones and keep them around. (more…)

Egg Carton Snowmen

This winter has been cold and snow-filled so far. Looking back on January (so glad to be able to finally say that), it hasn’t been the worst winter on record, but it certainly has done a number on my vacation time. On the bright side, Maddie did get to experience her first actual snowfall. Granted, she was around for the great NHN snow day sleepover of 2015, but she wasn’t old enough to remember, or participate. With 4+ inches on the ground this January, she enjoyed sledding with Grammy and, of course, her favorite of all: snowball fights. The more tightly packed ice- filled snowballs, the better. Riley, experiencing a first of her own, had her first actual day-off-of-school snow day. (more…)

Dirt Cups Made with Apple Cider Ice Cream

It’s apple season! Which means apple-cider-everything is back on the top of everyone’s mind. Or at least it is in our household. Apple cider is a staple in this house during the fall season. While the classic beverage is enough to fill the soul with fall joy most of the time, sometimes it needs a little twist. We’ve tried a couple of different apple cider recipes over the years: apple cider roasted chicken, apple cider floats, and apple cider french onion soup, all of which were delicious. Why not continue a good thing? (more…)