Running from the Law

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

DIY Watercolor Valentines & Blogger Exchange

This is the third year in a row that we've participated in a really fun Valentine exchange with a group of bloggers/friends. If you're a glutton for punishment or looking for a way to kill 20 minutes of your life, you can read about our first exchange here (we made heart pennant banner/garland) or our second exchange here (gummy worm Valentines) . Actually, last year I accidentally signed us up for two exchanges without realizing it, so here's another one (DIY tissue paper heart suncatchers). It's crazy to look back and see just how much the kids have grown in a year. 
This year, while we were at my parent's farm for the weekend, we made watercolor Valentine's. My stepmother is an artist, so we used some of her old paints, combined them with water and let the kids create their own masterpieces. I started having Mac paint on newspaper, but quickly realized that wasn't going to look as pretty as I thought it would, so we quickly changed to white card stock. I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do with the paintings, so they just painted whatever they wanted. 
Mac got bored with painting after a few minutes and wanted to go back to playing "War" with my dad. Mim, however, loved painting! She sat at the table for nearly an hour, painting her little heart out. My stepmom would dip her brush in the paint and hand it to her. She'd say "tankoo" (thank you), over and over and over. It was the sweetest thing to watch the two of them paint together. 
All in all, I think the kids (mostly Mim) made 20 beautiful watercolor paintings. I was so impressed with how pretty they turned out. I love the colors we used and how unique each painting was. At the end of the day, I almost didn't want to give them away! 
For the final project, I ended up printing out some conversation hearts on colored card stock paper and had the kids glue them to the watercolor paintings. Nothing fancy, but they turned out really cute. Unfortunately, it was dark when the kids did the gluing (so no photos) and I forgot to get a photo of the final project. Total blogger fail. I need more sleep. I'm hoping maybe one of the other bloggers posted a good picture of our card. 

Mac may not have been much into the painting and crafting, but he was really into the opening of mail and eating of candy. I saved all the Valentines we received and we opened them all last weekend after breakfast. Mac looked over every single envelope and asked, "Is this one for me, too?!!! Wow." He was mainly excited because he's usually forbidden from eating sweets/candy that early in the day, but since this was a special occasion, I let him pick one thing to open and eat. Of course, he choose the biggest bag of S'mores fixings (thank you, Desiree!) and ate the entire thing. Plus, that one came with a flashlight, so it was the hit of the party. 
Mac couldn't open the packages fast enough. Quite a few times he ripped the whole thing in half (including the card inside) before I had a chance to see what we received. Mim kept jumping up and down yelling, "mail mail mail mail!!" She also tried eating everything in the Valentines, whether it was food or not. I had to repeatedly take away glow sticks, crayons, paper, stickers and string from her to keep her from ingesting it all. I promise we feed her! Also, this kid has the most amazing bed head ever. And a black eye. 
To my surprise, the kids loved the "non-candy" Valentines just as much as the candy ones. They both immediately wanted to color the pictures that we received from Kaye and Sawyer. They also loved the heart-shaped crayons and Mac kept asking me how they made it into a heart (I see more crayon crafts in our future).
Another big hit were these glasses from Waverly and Avalon. Mac wore them the entire weekend and told me how much better he could see with them on (and then proceeded to walk straight into a wall). 
Here are all the adorable Valentines we received. 
And make sure you go check out the other bloggers participating in the swap!

Tawnya, Scarlett, & Bodhi @ All of Life's Little Adventures
Jen & Hattie @ And Hattie Makes Three
Ashley, Waverly, & Avalon @ Being Brickner
Jess & Abbie @ Being Mrs. Beer
Elizabeth & Mason @ Chasin' Mason
Liz & Jude @ Ellie and Addie
Crystal & Mason @ Hall Around Texas
Desiree, Marcus, & Julia @ Macke Monologues
Natalie & Blair @ Nat Your Average Girl
Sara, Mac, & Mim @ Running From the Law
Jess, Cameron, & Louise @ Scott Family of Maine
Jessica, Cameron, & Emerson @ Secrets of a Stay at Home Mom
Sarah, Brantley, & Holden @ Seeing All Sides
Karli, Kaye, & Sawyer @ September Farm
Chrissy & Elin @ Simple Joys Blog
Courtney & Aria @ Sweet Turtle Soup
Meghan & Noah @ The Adventure Starts Here
Stephanie & Connor @ Wife Mommy Me
Whitney, Kinsey, & Brielana @ Work It Mommy

What kind of Valentines are your kids making this year?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentine's Day Counting Printable

Mac is really into counting these days. We count the cars as they drive by on the way to preschool. We count how many bites of chicken he has to eat before he can be excused. We count rocks, books, letters, pieces of mail, tiles on the floor, items of clothing, birds in the sky, leaves in the trees, etc. I had no idea there were so many many things to count all day long. I love that he's so into counting (he can count on his own up into the thirties), but I also want to make sure he's able to connect the number in his head to the visual number and the word spelling out the number, so I made this really simple book for him to practice with. 
Each page has a number (1 through 10), the word spelling out the number and the corresponding number of hearts on each page. I hole-punched the sides and tied it up with baker's twine to make it into a book. I gave him a box of candy conversation hearts (but you could also use jelly beans, pennies, M&Ms, dried beans, pieces of paper or whatever else you have on-hand). I have him look at the number and tell me what number it is, then look at the word spelling out the number. We identify all the letters and count how many letters there are. Then he counts the hearts and puts a conversation heart on each printed heart as he counts them out. There are so many ways to use this for counting. 
If you want to print out your own counting book for your preschooler/toddler, here's the link to the free printable!