Make Your Own Snow Cone Syrup

Cut down on the cost and eliminate the high fructose corn syrup when you make your own snow cone syrup. It is easy and inexpensive. What are summer days without a snow cone? This classic summer treat can bring smiles to practically any child. I remember my childhood summers. One of my favorite “toys” was my snoopy snow cone machine. It took a lot of work to get enough shaved ice to make one small snow cone, but it was worth every moment. Because my parents weren’t interested in buying any of the snow cone syrups that were available, I … Continue reading

Snowing in Spring…Adjusting Our Frugal Plans

It is a few days past the official start of spring, and I am looking at a wintry wonderland just outside my window. The salt trucks and plows have been by, but they have to be diligent. Already the driveway and roads are covered with white. Despite about three inches of snow on the ground already and more to come, schools are not closed today. There is no excessive wind, and we are used to snow. The weather has been wrecking some havoc with our spring frugal plans. We can’t get started on our garden, and may lose out on … Continue reading

Affordable Snow Day Fun

  With yet another wicked winter storm readying to slam into several states from New Mexico to Illinois, millions of parents are gearing up for a snow day.  For kids, having a day off from school is a dream come true, but for many moms and dads the unexpected break is a true nightmare, especially if said children turn restless and cabin fever strikes. To preserve your sanity as Old Man Winter blasts into your neck of the woods, consider the following fun and affordable projects and games designed to keep your kids busy and out of trouble: DIY Decorative … Continue reading

Snow Day Part III

In the midst of my phone conversation with my husband, our son noticed that his aunt (my sister), who lives next door in the other side of the duplex, was outside shoveling the driveway.  Since her work was canceled because of the snow too, I invited her to spend the day with us. While I started making the coffee ice cream base, my sister entertained my three year old and one year old by reading books and singing songs with them. So far they were really enjoying the snow day. Soon enough my husband arrived at home with a work … Continue reading

Snow Day Part II

There was not a lot of snow maybe three or four inches, but I was shocked at how terrible the roads were.  None of the roads had been cleared (at this point is is almost eight thirty in the morning).  I carefully drove, with the children safely secured in their car seats, through town.  There were a few hills to tackle and I crossed my fingers that the light at the bottom of one large hill and before another rather large hill would stay green.  Twenty miles per hour was about the safest speed at which to travel even though … Continue reading

Snow Day Part I

The day was planned.  My husband and two of his colleagues were carpooling seventy minutes to one of their company’s retreat houses (a program to help those with substance abuse issues overcome their addictions) to work on training and curriculum development. After taking on a new position in the same company where he has worked for over a year, he spends less time out at the houses and more time working on bettering the program. I also had a busy day planned.  Breakfast at seven in the morning (obviously) so that we can eat with my husband before he goes … Continue reading

Document the Day

It’s a snow day around here.  And by snow day I mean, schools are closed, highways are blocked, and I am praying that the electricity stays on so that I can post this without incident. Snow and cold are nothing new in northern Wisconsin, especially in January.  However, when we get hit with a storm as massive as this one, even I venture out to document the aftermath.  Then, I do what any self-respecting scrapbook fanatic does; create a layout employing as many techniques as possible. You don’t need to wait for a major milestone to craft an eye-popping page … Continue reading

Making Snow Cones from a Blizzard

That’s a desperate mom’s twist on the proverbial phrase about lemons and lemonade. When you live in the frozen tundra that is northern Wisconsin you have to flex your creative muscle on a regular basis in order to keep from going stir crazy during the winter months.  This is especially true if your home is filled with antsy children.  Even a singleton can push you to the limits if the weather outside is so frightful that winter play is limited to the living room, kitchen or basement. If you are enjoying a reprieve from Mother Nature right now, remember that … Continue reading

Today was a Great Day

Some days, I am so exhausted by the time that the boys go to bed that it is a wonder that I have any brain power left to write blog posts, do dishes, or do any of the other things that I do in between the time that they go to bed and my own bed time. Parenting small children requires a great deal of physical and mental energy, and some days require more than others. For the past few days it felt like it took enormous amounts of energy just to get through the day with everyone being fed, … Continue reading

5 Free Family Activities You Can Do Today

Forget buying the latest video game or springing for a couple of hours at one of those indoor kids activity places. Instead, try one of the following free family activities that you can do today. Zero cost but lots of fun. 1. Go for a Hike…Literally Being outdoors in nature instantly calms you and raises your spirits. Studies have proven it over and over again. Plus kids really do thrive on fresh air and exercise. A hike, or even just a walk in the park, can be an activity that the whole family can enjoy. Plus, it is free. Bonus … Continue reading