EASY FENCE POST PUMPKINS FOR FALL

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A few years ago, we ended up with a couple of extra fence posts after a backyard project and I decided to get crafty! Here’s how i made these super cute, and EASY, fence post pumpkins for fall!

I made my ever so helpful husband break out the mitre saw and he got to work cutting the posts into random lengths, even giving some angled slices for the tops.

After just a few minutes we had a pile of wood to work with!

Once the wood was ready I wiped it down to get any dirt off and start playing with how to stack them up. I left some pieces alone to create individual pumpkins. We used simple wood glue to stick our stacked pieces together.

I bought some cheap acrylic paint and Modge Podge at the dollar store and got to painting the pumpkins orange.

It would have behooved me to use a primer OR to simply get better paint, as we ended up having to 5-6 coats of paint! While we saved $$$ with cheap paint, we definitely did NOT save time.

Once the paint was dry, we each took a “pumpkin” to decorate. I simply used a large sharpie marker instead of paint. While most of my kids loved making spooky Jack O’Lantern faces on their pumpkins, my youngest son desperately wanted a Cars theme. I searched up “Cars silhouette” and found a great template, If have a printer this will be a much easier process; I had to wing it .

When we were all satisfied with our design, i slapped a couple layers of Modge Podge over the whole thing to makes sure the paint didn’t fade or run. The Modge Podge will also give it a nice shine.

Finally, I used my cork collection to finish off each pumpkin by painting it green and hot glueing it to the tip-top of our creations.

Our family really enjoyed making these and the kids are so excited to display their artwork around the house!

If you liked this craft please give it share or PIN the image above! Also, check out some other cool crafts I have done with the kids over the years for Halloween by clicking the image below!

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Free Child Safety Kit Printable: Protect Your Kids!

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Nothing is as terrifying as the thought of our children’s safety being compromised. As parents, this is our main job, to keep our children safe, to protect them from the horrors of the world for as long as possible. However, no matter how hard we try, there are forces in this world that are constantly putting children in danger. This Free Child Safety Kit won’t keep those forces away, but it will help find your child faster should danger ever cause them to go missing.

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Quadruple Chocolate Cake

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For my oldest sons 13th birthday I wanted to make him the most incredible chocolate cake EVER! Something so good it would help take his mind off the fact that he couldn’t see his friends or have a the big family get together he had been talking about for months, all because of Coronavirus.

Thus, I came up with Devils Food cake with a chocolate mousse filling, chocolate buttercream frosting, and dark chocolate ganache topped off with truffles for decoration!

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BREAKFAST WITH SANTA AT THE HARD ROCK CAFE

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I have always wanted to take my kids to a special breakfast with Santa. I love the idea of nice family breakfast with Christmas decorations all around, Santa stopping by our table, fun activities for the kids to participate in…

The Hard Rock Cafe’s Breakfast with Santa seemed to be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the Christmas season! All 6 of my kiddos were so very excited, especially my 4 and 6 year old who currently revere Santa.

When we arrived my family was immediately taken with the impressive decor at the Hard Rock Cafe. There is something so mesmerizing about Rock and Roll memorabilia from artists gone forever as well as still rocking today, There were cute Christmas decorations all around and tiny stockings to match the # of kids were posted on the wall behind each reserved table.

As it was 10AM my crew was pretty starving so we attacked the buffet first. There was in impressive amount of bacon as well as an array of danish, granola, cereal, and plenty of eggs. I would suggest staying away from the eggs and perhaps ask the Hard Rock to switch to real eggs next year or at least cook the powdered variety longer. The bacon, however, was rather delicious, and I can’t ever complain about danish!

There was plenty to eat and enough variety for my kids to be fully and happy.

Santa came in as we were eating breakfast and we were lucky enough to be seated in the same room that he would be in. My four year old was elated and didn’t hesitate to jump on Santa’s lap and jabber away about the car he wanted for Christmas. My kids from 6 years up, however, immediately recognized the strings attaching “Santa’s” beard as well as other tell tale signs that he was young and not bearded. My 6 year old was pretty disappointed, but we quickly explained that sometimes Santa uses fake “Santa’s” when he can’t be there himself. While I believe a more realistic Santa could be found, it didn’t ruin the experience for my children.

As we were finishing up breakfast the Elf show began on the stage downstairs and we went to the balcony to watch from above. While the girls were dressed in holiday colors and the music was fun and seasonal, I did think the show was a little inappropriate for a family event and perhaps should have been saved for a more mature audience. Ultimately the girls were very flexible and impressive and my kids have certainly never seen anything like it, so it was memorable experience.

Our favorite activity turned out to be the doughnut decorating station where we spent a large portion of our time and properly stuffed ourselves with sweets. My kids all enjoyed decorating their doughnuts with chocolate, candy bits, strawberry and caramel drizzles and pretzel pieces.

Next we tried the stocking decorating area. After visiting Santa each kiddo was gifted a stocking filled with treats and prizes that they could then take with them to decorate. This was particularly exciting for my crew!

Unfortunately, most of the decorating supplies were running low or out by the time we got to the table. I also believe the decision to provide puffy paint rather than a faster drying glue may want to be rethought next year. We ended up with quite the puffy paint mess as well as stains on the Christmas sweaters our kids wore to breakfast. Nevertheless, My children had a good time decorating and smiled the whole time.

Perhaps a glue based paint could be substituted in the future and more supplies be purchased so everyone has the chance to decorate fully.

As our time at breakfast ran out we made a trip to the coloring station by the stage. Again, while, the Elves were impressive in their flexibility my poor 12 year old was rather uncomfortable during their show. I think if the girls added a small skirt it would help to ease the feel that the show was more provocative than festive.

Ultimately, breakfast with Santa at the Hard Rock was a fun experience for my kids and they didn’t notice too many of the issues that i believe need to be improved upon next year.

My kids came away pretty happy, so while I would make some suggestions for future breakfasts, I would also say the Hard Rock successfully created good Christmas memories for our family.

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Fall festival

CELEBRATE FALL AT HARVEST FARM!

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Every year our first stop for fall fun is Harvest Farm Fall Festival & Corn Maze! This real working farm is a favorite for my family and holds a special place in my heart as it supports recovery from addiction and homelessness.

This farm is located in Wellington, CO just north of Fort Collins and features activities that will thrill all ages! Attractions include 10 acre Corn Maze
Hay Bale Pyramid, Pig Races, Petting Zoo, Goat City, Roping Area, Wagon Ride, Corn Cannons, Toddler Area, Pumpkins, Concessions-Kettle Corn, and so much more!

This is our second year visiting Harvest Farm and it is still one of our favorites! Our 45 minute drive is absolutely worth the amazing experience my kids always have! For a little more history on this farm, as well as information on how it’s operation benefits recovery from addiction, click HERE.

With admission, guests have access to a wide variety of activities! You can view all activities HERE, however I will go over our family favorites below!

PIG RACES!

Our first stop at Harvest Farm is ALWAYS the pig races. The announcers have a blast and my kids love getting to bet on which goofy named piggy will take the bacon…so to speak.

YARD GAMES & CORN BOX COVERED WAGONS

Harvest Farms offers a wide variety of yard games to keep my kids entertained! Who would have though fake cows were so fun to ride or that corn was so fun to play in?!

CORN MAZE

Who doesn’t love a good corn maze!? We have never managed to make it through all three courses, but we always love getting lost!

CORN CANNONS

My husband and kids could spend all day shooting corn out of these awesome contraptions!

PETTING ZOO

My favorite spot to hang out is the petting zoo! I couls have stayed with this goofy calf all day!

NATURAL PLAY AREA

Out of all the things we love to do at Harvest Farm, we could spend the most time at the natural play area. This is always our last stop and we are here for at least an hour before we have to drag the kids to the car!

Proceeds from the festival directly support the New Life Program at Harvest Farm. An outreach of Denver Rescue Mission, Harvest Farm is a 100-acre rehabilitation program in Wellington, CO. The Farm accommodates up to 72 men recovering from chronic homelessness and addiction and helps return them to society as productive, self-sufficient citizens.

***Please note they are open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October and offer special events every Saturday!!

Fridays: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturdays: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sundays: noon – 6 p.m.

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A Week In The 90's

Why OUr Kids Are Going “Back To The 90’s” For A Week

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In the summer of 1994 I was 12 years old, just as my oldest son is now. I was playing Nintendo, daydreaming under shade trees, playing football with the neighborhood kids, talking endlessly with my girlfriend’s on our front porch, and not a lot else! 

I was NOT constantly complaining that I was bored. My mom was at work anyway; it would have done no good. I was expected to be outside, playing, making mistakes, using my imagination. 

Things are a little different in 2019. While there are soooo many benefits to this 21st century life, many of these assets are actually harmful to our kids in the long run.  I, for one, think we need a slow down.

No MOre Streaming, Unless It Involves Fish

Take Netflix for example. I have to admit that I love being able to binge-watch a good show while I pound through endless piles of laundry. However, back in the 90’s wanting to watch your favorite show required patience, planning, and often meant surviving some intense suspense.

There was no such thing as binge watching in the 90’s, unless your mom was willing to go to Blockbuster and your favorite show was popular enough to have seasons on DVD, which was a new and amazing phenomena.

If you wanted to watch a show in the 90’s you had to WAIT until it came on REGULAR TV.  You had to look at the TV GUIDE and figure out when your show would be on, often having to do math to figure out what time 9pm Eastern Pacific meant when you lived in the Colorado Mountains. Once you figured out what time your show was on, you had to be PATIENT and wait for the show. You had to manage your time so that you were available to watch it when it FINALLY came on. 

Then you had to wait an ENTIRE week, in horrifying suspense, for the next episode! If you missed it, for whatever reason, you were SOL. There was no DVR or rewind. You simply had to hope you caught the NEXT episode and could somehow glean what you’d missed!

Life lessons From TV, Or Lack Thereof…?

These might seem like simple tasks, but planning and patience are things that our children don’t have experience with anymore. They live in an age of instant gratification. Want to watch your five favorite shows? It’s a click away with Netflix, Hulu and Prime. They can watch any part of any season whenever they want. They can jump from one show to the next or simply watch their favorite episode OVER AND OVER.

If there was nothing on in the 90’s, but it was too hot or cold to play outside, we watched a bunch of crap because something was better than nothing. My kids never have to watch PBS or sit through a documentary. They have access to EVERYTHING they want via the streaming capabilities of EVERY device in our house!

SO, first order of 90’s Week, NO NETFLIX, HULU or PRIME. And YouTube is just as bad, if not worse, so NIX YOUTUBE TOO.

Boredom is an Extremely Underused Sport

Second, we need to have BOREDOM. Kids in the 21st century have forgotten that boredom is OK. The instant gratification that our many devices grant us, has made kids forget what it’s like to be bored, and that it isn’t the most horrible thing in the world. (Check out this POST about kids and boredom!)

Boredom isn’t just staring at a wall blankly. Boredom is sitting under a tree and discovering that the clouds make themselves into amazing shapes that come together into incredible stories. It’s watching those same clouds and suddenly taking notice of your surroundings, of the butterflies that you usually ignore and the dragonflies you didn’t realize were so majestic. 

Boredom also spurs imagination and adventure. I remember dressing up as a princess with my best friend and pretending that we had been kidnapped by an evil King. Our knightly boyfriends were on the way to rescue us, however, we were BADASS, ninja princesses and fought our way out on our own! We honed and perfected this story, and our costumes, all summer long! All because we weren’t allowed inside and needed something to do. 

With all the access to video games, apps, streaming of shows, etc. our kids don’t have to use their imagination like we did.  They get loud, colorful characters blasted into their brains all day. 

Second aspect of 90’s week: LET BOREDOM REIGN!

Amazing Graphics Are OVerRated

Third. We are back to basic video games. YES we had video games in the 90’s! However our video games required a little more strategy than many kids games today. Super Mario had NO SAVE POINTS! You had to play until you died and then start all over. It was simultaneously the most fun and frustrating game on the planet.

While most games did end up having some save points, they didn’t have many and they required a lot of patience to get through. To beat bosses you would often die and have to start the entire level over. While these games were fun, they were also quickly tiresome. About 30-40 minutes of games was enough for the day and you wanted to do something else. You simply couldn’t take anymore frustration!

Video games today are amazing graphically, with captivating stories and constant missions, They have open worlds and endless possibilities for the characters they create – my kids would literally play games all day if I let them. I don’t and never will. But for this reason, all video games made after 2000 are out. So we are breaking out the old Sega and the games that my husband has hoarded for the last 20 years and I’m battling for Queen of Mario!

They’ll Never Take Our Freedom!

The 90’s were a different world for more reasons than just a lack of streaming devices and simpler, yet harder, video games. Helicopter parents weren’t really a thing back then. We left the house in the morning and came back for meals. There were no cell phones to constantly check in or GPS so our parents could track us. We simply hopped on our bikes and explored the neighborhood, and slightly beyond. We made decisions about our day and how we wanted to spend it. If we got hurt we had to take care of ourselves and hobble home. If we got lost we had to use our skills to get found, if we did something wrong we had to make it right. We made mistakes and learned from them and were proud of our achievements. 

So our kids need to be outside more. And while I won’t be sending my 5 year old off on his own, my bigger kids need a little freedom in their lives. Freedom to be kids and not be micromanaged by their mom all day. My younger kids shall rule the backyard without constant intervention. They can jump, play, fall, and dig to china while my older kids get on their bikes and get the heck out of dodge!

Frankly, I think our kids are excited by the idea of a 90’s life. While they wouldn’t want to live there forever, they are definitely feeling the strain of the 21st century life. All of our technology is great in so many ways, but it also allows for very little down time and too much device stimulation.

It’s time for a slow down! 1990’s HERE WE COME!

Think we may have too many kids? Check out this article MY UTERUS, MY PROBLEM: BUT SERIOUSLY, HOW MANY KIDS IS ENOUGH?

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Image by Faye Mozingo

My Miscarriage May Be different, But No less Of A Loss – By: Anonymous

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I have always been thrilled when I see a post about a rainbow baby enter my Facebook feed. I’m excited for the mother who’s broken heart can begin to heal with the new life she is carrying, but still so sad at the thought of what she went through to have her new baby earn the title of “rainbow.”

I never in a million years imagined I would pray for my own rainbow.

I have had successful pregnancies that have given me beautiful, healthy children. I have spent the first trimester of each worrying about the outcome, never really having a scare, though.

Today I had a miscarriage. 

I hadn’t heard a heartbeat yet, I hadn’t had any pregnancy symptoms, or picked out a name…I hadn’t started to show or felt the first vibrations of life…

But I had already gotten excited for the new life in our family. I had thought of how I would how surprise my children with the news of a new sibling. I had wondered if I would see more pigtails and spunk in my future, or more construction trucks and bugs. I had though about needing a bigger car and who would watch my other kids when we welcomed our newest bundle into the world. I had stressed about how we would choose a name and how I had to finish my other kids’ baby books before our new baby arrived…

I am lucky to already have children to ease my pain. I can imagine that without them I would be blanketed in anguish. 

I know some people will think, because I have a family already, that I shouldn’t be so sad, so selfish. To some degree they may be right. I have more love in my life than most people ever hope for. But I AM sad that I won’t be able to share my love with the little life that began 5 weeks ago.

My miscarriage is different in that I do already have a large family that I am grateful for. But it is no less of a loss to me. 

So I will mourn the little life that my body decided wasn’t ready for this world. And I will pray for my own rainbow to bring even more joy to the universe.

Every miscarriage is different, but every single one is a grave loss. 

To all the women who have endured, whether you have gotten you’re rainbow or not: you are stronger than you know, braver than anyone can see, and this was NOT your fault.

Image Attribution: “Rainbow Gerber” Copyright by Faye Mozingo

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