I don’t remember what year it was. The last decade is a blur, to be honest. I had either read some family fun type magazines or blogs and thought it would be fun to pull an April Fools Day prank on my children. I announced with a flourish that we were having cupcakes for dinner!

They were young and impressionable. So happy that Mom would do such a thing.

Then snuck around the kitchen stirring it up. Nobody noticed when I put food coloring in the leftover mashed potatoes…

Someone cried. Someone else cringed. Another child hates Shepherd pie to this day.

The incident was chalked up to a failed experiment. The meatloaf cupcakes became the stuff of legend to children who weren’t even here at the time.

And it stands out in my mind as what April Fools Day is about.

So I couldn’t help myself when I prepared the weeks menu. I wrote cupcakes for dinner. That’s when the girls took over. They have been studying cake pops. In fact, I’m sure the idea came from them originally, this year.

The same woman, Nerdy Nummies, who inspired my daughters to make a minecraft cake for their little sister made cheeseburger cupcakes.

All I had to do was give the green light. And the girls were off, stirring up brownies for the burger patties, yellow cupcakes for the buns. I heard someone say something about cream cheese frosting…and coloring the ‘catsup’ with strawberries! And, let me tell you, it was a production.

We may have created a tradition.

Journey of a Rubber Band

24 Mar 2014 In: Uncategorized

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Was it last year? When everybody had to have those whimsically shaped rubber bands?

I don’t know. Maybe it was two years ago. But people were going to Seriously Miss Out if they didn’t have these odd rubber bands. And the thing is, they would distort those cute shapes to wrap them around their wrists anyway. At which point I would Strenuously Object, at which point they would Take Them Off in a Huff, which would lead to breakage, littering, rage…

And I never really bought many of those things, after all.

This year, it’s regular small yet colorful rubber bands. And these things come with clasps and looms, and a crafty child could get quite carried away.

They sell the bags of bands for $1.00 if you catch the right sales. I may or may not have bought a few bags of these bands. And a loom. And one of the children, who learned from another of the children, who learned from another of the children, taught me how to make a fishtail bracelet.

Which I make from Found Rubber Bands. As in found… all over the floor. I don’t remember when I stopped telling others to pick them up and return them to Where They Belong. And when I stopped picking them up myself and returning them, and rather started making my own bracelets.

I have made 5 now, including an anklet. (But who’s counting?) One child has moved onto elaborate designs, picked up from Youtube and her own imagination. She off-handedly explained the fancy derivation of the fishtail to me. I have since switched to this way of making bracelets.

Still from Found Rubber Bands, mind you. These bracelets are delicate. One band breaking in a Strategic Place will decommission a whole bracelet. And creative children are often deconstructing bracelets to make new ones.

So there’s a temporary quality to the whole craft. But the community that forms around people creating jewelry together is priceless. The learning and sharing are a nice side effect too.

Though it has fad written all over it, I’m ok with this one sticking around awhile.

Kindergarten Math

27 Jan 2014 In: Uncategorized

Chanya has had a few nostalgic math lessons lately. First there was the shoe sorting–real graph experience last week. When Xay and I did that one, 13 years ago (!) we were so excited we videotaped it. Then we didn’t have enough pieces of construction paper in the suggested colors. This year we had more than enough.

Today we did the conveyer belt on the kitchen counter. We had priced some of our groceries from 1-10 cents and Chanya was learning ordinal numbers, i.e.., how much does the third item cost? As well as reading price tags and counting pennies to match. And don’t forget sorting. It was a fun lesson, which everyone from Xay to Chanya enjoyed.

And I got a little sad knowing that Chanya is my last Kindergartner.

I volunteered to teach future grandchildren Kindergarten math. Although I think my children will want in on that experience. Maybe I’ll teach (the next generation) algebra…