Monthly Archives: June 2013

Kid Art: Bubble Painting

A long, long time ago [ ;) ] I heard about this website called Pinterest and asked for an invitation to join. I started setting up my boards and realized there were tons of other moms out there doing “stuff” with their kids. Suddenly, it was easier to find and keep track of those inspirations. This “Bubble Painting” was one of the first things I pinned and I knew it would be an instant hit here [I mean art + bubbles = obviously].

My littles aren’t old enough to blow through a straw and not drink bubbles so we did it a little differently.

Bubble Painting | hey, beth baker!

To get started we pulled out our art trays. I found those at Michael’s a while back. I read about them in a Montessori Early Education book. Basically, the idea is that you have a tray or a mat and when you bring it out your kids know that it’s time to do an activity and it will help them stay focused longer.

We put some cardstock in our trays and then I remembered these bubble sets I’d found on end-of-season clearance at Target last year. They came with a tray to put the bubbles in to dip the wand and it was perfect for this project.

I filled the tray up with bubbles and then added food coloring.

To take the learning a step further, we put red food coloring on one side of the bubble tray and blue on the other. Lucy was so excited when they mixed and she had her [current] favorite color: purple!

Bubble Painting | hey, beth baker!

Landon enjoyed watching Lucy! He thought it was hilarious!

Bubble Painting | hey, beth baker!

He actually dumped his bubbles on the paper as soon as I poured them so he didn’t get any food coloring [probably for the best]. He did enjoy the sensory experience of rubbing the slimey bubbles all over the paper so that’s something.

Bubble Painting | hey, beth baker!

I’d planned on doing this outside because I was certain it would get out of hand quick but the kids were so great about keeping the bubble blowing to the tray! After we were done I just took the trays to the bathtub and rinsed them out so the cleanup was easy, too!

Bubble Painting | hey, beth baker!

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Lucy’s First Dance Recital

Remember a long time ago when I mentioned Lucy would start dance classes soon?

She spent over five months whirling and twirling and learning the basics of listening to a teacher. They learned about dancing in their own space. Social graces like apologizing and saying excuse me. They learned quite a few french words and the moves to accompany them. It was, overall, such a wonderful experience. As long as she wants to dance, we’ll figure out a way to make it happen.

So here are a few pictures from her debut as a bunny frolicking in the forest with Little Red Riding Hood.

lucy's first recital

Sorry, Lucy, I’m afraid you’ll always be the fair-skinned one on stage.

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Thaaaaaat’s my girl.

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She realized she was quite the star when she got her flowers.

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I love that you can see her neon green bandages sticking out on her knees.

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Still on her tippy toes.

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“Poppa, I mustache you a question about this thing on your face.”

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Backstage divas.

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Lucy’s First Recital from Beth Baker on Vimeo.

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What We Ate: Farmers Market Salad

With each passing week the bounty at the farmers market grows more diverse. Last weekend I picked up a beautiful bunch of beets, the memory of their grandeur still fresh on my mind from last summer. And I got them home. And then I thought, “How in the world did I used to cook these to enjoy them so much!?” I know I used them instead of sweet potatoes in our veggie burgers. And I know I like them roasted [but that seemed easy. And hot. I don’t want to turn the oven on.]

So I threw them in the food processor and made a salad.

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It was super great, actually.

You’ll only need about 1/4 to 1/2 of a beet. Let your food processor do all the work [or use your grater if you’re old fashioned]. I also threw in a big handful off baby carrots, to be grated.

For the salad I used a mix of baby kale, baby chard, and baby spinach. I had a handful of the first harvest of the english peas from my backyard garden so I threw those in too. I added a big handful of sunflower seeds on top of it all to garnish.

Farmers Market Salad
Large Bowl of Salad Mix

1/4 to 1/2 beet, end removed and skin peeled
1/8 to 1/4 cup baby carrots, or 2 medium sized

1/8 to 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/8 cup raw english peas

Raw beets and raw carrots are super complimentary. They both bring a nice earthy sweetness.

To make the dressing, I used the same food processor and dumped in 1/2 of a avocado, the juice of one lime, a couple tablespoons of grape seed oil, a couple tablespoons of honey, a handful of cilantro, and a pinch of salt.

Avocado Lime Cilantro Dressing
1/2 avocado
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
cilantro, to taste
pinch of salt

We enjoyed it. It was a fresh and light salad, for sure.

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Grateful

Each day presents us with opportunities to be grateful. As more storms passed very near our home this weekend, we are grateful to emerge unscathed. We are grateful to have power when so many do not. Storms are scary. They give me heartburn and kind of put me in a bad mood. It’s true. I’m working on it.

Grateful has kind of been the theme of the week. This Forbes article caught my eye with the headline, “Astonishing Numbers: America’s Poor Still Live Better Than Most Of The Rest Of Humanity.” I have so much. How could I ever focus on my have nots?

I have a husband who works crazy hard to support our family. He values our family. He values me! He values what I do each day. And he does the dishes. And helps me weed my garden. He gives horseback rides around the living room before his keys have stilled on the hook. He rolls over just before our eyes close for the night and says, “Let me pray for you.”

I have this crazy, imaginative, lovingly sweet daughter who fills my days with deep, belly-aching laughter. She greets me [crazy early] each morning with the sweetest smile; one that reaches so deep in her eyes I have to close mine to try to capture its love. She holds her brother’s hand and tells him he’s her best friend. She is quick to apologize and quick to forgive. And I get to be her mom!

Even with all of Landon’s health stuff that we’ve dealt with lately, I’m still struck with gratefulness. He is healthy. The impact to his life is minimal. We have health insurance. And even the good news of this week: we now qualify for speech therapy [he stopped using words after he started having seizures]. Good. Perspective. He is the sweetest, most snuggly little guy I’ve ever met. He has the best facial expressions, making you forget he’s not using words. He’s the first to help clean, the first to eat all his veggies, and the last to let go during his sweet hugs.

And it’s impossible to forget the blessing of being pregnant. The opportunity to add another member to our family. It’s truly been a great pregnancy so far. It started out pretty rocky and I was diagnosed with a threatened miscarriage after a lot of bleeding. Looking back I think it was just the stress of finding out I was pregnant not long after my son was hospitalized with seizures, but one day there was a lot of blood. A lot. [God bless my mom the day I called her, bawling, saying, “I think I just peed my baby into the toilet.”] And after three [yeah!] ultrasounds I’ve had the opportunity to see that tiny, beautiful little babe jumping [seriously] around in my belly. I’m struck by how precious life is. How full life is. And how much there is to be grateful for.

We have all of these things here. All of the fullness of our lives on Earth. Gifts. And yet it’s not even our greatest Gift! [Totally inspired by this devo.]

“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” [1 Peter 1:3-9]

So feeling grateful. And wanting to spend time with these great people. Appreciating our gifts and His glory: we set out for an adventure this weekend.

strawberry picking

Our adventure starts when we head to the orchard after dance class to find the pick your own strawberry fields do not open for over an hour. What do you do to entertain a 22-month-old and a 3-year-old for an hour?

strawberry picking

Toys and candy. Say it with me…

strawberry picking

Enough joking, lady. Gimme all your berries.

strawberry picking

Also, I need to know who taught my children how to make a funny face. Who did it?

berry picking

[Just to be clear, these are not their funny faces.]

We had so much fun. The ground was so wet but we managed to miss the rain. And the orchard was having a p-y-o sale [since it was so gross out] and we snagged six pounds of berries for 99 cents a pound!

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strawberry picking

This was my favorite part: she grabs his hand and says, “C’mon Buddy, I’m gonna show you how to run in the river!” Hehe. It wasn’t that wet.

We had so much fun, I don’t think we’ll need a sale to give us incentive next year. It was definitely the perfect excuse to spend a day focusing on gratefulness.