Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Activities

Pumpkin Taco Biscuits

1 lbs Ground Beef
Taco Seasoning Packet
Canned Corn
Taco Cheese
8 Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits

Prepare ground beef according to taco seasoning packet directions. Roll buttermilk biscuits until approximately 1/8” thick; place one biscuit into a small round dish (such as a ramekin dish), place a few spoonfuls of taco meat, corn and taco cheese on top of biscuit, top with another biscuit. Cut a jack-o-latern face out of the top biscuit. Cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until biscuits are no longer doughy.

Craft Foam Pumpkin

9”x12” Orange Craft Foam
Craft Foam Stickers, Crayons, Markers, Paint…

Using a pumpkin stencil I designed, I traced the shape onto orange craft foam, cut out the pumpkins and had the kiddos decorate their pumpkins however they chose.


Pumpkin Painting Party

I have the boys signed up for a playgroup; October 12th one of the moms hosted a pumpkin painting party. The children each brought their own pumpkins, art smock or old shirt; the host provided the painting supplies, snacks and apple cider.

Cat Hand Prints

Construction Paper
Googly Eyes
Crayons, Markers, Paint…

Trace child’s hand print onto construction paper, cut out. Make a face shape on construction paper and cut out; you can use a circular object such as a cup and add two triangles for ears. Glue cut out hand print and head together, add googly eyes and let your child color/design their cat.

The designs we used to carve our pumpkins; I found these silhouettes on Google.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hayden's 1st Birthday

My bright blue eyed, smiling, giggling, sweet, adorable, 24 ½ lbs, 31” baby is officially a one year old walking toddler {sniff}. I can’t get over how quickly the last twelve months have flown by; it’s almost a blur. While Hayden is curious about everything and very observant, he’s just as cuddly at twelve months (sounds better then saying 1 year old, which I’m still in denial about) as he was at birth. As much as I hate seeing my children in pain, I have to admit I’m digging the late night teething wake-up calls and holding him close as he falls back to sleep in my arms; Hayden is totally a mommy’s boy, after a few minutes of being held by someone else he’s reaching is arms out to me, calling “mama” and when he’s upset daddy just isn’t good enough…only mommy can calm him ;).

Though parenting has its frustrating/overwhelming moments, I love being a mommy; watching Benjamin and Hayden play together always brings a small to my face. Benjamin can be a bit of a bully at times but there is no doubt in my mind he’d protect his baby brother if the situation ever arises; one of the first things Benjamin asks in the morning is “see Hayden”, and he’s constantly hugging and kissing his brother. Both my babies were playing soccer together last night (ending with a knot on Hayden’s forehead); watching them, I had an overwhelming feeling the boys will be very close and best friends.

Hayden’s birthday party was October 16th, a few days early to work with the grandparents’ schedules. I had a Halloween themed party for Hayden; I asked the kids to dress up in costumes and adults to wear festive shirts, also incorporated the theme in the decorations and food. I kept the menu fairly simple and prepared as much of the food as I could the day before; my husband grilled hot dogs, I set out a vegetable platter, chips, dips, salsa, candy corn, snack-o-lanern (recipe I used: 20 ounces can pineapple chunks, drained / "guts from oranges / 1 cup mini marshmallows / 1 cup coconut flakes / 1 jar marchino cherries / 8 oz Cool Whip) , punch (7up and Hawaiian punch mix) and apple cider. For Hayden’s smash cake I made a rainbow cake decorated like a jack-o-lantern and for the guests I made pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting decorated with chocolate shaped bats.

I invited a lot of “older” kids to Hayden’s first party, to keep them occupied I purchased Halloween craft foam stickers from the Dollar Tree along with 9”x12” orange craft foam which I cut out in the shapes for pumpkins; I had the kids decorate their pumpkins with stickers & crayons. Benjamin and I made a pinata a week or two prior to Hayden’s birthday, I painted (kids don’t leave much free time to cover a piñata in crepe paper) the piñata like a jack-o-lantern; I filled it will popcorn balls, glow sticks, Halloween straws and miniature candy bars. For party favors I molded chocolate into Halloween shapes and gave the kiddos miniature pumpkins.

Almost all the decorations, plates, cups and utensils were purchased at the Dollar Tree; I made a photo banner of Hayden’s first year and blew up and strung balloons together the night before.

Hayden’s actually birthday was October 20th, I took the kids to Pine View Dairy for ice cream and pet the calves; when daddy came home from work it was off to play at the park and dinner and more fun at Chuck E. Cheese.


Birthday boy, he wouldn't wear the head piece to his bear costume

photo banner


Craft Foam pumpkin cut out and craft foam Halloween stickers


pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

rainbow cake

Molded chocolates

Mini pumpkins

Chocolate Bat Template

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

~CLOSED~Happy Birthday Baby Boy! ~CLOSED~


In honor of Hayden's 1st birthday, I'm giving away one Picture Frame Bracelet; the winner will be chosen on October 26th.

For one entry leave your first name, last initial, and your email address.
Name: Jane D.
Email: janed@email.com

For a second entry like Red Maple Design on Facebook.

For a third entry tell your friends about Red Maple Design; writing a blog post and send me the link.

Red Maple Design

Saturday, October 9, 2010

3rd Birthday Party

{sigh} My first born is the big 0-3; I found myself drifting back to October 2, 2007, going through the motions of that day in my mind. Two days after Benjamin turned 3 my husband and I quickly noticed our toddler was “changing”, he’s testing boundaries every chance he gets and we’ve had to come up with new ways to discipline (horrendous 3's is an understatement). Though my little man has become a little rebel, I’m enjoying his newfound cuddliness; which somewhat makes it easier to swallow walking into his bedroom to discover he had torn down his wallpaper boarder, bullying his baby brother, talking back, peeing on a toy, snapping my wireless mouse/keyboard receiver in half, refusing to wear clothes…

I kept Benjamin’s 3rd birthday low key; invited a few family members and neighbors for cake, ice cream and munchies; when I started thinking about his birthday party he was going through a Curious George phase and choose that for his theme.

We started off the day with waffles served with grandma’s homemade strawberry jelly, topped with whip cream and a birthday candle. After breakfast we headed to Please Touch Museum; all four of us had a BLAST, thanks to my father-in-law for purchasing an “American Children’s Museum pass for the boys’ birthday we’ll be going back along with checking out other nearby museums. Though we could have spent more time at the Please Touch Museum we had to head home around 3:30pm for dinner and Benjamin’s party. For the party I made Monkey Mix, Monkey Munchie Cupcakes, punch (7up and Hawaiian punch mix), Circus Peanuts and chips. Oh- I found an AWESOME tip for making cupcakes to cut down on cake batter splatters and to allow your child to help; cut a 1/4"-1/2" tip on a corner of a sandwhich bag (I used a clean squeezable container), place batter inside container and squeeze into each wrapper.

Birthday Invitation- Someone didn't want to participate in mommy's photo shoot.

Birthday Breakfast

Please Touch Museum

Please Touch Museum

Monkey Munchie Cupcakes

Awesome wrappers I found at the grocery store, Reynolds StayBrite

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Very Hungry Caterpillar

Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Eric Carle
Very Hungry Caterpillar

Finger Paint
Empty Toilet Paper Rolls
Googly Eyes
Pipe Cleaners
Aluminum Foil
Any other “crafty materials” you have lying around

My neighbor and I are both stay-at-home moms and though we love being home with our kiddos, she and I will admit-we sometimes NEED A BREAK! My wonderful and smart neighbor came up with a terrific idea, kid swapping; for one day I’ll watch her daughter and the following week she’ll watch my oldest son for a day. It’s an amazing, wonderful, relaxing… experience being able to grocery shop, run errands or clean without a “helper” or the horrendous three temper tantrums (yes, as of yesterday my “baby” is a three year old, but more on that in another post). The last time I watched Little Miss Alexa I had a theme day planned for the kiddos, Very Hungry Caterpillar; I made caterpillar antennas for each child using a headband, pipe cleaners and aluminum foil. We read “Very Hungry Caterpillar”, then headed outside where I had the kiddy table setup with materials for the kids to make their own caterpillar. Once their caterpillar works of art were complete I reminded them that the Very Hungry Caterpillar turned into a butterfly, I painted their hands and using their handprints we made butterflies. For lunch I served frozen peanut butter & jelly in the shape of a leaf (okay, it was actually a spade cookie cutter but the kids didn’t know that), ants on a log (peanut butter celery with raisins), strawberry shaped fruit gummies and for dessert autumn leaves.