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Busy Bag with Paint Chips

For all of our busy bags I bought each of the kids a full size cookie sheet at the dollar tree.  This is their personal space when working on the bags.  I also bought a roll of magnet tape.  You can get this at Michale’s or Joann’s–make sure to use a coupon!  I put magnets on as much as I could to keep items in place when the kids are working on their bag.  I also laminate as much as I can to make the items in our bag last longer.

I cut the paint chips apart, but magnets on the back then the kids put the colors in order from dark to light.

I punched circles out of the paint chips and put an upper case letter on one part, and a lower case letter on the other.  The kids can match the color, lower to upper case, or we find the letter or something that starts with that letter in the room.Took paint chips and cut off a bit, glued it to the clothes pin.  The kids match up the paint chip color to the clothes pin color.

I punched holes in the paint chips and we go on ‘color walks’ and we find the same color throught the window in the paint chip.

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Busy Bags

This is our sewing bag

In our bag we have a can strainer from the dollar tree, the kids use colorful shoe strings to ‘sew’.

I also bought shelf liner at the dollar tree and put it on a loop.  We use string and plastic needles that I got at oriental trading.  The kids LOVE this one!!

For the younger crowd we use buttons and pipe cleaners to work on our fine motor for sewing.

The last picture is a styrofome plate the kids cut to the shape they wanted, then sewed it.  Another favorite of the kids!

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Waffle Cookies

I would have taken a picture of a plate of them…… but they were eaten to fast.

Waffle Cookies

1/2 cup  butter, melted

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1-1/2 cups oatmeal

3/4  cup semisweet chocolate chips  (I used half chocolate and half white chocolate)

Heat the waffle iron.

In a large bowl, mix the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.

Use a  small ice cream scoop to portion out a cookie onto each waffle square. Close the iron and cook until set and beginning to brown, 1-1/2 to 3 minutes, depending on the heat of your waffle iron.  Transfer the cooked cookies to a wire rack and repeat with the remaining dough.

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Fortune Cookie Gift

I wanted a cute way to dress up a gift certificate that I bought for my son’s teacher for Valentines Day.  So I bought a chinese take out box from Walmart for .97 and made paper fortune cookies to put inside it.

First I had my son write some little notes for his teacher on thin strips of paper.  Like, “you’re the best teacher” etc.

I then cut 3 inch circles, you can adjust the size for bigger or smaller cookies.

Place the paper fortune on the inside.  If using patterened paper, put on blank side.

Fold paper in half, but do not crease it.

Place finger in middle and gently fold the side in toward the middle.

Place a small piece of double sided tape into the middle of the cookie and press closed.  You now have your fortune cookie.  Time to make some more……..

You can also make your own take out box, here is a good one.  The only problem is that it will be small due to printer size.

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Birthday Board

I wanted an easy way to keep track of everyone’s Birthdays, so I created this board.  My local craft store is where I bought most of my supplies.  To hook the circles together I used black necklace chains.  The bottom of the board, I used u shaped nails (from the hardware store)  to hook the chain onto, and just hammered it into the wood.  I used eye hooks and ribbon to hang the board.  Now at the first of the month I can easily look and see what cards I need to send out and plan a bit easier.  I  think it would be great to add pictures to the back side, but haven’t gotten that far yet.  Hope this is helpful.

Board is: 5 1/2 X 24 inches

Letters are: 1 in. and 2 in.


Tangy Orange Beef


3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

12 ounces boneless sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into strips

1 tablespoon canola oil

½ cup sliced orange peel

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Black pepper

¼ cup rice vinegar

3 tablespoons orange juice

In large bowl, combine cornstarch, sugar, and lemon peel.  Mix well.  Add steak and toss to coat.  In large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add orange peel slices and ginger.  Cook stirring constantly for 1 minute.  Place orange peel slices on a plate. Set aside.  Add steak to skillet.  Cook stirring frequently, until browned.  Sprinkle orange peel slices and pepper over steak.  Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add vinegar and orange juice: cook, stirring, until liquid evaporates.

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4 pork chops (3/4 to 1 inch thick)

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup flour

1 tablespoon cooking oil

¾ cup chopped onion

1 cup diced green chilies (7oz can)

2 cups Mexican style sliced stewed tomatoes (14.5 oz)

2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 oven bag

Preheat oven to 275*.  Sprinkle port chops with salt and pepper; dredge in flour to coat.  Heat oil in skillet and lightly brown pork chops on both sides.

Place baking bag on baking tray or shallow dish.  Lay port chops at the closed end of baking bag and roll the top back to expose chops.  Spoon chopped onion and diced green chilies onto top of each pork chop.  Sprinkle chips with oregano, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Spoon stewed tomatoes into spaces between covered pork chops.  Seal bag and puncture top of bag with four small holes.

Bake for 3 hours.

TIP: I didn’t read the directions well before I decided to make this last night and didn’t have 3 hours to cook it.  So, I raised the temp to 320* and cooked for almost 2 hours.  It came out juicy and tender.

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