Monday, December 17, 2012

They're HERE!!!!

Justine and Kristaps got in last night!!!

More coming later, super busy this morning.  Just wanted to let everyone know they are here and doing amazingly well!!! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shunt Malfunction and BIG NEWS!

  Though we knew it could happen... We prayed it wouldn't!!!

  Shortly after my last post, that exact day in fact, Liam had to be rushed to UK AGAIN.  Serious, but not in major danger, yet!

  He was throwing up a bit the day before, but so was another kid a few days before that.  Really hard to go by that sign because the sad fact is, kids puke pretty often.  Friday after his nap, he couldn't stand up without falling.  I scooped him up and took him in.  MRI and X-rays right away.  His shunt wasn't draining fast enough and had caused fluid to go around his brain causing a lot of pressure.  He should have had a massive headache, but never complained about one! 

 To make a VERY long story short, it was a VERY long processes to fix this problem.  1 in 1000 people that have hydrocephalus need a shunt, 1 in 1000 people that have a shunt, have a malfunction like this.  (by his odds, I should have won powerball!!) Seems like the odds haven't been in his favor lately, but I did catch this early!  

  What happened, they cut a tiny hole in his belly so the tube that goes into his belly where the fluid drains could be out.  They wanted to see how much fluid drained, and they wanted to see where he needed to be at pressure wise.  Couple days on that with no progress they drilled 3 holes on the right side of his head and had a drain coming out there to drain off the fluid that was surrounding his brain.  2 days on that, and they drilled 3 more holes on the left side.  He had 3 different brain fluid drips coming out of him that he was very limited on movement and could only lay on his back.  He was in PICU for 11 days, where siblings can't visit. Then had his major surgery and got to go into normal room.  On the 12 day he got to come home. This was the day before Thanksgiving.  Needless to say, we had a lot to be thankful for this year! It took him awhile this time to be able to walk, 12 days on your back would do that to anyone.  Now he's doing really good and starting to put some of the almost 5 lbs he had lost while he was in the hospital.

  He now has a new shunt, this one is pretty cool!  Though it is bigger, it's much easier on him!  They can regulate how much or how little it drains by having a computer tell it what to do, this means he won't have to be cut open again if it's not draining enough.  So far so good though!  He goes in for an MRI check up on the 16th.  His head has shrunk 4 1/2 cm since day before Thanksgiving (it didn't shrink at all in July!), so I am taking that as a good sign this one is working!!
That business trip that never happened, should happen Saturday, though the kids and I are staying home.

  Our Latvian children will be here in 5 (FIVE) days!!!!  We are no where near ready, but those that know me, know my best work is when I'm at the end of a deadline. :)  It will all come together.

  There has been a change of plans, Deivids (the little guy) isn't coming.  He's half brother to the other two, and from my understanding was just placed with them not that long ago.  They haven't bonded well at all, in fact they have rejected each other.  The orphan court decided to split them up and that they will be better off in different homes.  Justine and Kristaps are still coming, we are still fully planning on adopting them both, just Deivids can't come now.  We are very sad, but we know God's plan is the best plan.  I will pray for that little boy the rest of my life though.  Even though I never got to see him face to face, I still love him and he will always have a special place in my heart.

Coming July 2013!!!

Huge things seem to be happening in the Dawson house!!!  We are so blessed!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

38 days!!!!

  38 days more and we will be meeting IN PERSON, these 3 amazing children!!

The last $1000 will be in our bank account probably Monday morning.  Ryan got another contract job, the total was for the exact amount we needed!!!  Yes, this means a business trip for him this weekend, but we get to go too, and that means free night in a hotel with a POOL and hot breakfast! (we've been to this place a few times, it's our favorite places to go on a "business trip") Gas to get there, nice hotel, and $30 a day for food is covered because it is so far away.  Far be it from me to decline a trip to a pool for FREE!! :-D

38 days! We were told it would seem like forever to get here.  Honestly, that has not been the case.  We have been so busy with fundraisers, extra jobs, getting things ready here, as well as our normal every day busy life, it's flown by!   There is still so much to do!

If you see is in public with our host children, please don't say anything about ADOPTING.  Though YES, we do fully intend to adopt them, we are NOT allowed to say anything about it to or around the children.  The home study has to be done and all the paper work has to be in Latvia before these children can find out we want to adopt them.  What if they were told we were going to adopt them, and then something happens that is out of our control and we can not?  They've already been let down once, by their birth parents.  I am not in the business of letting children down!!!!  They know they are coming as host only, they KNOW they have to go back.  They have no idea it could turn into more, though I am sure they always hope. :)  It is also against the rules of NHFC to tell the children or discuss adopting them with the children.

I can't wait till they are here!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Stinky (and the meaning behind the term of endearment)

Some have asked, many have wondered. Why do we call this amazingly beautiful child "Stinky"??

  It's a bit of a long story.  I was blessed with this amazing little girl 3 1/2 years ago.  If you talk to her, you would really think she was 3 1/2 going on 12.  She's super smart, funny, sassy, and full of spunk.  You just never know what she will say or do next.

She's so mature and gracious. She has a smile that lights up a room and warms my heart.  I truly think she chose our family to restore laughter and happiness.  I was so sad and depressed before she was born, and suffering from PTSD, the second she came into my arms, that all melted away! 

She is very comfortable in her own skin.  We went to a Back to the Future pageant a few weeks ago and I came up with the idea for her to do the thriller. She LOVES MJ and thought this was a great idea.  However, she wanted her own twist. "What if Michael Jackson came back from the dead and was a zombie, I want to look scary like that!"  I reminded her this was for a pageant, and she needed to look pretty. She was really quick to remind me that zombies AREN'T pretty (DUH) and she wanted to be scary.  Scary she got.  She laid in a coffin prop we made and we carried her in it on stage.  The shock factor was already in the building (OMG, are those people actually bringing a 3 year old ON STAGE (!!!!) in a coffin !?)  Why yes, yes we did!  As soon as the music started, it made sense. The top pops off the coffin and out jumps this scary zombie that starts doing the thriller.  Both judges were cracking up, though one did comment she needed to be a "pretty zombie"  Stinky didn't care!  She wanted to be scary even if it cost her the crown. Way to march to the beat of your own drum!!! 

She has a really soft side too.  Often times you will see her on her bed (she has bottom bunk, her own space no one is allowed to come into unless invited) coloring contently for hours.  As loud and fun as she is, she likes to be alone with her own thoughts too.  She never gets into stuff like most her age.  Never!  She was such an easy baby and child. Tantrums are so very rare. Now don't get me wrong, she does have her moments and sometimes does act her age!

(Stinky NOT having fun!)

In those moments I just stand back and look at her wondering where in the world that is coming from.  It is very rare!  She's usually her smiling happy self "partying like a rock star"

You can ask her: "What is your name?"

She will tell you: "Jemima Wendy Dawson, but everyone calls me Stinky."

"Why do they call you Stinky???"
"Because I'm SO STINKING CUTE!!!"

Friday, October 26, 2012

Are you Called???

When we first looked into hosting this winter, we saw 4 adorable little faces that will probably be in my mind and heart forever.  I knew taking on 4 more would be quiet the undertaking, but I asked anyway.  Their picture was posted 3 days before OUR children were listed, and even though I think I knew deep down these 4 weren't for me, I had to make sure.  It turns out, I am too young by 1 year!! :(

I've gone back to the photo listing every single day for nearly 2 months now, with the hope that these 4 beautiful children had been chosen.

With less than 6 days left for children to be chosen, I am starting to lose hope.  4 amazing children need a home and I have no idea how to help other than flooding my facebook wall and posting here.

Would you find it in your heart to take them?  Is God calling you to help?  (someone in Kentucky so I can come squeeze their necks?!?)  I am praying so hard someone will choose them.  They need to be loved.

Is God asking you to do something special for His glory? What about giving these 4 kiddos a Christmas they will never forget?? $2650 hosting scholarship for Ivars, Diana, Aigars, Laura are from a very rural foster family. They are all very good kids and all have the same 2 parents! Laura, the oldest, likes Barbies and is the serious, artistic one of the bunch. Diana likes to play with her babydo
lls and wishes for one with a stroller. Ivars, the older of the boys, likes soccer, ice hockey, and bike riding. He takes care of the pets and helps with the house. Aigars, the youngest, likes to play on the swings and trampoline. He would like a computer game for Christmas. All kids are very shy and innocent and definitely NOT WORLDLY kids. Though the youngest said his wish would be for a computer game, the foster mom said there is no computer so perhaps he meant a handheld game. They will be amazed at the simplest of things and most every hour in the beginning will be eye opening to them in the world of technology and "things". For more information about hosting, visit To donate a scholarship towards bringing them to the US this Christmas, mention their names in your PayPal donation

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An Update

Life is moving so fast here lately, I rarely have time to sit down at the computer for much longer than checking my email and facebook.

My soon to be 17 month old is being potty trained (on his own!), Stinky can almost do laundry by herself, Liam is learning self control (we um... spoiled him because of his special need... to make a LONG story short, we created a monster, but he's better!!!), Kathryn, my right hand.  Seriously, I don't think she really knows how much help she truly is.  She baked her first made from scratch over the weekend, all by herself.  Jesse, my 8 year old. My big boy, out growing every outfit and shoe he owns. He's missing baseball (though he still practices once a week with the Grays), but has taken up showing Liam and Jonah how to hit off a Tee. He needed a lesson in patience, this is doing it. :-D

We are all learning and growing, and time is speeding by!

After spending many hours talking with the adoption agency, NHFC, and a Social Worker, we have decided to host our 3 Latvian orphans after all.  Little did we know, it is their choice to be adopted or not.  More than likely they will not want to come to a strange place FOREVER, and just hoping it's the right thing for them without seeing it first. All they've ever known is that their parents left them and walked away and didn't look back.  They need to be sure and see with their own eyes we will love them for who they are, will always be here when they need us, and no matter what, we will not turn them away, ever! We decided to just have faith our needs would be met money wise.  Never doubt God, EVER. Seriously, He's come through for us.  We almost have all of the $9000 we need to host. We are now about $2000 away, but we have a final fundraiser, a benefit pageant.

In 51 days we will load the van with an extra booster seat, 5 overly excited children, and clothes for 2 parents and 8 children, as well as welcome gifts, and make the trip south to bring our children home.  Only for 4 weeks, but better than nothing.  They still have no idea they have been chosen, they don't know a family in Kentucky thinks about them everyday, prays for them, and already loves them unconditionally.   We are not allowed to ask them if they want to be adopted.  That will be done by a judge (? i think?) in Latvia once our homestudy is done and all the paperwork has been sent to Latvia. They only think this is a vacation, only to learn about the American culture. They have no idea they could be meeting their forever family. 51 days!!!

There is so much to do, it's not even funny.  I've heard of people that were waiting for their children to come and how time drags on slowly for them.  That is not the case here for hosting at this time.  Though I want them here NOW (:-D), we are still needing to make our home ready for 3 more.  We somehow have to get another bunk bed with mattresses, clothes, shoes, toys, still have to have our home safety visit, still have to go to our training class, and I've got to set up appointments for them to have their eyes and teeth checked too.  Before 51 days!!!

Teeth is the hardest, our dentist passed away back in June and I am so lost as far as looking for a dentist I just can't seem to pull that one together.  He wasn't just our dentist, he was my friend. No one will ever come close to him and the care he provided.  My tooth that is aching reminds me I need to bite (HA!) the bullet and find someone new, but darn it if I don't want to, you know?  The kids need to have their teeth cleaned though, the children from Latvia have never been to a dentist.  I HAVE to do this.  I will, it's just hard.

That's it in a nutshell.  We are living our normal day to day lives, but we know change is happening already. We will embrace it no matter what.  It's really scary knowing they might not like us, or our lifestyle.  They might not be a fit for our family.  That is a seriously scary thought!!!  No matter what happens, we will never be the same as we were before, even if it's not a fit they will always hold a special place in our hearts forever.      I am excited!! :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

We're Jumping!!!

We were going to host first.  That was the plan.  That way if this didn't work out, kids didn't like each other, Latvian kids didn't like us, our home, our pets, being in a large family... we could go no further than hosting them.  They could go back and we could take what we learned from this and that would have been the end of that.  We weren't obligated to adopt them, we just would have been given the choice to adopt them.  No hard feelings if it wasn't a fit.  The children aren't even coming here thinking it's possible, they think it's just to experience the American culture.

We were playing it safe because my fear it wouldn't work out, even though it's not really what God wanted.  Hosting 3 is near $9000, that is almost 1/4 of what the cost to adopt 3 siblings from Latvia would be.  Playing it safe came with a price.. And seriously this was a lack of faith issue.  I knew in my heart what I was suppose to do, but I AM only human.  I smacked the easy button (that cost a lot) and as going on my own. (if you only knew how hard this became... we've had issue after issue this past month!!!) That is till this morning.

3 am today. TRUST ME.  Those two words. LOUDLY. Not in my head. Spoken like someone was talking (in this case... YELLING) in the room I was in. TRUST ME!  I now know how scared Moses must have felt when he was on that mountain.  It startled me! TRUST ME!!!
Not sure if Ryan heard it too, or just felt it.  We both agreed right away it was time to back out of hosting and to go onward with adoption.  I was up till 5 am.  After hearing the voice of God himself, it's not very easy to let sleep come!!

First thing this morning we called a family meeting.  Nothing major is done in our home without everyone being on board.  "Kids, what if we don't host?" (insert sad little faces) "what if we just adopt them... now WAIT! it's a LONG processes, we don't know when they will get to come here now, but what if we adopt them?" (insert thrilled little faces!! then loud shouts of joy... sorry neighbors!)

I was on the phone at 10 am.  I now have those 3 precious children's full names, birth dates, and other info.  They are about to be pulled from the hosting program and will be put in the "adoption in processes" file.  At this very moment, plans to go on with a full home study are in the works.  The ball is rolling.

We're Jumping!

Stay tuned!  This is going to be an amazing journey!!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Big Love

She's done it again, amazed me beyond belief.  She gave up something huge to her for the good of others.  In this particular instance this was something she has worked hard for and looked forward to for months.  I had saved for it and put the money aside a long time ago for it, long before we knew for sure we would be hosting this year.

We don't keep all of our financial business away from our children, I look at it as another learning opportunity. Though they don't know things like our income and the really important information, they are aware of what some things cost and how it is paid for. (like food, gas, and the electric bill) Kathryn is very interested in money and likes to watch me pay bills.  She loves to add large sums of money.  She's also a bargain hunter and likes to help me meal plan and shop. She knew about the money I had set aside for her.

She also knows what hosting costs.  She gave every cent she had for whole sale candy to help raise money to get those children from Latvia here.  She walked 3 different neighborhoods and did raise a lot.  But being wise beyond her years, she knows it's not enough.

We had a huge bill come in, it was expected, but the sum of it was a shock.  Enough to call a family meeting to order with the bid kids.  It was enough to rock my faith.  Should we not host?  How would it be possible now?  Without even being asked, without even bringing it up, Kathryn chimes in saying we can use the money we saved for her to do this special thing without even batting an eye.  She said it was way more important to her that those kids get here.  They are her brothers and sister, (even if it's only meant to be as host only) and getting them here, showing them real love, is 1000% more important than using the money for this other thing.  I tried to convince her I couldn't do that to her, seriously, she's worked over 100 hours for this.  She is insisting.  It will break her heart if those kids can't come here.  I can not take any credit for this amazing child.  I am nothing but a greedy needy human. She is the most giving, most loving, most compassionate, most unselfish person I have ever met.  I have much to learn from her!

It was enough to give me HOPE that yes, this IS possible!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Finger Painting with Shaving Cream

Today we finger painted with shaving cream and food coloring.  Another pinterest idea I saw months ago!  It being Friday, a fun project was in order!

All that is needed is shaving cream and food coloring!

It's much more fun to use your fingers, but it will slightly stain hands.  If the stain bothers you, you might want to get paint brushes.  I figured with my young ones it was going to be messy anyway.  That's what baths are for, right!? :-D

I just put a huge glob of shaving cream on a foam plate and then added a small drop of Walton cake icing gel.  Mixed it in well, and walla!

It was an instant hit!  

Liam kept saying "Thanks so much mom! This was so so fun!!!"
Little does he know, these sensory projects are mainly for him. ;)

Jonah loved it!  He knows the drill, if you put it in your mouth, you can't do this anymore.  So... He decided to get extra creative!

First he pats his head!

Then gives me the "why are you laughing at me???" Look!!!

Then he touches his face!!! We were all rolling.  Then he got some on his lips by mistake and started getting upset because of the bad taste in his mouth and I had to spray him off.

As always, Jemima was the last one to finish up!  She stayed at that table making pictures till all the shaving cream was used up.

Don't you just LOVE her tattoo?!? She got it at the movies the other day when she went with a friend.  She thinks she is big stuff!

Clean up was super easy!  After everyone was done, I just sprayed the table and plates off and left them out to dry. Then let the kids play in the water to wash off.  Very fun!

We will be doing this again in the near future! The "paint" dried amazingly well.  I would love to try this on canvas one day!  I think it would look really cool.  I would love to hang something like that up in my sewing/school room!

Happy Weekend!!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Love at first sight.

I couldn't wait to write this blog post, but now that I finally can blog about this, I am at a loss as to where to start.

Have you ever planned to do something that just felt right?  So right that you didn't even have a fear in the world at how it would all unfold?  Just KNOWING it was meant to be and trusting it would all work out??  Well we feel that way right now!

All my life I have wanted to do something about this orphan crisis, my heart nearly broke at the many children that needed a family to love them.   We looked into adoption before Liam was born, but after his birth we were in no shape to take in more at that time.  I was really sad MY plans were put on hold, but at the same time, Liam needed me more.  Just because that wasn't the right time, the desire to adopt or at least help children in need didn't go away.  Money was tight, but we sent things to orphanages as often as we could, but I always had a feeling one day there would be more for me to do.  We could feel the desire grow, even our oldest children started to express to us that they thought we should take in child that didn't have parents, and love them as our own.

We then started to pray about this.  It wasn't much longer after this that a great friend of mine hosted children from Ukraine over the summer through New Horizons for Children .  We actually tried to host a boy too, but we didn't find out about this program till the last minute and the boy had already found a home before we could gather funds/get our safety visit done.  As much as we would have loved to have him, we knew it wasn't a good fit. We could have given him an amazing summer, but that would have been all.  I was too young to adopt him. :)  It was one of those last minute deals, either someone host this poor boy, or he doesn't get to come to America.  We prayed for him all summer that the family that got him could offer him a home that we could not. This was one of the few times in my life I did wish I was older!  Knowing God's will is ALWAYS best though was enough, had this had been meant to be, I'd have been born a couple years sooner. :)

All summer we prayed, talked about this as a family, and got ourselves ready.  So when the time came to sign up to host children in the winter program this winter, we were ready!  Starting last month the big kids asked daily "are there pictures up yet?!"  We filled out the application, paid for the background check, are sending in pictures of our family and other things they need, getting things ready for our safety visit, and so on.

I met with a wonderful women, through email that was very helpful!  She read our application and took it upon herself to help match us.  She wanted to know how many children we wanted and what ages.  At first, we said two, under the age of 8.  We were open to change this though, this was just a starting point.  In the mean time, we were given a link to a photo listing to look over and read bio's of children that were listed.  The first day there was a group of 3 little ones that I remembered from the summer listing and we asked if their host family from the summer was going to take them again.  I had a deep down feeling they weren't right for us, but they were adorable, so I just had to ask anyway.  Indeed they are being hosted (and in the processes of being adopted by the host family!!!) again by the same family.  We weren't at all sad by that news, in fact, I was so happy they were going the same place.

The very next day Kathryn asks me if we could look at the pictures.  The site had been updated.  Kathryn saw them first!  "Oh mama!! Look at them! Those are the ones!"  I looked and right away I knew Kathryn was right.  It was love at first sight.  She calls Jesse over to come see (Liam and Jemima had to look too!!) and I get Ryan on the phone at work and he decides to take his lunch break right away so he could see too.  At that VERY same time, the lady with New Horizons emails me and gives their listing number that says "what about this group?!"  3 beautiful children from Latvia.  Two boys and a little girl.  They LOOK like us! They could have just as easily been born to someone in my family as my other children!  Even my Mom was stunned at the resemblance.

We prayed about it for 3 days before I emailed the lady back.  We had to pray about this first..  We also had to be sure Jesse was okay that one of the children is a year older than him.  He promised he was 100% fine and that he just felt like they needed to come here.  I then email her back, YES, this group is PERFECT!  It wasn't an hour later that under their listing read "ON HOLD! Dawson, KY!"  I am betting the shouts of joy from my children here were probably heard by my Latvian children there!

Justine-8, Kristaps-9, and Deivids-5
Aren't they precious!!!

Here's the thing.  We have to cover the full cost to get them here.  Not only is airline tickets needed, but passports, visas, insurance, our safety visit, etc.  It nearly $3000 PER CHILD to come here.  They also will have nothing but the clothes on their backs when they arrive and nothing else.  We are allowed to send them home with a backpack and a small suitcase full.

So many have asked how they can help.  Our main need right now is money.  Yes, these children need things once they get here, but without money we are going to have a hard time getting them here in the first place. We are saving every dime and I am sewing like crazy, but it's still going to be tight. This is the hard part for me, I highly dislike asking anyone for anything.  I have to swallow my pride this time though, for the kids! :)  We need your help!  I know times are rough, but every little bit helps.  Even if you are only able to pray and share this with anyone you know, that's perfect and we would be so grateful!  

They already feel like mine in a way.  I look at their picture and wonder how is it I am able to love them so much and all I know about them is that Kristaps wants to learn how to fish and really enjoys being outside.. and that Justine is a very good dancer and likes the colors red and pink... and that Deivid's favorite color is yellow and he loves to play outside?!?  In my heart I feel as if I already KNOW them.  My children are already talking about them as if they were already here.

This winter is going to be the best one yet! I am so excited to see what is in store for us!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Today we picked apples!

Finally! Autumn is on it's way.  You can hardly tell though because it is still so hot out.  The nights are cooler, but in the day time it's so hot and humid.  This crazy insane heat nearly killed all those apples!  Not to mention the freak frost we had back in April. We were so worried there wouldn't even be apples this year, but there were!  Hundreds of them!

We had two apple trees when I was a child.  They were always so full of apples the limbs of the trees would almost touch the ground from their weight.  Years later, our milk goats got out and ate the bark all around both trees and just like that, they were gone!

  I loved picking apples, I loved the fresh taste you just can't get in the stores, even when they are grown locally.  This is something we have done every year since moving to Lexington, and it's one of my favorite activities now. The children really love it.  We go through about 10 lbs of apples in a week, I'm sure we will go through our 50 lbs very quickly.  No, picking your own are not cheaper, in fact, I think they cost more.  Where is the fun in buying them though??

We went with other homeschoolers and we were given a tour and even taught the whole processes of the life of an apple.  It fits right in with our history lesson.  We are studying about how America was started and had just started to talk about Johnny Appleseed! (Yes, this was planned in advance on my part)  The little guys were super excited to go today.

Jemima was tall enough to pick them without any help from me.  She likes to sing while she works and today was no exception. She would find an apple, make sure it was clear of spots and worm holes, pluck it off, and put it in her bag.  She then stopped singing and let out an adorable little sequel "I got another one!" and then go for another until no time at all her bag was heaping full.

I wonder if she would love it so much if she had to do this every single day?! :-D    She probably would, she loves being outside and helping out.

Jonah was not very interested in picking.  The first one we helped him pick went straight to his mouth and after that he was happy to stomp around through the trees munching on his apple.

He's a city boy through and through!!!! LOL  Poor thing doesn't even know the proper way to sit on a tractor!!!  In his defense, he DID try! His little feet couldn't reach the ground.  He found out if he would just flip around he could put his feet on the ground and scoot the tractor along.  It just really tickled me though.  I'll probably laugh every time I see this photo.  Seriously thinking it needs to be blown up and framed!

                                   Another perk to visiting the orchard, is the huge homemade slide!

Jemima said it was as fast as a roller coaster!

Liam even loved it and went down at least a dozen times.

So that was school for today.  The children still have to do some reading, but it was field trip day, so everything else has been put on hold for tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday (Jonah's face vs Brick Fireplace!)

(that's blood all over my shirt! good thing I was wearing brown!)


\(glued shut)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Watercolor paint

We are on our 4th week back in homeschooling.  I am always amazed at how easy it really is!  There is way more structure to our day.  School work is getting done in record speed, chores are getting done, and the house is actually staying picked up.

At the end of our school day, after everything is all done and put away, we do an art/craft project.  This has been a huge motivator in getting things done.  If we haven't done our chores and school before Daddy gets home from work, we don't get to do a project. I've kept it exciting enough, we've only missed out two days in this whole month of not getting to do our project!

I saw the recipe on Pinterest for watercolor paint over the weekend, and even though I already had store bought watercolors, this was something I wanted to make right away!  The reviews promised this to be the best ever watercolors, and I admit, I was excited to give this one a try!

Super easy!  The above ingredients are all it takes, plus some food coloring.  I only had Walton cake icing gels on hand (just a small drop on a tooth pick!), so that's what we used.  The colors are amazing, so even if I had the regular food coloring, I would use the cake dye! 

I used the big muffin tins, there are a LOT of kids in my home, so I knew I'd need more than most normal homes. :)
12  TBSP of baking soda
6 TBSP white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp of light corn syrup
6 TBSP of corn starch.

First you want to mix the vinegar and baking soda. Do this in a large bowl (I used Pampered Chef's classic batter bowl) because it will fizz! Make sure you call in the youngsters to watch, it adds to the excitement!  Then mix in the rest!  Pour it all evenly into the muffin tin cups.

This job will be easier if the bowl you have chosen to mix it in has a spout.

I had Jemima help mix because she was the one most interested in this project and the big kids were doing math anyway.

Then comes the hard part.  You have to wait till it dries before you can start to paint!  It took about 30 hours here, it's been so humid the last few days, so that's probably why.

Everyone did their work super fast today, not a single member of our household wanted to miss out on this!

The colors are amazing! So bright and rich.  

It painted on so smooth too.  It also dried pretty quick!

In no time at all, my kitchen table was loaded with pages and pages of beautiful patterns and colors!  It was so much fun, even I had to get in on this one!!!

So no, I'm no artiest, but it sure was fun!!!