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Color My World

This past week, the kids and I have been busy peeling the papers off crayons so we can melt them into hearts for Valentine’s Day cards for my oldest’s classmates.  The rest of the year, I find shreds of crayon paper all over the house, but give the green light to the two year old, and those things stay wrapped up like a tamale.

At any rate, the Valentines came out really cute, and they were super-easy and inexpensive, not to mention involved no candy. A bonus in my book…we still have Halloween candy (even good stuff) that keeps calling my name. And it’s rude to ignore that.

Homemade Valentine Heary Crayons

We separated the crayons by color family and put them in tin cans that were then melted double-boiler style on the stove. To make it easier to pour, I squeezed the top of each can to make a pour-spout, and used skewers as stir-sticks to make the color even and make sure there were no chunks.

The, I filled the cavities in a mini-heart candy mold, popped them in the freezer, and within a few minutes, they were completely cooled and I could tap them out and get the next batch in. I don’t need or want more than one of those molds, so this sped up the process, and it was just enough time to make sure the wax that had cooled could melt again. (A tip for freezing: Make sure the cavities are dry and have no condensation from the freezer, otherwise the next batch will have holes and need to be remelted. Not usually a problem, but if you see a drop of water in there, get rid of it!)

Then, I used some clipart that came with my computer to print the actual cards. I just used some four-to-a-sheet postcards that I have hanging around and popped them through the printer. The front of the card is two graphics, the big square with the floating hearts and whatever was in teh center of that, with the words, “Happy Valentine.” I blocked out the animal or whatever was there with some white shapes, found another piece of clipart that had a couple of kids hugging the Earth with a heart beneath it (coudl that have been more perfect?), and added “You Color My World” at the top. I also saved the top inch, give or take, of the card for a fold-over, so put some hearts and “From” upside down and printed them out.

On the back, I found some color blocks with hearts in the center, and just pasted it so it filled the whole side. Then, I got nervous that some kid was going to think they were candy, so I put a disclaimer, “Contents: Heart-Shaped Crayons,” at the bottom.

Then, the kids and I put different colors of the hearts in cellophane treat bags, folded them, stuck them in the folded card, and stapled. Easy-peasy.

They ended up really cute, kept us busy for a bit, and were only slightly more than the regular boxed cards. Heck, the mold was only $1 after the half-off coupon at Michael’s, and that’s reusable, I had the postcard sheets laying around, used pouches of broken crayons, and spent $1 on a bag of 100 small cellophane treat bags, and I still have 80 left. I can handle that.

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That’s HOW Much?!?

The children are all nestled snug in their beds (well, one may be reading) for a little nap after getting back from running some errands and coming home for lunch. Let’s just say mama could use a glass of vino.

Kids are kids, and it seems that the only place that they were on 100% don’t-touch-anything behavior was the one shop where there were no less than three screaming children having a fit on the floor. I felt so badly for the moms, and told one of them I just had the same sitation in the supermarket 5 minutes before…which makes me think the terrible two’s are accurate for boys, and the girls provide mental anguish later in life. I digress…

Fast-forward to Michaels, where they seemed to be fine until right before we got in line. Bags of Christmas candy in the aisle, candy on the counter…that place is littered with the stuff by the checkout. And it’s all at kid-level.

My two-year-old proceeds to say he wants a treat, runs and grabs a bag of Hershey Kisses, and tears it open before I can get to him. He didn’t get to any of the candy, but the bag was torn. (Peanut gallery passers-by chimed in with a much appreciated, “tell her you need it, not that you want it!”) Guilty conscience that I have, I head to the checkout and tell the lady I’ll pay for it (while he grabs one of those stinking eye-height truffles by the counter…which was already unwrapped by some other kid and put back. Luckily, the man behind me verified to the cashier that it was already open. Have I mentioned that several of the casiers at the local store are not very friendly? ‘Cause they’re not).

Now, it’s happened once or twice in my life — well before my children came along — that something has been broken or fell off of a precarious shelf when I was looking at something, I’ve brought it to the counter, let them know what happened, offer to pay, and am told that they just damage the item out of the system. Easy, since I’ve seen a LOT of damaged items left to rot on a sales floor. So, it’s not so much that I had to pay for the bag of candy, it was that:

1. She said, “well, what am I going to do with it?” With a little bit of ‘tude.
b. Apparently, Michael’s sells Hershey Kisses for $5.99/bag. Come again? $6 for the same bag I can get (and did) on sale for $1.50 before any coupons at CVS?

I’d have felt better about it if the response was even just a sorry about your luck, or even no comment at all. I already had them with me in line, just shocked at the price for the things. But clearly I was not in a mood for attitude on top of it with a baby in a stroller, a little girl who checked out before me who insisted on puchasing her own stickers for a chain letter she received (it was a cute letter, but we spent a lot of time carefully picking a pack that her little friend would especially like), and a little boy who was having hulk-like cravings for chocolate.

Anybody want Hershey Kisses, come to my house.  I have lots.

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