Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Where Have We Been #8: Higgins Armory

It's so sad that Higgins Armory is about to close.  I know most of the collection is going to the art museum but it won't be the same. I have some great memories of going there with our Gram, watching sword fighting and arms demonstrations and, the best part, getting plastic swords we could attack each other with in our Gram's side yard. Mr. No has quite a few memories there himself.  He's gone twice with me and several times with his Nana and Pop.  I have to go one more time and get a photo of the building itself.  I meant to this time but it started raining on us and Mr. No had his cardboard shield to worry about. If you live in there area, go once just to to check it out.  It's not as big as it seemed when I was little but nothing ever is.

The first time Mr. No went, he was not even 2.  We went with his friend Noodle and her family on Halloween weekend to go trick or treating. The No's were the cutest dragon and dinosaur and everyone thought they were twins.  The costumes were not planned. Mr. No just wanted to be a T-Rex and she wanted to be a dragon.  They were adorable.

About a week ago we went again and, sadly, that will most likely be our last visit. There is one main floor of exhibits, while not very big, houses so many interesting artifacts. Armor, swords, all kinds of weapons, amazing for anyone to see really.  Here are the two sides of the main exhibit floor of the armory which is actually the 3rd floor. You can see a few of the larger displays in the middle and the crazy amount of people there to see it all before it is moved.

Some of the detail work on the armor and the weapons are absolutely amazing. And some of them are rather creepy...the armor with the smiling face just gives me the chills. I'm not sure why.

The array of weaponry is incredible.  Not that I'm all that knowledgeable about weaponry, but there were a lot of items I had never even heard of before. 

The next floor is a balcony that overlooks the 3rd floor and has more armor, etc. That is where the very cool samaurai armor and weapons are and, Mr. No's favorite, the Medusa plaque from the Roman empire. 

Here are gorgeously detailed arrow heads.

An adult could spend hours just reading about everything there.  Mr. No just wanted to rush around and see everything...and then head down to the 2nd floor which is the play area.  There is a huge chess board, large soft, block, wooden block, armor to try on and more.  Mr. No really just wanted to build with the castle blocks and at one point he had 2 other little boys with him.  The 3 of them built an entire city. He also got to design his own cardboard shield. He planned it all out and then put us to work cutting the shapes.

The museum will be closing at the end of December. If you're in New England, it's worth a look before it's gone. Early weapons, viking weapons, samaurai armor, so much to see and learn about. Yes, the pieces are moving to the art museum but it truly won't be the same experience.  They also have shows and demonstrations right up to closing day.  I have some great memories from here most of which ended in my sister and me sword fighting in our Grandmother's front yard.  We didn't look when we were there but plastic swords used to be available in the gift shop.  We really should get one for Mr. No...and for me!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Christmas Craft: Clothespin Elf Ornaments

I am one of those pinterest obsessed moms. I pin hundreds of things but I do actually end up trying quite a few.  I found this post, which I cannot read, and that inspired us to create our own elf clothespin ornaments.   Our elves came out even cuter than I had hoped. Mr. No had just turned 5 when we did this craft so I would say 4 year olds with patience or a good amount of parental help or 5 and up as the age for this craft.

Our materials (for 9 elves):
9 standard clothespins
green paint
white foam
green foam
18 tiny pom poms: 9 green, 9 any color you want
18 tiny googly eyes
red ribbon

The majority of our art supplies come from Dollar Tree so this was a very inexpensive craft. We had a large package of standard clothespins that we had used for our counting clip cards and they were perfect for our elves. I drew a pencil line on the front of the clothespin where Mr. No should stop painting so the elf wouldn't have a green face and let him paint all the elves green.

Since kid's paint dries fairly quickly, we didn't have to wait long to continue on with our elves. I ended up cutting out the little collars for the elves.  Mr. No tried, the kids scissors gave him a lot of problem and then got frustrated so, since this is supposed to be fun, I cut the collars out of white foam. He attached them.

I took the opportunity to work on fine motor skills as well and we used tweezers to attach the tiny green pom pom noses.

He didn't want to use the tweezers for the googly eyes so those went on by hand.

Since we were doing Elves and Santas, I cut out the hats as well.  When given the choice between elves and Santas, he wanted to do both.  He loves to create. I thought he would be overwhelmed but he was happy to do them all except for the cutting. The hats were made from just 2 matching triangle of foam, one glued to the front and one glued to the back by Mr. No.   Then we added the pom pom on top.  We glued a white ribbon loop to the back with white glue but a hot glue gun would be best.

And there are our very cute and very easy Elves and Santas Christmas ornament gifts. Here's the post on how to make the Santas.  I have to admit that I am one who, even if I can guess from one photo how to make something, likes to see step by step instructions especially when working with Mr. No.  It lets him see how things will progress so he doesn't get frustrated when it doesn't immediately look like the end product. And I think his end product was adorable!

Linking up with:

Monday Funday at TWCS

More the Merrier Monday

Friday, November 22, 2013

Flashback Friday: Monkey on His Back

I've been so busy lately that I completely forgot all about posting anything for the past, well, almost 2 weeks. Things get crazy with Thanksgiving, Mr. No's birthday and then Christmas all in a row.  We haven't even made any Thanksgiving crafts this year.  Yikes.

This Flashback Friday is Mr. No with his buddy the monkey backpack aka baby leash.  We bought the baby harness for when went to potentially dangerous places like the waterfall where a one second distraction could be disastrous. I liked the idea that he could have safe freedom to roam in places that you'd have to keep a tight hold on him.  He loved that little monkey and wanted to wear him around all the time. It was super cute.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Simple Things Sunday: Student of the Week

Mr. No's school does a cute little student of the week thing where someone from each class is picked and gets to each lunch with the principal at a special table...and other things. I'm not exactly certain what because Mr. No does not like to talk about 90% of things school related.  However, he was incredibly excited by the book they create for student off the week where each classmate drew a picture of him and (the teacher for them) wrote what they like about Mr. No.  I found out more about him at school from that book than from anything he's said.  It's great to know that he listens to the teachers, never pushes, shares, helps other, is nice, is funny and has a couple "BFFs".   He is so proud of what the other kids wrote about him and the pictures they drew.

The cover is the picture he drew.  His little hamster Fuzzy in her hamster ball running walls.

This is his favorite drawing in the book done by his good friend who is a girl. He seems to gravitate towards the girls as friends so it was a nice surprise that the 2 who wrote that Mr. No was their BFF were both boys. Nothing wrong at all with girls as friends but he does have to learn to get along with boys, too.

The one that makes me laugh is the boy who's favorite thing about Mr. No isn't exactly about Mr. No.

And the one that makes Mr. No mad because we tease him about it.  Really I think it's sweet but he get so hilariously worked up over he thinking that he's handsome...pronounced haaaaannnndsoooome! ooooo! in our house.  We're so mean.

Another great week for Mr. No: reading necklace handed out, prizes from the prize jar for doing all the things he was supposed to do, this great book and off to Yankee Candle (huge) Store today! 
He's so happy!