Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Legend of the Leprechauns

I stayed up way too late last night... I had to do it.  Because I am of the opinion that if I have to change diapers and wipe oatmeal off the walls and stay up with crying babies.... if I have to do all the unpleasant stuff that comes along with being a mom......well then, I am definately NOT going to miss out on all the fun perks that come along with having a house full of little ones too.

One of the most amazing things about being a mom is watching the sheer wonder in your childrens eyes.  And this year I just couldn't resist.  I could just imagine the excitement on my kids' faces, so I had to tell them about:

You see, every year on the night before St. Patricks Day the leprechauns come out to frolic and play in the moonlight.  Those greedy little guys LOVE gold and are always looking for more.  But, on this particular night it is leprechaun law that if they find an empty decorated treasure box they MUST fill it with GOLDEN TREASURE!
But leprechauns don't like the idea of giving up their gold so if the owner of the treasure box does not find it by the end of St. Patrick's Day then the leprechauns get to keep the treasure box and all that was in it.  So, those sneaky guys hide the treasure boxes after they fill them.  But, not to worry, they leave a trail of green wherever they have been so if you follow the trails you will eventually be led to your treasure box. But watch out, they will try to trick you!

You should have seen the looks on my kids' faces when I told them this.  Their eyes sparkled.  Their eyebrows raised.  Their lips curled into thoughtful little smiles. And then the room started buzzing with the sounds of their plans to catch the leprechauns and how they would make treasure boxes and fantasies of what the treasure would be.  After school we used some old instant oatmeal boxes, some paint, colored tape, glitter, etc. to make the treasure boxes:

At bed time they were left in the moonlight.

And sure enough, after all the kids were asleep the leprechauns went wild in our house.

They left their trails of green all over the house!

 In the bathroom, in the bedrooms, down the halls.  They left trails leading into walls and closets. 
We found green toilet water in the toilet...

green shaving cream in the bathtub and shamrocks on the mirrors...

 green JELLO in the fridge...

 and even green kiss marks on the kids' foreheads! 
And eventually we found the treasure boxes filled with golden treasures.

They were thrilled. Their boxes had been filled with golden wrappered candies (Hersheys Nuggets and Ferrero Rocher), Sparkly Golden Playdough, and Gold Coin Cookies.

My son took his treasure box to school for show and tell that day.  He actually told me that he didn't want to wipe the green kiss mark off cuz' he really liked it...but I wiped that off for school anyways.  Mama leprechaun is a little tired now and has trails of green feathers and tape and crepe paper to clean up.  But it was worth it, oh so worth it! :)

The green trails that the leprechauns leave are made from ANYTHING green that you have in the house.  Green pipecleaners, green leaves from the yard, green apples, green duct tape, green celery, green crepe paper, green shamrock cutouts, you get the idea.  It seemed much easier ( and more interesting)than cutting out hundreds of green leprechaun footprints ;)  Here's some of the green stuff we used:

This Play Dough Recipe is the best one I have ever made! I just made a batch of yellow dough and then kneaded in lots and lots of gold glitter and put it in bags with gold ribbon on them.

I REALLY REALLY wanted to get those gold foil wrapped chocolate coins but I couldn't find them at the stores I tried.  So, I made these instead:

They are just Ritz crackers dipped in melted butterscotch chips.  After they were coated I put them (individually) in a bowl of gold sprinkles and shook the bowl until the cracker was coated.  I put them in the freezer for a few minutes to let them set up and then wrapped them up.  The kids thought they were pretty tasty.

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