Saturday, May 26, 2012

December, post 1: Fun at Home

 Decorating cookies
 Hard at work!
 Here's the Advent calendar.  I just typed up a list of activities, cut them up, and put them in each day's slot.  I had a master list that I could refer to also, which was very helpful.
 Making Nutter Butter snowmen...think I saw this on Pinterest.
 You can tell which are the Bean's...they are all done correctly with two chocolate chips for eyes and 3 M&M's for buttons.  Bubs was a bit more of a loose snowman interpretation.  :)  They all tasted good!

 This treat came from Pinterest too I think...there was a neat Nativity poem that went with it.  We gave these away to friends.  You can find the "recipe" and prinable here.
 And of course, our annual Gingerbread Party with our friends from the Robertson Reporter.  This was the first time I've hosted, and I had to make the houses, which I made from graham crackers.  And the Royal Icing was pretty easy to make...whew!
 This was after school was out, so the kids dressed themselves.  The Bean has a tank top over another shirt, and Bubs had on shorts.  In December. Although with the mild winter we had, that might have been weather-appropriate!

The finished products!

This year I had so much fun during the Advent season!  We always want to emphasize to our kids that Christ is the reason we celebrate Christmas, and I wanted to do that in a way that would be meaningful to them this year.  So I did an Advent calendar, and each day we put a piece of the Nativity scene on our little calendar and drew out that day's activity.  Some activities were purely fun, like the ones pictured above, and others like making a nativity scene out of toilet paper holders.  Others were chosen to keep us all focused on Christ, or on generousity toward others.  Some were sort of "filler" (I did have a little baby, after all!), like Nativity coloring pages.  Some of the more meaningful things we did included giving out candy canes to Target workers and telling them Jesus loved them (one lady was so touched she cried!), taping quarters to candy machines with a note attached saying something about being focused on giving, leaving money in an envelope in the toy section of Wal-mart with a note about celebrating Christ by giving, and donating some of our toys to a local thrift store.  The Bean and Bubs each picked a toy that was special to them, and we prayed for the kids that would receive them.  I didn't come up with all this on my own...I knew I wanted to do something like this but "borrowed" some ideas from  I even used her printables...go check it out!  Bubs and the Bean had so much fun making treats and having Christmas fun, and the Bean especially loved "sneaking around" leaving money for people.  Bubs loved choosing people to hand out candy canes to...he's our friendly people person.  He even handed one to our local sports news anchor in Target.  :)  We had a blast with our Advent calendar this year, and I will definitely do it next Christmas!

November: Fall Fun, Grandparents Day, Thanksgiving Feast, Tree Decorating

 Loving on little sis...

 Ahh...the simple pleasures of childhood!
 Roar!!  Still loving the dinosaur costume. 
 Getting Baby Girl snuggled up in Bubs sleeping bag.  Our kids drag their pup tents and sleeping bags all over the house and set up camp.  :)
 Grandparent's Day
 Making a craft for the grandparents
 Grandparent's Day program
 Silly Bean all ready for her Thanksgiving Feast

 Guess the braids were bugging her...:) 

With one of her BFF's at school...
 Our Thankful Tree
 Decorating for always looks worse before it looks better...
 How the kids like to disperse ornaments...
The Bean's little tree for her room, which she decorated.  :)

We didn't have too much going on in November, but there were a few things to take pictures of!  First up, good old Fall fun: raking up leaves and jumping in them!  We do that a least a couple of times each Fall with the kids.  It's so fun!  And we have the added advantage of a sloped yard so they can jump in the leaves and roll down the hill.  I don't know how much actual raking ends up getting done, but we all have fun and make some memories.  :)

Next, Grandparent's Day at the Bean's school.  They usually have Grandparent's Day around Veteran's Day and do a little program in the auditorium.  The Bean was super excited that Mimi and Grandpaw got to come to her class and visit with her. 

Toward the end of the month the Bean had her Thanksgiving Feast at school.  They were supposed to dress like either Pilgrims or Indians, and thankfully the Bean's Halloween Indian costume from when she was 3 still fit!  (I really lucked out on the costume front this year!)  They had turkey, popcorn, grapes and cupcakes for their feast at school.  (That's what the original pilgrims ate, right?!?  With Caprisuns??) And they made placemats to eat on.  Also for Thanksgiving this year, we did a "thankful" tree.  I cut out leaf shapes on the die-cut machine at our church, and we each wrote down things we were thankful for on the leaves and hung them on our thankful tree.  (The "tree" was branches I found in our yard.) :)  It was fun hearing things Bubs and the Bean were thankful for...the Bean's list included lipgloss, God, and school.  Bubs list included peanut butter crackers, Daddy, and playing outside. 

And of course, most years after Thanksgiving Day, we start getting ready for Christmas, and this year was no exception!  We pulled all the decorations out and had fun getting in the Christmas spirit.  I always make hot chocolate and a snack...I can't really remember what the snack was, but judging from the pictures I'm guessing chocolate oatmeal cookies???  I do the "prep" while the kiddos eat and then they help me put on the ornaments.  Some re-distributing is usually necessary.  :) 

Now, on to December!

Friday, May 25, 2012

October: Pumpkin Patch 1 & 2, Fall Festival, Halloween

 Baby Girl not loving the costume...
 They loved trick-or-treating and acted like old pros this year...
 Bubs decided he was pictured out...
 Isn't the Bean striking a perfect little princess pose here?  They were picking leaves before we left for trick-or-treating.

 Picking out a pumpkin...hmmm, which one?
 The pumpkin patch had this cool see-saw thingie...
 Roasting his stick, I guess... :)
 Proof that Baby Girl and I were in attendance. :)
Loving the birds...

 At at the school Fall Festival.  It was chaotic, so this is the only pic I got.
 Attending a friend's birthday party at Oak Mountain stables.
 Group pic at Faith Pres
 This was hard!  Even I couldn't hit it hard enough to ring the bell at the top!
 Just waking up...
 Face's always a toss up between butterfly, crown, and rainbow.

I think these pics are in reverse order, but hey, they are here and that's what matters!  I know it's almost June 2012, but today we're blogging about October 2011.  I'm persevering, people.  :)

In October, we went to not one, but two pumpkin patches!  The first one was at Faith Presbyterian near our house.  It wasn't so much of a pumpkin patch as it was inflatables meets farmer's market meets fall festival with a small handful of pumpkins thrown in the mix.  :)  But the kids had fun.  And it was free.  :)  They jumped on the inflatables, the Bean got her face painted, Bubs tried the "test your strength" carnival game thingie, and we got some of the best apples I've ever had.  Baby Girl slept through the majority of it and woke up just as we were leaving to go to McDonald's afterward.  

The second pumpkin patch was the real deal.  We went to a pumpkin patch down Hwy. 280 (I forget the name.) with some other families from our Sunday School class.  They had a little playground while you were waiting for the hayride, then a hayride to the fields where there was a tee-pee, a petting zoo, and a firepit to roast hot dogs and such. The kids loved it all, but they both especially liked holding the birds and petting all the animals.  They both enjoyed their hotdogs as well.  Baby Girl took a nap, ate, took in the sites, and napped again before we got home. 

We also went to the Bean's school Fall Festival.  It is always fun but very crowded.  We made the rounds and did most of the games, inflatables, and had dinner.  We all had a ball.  Baby Girl was a trooper. 

Lastly was Halloween.  The Bean wanted to be Sleeping Beauty...the exact same thing she was last year.  Perfect!  We already had the costume.  I bought Bubs a dinosaur costume at Babies R Us, and he proceeded to live in that costume the entire Fall.  He loved "scaring" people and roaring at them.  He even slept in that costume frequently.  Baby Girl was a pumpkin.  I borrowed her costume from a friend, but she ended up napping through the whole trick-or-treating process, so when we got home I put her in costume and took a few pics (which she was not happy about) just for the memories.  :)

Not a whole lot new going on with Baby Girl this month...not rolling over yet, no teeth, still smiling a lot, still sweet and content, still sleeping like a champ.  We had such a fun month, and I am so thankful for my little family!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

September: baby announcements, Bubs first day of school, random pics

Here we are at September already! :) It's only the last day of February as I type this. Better late than never.
September brought first smiles from Baby Girl, and Bubs had his first day of school. We also send out birth announcements, which is kind of a funny story. A friend of mine offered to do our announcements for free, and so we were emailing back and forth on all the details. Long story short, after I had them printed I realized the wrong birthdate was on there. I had told my friend Baby Girl's due date instead of her birthdate. Oh well! I guess I was more sleep deprived than I thought!
Bubs goes to 3 year old Mother's Day Out one morning a week, and he loves his teachers and going to class. He looks forward to it every week. He's not so much into learning or sitting still, but he loves the playground, snacktime, and especially playing with his friends. He is our social butterfly for sure. He will walk up to kids at the park, iJump, McWane, wherever and ask them to play. And in two minutes he's made a new best friend. :) We are interested to see how he does in K4 next year, when there will be actual learning and teaching taking place. He is doing better on his attention span though, and a few times a week we work on our letters. He recognizes his name now and can name the letters in it, and can even roughly trace them if I can get him to sit down long enough to do it. :) He knows all his colors and can count a little past ten. He's not big into arts and crafts like the Bean, but he does like painting and cutting with scissors. He's always very proud of the crafts he does in school and can't wait to show them to Daddy. Even though he requires a lot of my energy, I will be a little sad when he's in school three mornings a week next year! He is such a precious little boy, with his charming little grin!

Trying to get a pic for birth announcements...have I mentioned that I'm terrible at taking pictures??
Bubs assisting with the photoshoot...
This is the pic we ended up using for the birth anouncements...

I thought this one was sweet. Bubs LOVES Baby Girl and dotes on her a lot.
Baby Girl with her great-grandfather at my parent's house.
Bubs on his first day of school!

Snoozing away...Baby Girl prefers sleeping on her tummy...
What a sweet smile! Don't you just want to squeeze those cute cheeks?!
Nothing escapes the Bean's craftiness, including Baby Girl. Those hearts on her jammies are stickers. The Bean decorated Baby Girl when Mommy wasn't looking. :)
Just being precious...
Random pic having fun in the rain...