Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Craft Night

It’s become part of our tradition during Thanksgiving week to do some kind of family craft. One year we did crayon/canvas art, another we did chalk drawings on dark cardstock and this year we painted and mod podged glass ornaments.

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Here’s what we came up with:

Tony made the Grinch. He even gave him a heart that grew three times!

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The next two are Zoe’s. On the bottom ornament she wrote some of the lyrics to “Baby It’s Cold Outside”. I’m pretty sure it was from the Rod Stewart/Dolly Parton version. Haha!

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This one is Jaron’s. He made a fish on a hook and wrote “Don’t Tap the Glass” on the outside. I love his sense of humor and it was a pretty clever idea!

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Aunt TT kept it simple with some snowflakes. I love the simplicity of it.

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Landon was the only one to honor the holiday we’re here for, Thanksgiving. I love that he didn’t forget about this special holiday…and that is a super cute turkey, don’t you think?

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So far, Meme has made the most ornaments. She’s done three and she’s used three different techniques to do them. They’re all beautiful and unique.

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Here’s what Kyle came up with. I love how his glass looks crackled.

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And finally, here are the two I came up with.

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We thought this was a bit much for the two little’s so they didn’t get to do any, and dad wasn’t into the idea so he didn’t participate either. It’s a pretty simple project though and it’s nice that we’ll be able to use them year after year.

Thanksgiving in SC, 2013

We’re in South Carolina this week to celebrate Thanksgiving at my parent’s house. We drove down on Saturday and thankfully, it was a quick and mostly painless experience. Dakota did much better than we expected and even took a 2 1/2 hour nap in the car, which is a big deal for her. Harper did great as usual and was happily entertained watching movies and playing games on my iPad. We did have to travel with an empty bottle though because if we stopped every time he had to pee, well, we’d still be driving! Zoe read a book she was assigned for a class she’s taking and Landon flipped between playing his iPod and watching whatever movie was on.

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Mom and Kyle worked on this chalkboard wall together and it is just too cool! Mom even bought little elements to hang on the drawing to make it 3D, it’s so much neater in person…

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Both kids got used to all the people and dogs without any trouble and Dakota seemed to remember Meme since she’d seen her just a week prior. Dakota usually acts afraid of people when she’s just meeting them but for some reason she barely acted like it bothered her at all. Maybe she’s beginning to remember people for longer than she used to, who knows?

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We are surprised how cold it is down here this year. There have been years where we were all in shorts, but this year we’re wearing sweaters and long pants. We’ve had ample rain as well, so we’re spending a lot of time indoors. Meme had some play dough left over from when Jaron was younger, and somehow it was still good, so we pulled that out for the little’s to play with.

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Of course, when the little one’s get bored things get a little crazy. One night we all ended up playing in Meme and Papa’s room on their bed. They have a bench at the end of their bed and it’s just the right height for Harps to climb up onto to get on their bed. Dakota isn’t quite tall enough, but with her brother there to give her a boost she gets up there too!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Play Dough Cupcakes

We’ve been playing with play dough a lot lately. I decided to pull it out again this afternoon but I thought I’d change things up just a bit. (You can read that as, I saw an idea on Pinterest or Facebook and copied it.) So, I grabbed some cupcake liners, birthday candles, muffin tins, sequins, leftover candy corn and play dough and we made ourselves some play dough cupcakes.

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Both kids enjoyed putting the paper liners in the cups and poking the sequins and candles into the dough. They actually didn’t play with it too long though because they were both dying to play with some of the other play dough toys we have.

It was fun while it lasted though!

Our New Table

My mom’s big project when she was here was to refinish our old table. We didn’t exactly have a plan but once we started talking about it we came up with a one pretty quickly. (She’d just finished refinishing nearly every piece of furniture my sister owned so she was ready to take on a new project!)

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She had me help her drag the table out on the deck so she could start sanding and my lord I’ve never seen so much dust! She sanded and sanded then sanded some more. Just when we thought the sanding was done, she’d start again. After a million hours of sanding though, she was ready to stain and paint. She stained the top a dark walnut (my choice of stain) and then painted the bottom of the table and chairs moonshine yellow. The yellow is very pale, and very complimentary to the dark top.

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It sounds a lot easier than it really ended up being though. It seems like she hit a zillion road blocks along the way, but somehow I did end up with an amazing new table.

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(Stop looking for bumps, Mom! Smile)

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After she painted the chairs we aged them with some sandpaper. They’re  lovely…

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Thanks again, Mom! I just love how it turned out!

Mom’s Visit

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I had every intention of blogging while my mom was here but as you can see, it didn’t happen. We’d be busy all day and then we’d sit and vegetate on the couch in the evening and I couldn’t even think about blogging any of it. I always hate when I do that but it is what it is.

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She was here for 12 days and although it was a good amount of time, it’s never long enough. It’s just nice having someone to hang out with during the day, and if you all knew all the work she did while she was here you’d totally be begging her to visit you too.

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The kids, of course, love when she’s here. She’s another play mate, another fresh perspective, another pair of loving arms, another story teller, book reader, treat giver, song singer…you get the idea. She’s all that to them and even more to me. She has tons of new ideas for my house when she visits and she’s always willing to get a lot of work done when she’s here; and happily. We just hang out, do our thing and chat the days away. It’s a true friendship, and I treasure every minute she’s here.

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PS. Wouldn’t you know I didn’t get a single picture with her and Landon or Zoe?! They weren’t around quite as much as the two little one’s were of course, but damn I can’t believe I didn’t get a single one.

Handprint & Candy Corn Turkey’s

Here’s another quick little activity the two youngest kids and I did yesterday.

I traced their hand with a sharpie then let them color it in. Harper was very good about letting me trace his hand, but Dakota wanted nothing to do with it! She kept wiggling her hand around so her turkey is a little deformed! Oh well. Harper chose to color his brown while Dakota wanted a bit more flavor. Then I drew some skinny little legs on, put a few swipes of glue (the blue you see in Harper’s picture) down on the wings (their fingers minus the thumb) and they stuck on some candy corn for color. They turned out cute and because of it’s simplicity it held their attention.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Paper Cup Turkeys

I’ve been seeing some of the cutest ideas for toddlers on Facebook and Pinterest lately. Finding projects that will work for Dakota and Harper are tough since they’re still so young, but we’ve come across a few winners.

A few days ago we made turkeys out of paper cups and feathers. I asked Zoe to make the little turkey faces for me and she was happy to help. All the littles had to do was poke the feathers into the premade holes on the tops of the cups…awesome fine motor skill practice. Harper was a champ and was able to do it all by himself.

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Concentrate, concentrate…

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Checking out his finished product:

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Dakota immediately understood the concept but needed a little help getting the feathers into the holes. It did keep her entertained though and that is always a good thing!

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Monday, November 18, 2013

They Jump

I don’t even know where to begin writing tonight. I have so much to say yet I can’t get my thoughts together. I have pictures to tell you about and little snippets of life to share, but it’s all such a jumbled mess in my head tonight I just can’t get it out.

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Things are definitely going on. We had our holiday photo’s taken yesterday and then I came home and started pulling out the Christmas stuff. I have lots of my little things out, but no trees are up yet and I have no idea when that’ll happen.

Mema, the babies and I went Christmas shopping today. She was able to get everything for them in one swoop through the toy store. Tomorrow afternoon Tony and I are going to brave the toy store while she watches the kids…I hope we have as much luck as she did!

Here’s a little video that happened yesterday after dinner. I swear my big kids have no idea they’re big. Smile

Landon’s laugh at the end is just too much! Love it!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Just the Bad Tigers

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The above photo is of an emergency call button in the bathroom at one of our malls. I’ve honestly never paid a whole lot of attention to it, but I love that once Harper saw one his imagination just ran wild.

Harper and I were headed into the bathroom when he noticed this one. He asked me if he could please push the red button on the wall. I told him he couldn’t because it was only for emergencies. He asked what a “mergency” was and I explained that if someone were having trouble they could push that button and someone would come to help.

Well, he’s got quite the imagination as most three year olds do, so he quickly came up with a scenario in which one may need to use the red button.

He said “if there was a bad tiger in the bathroom someone could push the button and someone will come help! But only if it’s a baaaad tiger and not a nice tiger….” He went on and on about the tigers in the bathroom and how it’d be a good idea to push the button before they got you. It became quite a long exciting story.

Oh the mind of a three year old. Gotta love that imagination!

File Folder Games

When Landon was just a little guy I found this book that was all about making file folder games. The idea wasn’t foreign to me since I’d worked in daycare for several years and I thought it would be something fun that he could use at home. I made several folders with all different types of games but he was really too old for them by the time I found them and got them made. So, I ended up passing them on to my neighbor at the time. They had two little boys then (three now) that I thought could use them…

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and that neighbor contacted me and asked me if I wanted those folders back! I was thrilled! I couldn’t believe she’d held onto them for this long and I had just been thinking about remaking them because I recently came across that very book…coincidence? I think not.

After picking them up from her house I brought them straight home for Harper to try. He LOVES them!

This folder has spots for identifying small to large items. For example, there are three stars, one small, one medium and one large. There are groups of circles on the folder in which he places the stars according to size. Easy concept for him but still a fun activity.

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This folder is all about things you’d wear/find in either summer or winter. It is self correcting because the shapes will only fit on one page or the other. It’s like a flat puzzle.

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There are many different folders with all sorts of acivities. Some focus on numbers, some shapes or colors. I also did one for every letter in the alphabet! The alphabet folders are a bit advanced for Harpers age though because they concentrate on what begins with each letter. He knows his letters, but he’s not quite ready for what pictures start with what letter yet!

I’m already thinking about how I can expand my folder collection, and I’m excited that Harper and Dakota will both get to use them!

Time for the Tooth Fairy

So, Harper FINALLY lost his first tooth. It seems that he's a bit later than most kids but I wasn't worried since I've never met...