Monday, December 16, 2013

Second Snow Storm of the Season

Although I never blogged about the second snow storm we had last week, it really did happen. Here’s what that day looked like:

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Harper was a little more hesitant to go out in the snow this time. He remembered how cold it was and he didn’t care for it once his hands got too cold. I did drag the two of them out once it stopped snowing though, after Koko’s nap.

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Once Harper got out in it, he was ready to play. He was scooping it up and throwing it (it was the perfect snowball making snow) and then we went to make some snow angels. Dakota wasn’t so sure about all this snow business though…

We took a little walk down the sidewalk and found some awesome puddles to jump in. Dakota and Harper both really enjoyed this part!

Landon mostly played at a friends house, but they did come down and play football in the front yard for a little bit. I guess football could possibly be fun with the addition of snow…


That snow sure didn’t stick around long but we made the most of it while it was here. I sure hope we get a little more!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

My Personal Advent Calendar

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Tony was out shopping and saw an advent calendar and got an idea to make me one. He procrastinated on it a bit, but once he finally ran out and grabbed the materials, he set to work. (He did all of this without telling me anything about it.)

Behind each slip of paper is a heartfelt message about our lives together. They are just little reminders of how lucky we are to have each other and the kids, stories of our journey. Mini love letters, really.

I knew he was up to something when I caught him out working in the garage late at night, but I had no idea it was something this awesome. I love flipping over each piece of paper to reveal the days words…it’s a unique take on an old idea, and the words on each slip are way better than a little piece of chocolate most calendars offer!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sticker Tree’s

We did a quick little craft the other day that both littles seemed to enjoy. I think Dakota actually liked it more than Harper did, but either way they both sat and did it which is always nice!

I printed out a couple of Christmas trees on plain green paper and then gave the kids some plain circle stickers to decorate the tree.

Dakota doesn’t quite have the fine motor skills to peel her own stickers off the sheet, so I peeled them off and stuck them to the edge of the table for her. She did pretty good after that, but there were a few she couldn’t get from her finger to the paper and they ended up in little balls on the floor.


Harper was able to get the stickers off his paper without any trouble at all. I remember it wasn’t too long ago that getting those stickers off wasn’t so easy…but, he did a great job and seemed to really enjoy decorating his tree.


Here are their completed trees. Dakota’s is the one on top.


First Snow

We got our first snow this past Sunday. (12/8/13) To say my kids were excited would be a complete understatement! Harper wanted to go outside the second he saw it! He kept asking if he could just go outside and taste it…and we ended up letting him because he was just so genuinely curious what it would be like.


Getting two excited toddlers dressed to go outside is one thing, but to get them both dressed for snow…well that was like cramming in an entire 40 hour work week into 20 minutes.

For the snow tasting we only went out on the back deck because there really wasn’t much to see.


Dakota didn’t really know what to make of it. She just figured it must be something pretty damn neat considering Harper’s excitement! I think she may have been a little let down after getting all dressed up just to see a little dust on the deck. (There was more dust when Meme sanded my table!) Smile


Harper never noticed how little snow there was. He was thrilled! He tasted it and decided it tasted like cold. He stomped it, jumped on it and enjoyed blowing it off the railing.


It was love.

Landon had a friend over for part of the day. They were waiting and waiting for there to be enough snow to go out and play in, but it just never happened. They kept themselves busy playing on the x-box and with the air hockey table. His friends dad came by when the snow looked like it might not let up, but not long after he left the snow stopped and it all began to melt away. Lanny wasn’t disappointed though, he figures there will be lots more to come.

Zoe got quite a bit more than we did. I think they probably got between 2-4 inches or so. She said she just hung out in her dorm and kept warm. She’s smart like that.

Angry Bird Advent

I got the kids an advent calendar again this year. Harper just loves Angry Birds (not that he knows how to play or anything) and I figured it wasn’t babyish for Landon either, so that’s what I went with. Harper is super excited to come down and “help” Landon put the day’s piece together.

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The only problem is that the pieces fall apart very easily and Landon has to rebuild parts that Harps gets ahold of over and over again. I wish there was a toddler version of these things…

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Adventures of Peppermint the Elf

Our Elf Peppermint made her debut back on December 1st. She’s been doing all kinds of stuff around here, but nothing naughty really. Harper doesn’t really get the whole “elf watching you for Santa” thing yet, so she’s just somewhat amusing for him right now. Dakota of course doesn’t get it at all and Landon asks every night if he can be the one to move her. So, in other words, it’s pretty pointless.

But, I like to imagine I’m some sort of Mom who’s got her crap together, so I move that damn thing every night and smile in the morning when the kids “find” her. I put quotes on find because I usually have to point her out because little kids don’t know how to actually look for anything. Even when it’s sitting right in the middle of the couch. Yes, even then.

Anyways, here’s what she’s been up to.

The first morning she was sitting with a wrapped gift. Inside was a brand new Christmas book! Harper was thrilled to get to unwrap a present!



Day 2. Peppermint is playing with the felt board.


Day 3. She brought Harper and Dakota a little stuffed toy from the North Pole. Not sure why she had to put them in the bird cage…




Day 4. She brought some paint supplies and a couple ornaments to decorate.


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Day 5. She left materials to make a paper chain.



Day 6. Peppermint is scaling an ornament.


Day 7. Peppermint gives the Snowman a smooch. (This is one of those I forgot to move it the night before and had to think quick the morning of.)


Day 8. Peppermint had her hand sticking in one of the doors to the Lego Advent calendar, but I didn’t get a picture before she was discovered and moved to get to the calendar pieces. Oops!

Day 9. Peppermint was found building with the blocks. After finding her here, Harper spent the better part of the morning building with these same blocks. This was his favorite so far.


Day 10. Peppermint made herself at home in the castle. (Dakota loved this and spent a long time playing with that castle afterwards.)


Day 11. Peppermint got herself stuck in a box. (Harper thought this was pretty funny and told her he’d save her…which he did.)


That’s all so far. Guess I better go figure out what to do with her tonight!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Omicron Delta Kappa

Last night Tony and I drove to Towson to watch Zoe be inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa. Mema was gracious and watched the kids for us so we could go and actually pay attention to what was going on.

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The ceremony was nice and it was great to see Zoe. She was so worried that they were going to make her stand up and say something, but she got lucky and they only asked her to come up and sign her name as an official member and get her picture taken.

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We didn’t get to hang out long, but it was nice that we were able to focus on her for a little bit, something that is hard to do when you have 4 kids.

We sure are proud of our girl! Keep up the hard work, Zoe! Love you!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Random Pics from SC

Because I’m so behind in posting here, I’m just going to throw some worthwhile pics up here for your viewing pleasure.

Jaron and I

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Tish and I

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The Teepee that Kyle, Jaron and Landon Built

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Dakota the Cabinet Destroyer

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A Gift to My Parents From 7/8 Year Old Me

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Papa Recovering From Foot Surgery

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Goof Balls

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How a MAN Makes Pie

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Turkey’s in the Tub

I bring some toys to my parents house when we visit, but there’s only so much room in the van so it’s just a few things. I certainly don’t bring bath toys with us, and the kids really like to sit in the tub to play a bit before going to bed. When I came across an idea to use foam in the bathtub to create shapes, I knew it was something I could easily make for them.

I had Zoe draw and cut out (enough for two) a turkey body, beak, snood, eyes, wings, feet and feathers. Then we just dropped it all in the tub and the kids did the rest.



They happily played with the pieces every night after we made them. Even Landon had a little fun playing with them! HIs really make me laugh though because he couldn’t figure out what half the pieces were! :)

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Thanksgiving Family Photos

I never posted our family pictures from Thanksgiving. I can’t believe it somehow slipped my mind to do that, but it did. But, never fear…

Roller Coaster Family


Floating Harper, Scowling Dakota Family


The Dudes


The Chicks


It was damn near impossible to get everyone to look at the camera at the same time and behave. We took like 100 pictures to get just a few we liked! These people are impossible!!! But, I love em’ anyways.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

It’s not too late to post about Thanksgiving, right? Right.

The weather finally cleared off and the sun cast some warmth our way. It’d rained for two days straight so we were ready to get outside. Dakota loved chasing the kitty up and down the steps!

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Harper lent me a hand making pumpkin pie. He really enjoys helping me when I’m in the kitchen. I hope it’s something he’ll enjoy doing for a long time.

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When we were done with our pie we joined Kota and Daddy outside. There is nothing more fun than walking along the brick wall in front of Meme and Papa’s house!

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Tish, Kyle, Zoe, Landon and Jaron played Super Mario Brothers all morning, and they just had the best time!

Usually I try to come up with some kind of craft that we can all write down and share what we’re thankful for, but this year I didn’t get around to it. So, at the last minute I thought I’d try to make a video. It turned out ok and we all love it, but you can tell it was very last minute! I whisper in the beginning because I was standing outside the room Dakota was napping in, and I show her on the video sleeping which is supposed to represent what she is thankful for! Her naps! :)

Having everyone think of just one word was like pulling teeth! Especially for Kyle! I guess he’s just got a lot to be thankful for and had a hard time pinning one specific thing down. There are worse things…

We feasted like kings and enjoyed one another’s company just like we have for many years now. I’m ever so grateful that we can do this every year, even if driving the 8 hours down and 12 hours back just about kills us all! Winking smile

Dance, 9/18/18

Dakota had her second dance class last night. Her class this year is at least twice the size as last year and it's harder to get videos...