Thursday, May 26, 2011

Grandma's visit

We had the honor of my mom visiting this past week-a long awaited event in our home! The 5 days she was here were full of lots of fun things with the kids. Grandma took the girls out and got them all these cute matching shirts, which they proudly wore! This was followed by a hair curling session, leaving them looking like beauty queens!

Another fun surprise Grandma had sent to our house-a tetherball! I don't know if you remember these from when you were a kid, but they are so much fun! Beware, though, adults can get quite competitive when it comes to playing!

The highlight of the weekend was my 4 year old's birthday party-we delayed it about a week, just so Grandma could attend. The theme? Horses! My 11 yo made up these cute horsie tails for everyone and glued felt ears to headbands, too!

Grandma with her ears..

We had some fun games like pin the tail on the donkey and horseshoes.

Then it was on to the cake!

Here's my sweetie blowing out the candles!

What a great visit---it ended too soon! We are looking forward to her coming back to visit!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Girls weekend away

This weekend I had the honor of traveling to Dallas with 3 of my favorite 3 oldest girls.

Our weekend started off early in the morning, for the 4.5 hour drive-a long one, but we took lots of stops. Our first destination when we finally arrived in Dallas was the American Girl store, a place my girls have been dying to visit for a long time. Being that there are only a handful of them in the U.S., they felt quite privileged to have visited one!

The store itself is two stories tall, with the store on the bottom and a doll hair salon and bistro on the top level. Our splurge for them at the store was allowing them to each have their doll's hair styled the way they chose. Here's Lanie giving a wave from the salon chair.

Here is Elizabeth's pretty style that my oldest daughter picked out.

My 9 year old had her picture taken with the cardboard cutout of the Doll of the Year-they kind of look similair in the picture, don't you think?

After a fun filled afternoon, we checked in at the hotel and went to the pool to relax for a while. Fun, but it was freezing! The girls didn't mind, though.

After a nice dinner out (yes, for us, Subway is nice!), we relaxed outside by the firepit they had at the hotel and sipped some tea and talked. We did this the next nite, too! This was a precious time and a great way to listen to all my girls had to say!

The next 2 days we spent at the homeschool convention-shopping for curriculum, attending workshops, and even spending some time relaxing by the lake just outside the convention center, where it was being held. They did so well, even when having to sit at some of the vendor booths for quite a long time while mom talked to the representatives. I was so proud-and they received many nice compliments. We finally rolled back into town about 8:00 on Saturday nite-worn out from the long drive, but discussing what our next trip may be! We enjoyed our special girl time together, something we had never done before, but definitely will do again. It was a precious time for me and just what I needed to connect with my girls' hearts! I am blessed!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A fun day out and a special blessing!

Yesterday, I packed up the kiddos and headed out to the park to take advantage of the nice spring weather. We brought lunch and had a picnic, all the while being attacked by tons of flies (ewwwww....). They had plenty of time to get their energy out on the playground and swings.

We took some time to feed the ducks, too.....and the very hungry squirrels!

After a couple hours, we headed home for our special surprise. You see, we were having our old scratched up, mediocre looking countertops replaced with something much nicer! Here's our before....not bad, but nothing special, and very worn, though you can't tell in the picture.

Here's the after.....

Much better! A nite and day difference. We had wanted to put in granite tops for quite some time, but after pricing it out, it was waaaaaay beyond our price range! The alternative for us was to put in this new granite-looking formica that just came out. I have to say, it may not be granite, but it looks pretty darn close! And best of all, about a fifth of the price we would have paid. I can live with that!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bake sale

Today my 8 and 10 yo daughters held a bake sale at our house, to try to raise money for our trip to Dallas in May (specifically for the American Girl store!) We baked up a storm this week and ended up with several kinds of cookies, cupcakes, and brownies. Quite the selection! They set up shop in the front yard, complete with signs. Their take by the end of the day was about $45, after setting aside 10% to help support missionaries. It wasn't quite as successful as our other sale, which surprised me, since we had such a variety, but they still did well. They are looking forward to our trip!

Grandma's visit

I am very blessed to have such a wonderful mother-in-law, and my kids, such a great and caring grandmother. Since she lives several states away, we are only able to see her usually 2 or 3 times a year. Because of that, everyone looks forward to her visit with great anticipation! Well, this past week was the visit-and what a great one it was! Grandma always comes bearing gifts, and this visit was no exception. Check out these cute matching aprons she brought for the girls! (She's so crafty!) The morning after her arrival, the littlest kiddos had the excitement of being able to attend the neighbor's 1st birthday party, complete with moon bouncer, lunch, and oh....lots of candy!

At home, Grandma and the girls got right down to business, starting on some fun crafts that mom never seems to find the time to do! My being very non-creative also probably has something to do with it! Here is my 11 yo decorating some cute little purses.. (sorry for the sideways pic)

She even managed to teach my 8 yo to knit.....and love it, too! Here's the pretty scarf she finished.

There was also plenty of playing outside, a trip to the park and mcdonald's, and just a lot of enjoyiing one another. She is beautiful both inside and out....she's our super Grandma!

Monday, April 4, 2011

One step closer....

to manhood! My 2nd oldest son turned 16 the last day of March.....phew! Where has the time gone? My once little toddler is now old enough to drive? Understand, I didn't say he IS driving! That is a little ways off. First comes the job to save up the money to buy the car so that he can drive! He is excited to start working on that. Since he's past the party age, really, he opted to take his birthday budget money and use it toward buying something he wanted. We celebrated at home with a giant decorated M and M cookie and two kinds of ice cream. Low key, but just how he wanted it. Even though you can't tell from the picture, he really did have fun!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fun at the Folk Festival

Today we spent a fun family day together at the local Folk Festival, held once a year. My girls, especially, really look forward to it, as they really enjoy participating in the old fashioned fun activities offered there. They made rag dolls from fabric scraps... Got up close with lots of farm animals...(they're secretly hoping one day we'll have our own!)
Shelled some dried corn...
Practiced calligraphy with a fountain pen and ink..

And even had time leftover for roping some cattle!

A great day-we'll be back again next year!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Another teen!

Yes, it is official-we now have 3 teens in the house! My 3rd son just turned 13 a couple of weeks ago. He is sooooo excited to finally have the word -teen on the end of his age! Kind of a transition to manhood. Instead of a party, which he says he's too old for anyway, or going out to dinner, he opted to take his birthday budget money and save it toward Boy Scout summer camp---he's a planner. Considering he had to raise about $135 toward it, I think it was a smart move. So we celebrated at home with the family. He got to choose dinner-hot dogs and hamburgers. He chose an ice cream cake also, so that's what I made! Chocolate cake, with cookie dough ice cream layers between. A total of 3 layers-it was huge by the time I was done-you can see in the second picture...

There weren't many presents to open, as he received mostly cash from relatives (to use toward camp), but he was very pleased with that. He made a wish, blew out his candles, and everyone gobbled down cake!

A very happy 13th!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Outdoor fun

I love, love, love when the weather starts to warm up because that means the kids can spend lots of time outside, burning off all that excess energy (my..where do they get it?) We have always had a sandbox, but started having problems with spiders getting into it. Kids+ spiders= not a good combination for sure. So, after browsing the walmart website, I came upon this.... an elevated sand table! Genius! Why did it take me so long to get one of these? They don't have to sit in the sand and get covered in it, and spiders won't get in it either. Yes, they still do get sand on the front of them (and in little guy's mouth), and not all the sand stays IN the table, but other than that, I love it! What a great toy! I see happy kids in my future...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

One lost cord...

Okay, so I've been awful about posting lately, right? The reason? My power cord to my camera was lost for the past week or so, which meant no pictures being uploaded to my computer. I just can't see posting without any pictures (!) so the blog got put on the back burner. I took relatively few pictures anyway, just assuming I'd be unable to get them off my camera, but l o and behold, my son found the cord today-exactly where it shouldn't have been. So what have we been doing on this week? Don't know if you were aware, but last week was Dr. Seuss' birthday. I loooooove Dr. Seuss! Yes, the books are a little strange, but so much fun! The classic, of course, is Green Eggs and Ham. So what better to do to celebrate than have some green eggs and ham and read some Dr. Seuss? My kids were a little unsure at first-after all, they'd never seen green eggs before, but once they realized it was just food coloring and didn't change the taste, they gobbled them up!

Today is Ash Wednesday, signifying the 40 day lent period before Easter. What a great time to reflect on the wonderful sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross. Easter is probably my favorite holiday-I don't do bunnies or chickens-it makes no sense to me-how much better to focus on the cross!
The day before Ash Wednesday is not necessarily a Christian holiday-it's Fat Tuesday-as in Mardi Gras. I don't celebrate Mardi Gras, never have, but this year, I decided to make a King cake as is the custom for Mardi Gras. The king cake is actually representative of the three wise men bringing their gifts to their King (Jesus) when they journeyed to see him so many years ago. Neat! Now I feel better about making it. I'm sure it's not authentic, but I did my best-my first attempt. It really tastes more like a coffee cake (plus lots of sprinkles!) and really isn't like a cake at all. I hid a coin inside of the cake, so the kids were all excited to see just who would get it in their slice. Turned out to be my 12 yo the LAST piece of the cake-go figure.

But the most exciting thing this week? My 6 yo riding his bike without training wheels! I am so proud! He didn't think he could do it, but Dad gave him the confidence he needed and once he started, he just took off! Wow, he's growing up too quickly!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

An edible history lesson

We have been learning about Napoleon in history and his many conquests. During his invasion of Egypt, his soldiers uncovered a very valuable piece of history-the Rosetta Stone. This stone was discovered in the city of Rosetta (hence the name) and contained heiroglyphic writing, which, up until then, had been indecipherable. This particular writing, however, contained a Greek translation of the writings, so they could finally be translated. An amazing accomplishment in learning about the ancient world. For our project, the kids designed their own Rosetta stones, copying some of the heiroglyphics. The "stone" was a giant sugar cookie, and the writing was done in frosting....

The finished products....

Not bad! And tasty, too!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Happy President's Day!!

Hopefully you knew that Monday was President's Day! With the exception of being off school, i don't think most people do a whole lot to celebrate it-I surely never did, but in trying to stick with our commitment to celebrate most holidays this year (big and small), we decided to do something fun. We had a wonderful lunch, featuring Franklin-furters (yes, I know Franklin wasn't a president, but he is on the $100 bill!) ; George Washington's cherries (yogurt with cherries on top)...

Hamilton and cheese crackers, and lincoln legs (rod shaped pretzels). The kids scarfed it down!

And for dessert (excuse the sideways picture please) we had cupcakes, complete with the heads of those printed on our bills. That's Alexander Hamilton you see there...

We played a fun game of throwing coins in a bucket-the winner got a shiny quarter!

And then on to scrubbing pennies with vinegar and salt to brighten and clean them up. I glued each one onto some green felt and they wore them as pins. Cute!

Sorry, no Obama activities at our party-i'm thinking he won't do anything significant enough to end up on a coin....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My little sweethearts

Okay, I'm not quite sure why it will not make my pictures right side up, but here's my little sweetie after helping Dad plant some pretty flowers in front of the house-she had so much fun!
Love the boots...
My 11 yo and 8 yo saw these sparkly shoes at Walmart (Wizard of Oz-like) and decided that was what they wanted to spend some of their money on-they were on clearance, so they got a great deal, and I must say, they were grinning from ear to ear! It's so cute to see them wanting to be so girly-I would have loved a pair of these when I was younger. By the way, they get worn with EVERYTHING-from dressy to casual. Too cute!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day

To celebrate Valentine's Day at our house, the kiddos wanted to make heart shaped cookies and then frost and decorate them. We used our giant heart cookie cutter to make a good looking cookie, then i let them loose with red, pink, and white frosting. They decorated to their hearts' content and had a ball. We had lots of cookies, so we were able to bless some of our neighbors with a little treat, too! Here are some pics from the fun time (sorry for the sideways won't cooperate!)