Friday, October 15, 2010

Holiday Gift Ideas

EDIT: Here is the link to the art caddy pattern

Gift ideas...seriously it's only October!! But alas, Hobby Lobby has had Christmas decor up since the end of September. This past year as I've been honing my mad sewing skills I've come to appreciate the idea of giving handmade gifts. I'm not talkin' your mama's craft show merchandise...for example


I made these awesome arts & crafts totes for a birthday gift for Sophie's friends Ella and Wyatt - found the pattern on Etsy



Anywho, one of my fav bloggers, Maggie aka Gussy is hosting a handmade Holiday Gift Guide filled with some awesome shops and BEAUTIFUL handmade items. Click on over to Gussy's site and check out all the loveliness!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Big Girl Molly

We're potty training Molly this week. Sophie potty trained a month ago using the 3daypottytraining.com method. It worked perfect for Soph and she got it right away. Molly of course wants to be just like big sister so we decided to try it out. Believe me I would be ok with being a diaper free household. So first step was putting Little Miss in her big girl bed last night. She needs to be able to come get us when she has to go. Here is a cute video of her last night trying out her bed! Don't worry, I put a railing up before she went to bed. Safety first!!



Monday, September 13, 2010

First Day of School

After much research, debate and prayer we decided to homeschool Miss Sophie Mae this year. Not that we had a problem with the public school preschool setting she was in last year, we just didn't feel it was right for her.

Disclaimer: I do not have anything against public schools, Ryan and I are both products of public schools and I feel we turned out just fine...although some might beg to differ :)


Now, my mom is the director of the preschool at our church. This is her 9th year! Let me just say that her first year was my first year at college...makes me feel old.

I've always wanted my children to attend preschool with Miss Beth aka Grandma, but last year it just wasn't an option for Soph.

When we started talking about homeschooling our girls, the first thing that popped into my mind was what about socialization?? Isn't that what every homeschooler is asked?

Side note: I read a great article about "socialization" and of course I can't remember where I found it, but the best part was when the author suggested that if you're worried about socialization, walk through the halls of most middle schools and high schools (and even some elementary) and ask yourself, is that the social behavior you want your child to emulate?? Stepping off soap box now.

Of course God made the answer perfectly clear, send her to preschool with Grandma! We'll homeschool in the morning, working on her specific needs and then off she goes in the afternoon, 3 days a week to be challenged and interact with other kiddos her age.

Fast forward three months to today....

our first day of both preschool and homeschool!

Here's a bit of our day


Working on puzzles
note: see those elephant rugs in the background, we used those for our "circle time" got the idea from my super mommy cousin Megan




We had a busy weekend and Sophie woke up late this morning, so yes, she is still in her jammies, but that my friends, is the beauty of homeschooling!



Ryan was home today so he checked in a few times to see how we were doing









Scored this classic shape sorter from the Salvation Army, perfect distraction for Molly while Sophie and I worked on some other projects



We're using Confessions of a Homeschooler's Letter of the Week Curriculum and this week was A is for Apple




Check out my little lefty here, she's just like her Daddy






Molly joined in on some of the action too


but after a few minutes she was done and the craziness would start


note to self: find more distracting toys for Molly





sorting apples from smallest to biggest


After our homeschool morning we had lunch and got Sophie ready for preschool. On the first day the parents get to stay. Ryan took Sophie and because he is such a fantastic daddy he took the camera and got a few fun picture of Sophie's first day!


finding her name tag with Miss Heidi



placing her name on the tree with Miss Peggy












Sophie and her favorite teacher, Grandma


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Big News

As in huge...epic...GINORMOUS!!


You want to know what it is....


Like, really want to know...


Okay, I'll stop now



We're NOT moving to Texas!!


Let me say that again...we're NOT MOVING AT ALL!!!


Ryan accepted a position with a new company two weeks ago
They might be kind of familiar to you as I'm sure many of you have either owned or remember those annoying commercials


"Dude...you're gettin' a..."




Yup, that's right, Ryan's going to be the new Dell guy...he's been working on his acting career in his spare time

Yeah, right! You won't be seeing his face on the TV and he won't be who you call for technical support. I honestly don't even understand what he does and I'm okay with that. Keeps the excitement in our marriage! :) This opportunity fell into Ryan's lap and God paved the way from start to finish.


God listens and answers prayers,

 every single one of them my mom prayed against our moving


Seriously, that's what she and I believe half our church prayed for the past 5 months

...the other half, well, we'll deal with them later (insert evil laugh)


So we will continue to reside in the lovely state of Michigan with our fantastic family and friends. We won't have to sell our brand spankin' new home!

Ryan's office will be based in our home. He will have to travel but not as much as he did with his previous company.

I won't bore you with pictures of all the great things that Michigan has to offer...

Just know that I will not miss the boots, belt buckles and rattlesnakes of Texas

and two last words

Go Green!





Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Down on the Farm

I'm not really a farm person per say. I mean, I love the idea but I don't think I could handle the smell, poo, dirt, poo, mud, more poo, the work it involves. In other words, Ryan's not quiting his job to become a farmer anytime soon. However, I will take any opportunity to expose my children to something new so we stopped at the local 4H fair on our way to the cottage a few weekends ago.




The girls loved it...wait...the girls LOOOOVED it! Rows and rows of every farm animal you could imagine. Molly would talk to the animals in this high pitched voice (she does this at the zoo too) 


piggy bob-bum (Sophie speak)




feeding a calf (although this one looked like a teenage calf)






after spending some time with the animals we ventured on over to the rides/attraction part of the fair where we found the always fun "ride the pony around in a circle" ride.



Sophie was a pro


and if you're wondering where Molly is, she was attached to my leg whining "i do, i do"


so we paid the man and munchkin got her turn


she squealed and giggled the whole time
"mommy, i horsey" every time she came by




miss fancy pants riding all by herself

Now for those of you who know me well, horses and I don't have the best history. I've never been thrown off or anything, we just don't get along. I think they are beautiful creatures, from a distance. I have already informed my sister-in-law, Danielle, who was very much into riding and owned a few horses back in the day, that if my girls take any interest in horses, she has to deal with it.

Okay, sidetracked, back to the fair...

Next on Sophie's agenda was to go on every ride she possibly could
*cue Mommy and Daddy buying lots of ride tickets

So we started off small


little trucks going around on a track, nice easy ride
check out Sophie's hair in this picture, it was so humid out




this was about the second lap around and she was already showing us the next ride she wanted to go on



this one


note the thin lap strap keeping my babies in, I'm always up for some adventure and encourage my kids to try new things but I was just waiting for Molly to decide she was done and climb out




going up




and up, and Molly proved me wrong, they both loved it and pretended to drive their spaceship the entire ride


then Sophie spied her next ride to conquer


the alligator roller coaster


I watched her get measured by Ryan to make sure she was tall enough, she just made it. As she climbed in I realized how much she has grown over the past year. Last summer at a place like this she would have had her hands over her ears, face buried in my neck the entire time. Now she's willingly trying new things like roller coasters.



and she's off




she didn't cry, but you could tell she wasn't exactly enjoying it

After two times around the gentleman working the ride stopped it and she immediately said, "thank you for the ride" and hopped off.

I was so proud of her!


We hit a few more rides and took some more pictures




Sophie's photography with a little assistance from Daddy


please ignore giant teeth
I can thank my dad for those :)



more Sophie photography




The next day was spent at the cottage partaking in our favorite activity: swimming




Apparently baby wanted to swim too


and it's important to carry a juice cup with you at all times




A fun time was had by all!

Sad to see the summer go, but also excited for what the fall as in store!

Friday, August 27, 2010

For Grandma




This is my Grandma aka "gweat- gwamma jan"


My Grandma Jan (Hi Grandma) is the Queen of all things yarn and knitting needles. I remember going over to her house when I was little and looking at all her skeins of yarn, she always had beautiful colors. She taught me to knit years ago, but unfortunately it never really stuck. Someday we'll have to do another lesson! :)

She made each of my girls a beautiful blanket when they were babies. Gorgeous blankies!! Molly is particularly fond of hers and sleeps with it all the time.

This morning she was in a mood and when Molly's in a mood, you had better watch out. Apparently the only thing that she felt like doing was sitting.


Just sitting with her binky and favorite blankie. Normally there's a bear in the equation but this morning he didn't make the cut.

Notice the little tear by her eye, she's wasn't too happy with me.



So I just let her sit.

Sit until she decided she liked me again and wanted to eat breakfast.



"juice pease!"

Oh my Molly girl, mommy's not ready for you to grow up!

And Grandma,
Molly says "thank cou!"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Home Ec




I signed up to participate in an online sewing class called Home Ec. I'm super excited as I seem to make stuff up while I sew and I'm hoping this class helps me to really learn the basics. My friend Bobbi Jo and I are doing it together and we've had so much fun already. We decided to be brave and take her two kiddos and my two kiddos to the fabric store together, that is 4 kiddies 4 and under and somehow we survived (thank you smarties and dum-dum suckers). We stocked up on a few items and started in on the class. They have great videos for beginners and each project is designed to help you learn a specific skill and grow on the ones you've already learned. I believe there are 26 projects total (wow!). The class itself is 5 weeks, but they've designed the projects to take it at your own pace. Thank goodness, because there is no way I could finish 26 projects in 5 weeks! Registration closed August 15th, but LA from Freckled Nest just announced that they reopened registration for two more days. If you're interested in learning how to sew I would definitely look into this class!! Let me know if you participate!

Giveaway at Twelve Crafts

Giveaways are so much fun! Elizabeth over at Twelve Crafts Till Christmas is hosting a giveaway (ends Monday) from the CSN stores. Elizabeth is awesome! She's committed herself to making all of her girls' Christmas gifts this year and started a blog to document her journey. She is so inspiring and I have a few of her projects on my list for my girls this Christmas. Best of all Elizabeth is real and honest and I appreciate that. So head on over to Twelve Crafts Till Christmas and enter her giveaway.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sophie's First Dance Camp

This week Sophie took her first dance camp at Excel (the same studio she goes to during the school year). It was an Angelina Ballerina camp and she LOVED it! There were only three little girls at this camp and they had tons of fun dancing, making crafts, and dressing up in fun costumes. Here are videos from her performance today!


video



video

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fouth of July Festivities


We had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend, filled with fun! The four of us were completely exhausted by Monday! :)

I was a little worried as to how the weekend would go. Sophie had a 102-103 fever on Thursday, but she was over it by Thursday night. Never fun to have a normally bouncing, happy, rambunctious little one be so wiped out she can barely move. Poor thing! She came back strong though and we started the weekend off with a trip to the zoo with my sisters Sarah and Katelyn on Friday.

The girls LOVE the zoo! I taught Sophie the song that goes "we're goin' to the zoo-zoo-zoo, how about you-you-you" so now we sing that every time we go!

Ice cream at the zoo is a must


Pretty sure this was Molly's first ice cream cone, she love it!

Saturday we got up bright and early (6am for this momma), packed the kiddos in the car and drove north. We met up with my Aunt, Uncle and cousins at the parade in Cascade. It was so much fun to take the girls. We went to this parade when I was little. Of course the best part was collecting candy!


The girls decorated brown paper bags Friday night to use for their candy stash. Sophie was a bit overwhelmed by the loud trucks and sirens so she spent half the parade under a shady tree (it was HOT) with Ryan. Molly figured out the candy thing pretty quickly. She would run with her bag and grab what she could and throw it in her bag. She also collected every paper handout and placed them in her bag. She wanted to read up on the election candidates. :)


After the parade we drove to the cottage. Sophie was extremely excited to go to the "cottage at the lake" and continued to ask Ryan about every 5 minutes where we were going. She wanted to make sure he didn't deviate from the plan. :) The rest of our weekend was filled with water, sand, food and fun!















Hope you had a fantastic holiday weekend too! And by the way, I have a new tutorial I've been working on, I'll give you a hint