Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Wall Hanging

Big Girl and I love a good art project. At our house, they also have to be budget friendly. This one was inspired by a wall hanging that we saw at a craft show.



Big Girl wanted her to have a picture on it, and much more pink. (Big surprise there - right?!)

To reduce our cost and make it more kid friendly, we used foam board ($1.99 for a large sheet that made five wall hangings plus one that ended up in the trash due to my lack of knife skills) instead of ceramic tile.

We also used:
- Paint leftover from another project
- Beads from a Melissa and Doug art set that was in our closet
- Precut florist wire from A.C. Moore ($4.99 for 50 before the 50% off one item coupon)
- Photo printed at Target $0.20 each
- White paper for hand prints pulled out of a huge bin of scrapbook stuff
- Ink pads in our closet (you could also use any paint that you have around)

I started by cutting the foam board with a knife from the kitchen while Little Man was napping and Big Girl was at school. When she came home, she took over and painted stripes - like our inspiration piece - only all pink.

While we waited for the paint to dry, we did the hand print and foot print part. I cut them out to fit on each of the foam board pieces. When the paint still wasn't dry, Big Girl helped put the beads on the wire. I twisted them into loops as she went. We used the less is more theory on the beads since I was already felt like I was looking at Pepto and wasn't sure how much pink our recipients could take they could mix into their decor.

Finally when the paint was dry, Big Girl glued the photo and hand print/foot print on. Then I made a hole for the wire with the knife and twisted the ends through.

Viola! Budget friendly wall hanging. Made with all our love - and as a bonus - it won't break when if you drop it.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Numbers on the Wall

When Little Man was growing in my belly and we (yep- husband helped!) had picked out a cib set. It was a perfect mix of earth tones for my husband and a little bit of a funky/hun pattern for me. A match made in heaven.



Perfect for our modern guy. Wait. I saw them. The art on the wall. Eventually I tracked them down online. Over $40 each. Times four. No freakin' way. So, I gathered up all my AC Moore coupons and waited until paint was on sale.

Four pack of canvases with coupon less than $5. Yea.
Paint: yellow, blue, light blue (not Carolina blue), green and brown from home $4.

Including sales tax under $10.

Two evenings in the garage carefully paiting to not get the big belly messy....

We ended up with these.



I'm still trying to decide if I should take them down and add a little brown to make them look aged like the ones from the baby store, but perfect.

Budget friendly, plus a special touch from Mom.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Summer Challenge

My childhood summers went like this.

Get up. Go to swim practice.
Go home. Do chores.
Beg to play with friends.
Eat lunch.
Play with friends or do more chores.
Go to swim practice.
Race home so mom can make dinner before Dad arrives.

Repeat, repeat, repeat. On Friday take dinner to the pool. Three options, sandwiches (Bologna and American on wheat), fried chicken from Hardee's (anyone else remember this?) or pizza. We had to be really good to get pizza. I think the bribery helped my Mom through some crazy weeks.

Swim team lasted about eight weeks.

When it was over, we'd pack in the car and drive to Grandma's.

Repeat each year till High School. Then it was coach swim team and work in the tennis pro-shop either before or after practice and on the weekends. Repeat for three years. The fourth year I worked at a card shop and there was no swim team.

With that oh so uninteresting and boring reflection, here is the rest of today's writing challenge from
Mama's Loosin' It. The summer don't for my kids.

Don't
- Get into too much of a routine. Keep it interesting and try new activities.
- Hang out at home all summer. Pick some activities and get a tan. :) Big girl tans like... hum. I don't know. But she gets really tan. Unlike me. I just burn.
- Wear the same bathing suit every day. Seriously. Ask your Aunt. It just gets nasty. Oh. And remember that a shower in the pool locker room with your suit on and no soap doesn't count as being clean.
- Let anyone convince you that you can see your friends later. Its the summer and you're a kid!
- Ever. Ever. Skip the fmaily beach trip. We will let you bring friends when you are just a little bigger.

Not on the challenge, but I'm doing it anyway.

Do
- See your friends. Make new friends and generally have fun.
- Beg and plead until Mom and Dad put in a pool. We're gonna do it. Really. Well, that is the plan.
- Eat veggies so you don't get sick when you sneak so many snacks and frozen treats.
- Love the summers
-

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dad's Song

So if you've been reading for awhile, you probably know about my bizarro skills for changing the words of former hit songs to entertain the kids my husband myself.

Last night, as Big Girl and I sat watching Dancing with the Stars (its recorded on the DVR - DON'T tell us who wins!)

My husband came in singing/raping. At first I didn't even know he was singing over all the giggling from Little Man and the TV. Then. I heard it.

U can't fuss like this (oh-oh oh oh-oh-oh) (x2)
Break it down
(Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh oh-oh) (x4)
Stop jammy time

My-my-my-my fusisin' hits me so hard makes Dad say oh my Lord
Thank you for blessing me with a mind to fussin' and two hyped feet
It feels good when you know you're almost down
A little tinyboy from the Ral to the e-y
And I'm known as such
A mess and a I need my passi
U can't fuss this
Look man u can't touch this
You'll probably gettin' sleepy
'Cause you know you don't fussy like this
Call for Mom - say I need food - break it down
(Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh) (x4)
Stop jammy time
(Oh-oh oh oh oh-oh-oh) (x2)
(Oh-oh oh-oh oh-oh oh-oh)
(Oh-oh oh oh oh-oh-oh) u can't fuss this (x3)
(Oh-oh oh oh oh-oh-oh) break it down
(Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh) (x2)
Stop Jammy time

Oh yeah. After little man was safely laid down on his blanket, there was dancing.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dear Blogger

Dear Blogger,

You have been a real pain.
My password you say keep it the same.
Try as I may try as I might,
you wouldn't let me in for five whole nights.

What was the problem?
We still do not know.
Thank heavens for tech support.
Now I'm gonna go.

Okay, so that is as far as I gt in my horrible little rhyme. But. You get the idea. Freakin' Blogger. Errr.

Look for extra updates the rest of this week as I make up for lost time and publish the last five days worth of posts from my fabulous MS Word backup file.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Big Day Bling

When little girls get dressed up they wear jewlery. Little bracelets. Little necklaces. Little hairclips and bows. All kinds of fancy cute little things. Loved them when Big Girl was little. Still love them.
What do little boys wear?

hmmmm.

For weeks ahead of the baptism I ponded this. Then, as I ordered Little Man's (did I mention it was super cute) outfit online, I found the perfect manly accessory - a paci clip.

We aren't just talkin' about any old paci clip here. We are talking about a silver cross paci clip.



Bling!

Love it. Can't wait for him to use it again.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Growing in Faith

This weekend Little Man was baptized. It was a really sweet ceremony during the Sunday morning service. I remember when Big Girl was baptized and thought about that day as we prepared for his ceremony.

The words that came to mind reflecting on her big day were the most common and widely known ones:

I baptize you "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit"

It wasn't until I was standing before the congregation, looking across the baptismal font at my husband and son, with our family and friends watching that I realized that these were some of the less important words. Now don't get off track here. I'm not saying that any part of the sacrament is unimportant.

Well. Think about this:
"Pour your Holy Spirit upon this child: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, the spirit of joy in your presence."

and

"look with kindness upon the father and mother of this child... Make them teachers and examples of righteousness for their child. Strengthen them in their own Baptism so they may share eternally with their child the salvation you have given them, through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Standing in front of everyone, my mind wandered back to confirmation class: 

Luther said, "... when the Word accompanies the water, Baptism is valid, even though faith be lacking. For my faith does not constitute Baptism, but receives it." (Had to look for awhile to get those exact words.)

Baptism is valid, even though faith be lacking. As parents, we have now formally taken on a new responsibility. It was one I knew when we decided to have a second child. It was one I knew long before my first child was born.

It isn't enough just to be a parent. It isn't enough just to be a good parent. You have to be a great parent. And a Christian parent. You have to teach your children about God and help them grow in their faith.

Standing before the congregation with my husband, I thought about our wedding day. It was in the same building. It brought us together. In a very formal way and in the eyes of God it brought us together. This weekend we strengthened that bond by taking another step in our lives together with Christ.

Throughout the weekend and the early part of this week I found myself thinking a lot. A lot. About my father. He nourished me as I grew in my faith. Talking to me each week as a teenager driving back and forth to church for confirmation classes and youth group meetings. He wasn't with us as we celebrated this baptism, but I know he was there.

I pray for God's guidance as my husband and I work together to raise our children. That he may work though us and in us - they way that he worked through my own Dad as he spent countless hours with me at church activities, preparing for confirmation quizzes and working with the youth group.

Writers Note: I don't usually talk about religious topics on this blog. Its not because I am not religious, or that my faith isn't important to me. It is more because my relationship with God is private.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Almost Ready

Last week we had the very first taste of goodness for this season from our garden. Spinach and romaine lettuce.

While we wait for the rest to grow, I will tempt your taste buds with these pictures.



In the bottom left corner there are blueberries, then sugar snap peas, cantaloupe, lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes, potatoes, jalapenos.... Can't wait!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

'Lil Diddy

For the mid-day.

I like beans for my breakfast
I like beans for my dinner

I like beans like my sister
This makes me a winner

Ha. Big Sister fell out of her chair at breakfast.

Oh wait. Here is the other one. This one is to the tune of "Dem Bones."

Green beans, green beans, them my green beans
Green beans, green beans, them my green beans
Green beans, green beans, them my green beans
Green beans, green beans, green beans

Green beans, green beans, gonna fly right in
Green beans, green beans, yummy in my tum
Green beans, green beans, make me go yum, yum

Green beans, green beans
Green beans, grrreeeeen beannnnns

Any idea what Little Man had for dinner last night and breakfast this morning?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Out of the Nest

Last weekend we went to Virginia to attend a graduation. It was a fun event and entire weekend. Sitting in folding chairs with three little ones around (ours and cousin CZ) I couldn't help but think of the day when my kids will walk across the stage.

It is years away. Years. But in some ways it feels like it is just around the corner.

After the ceremony and a cookout, we took a few minutes to walk around the beautiful JMU campus. It was a moment of pure bliss and deep contrast as we took this photo on the quad.


Three kids under the age of six enjoying the beauty of a university campus. Where will they go to school? Will they have awesome, supportive, responsible friends like their big cousin? Will they still be the best of friends, sharing all their secrets with one another? Will they graduate in just four years?

Thinking ahead, I wish them all the fun, laughter, friendship and even love that their big cousin found during her college years.

New Gear = New Phase

It has suddenly hit me. Little man isn't a newborn anymore.

I know. You are probably saying to yourself, "no sh**." But seriously, he isn't a newborn. He's a baby.

It has really hit me the last few weeks as I bought what is likely to be the last box of size three diapers. It hit me again when I moved the bouncy seat off of the kitchen counter and replaced it with the high chair in the corner.

Then. It hit me really hard. But in a good way. I'm really bad at math, so tell me if this is wrong - but he slept eight hours. Yep. My math is correct here. From 10 p.m. on Saturday to 6 a.m. on Sunday.

He is also gumming little teething biscuits, and saying "Ma" for me instead of just for milk. (For those who are curious, he has an excellent little pleased look when I respond to "Ma."

Of all these things, it (crazy as it seems) hit me hardest when I changed out the baby gear. The high chair, the Johnny Jump Up. These aren't 'lil toys. These are big boy baby toys.

He is growing up. Already.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thoughts from Little Man

You know when you look at a baby and you can almost read their little minds? Sometimes you can also interpret their little noises. Here are some from Little Man.

- Laying in bed, the little "eh, eh" says, "If you put my paci back in, I can sooth myself to sleep. Really. I want to do it just as much as you want me to."

- "Uv Ooh." Translates to "Love you!" with a big smile, giggle and then burying his face in my shoulder.

- "Da blzzzz," hahaha. He loves to do this, look at Dad and do it again. I'm really starting to think that its his way of saying, "Daddy."

We are in the midst of some of the greatest baby days. Every one is a joy and blessing. Every one is a new adventure. More adventures soon!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Little Miss Independent

Scour your brain. Do you remember this song? Kelly Clarkson. Yes. Another Big Girl fav these days. So, she likes a song you say. Big fat deal. Why a post about it? Its not just a song she sings along to in the car - its her theme song. Well, kinda.

At 5 3/4 Big Girl is so independent. Each evening she goes upstairs at 7:15 and starts the evening shower, pajamas, tuck in routine. Some days need prodding, others don't. But overall, she goes upstairs, gets out her clothes, takes a shower and re-appears before the rest of the family in clean pajamas, hair brushed. She usually remembers to hang up the towel and about half the time remembers to brush her teeth. More often than not, she also puts her dirty clothes in the hamper and her school shoes in her room (sometimes in the middle of the floor, but still awesome.)

She has gone through so many changes in her little life. The most recent being the birth of Little Man. She is such a smart and loving kid. I am so very very proud of her.