Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has a great New Year!! We have big plans tonight:) Chris is making chili with all of the yummy fixings and sweet cornbread. We are going to put the girls down and enjoy a satisfying and fattening dessert by the TV with a glass of wine. We are going to snuggle and watch a few episodes of Criminal Minds and try to be in bed by 10ish. No work, no laptop, no worries. I know this might not sound very exciting but I sure am:) My idea of New Year's Eve fun sure has changed over the years and I wouldn't change it for anything. I have figured out that it is not what you do for New Years but who you are with!!

Monday, December 29, 2008


We had a wonderful Christmas! Ellie was so excited and a little overwhelmed on Christmas morning. Last year she would open a gift and then we would play with it for awhile so it took hours to open gifts but this year she would open and shove it aside and move on to the next. The girls big present was a kitchen which we hid in the playroom with a blanket thrown over it. It was probably two hours after opening gifts that Ellie went in there and noticed it. She was very excited about it but not enough to play with it at the time. She was all about the beauty kit that Santa brought. Emily enjoyed playing with anything that would make noise and snacking on sausage balls.

Ellie finally did play with her kitchen. She likes cooking for Emily.

While she was cooking her pretend phone rang and she answered it....Beauty Parlor Hotline. That's my girl:) Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!!!

Happy 1st Birthday Emily

I can't believe our baby girl is 1!!!!!!!! We had a small birthday party for Emily and it was great!!!! I think the best part of the whole party was watching her devour her cake! She loved it and actually cried when I took it away. She got cake up her nose, in her ear and everywhere else you can think of!!!! To bad she didn't enjoy the clean up!
Ellie, being a great big sister, helped her open her presents and we got some really cool things for the time capsule!

This year has flown by! Emily has blossomed into such an amazing little person. She loves big furry stuffed animals and real animals too!! She is obsessed with markers and she is definitely a mama's girl:) She has a big temper for such a little body and has been known to throw herself on the floor when she doesn't get her way. Even though life is crazy busy I sure hope I can slow down a little more this year and savor my days with the girls because time is flying by!!!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Activities

December has been such a fun month but it has flown by!!!!The advent calendar activities have been a big hit. Ellie's favorites were reading in our sleeping bags by the tree, making cookies and going to see the singing bears.
We made gingerbread cookies and I think Ellie ate more dough then cookie. Actually she might have eaten more flour then anything. Every time I turned around she was choking on flour. Gross, huh?
Saturday is when we went to see the bears. I thought Ellie would like seeing the bears and Emily would love it because Emily loves anything big and fussy but it was just the opposite. Ellie LOVED watching and listening to the bears and Emily was too grumpy to care. There is a fence around the bears and Ellie leaned on the rail for about 20 min. listening to them and then all of the sudden she started dancing in front of everybody and singing very loudly with the bears. It was hilarious!!! She was acting like she was on stage. Oh the innocence of being a child:)

Merry Christmas everybody!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Felt Frenzy

I am getting addicted to making felt food, felt stories and felt activities!!! It is so fun and the best part it doesn't take very long and I am all about instant gratification. I am making the girls felt food to go with their kitchen they are getting for Christmas. So far I have made chocolate chip cookies, pea pods, fried eggs, pancakes and I am almost done with a few doughnuts if I can ever figure out how to do a slip stitch!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Less Then A Week

Anyone else starting to feel rushed to get everything done before Christmas? I made my to do list yesterday and it was so long! I still have several home made gifts to finish, shopping to do, baking to be done not to mention I need to start getting all of my ducks in a row for Emily's 1st birthday. Did I mention I haven't wrapped the first gift? I do this every year though so I must enjoy the rush!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

We went to visit Santa at Aunt Katy and Uncle Joe's church Sunday. It was lots of fun! When we got there they had a craft for the kids and they made reindeer chow. Ellie enjoyed doing both but not as much as hanging out on the bleachers, which was a big hit with all of the children!

Then it was time for Santa and Mrs. Claus. He was such a good Santa!!! He read Twas the Night Before Christmas and then it was time to sit on Santa's lap. Ellie went by herself so she could tell Santa what she wanted. She asked for a beauty kit which is what she calls make-up. Then they both sat on his lap. I thought Emily would cry so I just backed her up so she couldn't see him and Katy snapped a picture but she turned around and saw him and she wasn't scared at all. She petted his beard and when I went to pick her up she was completely fine staying on Santa's lap.

After Santa we went to the children's recital which was very cute and then they served dinner. It was a fun night!! Here are a couple of other pictures from the night.

Our Little Ballerina

Ellie had her ballet recital on Saturday! She did wonderful!!!!! She loved being on the stage and had the biggest grin the whole time. We saw 5 groups perform and they each danced to one song. The onstage pictures didn't turn out great but the luckily the video did! After her performance Grandpa Cliff gave her a beautiful bouquet of flowers. It was precious! We did take a few pictures after the recital and all of the ones that I am in I had my eyes closed:(

Friday, December 12, 2008

This and That

Here is a picture Ellie drew for me last week. When she handed it to me she said "Mom, I drew this for you because you have been good this morning and respectful to me". I thought she did such a good job!!

Also wanted to show my Goodwill find! I love that place!!

I think these will look so cute in Ellie's room!

Ellie had an ice cream cone after dinner last night and she handed Emily an empty cone so she wouldn't be left out! How sweet was that!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Snowman Felt Activity

I saw a really cute snowman felt activity on this blog so I made it for Ellie. You cut out a felt snowman body, body parts and accessories. Then you decorate the snowman several different ways, take a picture of each one and print them. I let Ellie pick a card and she has to duplicate the picture by adding all of the parts to the snowman. It was fairly simple and fun to make. She has picked this activity twice during preschool and was able to duplicate all the pictures but it definitely took concentration.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Short and sweet

That is the best way to describe Emily's afternoon nap today. She must have slept hard though because when I went to get her up this is what she looked like.
I could not stop laughing at her hair:)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Preschool Update

We did our first week of "Montessori" preschool last Tuesday and Friday. I put Montessori in quotations because it is just my version of it:) I told Ellie that we were going to start preschool and she got the biggest grin on her face. She wanted to get started as soon as she got her book bag together. I went over the rules and let her get started. The first activity Ellie choose was the lacing cards. I showed her how to do them and she didn't quite get it but I let her finish and showed her again and she did much better with the second one. The second activity was using the tweezers to put the pom poms in the butterfly. She did great with this activity and worked diligently but when she was done she said that her hand was really tired. She also picked the mystery bag and riddle houses. The mystery bag was too easy but she still enjoyed it. I need to make it more challenging. Notice she is wearing a Cinderella dress. Very seldom will you see her in something other then dress up clothes.

On Thursday I told her we were going to do preschool on Friday and that is the first thing she wanted to do on when she woke up!! It was hard for her to wait until Emily's nap. When she came downstairs she was wearing her book bag and carrying her bear,Cinderella, that she brought for show and tell. For her activities she picked beginning letter sounds which she missed a few so hopefully she will want to pull that out again. She also picked the snowman felt activity that I will write about soon and the last activity she picked was the letter cards where you match the magnetic letters with the picture and then write the word with your finger in the sand. She wrote the word hat and I really wish I had a picture of it but I had left the camera in Emily's room. The H was great, A was sideways and the T was really good. All in all preschool this week was a success!!

We never started B5IAR because we just got busy and lazy:) Maybe this week.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Advent Calendar

I really wanted to make an Advent Calendar for Ellie this year but I just ran out of time so I have been using the one we have had for a few years. I have been sticking in a few pieces of candy until today. I decided to still put in the candy but also a piece of paper with an activity for us to do together everyday. I have gotten so many cute ideas from other blogs!!!! Here are some things I am going to include:

Make a gingerbread house with mom & dad

Make Christmas cookies

Watch a Christmas movie together (I usually clean or something when she watches TV so I think she will love this!)

Make homemade playdoh

Have a holiday tea party (basically wear our Christmas dresses because every time we have a tea party Ellie puts on a dress-up dress and tells me I need to change into a dress or skirt that pants aren't allowed. I usually resist so this will be a big deal to her!)

Make a gumball tree

Snuggle in front of the tree in our sleeping bags and read books and drink hot chocolate

Have a dance party with Christmas music (Again she will make me dress up!)

Decorate a cardboard Christmas tree with paint, glitter etc. to hang on her door

Walk around the neighborhood after dark with flashlights to see the Christmas lights once dad comes home

Ride the train to go see the singing bears

This is all I have on the list so far so if anyone has ideas I would love to hear them!!!! Today we built the gingerbread house with dad! This was an all day family project and for the most part it was a lot of fun except for Ellie having a few meltdowns and Emily trying to crawl up the stairs every time I would start painting (we have got to get a baby gate). Ellie did a lot of the painting and Chris and I put the finishing touches on it after the girls went to bed. Here is our finished house!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Our schedule

I have had such a hard time finding time to clean and play with the girls and have some me time. I just can't seem to find a nice balance so I made a schedule for us to loosely follow.

Our Schedule: M, W, F
6:00 Up and Shower
6:30 Emily up (they can't get out of bed earlier then this but they can certainly sleep later!!)
7:00 Ellie up
7:10 Breakfast
7:30 Mom's chores
Ellie does all of her chores
Emily play by herself
8:00 Playtime for all of us
9:30 Emily’s nap
Ellie show
10:00 Ellie play by herself
11:30 Eat lunch
1:30 Rest time for all of us!!
2:30 Ellie show
Playtime with Emily
3:00 Snack Time and do Before Five in A Row
4:00 Ellie and Emily play by themselves
Dinner Prep
6:00 Dad comes home and we eat dinner

On Tuesdays and Thursdays it is basically the same except we will do Montessori preschool stuff during Emily's nap time.

We loosely tried the schedule this week and so far so good. There are so many days that we aren't home for part of the day so I am just using this as a guideline. The best thing that has come from the schedule so far is Ellie's chore time. I have never given Ellie chores before but I made her a M-F chore chart. After breakfast she has to clean up her room and feed the cat and at dinner time set the table. She was really excited about her chart because she gets to put her own X's on it. I printed the chart from this website. Everyday she has picked up her room by herself and it gives me time to get cleaned up after breakfast and unload the dishwasher. The only day she whined about it was the first day. I thought she would do a freak show every morning so that has been such a pleasant surprise!!! She is so proud of herself. She has yet to set the table though because I just can't remember to tell her.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Freezer Paper Stencils

My friend Katy and I made Christmas freezer paper stencil shirts last week. It is such a fun, cheap and easy way to make shirts for the holidays or for any occasion. I love that I can make the girls coordinating shirts for so little money. No need to buy new shirts just use shirts you already have or a shirt with a stain on it and paint over the stain. So for anyone who is interested I will try and type out the directions for you! To make the shirts you will need a shirt, freezer paper, x-acto knife, fabric paint, paint brush and an iron.

1. Find a picture that you want to use. You can use a true stencil or just pick something off the internet. Trace the picture onto the non-slick side of the freezer paper.

2. Cut out the picture with a sharp x-acto knife.

3. Cut out another piece of freezer paper that is a little bigger then the cut out picture.

4. Stick the piece of extra freezer paper in between the front and back of the shirt. Basically, you are sandwiching the freezer paper slick side up in between the shirt.

5. Position the cutout freezer paper where you want it on the shirt slick side down. Make sure that it lines up with the freezer paper that is sandwiched in the shirt.

6. Iron over the freezer paper and it seals the picture down. Make sure it is down snugly.
7. Now paint the picture. It usually takes two coats of paint.

8. Let it dry overnight before peeling off the freezer paper. Viola you have a cute shirt.
Here are the shirts for both girls.

Hope all of that made sense!!

Jesus the Elf

Chris hides Jesus every morning before he goes to work so when Ellie wakes up we try to find him. I am enjoying this more then Ellie. Look where he was hiding today!

Ellie thought this was so funny!!! She said "Mom, we have such a silly elf".

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What Matters Most

I have been feeling rather grumpy and impatient the last couple of days, especially with Chris and the girls!! I woke up this morning and prayed that I would have a new outlook today and then I opened up Purpose Driven Life. I am on Chapter 16 and it is titled What Matters Most. The first line says Life is all about love. Rick, the author, suggested this prayer: God, whether I get anything else done today, I want to make sure that I spend time loving you and loving other people - because that's what life is all about. God knew exactly what I needed to hear this morning:)